Episode 24: Entrepreneur Experience: Kimberly Lafleur, HUEMANITY

EPISODE 24

Entrepreneur Experience: Kimberly Lafleur, HUEMANITY

In the very first installment of our new series, Entrepreneur Experience, we chat with branding and marketing strategy expert Kimberly Lafleur, founder of HUEMANITY, a branding agency with a social mission. Our discussion ranges from humanitarian issues with the supply chain to 80’s talk shows… And Kimberly shares her views on what it’s really like, and what it takes, to be an entrepreneur.

In today’s episode, we are joined by Kimberly Lafleur, the founder of HUEMANITY, a branding and marketing company with a passion for how brands, companies, and business cultures impact the humans involved, from seed to product.

Kimberly’s career spans a diverse range of industries, from construction to cosmetics, and now she is working to create and build brands for social impact. She is passionate about using business to advance lasting social change and creating spaces for voices to be heard. She is a multi-disciplined marketer and brand strategist with over 10 years of experience leading and executing fully integrated branding, marketing & retail campaigns. She’s creating brands and products that move our society towards regenerative, circular systems that provide sustainable economic opportunities along the way.

In our chat, Kimberly talks about her first experience with startup burnout in New York City, how she became disenchanted with climbing the corporate ladder, and how her Filipino heritage has made her the humanitarian she is today.

Our discussion ranges from humanitarian issues with the supply chain to 80’s talk shows (really!)… And Kimberly shares with us her experience with impostor syndrome and her vision of wellness as a way for women to be themselves, not someone else’s dream.

Find Kimberly Lafleur on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Check out her recommended resources here:

“Donut Economics” by Kate Raworth

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek

The Aubrey Marcus Podcast

Almost 30, with hosts Krista Williams and Lindsey Simick

Gary Vaynerchuk

Super Soul, hosted by Oprah Winfrey

Be sure to like, share, and subscribe to Precursa: The Startup Journey on your favorite podcasting platform and tune in for the next episode!

Email us with any questions or comments (startup@precursa.com). Check out our website (https://www.precursa.com) for more information on getting your startup rolling.

Straight to you from Denver, Colorado, this is Precursa: The Startup Journey. We share the ins and outs of building a tech startup from inception to launch to revenue and beyond. If you’ve ever wondered what building a startup from scratch really looks like, you’re in the right place. With full transparency and honesty, we reveal it all about Precursa on our ride from idea to exit: the wins, the lessons learned, and the unexpected twists and turns.

All right, welcome to Precursa: The Startup Journey. Today is our very first entrepreneur experience segment. And we’re adding two new segments. Uh, one is called entrepreneur experience where we’re going to talk to other entrepreneurs who are in various stages of building companies, building businesses, building startups, you know, so that you can hear some other perspectives than, than just ours with Precursa. And the other segment is called, uh, investor insight. And we’re going to be talk, bringing investors on the show, talking about what are they really looking for? What is it that makes them say yes or no to investing in a project? And what does it take to get one of them on your side to say yes, today is our very first entrepreneur experience episode. That’s a triple E right there. And today we’re joined by Kimberly LaFleur, founder of the branding agency, humanity focused on building brands for social impact. Kimberly joins us today with over 10 years of experience as a brand strategist and marketing expert in industries ranging from construction to cosmetics. Welcome to the show, Kimberly.

Kimberly (01:46):

Thanks so much, Cynthia. Thank you.

Cynthia (01:49):

Why don’t you start by just telling us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be an entrepreneur.

Kimberly (01:53):

That’s a good question. So I am currently, I guess, a brand strategist working on my agency for humanity. Um, I’ve been in a wide range of industries. Um, I kind of picked up construction just out of college and it was a during a time when, um, you know, the job market was really bad in 2008 and 2000 between 2008 and 2010. Wasn’t something like I really wanted to do, but it was just something like I could have. Um, so project management there, and then during that time, I was always a freelance makeup artist. That’s something I was very passionate about. So I did freelance for Laura Mercier, Mac cosmetics, all that stuff. And I really wanted to get into like the business side of it. So I just, I grew up in San Francisco, so that’s where all of this was happening. But then I moved down to LA to like really break into that industry. So I landed my first job at hatch beauty and it’s a brand incubator and I learned so much like you really wear every hat there. Cause when I started, they had just been in business for about four years. So they were still very much like a startup phase, but I really enjoyed that atmosphere, like where I was at. I had my hands in everything. And then from there, you know, I, I wanted to experience like a big brand. So I went to a luxury brand, very different experience, siloed into like, yeah, you’re siloed into like one function. So you don’t have like the full range of, um, experience. And I was, I got so bored so easily and then I had the itch to move to New York and I pursued a start up jobs there with a company called Scentbird. It was a really cool company. They were doing fragrance sampling, really amazing CEO. And you know, I just experienced burnout at a startup.

Cynthia (03:42):

Oh yeah. We know nothing about that on the, on The Startup Journey.

Kimberly (03:49):

Uh, like, you know, like I did love what I was doing. It was just, I wasn’t good at balancing work life. And I was like in that hustle mentality that like New York brings out of you. Um, and I thought for a long time I wanted to climb like this corporate ladder. Um, so like when I moved to New York, I had that like big vision. Like, I’ll be this like business woman and I’ll be super successful work at like a big conglomerate, but like a lot changed because I I’m a humanitarian at heart. And that’s where the inspiration for my agency came from. So I’m, I’m half Filipino. My mom’s looking out that whole humanitarian side came when I was 14, we went to the Philippines, we were there for a month. I brought like three suitcases, literally left with nothing because the amount of poverty I saw and like how, how little people had the we’re still happy, but like, I want it, like, it just, it hurt me. So like from there, like I’ve always been like very passionate about like wanting to do something different. And then, you know, like after New York I was just like, I really can’t. I need to do something that makes a difference. Like I’m not chasing, I’m not, I’m just not going to chase like more money. So I left New York, came back to California, didn’t know what I was going to do. I had all this experience in marketing and branding and I really do love that part of it. But I had read a book a couple years ago, it was called doughnut economics and it’s by Kate Raworth and I loved how she envisioned the whole re redoing of economics. It just totally makes so much sense. And that’s really what I wanted to practice. Like I wanted to build that into a business.

Cynthia (05:34):

So you got burned out in a startup and then you were like, Hey, let me go start a business.

Kimberly (05:39):

Let me go start a business. And let me, let me burn out myself for something I actually love. And like I’m passionate about and like want to build.

Cynthia (05:48):

Would you say that that’s the difference? The why or the purpose behind what you’re doing makes the burnout different.

Kimberly (05:54):

Yeah. Oh yeah. So different. Um, Simon, Sinek that start with why that book had so much to do with it too, because integrity and intention have been really big themes for me. I’ve worked at big conglomerates. I’ve seen how they do everything. I’ve seen how like profits make decisions and I’ve, I’ve gone on production trips where I see how tightly we squeezed the margins at the end of the supply. And that’s something that I’m very passionate about with supply chain and like where like the people at the very end of the supply chain are always the one the most impacted.

Cynthia (06:28):

How’d you get how’d you get interested in supply chain. I mean, you know, you, you went to construction cause you were like, Hey, I’m done with college. I don’t know what to do, but then you’re in cosmetics. And that seems like such a forward facing kind of industry where supply chain is like so much about logistics. How did you get how’d you get interested in that?

Kimberly (06:44):

As you can make the biggest difference when you start there. So if you’re looking at how a product is created, so from the initial concept, you have to look at where the ingredients are, sourced, where the packaging is, sourced, how the packaging and source, what materials are going into the packaging. So it’s not it’s it’s from the seed to the product. So that’s kind of, so we focus, I focus on that. Like I just it’s really important. Yeah.

Cynthia (07:10):

What I’m getting is that feeling of knowing when you’re promoting a brand or when you’re buying a brand or when you’re wearing a brand and you know, that everything from, like you said, that seed all the way to, when you’re wearing it and experiencing it and enjoying it, all of that has made all the lives along the way better or improve them or given them opportunity to opportunity. They didn’t have that’s your purpose. That’s your why is what it sounds like

Kimberly (07:36):

It is for sure. And right now, so like I am currently working on building out our supply chain. I’m looking at blockchain, I’m looking at all the different new technologies that help make things more transparent, more traceable, more fair and equitable. I really think that we’re in a time where all these technologies are making it more fair for people. I forget who, who I heard this from, but they were saying that we’re in the biggest unit wealth transfer and Bitcoin, all these cryptocurrencies are helping with that. So there’s, so there’s just so much opportunity for people to profit from this.

Cynthia (08:14):

Tell us a little bit about what it is that you’re currently working on and what you’re building.

Kimberly (08:18):

So, um, aside from, for HUEMANITY, which is an agency and I work with brands and they’re in different categories in the CPG space. So I’m doing that. But I also was working on a wellness company with the co-founder. Um, and we’re still, it’s something that would fall on like align with the ethos of, for humanity. Obviously. Like I can’t create anything that doesn’t have that behind it, but me and my co-founder, we had this vision for a wellness brand for women. And it’s more about being aligned with your, who you really are and not trying to be like anybody else, like, you know, you have all these like wellness apps telling you, like, this is what’s gonna work for you. This is why it’s going to work. Like basically selling you like a dream. But basically we want to be able to bring different perspectives from Eastern philosophies, old traditions to you. So you can just try it out for yourself and see what works because, you know, since the pandemic, like everyone’s taking health into their own hands, you know, like, it’s not like we’re rushing to the doctors. Um, with every question now we’re on Google, we’re looking for answers. So, and we found that there wasn’t one place that aggregated all these different philosophies. So that’s something that we were like really passionate about, like, cause she and I have tried every thing, like I love, I am a wellness, Keke, like I practice yoga I’m into IRA’s Veda, just all of it. So I tried everything and you know, like I, I want to be able to like share what I’ve experienced. She’s also, you know, experienced a lot. Um, and we both have very different perspectives on wellness. So we just like, we want people to see that, like it’s not a one size fits all, you know, approach.

Cynthia (10:00):

Yeah. I love that. That’s amazing. So tell us a little bit about, what would you say is the most important lesson that you’ve learned as an entrepreneur, you know, through your various journeys and you know, in the venture that you’re working on now, I mean, you’ve done some stuff sort of on your own as a solo founder, you’ve also started working with a, with a co-founder, but what is the most important lesson that you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

Kimberly (10:24):

So right now the whole wellness thing is kind of we’re taking a pause. It’s not like, we’re not saying that it’s not happening, but like she and I have very similar skillsets. We don’t have complimentary skillsets. And that’s something that I’ve realized, you know, we were, and we’re both visionaries. We both have division and then they’re not different visions. Like they slightly, they slightly differ. But like we both, like, we’re always like dreaming, you know, you need somebody who’s going to be able to like ground you. And like,

Cynthia (11:00):

Yes I do. You need an executer.

Kimberly (11:04):

Yeah we need an executor. We need somebody to say, Hey, this is the next you need to do this next focus. That’s something that she and I like, you know, like, we’ve come up with so many different concepts, so many different, yeah, just so many different things. And while they’re all great ideas, ideas are ideas. They’re not moving the needle forward. That’s one of the things that I’ve really honed in on.

Cynthia (11:32):

Okay. I love that. What would you say in this, you know, in your opinion, what is the most important personality trait or characteristic or that something that someone needs to have to be a successful entrepreneur and why do you think that’s important?

Kimberly (11:49):

Curiosity. And resiliency. Yeah, for sure. Empathy also to be a good leader, I think you need to be very empathetic, but curiosity to always seek to know more and seek to, you know, what else is out there, what your customer’s looking for. Like if you stopped being curious, that’s where innovation and you know, all of that ends, you also have to just be very adaptable, things change, you know, don’t be married to a plan. Like you have to be able to be agile. Yeah. Those things.

Cynthia (12:21):

I love that. So tell us about a time when you faced a challenge as an entrepreneur or a challenge that you’re facing now and have you resolved it, if you did, what did you do that was successful if you didn’t, what are you, what are you trying? And what’s working, what’s not working?

Kimberly (12:37):

Right now. We like we’re working, we hit pause. We what’s not working. Is she and I are both being pulled in a lot of different directions. You know, she’s also working on other projects. I’m working on my, my current projects with, under, for humanity and being able to like, so if we can’t hire up people under us to like PR undertake the tasks, you know, we’re the ones doing it. So it’s right now, we’re kind of just re aligning ourselves with like, what’s really important. And you know, she and I are, are such ambitious people. We have very big dreams and we take on so much. I had to, like, I was experiencing burnout just from the sheer lack of time for myself. Like, I really was just not taking care of myself either. And I was experiencing like stress and other areas of my life. And I just really had to like, take a pause and just re align myself with that. Why? And so what’s working. Like I needed to have fun because for a long time it was just work. So I’m right now, I’m focusing on incorporating more fun to get inspired, again, to find more passion for life. I think, I think you get more clarity with that.

Cynthia (13:57):

I love that. I love that. If you could give other entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be?

Kimberly (14:04):

Really clear? Get really clear on your why, um, have that guiding north star and understand, you know, like you may not know what that path to that north star looks like, but making decisions will be so much easier because you’ll have that understanding of where you’re going.

Cynthia (14:24):

I didn’t even tell her to say that we talk a lot about the why and how important it is. I mean, there’s almost never an episode that goes by where I, where I’m not, you know, again, realizing if I didn’t have this vision, if I didn’t know exactly where we were trying to go. And to your point, like not being, not being beholden to the path or like, it has to be this way or no way, but like holding that vision, that why, if I wasn’t doing that, I would have given up a million times between then and now. Right. So I’m just, I didn’t tell her to say that. And she said, nah, Uh, all right. So I’m going to tell you a statistic. Okay. And I want you to tell me what you think about this statistic, because it’s one of the most startling statistics in all of the startup world and all of entrepreneurship. And I just find it really interesting what people think when I tell them, okay. Okay. Okay, here we go. 42% of startups fail because no one wants what they’re building.

Kimberly (15:37):

That’s bananas. Also, that makes sense, because I think a lot of people fail to really identify their consumer and they really fail to be curious about what that consumer wants. That’s why. Yeah. Uh, you know, being in this like consumer products space, like that’s always something that’s at the forefront of our minds is like, what can we create? Or how can we innovate for our consumer? Like, these questions are so important and like being able to have like your ear to the ground on like how their behaviors are changing, how they’re, you know, consuming so much, you know, like they, they, they’re constantly consuming. Whether it be like a, a digital campaign or just content, you know, products in my space. I can’t tell you how many new brands launch and I’m not an I’m. I might be just, you know, a little cheated because I still love what I do.

Cynthia (16:40):

A little biased?

Kimberly (16:42):

I might be a little biased, but like, there’s so many brands and products launching with all with the same, like storyline, this like it’s, you can really tell when a brand is not authentic, you can really tell, and people are waking up to that. They’re so smart. And like, that’s why when people try to create for everybody, they don’t niche down. They don’t identify like a USP for their product and their brand. And that’s when, you know, like you get lost in the sea of sameness. And also people are now starting to not be afraid to be more individual focused. So I think that’s so important to like, really try to understand who your consumer is, who, who are you trying to reach? Really? You can’t just create stuff for yourself.

Cynthia (17:28):

Well, you can, but it’s very hard to build a big business that way. Right. You can have a great hobby like that.

Kimberly (17:37):

Yeah, exactly.

Cynthia (17:38):

Okay. So what job, other than your own, would you most love to try? Like if you could go back and do it again, what would you love to do other than what you do now?

Kimberly (17:51):

No, I think down the road in my life, I do want to be like a humanitarian aid worker. I really do. I, I want to, like, if it’s not, if I’m not incorporating that into my business, somehow I do. I do see myself doing that. Like later on being more involved in that way,

Cynthia (18:11):

I love that. What does that mean to you? Like what kinds of things would you be doing?

Kimberly (18:15):

So I am really passionate about helping women in these impoverished countries, because I believe once, like, you know, in those communities, the women are the ones that keep things together. And they’re the ones that when you can give them, empower them and support them financially, they’re helping more than just themselves. You know, it goes beyond themselves. It touches so many more people in the community. So whether it’s me helping women figure out how to find work, how to create work for themselves. It’s just something like that.

Cynthia (18:50):

Yeah. I love that. I love that answer. This is kind of a weird one. What’s one question you wish I had asked you and how would you have answered it?

Kimberly (18:59):

Ooh. What do you think businesses need to do now to be better businesses? Like how do you, I think that’s one and I would answer that is, I think we’re at a time and I don’t know if it’s just me because I’m a millennial and I care so much about doing more for community. We really need to revisit what it means to be a business like beyond profits. Like how are we helping communities? How are we helping the youth? How are we empowering people in these businesses to, you know, grow? I just think we really need to revisit like how we’re doing business and like make the goals rather than just profit. I mean, that sounds so like such a romantic, but like, that’s, I, I believe that like, I believe like we need to shift that perspective. Yeah.

Cynthia (19:59):

Uh, what, I’m, what I heard in my head, as you were saying that is, it’s almost like the role of a business owner was a very inward focused in the past. Right. They’re almost self-focused and not selfish, but self-focused, and there is this shift now where, where our consciousness is starting to catch up with that self-focus will get you places. Right. And clearly it’s created a lot of, a lot of success for a lot of people, but how much more magnified or exponential could that success be when your group focused? Like when you’re not me focused, but us focused, you know? And so the role of business owners, you know, you’re inspiring all of this. I don’t think I’ve ever even thought about this this way, but the role of business owners is almost like going from being about me and mine to be in about us in ours and, and enveloping the community. And, and there is, there is more success and greater levels of wealth and greater levels of happiness. And that seem like they’re available when you do that.

Kimberly (21:01):

Right. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I just, I feel like that’s, what’s coming to the surface now. Like people are demanding that from businesses, you know, and it’s not just the young, I think it’s just an overall sense that people want businesses to do better. Like in order to shift consumer behaviors, it needs like businesses need to help with that. So like, I’m, I’m also like an environmentalist, like I believe in like saving the planet it’s climate change is real. So I just think like businesses stop squeezing margins to me, all of these things, because inevitably that just makes people not value things, you know, the constant production of more is more harmful.

Cynthia (21:45):

Yeah. It makes it throw away. Right. Like, oh, I can, I can go get more of this. So it doesn’t matter if I don’t use all of it and throw it away, or, you know, and I don’t, I don’t value that the same as if it was more rare or more precious. Right.

Kimberly (21:58):

Exactly. And you know, like that thought of scarcity or like, it’s not true scarcity, but like, you know, some brands have done this thing where it’s like the FOMO model where like, they’ll do like a drop and then like, oh, it’s sold out. Right. Really they produced like 50,000 people pieces. And then do they just continue to do this release? It’s really like those marketing tactics, like yeah. They work, but it’s just,

Cynthia (22:25):

It seemed kind of flash in the pan though. I mean, if you think about, because that was the model that clubhouse used when they launched right. The whole, like you have to have an invite and do you know somebody who has an invite and like that whole thing. Right. And it was like, they hit a critical mass really quickly, but then the model didn’t quite fit for the majority of people. And so it’s not as hot as it was either. Right. And so it’s like, you can get that flash in the pan, but how do you create something that has that connection that is sustainable? And that’s really, I think what we’re talking about, not just sustainable from a, you know, climate and, and our, and resources perspective, but sustainable from a, it brings that feeling of joy. It brings that sense of connectedness, whatever that is consistently over time, not just, oh, that’s cool. And I got in on it and now I’m onto the next thing. Right. And I’m sure you, as a brand strategist and a marketing person, you’re like, oh, we, you know, that’s like my worst. That’s like the worst outcome. Right. Like, I’d rather, I mean, you, you have to tell me, but it seems like you’d rather build a brand a little bit more slowly and have it be lasting and sustainable rather than that sort of flash in the pan and then trying to figure out, okay, well now what do we do to keep that going?

Kimberly (23:40):

Right. Yeah. And you know, like you see like the clubhouse thing, do you see these companies that wants to generate all of that excitement and that buzz and they have their 15 minutes of fame, but then what now? Like, what’s, what’s next for you? Like if you had all of that and what did you do with it? Yeah.

Cynthia (23:59):

Which kind of comes back to companies failing because nobody wants what they’re building. It’s like, oh, you made us think for five minutes that we’ve really needed it. And then once, once the hype died down, you know, is that really true? And you’ll see in the numbers. Right. Right.

Kimberly (24:15):

Yeah. And I, we have this like hyper consumerism, you know, that’s really fast fashion, fast beauty. Everything’s fast, everything. But like, I also am seeing like, everyone, like there’s a rise in this meditation movement because everything is moving so quickly. Everything like consuming it’s too much, you know, like you really need to get away from that and find stillness and like be able to like connect to yourself. Yeah.

Cynthia (24:43):

I love that. What are three other podcasts that you would recommend to my audience?

Kimberly (24:49):

You know, I love listening to, so this is, this is so funny. Um, I really love listening to the Aubrey Marcus podcast just because he covers such a wide range of topics. Like she goes from like spirituality to business, to health and fitness. And like they’re long winded. Like they’re very long and not long, like long form. And like, you know, like you can just listen to him and he’s such a great interviewer. He does so well. And then another one is the almost 30 podcasts. Same thing they do. I love those girls. They just, they speak to my heart. I get like, I really love who they interview, like the topics they cover. I mean, yeah. And obviously like Gary V like, I do love his stuff. Like his, his quick content, his long content. He’s so good at like marketing. He’s just so good at it. And he really like nails the head every time he’s like telling you how to do it. Like, it’s just like, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Um, so I got a lot of like insight from that. Yeah. I mean, those, those three tons of mine, I listened to a lot of like, obviously I love Oprah’s podcast.

Cynthia (26:02):

Uh, yeah. Gotta love Oprah. The original content queen. Yeah. I mean, who else from the nineties, eighties and nineties with a talk show, which were very like prolific, right. Everybody had a talk show in the eighties and nineties. Right. But who else from that era, turn that into like a media empire. I mean, no one, whatever that woman, her, again, like her vision for whatever she was creating.

Kimberly (26:34):

Yes. And like, she, you know, I, I was listening to one of her podcasts and she just kept following her inner voice that just like kept guiding her. And for me, like that’s also something I’m trying to get like really connected to right now. It’s like my intuition, my inner voice, like, where’s that guiding me because I know I take it. So I, one of the things I also do is like, I talked to a lot of mentors and like a lot of advisors and yes, I can take in their, their guidance. But like what really like resonates with me and like, what is my gut telling me? You know, that’s something like I’m really working on right now.

Cynthia (27:13):

That I love that because you know, we talk about entrepreneurs are optimistic realists, right. And what that means is you have that vision, you have that sort of grand design in your, in your, that’s always in your heart. That’s always in your mind, that’s the optimistic part of you. The realist can take information as it comes, but knows what’s in alignment. And what’s not because not all advice is good advice either, right? Like sometimes you’re like, yeah, not so much. Or somebody will say something and you’re like, but that’s, that’s not going the direction that we’re trying to go. Is there something I can take from that? But maybe it doesn’t all fit. And so I love that you said that because I also feel like I am learning how to keep the vision, take the coaching, but learn how to take the coaching. That’s in alignment with, this is what my intuition, this is what my gut, this is what my, my heart is trying to tell me anyway. Right?

Kimberly (28:15):

Yes. Yes. And I will, you know, like I’ve been, um, instances where like, I really respect the people that I’m like asking for advice and I’ve taken advice. And like, it didn’t like, it just went against my intuition, but I still took the advice because I was just like, you know, they know better. They they’ve done this before it does. And it’s always not come out with the same intended result. Exactly. Like, it’s always been like some muddied, watered down version of like what I really thought it could be. So that’s, that’s something like I try to avoid.

Cynthia (28:54):

It can be really scary to, to, to ignore someone, you know, um, putting the word, ignore in quotes, but like ignore the advice of someone who you’re like, wow, to your point. They have been there. They do know what they’re doing. And to say that doesn’t feel right to me. You know, because, because you know, this is, this is kind of where impostor syndrome comes from. And it’s one of those things where if you can recognize what it is and where it comes from, then you don’t have to live in the grip of it. Right. And in that moment where your gut knows this isn’t the right thing for me or this isn’t the right thing for my business. And the question is honor that, or, or honor the advice of someone who’s more experienced. The reason we feel imposter syndrome is because we say, well, honoring myself, doesn’t that seem selfish or doesn’t that seem naive, or I must be missing something if they gave me different advice and they’ve been successful. Right. But that is exactly the time when it’s not about the data that’s available in the world necessarily. I mean, that’s one source of wisdom and knowledge, but it may not be the ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge for the decisions you and your business need for you to make. So it’s a it’s I struggle with the same thing. I mean, I, you know, I talked to investors, these are people who have invested in huge companies hundred, $250 billion companies. Right. And when they say to me, well, you’re going to struggle in these areas. And in, you know, in my heart, I’m like, no, that’s not where my struggles are going to be, but maybe they know more than I do. So let me go try and work on that thing. And the, and the, the amount of hours wasted working on things where we come back to ourselves and realize that’s not about us, that’s about what they’ve experienced in their journey, but that’s not about us. You know, that recentering. Yeah. That can be one of the most challenging things as an entrepreneur.

Kimberly (30:51):

Yeah. I love it. Okay. I’m so glad we brought up imposter syndrome. Cause that’s also something like I’ve been like struggling with, because it’s like, I don’t know why it’s so like, I’ve talked to a lot of my, my girlfriends about this, but like, it’s such a common thing for girls, but like when I’m talking to guys, it’s like, they don’t experience it. It’s so I was just like, wow. Guys are like, so confident. They just like walk in. Like they own the place. It’s like the women, we’re always second guessing ourselves, always like needing to seek validation. And like, that’s something like, I know I’m working on a lot of my girlfriends are. And I just, I think that like, you know, as women, that’s just something we, we really struggled.

Cynthia (31:36):

Yeah. And you know, it’s interesting because what I’m starting to notice was I’ve noticed the same thing. Like I look at, you know, my fiancé is a, is also a business owner and he’s got 16 projects going and he’s doing all the things the same as I am. Right. But his journey is different. And, and, you know, you pointed out men seem to walk into a room and they’re just confident and it’s just there. And they’re like, screw that guy. He doesn’t know. And like write it. But I feel like the reason women struggle more with being confident about our gifts is because there’s just less evidence in the world. There’s thousands of, years of evidence that men doing it, their way gets results. And I’m putting results in quotes. Right. Right. As women, us coming into the end of the workforce, us building businesses, this is so relatively new in the span of like humanity. Right. And so us using our gifts and talents to create that level of success, or even beyond that level of success still feels like a question mark, because we’re looking outside ourselves for the validation and for the evidence that that’s the case. Right. And so the more I feel like for myself, the thing that I’m starting to learn is the more that I can tap in, rather than look out for the evidence of what comes next and why that feels right. The more my journey starts to look like Oprah’s rather than me trying to emulate a man. Right?

Kimberly (33:06):

Yes. And that’s another, like, you know, I’m hoping that kids in high school, you know, with everything that they’re seeing, you know, digitally now, you know, that they’re consuming. Like I’m hoping that they, because when I was growing up, I was always told, get this job because it’ll provide a safe and secure income, you know, they initially started off as like a nursing major. Wow. Like a nursing major. Like I was just like, wow. I’m, I have so much gratitude to the nurses. And like the course, obviously it’s not for me. And I’m, I just like, as I was just like, no, I can’t do that. You know, like it’s not for me. Like I don’t, and, you know, making that leap from going from like a corporate guaranteed paycheck to like an entrepreneur that was also really scary. Like, you know, you just have, you have to have faith in yourself and you have to believe like what you’re working on is going to, you know, make a difference. And that’s, you know, that’s really important. And I want, I do want kids to like, and not everyone’s meant to me an entrepreneur, you know, that’s also something to bear in mind because you see so many people these days, like I’m an entrepreneur. I am an entrepreneur, like, yeah. Like, I mean so many different things. Um, but like, I hope they, I hope these kids are like really understanding what it means for them to like pursue a passion, pursue something that, you know, they really want to do.

Cynthia (34:42):

I love that. I love that. I believe the children are our future, somebody sang about that in the eighties. Uh, all right. Well, thank you so much, Kimberly, for joining us today. Thank you for sharing your story. If listeners have questions or want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to do that.

Kimberly (35:02):

You can find me at, uh, Kimberly Jane Lafleur on Instagram, or you can reach me on LinkedIn, Kimberly Lafleur. Um, but yeah, I’m also, I’m, I’m not a huge social media person. I’m branding and marketing expert. Not interesting. Isn’t that? I understand its value. Like I’m not just saying that to uses, but like, for me, it’s just, it’s not something I I’m active on. Really. Yeah.

Cynthia (35:28):

Yeah. Probably keeps your mind really clear, like no heads. All right. Awesome. Well, I will make sure to include that the show notes for the episode so that everyone can get in touch with you or can follow you on your, on the social media channels you are on. So thank you so much again for being with us today. All right, folks. So until next time, as always happy entrepreneuring, and I will see you soon.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Precursa: The Startup Journey. If you have an idea for a startup and you want to explore the proven process of turning your idea into a viable business, check us out at precursa.com. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever you listen to podcasts, so you never miss an episode. Until next time…

Cynthia Del'Aria

Cynthia Del'Aria is a serial entrepreneur and tech startup ninja, specializing in product-market fit and idea validation and helping new entrepreneurs reserve their time and money for the idea with the best shot at success. With two successful exits before 30, an active high-profit-margin SaaS in the commercial airline space, and two additional startups in the works, she knows what it takes to traverse the entrepreneur journey, the highs, and the challenges of turning a vision into a successful, viable business.

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Copyright © 2021 Precursa  |  All Rights Reserved  |  Site Created by Natalie Jark

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