13: The Ultimate Side Hustler w/ Megan Ruan

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Hi I'm so incredibly impressed by how many things you're able to juggle and juggle so well. And I love to know if you can actually share with me a bit about what you do for your nine to five. But also what your five to nine looks like working at Gold House sure my nine to five I am an investor at a family office. So I work for the Johnson Johnson family on their investment team My days are usually spent looking at different. Private Equity Venture Capital Real Estate Funds Meeting with other investors finding out what industry trends are and following the markets So it's actually perfect that that ends the market closes at four thirty and you know when I'm not working I spend a lot of my free time on an organization called Gold House where I'm a volunteer and I lead a program with my co director. Guy Named Miko Chen and we we co lead a program called gold rush and it's targeted at Asian founders So we work with the most promising might not been coming Asian startup founders and accelerate their businesses. So, basically you're working and you're working again. So you're never not working basically. Is that is that what I'm hearing well, the thing is I don't really see my work with gold rush as work if that makes sense what it is to me is more following mission and being able to impact others in a way that also impacts me and so to me it's it's more fun than work. Honestly. It's funny I mean I think I kind of see my job my two jobs as pretty symbiotic. Goldrush meeting different founders getting to know their business models. It helps me be a better investor and build kind of a more diverse network of relationships and my work as an actual investor gives me the tools to create the programming that's actually useful for our founders. So actually see them as they go hand in hand. So how did you actually get involved with Gold House in the first place? How did you discover the platform and become who you are today? I was I got so lucky. Honest. Be honest answers. I got really lucky when I was in my first job out of college I worked at Morgan Stanley and I was fortunate to have a boss who was also an Asian woman and you can imagine how rare that is in a firm like Morgan. Stanley. But she she really is an was a role model to me She brought me with her to a gold house event. They were hosting a dinner and I was completely out of my league adapting. But. It was such a such a happy event because I met two of the CO founders of Gold House and they wanted to hire me as a fellow to volunteer and help run some programming for gold house and what really drew you to their mission. I think what drew me initially to gold house was seeing how comfortable everyone at that dinner was getting vulnerable with sharing their stories and I think part of the reason was it was such a small group it was so enclosed and so intimate and so people were being really honest but. I think it was the first time that I had been in a room full of people that actually looks like me and everybody was being so open and I wanted to be part of an organization that promoted that, and we're all the members and all the other people that the organization touched wanted to share their stories really honestly. I think that that's something that's really powerful working at goal houses not just a side hustle I mean I can tell how dedicated you are. You've run such an amazing program and I'm sure it takes up quite a bulk of your time. So when things get really busy, how do you actually balance your head and your heart and how do you not get burnt out? It's a good question I think. Out, Israel for a lot of people especially now when everyone is home and there's literally no division between work and home, and so it's really easy to just be on your computer from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep I think for me. What prevents me from feeling a sense of burnout is that there's always someone else to help right there's always a new founder to meet. There's always a new cohort of entrepreneurs to to work with and to me the constant kind of change and new faces makes so that it never feels like what we're doing is repetitive and it never really feels like work I. I don't know maybe I'll hit that point eventually but right now feels like out is impossible. Well. That is a good feeling to have because I can tell you that I burnt out several times in my life. So I mean Sarah this is probably me being naive I'm GONNA eat my words six months from. But you know what live it up while you can right. Like you mentioned, you know kind of end up feeling the same way where I wake up and I turned my computer on and then go to bed and I. Off. And with covert especially sort of that boundary between work and home and work in play. It blurs do you find yourself feeling that way and if so do you try to provide any boundaries for yourself to kind of divide the two? I think boundaries are incredibly important and I think physical boundaries can almost become mental boundaries in a way. So what I've tried to do is say like, okay, I'm home right now in Minnesota and so I'm with my family and I'm with my dog certain rooms in my house are off limits to working like I will not work in my room. I will not work in the kitchen I think those are two places that I want to be enjoying family time or I want to be relaxing and reading a book or watching a show, and so I'm I'm pretty careful about just making sure that I reserve space for Work and I reserve space for relaxing and unwinding, and that's actually been really helpful. For a lot of people that are considering side gigs I think the one thing that they're probably thinking they're going to sacrifice is relationships in a social life. How do you feel about that and do you feel like your social life has suffered in any way or taken a toll because you've been dedicating so much for your time to your to your five to nine? I'm really glad you asked that question and this is just my opinion, but if you're going to engage in a side hustle. It has to be something that is additive to your life and isn't taking something away and it should also be something that you could eventually see yourself doing full time because otherwise. Why even bother and so for me to reasons why I think working with the gold rush and all of our founders hasn't taken anything away, and in fact has probably added much more to my life is it's something that I could see myself doing in the future as a job and it would be a job. The didn't feel like a job. And it's also given me so many new relationships I i. think if anything it's added to my social life because a lot of the founders that we work with have become friends a lot of the advisers who pair with our founders have almost become mentors to me and so that in and of itself. You know those all of those relationships are new and extremely valuable to me. Being said I i. think it's really important every time you add something else to your plate to remember that. You know you have passed and you have people who you love and care about about you that have gotten you to where you are. The good thing is I think when you're doing something that you're truly passionate about the people that care about you notice that like they support you because they realize how much it means to you, and so I'd at least. In my experience, there's never been the sort of like, oh, like you don't have time for me because. You're working so much on. XYZ It's always like I love seeing what you do and how happy it makes you. I love that Megan's friends US happiness as a barometer for her success. It really makes me think about what I would change about my life

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