How I Became...

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Discover the remarkable stories behind successful startups in 'How I Became...' Join me, Kelly Yefet, as we delve into the journeys of extraordinary founders, marketers, investors, and industry experts. Uncover the breakthrough moments, challenges, and strategies that propelled their ventures to greatness. Each episode delivers inspiring narratives and practical insights for aspiring entrepreneurs. Get ready to be captivated by the untold tales of innovation, resilience, and triumph in the world of startups. Tune in now to fuel your own entrepreneurial journey. read less
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#15 - Chris Carder, ThinData | Schulich Startups. Master Networker
Hace una semana
#15 - Chris Carder, ThinData | Schulich Startups. Master Networker
"I am your creator" Chris Carter, the executive director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Schulich School of Business, shares his journey and the growth of Schulich Startup. He emphasizes the importance of embracing challenges and the myth that entrepreneurs need to dispel. Chris also discusses the impact of selling a business and the need for founders to reflect on their identity and purpose. He highlights the significance of listening and the role it plays in the success of entrepreneurs. Overall, Chris's story showcases the power of building a supportive community and the value of continuous learning and growth. In this conversation, the guest emphasizes the importance of sales skills for founders and how it can make or break a business. They discuss the misconception of hiding in the background and delegating sales responsibilities, highlighting the need for founders to become the greatest salesperson in the company. The conversation also touches on the role of founders as the face of the company and the need for effective communication and storytelling. Lastly, the guest shares their journey of evolution and becoming a master networker and community builder.TakeawaysEmbrace challenges and view them as opportunities for growth and learning.Reflect on your identity and purpose as a founder, especially after selling a business.Develop strong listening skills and actively seek different perspectives.Build a supportive community and prioritize the well-being of your team.Continuously learn and adapt to new situations and environments. Founders need to develop strong sales skills to ensure the success of their business.Even if founders have co-founders or team members with sales expertise, they still need to be actively involved in selling and communicating the company's vision.Founders play a crucial role as the face of the company, interacting with stakeholders and effectively telling the company's story.Continuous personal growth and development, including becoming a master networker, are essential for founders.
#14 - Allen Lau, Wattpad | Two Small Fish Ventures. Learning Machine
16-02-2024
#14 - Allen Lau, Wattpad | Two Small Fish Ventures. Learning Machine
Alan Lau, the co-founder of Wattpad, lead one of Canada's largest tech exits to Naver at $660M. She shares his journey as a recovering CEO and his transition to post-CEO life. He discusses the challenges and stress of being a CEO and the need for recovery. Alan also reflects on his decision to start his new venture, Too Small Fish Ventures, and the focus on investing in the next frontier of computing and its applications. He dispels the myth of glamour in entrepreneurship and emphasizes the struggles and perseverance required for success. In this conversation, Allen Lau discusses the challenges of scaling a startup and the importance of learning and growth in entrepreneurship.TakeawaysBeing a CEO is a stressful job that requires recovery.Transitioning to post-CEO life can provide new challenges and opportunities for growth.The decision to become an entrepreneur is influenced by personal experiences and family expectations.Scaling a company requires different skills and the ability to adapt as a leader.Building a successful business involves perseverance and the ability to navigate challenges.Monetization models can evolve over time and require balancing user experience with revenue generation.Integrating AI into a business can provide valuable insights and drive growth.Investing in the next frontier of computing and its applications can lead to innovative opportunities.Entrepreneurship is not glamorous and requires hard work and resilience.Dispelling myths for entrepreneurs can help set realistic expectations and provide guidance for success. Scaling a startup requires juggling multiple responsibilities and challenges.Entrepreneurship is not as glamorous as it may seem, and it involves hard work and difficult days.Continuous learning and growth are essential for success in entrepreneurship.
#13 - Erica Pearson, Vacation Fund. Founder
10-02-2024
#13 - Erica Pearson, Vacation Fund. Founder
🎙️ Empowering Entrepreneurs: Erica Pearson, Founder of Vacation Fund 🌍✈️Erica Pearson, the visionary behind Vacation Fund, shared her journey - her entrepreneurial spirit, resilience, and the pursuit of a balanced life.Originally from the world of Capital Markets, Erica transitioned into the competitive arena of entrepreneurship, founding Vacation Fund—a fintech startup aimed at revolutionizing employee benefits through employer-matched vacation savings. Despite facing challenges along the way, including navigating the complexities of raising $500K in investment and balancing the demands of motherhood, Erica remained steadfast in her mission to empower individuals to prioritize travel and holistic well-being. When she decided to sunset the business in a post covid world, she found new meaning in work-life balance and passion in her work.Tune in as Erica shares her insights on the importance of focus, the pitfalls of splitting attention, and the honest assessment of pain tolerance in entrepreneurship. From her experience as a startup founder to her current role as a Growth Account Executive at Sprout Social, Erica's journey offers valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and working parents alike.✨🌟 Don't miss this inspiring conversation with Erica Pearson—click the link below to listen now! 🌟🎧After listening, be sure to leave a ⭐️5-star rating and a glowing review on your preferred listening platform. Your support helps us attract incredible guests like Vitalii, ensuring each episode is packed with valuable insights and inspiration. Don't forget to like, comment, and share—your engagement fuels our growth and enables us to continue bringing you top-notch content!Stay tuned for more stories of innovation, resilience, and the pursuit of passion!
#11 - Erin Bury, Cofounder, Willful. Accidental Entrepreneur
30-01-2024
#11 - Erin Bury, Cofounder, Willful. Accidental Entrepreneur
🎙️"Entrepreneurship is contagious" - Erin Bury, Founder of WillfulErin Bury, the accomplished female founder and co-founder of Willful, an innovative online platform revolutionizing estate planning in Canada. Erin, a mom of two, shares her inspiring transition from a career person with 15 years of experience in startups and small businesses to a dynamic entrepreneur reshaping the legal landscape.Erin shares her unique mindset shift from the corporate world to entrepreneurship, highlighting the challenges and triumphs of navigating this transformative journey. As a leader, she discusses the qualities and mindsets crucial to her success, especially as a woman in a leadership role. Maternity leave and family focus become integral topics as Erin reflects on their impact on both her personal life and the growth of Willful.Erin shares the genesis of Willful and her experience on Dragons Den 🐉. She unravels the early days of the company, from raising $100,000 from friends and family to navigating a $750,000 convertible debt round. Erin discusses the evolving goals of the business, metrics that have shaped its growth, and unexpected challenges encountered along the way. The role of community and user feedback in development takes center stage as Erin provides insights into the company's trajectory.🚀✨ Don't miss this enlightening conversation with Erin Bury—click the link below to listen now and please don't forget to subscribe and give us a rating!! ✨🎧Stay tuned for more captivating stories of entrepreneurship, growth, and innovation!
#9 - Marley Alles, Founder, rax. Founder
18-12-2023
#9 - Marley Alles, Founder, rax. Founder
🎙️ Empowering Wardrobes: The Journey of Marley Alles, Solo Founder of Rax 👗This on hits close to home. I had the privilege of mentoring Marley during her early days, guiding her through the ideation phase of Rax via an incubator rax was part of. Witness the evolution of an idea into a thriving business and gain insights into the journey of an entrepreneur who is reshaping the fashion landscape.Marley Alles is the remarkable founder behind Rax, a groundbreaking peer-to-peer clothing rental app. Marley's story is a testament to the power of determination, smart growth, and a relentless focus on customer feedback.As a female founder, Marley recently welcomed her first CTO, marking a significant milestone in Rax's journey. Tune in to discover how she navigated the challenges of solo entrepreneurship and strategically built her team to scale her innovative platform.What sets Marley apart is her commitment to smart growth, starting with a robust MVP (Minimum Viable Product). She shares insights into the importance of listening to customer feedback, a practice she uses to continuously enhance the Rax experience.Having traversed through various incubators, Marley's dedication and hard work have earned her accolades, including winning a $40,000 prize for the Molson Coors Legacy Left Award. Her recognition as part of Corporate Knights' 30 Under 30 further highlights the impact she's making in the business world.🚀✨ Don't miss this inspiring conversation—click the link below to listen now! ✨🎧Stay tuned for more compelling stories of entrepreneurship, growth, and innovation!
#7 - Bryan Gold, Cofounder & CEO, #Paid. The Creator Marketing Founder
20-11-2023
#7 - Bryan Gold, Cofounder & CEO, #Paid. The Creator Marketing Founder
🎙️ From Solving a Problem to Revolutionizing Creator Marketing: A Conversation with Bryan Gold 🚀In our latest episode of "How I Became," I had the privilege of sitting down with Bryan Gold, the Co-Founder and CEO of #Paid. #Paid is a game-changing creator marketplace where brands and creators seamlessly connect, collaborate, and measure their creator marketing campaigns.Bryan's journey is a testament to the power of identifying a problem and relentlessly pursuing a solution. He didn't start out considering himself a founder, but his path led him to stumble upon the creation of one of the most influential creator platforms today.It all began with a friend, Ronnie, who was a creator facing a specific problem. Bryan saw an opportunity and felt compelled to solve it. Fast forward to today, #Paid boasts an impressive community of 85,000 creators, empowering brands (from small solopreneur brands to Fortune 100s like General Mills) to reach their target audiences effectively.During our conversation, we delved into Bryan's early days of problem/solution iteration, where he started with a sample size of one and built from there. We explored the challenges and rewards of creating a product in an entirely new industry, where first principles thinking was the driving force.We also discussed the critical decision-making moments of when to pivot and when to recognize that the problem you're solving simply isn't there. Bryan shared his insights on #Paid's initial concept of connecting brands and creators and how it evolved through consistent iteration, culminating in the successful "in-feed moments" from version 1 to version 6. The key, as Bryan emphasized, is to validate your idea as quickly as possible.Drawing from the pages of "The Lean Startup," we delved into the fundamentals of building a startup. Bryan's unwavering passion shines through as he shares the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, emphasizing the importance of self-governance and self-management to gain trust from your team, clients, and investors.For personal growth and self-management, Bryan opened up about his practices, including ice baths, meditation, and yoga, which help him navigate the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship.One of the most powerful takeaways from this episode is Bryan's philosophy on personal growth. He believes that if you recognize yourself from six months ago, you're not progressing as you should be. According to Bryan, success comes from continually "firing" and "hiring" a better version of yourself, always striving for improvement.As #Paid scales and transitions from Series B to Series C, Bryan discusses how founder problems evolve, and the importance of embracing change and fresh perspectives.Our conversation also touched on the value of mentors and the significance of having a support system on your entrepreneurial journey.This episode is packed with incredible quotes, profound thoughts, and inspiring discussions. If you're an entrepreneur or aspiring to be one, this is a must-listen.Tune in to our latest episode of "How I Became" and embark on a journey through the inspiring story of Bryan Gold and #Paid. 🚀[Link to Podcast Episode]Stay tuned for more fascinating insights and success stories!
#6 - Mitch Solway, Fractional CMO. A Stronger Leader
13-11-2023
#6 - Mitch Solway, Fractional CMO. A Stronger Leader
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mitch Solway, explore his experience helping startups as a Fractional CMOs. Grappling with significant marketing challenges? Not ready to commit to a full-time VP of Marketing? This conversation is a goldmine of insights ⚱️Mitch delves into the pivotal moments when marketing evolves into a top priority for a company. He highlights the junctures where engaging a Fractional CMO becomes the perfect fit, emphasizing their unique ability to tackle critical marketing issues while maintaining a flexible approach. As Mitch succinctly puts it, "part of my job is to put myself out of a job," underlining the strategic nature of these marketing experts.We also dissect the crucial topic of your first marketing hire and the ideal profile for this role. Mitch shares invaluable advice on building your marketing team effectively.Key discussion points include:Recognizing the trigger points when marketing ascends to a top priority.Understanding the distinctive role of a Fractional CMO.Building your initial marketing team and selecting the right first hire.The effectiveness of "Is this you?" marketing.Dispelling myths in marketingBecoming a better leader vs becoming a better marketer . If you're navigating the complex landscape of marketing strategy and team-building, this episode is a treasure trove of practical advice and fresh perspectives. Join us as we dive deep into the world of Fractional CMOs and the strategies that can transform your marketing efforts.
#4 - Erica Rankin, Founder BroDough. The Real Erica
23-10-2023
#4 - Erica Rankin, Founder BroDough. The Real Erica
I'm thrilled to introduce our guest, Erica, a true force to be reckoned with in the world of social media and the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) industry. With a staggering 4 million likes on TikTok and a devoted following of 60,000 on LinkedIn, she's a true powerhouse, not only in building her personal brand but also in creating a delicious and healthier protein bar.In this episode, you'll here about the strategies and insights behind Erica's incredible journey. We discuss what she aptly calls 'the parking lot framework,' shedding light on how to overcome distribution challenges, the art of saying no at the right moment, and the delicate balance of growing your business in sync with your personal brand.Erica pulls no punches in this conversation, sharing her authentic experience, including the highs and lows of growing a brand with just $10,000 in hand. We explore the concept of growing pains and the invaluable lessons they bring.Key highlights of this episode include:Erica's unique journey in creating a healthier protein bar.Her remarkable social media presence, including her TikTok and LinkedIn success.The unvarnished truths of growing a business alongside your personal brand.Don't miss out on this candid and insightful discussion with Erica as she lays bare her entrepreneurial journey, sharing her real experiences and invaluable wisdom.OUTLINE:Here's the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time.(00:00) - Introduction(5:05) - Female Founder (9:02) - Customer Feedback(12:00) - Bootstrapping with 10K(17:59) - Personal Branding for your Business (25:50) - Expansion & Distribution(28:11) - Shiny Object Distraction(35:22) - Myths Founders are Told(40:16) - Naming the Podcast