018: Expanding Your Role with Kara Eschbach

By June 1, 2016Podcasts

 

Kara Eschbach headshot and quote “You don't have to have someone give you permission to take on responsibility” from interview in episode 18 of the How to be Awesome At Your Job Podcast with Pete Mockaitis

 

Verily co-founder and CEO Kara Eschbach shares about the differences between the corporate world and entrepreneurship, and what everyone can do better navigate their careers.

You’ll learn:

  1. How a casual brunch transformed Kara’s career on Wall Street into founding and launching a major web publication
  2. How to accelerate your career by taking on more responsibility, faster
  3. Tips and tricks for building a great working relationship with your manager, regardless of your industry

About Kara
Kara is the co-founder and CEO of Verily, a women’s fashion & lifestyle website focused on helping women be the best version of themselves. Kara was formerly the co-host of the nationally-broadcast radio show Catching Up with Kara and Monica on SiriusXM radio, was on the investment team for Credit Suisse’s secondary private equity fund, and developed a coaching program for recent college graduates to accelerate their career. Kara earned her BS with highest distinction from Purdue University, where she was a member of the varsity golf team and selected as the class commencement speaker.

Items mentioned in the show: 

Kara Eschbach Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Kara, thanks so much for appearing on the “How to be awesome at your job” podcast.

Kara Eschbach
Thanks for having me.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’ve got a lot of friends who think that Verily magazine is just the coolest thing ever, and so it’s been a fun mixed bag in terms of some people being like “Oh my gosh, how did you score that interview?” and other people like “I’ve never heard of that.  What is that?”  So, could you introduce us a little bit to what is Verily magazine about, and what’s kind of your story as to how you came to found a publication?

Kara Eschbach
Verily is a women’s fashion and lifestyle website, and it’s interesting because that’s a very generic way of describing it, and I think that what we saw in the women’s space is that there’s a lot of pretty generic content.  So, for us really the sort of sparking moment was that there were bunch of women out to brunch, and just so it happened that one of the girls who was there used to work at Elle magazine, and it was one of those conversations where people were just like, “Oh, I hate this about the world”.

And we happened to get upon the topic of content in women’s magazines in particular.  Remember, this was 5 years ago when paper magazines were a little bit more of a force than web publications were.  And it just really struck a cord with me that there were so many women who were like “This stuff just doesn’t speak to my reality or the things that I’m dealing with at all, but I still kind of want this type of information”.  And this girl Janet was there, and she, having worked at Elle was like “Tell me about it; I’ve always wanted to start my own publication that would be very real and authentic to what women are going through, and give them the real advice that they’re looking for”.

And for me, at the time I was working at Credit Suisse in private equity.  And I liked what I was doing, but I knew I wanted to do something else.  And when I heard her saying that about there just needs to be something different, really sparked for me that yes, this is something that needs to be done.  I think we’re the ones who need to do it, and so let’s do it.

Pete Mockaitis
Just like that.

Kara Eschbach
Just like that, yeah.  I talked to a lot of other founders and I think that some people have more slow and methodical ways of coming about things.  But I talked to a lot of people who were just like… And then I felt really convicted, and we started just solving the problem.  There’s something to be said for inentrepreneurship, but I think even in more corporate jobs, for being someone who just solves problems and fixes things.  And then I would say it’s probably like the heart of what we’re doing is really like we’re trying to fix a problem and address an audience that was just not being spoken to before.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s fantastic.  And I think that when I see a magazine on the counters that has 32 mind blowing sex tricks, I just wonder, “Ooh, that’s what I need right now”.

Kara Eschbach
I always say that for as much as people will derive Cosmo for being fluffy, they pioneered clickbait.  They were like the first ones to figure out people are intrigued and they want to read it.  So that was actually a big piece of the idea, was that women’s magazines are so good at giving you information that you’re really interested in, and giving it to you in a really digestible way.  So what if we could sort of use that format of really interesting topics and using relatable language, but actually having real advice and not just like 52 sex tips or whatever the silly thing that they’re actually talking about in the content.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, that’s great.  And it seems like it’s working.  I mean you have a pretty substantial scope of operations now, in terms of employees and readership.  I remember when it was just sort of a cool idea that you were talking about and putting out there online.  And so, where is it now?

Kara Eschbach
So now we have over half a million unique visitors a month.  We’re growing sort of quickly.  And we used to have a lot of activity on our social channels and looking into sort of new media, doing some video, and maybe we’ll do some podcasting here.  I’ll ask you for advice about that, Pete.  So yeah, I think you’re right.  Now we have 10 people working for us, and it seems as though there’s always more things they want to work on, and more opportunities that we want to explore, particularly on kind of the business side.  So yeah, it’s crazy to think that 4 years ago it was like “Hey, I think we want to put together a magazine and see if anybody wants to read it”.  So, I think we’ve proven that yes, this is something that people want to read, and now it’s a matter of going from point A to point B to now it’s point C and D, beyond.

Pete Mockaitis
Perfect.  There are many a podcast that will dissect your entrepreneurial journey from beginning to end.  And well, that’s pretty juicy, fun stuff and I enjoy listening to those.  This one’s was about skills.  So, I remember you and your brother Jeff were working on a little program associated with coaching recent college graduates with their first careers.  And you had a high-powered career yourself there at the Credit Suisse and you’ve managed to pull things together here on the entrepreneurial front, so I’d love to hear are there some common threads associated with what you’ve done, or skills or tricks that you’ve leaned on that you found very effective in making things happen in these different worlds?

Kara Eschbach
Yeah, I think one of the things I already mentioned is that kind of “figure it out and do it” attitude.  And that’s something that I think people associate a lot with entrepreneurship.  The number of times I’ve had people tell me “Oh, it must be so great to not have a boss”… It’s like, that is by far not the best part of being an entrepreneur.  That’s probably the worst part actually, that you’re responsible for everything.  But I think that so many people think that they need permission to execute on things.

And one of the things that I did when I was at Credit Suisse – we had a sort of team meeting very early on.  I’m a first year analyst, I was just there to be hungry and work on whatever they threw my way.  And I happened to see that they were talking about trying to fix the process of internally some of the deal flow and how we manage that.  And people kept bringing up like “Oh, we’ve talked about building a system for tracking this for years but it never happened”.  And “Well, Mark, will you actually look into that?”  And I email Mark saying “Hey, I want to help with this”.  And eventually, again,it kind of gets lost in the day to day quagmire of things.  And I was like, “Actually, if you don’t mind, I would love to own this project andjust see what we need to do to make it happen”.

And even though it was extra work for me, it sort of gave me an opportunity to go out there and actually do something impactful for my group, that by the time I had left a couple of years later, this was a part of our daily routine and process, and I had to go out and figure out what are all of the resources that we need in order to make this happen, who do I need to get budget approval for, is there an internal team or do we have to do some kind of external scoping for this?

And I think it just really showed me that if you are willing to stand up and say “I’m going to fix the problem”, people first of all recognize you as a leader, and second of all, it gives you an opportunity to grow your skills in a way that perhaps a manager wouldn’t have identified for you to grow your skills, particularly if it’s an area that you’re interested in.  I think that was probably one of the best things I learned, that has been a constant throughout all these things, that you don’t have to have someone give you permission to take on responsibility, you can find ways to do that by raising your hand.  And usually managers are more than happy to let somebody else do the work for them.

Pete Mockaitis
Absolutely.  It’s like, please just handle that.

Kara Eschbach
Awesome.

Pete Mockaitis
Much appreciated.  Well, that’s lovely.  And so, I imagine though, in the course of taking on that new area of responsibility, that there very well could be a degree of, I don’t know, fear, trepidation, anxiety.  I think maybe the reason people wait for permission is because they’re a little scared to do it anyway, and then when they get that permission or blessing it feels like they’re good to go.  So how do you,I guess internally manage those emotions, or are you just like astone cold rock star who doesn’t feel fear?

Kara Eschbach
No, not at all.  Actually I think managing your own expectations is probably one of the best skills you can develop as a professional.  I would think in this particular sense, certainly start off with things that seem low-risk if you’re risk averse, try something that scares you just a little, tiny bit; and then when you’re successful in it you gain a little bit more confidence.  And there’s a lot of research about gaining confidence and confidence-building, and we talk about this a lot in terms of women, but in general, you tend to gain confidence by doing things and being successful at them, so you know you can do it and do something with a little bit more risk.

So, I think that if you’re worried about it, identifying small opportunities where you can maybe take it on, so you know if it doesn’t go so well – well, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  It wasn’t a major fail.  But I think too sometimes we think that things are going to be a bigger deal than they are.  And I think part of what you can do to sort of either mitigate that or to manage the kind of fear or even the downside risk, is by recruiting some other people to be invested in whatever it is that you’re working on, so that they also want to be involved in your success and are going to help make sure that it’s not going to fail.

And I’ll give an example.  When I was at Credit Suisse I had raised my hand for another project that was basically helping with some fundraising efforts. So we were a fund and we had to raise external capital to invest on behalf of those investors.  And we had a very particular way in which we went about doing that.  And I wanted to just get some exposure on that side, and I became close with one of the senior people on the team and just sort of raised my hand.

And so I was working with her and she gave me the opportunity to present a very little bit during this meeting, which was a great opportunity for me, but she was also deeply invested in making sure that I did a good job because she was putting me out there as well.  So I could go to her and say “I want to practice this.  Can you help me practice?  Will you sit and listen?  Who else should I talk to to make sure that I’m well-versed in whatever it is that I’m going to say?”  And I think that having her being a little bit invested in it, because she was kind of on the line and it was part of her project too, made it so that she wanted to give me that time that maybe otherwise people don’t want to give you if it’s not their project.

So I think getting external buy-in so that you can have some support and help to mitigate it and then also there are people who are already bought in on your idea, so you don’t have to go in blindly and nobody knows what you’re doing – you’ve already done a little bit of that pre-work to get people on the same page as you, so it’s a little bit less risky.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s just real smart experience talk there.  Get the buy-in and the people and the alignment up front.  And I remember when I was talking with Jeff about the coaching program that you had made for a little bit – and I don’t know how many iterations that went through, or how many lucky audiences got to do it before you each went on to huge things elsewhere in your own rights – but I remember one of the pieces that was kind of an eye-opener surprise for the recipients of that program was when it came to the performance management cycle, and how that works and what you really need to do in taking a proactive step in it.  So there’s a random memory from some years ago that’s coming forth.  But I’d say I’d love to hear your take-aways – there or just anywhere you’ve got some kind of quick tips that emerged from that program you think are worthy of sharing here now today?

Kara Eschbach
Yeah, actually I think that’s probably one of the biggest ones, is understanding how you’re going to be evaluated.  And so I think that if you’re going to be in a corporate job, sometimes that’s a very structured thing.  So, I talk about you taking these other opportunities and doing projects that are outside of your scope.  I recognized at the time that that was something that may or may not positively impact my review at the end of the year, because it wasn’t technically part of my job that I needed to do.

So if you’re in an organization that has very clear requirements for promotion, know what those are up front, so that you can manage your workflow to those milestones.  And I said it’s helpful to be clear with your manager about that as well, being upfront about what your goal is.  If your goal is to move into a totally different department and you just want to get as much experience as you can in this department for now, you should totally be transparent with your manager about that, so that they’re not just trying to promote you internally because then you’re working with opposite goals.

But if your expectation is that you want to be promoted within whatever framework that you’re looking for, you want your manager to be aware of that and make sue that “Okay, I’m on the kinds of projects that are going to give me the right check boxes”, so that you can say “Yeah, whatever the matrix of necessities are, they’re going to be able to check those off through your experiences”.  You don’t want to come to the end of the year or whatever your review cycle is, and have them say “Oh well, you didn’t get this experience so we can’t promote you.  You’re like “I didn’t even know that was part of the requirement to be promoted.  I thought I was doing a good job, doing the things you’re asking me to do”.

So I think sort of having some clarity as soon as you can about where it is you’re going, how you get there, and any internal requirement that are needed, is probably going to be the most career changing thing you can do if you’re in a structured environment.  And I think the same thing goes in less structured environments as well, is understanding what are the requirements that are needed, where am I going and how am I going to succeed within that environment?

And I think that that’s good advice whether you’re working at a really big place or if you were at a smaller organization.  If you work for me, at barely 10 of us, there’re probably 50 things I would love for you to do.  And if you were my employee, I would love it if you came to me and was like “Okay, what are the things that are going to make the biggest difference for the organization?  Let’s make sure that those are things I hit”.  Your manager is going to be happy for you as well.

Pete Mockaitis
I’m just imagining people who do work with me asking me that question, and it’s almost like I’m breathing a sigh of fresh air, like “You’re an angel.  Thank you for asking”.

Kara Eschbach
Absolutely.  I think the other piece of what you just said is that, but I think sometimes people lose sight that your job is yes, to do your job, but it’s also doing your job should mean that your boss’s job is easier.  And I think you want to be the kind of employee who recognizes what their boss is working on and what is a priority for them and their team, because that’s again going to influence how you’re being evaluated, what’s a priority for them.  If you’re off working on something that’s not a priority for your manager, they’re not going to perceive you as being as high value as you working on something that’s super high value for them.  You want to get it on as many of those things as possible.

Actually I have a good example of this one, I realized.  When I was at Credit Suisse I was working on a lot of deals but I didn’t realize that I wasn’t working on as many high-profile deals with the senior people who were really the ones who were the movers and shakers.  And so I ended up asking, going up to those key people and saying “Hey,I want to be in a deal with you.  I think I could really learn a lot and I haven’t gotten the chance to work with you yet”.  And once I did, it made it so much easier to get championed, to be put on other great deals, and then I sort of was able to build up my reputation internally a lot more swiftly.
Pete Mockaitis
That’s great, that’s great.  Well, anything else then, in the realms of… Some smart thoughts associated with career management, working with the performance systems and the people and the reviews and the priorities, and making sure you’re checking the boxes on the requirements – that’s golden.  Anything else that comes to mind when it comes to the career skills management coaching offering?

Kara Eschbach
Well, one thing I will say – youhad mentioned this earlier about getting buy-in ahead of time.  I think this is something I’ve observed from other people often.  It’s kind of expecting a lot of the work to be done in the group, and I think that the more savvy way to go about it that usually, and this can be applied in many different settings, is going tothe key decision makers one on one and getting them to buy in ahead of time.  So that when you’re coming to the big meeting that is the quote on quote “big decision meeting”, everyone’s already made their decision, and they’re already on the same page.

I think you see a lot of things go horribly wrong when it’s like “Oh, now we’re all encountering this for the first time”.  And you’re in a big group so all these hard questions that you would rather have in a one on one discussion is now being aired out in front of a bunch of people.  I think going and doing that pre-work for buy-in ahead of time is just really smart sort of group management when you have more than one party who’s involved in what you’re doing.

Pete Mockaitis
Absolutely.  And at Bain we did it all the time – we called it pre-wiring – withthe individual executives or directors or data folks we were collaborating with in the meeting.  And then I just loved it how some of the folks would be just surprised, like “Wow, we got so much done and decided in this meeting”.  And it was just like “Yes, because we were working 60 hours a week having individual meetings with all of you and addressing all of your needs up front – that’s why”.

Kara Eschbach
Yes exactly.  It’s like “Yes, thank you, the meeting went very smoothly. We really appreciate it”.

Pete Mockaitis
We’ll just take that as a compliment that we did our job right.

Kara Eschbach
Yeah.

Pete Mockaitis
So you talk about buy-in.  I’ve known a couple of people who were excited just because of what Verily stands for and like “Oh, I just want to write for them.  I just want to do things for them”.  And so I imagine that you have – tell me if this is true or false – that you’ve been in a position where you just have quality people out of nowhere just volunteering to do stuff at free or cost less than what they should be compensated for their time.  Is this true, and what’s the secret to getting more of that happening in your world?

Kara Eschbach
Yeah, I think it is true.  What’s interesting is often, you know,how do you harness that enthusiasm?  And I think that there are a lot of people who would love to write.  Sometimes editing that for our particular style is harder than it might seem.  So sometimes having people write for us isn’t the best way to have them helping.  But yeah, we’re actually actively developing a program internally to harness that enthusiasm more.  But I think that the thing that we saw very early on was, because people enthused about the idea, they were interested in just sharing it with their friends.

And so much could be said for just people sharing our articles, and like you said you have some friends who’ve heard of us and some who haven’t.  I personally think it’s the greatest compliment ever when somebody who doesn’t necessarily have any connection to us says “Oh my gosh, I’ve heard of that.  I came across an article on Facebook and I was clicking on to your website”.  I feel like that kind of organic, swelled energy is probably the greatest thing that a marketer could ever hope for.

And I think that in terms of generating it, it’s hard to do that artificially, right?  If you have a product that is just not sexy and nobody really cares about on an organic level, it’s hard to just create a marketing program around it that makes it more interesting.  But for us I think we have benefit of, it’s really authentic what we’re doing, and we have a real mission behind what we’re doing.  Which I think just informs all that we do.  You hear about these companies like Apple; it’s not about creating a really cool phone, it’s about technology that really works and has this higher vision for what it means for human flourishing with technology.  That’s an inspiring vision to get behind.

And I think we have the benefit of saying we’re really trying to do something good for women, we’re trying to put good content out in the world, we’re trying to change the way that we view women as a society.  And we talk a lot about the sexualisation of women and trying to give women permission to not feel pressured into a lot of the standard mores that you hear.

And you don’t have to lose 10 pounds just because the cover of a magazine told you to; you actually don’t need to be 5’10’’ and blond to be beautiful; you don’t have to have a high-powered job to be a worthwhile person.  And I think that that’s a really inspiring vision that people get excited about.  And it doesn’t have to be… We are very clearly mission-driven but I think other organizations can find missions that feel authentic to them, that have a similar kind of excitement behind it that you can rally people around.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s fun, that’s fun.  I’m intrigued by this program, maybe it’s still in the works.  You talked about harnessing this enthusiasm.  And what are some of the key dimensions or elements of this program that will aim to do that?

Kara Eschbach
Well, our big thing is trying to give these people some kind of community and a way to interact with us.  So actually we’re going through the process now; we have kind of a beta group of people who sort of self selected into a trial group for us, and we’re really having that conversation with them about “Okay well, we know you guys want to be rewarded, you want access to things.  Well, how can we best meet your needs in that way and sort of create this community?”

So it really came out of a feeling from our readers that they wanted to connect with other readers, they wanted to connect with the editors, they wanted a more personal touch because that’s already sort of the feel behind what we do.  So now we’re more just trying to put the structure around it and facilitate this sort of natural feeling that’s already there.  So TBD on how well that goes.  We’re trying to work through it, but… It’s been fun to have the opportunity to just interact with our readers and hear what they want from us.

Pete Mockaitis
Super, yeah.  That’s great.  And good luck to you with this initiative.

Kara Eschbach
Thank you.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, you tell me – is there anything that you’re dying to share or I should’ve asked before we shift gears into the fast faves segment?

Kara Eschbach
No, I feel like you’ve hit on all the exciting things.  I feel like I’ve covered every phase in my career with you, Pete – it makes me feel old.

Pete Mockaitis
We’re all getting older.  Well, then let’s do it – fast pace here.  Tell me, is there a favorite quote you have that you lean on or find inspiring repeatedly?

Kara Eschbach
Yeah, ever since high school my favorite quote has been a Thoreau quote, and I feel like I’m about to butcher it, now that I’m not directly looking at it, but it’s – “If you have castles in the air, your work may not being in vain.  That is the way it should be.  Now put foundations under them.”  It’s just such an embodiment of my life, it’s like yeah, there’s all these cool things I want to do.  But you have to actually work really hard a build a solid foundation and then work up to it.  So execution is everything.  I love that quote.

Pete Mockaitis
And how about a favorite study or a piece of research you find interesting?

Kara Eschbach
We look at a lot of research for articles.  I feel like I always have something new and interesting.  I’d say there’s 2 – on a personal level pretty much everything having to do with sleep quality I find fascinating.  And it’s all these things are reinforcing, there’s not just one study, but in general the idea of, we need to put our devices away an hour before bed, ‘cause blue light is really bad for you.  And a lot of things like “Okay, I need to actually have a bedtime routine”.  Not having your phone next to you so it’s lighting up in the middle of the night, actually getting 8 hours of sleep.

I think as high performers, most people I talk to are like “Oh, well, I’m going to get more done by not sleeping”.  But the reality is that – I can’t remember how many hours of sleep it is; if you’re losing 2 to 3 hours of sleep, then what you should be getting, it’s the same amount of detriment as if you had a drink of alcohol.  So I’m like “Wow, not getting enough sleep is basically like I’m walking through life semi-drunk.”  So, that’s not the kind of way I want to be operating my business.  So I think of it as like, if I’m not getting enough rest, then I’m basically being irresponsible for my investors and my employees.
Pete Mockaitis
I love that.  You just took it up a notch – irresponsible.  And when you say detriment, you mean the detriment of your kind of mental quality of thought, creativity, communication and…

Kara Eschbach
Yeah, I definitely noticed that for me personally it’s just like I have a really hard time firing on all cylinders frequently if I don’t get enough sleep, eat well, do a little bit of exercise.  I think that your quality of life goes way up, even if you’re not doing as much, I just think your mental acuity is so much sharper that it makes up for it in terms of sharpness versus quantity of hours.  And this is coming from someone who worked on Wall Street for 3 years. Sleep is precious.

Pete Mockaitis
I love it.  Okay.  That makes me feel all the better about the sleeping that I’m doing.  I will not be guilty, thank you.  How about a favorite book?

Kara Eschbach
Books are actually not my forte anymore.  I read articles like it is my job, because it is my job, but not too many books.  I would say interestingly I read a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with what we work on, just so that I feel connected to the world.  I feel like I read a lot of The Atlantic and New York Magazine sort of like think pieces, just to get a sense of what people are talking about and sort of see common threads.  I also love to read episode recaps ofTV shows that I’m into, but that’s not going to be very helpful.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, were you really disappointed when Grantland went away, as I was?

Kara Eschbach
I was.  You know what?  I wasn’t an avid reader of the sports stuff, but it was all the random things from people like Malcolm Gladwell that were just so well done, that even if I don’t know this topic that was just a purely enjoyable read.  And there’s a lot to be said for enjoyable reading – there’s not a ton of that on the Internet nowadays.

Pete Mockaitis
Absolutely.  And how about a favorite habit; a game-changing personal practice of yours?  Maybe it’s already been said, sleeping?  Or maybe it’s something else.

Kara Eschbach
You know, I recently, as in the last 6 months implemented a morning routine and that has really changed my life.  I used to be a total night owl; I would stay up late and sort of like grog around in the morning as I was hitting my alarm and trying to rush around.  And I actually get up when my alarm goes off, I make my breakfast, I leave myself 30 minutes of prayer time, and that sitting down and having a little bit of mental time to myself and putting aside work and all the other things, has just totally changed the way that I approach the day, and it’s like my mornings are so much more effective.

Pete Mockaitis
Fantastic.  And how about a favorite tool – if it’s a gadget or software or something that you find yourself using often.

Kara Eschbach
I’m an Evernote freak.  I love it, I put everything in Evernote.  And then I guess I have an amalgamation of other technology like Google, and I actually use paper.  I have a Google calendar and then I transferred over to paper and I actually do an evaluation at the end of my week of how I thought I was going to spend my time versus how I actually spentmy time, so I can kind of optimize the next week.  But see, I think all those little things about time keeping and… Evernote is just awesome.  I keep all my“to do” lists there; it’s great.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s cool, that’s cool.  Paper evaluation, that’s great.  How about a favorite kind of word of wisdom, that when you share it with folks you really just see them nodding their heads, they’re taking notes, they think “Wow, Kara’s brilliant”.

Kara Eschbach
I don’t know they think “This is brilliant”, but I definitely get a lot of nods whenever I just talk about being realistic with your situation.  That’s on many fronts, I think.  A lot of times, in particular when we speak a lot to women, and people sort of lament this idea of work-life balance and “Oh, there’s no such thing as work-life balance or choosing when you do things” and “Oh my gosh, your fertility goes in your 30s”.

And I think the reality is that yes, you can bemoan all of those things, but the only way to address any of these questions is to be looking critically at what you want out of life, and make decisions that allow you to do whatever it is that you think coincides with that.  If it’s really important to you to get married and have kids, be real with yourself that if you are working 90-hour weeks throughout your entire 20s, that’s going to be really, really hard to do.  So I find that it’s the hard advice of“I’m sorry, it’s not possible.  Prioritize and figure out what you want and move forward”.  Especially for women I think that’s a hard one.

Pete Mockaitis
But easier in a way.  It’s hard but I think it creates a peace, when you just reduce the amount of things you’re committed to and realizing there’s a limited amount of time, energy, life that you can give to things, and so…

Kara Eschbach
Yeah.  There’s a certain freedom I think too, to just facing the reality of what it is and saying “No, it’s not going to get done”.  That’s okay.  I think that there’s an element, too, of accepting that that’s reality and saying that “I’m going to let that go”.  And just being okay with it rather than thinking that you were supposed to do all these things and then feeling guilty that you didn’t do it.  It’s much better to have it being an active choice of “I’m putting that aside and it’s not going to happen”.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s right.  That’s right.

Kara Eschbach
And that’s true in business as well – some things are just not going to get done, and that’s okay.

Pete Mockaitis
I hear you.  And how about a favorite way to find you, if folks want to learn more or connect with you, would be best to go to a particular website or e-mail or Twitter?  What’s your jam?

Kara Eschbach
My jam is email, I feel very old school about that.  But I guess I’ve been on Snapchat more lately.

Pete Mockaitis
You’re more with it than I am.

Kara Eschbach
I will say this – I’m an observer on Snapchat. I just don’t share very much on Snapchat, but I find the entire thing fascinating.  So, I’m everywhere on every social media platform, I’m @KaraEschbach, but I guess Instagram too is another one that I follow a lot of people and I don’t share at all, so…I answer direct pings though.  And if you want to get at me,kara@verilymag.com is always a good way to get my attention.

Pete Mockaitis
Perfect.  And any sort of final parting thought or challenge or call to action you’d like to leave folks with, who are looking to be more awesome at their jobs?

Kara Eschbach
I guess I would say that it’s okay to go after the things that you want to go after, and you don’t have to follow the path that someone else has laid out for you.  Pete, you mentioned that the program I used to do with my brother and when we would start it off every time we talk about when you’re in college, someone gives you a map and you follow, it’s like very clear road path, it’s like you follow this road to go down I-90 and you get to the end. Whereas when you come into your career it’s a little bit more like someone hands you a compass and tells you to figure it out.  And I think that that can be a little scary, that there’s no longer a road map in front of you to get from point to point, but there’s also a lot of excitement and freedom and so, use the compass wisely.  Go for it; no one’s going to judge you.

Pete Mockaitis
Beautiful.  Well, Kara this has been a ton of fun.  Thank you; I wish you and Verily and all that you touch the very best of luck, and keep on rocking!

Kara Eschbach
Thank you!  Thanks for having me.

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The Gold Nugget

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