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Feeling Phony

Kokoro mask by Eyesplash via Flickr

About a month ago, I made a commitment to write twice a week and publish that writing for the world to see. Sharing my ideas publicly still scares me, because despite having an authoritative tone I don't feel like an expert.

This past week was a reminder of that. I was in Boston to induct our newest class of Life Science companies into Springboard. It was inspiring and humbling to be in their company. These women are Brilliant.

I know I have something to offer them. In fact, it's something I've loved about Springboard since I began my mission here in 2008 fresh from Georgetown. Here I am, early in my career rubbing shoulders with our alumnae like Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar; Helen Greiner, founder of iRobot; Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Networks; and hundreds of other women who don't yet have the recognition but are equally impressive. And yet I have the keys to the Springboard network and can orchestrate the Springboard process and people to help these experienced entrepreneurs build their companies.

Naivety can be an asset. It's driven me to learn as much as I can from observing entrepreneurs and investors interact on our platform. There isn't a day that goes by where I haven't learned several new insights and I am eager to share those insights with others.

There's a pressure when you write a blog post to be an expert, to write in an authoritative tone. I've done it, saying definitively how to find women investors, how to revamp the investor pitch in 60 minutes, how to get introduced to an investor. But even though I write with confidence and authority, I don't pretend to have all the answers.

I'm more like a first-time entrepreneur or first-time parent, learning on the go without really knowing everything I am doing. I'm just sharing a single person's perspective. This is my story, and some people might be better off doing exactly the opposite.

It's refreshing to think that maybe this is the way others feel too.