I’ve got my drive, passion
and happiness back. 

Case study: Hugo Silva

VC Investment Manager

About me:

My name is Hugo Silva and I’ve moved to the UK 4 years ago to pursue my dream of working for a UK-based venture capital (VC) fund.

After graduating from my MBA, in 2019 I joined Pi Labs, a VC that invests in real estate/property-related start-ups that are helping shape this industry through technology and innovation – otherwise known as ‘PropTech’.

My role as an Investment Manager is to handle everything that involves a start-up, from sourcing, investing, to eventually making a sound return for founders, Pi Labs and our investors.

The Challenge:

The pandemic was definitely a tough period on everyone (and to some people, it still is).

I had a very clear goal that I wanted to reach by the time I hit 40 years old, but I didn’t have an idea on how to get there.

I’ve always had my life carefully planned: I knew I wanted engineering school, to study abroad, to work at a large corporate, to do an MBA, to move to London, to work at a VC and never failed to meet any of my objectives.

But suddenly I found myself without knowing what were my next steps and with that, came a state of pessimism that is not natural to me. 

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As someone who has always been a romantic hopeful or optimist, I just wanted to:

1) Get myself back and I didn’t even know what the underlying problem was. I knew something was wrong and I wasn’t feeling right, but I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. My goal was to find the issue and a way to fix it. 

2) I wanted a plan for the next chapter of my life

3) I hoped coaching would help me gather my thoughts, be more structured about not only my 10-year goals but also a day-to-day improvement plan

The Journey:

I can recall meeting Tomas for the first time.

It was a gloomy Friday evening in November and we were about to enter into yet another lockdown. I’ve always been a non-believer in any sort of therapy-oriented help and was actually quite proud to call myself too analytical and pragmatic to engage in anything similar to this.

But the truth was, the past year was not great: I was about to get married when the world went into lockdown (meaning, more stress for both my partner and I), couldn’t see friends or family for months, was stuck at not knowing where I was going next and verging on an anxiety crisis.

I spoke to Tomas in one of his free sessions and we immediately connected, since he has a very pragmatic approach to what coaching is but particularly to what it is not.

We knew I had a goal in 10 years to make it to Partner but I wasn’t sure how to get there. So we started establishing goals for every point of my life as a 10, 5, 3 and 1-year plan. Sometimes, it is hard to connect with your future self and understand what to do now in order to become who you want to be. In my case, coaching was incredibly important not only to establish those goals, but because I connect so much with my future self that I wanted to have everything happen very quickly.

Our sessions were about setting appropriate goals for each point in time and understanding that there is no need to rush your life. Not only that, but his coaching was also focused on the little daily things that you can do to improve your happiness and mental wellbeing.

I wasn’t sure if Tomas was the real deal about this when we first met but after seeing his daily performance tracker, all my doubts were cleared (who wakes up at 8am on the 1st of Jan to workout?)

I started implementing these little changes in my daily schedule and keeping track of them (although not to the extent that Tomas does, but also learnt that it’s ok to not be that thorough, as long as it works for you).

My 1-year goals included simple things like calling my family, waking up a bit earlier each day, taking time for date nights but also slowly working towards my professional goals. Overall, Tomas’ help was invaluable for me to have a bigger picture vision of what I wanted my life to look like and what I needed to do.

The Result:

Personally, I became healthier, lost significant weight through working out (and Tomas makes sure you don’t miss anything), became a better partner and was more in touch with family and friends than before.

I wake up earlier than ever, I workout pretty much every day (I feel terrible if I don’t), focused on work but keeping a good work-life balance.

Professionally, he also helped me with strategic decisions that have led me to be more successful. I think the main piece of knowledge I took away from these sessions was that human beings are comfortable with being unhappy since it is our ‘default state’, but being happy is actually undervalued and takes a lot of work. You need to put in that work to be happy.

The sessions helped me get promoted and pave a path that has clear set goals.

I’m more involved with my company than ever, work has become incredibly busy and I’m getting recognized for it (credit due to my fund as well, as it is harder to appreciate staff than it looks). I have now more enjoyment for my work than I ever did and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

Overall, I feel healthier, happier and, most importantly, I’m back to my former self, but better. 

The Experience:

I love how pragmatic Tomas is, particularly how his methods always have some form of a mathematical/measurable approach to them (I will never forget the ‘Happiness Equation’).

I really like that Tomas practices what he preaches and he’s not sugar-coating anything.

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