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Dec. 9, 2020

Disruption was disrupted - story of iStrategyLabs. By Peter Corbett

Disruption was disrupted - story of iStrategyLabs. By Peter Corbett

Peter Corbett, founder of iStrategyLabs talks about his journey through the startup world and shares his thoughts on fundraising for early stage startups.


And today's a guest speaker who have pure carpet founder of AI strategy labs that was acquired in 2019. and currently, he's the CEO of corporate Ventures. And in this episode, we'll talk about strategy Labs.

How peer raise money for it, how it got to acquisition and what he is doing now at corporate Ventures. So peer, let's kick it off by you giving us some background on yourself and on ice strategy Labs.

Sure, thanks for having me and I'm happy to. So I had started I strategy Labs in 2007. I was 27 years old. I'm 40 today, so I guess I was young then and I'm halfway old now.

And I started it after getting laid off from an ad agency. I was doing. Digital strategy and business development for them.

And apparently, I did my job too. Well, I closed millions of dollars in new business, and based on my compensation structure, they were going to have to write me big commission checks. And instead they fired me which I was.

Surprised by, and very unhappy with and. Yeah, so I got laid off on a Friday, uh, that.

Night I got a little a little too drunk with my friends woke up on Saturday and a lot of pain, and was like, okay, I, I don't want to wake up on Monday.

Without a job, and that the story would be that I got laid off because I.

I already had a little bit of a reputation so I wanted the story to be that I started a company. So I did, I launched a crappy word press website, designed an ugly logo and that was in business.

So that's a little background on on that I could go farther back in my background. If you want that's a good enough background love short, less than 2 minutes backgrounds. So yeah, let's talk about cell, which, which we will call I stretcher Labs.

So, you grew that business from basically 0T from yourself 200 plus employee from let's talk about the 1st very, very 1st few hires. How did you approach them? Where do you find them? Was it your friends that you were looking through?

1st, wasn't your network or did you actually go on those professional professional websites and actually tried to find people there?

For the 1st year, it was just me, I was a a crappy designer crappy engineer and a okay. Project manager, but a really great strategist, and a really, really great biz dev guy.

And so I was doing a lot of those jobs and I started hiring engineers designers as freelancers that I knew. Well.

And I realized I needed somebody to handle the, like, you know, the typical operations of a business, you know, the insurance payments, and invoicing and all these things. So.

My brother was living in Louisiana at the time, and I was in D. C. and he said, hey, you know.

Why don't you hire me? Like I, I'll do all that stuff and I need I really need someone. I could trust and I knew I could trust him.

So, I hired him and he came up to D. C. and.

Just at that time is when I could afford our 1st office so he slept in the office building it out around and like, really classic entrepreneurial stories, sleeping on the air mattress.

I paid him in in cash and I gave him a credit card to buy food. For himself, that was the 1st, the 1st hire and the 1st salary, and soon after that.

The 2nd, the 2nd hire was a guy named D. J Saul and and my brother's Joe Corbett and he's the CEO of a company at this moment. The 2nd hire D. J. came to me at an event.

I threw a party for the tech industry in D. C, and it came up to me and said, you know, I really like what you're doing. I just got laid off from Blackboard.

Can we work together and I said, look, I really need people to close deals because I can, I can find all the contractors in the world to work on our projects, but the more revenue we have coming in the better. And so I gave them a like a 3 month.

Very small retainer, and in the 1st, 2 weeks he brought in 100000 dollar project.

And I realized, like, he was going to pay for himself pretty quickly and so I hired him and those were the 1st, 2 hires. I literally never ones out of all 100 employees. I don't think we want spent a dollar on a recruiter. Even though we had a 35 person engineering team.

Our, our outreach for the engineering community was we hosted all the hackathons right? We've regions for so deeply embedded in.

The tech community that we always had a pipeline of engineers and designers and strategists.

that wanted to work for us at one point i probably had twelve hundred candidates in lever which was the hr management tool that we used for for job post eleven hundred potential candidates .

And we didn't that 20 open roles so there was never there's never really much of a problem in that regard.

That's really cool. That's actually, I would like to speak a little more about the hackathons. I personally love hackathons even though I'm not a coder. It's always fun to be there with free foods presentations, chatting with, for my own people and it's just I missed them. So much, and they've been dynamic world.

How much sense does it make to host those big events that require a lot of playing? A lot of.

Just like a lot of playing, how much sense do you see in that sense? What was the major benefit? Besides know more and more candidates flowing into your firm.

Yeah, it depends on who you are. So we were a company that did.

Marketing and engineering work for big companies, right? So, my clients were 35 of the Fortune 500. so when I did a a hackathon, I would have it sponsored by 1 of my clients, like, at T.

We did a number of hackathons for at T. we did a number of hackathons for Microsoft so they would pay the bill.

Right for the Hackathon developers would show up.

I would eventually hire them to work in the company and meanwhile, maybe someone from amazon's tech team came to that. Hackathon.

And then Amazon hired us to do some other project.

All right, so the whole thing for us, it always made sense and yes, it was a heavy lift, but it could drive.

You know, hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue and help me to hire 3 to 5 people saving me, you know, 50 to 75 K recruiter fees.

So, it always made sense for me, right? Would it make sense for. Any given SAS company to do that.

I don't know, you know, cause, especially if it was like, a, a B to C SAS, like, why would you host a hackathon that would just be to recruit engineers? Like, you might have a more cost effective way of attracting engineers.

So you have to look at it and how many ways can you win.

With the strategy for me, I could win with hires I could win with revenue cause I was getting paid to do them and I could win with new clients. So there was a 2nd revenue.

Right that does make a lot of sense.

Get another quick question about organizing those hackathons. How do you find sponsors? So how do you make a T sponsor the Hackathon? Yeah, this is a simple trick.

So, what we usually would do is we would open up the registration 1st without having any sponsors and once people were registered, it was easy for me to say, to a potential sponsor.

Look, we've got 100 engineers, signed up to do real time social media Hackathon. Uh, hey, Twitter, do you want to be the sponsor and they've like, uh.

Yeah, because we want people building stuff on top of Twitter or Facebook. Do you want to be so having the people already registered.

Was team, it became very clear that there was value there or, you know, I'd go to a Twilio or.

Or someone else and say, look, there's 100 engineers here for the headline sponsor you write a check to 50 K you get to choose what the.

Top prizes, and if that's Twilio credits, and if you in order to win the top prize, you have to integrate Twilio into your application.

Okay, fine, that's the context. So it was easy to already had the.

The people registered, we did that at a very large scale. We ended up creating a 12000 person festival in D. C. and this was 3 years in a row was called DC week. We viewed it as sort of like the South by Southwest of Washington.

D. C.
And so I had 3000 people registered for that.

A festival before we had sponsors, and then I'd go to the sponsors and go. Hey, I've got 3000 people showing up. Do you want to be the sponsor?

And then, so Ford said we want to be the sponsor. We not only we want to be the headline sponsor. We want this to be like, the floored digital capital week. Sounds good. Okay, cool.

And what do you need that? We actually want more people buying Ford cars.

Great so I asked all 3000 people how many people want to test drive forward and they're like, 300 people said they did our marketing contact is like.

Oh, my God, this is incredible. I'm like, yeah, this is what we do. No problem. It helped that we were marketers.

Like, we really understood all of this stuff. I wasn't just bumbling around not knowing how to do marketing for Ford. It was literally what we did. So yeah, I always think have the people 1st.

And then you can get the sponsors. Good. Nice. That's.

1 more question on the event organization, and then we'll move on to our major topic, which is fund raising. So.

Question, how do you get so many people sign up for hackathons for the events that you are leading now? Even before you had any sponsors?

Because, you know, I've personally done a few events and even with a podcast Seth has over a couple 1000 followers. I didn't get more than, I think the top that guy was like, 300 people.

So, how do you manage to track so many people? Yeah. Um.

There's so many ways, and I really should, like, maybe write a guide on it 1 day, but 1 of the ways we did it. The 1st thing we did before having this huge 12000 person special. I hosted a happy hour.

And this was called twin tech, right? Because in DC, there's this 2 groups, this young hacker crowd and then there was this older crowd from the AOL days who had made a lot of money. And they were angels and vc's now.

But those 2 groups didn't really meet, like, a 23 year old Django developer wasn't hanging out with Steve cases right hand, man. And so I knew both of those worlds.

I brought them together and a happy hour, and I just said, hey, it's open bar.

By the way I didn't have any sponsors yet it's open bar. The bar is open until we spend all the sponsor dollars and 800 people are.

So, I had already had an email list of, like, 2000 people in the DC area. So just emailed everybody and 8000 people are and in Eventbrite, which I think is just an awesome tool.

You can expose who's RSVP can show a list of name and company.
And so that's what I did, and you'd see, like, all the vc's in the region are registered.

You see, all the of the hot start ups are registered. You're like, oh, well, they're going. I want to go like, I want to meet them and then the law firms, all the service providers are like, oh, those are all my potential customers. Hey, Peter can I.

Can I sponsor, like, I'll give you 5 grand and and we'll come and give away some T shirts that merge booth or whatever.

That's great. That's all we did. And then the next happy hour was 1500 people and then next 1 was 2500 people and that landed us on the front page of the business section of the Washington Post. And so, at that point.

And that was very quick. It was all within, like, 6 or 7 months. The community was like, oh, s***, I strategy labs like.

Really cool events. I mean, they're simple, it's just networking it's just a happy hour, and then we have little startup demos and people can check out the start ups booth and stuff like that.

And then, so, when we launched this festival, it was it was kind of easy to get the 1st 3000 people to register.

Because we've built up like, this, this energy, like, people were excited, it felt like something was happening. And by the way, this was 2008.

You know, Twitter was a year old, right? Like, we're all connecting this hyper social activity was just starting.

So, I felt it was easy for things to go viral, specifically, local events at that point in time.

Nice as good days. Good days. Were there? Good days. Good. That's right. So, yeah, now that let's move back to our major topic of discussion, which is fund raising.

So, do you raising money for and if not, then why not?

I didn't I, when I started the company, I had about 3 months of living expenses in the bank, and I did at the old school way. I bootstrapped it using customer revenue.

So, I think by month 5.

I was profitable I, that 1st, year, I think we did almost a half 1M in revenue, which was not much, but it was something and I netted 50 K.

But at that time in my life, and I own, 100% of the business was like, wow, I got 50 grand in the bank. That's a huge amount of money. I've never had 50 grand in the bank before. So, I just figured I'd keep I keep bootstrapping until I couldn't. That was my plan.

I was like, I'll just keep not raising money because all my friends were raising money for these product companies. And that was the kind of the narrative that you hear, like, oh, you got to raise money if you don't, you're a loser, which I think is ridiculous. So, it just turned out that over 7 years.

I was able to bootstrapped the company to 100 employees over.

13M revenue and sold the company for multiple 8 figures to a publicly traded company. And when I did.

I owned roughly 90% of the company and the other owners were my team members.
It was my executive team basically and so there were no outside of investors.
And I'm glad for that, and I, especially I had run the numbers by the way. I was like, what size? Exit. Am I experiencing because obviously I, I can't share the specific number do the.

A non disclosure agreement with with WP who who bought the company but what, if I raise 4 rounds of capital? Like, my friends are doing their series D or whatever and they'll end up owning 7 to 10% of the company.

How big a company what I have to build I was like, s***. I'd have to half a 1B dollar company.

Right. Or like a 750M dollar company. I'm pretty good as an entrepreneur. I think I'm like, but it might that good. Like, what are the chances that I'm going to do that? And I was like, f*** it.

I'm just gonna keep bootstrapping and have, I'll control the whole thing.

I'm not have a board breathing down my neck and ultimately the objective was sell to W, and try and grow even farther and faster.

Uh, with an international 30B dollar company behind you, and that didn't pan out, we can talk about that and I'm happy with not having raised money.

Yeah, that's the feedback I get from a lot of founders who sold her companies well, fully bootstrapped as just.

Great part of yeah. Pretty, pretty happy. If you do it that way. Right right, right. That if that gets to the acquisitions and 100%. So let's talk about more current situation. So what do you do now? What is corporate Ventures doing?

Sort of like, let's call it a placeholder for the capital that I have. You know, I've invested in a number of early stage companies.

1 is called small, hold that it's ad tech company that does indoor mushroom growing, which is super interesting and fun another's new lab, which is in Brooklyn, Navy yard. It's a physical space plus.

Uh, a venture fund, so I get to see a lot of frontier technology deals through them, but I'm a, I'm an investor in new lab itself so I get to kind of ride along and other investments. It makes.

And then I'm doing a ton of real estate investment. I've done. Think over 25M dollars or real estate deals in the past.

What is it 2020 past 3 years and I should say in your entry size that was 19. I sold in 2016. retired from 2018. no big deal.

So, yeah, I've been doing a ton of real estate and I really like it. I think I'm doing it because I really like it. We're in a good time.

And so I'm not putting more money into the startup acid asset class because it's so.

Disruption has been disrupted I guess I'd put it that way. So it seems like too concerning to me to put any more capital into that asset class in the short term.

That's a great phrase. I'm definitely going to call the episode disruption was disrupted. That's that's a very, very true. The star world is very unpredicted now.

I mean, just like any other asset class, to be honest, but let's talk a little bit more about cobit and the effects it has on the startup world specifically. 1 of them is very, very cheap credit.

Like, I think I just saw news that the Fed is keeping the rate at 0T or 0T.5%, which is insane. So, how do you think can founders use that opportunity somehow to fund their businesses?

Or is it only available for people with more stable? Predictable businesses? Yeah, so I have a line of credit.

And the interest rate on that line of credit is 1.1%.

So, I can borrow almost 10M dollars from my, for my bank for 1% and I do, I do it all the time. And these are, I'll take down a couple 1M bucks for a deal. I'll deploy the deal will be done and 3 months later, I get my capital back.

I pay my line of credit back, and I've made 20% on that short term deal. And my, my, my net is like 19%. So, yeah, I think learning how the line of credit game works is important.

I always had a line of credit when I was running a business. I didn't I didn't always use it. So.

A business line of credit, I think is something everybody should have at their disposal, especially if it doesn't cost them anything. So my lines of credit, there was no management fee. There's no anything. It's just you use it and you pay interest on whatever balance.

I think I got my 1st line of credit in the year 2 of the business. I think it was probably about 150 K and I got it.

Really for peace of mind, I wanted to know for sure that if should hit the fan and some hiccup happen with a customer, I could still make payroll. Right? And I was bootstrapping so I didn't have any other source of capital.

So, I just needed to be able to pull 150 grand out of this line of credit. Immediately if I needed to to pay payroll if some client got delayed, paying us that line and that whole.

Banking relationship like fast forward to.

You're you're 5 I was able to pull down 2M bucks. No questions asked and.

And and I did, and I did a couple of times for some very specific reasons. We tried to build.

Products our own products, 3 times and and generally failed, but did okay with 1 of them. And so I decided I'm going to pull down some of my line of credit to fund and engineering team.

Uh, in inside my company, so basically covering their salaries, so they can work on product and get this thing off the ground and we built this data visualization a product called grandstand.

And it and it kind of worked, kinda worked that kind of didn't work. So we probably spent. Let's say a 1M bucks building this thing and we probably over time got like, 2.5M back. That's not a great product. Success story, right? Like, no 1, listening to this this podcast. Like wants to build a product that only does 2.5M in lifetime revenue.

Right. So I was just happy. We got the 1M bucks back.

Like, we had that gamble we're like, let's put a 1M on the line. So what happens got that back and got some more back.

But it's not that I made 1.5 on that effort. We had already burned. We tried to build product twice prior.

So, maybe maybe I ended up even, but that's something that you can start to do if you've got a revenue generating business.

And then you're able to have a line of credit or some kind of term loan from a bank that's another structure. And you really want to throw the dice, throw it with debt. Don't throw it with equity.

Right I decided I was going to gamble using debt and it worked.

And others decide they're going to gamble with equity.
And now you're in bed with investors, and now if it doesn't work.

God, I've seen people, they're still trapped in a business they've had for 7 years, and it's not f*** doing anything. The investors are like, you need to keep going.

And they don't know how to get out of it. It's ridiculous. And I'm, like, shut it down. Like, if I shut it down and I think they'll sue me and, like, what, what.

So, yeah, I wanted to control my destiny and having access to credit for my bank. Pnc bank was who I used the whole time, and they were really wonderful.

That let me do it. I mean, it meant I didn't have to raise capital.
Nice it is. That is a way of raising capital I should say, I didn't have to sell equity to raise cap, right?

Right that's actually my usually my standard advice to pretty much anyone trying to fundraise or at least trying to fund raise it at least, you know, seat plus stage or.

Some sort of revenue come in check if you can raise through dads in any form, any kind whoever does not require you selling equity or giving out equity. Definitely.

Explore that option before going out to angels and vc's and all the other people. So, definitely, definitely pull that advice.

Speaking of care device. So pier what's your condition to early stage? Founders right now? Trying to raise money in base but dynamic worlds currently we still don't even know the election results. So it's even more stable.

So, what's your condition to those founders? Trying to raise now? During this extremely uncertain, and I got no less than a dozen friends that are raising money right now. So, the advice is, you just got keep going.

Right if you've got a raise money, you just got to pretend there's no coven pretend there's no undetermined election. You just got to walk in there with your deck and know that you're either going to get a yes. Or no and you got to keep going.

So, I wouldn't personally, if I were raising money, I just view it as the same. I always viewed sales, which is very much a salesman. Just like, I'm just going in for the sale. I don't care what's going on.

I'm selling this thing, so that's it. You put your head down, you make the calls, you do the networking, you get the meetings, and whether those meetings are through zoom or those meetings or in person.

That's how it goes, right? Yep. That's very accurate. And sounds very simple. So, 1, more question about what you just mentioned, which is, you know, you're being a sales guy.

Where 10 people learn that skills I know I personally, I always ask anyone who is on my podcast who is really good sales. I always ask the same question. How can we simple people learn the same skill that you have?

That's a good question and I don't know if I have a good answer, but I'll try.

I was born, sort of, in in that track, I was raised by a single mother of 3 who we didn't have a lot of money.

And so if I wanted to buy Nintendo games, like, I had to figure out how to make money. So, like in 3rd grade, I was going door to door, selling wrapping paper and popcorn.

Nice right and so I, I, that's how I started learning.
And I, I was immediately excited about making money.

And I knew that if I made money, then I could do more things. I could have more freedom. I could have the life that I wanted. And so sales was baked into me as the key to success.

It just was based on how it was born and then it turned out that.

You know, I have a personality that is, you know, in keeping with what a salesperson a successful service person would have. I like people.

I really, really like people and I don't care about meeting stranger. I love meeting strangers. My wife is an introvert she does not want to meet strangers.

You know, I'm like, are there strangers like, I want to go meet them she's like, what? Like, I really just I just want to meet people. It's wonderful. Even today. What? I'm literally not selling anything. I've, Nothing's happy to meet and lots of random people.

I will say, though, at the same time, I've always been very studious.

So, I remember God all the way back in college. I would go to Barnes and Noble.

And I go to the business section, I went to undergraduate business school at Emory.

In Atlanta, and I would read the sales books.

Literally, and I wouldn't buy them because I didn't have any money to buy them. So I would sit there 20 books and I would just go through every, every sales book.

So there's all those famous 1 that's called, like, spin selling and like, a little red book of sales and, like, getting to yes. And all of those, I read them by the time I read every sales book on the shelf and burns. And by the time I was like, 22.

And so with that showed me, gave me.

Gave me a big broad perspective on how 1 could approach sales, because some of those are sales systems.

And so the way, so it's a sausage abroad perspective I could then create my own system.
In my system, for the 1st job, I had out of school. Like, I should say, 2nd job, I had it in school.

Was hardcore I was cold calling. I oh, yeah, I had when cold calling was a thing I had a spreadsheet of all the advertisers in the Greater Washington D.

C area ranked by their my expected budget size that they would have and I was working at the small ad agency.

And I had to earn a certain number of points a day for myself.
by outreach so i could or one point with a call i get her two points for a second call .

So it was it was incentivizing me for being persistent.

So you want to do the 2nd call because mentally what's happening is, like, I do the 1st call I don't get through, like, oh, I'm not going to call again, but you change the point value and it's like, oh, if I call again, I get 2 points not 1.

And I've got to get 100 points a day and that's the way that I'm going to become independently wealthy and be able to retire. By the time. I'm 40 turned out. I retired at 37, which is.

Close which close close.

So, yeah, I created that system for myself and I tracked every day and it resulted in that agency who only had probably a couple 1M in revenue. I think I bumped the revenue 50% in the in the 1st year. I was there.

I was 23.
And they're like, who is this guy? And so then I left them for a bigger shop and more money. And I did the same thing. Nice. I actually, you.

I was going to say, what's funny is that I strategy Labs I never once did a cold call and neither did anyone on the biz dev team. There was no need the strategy had changed. We created the new strategy was we wanted to be.

You know, the phrase shooting fish in a barrel, we would build barrels that fish would swim into.

Right. So that was the happy hours, the DC week big festival like the hackathons right? I didn't have the cold call if the clients were showing up and saying, oh, you guys are awesome. Do you want some money? Like? Yeah.

Love it love money.

Let's do that. Great. So, 1 more 1 more question on sales and then we'll move on to the final question after this episode. So question on sales. What's your major advice to people on sales?

Like, you know, if I don't want to read any books, which I personally did, by the way, didn't learn from those by the way. So if they don't want to read those books.

What should they do? What's the major take off your.

You know, for you for your major taking yeah, I always believed that there was some set of words or actions that I could do that would win.

The deal and I just had to figure out what that was.
Like, someone was going to do it, and it was either me or someone else. So. I so, that starts with, like, I can do this, basically like, this 1M dollar deal.
I can either get that deal. If I really.

Incredibly enough, and long enough. Hard enough I can figure out the sales approach or someone else is going to figure it out. So then I sit down and this happened many times. I mean, to sit down with D. J. or.

Or other team members, and we get these, these that'd be worth 3 515M dollars.

And, like, what is the strategy for winning this? So, I think for people who don't want to study sales, you just have to tell yourself okay.

If I'm not sitting sales, I'm just studying the strategy of winning. So, how, how am I going to win this?

Brian, you can call that sales or whatever, but like, how am I going to win this? And it's okay, so I'll give you 1 example Kroger.

They're 1 of my biggest clients for a while, we ended up having.

I don't know, like a 3 to 5M dollar a year contract with them for a number of years.

And when we got the and.

I was like, you know, what's going to win this is they, they are going to want to literally see our ideas in motion.

Because we had some complicated ideas and.

If you just talk, talk to them in a pitch on slide 7 to work. So I said, look team, we've got 8 days I want you to shoot a ton of content.

We're going to show them some really incredible social media posts like, some, some spec, Instagram post Twitter posts from Facebook posts, and some special campaigns related to tacos, which is again, it's Taco campaign.

And I don't think the other agencies are going to do that.

I don't think they're going to make the work. I don't think they're going to show actually animated content in the pitch because they don't have an in house studio. Like, we do.

And I knew who the competition was we had at that time, I think probably like an 8 person.

Multimedia production team, you know, camera, light, sound editing animation, et cetera. Uh, and we were about a 50 person company.

So, we did all that work and we want the pitch, and they said Congress said, you know what it's so weird. We were not going to hire you.

We were going to hire this other shop because they had this, like, really great analytics capability. And, you know, we're very analytical company. I mean, there are multi 1B dollar grocer who sells.

Groceries to half the population of the country every day. So they have to be good at analytics and they said, but you guys came in and showed us how important.

Really beautiful content was and you have analytics capabilities to.

You know, probably just as good as your competitor, maybe not as good, but we're so good at analytics. We realize, like, we can push you on that. But that company was not going to be as creative as yet.

And so we want total revenue I earned from quarter over time.

Oh, maybe it was 20M dollars having that key inside of.
How how will we win? Like, who will be the winner? The winner will be someone who does what.

Oh, they will be the 1 that demonstrates their creativity to this specific customer, or they will be the 1 that.

You know, hopefully, it's not this there will be the 1 that chooses the CMO over dinner X number of times. And by the way that is a strategy too. And I've used it many times.

Because you'll meet someone who, like, I have 1 client, I think they just wanted a friend.

Literally, and there were like, Peter, are you going to come to Vegas for CBS? For consumer electronics? I was like, no, no, I'm not going to go.

No, Peter, I don't think you understand. Are you coming to Las Vegas?
I'm like, no, I'm not going really Peter. I'll ask you 1 more time. I'm like, okay. Yes, I'm going. And so that ended up netting me out of, like, a quarter 1M dollars of project.
So you got to learn, what is it that is going to cause me to win in that case it was. Choosing the person in Vegas starting to, which is what a lot of people do.
In another case, it was really creative content filling the ideas live.

Got it so, here we're moving on to the last question, these up as a, a call to action to appear what's the 1 thing you want at least trying to do? As soon as the episode is over and keep in mind that most of our listeners are early stage founders.

Wow, this my answer is so different today.
Um, compared to what it would have been, when I was running a company.

If I was running a company, I was, like, get out there and keep hustling and close deals. And what are not at all what I would say today.

I, I regret not much in my life.

1 of the things I wish that I had seen earlier on when I was over growing company, was that.

Balance in my life would have benefited everybody.

I was the classic working 1618 hours a day, like, hashtag, crush it all the time. And that was ridiculous and it wasn't necessary. I could have been just as successful and less stressed out.

When I, when I ultimately sold the company and retired I lost 40 pounds.
I was carrying like, all this.
Extra weight, like, literally, and physically because I was so out of balance. And so my, my best advice is try to see where you're out of balance.

And if you can still grow the business, the way that you need to grow it, get back and balance. And if that just means.

Exercising more or meditating more or eating differently. Like, we need you to live.

If you die of a heart attack at age 36, that's not the good outcome. So we need you to live take care of yourself take care of the people around, you.

Fair enough. That's actually great advice. I have rule that I did not do calls after 5. 0T. P. M.

And does, it just helps me separate, like, my personal work and my work and my personal life. So that's that's a great advice. My call to action is going to be go to the description of the episode.

I leave few links mentioned in this episode by peer and your theory to read more to hear more of what you're has to say. Definitely go there, click the links and.

Yeah, have a good day.