2018: A Year of Growth, 2019: A Year to Focus

2018 was an incredible ride between the birth of my first child, celebrating my 5th anniversary with Anita, and getting Intelis off the ground.  Last year, this post was more about growth, and in some ways it was right.

However, I fell short in one major way, focus and optimization.  That is my goal this year, extreme focus. I want to cut out the noise when it matters (e.g. family time, research blocks) and focus on the biggest levers in both my personal and professional lives.  This theme plays throughout my 5 goals for the new year.

1. Improving as a dad

This one is a given. Being a dad has been an incredible experience and I am looking forward to more of it in 2019.  While I’m new at it, and there’s no one right way to parent, I’m focused on being a better dad in 2019.  The first step for me will be no phone time between the time I get home and Ian goes to bed.  Since he’s starting daycare in the new year, our only real time with him during the week will be from 7-9P or so, I want to be present in those moments.

2. Write more

A goal I have had for the last few years and admittedly not succeeded at in the way I had hoped.  I posted 25 times in 2018, by far my best year since starting a blog, but also not close to the cadence I had in my mind.  My goal this year is once per week – an achievable amount without sacrificing the quality (loose usage of the word here) of the content.

3. Saying no more -> working deeply

The best part of being in venture capital is meeting really ambitious, driven people that have worked on or are currently working on projects that I’m interested in learning more about. The business is people-centric and meeting intensive, but I want to make sure I am providing value in those meetings/events in order to be respectful of other’s time.  I did a really poor job of this in 2018 and let my schedule get away from me.

I’ve put two placeholders on my calendar to get me started.  The first is 45-min blocks of email only time first thing in the AM, before lunch, and at the end of my day. I purposely went 15 minutes longer than I thought necessary and if I get that time back, great.  The second placeholder is no-meeting Fridays, which I realize will likely get interrupted from time-to-time but scheduling time to work-deeply is something I hope will have compounding benefits.

In short, my focus should be strictly focused on meeting companies where Intelis is a good fit, growing our firm, and supporting our portfolio companies.

4. Keep reading!

I’m happy with the momentum I built in reading regularly last year and want to continue that trend.  Last year, I read 23 books- just short of my goal.  I’m aiming for 30 books in 2019.

Additionally, I’m adding an additional sub-goal of reading 4 nights a week to Ian during the weeks when I am not traveling.

5. Cook more

Anita and I are in the process of buying a new home and one of our key purchasing criteria is having a place to entertain our friends which also includes having a kitchen we enjoy spending time in.  I love cooking and haven’t done enough of it in the past few years – my goal is to get back in the swing of cooking 1-2 times a week this year.  It’s a great outlet for creativity and relaxing without being tied to a screen.

There you have it, 5 goals for 2019.  As always, there’s the potential for things to change, they almost always do.  However, I’m hoping that by playing offense with my focus and getting these goals down on paper I’ll be more prepared for the inevitable chaotic times.

Happy New Year!

Kevin Stevens

Partner @ Intelis Capital investing in the digitization of traditional industries. Previously product lead at KPCB-backed Choose Energy.
Close Menu