Independence Day – A Time of Reflection

Many of us around the US are packing our bags, filling our tanks or hitting the grocery and liquor stores to prepare for this well celebrated and much longed for holiday.

Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776. As my country appears to be going in the opposite direction on nearly every issue important to me, I thought I’d take a look at the Declaration of Independence to reflect on the words put together at such an important time in the history and evolution of my country.

The Declaration of Independence starts as follows…

‘When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.’

OK, I’m not sure if you’re thinking what I’m thinking but it almost feels like we need a new declaration to separate from our current President and his administration that seems to have ZERO concern for the citizens of this country. Does Washington care about providing healthcare to everyone? No. Does Washington care about our parks, rivers and monuments? No. Does Washington care about continuing to move gay rights to reduce hate, fear and discrimination against a growing population? No. Does Washington care about the children in our public schools or the educational content they have available to watch when they get home from school? No. Does Washington care about fostering good relationships with important partners like France and Germany? No. And…

161 Days! Yes, that is we have lived through with this current administration and as much as our President says he is getting a lot done, the real promising news is that it’s another LIE! He grabbed a stolen Supreme Court Justice seat, he just finally got a portion of his very seemingly unconstitutional Muslim Ban through the courts, he has signed countless Executive Orders to undo many good actions of Obama but there is a lot that he has not accomplished, that has been slowed down or delayed or that Americans are just RESISTING. Bravo #resistance.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE my country (USA!). I have traveled outside of the US since I was 16 (lots of passports ago), worked in international marketing for years and have lived in 3 different countries. I am proud to be an American and I will fight even harder for the country that I love. I am hopeful that Trump supporters are starting to see the reality of their vote and how their vote against Hillary was NOT a vote for a better America.

The truth is that many older white Americans in red states will lose their healthcare coverage or Medicare if they do not stand up against Trumpcare. Carrier is not creating more jobs. Jobs in the coal mines are few to begin with any they will have a limited life span. Hate crimes are up in this country and this should concern all of us. So Trump says one thing but the reality is nearly the opposite.

After 161 days of this President, we do have one thing that we have never had before in any other US Presidency. We have more transparency into a President and his chaotic staff than even before. 140 characters says a lot when a man is incompetent, hateful, cruel, rude, obnoxious, careless, inconsiderate, egotistical, and downright unprepared for such an important position. Continue to follow these Twitter rants for the most pathetic leadership example we may ever see. It’s embarrassing but we cannot stop Trump from being who he is and the entire world is aware now. If only he listened to Hillary and her famous tweet to him!

Delete your account

IMG_7006

So as you travel, spend time with family and friends or just relax and have a few days off, remember what is important to you and think about the near future of our country. None of us can sit back and let a few destroy the many. Resist/support/act where it is needed to protect those things you hold dear.

Be safe, have fun, enjoy the 4th and keep reflecting! And remember, love is all we need.

Big hugs all,

Sandra

 

PSS: Another quote from the Declaration of Independence that resonates with me.

‘He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.’

>>>And a few more tweets for those not on Twitter or reading the news!

Elizabeth Warren

Trump+MJ+tweet+CNN

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There’s no Time for Gloating but Remember the House Passing the American Health Care Act when you Cast your Next Ballot.

AHCASo the House did it today by just narrowly passing the American Health Care Act 217 to 213. It’s clear that this was completely strategic and a necessary ‘win’ needed by Trump & Co. I can just imagine the pressure put on certain Members of Congress (MoC) to get the needed votes.

It is not very likely that this American Health Care Act will clear the Senate but Trump REQUIRED a win at this point and he got it. Congress will be on a break next week and some members will really get beat up when they go home. I’m sure Trump and Ryan now owe these people big favors. Oh, the joy of politics!

And even if this bill is already facing a very uncertain future, Trump is talking (and tweeting) to his supporters and all they see is a President that said he would win and now to them, he has won. They have ALREADY forgotten about all the losses which do not require listing as most of us can rattle these off in our sleep.

So nobody should be gloating on any side of this issue as here is the reality;

  1. Our elected politicians just passed a bill with NO CBO Analysis. This is outright ignorance and really, it should not even be ‘legal’.
  2. Most MoC have not even read the bill as it was pushed through too fast. Again, totally outrageous and this shows just how politics is driving everything vs. parties and people working together.
  3. Tens of millions of Americans will lose healthcare. Period.
  4. Deductions will NOT go down.
  5. Premiums will NOT go down.
  6. The rich just got richer.
  7. ObamaCare is not DEAD (another Trump lie) and many parts of whatever we end up happening will have portions of what we know today.
  8. We continue to allow insurance companies to dictate way too much and impact the quality of real healthcare in our country

Difference betweenSo people on all sides of this critical issue could easily gloat as this could be perceived as a short-term win for the GOP and/or a longer-term win for the Democrats. But nobody will win if millions of Americans go without coverage. If only we could take a nation wide view and for all of us to remember the bill passing today when we go to the polls. This includes everyone. If you get screwed in this deal or if the deductions and premiums DO NOT go down as promised, remember this at the ballot box. Remind your family and friends when they go to vote as some people will forget who screwed them!

And if Medicaid and Medicare get crushed in this deal, remember this as well.

The Democratic Party is very focused on flipping vulnerable seats (check out Flippable if you are not plugged into them already) in upcoming elections and the health care issue has been a huge deal breaker for getting re-elected. Today will help the process of flipping seats but in the end, we only win if Americans have AFFORDABLE and AVAILABLE health care coverage.

What are your thoughts? How are you feeling? I welcome your comments. Thanks,

Sandra

@sandrasick

#AHCA

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Oh, What a Year!

As 2016 comes to a close, I am grateful for many things that came out of this year and I am concerned about others. But those around me are healthy, safe and sound and I find moments of optimism a mist all the ‘breaking’ news stories and tweets.
merry-christmasSo from my home to yours around the globe, may you have a peaceful holiday season surrounded by those you love and support. Here’s to a new year and whatever that holds individually. Find strength in the fact that the majority of people on this planet have good intentions and love vs. hate.

Peace and prosperity (of any kind),

Sandra

 

 

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Seven Notable Election-Related Podcasts

podcast-and-worldI admit, I am a podcast junkie and listen to a wide range of podcasts. As podcasts are very popular now, there are some amazing podcasts specific to the US election. How can there not be with so much almost unbelievable news and activity.

Here’s a list of recommended podcasts should you need some suggestions or a quick catch-up. Please share any others that you also enjoy. Happy podcasting!

  1. We’ll start with the amazing Fresh Air podcast from Terry Gross. A favorite for many and a very well-produced show. This is a must-listen to interview with some really good insight.

How Trump’s Candidacy Has Divided Conservative Media

2. Secondly, from WNYC, who creates a lot of great content, check out The United States of Anxiety. You’ll hear from real voters and take a look back at what got us, US voters, to this point in the election. It’s a podcast about real people living real lives in America and there are only 3 episodes available and all are worth hearing if you want to get a perspective from suburban America.

How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going?

3. I’m not going to recommend just one podcast from Slate’s Political Podcast but nearly all of them! Pick any, you cannot go wrong!

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/gabfest.html

4. Again, anything from Trumpcast is worth a listen and this podcast is also produced by Slate.

http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/trumpcast.html

5. And from The New Yorker, their Comment podcast. There are many great political/election podcasts in the recent months, but the most recent is worthy of a listen and it’s shorter.

Three’s a Crowd

6. FiveThirtyEight is another podcast focused on the election podcast and the podcasts are very informative. The most recent covers the rundown on the second debate.

A Late-Night Podcast to Recap a Very Strange Second Debate

7. Last but not least is an interesting little podcast from StoryCorp on a woman who ran for president 50+ years ago. In the 1964 presidential election, Republican Senator Barry Goldwater from Arizona ran against Democratic incumbent Lyndon Johnson who had assumed office following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. LBJ won in a landslide, but there was another candidate in the race who has largely been forgotten by history: Mrs. Yetta Bronstein, a Jewish housewife from the Bronx!

Vote for Yetta and Things Will Get Betta

For those with a bit more time, here’s a bonus podcast worth a listen. These days, when Alec Baldwin is not playing Donald Trump on SNL, he also hosts a long-running podcast called ‘Here’s The Thing’. It normally is not very political, but the recent podcast features Bob Garfield. Each week, more than 400 radio stations across the country air “On The Media,” a program that takes a hard look at the boldfaced names in the headlines—and the smaller names in the bylines and this show is co-hosted by Garfield.

Radio Host Bob Garfield on Trump and Telemarketing

Enjoy some or all of this content and share the podcasts that you really enjoy. Here’s a list of the top News & Election podcasts if you are looking for other options;

Happy listening and make sure you and all your family and friends are registered to vote in the US election.

Sandra

@sandrasick

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The 2016 Presidential Elections: A Different Perspective from an American Across the Pond

Special thanks to Amy Kraushaar for this guest blog submission. I met Amy as I was new to Lisbon and she was returning to the US. Once you have Portugal on the heart, it is hard to stay away and Amy is back in her chosen country. Thanks again Amy for your perspective and feel free to look Amy up on LinkedIn should you want to connect with a global marketing and business development expert based in Lisbon, Portugal. Obrigada Amy!

>>>>>>This is my third US Presidential election viewed from abroad. I moved to Portugal in 2003 for love and adventure. The economic crisis and need to work turned me into a European tumbleweed. I experienced the 2004 and 2016 elections from Portugal. I danced at an inaugural ball in 2008 in London. This election feels different.

From my past experience, the US presidential election is duly noted every four years in Europe, mostly as a process curiosity. There is an assumption that America generally has a non-corrupt voting process (hanging chads generated little reaction here), and candidates are party-vetted and governmentally competent. Even George W. Bush, with his foreign policy ignorance and folksy-ness, was presumed capable. There is disbelief at the cost and length of time we spend on elections. But the expansive global media we have easy access to methodically covers US elections in their proper slot: after national and local news, and in Portugal, often post-sports.

November 2, 2014

This year is different. I’m used to explaining our convoluted election process: electoral college, super delegates, and why the popular vote doesn’t matter. As a liberal, I’m used to fielding cracks about a clearly (to non-Americans) less-qualified/hawkish/unsophisticated candidate. I’m used to diplomatic questions asking who I think will win. I’m not used to silence.

Here’s how it’s different: Europeans see whackos on American TV shows and news. But the Americans they meet abroad – those they think of as the real thing – are generally the alleged elite: multinational employees, students, better-off retirees, those who can afford to escape the American rat race. They’re not used to a live stream of our cultural underbelly — of real-life racists, bigots, blatant corruption-istas, seeming sociopaths, that, until this election, were mostly hidden to the outside world. I knew they existed. They were one of the reasons I escaped.

Trump and his followers typify “the ugly American,” that infamous personae which had faded during two Obama terms. Now, I cringe as our candidate’s appalling actions kick off every news report – daily. I squirm at every incredulous lie recounted, and wince as the foul side of our national identity is laid bare for the world to see.

quiet

What’s going on – Election 2016

And I am deeply ashamed. When friends, even taxi drivers, stop asking, “What’s going on? How did this happen? Who do you think will win?” Either they know I have no answers, or are afraid of my reply.

You see, a lot of people in Europe thought America was already pretty great. But when our crazy uncle screams vulgarities on international media 24/7, Europe realizes Trump is our Berlusconi, magnified by 100, with potential access to nuclear codes that can wreck the planet. This is a very different election indeed. I’m not used to having our dark side exposed to the world. Trump has done just this.<<<<<<

Again thank you Amy for the submission and as we get closer to the election, the tension will certainly build. I’m optimistic that the best man, or shall we say woman, will win and that the madman will go back to beauty pageants and reality TV. If not, Amy, can I rent a room in your house????

Sandra Sick

@sandrasick

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Donald Trump Does Not Deserve to be Graded on a Curve in the Debate Tonight

When I was in high school and at university, I was hardly ever in a class where a teacher graded on a curve. I’m actually glad as I went into a test or an assignment knowing that the grade I received was exactly that, my earned grade (without outside influence). Students and now some politicians can assume that ‘curving’ means an upward adjustment of a low score and that is just not a fair expectation for a debate. Yes this grade normalization can go both ways, but allowing a curve invites people to show up unprepared and then hope for the best!

When it comes to debates and determining the winner, we can simply say that it’s a tricky proposition with or without a curve. Or we can say it’s rather easy depending on the reporting agency, website, writer or campaign committee which are often biased. Bottom line, we as individual viewers can determine who we believe either won or did the best job in communicating their position and answering the questions but we have to remove the ‘curve’ and keep it fair.

microphoneWe have all see Donald Trump get away with not being prepared, intentionally being rude, saying things loud and three times as if it is fact, outright lying and often changing his mind or details on a plan or issue. But at this stage, he must know what he plans to do, who is going to be on his team and truly how he is going to make the changes that he says ‘all Americans want’ (it’s not true that all Americans want his type of change by the way). Let’s hear from both candidates tonight and hopefully the debate will not be filled with fact checking but real answers and important details.

So tonight will be the first time that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump share a stage and over 100 million people around the globe are expected to tune-in. I suspect even Vladimir Putin has his alarm clock set to watch tonight!

About 20% of the voters are still not undecided so this is an important 90 minutes. Hopefully the unruly candidate will keep to his plans and finally share more policy details and maybe even release his tax returns.

Here’s to removing the curve from the rating tonight and judging a man and woman equally but taking away points for bad, rude and evasive behavior!

Happy viewing,

Sandra

@sandrasick

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Has Time Run Out for the U.S. Presidential Election Process?

So we have nearly 55 days until we know the results of the next US Presidential Election and that does seem like a good amount of time. It seems even longer if you are really following and participating in the reality (or absurdity) and aggressiveness of this particular election. But the real truth is, on some level, we are out of time. And this ‘out of time’ clock started ticking on September 9th.

We need this important time, these nearly two months to learn more about the candidates, hopefully see the details of Trump’s tax returns, live through as many debates as our blood pressure will allow and to really better understand the plans put forth, or not, from each candidate. And there will be additional DNC leaks and more news on family Trusts and Foundations as well as new investigations and the outcome of some potential lawsuits. These fact SHOULD really influence who we vote for and be part of the selection process for the best and most qualified candidate.

As everything about our elections in the U.S. is complicated and unique per state, the truth is that EARLY VOTING IN THE U.S. IS UNDERWAY! What, people can vote now and they don’t even know all the facts and details about their candidate? OK, we know that this is a two-horse race and our country is greatly divided but I am hoping (and praying at times) that the verdict is still out for many and that they will take a wait and see attitude and come out and vote for the better (not best as we never seem to have a best) candidate!

Here are some details on the Early Voting process in the U.S. and I’m going to start with the big number first.

  • Roughly 45.6 million people or about 35% of the electorate voted prior to Election Day in 2012, and that number is expected to increase in this election.
  • Advance voting began in the U.S. last Friday, September 9th in North Carolina. This is the first of 37 states that will allow balloting by mail for any reason or in person before the actual Election Day of November 8th. Nearly 35,000 voters had requested absentee ballots as of last week.
    • I just hope that the rightful owners of these ballots cast them! The better news is that the split for absentee ballot request is about right down the line between Democrats and Republicans.
  • North Carolina also allows early voting at the polling booths beginning October 20th.
  • An important point is that these votes are not counted until election day but many states, including North Carolina report party affiliation of ballots submitted. Talk about influencing the process which can go either way. I just fear some guy standing at a podium screaming ‘The system is rigged’.
  • For those in the armed services and voters living abroad, ballots are mailed the week of September 19th.
  • On the same date, Georgia, Wisconsin and Virginia (2 of these battleground states) can send in their ballots.
  • Iowa accepts early ballots as of September 29th but at least many will have the opportunity to watch the first presidential debate by this date.

In data compiled by The Associated Press, ‘Voters who cast ballots in advance are expected to make up between 50 to 75 percent or more of all ballots in the battlegrounds of North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.’ And this scares the sh*t out of me as this accounts for a lot of people not waiting for as much information as possible to make the best voting decision.

But this would assume voters in the U.S. are open to all the facts, are open-minded on all the issues (vs. only one, think Pro-Life), truly understand how much their vote counts (think Brexit) and are concerned about the long-term impact of a very bad decision.

The candidates certainly have a strategy that takes into account early voting and are campaigning in many of the above-mentioned states to encourage people to get out and vote. This is to be expected at this stage of the election process.

So I will end here with a little story about why politics is so important to me and always has been in my life. I am the daughter of an elected politician, my late-mother who won every election she ran for on the local city level (Go MOM!). And my father, who also had political aspirations when I was young.

As a very young girl, I was posing for family political photos that would eventually appear on a notepad and in a brochure, I went door-to-door with teams and passed out more bumper stickers than I can count, I ate countless pieces of pizza at the ‘Sick” election party office, I lived thought the highs and lows of the election process and opposing candidates who did underhanded things to get votes and so much more. My parents are both life-long registered Republicans and they raised five kids who all vote according to their beliefs with little influence from our parents. But we all care about what happens in our city/county/state/country and take voting seriously.

every-vote-countsMy hope is that you care about this country as well, regardless of how you grew up, where you go to church, how your parents are registered or how long you have been voting. Voter turnout is SAD in the U.S. and in 2016, we don’t just need every vote, we need educated and smart votes and EVERY VOTE COUNTS.#democracy

Mark your calendars for the debates!

Happy September,

Sandra

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Just 70 Days Left Until Election Day!

For the past few years I have been blogging about startups. Mostly the startup scene in Portugal as I was living there when things were really forming and heating up. No doubt, it was an exciting time and a gift to meet and work with so many amazing people and companies.

Fast-forward to a little more than a year after moving back to Los Angeles, and if you know me personally, you know that the 2016 Presidential election is very much at the top of my conversation (and concern) list. As well as all over my wall and feed. Of course I am not alone as these are strange times and the fallout from a terrible decision would impact the world. Yes, think Brexit and how so many people were shocked and surprised at the outcome of that important vote.

Vote 2016So with just 70 days until not enough Americans will get off their asses and vote, I am changing the focus of my blog to the 2016 Presidential Election. Honestly, one of the many reasons I wanted to be back in the US was to ‘live through an election’ as I was living abroad and voting absentee the last two elections. Who knew what we all were about to experience this last year!

What we all have witnessed in this run for the presidential election at this point has already been unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Scary, shocking, unbelievable and just frightening as to how ‘en vogue’ being a hater is today in America (and elsewhere).

Here’s a list of the debates both for President and Vice President so mark your calendars;

Monday, September 26, 2016
First presidential debate
Location: Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Vice presidential debate
Location: Longwood University, Farmville, VA

Sunday, October 9, 2016
Second presidential debate
Location: Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Third presidential debate
Location: University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

So here’s to staying informed, sharing the debate details with those that need to hear more from the candidates versus Fox TV or all the posts on Facebook and making sure you get out and VOTE!

Thanks for reading the blog and feel free to post your comments and suggestions for future posts.

Have a great week all,

Sandra

And here’s a link to the Presidential coundtown clock. Time is ticking away…

http://www.270towin.com/”>www.270towin.com</a&gt;

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The Importance (For Me) of Single-Tasking

Today is the start of a new year for me as I celebrated my birthday* yesterday. I try to workout most mornings before I start my workday and while I am out at the local park, I adore my time getting sun, fresh air, pumping up my heart rate but especially listening to podcasts.

NOte to selfOne of my favorite podcasts is Note To Self from WNYC. I think the sign of a good podcast is one that feels like ‘it’ is talking just to you. Note to Self it that type of podcast for me and it is moderated by the very smart and down-to-earth Manoush Zomorodi. It’s a show about technology and how we can best live with it in our modern lives.

The current episode is focused on single-tasking and it’s a good reminder for me to make more changes and focus more. Shifting attention or multitasking is hard work for the brain and this depletes neuroresources (and I’ve been doing it for years). This depletion makes it hard for us to think straight and switching attention creates stress.

Since returning to the US last year, I have been making a real effort to reduce time on social media, shut down programs, shut off many notifications and really just allow myself to focus better. Yes, this is hard with super busy lives, travel, highly demanding projects, extended families, etc. but it is a work in progress for me. That does not mean I have no apps running or an old phone. It means that I want to read books and not only articles on Facebook and be present with people. And it means I want to focus and accomplish more; from start to finish.

So as part of my new year, I’m going to focus on single-tasking where I do one thing until it is done. Much like writing this blog with little to no stopping and/or checking email, Twitter, my cell, or otherwise. I don’t need to wait until January 1st to make resolutions as in many ways, our birthdays are a great new day for executing change, developing new habits, leaving old stuff behind and starting anew.

Join me in single-tasking more!

Happy June,

Sandra

*Thanks for the many birthday well-wishes on Facebook, Twitter, Whatapp, text, email and yes, my father, in his 80’s, even sang Happy Birthday on my voicemail!

 

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What I Did Expect When I Moved BACK to Los Angeles in 2015

Just under a year ago, while wrapping up a 4 year ‘life’ in Lisbon, Portugal, I posted a blog entitled ‘What I Didn’t Expect When I Moved to Portugal in 2011’. It went viral. And it continues to get large bursts of views, comments, shares and likes. Today I woke up to a couple hundred views of this post and with readers from over 20 countries visiting my blog/site. Thanks/obrigada!

The timing of this particular blog post last year was nearly perfect as many eyes were starting to turn to Portugal and my experience in Lisbon during these 4 years was amazing. I stand by all that I wrote in this blog and I still feel the same about my special time in Portugal. Leaving, for many reasons, was one of the hardest decisions of my life.

Had I moved to Portugal today, I would have missed so much, but my value as a marketing consultant would have been viewed much differently. In the early days of a growing ecosystem, most startups are focused on development and not growth (marketing, PR, branding, etc). But now I can share a long list of Portuguese startups very concerned about growth and many who have made major investments in their marketing departments in Portugal, the US or elsewhere.

So my timing to witness the growth of all that has happened was great but my earning ability, especially coming from the US, was a challenge.

So after being away from ‘home’, family and friends in the US, I decided last year to return to Los Angeles and touched ground 10 months ago. My transition was smooth and rather easy as I was returning to my house, driving a car I had left behind and I had the comfort of family, friends and a city that I adore as much as Lisbon but in a different way. Los Angeles is a city where anyone can be anything they want, good or bad and it just screams opportunity. It’s a unique type of opportunity that allows one to create or recreate their lives.

I knew a lot of what to expect when I was returning to Los Angeles and here and here are some of the highlights;

  • Too Many Networking Opportunities
    • Don’t even sign-up for LA Tech, Meet-Up, Eventbrite and tons of other organizations, sites or tech groups as you will be overwhelmed with such a wide selection of networking opportunities. I knew I would have to pick wisely and focus on networking where it made sense for me.
    • A few days after I returned home, I heard the always ready to shock and candidly honest Gary Vaynerchuk speak at Expert Dojo. It was the perfect first event to attend. And so very LA. There was a costs and it seems a bit much, the place was jammed and people were early, of course there was hipster beer and then Gary took the stage and was typical Gary. It will be awhile before the takes the Gary show to Lisbon and I am hoping there will not be hipster beer when he gets there!
  • 4,5,6 Startup/Tech Ecosystems in the Same City
    • Yes, Los Angeles has a lot of hotspots of startup/tech companies to include Santa Monica (and/or) Venice, Playa del Rey, Hollywood, Downtown, Pasadena, Burbank/Glendale and there are more pockets, but you get the picture, there’s a lot happening all over town and I’m glad the LA Metro, as of this past weekend, now goes to Santa Monica! But again, you have to pick wisely where you work, live, network and play as it’s spread out.
    • Oh, and you cannot walk to meetings easily or get to meeting fast with public transportation in Los Angeles. It all takes time.

Take a look at the LA Startup Map to get an idea on where companies, investors and others are located.

  • Co-work spaces around LA
  • Co-Work Spaces are Taking over Los Angeles
    • Yes, it’s happening everywhere and since LA is a bunch of cities inside of a city, I knew I would see co-work spaces popping up on every corner. Since I returned, there are now tons of WeWork locations, Cross Campus, Blankspaces, Opodz and many others with a very particular focus (women-owned startups, hardware, etc.).

 

  • The Busy Trap
    • Maybe it’s many places around the world and the US, but when you compare Angelenos to the Portuguese, I think people in LA thrive off of being too busy. Big cities take longer to move around and have lots to offer, so it’s easy to hit the gym on your way to work, commute, work long hours, network at night, go out for drinks and not stop to enjoy walking through the city, having longer lunches, a little wine with a meal, a few coffee breaks and many other calming and enjoyable rituals you often see in the Portuguese culture.
  • Home by 11pm, Midnight at the Latest
    • Many Americans like to sleep, and not that it’s a bad thing, but in Los Angeles in particular where the bars are cleaned out by 2am, most have long gone and are sound asleep. The Portuguese know how to enjoy the night. Any night! And this does not mean too much of anything, but it’s easy to move around Lisbon, eat, drink, walk, have long conversations, catch outdoor music and just get to know people.
  • F*cking TV
    • I knew when I returned that there was this increasing number of new TV shows. Original programming on Netflix, Hulu, DirectTV and just about everywhere else. I have been asked dozens of times about what I watch and I look like the deer caught in the headlights. No, I have never seen The Wire, or Sopranos or tons of other shows. I have lived outside of the US for 6+ of the last 11 years and I missed a lot of TV, but that’s ok. Do I get extra credit for being a Game of Thrones fan?
  • Cost of Living
    • Yes, Los Angeles is a lot more expensive, but we all know that reality. Housing, food, entertainment and really just about everything is more expensive in LA compared to especially the very affordable Lisbon. And in the 4 years I was away, LA prices went way up. Plus charging $14 for a glass of wine is criminal.
    • Bottom line, you can make a lot more money in LA and there is a lot of real opportunity in startups/tech/consulting here.
Los Angeles traffic

Don’t be jealous of our traffic!

  • Traffic
    • No blog about living and working in LA is complete without mentioning the shit show that is Los Angeles traffic. It is horrible and getting worse by the day/month/year.

So since I left Lisbon, I have mentored and taught 6 startup programs with one being Startup Braga which I returned to Portugal in February. I can see that things are moving so fast in Portugal now that it is easy to lose track of ‘who is on first’ but that is good news.

EyeSee at SXSW

EyeSee Winning the Startup Pitch Competition at SXSW

I have also been working, consulting and advising with a number of companies to include EyeSee Solutions. We were the winners of a start-up competition at SXSW in March and I’ve closed some interesting business opportunities for this client and others.

 

Vijay from Stride

Vijay from Stride presenting at TechStars KC

My time in Portugal was a gift and I so appreciate the fact that I had this opportunity and had so much interaction with so many bright and good people. IT’s also good to see many of ‘My Challengers’ from The Lisbon Challenge going through other programs such as Stride at TechStars in KC (congrats Vijay) and others get funding such as Doinn (congrats all).

As I approach a year back home, I will continue to grow my network, make new friends, have new opportunities and spend quality time with family and friends drinking Portuguese wine and eating tasty Portuguese cheese.

Thanks to all that shared my blog post a year ago (and other posts before and after) and for your support in the past, present and future. If you are in Los Angeles and need consulting services for your growing company, please reach out!

Have a safe and sound Memorial Day weekend to those in the US and a wonderful weekend elsewhere around the globe. Big American hugs,

Sandra

PS: And for those attending The Lisbon Investment Summit, I will be there in spirit and celebrate for me as it’s on my birthday!

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