On paternity leave

TL;DR: I'm taking paternity leave for 6 weeks, and expect to be back at work by mid-December.

My wife and I are expecting our firstborn son in <2 weeks; though, in the words of our OBGYN, “only God knows when he’ll arrive“. We couldn’t be more excited about this new chapter in life and the many adventures that await us!

I always knew that I would like to take time off for the birth of my child. A couple of months ago, I began to give the duration of leave some serious thought.

You see, I’m a solo GP at a VC firm – the only founder of the org. And while I had planned to have a full-time employee by now, I’m still working on 27V all by myself. Don’t worry, I still love every second of it!

However, this does mean that when I take time off, all work stops. 27V is, effectively, paused. No deal flow conversations, no new investments, no portfolio support, no firm operations, nothing. And for me, that is scary as s***!

If you’re in the tech/startup scene, you know that the market dynamics right now are a bit insane – the number of startups raising is at an all-time high (with great quality founders too) and pace of investing is unprecedented. To be sitting out the market would be considered harakiri by many folks.

True story: I took time off for Christmas last year (2020) and missed out on investing in a startup that I really liked. The round had been oversubscribed by the time we got back to work in Jan. So yeah, unashamedly, I have FOMO.

However, as someone who preaches holistic living to everyone I meet, it was time I applied that to myself. The last 18 months have been nonstop work, with no breaks (thanks to no travel), and I haven’t practiced what I preach. My fitness levels are abysmal, though that is a story for another post, and I’m way behind on my reading + writing goals. Now, I need to focus on the needs of my family.

Also, I really don’t want to miss out on this truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’d always imagined being able to shepherd my wife through the last couple of weeks of pregnancy, make her comfortable and stay in an upbeat mood, ready to take on the challenge of labor. Be available through labor, witness the miracle of life!

So that is what I’m going to do. I’m taking all of November and early December off to spend the time with my wife and our growing family. The plan is to spend the first 2 weeks getting ready to welcome our son, next 2 weeks getting to know him, and another 2 weeks getting used to him!

I will not be taking any calls, will respond to emails sporadically, and will be turning off all phone notifications.

In the interest of being transparent – I’m still planning to keep to my portfolio commitments (board meetings, checkins, update emails, etc.) with some flexibility. And much love to all the #27Vfam founders who have been tremendously supportive of me taking this time off, and have offered to cancel all calls (I insisted on keeping them).

Anyway, if you’re looking for me, I’ll most likely be changing nappies (was the best at it in our ‘Babies & Beyond’ class) or swaddling our son, or taking him out for really long harborfront walks in the new jogging stroller I just bought on Amazon.

BTW, I've already failed at this - since I'm writing this on Tuesday, 2 November, 2 days after when I should've gone on leave.