This Mother's Day is extra special for all of us at Kinn as I welcome my first baby girl in July. To celebrate this special holiday, I sat down with a mother that I look up to.
Meet Sari Azout--she is a Partner at Level Ventures, passionate in investing in teams reimagining outdated industries, and building businesses rooted in customer empathy. Sari’s mission is to bring more humanity and creativity to technology & business.
I first read about Sari through Fashion Mamas, a community for dynamic mothers who work in fashion, art, design, media, and entertainment founded by Natalie Alcala. The more I read about Sari, I had to connect to learn more about how she blazes through being a mother, entrepreneur, investor and so much more.
Kinn: Can you tell us a bit about who you are?
Sari: I am a liberal arts thinker and sociologist turned entrepreneur, startup builder, and investor. I spend my days leading and investing in teams reimagining outdated industries and building businesses rooted in customer empathy. My mission is to bring more humanity and creativity to technology and business. If there were 3 adjectives to describe myself, they would be: empathetic, ambitious, resourceful.
Kinn: Side hustle?
Sari: Mothering two young boys, Steven and Aleph.
Kinn: Favorite quote to live by?
Sari: "Be so good they can’t ignore you."
Kinn: Influential people, books, podcasts, articles?
Sari: I am a voracious consumer of podcasts. Right now my favorites include The Knowledge Project by Shane Parrish, Tim Ferris Show, and Oprah’s Supersoul.
And of course, my family would be the most influential people in my life. I'm also influenced by the community I’ve come to discover on Twitter: @farnamstreet‘s mental models, @naval‘s wealth creation insights, @thestoicemperor‘s life wisdom, and many more geniuses. I love Twitter.
Kinn: The hardest thing (and also the best thing) about being a mom and a girl-boss?
Sari: Life is all about trade-offs and I think this elusive balance we all talk about only generates more pressure. There is no such thing as work-life balance. There are work life choices, and they have consequences. Of course I can be a great mother and have a great career, but there are only so many hours in the day and you can’t do everything. Attending a conference or staying an extra few hours in the office one night may mean I miss my son’s bedtime – something’s got to give and I’m learning to be ok with that.
The best thing about having children is that they make you accountable for how you spend your time. My productivity has gone from a skill to a superpower out of sheer necessity.
Kinn: Do you have a family heirloom that you received from the past generation
Sari: My mom’s mom tragically passed away when she was young, and my mother recently gifted me a beautiful gold and diamond ring that belonged to my grandmother. It is such a unique piece, I feel so lucky to own it.
Kinn: What’s in the pipeline for you for 2019?
Sari: I’m working with so many exciting founders reimagining outdated industries. Shoutout to Brella rethinking childcare, Chillhouse building a modern destination for self-care, and Grin rethinking mobility and transportation in South America.
You can find more wisdom by Sari on her website: https://www.sariazout.com/