Interview Replay: Kara on From Start-Up to Grown-Up

Episode 266.5

One of the top startup coaches in the world, Alisa Cohn, talks to founders, creators, advisors, investors and builders of all kinds about their insights and experiences in growing from Start-up to Grown-up.

Kara discusses co-founding Hint with her husband Theo, why and when she decided to bring in outside investors after bootstrapping for so long, and why singer-songwriter John Legend became an investor.

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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. I hope you enjoy it. And please make sure to tune in Monday for a brand new episode of the Kara Goldin show. Enjoy.

Alisa Cohn 0:58
Welcome to from startup to grown up the podcast. My name is Alisa Cohn. I’m an executive coach and angel investor and the author of from startup to grown up. Each week I talk to founders, creators, advisors, investors and builders have all kinds about their insights and experiences in going from startup to grown up. This is episode number 17. And I’m so excited to have Kara Goldin on the show. Kara is the CEO and co founder of hint the flavored water company. Prior to that she was a tech executive and a media executive. And we have this really rich conversation. We talked about what it was like CO founding with her husband Theo, why she decided to take an outside money after bootstrapping for quite a while and how she landed John Legend as an investor, Kara talks about her ability to improvise how her lack of experience was her competitive advantage while building hint. and lessons learned from managing her board. There are so many nuggets here. Please enjoy this conversation with Kara Goldin. Kara, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me. Very excited to be here. I’m so excited to have you. And there’s so much to talk about. But I want to tell a story. I want to tell you talk about a story that you tell in undaunted, your amazing book, your award winning book. And it is this that after you had three kids, you were you were pregnant with your fourth child, you were on your way to a scheduled C section. And before as you’re going to see section, you stopped by Whole Foods to seal the deal with your first sale to Whole Foods. True or false. This is this is all true. I was super pregnant. And and basically, I woke up that morning. I didn’t have to be at the hospital until that afternoon. And my husband said to me, what do you want to do this morning? I think he was thinking, go to brunch or go on a walk or something. And that’s when I said Well, we have these two pallets of hens in the garage that were supposed to be here two weeks ago. And they showed up yesterday. And and I think I’d like to try and get it into whole foods before I go have a baby. And I was having a planned C section. He sort of laughed and said, Okay, let’s get in the car. And we got in the car and went to Whole Foods. He was nice enough. He brought a dolly with him, you know, to actually carry cases. And he loaded up 10 cases. This by the way. He was a intellectual property attorney in Silicon Valley wasn’t used to loading up cases on a dolly. But he was a good guy, but also your co founder, right? Husband, husband and co founder. Yeah, exactly. And so we’re walking in and, and I see this guy that I had been talking to but honestly, like, hadn’t seen him in a couple of months, because I was just busy actually trying to launch the product and get it produced. And so when I saw him, I walked up to him and he’s stocking shelves at at the time at Whole Foods. He I said hi, do you do you remember me? And he said, You’re really pregnant. And that was the first thing out of his mouth. And I I said I am I’m very, very pregnant. And he said, Are you going to have a baby in the store? And I was like,

Kara Goldin 4:24
I hope not. I’m actually on my way to the hospital. But I wanted to stop by and see you and see if we could get my product on the shelf. And he said you have your product and I said okay, well can we get the product? My product can’t on the shelf now and and it’s really great. Here’s some samples and he said, Look, I’ll try. I felt like somebody had just popped my balloon at this point. And then suddenly he was like, Oh, I’ll try and it was a big letdown. And then so I left or went to the hospital. I wasn’t sure whether or not I thought, you know, maybe he will maybe he won’t and then the Next day, I got a phone call. And he was, he said, By the way, the product is gone. And I said, like, who took the product? I had no idea, you know, that it would actually sell. And I think that’s a story that resonates so much with people where you think about, like getting it on the shelf, how are you going to get on the shelf? What is the product going to look like? What is it going to taste like, but you don’t actually think about selling through of the product, at least the first time founder, I mean, you you hope that it’s going to sell I certainly didn’t, didn’t imagine that it would sell overnight as fast as it did. And so his concern was not only that he was out of product, but he had created space on the shelf at Whole Foods that now was empty. And he was going to get in trouble with his boss. So we checked out of the hospital early. And, and that’s when actually my my husband said, let me just go deliver some cases, you get some rest. And so he went and delivered some more cases. And I mean, the rest is history.

Alisa Cohn 6:11
That’s an incredible story. And in your book on daunting, I have to say there’s so many beautiful gems of stories like that. Yeah, I just want to call out one more, which is where you talk about you, you’re applying for a job. And you’re early in your career, like actually your first probably one of your first jobs. And the people there said no, and you say but what you heard was maybe, and later they said maybe and what you heard was yes. And I just love that because that is the entrepreneurial spirit in so many ways. And I’m just curious, were you always like that? Or was that something that you developed in yourself?

Kara Goldin 6:47
So I think that was really fortunate that I, of course, I didn’t see it back then. But when I was, I was the last five kids. And I had brothers and sisters who were significantly older than me, I had a couple that were two and three years older than me, but also 15 and 16 years older than me. So of course, they were doing different things like I was in diapers when my brother and sister were in high school. Right. And so they were getting jobs, and they were doing things and as time would go on. And, you know, I got to the point where I like to go to the mall and and have money and go out, hang out with my friends and Phoenix where I grew up. I would you know, I’d asked my parents for things that my brothers and sisters had because they had jobs and right ask them for some money. And they’d say no. So I was used to hearing that word. No all the time. Dad, I want to mom down. I want to go to a party this Friday. No. Like they they basically were going off of what my brother’s the way they had been. And they were very fast to say no. And so what I realized is that if I could get my dad, or my mom to, uh, maybe I moved him off of No. And I got him to uh, maybe. And so I think like that continued for me in a lot of things, right? That I would, I would hear people like, I was a gymnast growing up, and I ran a lot. And so I had coaches and and the same thing where I would hear people talk about, you know, what I was able to do or whether or not I was going to be in a meat, for example, if I heard the word no, I would think okay, I may not get them to Yes, but I’ll get them to maybe like maybe if you show up, you’ll be able to do it. And then just the idea that I took that maybe. And then I showed up and I said you said maybe and I would remind people about it. They’d say fine, go ahead. Right. Like it’s you show your tenacity, but I think it’s also about, it kind of speaks to to like, you know, reading the room, as, as I said to and I guess we call it empathy, as well. And, and, you know, more than anything, just really, really understanding kind of human nature of communication to what it really boils down to and, and so I think I saw that on a young age, but I also I kind of gamified the system to some extent that I was like, especially if I really wanted to do something. And I think that that was that’s something that is I think really works in business as well.

Alisa Cohn 9:27
Totally. I mean, it totally works in business. And I think you’ve definitely it’s part of like being an entrepreneur. And I guess, you know, that leads me to the notion of the beverage industry. When you were you sort of you had been a tech executive and you’re kind of looking around for what you wanted to do. And of course, you had your own personal journey with an understanding of like cutting out sugar and cutting out caffeine and and also the, you know, the diet, that sort of flavoring from the diet sodas, and that you sort of came to this understanding that you wanted to start a beverage company, but you have no experience and beverages. So I’m just curious, like, what was that journey like for you in deciding? I’m gonna go for it? Like, why would you go for it, when you really didn’t know what you’re getting yourself into?

Kara Goldin 10:10
You know, it’s interesting. You spoke about, you know, I’d been in tech and and had done some other things before. And I think for me, I didn’t even first of all, I never dreamed of being a beverage executive. I also not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I it just wasn’t my plan. I started out in media. And in New York and and worked in magazines, and then ended up working in and television at CNN and then ended up moving to Silicon Valley was with a little startup that was doing early direct to consumer and something called CD ROMs, back in dial up days, and then we were acquired by America Online. And I was running their ecommerce and shopping partnerships. And I took a break, and really tried to figure out, do I knew I wanted to stay closer to home, I had young kids. And I was trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. And tech that I kept, people kept reaching out to me and asking me to kind of do America Online? 2.0, right, there was Yahoo, and there was Microsoft. And there were lots of people out there. And I thought, I’ve already done that. And why would I go compete and try and blow up something that I just created? Right? It was it was sort of, it seemed really not very normal to me in some way. And so that’s when I really started thinking about my children, I was going to take a break, I was going to enjoy being with them. And I started looking at what I was putting into their bodies, I was not very Excel wasn’t sensitive to it prior to kind of spending some more time at home. I mean, not that they were just, you know, eating bags of Frito at age one or whatever. But you know what I mean, they just weren’t, I really hadn’t thought about it, I had a lot of trust in what people told me. So for example, when they got off of you know, breast milk and formula, then people said, substitute with apple juice. And I kept thinking that, wow, that’s a lot of sugar. I mean, is that really what I want to be doing? And I do my own little tests, like when I would take my kids to the park and you know, say, like, maybe they have it if they’re going to burn off the calories. But otherwise, if I want them to take a nap. I mean, that’s probably not the greatest idea. So again, like, kind of gamifying this, this world that I was living in, that I wasn’t used to living in. And at some point along the way, I started reading labels, and it really started with my kids. But then it quickly sort of focused or I focused on what I was putting in my body because I thought here I am trying to make my kids and my family super healthy. And I’m not practicing what I’m preaching. I was drinking tons of Diet Coke, since I was in high school. And the reason why I was drinking so much Diet Coke is that I didn’t like water. I aspired to be a water drinker. But for me drinking water was just super boring. And again, I grew up in Arizona, where I should have been drinking a lot more water. And so I thought, I thought I’m going to do this test and see whether or not giving up my diet soda and exchanging it for water does anything, will it make a difference? Again, it’s diet. It’s not full fledged soda. So I really thought I was doing better already. And so two and a half weeks later. First of all, after a few days of not drinking diet coke, I had massive headaches. I had huge stomach issues. I was really going through my own detox. I just didn’t feel well at all. Then I woke up two and a half weeks later, and I was like, Okay, I’m like, not as foggy. I had terrible adult acne that was totally clearing up on its own. I hadn’t done anything. I’d never had acne until I was an adult.

And also, I had lost a bunch of weight. I lost over 20 pounds in two and a half weeks. And at that point, I was really like, wow, this is this is wild. I mean, here I am drinking diet. I give up diet and all this happens. I mean, this is crazy, except there’s one problem. Water is just not going to do it for me for very long. I’ll I didn’t want to go back to drinking diet soda. But I thought what do I do to solve this problem? So I started slicing fruit, and I threw it in the water. And at that point I thought, Okay, this is all I need. I was giving it to my kids. They loved it. I was friends were asking me, you know what kind of fruit do you have in your water? They’d see it you know, half a day. pomegranate in the water, they would ask me, you know, what are you doing? And I thought, well, if there was a water that I could just go by that was like this, but everything has some kind of sweetener in it. And so I didn’t think about launching it. Until people started saying to me, that’d be so cool. Like, I never really realized that everything has so many sweeteners in it, Vitamin Water was like the hottest thing on the shelves. This is 17 years ago. And I was shocked at how much sugar was in, they didn’t have a diet version. But I was, I was shocked because I thought, you know, there’s so many products like Mark, for me, it was diet soda, there’s vitamin water, there’s things that are low fat, kind of healthy perception versus healthy reality products that are out there. And it’s kind of sad, right? That we’re tricked into believing that things are better for us than they are. Here, I considered myself to be a pretty smart person. And I had been fooled by these words. And so it was at that point, when I thought, I’m not doing anything anyway. I mean, I’m being a mom and staying at home with my kids. But I thought, maybe these let the fruit that I’m putting in the water, maybe I’m onto something, I never thought about it. As I’m, I’m going to go be an entrepreneur. Now here, I’d worked for incredible entrepreneurs, including Ted Turner, and people who had worked for Steve Jobs. I never worked for Steve Jobs. But you know, AOL with Steve Case, as well as had seen and supported entrepreneurs, but I had never been, you know, I had never sort of thought that one day after I support all these people that I’m gonna go and launch my own thing. But when I saw this problem, when I saw this idea that I had, that could actually help a lot of people, just by showing them through a physical product that tastes good, that they can actually get healthier. That was, that’s what’s really sold me on this concept, because I realized that I thought that so many people had been fooled like me. Then I also looked at these industries, their multibillion dollar industries, the diet industry, the diet soda industry. And I thought, if I could just launch a product that tastes great. Little did I know that I had created an entirely new category in the beverage industry called unsweetened flavored water, which is a whole other story. But also, just sometimes I think that if you think too much about, you know why you can’t do something I didn’t have experience. You know, I’ve never been an entrepreneur. The idea still to this day, if somebody were to tell me, okay, you’re not just launching a company, but you’re launching an entirely new category, dogs daunting, right? Instead, don’t go there. Just get through every day and keep making progress. That’s the most important piece,

Alisa Cohn 18:10
you know, I just spoke to us said, from Troop Hill and Elon twig from tripactions. And they both said, If I had known too much about this industry, I wouldn’t have done it, you know, because it would have been too daunting to disrupt the industry. So that healthy naivete, and that healthy curiosity that. And then also, I think your ability to gamify and your desire and your nature to gamify things. Sounds like it really helped you, frankly, launch into something you had no business launching into.

Kara Goldin 18:39
Totally. And, and I think like, that’s the problem. And you know, I’ll even go out on a limb and say, the more educated you are, the smarter you are, it’s definitely where, you know, you’re, you’re your own worst enemy, because you end up being in a place where you convince yourself that you can’t do something instead of convincing yourself. Okay, I should try. And again, you have to figure out the risks. My dad would always talk to me about thinking about what’s the worst that can happen? Sometimes when I was in my trying to get him from a no to a maybe he’d say, what’s this going to cost me? Right? Or what’s this? What’s this gonna cost you when I got a little bit older? But you know, no matter how you evaluate things, and I think that it’s when you ask yourself that question, if the risk isn’t that big, whether it’s, you know, how much money you’re going to spend, or, you know, if you’re going to die, what are the what are the odds, right, all of those kinds of things, then why not just go do it because if nothing else, you just add to your adventure you add to conquering your fears you you add to doing something that you didn’t know how it was going to turn out. And I think today The most interesting people, the most curious people, the the people that actually are the most successful are the people that feared those things along the way, but figured out how to push through,

Alisa Cohn 20:17
yes, push through and be able to take risks and kind of deal with them. And another risk that you took was you co founded with your husband. So on the one hand, there’s like something really great in that there’s a lot of successful models of CO founding with your romantic partners. And then on the other hand, that’s just risky. There’s something else to say. So what was the greatest part of that? And what was the most difficult what has been the a great part of that, and what has been the most difficult part of that?

Kara Goldin 20:43
You know, for us, I always tell people, another one, I never really thought much about it. I think more than anything, as I was coming up with this idea, I, I wanted to share it with my husband, because you know, we live in California, we have joint bank account, I mean, I didn’t feel very comfortable like writing a check for $50,000 for bottles, I was I feared that he’d think that I was going on a girls weekend to Jamaica or something with friends. Like, he wouldn’t know what I was doing. And little did he know that I had kind of written a business mini business plan. And, and then I also found out that I was pregnant with our fourth as I’m writing this, and I thought, Okay, do I actually do this company? Or, well, what else am I doing? I’m like waiting for, you know, the baby to bake. Right? And, and so, like, why not? Why don’t I start getting through it? And, and I think what he saw, which I think is, you know, incredible, still to this day, is that he saw that this was a really big idea. He thought it was crazy. on many fronts, I think we’ve always had this relationship where he doesn’t hold back on saying, I think that’s a really bad idea. Or, you know, that seems really naughty, I hope you have fun. I mean, you know, that’s, that’s kind of been our, you know, our relationship over over the years. The net of it is we’re very different people and I think very different skill sets. And so as a, as somebody who joined me and the company, I think he initially felt like, it was crazy. And then when he went to the plant with me, our first plant, I think he got the bug. And he really realized that this was like a bigger idea to actually change people’s health help people get off of diet sweeteners, when most people were really focused on sugar. And what the body did was sugar. My feeling was that people get that they understand they’re not supposed to have sugar. People don’t have 10 candy bars a day, right? Most people don’t. But it’s these diet sweeteners that I I really saw the the problem probably ahead of other people. Now, I think that it wasn’t that he didn’t recognize that it wasn’t hard. And he didn’t. He recognized also that it was, you know, a big idea. But while I was trying to figure out whether or not I was going to, you know, go back to tech or, you know, stop this crazy idea. He also said, let me work alongside you, I think he probably thought I’m going to get her to like quit, I’m going to make her realize that this is a really bad idea. And, you know, he was an intellectual property attorney. And and as I mentioned earlier, and, and instead, you know, he said, How can I like, can I deliver cases for you? And again, here we are, um, you know, don’t have a job. He’s kind of on. He’s in between, he had left Netscape and and so we have these four kids. And it was kind of divide and conquer mentality for young kids under the age of six. And so, you know, some days I was watching the kids who said, Oh, let me just load up the cases. And then I’ll drive them over there. And it was fine. And then as the company got bigger to I mean, actually having a general counsel as a young company, I mean, he was definitely able to help on that front. But also, I think, his curiosity. Prior to going to law school, he was, he had worked in a lab, he thought he was going to go to med school, like he was always really interested in sort of more of the science side. And here I was saying, Okay, it’s really easy. We fruit and water and no preservatives. And he was like, okay, that’s really hard. People were saying it was impossible to do it. Again, going back to this whole gamify thing. Where when I hear no, when I hear it’s impossible. I’m like, How do you know it’s impossible? Well, no one’s ever done it before. Okay, well, so is it really impossible or does it really mean In that no one’s ever done it before. So going back to, I guess my early days at all those kinds of things all seem the same to me. Yeah, that makes sense. 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 to 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.

Alisa Cohn 26:32
It’s funny that he joined you in the business a little bit like to get you from a yes to a maybe and from a maybe to a no. But it’s

Kara Goldin 26:39
it’s interesting that it’s interesting that you say that. But you know, I remember one of the things this is a really fun story when we were first starting out. And we were I was asked to speak at this conference as sort of why did you go from tech to starting a beverage company? And at the last minute, they said, would your husband who’s you know, Chief Operating Officer co founder would can we interview both you guys? And I was like to gather like at the same time? I mean, I’ll ask him I mean, I don’t know. I mean, he’s used he’s used as kind of not being on the front, I mean, frontlines of of, you know, being interviewed, but I mean, probably, I don’t know, like, I didn’t know what to say. And so I asked him, and he said, Okay, and I asked for questions ahead of time, gave me some questions. Well, anyway, I get we get on stage, this goes to show you like, you just kind of have to be ready for whatever, even when people hand you questions. But the first question that they asked us was really pointed at him, and they said, What’s it like to work for your wife?

Alisa Cohn 27:52
What did he say? Right,

Kara Goldin 27:54
like, you know, I mean, it’s just, I didn’t know, I mean, I had never thought about that question. But obviously, this person who was, you know, the moderator was really interested in that. And he, I mean, he’s so funny. Theo’s, like a Seinfeld character, and like Jerry Seinfeld, and he said, don’t we all work for women? I mean, and he went on, on this, like, dialog, and people were dying. And he said, I mean, I have two young girls, and they’re really young right now. But my expectations are the, I’ll always want to make sure that they’re happy. He said, for me. I mean, I saw this idea that she had that actually could have impact on a lot of people. And she’s ahead of her time, she’s creating not only a company, but also an entirely new category. And I get it. And probably not a lot of people get it yet, because people didn’t really see the problem in diet sweeteners, like I did. And he said, so I wanted to support her. And he said, but having said that, when we’re done with hands, I mean, will I be a CEO? Will I? Will she support me? Maybe? I don’t know. But I think at the end of the day, it really it’s less about gender. And for him. He said, it’s more about is it a great idea? Can I actually support he got like a standing ovation. I mean, it was, and again, I was like, okay, I can leave the stage now. And like, we’re all good. And it was it was an awesome, awesome speech.

Alisa Cohn 29:38
That is amazing. And speaks volumes. I think about kind of him and his attitude and your relationship overall, even this notion of like, don’t you want to support your spouse? I mean, think about it that way. But I am curious. I would just say that I know spouses and romantic partners who work together one way or the other, and in some cases it changes their relationship. It’s hard to know when to cut off work, it can kind of bring tension, it can also bring be very joyful because I spoke to, for my book from Sharpie grownup, I spoke to Michelle Roman now, co founded clear co with her romantic, romantic partner. And she said, when he was on his phone the whole time, I liked that because he was handling crises that I didn’t have to handle. So that’s a different way of looking for your your partner on the phone. I’m just curious what it what it brought in terms of goodness to your relationship. And if there were any tensions that you had to navigate through?

Kara Goldin 30:34
Look, I think also when you have somebody that you really trust in the room, and you know, people would ask us over time, how do you divide, and it seems I’m much more my experiences much more about the customer and about the marketing and about the branding, and obviously had direct consumer experience, all of that, versus he was really about? How do we improve? How do we, I mean, really supply chain operations, it was very easy for us having said that, he was used to me asking, Well, why would you do that? Imagine if you were two co founders, maybe you guys went to business school together, you like each other, all of a sudden you start a company. And then somebody’s saying, Well, why would you do that? I don’t even think twice about him saying Why would you do that? And because I asked the same thing. Like, why would you do that? And again, I’m not judging, right? Yet, if you don’t know that person really, really well. Then it might be difficult. Another, you know, great example is as we had four kids under the age of six, there were certain days, we get a call from the nurse’s office and, you know, one of us would need to go to school and pick them up. And again, what if you’re, you know, two co founders, and one has kids, one doesn’t have kids, right. And all of a sudden, there starts to be this, you know, well, who’s really doing this kind of who’s doing this company. And I mean, that happens all the time. And I think for us, it was really about our priorities, our family, and work. And we have a mission to solve and help people understand that it is possible to get healthy, through changing this habit. And we both really, really believed it. And so there was, there was like, it just seemed super normal. I think it was more abnormal for other people. I remember this one other story. There’s so many stories along the way, where we were raising money early on, and there was a VC firm that had reached out to us, they loved our product, they drank it all the time. And they called my husband and sort of the final hours, they were making a decision and looked through everything. And they said, you know, we have one problem with doing this deal. And he said, What’s that? And he said, you know, we just find like investing in married couples is just a really bad idea. And it had never come up before this moment. And, and he said, you know, like, how do you guys make decisions about things? I mean, like, I mean, I get that you guys have different skill sets, all that kind of stuff. And he said, So Theo said something really smart. He said, So it’s interesting, like, Who have you invested in a married couple that, you know, where it hasn’t worked out? And he said, Well, we haven’t. And he said, Oh, well. So what are you thinking about? Like, who are the married people that you’ve invested in? Or not invested in that you have read about? Listen to their pod, listen to podcasts, whatever, we’re, what is the problem? And he’s like, Well, I can’t think of any right now. This is a major VC and major Verter. And he said, Okay, so why why are you worried? Yeah. And he said, Well, I’ve just heard, like, it’s a really, it’s a really bad idea. And so, in the end, there’s two stories there. One, you know, he, he didn’t know what he was saying he had picked up on something and sort of had this idea in his head, that it was a bad idea, right. But then the other piece of it is people tell you that they’re not investing for lots of different reasons. Right. And you never really know if that was really the reason. Like if he even remembers to this day saying this to feel right. I mean, he could have just really Like maybe he doesn’t invest in women with red hair. Or I don’t know, maybe

Alisa Cohn 35:06
Tam, who knows? Right, but then they latch on to something that they want to

Kara Goldin 35:10
latch on to something because they know that you can’t respond to it. And it’s their exit, right from this conversation. And once you know that, then it’s, you know, you’re just like, whatever. And you have to move on. And I think that that is, that’s just another story along the journey that I think there’s a lot of lessons from that.

Alisa Cohn 35:32
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Well, on that topic, you know, you bootstrapped, hid for quite a while, and then you decided to take in some money. What was that? Why did you decide to take in some money? And what was the process like for you to meet the right investors?

Kara Goldin 35:47
So we it wasn’t, it was interesting, like the first couple of years, we did not take in any capital. And I primarily didn’t take in capital, because we didn’t know what we were doing. I mean, at all, like it was very, I figured out in the first month that we were not just launching a company, but we were launching an entirely new category. But then I felt like in primarily Whole Foods, love Whole Foods. But that whole foods, like we launched there, it was being successful there. But every time I felt like I was gaining success, they’d raise the bar, I’d say, you know, we went in with a two month shelf life. And then they’d say, okay, I’d almost duck from the buyers when I would, you know, be in the store, because they’d say, Okay, next time, we get an order, we need product that has six months, and I’m like, that’s not going to happen. I mean, we, we are so lucky to have a product that is no preservatives at two months. So I don’t even know. So they were, they were basically raising the bar. And I had no idea how it was going to be able to achieve what they want it I guess, is the net of it. Plus, they were saying things that really scared me like, we’re in the Bay Area. But they’re like, Oh, would you like to be in the Denver stores? And I’m thinking, that’s a long drive from from San Francisco and my grand cherokee to Denver? How am I going to achieve this? Like, where would I get a truck from in order to do that, and have somebody drive? I didn’t know about distributors. I mean, I knew there were distributors, but I didn’t have their phone number or their email. And so there were so many things along the way that I had to figure out how do we, you know, get there. And I think the the other thing is that you have to understand is that I had, you know, grown up in media and tech, I didn’t have experience in CPG. So when I asked the guy at Whole Foods, hey, can you give me the phone number for a distributor, maybe he would give me the phone number for a distributor. But then when the distributor, they wanted to figure out if I was a risk, like here, I had this idea for a product in a very crowded space, but also in a category that wasn’t totally accepted by everybody yet it was accepted by Whole Foods, but Safeway and other sort of conventional grocery stores weren’t taking and then yet. And so I just more than anything, I just felt like, you know, there were so many things that I just didn’t know. So why should I take investment until I should invest my own money? And I was also hearing from a lot of people in Silicon Valley, that were friends of mine from tech, they were like, Oh, wait, what are you doing? Oh, let me Angel invest in your company. And I’m like, I don’t I still want to have dinner with you. I don’t want you asking me, you know, what’s going on with the business and whatever. So after two years, where I basically, at this point, figured out that we had kind of figured things out, I thought it’s time to start taking some of these investments and getting some people in there. And so we had a distributor, actually, who still works with us today. That was had been actually on the board of vitamin water, a guy named Ken Sadowski. And so he had said to us that if you guys are ever looking for an investment, I’d be interested in investing and I can also introduce you to some people. And so that seemed like, Okay, let’s go figure out if if he’s the real deal or not. He’s obviously worked in the beverage industry. He’s way ahead of us. And so he introduced us to our first investors coupled with there were people in Silicon Valley, who, you know, knew us who thought that this mission of getting off of sugar and sweeteners was right on and and so those were the early people who invested.

Alisa Cohn 39:55
It sounds like the early investors or people that one way or the other you had worked with or like what It can or that also you knew from your background. So it’s you know, relationships really matter, when you’re kind of thinking because you know who these people are, and they know who you are.

Kara Goldin 40:09
Relationships totally matter. And I think that the mission mattered. Yeah, a lot in alignment. Most of these people, I still am thinking about it as, as I’m talking to you, most of these people who invested had never invested in a beverage company. And most of them haven’t invested in another beverage company. You know, in the case of John Legend, for example, when he invested, it was interesting, because we were in Starbucks, and he was in Starbucks. And he found it in Starbucks. And it was, he just called the number on the back of the bottle, because he thought it was so good. And yet he wondered if the Big Soda companies had, if they were launching, you know, a product that it seemed counter to what he expected, from those big soda companies. And so when I picked up the phone and said, No, no, it’s not a Coke or Pepsi company. It’s, you know, I started it and, and, and I think like for him, it you know, John, of course, has, has some things that are really close to his heart and bigger and this is even before his career had taken off to what it is today. But for him, he really believed that it had purpose, and it had mission and, and he, I think today, to this day, would say that he believed in me, right. And he believed that it was so crazy, that and you need somebody who’s a little crazy to go and take this risk, and do something. And he was backing me plus he liked the drink. So it helped him drink water. So right, right.

Alisa Cohn 41:56
So in in all of that, and you know, your 17 year journey, what have you learned about managing your board,

Kara Goldin 42:03
managing the board? Well, so we didn’t have a board until we took that first and vestment. And so Ken Sadowski, who I mentioned, who grandfather had owned a distributorship in, in Massachusetts, introduced us to the Stella Bear Family. And they actually had a family office out of Brussels. And they were, they were interested in investing in, in non alcoholic beverages outside of Europe. So they had invested. Actually, Ken knew them because they didn’t invest in vitamin water. And now they were looking to invest in some other beverage brands. And so we met with them, and they loved the drink. They love the fact that it was different than vitamin water, Vitamin Water had just sold the Coca Cola, actually. And so, I mean, that was really, at the time. I mean, it just seemed like a natural fit. You know, it’s interesting, because now I look at it today that beer or wine versus like, you know, a flavored water. Very, very different. But again, when you’re first starting out, you think beverages or beverages close or not wet, right?

Alisa Cohn 43:23
What is wet, right?

Kara Goldin 43:24
Yeah, what exactly and so they invested. And really the the biggest thing I remember from that meeting, I mean that they had invested 5 million into the brand, which was amazing. Like, we were so excited to do that investment. The most important thing that I remember, there was a guy named Frederick, who was actually part of the Stella family, and he had worked in the company and operator, so he wasn’t a traditional, like private equity or, or finance person making investments. I mean, he actually understood about a lot of the beverage industry, at least the beer industry. And so he made it really clear to us, and I think it really speaks to there’s different, just different types of investors, not only private equity versus venture versus family offices versus angel investors, but he said, You guys need a board, obviously, because you have shareholders now. But he was very clear that he was going to be very hands off. And so you know, they he lived in Brussels, he didn’t have anybody in the US. So there wasn’t really don’t be counting on, you know, the Stela name to kind of help you in some way because, you know, they that just wasn’t sort of in the cards. So I think that over time. You know, I think like the one lesson that I think I’ve learned along the way too with all investors is that there are there is a big difference between a family office and between a private equity and between you know how they view themselves and what they invest in. And I think that, while they don’t still to this day, their name is Berlin best. They now own 51% of Anheuser Busch, and, and again, we were before Anheuser Busch before they had vested in that, I think it’s important to know that as companies get bigger, as funds get bigger, while they don’t have a, this fund has to be liquidated in five years sort of thing. They actually invest their dividends from Anheuser Busch. It’s definitely, as the funds get bigger, you know, they get more people, a lot of things, you know, the pressures are different, I think. So you have to be just aware. And, and then I think also, as people retire, and they leave, and people come in, they weren’t in the room, right when the investment was made. And so it’s really important, I think, when you’re putting your board together, to make sure that you not only have the right people who are committed to the mission of the company, in your boardroom, but also, I would say people who are not just investors, it’s really important.

Alisa Cohn 46:25
Yeah. And also, to your point about as people kind of maybe roll on, you know, new people come and get involved, I have to assume it’s also super important to educate them, but the history of your relationship with, you know, the family, or whatever it is.

Kara Goldin 46:40
Yeah, and I think it’s just, it’s hard, frankly, and because I think it’s, it’s hard for people to understand, and especially if they’re hearing different things, if if people in their firm have laughed, and, and, you know, it’s sort of like a telephone tag type of thing. I think it’s, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s really tough. So I think like, in building a board, that the biggest thing that I would say is make sure from the beginning that, you know, you’ve got the right contract, you’ve set up the company in a way where I mean, I, I think the value of independent board people cannot be overrated. It’s something that I have not done in building the board, which it which is, you know, something that I would share with entrepreneurs and, and something I would always leave room for that it doesn’t mean, for example, when you’re setting up a board, you know, maybe you think, Okay, I’m always going to have, you know, three seats on the board, or that’s what I’m starting out, and maybe you’re giving investors like two seats have the option to actually put two independent board directors in there. Because people who are not, they don’t have they don’t they’re not invested in the company. I mean, it’s not to say that you wouldn’t pay them to, to actually be on your board. But they, they will think differently, and people who have experience people who bring in, definitely believe in the mission and believe in the product. But when you don’t have those people what you have is creators versus bankers. Hmm, yeah. Right. It’s all said, Yeah. And I think it’s an again, it doesn’t mean that everybody’s wrong. It just means that their brains are kind of thinking differently about things. And I think that it’s, you know, I think that’s the most important thing. And when you bring in independents, who are people that you both decide, that should be in the room, because they’re actually going to grow the business, they’re going to look at what’s in the best interests of shareholders, overall, that is really, really key. And unfortunately, if you don’t set up your company that way, in the beginning, then it’s hard. It’s hard to add those people. It’s not impossible. And obviously, when you’re a public company, you have to add independence. And there’s a reason for it.

Alisa Cohn 49:31
Yep. Yep. That’s really well said. Absolutely. So you all had really had this incredible success. And I know it has to do with also building a team and making sure you have the right people. I’m curious, could you take us back to like one your was an early let’s say, an early senior hire, what was it like for you to hire kind of one of your early senior people and what did you think about what was that transition like because you know, at some point it goes from you and Theo to probably a few Do employees but then you, you bring on more senior people that becomes a real company. What was that? Like?

Kara Goldin 50:06
I think first of all, I was just talking to somebody about this yesterday that, you know, obviously really important when you’re bringing somebody on, because you’ve been doing the job. On the one hand you really like people to help you. But your expectations, right, are you’ve been doing the job. And so you, you know, you sort of have opinions, and I think you have to let people do it their way. Right? It to some extent, you have to train them and sort of hand them what you know, or what you think, you know. But I made a huge mistake early on by thinking because I didn’t have experience I sort of, I didn’t give myself enough credit, right for being able to figure stuff out. And we hired and spent a lot of money early on and hiring experience, right. And what I found about experiences experience in an industry is very different from finding somebody who’s experienced in growing a company from zero to a million, or, you know, 5 million, or growing from 20 million to 50 million. And so I think that that is like a really, really important thing to remember that. So often, if you’re working inside of a large company, it’s really hard to get that experience. And you you’ll say that you know how to do it, you were at a big company and whatever. But the reality is, is that you don’t, right. One of my best examples was I remember when I was launching hint, and I mentioned Safeway, earlier, my dad had launched a product called Healthy Choice, or as a part of armour food company, they had been acquired by ConAgra. And so I figured, well, he’ll know how to, like get our product into Safeway, even though it’s a different category, it’s frozen food, it’s not very far away from, you know, beverages and how that’s done. And so I asked him, like, oh, how do I? How do I do it? And he said, I have no idea. I mean, I worked inside of a large company. And that’s what happens with large companies is they have a big contract, maybe frozen food and some other parts of the store. And so the space is already allocated. And so when you hire these experienced people, a lot of them don’t know that because they, they’ve basically been, you know, invited in it versus actually asking for, you know, the meeting kind of thing. So, I think there’s, there’s a lot of lessons there. early on. So we made it, we made a lot of mistakes early on, and sort of hiring for experience. The other thing that I’ve learned, too, is that I remember the first person who quit. And I remember thinking, Oh, my God, I’ve like failed, right? And here, they stayed, right? Do you? I mean, yeah, it’s true. You hold it against yourself, you think, seeing it coming, you know, they’re leaving me because I suck, you know, my product sucks, whatever. And what I realized is that people really know themselves. There are certain people that love that zero to 1 million stage, and they’ll go and they’ll pop from those jobs. And that’s what they do. And you can say, they’re not loyal, you can say that all this stuff, but whatever, move on, it’s not you. It’s like what they do. And I think that that’s a really, really important, you know, piece for, for people to remember because people won’t stay with you forever. And I think that it kind of goes to this point about hiring people that I think people are confused by, especially in your first startup. You know, it’s just, it’s people through every stage, they’re not going to they may not be the right people. It’s very rare that somebody stays with you. In in multiple stages, we actually have a handful of those people in hand that have been, you know, with us, nine years, 13 years. I mean, it’s a long time. And but certainly, it’s it’s not very common,

Alisa Cohn 54:32
right? It’s not very common. And to your point, it’s like, different people are the right employee for different stages. And I think for a first time founder in particular, that can just be jarring. Because when they leave to your point, they you know, you’ve you can’t take it personally and what it what have I done and it must suck and it’s terrible, but also, what if everybody else leaves and there’s a sort of recurring fantasy of like, oh, is everybody going to leave now? And so I think it takes time to adjust to an understanding that different people are there right people for your different stage of your business.

Kara Goldin 55:03
Yeah. And I remember something else, when I was working at CNN that Ted Turner said, that’s still, like sits in my head, like, he always said, when people announced that they’re leaving, let them go. Never save a person. I tell managers this all the time, because, you know, what he made me realize is that people will be thinking about this, there’s a lot more that happens before they actually tell you that they’re leaving. So they’ve interviewed, there’s a lot going on, that they didn’t share with you. And they thought about things. And, you know, for whatever reason, they felt like this was a better opportunity for them. So when you go in, and you actually say, you give them more money, or you try and convince them to actually stay. And when that happens, and you do, the chances of them actually staying long term are very low. And often, they’re actually, maybe they’ll entertain you by having this conversation with you. But then they’ll use, you know, the additional money to go to their new employer and actually say, Well, I want to do this. And that’s the way that game works. And I think like, I can count on a couple of fingers where we’ve actually broken that rule. And it’s never worked. And, and it really, and I always go back to you know, what Ted Turner used to, say at CNN, like, you announced that you’re leaving, like, plan on leaving, right? Because you’re not getting another opportunity. And I think he’s, I think it’s a really smart thing. And it’s something that people need to because again, you sit there and think, oh my god, I trained this person for so long. What if they leave. And I think there’s, there’s another lesson that I’ve learned too, is, and something I’m probably not great at still to this day, is that if you see some negativity that’s going on in your organization, maybe you know, you’ve lost trust in this person or whatever, as well. Like, you actually need to cut bait on on that relationship, because it rarely gets better. And what it does, to your point earlier, what the big fear is, is that what if one person leaves, then other people leave, you allow a person to sit around for a while, who maybe has, you know, a negative opinion or a bad experience of some sort. And it really is like poison, and it and the person can be a good person, they just cannot actually think straight for whatever reason, so it’s better for you just to cut the cord.

Alisa Cohn 57:52
Yeah, it’s so true. And you know, I would say that, really 201 the founders have that I’ve talked to that idea with an AI coach, all kind of learn that for the time, you know, you should fire someone, it’s probably wait, it’s usually way late, right? It’s like you’re late in the game, and everybody kind of is already waiting for you to do something. It’s a hard it’s one of the hardest lessons, I think, for all founders to learn, and really, for all leaders to learn. It’s just a difficult thing.

Kara Goldin 58:17
It’s so difficult. And it’s an you know, there’s never a good time, right. And I mean, there’s never a good time. It always happens at a time when you’re like, ah, but, but I think it’s also something that I’ve learned that I share with fellow CEOs and entrepreneurs. And I think it’s easier when you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve sort of we’re doing all the different jobs in the company. It like having that ability to step in when you need to, whether you know, it’s uh, on direct to consumer or SEO or customer service or whatever. And actually knowing what the job entails when you need to hire somebody is really, really important because you can be helpful to your team. I think that the other lesson that I learned when I was working at AOL actually was my boss, this guy, Meyer Barolo was, he would always have people in his office, and he was always interviewing. And we didn’t have any roles that I mean for a while he was interviewing and, you know, because we had lots of roles that he was trying to fill but I mean, he was always interviewing, and we always were like, Why is he interviewing? I mean, is he interviewing for my job? I know that that person who walked in actually is you know, kind of has that skill set or whatever. And he said something to me that still rings true. To this day are great words of advice is that you never know when people are going to leave one day I actually said to Meijer, are you interviewing for my job? I was the VP of ecommerce and and shop Big partnerships. And he said, I interview all the time. And I said, I know you interview all the time. But are you interviewing somebody for my job? And he said, No, but I never know when you’re going to quit. And I never know what anyone’s going to do. You know, and, and, or when we’ll need people, and so always having options. And I think that that’s an important lesson that I use, actually, for customers, for suppliers as well. Because if you don’t have options, then when something happens that you’re surprised by, and things aren’t going well, or whatever, then, you know, you feel like you’re, you’re in defense, right? You’re, you’re definitely trying to keep your head above water, all of those things. But if you know a few people, that a few companies, suppliers, whatever, you know, that you can reach out to, then you don’t feel so stuck. And I think it’s the same with people. That when Yeah, is a constantly interviewing, and you don’t have something right now. But you know, when you need somebody, knowing that you had interviewed somebody is really, it’s a good thing to do.

Alisa Cohn 1:01:20
It’s reassuring, it’s just reassuring, to know, yeah, there are options out there. And you

Kara Goldin 1:01:25
also know what talent is out there, too. And, you know, maybe you also know what you’re doing wrong. Right. And like you’re learning from people, what they do, what their expectations are. So I’ve just found that it’s an important part of growing a company as well. And again, I use that for suppliers. I use that for customers, I use it for employees as well. So I think it’s, it’s a really important and investors, by the way, I think always being, you know, open to having scheduling yourself or percentage of your time to always be thinking about, Okay, this is an area where I don’t really have options, that I should have options, right? Or I want to learn a little bit more about an industry or, you know, I think that’s important, because a lot of time people are like, Oh, we’re not hiring. So, you know, we shouldn’t actually be interviewing people, but I think it’s an important thing to do.

Alisa Cohn 1:02:27
Yes, very wise, very, very wise. You know, I’m curious, you’ve talked a lot. Also, you know, your book is called undaunted, you’ve talked about being undaunted, and the way you kind of gamify things. Amazing. Have you ever experienced impostor syndrome or severe self doubt?

Kara Goldin 1:02:46
Of course, I think that there’s, there’s a few things. Maybe to some extent, I gamify, that as well, like, I think about things like what’s the worst that can happen along the way? And, you know, because you do you run into people that you think they’re doing better than I am, I was actually sharing the story with an entrepreneur in the, in the beverage industry yesterday where I said, I remember when hint was just starting out. And then we’re, again, I’m in it, I, I’m at the trade shows, I’m in the stores, I’m like, watching everything met distributors, there’s all these people that they have better wrap around there, they have more stores, they, they have better shirts, like, you know, they have it together, the number of people that I’ve seen, like that, and then next year, they’re gone. They’re out of business. I mean, we still joke about about it, like, you know, there’s so many along the way. And so and it’s really hard for you to tell. Because, you know, you think, Oh, they’ve got it all together, right? They were like this, and this and this and, and, and, and then they were gone. Poof, right. And so I think that you have to recognize that you never really know what’s going on. It’s like a happy, you know, happy marriage right? Then you hear later on, you’re like, Whoa, I thought everything was fine. I mean, this is this is crazy. You never really know what’s going on. And so whenever I feel like I that sneaks in on me, I think that that’s an important thing for me to go back to. Again, it’s, you know, you never really know what’s going on. And I think it’s also stop focusing on what you can’t control and do the best job that you can do has always been something that has worked for me because when I get caught up in a competition or somebody’s doing doing better than me or they’re way ahead, and you know, it’s unfair in some way. Instead, when I focus on just continuing to move myself, move my company forward, continuing to do better in some way, then it kind of resolves itself. But everyone’s lying if if you ever hear somebody say that they never got an impostor syndrome, they, you know, they never felt inadequate in some way. And, and I think that, there is one thing that I would say, that I often think is really important, when, when you have those people that are around you that are feeding you that like insecurity, it doesn’t mean you have to, you know, totally ghost them or whatever, but, but it’s a, I think you just have to make sure that you manage it properly. Because, right, like if people are, my mom used to say this all the time, like when when you actually tell people your problem, right, the next time they see you, especially people you like a lot, the next time they see Oh, how’s it going, you know, and, you know, because it’s they want they care, right? And they versus actually, if you want to get out of the situation, you don’t want to feel insecure about it. It’s not that you don’t talk about things, but you have to surround yourself with more people that maybe are going to be helpful, that maybe they’re going to, you know, help you get out versus keeping you in.

Alisa Cohn 1:06:40
Right. Right, and that they’re uplifting, and that they’re bringing you nourishing, you know, kind of content, and not just kind of recycled, you know, negative negative content or kind of continuing to recycle a story that doesn’t help you it doesn’t. So no,

Kara Goldin 1:06:56
it’s not helping you. And I think, you know, even starting a company, I think that so many people talk about the loneliness of being an entrepreneur, and, and you know, the imposter syndrome and all the things, Chuck, like, who you’re surrounding yourself with, because if you’re sitting there, head down, you’re in your company, you’re with your co founder, only you go back and you call your parents or whoever your your best friend, you know, they’re going to be focusing on the things that they think you care about, right? That may. And I think, oftentimes you need to sort of get out there, surround yourself with somebody, people that don’t really know what’s going on, or whatever that might. And maybe people hear your story along the way. And they’re helpful, but surround yourself with helpers, I guess, especially during during that time.

Alisa Cohn 1:07:46
I love that that’s good words to live by surrounding yourself with helpers. So just a few more questions. Kara. I’m curious, what do you wish you had known earlier on your journey?

Kara Goldin 1:07:56
I always used to think that, and I touched on this a little bit earlier, but experience, right. And I think that, you know, the more experience you have, you know, that the higher you get up in an organization, you know, that defines you. And I think today, and I think it’s sort of couple I’ve thought a lot about this, because I think it’s sort of coupled with people also trying to figure out who they are maybe a little bit more to, but just because you’re a VP and a company or a CEO of a company, it doesn’t mean that, you know, you’re wiser, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be learning. In fact, I actually encourage people to always, like, be thinking about what else can I be learning and always look for those opportunities, because I think the what I’ve seen in my journey is that the more experienced people are, when they stop learning, when they actually have said too many times that they’re, you know, this high level, they have all this experience, whatever. They’re actually not very happy. And I think that too, the happier you are, the more likely you are to be able to have a longer journey. And I think that, that I didn’t know that. I don’t think they teach that in school. I think they teach it and that what they teach in, in school is you know, you’re an engineer, you’re a marketer, you’re a tech executive, you’re an entrepreneur, or whatever it is versus actually figuring out what people enjoy now, and again, you can change your mind. You’ve changed your mind right over time. And I think most interesting people that I know, have actually changed their mind. And yet that’s not like really encouraged Richt in school? That’s not, I don’t know, I just feel like that conversation is not really happening. And yet, I wish I certainly didn’t know that. And I didn’t know that I was going to be, you know, in media and then in tech and then an entrepreneur in the beverage industry. I mean, it’s sort of, if I heard that somebody had done that, I think, Wait, how did you get there? Like, what, what? How did that happen along the way, but more importantly, the reason why I did what I did, all along the way is that I was curious. I was constantly learning, I felt like I was solving puzzles along the way. I enjoyed it. All of those things. I, I think titles to this day are silly. You know, I think it’s more about responsibility than actual title fine if you need a title in order to sort of identify what people do if they’re a manager versus not a manager. But I think that so often people get caught up in the seniority of it, and of having a certain title and, and also people fear those people, I mean, to they feel like, Oh, I can’t reach out to somebody who’s a certain title, because they’re, too, they’re too important. And I think that that is the wrong attitude to have for people that you just have to, you know, you just have to sort of pretend that they’re not CEOs of companies or whatever.

Alisa Cohn 1:11:34
Yep, that’s really well said. Absolutely. You know, my last question is, what advice do you have for other founders as they embark on their own journeys to grow into leaders?

Kara Goldin 1:11:47
Well, I, I touched on this just now, I think, always be learning. And I think that the best leaders are people who really, really think that they still have a lot to learn, and that they’re empathetic. They, they are willing to roll up their sleeves and, and get involved and, and be human. And then I think also, we’ve definitely seen this throughout the pandemic, I think that the best leaders clearly are the people who kind of encompass all of those things, and also are willing to kind of share who they are right, that they’re not perfect, and that they have ups and downs along the way. They’ve had fears. But the key thing that I’ve seen is that they figure out as leaders how do they continue moving forward? I think integrity is something that you can never, you know, undervalue integrity, because I think still to this day, you’ll be found out if you don’t have integrity, and I think that that is something that is really hard to, to kind of wipe away in some way and, and for people to forget, as well, but I think it’s a it’s a trait, that people if you don’t have integrity, I think it’s something that, you know, is carried with you for a long time. And, and I think that, always be sure, as a founder, as a leader, to do things that are right, don’t be afraid to speak up. And, you know, you’ll have haters along the way, that people might want you to do things differently. But keeping integrity at the top of your list is is really the way to go.

Alisa Cohn 1:13:56
Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Kara, thank you so much for your time today.

Kara Goldin 1:14:03
Thank you,

Alisa Cohn 1:14:04
Kara Goldin, author of undaunted founder of hint. So go pick up some hint and go pick up some undaunted, the wonderful book and follow Kara on LinkedIn. Really great to spend time with you. Thank you so much.

Kara Goldin 1:14:17
So fun. 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 a 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