286 MINISODE Carly Stein: Scaling Fast
Carly Stein is the CEO and founder of a fast-growing nutraceuticals company called Beekeeper’s Naturals. A former Goldman Sachs trader, Carly left it all behind and is now scaling quickly. She shares the conundrum of having to let go of all the skills she mastered in order to take her company to the next level. We talk fear, freedom and why conscious capitalism is the future.
Melinda Wittstock: Carly, welcome to Wings.
Carly Stein: Thank you so much for having me.
Melinda Wittstock: It's great to have you on and I'm so excited to find out what's inspiring you in the year ahead?
Carly Stein: So many things. I think for me what things are really inspirational is my team of people, the people I'm working with. I went from just a one woman show to a twelve person team over the course of just a few months.
Melinda Wittstock: Wow.
Carly Stein: And I've been really fortunate, we have been really fortunate to find some incredible people who when I see them growing in their respective areas of work, it continuously reignites my fire for this business.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that's wonderful. I mean, it takes a lot to really scale a team and grow a team that quickly. I mean, assuming you find the right people, making sure they're all aligned and stepping into that leadership role. Has that been challenging?
Carly Stein: It's definitely been challenging to find the right people, but I think with our company our value composition is so unique that once we find that unique candidate they tend to really stick. So it's definitely a little bit more of a search, but the [inaudible [spp-timestamp time="00:02:05"] person, they tend to go deep really quickly.
Melinda Wittstock: So speaking of challenges, because we all have them. You know, the entrepreneurial journey is up and down and constant change and things beyond our control. What are some of your big challenges as we head into 2019?
Carly Stein: My biggest challenge, and this is a common thing for entrepreneurs, is just getting used to having a job that's completely foreign to me time and time again. How it works as you're scaling a business is you get really good at something that you have no idea how to do and then the second you get really good at it there's a new area that becomes your biggest value add until you have to just kind of continuously reinvent yourself. And so just building that sort of grit, resilience, that skill set, the skill set that allows me to adapt quickly and do so with confidence.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, that's wonderful. I mean, you have to let go to some degree of thinking that you have to know it all as you scale your business. And I find myself in the different ones that I've done, there's a certain point that I get to where you realize you have to let go, because you realize you can't know and do everything. You just can't, it's impossible. And it becomes and exercise in letting go of stuff. I mean, have you found that?
Carly Stein: Absolutely, yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, it's tricky.
Carly Stein: Definitely. It was really challenging for me. I bootstrapped the company for a long time. I was doing it by myself, doing everything, and then just getting used to kind of delegating and getting comfortable with the fact that there are areas of the business that I'm going to kind of be hands-off with eventually. And that's been a huge challenge for me, but just having to basically continuously recalibrate the muscle that you start to build. And now I think that I'm starting to get better at just diving into something that's completely foreign and at the same time letting go of something that I've mastered.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. It really is a fascinating part of entrepreneurship that is not necessarily for the faint hearted, but it certainly increases your ability to yes, be confident, resilient, and I would add a humility to it as well. Certainly in my case. I've learned that from the constant learning, which I love. And so what at this point in your career, in your entrepreneurial career, what would be the top three pieces of advice, really, that you would give to women coming up or women who are, you know, beginning their entrepreneurial careers or at that stage of just beginning to scale? What are your top three go to pieces of advice?
Carly Stein: So my first piece of advice is around fear. I had a lot of fear and anxiety when it came to starting my company and leaving my cushy corporate job. And the question that I kept asking myself that sort of allowed me to make that leap was “what's on the other side of fear?” And acknowledging that on the other side of fear is freedom. So that's my piece of advice is when you're terrified of something really look at what's on the other side of this and where does this take me? And the reality is in most situations you can completely rebuild anything that you've walked away from and you often need to close the sort of more secure chapter to dive into something really exceptional. So that's the first thing.
Melinda Wittstock: Beautifully said. I love that.
Carly Stein: Thank you.
Melinda Wittstock: On the other side of fear is freedom. So that's so important. So what's number two?
Carly Stein: The second piece of advice I would share is, and this is something as you're building your business you have a lot a people coming to you with this rockstar employee or this amazing agency that's going to change the game and things are always pitched to you as the superstar situation that's going to take you to the next level. And the really important thing to know is that nobody is going to be your MVP, no one's going to be your saving grace, it's all you.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Carly Stein: There are definitely incredible people and companies that can support your success, but you should never be looking at anything as a game changer or having the mentality that “when we have more money we'll be able to do this which will take us here”, it's all you. And you have to be completely self-reliant and look at everything as a beautiful addition.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That's beautifully said, too. My goodness. Okay, so number three?
Carly Stein: Number three is there is absolutely no better way to build confidence than doing the things you're bad at over and over again. So I mentioned at the start of this business … yeah, I have lived this and I continue to, but at the start of this business, it was just me. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and I don't have some innate skill set that allows me to pick the things that I was doing up. I just kept doing them. And I sucked at the start and I was super insecure about it and very aware of my shortcomings. But as I continued to push through them, not only did I gain the hard skills, but I gained this confidence that has kind of carried me. It's just this awareness of the fact that I can jump in to anything and pivot in any direction and I will be okay. And that's really the confidence that you need in a start up.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That's wonderful. So how can people find you and learn about your amazing company and take advantage of a really generous offer that you've given us today?
Carly Stein: Yeah. So you can find us at Beekeepers Natural dot com. We also are on Facebook, Instagram, everything and Instagram is Beekeepers underscore Naturals. And we have, if you're interested in health information, in learning more about the sustainability side and learning about the impact the bees have on our environment we have all kinds of information on our blog, on our Instagram. If you care to really go deep, we have an amazing news letter that gives tons of health information and some really great deals. And yeah, that's really where you can find us.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Wonderful. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Carly Stein: Thank you.