Anu is a hardcore entrepreneur—but it hasn’t hardened her. She’s brimming with advice, reflection and gratitude. And, after launching so many companies, she knows it’s just as much about patience as it is about hard work.
Don’t miss Anu live at Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference in San Francisco, June 20-22, along with more than 50 other speakers from all corners of tech. You should be there.
I’ve launched many companies, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s the rhythm. Some times are slow and then others are incredibly busy; things can pile up. In the early stages, I have to do it all and really set the vision. As we grow, you have to get comfortable with recruiting and setting structure and objectives. So, things change.
But one thing that really surprised me was how much time I would spend with my Board. It takes up a huge chunk of my time, communicating with them, meeting, preparing for the meetings and so on. I didn’t know how much time and skill it would take to truly manage your Board effectively.
What would you do differently if you could go back in time?
You can always do better and be better. I’ve made mistakes but I feel like I’ve always taken what I’ve learned and done things differently in the future. Knowing this, I wouldn’t change a thing because that would mean I would give up the learning.
Do you have any habits (daily or weekly habits) that you can’t get through the week without?
Every day after work, rain or shine, I take a 1 to 1.5 hour walk. I usually go by myself, with my golden retriever, Bella. I take in the fresh air. It’s time for me. I’m a night person—I tend to work quite late. So, the mornings can be hectic. But I’ve been taking these walks for 6 years. I may not burn as many calories, but it’s truly become a habit now, and I’ve never felt better.
Who do you count on for advice / counsel in your personal or professional life?
I have been fortunate to work with great teams that have contributed to my learning. I count on these long associations with incredible professionals that have worked with me through multiple companies over dozens of years. My lawyer, doctor, accountant, financial manager, bosses, board members, co-workers, co-founders, health coach, trainer, teachers and friends. And most important, my father and mother.
What’s your secret to getting things done?
Prioritization and delegation. I have learned that not everything will be in a “done” status and that’s OK! So, I guess, some level of patience.
What’s next for RewardsPay?
RewardsPay is innovating on several fronts. First we are catering to our current bank, airline, hotel and other loyalty program customers by increasing the assortment of unique redemption options that serve to engage and delight program members. Secondly, we are introducing two new alternative payment methods into the games, entertainment and media industry segments. And finally, we have partnered with Botco.ai to utilize their NLP/AI marketing automation platform to create intelligent loyalty bots for our loyalty program clients in the Fin tech space. I am so excited to roll these products out this year, already in progress!
Passion for what you are doing -will help you stay focused and rally others around you, Confidence in your abilities will help you recruit and sell your vision, Persistence will help you get up when knocked down and handle a lot of rejection. My PCP formula!
Hands down, what do you love most about being a founder?
Creating something from nothing, and getting to choose incredible people to work with that share your passion for the idea.
What are you most proud of?
Professionally, I am really proud of the people I hired who are super successful in their careers. Many of them are now successful CEOs and entrepreneurs. Personally, I was thrilled to serve as the commencement speaker at my alma mater and receive an Honorary Doctorate.