Seriously Catherine – $5 Million Over Asking: Fundraising Strategies with Carrie Colbert | Episode 10 – Palette
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Seriously Catherine – $5 Million Over Asking: Fundraising Strategies with Carrie Colbert | Episode 10

Elevate your entrepreneurial journey with our latest episode featuring the dynamic Carrie Colbert. As the founder of a groundbreaking venture capital fund, Carrie has revolutionized the trajectory of female-led consumer brands. Dive into this conversation tailored for aspiring entrepreneurs and business moguls alike.

Drawing from her unparalleled experience, Carrie divulges invaluable insights on fundraising, revealing how she exceeded her initial target by an astounding $5 million.

Joining Catherine, Carrie highlights the pivotal role of diverse perspectives in the work force, emphasizing the importance for women to lift and support one another. Additionally, discover the untapped potential of debt-funded enterprises and how they too can thrive.

Unlock these invaluable lessons and more in the newest installment of Seriously Catherine.

Follow Carrie on Instagram.

Get more information on Carrie’s venture capital fund – Curate Capital.

 

Don’t forget to check out Saratoga Living’s After Hours for what’s new and happening in Saratoga!

Special Thanks to the Adelphi Hotel for being our Launch Partners!

⇩ Find Catherine ⇩

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherinehover/

Palette Co-Work Community: https://www.instagram.com/thepalettecommunity/

Paint and Sip: https://www.instagram.com/saratogapaintandsip/

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*This Transcript is Autogenerated*

Carrie Colbert 0:00
My legal documents gave me 12 months to raise the money that just you typically have a fundraising period and mine gave me 13 months in total, there were like sleepless nights and I remember I was like sitting on the floor of my closet crying, you know, I don’t know what we’re going to do. I don’t know how we’re going to get there. But ultimately, we did surpass it and I’ll say there were a few key lessons I took from that

Catherine Hover 0:27
Welcome to seriously Katherine a podcast about taking your business seriously, but not yourself. All right, this week’s Hot take is all about Disney people. I am this person like if? If I could live in Disney World? I totally would. I’m a Disney fanatic. My kids love Disney. my now husband loves Disney. I don’t think he ever saw himself as being a Disney dad. But he is now there are people who are not Disney people were like I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this. Jim Galifianakis like stand up sort of like thing that he does about Disney people like why would adults go to Disney willingly and stand in line with like crying babies? It is a scene it is like you got to go with a strategy if you’re gonna have a good time. But I choose not to see all that I choose not to see the screaming kids I choose not to see the long lines of people waiting to ride a ride that takes like maybe 60 seconds. I see all the magic. Everyone is just so happy there or seems happy and you can escape is escapism I mean you can escape the real world for a little bit. I don’t know I am happy in my real life. But I’m also happiest in Disney Worlds if anybody needs any. Like any questions answered about Disney and how to make it Awesome and Epic and amazing and enjoyable. Like hit me up because I could talk Disney all day long. That’s my take for this week. Okay, so if you know me, you know that I love what I do. And I’m a workaholic. So if I ever have a chance to get away, I can’t go too far away without my kids and without being so far away from work. The Delphi is my go to what’s really great about the Delphi is that it has everything you need. It’s right there on Broadway. It has a restaurant, it’s got the breakfast joint, it’s got it all and the room service is amazing. So last Christmas we did Christmas Day Night at the Delphi we booked the Polaris suite which is really special because it has a hot tub on the balcony. And the kids loved it. It was so much when we ordered room service and it was just like the most special thing and again, it’s got a Jacuzzi. I mean who doesn’t want to use a Jacuzzi at the Delphi if you don’t have the opportunity to stay at the Adelphia you can still go and hang out in their in their lobby or eat at their restaurants. The best sushi in town by far I believe is at the a Delphi you should get the rainbow roll you can thank me later it’s delicious. It’s absolutely the bomb. If you are local and you need a night off or a night away, don’t go too far. Go right there to be a Delphi book yourself or wrong. Have dinner there have breakfast in the morning and you’ll feel like a totally different person when you wake up. This week, I got an email from Saratoga living after hours and I immediately clicked through and bought a ticket to the winter’s dream in Lake George. I still like don’t really know what I signed up for but they said it was family friendly. They said it is an immersive multimedia experience. We’re going the weekend after Christmas. Again because I’m staying local for Christmas I got to fill every minute to make sure that I don’t get homesick and miss my mom. So we’re going up to Lake George. We’re gonna stay a night at the Fort William Henry Hotel. I’ve never stayed there. I’m excited to stay there, especially during the wintertime and I’m sure it’s gonna be beautiful. And I didn’t get to go to the castle thing the ice castle thing that they’ve had years prior. I think that this winter’s dream is a totally different show. I’m really excited to bring the kids and have a weekend away. But still here. It says while the world sleeps, the shadows of your imagination lead you into fantastical dreamscapes. Yeah, yeah, I’m in. I can’t wait. Digital influencer, Carrie has made a name for herself empowering women to succeed in business and entrepreneurship. As the founding and general partner at curate capital. She is on a mission to provide capital mentorship, and strategic planning advice to female entrepreneurs and female driven companies. Carrie, I’m so excited to have you here. Let’s jump right into it. Okay, so first and foremost, let’s talk about why you started curate capital. And do you have any regrets?

Carrie Colbert 4:46
Well, I’ll start with the funny stories that sometimes on Instagram, you know, I’ll do live q&a as people do it. Time after time this lady kept submitting this question. Give me advice for starting a venture capital fund. And finally I kind of skipped the question a few times. I like it I don’t know, that’s a big question to answer on a social media platform. And so finally, I replied and just said, my answers don’t, it’s a lot harder and takes a lot longer time than you think. And she did not much care for that answer. And I made it longer. I was trying to be nice isn’t you know, if you’re interested in venture capital, maybe work in a startup, maybe working at another venture capital fund, maybe make sure because it has been very difficult starting my own fun, rewarding for sure. I’m definitely still all about it and interested in what I’m doing feel very passionately about investing in women. But it’s been a long road, in many ways. So yeah, proceed with caution, I guess maybe should be my advice rather than saying don’t. And so to back up to answer your question. Yeah, I had a whole different career for about 20 years, I was in the energy industry. So my education is an engineering and then I have my MBA as well. So kind of ran the engineering side of an oil and gas business for a long time. And then after I got my MBA, ran finance, Investor Relations, and all that sort of thing. Now, here’s the kicker, though, I was never at all passionate about that industry, but had a very successful career. And I was just fortunate that the company I worked for was very entrepreneurial. Now, keep in mind, I was from a small town. So for me education, specifically, engineering was kind of a way to open up opportunities. And it did that I had a great career. And like I said, ultimately, because of the entrepreneurial nature of the company, gave me the flexibility to step away and figure out what I was passionate about what I wanted to do next. So anyway, about eight years ago, I just walked away, and I didn’t know what was next. I just knew I want to be something entrepreneurial, and just something I was passionate about. And I kind of stumbled into being an investor by being on social media and connecting with brands, I like whether we were doing kind of an influencer partnership, or if I just liked them, and I reached out or they reached out, somehow became connecting with all these brands via Instagram specifically. And so I started basically reinvesting all of my money from my previous career into female founded brands. And I spent about five years doing that. And I found three important things. During that kind of experimental phase one, I was having great fun, and I wouldn’t have used the word fun to describe my career in the past. So that was cool. I was having great results, I was seeing that with an infusion of capital, these companies were really scaling well, so I saw the opportunity for outsized returns. And then third, and most importantly, for me, is that I just saw how many of these opportunities there were, while I invested in a handful of businesses, I had so much inbound, you know, pitches, that it only made sense to, to launch a fund, I realized that the opportunities that was much bigger than what I personally could, could handle. So that’s when I very naively decided to start a venture capital fund. And I say that because, you know, I had what I consider to be, you know, core to the business, and that’s the deal flow. I mean, without that, you’re kind of, you know, kind of directionless, right, so we had the deal flow, what I didn’t know anything about was fundraising, or fund administration, you know, so that’s kind of the investor relations piece of it. But then also, like, how do you how do you help your portfolio’s? Like, once you’ve invested? How do you add value and help them grow? So I kind of lumped that in the fund admin piece, too. So fundraising and fund admin, like how do we support our investors? How do we support our companies, all those sorts of things? Were certainly things that I had to get up the learning curve on, particularly in regards to fundraising

Catherine Hover 8:21
earlier, you said don’t do it, right. And it’s funny, like, I think it was a couple of episodes ago, I called my dad and I asked him for some advice, what would you tell your younger self? And he was like, Don’t do it, and don’t do what and he’s, like, all don’t do any of justice. Once you know, then, you know, you gotta you gotta do better, right. And I find like, in my life, and the best way that I have been able to sort of move forward is just to take the leap. Because if I didn’t know, now, I might not have started the business, I might not have had all the babies, you know. So really doing it and just going for it and figuring it out along the way is really the only way I can say I would have done it in the first place. Right?

Carrie Colbert 9:03
If we could accurately count the cost in advance, we would probably say no. So yeah, it’s probably good that we’re a bit naive and not knowing what we’re getting ourselves into. Because, you know, certainly there were a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of tears shed things. But nevertheless, I’m glad we’re where we are both of us.

Catherine Hover 9:20
Yeah, exactly. I’d love to hear your sort of perspective on how you see women working together, collaborating and supporting each other, like, what does what does women supporting women mean to you?

Carrie Colbert 9:32
It’s a cheesy cliche, that gets thrown out a lot, right? But when it’s actually put into practice can be such a powerful concept. And, you know, connecting with you has been a perfect example. I mean, I’ve benefit from your energy and enthusiasm and expertise, time and time again, and hopefully I’m able to kind of return the same but, you know, you don’t even have to be in the same business or in the same industry to support one another. We all we all have insights and experiences unique to us, that we can use to support other people. And you know, I’ll just say this, this may not be the politically correct thing to say. But, I mean, frankly, my worst business experiences have come at the hands of other women. And so it’s disheartening. And, you know, it’s just unfortunate that some people say they support women. But you know, when the rubber meets the road, it’s kind of a name only, or it’s really so that it benefits them versus truly being, you know, giving without expecting anything in return. And so, I don’t know, I think we’ve got to do better in many regards, where we’re not just looking at those connections in terms of what they can do for us. But truly, of you know, the mindset that, you know, what is the rising tide lifts all ships? I mean, that’s, we really think that we’re better together and even as a female focus fund, I mean, I think it’s important to have diversity of input. I mean, we’re not like men haters, either. You know, I think some female organizations, you know, kind of go too far that way, too, I think where we really can come up with the best solutions and best, you know, ideas is when we’ve got diversity of thought and opinion from, you know, all sorts of different angles, contributing to you know, the goal at hand.

Catherine Hover 11:05
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think we talked about this, too. Like, when we came to Houston, there was just this wave of like, let’s just be female entirely, and women and like, wouldn’t that be so, so cool to see all these women succeed and scale and grow all together? But that’s not actually what happened, right? Like, society in general is so hard on women. And so when we do fail, we fail hard and publicly, so? Yes, exactly. So I think that it’s strengthening when you have, you know, all gender sort of perspective and input. And it also sort of protects you, right? Like, they’re not going to come after you as hard if you are being inclusive and diverse and belonging of all genders. And I think you mentioned sort of like, if it wasn’t for the men in your life, you know, you may not be where you are, so you had to have their help and their input and bring them along for the ride as well. And they want to see you succeed, right,

Carrie Colbert 11:56
certainly. Now, I do think that, you know, our specific focus is on women, because I think there’s an opportunity there to have an outsize returns. And that is, for this reason, still in this country in the year 2022. And I’m quoting last year, because that’s the lace, we have stats for less than 2% of venture capital dollars went to women, it was 1.9%, which is trending downward, actually, I think it was 2.3%, the year before 2.2, something like that. We’re actually sub 2%. Now, yet, study after study shows that women led businesses actually generate better returns. There’s one study that came out of Boston Consulting Group A few years ago, that showed for every dollar of investment, women generated 78 cents on the dollar, whereas men generate 31 cents on the dollar. So we’re not even talking close there. So again, I think that just speaks to the fact that, you know, diversity of thought and skills and expertise and experience and all that matters. So women founded businesses are underfunded, yet over performing. And that just happens to be where I have relationships, you know, with digital founders and such, so So we’re kind of really well positioned to to make really good returns. So I like to share with people what an incredible business opportunity it is to invest in women, yes, maybe you’re making an impact, you know, there’s impact investing, there’s charitable giving, there’s philanthropy, all those have a place. And we can certainly make an impact with what we’re doing. But at the bottom line, we have to be generating returns to be sustainable. And I think we have gotten an incredible opportunity to generate great returns for investors, while also making an impact. I want to emphasize the positive about what women are doing, not the Mone how little we get in terms of investment dollars, and so on and so forth. Because I think the story is great. Women are building incredible businesses. And in our case, we invest in consumer brands, with a belief that women control the household purchasing power. And women know what other women want, right? They’re developing the products and services that they want for themselves, their families in their households.

Catherine Hover 13:55
Yeah, exactly. So tell us some of the companies that you’ve invested in

Carrie Colbert 13:59
one of our latest is dough is d u x. They are a good for you. Snack brand aimed at Gen Z. You may have seen her on Shark Tank A couple of years ago. And you know, she had the ultimate Shark Tank experience. She ended up not taking a deal, which as an investor side note, I’m kind of glad for which I’ll explain in a minute. But she walked away with a quote from one of the sharks, Robert said, in 13 years of doing this show, you’re the most impressive entrepreneurs ever stand on the stage. So of course that quote is in her pitch deck all big and bright. And I say I’m glad she didn’t take a deal because sometimes they can be so Sharky, so to speak that they take so much equity, it makes it difficult for companies to raise money after that. So that’s just a little side note. But anyway, so dose started out as this kind of edible good for you cookie dough company think during COVID When we were all taking so many supplements. Well, Sabina, the founder had this idea Well, we’re trying to take all this stuff for our immunity and all this well what if we just put that good stuff in cookie dough? You In our snack foods, and so really she hit on a key trend that we’re seeing in the food industry right now, where it went from kind of better for you snacks. So think of like, Justin’s those peanut butter cups, Annie’s the kids snack brand, where they took some of the bad stuff out. But now the next phase is people are adding good stuff back in. So vitamins, nutrients, you know, all the things that they’re actually beneficial to us. So she happens to be like really on trend for where we see the food industry going. And besides that, she’s just a marketing genius. You’ll have to check out their social media and their, you know, email newsletters, they’ve got an incredibly high open or I want to say like over 70% or something. So they’re email newsletters, just because they really know how to speak to their target audience. Yeah.

Catherine Hover 15:41
And you know, her product is actually in one of our members at palettes, companies. It’s small packages like curated gift giving. So

Carrie Colbert 15:49
good things happening there. Some others that I’ll rattle off real quickly. And then there’s a beauty brand that’s really thriving called lib tented her company really caters to a range of skin tone, so very inclusive and how it makeup colors. And another one I’m wearing this top is from Frances Valentine. It’s a fashion brand actually the founders of Kate Spade started it. So Kate Spade and her best friend Elise started the Kate Spade brand years ago, of course, grew it scaled it sold, it took time off to raise their families and just take some time off, and then ultimately decide to get back in the game. So Kate Spade and Elise Erin started Frances Valentine together before and unfortunately Kate’s passing, but the company continues to grow and is really thriving. And so I just personally like it’s very like colorful aesthetic, like my personal style. And so that’s a fun one. And then one other one I mentioned that’s that’s really got some exciting things going on is red clay hot sauce. Now you may think well, that’s random. Little did I know before we invested that the condiment category actually trades at really high multiples. So what’s happening is all these big food conglomerates, they’re finding it’s easier to stay relevant and to break into new categories. By acquiring these brands that have the loyal customer base, they’ve got the community around it, they’re relevant, they’re cool, whatever adjective you want to insert, that’s easier for them to acquire that brand and get the advantages of that, rather than building that in house. So all that to say, when we met with the founder of red clay, the first time she laid out for me very clearly, she’s like, look, this is what condiment companies sell for. So I’ve got this plan to grow this revenue from x to y, this is how we’re going to do it. And then you don’t even have to grow very big before you start becoming interesting. So I love it when a founder kind of begins with the end in mind. And she knows the landscape of her industry. And she knows exactly, you know what she’s aiming to do, because I as an investor don’t make my money back until the company sells. So I’ve got to know that she’s she’s building with that in mind and that she’s okay eventually selling her company. Yes.

Catherine Hover 17:47
Oh my god, it’s so fascinating to me, you know, what I think is really cool about the investing space is because because I’ve participated in a couple of SPVs. And it’s industries that I am never going to sort of be involved in probably on my own. And through SPVs. And through, you know, investing and learning from these founders, or meeting these founders, you’re learning so much about different industries. And when it comes down to it, it’s like a lot of issues, a lot of challenges are the same, right? It’s even those industries and maybe even different sized businesses, a lot of it comes down to emotional intelligence, leadership development, how you are showing up in the world. And you can learn so much just from hearing other people’s stories and experiences growing their business. I

Carrie Colbert 18:29
did think of one other operational thing I wanted to mention, in case this might be useful for any of your community in the food and beverage space. One trend that we’re seeing too is a lot of our companies, were having trouble getting shelf space, you know, in retail that’s getting very expensive and very hard, and you can do it. But with this focus on companies being more profitable these days, the economics were very challenging. And just coincidentally, all three of our food and beverage brands have had success recently, with going the foodservice route. So like restaurants, you know, get your hot sauce on their tables in the restaurants. And that spreads brand awareness, then people go look for it on the shelf, so it improves sell through so not only are the restaurants buying it, but then it’s doing that that marketing and brand awareness for you. So that’s one example with dough they’ve got a new partnership with Smoothie King. And where that Nutella spread is what Smoothie King is using on their bowls like to drizzle it over it. So little things like that, that are kind of outside the box are good things to think about right now, particularly in the food and beverage space where shelf space is just getting so competitive and expensive to get. Think about other ways where you can get your product out there in the hands and in the eyeballs of other potential customers. So restaurant food service has been popping up recurring in multiple companies of ours lately. That’s

Catherine Hover 19:45
awesome. And then you’re able to sort of like connect the dots for the founders right across the board. You’re able to share things that are working for other companies with other people in your in your portfolio. That’s

Carrie Colbert 19:55
right and given that we’re not super specific in terms of industry, it’s not Like our companies are competitors of one another, but more like complementary. So yeah, what’s working over here? Well, let’s see if it might work over over here. And if it’s working for you, well, maybe we want to try it in this other industry, maybe there’s something similar that we can use for this company, if it’s working over here. So yeah, it’s fun to say we’ve got 15 companies now. So, you know, there’s a spectrum of approaches and results and personalities and all the things Oh, my

Catherine Hover 20:23
gosh, that certainly keeps life exciting. So you also are sort of operating this and managing this with your partner. So I’d love to, for you to sort of share how you’ve made this a family affair? Yeah, yeah.

Carrie Colbert 20:37
So at the very end of 2019, I had this crazy idea that I was, you know, enjoying this investing stuff. And I thought, well, you know, I think I want to start a venture capital fund. And, and I told Mark, and he was like, okay, yeah, I’m all in. And, you know, so big kudos to him, because he does more of the behind the scenes work, stuff that I wouldn’t ever have the capacity to get to. So a lot of the administrative stuff behind the scenes, just he does a lot. But he’s never the face, you know, and it’s all forever be the face of it. Because obviously, we invest in female founder businesses, but it’s challenging, right? I would just encourage anyone who’s in that situation, or considering to just lay some ground rules up front and be very upfront about what’s working, what’s not otherwise, it just leads to a lot of frustration. Yeah. Yeah, when your business and personal life are intertwined, and then you can’t get away from from that stress, when it does pop up. So yeah,

Catherine Hover 21:25
I mean, it’s kind of like I always tell myself, it’s like, I’ve kind of done this to myself, because it’s like, I want to have financial independence. And I want to be the, you know, the business owner and busy and that sort of life. But I also want to be a great mom and a great wife. And I do hear sometimes women who are like, well, you know, you can’t do it all I’m like, I think you can do it all. But you have to have these other skill sets that you’re leaning on, or people around you to help help you hold yourself accountable to, you know, remind you like this is what you signed up for, this is what you created. And so keep going with it. Right? Yeah,

Carrie Colbert 21:55
yeah. And I find that just me personally, I have a very serious personality, like in terms of like, I take my responsibilities very seriously. I think a lot overthink things. And I found I had to be cognizant of that, in terms of it was hard for me to turn on, like the fun of being a mom or you know, to be light hearted and find it’s hard for me like, well don’t understand, I’ve burned I’ve got all this stuff on my mind. So I had to do that that’s on me on Mark was like, Hey, let’s have some boundaries about when we talk businesses. For me. I had to have a boundary like, okay, not just not talking about it, but mentally taking that load off my mind somehow so that I can be fun and go do you know, lighthearted, enjoyable things with the family without being so like serious and burdened with whatever’s going on at work. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 22:41
yeah, exactly. So I also wanted to you sort of mentioned that like, okay, so you decided to start this VC firm, and correct me if I’m wrong, but your initial goal was $10 million. And you’d like blew through that. So how did you do that? I know if people were like, Oh, we hit our goals or whatever. But it’s like, how did you hit the goal? How did you actually raise frickin money? And I think, again, I want you to like sort of tap into making that ask right and leaning on your network. And I think so many women, they hold themselves back because they don’t make the ask they don’t say, Hey, do you want in? So tell us a little more about your story there?

Carrie Colbert 23:16
Well, I’ll start by saying that fundraising was very foreign territory to me, like, I just never been in a sales sort of role. And I think my analytical engineering, you know, finance, background professionally led me to have this mindset that was just like, No, you just do your work well, and let your work speak for itself. Well, that’s not the case. When you’re fundraising or selling something like, No, you have to speak about your work, you have to speak up and you have to sell which was very uncomfortable for me starting out. So all that to say, Yes, this is a perfect example where the headlines are all bright and shiny and positive and glowing. But if you look behind the curtain, there was a lot behind that. So yes, our goal was $10 million. We ultimately like raised 15. So you’re like, oh, wow, she blew by her butt goal. That was not the case. At some point, I still need to make like a graphical chart of how that looked. Because as it actually played out was like this. My legal documents gave me 12 months to raise the money. That just you typically have a fundraising period. And mine gave me 13 months in total, there were like, sleepless nights. And I remember I was like, sitting on the floor of my closet crying, you know, I don’t know what we’re going to do. I don’t know how we’re going to get there. But ultimately, we did surpass it. And I’ll say there were a few key lessons I took from that. Okay, number one is to know your people. And what I mean by that is not everyone’s going to resonate with your vision, not everyone’s going to resonate with what you’re doing, and they’re not just not going to get it right. Well, those aren’t your people and for too long, like I kept like trying to go to those people. And for me, I thought I would go out to people from oil and gas network who would be mostly males, and I would just raise $10 million really quickly. I thought oh, so and so will give me a half a million. Oh, yeah, Jeff will give me a million Steve will give me half a million. And we’ll just raise this real quickly. Well, that is not how it panned out. Of course, I did have a few great friends and colleagues from my willing gas days who did invest, including some women. So it wasn’t a total pan out. But I thought I would just go out to this little segment of people, and we would raise our fund. So what I found though, is, as I talked about it on social media, not like about fundraising specifically, but about, hey, you know, I started curate capital, here’s why, here’s what we do. And these are the companies that we’ve invested in. What I found was that women got it right away. They’re like, Oh, I love that brand. Or, Oh, I’ve been buying their products for years, or wow, I want to support women. Whatever the case, it pieces of it resonated with women more easily than men. And so as it turned out, 80% of our investor base is female, which is unheard of in the venture capital world. I mean, I don’t have hard data show this. But I would say most funds, maybe have 10% women, I saw another fund highlighted in Forbes last year, where they had kind of as a bragging paragraph, they’re like, they raised over 20% of their money from women. And that was like, highlighted in the Forbes article. Whereas we’re sitting over here with with 80% of our investors are women. And so that was really key to me. And I it’s a lesson that I’m certainly caring for is like know, your people like, who are who’s gonna resonate with this. And it may not be who you initially think so keep pivoting that that model is you need to the other key lesson for me was to cast a wider net than I thought necessary. I don’t think I understood how many noes you would get during fundraising. But then you’re going to get yeses from where you don’t expect it. So my problem, I started taking it too personally at first, like people who had maybe known me for a long time, who I thought would invest, you just didn’t meet their, their, you know, personal priorities right now. And that’s okay. Like, I had to learn not to take it personally, you know, everyone’s got their own life going on. They all have their own, you know, things, priorities, problems, people interest, whatever it is, that’s okay. But then you’ll have other people show up, I didn’t even know before, and now is a great partner to the fun. So I think those were probably my key lessons is, one know your people and then two is to cast a wider net than you think you and I have discussed this a lot, though, I don’t think just raising the money is is the badge of honor. It’s great that we did raise a fund where it matters is investing that money and can we deliver the returns that we anticipated and forecasted and all that. So?

Catherine Hover 27:20
Yeah, I mean, from a founder standpoint, like great, you can raise money, like awesome, but can you manage a team? Can you you know, have hard conversations with your with your staff? Can you do customer service, right? Like, can you negotiate agreements and deals together? Like, there’s so much more that goes into it. And I think that a lot of times people get so excited in the front end of it, right? But then they they can’t sustain themselves, because then they burn out. And I think that I would love to bring back small businesses like those, those are the businesses that really needed to survive during COVID They’ll funded debt funded companies or are can be very successful as well. And what’s really great about debt, which is another whole nother tangent I like we were all just so scared of debt. And I’m like, listen, debt can be leveraged. And I would say a majority of the wealthiest people in our country utilize debt to build their wealth. So there’s nothing wrong with it, you know, you just gotta you got to do it. Right? You have to have the right advisors to help you do that. But it goes away. If you’re doing everything right, all that debt goes away. So it’s kind of like exciting for me to think, along those lines, embrace the long road, the long game and the sustainability and the stability of that. That’s

Carrie Colbert 28:32
right. Yeah, yeah, there are pros and cons. And one thing that you’ve kind of mentioned several times that I just want to call it because it’s such good advice is building this kind of personal board of directors, if you will, like surround yourself with people who fill in blanks that you might have in your knowledge and experience base, or, you know, just just wise people in different areas. You know, maybe that’s someone who’s really good, you know, financial mind for you to bounce ideas off. Maybe it’s an operational person intentionally think about what holes you need to fill in, and have those people around you that can give you honest, real feedback about what you’re doing. You don’t have to do this alone,

Catherine Hover 29:06
I think you do such a great job of your personal brand and growing a personal brand and putting yourself out there on social media in a way that we don’t see other people do or get right. So give us three tips that I would share with somebody who is looking to grow their personal brand, or utilize social media to grow their business, kind

Carrie Colbert 29:23
of the takeaway that I would want to impart to people about social media is that it is a legitimate business tool. This isn’t the old days where it was just vanity, right? Like where people were just posting selfies or pretty pictures of themselves. And certainly, there’s still a lot of that and there always will be. But I literally raised the majority of my fund from Instagram followers. And the SEC puts all these rules on me that you can’t openly solicit. So it’s not even like I was like, Hey, we’re fundraising, you want to invest like, people would just reach out proactively and say, I want to be a part of what you’re doing. And so you know, all I can say is this sounds so cheesy, but just be you and be authentic and Don’t try to be like someone else don’t try to fit into some mold. And I’m actually very much an introvert, I kind of go back and forth. I mean, you can make people feel like they know you, even if you’re not sharing every little detail, you can set boundaries around your social media. But still people want to see the face behind the businesses and the brands and stuff that they’re supporting. So find a way to get beyond your inhibitions and your fears and all that to put yourself out there for your business. But you know, there’s so much more substance that audiences are craving. So think of how you can help them solve their problems, how you can deliver value to them, not just being promotional about your business all the time.

Catherine Hover 30:37
Well, we can talk forever thank you so much for being on the program. Follow Carrie, she is on Instagram at Carrie see and curate capital. It’s curate dot capital. Right? It is.

Carrie Colbert 30:48
That’s our website and our Instagram. Yes. Cool. I just have to say thank you to you for all you do for women and building community and how you support everyone. You show up all the time, and I’m just so grateful to have connected with you and appreciate your friendship and support.

Catherine Hover 31:03
Oh, thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, we’re what more there’s more to come. You know, this is the tip of the iceberg. Okay, everyone, this week space on mom is all about how I have waited into the very last minute to take off the mom hat and put on the Santa hat and we decided to stay local for Christmas this year because of the great 10 day trip down for Thanksgiving. I’m like waiting to the very last minute so I’m gonna be calling Gee willikers I’m gonna be doing the amazon prime thing because there’s no avoiding it at this point. We are like days away. And I mean, am I able to pull off a Christmas miracle? Yes, of course. Definitely. We have so many local amazing shops that can cater to all of my needs. Are you like me and super last minute and plant send me some of your tips and stuff like I mean I wish I could be one of those moms that plans ahead and has everything wrapped nicely under the tree by you know December 1 You know any tips and tricks you could give me now that I can like strategically plan for next year and then maybe next year I am not waiting to last minute but this is something I know about myself. I’m like very, you know good under pressure. I work well in crisis. So I do this to myself, I know I’m going to be able to pull it through and I’m excited we actually booked our night at the casino hotel and so we’re definitely trying to like fill every minute while we are here because this is when I will get homesick and I will like be facepalm mommy myself that I didn’t fly home for Christmas. So I have like major FOMO homesickness matched with just the holidays so we are going to try to avoid all that sadness with a lot of Christmas cheer and buying local. Thank you for listening to this podcast and if you want to connect with me slide into my DMs on Instagram my handle is Catherine over

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