Changing Your Pace with Changing Times with Jonathan Gandolf
Speaker 1: Welcome to The Daily Bolster. Each day we welcome transformational executives to share their real world experiences and practical advice about scaling yourself, your team, and your business.
Matt Blumberg: Welcome to The Daily Bolster. I'm Matt Blumberg. I'm the co- founder and CEO of Bolster, and I am here today with Jonathan Gandolf, the founder and CEO of The Juice. Hey Jonathan, how are you?
Jonathan Gandolf: I'm doing well, Matt. Thanks for having me.
Matt Blumberg: Yeah, absolutely. Tell everyone real quickly what The Juice is and what question you have for me today.
Jonathan Gandolf: The Juice is a B2B content curation platform for B2B professionals and a distribution channel for the brands that want to reach those professionals. So my question for you today, I'm a first time founder and CEO. Started in a pandemic and we're now growing in a recession. I think entrepreneurs inherently start businesses in the software space because they love the idea of that high growth, go big opportunity, and thus the early employees we hire are also excited by that opportunity. But now when the market dictates that maybe we slow down and we focus on conserving runway and growing more consistently over a long term, how does that shift your vision as the entrepreneur and kind of how you articulate the vision to your team who signed up for that go big, go fast opportunity?
Matt Blumberg: That's such a great question. It's one that I think... Bolster also started in the pandemic. Everyone, I think, in our cohort is probably dealing with that same thing. So I would say a few things. I think number one, so your question is how do you let it sort of dictate the vision. I think my first point is don't let it dictate the long- term vision, but conditions must dictate pace and timing. So I think mentally for you as a founder, the big picture opportunity is probably no different. It's really just about pace and timing.
Jonathan Gandolf: That's really good.
Matt Blumberg: But that leads to the second thing and the third thing. And the second point and the third point I would make both have a similar theme, which is you have to bring people along for the ride. So you're right, when you recruit someone to be one of the first 10 people at a startup, they're in the bus with you. You're driving the bus, but they kind of have to know where it's going. So my second point is, you as the founder, your job is to confront the brutal reality. Whether that brutal reality is that demand has changed, financing options have changed, et cetera, that's like part of your job, but you have to bring people along for the ride with that. So the things you're seeing in the marketplace, again, whether it's the capital markets or the as sales go to market part of the business, you have to make sure that you're bringing people along for that ride. What are you seeing? I just talked to an investor, that's what they said. Man, the pipeline is good, but nothing's moving through it.
Jonathan Gandolf: Mm- hmm.
Matt Blumberg: Whatever that is, sort of bring people along for the ride with the situation. And that sort of leads to point three which is the thing you have to do when you marry one and two together, so one is it's not changing your vision, it's just changing timing and pace. Two is confront the brutal reality of the situation. And three is bring your team along to plan and re- sequence the business with you. So whether you're talking about product roadmap, but you got to do it with fewer engineers or you're talking about sales forecast and you're going to get all those clients, it's just going to take you longer than you thought, involving the people on the team in the process of elongating the timeline and the plan while showing that there's still a path to bigness, there's a path to that vision, it's just that the path is a little longer and slower than you thought, I think is sort of the best practice. Get everyone's best ideas about what do we do first, second, and third, because we can't do them all at once.
Jonathan Gandolf: I love that the confronting brutal facts of reality reminds me a lot of the Stockdale Paradox, which we've talked about as a team, where you confront the brutal facts of reality, but still have an unwavering faith in the end result. And so I think that also goes into that third one. We still believe in the big vision and it's still going to happen, it's just a matter of when and how. So I really appreciate that, Matt. That's awesome advice.
Matt Blumberg: Absolutely. And everyone that has ever studied resilience from a psychology or an organization development perspective will say the same thing, which is the root of resilience is the hope for a better tomorrow. And the hope for a better tomorrow doesn't change when market conditions change necessarily. Now obviously if the demand for your product goes to zero, that's a different story. But as long as things are good, you're still on track just the track just got a little bit longer, as long as you're inviting everyone on your team along for that part of the journey with you.
Jonathan Gandolf: I love that. That's really good. Thanks Matt.
Matt Blumberg: All right, Jonathan Gandolf from The Juice. Thanks for joining me.
Jonathan Gandolf: Thank you.
On today’s Ask Bolster episode, Jonathan Gandalf and Matt discuss how entrepreneurs can confront reality and manage a change of pace during a downturn. Tune in for a great discussion about people, resiliency, and the startup journey.
Jonathan Gandalf is the wizard of content distribution. He’s the founder & CEO of The Juice—a B2B Content platform used by 15,000+ sales and marketing professionals, solving the challenge of turning content into revenue.