Cathryn Lavery On Being an Immigrant Founder and Her Creators Journey For BestSelf Co. — From Kickstarter to 8-Figures in Less Than 2 Years
Play • 1 hr 4 min

Welcome to the Conscious Creators Show; where through intimate and insightful interviews with authors, actors, musicians, entrepreneurs and other podcasters, you'll learn tools and tactics to 10x your creativity and strategies to grow and monetize your audience.

On today’s episode, we have Cathryn Lavery, the founder of BestSelf Co. She shares how she started a successful business around becoming your Best Self. Learn how Cathryn transitioned from work in architecture to product design and entrepreneurship and hear about some of her best strategies for managing your time effectively.

 

Actions: 

  1. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or on your favorite podcast app and let us know what you think by leaving a rating and a review.
  2. Thank our guest and let them know what you thought of today’s episode — click here to send a Tweet directly to Cathryn and Sachit or find Cathryn on Instagram.
  3. Head on over to Creators.Show to get new episodes, exclusive guides like our guide on “How to Connect With Busy Influencers”, partner deals and additional bonuses.

 

Episode Highlights:

  • Cathryn has always had entrepreneurial impulses. She sold cupcakes on the school playground and drop-shipped Dawson’s Creek DVDs to the UK in her teens.
  • She is always trying to use her resources as much as possible and stretch a dollar as far as possible.
  • Cathryn shares the story of how she got her first job in New York City and handled numerous setbacks in the hiring and onboarding process.
  • She started doing freelance and design projects on the side to manage the uncertainty around her start date.
  • When you’re managing people, instead of just telling them what to do, show them what success looks like.
  • It can be very stressful for employees to always feel like they are messing up.
  • She tried to learn how to deal with uncertainty.
  • A year into making things and shipping them herself on the side, she was making more than she was at her day job.
  • She took the measured risk to leave her day job by giving herself time to see if her business was going to work.
  • She feels more productive when she has limited time.
  • Initially, Cathryn was doing all the work by herself. Eventually, she learned how to hire a team and to create systems.
  • As soon as she can optimize anything in her life, she will do it.
  • Having systems has helped Cathryn be more creative.
  • Her week is planned in a way that she knows when to be creative.
  • Wednesday is a focus day for everyone without meetings or Slack.
  • Sometimes your week can fill up with random meetings. You need constraints to give you some structure.
  • Cathryn describes her hiring flow which was designed to capture people who follow instructions and will fit in well with the culture of her team.
  • Cathryn describes why hiring her designer was an exception to her usual hiring process and why hiring a designer requires different criteria.
  • Finding someone that likes to do what you want them to do for work in their free time is really good.
  • Employees should prove their value.
  • Cathryn has managed to maintain friendly relationships with people she had to let go of.
  • Her philosophy on firing is that a company is like a rowboat. If not everyone is rowing, it doesn’t work.
  • At the end of the day, everyone else's jobs are in jeopardy if the business doesn't succeed.
  • In 2015 she launched a successful Kickstarter campaign for the Best Self journal.
  • For three years Cathryn was spending a ton of time on self-development and learning about entrepreneurship. 
  • She created a PDF that she wanted to turn into a journal but it was going to be too expensive to make so she turned to Kickstarter.
  • She realized she was a product person once she had already created software and then had it ready to sell and didn't want to sell it.
  • She also had an Amazon drop shipping company that taught her how to sell on Amazon.
  • Cathryn’s public goal for the Kickstarter was 15k but her personal goal was 200k. 
  • They hit their funding goal in 28 hours and raised $323k in 34 days.
  • Cathryn created the product around lessons she had learned about productivity. Customers can fill out the journal and be successful.
  • She has learned to productize what has worked for her.
  • When she reached her stretch goal, it felt awesome but she was also exhausted after running a crowdfunding campaign for 34 days.
  • Cathryn shares the why around Best Self.
  • How do I help people become more intentional with their life without having to spend ten years learning how to do it?
  • Time is the currency of life.
  • Being productive so you can do the things you love matters more than saving time for the sake of saving time.
  • Cathryn shares inspiring success stories from customers who have loved her products.
  • Having a co-founder is like being married.
  • She is grateful that she is at a point in her life where she gets to deal with the problems she deals with.
  • Cathryn shares how she has grown in her business.
  • She now knows how to weigh advice based on the person she's hearing it from.
  • To learn about business, Cathryn picked twenty-two books in five categories and read them all before she quit her job.
  • Best Self will continue creating products to help people improve their lives.
  • She wrote a blog post about time management and later that became a product.
  • Being your best self is about more than hitting your goals in one area.

 

3 Key Takeaways:

  1.   One of the biggest lessons Cathryn learned before taking her business full-time is to provide clear expectations and show people what success looks like. 
  2.   Having systems and optimizing her time has allowed Cathryn to be more creative.
  3.   Cathryn has created successful products around strategies and systems that have worked for her personally. 

 

Tweetable Quotes:

“I'm always trying to make sure that I use my resources as much as possible, as far as possible.” – Cathryn Lavery

“As soon as I can optimize anything in my life, I will do it.” – Cathryn Lavery

"Time is basically what anyone has. It's like the currency of life." – Cathryn Lavery

“Being productive to get more done in your day so that you can achieve more goals or spend`more time with the people you love or do the thing you love. That is what matters more than saving time for the sake of saving time.” – Cathryn Lavery

“Being your best self is about more than hitting your goals in one area.” – Cathryn Lavery

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Actions: 

  1. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or on your favorite podcast app and let us know what you think by leaving a rating and a review.
  2. Thank our guest and let them know what you thought of today’s episode — click here to send a Tweet directly to Cathryn and Sachit or find Cathryn on Instagram
  3. Head on over to Creators.Show to get new episodes, exclusive guides like our guide on “How to Connect With Busy Influencers”, partner deals and additional bonuses.
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