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Michaela: Welcome back to the show. And today, we're talking about fast fund raising using your intuition. How Laura raised 300K plus in 30 days for her new product ‘Ropig’. And we're gonna look at why she raised capital rather than bootstrapping, how she used her intuition in deciding who to pitch, and how she decided who not to pitch too. And several mindset shifts she went through around asking people for money, and not wanting to bug people. And we'll also talk about the dark side of V.C.s, and what her views are on that. And if we have time, we'll have a look at the pitch to get energy that was somewhat lacking. So welcome, Laura.
Laura: Thank you Michaela and happy to be here.
Michaela: So those of you don't know, she is the founder of [inaudible] [00:58] and now ‘Ropig’ and also had two previous businesses before [inaudible] I believe. And she runs a company that has over 30 employees all working remotely and has had incredible growth in the last few years. So congrats on that. But you decided you want to create a new product. And what exactly is Ropig? It's not for pig, right?
Laura: No, a pig would not be able to use it. It's for software engineers and devops engineers. It's a tool for the software industry to track all the different alerts and notifications you get and consolidate them and send them to the right place So that's what's called an alert management tool.
Michaela: Alright, so why did you decide to raise capital? Because your previous business you bootstrapped it? And didn't you think that raising capital was evil or naughty or?
Laura: Yes, yeah I did. So yeah, I… and just to give the whole context, I’ll like to say that [inaudible] is a bootstrap, but also self-funded because I did have a good chunk of money, profits from my previous business to put into [inaudible]. So I just think that's a good clarification because I know people watching sometimes they’re like, “How did she take one dollar, and turn it into this one million dollar business in a few years?” That's not like… It's good to know there was a few hundred thousand that was put into the business. That was just my own money from my own profits which is considered a form of bootstrapping. So with Ropig, I initially did the same.
So I decided to commit 500K of my own money and to building Ropig. And basically what happened is we… [laughing] it wasn’t until we actually ran out of money but it was like on this… we've got this 500 was going to get us like through launch in a few months. Like that's not gonna happen. Like basically more or less, we spent the whole 500 just building the product. It was much more expensive product to build than [inaudible] was for various reasons. So when I saw that that was true, it was this choice of put more my own money into it. We could cut off all costs and just like… And when I say we, that's my husband and I building the business together; Chris.
Just try to like do it with our time, but that wasn't really the model. We already had team programmer. It's not just… wasn't really the plan for building it. So it became pretty obvious that I should consider getting some more money from somewhere if I wanted the business to live on. And that's when I really started researching. Okay, what are the different ways to raise money? Are there some ways to raise money and to have investors that are not the typical Silicon Valley thing that I have a lot of issues where that you know is there a way to do that stuff would feel in alignment for me. And I found out that there was.
Michaela: Well that's great and we'll talk a little bit later about the V.C. model and why you don't like that. But how did you decide who you're gonna pitch to. Because it's you know you didn't… you basically took people you knew and said, “Hey give me money, right.” But you didn't do that with everyone you knew.
Laura: Yeah, so they call it friends and family fundraising. Friends fund raising and my choice and I don't know [laughing] [04:40] money to pitch. But I know with friends with money because I've known founders for so long. So everyone who I was pitching you know is a founder or like in the startup industry in some way and has made their money that way. And I knew I would need to reach a lot of people in order… So my goal was 500,000 and we ended up raising 350. So I got close enough. And the minimum investment was 25K. So it wasn't like I wasn't just going after often you're going after one… you know there was called a check; one check for 500K. I was going after a bunch of checks for 25K.
So I knew I would need to approach a lot of people. So my criteria was that I thought they might be interested in this opportunity and I tried to remind myself of people that have pitched me. Because I've been on the receiving end of a lot of people raising money for businesses. And generally, I've been really excited about it. I've been happy that they've included me even if I decided not to do it. I've been excited to learn more about the business and what they're doing. So it's always hard to see that stuff for yourself. I think with your own projects, you often feel like no one's gonna care about this. I don't wanna bother anyone.
So I just thought, “Okay, I'm gonna pretend that I'm someone else and think about how it actually felt good to receive this from people that I had a good relationship with. So I’m like if it's someone I know even if it's some people I had talked to for like five years, but I knew that they would like to hear from me. Well I guess, oh no! I guessed that they would like to hear from me. I felt like you know we had a good relationship and they might like to know the new business I was building. So yeah, I pitched hundreds of people.
Michaela: So there you are at the end of December last year. The initial funding idea you had fallen through. And now you've got 30 days you set yourself to raise…
Michaela: … hundreds of thousands of dollars. You're looking through like your e-mail address book, and your telephone address book, and your social media. How did you… you know, how were you drawn to particular people? Was there some intuitive part of that as well as a rational part or?
Laura: Yeah, I mean I think that intuitive was probably more the people who I didn't pick. It's probably were intuitive played a stronger role.
Michaela: So just put yourself back there. You're looking at someone's name and you're like you’ve chose in the end not to pitch to them. What was happening? How were you getting that intuitive information?
Laura: That I felt like I wouldn't want to be held accountable to them. Because when people invest in your business, you’re making a promise to them that you’re going to try your hardest to make this work out for them. And it's… and that’s a big downside I think of accepting investors. That was the reason that I had chosen not to do it before because I didn't want to be beholden to other people. So if I'm making this deliberate choice to be beholden in some way to other people I wanna make sure that there are people that I don't feel like are going to put unnecessary pressure.
Well not even… just pressure; not unnecessary pressure. I didn't want anyone who was going to be difficult, put pressure on me. You know try to get me to run the company in a way that I didn't want to run. And so yeah, just looking at people's names; whatever information I had about how they operate, how they do business, whatever sort of I had seen from them over the years. If I had that feeling like it might feel like an obligation that I didn't want to be in business with them. I did not pitch them.
Michaela: Did you get some kind of wacky feeling in your gut or were you like you just got a bad vibe or? I mean obviously sometimes you could remember why this person wouldn't be a good fit. But other times, I'm guessing you just didn't get a good feeling, so you just didn't send on the email to them.
Laura: Yeah, yeah I can't say I can like remember the specific like body sensation or anything. But yeah, I try to trust that if that was like… So I have a life rule that if you think something's a bad idea, you shouldn’t do it because [laughing] [09:31] a lot of things well oh you're going to be a bad idea and you do not know that was a bad idea. Stuff like if I had a terrier like that's probably a bad idea. Don't do that one. So yeah, I think there is probably some people I looked at their names and I’m like I feel like this is gonna be a bad for whatever reason I’m feeling like this is gonna be a bad idea. I might regret this. I’m like you know what? There's other people I just skip that.
And sometimes, there are people that I can remember that like were active startup investors I knew had money which I don't think is any coincidence because there's a lot of parts of that traditional investment world. Like I mentioned that I do feel can be out of integrity and that I feel out of alignment with. So I don't. It's probably not a coincidence that some of the people that I felt like could be the biggest investors were also sometimes the people I’m like I don’t wanna be in business with them.
Michaela: Now let let's look at that a bit more because you talked about the relationship you have with your investor. And I'm wondering is this some kind… as well as like there’s like you know, rational relationship where you've got to send them reports and they may ask you questions. But also I think with some kind of energetic relationship we have with people who invest in our business. Tell us what about that aspect of it.
Laura: It's something I thought a lot about because I knew that I didn't want to… How do I say this? I wasn't going to do it if it meant that I had a boss. So it needed to feel like a good exchange where they're like, “I'm putting money in, I understand this is a risk, I understand that you're gonna do your best. It may or may not work out.” And that we felt even in that way. I didn't want it to be a thing where I'm like I am now that this person has given me 25,000 dollars, I have to run my life and put this in front of all other priorities in my life which speaking about that traditional V.C. thing. I think that's often the relationship that's there. It's like I give you 50 million dollars. Like I don't care if you ever sleep again. Like I need to get a return on my money.
So that can be something that can happen for me even if my investor is not like that, right. That could be a feeling that's created by the business owner because of guilt or obligation or whatever. So I just wanted to make sure that I felt clean about it and I'm like I am taking on a responsibility because I'm telling you that I'm gonna be a good steward of your money. But I'm not promising you that this will be always the number one priority in my life. This is one project that I'm obviously I have a big stake in its success. I'm obviously excited about pursuing. But I'm not promising to give up my life for this 25,000 dollars.
Michaela: Yeah and maybe that is some of the dark side of V.C. investing. I mean obviously they have lots of legal stuff and rules and things and how they behave. But there's also a kind of energy suck that occurs when you engage with a V.C. I mean I've never, never had V.C. funding. But I've done work for companies that did have V.C, funding and there was definitely some very weird energy going on.
Laura: It's a lot of pressure. I mean a friend of his company raised a lot of money. The way he phrased it to me was every week has to be the best week we've ever had; every week. And when I heard him say that I thought, “I do not wanna sign up for that.” Just not sound enjoyable I need a little more breathing room and every week having to the best week you’ve ever had. And that's the agreement with a lot of funded companies have made.
Michaela: Yeah, it's almost like they did a deal with the devil you know.
Laura: yeah sometimes
Michaela: And you've said in the past about how there are some issues with having to sacrifice your morals if you take V.C. money. Tell us a bit more about that.
Laura: Yeah, I mean you know I first of all I don't I don't think that V.C. is is evil. I think there is lots of different ways to build a business. In some businesses, it makes sense to raise a lot of money because [inaudible] [14:02] are gonna have to spend a lot before the money comes back in. The parts that can be immoral about funding startups is the growth at all costs decision that a lot of companies have made. I mean obviously Uber has become the big public example of this. Their company grew incredibly quickly.
They took on a lot of money. They made a lot of really, really bad decisions that I think were largely fuelled by that short term growth mindset. Like all the decisions they made about their culture, and how employees were treated. And I think they did that because it's like who cares how employees are treated. Like we've got it we've got to make our numbers. Which of course it is never in my opinion you don't work out long term anyway. You're never gonna build a long term lasting super successful company when everyone is living in fear there.
But short term, you can try and train people and you can you can get a lot of work done. And I think often, the V.C. model where the model… because the model is “go big or go home”. The model is if a company sells for five million dollars or ten million dollars that's not enough, right. The company needs to sell for 100 million dollars. The company needs to go public. The way the math works out in these deals that's often the idea is the money 99 percent of them are gonna fail and one percent is going to be the Facebook or the Uber. And it's just a model that encourages that financial growth above all other priorities.
Michaela: What are the priorities do you have for your businesses then if it is not just financial growth?
Laura: To make sure you’re making your customers’ lives better, right. We're building software tools to make people's jobs easier, to save people time. So I think when you run a business, you're faced with a lot of long term versus short term decisions. Like the ultimate short term decision is to scam everyone and take their money and not provide a service. And you're not gonna be able to do that for long, but you could do it for a few people, all right. [Laughing] [16:15] for years and years.
Michaela: Bernard Madoff did pretty well about for quite a few.
Laura: Yeah, pretty well. I mean a lot of money for a long time before it all fell apart for him, right. And he ruined people's lives in that example. So yeah, there's a lot that a business does besides just financial incentive. You're making things better for your customers and making things better for your team as well.
Michaela: Yeah, so you've got multiple bottom lines in effect. But you're balancing.
Michaela: And if you'd gone with the wrong investors and not picked people who were gonna be a good fit, you might have gone in that direction.
Laura: Yeah and the way that my fund raising was structured, people don't have any sort of like voting rights in the company. So technically, I could with the structure I had just have anyone there. They can say whatever they want, but they don't have any real power. But that did not not sound fun to me to have a bunch of investors that I knew were gonna disagree with me or complain or be unhappy with how things were. And for me to be like oh whatever. They don't have any voting power. I can just ignore them. That doesn't sound like a situation I wanna put myself in.
Michaela: Well then you picked smart people, right? You just didn't pick people who had 25K to spare to invest. You picked people who've had their own businesses or do continue to have their own businesses probably have a lot of great ideas.
Laura: yeah, yeah
Michaela: So let's shift now and talk about some of the mindset shifts you went through in this 30 days because is not likely you're used to asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars from friends prior to this. How was that experience for you?
Laura: So it took me a while just to come to the idea of doing it because I was nervous about doing it. So you referred to money that fell through in December. So that was one [inaudible] [18:32] that I thought I would do the whole 500K in December and that didn't work out. And so like having to do it all in 30 days in January. I also looked at doing crowd funding options where I could do this on a more public marketing campaign. And both of those routes could've been good routes. But I also they felt safer to me than having to ask hundreds of people to give me 25,000 dollars.
And I think obviously retrospect I should have planned I had a lot better. People usually give themselves a much for longer timeline through raising the money. I had to just short timeline because part of that was a mindset thing that it took me being down to the wire to be like this is really like the only way that it's gonna happen. This is what I'm gonna have to do if I want the company to survive.
Michaela: So in this particular case, the way you overcame your resistance was putting yourself under so much time pressure that you had to grow personally and over [crosstalk] [19:41] change your mindset.
Laura: Yeah, it’s probably like I wish maybe I got a gentle route. Like yeah in this case it was like I had the motivation was just well I'm not gonna come this far with this product and then just shut it down. That would feel terrible. So yeah, it was a strong enough motivation to overcome that resistance to be like… You know and I think it's always helpful to ask yourself, “What am I afraid of? What's the worst that could happen?” Because we have this irrational fears that we haven't really spelled out. So in this case, when you're scared of emailing someone, the fear is I guess that they won't like you anymore or maybe that they would cut off contact with you or something like you lose a friend.
And yeah, I thought about that rationally. I'm like I don't think I have anybody who’s gonna end the friendship over me pitching them. Like that would be very weird. And yeah, maybe I emailed some people are like I haven’t heard from her in three years now. She’s just asking for money. Like maybe they did think of it negatively, but like they didn't tell me, so doesn’t really matter. So exactly how to put things. Like why is this scary and what's the worst that could happen or maybe I'm gonna e-mail everyone and everyone's gonna say, ‘no’. And I'm not gonna raise any money. And that didn’t really seems so bad to me. Well I tried.
Michaela: Yeah, I mean if that did happen, you'd have got some information that people don't believe this is a good products.
Laura: Right, right yeah.
Michaela: So I mean any no in a pitch is just information. That's one way to look at it. Are there any other techniques you use elsewhere in your business or life to overcome resistance you have or mindsets that you need to shift?
Laura: I mean sometimes I’ll just like try to focus on the physical act. Like I mean I remember something that's what I would do was just to focus on like a number of e-mails. So I would sit down to be like okay I’m just trying to work. I'm gonna send 20 emails. And focusing on like the execution which in that case was like I’m to fill inn an email address. I have my template. I'm not [laughing] [22:13].
Like focusing on that part of it is really useful because it gets you out of the like I don't… what should I say? What if I say the wrong thing? It's like don't worry about it, just say it. Just like paste in the template and hit send it there like 20 times. That is your task for the next hour. So yeah just breaking it down into like I'm not pitching people, I'm just like hitting send on e-mails. I think that’s helpful too.
Michaela: But you were actually customizing the e-mails to some extent too. It's not like you were just sending the same e-mail to everyone.
Laura: Yeah but they were pretty short. So I don't have to customize much because I had a document that I made of like all the information. And so it was a super short e-mail just basically linking them to the document. So I would just customize it with their name, and then like it's funny because it makes you realize the different relationship. Like some people, I was like I'm gonna put an exclamation point after their name. And some people like I’ll put a comma after their names. You know, so you sort of realize that you get a feel for like I don’t know how [inaudible] [23:25] all that need to be here. I was just like I was there or had some sort of [inaudible] whatever I had. I went through that in the beginning.
Michaela: Did you find you’re thinking emotionally about the people before you hit send or was it a kind of mechanical robotic kind of thing?
Laura: I was thinking about that because often because I was preventing myself to send it. Because there were some people that definitely brought up more resistance than others in sending the email. And I literally remember giving myself a pep talk and just like, “Just close your eyes and hit send.” I don't come up and I already know there are good contender but this is making me… It's making me nervous for whatever reason or some people maybe you're like more of [crosstalk]
Michaela: So you pulled out at the last minute on some of the emails. Is that what you're saying? You started the process and then you were like, “I’m not sending this one.”
Laura: I didn't really… I would send them. I did pull out on a follow up. There are some people that I got too nervous about. The people I followed up with a lot more than others because I read the follow up as I just used remind to bring it back to my inbox. So usually when I came back, I would like send the follow up. Somehow and I was like I’m not gonna follow up. But I'm sure I lost out. I'm sure there were some people that I should have followed up with that I got too nervous and just like couldn’t do it.
Michaela: Maybe, maybe not. Maybe that was your intuition saying, “This is just not feeling good. I don’t wanna go into this.”
Laura: And sometimes those were the more like the long shot people. The people that are like I don't have to do any startup investing. I haven’t talked to them in such a long time. I don't know if they checked this email address any more. Like that and I'm just gonna send those. Those were often the people that I didn’t follow up with because just seems like such a long shot. I don't actually spend more time on this.
Michaela: Yeah, well when I'm doing outreach to people sometimes, I follow up sometimes I don't. But if I feel it's definitely a thing there, I'll go… you know, I'll find their phone number, I’ll message them on Twitter, you know. So we always have a choice on how aggressively we wanna follow up with someone. Which brings me to the next thing you know, the follow up, not wanting to bug people. You seems like you may have had a mindset thing about oh you know, I shouldn't follow up because it's bugging them. If they haven't replied, they don't really want to hear from me or all kinds of other crap going on in our heads.
Laura: Yeah, I mean this was an interesting one because this is… I give advice to other people all the time about following up and about how important it is. And the thing that I will never forget is many years ago, I heard someone speaking on stage who’s someone who gets approached a lot, gets a lot of [inaudible] [26:29] emails and stuff. He said, “If people knew…” He said, “I wait to see if they follow up three times because I get so many e-mails. I just wanna see who’s serious. And if they're not serious enough to follow up three times, I just don't respond to the email.” And that is a huge mindset shift for me to think, “Oh I like following not to something is a good trait that he looks for.”
Because to him that's a signal that this person really wants to get him, really has something to say, really it's persistent and serious. And I just seen over the years how often it takes a long time and a lot of follow up with people. So I knew all that stuff rationally. But I still I had to like remind myself often of that rational thought because what I have and what I would go into is like… I had to constantly remind myself that I was presenting them an opportunity not asking them for money. Because from my perspective it felt like I’m asking them for money. I’m sending them to me [laughing] [27:34] me a wire transfer for 25,000 dollars and that's where I really put myself in the shoes of one I had examined other people's business as an investor.
I thought a lot about my friend Stephanie who's opening up a wine bar in New York City to give her a little shout out. Because she had shared with me about her business. I had had a call of her partner, and I really researched, I really pursued it. And I decided not to invest. But I was so excited about her business. Like I really wanted updates, whenever she would do anything it's so cool. I wanted to just see what everything looks like. So that was such a great reminder that even though I had said no to the investment, I was super invested in her success and super supportive and excited for her.
So I would like constantly think about Stephanie, think about that situation and I cannot I'm not asking them for money. I'm presenting them with an opportunity that they might be really excited to be involved in this and obviously to make money down the road. And many people did respond that way. Many people were like, “Thank you so much for including me. I’m really glad that you told me about this. And I got so many nos that were like, “I'm so excited for you. Like please can you post it? Please let me know how I can spread the word and how I can help.” So that was a really cool outcome and that was awesome thing that kept me going is how supportive people were.
Michaela: That is great. Now I know you had a nontraditional pitch document instead of a pitch deck.
Michaela: But you realized afterwards that maybe there was some issues with that. The just the energy didn't feel great. Tell us about that.
Laura: Yes, so a friend gave me some feedback and he's like you know you're a marketer and you know about marketing and this touched argument was just like… it was kind of bland and you continue to have a lot of passionate. You didn't seem that excited about the business. And when I heard him say it, I knew that it was true. And I think the reason was I had so many hesitations like tricking people into investing or hyping it up too much. Because I was very cognizant that a lot of people I was pitching… I mean like very few were like professional investors. A lot of them had never done a startup investment before. It's their own money. It's not institutional money. So I just was… I really wanted them to understand the risks.
I really wanted them to feel good about it and make sure that they knew what they were getting into. And I think in retrospect, I took that a little too far. And I was almost like how do you know when we don't get too excited about [laughing] [30:30] opportunity. You know I just make sure you know it might not work out. Like I think I did not put my like full press marketer on it which probably would have given it the best opportunity. Because I was like nervous about over selling it or over promising. Which I think is a little silly because you can definitely give up all your enthusiasm and all your passion and obviously still of course be super honest about the risks involved and potential outcomes and things like that.
Michaela: Now how much of that was just the words in the document and how much of it was your energy kind of soaked into the document and came out?
Laura: What’s the difference? [Laughing] [31:14]
Michaela: … the question.
Laura: Where it came to me, yeah. I don't know. I don't think there is too much of a difference there. I would get really excited. You know it was a Google doc and you know you see those little icons and someone's looking at it; at the top. I was constantly checking on it [laughing] [31:34] looking at it because it made me feel really good when there is a bunch of people looking at. All those people are people reading this over and I mean you know like a little sad no one’s looking at it.
Michaela: Yeah, well what's the difference between the words and the energy of your document? I think they're actually can be a difference. Yes, it did come from you. You wrote those words. But I think if someone else had written the same words, the document wouldn’t necessarily feel the same. So I'm kind of wondering if somehow your lack of confidence and fear is kind of came out.
Laura: Yeah probably so. And you know I did a nontraditional format. The traditional format is a PowerPoint or you know whatever; presentation. There's certain sections that you include that I didn't include. So there was a lot of underlying decisions and what went into it came from my own beliefs. Not obviously a day. It wasn't a total failure people [inaudible] [32:35]. It did okay. But yeah, it was interesting that are and yet how much… It's like one of those [inaudible] I didn't know I could do it until I did.
If I had done it at the end of the month [laughing]. And the other thing is anyone try the business know it's like people are very deadline motivated. So let me did come in the whole time, but I knew it would take like I told everyone we're closing in January 31st. So I knew that we get a lot more yeses at the end which is absolutely what happened. So I didn't know that we were gonna pull it off until the last week really.
Michaela: Sounds like quite a roller coaster adventure you had there.
Michaela: So one of the down points that rollercoaster was when you doubted yourself. How did you overcome that? Because you had to get up every day, and pitch new people, or follow up with people, or have phone calls of people, and convince them this is a great idea, and invest in it. And yeah underneath it, you've got self-doubt going on some days.
Laura: Yeah, I mean I think a lot about like serving the business says that I’ve created because they are some things separate from me. I mean especially once you have employees of course you are providing jobs for people, are providing some sort of guarantee that hopefully tomorrow they'll have a paycheck; not forever. But you’re offering some sort of stability. So I think that was a motivator for me in overcoming the doubt. Was like we’ve built this products, you know in this case a small team, but we have the small team of people. We have some people who already agree to invest.
Like I'm not gonna let my own silly fears about sending an email kind of ruin everything that I’ve built already. And I owed it to this product to see if it can succeed. And like you said, the fund raising was a task of does this have any viability? Because I was thinking of it like you were. Like okay well if we’re not… I know a lot of people who are not able to raise this money. Like we can't convince anyone this is a good idea. You know maybe it's not. Maybe there's not a place in the market for this. So I really wanted to know if there was a place in the market for it. I really want to know if other people could see the vision of the idea. So yeah, like serving the business instead of just serving myself I think it's my way that I overcame that doubt.
Michaela: Now let's talk about your energetic experience in fundraising because my understanding is it was quite exhausting. How did you exhaust yourself during this process? Because other people might have found it exhilarating.
Laura: Yeah, it’s always good to have that perspective right that other people might have found it [inaudible] [35:49]. Because you know it's
Michaela: I mean it's like that. I don't you have a saw the movie ‘Parenthood’ that Steve Martin made many years ago. There's a scene… and he's like overwhelmed by having children. And his mother was there or his grandmother. And he's in a room watching his little child perform on the stage and she's messing up. Because little children don't do stuff perfect. And he's terrified and he feels noisiest. And then the movie shows he's like he's on a roller coaster and he's about to puke. And next to him, his grandmother's like laughing away and she's having a good time because she's on a roller coaster.
Laura: yeah, yeah
Michaela: So if there's some way that we have a mindset thing or we do something energetic that changes that.
Laura: Yeah, I mean you know I didn't realize how exhausting it was until a friend… I was talking to a friend about it and he's like that was… He was like I don't remember ever a time in my life when I doubted myself as much as when I was raising money for my company. I was like, “Oh wow!” I hadn't even realized that was going on because I had put so many constraints on it to not make it what would be terrible to me. So like one thing is like I didn't travel. I just I don't even do that many phone calls actually. It was really 99 percent e-mails, phone calls with a few people that were very serious about it. I didn't do any travel. I didn't after pitching like two traditional [inaudible] [37:18] I was like no. Like this is not… I'm not gonna do that anymore.
So I did try really hard to make it as enjoyable for myself as possible. And I think that made me… when it wasn't enjoyable, it was like, “Oh what's wrong with you? Like how are you complaining about this? You're not flying to San Francisco and you know attending 50 meetings in a day. Like you've made this really easy for yourself. And I think part of the reason that it was exhausting is because one, the whole thing you're doing is just like feeling people's opinions about whether or not this is gonna work and whether that's an opinion.
And I'm saying yes or no or people will like it the feedback on the business or you’d be like I can work this way or that way. And also, my decision about not going to be seeing is something a lot of people thought was a really bad idea because that's the traditional way that… Especially a business that's like a software development tool; the type of business that it is.
And so, I constantly like questioned myself of does this product have a shot without going that route. You know all the competitors have gone that way and it’s like just a bad strategic decision that I'm making and those sort of doubts were constantly reinforced by other people's opinions. You know not being negative in any way and just like, “Oh! Here's like how I would do a business like this or have done a business like this or whatever.” So yeah, that's what made it so exhausting is that you're fielding a lot of other people's opinions. And maybe people who don't find it exhausting are like better at building those opinions than I am.
Michaela: Yeah, I mean I know for me when I published my first book, I had a lot of those kind of issues. And the trick I did isn't you know, I originally I was taking loads opinions and taking them straight into my heart. And what I did is I kind of step slightly to the side. So I could still see all the opinions, but they didn't zap into me. And I could pay attention to them and respond, but I wasn't taking it so personally. And I wasn't taking it energetically because I find with any of these whether it's fundraising or writing a book or launching a product. There's a big energetic component that people just focus their energy on you. And they start… some of them start sucking your energy.
Michaela: Well that's what happens for me. So anything you can do to protect your energy can help with that in my experience. Anyway, we're coming near the end of our time. I've got a few more questions on intuition. And I'm kind of curious why you're proud to use your intuition in your business.
Laura: Yeah, I mean I think to me, intuition is something that everyone has. You know [inaudible] [40:30] is a great book about intuition. It gave me a more understanding of how I perceive it. And a lot of it is that you are using a lot of information just in a way that you're not conscious of. You're using input that you've gathered over the years and your brain is giving you output. You're just not always able to see what all that input was and why it's connected. So I think to ignore that is just you… It's like why. Why would you ignore all this great ideas and information that you're being given? And I think when we do ignore it, we're often trying to like be more quote-unquote ‘rational’.
It's like oh I really feel like this is the right call. But if I thought about this like rationally or sometimes I look at what someone else did or if I look at the usual path or the traditional path it's this. And I think that's sort of silly because every situation is a 100 percent unique. I mean just you know truly. Every situation in this world has so many different factors that there is no it. And especially when we're talking about entrepreneurship or are you live your life, right. There is no path of like this label work out for you and this way it's not I got like it's so much more complicated than that.
So it's sort of a lie we tell ourselves oh I should listen to the rational opinion because that rational opinion can't predict the future any better than anything else. So you have a lot of information about the world and about how you personally fit in well into it, right. And I think maybe that's what a lot of what intuition is. It's like okay, here's a situation and I don't know myself you know in my case for 33 years now. Here's how I might best navigating the situation. Here's how it might best work for me because I have gathered a lot of information about what works for me and what doesn’t.
Michaela: Well that's great and I'm on a mission to… that all entrepreneurs to openly use their intuition in their business. Because I think they'll make better decisions, make more money, have more fun, be less stressed. And also, I think if all business leaders use their intuition as well as their rational mind, they make less stupid decisions that hurt other people or the planets because they get like a warning signal from their intuition. So my question; final question to you is, what would it take to make business intuition more openly used this year?
Laura: In the world?
Michaela: In the whole world, yeah. Let's not restrict it just to Austin.
Laura: What would it take to get it more openly used? I mean I love people questioning common ideas. I mean that's a really amazing thing about the Internet, right. It gives us all this this platform and this voice where we can publish and be heard. And I think the more people share contrary and ideas, and the more people share and everyone’s to do it this way, and I didn't that way. It's very encouraging for others and it gives you those little points of evidence, of stories of other people using their intuition with a successful outcome.
You know I’m putting that in quotes because you don't want to [inaudible] [44:01] my intuition. Like you know let's talk about more and all those things … for you in your life. But yeah, I think I write… I blog at lauraroeder.com. And I do often talk about decisions that I'm making that are unconventional. There's a post called ‘Why I quit trying to make it work’, but I think you can definitely say it’s a post all about using your intuition. Say like I'm gonna stop slamming my head up against a brick wall. So yeah, I try to share stuff like that. I love when others do as well.
Michaela: Fabulous! But we'll link that blog post in the show notes together with all the other things you’ve mentioned and the original story where you wrote about raising 30K in 30 days.
Michaela: 300K, oh my God! 300K? 350K to be exact. I will put those on the show notes; intuitivelaedershipmastery.com. If people want to find you online, what are the best ways to do that?
Laura: You can find me on Twitter [inaudible] [45:07], I blog and my name Laura Roeder; R O E D E R dot com. And you can find my businesses at [inaudible] dot com and Ropig; R O P I G dot com.
Michaela: Fabulous! Well thanks so much for coming on the show today Laura.
Laura: Same here.