The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

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Ep 25: The Art of Creating Healthy Friction, and Why Ever Early Stage Company Needs It feat Juinn Tan

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Ep 25: The Art of Creating Healthy Friction, and Why Ever Early Stage Company Needs It feat Juinn Tan

Hello and welcome to the revenuecollective podcast. I'm Casey Let Gordon your host. Today's episode isbrought to you by Quota Path Commission tracking software built by salespeoplefor sales people. If you wake up in a cold sweat, dreading the commissionprocess quota path is for you. Quote. A path provides commission transparencyfor everyone involved while motivating reps to sell more. Plus, it's so easyto on board it'll be running before your next commission cycle. Ditchspreadsheets and formulas simplify commission calculation at quote a pathdot com This episode is going to be with June. Chan Ju in is the Ted ofmarketing at Super Hands. She is a self professed infinite learner and allaround nerd. She's armed with a background of math and enjoys creatingcontent. She places a lot of trust in numbers and uses that to guide thedecision. She makes him work and her personal life. Joe and I are going totalk about what it's like to be an early stage marketer, or at least thefirst marketer in an early stage company and also the art of creatinghealthy friction and the value of it. I enjoyed this conversation so much shebrings a ton of authenticity, a different viewpoint. She's fromMalaysia and the company is based there with a global presence. And so how didthe eastern and Western cultures blend? And way just had a lot of fun. I willnote also, it was 11 PM her time. So she has a trouper. She brought a ton ofenergy and I think you're gonna enjoy today. So with that, let's jump in.Hello. Welcome to the revenue Collective podcast. This podcast isconversations with revenue sales. Marketing leaders globally, um, to talkabout how we're doing the jobs that we have, how we lead teams. Onda Today'sconversation is around. How do you build a marketing capability from theground up? And we we hear a lot about established companies and bestpractices and and the dynamics between sales and marketing. But what I'mexcited to talk about today is what happens if you're early on. So my guestis due in Tan. She is the head of marketing at Super Hands. They are acompany that well, I'm gonna let Ju in tell us a bit about your bio and Idon't have it listed right here. But that's what you thought that was my bad.No, you're good guys. You've been it real here. I'm not even going to try tore record because I think this is hilarious. So you tell me what SuperHands is and then tell me what your role is As head of marketing, of course.So we are a series a startup based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But we servewell, say 90% of our client out is actually from outside of Malaysia, andwe're in a we're data labeling startup. And what that means is that we assigncontext to the raw data that our clients and machine learning hand overto us. And that data is then used to train their machines to do things likerecognize certain objects or even understand text or chat, written chatand what I do as a head of marketing or I lead a team of four. We have growthmarketing, product marketing, branding and PR on. We work really closely withthe sales team. Thio generate leads close deals faster and on the otherside of things, we also play a role in hiring are increasing brand presencewithin the independent contractors were actually Thea. The data labors areactually the ones doing all the labeling work for our clients. Thissounds highly technical, and one of the things that I always find fascinatingis because marketing at the end of the day, even in a B two b world, it'speople that buy this. And so in a highly technical business, bringing thehuman element in. And I think that's so much of a role of marketing right toequipped sale with the nuance of how do...

...you speak to the technical audience butalso be able to get the buyer or the purchaser get what the heck we do. Sohas that been Has that been a part of your journey? Oh, yeah, for sure. So,interestingly enough, a lot of us did not come from an AI background. In fact,when I first joined the company about four years ago, we were more be to seewe were actually a virtual assistant company and, you know, I was part ofthat team that decided Thio. Well, I don't want to say pivot because I, like,prefer the word refocus. We refocus the business to be more B two B century,and we saw a huge opportunity in the I M machine Learning Market on. It wasscary for everybody, but we decided right as a company, we're all going tostart learning new terms and learning about this industry, and that was twoyears ago. So I think we're all pretty well versed in the in the industry nowand having conversations with data sciences and engineers. It's been great.I think it's fascinating that you had to go on that learning journey becauseyou probably have an immense amount of empathy for your customers that may benew to the topic or aren't as well versed in the highly technical term. SoI think any time you've gone on that own your own journey, you're probably abetter teacher of the topics. Your representing. Yeah, I think havingcoming, having Thio come from that background where we didn't really knowmuch about the language that they were using it somehow made us more aware offthe certain keywords that they were using. And, you know, with sales,especially you kind of you want to use the same language back at them andcreates the similarity. So I think it worked out pretty well that we didn'thave the immediate assumption that the other person on the other end wouldimmediately know we're talking about. Another cool thing that we do is youknow, every because everybody that we talked to is predominantly outside ofMalaysia. We're pretty used to selling over video and zoom. So when thepandemic hit, it was pretty much business as usual for us in terms off.You know how we engage with our clients and prospects. That's fascinating. AndI think that's one of the things that a lot of a lot of the face to facesellers have turned to companies like yours that they, you know, youunderstand how to create human connection. How do you capture anaudience and keep them tuned in when you're on video? It is a very differentdynamic, and I've seen revenue, collective community, so many of thosetraditionally face to face sellers really turning to their peer network.So I think that's fascinating, and I mean amazing for you that you guys werealready operating in this environment. Yeah, definitely. There's a goodcoincidence. Yeah, right, right. Lemons into lemonade. So one of the thingsthat I had put in ask out to the community and said really around earlystage companies. And how do you build out a marketing practice and one of thethings you know? Of course, we'll get into some of the I would say quoteunquote, more traditional things that we might hear. But what I'm mostexcited about you and I were doing Cem, Cem pre call notes is around creating,consciously creating healthy pockets of friction that lead to better ideas andinnovation. And I think this certainly happens in start of environment. That'spart of the magic. But I think you're taking that as you know, your charge asthe marketer. I'm excited to get into that. So let's start. Let's start thisconversation with just some of your observations and philosophies as youcome in market or number one. And then I really want to spend some time aroundthat healthy friction because I think that's that's fascinating. Sure s Oh,well, it's a bit of a weird history. I would say I'm marketing number 1.5, soI was actually one of two individual individual contributors. But my myteammate at that time, you know, I was the only one that came from a marketingbackground and right around the start...

...of last year, just as we kind of makethat shift into the, you know, to fully focus in the machine learning space,she wanted to actually transition out of the team and into sales. So there Iwas thinking, Oh, shit, I need I need people on my team now. I need to buildthis out. I need help. We're growing. We're raising a Siri's A And, you know,we need people to do the work. So that's when I guess the whole hiringjourney kind of started. And I remember thinking, you know, who are the peoplethat I need on the team that need to work with the different counterpartsand the other teams predominant these sales and tech. And I guess I wasfortunate enough to go through a certain journey with the, um well, Iguess that the leads in both the product and thes sales team that I kindof knew how they work and what their personalities were like. So I waslooking for I would say, characters with certain skill sets, but also hadthe What's that word that gumption to kind of, you know, face up to them andhave that confidence without sort of being intimidated because they werespeaking to a head of product or head of sales. And with that came thatconscious creation off friction? Because we operate in an environmentwhere we really open and transparent with each other, and that can sometimescatch certain people off guard. I think especially operating in Asia, where wetend to be more used. Thio you know, just taking a bit of a step back. Anysort of confrontation can come off as offensive. So you know, you needed toehire people who would know how toe handle those sort of friction well andrespectfully to. So I find that fascinating because youjust added a lens on there, which, which makes so much sense of thecultural piece of, you know, being based in Asia and that that not beingtraditionally how businesses is operated. So I'm curious at the onsetof the team, was it just organic that we're going to be direct and we'regoing to be, you know, transparent or was it a conscious conversation that,Hey, this might be uncomfortable for us. But in order for us to be successful,we need to to do these things. I'm curious how that culture began to form. It was definitely a mix of both. I'llbe honest. The good thing is, you know, when the company was started, thefounders set up with the intention with to hire people with really diversebackground. So, you know, we had people coming in from England from Australiafrom the middle week off course Malaysia. So we realized that we hadended up having this report that really circled around communicating veryopenly and transparent. E. And I remember So we're all really intopodcasts. And remember one of us were listening. Thio. I think it was massesof scale by Reid Hoffman, and one of the particular episodes was a radicaltransparency, and he just kind of went, Hey, that's kind of like how we operate,but we never really made it a point Thio. You know, I guess in part thisthis wisdom on our intention to the newbies who are coming into the team,and that's when the conversation actually started happening where, youknow, we actually set out to be more transparent and open with each other,but in front off the the rest of the newcomers who are coming in who may notbe so used to this. And that kind of said that example that it was okay forthem to, you know, be directing upfront with us. And there was a certain wayoff course to go about that as well. And you didn't need to worry aboutwhether or not it was the CEO or the head of sales or the CEO that they weretalking to. I I think leading by example is one ofthe it's It does take conscious work, but it is one of the most powerful waysthio to demonstrate what it means to be...

...transparent, because everyone can havea different interpretation of that. And I think that at times transparent or,you know, honest can can also lead Thio really harsh communication styles, sodemonstrating how Thio walk that line. And I think if you tie it in a start upenvironment, if you can align everyone around, we're doing it for thebetterment of the company. It does remove some of those egos thatsometimes can come into place. Yeah, I think is organizations get larger. So Ithink that's really fascinating. And I love that you used ah, podcast becauseI find that if you look at a third party validator to say, Hey, look, thisis how it great companies dio it sometimes can can give everyone ashared understanding of something versus it, just being pushed from thetop of we want honesty. But to be able to demonstrate and give give thatexample, I think is pretty powerful. And I also just wonder based on whatyou were saying of, like, you had a global team to begin with and I findany time you're communicating with, well, say English as a second languageor whatever, your primary language is not being used. There's a cautious nousand an intentionality that comes in communicating. And so I wonder if thatwas organically built in just from the fact that people were coming from suchdiverse backgrounds. Communication was front and center in how they were. Theywere coming to the table. Yeah, well, the good thing is, I think a lot ofpeople in Malaysia do naturally speak English. Of course, for some of us, youknow, I pretty much grew up bilingual, like to my mom. I spoke Mandarin, andto my dad he didn't speak Mandarin, so I spoke to my dad in English. So it wasquite normal for us to kind of switch back and forth between those languages.But I would say it's definitely not the case for every single Malaysia and thatcame into the company. But I think we just made it a point where, you know,we really set straight up, you know, English is going to be the primarylanguage that we'll be using within the office. And I remember at that time wehad a group of people from France and we had to just kind of remind them like,Hey, I know you guys are more comfortable speaking in French, but,you know, you gotta make an effort to speak in English so that we could all,you know, just get involved in this conversation, and we were lucky that atthat point in time, there was only about 25 of us, pretty much half offthe size that we're at right now. so it's just really easy. Um, nobodyreally took any sort of a fence to it, which was nice. Yeah. I mean, I justthink that it's the diversity we I in my past life working in innovation. Italked about diversity of ah, lot, and not just that. It's a good thing to do,but that there is generally better ideas and concepts that come from it.And from just hearing you all talk about that, your customer base isglobal. So the fact that your team represented with your customer base is,I think, organically probably built in a lot of, you know, culture andcommunication there. Do you know what? I actually never saw it that way. That,you know, our clients were gullible. I mean, we have clients from South Africafrom Australia and New Zealand, so Yeah, I guess that really helped. Thanks.Probably you were talking about with marketing. You want to speak thelanguage of your customer? Eso look atyou innovating without even realizingit. You come in, your counterpart goes to another part of the organization.You're saying like shit, I have to build a team now. So talk to me aboutum, some of the pieces that you go through and one of the things some ofthe things we talked about, where alignment with other teams. Clarity andbusiness goals and objectives. We talked about the friction, you know,Team dynamics, KP eyes. Where did you start with this? When you when you setout to say, okay, maybe my annual planning cycle, Or maybe it's quarterly.I don't know how you were looking at it. What was the starting point? Well, aswith a lot of early stage startups, that vision tends to be a bit of amoving target. So, you know, it wasn't...

...a matter off understanding the visionoff where we going to be in five or 10 years time? Because we were so earlyinto the data labeling game that we didn't really want to set thoseboundaries for ourselves. So it was a matter off. Where do you wanna be inthe year time? And obviously that conversation was with the CEO. And then,you know, speaking Teoh, the head of sales at the time, who is now our c r.O and the head of product and going Where do you see the product going. Andwhere do you see? Um, you know the evolution off our target audience ortarget clientele. How do you want to have thes sort of conversations withthem? What do you want to talk about? What do you want to sell? And it wasjust a matter of working together, actually, to sort of refined thatthey're each individual teams vision even more and also understanding howthey wanted to build out their team. A swell would also help me understand Whodid I need to bring on board. So, for example, you know, speaking to the headof product to understand what what he wanted to see if, with our product roadmap, what kind of helped it actually helped me gauge how many peopleactually needed in product marketing. At that time, I thought, Oh, just needone, And then that's fine. But as I continued to speak to him and realizedthat there's actually a lot more that we could do, so I ended up having topeople and, you know, with e company vision being a moving target than Irealized that we need somebody who could help us tighten up the brandingand with the PR element. It was really interesting because we then needed toshed the old image off us being a virtual assistant business, which was ahuge K p I for her, actually, when she came in and again, you know,understanding how quickly we needed to scale Then that led to, you know,growing someone within the team already at the time who could do growthmarketing. So, you know, all of this was I would say they were really justongoing conversations over the course of a few months. And I remember sittingdown with our head of sales at the time and just visualizing what I wanted theteam to look like. I'm a big fan off visualizing your manifesting things. Iremember talking to him just at the start of 2019 going, I want to doublethe size of the team, and we thought that was the most ridiculous pipe dreamever on. We just There was just no way we're going to be able to do it andcome the end of 2019 again. We were just set in the same cafe, just going,Oh my Oh my God, We did it. You know the team's double. How the hell wedon't know how we did it, but we did it. I There's so many things to take awaytheir so early stage companies. It sounds like you have to hire a teamthat is very comfortable in operating environment, a moving environment or anevolving environment. They have to be comfortable with change they can. It'snot looking for people that are maybe your tried and true. I have a way ofdoing it in this kind of company. You need people who can thrive in thatenvironment where it's it is going to evolve. They confined energy from thatbecause I I know myself that can sometimes be really de energizing rightas I just got this and now it's changed and finding someone who you know thatthat is fulfilling to them. I love the fact that you said, you know, we wereso early we did not have a five year vision. We just needed to figure outwhat the next six months were. 12 months, you know, so much shorter, andI think that then very much informs the kind of team you have and that teamthat you have early stage may look different when you are more evolved orsustainable. Brand like right. And five years from now, your team may not needa growth market, or you may need more of your traditional brand marketing orcustomer success like those are the things. And so I think that justunderstanding that what you need today will evolve and adapt. You're nothiring for the next five years. You're hiring and a startup for what thebusiness needs to be. Success full on...

...on a shorter term timeline. Exactly.And I loved also that you said a shared definition of what marketing's role islike you heard from other people how they were defining it again in my pastlife. We talk a lot about explicit and implicit communication that when I sayHey, go, go grab a cup Your cup could look like I'm holding up, you know, atumbler or a mug and those in so instead to say I need a cup for coffeethat will keep it hot today. That's very different. And so the to hear fromthem explicitly what they were looking for as you talk to your head of productto say I need someone that does X y Z or marketing looks like this That thentold you that's unreasonable for a single person. To accomplish that, Ineed more people. And so you begin to create the shared definition andalignment so that you can meet their expectations. And I find that marketinga lot of times, especially in in startup world, can be under resourced,Um, over indexing on what you're responsible for, right drive, demand,change your brand image, help sales. And that's like that, I think, is itcan be an Achilles heel of a lot of early stage companies, especially whenyou're, you know, engineering feels very tangible, but marketing sometimescan feel that intangible. So I'm curious if there's any thoughts youhave there, Yeah, I mean, I'm not gonna lie, You know, those those frictionpoints between us and sales and us and product and tech did actually exist.But like you said, you know, we when we brought in the people that we broughtin, it was also to make sure that they could handle those sort ofconversations bravely and not sort of run away from it. the moment theyrealized that Oh, my God, something is not going right attack. We also, youknow, we're fortunate enough due to all that in this show, early days off,being really transparent that you know, the moment we realized something wasn'tgoing right, you know, I could just sit down with the head of sales and say,Hey, I don't I don't think our teams are getting along as well as we thinkthey they are. I mean, we're getting along. But that relationship isn'tnaturally translating down into our reporting lines, and that's somethingthat you know. We need to do something about it and similarly with myself andahead of product. You know, we we have a good relationship outside of work.And then we just assumed that that was going to translate into the workplace,and that actually didn't happen. So it was again that conscious effort toaddress it and go. Something's not right. We're not exactly seeing eye toeye. Let's start having monthly catch ups and let's start talking about youknow what air your what's your feedback about my team? What is my feedbackabout your team? What do you think we can be working on better and it za lotof conversations that need to take place. And it's also, you know,encouraging our reporting lines to also have those conversations with theircounterparts and those other teams, which I thought was a reallyinteresting journey to go on to actually teach someone that and youknow, that's a skill that I think it's really under utilized with marketingjust because especially to be to be context. It's so important that we workwith really well with sales and we take and even up to this point, you stillhere marketing people and sales people saying that those two teams just don'tget along and I don't get it, you know, it's it's quite confusing. I guess tome that it's still an issue and yet no one is really actively doing somethingabout it. Totally. I couldn't agree more and I think I saw my last role.Sales and marketing were separate and then I ended up managing both of themtogether and it was interesting just the evolution that happened when theydid come together of realizing there were very key parts of our salesprocess of things We were knowing from customers that marketing had no ideaabout and vice versa. And it's like,...

How could these two be it odds whenthey're pretty much responsible for the same outcomes? Yet it's just the youknow, I think it organically happens. Maybe people just heads down on theirown KP ice or whatever that is. So I wanna talk about a couple of things.You mentioned that this is a part around marketing. You said teaching wassomething that you ended up taking on, like teaching how to do that. And Iwonder if that could be a great indicator of a good marketer. Is theirability to teach or build those lines? Because right, I mean, that's whatmarketing is. It's like bringing complex concepts or, you know, productsinto very simple terms so that people can, ideally by it or engage, And soI'm just thinking about when it comes to the interview process of bringingsomeone on board. How do you measure their ability to teach or communicatein an interview environment? I think that could be really challenging.Somebody may interview well, but the real world doesn't always match up, andthen the second. How do you measure their comfortable ITI in a evolvingenvironment or one that's, you know, high volume of change? Do you have anythoughts or tips there? Well, first of all, you know, I was actually havingthis conversation today about how just what a big risk hiring is. And you youtake a massive chance on someone and you just have to accept that in somecases it might not work out. And, you know, in the interview process when itcomes Thio teaching someone what I really found great for me was to getthem thio explain in a lot of detail. What exactly was it that they weredoing in their current role or in the previous roles? And I learned thismethod or this framework called the Five Wise that actually learned fromthe tech team on, um, you know, they used to use it on the operations teamThio get them to really justify. Do you really need this feature or is there adeeper reason why you need this? And I thought, Oh, that's a pretty cooltechnique that I will actually use in an interview, So it z Well, it is Thefun part is that you gotta ask those voice without sounding like a child.And you're just going Why? Yeah, Just to see just how how much thought theygave into something and how much they really understood what they were doing.So that was you know what I used on to see how well they could explainconcepts that amazing simple at first. But how do you make that even simpler?I think that's really good skill toe have for a marketer, regardless ofwhich marketing discipline they were focusing on. And when it came thio forthose that may not be familiar, The five wise it's a framework in which youask an initial question and the initial answer. You know, oftentimes we giveyou give you give the most the quickest or easiest one that you know. But thenyou continue to ask, why five more times and joins point? It's not why why,why it z tell me more about that. Why would that be? What were the motivatingfactors? And your goal is to get down to really the core of of the questionand thio your point. It really forces introspection. One can be a moment ofpushing a candidate a bit because they'll feel maybe okay, I justanswered that. Let me dig a little deeper so you get to see how theyrespond in that environment. But also to your point, it helps. That helps yousee how they can distill complex or detail oriented concepts into easilycommunicable answers. And that, to me, is it is like magic when you confinedand also is so telling. When you see a candidate that doesn't thrive in thatand I think is very tangible feedback, you can give Post interview to, sayarea. You know that I hear from a lot of candidates, help me improve on. Ithink that's a really you know, very tangible way. That is not subjective tosay when I pushed further on the five...

Wise so you could do some work. Therejust is from a hiring perspective, because exactly your point. It's amassive risk. Yes, yes, it is on, and you're going to the point about gettingwhat assessing their appetite for uncertainty or risk. I kind of do thisthing. Some people don't really agree with it, but I really just lay it outto them in the interview. Usually they will ask me, You know why you? Why youin super hands? Why you in this company? Why you in a startup? And my responseis pretty much the fact that, you know, I don't know if we're going to be herein a years time, and that is really that's That's highly possible being ina tech startup. But what I do know is that whatever I'm doing today is goingto contribute in one way to where we will be in the years time. So if forsome reason the company doesn't exist in a year, I had something to do withthat. And I like that responsibility and like the ownership. And if we gointo a serious be or Serie C or baby become Malaysia's first unicorn, whoknows? I would like to know that I had a part to play in that as well. Youknow, it could go either way, and just having that sense of ownership was justso refreshing to me, and I gauge their reaction more like the facialexpressions. When I say that sometimes you can kind of see that flicker ofconcern, and they're like, Oh my God, I might not have a job in a year's timeBut on the other hand, some of them like, Oh, this is really cool. That'sreally exciting. I could do something big with this company. I could takethis somewhere, and, you know, you gauge that that hunger or that thatlight in their eyes that just kind of give it away. And it's not somethingthat I don't think you can fake in an interview for sure, because a lot ofthem don't really see that coming. Totally. I mean the concept itself. Imean, I'm sitting here and I'm thinking, How would I respond in that? And Ithink you know it very well could also depend on where I am my life, like, youknow, having my daughter, I probably would have been like, Oh, shit, I don'tknow if I could do that, but younger, Or maybe, you know, more established orhaving I might be like Oh my God, yeah, let's freakin do this. I think that,you know, it tells you probably a lot about a person's where they are, and iftheir life stages a right fit For what? Your company? Me? Definitely. Yeah. Anybackfires from that? Like when you've done that in interviews? No, Thankfully,no. But I would say when you know, when I were Hey, Char lady found out what Iwas saying. She kind of gave me a bit of shit for it. She's just reallyfeisty Australian lady. And I remember her just going like, you can't say thatto people and for me, you know, But But why? It's the truth. And I don't Iwanna make sure that the expectations that they have and the onset is is itis what it is. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. And you know, I don't Idon't do it with the intention of deliberately scaring them away. It'sjust, You know, if you're going to sign up for a job, you have to know whatyou're going to sign up for. And I'm not gonna bullshit you. And that's justhow I am as a person. If you're gonna work with me and work under me, youhave to know that this is what I'm like. I'm going to say it as it is. I'm notgoing. Thio hide anything from you, which is again. You know, some peoplelike it and some people don't. But that's okay, because not exactly. So isthis your first start up or have you been another startups? Um, I wasactually in a start up for my first job, and that was seven years ago. Thatdidn't work out. And at that point, I didn't I didn't Really I didn't think Iwas for the whole startup life and actually joined a bank after that. Andthen I realized that this is you were like, I am going consist Conservativejob. I'm gonna go work in a bank. I I thought I needed to do the Asian wroteand just try it out because my dad was...

...trying to push me to try it out as well.So I thought, Okay, I'll give it a year and we'll see how it goes. And I thinkwithin three months I just knew that it really wasn't for me. All that ratestape and, you know, we were relying on agencies too much. I didn't feel like Icould get much done within my own interest in marketing. And I kind offound out about super hands through word of mouth. I just heard that theCEO was a great boss and I thought that's that Sounds great. I wouldn'tmind that. Let's go. I think that's I mean, you know, we talked about hiring.I do think that a great boss or a great leader can be It can be the marker likeI don't necessarily always care the subject matter I'm working on, but whoI'm working with eggs that matters on. I think that, you know, if you'resomebody who's wired to say I'm you know, I looked in your bio and you saidLike I'm a lifelong learner learning is something that's so important. And sowhen you a line with a leader who you know you can learn from than any of itis just exciting like that Me. And so I think, emulating that down to the teamsthat you're hiring again, you find the right people toe, get on the bus, so tospeak. Exactly. Yeah. Okay, So you are. I'm getting the gauge that maybe you'relike an adrenaline junkie. You love the startup life. You're you're like, ah,high risk, high reward. I have a hand and whether we succeed or fail. So Iprops to you because that e feel like I would drink a lot of caffeine andalcohol. That is what I feel like that would be from alcohol is definitely astaple in the diet. Okay, E o alcohol. Healthy amounts. Yeah, I love it. Ilove it. You gotta, right. But, I mean, the interesting thing is, you know, I'mI'm not the type Thio go bungee jumping or skydiving whatsoever. I'm not aphysical adrenaline junkie, I But I do like the the challenge of the mentalsimulation of just trying to figure out How the hell do I do my job in thiscompany, Especially in this industry that I never once thought I would be in.But at the same time, I found it really cool and a bit nerdy and exciting. And,you know, the the thought that I didn't know what I was doing was, in a way,very enticing for me. And that's kind of why this is the longest job I've had.And I have no intention of moving anytime soon. Fingers crossed. I lovethat. It's like the I don't know, proverbial Rubik's Cube, right? Likeyou have that now and you're like, How do I figure this out? And as long we'retrying to put the pieces together, it's fun. Yes, exactly. Get some days whereyou're just knocking the cube and you're like, Why don't you work? Andsometimes you just sitting there so fixated on it. So it's it's good Upsand downs are actually really fun. That's that's amazing. And so, as theearly on marketer and you're building teams, how do you make sure that it is?The environment is changing a lot, but how do you create a team that at leastthe team dynamics are consistent? Because you, the environment, the goalsmay be moving, but you gotta have a solid base. You gotta have a group thatcan can pivot with you or or refocus with you to use your word earlier. Whatare some of the ways that you begin Thio build that camaraderie? Well, the important thing that I recalldoing at the time was definitely hiring them in stages, so I definitely didn'twant everybody to come in At the same time. I kind of arranged it in the wayso that they would trickle in one after another in the sequence of three monthsAttack that time already had two people on the team, and I spoke with, um a lotto manage their expectations in terms of what what to expect. So, you know,when I set out to hire someone whom I knew would create that healthy pocketof friction, it was to get the existing two members on the team on board withit, and they were just so confused. I...

...remember during one off our one on 11of them was like, But why do you want to do this? You know, why do you wantto stir shit and it's, you know, it's I'm not doing this to stir shit. It'sto understand that, you know, through this person, you're gonna be pushed tocertain levels of discomfort that once you get over, once you get through,you're going to be so much better A swell. And you know, I can only do thatto a certain extent because you already have that camaraderie and that reportwith me. Once you throw a new person into the mix, you're gonna have tolearn how to function with someone new. You're not gonna always go through lifeonly meeting people that you get along with. And this is going to be soimportant for you, regardless of whether you continue to stay at SuperHands or you go off and start your own thing. Are you trying anotherorganization? It's just really important. And once you got them tounderstand that they kind of get prepared thio for those difficultconversations. And I kind of did that with, you know, with every new hirethat came in, it was just to keep talking to them and go, You know, ifyou are having any sort of challenges, that it's fine, it's not a bad thing.The important thing is that you got to talk to me about it, and we have towork with the individual through it. And once you go through it, trust me,it's gonna be great. You guys, we're going to go. You're going to do morethan you were doing previously. And then it's going to get to a point whereyou know I can take a step back because I know you guys got this down. You know,I don't need toe hold your hand anymore because you're so much better than youwere before. I think that independence and that growth was you know whatreally drove thumb. So independence and growth those air.Two things that I think within a team, especially in early stage team. It canbe challenging because right, I mean, at the end of the day, you areresponsible for how successful the team in the organization is. And I think assomeone I'll speak from my own experiences. I'm very achievementoriented. Very traditionally Taipei, it could be really difficult to relinquishcontrol. However, over time I've realized if I don't relinquish control,that I do a shit job. So it's this balance. And I'm curious if you'vestruggled with that or if this is organically happen just through, youknow whether it's bosses you've had or cos you've been in. Yeah, I told youabout what you mean. I'm I'm pretty Type a myself on. You know, you gothrough a phase where you're just sitting here, especially when thosefriction points start happening. I have to say, Even though I knew it wascoming when they started happening, you do go half that flicker of that whereyou go? Oh, my God. Did I make a mistake? Am I going to destroy the team?Um, you know what I realized was, You know, you don't Don't let yourself getinto that spiral of thinking that you make a mistake as long as you'reactively working with, you know, the parties involved to go through it,that's essentially the best that you can do. And, you know, with hiringagain, you know, that's the risk. You know that it's not always gonna workout. And you just ready to accept whatever outcome that that happens fromit. Thankfully, everybody is pretty happy. I think I struck gold here. It'sbeen almost a year, so yeah, I mean, yeah, I definitely struggled with thosethose insecurities. But again, it's just having those ongoing conversations.And sometimes, you know, you have to be okay with the new stuff that tends totake a little while for them to pick up. And it's hard Thio not just diestraight in there and go No, no, no. This is not how you do it yourself,right? Do it. E Think they have more ownership over it as well once theystart figuring that out themselves. Yeah, and one of the things I havefound to be really helpful in establishing new teams and youmentioned it is helping them see the lesson through their career trajectory.It's not just about their role is Super Hands. It's the fact that no matterwhere they go, learning the skill is going to help them. And I'll give anexample. In my last team, I had a woman who wanted to be an operator. Hereventual goal was to be maybe a CEO or or have her own business. And so any ofthe challenges we ran up against,...

...whether it was team dynamics or skillsto improve, I was able to put the lesson through the lens of. If you wantto be a great operator, this is something to do, and I think it ittakes the challenge or the opportunity out of I'm doing this for the company.But mawr, I'm doing this for myself and that shift and I, you know, similar toyou. I would put it in our one on ones, make a K P I around it. Your abilitythio to do that, and I think that that's one thing that sometimes, asmanagers could be challenging. But how do you build KP eyes around the quoteunquote soft metrics and being able to incorporate those in your check ins andyour one on ones and asking questions around how they're thinking of it? Ithelps build a culture that that's top of mind for them. And it sounds likethat's something you're doing with your team by by saying you like, you know,they're asking you like, Why do you keep doing this? You're like, No,because it's something we're going to build a muscle around. Yeah, I think,you know, again working with them to identify those those soft metrics thatthey need to work on all those soft skills and helping them understand whyit's important will give them more drive to definitely want to work on it.So an example would be, you know, one of the product marketers that joinedthe team. He had never done product marketing before, and he learned that,you know, client empathy with such an important skill that he needed to havebecause we pretty much thrust him into the pit off. Now, do all of our clientdemos but you need to talk to those clients is if you know exactly whatyou're going through. And he had this whole confusion off. How do I even dothat? I'm not a machine learning engineer. I'm not a data scientist. Soyou know, we've just worked on different communication styles,different listening styles, different story tiling styles that you know couldhelp him work on those little things for client demos especially. And thatended up actually spilling into how he would then communicate with othermembers of the team, too. And, you know, he's made it a point. Everyone on oneand we do this every two weeks. Thio just touch on instances where he sawimprovement or where he thought he didn't do as well as he wanted Thio.And it was just constant feedback. And one thing that was really great abouthim is that you know, he also made it a point to ask for feedback from theother people who were in the call. So it could be an SDR or an E. Sometimeshe even spoke to our head of sales about it, which I thought was nice andhe did this all on his own initiative. And, you know, that's the whole thingabout owning that metric. That I really like Is that, you know, I don't needtoe pretty much laid down that found date that path for you. You're doing ityourself. And for me, I'm just kind of lodging you along and giving you littlepockets of encouragement and telling you you're doing a great job. Keepdoing it. Yeah, it's almost coach versus manager it Zaheer Thio to feed,you know, feed the path you're on. I'm here to guide if you step off. But atthe end of the day, I'm hiring a team, especially early stage that is capable,that it's independent, and I think that probably is. One of the biggest markersof an early stage team is a group or individuals that are willing to takethat individual ownership and, to your point in the interview process, to say,Listen, you could have a hand and why we are or are not here in a year, andit's, you know, one of the interesting questions that we're having right nowis that ah, lot of thumb even at the most, junior levels are asking us, youknow, how do I see the impact I'm having on the revenue? And that issomething that I honestly didn't expect to hear from an entry level marketer orsomeone who's just two years into marketing. But it's so refreshingbecause they want to know that they're doing something, um, for the company,because they know that at this stage that we are at right now, revenuereally is the most important metric for us because it determines, you know, thenext round that we raise how much runway we have, and it's it'sinteresting to see just how much they...

...really, really care. And it's reallynice as well, you know? Yeah, I I feel like we need Thio do like a secondsession with members of your team and dig in here. And then on the other sideof like what? It's like Thio have that kind of transparency because about it'srefreshing, probably scary. Sometimes it is very refreshing. Um, so if you'retalking to someone you know, think about our community Early stage companymarketer number one or 1.5 in your case. But what are? Maybe if we go through,like, two or three things, very tangibly that you would say, you know,okay, be thinking about this and take this away from today's conversation.First is definitely align with what the company is doing. And don't just takethe first answer as you'll go to answer, keep asking the five Wise, even to yourCEO, and then apply that same framework to the teams that you know you're goingto be working a lot with. I would say most B two B tech companies that wouldtypically be the sales team and the product or the tech team. Keep havingthose conversations have regular cat droughts with your leads or yourcounterparts and understand how your team's fit in week each other. Sothat's the first one. The second one is when things start when shit startshitting the fan. Don't worry. Go through it. It's necessary, I would say.Well, at this point, you know you can't run away from it, especially when atsuch an early stage startup, and your most important thing is just to keepyour eye on the prize and keep focusing on that. That moment, when you canfinally take a step back and your team can handle those things by themselves.And finally, you know, work with them to come up with their KP eyes, whetherit's a soft KP or hard K p I. You know, I don't hire people in the team who arejust waiting to hear what I have to tell them to do. You know, I want themto tell me what they want to be measured by. And, you know, I work with,um on realizing on seeing whether or not they're metrics, that matter, alignwith the company's metric that matters and you know it again, Gibson. Moreownership and more responsibility and more involvement into how well themarketing team is going to be doing. And, you know, at this point I have. Iwould say, I'm quite lucky that I have a lot of time to spend thinking about2021 Strat and where we're going to be going and given how uncertain this yearis, and that is genuinely because my team has gotten the independence thatthey've grown over the last year. Yeah, I would say Give yourself alittle credit there because you also, You said your four years in with thiscompany is that 4.5 years we're and a half. And so over the last year, you'vebuilt a team. But that was 3, 3.5 years that that you were pouring into it,that you were building the foundation. And I think that is one thing. As amarketer, you may be the one that's rolling up your sleeves and doing a lotof work to start. But the one early in your career, it could be a really greatway to catapult you into leadership faster, because if you're willing toget in and you do know the hard skills of doing it, you're also in anenvironment where you can rise to the top very quickly. Oh, yes, definitely.You know, our I mean, our head of product is honestly the best example.He's 26 he is one of the hardest working people have ever seen. This guywas sleeping in his car in the parking lot just because he was he just didn'thave time or he just wanted to get stuff done. And, you know, he's alwaysbeen an inspiration for me. Honestly, just because he's a prime example thatthe years of the experience doesn't necessarily mean how quickly you climb,you know, it's just all about how much you're willing to put in for it. God, Ilove that. That is that is a great note...

...to end this on. Is that you know?Especially in this early stage companies. Look at those as anopportunity not just to build your skill set Thio grow wherever you wantto go in your career. But what you put into it is what you get out of it. Soyeah, doing tan. Thank you so much for joining us today on the revenuecollective podcast. I wanna let you all know that she is calling in at 11 p.m.It is now probably 12 e. She is the MP of guest right now. Right now, You have.You have outpaced any of the other guests because most of them have been,uh, with same time zone. I have loved this conversation. I love the energyyou've brought. I like that. We've laughed, and we've kept it. Riel, um,that you weren't afraid to talk about some of the heart or ugly parts of whatit looks like to be in an early stage company. Andi, I think that we gavethis audience, um, really tangible things that that they can implementtoday. So thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I had so much fun. Metoo. Me too. All right. This is Casey. Like Gordon. I'm your host of therevenue collective podcast, and we'll see you next time. Alright, Crew,that's a wrap. This is the revenue collective podcast. And this episodewas brought to you by quota path. Quota path is the first radically transparentand and compensation solution from sales reps to finance. Get started forfree at quote a path dot com. And your next commission cycle could be totallyautomated. With that. I'm signing off. This is Casey. Let Gordon and I'll seeyou next time.

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