Drink and Thinks are a virtual event we have every Friday afternoon internally at ZayZoon. We like to bring on cool and inspiring guests for a fireside chat and hear about their wins, losses and learnings from their journey. This gives an opportunity for the team to step back from the day to day work, unwind and think differently with a new perspective.
Sheel Mohnot, one of the most savvy investors out there, is a venture capitalist at the helm of Better Tomorrow Ventures, a FinTech-focused fund specializing in pre-seed and seed rounds.
Before Better Tomorrow Ventures, Sheel ran an accelerator, providing investments and support to kickstart companies with amazing founders. Notably, Sheel's entrepreneurial journey includes the successful sale of one of his companies to Groupon. But wait until you hear the rest of the story…
In this Drink and Think episode, we explore Sheel's commitment to curiosity and learning through unique experiences, from joining The Taco Bell family, living off $1 a day to gain a new perspective, to getting married in the Metaverse.
I got a DM from Taco Bell on Instagram saying, “Hey, we've chosen you, we'd love for you to get married in the Taco Bell Metaverse.”
Jumping out of your comfort zone, saying yes and experiencing a different side of the world or a different version of a world… Sheel has done it all and I loved every minute of his story.
“I got engaged last August and after the engagement, a bunch of people said Taco Bell had this contest saying, “Hey, we wanna get one couple married in the Taco Bell Metaverse.” And a bunch of people tagged me on Twitter like, “Hey, this is perfect for you.”
And I was like, what is this metaverse? Like, I don't really care about this. But I wanted to strengthen my affinity with Taco Bell.
So, we submitted a two minute video to apply to this crazy idea that Taco Bell had and a couple months later, I got a DM from Taco Bell on Instagram inviting me to get married on their metaverse.
Fast forward ~ 6 months
It was honestly a lot of fun, you know? The interesting part was how they pitched it to us – they emphasized that we would become a part of the Taco Bell family, and that comes with its perks, being in the Taco Bell family and all. So we had this metaverse wedding, and then we had a reception in an actual Taco Bell in Pacifica, California.
Sheel went on to tell us about one of his experiences working at a nonprofit organization called Kiva, which enables people to fund microloans for aspiring entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Gaining a new perspective 👇
“At Kiva we're helping these borrowers around the world and I don't know what needs they have. So the idea was maybe I can live like a borrower. So for me, that meant living on $1 a day and $2 some days. Just living that life, which was very difficult but I got to really experience what it means to struggle to make ends meet.”
I love Sheel's enthusiasm around the way he chooses to live life. Getting his hands dirty, working with thirsty early-stage founders, throwing ideas off each other. Or traveling across the world, hopping on buses to meet farmers that use Kiva. Not only is this lifestyle exciting, but more importantly I think Sheel does a great job of knowing what type of pursuit and adventure he wants in life and how to approach it. It's just a great example of creating the environment that you want to live in."
Discovering your passion and cultivating an environment with the people you want to work with.
- Scheels passion for working with founders in early-stage companies:. You aren't investing in spreadsheets, you’re investing in the founders themselves. It’s their shared values of tenacity, sense of urgency and their overall vision.
I learned that there are two ways to approach this. First, focus on what gives you drive and are passionate about it. Secondly, if you're not where you want to be, find others who share similar goals and values and move forward together.
- “That's what I really get excited about, then there's also something about the energy of having a bunch of companies in the same room that are just like thinking about ideas and then like us being there too.”
Stepping out of your comfort zone to gain a new perspective
”Doing things that let you put yourself in their shoes for a little while, I think is very valuable.”
- Referring to his experience with the non-profit organization Kiva, this was relatable. It’s the inner drive for curiosity and willingness to learn. It reminded me of the ZayZoon RV Roadtrip and the importance of understanding others' perspectives and the desire to try to offer a better service and experience to your customer.
Accepting loss and recognizing things that don't matter
When you're worried about a problem or outcome, just stop for a moment and ask: Will this matter in a year, five years, or ten years? Will I look back and think this was not worth all the concern? It's a useful skill to not get stuck on losses or small negative outcomes that won't matter much in the long run. Being aware of yourself and realizing that something that feels so big now might not be so important later on. The ability to step back and think about the bigger picture can be really helpful.
Sheel is incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated. Whether it's investing, non-profit work, or his unique experiences, he always gives a hundred percent and makes the most out of everything. Going all in and giving your best is crucial. The episode was full of great takeaways, laughter, and we're grateful Sheel shared it with our team!