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What to Expect When Deciding to be an Entrepreneur: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Online • January 14, 2016

Hear from Sallie Krawcheck about the challenges that come up after deciding to become an entrepreneur.

Summary

00:00 Sallie Krawcheck: Guys, thank you all. It's great to be here with all of you. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are off to a great start to 2016. As we spent time over the holiday, I was spending time thinking about career related things. It's always a time of reflection and getting ready for the new year. And began to think a bit about career reinvention which is something we hear so much about from our Ellevate Network members interest in if we are going to have careers that are gonna span our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, women working in their 70s, how does one navigate that type of career span and shift and change? Because what we're interested in at the age of 24 is not always what we're interested in at the age of 65. And it struck me, sorta by surprise, that it seems as though I have reinvented myself now several times. In my 20s, I was an investment banker. A mediocre one at best. In my 30s, I was a research analyst. In my 40s, I was a manager and leader at large, complicated companies. And in my 50s, have become an entrepreneur. And it's interesting, so many of you ask questions and are interested in entrepreneurialism and it's almost become a form, a sort of wish for so many people, "I want to be an entrepreneur."

01:29 SK: I was saying the other day it's almost a little business porn, honestly. If people think about making that escape from the corporate constrictive environment to starting a business that reflects their values, that reflects a dream that they've had. In fact, what you tell us at Ellevate Network is the number one reason that you start your own businesses is to build and work at the company at which you want to work. And there's so much positivity around entrepreneurialism and rah-rah about entrepreneurialism. And so I took this into an event that we had not long ago, an Ellevate Network event in San Francisco. And we had there a woman who I've known for some years, a phenomenal entrepreneur, who runs a funded start-up that is gaining some real traction. And as we sat down to do the event with her, this is a woman who's living the entrepreneurial dream, and someone in the audience asked her what is the ultimate softball question and she paused. And... that has built up around being entrepreneurs. And everybody knows it's hard, and I thought about a younger, somewhat distant relative of mine, a young woman who is working at an investment bank who wants to be an entrepreneur. And she's got a great job, she's doing very well by all outside metrics, and she wants to be an entrepreneur.

03:11 SK: And when I talk to her about it, what is clear is that her vision of being an entrepreneur is that she's gonna think of a great idea, which she's not been able to think of yet. She's gonna gather together some super cool people, she is going to rent space in one of these co-working spaces. They're gonna be slightly miserable for a short period of time, they're gonna be venture capital funded. They're gonna go to a super cool start-up space with big windows and exposed brick walls and foosball tables and after a while, they're gonna get masseuses to come in in the afternoon and then they're gonna be billionaires. And that's her concept. And it just doesn't happen that way. And in fact, if you walk around... When we were at Ellevate Network at a co-working space, you'd walk through the halls and you'd realize there's so many start-ups in these spaces. One people, 10 people, 15 people, six people, that you're just not gonna hear of again. So where this started... The title for this was started, "The reasons not to be an entrepreneur". And I didn't wanna be such a downer about it, but I did wanna spend a little bit of time and share with you some of the lessons that I learned about why it can be tough to be an entrepreneur. And that I've had people say to me, "Gosh, with your shift, didn't you just raise money? It was pretty easy, wasn't it?" Or it should've been easy.

04:40 SK: And I wanted to run through a few of those lessons that are learned, and then have a candid Q&A about it and I hope in some ways it's gonna be helpful. So the first is, raising money is humbling. And even for folks who have been around for a while, and I talk to any number of women who have got great connections, built terrific careers, and you go down the traditional venture capital route and you all know the numbers, whatever study it is, it's 4% of VC money goes to women-owned companies. 6%, not 8%. But I never see a study that gets higher than that. It just can be tough to take your idea, your fabulous, can't sleep at night, so excited about this idea out and you put together the presentation, there's this sort of fetishization of fundraising presentations that is occurring now. And so you put it into that model of the elevator pitch and so on and you go meet with these guys, and you get turned down again and again and again, and again and again. The good news on this is that we are seeing is that the crowd funding capabilities which are still small, are a place where women are doing as well or better than men. But regardless of where you are in your career as you begin these businesses, fundraising is humbling.

06:10 SK: The other surprise to me, the second surprise, was B2B sales are humbling, and they take so much longer than you can imagine. And I sort of thought for me just coming out of big companies, know lots of people, lots of years, got it. Let me just start to call my contacts. And what you find is yep, there are definitely the people who you thought you were buddies with when you were spending millions and billions of dollars with them that aren't so eager to call you back. You sort of expect that.

06:47 SK: The part that I'll tell you that you have to be prepared for is people who are, quite frankly, too nice. The surprise for me were the individuals who don't recognize there is kindness in a fast "No" and there is cruelty in a slow "No" and sometimes, there's cruelty in a slow "Yes". And so an example that I go back to is when I was at one of the big banks that I was working at. A gentleman who worked for me fell in love with a start-up, just fell in love. Woman on start-up, running it on a shoestring, she self-funded it. She maybe had a few angel investors in it, running it on a shoestring.

07:26 SK: The guy loved it and wanted to do business with it and had to get it approved. And I remember telling him, "Please, please be careful here." And it went through the hoops at his level, and it went through the hoops at the division level, and it went through the hoops at the corporate level, and then it had to go over the technology side, and had to go through the division level hoops of the technology. And by the time it was set up and ready to pay her, months had passed. Months, as we all know, matter for an entrepreneur, and the woman was out of business. So sometimes even a fast "No" can trump a slow "Yes". And I was actually talking to one of my colleagues here at Ellevate Network and was telling her yesterday that it's almost to the point when I go on corporate calls now, I walk in and say, "It is okay to say 'No.' It's okay to say 'No.' It's okay. You can say 'No.' Just please don't string us along for a couple years." So that was a surprise to me.

08:25 SK: The other surprise is hiring people. Now hiring people is hard, and hiring people is always hard. But I will tell you, hiring people at a startup is the hardest. And some of it is because at a big company, you have lots of people. And so you've got Joe, and Joe is quirky. And we've all worked with Joe. And Joe is a visionary, and Joe can't operationalize anything to save his life. But Joe is such a visionary, you put three people around Joe and Joe is fine. In a startup what really is interesting to see is that everybody has to operate at more senior level than they have, and everybody has to operate at more junior level than they have. And they have to have that facility to sort of go up and down the skill curve. And so the flat sides that individuals have are so much more apparent, and there aren't the people to fill it in. And so it can be tough. The other thing I tell folks is that entrepreneurs can be quirky. Entrepreneurs can be quirky, and you hire folks into startups. They typically will be of a different mold than what we see in the corporate environment. And sometimes it means it's because this person is an absolute genius, and sometimes that is not the case, if you know what I mean. So hiring people is hard.

09:51 SK: But hiring people is hard part two. When I began to put together Ellevest, which is, we're working on as we speak, a digital investment platform for women, I really thought, "You know, I've worked at Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, US Trust, Citi Private Bank, Sanford Bernstein, Solomon Brothers, DLJ. I know people in financial services, and I am gonna pull together the best of them that I know and put together the best team. And if I were going from one big company to another, that would be a terrific strategy. But the truth is because of what I just talked about, where the individuals have to go up and down that skill set, and because by definition, in a startup you're innovating, what I found that amongst my contacts that as I began to collaborate in terms of a vision for the business, that I often got, "Nope, nope."

10:55 SK: "By definition, you wanna change X, Y, and Z in investing, Sallie, and I don't agree with it, or I don't see it, or I don't understand it, or I don't wanna be a part of it, or I don't get it." And I'll tell you the truth. At Ellevest, when I began to hire a chief investment officer, which again, you'd think I'd know like a zillion of them, I talked to any number of them because we were looking at something that would be very different. None of it clicked. And if you can believe it, I ended up finding the woman who is our chief investment officer through LinkedIn. Finally, a cold link through LinkedIn probably 10 or 11 months into the search. And because I finally knew exactly really what I was looking for, I Linked In with her. Things just clicked for us, and it worked very quickly from there on. But hiring people is hard.

11:52 SK: And the other thing is that when you make a mistake, it's bad. It's bad because you have not that many people, you have not that much funding, you don't have years and years typically to figure it out. You hire the wrong person for an important job. It takes you a handful of months to find them, it takes you a handful of months to figure out it's not gonna work. It takes you a handful of months to try to talk yourself out of the fact that they are not the right person, the same handful of months coaching them, then you part ways with them and then you're back at the beginning. And then you're looking for someone again, and then it could still be the wrong person. And hiring people is hard but important because you can run out of time. The other... I don't know where I am, if I did a list, one, two, three, four, five. I mentioned office space so I would just reiterate that. Be ready for some awful office space. Our last one at the start up, we were in a space that was so small that I couldn't get out of my chair without slamming into the back of our lead designer and at some point I thought we were gonna fuse into the same person.

13:03 SK: On my list for six or seven, an interesting exercise that one has to go through is when you launch a startup, I find lots of people turn into critics. And that can be pretty challenging because in a corporate environment, we thrive on consensus. And can therefore thrive on incremental change, but we thrive on getting people to rally round an idea, getting people to see an idea, getting people to march toward an idea. And when you start something up, yeah, your team will absolutely do that. But again, almost by definition if what you're doing is innovative and different, you have a lot of nay sayers out there. You have people who say... And I've had a lot of this with Ellevest, I had a lot of this with Ellevate Network... You hear, "Nope, Other people tried that, Sallie, and it didn't work. Therefore, it will not work." "If there were an opportunity there, then everybody else would have gone after it." And Even with Ellevest, I hear women just say there's not great investors, which is actually factually completely incorrect. Or, "Women just don't want to invest." Or women this, and women that. It's been fascinating how individuals get dug in on this topic. And that makes it terrifying. Terrifying because again, we're used to building consensus and driving consensus, and when you have very little cash flow and you're working to drive a business in the short term, it can be terrifying.

14:47 SK: I tell folks because it's true that during the Wall Street financial crisis, I slept. I mean I didn't sleep the whole time obviously, that would've been inappropriate and awkward, but I would get home at night and I would get into bed at twelve thirty, midnight, I would wake up at five, I would wake up at six, I'd go back in the office, I slept. As an entrepreneur there was a period of time, it's now about a year ago when I was up at three thirty every morning with my head spinning, and my stomach churning. And I'd try to go back to sleep and there was just no way. And worried about the cash flow, worried about hiring, worried about the idea, worried, worried, worried. So it is exhilarating, but sometimes it's exhilarating in the bad way, not the good way. Final couple of things that I would tell you. The other trip up that no one really tells you about is there's paperwork, and taxes, and regulations. And the number of folks who slipped up on some part of paperwork... We did it here at Ellevate Network, there was workers comp in New York because you got one person who's an intern, and all this stuff, that all got taken care of. But there's a lot to keep an eye on.

16:01 SK: And I really thought if I was out living my dream, I didn't really think about all the legal documents, all the registrations, all the taxes, the setting up of the 401K, the setting up of payroll, finding real estate, buying the first friggin' computer. Should we have plants in the office or not? Should we have bagel Fridays or not? All that stuff that at a big company is taken care of for you will take up at least a double digit percent of your time. Those are the ones, as I transition from corporate America, that's the negative downbeat awful stuff that is good to know.

16:41 SK: That's why you shouldn't do this unless you have an idea you are so passionate about. Or you find somebody who has an idea that you can also become so passionate about. And that if you don't do it, you will end up on your deathbed and you will look back and you will weep that you did not pursue it. And for me at this stage in my career, the idea of the economic and financial advancement of women, it's something that I believed in during the course of my career, but when I had time and started to dig in was a place where I really felt like there was room to have an enormously positive impact, and where I personally could have an impact. And as I got job offers to go to some other big companies and I thought about it, I could almost feel the sense of regret that I would have at the age of I hope 105 on my deathbed that I wouldn't have given this a run.

17:49 SK: I can tell you the positive of it, as a result, I don't think I've ever felt as engaged in a business, in ideas ever in my life. Maybe when I was first a research analyst when I was still in my 20s, maybe at that point it was... I couldn't stop thinking about it. I think that's the last time in my career that I have thought about something so fully, all the time, without stopping. On Sunday... I spent Sunday of this past week, doing something like eight and a half hours of running investment plans for Ellevest. My hand was a claw. It was a claw by the time I was done. [laughter] I started thinking, can I switch over to my left hand just to keep going? It's that kinda passion... But it's that kinda passion that you have to have. So, passion is important. The other thing. You know I'm gonna say it, you know I'm gonna say it, which is network. Entrepreneurs tell us that through all of this, network is absolutely make or break.

18:56 SK: And you know I believe this, too. It's important to have a network of both genders, but having a network that is in ones own gender where some of the issues are the same, the challenges are the same, the opportunities are the same, also matters. And that's a network to help you hire the right people, it can be a network to help you find the right funding, it could be a network to find the right customers, it can be a network to pick you up when you have a faceplant, right off the sidewalk in front of your office. It's important to have a network for everything. Business plan, vision, passion, network, and then prepare yourself just to get on the roller coaster. But, it's not for everybody, and it's not certainly for everybody who thinks they're gonna do it because they think it's gonna be glamorous. Greta, that's it... Assuming we were on, and I haven't been speaking to an empty room for the past 25 minutes. [laughter]

19:56 Johanna Pulgarin: I think we're on, we're good. I do have some questions.

20:00 SK: Good, good.

20:01 JP: I'll get started.

20:01 SK: Okay.

20:02 JP: The first question, Sallie, "When you decided to become an entrepreneur, how long did it take you to go from idea to execution?"

20:08 SK: Yeah. It is a good question, and it's hard for me to answer it. The reason it's hard for me to answer, we think about this, we talk about... So Ellevate Network was a bit of a different creature, right? Because, that was an existing business that I invested in. So, that one was different. With Ellevest, we're going from idea in my brain cells, to product, to business. And it's very interesting because it took a while. It really took a while. Actually, it was suggested to me by a bunch of people after I left Merill, you should start a wealth management business for women, and you should hire a bunch of female financial advisors, and I just kept bristling at it. I'm not sure why, I'm not sure what it was in me, but there was something about... Maybe don't tell me what to do, or don't try to... Just 'cause I'm a woman, tell me I need to do a womanly thing, but after a while, it was actually another entrepreneur, Bill Harris who now runs Personal Capital. He and I were sitting together in San Fransisco, and he said, "You're nuts, Sallie. This is an important initiative, and you need to do this."

21:24 SK: And for some reason, I really listened to him. But it still took time after that, because once I listened to him, then I thought, I'm not an entrepreneur, so let me take it to some big companies, and give them this idea, and help them along the way. So, there was a long journey, and I'm betting that's not even the question you want answered, 'cause you're like, "Okay, Sallie, enough of your journey, what about me?" Right? When I have it? The answer is it still took a long time. It took a long time because I wanted to mitigate the risk, and the way I wanted to mitigate the risk was to bring together a handful of like minded individuals, test the idea with them, confirm that they would wanna be part of a team, and then move. So as I mentioned, finding our chief investment officer was really the first one I worked on, and that was the better part of the year. Finding my co-founder actually took a shorter period of time, was a handful of months.

22:15 SK: Once he and I had agreed to a partnership... And he really pushed me, 'cause I was still at the, "Well we should meet more people." And he said, "No, are we gonna do this or not? And if we're not, I'm gonna go off and do something else." So, from the time I started looking for her to finding her, probably ten months. With him, it was at the tail end of that, a handful of months, and then we were off to the races. Once Charlie, my confounder and I got the legal documents together, and finished, and by the time we got to beta, which we are just in now, is gonna be 14 months. Launch, I don't know, we'll see. [laughter]

23:00 JP: Thanks, Sallie. Our next question came in. Can you talk about the importance of having a business plan?

23:07 SK: You need one. So, it's interesting, because being in corporate America, and being a research analyst, before any of this... At the beginning of it, I had, what I translate as a business plan, a 14 page model, something like that, with great detail. And that helped... I knew it was wrong, but it helped me to really crystallize my thinking. From that... And I love building earnings models. Some folks don't, I love it. And, it was a way for me to put my business thinking through a lens. From there, I put... Once that told a story for me, I put together a deck, and that deck told then that story, put words around those numbers, business plan was 16 pages, the deck was probably 16 pages as well, only at the end were there any numbers. But I will tell you, when we went out to raise money and for Ellevest we did raise a Series A, all the numbers came out and that was part of my co-founder saying, "Look, the truth is we really don't know. We can do sensitivity analysis, we can do market sizing, but to put together an earnings model, not so much."

24:29 SK: As we're rounding into the beginning of the second year, we do have key performance indicators that we're looking at and tracking against, and those will be all of the funnel based metrics that you would expect for a business, like a digital investment business, asset under management numbers, etcetera. But likewise again, we understand that these numbers are wrong, by definition they're wrong, we just don't know how they're wrong. I think for me it's helping to see through a funnel, it's a way of helping explain the business in short form. A lot of folks will say, "Don't send any of the deck out, or the plan out." Etcetera. I didn't particularly care, I figured if the opportunity is so significant that if anyone else wants in, fantastic, and that so much of it comes down to execution that I didn't particularly worry about the idea getting out either.

25:27 JP: Thank you, Sallie. The next question is, did you work full time at another company while trying to start up Ellevate? And how did you plan your finances so that you could focus on Ellevate full time, and when did you know it would be a successful endeavor?

25:42 SK: Yeah, well, we'll still see. [laughter] Everyone does this differently, so my background is a bit different 'cause of course, I got fired from... Or no, I'm supposed to say reorganized out. I got reorganized out of Bank of America, so I didn't have a full time job whether I wanted one or not. Well, I could've taken another one, but that wouldn't have been particularly fair. So, I did not, but what I did do was I diversified my bed, so I give talks and speeches and have a revenue stream from that. And my rule for myself with that was I wanted to earn only enough money from it that my savings would stay as stable as possible, and that I've been almost able to do.

26:34 SK: Now, I know for a lot of folks... I hear from folks that they will keep their jobs for a period of time, work on their start up for a period of time, and at some point determine it's the right time to let go and go full blown start up. The challenge with that can be if one goes a traditional fundraising route, it's never, ever, ever easy to raise money. It is harder to raise money if you're trying to do it from a full time job and raise money. The funders will look at you and say, "Are you are serious or not?" And they definitely wanna see skin in the game, they want to see pain, they want to see commitment.

27:13 SK: Figuring that out makes a lot of sense, but saving enough money... Most businesses, they say if they're gonna work, they're gonna work in two years, either become cash flow positive or it's clear that it's gonna be a positive thing, or they're gonna bust, and so putting enough money aside or working with a partner or spouse to have enough money aside to give yourself that two years. Any less, and you're really not gonna take as big a go on it. So, earn some on the side, keep a full time job until you're ready to jump and feel confident about it and give yourself two years.

27:57 JP: Thank you, Sallie. Our next question reads, "When should you give up? Is there a formula for determining... "

28:03 SK: Never, never, never! You don't give up, you pivot, and you change. We have not launched Ellevest yet. What I can tell you is that coming into the business, I came in with probably 10 hypotheses as to what was gonna make it work. And I should know, I worked in the industry for a long time. I was a research analyst; I did a lot of research on this. Heck, I'm a woman, heck, I'm an investor, so I should know. And what we did that my partner, really my co-founder, really drove that I just think has been so important and meaningful, is we began researching and testing before we ever wrote a single line of code. We sat down with women in our office, we put together mock ups, we tested ideas, we card sorted, we used usertesting.com, we used SurveyMonkey, we talked to everybody we knew, and of my 10 hypotheses we've probably ended up throwing out eight of them. And by the way, they weren't necessarily the ones I would've thought we would've thrown out.

29:21 SK: Had we started and gone down the road, we would right now be talking about when we would wind it up and give up. But, being open minded to what the client base or customer base is looking for, it's just then a question of how many times you can pivot to get there. And sure, there can be a time when you run out of money, or when the next pivot will really build a business you're not interested in building. Any of that's fine. It's just regardless, there's never a straight line to success.

30:00 JP: Sallie we have a couple more questions. The next one reads, "Once you've made the decision to test your idea or the full leap, what are the signs that your endeavor may not have legs?"

30:11 SK: Finding product market fit. You listen to those potential customers and clients. What feedback are they giving you? And then, whatever feedback they give you, you take it down two notches. Because people will say some ugly things about your product. People... I find, and women I find generally tend to be polite. And it really is when you can get that prototype out there. So test and test and test. If they're telling you you're off, you are off. No doubt about it. They're telling you you're on, you might be on, but you might be off. And then get the product out there, and will people pay you for it overall?

30:56 SK: And if you start that on a small scale, you'll know, but there can be many points along the way where if you're getting that negative stuff, and certainly people won't pay for it, it doesn't work. Now the one thing that I've been thinking about a lot also over the holiday, I read a lot. I read a lot. And this is what you can do, by the way. For those of you who have younger kids, this is what you can look forward to one day. When you've got kids who are more mature and they're teenagers... Mature in terms of age, I assure you. Emotionally mature, sometimes who knows? It's teenagers. But they don't wanna spend time with you as much, so you get to read a lot. And what actually is interesting is I was reading a lot of books on digital marketing and content and use of social media and so on, which I know I just find fascinating, and I know so many of you do too. It was really interesting because one of the things I read that I hadn't expected is that you should spend as much time as you're building a startup thinking about the marketing of the product as you do about thinking about the product.

32:04 SK: And some of what I read went so far as to say that start ups don't fail because of products. I wouldn't say that all the time, but products... Start ups don't fail because of products, they fail because they've neglected the marketing. And that so many founders are so excited about their product and so excited to build the product that they don't really think about what they're gonna do when it's out. And in fact, we have one of the women on our team, on the Ellevest team, who's on the product side who harks back to her old company. I won't say who it is, but that they had a new capability they were rolling out, they were unbelievably excited about it, that some of the press had asked for sneak previews, people were excited, excited, excited. They refused to give any sneak previews and that when they launched, it was absolute crickets. Absolute crickets.

33:03 SK: And again, going back to the funding can run out, the runway's not so long. That's true when you've got turnover with people, but it's also true with marketing, and if you only begin to think about and test the communications side, the marketing side, etcetera, at the point you launch, it might be too late. And so I throw that out there. I don't have a lot of answers and solutions because it's a learning curve that's still very steep for me, but I did think it was a fascinating line of inquiry.

33:34 JP: Actually, connected to that for our last question: "How do you make decisions if your gut is telling you something that the feedback data does not support?"

33:47 SK: Now this is a hard one for me 'cause I'm an analyst by training, and so my new statement here is I respect and applaud and honor everybody's opinion, but we're making decisions off of facts. And these days, things are just so testable. So a last anecdote. When I ran Merrill Lynch, Merrill Lynch used to do weekly us to client surveys. And every Friday, this survey would end up on my desk. Smith Barney did not do them, and I know that 'cause I also ran Smith Barney. That's how expensive it was, that the number one could have felt like he could afford to do it, and the number two didn't. And so, by the way, we always used to joke at Smith Barney, the way we would set strategy was we just watched what Merrill did and do it super quickly afterwards 'cause they had all the customer client data. I exaggerate for effect, of course. Nobody tweet that, please. But that's how valuable that client data was. And today, as mentioned before, you can... What the data tells us is that you don't need 4,000 people to come up with something to get you headed in the right direction.

35:14 SK: In fact, the research would tell you, and serial start ups or serial entrepreneurs will tell you, you talk to 20 people, you've got a pretty good idea of their pain point. A pretty good idea. You start to use SurveyMonkey, you start to use usertesting.com. Hell, you can do a survey on Twitter these days. You can cast out questions on LinkedIn. The capabilities here are not as exact as they were with those big surveys that we did, but they are close. It's really getting there, and it's enormously inexpensive. And so I know that you want me to answer the question, "If your gut says something and the customers are telling you something else, that go with your dreams, go with your gut. You're Steve Jobs. They just haven't seen it yet. They don't get it yet."

36:03 SK: Well, I'm telling you, when you've got a prototype of that product, and you're putting it in front of people and they're still telling you no, your gut is wrong. It is wrong. My gut has been wrong well more than once on this, and so I would go back to opinions are... I tell everybody we're just not gonna debate anything here that we can test. Everybody can throw in an opinion. We're not keeping score, by the way on who's got the most right. But we are gonna test it and test it, because what we are going to do is we are co-creating this product with her. We're not doing it by ourselves and hoping she likes it. We're co-creating it, so that feedback loop is enormously important. That's probably my biggest learning in making a transition is going from we got it, and we're gonna roll it out, to we're gonna co-create it.

36:54 JP: Sallie, thank you so, so much for all of that valuable information. It was an awesome jam session. We got tons of questions. I'm so sorry that we couldn't get to everyone, but if you still want to ask those questions, please feel free to e-mail us at info@ellevatenetwork.com and connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This jam session has been recorded and will be available on our website. Thanks, everybody. Have a great day. Thank you so much, Sallie.

37:20 SK: Thanks guys, take care.

Thursday, January 14, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST

Leaving your big company job to run a start-up you're passionate about may seem like "living the dream," but being an entrepreneur isn't all fun and games. Join us for this Jam Session with Sallie Krawcheck, Chair and Owner of Ellevate Network and Co-Founder and CEO of Ellevest, as she talks about the unexpected challenges she faced after making the switch.

We'll be live tweeting this Jam Session, so make sure to follow along with @EllevateNtwk and #StartUpChallenges!

Summary

00:00 Sallie Krawcheck: Guys, thank you all. It's great to be here with all of you. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are off to a great start to 2016. As we spent time over the holiday, I was spending time thinking about career related things. It's always a time of reflection and getting ready for the new year. And began to think a bit about career reinvention which is something we hear so much about from our Ellevate Network members interest in if we are going to have careers that are gonna span our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, women working in their 70s, how does one navigate that type of career span and shift and change? Because what we're interested in at the age of 24 is not always what we're interested in at the age of 65. And it struck me, sorta by surprise, that it seems as though I have reinvented myself now several times. In my 20s, I was an investment banker. A mediocre one at best. In my 30s, I was a research analyst. In my 40s, I was a manager and leader at large, complicated companies. And in my 50s, have become an entrepreneur. And it's interesting, so many of you ask questions and are interested in entrepreneurialism and it's almost become a form, a sort of wish for so many people, "I want to be an entrepreneur."

01:29 SK: I was saying the other day it's almost a little business porn, honestly. If people think about making that escape from the corporate constrictive environment to starting a business that reflects their values, that reflects a dream that they've had. In fact, what you tell us at Ellevate Network is the number one reason that you start your own businesses is to build and work at the company at which you want to work. And there's so much positivity around entrepreneurialism and rah-rah about entrepreneurialism. And so I took this into an event that we had not long ago, an Ellevate Network event in San Francisco. And we had there a woman who I've known for some years, a phenomenal entrepreneur, who runs a funded start-up that is gaining some real traction. And as we sat down to do the event with her, this is a woman who's living the entrepreneurial dream, and someone in the audience asked her what is the ultimate softball question and she paused. And... that has built up around being entrepreneurs. And everybody knows it's hard, and I thought about a younger, somewhat distant relative of mine, a young woman who is working at an investment bank who wants to be an entrepreneur. And she's got a great job, she's doing very well by all outside metrics, and she wants to be an entrepreneur.

03:11 SK: And when I talk to her about it, what is clear is that her vision of being an entrepreneur is that she's gonna think of a great idea, which she's not been able to think of yet. She's gonna gather together some super cool people, she is going to rent space in one of these co-working spaces. They're gonna be slightly miserable for a short period of time, they're gonna be venture capital funded. They're gonna go to a super cool start-up space with big windows and exposed brick walls and foosball tables and after a while, they're gonna get masseuses to come in in the afternoon and then they're gonna be billionaires. And that's her concept. And it just doesn't happen that way. And in fact, if you walk around... When we were at Ellevate Network at a co-working space, you'd walk through the halls and you'd realize there's so many start-ups in these spaces. One people, 10 people, 15 people, six people, that you're just not gonna hear of again. So where this started... The title for this was started, "The reasons not to be an entrepreneur". And I didn't wanna be such a downer about it, but I did wanna spend a little bit of time and share with you some of the lessons that I learned about why it can be tough to be an entrepreneur. And that I've had people say to me, "Gosh, with your shift, didn't you just raise money? It was pretty easy, wasn't it?" Or it should've been easy.

04:40 SK: And I wanted to run through a few of those lessons that are learned, and then have a candid Q&A about it and I hope in some ways it's gonna be helpful. So the first is, raising money is humbling. And even for folks who have been around for a while, and I talk to any number of women who have got great connections, built terrific careers, and you go down the traditional venture capital route and you all know the numbers, whatever study it is, it's 4% of VC money goes to women-owned companies. 6%, not 8%. But I never see a study that gets higher than that. It just can be tough to take your idea, your fabulous, can't sleep at night, so excited about this idea out and you put together the presentation, there's this sort of fetishization of fundraising presentations that is occurring now. And so you put it into that model of the elevator pitch and so on and you go meet with these guys, and you get turned down again and again and again, and again and again. The good news on this is that we are seeing is that the crowd funding capabilities which are still small, are a place where women are doing as well or better than men. But regardless of where you are in your career as you begin these businesses, fundraising is humbling.

06:10 SK: The other surprise to me, the second surprise, was B2B sales are humbling, and they take so much longer than you can imagine. And I sort of thought for me just coming out of big companies, know lots of people, lots of years, got it. Let me just start to call my contacts. And what you find is yep, there are definitely the people who you thought you were buddies with when you were spending millions and billions of dollars with them that aren't so eager to call you back. You sort of expect that.

06:47 SK: The part that I'll tell you that you have to be prepared for is people who are, quite frankly, too nice. The surprise for me were the individuals who don't recognize there is kindness in a fast "No" and there is cruelty in a slow "No" and sometimes, there's cruelty in a slow "Yes". And so an example that I go back to is when I was at one of the big banks that I was working at. A gentleman who worked for me fell in love with a start-up, just fell in love. Woman on start-up, running it on a shoestring, she self-funded it. She maybe had a few angel investors in it, running it on a shoestring.

07:26 SK: The guy loved it and wanted to do business with it and had to get it approved. And I remember telling him, "Please, please be careful here." And it went through the hoops at his level, and it went through the hoops at the division level, and it went through the hoops at the corporate level, and then it had to go over the technology side, and had to go through the division level hoops of the technology. And by the time it was set up and ready to pay her, months had passed. Months, as we all know, matter for an entrepreneur, and the woman was out of business. So sometimes even a fast "No" can trump a slow "Yes". And I was actually talking to one of my colleagues here at Ellevate Network and was telling her yesterday that it's almost to the point when I go on corporate calls now, I walk in and say, "It is okay to say 'No.' It's okay to say 'No.' It's okay. You can say 'No.' Just please don't string us along for a couple years." So that was a surprise to me.

08:25 SK: The other surprise is hiring people. Now hiring people is hard, and hiring people is always hard. But I will tell you, hiring people at a startup is the hardest. And some of it is because at a big company, you have lots of people. And so you've got Joe, and Joe is quirky. And we've all worked with Joe. And Joe is a visionary, and Joe can't operationalize anything to save his life. But Joe is such a visionary, you put three people around Joe and Joe is fine. In a startup what really is interesting to see is that everybody has to operate at more senior level than they have, and everybody has to operate at more junior level than they have. And they have to have that facility to sort of go up and down the skill curve. And so the flat sides that individuals have are so much more apparent, and there aren't the people to fill it in. And so it can be tough. The other thing I tell folks is that entrepreneurs can be quirky. Entrepreneurs can be quirky, and you hire folks into startups. They typically will be of a different mold than what we see in the corporate environment. And sometimes it means it's because this person is an absolute genius, and sometimes that is not the case, if you know what I mean. So hiring people is hard.

09:51 SK: But hiring people is hard part two. When I began to put together Ellevest, which is, we're working on as we speak, a digital investment platform for women, I really thought, "You know, I've worked at Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, US Trust, Citi Private Bank, Sanford Bernstein, Solomon Brothers, DLJ. I know people in financial services, and I am gonna pull together the best of them that I know and put together the best team. And if I were going from one big company to another, that would be a terrific strategy. But the truth is because of what I just talked about, where the individuals have to go up and down that skill set, and because by definition, in a startup you're innovating, what I found that amongst my contacts that as I began to collaborate in terms of a vision for the business, that I often got, "Nope, nope."

10:55 SK: "By definition, you wanna change X, Y, and Z in investing, Sallie, and I don't agree with it, or I don't see it, or I don't understand it, or I don't wanna be a part of it, or I don't get it." And I'll tell you the truth. At Ellevest, when I began to hire a chief investment officer, which again, you'd think I'd know like a zillion of them, I talked to any number of them because we were looking at something that would be very different. None of it clicked. And if you can believe it, I ended up finding the woman who is our chief investment officer through LinkedIn. Finally, a cold link through LinkedIn probably 10 or 11 months into the search. And because I finally knew exactly really what I was looking for, I Linked In with her. Things just clicked for us, and it worked very quickly from there on. But hiring people is hard.

11:52 SK: And the other thing is that when you make a mistake, it's bad. It's bad because you have not that many people, you have not that much funding, you don't have years and years typically to figure it out. You hire the wrong person for an important job. It takes you a handful of months to find them, it takes you a handful of months to figure out it's not gonna work. It takes you a handful of months to try to talk yourself out of the fact that they are not the right person, the same handful of months coaching them, then you part ways with them and then you're back at the beginning. And then you're looking for someone again, and then it could still be the wrong person. And hiring people is hard but important because you can run out of time. The other... I don't know where I am, if I did a list, one, two, three, four, five. I mentioned office space so I would just reiterate that. Be ready for some awful office space. Our last one at the start up, we were in a space that was so small that I couldn't get out of my chair without slamming into the back of our lead designer and at some point I thought we were gonna fuse into the same person.

13:03 SK: On my list for six or seven, an interesting exercise that one has to go through is when you launch a startup, I find lots of people turn into critics. And that can be pretty challenging because in a corporate environment, we thrive on consensus. And can therefore thrive on incremental change, but we thrive on getting people to rally round an idea, getting people to see an idea, getting people to march toward an idea. And when you start something up, yeah, your team will absolutely do that. But again, almost by definition if what you're doing is innovative and different, you have a lot of nay sayers out there. You have people who say... And I've had a lot of this with Ellevest, I had a lot of this with Ellevate Network... You hear, "Nope, Other people tried that, Sallie, and it didn't work. Therefore, it will not work." "If there were an opportunity there, then everybody else would have gone after it." And Even with Ellevest, I hear women just say there's not great investors, which is actually factually completely incorrect. Or, "Women just don't want to invest." Or women this, and women that. It's been fascinating how individuals get dug in on this topic. And that makes it terrifying. Terrifying because again, we're used to building consensus and driving consensus, and when you have very little cash flow and you're working to drive a business in the short term, it can be terrifying.

14:47 SK: I tell folks because it's true that during the Wall Street financial crisis, I slept. I mean I didn't sleep the whole time obviously, that would've been inappropriate and awkward, but I would get home at night and I would get into bed at twelve thirty, midnight, I would wake up at five, I would wake up at six, I'd go back in the office, I slept. As an entrepreneur there was a period of time, it's now about a year ago when I was up at three thirty every morning with my head spinning, and my stomach churning. And I'd try to go back to sleep and there was just no way. And worried about the cash flow, worried about hiring, worried about the idea, worried, worried, worried. So it is exhilarating, but sometimes it's exhilarating in the bad way, not the good way. Final couple of things that I would tell you. The other trip up that no one really tells you about is there's paperwork, and taxes, and regulations. And the number of folks who slipped up on some part of paperwork... We did it here at Ellevate Network, there was workers comp in New York because you got one person who's an intern, and all this stuff, that all got taken care of. But there's a lot to keep an eye on.

16:01 SK: And I really thought if I was out living my dream, I didn't really think about all the legal documents, all the registrations, all the taxes, the setting up of the 401K, the setting up of payroll, finding real estate, buying the first friggin' computer. Should we have plants in the office or not? Should we have bagel Fridays or not? All that stuff that at a big company is taken care of for you will take up at least a double digit percent of your time. Those are the ones, as I transition from corporate America, that's the negative downbeat awful stuff that is good to know.

16:41 SK: That's why you shouldn't do this unless you have an idea you are so passionate about. Or you find somebody who has an idea that you can also become so passionate about. And that if you don't do it, you will end up on your deathbed and you will look back and you will weep that you did not pursue it. And for me at this stage in my career, the idea of the economic and financial advancement of women, it's something that I believed in during the course of my career, but when I had time and started to dig in was a place where I really felt like there was room to have an enormously positive impact, and where I personally could have an impact. And as I got job offers to go to some other big companies and I thought about it, I could almost feel the sense of regret that I would have at the age of I hope 105 on my deathbed that I wouldn't have given this a run.

17:49 SK: I can tell you the positive of it, as a result, I don't think I've ever felt as engaged in a business, in ideas ever in my life. Maybe when I was first a research analyst when I was still in my 20s, maybe at that point it was... I couldn't stop thinking about it. I think that's the last time in my career that I have thought about something so fully, all the time, without stopping. On Sunday... I spent Sunday of this past week, doing something like eight and a half hours of running investment plans for Ellevest. My hand was a claw. It was a claw by the time I was done. [laughter] I started thinking, can I switch over to my left hand just to keep going? It's that kinda passion... But it's that kinda passion that you have to have. So, passion is important. The other thing. You know I'm gonna say it, you know I'm gonna say it, which is network. Entrepreneurs tell us that through all of this, network is absolutely make or break.

18:56 SK: And you know I believe this, too. It's important to have a network of both genders, but having a network that is in ones own gender where some of the issues are the same, the challenges are the same, the opportunities are the same, also matters. And that's a network to help you hire the right people, it can be a network to help you find the right funding, it could be a network to find the right customers, it can be a network to pick you up when you have a faceplant, right off the sidewalk in front of your office. It's important to have a network for everything. Business plan, vision, passion, network, and then prepare yourself just to get on the roller coaster. But, it's not for everybody, and it's not certainly for everybody who thinks they're gonna do it because they think it's gonna be glamorous. Greta, that's it... Assuming we were on, and I haven't been speaking to an empty room for the past 25 minutes. [laughter]

19:56 Johanna Pulgarin: I think we're on, we're good. I do have some questions.

20:00 SK: Good, good.

20:01 JP: I'll get started.

20:01 SK: Okay.

20:02 JP: The first question, Sallie, "When you decided to become an entrepreneur, how long did it take you to go from idea to execution?"

20:08 SK: Yeah. It is a good question, and it's hard for me to answer it. The reason it's hard for me to answer, we think about this, we talk about... So Ellevate Network was a bit of a different creature, right? Because, that was an existing business that I invested in. So, that one was different. With Ellevest, we're going from idea in my brain cells, to product, to business. And it's very interesting because it took a while. It really took a while. Actually, it was suggested to me by a bunch of people after I left Merill, you should start a wealth management business for women, and you should hire a bunch of female financial advisors, and I just kept bristling at it. I'm not sure why, I'm not sure what it was in me, but there was something about... Maybe don't tell me what to do, or don't try to... Just 'cause I'm a woman, tell me I need to do a womanly thing, but after a while, it was actually another entrepreneur, Bill Harris who now runs Personal Capital. He and I were sitting together in San Fransisco, and he said, "You're nuts, Sallie. This is an important initiative, and you need to do this."

21:24 SK: And for some reason, I really listened to him. But it still took time after that, because once I listened to him, then I thought, I'm not an entrepreneur, so let me take it to some big companies, and give them this idea, and help them along the way. So, there was a long journey, and I'm betting that's not even the question you want answered, 'cause you're like, "Okay, Sallie, enough of your journey, what about me?" Right? When I have it? The answer is it still took a long time. It took a long time because I wanted to mitigate the risk, and the way I wanted to mitigate the risk was to bring together a handful of like minded individuals, test the idea with them, confirm that they would wanna be part of a team, and then move. So as I mentioned, finding our chief investment officer was really the first one I worked on, and that was the better part of the year. Finding my co-founder actually took a shorter period of time, was a handful of months.

22:15 SK: Once he and I had agreed to a partnership... And he really pushed me, 'cause I was still at the, "Well we should meet more people." And he said, "No, are we gonna do this or not? And if we're not, I'm gonna go off and do something else." So, from the time I started looking for her to finding her, probably ten months. With him, it was at the tail end of that, a handful of months, and then we were off to the races. Once Charlie, my confounder and I got the legal documents together, and finished, and by the time we got to beta, which we are just in now, is gonna be 14 months. Launch, I don't know, we'll see. [laughter]

23:00 JP: Thanks, Sallie. Our next question came in. Can you talk about the importance of having a business plan?

23:07 SK: You need one. So, it's interesting, because being in corporate America, and being a research analyst, before any of this... At the beginning of it, I had, what I translate as a business plan, a 14 page model, something like that, with great detail. And that helped... I knew it was wrong, but it helped me to really crystallize my thinking. From that... And I love building earnings models. Some folks don't, I love it. And, it was a way for me to put my business thinking through a lens. From there, I put... Once that told a story for me, I put together a deck, and that deck told then that story, put words around those numbers, business plan was 16 pages, the deck was probably 16 pages as well, only at the end were there any numbers. But I will tell you, when we went out to raise money and for Ellevest we did raise a Series A, all the numbers came out and that was part of my co-founder saying, "Look, the truth is we really don't know. We can do sensitivity analysis, we can do market sizing, but to put together an earnings model, not so much."

24:29 SK: As we're rounding into the beginning of the second year, we do have key performance indicators that we're looking at and tracking against, and those will be all of the funnel based metrics that you would expect for a business, like a digital investment business, asset under management numbers, etcetera. But likewise again, we understand that these numbers are wrong, by definition they're wrong, we just don't know how they're wrong. I think for me it's helping to see through a funnel, it's a way of helping explain the business in short form. A lot of folks will say, "Don't send any of the deck out, or the plan out." Etcetera. I didn't particularly care, I figured if the opportunity is so significant that if anyone else wants in, fantastic, and that so much of it comes down to execution that I didn't particularly worry about the idea getting out either.

25:27 JP: Thank you, Sallie. The next question is, did you work full time at another company while trying to start up Ellevate? And how did you plan your finances so that you could focus on Ellevate full time, and when did you know it would be a successful endeavor?

25:42 SK: Yeah, well, we'll still see. [laughter] Everyone does this differently, so my background is a bit different 'cause of course, I got fired from... Or no, I'm supposed to say reorganized out. I got reorganized out of Bank of America, so I didn't have a full time job whether I wanted one or not. Well, I could've taken another one, but that wouldn't have been particularly fair. So, I did not, but what I did do was I diversified my bed, so I give talks and speeches and have a revenue stream from that. And my rule for myself with that was I wanted to earn only enough money from it that my savings would stay as stable as possible, and that I've been almost able to do.

26:34 SK: Now, I know for a lot of folks... I hear from folks that they will keep their jobs for a period of time, work on their start up for a period of time, and at some point determine it's the right time to let go and go full blown start up. The challenge with that can be if one goes a traditional fundraising route, it's never, ever, ever easy to raise money. It is harder to raise money if you're trying to do it from a full time job and raise money. The funders will look at you and say, "Are you are serious or not?" And they definitely wanna see skin in the game, they want to see pain, they want to see commitment.

27:13 SK: Figuring that out makes a lot of sense, but saving enough money... Most businesses, they say if they're gonna work, they're gonna work in two years, either become cash flow positive or it's clear that it's gonna be a positive thing, or they're gonna bust, and so putting enough money aside or working with a partner or spouse to have enough money aside to give yourself that two years. Any less, and you're really not gonna take as big a go on it. So, earn some on the side, keep a full time job until you're ready to jump and feel confident about it and give yourself two years.

27:57 JP: Thank you, Sallie. Our next question reads, "When should you give up? Is there a formula for determining... "

28:03 SK: Never, never, never! You don't give up, you pivot, and you change. We have not launched Ellevest yet. What I can tell you is that coming into the business, I came in with probably 10 hypotheses as to what was gonna make it work. And I should know, I worked in the industry for a long time. I was a research analyst; I did a lot of research on this. Heck, I'm a woman, heck, I'm an investor, so I should know. And what we did that my partner, really my co-founder, really drove that I just think has been so important and meaningful, is we began researching and testing before we ever wrote a single line of code. We sat down with women in our office, we put together mock ups, we tested ideas, we card sorted, we used usertesting.com, we used SurveyMonkey, we talked to everybody we knew, and of my 10 hypotheses we've probably ended up throwing out eight of them. And by the way, they weren't necessarily the ones I would've thought we would've thrown out.

29:21 SK: Had we started and gone down the road, we would right now be talking about when we would wind it up and give up. But, being open minded to what the client base or customer base is looking for, it's just then a question of how many times you can pivot to get there. And sure, there can be a time when you run out of money, or when the next pivot will really build a business you're not interested in building. Any of that's fine. It's just regardless, there's never a straight line to success.

30:00 JP: Sallie we have a couple more questions. The next one reads, "Once you've made the decision to test your idea or the full leap, what are the signs that your endeavor may not have legs?"

30:11 SK: Finding product market fit. You listen to those potential customers and clients. What feedback are they giving you? And then, whatever feedback they give you, you take it down two notches. Because people will say some ugly things about your product. People... I find, and women I find generally tend to be polite. And it really is when you can get that prototype out there. So test and test and test. If they're telling you you're off, you are off. No doubt about it. They're telling you you're on, you might be on, but you might be off. And then get the product out there, and will people pay you for it overall?

30:56 SK: And if you start that on a small scale, you'll know, but there can be many points along the way where if you're getting that negative stuff, and certainly people won't pay for it, it doesn't work. Now the one thing that I've been thinking about a lot also over the holiday, I read a lot. I read a lot. And this is what you can do, by the way. For those of you who have younger kids, this is what you can look forward to one day. When you've got kids who are more mature and they're teenagers... Mature in terms of age, I assure you. Emotionally mature, sometimes who knows? It's teenagers. But they don't wanna spend time with you as much, so you get to read a lot. And what actually is interesting is I was reading a lot of books on digital marketing and content and use of social media and so on, which I know I just find fascinating, and I know so many of you do too. It was really interesting because one of the things I read that I hadn't expected is that you should spend as much time as you're building a startup thinking about the marketing of the product as you do about thinking about the product.

32:04 SK: And some of what I read went so far as to say that start ups don't fail because of products. I wouldn't say that all the time, but products... Start ups don't fail because of products, they fail because they've neglected the marketing. And that so many founders are so excited about their product and so excited to build the product that they don't really think about what they're gonna do when it's out. And in fact, we have one of the women on our team, on the Ellevest team, who's on the product side who harks back to her old company. I won't say who it is, but that they had a new capability they were rolling out, they were unbelievably excited about it, that some of the press had asked for sneak previews, people were excited, excited, excited. They refused to give any sneak previews and that when they launched, it was absolute crickets. Absolute crickets.

33:03 SK: And again, going back to the funding can run out, the runway's not so long. That's true when you've got turnover with people, but it's also true with marketing, and if you only begin to think about and test the communications side, the marketing side, etcetera, at the point you launch, it might be too late. And so I throw that out there. I don't have a lot of answers and solutions because it's a learning curve that's still very steep for me, but I did think it was a fascinating line of inquiry.

33:34 JP: Actually, connected to that for our last question: "How do you make decisions if your gut is telling you something that the feedback data does not support?"

33:47 SK: Now this is a hard one for me 'cause I'm an analyst by training, and so my new statement here is I respect and applaud and honor everybody's opinion, but we're making decisions off of facts. And these days, things are just so testable. So a last anecdote. When I ran Merrill Lynch, Merrill Lynch used to do weekly us to client surveys. And every Friday, this survey would end up on my desk. Smith Barney did not do them, and I know that 'cause I also ran Smith Barney. That's how expensive it was, that the number one could have felt like he could afford to do it, and the number two didn't. And so, by the way, we always used to joke at Smith Barney, the way we would set strategy was we just watched what Merrill did and do it super quickly afterwards 'cause they had all the customer client data. I exaggerate for effect, of course. Nobody tweet that, please. But that's how valuable that client data was. And today, as mentioned before, you can... What the data tells us is that you don't need 4,000 people to come up with something to get you headed in the right direction.

35:14 SK: In fact, the research would tell you, and serial start ups or serial entrepreneurs will tell you, you talk to 20 people, you've got a pretty good idea of their pain point. A pretty good idea. You start to use SurveyMonkey, you start to use usertesting.com. Hell, you can do a survey on Twitter these days. You can cast out questions on LinkedIn. The capabilities here are not as exact as they were with those big surveys that we did, but they are close. It's really getting there, and it's enormously inexpensive. And so I know that you want me to answer the question, "If your gut says something and the customers are telling you something else, that go with your dreams, go with your gut. You're Steve Jobs. They just haven't seen it yet. They don't get it yet."

36:03 SK: Well, I'm telling you, when you've got a prototype of that product, and you're putting it in front of people and they're still telling you no, your gut is wrong. It is wrong. My gut has been wrong well more than once on this, and so I would go back to opinions are... I tell everybody we're just not gonna debate anything here that we can test. Everybody can throw in an opinion. We're not keeping score, by the way on who's got the most right. But we are gonna test it and test it, because what we are going to do is we are co-creating this product with her. We're not doing it by ourselves and hoping she likes it. We're co-creating it, so that feedback loop is enormously important. That's probably my biggest learning in making a transition is going from we got it, and we're gonna roll it out, to we're gonna co-create it.

36:54 JP: Sallie, thank you so, so much for all of that valuable information. It was an awesome jam session. We got tons of questions. I'm so sorry that we couldn't get to everyone, but if you still want to ask those questions, please feel free to e-mail us at info@ellevatenetwork.com and connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This jam session has been recorded and will be available on our website. Thanks, everybody. Have a great day. Thank you so much, Sallie.

37:20 SK: Thanks guys, take care.


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