Rob LoCascio – Founder & CEO of LivePerson Inc.
Coming up is a great interview we can all learn from! Rob LoCascio, CEO and Founder of LivePerson Inc., a company that’s been transforming how people connect and transact with brands through AI. In this conversation, Rob walks us through his roller coaster of an entrepreneurial journey and shares so many golden nuggets of wisdom that he learned along the way. From getting fired at his first job, starting his first company, learning engineering and programming, creating websites, inventing the web chat, and finally founding LivePerson. Lots of good stuff here! Don’t miss this wonderful episode on #TheKaraGoldinShow
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More links from Rob LoCascio
Rob Locascio 0:00
Keep walking, freezing up will kill you
Kara Goldin 0:03
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 make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked out knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara golden show. So join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders will talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started.
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Hi, everyone, its Kara golden with the karat gold and show and I’m super excited to have my next guest here, Rob Locascio. And he is the CEO and the founder of an incredible company that I know you have heard of. And I was so excited to actually be introduced to him by a mutual friend. He is the CEO and founder of live person. And he started this company during the original.com boom and let it through the.com bust and navigated his company to even greater heights. And in 2020, he was named in the list of best companies, world’s most innovative companies. And I’m going to chat today with Rob about just building his company and his journey, so many nuggets of wisdom in his journey along the way that I think we can all learn from so really excited. welcome, Rob. Thanks, Kara. Thanks for having me. So where did little Rob start off? I mean, where where did you get started? You’re in New York City today and tell us a little bit more about you growing up?
Rob Locascio 1:58
Yeah, so I grew up in Long Island, in a place called Babylon. And, you know, middle class family, my my family’s was all entrepreneurs. So I guess you know, I was in this line. My dad was an entrepreneur and my grandfather’s and sister and cousins and it just seemed like we had this entrepreneurial bug. So when I was a kid, I, I often say I learned a lot at the, at the dinner table, the struggles and challenges and exciting things in the ups and downs of being an entrepreneurial family. So I I started out there and then and then from there, I went to school in Baltimore, at Loyola University. And then from there started my first company out of college. Well, first I was fired. I was first fired for my first job then started my first company. So what was that first job? It was at a place called elders I excite. I had studied abroad and I loved I loved everything International. So I wanted to do international trading. And I came out of school in 1990 in the there was a recession on or just starting. And I remember I got this job. And I was working for a company that was out of Australia and we traded all sorts of things around the world forest products and chemicals and all sorts of things. And I was in a division that had about 20 people in it in outside of Baltimore, Maryland. And I was there for about six months and you know, I was doing all sorts of things that a normal person does at a college and and I remember one day there I man the fax machine so one of my roles, there’s no email back then so as all fax and letters and
I had to man the fax I get a fax and there were orders that come on and fax but I get there’s a fax from corporate that says you got to fire me like that, you know, they were restructuring because the CEO who was a, his name was kind of something Sinclair, he went on a buying spree just bought everything he get his hands I bought, he bought Foster’s lager, the brewery, he bought the football team, he bought a hotel and great hires. This guy went nuts was like general, it’s like the GE model, he was going to be a conglomerate of everything he liked. And then it was all falling apart during the recession. And they had to start firing a lot of the companies so I was fired by facts. I remember I get the facts. Like, you got to fire this guy. It’s got my name, and I’m like I was conflicted. Because I had to you know, I had to take that to the head guy. Basically my like death sentence. I think it’s called Urban Dictionary, the dictionary term in the Mac making fired by facts right?
handed it to the guy and he’s like, looking at he’s looking at me and like, yeah, guess what this means? Wow. And I’m like, Okay. Then he took me out. I remember the they ended up firing me they were really nice. And they they took me out to lunch and they said, I remember we had lunch and it was the end of lunch and they said What What did you learn from this experience? And I said, I said, I’ll never fucking work for anybody. Again, I used the F word I literally just had never. And I got out, I went out my car and I cried, I just broke down crying. And I was just, you know, ashamed, I lost my job. And sad, I’m scared, you know, because I was young. I didn’t know what would happen next.
Kara Goldin 5:20
That’s wild. So what was the next role that you ended up taking?
Rob Locascio 5:25
Well, you know, I made I decided I’m not gonna work for anyone, again, like, I just thought it was not really for me. And I made a list of things, you know, I wrote down a list of like, five things that maybe I want to do. And I just wrote them from what was inside of me, I just what came first top of mine. And that’s what I did. So I wrote down like, I want to run an advertising agency and, and all sorts of things. And then I made my way to my first company, kind of via that list of five. And that’s, that’s kind of what I did. So I just kind of decided, let’s try something else.
Kara Goldin 5:57
And so what was the first what was that first company after you made this list?
Rob Locascio 6:01
It was a kiosk company I seen at that time. The Internet wasn’t around yet. I mean, I’d seen the internet but it was just basically for sharing files and some stuff on when I was in university, you would, the internet wasn’t really what it was. It was just kind of like links to articles and stuff. And I’d seen these kiosks over in the World Financial Center. And this guy, Edwin Schlossberg made these kiosks. And I thought they were really cool. You touch the screen, and there were pictures and stuff. Now this is 1991 or so 92. And basically, I was like, This is cool. And then somehow I found my way to digital video. I was living in Baltimore, I found this husband and wife who were training Navy pilots. And they have this digital video technology are using from Intel called D VI. And it was I remember seeing digital video on the desktop off of a hard drive, which didn’t exist back then. Now we laugh about that, but and I said, Man, that’s that’s digital video that can be transferred over modems. And yeah, I said, What if we put that on kiosks. And then I said, I just graduated from college a year ago, whatever, a couple months ago. And we should do advertising. I’m like I should do advertising kiosks, college campuses. And that was my first company is called icon ikn interactive kiosk on my network. And I went out to then basically build these kiosks and put them into colleges.
Kara Goldin 7:32
That’s why I’ll so that was, so you didn’t sit there and say necessarily, I’m going to go and find a role in tech. I mean, you really kind of stumbled upon it. And yet you were curious about it and had ideas to grow it. I love that.
Rob Locascio 7:46
Yeah, and I wasn’t an engineer, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t have an engineering degree or anything. I had a marketing degree in English literature. I had to learn how to program I had to teach myself technology wasn’t like it is today, it wasn’t like you got on AWS or being in a being an engineer was cool, or, you know, engineering was not like that, or programming. It wasn’t as you know, like mainframes and basic. That was what you were using cobalt. It was like this type of stuff. So it wasn’t something cool and hip and interesting. But I got into it. And I really loved it. And I found it a really good creative outlet for myself. Because you can really do anything you want. We were limited back then by like 14 colors. That’s the screen can only do 14 colors outside the video. So the palette of creating graphics was pretty limited. But yeah, I went after it. I put $50,000 on credit cards because I got some credit cards out of college, there was no venture capital. Back in that day and age it wasn’t really wasn’t happening. And, and I just went for it. And I started to get I got the first key s cup of towels in State University and like 9092 93. And then I rolled out four or five others and started sell advertising and it was like digital advertising. And it was pre internet and digital video and it touch the screen and you watch the video and then do all these cool things. And and that’s how I cut my teeth in technology.
Kara Goldin 9:10
It’s interesting, because you probably like Where did you find budgets, you know that you could go after all of those kinds of conversations. And when I say today, I mean the 90s and tack and I of course was in that world as well, where you’re, you know, you’re making it up as you go along. Right? Like I mean, people you probably walked in and said, Hey, you want to reach college students and you didn’t exactly know how that was all going to go but you’re just right.
Rob Locascio 9:41
Yeah, I mean, I have my first check I ever got was from a lacrosse loyal. Maryland’s a big lacrosse state. And there was a guy who sold lacrosse, you know, sticks and everything to kids in college, in high school, and he was my first customer and we advertised on the key as we made a video forum and it was in the Student Union Building, so only people who could see it would be in the studio and billing, but then I picked up like Capitol Records and the New York Times and Northwest Airlines, and people are curious, you know, we didn’t charge labs, like $500 to make the video and another $100 a month. So, you know, for anyone it was, it was, it was cheap to get on it. And then, you know, the school liked it, cuz there was a lot of stuff about school schedules, and the university kids would put videos on about their clubs and things like that. So it was it was it kind of worked, but you’re right, the things I have to sell, you know, we’re selling kind of a dream about the future.
Kara Goldin 10:35
Yeah, now? Absolutely. And what was the thing that you learned most about yourself and, and in that role,
Rob Locascio 10:43
you know, I made a lot of mistakes in the first company, I, I made every mistake in the book, I hired the wrong people, I I did raise some money from like friends and family and all sorts of people that I shouldn’t have, you know, who didn’t know anything about any business I was in and, and then it went under, you know, I, in 1995, the internet started to happen. And then I could see the end of the kiosk business because the internet was starting to happen. Some of our customers were asking for, like, do you do websites, and I’m like, Sure, we do websites. And I just realized that the internet was going to be pervasive, it was going to be in everyone’s homes, it’s going to be in the students dorms. Not they’re gonna have to go to the the someplace like the Student Union Building. And I remember it was a really fateful day, but we put up a one of these at New York University, it’s like a, it’s like a jewel of the university system. And, and we had this artist D’Angelo, who was really big back in the 90s, do a set like acoustic set, because Capitol Records sent them over. And it was 1000s of people came out, I was so proud. And yet, I got a call from Northwest Airlines on my phone during the this event, and they asked me if I could do a website. And I was, like, I said, that’s the end of the chaos business. And I remember I, I stopped, I really just started to wind the company down. And I started to build websites, and I moved to New York City by November, and I was broke, I literally didn’t have any money. And that was kind of I started this company was was to that lesson, I learned a lot, it was very painful for me. I mean, I was kind of fighting depression at the time. Because I just didn’t understand what was going on. I felt like a loser, you know, and I, and I felt like I failed. I ended up sleeping on a couch, which is part of the story. But I started sleeping on this couch in the small office. And, and because I couldn’t afford an apartment, and I just kind of built from nothing, you know, one day at a time for it.
Kara Goldin 12:52
I love that story. And so live person starts in 1995, you’ve taken this up to that point. So how did I get started?
Rob Locascio 13:02
That one part that first, you know, November 95, is when I incorporated and then I moved to New York City. And I started just build websites, you know, just to get into it, and learn how to do HTML and all that stuff. And there was a very small group of us in New York City that were involved with it was kind of cool, agency calm and raise your fish this heads of that. And there were a couple other others we’d get together and like hang out and talk about HTML and, and ColdFusion. And all these technologies are pretty nice. And at the time for making a website. At the same time, I was going through a lot of personal issues. I was like, I was just struggling. And I needed to start to learn to change myself as a person to reach the dreams I’ve always had I had for a long time. And so I I was seeing a psychiatrist at the time, Dr. Frank morio. I had on my podcast over the wall a couple of months ago and and we talked about that I found him and he took me on he didn’t charge me anything. And he started to work with me on kind of reprogramming my brain. And the way I was perceiving the world, I you know what I really didn’t understand my perception of the world. And you know, it’s like I always say it’s like I was wearing glasses that were given to me at birth and they were fuzzy. But because I grown up with them, I thought this is the way clarity is and they were very fuzzy. And so when somebody I would meet people and make decisions, I wasn’t making it with a good mind. Dr. Frank made me understand is that made me really take a lifelong journey of realizing that you never know where you are. Like you never know if you’re wearing the right set of glasses, even today. You know, I have doubts, even though I’m running a company of 1500 people and you know, running about a half a billion in revenues and stuff And I still, you know, I have to always look at myself and say, Do I have the right set of glasses on? Yeah, but that’s what I got. I learned at that moment. It was about two years, I was on that couch working with Frank. And then finally I got off the couch, got an apartment and move forward.
Kara Goldin 15:16
That’s awesome. And so live person. You had this idea for chat? Yeah, for web chat. Yeah. For the for the chat. So you’re doing the websites? And then you just decide, like, what what inspired you What made you believe that web chat needed to be happening?
Rob Locascio 15:32
Yeah, we were building some ecommerce sites early on, and I realized it was just like, so bad. Like, they’re, they’re just like, you know, vending machines, and like, you couldn’t touch anything, and you put your credit card in and, you know, and still be really terrible. And I said they had to put people in the store. There’s got to be like, people, yeah, a lot of times, they just put a phone number on. And then you would have to call phone number as like this terrible experience, like, especially back then people rose, it was dial up service, and ISDN service, a lot of times you would have to hang up your internet connection, make a phone call, like your website, sort of cache there on your browser. And you’re like looking around, but you’re not. It was a mess. So I said, There’s got to be a better way to do this. And I invented web chat. I saw I CQ, which was consumer messaging. But I said, Why can’t I Why can’t we do something like this for the web for businesses. And so I invented web chat in 95. And then a 97. And then from there just kind of focused and, you know, started to build like, it was really interesting back then, we’d go out the customers, and we’d see great successes also built the first cloud, it was like, we were hosted from day one. It didn’t really exist hosted software, but I thought there’s got to be a better way to deliver software. So we did it hosted. And there were about five of us in the company. When we got when we got that idea.
Kara Goldin 16:51
That’s crazy with five people in the company. I mean, that’s just that’s insane. I mean, I remember those days. And I was at AOL at the time, you talked about I CQ, and AOL chat, and people would get in huge fights with their roommates or their brothers or whatever on, you know, this dial up service, it was, you know, good times, right? It was, you know, real, it was insane. But I bet it to, I mean, you’re at it was at a time when people were trying to figure out why they needed websites for their companies, they would have a store. One of the stories I share in my book is talking to Mickey Drexler at the gap and trying to convince him to set up a website. And he’s like, I have stores all over the place, like the people can just go to my stores. And so and I said, actually, but there’s other people that have these catalogs and direct to consumer businesses that were beginning to start anyway, it’s good, good time. So as you grew the business, and you’re continuing to, to do that, then the.com bust in the early 2000 hits. Tell me about that time.
Rob Locascio 18:06
Yeah, I mean, we we we got funded in 99. The end of 99, we were then just go into town, there were five as far as like, we’re gonna go big, and we want to go public one day. And so we raised, we ended up raising 40 million in basically a few months. And from there, we went public on April 7 of 2000. So I mean, late 90, beginning of 99, when we got funded, one year later, we’re going public, in the middle of the.com, you know, implosion and April 7 2000, when we went out, and then very quickly, it dawned on me that we would most likely have a very painful moment. And, and I, you know, I did a couple of things that I thought could help us survive, it was pretty obvious to me, that the.com implosion was going to be for real. A lot of people believe that it was just a temporary thing, and there would be more money. But what happened was 50% of our customers were commerce. So we’re all feeding. That’s what makes a bubble, you real bubbles are created when you’re feeding upon yourself. And then once the funding starts, stops, right, you know, you know it all fell apart. So after we went public, it was very quickly. You know, I by January, February of 2001, we went into a restructuring and started we terminated 140 out of 180 people in a basically a day and it was very painful experience. And you know, my mind then then 911 hit and we were in New York and we watched the actual towers come down so I remember 2001 should harden me, definitely harden me as a person at heart and our company, you know, like the company itself beyond me, got very hardened in 2001 We built a very strong foundation, because we survived. And we went through extreme measures to survive. And we did. And when you come out the other side of that, you know, knock on wood. I mean, we’ve we’ve had some bad days, but 2001 was surreal. It was pretty surreal.
Crazy time, I read somewhere, you had a quote, I forgot the basics of business. raising capital made us feel like a successful business. Why is this takeaway so important for new entrepreneurs to hear? Yeah, I, I’ll never forget this Highland capital, which is a big VC firm at the time, they funded all the great companies, Yahoo, and everyone at that time, they had a conference with all of their CEOs and they had IE toys and all these guys. And I’ll never forget this, but the toy they had a couple of CEOs would speak and eat toys at that time was like, the big behemoth like wow, and Toby lank ran it. And Toby got up on stage and he was like, we’re gonna it was right before the holidays. We’re gonna he just raised I think $500 million at the time. So we’re gonna spend it all on this holiday. We’re going for what go at big. And I remember like, Oh, I felt like such an underachiever. I’m like, a God. That guy’s so amazing, right? Yeah. And the next guy got up, which was Reggie, Leonard regio, the the CEO of Barnes and Noble, right. The novel? Yeah, yeah. And they had they had at that Highland capital that time, was buying calm. So they bought Barnes and noble.com and staples, calm and a joint venture. And they would have those companies, they would do the.com they bought the rights. So they had him speak. And he got up there. And they asked like the question like, what are you going to do during the doc, you know, what are you doing? He said, I’m gonna I’m gonna let Toby spend all his money. Because I looked at his I looked at his p&l. And he has negative gross margins, like negative 40% gross margins. So unless you don’t, unless you people don’t know what that means for every dollar he makes. So every time someone buys his product, he loses $1.40. So that’s a bad math equation. And he actually say, he says, and then he puts the period, I guess. So if he’s, if he actually spends the $500 million, and a lot of people by I project to be out of business by February will be bankrupt. I remember. Silence crickets. Yeah, we were all like, still on stage, right? No, yeah.
No, he’s back. He’s down now here is to ask, like, right, whereas half, I think half, probably 380 percent of people like, oh, that guy’s an idiot is nobody’s talking about margins don’t matter. You know, this is what we were all in that mindset. Yeah, I remember I got up. During the break. I call my CFO, I said, What’s our What’s our gross margins? He said, negative 25%.
So I said, Oh, my God, you’re saying for every dollar we make we lose $1.25. Yeah, but we can grow out of it. I said, How long is until we grow out of it, you know, get to positive gross margin. He said, Well, my projections, which are aggressive, are two to three years from now. I was like, Oh, so turns out Toby went bankrupt in I think, April. We then went back and I took it very seriously that I forgot. I forgot what the hell business was. Even today. When I look at people’s I like we look at companies strategically and stuff. But I look to invest Personally, I look at their I look at their p&l, and I look at gross margins. And I’ve seen companies that have like, 40% gross margin, that negative and I’m like, that’s a terrible gross margin. Sometimes they can make it work if it’s retail. But like, in software, it’s a hard margin to make. And they just don’t, then they try to give me excuses. Like they’ll say, Well, that’s because of blah, blah. And I’m like, My God, they don’t understand the p&l. But like, the lesson learned know your p&l.
Kara Goldin 24:12
Yeah, absolutely. And so how did your business change at that point?
Rob Locascio 24:16
Well, you know, we went back and once again, I was like, everything was kind of coming together. And I realized, like, I basically sat down and said, like, what is it gonna take to make a real company here? And then I looked at our customer base, and then it just changed my mentality about spending money. What I realized at the time, is that we’ve lost money before we’ve even we’re losing money only two years ago, so I was investing heavily, but I learned a lesson about losing money. Like, it starts really small. You lose, like, let’s say, every month you lose $1,000 or you lost $1,000 Why not? 10 many like I lost 10 We can do 50 this this month. And eventually, like for us, it became 2 million a month. And back then that was a lot of money. And it was out of control. And when you realize when you get to a certain place that you’re spending what I call out of control, you’re not in control of your spend. And as a CEO, it’s very dangerous to lose control of your span. Because when you go to reel it back in the pain, by the way, you can sit with everybody, I remember, I sat with my team at the time, like, we’re going to go out of business and you explain and then everyone says, but we can’t cut back. We can’t come back. We’re spending this money. I need this part. What do you think? Nobody, there’s no rationalization that the money you’re spending may not be worth it. So everyone’s like, why hired correctly and I’m, we need this for the business. And it’s a really painful conversation. So once you cross over that road, to reel it back is very hard. And we did reel it back. And when we reeled it back, it was an extremely painful moment. And we fired a lot of people. And it was terrible. And I was very young at the time. And it was, it was like, you know, we just did it. Because I feared being back on the couch. The thing that drove me was the fear of being in the couch sleeping in that couch. Right? If I didn’t have that experience, it was a very painful experience for me, I probably wouldn’t have made the changes, I probably just would have went along like everyone else that said, Well, we can’t cut all these people. But we did, we survived.
Kara Goldin 26:27
I love that. Because challenging times as I always say, or those are, you know, those learning moments, sometimes they’re ugly, right? And you’re you want to forget about them. But you actually learn a lot about, you know, how to improve your business or how not to ever go there. Right? And it’s a that’s such a great, a great example, for sure. So let’s talk about AI. And how are you using AI now? And what is it? What do you think AI is to the future of, you know, just communicating with the customer?
Rob Locascio 27:02
Yeah, you know, I the name of the company is a live person. So it’s, for a long time, I seen people trying to automate conversations, and I didn’t see at work. And it was only, you know, because we’re always looking, we’re a premium product in the market. Because we invest a lot in our technology, we always we invented a new, like, for four and a half years ago, we launched the first messaging, asynchronous messaging platform for company with T Mobile. And then now we’ve got, you know, hundreds of customers on our 1000s. And but we were the first to do that it took three years to build it. And then then when we saw that people really want to use messaging more than chat. And then we can really scale that we need to learn how to automate that with high quality. And so what we’ve been able to do is really, because of the ability to take large data sets, and we run about anywhere between 50 and 70 million conversations a month right now run on our platform, through one of our 18,000 companies, and those are, that’s about 50 or 60 million consumers a month. Those conversations are very rich in data. And because we can take those conversations, see like, how do people pay for their credit card bill in a bank, across 40 of the largest banks, we can really automate and understand conversational automation and AI at a very, very high quality. And that’s where we’re shooting for. So you know, I’m a big believer, now I know that 80% of conversations that we’re having with businesses could be automated. And by the way, and what I’ve come to realize the only reason we have humans, in contact centers, the majority The reason not the only, but is because the back end systems at most companies are very old and very broken. And a human is needed to interface between your intent and the back end system. But you don’t want to speak to someone. And you really just want your question answered, wherever it comes from. And so, so there will, it’s moving very quick now. And I could see a time where we automate at least 80% of not more of the conversations.
Kara Goldin 29:07
I totally agree. I think that the key thing is actually getting people to figure out that it really isn’t about the front end, it really is about the back end. And that’s what leads to so many problems. But how has COVID really affected businesses as you see it? I mean, I’m sure there are so many people that are really relying on their own direct to consumer business today or beginning to I mean, that probably has hugely impacted your business as well.
Rob Locascio 29:36
Yeah, I mean, we grew, you know, our traffic on our services on our platform, our cloud grew by, we grew 40% between April and March of last year. So when COVID hit all the contact centers got shut down. And there was a mad dash to do messaging and automation, because a lot of the people answered voice calls were in places in the world where they couldn’t answer voice call at home like the Philippines. are in India, items that are broadband access their homes can take a phone call with a secure, like the security of asking someone for their credit cards and things like this. So automation and conversational AI really became in demand. And then we saw like stores, we have like our big home improvement and to the biggest Home Improvement companies. I mean, we like quadruple the amount of revenue that we’re taking through our platforms extra, it’s hundreds of millions of dollars, we’re adding incremental revenue, because people wanted to communicate versus go on the store. And now we’re seeing such so many cool things like to Paul Tay, we have a bot that you can call pepper that you can configure your burrito, Dunkin Donuts, just called Dunkin. Now, we’re doing a whole loyalty program that you join that loyalty program through messaging into an automation. So it’s like all these cool use cases, we got one of the big crypto exchanges, the one that just went public. There, we’re setting them up for customer care, because people have so many questions about buying crypto, or they have an issue. And the system they were using didn’t work too well. And they’re looking for something that can really scale conversations with automation. So there’s so many cool things going on right now. It’s quite exciting.
Kara Goldin 31:15
So it’s not just about problems with orders. It’s actually about retention. And right. I mean, it sounds like those are really, really great use cases. So I’m certainly going to check them out as well. So very, very, very cool. So what advice would you give to new entrepreneurs who are maybe trying to weather the storm? You know, coming out of COVID, but also just overall? I mean, I feel like you’ve given some great pieces of advice along the way, and sort of what you’ve learned, too, but what would you say to that?
Rob Locascio 31:52
First, you know, we had an amazing year, actually, we had amazing this past quarter, we grew 38%, which is our highest growth rate in the history of the country. But we’re all weathering a storm. Mm hmm. So I need to understand, like, I wake up in the morning, and I feel a lot of uncertainty. And it will though our business is doing really well. I you know, we’re not we’re working remotely. And although we’ve embraced and done a good job I there’s uncertainty about like, what’s the path back? Or the path? I never go back? I go forward. So what’s the path forward? There’s a lot of uncertainty around customers like, well, what are they doing? You know, what are they thinking? And so, you know, during these times, I think the most important thing to understand is that being an entrepreneur, your whole goal is to live in uncertainty. Like you can never, you can never get out of it. And even at my size, people think like, Oh, I remember when I’ve been number one person on the couch, that I hired one employee than another and another and I’ve seen it. So people think when you’re at a certain size, even like this size, like it must be easy, you got all these people working for you. And there’s all these leaders. And it’s not, because you’re constantly pushing the company into growth, you’re pushing it into areas that you’ve never experienced. And this thing with COVID. And everything is is something we’re all experiencing around the world. We’re all being pushed into new places. So the first thing I would say is like, we’re all together in this, if you are feeling uncertain, I feel uncertain. I’m talking about I know the head of the biggest companies in the world feel uncertainty, so don’t, don’t sweat it. The second thing is the way to get over it is just do the work. Like I find the best thing I can do is do my work and fill my day with work. The you know, the the idle mind is the playground of the devil, especially for entrepreneurs, you know, focus, like spend the first part of your day like going out and acquiring, you know, acquiring leads, acquiring leads, acquiring new customers, whatever it is, I’m saying like, I’ve been in places like when I started the company that just finding a customer was tough. I get that I’ve been there. So but you can pick up the phone and what I’ve always said is keep walking. I remember I did this glacier hike in New Zealand with my with a friend of mine, and it was a seven day hike. And we had no business doing this hike, by the way, but we did. And we were up on this glacier. And and we got hit with a very bad storm. And we were all tied in. So it was the two guides myself, my best friend, another person who we didn’t know but he was he was on the trip with us. And he fell down I remember we walked and we’re all tied together and the wind was like 7080 miles an hour and and he stopped and we all gathered around them. And the the guide said, Keep walking, keep walking. And he said even if we walk an inch, you’ve got us keep walking For we can’t we’ll get we’ll freeze here it was really that severe. And we just got up we all of us and I was like also, we just wanted to quit. I just put some music I put my earphones in and just cranked up. I don’t know Motley Crue or something. And I just kept walking, I put on some IV YouTubers like you. So I put up, but I walked I remember walking no more than a half a foot at a time. For I think it took us four hours to get off the get on the other side of glacier. And it left an impression on me that he can’t stop. So if you’re an entrepreneur, do not stop he will kill you. Yeah, complacency with freezing up will kill you think staying in your mind about what’s wrong or right will kill you. But there’s always a customer who wants to buy your stuff, you will find it I mean, you know that trust me, but do not be complacent, do not get caught in your head. Do not get caught in the little voice in your head. All of us have this very, this challenging voice in our head that we’re trying to fight. And I asked people on my podcast to which I’m gonna have you on that honestly, Kara. But it’s like I you know, I always ask like, what’s the little voice in your head? What is what is that little nasty voice? That you’re fighting? Everyone has it?
Kara Goldin 36:14
Everyone has it? I mean, it’s what I call in my book that you know the doubters, right? You’re your biggest doubter. And then when you run into and family and friends, are they trying to be helpful? They’re really not right, because they feed that doubt they know exactly. And they want you to not take risk, right? They want you to quit. I mean, they’re just this little voice out there that just can really, really hone in on it. And it’s the worst, right? And then, you know, then you start comparing yourself to everybody else in the industry. And, you know, you think that they’re, they’ve got it all figured out. They don’t have fears, they don’t have doubts, they do it all perfectly, because you don’t have any of their own doubts. Right. And I, I yeah, I can’t wait to talk about that. But stuff that I’ve learned along the way, for sure. Well, thank you so much, Rob. This is, it’s great to have you on today. And thanks so much for walking us through your roller coaster of an entrepreneurial journey for sure. And if you haven’t checked out live person, I mean, it’s such an incredible company and everything that you’ve built and I really it’s very exciting to hear some of the new ways that people are using just that technology to to do retention and and lifecycle marketing and it’s very, very cool. So also his podcast that Rob mentioned over the wall one day soon I will you’re gonna be on it. Yeah, very exciting. And And overall, just thanks for listening, everybody. We are here every Monday and Wednesday. And please give this five stars and subscribe on your favorite platform Apple podcast, Spotify or other platform and please follow me on social channels at Kara golden Rob, where’s the best place to reach you on social?
Rob Locascio 38:08
Yeah, so you can you can catch me on all Instagram and all that but the podcast is on all over the wall, you’ll find it on Apple and all the YouTube and everything Spotify, so I I’m in all the channels and what I want to do is really get back you know, I found like you and I think it’s great that you’re doing this it’s it’s like a give back. Totally. You know, we’ve been through a lot you’ve done amazing things with your company. And you know, when you’ve been around as long as we have, I think you feel it’d be great to get back and you don’t want you know what you took to take the side trading over the wall to interview people and, and, and just get into the reality of what this is all about the mental game of being an entrepreneur.
Kara Goldin 38:52
I love it. It’s so many great stories on there for sure. And I mentioned my book to hopefully you’ll all go out if you haven’t already purchased my book undaunted, overcoming doubts and doubters because a lot of this my whole journey is in there as well. And you can get it on Amazon or your favorite bookstore. And of course, be sure to grab a case of hint along the way, too. And thanks everybody for joining us and goodbye for now. before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book calm and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams for a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight? send me a tweet at Kara golden and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara golden golden thanks for listening
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