“Never allow yourself to be made a victim or bullied into silence. Define yourself without using or accepting others' definitions. I speak my name.” – Mike Fountain, Associate VP of Operations at BA...
Meet Minnie Ingersoll. She is a Partner at TenOneTen Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund here in L.A. that invests in startups that apply data and technology to disrupt existing industries. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was founder and COO at Shift, an online marketplace disrupting the $1.2T car industry by providing a better experience for buying and selling used cars. Minnie began incubating Shift when she was pregnant with her first child and had her second while raising their Series A. Minnie’s children are now five, four, and two years old! We spent the day driving around with her in L.A., talking about her normal routine, which is usually a balancing act between work and family. Minnie carved time out of her busy schedule to give us an in-depth look into her daily routine, what it’s like being a mom in the VC space, her “enough” list, and the fun activities she does to unwind.
We do not need an alarm clock in my house - that’s what having three kids is for. I get up when one of them walks into my room, which is usually around 7:00 a.m. They have been pretty reasonable about when to wake mommy up recently. Once I am up, we cook banana omelets, which is our favorite at the moment. I cook the omelets, which is pretty much the only thing that I cook. James, my husband, is an incredible cook, so he does the bulk of the cooking around here. I mush up a banana, throw in some egg, a little bit of pancake mix - quick, easy, and delicious!
If I don’t have an early meeting, I will take Arthur on a run in his stroller around 7:30 a.m. I love to do that with him around three times a week. However, if I could get a surf in, I prefer to get a surf in. My brother has a house in Marina del Rey, with a garage full of surfboards and wet suits. So, I go there, grab a wetsuit, grab a board and surf under the Venice Pier. Otherwise, we all get up, we all eat breakfast together, we send the kids off to school, and we all say goodbye. That is our regular start to the day!
At 8:10 a.m., the kids leave for school, and I jump in the shower. I try to shower and get out the door in two minutes. I was a triathlete many years ago, and the fast transitions you have to perfect to move onto the next thing, whether it be swimming and jumping onto a bike, etc. So I have gotten good at that.
My oldest kid is five years old, and so is my startup. Which means we do not meander in this house. I am a multitasker. When I was raising money for my startup, I would bring my baby into the office, nurse in board meetings, keep breast milk in the refrigerator. Honestly, anything to make it work because I was so fired up about the company! Things just haven’t slowed down since.
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
I leave for work at 8:30 a.m. and, depending on the day, I am driving all over town. We live in Pasadena, but I drive to downtown Los Angeles most days and sometimes across town to Santa Monica. It’s about a twenty-five-minute drive to downtown. I tend to tee my podcasts up and have them ready to go. I listen to anything that’s in the vein of How I Built This. And I listen to the first cut of my own podcast, LA Venture, as I’m the host and the producer. And of course, I take meetings in the car--though sometimes I veg out in silence on the way home.
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
My day tends to fluctuate a lot, and I’ll try to meet entrepreneurs or other VCs in downtown L.A. I really do love downtown. At the moment, I am working out of one of our portfolio companies. They have given us a lovely conference room, so that is where I will take a lot of my meetings. We are trying to grow our presence in downtown L.A., so it helps to be located there.
I try to meet with a couple of entrepreneurs throughout the day. I think that screening and doing your research is essential. Sometimes, I will do the first screens with entrepreneurs in the car, and then I will meet people face to face.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
For lunch, I will grab food with one of my partners, eat leftovers (I live with my mom, and she’s a great cook), or have lunch with a founder. Right now, I am strangely addicted to kombucha, so I love having that with my lunch. Even though we are an L.A. based fund, we still do a lot of investing in San Francisco. That means I am still spending a lot of time investing in San Francisco.
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
My days are normally stacked with back to back meetings because when I am home, I want to be home. It is more important to make sure my three kids are happy and healthy every night when I come home. So much more important than any PowerPoint or other projects that I am currently working on.
I still participate in happy hours because that’s part of the job. However, I haven’t had anything to drink in seven years, probably? Yes, seven years. Social drinking comes with the territory, so I have had to adapt, and I developed a fun little trick. I sneak kombucha into where ever it is I am going, or some places serve it, too. I drink kombucha in a champagne glass, to make it feel festive. It makes me feel a part of the atmosphere without actually having to drink – a pretty good compromise. If there’s not a networking event or happy hour, then I am at home at 5:30 p.m.
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
When I get home for the night, our family sits down for dinner. We always sit down all together for dinner. It’s a short dinner because my kids have short attention spans. But we will always eat together and have a home-cooked meal together.
I mentioned before, my husband James is a fantastic cook, so is my mom, and because of that, we always do Thanksgiving up real big. Thanksgiving is huge for us – there are never less than 60 people for Thanksgiving, and it’s an excellent holiday for us.
After dinner, I need some time with Arthur. Around 6:15-6:30 p.m., Arthur and I go upstairs, and we take a bath together. My little bear and I do a lot of splashing. We brush our teeth together. He is very into brushing his teeth right now! After that, I put him to bed around 7:00 p.m. and rejoin the rest of the family for some quality time with my big kids. My husband and I make sure they bathe, brush their teeth, and either they will go to bed, or James will entertain them.
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
This is actually the block of time where I actually do my work. I will be online for the next three hours, just working away, and this is when I make my “enough” list. My enough list is akin to a to-do list, but it sets boundaries for me. For example, if I get two things done on my enough list – applying to daycare and moving forward with a deal, I am really excited about. Then, that’s enough. And then I can go to bed at 11:00 p.m. and sleep soundly knowing I still have a huge to-do list.