Interview Replay: Kara on Playmakers on Purpose with Paul Epstein

Episode 252.5

Tune in this week to hear Kara on the Playmakers on Purpose with Paul Epstein Podcast!

In a world that values self-reflection, sometimes we undervalue the power of momentum. To find your direction, you have to start walking— and no one embodies that transformative mindset quite like this week’s guest, Kara Goldlin.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be you just want to make sure you will get knocked down but just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go Let’s go. Today’s episode is a bonus episode from when I was a guest on Paul Epstein’s podcast playmakers on purpose. I hope you enjoy it. And please make sure to tune in on Monday for the next episode of the Kara Goldin show. Have a great weekend. So often people sort of get stuck I guess it’s it’s the goal, right? Go find your purpose. Go find your mission. But sometimes in order to find that purpose and mission, you just have to start with not staying complacent.

Paul Epstein 1:15
Welcome to playmakers on purpose. I’m your host Paul Epstein. 15 year NFL and NBA business exec, widely known as the 40. Niners why coach, now, your coach. In this transformational podcasts it takes purpose from an out of reach Northstar, to a practical and tactical exploration of how we can take action on purpose every day. This is your all access pass to a tribe of leaders in business, sports and life. We’re ready to share their playbook where purpose becomes the igniter of the impact and the performance that we’re all laughter as we ramp up toward today’s episode, pull out your notepads so we can make plays and level up on purpose. Together. playmakers it’s about that time to welcome Kara Goldin into the conversation. Kara is the proud founder of hint best known for its award winning and industry leading hint water now generating north of a quarter billion dollars annually. She’s also the best selling author of undaunted, overcoming doubts and doubters accolade wise, let’s just say she’s got to feel how about being named to in styles badass 50 Fast Company’s most creative people in business fortunes Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Northern California, even the Huffington Post listing her as one of six disruptors in business alongside Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. I hope you’re as fired up for the conversation with Kara as I am. And as a reminder, many of today’s top takeaways can be found in the show notes on playmakers With that, let’s welcome Kara Goldin into the playmakers podcast. Kara Welcome to playmakers. How are we doing?

Kara Goldin 3:10
I’m great. Thanks for having me.

Paul Epstein 3:12
Of course we are so fired up to have you. And by the way, I was just mentioning off camera undaunted, which every single playmaker needs to pick this up. Wow, would be an understatement. So we are certainly going to unpack that, of course talk about your hit journey. But to bring all playmakers in, many folks may know you because of what you do. Where I really want to kick us off is more about who you are, and why you do what you do given that this is playmakers on purpose. So going back, I open up undaunted, seeing some of your childhood journey. And I love that, and I’m going to quote here for you no means maybe. And maybe means yes. Which is awesome. Where did that mindset come from?

Kara Goldin 4:04
Yeah, so my poor parents, I mean, it was I was that, that kid that was so I was the last of five kids. And my parents got really good by the time I rolled into the scene at saying no. And so my goal was always to get them to not say no, and I thought if once I got them to maybe then I had them right. And it was it was always my goal to get them to at least maybe, and it was very rare. I had a pretty good batting average of, of, you know, once I got them to maybe it was done and so so that was you know, definitely my my childhood I think, you know, definitely good development for being in sales which I As I have been, to some extent at being an entrepreneur my whole life, whether it’s trying to raise money or sell product into Target, or Costco, or whatever it is, you know, definitely have. I learned a lot of things just through those negotiations as a child with my parents. That helped me later in life.

Paul Epstein 5:24
For sure. And another thing that I captured from the childhood journey is the power of the question, what’s the worst that can happen? So we’re going to zoom out, and eventually we’re going to talk his journey. And we’re going to talk about the book undaunted, but it seems like this question has been this powerful force in your life. Because if you’re going to be undaunted, if you’re going to be brave and courageous enough to persevere, and launch what many considered a crazy idea that eventually leads to hint water, you got to be asking the question about what’s the worst that could happen? So talk about why that question is so important you and how it has served you since you’ve really applied it to helping you navigate life.

Kara Goldin 6:08
Yeah, well, what I found is that, you know, it’s easier to look back on situations where you, maybe you stressed out about something, I mean, maybe you you remember taking that test when you were a kid, and and you thought, oh, it’s gonna end up really bad, it’s rare that it actually ends up as bad as you ever thought, right? That and I was a gymnast growing up. And, you know, I used to just very much stress out about meats, and, and all of those, you know, things that I thought were gonna happen, I’d fall off the bars, and it’d be terrible, I’d be laughed at right, I’d have nightmares about it. And those never happened. And so I think that that is something that I think a lot about around business as well, where you know, you, you don’t actually tend or most people don’t tend to take risks, because they think that it won’t work. And, you know, and I mean, this sort of goes to another thing that I’m fond of sharing with people, which is that if you think too much about the end, that you’ll never get past the beginning. Right? It’s just, it’s because you’re so worried about hitting that goal, that you got to take those steps along the way. In the case of hint to make the product too. You got to take those steps, there’s not shortcuts along the way. And so they’re, they’re all really important things that I think people kind of, you know, forget about. And, and again, there’s all these stages in life, that you that maybe you never ended up doing those things because you thought, Oh, they’re too hard. I don’t have the right experience. I could look really stupid, I could lose my job. I could, you know, whatever, the excuses. But it’s very rare that it actually does if you look back on history, whether it’s your own history or someone else’s history. And that’s why I love reading about entrepreneurial journeys, because it’s just, they all went through something. Right? All those entrepreneurs count and yet yes, so often we think, you know, Steve Jobs, he founded Apple, right? It’s a trillion dollar thing now that but there were so many dark days, right, where there were things where he doubted you know, he got fired right from from his role and like all of those things, yet we don’t actually think about those things or hear about them on a what that entrepreneurial journey was all about. So again, asking what’s the worst that could happen? Maybe even here’s, here’s another thing that I get people to think about, maybe even something happens. And that actually changes course for you. Right? That that those things happen.

One of the stories if you don’t mind if I share this course, please. One of the stories that I think a lot about and shares an example in my own life that I have is we were in Starbucks hint. And that was a big day. When we got into all the Starbucks. We’re in like 6500 Starbucks, I was so prepared. We only had one flavor was the BlackBerry flavor. I was super excited. We were only supposed to go into 300 and then they changed the plan. We went into All 6500 locations. And so I wanted to make sure we stayed in there that we didn’t get kicked out of there. And so it took us about six months to kind of reach the level that I knew that they had told me that they would be happy with, you know, volume wise, and by the time, an hour or an hour, a year and a half into this relationship. That’s when I mean, we were killing it, we were doing like three acts what we were supposed to be doing. There was no way in my mind that we were getting kicked out of there, it was about 40% of our overall business, because I just sat there, I was so confident in that business. And then there was a buyer change. And that buyer wanted to change the whole strategy, right? She had her own agenda. And she wanted to put food, in the cases at Starbucks, higher margin businesses, all the right reasons why she wanted to do what she wanted to do. But she needed space, she only had so much space in that case. So hint, Blackberry was out. I’m like, wait, what? I mean, how can this? How could this happen? We’re killing it. We’re doing three acts. And when is this happening? Next week? Like, next week? Like? Right? I mean, I’m dying at this point. And all I’m thinking in my head is I hate her. Right? Why did you take the job? Go away? Where do you live? Now? I’m just kidding. But it’s, you know, like all of these things. And but then I’m also thinking, I have investors, I have product that’s going to go bad in the warehouse. And this is 40% of my overall business. And I’m dead. This is bad, right? Like, I don’t cry very often. But I cried, I got off the phone. And I just thought, Oh, my God, what am I going to do? So when I resurfaced after a couple of days, I thought, Okay, we have to figure something out. I had this product that was gonna go bad in the warehouse, I had to share this news with investors. And I always believe that it’s during those times, when you really have to believe that the stars will align. You have to listen up maybe a little closer, you have to network, you have to figure out what do you have to be doing? You can’t stay complacent, you have to keep moving in some direction. So I got an email from Amazon. And Amazon was starting this grocery business and the buyer I get on the phone with the new buyer and and want to know a little bit more about it. He loves hint water. He has BlackBerry hint every morning with a Starbucks latte. And, and I’m

Paul Epstein 13:18
irony in that, you know, I

Kara Goldin 13:20
tell them that we’ve been kicked out of Starbucks. And I thought, Well, I mean, we’ll see how the conversation goes. And then he said, Listen, I need product. Like yesterday, how fast can you get it for me because we’re moving really fast. And I said, if you wire me the money, you can have three truckloads now. And he said, You’re kidding. Oh my god, you just solve the biggest problem for me. This is amazing. So my inventory was gone. A star Starbucks owned it. I are sorry, Amazon owned it now. And I was like, okay, one problem solved this amazing. I hope it actually gets bought. Right. I hope it does. Well, we became one of the number one products on Amazon. It was a huge, right. And, and so they’re going back to the Starbucks situation. Something I learned, you know, when that turmoil hit is that I had too many eggs in one basket. Right? Starbucks was 40% of our overall business when things are going great. That’s the time not to sit, you know, on your pedestal and chill out. Right. That’s the time when you need to figure out opportunities because that’s why it hurts so bad. And that was my fault. Starbucks needed to do what was right for their business. I wasn’t happy about it. I wish she’d never would have taken a job at Starbucks. But regardless, it was really my fault. And I needed to own it, because it was 40% of our overall business. And so, but also being open to those possibilities, that who was out there that we could do business with, to sort of put a bandaid on my current situation, all of a sudden, that band aid became, you know, a great business to overtook, you know, the business that we were going to be missing from Starbucks. But in addition to that, a year after being in Amazon, the buyer shared with us that the consumer that was buying hint, was unique, compared to other beverages that they had on the service, because they were crossing over into areas like they were buying things in sports or in health. So they were buying diabetes monitors, where somebody who was buying, you know, Pepsi wasn’t buying diabetes monitors. And so they said, you know, it’s really interesting, because you’re creating this healthy Halo, that this, this consumer, that we didn’t used to see in beverages, and I was like, Wow, that’s so interesting. Can you give me their email? Because I really want to reach out to them. And the buyer said, Now, I mean, that’s Jeff Bezos, his email he there’s no way he’s gonna give you the email, we own the inventory. Does just Starbucks or Whole Foods or target give you emails? I’m like, No, but you’re Amazon, you’re an online. I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to be doing. Right? And they’re like, no, like, we’re not going to get. So it was at that point, when I decided the only way I’m gonna get the emails is to start And it’s fascinating because I always think about this as a visual, where I think Starbucks for really allowing me to be open to other opportunities. And I think, Starbucks and Amazon. And ultimately, I mean, is like 35% of hands overall business now, that never would have come to be if I wasn’t willing to go and take those risks if I wasn’t willing to kind of open new doors, new opportunities, where the entire beverage industry, when we were going online, and 2012 was like, cases are too heavy. Why would you do that? That’s not the way beverages are sold. And I’m like, okay, that’s fine. You guys can think that. We’re going to do what we’re going to do for different reasons, we want to have that relationship with the consumer. Anyway, so long winded story of how that all goes back.

Paul Epstein 18:18
Yeah, and I love where you’re bringing us because bringing every single playmaker into this. While we all have our independent stories, think about this piece of life and where your message connects to mind deeply cares. You know, I talked about playing defense versus playing offense. And it is it starts with a mindset. But the mindset means nothing unless it inspires action. And so when you have this offensive mindset, think back to the early days of the pandemic, everybody thinks that was such a difficult time to hit the gas so to speak, and sometimes hitting the gas is a sidestep, sometimes it’s the cliche of one step back to take 10 forward, but you’re always moving. And we’re I love that you made it human invulnerable. Kara is he didn’t lie about it for one years told us how you felt about and I know you’re half joking about the lady at Starbucks, but where I love you brought us is it took you a couple days. It was imperfect, it was painful. You needed to process you needed to recover, you needed to prepare your game plan. And you didn’t even know what the game plan would lead to. You didn’t have a crystal ball that would say Amazon’s gonna hit you up the next day, the next week, the next month next year, you didn’t know that there’s a future business opportunity that will eventually be 40% of the pie through this online piece that might not ever get invented. If Starbucks doesn’t need more space in their shelf, so for all playmakers, what’s happening in your life right now, that may seem like it’s out of your control, but as you process it, and you set an offensive GamePlan for not only the Rick Every period, but now how you can actually grow from it. And you know, I know you brought up Steve Jobs earlier, I’ve heard you another podcast talk about how he is shared. And this is knowledge that now we’re aware of, when you look back at life, not only the power of your question of what’s the worst that could happen, but Steve Jobs always says it’s easy to see how things connect to one another in retrospect. And so this is less about making the perfect step today, it may be imperfect action, but at least you’re taking steps. And as time progresses, you can reflect back and say, How has all of this served me? How have I grown because of this? For playmakers? How are we living more on purpose? So Kara, I appreciate that you brought us there. And that’s something that I want to stay on the topic of hint, because now the world sees this quarter billion, correct me if I’m wrong about a $250 million annual business, and highly successful, and you can tap into the origin story. And also, where I found the most fascinating part of your journey was when a coke executive challenged you, and essentially said, this ain’t gonna work. It ain’t gonna work this flavored but unsweetened water, it doesn’t exist. And so I’ll let you tell the story. But where I want you to bring us is you said, and that’s the moment that something clicked. So a for playmakers, tell us about that experience with the Koch executives. And then what clicked because of it?

Kara Goldin 21:36
Well, it was at a time it was about, I guess, a year into the journey of Hant. And there were so many problems, but probably the top two problems, which really could have shut down the company was, we couldn’t figure out how to get a longer shelf life for the product. We were, you know, I felt like every time I walked in the door at Whole Foods, I would feel like I had achieved something like we were doing well. And then they would say, Oh, well, you need a longer shelf life. And they kept raising the bar. I’m like, I just met the bar last week, can’t we just hang out here for a little while? And they’re like, No, you can’t, you got to do it sooner, you’re gonna get kicked out of here. So that was just this ongoing conversation. And then the other piece of the conversation that was really hard, was distribution. Because I was living in San Francisco, I could, you know, run around town and my grand cherokee and and deliver cases, but they didn’t want a bunch of us running around us, meaning entrepreneurs running into stores. So we needed a distributor, so somebody who consolidated product and brought it in. And so I didn’t know how to really solve that problem. And I also didn’t know how to solve the problem of getting our product without shipping it to like Denver, right? Like that was too far for me to do in a day from San Francisco drive my grand cherokee over there. So a friend, I had connected with a friend who knew this executive at Coca Cola. And when I ended up getting on a call with him, as my dad said, Thank God, you weren’t meeting in person, because that would have been like a really uncomfortable conversation. You know, I shared with them for the first 15 minutes how we had grown in San Francisco that, you know, I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, I come from the tech industry, I wasn’t a beverage executive. But what I found was that there was this audience just like me that had given up drinking, diet soda, Diet Coke, in particular, of course, I’m talking to the coke executive who probably was like, you know, I wish she never came into this call and, and same feelings I had about the Starbucks person, right? But it was about 15 minutes in he interrupted me and said, Sweetie, this business isn’t going anywhere. Americans love sweet and I thought, Did he just call me sweetie. I mean, this is I’ve never been called Sweet. I’ve been called a lot of things. But I’ve just never been called sweetie before. And I was really, really surprised. And I went on, to keep listening, I think, maybe to figure out whether or not I had misheard him in some way. But then the longer he talked, the more I realized that he believed in this strategy, this take on the consumer. And that’s what he did every single day. And he kept saying the same thing over and over again. And so his idea of the consumer was quite different than what I believe the consumer was and I wasn’t going to sit here and tell them. No, actually, I was that consumer. And you wouldn’t have kept me a if you would have sweetened the product but got the calorie count down because I was on to you because I was not getting as healthy as I wanted to. Instead, I was thinking that, but I didn’t say that to him.

And instead, by the end of the conversation, after we were on the call for an hour, it was pleasant enough, I hung up, and I thought I have a choice, I can either close the company down, because he’s clearly not going to help me figure out how to get a longer shelf life, or he’s not going to distribute the product for me, he doesn’t even think that I should have a product or a company, he’s laughing about it. Or I know my consumer, I think the consumer is used to be his consumer, and is coming here. And so what I need to do before he figures out, that is consumers coming here is throw the gas on. Right. And I need to focus on my consumer because he has one thing that I don’t have, which is a lot more money. And so if I educate him on who this consumer is, and let’s just say that he might believe me, who knew? I mean, I didn’t have any experience, why should he believe me? Other than the fact I was a consumer, I knew enough that it was going to take them a while to turn the cruise ship, right, his cruise ship. And so I thought I needed to just hit the gas and go as far as I could. And along the way, maybe our worlds would intersect. Hopefully he wouldn’t figure out what I was this about the consumer, because again, he had a lot more money and he could, you know, crush me like a bug. But I think for me it was it was it’s funny, because so many people have picked up on on that story. And they would say things to me like is, you know, why didn’t you correct him? Why didn’t you hang up the phone? Weren’t you really discouraged when he called you sweetie? I mean, here, he has a lot more experience than you do. But I think it’s a story about if you really believe that, first of all, you’re doing something that connects actually help people. And you see the consumer and you’re so sure that that consumer that you’re looking at, you’ve got a good read on them. It doesn’t matter how much experience somebody has. They’re just reading the consumer differently. Right. And I knew I was the consumer, I had been a Diet Coke drinker for many, many years. And I had left. I was a loyal consumer, I didn’t drink Diet Pepsi, I only drank Diet Coke, and I drink, you know, some days 10 to 12 a day, I was Diet Coke, you could give it to me from my circle K or cans or I was Diet Coke. People will say do you want to have Pepsi? Nope, I’m good. I’m going to find that Diet Coke. And so you have people like that, who are so loyal. And they’re out. And then they were few and far between 17 years ago, but I was starting to find them. And I was starting to find them. When I would hear from consumers early on, I would get on my customer service lines, and also answer emails from these consumers. And there were consumers just like me, who were doing it because they wanted to get healthier. And they realize that the word diet had they had been marketed to and it was exactly like me, but different. Like for different reasons. I remember the first time I ever heard from a consumer who really loved him. They shared this new disease with me that I was fascinated by called type two diabetes. I had never heard of type two diabetes and and they were convinced the diet sweeteners was actually causing spikes, and yet, you know, diet sweeteners. Everybody was saying 17 years ago, they don’t do that. They don’t cause spikes and sugar level and I’m like I I get it. I don’t know. Like maybe no one’s talking about this. I have no idea but in the meantime, I just don’t drink diet sweeteners anymore. And again, this was just a guy who found our product and He started drinking it, he was like walking in to Whole Foods. But again, just going back to sort of the core of it is, if you can find, that was my purpose, right? It from from day one was to develop a product that helped people. And when, when you have a North Star like that, it doesn’t matter, you’re, you’re gonna have a little bit of imposter syndrome right from these other people who are sort of in your industry that have a lot more experience more money, whatever it is. But I think the most important thing for you to do and the only thing you can control is to really understand are you servicing a consumer? Are you servicing an audience in some way?

Hey, Kara, here, we are thrilled you’re listening with us. And I hope you’re enjoying this episode. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing so many amazing guests over the past few years, and there are so many more to come, I cannot wait. And my focus is on entrepreneurs and CEOs, real innovators and leaders who are making a difference. That’s what I’m looking forward to bringing you. One of the reasons I enjoy interviewing many of my guests is that I get to learn, we all need to hear stories that teach us to be better inspire us and help us get through those challenging moments. I can’t remember the last time I had a guess that didn’t leave me feeling like a major hurdle had been overcome. We just don’t hear these stories enough. And when we do, we learn to be smarter, and stronger. Don’t you agree? Episodes are concise, but packed with amazing info that you will surely be inspired by, do me a favor and send me a DM and tell me what you think about each interview that you get a chance to be inspired by. And if you are so inclined, please leave one of those five star reviews for the Kara Goldin show on one of your favorite podcast platforms as well. Reviews really, really help. Now, let’s get back to this episode.

Paul Epstein 32:17
So let’s double click on this. And of course, we’re all in on purpose. So in this case, it was there was a deeper burn a deeper mission, a deeper purpose, but it was packaged around a company. So in this case, hint as a platform because of your personal mission that eventually launches into an enterprise. So for you, you found purpose, I don’t want to say you found purpose, but you activated a sense of purpose through your organization, if somebody’s listening in says, That’s not in my cards. I’m not looking at the entrepreneurial path. I’m concerned with my individual purpose, how can I show up today and tomorrow with a greater sense of purpose, if it doesn’t necessarily lead to starting a company or a nonprofit? Or whatever it is? What perspective or advice would you have for our playmaker community that are just looking to tap into their why their purpose? And just take it one day at a time?

Kara Goldin 33:15
You know, it’s it’s interesting I was I was just talking to my son about this who’s who’s in college, actually. And we were having this whole conversation because I think that so often people sort of get stuck, I guess it’s it’s the, it’s, it’s the goal, right? Go find your purpose, go find your mission. But sometimes in order to find that purpose and mission, you just have to start with not staying complacent, right? going out and trying things, figuring out what you enjoy doing. And when you go and take those little steps, that’s when you actually figure out how can I actually tie this into something that I really care about? And I think when I even think about, you know, this, this big statement of what you really care about, it’s what you like doing every single day? Right? I mean, that’s really what it boils down to. And that and, and I think a lot of times when you’re when you figure out what you really like doing every day. I mean, people often say oh, it’s really easy for me actually, when things are so easy for you that you don’t actually have to, you know, struggle in the beginning to figure it out, then you’re not going to stick with it necessarily, right. You’re not as impressed with yourself that you’ve been able to figure something out. I mean, people for example, I know you do a lot of public speaking, I’ve talked to many people who have done public speaking including myself, even though I was always a social person growing up up, I never thought I was very good at it. Right. And, and so I think when you when you can actually go back and connect the dots, right, as Steve Jobs said, and look at that you went from here to here. Those are the things that you start to figure out, how do I tie purpose into that? Like, what is it? Like how I got better at that. And that makes it that much more fun for me, and so I think that it doesn’t have to be tied to accompany at all. But it can be. Right And and I think that if you start to look at, you know, things that you really enjoy doing first, rather than thinking, Okay, well, I can’t do anything right now. Because I don’t know what my purpose is. That’s not a good answer.

Paul Epstein 35:59
Yeah, and so to pull our audience in something that I always do leading up to this, and this is part of a bigger mission of mine, as I’m writing my second book, which we’ll launch next year, the title of on purpose. And really, that’s when we align our head, to our heart to our hands in the playbook of how all illustrate that in the book is there’s core values that are synonymous with people that are living and leaving on purpose. And so what I do so Kara, you know, this, you got this in your inbox over the past few days, I said, Hey, which of these values resonate most with you? And just reply with two or three of these dozen? And it’s amazing the diversity of responses that I’ll get depending on who’s coming on the show, or who’s in my network. And one of the ones you said, and it ties into where we’re going to go next and be what you just said, one of the few that you responded with was curiosity. And I have also in different conversations heard you talk about curiosity, quote, you say, satisfying your curiosity is living. I have heard you say that, which is so beautiful, so amazing. And so whether it’s a conversation with your son, or right now you’re talking to all playmakers where you’re bringing us because the number one lesson I’ve taken is you can’t stay complacent, that is straight from your playbook. Don’t stay complacent. Take a step. And so what if, if the end game is purpose? What if the kickoff is curiosity? Because curiosity can spark one step and then another? So there’s some actions that are taking place? And you’re figuring it out? Does this align with my skill set my gifts and my talents and my passions and all those things. But I often say, Curiosity can bring you to a place of discovery of passion, because you just have that sense of enjoyment, an inner fulfillment and that energy that is uncommon. And then you say, Hmm, curiosity gets me to passion. And once I’m playing in a space of passion, there’s a whole lot of hints about your purpose in there. But you can’t just open up a can and say, there’s my purpose. Sometimes it starts with curiosity. So how does that land with you the connection between curiosity and purpose?

Kara Goldin 38:09
Yeah, I think that’s absolutely right. Because curiosity takes you. I think curiosity often takes you to places where maybe you didn’t have time, right to to check things out. Maybe you were too afraid, maybe you didn’t know anyone. Right, who was headed in that direction. And I think that once you start to immerse yourself in it, once that, then you start to figure out whether or not it’s something that you’re interested in whether or not you’re good at it, whether or not, you can actually see progress in some way. And I think that that is what ultimately develops passion and, and starting to figure out you know, those things. And I think it’s, it’s so hard to, because I think people just, especially as you get older, too, people only do the things that are easy for them that they know that they’re good at, and they’re not really looking for things that they’re curious about. And yet I was just having this conversation with somebody earlier today. I think that the most interesting articles that I read, or the most interesting podcasts that I listened to, are things where, or, or articles or podcasts that tell me something, I don’t know. Right, that piqued my interest. And yet, I think most people when they’re going through life, don’t actually look for things that they don’t know how to do, because they’re hard. Right? They could fail Right. And so And yet, we know that about ourselves. I mean, you know, if you happen to you watch a movie and it ends a different way than you thought it was going to it becomes a great movie. Right? And yet, it’s it really is counter to how people live typically, yet the people and in fact, I’ll even go further to say that if people don’t take the easy way, then all of a sudden they’re considered risky. Yes, right. Or risk takers.

Paul Epstein 40:38
I hear it all the time. Yeah. So Paul, you left sports is Jerry Maguire leap. Oh, my gosh, to courage. And in reality, I just tapped into who I was. And it actually was one of the easiest decisions in my life. But I hear you, I’ve been called to bold, too risky. Crazy. All of the above? Yeah. Because it goes against the grain. But yeah, to your point, if there’s a movie about your life, we all love that surprise ending. And I’m not saying to go out and be irresponsible tomorrow. But like, here’s vanilla, really the flavor of life you want.

Kara Goldin 41:14
Right. And I think that that’s the thing, and you ended up? I mean, I bet at some point, you didn’t know you were going to be heading in this direction. But you started winding down that, you know, beautiful country road, right? And then all of a sudden, you’re here.

Paul Epstein 41:34
And I present? Yeah, and we’re having this conversation. Yeah.

Kara Goldin 41:38
Right. And I think that that’s the way the best lives are. That that’s how they play out. And yet most people didn’t know that they were going to end up and that direction. And until, you know, they’re there. And and I think that who’s to, if you sit there and listen to, you know, the people with more experience, or the people that are basically telling you that you shouldn’t go do something, or that’s going to not work out, or it’s going to be impossible. I am a huge believer that people project, what they believe about themselves, and about what they’ve seen in their own life. And versus actually allowing you to go and take risks. Family and friends are the worst. By the way, when you’re starting a beverage company, you’ve been in the tech industry, and you’re starting a beverage company. I mean, I my family was really worried about me. They’re like, wait, what, what your

Paul Epstein 42:46
they’ll get you back to the safe road, right? They want the food on the table, they want the roof over their head, which again, emotionally, heart based, you understand, but I feel you on that friends and family, sometimes you almost need to keep it you need to make sure that you’re aligned and connected for

Kara Goldin 43:03
Tay, like you’re you’re leaving an incredible team. And it’s hard. I’m not gonna say it isn’t. We’ve all been there. Right? It’s, it’s tough, because especially when you care about those people, and you know, they’re, they’re judging, right, and some way I don’t intend to be doing that. They’re just giving you their thoughts. But they’re still saying, you know, I think Paul lost it. Right.

Paul Epstein 43:30
Right, if I could have a nickel for every time I heard that,

Kara Goldin 43:33
right. And, and so I think like, that’s the thing that you have to kind of go back to think that I don’t think anybody when they placed us on, you know, this planet, they didn’t sit here and say go play it safe go. I mean, they you should be, go find those new experiences, go, go pave those new roads, I mean, that that’s been most interesting journey out there. And that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have hurdles to overcome. It’s really trying to figure out how to differentiate how to enjoy how to learn how to find that passion that makes the most interesting lives.

Paul Epstein 44:19
Absolutely. So to close this out here because I know we’re coming close to time. I want to come down this homestretch and hear your response because while curiosity goddess on this thought pattern, and I love where you’ve brought us, another one of the values you responded with was grit. And as I listened to let’s say, I tap in to the Kara Goldin show in an amazing podcast please all playmakers check it out, and I think playmakers you’re gonna she’s gonna have you at Hello, because literally in the 15 or 22nd intro of the show, one of the sayings and it reminds me of this famous Mike Tyson quote of everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. In this case, it’s You can get knocked down, but don’t get knocked out. And that’s part of your intro. And I’m like, yes. So it feeds into a one of your childhood superpowers that I learned through your book undaunted, and perseverance, but it also leads into grit. So if somebody’s listening in closing question for you, they’re in a tough spot right now. Grit is a part of the solution, but they don’t know how to take the first step. Like whether it is pandemic related or family related or work related. Like there’s just a lot of stuff that they’re processing right now. Or maybe to the point of your book of overcoming the doubts and doubters. Maybe they’re self doubt, maybe there are external doubters. So kind of a universal perspective. But what is one thing that all playmakers can do to express and cultivate more grit in their life, so that they can be in a closer position to live on purpose tomorrow? So what one step would you recommend?

Kara Goldin 46:00
So I think, actually listening or reading about entrepreneurs, or people that have been through journeys that are tough, because look, Misery is company, right? If you can see Steve Jobs, get back up, and figure out what his next move is. And not stay down on the floor, you can do it too. Right? And when everything looks so dark, they they weren’t anymore, right? And I always like to sort of read and listen to people’s stories, and understand what they went through. Understand when they’re faced with, you know, Starbucks, for example, there are so many people that said I would have just shut the doors at that at that point. But you can’t, right, that’s the thing, you have to figure out how to get back up again. And I think there’s, it’s whether it’s in your personal life, or your business life or a little bit of both. You can take a break. But I go back to, and it’s a constant reminder for for me, throughout my life is you can take small breaks, but you can’t stay complacent. Because if you stay complacent, you’re dead. And you really have to figure the figure out exactly. And it really does apply. So taking those steps, going and listening to other people’s stories and figuring out how they did it. But also know that just taking it full circle. It’s rarely as bad as you thought it was going to be. Right. And so there’s no reason to what’s the worst that could happen. I mean, there’s no reason to just stop. Right. And I think that that’s the most important thing.

Paul Epstein 48:13
1,000,000% So the mic drop moment is if you stay complacent, you’re dead. Alright, playmakers you heard it here first. Kara Goldin. Thank you so much. Where can we find you? Where can we follow you? How would you like for playmakers to engage?

Kara Goldin 48:28
Yeah, so Kara Goldin all over social. And you mentioned my podcast where I interview great entrepreneurs and CEOs with amazing stories as well. It’s called the Kara Goldin show, and hopefully you’ll you’ll get a chance to pick up my book, undaunted, or that are non audible. I read my book, and so you’ll hear all kinds of good stories along the way. And hopefully, you’ll reach out and let me know what you think.

Paul Epstein 49:03
1,000,000% I promise there are countless playmakers out there that are all over everything you just said. So from the bottom of all of our hearts, Kara, thank you so much for being on playmakers.

Kara Goldin 49:15
Thank you. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight. Send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening