Skills, words of wisdom, and resources from our esteemed podcast guests.

 

Christina Tosi, Milk Bar (photo by Jen Trahan)
Episode one, season one.

Favorite quote from Christina’a episode: I was told [by investors]… that I was difficult. That made me laugh because I take any conversation with a a smile and I like human interaction and I like to connect. I thought that was the funniest comment anyone would have. Just because I believe my business is worth this much and you might believe that my business is worth something else that the intersection of that is ‘difficult.’

Key skill: Though there is pride in learning and knowing how do do everything yourself, the reality is being a great business person means that you’re doing nothing yourself. All you’re doing is learning how to spot great talent and inspire them and give them a mission and support them. And it is the weirdest, strangest vacuum to be in and the one you have to learn to be so great at in order to be successful.

Recommended reading: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself

Episode link.

Jen Rubio,    Away     (photo by Daniela Spector)   Episode two, season one.   Favorite quote from Jen’s episode:  There were some investors in our seed round that we could have tried a little harder to convince, but our thinking was if we have to convince them now of this basic thing that we believe in, we’re going to have to explain all of our decisions.   Key Skill:  [The Away Team] is working on trying to figure out what is essential and saying “no” to things that are not… If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.    Episode link   .

Jen Rubio, Away (photo by Daniela Spector)
Episode two, season one.

Favorite quote from Jen’s episode: There were some investors in our seed round that we could have tried a little harder to convince, but our thinking was if we have to convince them now of this basic thing that we believe in, we’re going to have to explain all of our decisions.

Key Skill: [The Away Team] is working on trying to figure out what is essential and saying “no” to things that are not… If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.

Episode link.

Penelope Gazin & Kate Dwyer,    Witchsy     Episode three, season one.   Favorite quote from Kate & Penelope’s Episode:  Our business is so deeply engrained in who Penelope and I are. We’re little rude, a bit sassy, and we don’t want to be told what to do.   Key Skill:  We have a great ability to quit and know when to quit. Anytime [we] would have a situation where we would hit a wall and it wouldn’t be enjoyable, we would quit. And, it was something that allowed us to not focus on the small things that we were doing as we were getting started.   Recommended Reading:    Candide     by Voltaire. I find it's always is helpful to try and be a little delusionally optimistic when you are first getting started on something new. Your business is a garden, you'll reap what you sow.   Recommended Lucky Products:  Kate says, “I lived by this place when we were getting started and would source prosperity/success candles for Witchsy. My theory is whatever can bring you luck just do it. Carry a crystal around... who freaking cares!”    Episode link  .

Penelope Gazin & Kate Dwyer, Witchsy
Episode three, season one.

Favorite quote from Kate & Penelope’s Episode: Our business is so deeply engrained in who Penelope and I are. We’re little rude, a bit sassy, and we don’t want to be told what to do.

Key Skill: We have a great ability to quit and know when to quit. Anytime [we] would have a situation where we would hit a wall and it wouldn’t be enjoyable, we would quit. And, it was something that allowed us to not focus on the small things that we were doing as we were getting started.

Recommended Reading: Candide by Voltaire. I find it's always is helpful to try and be a little delusionally optimistic when you are first getting started on something new. Your business is a garden, you'll reap what you sow.

Recommended Lucky Products:
Kate says, “I lived by this place when we were getting started and would source prosperity/success candles for Witchsy. My theory is whatever can bring you luck just do it. Carry a crystal around... who freaking cares!”

Episode link.

 
Ari Weinzweig,    Zingerman’s     Episode four, season one   Favorite quote from Ari’s episode:  [Business] is what you want and it’s how you want to work and how much you want to work and where you want to work. I’m not ethically opposed to big business, [business owners] have grown [their businesses] because they think they’re supposed to grow, or the grow because they could grow, or they grow because they’re chasing money because they’re cousins all make more money than they do and they think they should make more money.   Key Skill:  Visioning. You plant yourself in the future. If it’s for your business, it might be five years, eight years, 20 years down the road, and you describe that success and you describe that success with a whole lot of detail so that when you get there, you will actually know you’ve arrived.   Recommended reading:  Lawrence Lippitt,   Preferred Futuring      Episode link   .

Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman’s
Episode four, season one

Favorite quote from Ari’s episode: [Business] is what you want and it’s how you want to work and how much you want to work and where you want to work. I’m not ethically opposed to big business, [business owners] have grown [their businesses] because they think they’re supposed to grow, or the grow because they could grow, or they grow because they’re chasing money because they’re cousins all make more money than they do and they think they should make more money.

Key Skill: Visioning. You plant yourself in the future. If it’s for your business, it might be five years, eight years, 20 years down the road, and you describe that success and you describe that success with a whole lot of detail so that when you get there, you will actually know you’ve arrived.

Recommended reading: Lawrence Lippitt, Preferred Futuring

Episode link.

Piera Gelardi,    Refinery29     Episode five, season one   Favorite quote from Piera’s Episode:  I feel like in the business world, the word pivot can be used as a dirty word. I think what I always find paradoxical about that is that the world is always changing, so if you don’t change, it’s pretty likely that you’re not going to be future proof.   Key Skill:  Vulnerability... That’s really been about listening, having the vulnerability… to not have all the answers and to actually listen to people, so that’s meant really listening to our audience, shifting things and being open to changing our own ideas when we realize they’re not working or they’re not resonating with the audience or internally.  I think also the vulnerability to admit what we don’t know and ask for help and ask questions. In the beginning as we were starting the business, there were so many things we didn’t know.   Recommended reading:  Jessica Bennett,   Feminist Fight Club      Episode link.

Piera Gelardi, Refinery29
Episode five, season one

Favorite quote from Piera’s Episode: I feel like in the business world, the word pivot can be used as a dirty word. I think what I always find paradoxical about that is that the world is always changing, so if you don’t change, it’s pretty likely that you’re not going to be future proof.

Key Skill: Vulnerability... That’s really been about listening, having the vulnerability… to not have all the answers and to actually listen to people, so that’s meant really listening to our audience, shifting things and being open to changing our own ideas when we realize they’re not working or they’re not resonating with the audience or internally.

I think also the vulnerability to admit what we don’t know and ask for help and ask questions. In the beginning as we were starting the business, there were so many things we didn’t know.

Recommended reading: Jessica Bennett, Feminist Fight Club

Episode link.

Donnel Baird, BlocPower  Episode seven, season one (season finale)   Favorite quote from Donnel’s Episode:    Key Skill:  The skill that has been the hardest for me to learn and I haven’t learned it yet I’m still working on it, it’s an aspiration, but I see how important it is, is Ben Horowitz, my investor, his concept of the one management principle. Simply put, I’ll try not to butcher it. The idea is, any critical decision that you’re making as a leader in your organization is going to be viewed from multiple perspectives. And you need to take all of those perspectives into consideration at the time that you’re making that decision.   Recommended reading:  Ben Horowitz,     The Hard Thing about Hard Things   .     Episode link.

Donnel Baird, BlocPower
Episode seven, season one (season finale)

Favorite quote from Donnel’s Episode:

Key Skill: The skill that has been the hardest for me to learn and I haven’t learned it yet I’m still working on it, it’s an aspiration, but I see how important it is, is Ben Horowitz, my investor, his concept of the one management principle. Simply put, I’ll try not to butcher it. The idea is, any critical decision that you’re making as a leader in your organization is going to be viewed from multiple perspectives. And you need to take all of those perspectives into consideration at the time that you’re making that decision.

Recommended reading: Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing about Hard Things.

Episode link.

Jane Wurwand,    Dermalogica     Episode six, season one   Favorite quote from Jane’s Episode:  [At Dermologica, we had] to be prepared to be polarizing, we’ve got to be prepared to piss off 80 percent, and turn on 20 percent. We can’t try to people-please, because if we do, we will end up as mediocre. We’ll please everybody a little bit, but no one is starkly attached or detached to the brand. And we took that as our marching orders.   Key Skill:  I believe a skill that I developed was the ability to deliver an unpleasant piece of news. Let’s say someone has to leave the company, terminating them, in a way that’s empathetic and collaborative, because it has to be. Unless of course, somebody did something outrageous and they have to be marched out of the building, because they’re crazy. But generally, that’s not the case. My technique is really simple, it starts thinking about the person.   Recommended reading:  Andy Stanley,    Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision.     Episode link.

Jane Wurwand, Dermalogica
Episode six, season one

Favorite quote from Jane’s Episode: [At Dermologica, we had] to be prepared to be polarizing, we’ve got to be prepared to piss off 80 percent, and turn on 20 percent. We can’t try to people-please, because if we do, we will end up as mediocre. We’ll please everybody a little bit, but no one is starkly attached or detached to the brand. And we took that as our marching orders.

Key Skill: I believe a skill that I developed was the ability to deliver an unpleasant piece of news. Let’s say someone has to leave the company, terminating them, in a way that’s empathetic and collaborative, because it has to be. Unless of course, somebody did something outrageous and they have to be marched out of the building, because they’re crazy. But generally, that’s not the case. My technique is really simple, it starts thinking about the person.

Recommended reading: Andy Stanley, Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision.

Episode link.