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So you may be wondering, what's all this tea you're spilling?

Mal, Co-Founder/CEO over here, spilling the tea on, welp, the tea haha! In going through this process of over a year working on MULTI, so much has happened. We've hit road bumps, made changes, had disasters, had successes, had failures, had breakdowns, had laughs, had tears...the list goes on.

TIRED OF HIGHLIGHT REELS

Naturally, at least for AJ (Co-Founder/Chief Scientific Officer) and I, we like to listen to podcasts or read articles written by other founders. There's this feeling of empathy, thinking, "they get it". What has been interesting is that, like social media, most of the time it's just the highlights. Now, we love a little highlight, in fact we love big highlights, but the highlights when you're pursuing something like this is probably realistically 25% of the process. In checking in with other founder friends, we realized how difficult of a time so many of us were having, the thing is though, that time was being had silently.

GLAMORIZING FOUNDER LIFE

We live in an era where "Founders" are glamorized...highlighted for raising millions of dollars, featured in media, talked about for their successes...and I mean all of that, rightfully so, but there's this sense of, "oh it must be so amazing to be a founder, that life is so glamorous". Don't get me wrong, I'm not steering this blog to say it's dreadful, but I think that this glamorization prevents humanization. We become seen as these essential cogs in this machine, unable to falter, unable to misstep, unable to feel sad, worried, stressed or to show that we might not have our shit together every day. 

In thinking about this, I get it. We are looked at as the leaders, and a lot of folks don't really (in the traditional and toxic sense) want a leader who doesn't seem sure of themselves, or has emotions, or frustrations. You don't want investors looking at you, feeling like this person can't make things happen. You don't want this disbelief clouding your every move. Yet, at the same time, we are human, and I feel like, having moments of difficulty should not indicate inability.

I think what people need to realize is that Founders, and especially CEOs, carry the weight of everything on their shoulders–peoples livelihoods, the success of the business they're building, the failures, everyones emotions and safety, the pressures from investors, stakeholders, family, friends...and more. We make mistakes, we make decisions under pressure, we are simply trying to do our best with what we have in resource and capacity...and to be honest, because usually CEOs/Founders are over-achievers, we try to do more than we should. Keeping it together 100% of the time, is not realistic, but being able to move through all of that and being able to respond to those motions...that's a bit more realistic. 

FAILURE, IT'S OK

At the beginning of Chapter 2 of this podcast, I reference a convo I had with Jamika, the Founder/CEO of Rosen Skincare. Last year we hopped on a Zoom, simply to connect, and she said something around the likes of: "You have to be okay with failing, and failing multiple times a day, to be able to do this. If you can't survive that, you won't be able to survive the journey". At this point, we had experienced a string of disasters, and this resonated so deeply with me.

Failing takes a huge toll on you–mentally, emotionally, physically. I remember when I was 19 I started my first business, it failed. I remember feeling so incredibly ashamed, I literally became anti-social for a year because I was so embarrassed that this thing that I had gassed up so much had crumbled to pieces. I think back to how traumatizing that felt, and how those feelings still linger to this day, revealing themselves in perfectionism, overthinking, and anxiety.

I can sit here and type out, don't let failure hold you back, but easier said then done, and tbh you've probably heard that shit already. It has to become an active practice and habit of releasing. Taking moments to notice if your actions are driven from a fear of failure, and if you do execute something and it fails, does that trauma linger in preventing forward motion.

Take myself for example, perfectionism in me driven by trying to control an outcome, wanting prevent failure, wanting to be perceived positively, wanting to feel safe. 

When I fail at something, I have to questions, is my proceeding procrastination and overthinking warranted and necessary? Or is it me feeling the lingering effects of that pain?

As founders we will fail, it's inevitable, every step of the way, but I love to see how founders respond to those failures. To me, it's the response and the learnings that show really incredibly leadership.

WITH ALL THAT BEING SAID, WHY EVEN DO IT ALL?

You might be like, ok, why then? If it's that hard, why? I don't want to be all woo woo and say, purpose, but I'm going to go there and say, purpose. I'm not going to lie and say there aren't huge potential monetary benefits, because when you are building a startup, there are. If your business goes through a liquidity event, there are earnings potentials in the millions–and this is something I am personally very adamant about BIPOC, especially women, femmes, and nb folks, knowing more about...we love generational wealth for communities that historically, and still currently, don't have fair access to.

Back to the purpose part though. AJ and I talk about this frequently, about how, even though work is physically and mentally tiring, we truly are fulfilled by it and genuinely love it. Her passions for wanting to transform science and R&D, especially in the beauty, wellness, and personal care areas. Myself, wanting to transform the wellness industry and landscape on all levels. Both of us wanting to prove there are ways to build generational wealth for our communities. If we weren't driven by all of that, and on top of that being the research obsessed/curious humans that we are, trust we would not keep doing this all.

SO, WE WANT TO BE REAL ABOUT THE PROCESS

Through this immense love of what we do, through all the hard times, through all the good times, we want to share the process. Through this series we want to give a realistic viewpoint of it all, from our perspectives.

You'll notice a common theme of response–response to breakdowns, response to failures...this whole journey is a series of responses. We continually ask ourselves, how do we bounce back and continue on–because life and business will continue to move forward if we allow it to. 

We hope you enjoy listening to our story, heres a link to the pod, and below will be some things we'll be covering ☻ 

M

 

 

 

ON THIS SEASON OF MULTEA

  • Starting the thing
  • What were the first steps
  • The hardest parts, so far
  • Our breakdowns (lol)
  • Our Founder breakup
  • Our inventory being stolen
  • Delaying our launch, why?!
  • Fundraising from Friends and Family, ahh!
  • Fundraising through Equity Crowdfunding, our Access Round
  • All the changes that happen over just a year
  • Why brand messaging is so important
  • Why branding is so important
  • Getting traction online
  • Going viral online
  • Learnings from brand collaborations
  • Why vulnerability is so important
  • The boring stuff–legal things, administrative things, etc.

 

 

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