Alex Bass: We literally didn't have like any liquidity and we had an opportunity arise. Do you guys want to put in 25 grand into SpaceX? But you have to let me know within the next 10 hours. We don't have that
Andra Vomir: money. Let's talk about the one investment that we disagreed on. Yeah. I don't want to continue to angel invest if it means that I'm sacrificing this much in my day to day.
Alex: have lived in a way where I have had 95 percent of my net worth invested in something because it's losing money if it's sitting in your savings account. So real estate has impacted us with angel investing. I thought that renting was just throwing money down the drain. When you own a home, you also have money going down a drain. And that was a big eye opener for me.
Alex: That's this whole thing where it is stupid to try to buy. Renting is actually the only thing that makes sense for anyone, and even if you can afford it, you're better off putting that money in the S&P 500.
Andra: This video is sponsored by our friends at Superhuman. For this episode, I need my notes. Okay. Because you're in the hot seat. Oh, no. Okay, we're talking about what it's like to be married to an angel investor. Okay. Which is kind of funny because I'm an angel investor as well, and I felt imposter syndrome for a long time saying that, but it's no... Well, I don't know, lie or whatever that you're taking the lead. Obviously, you introduced me to this world and you take the lead on the investments that we make. But with it, you know, we've told some funny stories in the previous episodes, but it's no easy feat in some ways. Hmm. Yeah. What do you have to say for yourself so far?
Alex: What do I have to say for myself? Um, Yeah, I mean, I think when we were starting out, it was very much like, it was more my thing, and I was trying to bring you along. Um, and I was like thinking, like, You know, it's even whatever other companies can I invest in is kind of the thought. And then I started running through.
Andra: I appreciated that you did run with things on your own as well. And you didn't need me to be a part of every single one. And I think I liked that because I was like, yeah, you go for it.
Alex: money? You break down, you genuinely, like there was a moment where I was so excited about the opportunity. I was literally like tearing up and crying by having that opportunity. And then you were tearing up and like crying because.
Andra: have a down payment on a house, like, further out, like, maybe we just do that. Yeah. Like, my mind has to go through that, and while I do think I'm getting a bit better, I also feel like it's part of, like, my protective defense mechanism to go into that, like, almost like a doom state. Yeah. And then you always like sit and you have a conversation with me and sometimes it's like a couple days worth where I'm just really evaluating my life and going like, am I sacrificing too much in the short term? What is like, Is this all going to pay off and I think like mentally a lot of people are like when you angel invest like Be prepared to lose that money and one of my protective mechanisms is when I transfer the money I've lost the money like I don't look at what the money can turn into I don't have like a chart of that I don't check You know, I'm not like, wow, we probably like this valuation went up. Like, I know we have some tracking and compound, but I don't actually look at that. Maybe you should, maybe it would help me.
Alex: Well, you said at times maybe, but also it's, it's healthier in a way.
Andra: It's not, it's different being like having a certain money, amount of money on paper versus having it in your bank account. And I don't attach to having that money in my bank account until it's in my bank account. So to me, I've already lost the money. I don't, I'm not like.
Alex: Okay, but these are also conversations that we had, which also I've had to reflect on it, because when, when, when you have your partner Responding in these ways. There's also this like, yeah, I don't know, like, I don't know for certain that these businesses will still exist. And some of the businesses that I was most bullish on, they're actually quite struggling now. And it's like that, that is also, this is not an easy thing. So am I just leading you into fire when it's my money, I could lead myself into fire. And I'm like, I made the best decision that I could at the time with the information that I had. But this is the same reason why I've been like, I don't want to. Start a fund or something, because now when I have other people's money, I've seen, I've gotten family members to literally invest in just the stock market. And I've seen when that has gone down on their 200 that they're testing, wetting their feet in a little bit, um, they've lost 20 and they are freaking out to me so that I realized the impact that I even have in just trying to get people to understand compound. So here I am like trying to, you know, throw you in at spending 10, 20 grand of your own money into something that could go to zero. There's also this reflection point that I've had to be like, worst case scenario is we lose the money. Um, what's really happening is even if we lose the money, what relationship are we building along the way? And you've built these relationships with me and these companies that we've invested in, even some of the companies that I've invested in that you haven't, you have as close of a relationship with the founders as I do. And there's this level of like, if they ever start a new thing, say they go under, like they're going to want us in their court. And. What is that worth having the opportunity at these earlier evaluations, having these people that just genuinely support you, you go on LinkedIn and like, or Twitter or whatever, and like, they are liking all of your stuff because they're just like, they love you and they're like, you supported me when I was struggling, like, there's this community that's also building up and it's just the life that in a way that it's more enjoyable to live where it's like, Oh, one of the companies we invested in, like, they're going to be visiting Austin and we can hang out with them and like, yeah. It's just, it, there's, it, it adds to the day to day enjoyment of life.
Andra: So, switching gears a little bit, I think also a reason we're able to invest together is because we work together in the business and we enjoy really a lot what we do. And I think when we're able to like sell a new customer and we're overhauling like their operations and we can take that money and we can roll it into an investment together.
Alex: Yeah. So, I mean, this is something that's interesting because a lot of people have been like, you know, you don't get married and have separate finances.
That's not like you're not really diving into the partnership. And I'm like, I want to have my own money so that if an opportunity arises, I'm the one that gets to make the decision. If I want to put 20 grand into a company, I don't want to have to rely on someone else to get them on board. I'm like, this is my money. I'm making this decision. Do you want to join me or not? And there's some level of a control on that, or I don't know, but it's just more of like, I, I don't want to regret. Not investing in is something because I couldn't get my partner to justify doing the same. So I think in any investment that we've made together, even if you've ever been like, even the second check that we put into motion like that was a conversation of.
You know, how much do you want to put in? How much do I want to put in? And I still put a little bit more in than you. And I always like, if you're not willing to make the other difference and do 50 50, I'm like, I'm still going to do this. Cause I don't want to regret not putting in how much I wanted to put in. And I feel like once you mesh the finances together too much, then. It muddies that too quickly. And then you start losing that like sense of like self and control over your own finances. And we also dove into getting married for external reasons in a way that it's almost like you, no one, no one goes a year and a half into dating someone and all of a sudden just muddies everything together. It's like, we have some friends that have been dating for six, seven, Plus years and they haven't even put their finances together and like, yes, they're very much like once we get married, we're putting our finances together. It's like, great, but you had seven years to work on this together before doing that.
We had dove into the, the, the word of marriage so much quicker than most people ever do. So I'm also like, why don't we stay congruent from a logical standpoint of that versus just saying arbitrarily we're married, therefore we're going to muddy everything together. That
Andra: was a big conversation that we had, and the reasoning made sense, like, I don't want to feel like you need to ask me what you should do with our money, and you were like, I've worked so hard to get to the point of being able to angel invest, and I want to have the freedom to continue to do that and take risks with my own money.
And yeah, I mean, I also like. Like to buy 500 hairdressing dryers. Sorry, I do that once. I did that once. But it's like also like nice that I don't have to think about like, Oh, do I want to ask Alex? Like, it's not even about asking because I know like couples that share their finances. It's not about permission, but you have to.
Consider the other person and how we do it right now. It's working for us. I don't think like, I don't know if it's going to be this way forever, but it's working for us right now. And we do have like, yeah, clear boundaries of what's mine, what's yours. And then we decide what we want to do together. And investing is one of those areas.
So like, if from work, there's 20 K that comes in, I'm just going to use that as an example. We take out taxes, we take out like business expenses, and then we split the rest. And From there, yeah, like I have my pile of money, you have your pile of money, and then we can decide what we want to do. Now, there are some investments we've decided to just go 50 50 on, like SpaceX comes to mind, and that was like a really exciting, well, it's exciting because I knew the company, and I don't know how much we're allowed to talk about that, actually.
Alex: I mean, it was a stressful thing. I'll just say, we We were at our limit at this point because we had invested in many companies and we literally did not have much money liquid. So that's this whole balance of like we're in business together. We're taking on customers together. We're splitting it.
So we literally didn't have like any liquidity Short of having like selling stocks if we wanted to do that and we had an opportunity to rise It was literally a phone call and it was like hey Do you guys want to put in 25 grand and to SpaceX and it was literally but you have to let me know within the next 10 hours And we're just like, we don't have that money.
Andra: we did just have a customer that like had
Alex: paid. Yeah, but we didn't just have like cleanly have that. Yeah, yeah. It was such a stretch. It would be like,
Andra: taking, we didn't, like,
Alex: We didn't do the work yet. Like, it's all these things like that, that it was just like, we will, it's like, the whole thing is like, can we please push this back six months?
Like, we can, we, we will do it in six months. But then it was also like, yeah, I think it's these types of things that, in a way, I didn't even want to, I didn't even want to say anything, because I'm just like, that's like a hell no. But I'm also like, but wait, SpaceX, like, who, how can you, like, this would, this was literally, I think, investment number, like.
For something, it's like, how do you get into that in the private markets? And yeah, I think we just, we, we talked about it and you were open to it. And I think also you being open to it was like, okay, shit. Like, can we make this work? Because this is actually really exciting.
Andra: And I think it was, can I say them out?
We put in? Yeah, I think I said. Okay. Oh, did you? 25. 25K. Yeah. So in the moment, I remember that being like an easy decision because we had as much as, yeah, we had like, we had the cash because a customer paid at that time, like in the account. And I remember saying like, we'll take that and we'll just like.
Literally roll it up into that. And that was like, I guess the point what I'm trying to say, well, the point that I'm trying to make is because we enjoy working together and we have like the flexibility and how we work in our lifestyle, sometimes making decisions like that together is easier than if, for example, I was working like a salary job at a corporate place and, you know, there's sometimes a cap.
On how much you can make when you work somewhere. So I think having our own business, it feels like there is no cap, uh, in a way, not that like we make endless amounts of money, but there's just opportunity. And I think it doesn't feel like I'm sacrificing my day to day in order to make money. It feels like I'm just living my life and I'm enjoying my life with my partner and I'm enjoying my life with my customers.
So I'm not as attached to the money. That's the point of.
Alex: I guess what I'm trying to get is that thing to like there is this whole level of I have lived in a way where I have very little money in my savings account because I'm kind of like any money in my savings account is is a waste of money because it should be invested like that.
Like I have had 95 percent of. My net worth invested in something for the majority of my life because I'm just like, I don't, it's losing money if it's sitting in your savings account. And I think, yeah, which I'm
Andra: not that way. Like, I'm like, can I have like a 20 to 30, 000 like cushion in my account at all times?
And like, you have always been like. That's just losing money. But it makes me feel secure and I think I've become more flexible with it in some ways.
Alex: Which I mean, I think that the thing with it for me as well is like, I've been doing this business for over a decade at this point, 13 years, and there's a level of, Motivation that like doing the same thing and do do anything for a decade.
Andra: Yeah, good old, like, understanding what motivates people psychology there. Yeah, and we're going to do a whole episode about like what it's like working together and how we like had to expand our business offerings when I came on board to work with you as well.
Alex: me on it. I very badly wanted to get you on it. I don't really know why, short of I just loved using it.
Andra: And I thought you were crazy because it was about 30 a month to pay for email.
Alex: So you said to me, try it for 30 days. There's no free trial, but I'm going to pay for your first month and give you your money back if you don't like it. Yes. So I did, and it's now been two or three years. Yes. And I'm still using Superhuman every day. I never had to refund you. And you didn't refund me. I love it.
Andra: It really is minimal. It's sleek. It does make emailing so much more enjoyable, and I think that's what I'm paying for. It's just to make my work and my day to day more enjoyable with it as an interface. So thanks to Superhuman for sponsoring this episode and to take them up on the same offer that Alex gave me, they'll give you a free month and you can get that by hitting the link down in the description.
Alex: Let's talk about the one investment that we disagreed on. Yeah. I guess, like, let's backtrack a little bit of how we make the decision of what we're going to invest in together versus what we, you invest in on your own. Um, we touched a little bit on it, but basically when you source a new, when you evaluate a new software, typically you evaluate tons of software and there's. You know, a few that make the cut that you actually want to start using it regularly. And if there's a collaborative team feature, you'll suggest that I get on board. Sometimes I push back and I'm like, I'm exhausted. I don't want a new software. And there's fatigue. That hasn't happened in a while though. And I feel really peaceful. Just having a moment right now. Just wait, it's coming. And, uh, then if I do get on board and I start using it daily and then we have a relationship with the founder because we're giving product feedback or whatnot, then of course I'm more interested in investing in that company because I have an understanding of the value it can bring. Yeah. Versus the companies that You have like a few ones that you just, you like want to keep an eye on, like in the automation and integration space. There's like,
Alex: there's alternate, well, yeah, there's numerous reasons where it's almost like there is that whole thing where put some money in to something and you'll pay more attention to that space. So it's like, I want to pay attention to the space or like, oh, this is a type of business that if we were to say productize our business, we might go into. And maybe instead of doing that, we invest in a company that is doing it. And we don't go that path and we let them and we champion them and we support them because also we can support them in a great way.
Cause we're like, we literally do what you do, but you already have the product there, so we'll support you in that. And I get to see, is it working? What is, and isn't working. And like that can dictate what we do with our business. So that's almost like a, it almost like allows us to learn more. And take less risk, but by putting money up to do that.
And then I'm also of the mindset where I need to put enough in. I can't just be like, cool, I'm going to put five grand into this company. It's like, I need to put like 20 grand in because I'm also like, I want to give you a ton of my time and attention. I want you to want to give them time and attention. So there's almost this whole level two where not only do I want money in, but I want to put enough money in so that I can justify giving my time because the opportunity cost of our time. With customer work is quite high. So it is this weird balance where it's almost like you have to put more in to, in order for it to even make sense.
Andra: Yeah. And if it's an industry like automation or integration, it makes sense that if they do well, then we have an upside in it because it's our space as well. And it's not competing. We like have a very niche business in terms of what we do. I don't actually. Like, really consider anyone a competitor. No. So, with that, okay, coming back to the investment we disagreed on, they are, I'm just gonna say they're a hospitality business, so not really in the tech space, which is the area we were used to investing in, and I remember it was the first time that you wanted to put money in, and I adamantly didn't. Yeah. And felt. Yeah. Yeah. Like you should not either but I also was like you can obviously like do what you want to do It's still we had that separation of is there
Alex: funds? Okay. I know that you're saying that we can't say I feel like there's a story in saying it. Why can't we say it if they watch it? I think that's okay No, I I genuinely think it's okay. Okay Okay, go for it. We're breaking the third
Andra: wall. I feel like we're gonna get
Alex: like shot. No, no, no We it's there you okay. Let's just so it was I think I like I was reaching out to outside Um, to invest in them. Cause I'm just like thinking, you think when you start angel investing, you start thinking of what companies you would want to invest in.
Andra: feeling. And I think I had worked in the hospitality industry in some way, shape, or form for like a long time in my 20s, like early 20s and throughout university.
Alex: We didn't have an advantage, like a knowledge advantage or like a skill set advantage, like it was literally by serendipity why this even came up.
Andra: Yeah, and I think you and your brother were really getting into the idea, but I was also like, we're about to leave and we're not going to like come stay here for a while because we're getting like now home.
Alex: Totally, but now it's a real estate business.
It's a real estate, yeah. Like it is literally, so then it's, it's, it's a different. Yeah. It's a different business model. Okay.
Andra: Speaking of real estate. What a great segue. Oh gosh. That's another area that has impacted us with angel investing. So before I had met you, I owned an apartment in Australia, which I sold, and I was one of those people that had that belief, like, you need to own property, like, this is your mission.
So even, like, moving into Austin, I was like, I would like to buy a house, and I remember we were looking at the houses in this area, which, where we live, you're basically paying, like, minimum 1. 5. I mean, you can get an apartment for less, but if it's a house, like, 1. 5 to, let's say, like, 2. 5, and the houses we liked were, like, 2.
Alex: Like, living in proper Austin versus, like, going further. 20 minute drive away. Yeah.
Andra: So one area that there was a bit of friction was I was like, how can we like realize this dream, American dream of owning your home? And you were like, I'm okay with renting. And that was like a big education piece because I was believing that every dollar we were spending on rent was going down the drain.
Which it is.
Alex: Well, no, I mean, it is a very directly. It is. I think it's, it's my, my mom, when I had grown up, my mom was also very clear and like, you should get to a point where you rent your first house should be a double. You should buy it and you should rent out half of it to pay for the mortgage and live in the other half.
And that eventually becomes, uh, you know, a property that is your landlord and it's income producing. Everything, like everything is, uh, you're burning money. Like we're burning money to live, but that, but the opportunity costs is live with your parents. Which we, we, we very much tested that a lot, or you, you buy like there, like there's, there's alternative paths.
We are choosing to burn money and renting, but the opportunity costs of that money is an hour. What the scenario that we're in, it makes it make sense.
Andra: Basically, if you own a million dollar house, 5 percent of that, which is 50, 000 is unrecoverable as in that's not going towards building equity in your home. Yeah. So. What I mean by, I thought that renting was just throwing money down the drain, I didn't understand that when you own a home, you also have money going down a drain, it's just a different drain. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And that was a big eye opener for me because I resisted your idea of renting up until that point. We watched a YouTube video. Yeah. YouTube is like, has all the answers. Really is great. Yeah. But we watched it while we were brushing our teeth one night, and I remember being like, wow, this makes so much sense. And you're like, I mean, I've just kind of been like trying to tell you this for a long time. And then I started coming around to the idea that if we were going to. Buy a million dollar house, which is like, again, like we're investing most of our money in startups, not real estate. But if we were, we were going to have to put down a large down payment and then we were going to have to have interest and interest rates right now are crazy and we were going to have these unrecoverable costs that we were paying.
Alex: So I think here's the thing that. I guess isn't taken into consideration with this. And if I was still living in Buffalo, New York, you could buy a beautiful home for 300 grand. And when you look at your net worth, like they essentially, the rule is you shouldn't spend more than say 20 percent of your net worth on a home. Like there, there's certain rules in place. Of course, that's also. That's, that's ludicrous because that doesn't really make sense or is possible for most people. But I think if we were buying a home in, in Buffalo, um, that actually is a conversation that, that makes a lot of sense that we would talk about. We're talking about the place that we want to live in Austin. The cheapest home we can get is a 1. 5 million tear down
Andra: for the area we want to live in.
Alex: I want to keep saying that when that's the point of it. If we move further out, we're still at 500, 000 for a place and we're like, your net worth is going into a home and all these unrecoverable costs. So in a weird way, you have to have like a 10 million net worth to realistically buy a one 2 million house, but that's also ludicrous. So you kind of do future forecasted earnings to help with that. And all this. You know, it's, there's all these different equations that come into play. So maybe it could be 50 percent of your net worth now, but you're bringing in more money and things like that. But also we're, we're in business together and we've also experienced losing one of our largest customers overnight. And there's, you know, 30 percent of our business is just chopped away. So now, like you say, maybe have a mortgage. You don't get to just like lower that mortgage. That mortgage still exists. Yeah. The pressure that that would put on our day to day.
Andra: I think that's what we came away with was that right now we have flexibility and we don't want to be working in the business and also sacrificing on angel investing opportunities because we're just paying off this real estate. I think. Like, I don't have, I have no reference point. There's like not enough information out there, or I don't have it at least, where it's like, this person's net worth is this, and this is the cost of the house they built because I feel like most people around me own a house. Like that's my age. And I just don't know, like some of them are buying in Toronto. Toronto is expensive.
Alex: Uh, I guess the thing is like, you don't. There, this is all like the, this actually took me a while to get to a point of understanding myself where it's like debt is also is a good thing when you use properly. And I was actually at a point where I had, you know, a couple hundred thousand dollars invested and I realized, Oh, I could borrow against that investment. It's essentially on margin and it's something that's not recommended, but in consuming YouTube videos, I learned, Oh, there's actually a smart way to do this. So I'm one finance, for example, they were giving me like. I could borrow against my own money at like a one and a half percent and I'm like, that's actually quite amazing to only pay one and a half percent and be able to borrow against myself. So I could essentially borrow 40K for myself, invest in a startup. And then I'm like, I know I can pay that 40 grand back. And the actual cost per month on like 40K, it was coming out to like 20, 40, 60 a month to be able to do that. And I'm like, I know I will pay this off within two, three months of just like income coming in or selling other stuff off or whatever else. And I actually got to a point where I'm like, Oh, it actually makes sense to borrow against yourself to do things in the now. Cause I'm very much, I want to do things now for the future. So, because I'm already so long term focus, I'm doing, I'm borrowing and doing this stuff now for the future. So if you could get a mortgage and that mortgage rate can be low enough, there's actually a benefit. We're actually. Being able to borrow quite a lot of money and leverage that money in an asset that is a home at a low mortgage rate. So that's also an interesting thing where these mortgage rates were still, you know, 2. 5, 3%, something like that. It's also, again, a conversation to have, but when it's now, and also being self employed, like how much we're paying ourself in salary, and that's what banks look at. They don't look at actually the company profit. They don't look at distributions. They literally look at what is your payroll. We wouldn't even be able to get a mortgage probably for 300, 000. So... That's this whole thing where it just literally makes no sense also because we're being so risky by having a business that there's all these other factors that don't make this work. Having a six, seven percent, you know, interest rate, you throw that on a million dollar mortgage, a million dollars at seven percent is 70 grand a year that you are just paying to interest. So that was not even taken into consideration in addition to that five percent rule. So there's 50 grand. On a million dollar home, which we can't even get a million dollar home in the area that we want to live, but we can rent in the area that we want to live and spend less than even the unrecoverable costs of owning a million dollar home. So it almost like there's certain cities, certain areas in the world, in the US, anywhere that actually like renting, it is stupid to try to buy renting is actually the only thing that makes sense for anyone. And even if you can afford it, you're 500 make on average 7 percent a year because that money is making more. In an investment than it is trying to pay off a mortgage. So there's, there's literally math that starts playing in a certain way where it just, it does not make sense for most people to be buying, but people just want to buy. They want the home. They want the, you know, the pool in the backyard or whatever else they want to live where they want to live. And I think we're actually like upgrading our life in the day to day. By renting. Yeah. But we don't have stability through that. And that's, that's literally the biggest thing that you've brought up that I think is like, that's super valid. That will always be valid. Like we don't say we have a kid. There's no stability. Do you want to be like, you don't even know if you could renew the place for another year? Cause not everywhere you can just keep renewing for a year type of thing.
Andra: Yeah, like the place we're in now, like we know we have to move out next year and that's like, I mean, it was harder because yeah, moving to the States.
Andra: And all these conversations were happening when I was in an unstable part of my life. Like I was waiting for my green card. I couldn't leave the country during that process. So I felt like my craving for stability was so much more higher than even it is now because I actually feel quite stable now. I feel like very content with the decision we made, but I want to bring up frugalness.
Andra: Let's start there. Yeah. Okay. So. In a prior episode, we spoke about how you told me in San Francisco really early on that you were saving your money to invest in a startup when that time came. And I liked the idea of that because it was nothing that I had heard before. You know, most of our friends or people that we know or you hear about on TV, they save for real estate and retirement.
Andra: And those two things, real estate is like. Better to me, but the idea of saving for retirement was never like sexy to me because I always said like by that time I will like figure things out and I also don't really want to retire. I hope that I like enjoy what I'm doing so much that I just like want to keep working.
Alex: this isn't sound advice
Andra: to anyone. No, no, no. Don't listen to us. Yeah. This is just me. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I guess with that in that conversation you that we had that conversation because Yeah. We were talking about, uh, going out for dinners and drinks and stuff like that, which for me up until that point in my life was very, it was a very prominent part of my life.
Andra: I did it a lot and like on weekends and stuff, not excessive. I was never like a takeout Uber Eats girl that like just put everything on the credit card. But. Uh, I enjoyed it a lot, and for you, it wasn't something that you enjoyed or wanted to prioritize in your life, and you were telling me why, and that was because you valued your money, and you wanted to angel invest with it.
Alex: Yeah, I mean, I'm a very long term focused person, and... At probably 16, 17 years old, I started like investing in the stock market and realizing like how compounding works. And that whole, when you start getting into that path of like a hundred dollars now could be a thousand dollars in 10 years, well not unless you're being very risky, but a hundred dollars now it could be 200 in 10 years.
Alex: And like how that, the actual cost of the money now. is actually a really high cost. So even a 50 meal or 100 meal, my brain is like, wait, but that's like two, three, four, 500 in future. So that's actually a much larger expense. Cause if you sat down to dinner and was like, I'm spending 500 on this meal. Most people were like, that's nuts.
Alex: No, like that doesn't make sense. That's where like my brain was more viewing it. In that way, it wasn't a 50 bucks, it wasn't a 100 bucks, it was like what it could have been. And
Andra: I think I took on board what you said with more grace than I would have than if you were like maybe broke and couldn't afford to go out for dinners, but I like the idea that you had a reason of why you were saving the money and it was something unique and I respected it.
Andra: And I was impressed by it to the point where I left that alone more so than I think I would have thought I would have. Yeah. Yeah. And I was, remember being like, okay, this is different. And at that point when you're early on dating someone, you're checking in with yourself, like, is this something I want?
Is this something I can live with? What's my tolerance for it? And I remember being like, I can live with this because I appreciate his reason and his like mission, if you will. I hate that word, but. Just thought I'd throw it in there. Yeah. Yeah. So that was more or less okay in those early days. And then we went into COVID where we didn't actually have the opportunity to eat out at all because it was COVID. Yeah. So we kind of lived in your world for a long time.
Alex: Which is in a bedroom, not leaving, you know, getting Hanging out with friends online, phone calls, video calls, like that's in a way like that is like Spend be frugal. Don't spend much money. Don't really need to leave live your house I think there are points where a month will go by I haven't gone for a walk outside of the house This is cold, whatever and you'd be like we should Do this. You were in my world for sure.
Andra: I couldn't tolerate it as well as you did. Like I was having like some serious moments sometimes of feeling like almost desperate to just go out and get a taste of the outside world. I'm sure many people could relate, but you were fine. And I remember even being a little bit concerned of like, is this like, what, how's this going to be in the real world? You had brought that up. That was like one of my fears around our relationship. So fast forward to being in like Buffalo and San Francisco. After COVID and that was like kind of our travel time and we were going out to eat quite a bit because we were Like newbies to a city or we were seeing like friends and family or we were meeting new people In San Francisco. I remember we went to Jane Cafe on Fillmore every day for coffee to start our day Yeah, and that was really fun. Yeah, so I was like this this is working but I think It started getting difficult, actually, after we moved to Austin, and there was a period where I couldn't work because I was applying for my green card, so I couldn't work in the States, and yeah, like, the whole, like, I had always had my own income, and it was, like, very uncomfortable for me to move to a new city, and we were in a new marriage, and I think we, We were going out at the beginning, and then I think like last summer, it like dwindled off and it wasn't a priority for you anymore, but it wasn't only a financial thing. It was also because you were learning how to type a new keyboard layout and you were like obsessed with practicing. So you would spend a lot of the evenings and weekends practicing typing where I would want to like. You know, go out for dinner or
Alex: something like that. When you go from typing a hundred words a minute to five words a minute, you want to work really hard to get back to be able to type normally again, because you, we even had frustrations in the business where you had to respond to all the emails because you would be like, we'd collaborate on an email and you'd be like, okay, so say, and you'd say something and I'd go to type it and it would take me like, I don't know, 30 seconds to type like six words and you're like, this is not okay.
Andra: It was a bit frustrating, but it also wasn't like, like I knew you enjoyed it, like you were having the time of your life with this keyboard layout, but it was this last December, the idea of investing in Dispatch came up and I liked Dispatch. It's like a layer on top of Slack to make like your Slack life more productive and won't go into like too much more about the product now, but, uh, The idea of investing came up and I remember that's when I was like, I kind of feel like our day to day life is sacrificing because we're not doing like the micro things that I enjoy, like dinner. And I don't need like dinner every day kind of thing, but it just, it felt like there was like a little bit of a desert going on and it was drying up. And we had some serious conversations around like, I don't want to continue to angel invest if it means that I'm sacrificing this much in my day to day. And that was tough.
Alex: I saw. I, yeah.
Andra: But we had some good conversations around it because it was like, uh, I had said, I remember, like, we were in your mom's car because we were visiting home for the holidays and I was like, this is something that, like, is such a small part of our relationship. And it's now impacting like a bigger part. Like it's now taking up 80 percent of my headspace because I'm thinking about it more. And I was like, this isn't worth it when we have like so much on the line, like we have a great relationship, we have a great business together. So it wasn't worth it.
Alex: And I think you really, it was, I think the thing with that is like it, it was the best relationship I've ever been in plus the best business partnership I've ever been in. And. In a way, everything was so perfect on the day to day that any sane person would look at that and then look at these little micro things and just push them down because it's like, yeah, why would I ruin, like, who else am I going to find that all this stuff works together so well if I, it's just like, you're, it's like, I'm going to compromise. I'm going to sacrifice a little bit. And I think that was almost in a way, that's what made all of that easy. But it was that conversation in the car where you had brought it up to me shortly after I think I, I wanted to raise the amount of money we were putting into this batch, double, doubling it.
Andra: Yeah. But you heard me and I think that's what I appreciate about like you and our partnership is like when one of us comes to the table and is like, this is actually like causing me a level of pain or it's now like something that we need to look at together as a couple. Like, you took it seriously and since then, like, we've been way more flexible.
Alex: And what is the way that you worded it in the, in, I guess, the car ride? Like, I think you kind of jokingly said like, okay, I'll put another 5, 000 in if you agree to go, uh, to dinner. I think you said like once a month, like it was, it was literally like, it was a small ask, but I also felt myself being like froze. And I'm like, wait, I don't know if I, I'm willing to make this deal.
Andra: Yeah. Because you're not a people pleaser in the sense, like you have good boundaries and like you were hesitant. Yeah. And I think your hesitation, like in the moment. Yeah. I think we have friends that do angel invest and they're not frugal and they will like we've gone out to dinners or whatever and they're just like, whatever, like spend whatever. And yeah, I don't think everybody's like this, but in our situation with you being more long term focus and also I think not coming from money. Like you didn't start angel investing cause you like had this huge trust fund or whatever that you worked so hard to even have enough money to become accredited and get to this point. And you're young, like you're 31. Are you 31 or 32? 31. Yeah. I'm 31. Yeah. So you're 31. You agree? So yeah, you're young and I appreciate like all that you put in to get here.
And that took long term focus.
Alex: Yeah, and I think that's the thing where the first five years of building the business making such small amounts of money, it's like, I don't, I also don't view the money like talking about putting. Like 30, 000, 35 grand into motion or 20 grand into dispatch or whatever. It's like, that was the entire salary that I made my third year in business, like after taxes, whatever. So I think that's where, in a way I've worked so hard, it's taken me longer to even get this. And that was me working my ass off, going to school, paying for college. Um, and then also. Like yeah, it's just like I grinded to make that money and I and I was frugal I was the frugal friend that like didn't go to restaurants or like if we did go to restaurant I was like at Applebee's and it was half price appetizers and I spent maybe seven dollars on the meal Like that was that was what I had done for so long So it was I sacrificed to get here that I'm also like now is not the time yet to finally dive into this, especially when it wasn't something that I valued super highly. And I think that's the thing too, that like in the conversations we had, just because I don't value it highly doesn't mean that You, of course, obviously, but further than that, I think the word that you used was, I'm afraid that I'm going to start resenting you over this, and I think this word resentment is something that, it's this trigger word that both of us just understand what that means, because we've both felt that. Whether that's been in prior business partnerships or just, and honestly, relationships. Anything like if you felt resentment, you know how strongly that of a word that is. Mm-hmm. and you wanna keep that outta your relationship. So if someone throws that, they're not just throwing it out as like, oh, I'm feel like I might start resenting you. It's, I think it's also difficult to say that 'cause for you to actualize saying that word and feeling it, like, that's, that's deep. That's a, that's. That's that's almost like a pull the plug on the relationship word.
Andra: But I think resentment is like if you start feeling an inkling of it, like we communicate about it, which makes us like do the right thing. But in many cases, I think people wait too long, and then it's festering and it's like poison that just poisons everything. Yeah. So we're going to talk more about this in another episode. But when we like, we don't invest in startups that pitch us. We always ask to be allowed. Yeah. To invest. And I think, yeah, that's when they say yes, it like feels like an honor to get to be a part of someone else's journey. And it's always someone that like, yeah, we truly believe in. Yeah. So that's ultimately like with all the stress that sometimes comes with it and ups and downs, it makes life absolutely like more fun and more meaningful. And like I say this all the time, like I think about. What's going to happen on my deathbed? And I'm just, am I going to be like, Oh, you shouldn't have put that 10, 000 in. Like, I really hope I, on my deathbed, I I don't really care about 10, 000 and I hope that I'm like, no, that was honestly really cool. And I understand why I did it, even if it went down to zero. Okay. I think that's like all on my docket today to talk to you about what it's like to be married to an angel investor. I'm going to do a quick check here. No, that's it. All right. You did really well. You handled that well. We, we planned. Most episodes, but this one you didn't know what was coming. So,
Alex: well, I, the, the impetus was it in a way, like we had just dealt with that, where you were breaking down at the opportunity of investing in something.
Andra: And we talked about it and I think it was just like, you should write a blog post about what it's actually like. And. Because I think what we realize is like, we've actually worked really hard to be able to do this together. And I also think there's this level where, you know, while I started much of this, you've put in and you've joined in as a partner in this to the point of literally like your future income is going toward angel investments and you're 50 50 splitting on things with me.
Alex: And I feel like. You have also shown so deeply that you're in it and you believe in this together and Like this efficient VC thing that we're doing it like it's us it is we are Doing this together like it is like We're like a VC firm or a fund and we are the only two general partners in it. And it very much feels that way.
Andra: And, and the part that I appreciate is if I just kept investing in stuff and you didn't join in, or we didn't have these difficult conversations, I could have been like, it's my money, I'm doing it. Like whatever, honestly would have been easier some of these times for sure. By getting you to buy in on it, I feel like I have a partner in it, and it also is like this whole thing, it's like, it's a life partner, like, it is business, it is investing, it is life, and it is our thing now, it, it was my thing, and then it turned into our thing, somewhat, and then it's, it is our thing now. And it feels like, I've learned so much in the process that, I'm not there yet, but I feel like I'm getting closer to, yeah, like, maybe, Trying to invest in some deals that maybe you don't want to be a part of like there's one or two not that okay Not that there's something that has come up, but there was like the pitch We went to remember the South by Southwest and there was like the girl that was pitching. It was like Like getting people to rethink bullying online and like that, I really liked her and I really liked the pitch and I really liked the product and I remember being like, would I want to invest in this? And I'm like, I would. So I like to think that like, I love that we're doing this together, but I also love that I'm like, feel like I'm graduating in my own confidence that this is something that I want as a part of my life.
Alex: That's amazing. Yeah. Yeah. That's that's it. It makes it all so much more enjoyable because it's not just. The potential wins or losses. It's like, if everything genuinely goes to zero, I'm like who we've become along the way is like, it's, it's more important, like who we're going to be to our children. Like all, like all these things is like that stuff sticks. And if it goes to zero, we're not screwed. No, it would suck. It would really suck. But you know. That's, it's still all this, the journey is the part that's more important who we're surrounding ourselves with. And like, even just people seeing that we are taking action and doing things like the sheer number of people I've been hearing of like, Oh, I want an angel vest or whatever and not doing anything with it. And I get how frigging difficult it is to do something with it, but it's just like, there's something, it's almost like I'm making a point to myself and we're making a point to others and ourselves and our future children. Like, it's, it's all.
Andra: It feels like, yeah, there's more rewards than we're reaping than just, like, the money. Like, it's not just about money. There's so much more to it. Oops, that was awkward. That's it. Spirit hands to end off the episode. Really, that's it. If I'm gonna come on board, we need to expand the service offering.
Alex: We were having conversations of like splitting the business in half. This is like the thing that I was building for the past decade. I did not at that point want to have a business partner. Really. I think I just realized. This understanding between the two of us, like, has helped so much. Like, I don't feel like I'm, like, walking on eggshells.
Andra: You were like, It doesn't make sense to work separately. Like, I think we have, like, something really great here. It was like, Yeah, let's do this. Do you remember what you said to me?
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