Kate Kendall

Kate Kendall

Kate Kendall is the the founder of The Fetch (a city guide for professional events) and the co-founder and CEO of CloudPeeps (a marketplace for authentic, experienced and affordable remote community managers). Follow her via @katekendall.

What is your proudest business accomplishment to date?

Kate Kendall

I wouldn’t say I’m truly proud of anything I’ve worked on yet – it still feels like the beginning and I’ve got a long way to go! Stripping back this mentality though, of course, I’m most proud of creating The Fetch. A subscriber recently emailed saying they truly think it changed their life. That feedback certainly made my day.

What is the hardest lesson you have learned?

Kate Kendall

That you can’t do it alone. When you are independent, ambiverted and broadly-skilled, you carry on for as long as you can doing your thing. The reality is you can’t move mountains using your own energy and there comes a time when you need to share the load. I used to think leadership was about self-sufficiency and taking ownership of solving problems, now I believe sharing vulnerabilities and your business journey stripped of the BS, moves things forward faster.

Do you believe in working on multiple startups at once or focusing on one?

Kate Kendall

I am a massive believer in focus. I say no to practically everything that isn’t related to the startup I’m working on. Too many people are dissatisfied with their work lives because they don’t commit to something long enough then miss out on seeing the progress. With that progress comes the flow psychological state, which is where we get our enjoyment from. I think of flow and focus like doing a jigsaw puzzle – you want to be so consumed by it, you care more about each step, rather than the final picture.

That said, focus is about balance – you can have too much or too little. There have been times when I have been hyper-focused on The Fetch and that environment can cause burnout. I introduced a side- project, downtime and more physical activity to get the space for a second wind.

Which do you prefer bootstrapping or funding?

Kate Kendall

It’s not like I prefer one or the other. It really depends on what kind of business and relationships you want to build. I think validating ideas and getting some traction while bootstrapping creates a position of power for entrepreneurs – you have more choice about what to do next. If you really want to smash something out of the park and compete globally on scale, you’re going to need resources. If you want complete freedom and ownership – bootstrap your way to profitability and run a smaller business.

Lately, startups have become glamorized to the point that founders (even first-time ones) expect and collect money from day one when they have nothing to show. Taking funding is a massive commitment – and you’ve got to be ready for the things that come with that. .

Who is someone you look up to?

Kate Kendall

I’ve had one of those lives where I haven’t really related to or found a role model that I truly aspire to be. I respect lots of people for multiple facets of their work and life, but there’s no one person I go: “Wow, they were like me and I want to be them in the future.” I mean, Marissa Mayer is an obvious choice for female entrepreneurs and I was fortunate to interview her once when I was a business journalist. She’s definitely someone who makes me want to become better, lift my game and understand what pathways are there. If you added an outsider’s perspective, killer sense of humour and writing style – she’d be it.

If you could meet any living person who would it be?

Kate Kendall

Even though I’m British-Australian, I would choose Obama.

If you were to tell the younger you one thing what would it be?

Kate Kendall

Kill your plans, let go of all expectations, become more spiritual, remove any negativity, be grateful for everything and live like you’ll die tomorrow.

What is your best advice for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?

Kate Kendall

Start now. Do something small. Hack and optimize your daily schedule. Become obsessed with producing. Test what’s working. Meet as many people as possible. Be curious and always learning. Be the least qualified and/or knowledgeable person in the room.

All this creates a practice for doing and growing, which you need if you want to make stuff happen in startup-land.  

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