What I Did Last Week (and what I’m looking forward to)
“Today, I take my daughter out on a date. I want her to remember how a man should treat her.”
The room was packed. I was stowed by stage left, where young 20 and 30 somethings had taken up seats, legs akimbo, on the concrete floor. Shark Tank star Daymond John was sharing his ‘daddy-daughter date’ ritual with his 6 year old each month. He observes this tradition each month, so she knows how a man should conduct himself when she starts to date later in life. The last panel of the day was the Shark Tank stars talking about entrepreneurship and exchanging amicable barbs with one another.
Mark Cuban jibed, “You have a 6 year old? Must be your second wifes.”
I started to think about my own dates with my dad. He and I were estranged for the last 15 years of his life. My first generation and his immigrant sensibilities couldn’t meet in the middle. Ever. He told me he never wanted to see me again after I introduced him to my boyfriend in graduate school.
As John shared about his monthly daddy daughter dates, my mind turned to when the times when things were good. As a 4 year old, my dad would ‘read’ the Sunday comics to me. It was before I could read, so only the colors spoke to me as I sat on his lap, pig tail bobbing on top of my little head. He was making up his own version of the plot lines inside those bubbles coming from each character.
But that was plenty delightful enough for me.
What I Did Last Week
Friday was a busy day of interviews, where the mic was turned on me. I was in conversation with Gabrielle Dore from Worth Magazine on why I’ve built a business around adventure and travel. This is an excerpt.
I did a Linkedin Live with Sherifah Munis on the keys to mindset mastery and this with my sales coach on my first six figure month.
Saturday. Each week, there is always one activity I look forward to more than anything else. My Saturday included finally switching out my summer clothing for winter/fall. Given the constraints of a New York apartment, all of my fuzzy sweaters and wool pants nest in storage boxes high up in the far reaches of my 9 feet tall closet until this moment. While doing this, I binge watched The Fall of the House of Usher” on Netflix, adapted from a short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1839 in Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, then included in the collection Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque in 1840. The short story, a work of Gothic fiction, is Netflix’ Halloween offering.
The rain has been unforgiving in New York. In the evening, The New York Wine and Food Festival was on and I had signed Matt and I up for an intimate dinner series sponsored by Air France. Most of the chef dinners had sold out or were on an inconvenient Tuesday. I chose the Saturday night special, presented by Chef Chintan Pandya and serial restauranteur Roni Mazumdar, the two men behind the ‘impossible to get into’ Dhamaka restaurant. I love experiences that elevate ‘beyond dining at the restaurant.’ It was a menu of spicy chicken, piping hot rack of lamb, and “mithai” featuring Pandya’s newest addition to the ice cream lineup at Van Leuwen. Pure heaven
Monday. I had a 4 hour appointment with Dr. Francis in Soho. Of all the things, menopause might be the death of me. Things are changing in my body, and I can’t make heads or tails of it, like my fingertips being numb. Dr. Francis said my uterus was lazy and folded over.
Maybe it’s in the union.
Tuesday. I went to the AdWeek summit. With 25 tracks, 8 stages, I find a conference like this to be overwhelming. So I made it a point to pick one panel that resonated with me and attend that. See where the day takes me. I met some really interesting people, including Tiff, who does branding and design for Camp Yoshi, bringing Black people camping, and Kenzi, who is director of global event strategy and development for the NBA. I have a VIP Day client come November, who is working on her thought leadership strategy and wants to secure more high profile clients. I asked Kenzi what kind of content she would like to see from my client. My notes from the conference here.
Wednesday. I spoke to aspiring TV anchors and journalists at Hunter College, answering questions about my own career. Sebastian Ficcari, originally from Italy wrote, “I found your very grassroots beginnings very inspiring and resonant to me. I, like you, don’t have any contacts and am struggling to put myself into the industry. I have landed a creative director role at a school publication, but besides that, there hasn’t been much luck. I am trying to network, but I’m at a loss on how. I admired your tenacity to network constantly until you made something work for yourself. I’m trying to work in international political journalism, so your story about your grandmother in Calcutta was also very touching and sweet. I want my family in Italy to see me just as much as my family in the U.S. I want to report on issues that touch people everywhere. I also found your outlook on rejection very inspiring because I’ve been struggling to handle it. It feels excessively constant sometimes, but as you mentioned, it’s for the better.”
I went to a beer bar, owned by two women, built by a construction company, owned by two women. One of the members of my Women’s Leadership Lab is principal in the construction and design company and had invited me. The two women were home brewers, turned friends. They were keen to create a beer bar that didn’t just cater to “beer bro’s.” The space is light, with shades of white and tangerine everywhere. Clean. That night might have featured my first ‘pumpkin spice experience’ this fall.
Later, I headed up to Symphony space as Min Jin Lee was hosting an evening of “American Short Stories.” Have you seen ‘Six?’ on Broadway. I’m not a musicals fan, but this story woven around the 6 wives of Henry the VIII, features spectacular perm, including Anna Uzele, from the cast of ‘Six’ read “Tender” by Cherline Bazile. Honestly, she eclipsed the reading by Edie Falco, who went last.
Thursday. The current class of the Samita Lab Mastermind are readying to take the mic on November 16th, to give their TED x style talks on a New York City stage. I am seeking the special 8 women who will occupy the 2024 class of my Samita Lab Mastermind. I won’t meet them, sitting at my desk, pounding away on my keyboard. Apply here. This was the one thing I did last year to have one of the most successful years in business.
Friday. Excited to head to the Orphaned Star Fish gala and sit at Jeannette’s table. She is the founder of a midwestern IT company and was on the annual Women’s Leadership Lab sail in Turkey this year. The cause gives IT skills to orphaned and abused children in emerging market countries.
What I am Looking Forward To
Saturday. Matt wants to go to the Halloween Dog Parade in Tompkins Square Park. The future of the beloved tradition was in peril because of rising costs. Get Joy, a local dog wellness startup, trotted in and got the event back underway.
Wednesday is my SOLD OUT perfume making workshop in Manhattan with Nathan Dubois from Paris. Each woman makes her own ‘signature scent.’ When I learned the architecture of perfume with Nathan last month, I saw the parallels in building a personal brand.
I had a business coach who had a very unconventional approach to business. Her mantra, “Treat yourself like a queen.” Whenever I am feeling down, (and menopause is giving me plenty of reasons to feel down), I re-read this list of things that a ‘Queen’ does. It helped me fill my Mastermind last year with so much ease, I was astonished.
Thursday. I’m very excited to be a featured subject in photographer Priyanca Rao’s photo-series on “Revolutionary Women of South Asian descent.” I’m writing a ‘behind the scenes’ essay of her project. Watch this space.
I’m just about a month away from my 2 weeks in Barcelona, for a client VIP Day and then my birthday. Did you know the city currently ranks among the cheapest cities to fly to in Europe.
Things I want in my stocking this Christmas (It’s from Gifts for travellers from Conde Nast)
- Hand-drawn sketches of iconic restaurants in New York, London, Paris, and Napa Valley.
- Airbnb gift cards (can be purchased in amounts from $25 up to $500_
- $25 AT AIRBNB (STARTING PRICE)
- $25 AT AMAZON (STARTING PRICE)
- Polaroid Hi·Print 2×3 Pocket Photo Printer Now that we all walk around with high-quality cameras in our pocket, fewer of our photos actually make it to print. This pocket-size printer from Polaroid spits out vibrant 2″x3″ photos, for journaling.
- $100 AT POLAROID
- $100 AT TARGET
- I’m thinking about this Soul Trip Vision Planner.
- I’ve become Tony Shaloub from Monk in my old age. A total germaphobe. This hand sanitizer from Noshinku gets bonus points for its slim profile.
- This foot hammock. It all comes down to this: for those roughly 5’7″ and under, it promises to transform the in-flight economy experience.
Hey, imagine yourself giving a TEDxTalk on stage. It’s been a long held dream. You peer out over the crowd, the lights practically blinding you. But you totally prepared for this moment. We worked for months on getting your topic just right. You are ready! Check out the Samita Lab Mastermind curriculum here and application here. I’m currently enrolling the 2024 class. If you apply now, I will offer a 2 hour, one-on-one workshop with you to get clarity on your TedTalk brand before year’s end.
And I’m already planning ahead for VIP Days in 2024: Q1 London Q2 Nice, France Q3 New York Q4 Paris. If you’re interested in doing your thought leadership strategy in New York or abroad, be sure to book in advance and get added to my Client Queue for an immersive cultural experience.