Here are my Top 10 conversational picks from the evening with Kate Nielsen (KN) and Angela Hurt (AH) during Athena League VOX Speaker Series, June 19 at Polsinelli’s on the Plaza.
1. Background Info
(KN) – “I always wanted to make a difference.” After coming from a non-profit background, “I got burnt out and sick of not being paid.”
(AH) – “I came from a town so small, me and my sisters played baseball in the most coveted positions, pitcher and shortstop,” and never really had a problem with competing with guys.
2. Risk of Leaving/Being Laid Off
(KN) – Being laid off “was the best thing that could have happened to me.” Meanwhile, talk to the company, “they could become an advocate.”
(AH) – A friend made it easy for me to make a decision (to leave). He asked me, “What do you have to lose? … I know 5 companies would hire you tomorrow.”
3. Conquering Gender Stereotypes
(AH) – Get a great network. (This isn’t gender specific) I could give you 5 bankers who if you have a solid business plan, they know how to get a return on investment.
(AH) – I’m not risk adverse at all. I make very quick decisions, very fast. The women I hang around with, I don’t see them being risk adverse.
4. Having Co-Founders
(KN) “It’s like being married.” You have to be sure, you have the same vision.”
5. Work Environment/Servant Mentality/Heart
(KN) – “I believe in a positive work environment. Creating a positive workspace is one of my top goals.”
(AH) – “We like each other” at Veracity.
6. Paying Staff
(KN) – “I will pay myself less, because I want to pay my fantastic team. I want to make sure we shine.”
(AH) – “I (often) ask … to change (decrease) my salary.” You’ll find yourself asking, “Why are these people making more money than you?”
7. Working Remotely
(AH) – “We had an office for one year. It was the most unproductive time of my life … When we do meet together, we get on the whiteboard and make it happen.”
(KN) – “My developer moved to Denver. We now do hangout meetings every day. I make sure “ we talk personal stuff too.”
8. Non Competes
(KN) – If you have signed a non compete, “be as transparent as possible and try to work it out, … then always get a non compete with whoever works for you.
(AH) – “ I don’t believe in non competes, … I want people to work for us because they want to work for us.”
9. How/When to Say No to Growth?
(KN) -Get good at what you want to do. I don’t like doing SEO, so “We just forged an SEO partnership, it makes our work better.”
(AH) – “We know our core competencies.” “We’re small enough, we can’t afford the bad reputation.” In those situations, it’s easy to say no.
10. Balancing Success High’s and Lo’s
(KN) – “I’ve learned not to open the champagne until the contract is signed.”
(AH) – There is “no lake house” and we are “not celebrating every win.”