It's hard to start companies, it's difficult to lead, and we all have moments where we are convinced everyone else has it pulled together and that we must be the only sucker in the room.
This is a place for those stories and that kind of honesty. Honest, human stories from the front lines of startup life.
The more we are real with one another, the more we are each able to normalize the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial experience. And the more we can each quiet our inner voices of self-criticism and begin to step into the roles we were meant to play.
In our first season, we are focusing on stories and tactical advice from leaders guiding organizations through the Coronavirus crisis.
Thank you for joining us. We are so glad you are here.
Telling Your Story Authentically w/ Inc Managing Editor Lindsay Blakeley
Lindsay Blakeley is the managing editor of Inc.com and LA’s Inc. bureau chief. I met Lindsay at an investor-hosted dinner in Beverly Hills a couple of years ago. We realized we had a shared curiosity regarding the human side of startup life. That curiosity resulted in a piece in this September’s Inc. but also in an ongoing conversation around topics surrounding the founder journey. Many of the founders I spend time with as a coach face shared challenges including depression, anxiety, burnout, and questions of whether they are enough (themes I too faced in my own time as a founder and CEO).
Lindsay has spoken with hundreds of founders over her years as a reporter. She is therefore in an interesting position to help us normalize parts of the founder experience that can be hard to see clearly in our own heads. Lindsay also shares some practical advice on how to connect with reporters and share your own story in an authentic way.
The Art of Starting Over with Lean Startup Methodology expert Trevor Owens
Trevor Owens is an expert in Lean Startup Methodology, which I believe is the best way for any startup or company to find product-market fit for any new idea. Trevor is the author of the bestselling book on applying Lean Startup methods in large organizations, The Lean Enterprise: How Corporations Can Innovate Like Startups. Trevor’s work has been featured in national media outlets including Forbes, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Business Insider, Mashable, and others. He's been a featured guest speaker at Princeton University, Columbia University, the United States White House, and worked with companies around the world including General Electric, Amazon, Microsoft, Huawei, United State Postal Service, and many others.
Trevor was previously the founder and CEO of Lean Startup Machine and Javelin and is currently working on a new product which he talks about in the episode.
We explore lean but also major life and leadership topics including burnout, grief, loss, layoffs, running out of money, the pressure to lead well, and the art of starting over.
Surviving What Drives Us with Doist CEO Amir Salihefendic
In this episode we welcome Amir Salihefendic. Amir is the founder and CEO of Doist, maker of one of the world’s most widely used task-management apps, ToDoIst. Amir bootstrapped Doist to millions of customers and tens of millions in revenue. But that’s not why I’m excited for you to meet him.
I’m excited because of the honestly and openness he brings to some of the biggest questions that haunt each of us. What makes me valuable? How do I know if I’m doing or achieving enough? What is enough? What actually makes my life valuable?
Sustainable Leadership in Uncertain Times with Knowable CEO Warren Shaeffer
I am excited today to welcome Warren Shaeffer, co-founder and CEO of Knowable. Knowable is an audio-based learning platform backed by Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, and Upfront Ventures.
Warren and I discuss leading a startup during the pandemic, cofounder challenges and successes, and practices for managing your own mental well-being while leading through uncertain times.
Adjusting the Plan with Rocksbox CEO Meg Rose
Meg is the founder and CEO of one Rocksbox, one of the category leaders in DTC and online jewelry.
Rocksbox has faced challenges common to many companies right now including having their distribution center shut down by shelter-in-place orders, a sudden unavailability of new capital, and a difficult layoff of many team members.
Meg shares her story about these very recent challenges with tremendous humility, clarity and grace.
Managing Your Mind with CEO coach Jerry Colonna
I am excited to welcome my own longtime coach and good friend Jerry Colonna. Jerry spent years as a venture capitalist, starting Flatiron Partners with Fred Wilson in 1996 before turning to coaching and eventually founding well-known coaching group Reboot.
Jerry and I explore leading through a crisis you may not feel quite ready for, how to manage our own psychology, and finding freedom from the notion that leaders must have it all figured out.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Excellent platform - timely topics!
Always interesting and timely topics. Really appreciate Matt’s approach to interviewing as well as the transparency and raw honesty of his guests. This is an excellent resource for individuals at every stage of business from start-ups to well established corporations.
October 25, 2020 amendment to my review:
After listening to several of these episodes over the past many months, I want to say how much I enjoy the variety of speakers; the deeply interesting perspectives; the raw honesty and open vulnerability shown by Matt and his guests as well as the immediate relevancy of the information shared. There are always many take-always that I immediately put into practice.
I also observe and wonder about this...
It seems at one time or another, everyone struggles with a sense of guilt and feelings of inadequacy while on a lifelong quest for personal value. These seem to be as common to early founders as they are to profoundly successful business leaders.
I don’t believe any of these are related to what we do as much as they are to who we are and who we choose to become.
It would be interesting to ask the questions:
1. At what age or point in your career did you have an “ah-ha” moment of clarity about what is really important to a rich and meaningful life?
2. Did you have to experience burn-out to get there?
3. Were there “warning signs” (emotional, behavioral, relationship, health) that clued you in?
4. What conscious changes did you (or did you not) make in work/life after that point?
5. What would you say to your earlier self to perhaps avoid some of the pain endured through lessons learned?
I really enjoyed the episode with Amir Salihefendic.
Honest and helpful
So many entrepreneurship podcasts highlight just the “ups” of start-up life, but Sanity Pods talks about the dark underbelly of entrepreneurship, especially in these uncertain times: the loneliness, the self-doubt, and the difficult decisions. Matt is uniquely talented at being honest and vulnerable, and getting his guests to be the same. I highly recommend this podcast to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs alike; it’s a helpful and cathartic way to normalize the emotional roller coaster of running your own business.