Love this. "Write the damn check!" My co-founder and I, both Latina, have had our share of people wanting to "mentor" us and tell us how inspiring we are. But as we hit each goal post for actually getting the checks we find that the goal posts for funding our inspiring startup keep moving. That's why I so appreciate our investors who actually wrote checks. Heading over to check out Screendoor now.


I haven’t written a blog in a long time because things have been a bit crazy around here — in a good way. In six months, user numbers for Forgotten Trail are up 400%, for Making Camp Premium, 600%, for Making Camp Bilingual, users have doubled.

Every day something new pops up. It reminds me of when I joined Twitter, back in 2008. Maybe you haven’t been on twitter for that long, or maybe all you know about it is that it helped someone get enough visibility to be elected president. …


Today is one of those days I randomly rant. I’ve been trying to expand my horizons beyond statistics, programming and martial arts, so I have taken to reading books reviewed in the New York Times and LA Times and random novels checked out of the library.

I have reached two conclusions:

  1. It was a very good choice on my part not to major in anything related to literature.
  2. People younger than me sure are whiny.

There are a lot of books by single people, mostly women, on “the truth about single life” and how nearly impossible it is to have…


One of our first investors told me,

“The one guarantee I can make about a startup is that the company you end up with is not going to be what you envisioned when you started out.”

Wise man, as evidenced by the fact that he invested in two of our seed rounds. He’s right, too. In fact, when I first had the idea for what became 7 Generation Games, I wanted to create online courses in remedial math for tribal colleges. …


I’ve written about the challenges of finding a mentor previously, Why the cool kids won’t hang out with you.

Let’s be frank, if you are old and pumping gas, not too many people are interested in you as a mentor, but the last few years have been good here at The Julia Group, and the dozen years before that didn’t suck either. I’ve gotten millions in grants funded, started a couple of companies. Just this year, I have a new game out to teach kids math, published a book on martial arts and another chapter in a book on Real…


One thing I gained from judo was the importance of persistence. There are no doubt a lot of people who have better technique than me. They had better instructors who came from famous clubs, maybe even the Kodokan. I started at the Alton YMCA.

There are probably lots of people who have more natural athletic talent than me. I was never particularly fast. I’m also very near-sighted, so I couldn’t see the scoreboard or time clock for most of the years I was competing until I finally got contacts. …


For much of my life, I have had haters who I have never met. My daughter, Ronda, has the same thing, times one thousand.

Who hates strong women?

There are four types of people who either hate strong women, or pretend they do. Two of those particularly hate strong, successful women. The other two are poised to tear down anyone successful. They are equal opportunity haters.

Type 1: Women who gave in and gave up

Nice women who have played by all of the rules they’ve been told or imagined hate women who break those rules. These are the women who have bought into the belief that they have to fit into some…


Credit where credit is due, I owe this epiphany to two people — comedian Kevin Hart, whose autobiography, I can’t make this up, I highly recommend, and two-time judo Olympian, Pat Burris.

I was a teenager and had just won the U.S. Open. It was the second time I had made it to the finals and my first gold medal at an international event. I’d also won the junior nationals, senior nationals and collegiate nationals that same year. It was a good year.

Pat said to me,

“About now, people you have never met are going to start trying to…


When I was young, I was training three times a day — judo, running, and weightlifting. Occasionally, I would run indoors at the University of Minnesota field house around the baseball field. There weren’t many female athletes back then, so I got a lot of stares. Most days, though, I ran outdoors, below-zero weather or no.

At the time, my parents were living in Illinois and in the winter they went mall-walking for exercise. An hour or two before the stores were open for business, while the employees were getting ready for the day, the doors would open for senior…


Every now and then, I run into people from judo who say,

“Hey, we never see you around any more? Why is that? What happened to you?”

I wrote this years ago for a project on the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation, and our Country Manager for Strong Mind Studios, our company in Chile, came across it recently. (If you read Spanish, check it out.)

Nothing happened to me. I do run a practice or a clinic now and then, but it is true I am not nearly involved as much as I used to be.

There are actually three reasons…

annmariastat

President, The Julia Group & CEO 7 Generation Games If it touches a number, we do it. 4 daughters, 4 degrees, 1 world championship.

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