Z’s hearing is still deteriorating from the car crash. I think he might be ready to call it quits on cello.

I have a hard time knowing what to say because it’s all so sad. I have to stop myself from becoming  Julie Andrews, tossing out desperate suggestions.
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We have mice. We have had mice for a really long time and I tell myself things like every apartment in every big city has mice, but I’m not really sure if that’s true.

And also I think maybe I’m too old to live with mice. I mean, I’m definitely too old to be writing about having mice and maybe I’m even too old to even be having a blog except that only old people have blogs now which ends up being sort of comforting. I mean, at least I’m not too old to have a blog.

The last straw with the mice was not that my older son said he wouldn’t come home from college for Thanksgiving because the mice were too gross. I didn’t really believe he would have come home even without the mice. He’s too sick of us.

The last straw with the mice was when I had an in-person meeting for my startup and I was so excited because I am way higher functioning when I have a startup because I don’t know how to have friends unless I am working with them. And a mouse ran over one of the women’s feet and she screamed and we just stood there. We are so used to the mice we couldn’t even pretend to be shocked. I said, “Oh, yeah. We have mice.” Both women looked horrified, and then my younger son looked horrified, and I wanted to look like a good mom so I said, “We are really upset about the mice so we’re moving out soon.”

My son looked so relieved that I started actually looking for apartments.

Then I had this idea that everyone works remote now so I’m never going to get people to work in person unless it’s really fun to be in person. I had this idea that the future of work is that the workplace is a destination. Well, first I found a townhouse that was so so beautiful and then I had this idea. Like people could pay to stay with us for workshops or host offsites. I came up with a million ideas to find one that would justify living there and having the company pay.

But mostly I just fell in love with the townhouse. It hadn’t been lived in for fifty years. The owner bought it when the area was the Combat Zone. Uninhabitable. He only refurbished it recently, after the area has gentrified. We would be the first to live there again. Most of it is original from the turn of the century. And it’s furnished. Here are pictures.

I told the agent my company was leasing. He said the landlord has turned down a lot of tenants. I ignored that. I pleaded. I actually raised another $50K so we could put it in escrow to hold the place. The agent told me he checked my credit and he said nothing came up. “Do you have another name?” he asked.

I told him, “Yeah, remember, I gave you my other name.”

“No, I mean another besides your other name?”

“Just Adrienne and Penelope. That’s it. But I don’t have any credit so I guess I don’t have a credit report.”

Everyone writes about how startup founders are different because they’re relentless. I told myself to just be relentless.

So then we tried the company as a cosigner. Then an investor as a cosigner. A cofounder as a cosigner. We did everything. We did so much paperwork that it took three weeks. At the end of three weeks they said it was all set, and the landlord said okay. The agent took their fee, and I started packing.

I packed quickly. It was just down the street so I figured we could move the fragile stuff ourselves. I didn’t want to pay for packing materials so I used all our clothes to wrap the dishes. My younger son asked me where all his shirts went. I bought him two new shirts at Target and had them delivered by Shipt and told him he doesn’t need anymore shirts right now because we’re moving.

That was four weeks ago. Our stuff has been packed for a month. I am so sick of looking at those two shirts.

Then we got the lease and it said there is no heating system. My brother told me about the Governor of Illinois buying a mansion and pulling out the toilets so it’s uninhabitable and then he doesn’t have to pay property taxes. “Maybe that’s what your townhouse guy is doing,” my brother said.

Maybe. But then why is it still for rent? And what about the agent? The agent must know that they are showing people an apartment with no heating system. Is that fraud? I don’t even know. I mean, obviously I know nothing about renting anywhere because here I am, back with the mice. The mice are suddenly looking great.

I breathed such a sigh of relief when I signed the papers to launch the new company. I like being tied to other people. I like that people have to help me if I am in business with them. I can’t seem to do it in my personal life so I need to do it in my work life. It feels so lonely otherwise.

The thing that makes me relentless is that I can live without clothes or plates or books or other things. That’s easy for me. But it’s hard for me to live without a startup.

Anyone who comes up with ideas for businesses has more than one they can use. So if you want to start a business and you don’t have an idea, just steal one. Here’s an idea I’m not doing anything with.

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I have been blown away by the comments on my last post. I am so appreciative of the kindness and support and all the ideas so many of you have shared.

I asked myself: why am I so reluctant to do Patreon? Melissa has been telling me to do it for years. And now so many commenters are telling me to do it, too. Read more

What I’ve learned from selling stuff on this blog is that I don’t like to do it. It’s hard to tell you I’m hating myself and then tell you, “Buy my course about happiness!”

So, I’ve decided to change my business model. Except that I don’t actually have a new business model yet. And while I’m looking for one I’m making missing monthly payments on a new cello. Read more

Last week my older son took the SAT subject test for biology. He was supposed to take the AP test for biology but I didn’t realize that you have to start registering a homeschooler for AP tests around the time a NYC parent would start registering their child for preschool: in the womb. Read more

Yesterday Daily Beast released extremely disturbing recordings made by Neha Rastogi, a quality assurance manager, of her husband, Abhishek Gattani, who is CEO of the startup Cuberon. She made the recordings in the couple’s Santa Clara home. Gattani has been abusive throughout the ten-year marriage and finally Rastogi started recording it.

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You can easily trick yourself into believing that entrepreneurship is all the rage among young people. Hacker meet-ups, entrepreneurship clubs on college campuses, and the sudden growth of incubators and accelerator programs can present fodder for this case. But these are really just ways to talk about starting a company. Read more

This course includes three days of video sessions and email-based course materials and a 20-minute one-on-one coaching session with Penelope. You can purchase this course for anytime, on-demand access.

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The first job I got at a startup blew my mind. I was learning so incredibly fast, and there was no limit to what my job could include. Anything I could teach myself how to do, I could add to my job. Read more

If you ever worry what it will look like when your kids take over your life, this is it: lunch at my investor’s favorite restaurant to discuss my son’s cello lessons. Me getting there two hours early because one son has an orthodontist appointment and one son has a cello lesson and my husband is taking cows to market, so even in a family with two cars and a nanny and a driver, there is no way for me to get to my meeting on time unless I’m two hours early. Read more