Focus on relationships, not just deliverables and outcomes.
I received some advice early in my career to focus on relationships rather than just deliverables and outcomes. While not wildly unconventional to some, it was nice “permission” when I was first starting my career with a very left-brain focus—architecture and finance.
Ultimately, it’s the relationships I’ve developed that have not only opened doors, but also made work more rewarding.
Although it has “consumer” right there in the name, investors in the “consumer / consumer tech” industry tend to spend most of their time thinking about the product, the technology, the financing, and so on. In this landscape, it’s easy for the human factor to get left behind—even though we’re all consumers ourselves.
By bringing a strong consumer perspective to my role at M13, I’m able to help our team appreciate the true needs of people and translate those into something that others aren’t just willing, but excited, to buy. On top of that, I’ve been lucky to accumulate strategic and operational experience across many different stages of company growth—from inception to billions in revenue.
One of our core values at M13 is community—meaning that we’re in it for each other, and we’re all mutually responsible for the health of our ecosystem. I love this because it not only sets a clear road map for decision making and prioritization of work, but also helps to create a warm, enjoyable culture.
When it comes to my life before M13, I’m quite proud of the work we did while I was leading Dove Men + Care. We progressed the national conversation around what modern masculinity looks like and the role of fatherhood today, all while generating massive returns to the business.
I’m passionate about making others’ lives more enjoyable, which requires really getting to know people. At work that means building brands, products, and businesses to address things that people need (or don’t yet know they need). And outside of work that means baking—bringing joy via butter and sugar!
Founders will spend most of their time ‘selling’—selling their vision to investors, advisers, and employees, and selling their product to customers—so strong communication, integrity, and empathy make all the difference.