Hint Founder Kara Goldin’s Undaunted Approach to Hiring
Kara Goldin is the Founder and CEO of Hint, Inc., the healthy lifestyle brand known for award-winning, unsweetened, flavored water. Kara successfully broke into the beverage industry after leaving her role at America Online, determined to create a satisfying drink free from sweeteners. Her podcast, The Kara Goldin Show, features insightful conversations with fellow changemakers. She’s also the author of the bestselling book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters. In the book, she details her entrepreneurial journey and the lessons she learned along the way. Kara shares how her founding journey forged her distinct approach to hiring.
Listen to the podcast
HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDE
- Kara’s “accidental entrepreneurship” (3:01)
- Her undaunted approach to life and hiring (6:17)
- How she handles talent management and development (10:09)
- Her experience hiring throughout Hint’s growth (15:19)
- What she looks for in candidates beyond experience (22:25)
- Kara’s advice to young people entering the workforce (32:42)
SHOW TRANSCRIPT – HOW I HIRE PODCAST WITH KARA GOLDIN
Roy Notowitz: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to How I Hire, the podcast that taps directly into the best hiring advice and insights. I’m your host, Roy Notowitz, founder of an executive recruiting and leadership consulting firm called Noto Group. My team and I have spent the last decade helping to build iconic consumer brands, one hire at a time. Visit us at NotoGroup.com to learn more.
Today I’m excited to welcome Kara Goldin to the podcast. Kara is the founder and CEO of Hint Inc., the award-winning unsweetened flavored water and healthy lifestyle brand. Kara founded Hint in 2005 after serving as VP of Electronic Commerce and Shopping at America Online. She hosts The Kara Goldin Show, an insightful podcast featuring conversations with fellow changemakers.
Her best-selling book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters, details her experience overcoming the challenges of entrepreneurship and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Kara and I will discuss how her corporate and entrepreneurial experience has forged her distinct approach to hiring.
Kara, thank you so much for joining the show.
Kara Goldin: [00:01:21] Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Roy Notowitz: [00:01:22] It’s great to have you here. We met about four years ago at a dinner reception co-hosted by Mike Burbank.
Kara Goldin: [00:01:29] Yeah.
Roy Notowitz: [00:01:29] And Scott Staff, do you remember that?
Kara Goldin: [00:01:32] I do. I do.
Roy Notowitz: [00:01:33] It was at BevNET and there were about 20 people at a large square table and we were on sort of the same corner and it was a great group.
Kara Goldin: [00:01:41] I do remember that.
Roy Notowitz: [00:01:43] I actually remember a story that you told around the journey that you went on to research and develop the Hint sunscreen without any harmful chemical compounds that are in a lot of other brands and you were so immersed in that project or in that research that it sounded like you were a chemical engineer,
Kara Goldin: [00:02:03] [Laughter]
Roy Notowitz: [00:02:03] and your commitment and ultimate triumph was inspiring. And I remember that story, which is, I wasn’t surprised, let’s say when I heard that you wrote a book called Undaunted and certainly the story about your journey forging the new category with the water was one thing, but then you did it again. So it was kind of interesting how you go about running your business and being an entrepreneur. And I’m glad it’s such a great gift that you’re sharing it with so many people through this book and through your podcast. So today I want to focus on. Some of the story around the book itself and what it’s about, but also talk about hiring and how you’ve approached hiring and building teams throughout your entrepreneurial journey.
Kara Goldin: [00:02:47] Definitely.
Roy Notowitz: [00:02:48] Let’s start with the book it’s called Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters. Can you share with the listeners an example of a doubt or doubter that you had to overcome, and then also why you wrote the book?
Kara Goldin: [00:03:01] Well, I’ll, I’ll start with why I wrote the book. I call myself an accidental entrepreneur. I call myself an accidental author because I didn’t plan on writing a book. I was busy enough, and even though I was a journalism major in college, for me, it was just, it kind of stemmed from a lot of entrepreneurs reaching out to me, or I was doing a ton of public speaking over the last few years, and I felt like sharing my story with audiences who had kind of thoughts of maybe becoming an entrepreneur or they were existing entrepreneurs. And they were going through some, you know, challenging times that many of my stories that I shared kind of helped them and inspired them to know that they weren’t alone and that they, you know, could get through this challenging time.
And I certainly wished I would have had people kind of sharing their challenging times with me to know that I wasn’t the only one. Right? I think that so often we think, “Oh, let’s go hire a mentor and that mentor is going to, you know, wave their magic wand and solve all my problems” when the reality is, is that the best mentorship comes from somebody just sharing, you know, how they got through. I knew that my stories would help people in the food and beverage industry who wanted to start a company, but I felt that it would also appeal to people who were afraid to kind of move forward. Or I’ve said over the years, talking about people that it’s mandatory, that you have to have a product, first of all, that people want and that they’re willing to buy, whether that’s a product or a service in any industry. But in addition, You have to have the right people. And if you don’t have the right people and that could be, you know, at different stages along the way, then you won’t be able to scale your company. So people have come to me and said, “Oh, I’ve got this great product. It didn’t do well” and you know, and it always boils down to the people and those people could be internal people, they could be investors, they can, you know, that’s really what it boils down to. So, I talk a lot about that in uh, a lot of these talks, but also in the book and some of the things that I really believe are critical in hiring the right people at different stages.
Roy Notowitz: [00:05:28] Well, one of the things that stood out to me is that this undaunted spirit, even before you had started, the company was just sort of consistent throughout your life, whether it was in sports, the way you approached college and getting your first job out of college. You say no means maybe, and maybe means yes. And I think it’s, it’s really interesting and I want to talk a little bit about how that translates into the people you hire. So, in your book, you share some details about your distinct approach to hiring. And I’m interested if you could shed some light on what you look for in candidates and how you hire. And are you looking for, for example, people who have that undaunted approach to life, things like that?
Kara Goldin: [00:06:17] Yeah, I think curiosity is really the most valuable asset for me to see in somebody. So we can teach experience, and I think they also have to have passion and some sort of connection to our product otherwise it just doesn’t work.
Roy Notowitz: [00:06:37] So what does it mean to be undaunted and how does that factor into your approach to identifying and evaluating and hiring?
Kara Goldin: [00:06:46] Well, I think undaunted is really about, first of all, understanding that risk is normal. Right? If you want to grow. And so kind of going into something, not necessarily being the most educated about something in the room, but instead going in because you want to learn. And I think sadly we live in a society where as we grow in organizations, we don’t necessarily look for those kinds of opportunities. I certainly was, was this person. I was one of the youngest vice presidents at America Online. I had a couple hundred people working under me and, and, you know, my role was to mentor and manage, which is fine. And it’s great. But at the end of the day, how do I continue growing? And so I think that. I really push on people and have them take a deep look at, you know, when are you in situations where you are not mentoring and managing? And are you carving out that time?
I mean, I used to think that that meant going back to school. That’s not necessarily going back to school, it’s just going out and learning something new. So often you could be in your own organization. You don’t have to go start a company either to go and learn something new, but that for me is really living undaunted. It’s knowing that it may not feel comfortable. Knowing that, you know, just because you’re a senior person that doesn’t mean you have to know it all, that you can actually go and live undaunted, having a little bit of fear and going out and trying. I think that the interesting thing, I’ve talked to many C-suite executives, many of them are my friends, and I think sadly that we, again, going back to, you know, what I’ve seen is that a lot of these people who are not sitting there focusing on learning are kind of sad and depressed because they’re just, you know, running in the same hamster wheel every single day and they’re, you know, looking at eVida and, you know, and if they’re a public company, I think it’s, there’s other stresses that go along with that. So I think recognizing that if you actually have been successful, maybe now’s the time to go and take that risk and live undaunted or if you’re just starting out, maybe that’s the time to do it too, because you don’t have anything to lose.
Roy Notowitz: [00:09:30] Totally.
Kara Goldin: [00:09:31] And I think that, that it’s really just taking a deep dive and figuring out what’s best for you.
Roy Notowitz: [00:09:36] That’s a good comment because one of the things I remember in the book is, or maybe it was a podcast I heard you talking, on where you encourage top performers to push themselves beyond their comfortable groove. So going further than just mastering their roles. In fact, one story I remember was around how somebody was doing great in their job and then you said, “Hey, it’s time for you to do something else. Whether it’s in the company. Or outside the company.” So to what extent has that been a successful long-term talent management strategy for you?
Kara Goldin: [00:10:09] Yeah, well, it was a story around that as our company was growing and he was getting overwhelmed, we opened up for another job to work underneath him. And when he was hiring this person, I said, “What does she know that you don’t know?” And he said, “What are you talking about?” And I said “Like, what does she know that you don’t know?” And I think that’s a very threatening way to look at it typically, because you think “I don’t want to hire somebody that’s going to be working for me that knows more than me because I could be out of a job.” And what I said to him is “If you actually believe that you are a very valuable person in this company,” and he is, “then what you want to do is you want to hire somebody, number one that’s going to teach you some things that you don’t know because you’re going to get bored and, you know, you’re going to leave because you’re going to be bored and frustrated. And in addition, this allows you, if you hire somebody who you believe is going to be able to do a lot of your job, then you’re going to have some extra time that allows you to go and learn something new and again, add tremendous value in an area that maybe you don’t exactly know what that is”. And I think that it’s really kind of a hard concept for people to learn again, because of the way that our society and businesses are set up, where you go in at entry-level, and then you become manager, and then you’re an, essentially, like I said before, you’re a teacher. But instead you can still be a teacher, manager, mentor. All I’m saying is that carving out this extra piece and using that side of your brain to go and learn something is where the fun is, right? Where the challenge is and engagement as well.
Roy Notowitz: [00:12:07] So how did that story end up? Did that person end up finding another opportunity within the company and, and able to develop into the next level? Or did they eventually manage out?
Kara Goldin: [00:12:18] Yeah, well, it was interesting actually. He had actually a finance background and the great thing about being inside of smaller companies too, is that you can kind of, you know, learn about lots of different aspects of what people do. So he had decided that he wanted to do some more work on the operation side. Actually, my, my husband’s our Chief Operating Officer and he wanted to learn some things that he was doing because he saw that there was a huge tie-in between finance and operations and supply chain that again, in sort of his banking jobs, he didn’t really understand or know about. And so once he did hire someone to take over some of his roles, he started looking more and more and taking on little pieces from supply chain. And now. He’s running our supply chain. I mean, he is, he’s grown into that role .
Roy Notowitz: [00:13:13] Wow.
Kara Goldin: [00:13:13] And it’s really a story of not, you know, you don’t let your hands off the wheel, right? And during that process, I think that instead you are managing that person, but you’re looking out for yourself and you’re really, you’re really looking at some of these other things, because you’ve now learned how to streamline your job and you can teach the way that you could do it. And I think that those, to me are kind of, it’s not just about, I don’t know what the term is. I keep thinking I should talk about it and I should make up a word for it because it’s not just about being a manager, but it’s also about being somebody who can go into different divisions and make things a lot easier, right?
You’ve you figured out processes in one place, and now you’re going to bring those into others and there’s a lot of crossover, right, with some of the processes in different departments and if you could bring that over, then that ends up to be a really, really great thing for the company. And for you.
Roy Notowitz: [00:14:15] It’s amazing to be able to provide that opportunity in the first place, but to know that you need to support that person through a certain period of time for them to sort of make that leap,
Kara Goldin: [00:14:27] Yeah.
Roy Notowitz: [00:14:27] to be able to make that transition. That’s, that’s not an easy thing for a lot of people to do, but being able to do that within a safe environment is really, it’s kind of magical. It’s kind of cool.
Kara Goldin: [00:14:37] Yeah. No, super terrific.
Roy Notowitz: [00:14:40] Yeah. So even with previous hiring experience from bigger companies, a lot of entrepreneurs struggle in the early stage of hiring when they’re competing with larger companies for talent, whether it’s pay benefits or perks or finding talent who can connect the dots and thrive in an entrepreneurial environment or finding people who are really connected to their mission or their, their product. So, you know, you had that larger company experience as well. So what experiences or stories or learnings can you share about hiring at Hint as you grew from just you and Theo to five people to twenty, to a hundred, and now to over 200.
Kara Goldin: [00:15:19] You know, it’s interesting because when I was in my different roles, I never thought I was learning about culture. I mean, we didn’t really even talk about cultures. We just talked about how they were different and things that I liked and things that I didn’t like. So when I was at my first role, my first kind of official role after college, I worked at Time Magazine and it was very Ivy-league, very, you know, buttoned up, everybody wore suits and dresses and you know, it was very fancy. And offices, and it was fine. I mean, it was all I knew, right? And then I walked into CNN and it was Ted Turner and cowboy boots with a suit. I grew up in Arizona. I had never even seen people wear cowboy boots of the suit prior to seeing Ted. And he was just very loud and, you know, everybody whispered at Time. I mean, it was just very, it was just very different.
And then when I moved out to Silicon Valley, that’s when I worked for a little startup, that was a Steve Jobs idea, that was a spin out of Apple and there were essentially five guys who had worked at Apple. I didn’t work at Apple. They were all in t-shirts and old pizza boxes around the office. And, you know, it was, I was like, wait, what, what’s going on? You’re all, you all work in this room and there’s some desks and people are sitting on the floor with their computers? And I mean, it was just wild and they were getting a lot done. And it was basically, actually I talk about contributing. I mean, something that’s really important, and I think they were very interested in the fact that I had worked for brands.
When I ended up cold calling and had an opportunity finally, to actually join them. And there was a guy that had a PhD, there was somebody who hadn’t even graduated from college. I mean, it was just, nobody really cared as long as you were smart and you could contribute. And that was the question that the person who was hiring me said, “Do you think you can contribute?” and I was like, “Sure.” I figured like they’d fire me if I couldn’t contribute. I mean, it was very clear that that was the deal, but I wasn’t going to be able to just clock punch, right? Not that I ever was that person, but I had to actually show up and think and answer, and they wanted to hear what I had said.
And I liked that I liked that environment a lot. And then we were required by America Online, another environment where, you know, incredible leadership Steve Case, but it was an environment where, you know, I hopped on and then all of a sudden we went through, what’s termed a hockey stick and we’re, you know, we’re adding a thousand people a week and I was just always looking around and wondering, okay, by the time it started to slow down, I sort of liked it because we were all, you know, on the Autobahn for a few years and it was crazy.
And I think that, just all of those environments when I decided to start my own company, I didn’t sit there and say, “Okay, here’s what I know about these four.” But what I learned was that I was learning along the way. But again, I didn’t dislike any of those four environments, but I think that the beauty is, is that having experienced those things, I started to look at, you know, productivity and happiness and things like, I’ll give you one example. Anybody on my team knows this about me. I am not a fan of meetings, standing meetings. I hate standing meetings. And unless you actually have something to do and say, and it has purpose, I will do everything to fight, not having that meeting. And because I just, I really, really believe that. I would rather see people be able to think and enjoy their family.
Roy Notowitz: [00:19:13] Right.
Kara Goldin: [00:19:13] Or right? And that, that time,
Roy Notowitz: [00:19:16] Focus on what they need to get done instead of being in a meeting.
Kara Goldin: [00:19:18] Right? I remember a few years ago we had hired somebody who had come from an organization that was focused on, I mean, she said “I had 15 standing meetings a week. How many meetings do you have a week?” And I said, “As little as possible.” I mean, I, I just really, you know, for, for me, it was just, and, and it was a culture shift for her because she was like, “How do you connect?” I’m like, “Tell me if you need to connect.” I mean, and, and I think that again, having been in groups where I would say the only time, my first kind of real role there was one where there were standing lots of standing meetings, and I was so junior at the time, I didn’t have nearly as many standing meetings as other people. But for me, I just, I really, I think back on that a lot, because I think it’s, you know, unless people have something to really say, and then I also, I guess to some extent, followed the Jeff Bezos pizza box, you know, if there’s too many people in the room, I’m very likely to cut the number of people down if I catch wind of it. Because when I hear there’s 30 people in our organization who are sitting in a room, other I’m like, like what in the world is really going to get done?
Roy Notowitz: [00:20:34] Yeah.
Kara Goldin: [00:20:35] And sometimes I have to be that person.
Roy Notowitz: [00:20:37] Yeah.
Kara Goldin: [00:20:38] Right? Because I think as you start to grow your organization, you bring in other cultures and sometimes people, that’s what they’re used to working in.
Roy Notowitz: [00:20:49] Yeah. It’s the norm where they were before.
Kara Goldin: [00:20:51] Yeah. And I think that that’s just, you know, we watch how it goes initially, but I think when you bring, that’s just one example, the, the meetings concept into an organization that isn’t used to having lots of meetings, you’ve had somebody that’s been at Hint for four years, and suddenly you’re saying we’re going to meet every morning at 9:00 AM, they’re like, “Whoa, what just, what just happened?” And so I think because I’ve been in so many different cultures, I actually know how bringing in cultures, you have to allow the people to manage their teams, but then you have to also be very aware that, you know, unless it’s actually for a really darn good reason and you can actually measure and show that that is the right thing to do, that you’ll have resistance.
Roy Notowitz: [00:21:41] So would you say, you know, the thing that’s different about hiring at Hint, which is, you know, your own baby, your own business, versus when you were at AOL or some of these bigger companies, is that you’re looking for people, like you said, who are connected to the product and what you’re doing, but who also contribute. You might look for people with a broader skill set that can change, adaptability to do different things and learning agility. Those are the things I’m picking up on. Is there anything based on successes and failures of hiring at Hint during those early stages that you would want to pass on to another entrepreneur who’s in that sort of early stage growth mode about, what’s the secret sauce to hiring when you’re moving from that five to twenty or from that twenty to a hundred?
Kara Goldin: [00:22:25] I think so often when you really need somebody you’re sitting in the space where you kind of get enamored by their experience, and especially if, you know, they’ve worked in a company that maybe is in your industry where they’ve worked for like the big guy. And I think that the thing that you should think about in sort of an entrepreneurial startup, is that actually doing kind of the heavy lifting and rolling up your sleeves and getting out there and doing it, they may not have experienced just because they’ve worked inside of a large company to be able to do that. And so just as an example, I mean, not everybody who’s worked at Apple can go and start another company, right? My father actually shared this with me and I sort of lived it as a little kid. He had started a brand called Healthy Choice inside of initially Armour food company, which was acquired by Conagra.
But when I launched Hint, I asked him how I could get our product into Safeway and he’s like, “I have no idea. I mean, I don’t know you, I guess you have to find a buyer. I don’t really know.” Because large companies had like huge multi-year contracts and basically it was a real estate deal that was negotiated years ago and then increased every single year. And then he basically had to convince the internal teams that his product Healthy Choice should take up X percent of the freezer, right? But he didn’t do the same stuff that I did when I was getting Hint into Safeway, ultimately. And so I think that you want people who are curious and passionate and I think also actually not having the experience and not having the roadmap, you sort of try and figure out other ways, how to get over the wall, knock down the wall, right? That doesn’t mean that it’s shady, right? It’s just, it just means that you’re, you’re kind of thinking about other ways to do it and,
Roy Notowitz: [00:24:31] Undaunted.
Kara Goldin: [00:24:32] And living undaunted, right? I mean, when I started in San Francisco and we were in Whole Foods and you know, a few markets and then, when I went to talk to this gentleman, Omid Kordestani at Google about a potential job, because I was kind of burning out on this crazy world that I was living in, not taking a salary or any, you know, it was just, it was hard. And I had young kids, I had four young kids under the age of six. I was just about to give up. And when I went to have lunch with Omid, and I knew Omid from, he used to work with my husband at Netscape, I shared with them that I had started Hint and he said, “Oh, this is really fabulous. And, uh, and we just hired chefs to come cook for us, but I don’t think we have any drinks yet. Maybe the chef would be interested.” And, you know, most people who had beverage experience would probably be like, “Oh, we can’t do that because that’s food service and we only sell into stores.” And I instead was like, “Oh, that’d be awesome, right? Because I didn’t know any different. I just said, “Oh, okay. Sure. Give me Charlie’s phone number.” And I got Charlie’s phone number and, you know, and then Google became one of the largest kinds of retailers for us, and weren’t a retailer, but you know, they were one of our largest sales within a couple of weeks.
Most people who had experience and who really actually knew the roadmap. I mean, nobody had gotten into the tech firms prior to me selling into the tech firms. We were the first beverage in, in Silicon Valley,
Roy Notowitz: [00:26:10] It’s the demographic for you. Yeah.
Kara Goldin: [00:26:12] Yeah. And yet, because they didn’t know the rules, that’s how that came about. So I think it’s a, it’s really interesting when you think about that example, and then you hire people that actually don’t know the processes. Like they haven’t worked at Pepsi, right? So they don’t know how this is supposed to be. That’s where the winds come about. You’ll make mistakes along the way. It’s not to say that you don’t watch those people and you have to, beyond the founder as we started to grow, we did hire some people who had had some experience, but again, they don’t have to have the exact experience. You need people who are inquisitive and curious, and passionate and are hard working too. And I think you get that just from, you’re able to kind of see that in people as you talk to them and kind of hear how they think about things.
Roy Notowitz: [00:27:08] I’m imagining your office just being like all these sort of undaunted, maverick asking questions. Is it a bit like herding cats ever or with people like going in, you know, like you’re talking about giving room for people to, you know, expand beyond their job to roam within their job description, or is that sort of organized chaos or is that sort of, how does that, how does that translate?
Kara Goldin: [00:27:33] Look, people know what they’re working on, but I think that people are also, if they don’t look like they’re too busy, then they’re welcome to kind of jump in and, and talk about other projects because I think the key to successful entrepreneur-ism too, and, you know, entrepreneurial companies is innovation.
Roy Notowitz: [00:27:55] Yeah.
Kara Goldin: [00:27:55] And so I think that this is not a company where you sit around and just think, “Okay, my job is done here. And, and I’m, you know, doing this.” It’s just, again, that curiosity and that creativity, you want people who are constantly trying to do better. And, you know, it’s interesting, I was reading this story the other day about Elon Musk and how people were saying “You’re the most incredible entrepreneur and, you know, it’s just really great, everything that you’ve done.” And they were asking him, what does he think about that when people say that to him? And he said that the hardest thing is, is that he’s constantly thinking about how he can be better, because I think that that’s the other sign of a great entrepreneur is that you don’t think that your puzzle is complete. You think about how do I keep growing and what else can we be doing? And I think that when you have that mindset, when you have, you know, the key people who have that mindset, then you’re not going to be complacent, right?
Roy Notowitz: [00:29:02] Yeah.
Kara Goldin: [00:29:02] You’re not going to have a team sitting here staying, “Oh, well, you know, we have a pandemic now let’s just stop.” Instead, you’re trying, you’re, you have people who are sitting here saying, “Hey, what can we do? What about this? What about this? Maybe we should try it. Yeah, that sounds good. Let’s go head in that direction and see whether or not that’s going to work.” And that’s what you want.
Roy Notowitz: [00:29:22] Yeah. One of the people that you had on your podcast recently, the sports person talked about this discomfort,
Kara Goldin: [00:29:28] Brendan. Yeah. He was incredible.
Roy Notowitz: [00:29:30] Yeah. He’s like, yeah, he’s always had this discomfort or status quo, and how that was a driver.
Kara Goldin: [00:29:38] Yeah. I mean, incredible. And I don’t know if you heard the part of the podcast where he talks about he’s actually been a, there’s a little bit of controversy about it. It might be a few other people, but 1972, he’s one of the people who could have invented the everything bagel. Did you hear this part of it?
Roy Notowitz: [00:29:55] [Laughter] No.
Kara Goldin: [00:29:56] And I was like, wait a minute. He was 12 years old and he, and I was just, I was geeking out on it. Yeah. I just said, this is hysterical. I mean, had, did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? And he said, “No, I just wanted something besides a plain bagel and my mom had all these spices and I started, I was working in a bagel shop because I didn’t want to deliver newspapers and that was my option. Bagel shop or deliver newspapers. And, and anyway, it was so funny listening.
But yeah, I mean, again, I think that is the core of making something, you know, real as having that discomfort, always feeling like you’re, you’ve got to keep improving. And if you don’t sort of have that feeling or that desire, then I think there are plenty of really large companies out there that don’t believe in innovation. They may have, they may think innovation is like something that we have to have, but they’re not really innovating. And I think that instead working in a company that, whether it’s one of Elon Musk’s or, you know, place like Hint, where you’re constantly improving and not only your company, but also yourself, it’s a choice. I think there’s plenty of companies out there that don’t value that. But we do.
Roy Notowitz: [00:31:18] Right. I think one of the things I wrote down when that you stated in your book was it’s important to not get hung up on specific skills or finding the perfect person for the job and that people need room to roam in their job description, which is essentially what you’re saying is what is allowed you to drive that innovation or to get ideas come from all places, right? And for people to constantly be thinking about what’s possible, right? And so that’s really powerful.
Kara Goldin: [00:31:44] Yeah, absolutely.
Roy Notowitz: [00:31:46] By the way, one of my favorite things is to do avocado toast with everything, but the bagel on it. Have you tried that?
Kara Goldin: [00:31:53] No, but it sounds yummy.
Roy Notowitz: [00:31:54] Yeah, try it!
Kara Goldin: [00:31:54] That sounds great. I will definitely do that.
Roy Notowitz: [00:31:58] So let’s kind of bring it back to the book a little bit. So when I was listening to your, I listened to the audio book from your version and you read it, which you read beautifully. I don’t know how you read the whole book so perfectly, but when I was listening to it, I was listening to it actually a little bit in the car with my daughter. And she was really inspired by it. And she wanted to listen to the, you know, she wouldn’t let me listen to it unless she was with me until we finished it. And so, I wanted to say that your book has been really inspiring to her. She’s 13. And, you know, can you tell me a little bit about what’s your advice for the next generation of people who are coming into the workforce right now and thinking about, you know, either working for a company or doing their own thing.
Kara Goldin: [00:32:42] I think that you should know that both options are open to you, right? And that you should explore all options to try and figure out what inspires you, what motivates you every single day to get up and actually go to work. Because no longer, look when my father who would have been in his nineties was getting out there and, you know, talk about pressure, it was basically, you had to figure out when you were graduating from school, what you wanted to do with your whole life. I mean, today you can go work for a startup and then decide that you actually want some more direction. And then, you know, you can go into a group where you’re going to feel like you’re going to learn. But I think leading with learning, being motivated by what you’re going to be working on every day and going back to that original startup that I worked for when I hit Silicon Valley it’s, can I contribute? Do I feel like my ideas are actually going to be instrumental on sort of making this puzzle get bigger and doing better?
And I think that that is really what you lead with. Stop trying to figure out. You know, do I want to work for a startup? Do I want to work for a big company? Because I think there’s good in both of them, and I think you just need to figure out what that is. We had a guy that’s been interning with us and I mean, he’s terrific. He’s great. We don’t have necessarily a role for him, and what I said to him is that the more I think about kind of where he really could learn the most is, he’s more on the creative side, and, and I really think that there’s a lot more resources inside of an ad agency and actually figuring out, can you get into some kind of program where you’re going to see a lot of different aspects of, you know, what they do. And sometimes I think that structured programs are actually better, you know, for people. And, and again, you know, the grass is always greener on the other side, when you think, “Oh, I only want to work for a startup.”
Roy Notowitz: [00:34:49] Yeah.
Kara Goldin: [00:34:49] There are people that go and work inside of large companies and then come back right to the companies. And I’ll, I’ll tell you one last thing that my dad said to me, which I think is, is so very true that you will not regret working for a brand, even if it was not exactly the role you wanted or you didn’t like your boss or whatever.
Roy Notowitz: [00:35:13] Yeah.
Kara Goldin: [00:35:13] Because people pick up on that when they’re looking at resumes and if you have a bunch of non brands on your resume that people just don’t know what they are, your resume can go to the side, right?
Roy Notowitz: [00:35:27] You can do it early in your career. You can do it later, but it’s good to have that experience.
Kara Goldin: [00:35:31] Yeah. And it’s also really nice, right? To be able to work where you don’t have to be sitting there, you know, trying to educate people about the brand where you’ve got to just sit there and think about it, but it’s definitely something that I’m glad that my dad really emphasized that when I went out and looked at my first job and had a bunch of interviews and I had some that were non-brands, I know I was really gravitating towards the brand side too. But I look at, especially when you’re starting out, if you’re not really clear exactly what you want to do, and it doesn’t have to be a giant brand, it has to be a brand that is meaningful to you and one that is, you know, recognizable in some way. So anyway, that’s my 2 cents about brands.
Roy Notowitz: [00:36:16] I got really lucky, early in my career I had the chance to work for Nike and that was huge, you know. But so just in wrapping up, so you know what is new and exciting, I know you have some different sizes coming out. I know you have different products. What kind of new and exciting things do you have in the works? What should we be on the lookout for? And then also, in addition to your book, how can people follow your journey and continue to be inspired by you and the, and the community that you’re cultivating?
Kara Goldin: [00:36:44] Yeah. I mean, I’m all over social @KaraGoldin with an “I”, and we’re just busy doing what we do every day and excited to continue to do new flavors. We just launched into a pandemic a hand sanitizer.
Roy Notowitz: [00:37:00] I have some thank you for sending me that care package.
Kara Goldin: [00:37:03] Yeah, absolutely.
Roy Notowitz: [00:37:04] It was amazing.
Kara Goldin: [00:37:05] You know, we have, we’re just looking to grow all the different things that we have and maybe, you know, you’ll see some different scents or flavors along the way, but more than anything, just continuing to service the customer.
Roy Notowitz: [00:37:15] And your podcast is on every platform I’m assuming, and the book they can find on Amazon and Audible.
Kara Goldin: [00:37:21] Exactly.
Roy Notowitz: [00:37:22] LinkedIn. We can follow you there.
Kara Goldin: [00:37:23] I’m, yeah, I mean, I’m all over that. All over Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and even Tik Tok.
Roy Notowitz: [00:37:31] Oh my gosh I haven’t gone there yet. Well, thank you so much, Kara.
Kara Goldin: [00:37:35] Yeah, absolutely.
Roy Notowitz: [00:37:35] I mean, this has been really fun and I’m so glad we had that opportunity to meet four years ago, and I’ve just been so inspired by your career path and your entrepreneurial journey, but also all the good work that you’ve been doing the last. Few years around supporting other people as well. So thank you.
Kara Goldin: [00:37:54] Absolutely. Well, thanks again.
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