Photo L. Etheridge

9 lessons I learned after my Dad died 5 months ago.

In his theory of the “adjacent possible” Stuart Kauffman describes the importance of iteration, recombining, and continuing explorations despite conflicting signals and noise. When author Steven Johnson included Kauffman’s concept in his book he described the adjacent possible as a “shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.” Since my Father became unexpectedly ill and died two months later at the end of March, everything after feels…

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No, it’s not 1994. It only seems that way because we still use business cards and resumes despite having online platforms such as Linkedin.

Even with online job search tools for self-promotion, and job application, the stalwart classic CV remains a staple expectation by hiring managers and companies.

While resume design templates evolve ever so slightly each year, expectations for core content have remained stuck like a 1990’s black hole sun.

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Building a business strategy, while parallel processing with Shawshank, Wall-E, and Apocalypse Now.

Brand zealot.

A colleague once assigned this moniker to me. While I knew it was a jab, I felt nothing but pleased. It meant I was doing my job. It came at the end of a week-long executive strategy session where each functional leader presented their three-year plan. As the head of product for a $1 billion global business, ensuring alignment between product direction, marketing, and sales plans required constant communication, context setting, and collaboration.

Developing sound strategic business plans, both protecting and catapulting a beloved brand…

photo: L. Etheridge

Feedback two female founders received and rejected.

We flew in early enough the night before to have dinner in the hotel bar while we rehearsed our pitch. Perhaps the Brussels (yes, this is the correct spelling although it doesn’t sound as though it should be pluralized) sprouts oddly paired with cherry tomatoes and lime were a tip-off that the next day would be strange. We joked that our California food sensibilities were too sensitive and that it gave us an excuse to eat more french fries. It was our first fundraising pitch together as Founder and Co-Founder. We were meeting…

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He said he “was amazing”. I enrolled in an EMBA program.

I was President of a $90M Women’s clothing brand, which was owned by a larger corporation. The corporation also owned 30+ other brands, most much bigger in revenue. At the time I was one of only 3 female Presidents across the portfolio.

On this day in 2015, I was flying back to the Bay Area after my quarterly business review with the Operating Committee. …

Image | Unsplash | Sam Balye

“Seriously, …..what’s it like working with so many women?”

Being an entrepreneur entails meeting many new people, and moments when you realize someone has studied your LinkedIn profile, reaching conclusions about significant “key takeaways” from your background. Despite having led very gender-balanced teams most of my career, my last three corporate executive roles involved leading female-focused brands or large global women’s businesses with dominantly female teams. While this was not by design, women’s brands and businesses attracted disproportionately more women. There were very talented men on each of these teams, they just weren’t the gender majority.

People consistently ask me…

Photo credit: L.Etheridge

I told my parents I wouldn’t move there, that I was merely vacationing. At the same time, I felt I had to move or I would self-combust on highway 1, tears dampening the flames just enough to make it an ugly cry followed by a swift, smoldering death. California was so immediately familiar to me in only one visit while being so unknown it broke my heart, like the last day of a summer camp crush. …

Photo by Ashham M on Unsplash
  1. Maddening moments will prevail and continue in direct proportion to your comfort level with your future death. You will personalize the situation and then feel guilty as you recognize none of the sitting and listening to someone breathe for hours is about you.
  2. Nurses are heroes for showing up, again and again. They smile, soothe, quietly measure and stop the constant beeping. They know how to treat someone both like an adult and a child when needed without embarrassing or insulting them.
  3. If you do not do everything you can to help yourself when hospitalized, you will slowly erode the…

Laurie Etheridge

Co-Founder at Untrammeled leader of rebel forces. Harrison’s Mom. Book devotee. Film lover. Frequently inappropriate.

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