Kate Bailey is a seasoned entrepreneur and business consultant with over twenty years of in the trenches experience. She’s built two successful businesses by leading nimble, innovative teams and building strong community connections. She’s the founder of TARRA, a flex office and workspace campus with a mission to create a more inclusive and diverse business community through access to vetted business resources, education, and a powerful network of professional women.
Today Jonathan and Kate discuss key money lessons from Kate’s youth, biases and obstacles that female Founders and Executives face on a daily basis, and Kate’s vision for the future of TARRA.
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01:04 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Kate Bailey, who joins the show to share her entrepreneurial journey and integral business lessons she learned on cash flow, debt and budgeting
09:34 – A key lesson of Kate’s financial life
11:56 – The origin story of TARRA and resources that TARRA offers
17:53 – ‘Grumpy growth’ explained
19:43 – Why Kate is primarily focused on serving women and minority business professionals
23:29 – Biases and roadblocks that female founders and C-Suite executives experience
26:03 – Kate’s mission and vision for TARRA
31:05 – One piece of advice entrepreneurs should pursue and one thing to absolutely avoid
35:30 – The last thing Kate changed her mind about and one thing that he would like people to know about her
37:09 – Jonathan thanks Kate for joining the show and let’s listeners know where to connect with her
“I joke that I was a bit of an accidental entrepreneur that was always waitin/g to happen because I had a very entrepreneurial spirit as a kid. My whole life, I like to joke, I was a terrible employee because I was always coming into companies and seeing everything that was wrong and wanting to fix them, but I was typically a very junior employee. And I would get very frustrated and I would leave and go do something else.” (03:07)
“Every single dollar that you’re pulling in goes into that bank account, and then every single dollar that you’re spending goes out. And I think that that was the inflection moment of understanding the real world implications of credit, debt, cashflow, etc. And I always say, ‘If it’s not painful, you’re not gonna learn it.’ You can learn the theory and the general concepts behind it. But unless you are actually living that experience, you’re not gonna feel it way down here.” (06:09)
“One of the things that I constantly refer back to is how mad I am that they don’t teach these skills in school – that they don’t teach basic financial accounting, budgeting, cash flow – in high school or college.” (08:21)
“It was the same thing I was experiencing, this sense of isolation, a lack of high quality vetted resources. It was this constant conversation of, ‘where do I find people to hire? I don’t understand accounting.’ And there was a real desire for a collaborative workspace that didn’t feel like an office space. It was this idea of, ‘I don’t really like working from home, but I don’t want to work at a sterile office building either because that’s not really me.’ So, we would convene in coffee shops and hotel lobbies and spaces that felt a little bit more comfortable and accessible. And that’s how TARRA started.” (13:41)
“In between startup and success there is nothing that I found personally that spoke to me – as a professional, as a business owner, as a woman – where I felt like I was getting high quality, affordable, accessible resources. I ended up going to business school because I couldn’t find it. And the reason I decided to go to school was to learn it for myself, but also to find a way to say, ‘how can we break this down into the right kind of content to help these business owners along their journey?’” (18:30)
“There is something that is unbelievably magical about gathering women in a room together to have conversations, to problem solve. Unfortunately, and I wish I didn’t have to say this, we are still dealing with Imposter Syndrome with fear of being wrong or asking the wrong questions. I mean I hear it time and again…and our goal here is just to provide that space where you can ask hard questions.” (22:12)
“I would like the media to pay a little bit more attention to just good, healthy, small businesses because it’s something that will never – to me, at least – go away.” (30:52)
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Jonathan DeYoe: Welcome back. On this episode of the Mindful Money podcast, I’m chatting with Kate Bailey. Kate is a seasoned entrepreneur and business and consultant with over 20 years of in the trenches experience. She’s built two successful businesses by leading nimble, innovative teams and building strong community connections. She’s the founder of Tara, a, uh, flex office and workspace campus in Denver, Colorado. Tara’s mission is to create a more inclusive and diverse business community through access to vetted business resources, education, and a powerful network of professional women. Her greatest joy, which I share with her entirely, is supporting women and minority entrepreneurs and the small business owners that sort of make up the backbone of the american economy. So, with that, Kate, welcome to the Mindful Money podcast.
Kate Bailey: Thank you. I’m, um, thrilled to be excellent, excellent.
Jonathan DeYoe: We’re happy to have first, you know, where do you call home? Where are you connecting from now?
Kate Bailey: Denver, Colorado is home. I’m actually originally from Wyoming, one of the very few in the United States that come from that great state. Have been in Colorado off and on for about 25 years and can’t seem to leave.
Jonathan DeYoe: I grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Wyoming was our neighbor. So I’m very much aware of Wyoming.
Kate Bailey: Yes, those least populated states, no people, more cows. Yeah, exactly. Way more cows than people.
Jonathan DeYoe: Way more cows. So, growing up in Wyoming or, and I don’t know when you made the transition to Colorado, when did you start learning about money and know it came.
Kate Bailey: Very late in life. I’m a kid of a medical family, so mom was a nurse, dad was a physician, and, um, didn’t know anybody that owned a business other than sort of the way that a doctor would run a business. And I went through college. I was a history major. I wanted to be an academic. I wanted to be a writer. I became a writer. I became an editor of a magazine. And I never really understood business ownership or entrepreneurship. I had this very bizarre fallacy that kind of had to go to business school to be a business owner. But I joked that I was a bit of an accidental entrepreneur that was always waiting to happen because I had a very entrepreneurial spirit as a kid, my whole life. I like to joke I was a really terrible employee because I was always coming into companies and seeing everything that was wrong with them and wanting to fix them. But I was typically a very junior employee and would get very frustrated, and then I would leave and I would start something, go do something else. And so I sort of had that spirit in me, but didn’t have anybody cultivate that because I was on that kind of academic track. And I got laid off in the recession, and I was a magazine editor, got laid off, realized fairly quickly that the magazine business was probably not going to come roaring back the way that it used to be and started on that kind of very traditional path of freelancing and contracting and then starting to build this media agency very organically. So in 2012, I found a mentor, and she said to me, I think you’d be a really great business owner entrepreneur. You just have that kind of spirit. You have that kind of innovation. I looked at her and I said, you know, kim, I don’t know anything about it. And she said, well, why don’t I teach you? So we embarked on this kind of two year journey of, uh, her mentorship. She was a seasoned entrepreneur, m and business owner. And that was really the thing that got it all started. And truthfully, you know, the money thing was the most difficult part because I was not necessarily, I mean, my parents taught me good money management skills, but it didn’t really matter until I was a business owner. And there was a lot of that kind of early learning from them that suddenly at age 37, I started to pay attention to it because it was so important all of a sudden, to my own, keeping my business alive.
Jonathan DeYoe: So I want to pull on that thread a little bit because you said a couple of things that I think are really important to highlight. Your parents gave you good money management skills. Thing number one, I think that’s unique. I think most kids grow up with very little information on money. But the second thing you said, I think, is just really interesting. It didn’t really matter until you ran your own business. So why does that become so important when you’re running your own business? To understand money management skills, because it.
Kate Bailey: Is every bit of the lifeline of the company. If you don’t have cash in hand, if you don’t have cash flow, if you don’t have capital, you can’t execute, period. You can’t pay people, you can’t pay yourself. All of a sudden, you are not relying on somebody else for a salary. And so every little dollar that you make, um, and, uh, the first round of doing my business, I did it the wrong way, which is running it out of my own personal bank account. Never do that. Learn that one the hard way. We all do that, both legally. Yeah. We all do that in the beginning. And it becomes a very real inputs and outputs. Right. Every single dollar that you’re pulling in goes into that bank account, and then every single dollar that you’re spending goes out. And I think that that was the reflection moment of understanding the real world kind of implications of credit, debt, uh, cash flow, et cetera. And I always say, if it’s not painful, you’re not going to learn it. Right. You can learn the theory, you can learn the general concepts behind it, but unless you are actually living that experience, you’re not going to feel it way down here. Right. Right.
Jonathan DeYoe: It’s often when I’m talking to people who aren’t business owners, entrepreneurs, I’m, um, explaining to them how important it is that at some point in their life, they run a business so that they understand the importance of the finance, so that they understand the importance of the cash flow. Do you see a lot of the businesses that are business owners that you work with, they come in without that knowledge, and then they get that knowledge, and that actually transfers, translates really well into their personal lives, not just their business lives.
Kate Bailey: Very much so. Very much so. And I think that, again, so much of money, uh, mindset and management really is just that hands on experience and understanding, even kind of getting deeper into investments. And your risk. Right. Your risk level, your risk tolerance. I believe that my parents gave me kind of and blessed them. They were great parents. Like, if mom’s watching, please don’t think that you did anything wrong. Right. But they were really good about the basics. Back in the day, we had checkbooks. Balance a checkbook. Did I ever balance a checkbook? No. My father is very frugal. Like, he has saved money his whole life. He retired at age 70. I mean, they really were so good at managing it. But the interesting piece of it was that none of that really sunk in for me. I mean, just very candidly, I lived off of debt for most of my was really typical, like, just living off credit cards and racking up way too much debt on credit cards. And I think about it now, and, uh, I wonder if there was anything that they could have done. So I really don’t know. I think a lot of it had to be that lived experience piece. But one of the things that I constantly refer back to is how mad I am that they don’t teach these skills in school, that they don’t teach basic financial accounting, budgeting, cash flow in high school and in college, because I think that no matter what industry you go into, I don’t care if you’re a professor, if you’re a writer, a magazine editor, whatever that is, you need to understand the fundamentals of business and understand how these pieces work and how risk works and how investments work and how just bank debt and interest rates and basic economics. Right. And it really wasn’t until I went to business school that I truly understood how all of the different systems work together. And that, to me, was the game changer. Sure.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. The thing that when I talk to, uh, parents, one of the things we talk about is just realize when your kids go to college, they’re going to go into their dorm room, and the first day they go into the dorm room, there’s going to be a box. Inside the box, there’s going to be a coupon for the local sandwich shop, there’s going to be a cookie, and there’s going to be seven applications for credit cards. And so if you have not taught them how to use credit, they’re going to learn on their own, and they’re going to graduate from college with the average of $3,500 in credit card debt, which is just. What a crappy way to start. Anyway. Can you name one experience as a kid that you’re like, this became my money story, or became a, uh, cornerstone in my money story?
Kate Bailey: Absolutely. It is. My father again blessed my father. He’s an amazing human. He instilled absolute fear in us as kids for spending money and not saving, and it was this constant reminder from him, right. And what’s so interesting is that all three of us became unbelievably stupid spenders in our. We effectively rebelled against it completely. And now that we’re adults in our 40s, we finally are like, oh, yeah, that was probably really good advice, dad.
Jonathan DeYoe: Dad was really smart.
Kate Bailey: Dad was really smart. And for all three of us, it probably came a little late. Right? Like, we’ve all just been really good at kind of spending our money. And I always wonder where the disconnect happened or where the rebellion happened, effectively. Right. And that is something that I’ve never figured out psychologically, because he was really. I mean, there’s still times in my life that I’m like, oh, God, I’m going to end up destitute and foreign, homeless someday. I probably won’t. But he instilled the fear in us so much that my sister and I talk about it all the time, and we just think to ourselves, like, oh, my God, we really genuinely believe that we could be homeless someday because dad said that if you didn’t save 20% of every single paycheck, that you’re going to end up on the street when you’re 85, which we hope doesn’t happen, but it’s a funny money mindset piece.
Jonathan DeYoe: Was 20% his number? Seriously?
Kate Bailey: 20% was his number?
Jonathan DeYoe: Wow. I’ve actually never heard a number that high. And just to sort of verify your experience, that’s the highest number I’ve ever heard a parent from a child, from a childhood. Right. In 25 years, I’ve never heard that 20%.
Kate Bailey: Great. And I think that maybe he made it so extreme that it made it feel like it wasn’t feasible. Right. And, uh, maybe that’s what it was, was that it felt like such extreme sort of. He’s a very stoic, very acidic man. He lives very simply. Both my parents do. Yeah. Very astere and grew up poor. Both of them grew up very poor. And so I think that may have been it. You may have cracked the code.
Jonathan DeYoe: There we go. That’s what I’m here for.
Kate Bailey: Right.
Jonathan DeYoe: So what were you doing before Tara? I know that you had the media agency and you had some coaching to start that, and so just lead us into Tara.
Kate Bailey: Yeah. So I always talk about Tara as kind of this, like, all the breadcrumbs of my life finally came together to make a loaf. I had a very variegated background in terms of careers. I started out, like I said, as a writer and a magazine editor. My first job out of college, working for interior design and architecture publications, became a food writer. Uh, my first master’s degree is in food history from Boston University, became a food writer, worked at Cooks Illustrated, came back into the magazine business in Denver, became an editor in chief at a very young age. I think I was 27, and then got laid off in the recession and had that moment of, well, I guess I’ll just freelance, because that’s what you do when you go into public relations, go into marketing, et cetera. I had the opportunity to work at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, which was a really incredible experience, and worked for a couple of nonprofits in public relations and marketing, and then started working in advertising agencies. So, again, just kept hopping around that sort of entrepreneurial spirit. I would go in, I would stay for about a year. I would learn everything that I needed to know and then leave. And when I started my agency in 2014, I moved back to Denver, knew very few people, most of my friends. I’ve been gone for seven years. Most of my friends were out of town or they’d gotten married, had kids, and so felt that sense of isolation that most first time small business owners really feel. And I started convening around me, this motley crew of other small women in businesses and business owners. And I kept hearing the same thing over and over again. And it was the same thing I was experiencing was a sense of isolation, a lack of high quality vetted resources. It was this constant conversation of, where do I find people to hire? I don’t understand accountants, affordable consultants, people that work $10,000 a puff, but were more in that, uh, kind of affordable consulting space. And there was a real desire for a collaborative workspace that didn’t feel like an office space. It was this kind of idea of, I don’t really like working from home, but I don’t want to work, uh, at a sterile office building either, because that’s not really me. So we would convene in coffee shops and hotel lobbies and spaces that felt a little more comfortable, a little bit more accessible. And that’s how Tara started. I got a group of friends together for a dinner party. I love to convene people around tables. I think that there’s a real magic that happens to that. And really, when you. I always joke like, women have been convening for centuries. We’ve just done it in different ways. And when you get a group of women in the room together, there’s a lot of magic that happens. There’s a lot of problem solving and vulnerability and things that you just can’t replicate in multi gendered environments. And by the end of that dinner party, we had kind of put out on the table what everybody was looking for, and that became the seat of what power is today. Wow.
Jonathan DeYoe: I’m curious about, you mentioned that you were solo. You had this sense of being alone and the resources were missing or you couldn’t find the resources. And you mentioned one, you mentioned, uh, the idea of an accountant or a consultant. Right. What other resources are early entrepreneur, early business startup stage? What other resources are they looking for that now is available through Tara.
Kate Bailey: So we have vetted business advisors. We run high quality vetted programming. So we do business education, budgeting, forecasting, cash flow. We just had a great workshop on building up like a basic foundation for a human resources ecosystem that could just answering basic questions like the difference between w two and 1099. And so many business owners don’t know these things because they didn’t work in corporate America. They worked for small businesses that didn’t have HR departments. If you look at basic tax questions, we have so many of our members here who are first time business owners and they don’t even know what they can write off and what they can’t write off. Insurance, business law. I mean, just these seemingly kind of fundamental basics for business. It is not easy knowledge to just absorb in the world. I mean, you really have to seek this out. The challenge is that the resources that you google online are, uh, prolific, but you don’t know what’s true and what’s not. There’s a lot of unvetted, unverified information that’s out there. And that makes me really sad because I think that you get a lot of inaccurate information when you’re googling online. I discovered that for myself. And so we have business advisory hours. We bring in professionals that will sit down with somebody for 30 minutes and ask all their, answer all their tax questions or business law questions, what kind of contracts do I need to have, et cetera. And then we do the education piece. And then there’s a lot of peer to peer resource exchange. So we have, uh, an app, ah, custom app for Tara and we have a custom social seat for the members. And they literally back and know several times a week we get, hey, I’m looking for an accountant. Hey, does anybody know anything about business insurance? We had somebody the other day post, hey, I just got three quotes on business insurance. I don’t know what I need. Can somebody help me sit down and figure out what I need? And so you get this wonderful collaborative kind of resource exchange that wouldn’t happen otherwise as a solo business owner. Otherwise you’re just sitting there by yourself trying to figure it out. And it’s a lot easier to do it when you have other people.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. And you talk about all, just a myriad of information that’s available and how it’s unvetted and untested and nobody knows. And I think nine tenths of it is somebody trying to sell you something. I mean, most of it is like, here’s my course. You learn everything you need to know, but you got to spend $5,000 to get there, right? And how do you tell what of that is quality? So you had mentioned in a prior exchange something about grumpy growth. And I just wanted to ask you, what is grumpy growth? What’s the grumpy growth phase?
Kate Bailey: It’s the Samsara chasm between starting up and success. What I really see is, and I’ve been there, I am there. I’m still a bit in startup phase of Tara, but I’ve been in that growth phase. It’s where Tara was born out of. There are tons of resources for startups. You can go to the small business administration, you can google really good sources online, you can go through courses, all of that. There’s a lot of great resources when you’re successful. You can pay consultants, you can have an executive coach, you can hire people. In between startup and success, there’s nothing that I found personally that spoke to me as a professional, as a business owner, as a woman, where I felt like I was getting high quality, affordable, accessible resource. Right. I ended up going to business school because I couldn’t find it. And the reason I decided to go to school was to learn it for myself, but also to find a way to say, how can we break this down into the right kind of content to help these business owners along their journey? The challenge is that every business owner’s journey is different. So there’s a lot more customization of that content. But I believe that there are some fundamental things that people need to learn. Law, human resources, basic marketing, et cetera. Finance, cash flow, budgeting, forecasting, those are the things that if you have a fundamental foundational knowledge to ask the right questions and to know where to go, those are those hurdles that you can get over in that growth phase.
Jonathan DeYoe: I mean, you’re launching, I guess Tara actually launched a few years ago, but now you have the new space. I guess you’re reentering the startup phase because you have a new space, right? Is it intentional, the timing? Because notice that there’s a lot of very similar niche. And it’s a stupid phrase for me to say women are niche, that’s dumb population, I get that. But you’re trying to serve a subgroup of potential business people, and I see the same thing existing in black and brown businesses. And I’ve talked to other folks that are focused on women in business, and it’s happening all over the place. So could you lay out some of the statistics why women specifically? And you have a bunch of these things listed, and you just had a report that came out with, uh, Boulder women’s chamber of Commerce or the Denver Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Kate Bailey: Yeah, Colorado women’s chamber.
Jonathan DeYoe: Colorado women’s Chamber of Commerce. So why specifically women? Give us some of those staggering statistics.
Kate Bailey: Yeah, uh, they’re really sad and depressing. So everybody hold on.
Jonathan DeYoe: And honest.
Kate Bailey: Very real. And so, in the corporate sphere, 4% of women internationally, 9% of women in the United States, make it to c suite. In the startup space. Only 2% of capital gets deployed to woman owned, woman founded companies we have right now in the United States. I believe 40% of new businesses are being started by women, but only 2%, 1.7%, are ever make it over the million dollar a year in revenue mark. That is effectively just not acceptable, especially when you look at the rate of women in school. So you look at, like, architecture, I think, doctor programs for physicians and, um, engineering law. 50 50 men and women, and by the time they reach partner, it’s 20%. You’re having all of this fall off rate. So, um, the reason to focus on women is the goal. I always joke is, like, I’m, um, like the american cancer society. I hope I don’t have to exist someday. But the reason to focus on women is because we have a different experience. And the tools and resources in sort of the playbook doesn’t work for us, because it’s just a different experience. And the same thing goes for black and brown in businesses. They have a different experience than the rest of us have, especially if you’re an intersectional human right. And so I believe that there’s a need for the focus until we don’t need to focus on it. Tell me that we hit 50%. And I’m like, okay, we can flip this and turn it into a multi gendered space. But there is something that is truly, and I said this earlier, there’s something that is unbelievably magical about gathering women in a room together to have conversations to problem solve. Unfortunately, and I wish I didn’t have to say this, but unfortunately, we are still dealing with impostor syndrome, with fear of being wrong, asking the wrong questions. I mean, I share it time and again, and so it’s an unfortunate, um, kind of. It’s a cliche for a reason. And our goal here is just to provide that space where you can ask hard questions. We actually do have men who are members, which is great. We want the allies. There’s no male bashing. There is all love and care for that kind of multigeneration, intersectional community where we are all coming together to create a more equitable world of work, which is really what our mission is. An equitable world of work to me is we all have access to the tools and resources that we need to thrive. We have equitable access to funding opportunities. We have equitable access to knowledge and to networks. And it’s a very lofty goal, but I believe in it, and we will likely not get there in my lifetime. But I’m hoping that we at least send out some ripple effect from what we’re doing today.
Jonathan DeYoe: I hope so, too. I hope it happens in my daughter’s lifetime, if not your lifetime. So you spoke just briefly, touched on the different experience, and I’m assuming there’s some outright discrimination, but more subtle than that. What are some of the other things that you run up against that are the subtle pieces, the network accesses, those kinds of things?
Kate Bailey: I think that the most that I hear about is the funding aspect that I can’t tell you. The number of questions, number of conversations that I’ve had with women who are brilliant, brilliant startup founders, brilliant ceos, brilliant business owners, who have walked into rooms and have been asked the types of questions that we all hear about. An, um, audience may not know about this, but there was a study that was done in venture capital about the types of questions that women are asked versus the type of questions that male founders are asked, and they’re completely opposite of each other. And the language around that, I can’t come up with an example off the top of my head, but if you’re interested, just google it. It’s these subtle unconscious biases that we’re dealing with on a daily basis. And look again, there’s no vilifying it. Men are not doing this on purpose. But it is this kind of societal architecture, this construct that’s been developed over thousands of years. And it’s going to take a long time to dismantle the kinds of unconscious bias that we live with. Your daughter’s generation is one of the first generations to not see gender, which is really fascinating at the same level that we see it. But my question is, will that continue once those young women start having kids? Because there is just this ingrained kind of unconscious bias around that. And I think that there’s a lot of hope there. Absolutely. And we just need to continue walking down the road.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, um, this is just a bit of a story. I have a friend, black female friend, who runs a company and she hired a white male CFO so that when she went to the conferences, they would get some attention. And it’s ridiculous to me because she is absolutely the brains and the brawn and everything behind the company, but because she is, and she went and got, she finished a phd to get respect and that didn’t do it. There’s definitely an unconscious bias for some of these things. For sure. I understand the network, Tara. The network is sort of spreading across the nation as well as having this location. So lay out the specific mission and vision that you have for Tara.
Kate Bailey: Yeah, we haven’t spread yet, but we do have growth goals of, you know, the idea for me with all of this is that we have this wonderful sort of minimum Bible product in Denver which we’ve been able to launch. And so incredibly grateful for that, looking at some secondary city markets right now to grow our work club concepts. So we have actually two spaces in Denver. One of them is the work club. And that’s kind of a best way to describe it, is a private coffee shop. It feels like a hotel lobby. It feels like a home. It’s really beautiful. Tons of natural light. And you can just kind of pop in and pop out of it as you would like to. There’s little conference rooms and phone booths. And that really, to me is the growth mechanism that I look at. We developed it inside of a retail space. My business partner and investor is, uh, a real estate developer. And so we came up with this concept during COVID Originally we were going to be opening our coworking space in 2020 and then we pushed the pause button. But then this work club concept came out of that pause button, which was one of the silver linings of the pandemic. And these are really interesting 5000 square foot print retail units that we can replace. You think about all of the brick and mortar stores that have closed across the nation. And a lot of retail spaces are trying to kind of rethink about what they look like. And so we’ve conceived of this work club as our growth mechanism in some larger secondary cities. Minneapolis, Portland, Austin, Phoenix. Those types of places that have high levels of entrepreneurship, innovative, know growing tech communities, but may not have spaces like this already.
Jonathan DeYoe: So is it a traditional accelerator or is.
Kate Bailey: No, no, it’s kind of in between. It’s kind of in between. There may be a vision for an accelerator in the future. We’ve been in the talks about it, but I think for right now, I really want to meet people where they are, and where people are is that they like to work from home a little bit. They like to maybe go to a coffee shop. They want that freedom in between and the programming side of things. We’re really test driving a lot of our business education for the next couple of years to see what becomes sticky and what people really need and want. And then, um, the goal is with that, we would turn that into a potential accelerator for women and businesses, not just focusing on tech startups. I think that that’s another little piece of the puzzle that needs to be reconfigured is that there’s so much resource out there for tech startups. But to me, small businesses that are not ten x 20 x growth are really what drives the backbone of the american economy. And we need to keep that healthy and alive. So I see an accelerator concept, but I would like for it to apply to people that just want to have good, solid businesses. Engineering firms and architecture firms know brick and mortar retail.
Jonathan DeYoe: I just as an had, this is probably five years ago, I had mentees. I’m here in Berkeley, California, so I have a mentorship relationship with some students through rotary students at Cal. This couple guys came in and they were talking about the businesses they wanted to start. And one of their father had left the high tech investment hedge world of, uh, Connecticut.
Kate Bailey: Right.
Jonathan DeYoe: And the father came out and bought, I kid you not, a moving van company. And started doing moving families. Right. Something, a simple business that we all need. M and the son was like, I can’t believe my dad did this. It’s so ridiculous. It’s so beneath him. And I was like, what are you talking about? It’s like the greatest business in the world. So I love the fact that you’re like, thinking about just traditional businesses, mom.
Kate Bailey: And pop, no matter how technology goes, no matter how big the metaverse gets, we need physical spaces and plumbing. Exactly. And it’s interesting because I just graduated from UCLA Anderson in June. So business school is very friend of mine, but one of the most successful businesses to ever come out of UCLA Anderson is a group that bought a school bus company and they’re running school buses and they’re going gangbusters right now. And so I think about that, and that was, uh, a really interesting kind of case study to do in our entrepreneur venture initiation class was to run through this conversation of, this is as non tech as it gets. And these guys are doing really really well, making good livings. They’re not making $10 million a year, but they’re doing really, really well for themselves and they’re providing essential infrastructure and whatnot. And so I think that I would like for the media to pay a little bit more attention to just good, healthy small businesses because it’s something that will never, to me at least, will never go away.
Jonathan DeYoe: Can’t go away. So there’s a lot of noise out there. And so there’s a couple of consistent questions I like to ask folks that come on here. So if you had an entrepreneur come to you, and this is sort of a positive, a negative thing, if you got an entrepreneur come to you and say, I really want to be successful, and I hear all this noise, there’s all these people telling me to do stuff, let’s just break through all that noise. And just what is one thing that somebody really wants to have a business idea, they’re pursuing it. What’s one thing that if they do it religiously will make them successful? And then what is one thing that they hear about that they should just blow it off? They should ignore? They should just not pay attention to it at all. That will help them become successful.
Kate Bailey: Okay. The first one’s easy. It’s just knowing numbers. The most important thing is to know when to not start a business based on the numbers. So to me, the biggest mistake that every single small business owner makes is having an idea, creating a product, whether it’s an online product, a physical product, whatever it is, and launching it, because they have a pretty website and a logo and some nice content and an Instagram page. And then they wonder why they aren’t making any money. And the reason is because they didn’t sit down and say, is the market big enough for this? Does the market want this? How much can I charge? How much do I spend? What is my profit? How will I reinvest it? It’s a very simple kind of formula. It’s not easy because you have to do market research and you need to put together budget forecast, cash flow analysis. Without that, you don’t have a business. You just have an idea and a logo and a website. So that, to me, is the most important thing.
Jonathan DeYoe: So I just want to highlight this once again. Someone’s coming on the show and suggesting that we do a business plan before we launch a business.
Kate Bailey: Right before we launch a business plan.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yes. So what’s one thing to ignore?
Kate Bailey: That’s a good question. I’m going to think about that for a minute. And this is coming from a marketing, branding logo, website design junkie. I mean, my entire company was based on developing these assets for people. And I think that for the majority of businesses, it is the least important thing to focus on. In the beginning, you can have something very simple, very basic, and if you’ve got the numbers that are going to prove that this backs that up, then you can use the profit to reinvest in a higher end logo, a better website, better marketing, all of those fun things. I don’t think that you should ignore it and just slap something up and make it not valuable, but I do think that we focus way too much on, and really, and I am blanket statementing this, women love to focus on that part because it’s the fun part, right? It’s not the ugly part. That’s the money side of things. So, yeah, that’s my piece of advice.
Jonathan DeYoe: That’s so interesting because for me as a guy, I think the money part is the fun part.
Kate Bailey: Right.
Jonathan DeYoe: I do the planning and I think that that’s great. I model it out. I love that stuff. I’d spreadsheet. I love it. But I hate design.
Kate Bailey: It’s one of those things, like, I know women that also hate the design of the logos and they would prefer to do the spreadsheets, although that it’s more times than none. Women are on this side of things and that is because we have not. I share it time and again and I correct my team every time. They say, well, I’m just not good with numbers. I said, no, you don’t focus on numbers. You choose to not be good at them. You could be good at them if you wanted to. I learned that in school. I have always said I was terrible at math and I got an a minus in corporate finance. Never thought that that would have happened. But it just took me finally switching that mindset around and I, uh, learned algebra through calculus in four months. And I was like, oh, maybe I can do this. So it is possible, even from a writer.
Jonathan DeYoe: And most business finance, small business finance isn’t trigonometry or calculator adding and subtracting. No, it is adding and subtracting math. Right? Just do the simple math. So just before you wrap up, I want to ask us a couple more personal questions. And so some people hear these and they sort of, oh, my God, I don’t know, but just relax and just answer as you can. What was the last thing you changed your mind about?
Kate Bailey: Good question. I’m sure it was a decision that I made today. I know exactly what? It was actually, because I got effectively almost yelled at for it by my digital marketing team. I had approved an ad that they had put in front of me when I was, uh, the busiest I was last week, and I was just done with everything. And I just said, yeah, it’s approved, no problem. And then they posted it and I texted and I was like, I really don’t like this. I think we need to go back to the drawing board. And that was on me.
Jonathan DeYoe: Own it. That’s good.
Kate Bailey: Oh, always. So, lots of apologies there.
Jonathan DeYoe: Is there anything that people you might have told them?
Kate Bailey: Um.
Jonathan DeYoe: Or maybe you’ve held it back, but anything about you that you really wish people knew about you and they don’t?
Kate Bailey: Yeah, most people that either meet me or haven’t met me and have kind of seen me on stage or seen in a media article or whatever, they think I’m m extraordinarily unapproachable. And I’m the biggest sort of loving, open, honest, vulnerable person that you could probably meet. I think that I can give off a bit of a little standoffish, and it’s because actually, I’m an introvert. I’m sort of an ambivert, extroverted introvert. And it can be misread as that I’m standoffish or that I’m disinterested and that it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Jonathan DeYoe: So when people see you, they should come up and say hi. Not be afraid.
Kate Bailey: Absolutely. I’m more shy than I seem.
Jonathan DeYoe: That’s good. So I want to say thank you very much for coming on. How do people get connected with you? How do they find you?
Kate Bailey: Absolutely. It’s very simple. URL T-A-R-R-A-C-O. We are on LinkedIn, on Instagram. Underscore Taraco. And then my email is Kate at Tara Co. I’m always open to conversations, introductions. I read every email that comes into my inbox and I respond to every single one of them. So I’m very eager to just meet new people. It’s one of my favorite things as a former journalist. I just like humans. So, yeah, be happy to connect.
Jonathan DeYoe: Thanks for joining us on the Mindful Money podcast. Thanks, Kate.
Kate Bailey: It was wonderful. Thank you so much.