The path to entrepreneurship is bumpy with many ups and downs. Being a startup founder requires grit and resilience. We tap into the founder's purpose and passion to better understand what propels them forward, even when things get tough. And we tease out the best bits of advice from one entrepreneur to another.
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Brilly Semenova
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12:54Meet Brilly Semenova - a disability self-advocate who does not take 'no' for an answer. She has the tenacity, spunk, and knowledge of an entire team of advocates. As a child, she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and now has difficulty with daily living. But that hasn't stopped her from pursuing her Master's in Organizational Leadership and Nonprofit Management. Brilly is determined to change the narrative for the disabled, and she'll do it single-handedly if she has to. Good thing that she doesn't have to go it alone.
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Enrique Morgan
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29:50Accolade Wines is innovating everything from its bottles to its technology and production processes. Like bubbles? They have a new Prosecco ... and there are so many new ideas that will pop later this year. Enrique Morgan, managing director of the Americas, shares his gritty tales of beginning his wine journey selling to California gas stations to taking the helm of one of the largest wine companies in the world with a portfolio that is lauded worldwide.
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The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Colin Darretta
24:03Colin Darretta is a "reformed investment banker," serial entrepreneur, investor, and a journalist for Forbes, Inc, TechCrunch, plus other major media. He is the CEO and co-founder of Innovation Department, which spurs the brands of the future. Colin also co-founded FINN, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. He lamented all the virtue signaling out there where "hustle culture" is a straight path to burnout for entrepreneurs who should be seeking health, wellness, and balance - in addition to moving their startups forward.
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Christine Spang
35:19Christine Spang, founder & CTO of Nylas, has evolved over the last decade growing her software company which is essentially like "the plumbing for the internet" connecting code. She talks about how the highs are super high and the lows are super low but that foundation at MIT prepared her for the mental fortitude that she was going to need to lead her team on this journey. "Leadership is work and you have to work at leadership," is a lesson that she learned along the way. Along the way, she's discovered the power of yoga and rock climbing to challenge her mind as well as calm it.
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Christina Richards
19:17Christina Richards is the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of Virtana - a software company specializing in cloud services. She took the road less traveled. Indeed, Christina calls it the "dark side" where she took a deep dive into engineering then evolved into marketing. With her role today, she has the opportunity to influence rising professionals in STEM and has a message (or two) for aspiring techies and marketers which can be distilled down to, "You don't know where life will take you - keep learning." She shares how mistakes can be fuel for better things ahead. Tune in for some words of wisdom!
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Dr. Deborah Jonas
23:46Dr. Deborah Jonas is the director of SRI's Center for Education Research & Innovation. Yes, she has access to astronauts and researchers of the highest caliber in the world - but she focuses her efforts on community learning. Deborah shared her thoughts on how we can better support students to "fail productively" and essentially to fail forward so that our next generation of leaders learn how to learn by working through problems versus being given the answers. She had some insights into how colleges are challenged by the breadth of the diversity and needs of the students they need to support today - and she surprised me with her shoe choice!
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Jeanelle Ditto
23:34What a breath of fresh air! It's so easy to feel intimidated, especially when it comes to things like interior design, "Will my home meet your standard?" But Jeanelle Ditto, founder of Blush Interior Designs, is one of the most fun, accessible, down-to-Earth, and overall joyous people that you'll ever meet. No judgment! She offers listeners great advice on how ups & downs are part of an entrepreneur's journey and encourages everyone to STICK WITH IT. Jeanelle also shared some interior design tips that we can all benefit from.
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest Lorrie Thomas Ross
25:08Lorrie Thomas Ross is a breath of fresh air. She's The Marketing Therapist(R) and founder of Wild Web Women and Web Marketing Therapy. She understands the value of relationships and follows the mantra, "to lead with love." Her best advice for other female founders out there is to, "Always do what you do best and let others do the rest."
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears & Guest John Glowacki
32:42John Glowacki, CEO of Combat Control Foundation, shares some deeply personal insights on life, loss, and leadership. He served our country in the role of combat control - for those unfamiliar with the role, it's like air traffic control but in a military application. Next year, a move feature a fallen combat control veteran will be released starring Jake Gyllenhaal and it will put this important but not well known military function and rising foundation on the map!
The Grit Files with Loralyn Mears - live from Collision
18:40For something a little different, Loralyn Mears recorded this podcast live from Collision Conference in Toronto. She highlighted some of the key insights around the downward trend of venture capital investment and spotlighted some key innovations. WebSummit does an incredible job organizing this event and, as usual, they were spectacular and made the media, sponsors, startups, and attendees all feel like royalty.