Big Sur, CA

Brian spent a couple of weeks in beautiful California for work all the way back in January.  We sure missed him while he was gone...California is REALLY far away from London and we feel it when he's there.  I'm glad he got some sunshine and warm weather though and we can't complain about seeing all of the pictures of the beautiful places he was able to visit on the weekend.  Brian also got to visit his sister, Nicole, and her cute family in Scotts Valley and they all enjoyed a fun dinner together.  For how little we get to see family, it really is so nice when we get the chance.  

While away, Brian came down with "walking" pneumonia. Which meant he had to cancel his weekend ski trip and reduce it to walking around the beach when too bored to lay around in a hotel. 

When Brian made it back home, I planned a fun little surprise birthday date for the both of us (his birthday was on the 20th and he didn't get home until the 22nd).  I gave him a post code to meet me for dinner on Friday after work.  We ate the yummiest dinner at Nopi, a middle-eastern restaurant in good!  Then, I surprised him with tickets to see "Wicked" on broadway afterwards. I really am so grateful for such a sweet, loving husband and father who is one of the most driven people I know.  It was a great night to celebrate one year older....and definitely wiser too! 

Because Brian was gone on his birthday, each of the girls made these cute videos for him.  I sent one to his phone every couple of hours so his birthday could last ALL day long. :)


We Care & Give Back - It Begins


Over the past couple of weeks, I along side a dozen other Intuit employees, had the incredible experience of partnering with Team 4 Tech and Connecting Dreams Foundation to deliver a entrepreneurial workshop to women living in rural India (just north of Delhi). I've been home for a couple days now and have had a chance to process a bit of what we experienced--the places we visited, the people we met, and the friendships we made.

The process to create and deliver the content for the course was not too dissimilar to how we create products and services at Intuit ... it started with people; talking with them and seeing them in their environment. We only finalized the curriculum after we met these women in their villages--after saw their shops, met their families--and even sung and danced in their homes.. In just a few hours, our team started to feel more connected and felt a love for the people and their rich culture--it was both inspiring and humbling. 



In anticipation of our visit, the village covered their main road with messages in English. The village had just under two-thousand people and presented one of the warmest welcomes I've ever experienced.



After our welcome, we were set up to have three interviews with different owners of micro businesses/shops in the village. Our first women entrepreneur ran a tailoring business equipped with a catalog of clothing choices customers could choose from. 


The men of the village were not allowed to join the interviews.

The men of the village were not allowed to join the interviews.

A surreal moment talking with these women. 

A surreal moment talking with these women. 

When interviewing, our team discovered some key insights that helped us shape our lesson plan. 

1. They all LOVE their job. When asked about "they're favorite part of the day" they all referred to their time working in the tailor shop, making clothes for the their local customers. 

2. Goals. Efficiency when scaling their business was not as meaningful as the opportunity to employ more women. 

3. Support systems are needed in order to thrive. In order to thrive as a micro business, these women needed the support of their husbands--and family. As shown in the picture, the business represents a community of women working together. 



As our team finished up the interviews, I spent some time hanging out with the men and boys of the village.  We didn't get to communicate much, but they seemed to be glad we were there.



Our first day in the village was an incredible experience. As I shared on Twitter, it was a customer interview and "follow me home" I'll never forget. We finished the day inspired and excited to teach these women of rural India. Their passion for developing their business was only matched by their resourcefulness and determination to be successful and help their families. 


My India Experience

Not knowing if I’d ever make it back to India, I was committed to working hard and playing hard–making sure I explored and experienced the people and the culture. Because I was scheduled to work almost every day I was there, I had to make sure my driver stopped at interesting places at night, en-route to the hotel after a day of work. Once I was dropped off back at the hotel, my driver was gone and it was nighttime … not a good combo.

Pictured above is a scene of a typical morning from the street surrounding my hotel…literally just outside of Leela Palace–where I stayed for the 10+ days. While walking the streets, I was frequently asked if I was lost and if I needed directions back to my hotel :)