Hilary DeCesare – Founder & CEO of The ReLaunch Co.

Episode 166

It’s time to let go of all your limiting beliefs and listen to our next episode on The Kara Goldin Show. On this episode, Hilary DeCesare, Founder and CEO of The ReLaunch Co., shares her mission to reframe how we think about second acts. We talk about her awe-inspiring life story and the challenges that led her to a profound realization -- that she could relaunch herself! Hilary tells all, from hitting the wall as a Silicon Valley girl to discovering her potential. Now, as an award-winning entrepreneur, she is sharing her treasure trove of learnings with us on #TheKaraGoldinShow. Don’t miss it!

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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 just sort of make sure you will get knocked down but just make sure you don’t get knocked out knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara golden show. So 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. Hi, everyone. Its Kara golden from the Kara golden show. I am so excited for my next guest, Hilary dis Caesar welcome. How are you?

Hilary DeCesare 0:51
I’m so great, Kara. Thanks for letting me be here.

Kara Goldin 0:55
Of course very excited. So Hillary is the CEO or I should say the founder and CEO of the relaunch company. We’re going to talk a bit about Hillary’s journey. She’s an award winning entrepreneur and host of her own podcast, which I was on recently called the Silver Line relaunch, which I, like I said was a guest recently, it was so much fun to share my journey on there and, and the relaunch company for those of you who are not familiar with it is let Hilary talk a little bit more about it. But they’re really on a mission to reframe how we think about second acts midlife however you want to look at it, and particularly for women and she has so much experience and know how and wisdom around just what are the possibilities that people can sort of take as their next step. So I’m really, really excited to hear more about that too, but also just how she’s built her existing company and kind of just her own career. I just always find it so interesting to dig into people’s experiences because we can all learn from other’s journeys. So welcome Hillary and one out as a step one, why don’t you take me back who was little Hillary growing up?

Hilary DeCesare 2:21
Okay, everyone you have to stay on. This is gonna be a journey. This is my own my own relaunch, which if you’re all out there thinking about relaunches that you’ve had, you probably if I were to push, you would say that you have at least 15 to 25 significant relaunches that have shaped who you are, as you’re listening today. And those can be in relationships they can be and you know, going off to college, they could be the big, you know, divorce health businesses. And what I really realized from when I was super small is that I love, love to create businesses. And I started my first one when I was about five years old when my mom was getting a divorce. And we were we were moving. And she had all of these knickknacks. And there was something that I really wanted to buy it was like this doll. And she said, No, you can’t have that doll. So I proceeded to do a, I created my own marketplace. And on the bottom of all of her knickknacks, I put the amount that it would cost if somebody wanted to buy it like five cents, 10 cents, and I did it in like a permanent, you know, permanent marker. So that’s the beginning. And yes, I got in so much trouble. Because those it never came off. Every time I ever lifted something. It was still there how much I you know, and it was funny because what I put value on and what was really like the valuable stuff. It’s really funny how as a kid, but then from there, I ended up you know, doing kind of a ton of different launches and startups of my own. going off to college, I created a business called Haley’s My name is Hillary. And it was all around fashion accessories. And then that paid for a trip I was going abroad, it paid for my abroad studies and what I was able to do, and I thought, Hey, this is a good gig, like make money get to do really fun things. And to this day, I still have from one of my very first jobs, a pair of boots that I bought with my first like big sale. And what’s really funny is now my daughter asked to borrow those boots. And so I’m like, Alright, see, if you buy really good stuff, it lasts. Not that they were very good, but they were good at that time. So I ended up doing the corporate thing for 10 years I became a silicon valley girl and went through all of that. I was definitely during the time. period of the boys clubs and trying to fit in and trying to turn myself from a woman into a man I was selling manufacturing financials. And I thought that’s just what I was supposed to do. And then my mom came to visit and said, You know, when did we lose Hillary? And it was such a profound statement. I’m like, you know, almost like I got, you know, pissed off at her. I’m like, What are you talking about? Right? You know, you’re in my house. What are you saying? And she said, You know, it seems like you’ve lost yourself somewhere in your success. Yeah, you have it. But are you really you? Who are you? And it knocked me over. And it was just like, God, this sucks. I don’t really know who I am. And I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it, because I had three little kids. And I was like, continuing to go off on my journey. And I ended up going and with the president of Oracle, he went to a venture capital firm called me up said, Hey, come over, and you know, coach, all of our CEOs and executives, and I thought, Oh, this could be my next gig. I love this. And I did it. I did it for about five years, started my own business around it, and continued, if you can believe this, even with launching other companies continued to coach for the last 20 years, always as I’ve run other companies. So that takes me now to where I am, which is the relaunch cow.

Kara Goldin 6:30
And can I back out for one? One quick second, as I don’t want you to go too far ahead. So you were so you went from fashion into Silicon Valley? And what were you doing in Silicon Valley and sort of those early roles, sales

Hilary DeCesare 6:46
100%. I was and I, I do have a funny story about that. Because I went from pre med in college, to the the day that my senior year was supposed to be enrolling, there was a gigantic snowstorm, and it knocked out all all capabilities of being able to actually enroll for classes. So there was always this one class that I always wanted to take, but it was a senior level business class. Well, in my mind, I figured, hmm, if everything is down today, and you have to go and fill in bubbles, maybe they won’t know I’m not supposed to be there. Well, I ended up getting into this class of 30. And that was personal selling, and it changed my life changed my life. And why did it change my life so much? Because it was the final was all about selling your business to the teacher? Like, oh, done, I can do that. That’s so much better than writing an essay, then, you know, trying to figure out multiple choice. I’m like, Ooh, this this I can do. And that literally launched me into the Silicon Valley. And I I started Xerox and then moved over to Oracle. But it was funny, I had no high tech experience at all. And so you just jumped in and and just started trying, but what do you think it was? Like? Did you sort of land in kind of tech? And and that was the actual product that you were working on?

Kara Goldin 8:20
Did you? are you passionate about it, never really

Hilary DeCesare 8:24
get it? You know what, it didn’t matter what I was selling, as long as you said, Here is what your quota is, here is what you can do go sell it, my biggest challenge was somehow I got into a super technical role. And I didn’t have tech, I was the girl that would have somebody called the Phantom typer type up my papers in college, because I didn’t know how to type. And next thing, you know, I have a headset on. And I’m doing lead gen lead generation for Oracle, where I’m supposed to be typing as they’re talking. And I’m watching like the 10 people in my group. And they never asked me Do I know how to type. So this wasn’t even like, they just assumed I knew. And so it was at that point that First off, I had to go there were classes if you can believe those classes at night at community colleges where they taught typing, I went to that. And then on the off nights, I sat with those Encyclopedia Britannica as and I learned about MS DOS and I learned about how you know, HP started and I learned about all of these, you know, c++ all these different codes and, and then they put me into an actual coding class. And I was just, I had to keep telling myself this is just like math. This is just like math. I can do this answer. yet. I finally went to the Senior Vice President. I said I think we’ve made a mistake. I don’t fit in to this this coding business. I said let me sell let me sell this product. I now

I have a better understanding than any other salesperson because I’ve been coding. I’ve been learning about, you know, General Ledger and accounts receivable and all these I’m like, but I didn’t want to be here. And she was great. And she said, All right, well, let’s see what you can do. And that’s when it was just I caught the bug. And, but then as you said, it wasn’t something I was passionate about, I just did it. And I figured out that I could actually do it. And it was financially very lucrative. And then I decided that I want to help others start to really, you know, scale and make a lot of money, because it seemed like money, in my mind, at that time equated to happiness equated to a lifestyle that I could give myself. And so I kept going, and I just kept driving myself to hell, what more what more, what more, and then, and then I kind of hit the wall. Interesting. Before we hit on that point, I think what is really interesting that you touched on is, you mentioned that there was a person of President of of Oracle who said, Hey, will you come in? And do this role? And and essentially, coach people along the way, right? Where do you feel like just being kind of vulnerable and sort of telling people what you really enjoy doing was something that kind of led to that next step that you and your journey, I mean, how I think so often people just sit in roles where they’re not necessarily enjoying what they’re doing, and loving what they’re doing, but they just feel a little stuck. So it’s a great question. And yes, there, there were definitely reasons that this came to be. During the time when I was at Oracle, I always had mentors. I always had people that I looked for to help me understand better what I was doing, how could I Excel? What could I be doing? That would lead me to that next step? And I ended up getting on what Ray lane had, which was this President’s Committee. And so when he called me and said, Would you do this, I was already at a place at Oracle where I had, I had gotten all the accolades. I had done, what I had ultimately set out and I was feeling like, I’m not happy here. Like, I’m not like, what else can I be doing? And I didn’t want to go back into another role that I had done. But that made the most sense. I had my three little kids. And he when he offered me that opportunity, and there’s a gentleman named john Doerr out there, as well. And they both had all of their, all of their execs in this room. And I sat up there as I was watching him, talk to these people and talk about business. And I thought Nerpa, I don’t know, they’re probably like 150 people in the room, which I sell off today, because there were probably like three women. And here I’m, you know, coming up to tell them, Hey, this is what I would recommend you do. But he the way he presented what I was going to share, I thought it was just like, everybody knows this. Everybody knows what I’m about to talk about. And very few dead yet they were running businesses, but they didn’t understand the foundation. And that was probably the most surprising thing. So fast forward, I am helping these companies, they’re scaling, they’re selling their businesses, they’re, you know, all these great successes. And I’m kind of the one like, chomping at the bit saying, I want to do that, like, I want to do that. And I i’ve always with my businesses that I have started, they’ve always followed some part of my life. They, you know, something about it, whether it was fashion, and that’s what I was really into. Then I had, you know, my my coaching and I went into helping, the next big thing was I had my children, I wanted to keep them safe online. So I created a security company to keep them safe. First it was girls, then I went into boys and girls and growing that and and it’s always been this, like, Where am I on my own path on my own journey and following the passion that you’re really interested in and your curiosity, right, which is amazing. Well, and it ties so nicely into when I read your book on daunted that that’s what you were doing. And you were still like, Wait a second. There’s more weight. I’m curious. I think that there is this curiosity that comes from knowing that you may not know how to do it, but you can figure it out. You can figure

Hear it out, just like you could figure out how to put, you know, the essence into this where it bombs so many different times. And then finally you got it right. I felt the same way about, I didn’t have a business background. I didn’t have you know, the MBA, I you know, we call it that I went to Boulder, I went to see you, we called it the Harvard of the Rockies. You know, I didn’t go to that school that everyone’s like, Oh, you must be, you know, off the charts. You know, here’s what you could be able to do. I didn’t do that. And so I had to, I had to really fight my way up. And I had to get creative, like you did and figure out like, all right, I don’t know this, but who does?

Kara Goldin 15:37
Yeah, I really think that there’s, there’s so much there. I mean, just about being vulnerable, and kind of sharing with people what you, you know, enjoy doing, but then also, you know, sharing what you don’t know how to do along the way. I think that that’s half the battle. So I absolutely love that about your journey and your experience. So okay, so the relaunch company now let’s get to get to that. So you’re already kind of coaching and doing some, some grammar gave up, never gave up coaching. You never gave up? And so how did you how did you decide to start the relaunch company?

Hilary DeCesare 16:16
So it actually was more of it also got dropped in my lap. And when you start to realize that I had had the divorce I had gotten and this is gonna sound like a very sad song, but it’s really not okay, but I had had cancer, I had melanoma, I had had, you know, kit, my kids had health issues. I was, you know, trying to start companies, I had a person on my board completely do a Ponzi scheme. And he took down one of my, like, absolute incredible companies. And he ended up in federal prison. And it was just, I felt like it was one thing after the next and then my mom ended up getting cancer. And she passed away about a year ago and I took care of her her last life and there was just one relaunch. After the next day, we’re coming on top of each other and it was like boom, boom, boom, boom. And all of a sudden, I realized, just as I had said things Mike, my companies follow my life. I realized, you know what, I’m not unusual. There are so many women men out there that we don’t want to call it a midlife crisis because that’s you know, especially women don’t have midlife crisis is right we there’s, that’s for men, but I like to say now we have you know, relaunch you know, we have to be relaunch ready. And we have midlife relaunches and I laugh because these days, midlife is classified age 35 to 65. Because there’s so many people living longer. And unfortunately, you know, people are hitting that that crisis point much younger. And with this said, It was one of those that I realized, wait a second, I have a formula, I have a model that I have been using with helping people launch and relaunch their businesses for as I said, over 20 years. What if, and this was during my you know, that you call it, you know, the dark night, right? That everything was just blowing up? I literally was like, I’m not sure I could handle one more thing, or I might, you know, self combust. And all of a sudden, I thought, Wait, why can’t I use what I teach people, CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs, why can’t I use it on myself? Why can’t I use this methodology, this process and become the entrepreneur of me, in my relationships, in my business and with myself? Because there’s this this misconception out there? That love yourself, love your life, love your business, love? Oh, god, it’s so great. And I was at the point where I didn’t even like myself. And I’m sitting here hearing this and I’m feeling like I’m even failing at like, just, you know, liking myself, there might have even been a little you know, even more of like, a hate hate in there, of what’s going on. Why is this all happening? You know, Woe is me, that victim mentality. And I thought, well, what if I did this, and I did, I started to use the relaunch, I call it the relaunch effect, because it literally affects all areas of your life. And I thought, if I can do this, if I can help myself, and initially I thought, let me just help myself in one area. Let’s not try to do like all of them because that I really, it’s a lot. I didn’t believe I could do that. I didn’t believe I could have happiness in all areas that that just didn’t exist. It existed for others, but not for me. And I was literally I looked at the three areas of my life. I was divorced. I had just had melanoma My kids were sick. And I, there were a bunch of other things we’ll go into. And I thought, okay, so I could work on myself, I go, I could work on my relationships. And I could work on myself. Which 1am I going to do? And I thought, Well, probably the easiest is let me let me just start with me. Right? Because I’m the common denominator in all of this, you know, bullshit here. This is it’s all me. And I started down the path of this was long before, you know, this, this, you know, the hype of mindset and all that. And my mom, my sweet mom, who passed, she gave me that very, I think that was like, one of the first days that the secret came out. And I read it, and I thought, okay, I like part of this. But there’s a there’s a flaw here, there’s something missing, you know, you can’t just think it and sleep on the couch, and it’ll just come true. I said, What action could I take? And there was a gentleman in the book, john asked Raph. And I thought, all right, I want to, I want to meet him, I thought, I’m gonna put this in department into practice, I’m going to meet him. And oh, by the way, I want to become one of his top coaches that coach his top like programs. So his coaches have coaches. And I thought, and let’s just do this, I want it to happen in the next 90 days. Okay, so I thought, alright, I just said the the secret, this whole idea of putting it out there without taking action doesn’t work. So I’m like, What could I do? What can I do? So I formulated the course that I would want to teach his his coaches. And within six weeks, I am literally at a conference, I look across the room, and I’m like, okay, at home, like, I

Kara Goldin 21:39
think that that’s

Hilary DeCesare 21:40
john Houser. I’m Oh, my God. And I felt like I knew him. Like I literally have been, you know, like, putting this out there doing all these things that I practice. And I walk up to him, and I’m thinking like old friend, like, hey, Oh, my gosh, Hillary disease are so great to see you. This is so amazing. He just looks to me, like, you know, the deer in headlights like, I don’t know, you. And I felt like I was like a stalker of a celebrity. So we finally did, you know, end up getting to know each other. And yes, I can honestly say I became a coach to his coaches, it was one of those. But more importantly, what happened is I I started my quest down the idea of neuroscience, I have now I think, I’ve been studying it for 10 years, I find that the more by can learn about it, the more I put into the programs and the coaching and the more success I’m seeing with it. So there is this, this idea of, of putting it out there of your thoughts, and you’re, you know, your emotions, creating your beliefs. And one of the things that I do like to share and I think your audience would really benefit from it is I call limiting belief, bugs, beliefs under ground surfacing. And we all have bugs, we all have them. And I kind of put it I put it in the term of, you know, when you’re in your kitchen, and you see one ant before you go to bed, and you’re like, oh, and you kind of like squash it. And then you’re like, should I do more? Shai goes go cherry spray it, what should I do, and then the morning you come down and they’re like all over. That’s kind of what your limiting beliefs studio, you shut them down, shut them down, shut them down, they kind of rear their ugly head, you shove them down, shove them down, and then they just like storm roll you there. It’s like the tsunami comes in. And so when we continue to avoid and what we do a lot of times is we avoid, avoid, avoid. Well, unfortunately, when we hit that mid zone, that mid life area where too many of our relaunches are starting to come on top of each other, our bugs surface and they start to bring us down. And that’s when you have to be like Hold that thought not doing it. I’m now going to blast the beliefs. And there’s a whole process around that that I created as well. So super fun.

Kara Goldin 24:05
I love it. So talk to me a little bit more about the model three H and how it can help create a lifestyle of success have positive, good stuff going on.

Hilary DeCesare 24:21
Okay, so this is truly the genesis of any relaunch it differentiates what we do at the relaunch company from from every one out there that I see. We really start with the three h which is the heart to the head to the higher self. And you heard me talk about the head. The head is this mass of like, you know, you got your logical in the front, you’re all thinking in the head, you’re focused in the head, you’re caught up in your head, but it’s that neuroscience it’s that subconscious that really is running the show. And what I always say is that get out of your head and your heart But then there’s the higher self. And we, as a society, were never taught about how incredible the universal truths the universal laws are, that could help us have so much more success than we’ve ever known. But there are these like pools like you’re either in the woo area, right? You’re all wooed out, you’re either in that like scientific, you know, brainy section of the head, or you’re all in the love. This is like, you got to love everything. And truly, I say, you just got throw out, throw out each one separately. But think of them as this infinity, like they’re all interconnected, they’re all tied together. And that’s where the magic happens for you. It’s when you realize that if you’re not happy where you are right now, it’s because your limiting beliefs are at a place where you think you should be doing something that came to you when you were young, and you’re not there yet, which means you’re not there yet. You’re upset that you’re not there. So you’re not living the life you really want. Well, then you’re in your head. So how do we get back to that center of really understanding from the heart, from the heart what you want, not what your parents wanted? For you, not what your siblings not what your friends not what like even this false sense of who you are, thinks you want, but what do you really, really want get into the heart, that he can get into the head and 95% of everything you do is in the subconscious running your habits that support that, whatever you’re doing these days that you’re not really that happy with. And then I say get into intuition. And that’s where truly that that magic of like you can like, there is no difference between you and that person that you think has everything. What what they know, and you don’t know is that when you combine the three, ah, the model three, Ah, that’s when you start to actually make things happen. You stop waiting for things to happen to you, they’re happening for you.

Kara Goldin 27:15
Absolutely, I love that. One of the things that I’ve heard you talk about is that whether it’s relaunching your business or your your life, I mean, it they’re, they’re kind of one in the same, right? There’s, they’re sort of a direction that you need to head in, what are some of the top tips that you share with people to just kind of figure out how to move forward.

Hilary DeCesare 27:41
So I think that first and foremost, we all have to realize that step one in whatever you’re going to do is release. And the release part is the most important, it’s releasing what all of these expectations that you have put on yourself, that you are beating yourself up, because you’re not where you’re supposed to, you’re not in the job that you ultimately want. And if you’re in the job, you’re not in the relationship, and if the relationship isn’t working, then you’re the relationship with yourself and you’re constantly like in your head, like I’m not good enough, I’m not doing this, I’m not doing that. And you have to be able to say or you’re you know, you’re going through a divorce, you’re, you know, your kids aren’t where you think they should be. It’s kind of like this moment of reckoning, where you sit there and you say, I have to release the past. So I can reset to get to the future. Because all of the achievements and a great example of this, I was working with a gentleman who had just sold his business for 250 million. And it was acquired by another company and he was being brought in and he was miserable. Had Did not he was an entrepreneur that now is in a corporate world. He was so unhappy. And he came to me and it was just like, I don’t even know what to do. My marriage is like, almost at the point where they were getting a divorce. I have no relationship with my kids. And I don’t even know what’s next. This process of being able to release and say, Okay, let’s give up everything that’s gotten us here. What do you really want to now move forward? While I really want to happy, you know, marriage, I really want to be like content within myself. And there’s this awesome thing that I talk about divine discontent. We think that, you know, we’re like, we’re supposed to be stuck in this moment of like, Well, you know, this is just the way it is. This is just the way things are. And that’s not the case. Where do we learn that? It’s just another story. It’s just another one of these limiting beliefs. And so once we got past this release, once we realize that you do not do not and I told you, I was Invicta mode, I was thinking, you know, and I was always that person that I would call, I would call my mom on a daily basis. And I would actually one up myself from the day before I call her and say, You’re not going to believe this, you’re not going to believe this. And then I would give her another one. And it would be like, you’re not going to believe what just happened to me at work. You’re not gonna believe what just happened to me and my religion? Yeah. I mean, it was just like I was, I was putting out there that I needed to come up with some other bigger, badder type of relaunch for myself, right? Yes,

Kara Goldin 30:35

Hilary DeCesare 30:36
And I’m like we’ve got we have to stop that we have to how do you stop it, you need to then sit back and say, How do I release this, I need to be able to release so that you can reset and the second step of the relaunch effect is reset.

Kara Goldin 30:49
I absolutely love that. So where can people find out more about you and about relaunch and you have so much great wisdom and, and steps along the way. And and I just absolutely love hearing everything that you’re talking about. And I really think that it can help so many people. And more than anything, what I share with people to is that staying kind of where you’re at if you’re not happy if you feel stuck, or you know, you’re complacent complacency is never a great idea. Right? You have to figure out how to move forward in some way. And I think you’re doing that for so many people. So where can people find out more about relaunch lead searcher, I

Hilary DeCesare 31:33
first want to say you have to listen to yourself. And if you’re not, if you’re feeling like you know, on that happy scale, you’re not above you know, the five or you’re even lower, it’s okay, I just want to throw that out there it is okay. Because society is like keeping you exactly where you are, and it doesn’t have to. So you have a choice. And you can go to the relaunch co.com. That is our website, the relaunch co.com. And it has everything it has the ability to sign up for our six month fired up entrepreneur business program. It has the one on one coaching if you choose to do that. And it also has how to access our blogs and our podcast.

Kara Goldin 32:15
I love it. That’s so great. Well, thank you everybody for listening, and Hilary, what it’s to get to the relaunch Would you rather do you have a your own site to your own social, or is everything there for the relaunch?

Hilary DeCesare 32:33
No. Now you can also follow us at the relaunch co on Instagram. And you can also go to the reliant on Facebook, it is the relaunch of fact, and I go live in there every single week with additional you know, tips and a lot of the three h you know, I just constantly and like it, you know, just you have to be thinking about all three areas. And I make sure that you have a really great grasp of those so that you can, and this is all a lot of free content too. So go to the Facebook group, the relaunch effect.

Kara Goldin 33:09
And as I mentioned before, Hillary has an incredible podcast that she interviews lots of great people on on the silver lined relaunch, and it’s just it’s super, super great to have you here. Thank you everybody for coming on. You can visit me on my social channels at Kara golden with an eye. And also just I hope you guys will come over and hear more episodes of the Kara golden Show. I’m interviewing amazing founders and CEOs every Monday and Wednesday. And so many great stories about people’s journeys and challenges that they’ve had along the way and overcome that I think we can all learn from and if you haven’t had a chance to grab a copy of my book, please do. It’s been so fun to get it out there. As many of you know it was five years in the making for me and in between actually starting and running a company and doing lots of other for kids doing lots of other things I was journaling and writing this book. So it’s been really, really fun to get it out there and hear from so many. So if you’ve had a chance to read it and you want to shoot me an email or dm that would be terrific as well. So thanks, everyone have a great rest of the week, and we will definitely be back here very very soon. Thanks. 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 book calm 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 a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight? send me a tweet at Kara golden 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 golden golden thanks for listening