StartitUp Conference 2017: CPO Titania Jordan

StartitUp Conference 2017: CPO Titania Jordan

– Hi everyone, how are
you? Good to see you. Actually, I don’t think I need this, ’cause I’ve got headest, right? Awesome. Cool. Technology. Awesome, turning that off. Leaving this on up here because I forgot my watch
and I don’t wanna run over. How many of you in this room are students? Cool. How many of you in this room are students and have a side hustle? And how many of you in
this room are not students but are local entrepreneurs, people in the business community, came here to learn today? Cool, awesome. Any group I left out? Teachers, faculty. Okay, cool, awesome. I always like to know who I’m talking to and all that good stuff. I’m Titania Jordan. I’m the CPO of Bark. Bark keeps children safer online. You all are the first
generation that grew up having Facebook, Instagram,
Youtube and Snapchat in a way that nobody else in
the history of the world did. That’s really cool, but it’s also really scary
for reasons you know. Cyberbullying, sexting, thoughts of suicide and depression. It’s real, it’s prevalent, it’s happening. And, when you become a parent, you’re like “Oh my gosh! I
just gave my kid this device “and they can access the internet.” And that opens a whole new world of things that can happen in their lives. At Bark we use machine learning algorithms to help keep children safer online, but also not infringe on privacy. Because I was a teenager once and at that time I had a diary I didn’t want my parents reading it, if I even put stuff in there, which I started to not at one point. We want your privacy to be respected. We do that by only serving up problems. When there is a problem, we will let parents
know via text or email. We don’t just give them unfettered access to all of your messages
because I just feel like there’s something
dynamically off about that and it causes friction. That’s a little bit
about what we do at Bark. CPO, what does that mean? Sometimes I use it as
Chief Parent Officer, other times I use it as
Chief Product Officer. It’s interchangeable. As Chief Parent Officer, I’m in charge of making sure that the product is the best it can
be for the parents using it. Do I know how to code? No. I don’t know a lick of code. I wish I did. I wish, when I was your age, I took computer science
courses and learned Java, and Ruby, and HTML, and
CSS, and all of those things. If I could go back in time
I would absolutely do that. Good news is, is that, despite not being able to
do certain things in life, you still can do all the things if you put your mind to it and say yes. Now you kind of have a frame of reference for who I am and what I do. But why I’m here to talk to you today, gosh, there’s so many things I wanna say. I actually wrote ’em all down in this, can you see? A little bit all over the place but I’m just gonna go through them and mark ’em off as I go. So, who am I? Talked about that. Authenticity, hat’s a big thing. No matter who you are,
where you are, what you do, if you can be real with people, they will gravitate towards you. So much of the early part of my life was spent wanting to
make sure people like me, they thought I was cool, I had on the right clothes, my breath smelled nice, my hair looked good. All of those things are important, but when people get to know the real you, they know what you struggle with, they know what your fears are, they can connect with you. It’s disarming and they start to realize “Hey, I’m not alone. “Other people in the world are going through the same things.” And you actually can get
a lot further together if you are much more real with each other. Also, the good news is
about getting older, is you start to care less
about what people think of you and it is so liberating. Oh my gosh, I wish I could go
back to my 16 year-old self, when I’m on a beach in my
bikini like “Ugh, I’m so fat!” No! You look great! 30 pounds up, 30 pounds
down, you look great ’cause you’re 16. You will never be 16 again. When you’re 80 you’re gonna
wish you looked like that. You know what I mean? Just own the skin you’re in
and own who you are because each person in this room is
a unique gift to this planet. Nobody is alike. And I know we all know the like. Okay, yeah our fingerprints are different and our DNA and yada-yada-yada. Each one of you has a very very special gift and
purpose on this planet. It’s so exciting to know that one day you will be living that to the
fullest if you’re not already. So embrace that and go with that. That was the authenticity note. Next, saying yes and saying no. A lot of the opportunities
that I’ve had in my life, and trust me, they have
been completely nuts, I’ve been a CMO, a CPO, I’ve
owned a marketing agency, I’ve been on The Today Show, I’ve been on Good Morning America. All of these things
happened because I said yes. Even when I wasn’t sure if I could do it. It was really really scary, but I kind of live life with “Why not” if not me, then it’s
gonna be someone else, and I wanna do it, so I’m gonna try it. Alternatively, saying no more often. The flip side to saying
yes too much can become over committing and under-delivering, as you just heard Patrick speak about. That’s a big thing that I struggle with, even to this day. I wanna help all the people, I wanna do all the things. And as a result I say yes yes yes yes yes, and then I start to not being able to respond to emails as quickly and not being able to deliverable
what I said I’d deliver. And your reputation is everything, so it’s very empowering
to be able to say no. Say no more often and it frees you up to say yes to the things that matter. So, that’s saying yes and saying no. Going back to the saying yes thing, I live by The 4 C’s Formula. There’s this book called The 4 C’s Formula by Dan Sullivan. He’s a motivational speaker, this crazy influential dude. His story is amazing,
you’ll have to google him. And it’s the 4 C’s: commitment, courage,
capability and confidence. And I was kind of living that without knowing that I
was until I read his book. So this first thing is make a commitment. The producer of Atlanta Tech Edge, the local NBC affiliate
for this market, 11alive. We have a show that Atlanta
Tech Edge airs every Sunday. They asked me to try-out to be the host and I was like “Oh, my gosh!” I had never taken a class
in broadcast journalism, I didn’t know how to read a teleprompter but I was like “This is awesome. “I am definitely gonna try out.” So I made a commitment. I was terrified, I was shaking, I was so, so nervous, but
I was like “You know what, “I’m gonna kick myself
if I don’t try this.” So I made a commitment. It took a lot of courage. Sometimes medicine can help with that if you are having panic attacks and anxiety. I have been through that process and there are things
that can help with that. Commitment, courage, and
then through the process of committing and having
the courage to do it, you actually develop the capability. I was so rocky in the beginning. Don’t do this, but, if you were to go back and
Google some of the first episodes you can tell I’m, you know, I’m a newbie, I’m just cutting my teeth on this world. But over and over you start to learn and refine and get better and better and towards the end, as it got to the end before I resigned, I think I was pretty good. I’m not gonna brag or anything, but I was definitely
a heck-of-a lot better than I was when I started
13 months before that. Then confidence, right? Now I have the confidence. I’m just waiting for the phone to ring, maybe Katie Couric
needs a back-up one day, Savannah Guthrie’s like “I
just can’t make it to work.” I will take that call and
I will fill in for you, I now have the confidence. So, no matter what you’re doing in life, it doesn’t just have to be
in the entertainment field, if you repeat those 4 C’s, you will continue to evolve and get better and better and better and the improvement is exponential. It’s not just minimal, it’s exponential, so that’s a great thing. All right, marking that off the list. It’s a small world, y’all. It is so small, especially in Atlanta, Atlanta is the biggest small town ever. I can’t tell you how many times I have been so thankful
that I have held my tongue or not burned a bridge with somebody. That could’ve easily done so because I had been faced with them in the future. I’ve walked into investor meetings where I’ve pitched funding from $200 to $500,000 to a million dollars and somebody sitting around that table was somebody that I’ve
known from my college days or even elementary school days. It’s pretty crazy how worlds intersect. Just always be nice to everybody. You never know what battle
they may be going through. Attitude is everything, try to keep a positive one no matter what. Be as nice and as friendly
to the janitor in a place as you would the CEO,
because the janitor, one day, could become the CEO. I actually have a friend who’s dad owned the perimeter Ford Dealership, started as the janitor, Mr. Karr and ended up owning the dealership and becoming very wealthy
and very successful because that actually does happen. So that’s it’s a small world
and attitude is everything. I also wanna talk about eye contact. A lot of times people say “How are you?” and “how’s it going?”, you know they don’t really mean it. They don’t care, they’re just kind of making conversation and killing time. When you ask that
question, really mean it, and take the time to listen
and see how people are doing because it might not keep you on schedule, it might not achieve the objective you were there to achieve that day, but you will, again, form a
relationship with somebody that can end up being
lifelong and you might be the person that they
needed to talk to today. So, don’t ask that question unless you really wanna know the answer. Has anybody in this room read
the book Cheaper by the Dozen? Nice, okay. I remember reading that book when I was 12 and it’s about a family,
they have a lot of kids, but the dad’s job is an efficiency expert. And I was like “What? There’s
actually jobs that allow you “and pay you to go in and tell
companies how to be better “and how to do better?” After I read that, I think I was 12, I was like “I wanna do that!
I have a lot of opinions, and of course I think they’re great, and I wanna tell people
how to do things better and how to stand out.” It’s funny because, in this
world that we’re living in, back in the day when I was a
kid there were three channels. And then there were 12 channels, and then cable came along
and there were a lot more. And then there was the internet. So, it’s like you take a
glass globe and shatter it, and all those pieces of
glass are the fragments now with which you have to
get people’s attention. And it’s not just a TV screen, it’s a mobile device, an
iPad, it’s everywhere, everybody’s competing for
everyone’s attention all the time. There’s screens at the
gas station now, y’all! Everywhere you look people are
competing for your attention. So, it’s so important to
figure out how to stand out. One of the reasons I focused on branding, design, copywriting, is because you have to constantly
be going to the next level to figure out how to
capture somebody’s attention because there’s such a fight for it. So, no matter what industry you’re in, no matter what you’re doing, always be cognizant of how
you’re talking to people and how you can do it differently. Patrick also mentioned before
me about being creative. I didn’t really know when I was a kid why it was so important
that I played with Lego’s and I organized my colored
pencils in rainbow pattern and built my Barbie houses, but it allowed me to really
explore and be creative and creativity is so, so
important in everything you do, whether you’re a B2B, B2C, you’re a doctor, you’re a designer, it’s so, so important in
how you talk to people. That was standing out
and fragmented market. I want to talk now about
revisionist history. You read about Instagram and their success or Yik Yak and their success, you hear about all these
people that had major successes and then you start a
start-up and you’re like “Aw man, we’re three months
in and nothing’s happening! “Six months in and nothing’s happening!” Y’all, if you go back and read, it took these people years, sometimes 10 years to get it right. It’s funny, when you do hit your success, and Forbes asks you to tell
the story of your company, you’ll be able to write
that revisionist history and say “Oh, well, A B and C
happened and now we’re here!” But just know, that in those months and
years and weeks and days, start-ups can put you in
the highest of the highs, but the lowest of the lows, and those lows are very
real and very pervasive, but know that you will
get back up to a high and you can fight through it
and you can get through it. That is revisionist history. I want to talk now about
depression and imposter syndrome. I can’t tell you how many
times I’ve been in a meeting or faced with an interview
and I have just been frozen, thinking “Oh my gosh,
if they really could see “inside my head right now and
know what my abilities aren’t, “they’d ask me to leave. “Why am I here? Why am I here
on this stage right now?” It’s like, “What?” Then I read the book Lean
In by Sheryl Sandberg, and knowing that she was head of what she was head of at Google, and head of what she
was head of at Facebook, and she still suffered
from imposter syndrome? I was like “Girlfriend, no. “That is crazy, that’s absolutely crazy.” So, knowing that everybody you encounter, at some point struggles with feeling like they’re not good enough, they’re not smart enough,
they’re not fast enough, they’re not innovative enough, helps you to realize
“You know what, I’m okay. “I’m gonna have good days,
I’m gonna have bad days, “but I’m gonna be okay.” Case-in-point touching
on the depression thing. I used to be an account
executive at Star 94. It was great, it was fun. Usher would come in, Jennifer Lopez, and it was just the cool,
fun, happening thing. And then, the economy tanked, and nobody wanted to buy airtime. And I was like “Well, I think
I’m gonna start a family now.” I had my son, Jackson. And I had post-partum depression. You can’t really anticipate it, it can really just come out of nowhere, and I didn’t really understand
what it was while I had it, but for basically the first
five months of his life, I was just in a fog of
hopelessness and anxiety. I was always afraid something’s
going to happen to him, I’m gonna drop him. What’s this chemical my
neighbor’s spraying on their yard? Is it gonna give him cancer? It was crazy town, it was very very awful, and on top of that, I
went from this awesome, fast-paced, fun, pop starry world to literally being at home,
breastfeeding in sweatpants, surrounded by diapers. That alone is kind of depressing. I would watch people living their best lives
on Facebook and Instagram, their success, and they’re speaking here, and they’re on this show, and they’re launching this company, and they’re having these meetings and launching these cool lifestyle brands and I was like “Ugh, what is my life? “What do I have to offer?
Who’s gonna hire me? “What am I gonna do?” And I was really kind of in a hole. If you were tell me back in March of 2009 that I would be here on a
stage talking to all of you about entrepreneurship,
innovation and leadership, I would’ve been like Will
Ferrell in Old School like “You’re crazy! I love
you but you’re crazy.” But it can happen. It really can happen. I personally subscribe to the belief that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. I know there’s probably
a lot of varied beliefs or lack of belief in
anything in this audience, so this isn’t the platform
for me to preach to you today. But personally, if you do wanna know what
gets me through life, is that right there, I can do all things through
Christ, who strengthens me. Today Show calls and needs me to go talk about keeping children
safe online, I can do it. Not ’cause of me, I’m a
human, I make mistakes, I have issues, but I have a higher power that I truly truly, firmly believe in and keeps me going everyday. It’s why I have eternal hope
that anything can happen and I wake up everyday with that hope, knowing that if there
are problem to solve, why not me? Why not me, and why not any of you? I want to go now and
talk about unique gifts and problem solving
versus problem dwelling. I think one of the things
that really hinders people is that they just dwell on a problem, they get paralyzed by it. But if you can shift that thinking to “You know what, I might
not have the answer, “but I’m gonna solve it. “I’m gonna become a problem solver. “I’m gonna use my unique ability, “and I’m gonna solve this problem, “and I’m gonna come out on the other side better for it and hopefully
other people will too.” Some of the craziest inventions
that have made people the most money have just
been from solving problems. So what sort of problems
do you see in the world that you can solve today? You could be making major major bucks within the next year
if you figure that out. I think, finally, before questions, I wanna talk about simplifying. On that note, when you set
out to solve a problem, it can get very complicated. So many companies that I’ve helped launch, both in the Atlanta market
and across the U.S., have had these great great big plans and great big explanations when I say “Okay, so, what do you do?” They launch into this
novel of what they do and how they do it and who they do it for and we’re multichannel
cross-platform for this and blah and I’m like “Oh my gosh,
I’ve just gone cross-eyed. “What do you do?” If you can let people know what you do in the most clear and simple way it will resonate leaps and bounds. Think about Apple, the
master of branding, right? You go there, it’s beautiful, it’s simple, a two year old can operate
it, they’re winning. So, in whatever you do and
whatever you put out there, if you can make it as simple as possible, you’ll be winning. How many of you in this room
use Canva for graphic design? You know those little
quotes they give you? One of my favorite one’s is ‘it’s so easy to make
something complicated, but it’s very hard to make it simple.’ And that’s kind of what I subscribe to whenever I’m developing, helping
to develop a tech product, I wanna make sure it’s easy for my 95 year
old grandmother to use. If she can use it, and she
is on Facebook by the way, if she can use it, we’re winning. That was basically and ADD
deep-dive into my brain and what I wanted to say to you today. I just wanna open it up for questions, you can literally ask me anything. This is like a Reddit AMA, ask me anything. Go. Yes. (laughs) That’s a great question, how close is my actual life to
my plans when I left college? Oh, y’all. When I left college, let’s just say I was
doing things that were not college-sanctioned activities. I was definitely drinking, smoking, all that kind of stuff, I was so lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was really really down because I just felt so unempowered. I was dwelling on my problems
instead of solving them. Somebody came along and was like “Hey, you should intern at Star 94.” And I was like “Great! That sounds good.” I had no idea that this trajectory and technology and public speaking would even be a thing for me. That was terrifying to me at the time. Also, my whole life I was
kind of raised in the church and with a strong faith
and that sort of thing, but in my college years
I kinda stepped away ’cause, again, I was depressed, I kinda felt lost and aimless,
and as I came back and said “Dear God, I’m sorry.
“I’ve been an idiot.” He forgave me and that kinda
helped me get back on track. Questions, all of ’em, just bring ’em on. Yes. – [Audience Member 1}
You had mentioned earlier that you don’t know to
write computer code, and that Bark.US is based
most corley on machine work, which is not easy. How did you make the jump from somebody that does not write
computer code to obtaining software that’s been written
in such a complex manner? Did you have an investor
to help you pay developers? Did you give somebody a
portion of your company? What did you do? – Yes, good question. So how in the world does somebody like me run a company based on AI machine learning when I can’t write a lick of code? You raise money and you hire good people and you hire smart people. So we raised money and we hired a data
scientist from Microsoft. When you run a start-up, you really have to dig into are you going to pay
somebody what they’re worth or are you gonna pay them
less than their worth but give them equity? And that’s kind of a personal decision that each founder and
employee will have to make but there’s a combination
of the two going on there. Yeah so, developers,
engineers, data scientists that are truly fully solely
devoted to solving that problem. Yes? – [Audience Member 2] How big
is your company as of now? – So, Bark right now,
we have 10 employees. We just hired our tenth
employee, he starts tomorrow. And he’s solely focused
on customer acquisition and our paid customer
acquisitions efforts. It used to be that you could just create something really awesome, like a great ad, and drop it in the world
and it would be received and you’d get tons of
customers, it’d be great. But now there’s Facebook
ads and Google Analytics and you’ve gotta be
so, so laser-focused on lowering your cost of acquisition
and quantitative data. And so, that’s what he will be doing. But yes, 10 people, and we’re all remote. We’ve got three people in Atlanta and the rest of the team is spread out all over the globe. Yes? – [Audience Member 3]
What’s your biggest tip for managing people on a remote basis? – Managing people on a
remote basis biggest tip: you have to hire people
who are self motivated. If they’re inactive on Slack all day and posting cat pictures on Instagram, probably not a good hire. But if they get stuff done when they say they’re gonna get it
done and they do it well, then there’s really no problems. We touch base daily via Google Hangouts, or now Slack has video integration. So we’re always talking to each other, yet there are people on the team that I’ve never actually met in person, yet I feel very very close to them and have worked very well with them. – [Audience member 3] So
are due dates something that helps drive your productivity, or what is it? – Yeah, we use Basecamp
to keep everybody on track and for accountability,
but really everybody that we hire is a
get-it-done-before-it’s-due kind of person and like Patrick said,
under promise, over deliver instead of vice versa. Yes? – [Dan} Dan Sullivan, Question. – [Dan] Three years
from now, where are you? – Wow. Three years from now, I have two paths: I have a technology path
and I have a media path. On the technology front, I want to have either
scaled Bark to a place where we’re a household name and we have integrated with companies like Life Lock, McAfee, Cox Communications, we’re bundled with
internet service providers and mobile carriers and we
are truly making an impact and keeping children safer online. From a media standpoint, I wanna be a regular
technology contributor for The Today Show, or Good Morning
America, or CBS This Morning so, we’ll see! Other questions? Literally anything-
yes? – [Audience Member 4]
What advice do you have for people that wanna start a company? – Yes, great question. I get a lot of people coming
to me with their ideas, and they wanna start companies. I would say a few things, you have to validate
your proof of concept. There’s a lot of things
you can start and do that would solve problems, but will they make money? Will they make an impact? Will they be profitable? I would say don’t spend too much money on the perfect prototype. I would say launch a
minimum viable product whether that’s a tech product or an actual thing you can touch and feel. And test, and test, and test, and test. Constantly test, get feedback, know that you are not your user. If you do not listen to your users and get feedback from them, that’s one of the worst
decisions you can make. So you have to test
and get 100 loyal fans. If you can get 100 people that
rally around your product, help you iterate on it, and are really using it and
it is improving their lives, and you can make a profit off of it, then if those 100 people
all just tell one person, and refer them, then you’ve double your user base, and then that’s how it grows. So, perfecting the product
as much as possible, validating your concept, and then showing that hockey stick growth. What investors wanna see is that you’ve put something out in the world, and it’s resonating with so many people that your growth is exponential. And where investors come in, is when it’s here it’s here and then boom. If they’re on the upward trajectory, they wanna get in there
because their returns with net them a 10x return
as you start to spike. Sometimes you can sell on a hope and a dream and
a wish and a prayer, it’s happened before. It’s very stressful. I don’t necessarily recommend that. (laughs) Yes? Yes. A lot of vetting. When you put out a job
description on Angel List, for example, we put out that description for our customer acquisition marketing hire and got about 200 applications. It’s really going through
and reading what they wrote but also reading between the lines. Multiple phones calls, meeting in person. I have to give a huge shout-out to 3Ci, they are a tech talent staffing company, full disclosure, they
sponsor my YouTube show, but I would recommend
them even if they didn’t ’cause I’ve known them since high school, really good people. They can take that heavy
lifting off of you by helping to marry the right sort of
person and their talents with what you need in your company. – Yes? – [Audience Member 5] I
like what you said about a simple statement of what you do. It sounds like you have sort
of a multi-faceted approach, where you’re going in
more than one direction. How do you put that together? How would you answer that question if I asked you what you did? – Yes, that’s a great question. I struggle with that very often because I’m a firm believer that if you’re gonna really
succeed in something, you’ve gotta be hyper-focused. Luckily, where I am right now in my role in a tech company also
affords me the ability to pursue the media career as well. But I’m very very sensitive to it. If at any time one is pulling
me away so much from the other that I’m not giving my full to it, I’ve gotta really re-evaluate
which path do I wanna go on, and to be perfectly honest, I’m going to need to decide pretty soon which one I’m gonna go on
full blown, full blast, because it’s hard to have
to many balls in the air. And honestly, even more honestly, a year ago today I had
like 10 balls in the air. It was too much, I couldn’t do it all, I was this and this and
this and this and this and I was doing a lot of things but I wasn’t doing them all well. So that made me feel really crappy, I just felt like a failure in all of them, so I had to learn the hard
way to start saying no. So if somebody were to ask me
“Who are you, what do you do?” I’m an entrepreneur, who I think is great at talking to people and connecting with people and telling the story of
a person or a business. Yes? The least fun part of my job is accounting and reconciliation. Oh, my gosh. It’s one thing to just send an invoice, but because I’m so OCD, I’m like “What if I
forgot about a receipt? “What if there’s this email that I for-” You know, I wanna make sure it’s it’s buttoned up so I stress about not having all of the elements I need to make it perfectly 100% yeah, accounting. Well the good news is
that I don’t get paid unless I do the accounting. So if I wanna pay my bills
and eat and do fun things, but, you know, no sugar coating here, I wait ’til the last minute. I definitely wait ’til the last minute. I put it off. I don’t recommend that. Do not follow my lead on that. (laughs) Yes? Yes, yeah. It’s crazy as we’re
growing up young women. I grew up in the 80s when
I could be an astronaut and I could do this and that, you know. I’m poured into to do as best, as good as I can in school, and I can be anything I wanna be. But what they don’t tell you, is that, if you’re going to have children, and you’re going to
have them biologically, it’s not the easiest thing, to do that in conjunction
with your career goals. Physically, there is a toll, it puts you at a disadvantage against men. You are tired. You literally, towards the
end, can’t walk very well. You cannot tie your shoes, you cannot run if somebody is chasing you. You are physically impaired. And then there’s all the
hormonal things that happen too. For the first two weeks
after Jackson was born, I was just crying all the time. You can’t go out and close deals when you’re crying all the time and you’re just, you know,
everything is just not where it needs to be, and
your clothes don’t fit, you know what I mean? It’s rough. Guys, you’re really lucky that
you don’t have to have babies I’m just gonna put it out there, I’m a little bit jealous of you. I think talking about it, there’s a lot more things I could say that would make everybody in
the room super uncomfortable, I’m not gonna do that, you’re welcome. But, having those open
and honest conversations with your male colleagues about the struggles you’re going through, will help them to realize “Wow,
it’s really not that easy.” And I grew up in the
south where I was taught I need to always have my nails painted and wear a dress and heels and make sure there’s a hot
meal at the table for my husband and that’s not my life right now. My husband and I share all the duties. I’m lucky to have a husband, right? I’m not a single mom,
God bless you if you are. My husband helps with the
cooking and everything, but at the end of the day, I still struggle with that mom guilt. I’m not there. I’m not there for that first pitch, I’m not there for that recital because I’m in Silicon Valley trying to close a half
a million dollar deal. Long term, will that pay
for my child’s college, and will he thank me? He better. But, in the meantime, I feel awful. I’m kind of rambling, but just having those
conversations and fighting. Maternity leave sucks in America. It is not cool. It is not cool at all. So working with employers
that can understand and support you in that journey, both men and women, great. My husband went back to work
two days after I had Jackson. I had just brought a human into the world through my body and my husband was gone. That was really freaking scary, because I had to keep this human alive, all by myself. It’s really scary. If he could have had better
paternity leave benefits, maybe I would have held it
together a little better. Also if I didn’t have to choose between being with my child or being at work, that would’ve been great. If I could’ve brought
my son with me to work, you know he slept half the time anyway, it’s like bringing a puppy to work. People would’ve, you know, morale would’ve been improved. (audience laughs) And again, you know, Sorry if it’s TMI, but if you choose to breastfeed, you have to pump, right? So then you feel like a milk cow. I was in this prize closet at Star 94 with a bunch of tchochkes, cups and banners and stuff, and I’m just this machine for, like, every three hours. And I couldn’t be out closing
deals and making calls and schmoozing people and
making my way up the ladder because I’m literally in
a closet like a milk cow. Not cool. So really, just pouring in
to all women in all facets, and knowing that you
cannot have it all at once, but you can have it
all in different areas. Just making sure you have
work-life balance is huge. Thank you for asking that. Yes? – [Audience member 6]
How do you keep motivated even when you don’t have
any balls in the air, the off days? – Yeah. Couple things, today’s a good day for me. Today I’m like “Yay, all
the things I’m gonna do! “All the things that I’m
winning and this is great!” A week ago, I was all like “Unh” kickin’ the can down the street
like “Unh, what is my life” Knowing that when you’re in those holes, just don’t stay there. Know that you won’t stay there. I do a lot of things to
get out of those holes ’cause those holes are very scary to me. Very dark thoughts happen in those holes. So I listen to music,
I paint, I watercolor, I dance, I go for a bike ride, y’all I bought roller skates. Not roller blades, but the
old school roller skates with pink wheels from
Amazon the other week. I was like “I’m gonna get
out and skate on belt line.” Just doing anything I can
to get outside of that hole. On a personal note, I’ve noticed that
whenever I drink alcohol, the next day, and sometimes
for a few days after that, I just feel like crap. It does not work for me. So when I wanna go out and have fun, and schmooze and drink and stuff, I’ve realized that it’s really just not the best thing for me, so I try to abstain from
it as much as possible ’cause I really try to stay
in a good mental space. And reading and talking to other people. You think your life is kind of sucky, but then you talk to other people, and they’re going through things that are way worse than you, like, hello, everybody in
the Virgin Islands right now. Life’s not so bad. When our power was out
for two days last week, not that big of a deal. The people down there won’t
have power for six months. So, pouring into other people and getting some perspective, can really help when you’re down. Yes? Long term goals. Either sell Bark for a ridiculous amount of
money to a company that will keep everybody’s
best interest in mind, or scale it from revenue standpoint to where we’re just killing it. The way I stay focused on that is by in a start-up you can get pulled in so many different directions, but what are our core KPI’s, that’s Key Performance Indicators, what are the core metrics that we need to hit to achieve those and then really really
just focusing on those. What can we change about
product or messaging or partnerships or biz dev
that will help us on that path and pretty soon, six months from now, we’ll look back and be like “Wow, we’ve really accomplished a lot!” Our user base has double
in the last month, which is so exciting because you start to see the fruits of your labor. On the media path, I need to get over my fear
of pitching these producers at these large media outlets. I’m always like “Oh, I’ve got
a really good idea for a story “but oh, it’s probably dumb
and I’m not gonna send it. “No! Send it, Titania,
I need to just send it!” The worst they can do is not respond or write back and be like
“That was a terrible idea.” But they’re not gonna do that, so I need to keep
putting myself out there. All right, cool. My email address, and full disclosure, I’m so bad about responding to email but I will get back eventually. But I would love to hear from you, my email address is just my first name and my
last name at So, please feel free to hit me up, Instagram, Twitter, all the places. And thank you for listening
and for your time today. (applause)


  1. Titania Jordan says:

    Thank you so much for having me! It was an honor.

  2. Lindsey Holcombe says:

    I found this video very interesting. she explains social interactions and social expectations very well.

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