Success Unfiltered Podcast

Kara Goldin


Kara Goldin is the founder and CEO of hint, a healthy lifestyle brand that produces the leading unsweetened flavored water, as well as a scented sunscreen spray that is oxybenzone and paraben-free. Kara has received numerous accolades, including being named Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Forbes’ 40 Women to Watch Over 40 and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Northern California. The Huffington Post listed her as one of six disruptors in business, alongside Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Previously, Kara was Vice President of Shopping and E-commerce Partnerships at AOL, where she helped lead the growth of its startup shopping business to a $1 billion enterprise. Kara is an active business speaker and writer, and in 2016 she launched The Kara Network, a digital resource and mentoring platform for entrepreneurs. She also recently launched the podcast Unstoppable, where she interviews founders, entrepreneurs and disruptors across various industries.

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Here are a few key secrets we talked about in this episode:

  • Michelle introduces Kara Goldin.
  • Kara shares a quick synopsis of who she is and a bit about her company.
  • Kara shares the first big NO she received after getting a big win of getting into Whole Foods.
  • Buyer after buyer kept telling Kara NO, and it was frustrating because no one knew where her drink fit, and no one wanted to create a new category. Kara tells the full story in this episode.
  • The switch went off in Kara’s head and she realized that she needed to start focusing on getting her beverage into places where other consumers might be. Trying to get into the conventional grocery stores was like beating a dead horse.
  • Large grocery chains take $60 to $90 million from the soda chains, so that they get the prime real estate, which is why it’s tough to get on the drink shelves in retail.
  • Kara heard 6 or 7 big NO’s before she decided to stop trying to get into grocery stores.
  • The big shift happened for Kara when she realized she needed to focus on getting some small wins under her belt, which would eventually lead to the big wins.
  • Book: The Score Takes Care of Itself – by: Bill Walsh
  • The small wins helped Kara organize her thoughts in regards to sales.
  • Kara shares the 3 big lessons she learned to help her move her in a different sales direction then she had been headed.
  • A certain amount of your time in business should be dedicated to getting out of the office and meeting new people, according to Kara (I happen to agree!).
  • Kara’s biggest NO before things started to turn around happened when she was about 6 months in. It has to do with creating a shelf-stable water and keeping it free from preservatives. She shares the full story!
  • At one point, Kara was so frustrated she tried to give her company away to an exec at Coca-cola.
  • After that conversation, she learned some great strategies just by listening to what the Coca-cola exec had to say, even though he was negative.
  • Kara shares how they came to decide to pasteurize their water so that they could flavor it without preservatives and keep it shelf-stable.
  • Kara’s big lesson was that you can learn from each other, even retail categories that don’t directly relate to your business.
  • “Stop putting people on a pedestal. It doesn’t matter how much experience someone has, they were once where you were” ~ Kara Goldin.
  • Kara believes that no matter what response you get when it comes to advice or trying to get your products out there, you should always keep your chin up and be professional. Let it motivate you to go forward and grow in other ways.
  • Kara shares what she would tell her younger self.

Mentioned in this episode:

Connect with Kara Goldin:

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P.S. Does looking at the whole big picture scare you? Then, it’s time to try celebrating the little wins! Those little wins are what lead to the big ones! Click here to read THIS BLOG POST!