Kristi Herold – Founder and CEO of Sport & Social Group and JAM Events

Episode 112

As much as Kristi Herold disliked hearing the business buzzword "pivot", she became a prime example of an entrepreneur that successfully pivoted in 2020. Kristi is the founder and CEO of Sport & Social Group, which has created over 100,000 recreational sports leagues in North America. For over 20 years, Kristi heard stories about how Sport & Social Group brought people together and changed their lives. However, when the pandemic hit, all of the recreational sports games and social events were cancelled. After spending a couple of months feeling lost and confused about what to do with her business, Kristi and her team decided to launch a new business called JAM Events which hosts fun online activities for companies, conferences, and other groups. JAM continues to bring people together through play, just like Sport & Social Group does, but it has adapted to remote working environments and our socially distant times. On this show, Kristi talks about how she’s built her businesses, her action steps to pivoting and launching JAM, and much more.

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Transcript

Kara Goldin 00:00
Hi everyone, its Kara golden from the Kara golden Show. I’m so excited to have my next guest here we have Kristi Herold who’s the founder and CEO of sport and social group and jam events. And very, very excited. Kristi is a friend of mine that I met through this amazing group started by JJ Virgin and Cynthia Garcia, that is called the unicorn club. And she and I happen to be sitting next to each other at one of these events and just started chatting and hearing more about her business. And it’s based in Canada, although it is now a global organization. It’s based out of Toronto. But as I mentioned, it’s it’s one of the largest of its kind with over 150,000 annual participants across nine cities in Canada, and the US up in Michigan. Yes. And it was founded back in 1996. Her organization is dedicated to helping people participate in adult recreational sports leagues across North America at every single level. And then also this during these beautiful nine months that we’ve all been experiencing. She didn’t stop at thinking that she couldn’t run a business instead she I don’t know if it’s really pivoting you just basically just said, What What can I do and started jam events, which was a post COVID business development, or business development that’s actively helping global corporate clients playfully connect through fun remote events. So welcome, welcome. Very excited to have you here. And something I admire most about you is your fearlessness. I mean, every time I talk to you and kind of hear more about your business, I think like Wow, that’s really hard. That’s really hard. How did you you know, have the have the knowledge have the, you know, the fearlessness the the ability to really move forward. So I’d love to hear who was Christie prior to 1996.

Kristi Herold 02:18
So before I start, thank you so much for having me, Kara. I really enjoyed getting to know you at that first, that first event as well. I was so so impressed learning about hint, tasting it for the first time. I’m now obsessed with it and track it down wherever I can in Toronto. And thankfully, there’s the one store that sells it up here is right near my house. so convenient. Anyway, before before I started sporting social club, I grew up in a small town kid, I’m from a city called Sudbury, which is about four hours north of Toronto, and I went to university in Kingston, Ontario at Queen’s University and did my commerce degree there. And then after commerce, I moved to Toronto. So funny story when I was after my first year of Commerce, the Dean of commerce called me to his office. And he said, it’s your marks have really, really fallen since you entered university. It would seem to me that because you’re on the ski team and the rowing team that you clearly better just pick one because it looks like you can’t handle both and manage your academics and I I nodded and said, Yes, sir. You’re absolutely right. I’ll just do the ski team next year, and I’ll pack it in on the rowing team. And I walked out of his office kind of giggling to myself, what he didn’t realize was I was actually running two businesses during University and I kept running my businesses all through university and my marks never did improve. But anyway, so I moved to Toronto, and I don’t know anybody in Toronto, it’s a big city, and I’m a small town girl. And I have some friends from university, but I don’t really know a lot of people. And I was trying to find ways to connect with people and I, I looked into some soccer leagues, I thought maybe I should join a soccer league. I used to play soccer when I was seven years old. You know, I was a good athlete growing up, I grew up I was actually a very competitive alpine ski racer, but I never competed at high levels on team sports. And I looked around and all I could find were competitive women soccer leagues, like totally out of my league, I couldn’t play at a competitive level. So I, I had heard about sport and social clubs, actually down the I’d heard about the Golden Gate sporting social club down near you in San Francisco area. And I thought maybe I could try that in Toronto, like why not like that would solve my problem if I could organize my own, get people out playing and so I spent about four months I remember from January to May, in 1996. I picked up my address book, which is literally at the time it was a paper book, you know, you remember used to write people’s names and phone numbers down in your little address book. And I went through that address book and called everybody I knew and told them what I was doing. And then I said if you liked the idea, could you maybe tell me other people could you fax me people from your address book who might be interested and so I had my friends faxing me their address books, and then I would call all those people and then I’d have strangers basically faxes Neither address books, I got to a point where I built up about 800 names in my database. And I wanted to send out a newsletter because I was going to have people sign up for one of five sports and and I realized I couldn’t afford stamps for 800 newsletters, but my boyfriend at the time, who later became my husband and business partner and later became my ex husband, he still my business partner and good friend. Anyway, he was a semi professional cyclist at the time, he agreed to ride his bike and deliver 400 of those newsletters because I could only afford the stamps for 400. So I mean, that’s how we got a demo day. So it was we didn’t have the internet back in 1996. Right. So it was pretty old school,

Kara Goldin 05:41
but I love it. And so the sport and social group, what was the I mean, was it filled with people who were all athletes from college? or What did you find?

Kristi Herold 05:52
Yeah, no, it was it’s basically, it all started with just it was friends and friends of friends. And you know, it was word of mouth really built it. In the very first year I had 250 teams Sign Up To Play Actually, I remember the week before I was scheduled to start the first leagues. I had 13 teams signed up at $350 a team. And when I did the math on that, and I sort of forecasted Well, what’s four seasons going to look like that that was not enough to survive on it wasn’t enough to feed myself and pay my rent, let alone You know, with just the revenues, let alone after expenses. So I fell down the floor of my bedroom and I cried. I remember lying on the floor of my room crying for about two hours, because I now spent four months trying to get this going. And then after crying for literally two hours, I thought, well, this isn’t going to help things. So I got up off the floor and I picked up the phone and I started calling people and I said you remember you said you were gonna sign up a soccer team or you know, you said you were going to put in that ultimate team. It’s time Yeah, you have to sign up right now. And by the end of that week, I had 52 teams ready to go. So my very first season I launched with 52 teams across five different sports. And it’s all recreational people who want to play for fun. Some of them were post varsity athletes, some of them had never kicked a soccer ball before in their life, you know, and we’ve now we have we have it for all ages, and not all ages. Rather, it’s all adults. It’s all sort of 18 and older. But it’s all different levels recreational right through to elite levels, and co Ed self officiated leagues, right through to single sex leagues with officials, you know, we have a little something for everyone.

Kara Goldin 07:30
I love it. And the primary age is

Kristi Herold 07:33
average age is 27. And people typically find us as soon as they graduate from college or university, they move to move to a new city for a job and they hear about, you know, how am I going to meet people and they hear someone from the office says, Oh, you should join our like football team or join our kickball team. And that’s that’s how the word typically gets out is a lot of word of mouth and people recruiting people to come and join and play. It’s, it’s fun. And the the physical and mental health benefit is immensely powerful. I mean, that’s, for me to be able to wake up every day, knowing that I’m pushing play, it’s just so it makes it so easy to do what I do. I mean, we’ve had three members get our logo tattooed on their body because of how life changing this has been for them.

Kristi Herold 08:17
We’ve had 1000s of marriages and babies born because people meet playing in our leads. I’ve gotten emails from people saying, your league saved my life. Because, you know, you move to a new city, it’s depressing. You don’t know anyone. It’s hard to meet people. And so it’s a really powerful, powerful service that we’re providing. Yeah, totally. Well, and I feel like just from a networking standpoint, too, it’s like meeting people and you ask people like what do you do? And you know, and then I’m sure it’s like there’s so many people who have probably found their next job gotten jobs met their new best friends, you know, people who we have people who sign up just as an individual because they don’t know anyone and we put teams of individuals together. And then that same team will come back for 15 years and play together and they go to each other’s weddings and they become close friends from signing up to play, you know, curling or waterpolo in one

Kara Goldin 09:14
word, the first five sports

Kristi Herold 09:16
that you the first five sports were Ultimate Frisbee basketball, beach volleyball, soccer and flag football.

Kara Goldin 09:24
I love it No, always male and female.

Kristi Herold 09:26
I mean did when I first started it was everything was co Ed and everything was self officiated when I first started, I remember we were probably about seven or eight years into running the organization when I when my staff really pushed me to offer single sex leads I was really resistant to doing so because we’d started off always co Ed and anyway and and now we offer every there’s something for everybody.

Kara Goldin 09:50
So how do you come up with these sports? Is it driven by somebody asking for it or the the outsider

Kristi Herold 09:57
ones like the weirdo To waterpolo

Kara Goldin 10:00
Yeah, exactly. I mean, how did this start?

Kristi Herold 10:03
I mean, you just, it’s like intermurals, right? intramurals at college and university, they all have these wacky games. And we do. We also do a league called all sorts of sports. And so you sign up, and it’s like a grab bag. Every week, you play a different sport. So your first week, you might play floor hockey, and then the next week, you’re playing kickball. And the next week, you’re playing beach volleyball. And so it’s a, it’s an assortment. It just depends, every every team, sort of, you know, some some people really are hardcore basketball players. And that’s, they just want to play their Tuesday night men’s basketball, and then other people are all playing just because they want to meet someone, they are looking for that special someone so they’re willing to try anything and just, which, which sport has the best option for them to, to meet a gal or a girl that they’re gonna gal or guy that they’re gonna, you know, connect with? So it’s, there’s a little it’s just all over the map.

Kara Goldin 10:53
Do you have people that get frustrated that there’s like, certain people suck, right? They just want to be there and and like the other people I would imagine there’s some, you know, I’ve met some competitive people in my time. I would imagine there’d be a, you know, and so what do you what do you say to that? That’s funny,

Kristi Herold 11:13
in the early days, I when I used to be out, I mean, for years, three, three or four years, I used to be at every game every night of the week, you know, I was out there. You know, just making sure people were having fun and, and I remember floor hockey, Canadian that we have floor hockey, it’s a sport we play in gym class growing up. And I used to have to say to the players, everyone remember like, before the game was started tip, please remember, nobody is making it to the NHL from this league. This is recreational or hockey, you know? Because they take it seriously. And yeah, we have we have a system in place, we have incident reporting available on our so if there’s a problem, people can report it. And we have to if it gets really bad if someone gets really nasty out there, we just we boot them. We don’t want one bad apple ruining it for the whole bunch. So we take it pretty seriously, like people are expected to play fair play nice, you know, be good with their people are funny sometimes on the whole sports thing.

Kara Goldin 12:08
And they’ve got an idea of, sort of, you know, how it should be and and I can just imagine, so what was the funniest story that you ever heard where it was funny, and and also surprising?

Kristi Herold 12:24
Oh, my goodness, that’s a good question. I mean, I’ve had some pretty funny stories were pretty funny complaints like I had, I remember one person calling in and saying to me, they wanted to complain about the softball diamond that they were scheduled to play at because the sun was always in their eyes when they got up to bat. And I remember thinking to myself on the phone, I was like, isn’t that why they invented baseball hats? Like, what is the problem here? You know, and then the same person complained that there was no bench to sit on at the edge of the field. And I was kind of like, really? Is this good? Is this what you’re complaining about? Like, aren’t there you know, at the same time, thankfully, you know, we don’t have the biggest issues that we’re dealing with. Injuries really are drag when we hear about injuries, you feel bad. But that’s kind of a natural thing. But really, the biggest issues we have are, hey, the lights didn’t get turned on for your softball game at the park last night. We’re really sorry, we’re going to reschedule your game for you. It’s not like life and death issues that we deal with in this business, which is kind of nice. It’s just a lot of a lot of pushing of fun. And one of my favorite stories was in 1997, we were we were getting ready to set up some volleyball nets. at a gym and the caretakers. It was a first night of the season and the caretakers hadn’t told us that they had redone the floors. And they had sealed over the caps for the volleyball poles to go in. So we couldn’t get them. We couldn’t open the holes to be able to set up the nets. And so we had to roll my ex husband partner he ran to Walmart down the street and bought a a torch. And meanwhile, I’m trying to entertain everyone on the sidelines. And Raul came back and used a torch and he got the he got the cap open so we could set up the nets. But while this was happening, I was watching the captain of one volleyball team, call and go over and talk to the captain of the volleyball team Martha who he had never met. And while they were waiting, they started chatting and they agreed to they thought let’s go We’ll make a plan to go back to the sponsor bar after a game is over. And we’ll get our teams together and we’ll have some drinks and have some laughs

14:27
A year later,

Kristi Herold 14:28
I got an email from Colin and Colin said, Hey Christy, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this. But that after you know that that woman Martha, she and I got to know each other. We started dating and if you ever need a testimonial for your leagues, here’s mine. Thanks to the sport and social club. I don’t sleep alone anymore. They’re awesome. And he reached out to me not long ago and sent me a photo of he and Martha and their three teenage children who are all really sporty kids and you know, those are just the stories That make it so, so much fun. And so it’s we’re just changing. We’re impacting people’s lives in such a positive way.

Kara Goldin 15:06
Ya know, I bet you hear from so many people, as you’ve already mentioned, that it’s just really helping them and you’re smiling, you’re, you know, you’re having fun. Yeah, doing it and memories, right from creating memories. And I love the idea that, you know, you always love sports anyway. And so you’re able to really bring that to people at all levels, which is, which is super exciting. I also think just the CO Ed factor, I mean, is is really, really great. I mean, something that I talked about in my new book that just came out, undaunted is awesome there, but thank you, thank you, my son said to me when he was he’s now 18, when he was 12, he asked me, he talked to me about Sheryl Sandberg was on television, and he was hearing her talk about how women are not CEOs. And that, you know, the numbers really small. And he was like, Mom, like, you know, why are you a CEO? And and there’s, there’s like, not a lot of CEOs. Like, what, why is that? And you know, at first I was like, good, you know, and then I realized that what I’m doing is actually showing him that it’s okay, right? It’s okay to be a female CEO. And he went on a few weeks later, to ask me why his high school teams are boys and girls, right? And not in CO Ed. And, and, and so which I thought was really interesting. And he’s a great tennis player. And he was like, there’s some girls that are way better than some of the boys like, can’t we just divide it out by you know, ability? And I’m like, maybe you can propose it like, right? Like, it’s that I said, and so I feel like how many of these people have been doing sports separately for so many years? And then all of a sudden, they’re getting this realization, even in their 20s? Right or later? And I think it’s real. It’s really, really awesome.

Kristi Herold 17:01
It’s been really good. It’s been really a lot of fun. I’m very grateful for I mean, it’s been 20. We’re in our 25th year now of, of operating the sport six, we’ve touched the lives of over 1.3 million people since since we started. So I’m really grateful. And it’s been an I’ve had an amazing, amazing team, who’s really helped make it happen. And I’m so so grateful to, to the people on my team and to the people who’ve played with us over the years. It’s, it’s pretty great. It’s fun. Now, every time I every time I go to a business meeting now it seems people will say to me, oh, yeah, I used to I used to play soccer in your leagues in like, 2004. I used to play you know, but it’s everywhere you go Dave, my my fiance and now he just kind of rolls his eyes. Because every time I meet someone, you know, any age, they’ll be like, Oh, my daughter plays with you. Or my, you know, my husband met his best friend playing in your league. Like you just hear all these stories all the time.

Kara Goldin 17:57
That’s just me with hint at bat. It’s like, yeah, it’s like, oh, I drink it. I my wife drinks it. My son drinks it. So I drink it. I love that.

18:06
That’s so good.

Kara Goldin 18:08
That’s super, super fun. Do people are they constantly asking you to put a league in their city?

Kristi Herold 18:14
No, it was funny. In the early days, probably have very early days. I had a lot of people say to me, you should, you should expand this. And I actually really consciously chose not to expand for quite some time. I wanted to have I grew up in an entrepreneurial household. And I really admired the lifestyle my dad created where he was always home for dinner. He was always there at breakfast. He always came to any extracurricular. I mean, both he and my mom were at all our extracurricular activities. But my mom was a stay at home mom, and he was a businessman, an entrepreneur. And I thought that’s what I want to do, I want to be I want to be both of them. I want to be the, I want to go on school trips with my kids. And I want to run my own business. And I chose that first, you know, 1986 is when I started, I had my first child in 2000, and was having my third by 2004. And so by 2006, I started to really step back from the business I put 10 really hard working years in. And then the next 10 years, I really stood back a little bit and was very part time I was working about 20 hours a week and really involved in my kids lives. And then it wasn’t until 2016 that I decided I really want to expand this and grow this and touch the lives of more people. And I spent I spent I thought to myself, I really want to I needed I actually needed change. I didn’t know what it was going to be. And I went and I sat on a dock for a day by myself. And I just journaled and wrote, you know, what’s the legacy? I want to leave? What do I want people to say about me when I’m gone? And what am I most excited about what gets me excited because I was thinking I want to get out of sport and social club all together at that time. I just needed something fresh. And I wrote down what makes me most excited is when I’m sitting in my car, and the kids are in the car and I can say I’m driving along the street on a Tuesday evening in the summer and I can say Oh look, that’s a sport. Social Club softball game going on. There’s a sport and social club ultimate game, seeing the people playing that, because of the work we do, I realized that’s what gets me most excited. So at the time, we had about 70,000 people playing annually. And I thought, well, if that’s what gets me most excited, why would I stop that I need to grow that. And so that became, in 2016, I jumped right back in to my business wholeheartedly and started an acquisition strategy. And that’s when we started expanding into other cities and into Michigan. And I was right before COVID hit, I was working on two acquisitions that would have doubled the size of our organization. Overnight, I was doing the due diligence of the paperwork and, and then COVID hit and so that all got put on pause. And then we’ve actually not been the last nine months have probably been the most challenging nine months of my career in that we cannot run team sports right now at all we we’ve been, we got completely shut down in March, obviously. And, and we were able to get some started up again in August, August and September, we were at about 30% of our numbers last year. And then early October, we got shut down again. And we’ve just heard the announcement last week that it’s going to be another 28 days at least, it’s hard to say what’s going to happen for for team sports for the next little while and out some it’s going to be touch and go. It’s gonna be hard four or five more months, I suspect I’m hopeful that by next spring, we’ll get team sports going in. But anyway, having said that, you know, I spent a good, probably two months, March and April, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, it was in a pretty deep hole pretty dark. I was depressed, it was really a hard hit. Because I’d been working so hard at growing this company. And it was it’s really been on quite a growth trajectory the last few years. So to have it just all get wiped out. And you know, I was part of my thinking with the acquisitions to was to diversify to protect from, from any one incident, well, you can’t really protect yourself from a global pandemic. I mean, I didn’t expect a globe, I’d never thought that would be something that could happen, right? Like, I could never have predicted that. Anyway, so I felt pretty sorry for myself for a couple months, spent a lot of time crying. And then thought, Well, again, kind of like in those early days on 26. I can sit and cry or I can actually try and make change here. And so we decided to stay true to our purpose, which is connecting people through play. And we created an organization, an arm of our business called jam, and jam. It’s like work plus play equals jam and jam is all remote events. It’s a totally different business. We were running a b2c business that was geographically focused to a b2b business that for companies all over the world, and we’re running really fun events, hosted events, things like musical bingo and scavenger hunts, escape rooms, guests, my sketch, which is like a dictionary or survey says, which is Family Feud stuff, event, cooking classes, and trivia, all these different custom events. And it’s taking off. I mean, we’ve got companies who are they test one event, and then the next day, they call and say we want to book a pack to 20. I may have mentioned this to you before that we did a event for one company, they loved it so much. They call back the next day and said we want to do we want to book a package of 10. We’re going to do some more for sale. But we actually want to gift these events because we have a lot of corporate clients. So they’re gifting our events to other corporations. So it’s super exciting to see how this business is totally taking off. I mean, the the sales are just going through the roof. And right now, I mean, we’re booking December is booking up quickly because of people wanting to plan holiday events for their corporate teams.

Kara Goldin 23:42
Tt’s the best holiday event. We haven’t planned ours yet. What is the best idea that you’ve that you’ve heard? Gosh, how big is your team? 200?

Kristi Herold 23:49
Oh, goodness, I mean, we could do all sorts of different things. But we’ve got a bunch of different holiday themed events, you know, snowy escape rooms, and Sleigh Ride scavenger hunts. I can’t remember

24:00
how you do

Kristi Herold 24:00
it, then it’s all through zoom. Yeah, so we have hosts that we’ve we’ve hired, like, we’re hiring actors and comedians and like people who are really outgoing, and we’re training them to how to run the event, but they’re really engaging people. So you get on, your team doesn’t have to do anything, all you have to do is show up to the zoom link at the right time, have your drink in hand for your party, and the hosts will guide you through having some laughs with your team, you know, and so a lot of teams are doing companies are booking like a lunchtime event every two weeks. So it’s just a way because everyone’s working remotely. Now. It’s a way to see people and have laughs instead of every zoom call being a stressful business meeting. You’re having some laughter and some connection, which is what people are missing. Right. And we need that. You need some playful human connection to really get keep your team bonded. Well.

Kara Goldin 24:50
Yeah, I love it. Oh, that’s so great. Well, we’ll definitely have to talk about that because I love the I love the idea.

Kristi Herold 24:57
We’d love to do an event for you team for sure.

Kara Goldin 24:58
It’s super fun. So you’ve obviously pivoted, and you talked about, you know, you were feeling sorry for yourself, but you just got out of it and just got up and tried. Like, what did you do? Like? Were there people around you that? I mean, obviously, you grew up in an entrepreneurial family and your brother mentioned your brother’s business.

Kristi Herold 25:20
Yes, my brother is a very well renowned business coach and speaker. He’s been called the CEO whisper. By, I think, by Forbes, the editor of Forbes magazine referred to him as that. Yeah, Cameron is a bit of an ass kicker with me. He doesn’t take my BS. So me feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going over well, and I remember, we I was out for a walk. And he was kind of, he wasn’t yelling at me. But he was kind of kicking me in the butt over the phone. And he was saying you have to pivot you have to. And I actually remember saying him if one more person tells me the pivot, I’m gonna punch them in the face. Like the word pivot just was making me so I agree.

Kara Goldin 25:57
I agree. Like, yeah, it means that you don’t actually know what you’re doing. Oh, and I, in my mind, weather does, but pivot to me is just like this.

Kristi Herold 26:07
The term of 2020. Right. Like, it’s the word.

Kara Goldin 26:12
I think the difference is, is that this was something that was out of your control.

Kristi Herold 26:15
Well, it right. And that’s the only thing that’s honestly like, that’s really helped me sleep at night, knowing that I didn’t make a bad business decision to put us in this position we did. We did nothing wrong. It’s because it’s heartbreaking. I have a team of 340 employees 40 full time and 300 part time employees who are hurting now like this, this has been a really, really hard year for us. Anyway, my brother at the time he he said, you know, you have to pivot,

26:37
you need to do

Kristi Herold 26:40
ever, like get online get virtual. And I was like, you can’t, he was giving me examples of gyms and health clubs, how they’re doing classes online. And I said, you can’t play soccer over the internet, like you can’t play volleyball with you know, so I was really in this mind block. And I’m part of our industry association, the sport and social Industry Association. And there were some some folks in the industry, it’s a great industry people, I just adore them. And there’s some really amazing sharing that goes on. And I was really inspired by a few different clubs in the US who had started doing bingo and in some trivia events. And so we sat in on some of their events and, and I, we were like, Okay, let’s try it. And we started trying it like for our members, you know, $5 to come and play a night of bingo, and, and then we realized that’s not gonna really, like that’s gonna be a long haul.

Kristi Herold 27:29
And the idea of doing it as corporate events came along, and it was like a friend suggested that and I was like, yeah, you know, that’s, we should try doing that. And as soon as we I had Dave’s company, my fiance, we I said, let us do a test event for you just let us practice this. And they loved it. They called back the next day. And we’re like, we want to book a package of 10. They’re now in their third package of 10. Because they just think they do it. It’s like a bi weekly thing that that productions does. And anyway, so it just it started to take off. And I think my team initially, some of my team thought I was a bit crazy that like, What is she thinking, but, and one of the fellows on my team actually said about a month ago, I’m really glad that you pushed us to do this, because it’s, it is the only thing generating any revenue right now. So it’s helping us cover our costs. But it’s exciting. It’s really taking off. It could be a very significant business this year, it could be a seven figure business in our first year of running it, which is exciting.

Kara Goldin 28:27
That’s amazing. And and also that it’s a b2b versus b2c. Yeah, it’s just a whole, I think so many businesses are going to be developed. And, and I mean, maybe started in 2020. But I think 2021 will be the year where, you know, there’s plenty of people globally who are getting laid off. And I, as I’ve said to so many people, like use this time to actually figure out what you want to do, or, like what what other models are there that you have thought about testing in your business that you’re that you haven’t done, because you haven’t, you know, you didn’t want to lose focus or whatever. But now you need to diversify and get, you know, another channel of revenue coming in or whatever, I think now’s the time, and you just prove this. And, and I think that the other thing that I hear you talking about too, was that you had built this incredible business. And so I’ve always said to people that the ability to kind of move forward, everybody has a pity party or had their doubts, right or has a few tears along the way. But I think the ability to kind of snap out of it or or gradually like say I got to go figure something out is something that is just really important for people to do and and I think once you start actually making some kind of progress, then, you know, look at how happy you are just you know, talking about like you’ve got this new event surprised. Yeah, like you didn’t think it was gonna happen. And now it has and your team’s really excited about it.

Kristi Herold 29:56
It’s one little it’s the one shiny light I have right now. It’s definitely don’t get me wrong. It’s not easy right now because our other our core business is, right, it’s hurting. And we don’t know how much longer we’re going to be non operational for we have significant overhead. And so it’s hard. But it is nice. It’s really nice that we were persistent. And we did try and we, and this is taking off and it’s so it is fun to have that that one little bright light and, and hopefully that little light will keep on growing.

Kara Goldin 30:27
I love it. That’s That’s so great. So in Do you think that you could ever not be an entrepreneur? I mean, it just like knowing, right? It’s like you’ve got I mean, you’ve got this vision you’ve got.

Kristi Herold 30:42
But the worst employee in the world, like I would be a horrible employee. Yeah, no, I think I always knew. I remember the very first, my very first significant business, I started the lawn cutting business when I was 15. And I, I walked around to the neighbors that I could walk to because it didn’t have a driver’s license. And I dropped off flyers and I got customers and I started cutting their grass. And at the end of the summer, I showed my dad my profit loss statement. I’m like, here’s all my you know, how much I made. And this is my expenses. And this is how much money I made. And I worked this many hours, this is how much I made an hour. And he said, That’s amazing. What would happen if you hired an employee? And I was like, Well, what do you mean? Like, I didn’t understand how that would help. And it was this. And I will never forget that moment when he said, Well, you could hire a student to work for you for $7 an hour, and you’re charging your clients 15 then you’re making 15 on your hour, and you’re making eight on there. So you’re actually going to make yourself you know, $23 an hour, and I was like, oh, and like this light bulb went off, like,

31:47
Oh my gosh,

Kristi Herold 31:48
like that’s how you scale a business. And so I had three young boys that worked for me the next summer, they didn’t have the driver’s license, and I’ve got my driver’s license that summer. And I bought a couple us lawnmowers and drove around. So it was really I mean, I don’t know, I

Kara Goldin 32:01
think it’s just I love that. No, I love that for me, my I had a job when I was 14 and the toy store and and, you know, I was just like the Sunday cashier. And you know, my dad was so surprised that they actually even gave me a job. They didn’t check my like, age. He was like, did they ask you for a driver’s license? I’m like, I’m 14 I don’t have a driver’s license, you know? So he was like, did they ask you? And I’m like, No, they just like thought that if I was applying for a job and But anyway, then I that they asked if I would come and do buying and and I remember like, like, hearing about profit and loss and and you know, and margins and things that you don’t talk about when you’re 14 years old. And I was fascinated by it. Like, this is how you figure out how to price things. And, you know, and I was just so fascinated by it. And and and again, like that light bulb went off. But it’s I think about that stuff all the time. Yeah, no, go back to, you know, did I know that I was going to be an entrepreneur? No. But I was always kind of, you know, thinking about the next step. And people call it scrappiness, maybe, I don’t know, maybe it’s scrappy. But I think I just, I loved the, you know, I loved learning, which I think is another thing that I see. And, and when I hear you talk about like your, you know, you really do like learning and newness and, and I think that that’s such a core thing for entrepreneurs is that, you know, the creativity, but also the love of learning and, and reading and you and I have that in common as well.

Kristi Herold 33:41
We do a book club at my office, every couple of months, we read a new book, and I’m gonna put you on the spot, we often will invite the author to call in for 15 minutes or half an hour of our book club discussion. So if if we could do undaunted, perhaps you’d like to join my team for

Kara Goldin 34:00
that we’ll be doing that actually a fair amount right now. That’s great. Yeah. Not necessarily for I’ve done it for a couple of book clubs, but but just for offices, and yeah, they need to come in for to talk about actually, there’s two different groups and inside of companies that I’ve been speaking to one is the book clubs. And then the other one, actually three than the other is diversity, and bringing in, you know, more women leaders and to talk about the book. And then the third is is really a challenger brand that kind of goes in and again, like you can hear an entrepreneur story. You’re a huge reader and as well, you don’t need to be an entrepreneur in order to really appreciate what somebody has done. Yes, build a company and so so I’ve been speaking to a ton of banks and law firms and lots of companies awesome over the last few few weeks yet super, super excited. So excited. So well this is awesome yeah people find out more about sport and social group and jam events which of course is like I mean I’m getting on there before this actually gets out so I can put my time yeah figure out the holidays

35:19
well work

Kristi Herold 35:20
jam the jam website is work play jam.com okay and sports social group is I think it’s sports social club but there’s there’s not a lot going on with sport and social right now so work play jam is definitely the the website check out and I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn as Christy Harold and I’m on Instagram as Christy Harold underscore and twitter at Christie help but they don’t do a lot of Twitter so

Kara Goldin 35:44
Yeah, awesome. Very, very cool. Well thank you and be safe and well and for those of you listening please give Christie five stars and subscribe and all that kind of stuff because we’re we’re so excited to have her here and and just it’s it’s so fun for me to actually talk to these amazing people that are just real people that are just doing great stuff and making it happen and Christy is just one of them. So thanks for having me. Kara.