Wavemakers is an initiative I've kickstarted with Femme-O-Nomics’ founder Leah Eichler (@Femmeonomics) that profiles female innovators — women who are constantly blazing new trails, inspiring others and revolutionizing the status quo.
This week we meet Sharon Wienbar, a VC in the Internet and mobile space in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a former tech marketer and former consultant. Sharon is married with two daughters and is a rower. You can follow her @Wienbar.
My current state of mind is: open to the possibilities. I’m seeing loads of interesting new companies in many new sectors. A daughter just flew off to her first year of college, and I stepped up to a new competitive level in my sport. I’m feeling empowered and energized.
2. If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
I’d like a do-over on my teen years. I was cocky and arrogant, and wish I’d been more open to seeking and taking input and advice.
3. What is your greatest indulgence?
I restacked my time priorities to make room for rowing competitively, which I just took up a couple years ago. I love the team aspects, and I get immediate feedback on my work with every stroke. My husband has accommodated me being on the water early 5-6 days a week, which is a big luxury. The exercise and sunrise refresh my body, and the intense focus clears my mind for the day.
4. What or who helped you the most to achieve your success?
My greatest success is a happy family with 2 girls I am intensely proud of because they demonstrate great values, and a husband who loves us all. And I’m proud of my work achievements and influence I’ve had on teams I’ve worked with. My husband and I have a strong partnership. His job has let him pick kids up, drive car pools, etc while I’ve had years of business travel and activities outside the 9-5. Keeping the family balance with work and other relationships is sometimes crazy, but always worth it.
5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My Master’s thesis advisor encouraged me to “just get going in the right general quadrant, then course correct” when I was trying to decide what to do after college. I studied control theory–a fundamental tenet is that a system must be in motion to generate feedback. Sitting and thinking doesn’t result in more information we can use to make a better decision, but trying and thinking does.