Kathy Sacks, Entrepreneur, Startup Consultant, and Former VP of Marketing at Infusionsoft on The Benifit

kathy sacksKathy Sacks has been building, marketing, and inspiring businesses for more than 20 years. She’s done it all. From starting her own angel investing firm, to founding multiple businesses, to working as the VP of Marketing at Infusionsoft, Kathy’s gathered a wealth of knowledge from her diverse work experiences. Lucky for us, she shares it with the world on our podcast!

In this episode, Kathy chats with podcast host and Beni.fit CEO Kate King about how her time at Infusionsoft informed her perspective on HR and people leadership, why she believes entrepreneurship is the answer, and why she feels companies should invest in their employees dreams. Give it a listen!

Click here to check out more episodes of The Benifit, and here to learn more about how Beni.fit helps humans thrive, and companies prosper. 

Show Highlights:

[2:00] Kathy explains how she initially got connected with the founders of Infusionsoft

[4:00] Kathy describes how Infusionsoft’s leadership time intentionally crafted the company’s culture

[8:00] Kathy talks about Infusionsoft’s Dream Manager position

[11:00] Kathy shares why she believes it’s important to embrace employees’ whole person at work

[14:00] Kathy shares a personal story about her parent, immigrating from Hungary and making a life for themselves in America

[17:00] “The number one challenge I see is, is the ability to see past self-imposed obstacles.” – Kathy talking about challenges for startup leaders

[20:00] “I think we take ourselves just too seriously. And, therefore, we’re unwilling to make mistakes.”

[22:00] Kathy shares her thoughts on why it’s important for leaders to be authentic in the workplace

[24:00] Kathy tells a story about when Infusionsoft’s executive team gathered to come up with the company’s values

[30:00] “Ultimately leadership is about service. It’s about being of service to others, and how do you do that without your heart being a part of it?”

[33:00] Kathy shares her morning routine. (Hint: it includes journaling!)

[36:00] “What I’ve realized is, is as a woman especially and a working mother, you can have it all.”

 

The Benifit Interview w/ Kathy Sacks, Entrepreneur, Startup Consultant and Former VP of Marketing at Infusionsoft

Kate: So, hi Kathy, and thank you join- for joining us today on The Benifit Podcast. It’s a real pleasure to have you on board.

Kathy Sacks: Hi Kate. I’m so glad to be here.

Kate: Great. So- so Kathy, we have a few questions for you. Um, I’m really excited to- to really understand your perspective. So, you have a very diverse and rich work history. From starting your own businesses, to investing, to serving in executive marketing positions, you’re pretty much, uh, done it all. Um, you say your time as a VP of Marketing and Communication at Infusionsoft was critical to your- your view of HR, people leadership, and how companies grow. I think while you were there, you went from under a hundred employees to over 600. What is it about your time at Infusionsoft that informed your perspective on these things?

Kathy: Hmm. Yeah, it’s interesting. Um, in Infusionsoft, it is a place where, uh, having gone from worked in- working in, uh, companies that I had started. Uh, well, one I had co-founded with my husband, but they were small businesses, um, successful, but they were smaller. We’re talking, you know, 12-15 people tops. And, um, a few of them I had sold, and, um, and so moving into Infusionsoft it really was the largest, um, the largest company that I had been a part of.

And to see it moved from, before it was 30 people and the early days pre-Series A, I was a consultant. [00:02:00] So they’d hired my agency to come in and work with them and really be their first agency of record. So, I got to work shoulder to shoulder with the founders at the time when they didn’t actually even know what they had. In other words, at the time we’re talking, this is 2006, uh, 2005, um, no actually a little earlier than that. Um, anyway, doesn’t matter.

The point is, is [chuckles] that at the time they thought a big win was gonna be, “We’re gonna sell this for like 10 million dollars right?”. And- and over a period, in pretty short order there, over the course of about a year, the transformation of their vision shifted to that of a company that saw itself becoming, uh, multi-billion dollar company. It saw itself as a- as an organization that was not only out to sell software, it was out to change lives for small business owners. And also, and just as important to change the lives of their employees.

And so, my time there was really interesting, uh- uh, initially on the outside and then I end up joining the company, uh, joined the executive team, working with Clate Mask, the CEO, and, um, and the rest of the folks on the team. And I had joined there full time when we were about 100 people. And I remember him telling- telling me, “Big differences as soon as you hit that three digit number, Kate, everything changes.” And you could do things very differently and make different considerations and really put an eye on the scale.

And by the time I left a few years ago, we had about a 600 employee company. And so, it’s fascinating to see what they did right and that was at the outset focus on thinking big, and focus on making this a place that people would want to come to. That would be proud to be a part of this company, this brand. And, um, and it wasn’t just talk, they made investments. We made investments, we made, um, we made real meaning for effort, we put money, time, resources towards- towards creating a culture of winning, [00:04:00] high performance. And, um, dare I say, it sounds cliche, but fun.

Kate: Fantastic. You know, a lot of, um, companies in that massive growth- high really growing from, as you said 30 people to 600 really, uh, find it challenging on the culture. You-you mentioned that you’ve done the investments, but could you just walk us through maybe some of the thinking at the time for, uh, how you constructed the culture as an Exec Team?

Kathy: Uh, yeah. Well, for one, uh, for one we all took ownership of it. And so, one of the things that we did as a leadership team, was we would have offsites. Uh, lots of offsites. So there will be a monthly offsite of the exec, so it’s about anywhere between five and- and 10 of us as we grew. Uh, so it was the CEO level, it was– we’re VP level until we began to grow and then we moved into CEO roles as well. And, uh, and so we made investments on making culture our top priority.

And so what that look like was, um, we had a team would discuss, um, goal setting and how we make goal setting and accountability, and your focus on metrics. Something that not just execs were- who were rallying around, but the entire organization. And we would empower people to, uh, take ownership over their departments, or over, um, let’s say director or manager level. People would have an opportunity to rally and organize others around accomplishing goals, that may actually be outside their purview, but that they wanted to get involved in.

And, um, each quarter we would have these, um, these ‘TOPs’, Top Operating Priorities. And then we would have annual priorities. And, the TOPs on each quarter would roll up into the annual priorities. And then, there will be rewards around that, and we had smart goals. And so, there was this culture of, um– You know, it’s interesting. When- when- when you hear the word culture, you think of– especially in a Venture-backed company. [00:06:00]

This is a Venture-backed software company, you think, “Oh, it’s fun”. It’s Ping-pong tables. It’s–” You know, we had a football field, we had Nerf guns, we had a Coke machine, you know, uh, soda machine. We had, um, unlimited supplies of cereal. Yeah, that is one part of, o- one part of that makes it casual and- and, um, it sort of it normalizes it. But really culture is founded upon high per- creating high performing teams that can collaborate, respect each other, treat one another with kindness, and with um, and hold on to another accountable, but doing it in a way where you grow from it, right?

And that’s I think what we were able to do by engaging in and iterating on this culture around how we hire people, how we fire people, how we invest in them, um, and there’s so many examples of- of investments that we made. You know, one- one that comes to mind is our Dream Manager. You might have heard that at one point, um– I’m trying to think about how soon into this. It would have been when we are about, probably somewhere between 115-250 people.

We ended up creating role called, the Dream Manager. And the dream manager’s, the dream manager’s job was to help our, um, employees, we call them Infusioknights to- to dream, and to create goals for themselves, and to work towards those goals. And so, your dreams could be paying off your mortgage, taking your family to Disneyland, uh, losing 20 pounds, learning Spanish. You know, playing the violin, it could be anything. Um, doing a triathlon, or it could be, “I wanna start my own business.”

And so, I think it was really fascinating as we were, we were not afraid to invest in people, and- and support them in identifying dreams, and then picking a dream that they wanna go after. And then, on a weekly basis, or actually weekly to monthly basis, you had access to this coach, your dream manager. Who would work with you, [00:08:00] and support you in moving through the necessary actions in order to attain, um, that dream.

And, you know, when you’re- when you’re managing people, and you’re working with anyone, especially in a coaching type of relationship, you wanna help them get small wins. So often the dreams were small, you know it’s like “I want to, uh, take my family into a two-week vacation, uh, in two quarters,” right? And so, or it could be “I wanted to lose five pounds this month.” So it’s like what can you do to create small wins but then build confidence.

So the reason why I share this is- is, I think what’s so different about what we did at Infusionsoft, Kate, is that; if people had a dream of starting their own business, which could become to others, to other companies maybe this is threat, like we might lose this person. We knew that when we made investments in that person, we encourage those because our customers are entrepreneurs, we encourage our employees to be entrepreneurs.

So I think 80% of the people inside the company have some kind of side hassle. We gave everyone a free app, a free Infusionsoft app to use and we wanted them in the app in software using it. And they will build their own businesses, selling products, information products, doing services, whatever it might be. And so, we knew that at some point, you know, either we’d have them for several years, or a decade, or for two years.

Whatever the- whatever the amount, we knew that we wanted to make investments in our employees. And- and the trade in return was for them to make- make a high contribution to Infusionsoft. So as a result, I point to the deliberate decisions that we made to allow people to grow, to invest in them growing. Uh, it paid in dividends and what that look like was, the ability to, uh, get to 100 million dollars in revenue. Or- or frankly at this point the company is well over that, uh, to be able to raise over a 150 million in- in, uh, in venture capital from the likes of Goldman Sachs, or Bain Capital. [00:10:00] Yeah, I’m gonna stop and like, ask another question. [laughs]

Kate: You know, I- I- I’m blown away. I think that is probably one of the best examples of somebody explaining culture that I’ve ever heard. And I think you’re absolutely right, in terms of– most people think about culture in terms of, “How do I grow this fun family environment?” And they don’t really link it to business performance which is so critical. and I think what you said high performing teams that collaborate with each other, who bring kindness, um, was so eloquent.

Uh, what I loved though is this ‘Dream Manager’. Because when people are truly inspired themselves with their dreams, they come to work so much more purposeful, and so much more intentional. Um, so I- I think that probably is one of the best examples, um, I’ve heard in terms of a company who really embraces the individual, uh, to be part of the collective pulse. So, thank you. I think that’s amazing.

Kathy: Hmm, yeah. Well, and I– if I could- if I could share on that. Consider this, people come to work everyday as a whole person.

Kate: Yeah.

Kathy: Ideally. They come as a whole person. And so they don’t come as a work person. They come as the whole person. A person who is a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, husband or wife. Uh, you know, whatever. And add all the other roles inside of that. And they’re a dreamer. And, if people– If you think that anyone on your team isn’t dreaming about what they might do beyond this role, or how to enrich their lives or what experiences they want to create for themselves, then you’re kidding yourself.

And so, I think when- when leaders ignore that aspect, then the consequence of that is you get a quarter, a half, three quarters, whatever it is. But it’s going to be sub-100% of that person. So, let’s– I- I think the- one of the- one of the keys as a leader is to embrace, identify, expose, allow that person to understand what their whole person- what the wholeness really- really encompasses. Uh, but here’s a thing. It takes time. It takes some effort. [00:12:00] Um, and- and oftentimes especially in– I- I- I don’t know.

I- I guess anyone that worked at Infusionsoft Kate, myself included, really got spoiled, because a lot of corporate America does not work this way. [laughs[ And so I’d like to say that anyone who came into Infusionsoft always left a better person. And, um, with any luck would land at another company, or that would be, you know what, in some way, um, at the same level. Or candidly they most likely would go off to start their own business. And that was the pattern that we would see. Which is exciting.

Kate: Yeah. There’s definitely the exciting turn I feel with– so very small moves to turn this huge ship of what was corporate America into this, um, a person is coming to work. And I think, you know, forever we’ve seen the stats of 86% of people disengaged from their jobs. The trillions of dollars it cost in absentee and lack of productivity, ’cause people just are truly not inspired. Um, I truly love that dream manager.

I think that if more companies did that and embraced that whole person to a point; yes, it does take time. Yes it does take investment, but what a tiny investment to make in terms of the actual bottom-line impact you make. Fantastic example, Kathy. Thank you. Um, I’m gonna switch gears a bit to you as an entrepreneur. Um, and a- a business owner, investor. Um, On your website you say that you believe in entrepreneurship, and that’s really the answer. Can you just give us what is– wha– You know, the answer to what? What do you mean by that?

Kathy: Hmm. The person that comes to mind when I think about what you’ve just asked. Whenever I think about entrepreneurship, I envision my- my dad. Um, my father was– Both my parents are, uh, immigrants. They escaped communism, uh, communist Hungary in the ’60s. And they came here with– They came separately. My father actually, physically escaped. [00:14:00] My mother happened to come here, visited an uncle, and at the time was easier to just stay than it is, you know, now.

Um, and so they both have their own approach. They came to the US-wide for a better life, right. Um, and my dad came here with $20 and they both had eight grade educations, and he had one skill and that was as a mason. And so I grew up watching him- watching him as an entrepreneur. Um, with his broken English, you know, with his gruff, gruff, sort of, demeanor. And he built the business. And, um, I’m really proud of how hard he worked.

And, uh, so I- I– To me, it was very normal growing up. Pre- predictable income. That was not common. He’d have seasons growing up in New Jersey. Snow, couldn’t, you know, couldn’t work. Um, and my mother, on the other side, cleaned houses when she was– when I was, uh, you know, two year old. She’d take me with her to work in a lipstick factory. I mean, you see, you’re talking about, you know, really, uh, blue collar.

And, um, and so as a consequence of that, I’d like to think positive, I learned to appreciate uncertainty and, um, the uncertainty that comes around entrepreneurship. And so, I find that exhilarating. And, as a result, um, the people that I spend the most time with, um– You know, today I coach entrepreneurs, hmm, more- more particularly women, around how they can- how they can up level their leadership, lead themselves more powerfully so they can lead others more powerfully and grow their businesses.

So, for me that theme around taking risks, that theme around believing in yourself, um, believing in others. Making investments in yourself and in others, and growing something special around, um, something that is capitalistic, of course. There’s a measure. You know, does this work? If it doesn’t make money, then how’s that gonna work? Uh, but then, also, through that exercise, can’t you get to do something really great.

And I was working with people to collaborate and making something out of nothing. [00:16:00] Whether it’s a service or a product, you- you’ve constructed, um, something that didn’t exist before. So, to me, entrepreneurship is, is creation. Um, this- this- this successive moment of- of, um, of taking a chance and really not knowing what’s on the other side. And I find that just so interesting and, um, just very sexy.

Kate: You talk about the, um, coaching startups. Um, what challenges do you see and face when it comes to people leadership?

Kathy: The number one- the number one challenge I see is, is the ability to see past self-imposed obstacles? So, what I mean by that is– As an example, there’s a critical conversation that, let’s say, uh, CEO needs to have with a person on their team that isn’t performing at a level that they need to. And- and they’ve been managing and- and coaching and trying to get this individual who if it’s a small startup is- is their- their- their key, their key role.

And, they’re trying to sort out why they can’t help this person, either get more motivated or get more capable in their role, so they can be more successful in the role. And everyone knows that there’s something that’s off. And here’s what I find. The obstacle that they put in front of them, the CEO as an example, is how to have the conversation in a way that exposes the truth. And how to do that is for you to have truth about yourself, and about what your expectations are for example, in this role.

And about how this person perhaps isn’t measuring up. And how perhaps the answer is, is, “This isn’t gonna fit,” and they need to replace this individual and hire someone else. But obstacle they place in front of themselves is- in this example is, they’re afraid. [00:18:00] They really like this person. They, um, they think they have what it takes but, you know, just with a little bit of effort, they might get them to the place that they need to be so they can be performing.

But at the end of the day everyone knows, and the CEO knows that they just need to sit down, have the conversation, get them to place of- of understanding that this is the right decision and- and moving forward. And, um, and- and I- and often in these cases, what they- what they’re trying to avoid is that critical conversation. And, um, they don’t wanna let someone down. I find that to be the case often with first time startup entrepreneurs.

Um, and it’s about making decisions and trusting their judgment and doing it swiftly. Um, that’s- that’s one example but, uh, i- in my, uh, there’s- there’s- there’s probably others but I really think it’s, we get in our way. You know, another one is, “Am I good enough? Do I know enough?” Right? And so, it’s sort of death by a thousand cards. They hold themselves back in, uh, in critical moments. Uh, they don’t speak up. Um, they don’t– They don’t believe in themselves in that moment.

Or they don’t raise their hand to go and speak at a conference, or to- or to weigh in on a topic, or to go after a large amount of- of capital. Um, you know, those are those moments where you must see yourself at a level of greatness and potential. And also be kind to yourself knowing that you’re gonna miss- gonna make mistakes. We don’t have to take ourselves so damn seriously. [laughs] That’s the issue.

I think we take ourselves just too seriously. And, therefore, we’re unwilling to make mistakes. We’re unwilling to see ourselves perhaps not, uh, you know, on flattering moments. And at the end of the day though, that’s where the growth happens. So, I- I think the pattern that emerges is how to push yourself and force yourself to grow each day through the uncomfortable, you know. [00:20:00] 

I mean think about yourself like how uncomfortable do you get each day. Have you been uncomfortable yet today, yesterday, the day before? And, uh, each day the richness of that level of- of discomfort should grow otherwise you’re plateauing right. And so just, sort of, going after bigger and bigger challenges, um, because that’s where the self-betterment happens. I see it all the time. We, sort of, allow ourselves to live smaller than we know, uh, we should cause it feels safer.

Kate: What I love about this whole dialogue and what you’re talking about, and both the- except three of the examples and the, um, answers you’ve given, is that whole person that you’re bringing to the forefront. Uh, i- it- it’s very inspiring to hear you talk about that, because many leaders, successful leaders really don’t talk about the whole person. They talk about to your point earlier this is the what person, this is the parent, this is the- the partner, this is the friend, and they very never bring the whole person.

And I love what you’ve mentioned about failure, because getting in your own way and your belief system, um, your own personal emotional set. Or how you think how you process that thinking into emotions and actions, never really is truly embraced in corporate, right? You need to put on that hat, or put on that coat and play that role. And I think many people do, especially with entrepreneurs who maybe are on the second goal, their first goal was in corporate. Now they’re the age where they want to start a company and they go in. First of all they get the shock of, “Uh, I have to do everything,” right ? I used to have tea-

Kathy: Right.

Kate: -while doing this in the past. But they perhaps don’t bring in– you know, in corporate I think it masks a lot of the leadership training your given in corporate to be authentic. Actually is to be authentic in the workplace not be authentic as a whole person. [00:22:00] And I’ really, really I’m inspired by what you’re saying in terms of, typically it’s how you-how you’re creating and growing through that discomfort, but knowing you are the only one creating that discomfort. It’s not because people are seeing you like, “Get out there embrace yourself.”

Um, so both all- all three of those I think from that Dream Manager, to how you just go get, go do. You know, you have- may have nothing, but go do it anyway and really getting out of your own way. I think three tremendous examples of a new face I think to business. I- I’m excited about what you say, because I think if more and more leaders can embrace this, the productivity and the enjoyment people have whether you spend 8, 10, 14 hours of their latter day um, will-will be mind blowing, I mean it will be groundbreaking.

Kathy: Well, what I think is that– and I love, I mean it sounds, um, I love- I love having this conversation with someone who gets it and sees that, um– That the power is really in the human. And, you know, one example from Infusionsoft, but I think is really interesting as well for your listeners and I think this- this shuttles both the personal and the work, and that is what is your value system?

Right, so what is your personal value system, and what do you- what are the values that you uphold that keep you focus, and also keep you honest, right. And keep you- keep you able to say no to the things that don’t align and then- and then- and then by virtue of saying the nos it- it opens a space for the- for the yeses. And I don’t mean just like yeses, I mean, “Hell, yes,” right. And so, the same applies I think for organizations, whether it’s at the company level what are the values?

And we’re not talking values that are, sort of, marketing yourself on the wall and then no one ever pays attention. And you put them on the website cause it looks cool, [00:24:00] but it’s whatever values that you live by? And one of the things that we did, uh, that was really exciting in fact, as an executive team had spent three days at the Phoenician. I’ll never forget, it was like really long. And, um, uh, really well worth it.

But when you have it smart people in a room they’re all passionate there’s a lot of debate and debate takes time. And at the end of it the donuts that we made was a complete rewrite of our- of our vision, which is your purpose, your mission and your values. And about half of the team, half of the- of the leadership team was new in the last year, to three years, and then the other half were, you know, founders and- and really-really, uh, full time employees.

Um, and so- and so there- there was this- there was a vision that had been written previously but it was time to update, it was time to make it, uh, one that could- one that could travel. You know, one that could be easily understood and didn’t require someone to explain it to you. So I’ll give you an example. Out of this came, uh, our vision and the vi- and our- and our- and our purpose was to help small businesses succeed.

Now that sounds pretty okay, simple well, simple is way harder to get to, way harder and longer to get to. And if I told you [chuckles] it took us I think about, I mean it took us a day and a half just to land on that, right? This is an expensive meeting if you think about it. I mean not only expensive ’cause it’s at the Phoenician. But expensive because you’ve got eight highly paid, you know, execs who are all, you know, uh, going at it. Um, then the other was our values.

And- and my point about values that sit on a website or a wall, versus values that are in execution day to day and one that people adopt. In fact, when- when we would hire people at Infusionsoft, it’s likely still the same today, is you have to be able to memorize and you have to- you have to- you have to, um, share the values from memory. And you walk into meetings and- and, [00:26:00] let’s say you see someone who is just not thinking about not going outside of themselves in a moment, where a decision has been made, and you see an ego show up.

And you would have- you would have permission in the organization to say, “Hey, are we all really checking our egos at the door?” Well, guess what that was one of our values, we check our egos at the door. And so we made this simple to- to understand true to our soul and spirit of the company and the um, and the ideas it was founded on. In a way that, uh, I think at the time it was 10 but it’s since been a thing reduced to seven.

And I always think you know shorter, uh, shorter list is always better. But as an organization, you can even extend this to your department. You know, I don’t know how many of your listeners are within larger organization versus small. But let’s say you have the- the technology department or you have, um, or you have the marketing department. What are the values of your- of your- of your team? Right.

And when each of the individuals in- in your department can be a part of giving birth to those values, they see themselves in it, right? They’ve made a contribution and those- and that value system lives on. Um, and there’s something really I think powerful about that that creates leaders at all levels of the company, at all levels. And, um, and on the other side you know what are your values as a- as a person um, outside of work.

Um, I think it’s a question that we all, um, sort of, kind of, like flossing. Like, “Yeah, that be good,” but how many actually put into practice? I think that’s the difference between successful and I mean monetary necessarily. But successful meaning happy, joyful, fully expressed people who feel like they’re making a difference versus those that are– I don’t know. You know victim, lost, drifting. I think the difference is, is [00:28:00] identifying articulating and living the values.

Kate: That’s great. Um, I truly– I’m sitting here and I’m writing, because all of the things you’re saying, um, really you have to write a book. [laughs] You have you know you have to write a book on this because I feel that you know just this even the words you’re using victim, lost, drifting that is most of people in their day to day jobs.

And really espousing values of the organization, to your point ‘upon the wall’, um, is many times where they stay and they sit and you- you know at your annual review, or your half review you start talking about values. But it’s really the heartfelt. If I’m heartfelt of about the values of myself and the company and my team imagine the possibility.

Kathy: Doesn’t that make you sad to think how many people are just showing up?

Kate: Yeah.

Kathy: And right– Um and you’re– By the way we’re talking like privilege at this point. I mean you know my heart goes out to a single mom who, let’s say, works at a convenience store who’s trying to raise three kids right? And is having a hard time. And I mean like what we’re talking about is, um, and- and their values being aligned, um, can be useful right? But- but I think you know what we’re talking about is- is a level of efficiency, as one example there’s still many other examples.

It’s my one- it’s my one reference, um, that I can point to where we made really big investments, and- and so the return on that. Now it’s not all roses, uh, at the same time too. There’s also challenges to this as well especially as you begin to scale. But, look I mean ultimately leadership is about service. It’s about being of service to others, and how do you do that without your heart being a part of it. I don’t- I don’t know how that how that happens and so. [00:30:00] When you have people that are just showing up think about it, you know, think about it as a lot from a logical perspective Kate. How expensive is that for me, if I’m running 100% organization and 20% of my workforce is just checked out. Okay, that’s super-expensive, really expensive think about that. Um, in productivity in the impact of that 20% on my other, uh, my- my other 80%, and how it’s dragging on the 80% that it should be high performing.

So I think this is the number one problem, um, and a number one opportunity to address. Um, I think the challenges is- is- is it has to be somewhat customized, you know, because not every– The same thing doesn’t light everyone up. So ultimately it has to start at the outse, which is your recruiting. You know, how are you, what is the- what is the brand, what is the message, who are the leaders that are out there waving the flag for this company that is then–

What is the purpose, mission, vision, you know values– what are you up to doing in the world that’s going to attract the kind of people that can be lit up and excited to be getting on the ship and at point say, “Yeah, I wanna go there, you know, I wanna go there. And, uh, and so within recruiting it’s a matter of making sure you’ve got the right people on the bus. Different kinds of people.

I don’t mean the same people that all look the same and act the same and have the same level of its– of life experiences, diversity so- so- so important. That’s something that we really I think missed the mark on at Infusionsoft, especially in the early days. Um, and, uh, you know we see this in the headlines. So many companies are- are, “Challenged by it”. I’d say that’s really more code as in too lazy to do anything about it to be honest, but that’s by another topic.

Kate: Yeah no absolutely. And I think, you know, riding that ship, um, is to your point it’s- they see it as a huge agenda. Um, perhaps isn’t laziness to it, but, uh, you know I also think that is a must do. [00:32:00] And-and your example earlier of 20% of 100 people are not productive. You know, when you look to the stats in the marketplace where people aren’t really intentionally in fuse with what they want to do on a daily basis, it’s almost the reverse, right? That 20% of your people are the doers and 80% are just showing up.

Kathy: Mm-hmm.

Kate: So in- in- incredible examples there. Kathy I could literally talk to you all day on this stuff. I think that, uh, you know we share a lot of the same passion about the whole person. I do-

Kathy: That might be fun, but I don’t know if everyone would wanna listen all day.

[laughter]

Kate: I’m sure they would, you know. Um, I have two other questions for you and they’re much more to do with you personally. Um, you know there’s much talk of discipline morning routines, uh, for leaders as a key to their productivity or even their success. Um, can you describe your morning routine to the listeners.

Kathy: You know, I could make up something that sounds very Tim [Ferris], like, “I’m very disciplined.

Kate: [laughs]

Kathy: And say, “These are the things I do,” and that- that would represent who I was about a year and a half ago, no try really more like. A year and half to two years ago. Currently- currently, uh, it’s a great day if I can get 20- a 20 minute meditation going in the morning before my one year old gets up. And um, I think that for me has been the biggest– And I would– So what I used to do was meditate for 20 minutes then I would journal.

I have this gratitude journal, I’m actually looking at it here. Oh, it’s a five minute journal, um, you can get it online. There’s– I mean today there’s so many journals, but it asked these questions of, “I am grateful for–“, and then you list the three things. “What would make today great?” And then you list the three things and then daily affirmations of I am and then you can list that. And then at the end of the day three amazing things that happened today and you would know that. [00:34:00]

And then the final question for the night would be, how could I have made today better? And you do this every day. And, um– I don’t recall who I heard that said this but, “You can’t be grateful and angry in the same moments.” In other words you- you can’t be grateful for– You can’t feel just gratitude for something, for your life for whatever it is and then also be mad at the same time.

And so while being someone who lives a more great full life is- is a path I’ve been actively choosing to, um, to live on. And I say the last five years have really been an exercise in that and I just– I like my life, um, so much more. But um, ever since having my- my baby, we have a nine year old, and then we’ve got a, um– She’s just turned one few months ago. And so, like I said I’m winning if I can meditate about three or four times a week like that’s a really great week.

Kate: Fantastic. You never leave the door with both– with the same pair of shoes on right? I think sometimes-

Kathy: Yeah.

Kate: -in the mornings it’s, “Did I put an actual pair of shoes on, or- or did I ever got– Because I don’t know if you’re like me, if you find a pair of shoes you like– I buy every color. Um, so you- you will walk out the door with one red, one blue shoe on like, “Okay,-

Kathy: Oh, yeah.

Kate: -this is for every morning. [laughs]

Kathy: Yeah-yeah. Well you know actually my latest life hack was I got rid of all my socks, I did this with my daughter as well. I got rid of all the socks that required you to identify pairs.

Kate: Yeah. Right, right.

[crosstalk]

Kathy: And we ordered- we- ordered into a block, a bunch of just black. Black low, you know, like a little low no show socks on Amazon. Her and I are now the same size, and so I ordered like three dozen. Split in half she’s got and so there’s never an issue and surprise event at time.

Kate: [laughs]

Kathy: Number one. Number two, when I’m gonna grab socks I can just like done they are there. Um, so that’s been really key. And the other thing I do, which be careful you don’t wanna be driving behind me, or in front of me. I don’t text while I drive but I do- but I use Siri, uh, but I put my make up on the car. [00:36:00] So for me it’s like getting somewhere and then putting the makeup on in the car like that’s how I make it all work, and you know, it’s interesting Kate.

What I’ve realized is, is as a woman especially and a working mother, you can have it all. What I’m realizing is you just can’t have it all now. And so- and so this level of like impatience and it all has to work right now, and all has to happen by the time I’m– insert whatever age, you know, you like made up. I am learning, I think this new education that I’m- that I’m moving through is called the, School of Patience. And it’s not my natural- it’s not my natural way.

Um, and so it’s the way I’m trying to be uncomfortable is just like slow down and just be more patient with myself. Uh, three rules, uh, okay, so one is growth that’s pretty obvious from what we’ve been talking about. Uh, and growth is just possessing, creating, cultivating, fostering this internal motivation to constantly improve as a human being. How to a better friend, a better wife, a better mother, a better- a better- a better fan of myself, a better just humans others.

Um, and I think contained within this idea of growth is to like the highest level is purpose. Um, I don’t mean like this one purpose it’s been emblazoned on your forehead when you were born, and your role is to, sort of, rub it, you know rub at it until you figure out what it is. I mean more of like a higher purpose that’s guiding you. And I am not religious um, but I’m certainly very spiritual. And so I think growth- growth is a function of, um, of growing to be the most- the greatest possible human being that you can be. [00:38:00]

Um, number two is- is– What is that? That’s, um– It’s presence. So it’s finding how do I- how do I find peace, joy, fulfillment and appreciation for this current moment, you know. How do I– like right now here talking to you, how do I enjoy this and be here with you and not think about my 1:30 meeting. And not think about, uh, what I gonna have for lunch after this. You know, like how- how- how I can actually and fully be here and when you’re not there me think about of yourself, we all do this.

Maybe reading a book to your kid at night and you’re not actually think– the words are coming out of your mouth, but are you really there, you know. Um, I admit it happens to me often and so it’s living every day, living every moment and being detached to the outcomes, um, and just being there. And then I’d say the third is contribution. Contribution. How can I be of service? What will you have me- what will you have me do today? I don’t say to myself to this higher purpose, call it God.

My God is not a dude um, but it’s you know sort of a universal power that is out there and, uh, doing its thing. How can I contribute and make a difference and take my talents, my-my resources and my effort towards activities and towards people and communities that are making a difference in the way, um, that I think needs to happen. Um, where we’ve created something better than what we had before. And uh, creating sustainability. So yeah, those three growth. Growth, presence and contribution.

Kate: Thank you very much Kathy. Thank you so much for your time today. Um, incredible insight, um, and an incredible woman, mother and entrepreneur, uh, that you are. Truly inspiring, to me personally and I know to our listeners. 00:40:00] Um, so I really wanna thank you for your time today on our podcast, truly.

Kathy: Okay. Oh, okay. Okay, thank you. Thank you. I- I too enjoy you and I- and I acknowledge you. It’s like, “Right back at you, girl.”

Voice-over: Firstly, thanks for listening and spending time with us. I hope you enjoyed the interview with Kathy. For a transcribed version of the show, head over to beni.fit/podcast. B-E-N-I.F-I-T/podcast. This is a start of conversations that begin to identify best practices of when humans strive, companies prosper. If you would like to recommend anyone for the show please email me at [email protected]/fit, [email protected]

[00:40:56] [END OF AUDIO]

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