#103: Selfmade Entrepreneurship with Brit Morin
#103: Selfmade Entrepreneurship with Brit Morin
Become a Selfmade Entrepreneur with Brit Morin!
In this episode, we are chatting with Brit Morin, founder and CEO of Brit+CO, a popular lifestyle website. Brit grew up loving arts and crafts, but after she learned how to code in teens, she traded her love of art for a career in technology and marketing — working with huge names in Silicon Valley like Apple and Google straight after college. At the age of 25, she decided to create her own business, Brit+Co, to center around accessible and helpful DIY how-to’s. In 10 years, she’s secured over $50M in funding and over 1.2 Billion page views! Today, she also hosts her own podcast, Teach Me Something New, is a budding investor (she invested in the booming audio-only social media app, Clubhouse), and recently launched Self-Made, an interactive start-up school to empower female entrepreneurs!
In this week’s episode, we talk about Brit’s passion for creativity growing up as a kid, why we tend to become less creative as we become adults, and why you should try to set aside time for creativity every single day. We’ll also dive deeper into Brit’s beginnings at Apple and Google, why Brit created Brit+Co, how she raised capital, her own investing endeavors, and her new venture to help other women become successful entrepreneurs, Self-Made.
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Follow Hala on ClubHouse: @halataha
Check out our website to meet the team, view show notes and transcripts: www.youngandprofiting.com
00:46 – How Brit’s Creativity Grew Out of Her Childhood
02:09 – Why Creativity Diminishes As You Age
05:22- The Scope of Creativity
08:49 – How Brit’s Childhood Influenced Her Success Today
14:33 – Brit’s Background of Coding
16:42 – Brit’s Start in Silicon Valley
19:21 – Experiencing Steve Jobs’ Leadership
22:25 – What Brit Took From Her Past Experience to Brit+Co
27:10 – Why Marissa Mayer Mentored Brit
30:50 – The Beginnings of Brit+Co
35:34 – When Brit Knew Brit+Co Would be Successful
38:37 – How Brit Raised Money
41:29 – The Ways Brit Decides to Invest in Companies
43:49 – Brit’s Venture, Self-Made
46:37 – Success Stories from Self-Made
50:18 – Brit’s Secret to Profiting in Life
Mentioned In The Episode:
Brit’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/britmorin
Brit’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brit/
Brit’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/brit
Brit’s Website, Brit+Co: https://www.brit.co/
Brit’s Podcast: https://www.brit.co/listen/
[00:00:00] Hala Taha: You're listening to YAP. Young and profiting podcast, a place where you can listen, learn, and profit. Welcome to the show. I'm your host Hala Taha. And on young and profiting podcast, we investigate a new topic each week and interview some of the brightest minds in the world. My goal is to turn their wisdom into actionable.
advice that you can use in your everyday life, no matter your age, profession, or industry, there's no fluff on this podcast and that's on purpose. I'm here to uncover value from my guests by doing the proper research and asking the right questions. If you're new to the show, we've chatted with the likes of ex FBI agents, real estate moguls.
Self-made billionaire. CEOs and best-selling authors our subject matter ranges from enhancing productivity, how to gain, influence the art of entrepreneurship and more if you're smart and like to continually improve yourself, hit the subscribe button, because you'll love it here at young [00:01:00] and profiting podcast this week on.
Yeah, but we're chatting with Brit Morin, a CEO and investor, and the leading female in the world. Do it yourself, creative content, Brit grew up loving arts and crafts, but after she learned how to code in her teens, she traded her love of art for a career in technology and marketing, working with huge names and Silicon valley like apple and Google straight out of college.
In her twenties, she took a risk and leaped into entrepreneurship, launching up aggressive lifestyle brand and website by the name of Brit & Co, which focuses on accessible. Do it yourself crafts. Nearly a decade later, Britt has hustled her way and scaled Brit & Co to 75 million in revenue, nearly 400 million website users and has released dozens of products in mass retail stores.
Not to mention she's put on 15,000 person festivals hosts, a chart topping podcast is the author of a bestselling book. And has even been featured in [00:02:00] over 50 national TV segments, Brit is absolutely crushing life. And most recently she launched a new, highly interactive course called self-made to help women build businesses of their dreams.
And just 10 weeks, some of the teachers in the program include Brit herself. Gwyneth Paltrow and Mariam Naficy , the CEO of Minted. In this episode, we'll talk about why we tend to become less creative as adults and how we can hone creativity later in life. We'll also dive deep into Brit's beginnings at apple and Google, how Brit & Co first came about.
And we'll hear how Brit raised funding as a young entrepreneur and how she makes investment decisions today as a new venture capitalist. Hey Britt. Welcome to young and profiting podcast.
Brit Morin: Hi,
thanks for having me.
Hala Taha: I'm very excited to talk to you. I feel like there's so many different things that we can discuss.
You are the founder and CEO of Brit & Co, you also had a very. [00:03:00] Awesome tech career, you worked at Google and apple. So definitely want to dive into that. Something that you're very well known for is do it yourself, creativity type of things. And so from my understanding, you were very creative from a young age, from finger painting to drawing.
This was something that you always had inside of you. So let's start from the beginning. What were you like as a child and how did you hone this creativity at such a young age?
Brit Morin: Oh, like the very beginning. Okay. So for better or for worse, I was a child of the kind of late eighties and early nineties, AKA the time period in life, where there was not the internet, there was not social media.
And I was part of a generation where both parents worked so often I was at home alone. Or my mom was working from home and I was just left to fend for myself. And as a creative little girl, to your point, I knew I was going to be an adventure. One day. I had a list of [00:04:00] inventions. I still own that list by the way.
And I just tinkered around the house, finding materials to. Make them a real thing. I didn't know what I was doing was actually entrepreneurship. I called it creativity because I was making stuff. I was making products. I was burning things, lighting things on fire, on accident, cutting the wrong things.
And so it was a mess and a disaster, but that was the only way I could learn again without Google or YouTube or something around me.
Hala Taha: Yeah, that's really cool. And I know I've heard you say in the past that making and the act of actually making something can help us rediscover our creativity because when we're younger, we are like fearless when it comes to trying something new and getting creative.
But then as we get older, we shy away from being creative. So can you talk
to us about that?
Brit Morin: Yeah, it's really interesting because. We did an experiment a few years ago where we surveyed a bunch of five to seven year olds and we asked them, do you [00:05:00] think you're creative? And as you can imagine, like almost all of them said, yeah, for sure.
Of course I'm like the most creative person in the world, super ego about their grades. Then we interviewed a bunch of 25 to 35 year olds and asked them if they felt they were creative. And as you can imagine, the majority said, no, I am not creative. Oh, that's not me. I'm not an artist. Like for some reason, Referring to it as being an artist instead of just a trait of humanity.
And so we, we realized that something happens between five and twenty-five or 35. And I think it's middle school. Middle school is to blame for everything in life. But no, I think it's actually like when we start feeling judged about our creative skills and that, that can come with grades, when you get graded in art class, which is counterintuitive, or when we start to become really.
Afraid and insecure of what our peers think about us [00:06:00] when we're showing things to them that feel really vulnerable as teenagers. But the fascinating thing is that oftentimes specifically for women, when we studied creativity as adults, The only time it did come back in a really meaning statistically meaningful way was around the time of getting married.
And we explored this for a little bit and we realized that with the rage of do it yourself, weddings and Pinterest and all of these things, women in particular felt like there was a creative. Moment that was happening, that they wanted to put their twist on to make it more themselves. And that reinvigorated their little child inside of them.
Many times encourage them to be more creative as adults on an ongoing basis. So I thought that was a really fascinating study that we've done. And then the other thing to note is that Halloween of course, is the one day a [00:07:00] year where every single person not everyone, but 98% feel creative and feel like it's okay to break the rules and play and experiment with, without the judgment that comes and being silly.
So I do think so much of it is just about adult insecurity at the end of the day.
Hala Taha: Yeah. Wow. That's so interesting. And I've always considered myself to be like a very creative person. Like I, I always have these natural design abilities. And even when I was in jobs in corporate where I wasn't a designer, I was like very strategic in a higher level role.
I. Found my creativity to be like a huge asset, because when I was doing presentations, I can make them very visual. And even my spreadsheets were really easy to understand and things like that. So talk to us about the scope of creativity and like your definition of creativity, because I don't think it's just art, and can working on these DIY projects like help, you and your corporate career or your professional job
Brit Morin: It's so funny. That's exactly right. Everyone [00:08:00] thinks that when I say creativity, like glue and ribbon, like crafts, and even the word craft is like, so overplayed, it means like Popsicle sticks and like kindergarten.
But when I say the word, like craftsmanship, that's provoked something more sophisticated or to your point, DIY even has a crafty tone. But like when you're doing something yourself, it's do it yourself, right? It's I can go make dinner for myself. I can put on makeup by myself. I think creativity is this horizontal layer across everything we do in life.
Literally, you're making probably 10 to 20 creative choices every day minimum just because you're picking out what you're wearing and you're deciding if it matches, if you're a woman, maybe you're putting on makeup, you're doing gradients with your eye shadow. You're blending your contour and you're literally doing artistic things to your face and your hair.
You're deciding what to make for dinner. You're maybe decorating or organizing your home. You're being creative and problem solving at work to your [00:09:00] point. I definitely think creativity is an asset, no matter what, but the problem is, it's like a muscle. You have to work it out. You have to explore that side of yourself even when you're not working and problem solving.
And to me, even 30 minutes a week, literally like exercising, whatever, pick a creative thing, cooking, painting, photography, it doesn't matter. Just do it and understand how it feels to get into that flow state. Because at the end of the day, there's also been a lot of studies about creativity as an antidote to anxiety, depression, all of these mental health issues, because it does put you into a meditative flow and you don't have to Instagram it.
You don't have to show it to anybody that can just be for you. It can be messy. And isn't that such an amazing analogy for business and for life. It can be messy. You can try, you can play, you don't even have to put it out there at first, but explore it for yourself and see what comes from that.
[00:10:00] Hala Taha: Yeah.
I love that. And it doesn't need to like make money or do anything fancy. It can just be for you and it's for men and women too. Like men can be creative as well. And I think even there's a lot of men out there who think that crafts and creativity is for women. And I think that there's plenty of things that men can do that are creative.
Brit Morin: Oh, my gosh. I'm married to a man who. Might not call himself a creative actually, but like he's an amazing photographer. He is an incredible like architect designer, thinker. Literally he studies real estate. He's on the board of dwell. He also plays Legos with my boys every day and they're building.
From scratch. They're not following the guidebook. They're just like making houses, making battleships like that is creativity too. And it's so fun. It's so fun to let that side of you go and just explore and see where it takes you. So I, yeah, men can totally be crazy.
Hala Taha: Yeah, I love that. So let's talk about all of your success.
Like you [00:11:00] are an extremely successful young woman. You're only 35 years old. You're the CEO of a company that a lot of people know about. You're an investor in multiple different companies. You've been on the 30, under 30 lists twice. Like you are very successful. And when I looked at your child, It's not the typical childhood that I've seen with all the different successful people that have been on my show.
Usually I get the underdogs they were picked on at school. They were nerds with no friends or, they never got any opportunities. But then I look at your profile and, straight A's captain of the soccer team, class, president spelling, bee champ, you name it. You seem to have been crushing it your whole life.
So I want to know, are we just seeing the high. Reel of your life. Did you have any challenges growing up and how do you stay motivated if you had a very easy childhood? How does that keep you motivated knowing that you had it so easy or is there something we're missing?
Brit Morin: Oh thank you for insinuating that it was easy.
[00:12:00] I'm like I've been in years of therapy. I can tell you all about my childhood. No, but for real, my. We were very middle class. I remember when it was really difficult for my mom to write me a $20 check for a field trip. Like we didn't have that much money. And the bank, my mom was an, is a court reporter.
My dad, when I was born was a restaurant manager and then later turned car salesman, no one had really gone to college and my whole family, my dad put himself through community college later when I was like seven. So I didn't grow up with The college educated, super successful working class family.
These were people that were just like trying to make it and get by. And my mom suffered from debilitating depression when I was in first grade all the way til like sixth or seventh grade. And ever since then, she's still had it on and off. [00:13:00] And largely my childhood memories were of my dad. At work and my mom sleeping in her bedroom and.
I think that I became so fascinated with creativity and invention and DIY do it myself, because that was my only option. I had to figure things out for myself to survive. Literally, I had to learn to cook for myself. I did my laundry when I was eight. I had to go seek other people's approval like teachers and coaches, because I didn't feel like I was getting that at home.
And I've talked to my mom about this at this point, but it also encouraged me. To never want to be like that. My mom was a very negative person during those times. She definitely didn't think she was smart enough. Pretty enough. Good enough at anything in life. She was not ambitious at all. She did not want to change her life to do anything different or new.
And I think I [00:14:00] pushed against that so hard. So hard that not only did I throw myself into being the most ambitious go-getter person in the world, but I truly believe every woman can be that as well. And it's become my mission in life to pull women along with me and push them off the edge when they're scared and push them to do things that are really uncomfortable for them, because I know they can.
And that has been what's created Britain co and self-made the new brand we've made and everything else. My podcast is called, teach me something new because I just believe that life is a journey that you should be learning and evolving every single day, and I'm insatiably curious and I wouldn't say that it was easy. Quote unquote, in fact, like this trauma I had is what pushed me to do those things. But, it's the truth of anybody that's had success that doesn't necessarily mean you feel like you've actually made it to yourself and what is making it even mean in general? You could be Joe Biden or, the president, or you could be Oprah and you might still be [00:15:00] unsatisfied at the end of the day.
Yeah, I would encourage everyone out there listening to judge wisely and cautiously. When you see people with a bunch of accolades, because there's probably been things that have pushed to them that hard to do those things and achieve those things. And I do feel like, right now in my life, I feel like the most, whole authentic version of myself that I can talk so openly about this.
And I can be a resource for other men and women. Going through similar things, whether it's with mental health or are there like the achievement push that, any, a gram three over here can't ever say she hate my need to achieve.
Hala Taha: So speaking of learning something new, you learned how to code at a young age.
And you're really not that much older than me. And I know when we were growing up, it was very unusual for girls to be coding and things like that. So when did you start learning how to code and what gave you the desire to go out to Silicon valley at such a young age.
Brit Morin: Yeah. I remember [00:16:00] being in like eighth grade and playing around with geo cities and all of these sort of build your own website tools that had just come out on the internet, which if anyone's listening, that's like sub 25.
I'm sorry. But like these were things that existed where you could. You can even code your own MySpace background with some CSS. And I just became fascinated with even your aim profile, your AOL instant messenger profile. So I was learning these little tips and tricks with CSS and HTML. And then I remember seeing that there was an AP computer science class being offered at my high school.
And we were going to learn Java script, which was this fancy new coding language at the time. Prior to that. It was C plus. And so a, I wanted AP credits because I knew I had to pay my way through college. And I desperately wanted to test out of as much college as I could to save myself money.
But B I was seeing what was happening with the internet. It was exploding. This is around the time of 2000, like [00:17:00] literally the.com boom. Like I was like, what is this magical thing called the internet? How do I get to Silicon valley as soon as possible? Oh, I should learn to code. And so I did, and I think that, I was one of three girls in the class of like 25 or 30 people.
And I just learned how to create little programs and learned about the basis of computing. That became the beginning of a journey for me, that really changed my life.
Hala Taha: Very
cool. So you ended up going to the university of Texas, and he wanted to go there cause you knew you would graduate early and then head out to Silicon valley when you were, I think, 20 years old.
So talk to us about that. Talk to us about that. Move to Silicon valley. I think your first job was apple. Tell us about that
Brit Morin: yeah.
It's really funny because it's along the same time. I was fascinated with the computers and Silicon valley. I was equally fascinated by [00:18:00] media and entertainment.
I was binge watching television all the time. Like most teenagers do and. LA felt so glamorous to me, a girl from Texas. And I remember when I was graduating early. I had two opportunities. One was to move to LA and work on the Jimmy Kimmel show, which had just launched no one knew who this guy was or to move to San Francisco and work for apple.
And I was very conflicted. I remember being like, Ooh, this is really tough. And. My brother talked some sense into me and it was like, are you crazy? Like you have to go to apple, but apple wasn't sexy at the time. This is Dell was still like number one. And, PCs was what everyone had. iPods were still hard to sell to people it's like early two thousands.
So I was like, oh, okay. I guess I'll go to apple. And I'm so glad I did, because not only did I get to work in iTunes, which is the coolest group at apple, and we have John Mayer stopped by for fun. Yeah. [00:19:00] But I met my husband there, which was an awesome bonus and of course, got getting to work and Steve jobs, even though I was so low on the totem pole was really cool.
I remember I had to at one point, one of my jobs was to. Send out the chunk of press that had happened the day before I had to deliver it, hand, deliver it to each one of the executives in the morning and go by their offices. And I like had heard horror stories about Steve jobs firing you on the spot.
If you said something wrong. And so I remember I would always like tip toe to his office and Hand him the stack of press from the day before, like so afraid, like it was a bad press day. I would be fired or something. I don't know. But it was just like, little stories like that. And I got to ask him questions at town halls and it was a really cool time to be there.
And I'm so glad I got to work at apple briefly during the Steve jobs era.
Hala Taha: Yeah. And I heard that he actually lied to you about releasing the iPhone. You had [00:20:00] asked about a phone and he was like, oh, we would never, put a camera and a iPod in one device. We would never do that. And then six months later, it came up.
Tell us about that story and tell us about just it's crazy that you had. You actually met Steve jobs. Not many people can say that. So tell us about how he was as a leader as well.
Brit Morin: Yeah, like I said, I was so scared of him cause we all passed around these horror stories, I was also the go getter, maybe naive early 20 something year old that if there is an opportunity at a town hall to ask a question, I wasn't going to like, let that chance slip. And so I raised my hand, there had been all these rumors about an iPhone and I said, Hey, like there's rumors, we're making a phone. Is this true? And he said, yeah, exactly what you said. He was like let me tell you something.
When you put a camera, an iPod and a telephone into one device. No way, can you keep the quality as high as [00:21:00] possible in each one of those three things like something has to give, so do you think we would really do that? And I was like, oh, you're oh, okay. Okay. You're so right. You're so right. Apple's like high quality.
We don't ever sacrifice quality. And then six months later, it's literally meet the iPhone. It's like the, keynote presentation that changed the world. And so there was also another time I asked him about social media, which was interesting because this is like 2006. Like Facebook had just launched, it was picking up some steam, but it was still in colleges.
And I said, what do you think about social media, Steve? And I remember at the time, my space was the biggest social network and he said, Cause I had asked him, do you think apple might ever launch a social network? And he said, let me tell you something. If my space is like over here on this end of the spectrum and Disney is on the whole other end of the spectrum, AKA insinuating, that MySpace was like for sex and craziness and [00:22:00] like massage, I dunno, like terrible things.
And Disney was like family friendly. He's I think we would be. More aligned with Disney. Like he would always answer things in a roundabout way where he wasn't saying yes or no, but he was like painting a picture of like, why or why not. We would do things. And it's interesting because at the time I don't think that apple and Pixar had
formalized a relationship yet, but that must've been like on his mind or something, because that was all happening in that same era. And it's just also funny that like MySpace was the, I know exactly. So anyways, it was really fun and I learned a lot and now actually my partner in the venture firm, I'm working on.
Literally reported to Steve jobs for 28 years. So I am getting way more Intel on Steve and his life and what he was like as a bus, through my new partner, James.
Hala Taha: Really cool. And so you also worked at Google, so you worked at [00:23:00] two massive tech giants. Now you have your own company. What are some things that you took from each company?
Cause now I'm a new entrepreneur. I worked at Hewlett Packard. I worked at Disney streaming and other places, and I find myself like taking values and kind of culture bits from each company. What have you brought to Britain co from these two companies?
Brit Morin: Yeah, they both are so different, but I'm so glad I got to see both of them.
So at App designers are the gods, everything hinges on quality and design, right? And it's also a super secretive culture and marketing is everything. If you are an epic marketer, you know how to write copy and to tell a story, the iPod ads that are so infamous, that is everything at Google, that stuff is the bottom of the pack.
Like engineering is. Everything. I, Google data driven decisions are the way to go. Design and marketing are fluffy. They won't [00:24:00] actually change the user's perception, and of course I'm overstating some of us, but like totally different cultures. And also at Google, we literally had an internal Wiki where you could search what any project is.
Who's working on it when it's going to be launched, see all the mocks, the screenshot, and no one really leaked it. It was actually like pretty secure. We didn't really have leaks that much. So I think it's interesting how you can build totally different types of cultures, but still create incredible brands that could change the world.
The thing about Google that I loved though, was like really the data-driven decision-making, Marissa Meyer was one of my bosses there. She went on to be an investor in my company as you said, and. I remember we would be in user design reviews and she would make. Test like 100 colors of the shade of blue and a button to see which one converted better.
Like we had like maybe 10 and she was like, we need more pick every shade of blue and this part of the spectrum. And let's see if there's a [00:25:00] difference, 0.01 person difference and click-through rate because when you're literally dealing with a billion people, a change of 0.01% is really meaningful.
And so she really. Invested in teaching me how to think about numbers, how to think about data. How to pair data and design together because art and science can live congruently and harmoniously together. And at the end of the day, Britain co has really been driven by data as much as possible. It's one of those things from Google, like for instance, when we launched Brit & Co back in the day 2011, I remember Pinterest was a new social network.
They had just released like the Pin it button that you can embed on your website to save images. We tested like 20 or 30 versions of the P like, or the save the pen at the P like all the variations of the peanut button. We found one that like blew the rest away. [00:26:00] And to this day, Britain & Co it's specifically like my account, Brit is one of the top Pinterest accounts in the whole world.
We, I think most recently reached 91 million uniques on Pinterest. And I totally credit that to the testing of his peanut button, which became really effective for us because so many of our users would save things and that really blew up our account there. If anyone is out there thinking about data, like getting the Google master's degree and how to make data driven decisions can totally help you out.
Hala Taha: Yeah. And I would definitely echo that because I find that's a skill that not many people have, like people don't understand UX people. Haven't had, experience with AB testing and things like that. Unless you've been in product marketing or, in a marketing department that does that kind of stuff.
There's a lot of people who don't have experience there. And then they start businesses on their own. They run ad campaigns. [00:27:00] They don't know why it's not working and they don't understand that you need to continually iterate and iterate until yeah. Something that's really good. And you got to keep spending time to make it better and better.
So I would definitely recommend, increasing that skill, your product design skills and things like that. Love that. So you mentioned Marissa Mayer and she was an investor in your company and sounds like she was also one of your boss mentors. And I want to understand if you could look back at your time at Google and making your impression with Marissa.
What do you think it was in terms of your qualities for her to take you on under her wings for her to have liked you so much to invest in your company? How did you get in her?
Brit Morin: I think that's a fascinating question because I'm actually still not totally sure, but I do know is she didn't like me at first.
So there was a crossover point. No, I had this manager when I was first at Google. And again, I'm like 23 at this point. Like I'm really. [00:28:00] This manager was a gay Spanish man. So you can imagine he was just very outgoing, loud. And I remember, we would do our peer assess and we'd get our quarterly performance reviews back.
And all the managers would have to go to Marissa to validate each person on their team and what their review score was, blah, blah, blah. And Marissa kept knocking me down. Like he would be like, I think Brit was an overachiever this quarter. She should get a 4.0. And versus I don't know. I think she's probably more like a three, five.
And I remember my manager being like, I don't know, Britt, like maybe she feels like you're competitive. I don't know why she. She thinks you're like a diva. I don't know, like what's happening. And I was so sad because I was working my ass off and I was like, always trying to be so kind. And I just do my work and, but then.
I remember being [00:29:00] asked to join a new team by Marissa, which was called Google TV. We were creating the first operating system for television that ever existed. It was part of the YouTube organization. It's now gone on to be Chromecast, but Marissa like was called me to her office and was like, I think you need to go to this team.
And I was. Really why. And she was like, because this is going to be like a startup within Google. And I just really believe that it's going to be exciting for you. You're going to learn a lot. You're going to get a bunch of responsibility. And I was like, technically I'm not actually. Experienced enough to be on that team for the role that's open there and she's I'll make it happen for you.
And I was just like, what, when in this like life cycle of knowing Marissa, did she suddenly decide you liked me because whatever, but I'll take it. And so I went to the team, I like launched Google TV. It was awesome. I managed a $50 million budget when I was 25, which is totally insane. And ever since then, she's been really supportive of [00:30:00] me and everything I've tried to do.
I don't know, but something that's a good mystery to figure out.
Hala Taha: If I could, from an outside perspective, it sounded like you were always willing to raise your hand, whether you were at the town hall, willing to raise your hand and ask a question because a lot of people are shy to do that.
And that's really how you get intention of The CEO and people you don't have access to. He probably started to recognize you as the girl who always asked a question and then with Marissa you, weren't afraid to say yes when she gave you that opportunity that you weren't quite ready for.
These are all definitely qualities of young employees that I think really stand out in my opinion.
Brit Morin: Yeah, for sure. And I think just will it being willing to roll up your sleeves? Do the work say yes to your point really puts your bosses mind at ease when they need that whole field right now.
So you're right. That's a really great tip for anyone else.
Hala Taha: Yeah. So let's talk about Brit & Co. At what point did you want, decide you were going to go off as an entrepreneur, you started really young. How did you get like the motivation to [00:31:00] do that? The courage, the confidence to just go out on your own?
How did that come about?
Brit Morin: Yeah here I was 25. I had just launched Google TV. I'd also worked on many other things at Google. I'd been there for four years and I felt like I was repeating patterns. I was literally nothing felt that challenging anymore. I It's challenging, but like I was doing the same thing.
I was launching a new thing. I knew how to launch something. And at Google also, like if you put a link on the Google homepage, you're going to work, destined to get like a successful launch. So I was like, how does this work for for like when you don't have a billion people following you, And I noticed I Google and YouTube, how to search queries, like how to blink were always the most popular every year.
They actually tend to disqu female more than male. And as a 20 something year old female, I was like, not very impressed by the search results behind them. They were like pretty boring. Not exciting, not informative. So I was like, ah, I love creative stuff. I really want to learn [00:32:00] how to do things too, but I wouldn't turn to any of these search results to like, teach me.
And I was like, oh my God, should I be the teacher? And I remember, I was getting ready to get married. I, it was in the same state I told you about earlier, which was like, I was thinking of all these creative ideas for my wedding. And I wanted to make them all to add a personal twist. And I really wanted other women to learn how to do this too.
Pinterest had just launched. I was putting everything on my blog and on Pinterest, I was developing a little following for my little creative side projects and I was just. Oh, I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do, but I didn't feel like it was a real business. I was like, this is just a blog. It's not this isn't a business.
And so instead I was like I actually really care about health and fitness. There's like a body analytics company I really want to start to. And I got a co-founder, it was a female engineer. We were building an alpha. I had left Google. I decided, I had six months of savings in my bank account.
And if I couldn't [00:33:00] get something working in six months, I would just go back to Google or get a new job somewhere else. I felt confident enough in myself that I could get another nine to five if things fell apart, but I had six months to go prove myself to the world. And I did have this crazy impasse where I was working on this health company.
We were about to go raise money. We're building a pitch deck. Obsessed with this creative part of my life and like teaching women how to do things. And my husband and I, one of my best friends sat me down one day and were like, Brit, you are destined to do this. Like you champion women. This has always been part of you.
You've literally been creative since you were a little girl. You light up. When you talk about this, the health and fitness like analytics stuff. Cool. Maybe that's a billion dollar company. Maybe you can have a really great outcome. But are you really going to love doing that every day when you wake up for the next 10 years?
And I was like, what? And so much of the decision was [00:34:00] actually like me believing enough in myself to do something without a co-founder at first it's really scary to start alone. I had the co-founder at this like health startup I was working on. And, but, I was like, they're right. And I broke up with my co-founder.
I was literally like, it's not you it's me the same excuse you would use in dating. Yeah. And off, I went to start Brit & Co and I put my name in it because at the time social media was just blowing up and everyone that was a brand was a human and it felt way more authentic and personable to be a real person behind the brand.
Kind of like back in the day, to your point, Disney Hershey's Porsche, Rockefeller, Walmart, they were all real people. And that gave you an element of trust in the brand that they built.
Hala Taha: So you
launched Brit & Co. I can't believe you didn't start it really as a side hustle that you just went cold Turkey because we have opposite stories.
I did, yeah. Media as a side hustle, did it completely while working full-time and then once it was [00:35:00] like, totally risk-free I, I, left the mothership. So we did that totally obstinately. It could also be there's such different, markets. Now I did it during COVID. You did it a long time ago.
Maybe it wasn't that crazy of a market at the time. So different scenario. You're very successful. So it worked out for you. What was the tipping point with Britain co like at what point did you feel like, wow, like this is really going to be a thing this is going to be really successful. At what point did you start realizing that you had created a movement and that you were going to get a lot of notoriety from this?
At what point did you realize that.
Brit Morin: I think there were a lot of micro moments along the way, even just raising our first round of funding, which was a million dollars, felt like a huge achievement oh my God, we had enough traffic and enough revenue for huge venture capitalists to invest in us.
That was scary, but awesome. And then we did it again with the series a and we did it again with the series B in between the series B and series C, which was probably. 2015 to [00:36:00] 2017 was like those years, I just remember were like so wild and amazing that those years were probably the time period to your, that answer your question.
Like we were launching products. And target stores nationwide. We have 15,000 people coming out to our events. We had, we peaked at 15 million uniques a month on our website. There's press all the time. I was on TV all the time. And it was just like so much was going on and it was awesome. But in many ways, we were scaling so quickly at the time that I do feel like.
It was equally hard. Cause I was losing touch with so many of the employees, had over a hundred employees and it was just like a lot that happened at once. And Disney became an investor. Verizon became an investor. It took me away from my team. Way more than I imagined. And after the election [00:37:00] in 2016 and Facebook started changing all their algorithms and the media world of digital media started getting crazy.
If you look at Buzzfeed and Vox, and everybody has had an enormous amount of struggle over the past few years, because all these changing algorithms just change traffic, like so wildly. And I the last few years have been super difficult just because we live in a social media world now, whereas those years building up from 2011 to 2017, yes.
Facebook was a thing, but it wasn't so fragmented. It was like Google, Facebook, Pinterest, ours, three social media, our sources of traffic. And so it's been more challenging, but also more rewarding because so many publishers have started. Moving into direct to consumer revenue rather than relying on advertising as our main revenue source.
And that's been so liberating for me because at the end of the day, like I get to spend more of my time with our users instead of flying all over the country, talking to CMOs and that stuff's fun, but I want to [00:38:00] know what's next for, on the cusp of the edge for women and that's what I care about.
Hala Taha: Yeah. And so when you were raising money for your business, like when did you decide I'm not going to bootstrap this, I'm going to raise money. What were you going to use that money for? And how did you know that you were in fact ready to take on an investor rather than going for a loan or something like that?
Brit Morin: Yes. So it was 2012 and I remember thinking, wow, our traffic is like really picking up. We went from zero to half a million uniques really quickly, and then a million. And at the time that was like a really big deal. And I remember thinking about how. This was just the brink of what could it be?
Because if we can continue to grow traffic like this, we can monetize it through advertising. We could also create a commerce business, which at the time really hadn't been done before, like content and commerce [00:39:00] businesses were very new and, ultimately we could build this multifaceted brand. But in order to do that, I needed like significant capital because I needed engineers.
I needed, people who knew manufacturing, I needed a bunch of people and alone was not going to get me there. And so I think it's also a factor of I've been born and bred in Silicon valley and venture capital is just like right outside my door. And I know the people who are venture capitalists, I literally.
Did my seed deal in the back of a taxi in New York city, because I was like pitching to a VC who I know. And so I was fortunate to have a network that was literally right outside my door and I know not everyone has. But I do think it's part of the halo effect of having gotten to Silicon valley at such a young age and starting to get to know people, even at apple and Google and your network is your net worth.
As my friend Porter, Gale says. [00:40:00] So it really helped me in that way. I will say, I don't think venture capital is the right approach for most businesses. I, in many ways have thought back could I have done this without all the VC money? And I. Totally possible. You might not grow as quickly, but you will grow organically.
You can probably grow a solid 20 to 30% year over year instead of a hundred percent year over year. Like we've done so many years, but it's totally possible and probably less stressful if you want to do it though.
Hala Taha: Yeah.
And I know that now you're an investor yourself. You actually mentioned to me on an offline conversation that you invested in clubhouse, which I think was a really great one
Brit Morin: I agree. Thank you.
Hala Taha: So how do you decide which companies you're going to invest in? What's that process?
What do you look for?
Brit Morin: Yeah, so I'm a seed stage investor, which is like sometimes investing in companies before they've even launched other times investing in them right after they've launched.
It's really hard. [00:41:00] To paint a picture of success when you barely have metrics to work off of. So what me and my partners tend to do is a look at the team. And when I say team, I really mean the founder or co-founders like, have they done this before? What's their track record? Have they worked together before?
We referenced them with a lot of background and diligence on who they are. If they're second time founders or third time founders as is Paul Davidson, the founder of clubhouse, I've known Paul since 2009. We hung out at south by Southwest, back in the day when he was like launching, highlight his second company.
And I know that he. Has an itch in him to scratch when it comes to building a social network, like he's tried to do it and failed and he's learned a lot and he just won't give up. And I think in many ways we look for people that will just bulldoze through walls no matter what they will figure it out.
So that's number one. And number two is it's truly the idea. [00:42:00] Is this an idea that could become a multi-billion dollar business? Is this something that could defend themselves with if competition came out from nowhere, is that. Something that can scale quickly rather than taking 10 or 20 years, and so we look at those things, we look at models and ultimately, we place our bets on companies where still 90% plus won't work out. And the beauty of venture capital is that hopefully a small percentage of them do. And when they do work out, it's not just like a two X return. It's a thousand X return, which I'm hopeful.
Clubhouse will be one of for us.
Hala Taha: I'm sure
will clubhouses blowing up. And we actually have a clubhouse event later today, which is very exciting. So can't wait for that. Let's talk about your new venture. Self-made tell us about what this is, how people can benefit from it, where they can find out more
Brit Morin: Yeah. So during the peak of the early [00:43:00] pandemic in 2020, roughly in the may June timeframe, I was noticing how. Women were disproportionately getting furloughed, let go, or forced out of their jobs to care for their kids. And the New York times had coined it as she session, like women were getting far more displaced for men than men.
And also the black lives matters movement that was happening. Talking about how disproportionately people of color have been treated during the pandemic. And I just became angry because frankly, I have learned how to make money through starting a business. I've watched thousands of people do the same. I have seen all the patterns.
I know all the people in the game. Could I help, could I do something to enable these women to go off and start their own businesses and live on their own financial terms rather than applying to a hundred jobs and crossing their fingers, they might get hired or hoping the pandemic ends so they don't have to homeschool their kids [00:44:00] anymore.
And so self-made was born. It was totally on a whim. I built a Squarespace site in two weeks. It's like my favorite example of just like putting something messy and sloppy out there to see if it sticks and 170 women signed up and I didn't know what I was doing, but I was like, within 10 weeks, I'm going to teach these women everything they need to know about how to start a business.
And I did that and it went really well. And then. I did it again in the fall and it went even better. And now I'm doing it again for the third time. And the key of this whole thing is not only is it live interaction with me, but it's also live interaction with 25 other people I'm bringing in that are experts in all kinds of topics from like pitch techs to P and L's to social media, to sales.
There's also women who have just done it. There's, women like. The CEO and founder of ClassPass Pyle, Kadakia Rebecca Minkoff, the fashion designer, Gwyneth Paltrow, the CEO of goop, [00:45:00] Bosma St. John, the CMO of Netflix, there's women that have taken companies, public there's women that have bootstrapped.
And like everyone is here to tell their story and accelerate the path that these new entrepreneurs have in front of them so that they can just start making money sooner. And so it's been really. Rewarding for me. And I'm really excited that we're about to start the next one on March 1st.
And I'm hopeful that by at the end of the day, we can create over 10,000 new female founded companies through self-made.
Hala Taha: That's amazing. So have any success stories come about since you launched it? I know it's so new. But any, anything come to
Brit Morin: Oh yeah. Most women are launching their businesses during the class.
They're literally starting to create real revenue. One, one woman freaked out because she launched her company one day. The next day, she had $4,000 in sales. She just put up a couple Facebook posts, sent it to some [00:46:00] friends, went to bed, woke up and it was like, holy shit. I get like $4,000 of orders.
Like I've never made that much money in a week in my life. That's the feel like that feeling that I had when I saw that happen. And that's not a singular incident. Like this has happened many different times to so many of the women in the course, like how cool that they took a chance on themselves, put something out there.
Didn't really know what they're doing. And saw massive success. And so the next step is like, how do we sustain that success? And so we have an alumni program and coaching and all kinds of things that go into it, but it's been incredible. It's been amazing. We've had. Invent new products, medical devices, all kinds of like really crazy B2B services.
And then we've had people like create jewelry and face masks. And so it really runs the gamut.
Hala Taha: That's really cool. And so it's a 10 week program and it takes you from zero to launching a business. How, if you already have a business or a new business, or is it still relevant for you or is it really for someone who just [00:47:00] has an idea?
Brit Morin: no, it's definitely relevant for both. We have some separate tracks and breakout sessions for those who already have a business. We also have dedicated coaching. Where you can go one-on-one with coaches to get really specific personal advice on your business. I am there 24 7 to message with and talk to as well, again, super custom and personalized to you.
So it really can be for anyone. And the best part is at the end of it, we have a pitch day where everyone, not everyone, but like a selection of the students get to pitch and we are literally giving out grades. My dream is also to have a venture track for a venture style company. Literally best on the spot shark tank style.
And I can rope in all my favorite female VCs to join. And so ultimately we want to be in the business of helping women create businesses. And that's what self-made is all about. It's also the irony of the name, because [00:48:00] even though we want you to take full credit for what you're doing, there's like a total girl gang here.
Push you forward. And yeah, now we're live for a few more days for signups. If anyone listening wants to enroll, please check it out on the website. It's tri self-made dot com and you can learn more there.
Hala Taha: Yeah,
I love the mission. I see beaming when you're talking about it. You seem so passionate about it.
And honestly, for everybody out there listening, I think going through a reputable coaching program, like this can replace the need to like, go get an MBA. Like literally I really do feel like this is a feature of that type of
Brit Morin: For sure. It's also like a quarter million dollars to get an MBA. I know.
Less than that to go through self-made.
Hala Taha: Yeah,
exactly. It's a great other option. Okay. So you're very accomplished. As we said, you're just 35 years old. You have an incredible company. Now you're launching a new venture called self-made. The last question I ask, all my guests on this [00:49:00] show is what is your secret to profiting in
Brit Morin: My secret to profiting and life is to become incredibly aware of what fills me with energy rather than takes it from me. And I think this is a pattern that a lot of people get into where they're habitually doing the same thing every day. And that could be in work or in your home life. And if you Chronicle all of the things that you're doing, I bet you more than 50% of them are energy draining, not energy giving.
And so the question becomes, how do you either delegate the energy draining stuff or, make that sub 10% and fill your days and fill your life with the things that are energy giving to you because. Life is short and we don't have time to spend wasting our energy. We should be filling our energy and therefore [00:50:00] it becomes contagious to others.
And if we're all doing that, how much better of a world could we create?
Hala Taha: I love that. That's beautiful. And where can our listeners go to learn more about you and
Brit Morin: Oh, my gosh. I'm @Brit on basically every social network @Britandco is the company and the podcast is called, Teach me Something New.
And my new venture is self-made try self-made.Com.
Hala Taha: Awesome. And I'll definitely put the links for all of that in my show notes, Brit, it was so lovely to talk to you. It was a wonderful conversation. Thank
you so much.
Brit Morin: Thanks for having me. Thanks everyone.
Hala Taha: Thanks
for listening to young and profiting podcast.
If you found value in this episode, please take a moment to subscribe to YAP and drop us a five-star review on your favorite platform. Brit Morin is such a girl boss. I think the most memorable part of this episode for me was hearing her stories and interactions that she had with Steve jobs at apple.
She is [00:51:00] so lucky she got to meet him in person. I can't even believe that. And I truly admire how she uses creativity and a do it yourself. Attitude in all aspects of her life. I hope you gained some actionable insight and inspiration to stay creative. No matter how old you are. And what stage you are in life by listening to this episode.
And if you want more information about honing your creativity, why don't you check out my recent episode with Seth Godin, number 87, the practice of creativity, and it, we discuss his approach to creativity as a professional, the importance of generosity with ideas and why people may be holding themselves back from success without even knowing it here's a clip from that episode.
How about art? What is your definition of art?
Seth Godin: I wish I had a better word. And if you could help me with this highlight, I appreciate it. I think we can all agree that Jackson Pollock was an artist. We can all agree that Frida Kahlo was an artist. We can all agree that Marcel Duchamp was an artist, but wait a minute.
What about William Shakespeare? He was definitely an [00:52:00] artist. And so was Neil Gaiman, right? So it might be art painting. It might be writing, but you can also be an artist as an artist. And I think you could be an artist as a child's therapist showing up with a kid who hasn't been able to engage with someone and you got them to engage.
So I need to say art is what happens when a human being does something generous that might not work. Designed to change somebody else. That's my definition of art.
Hala Taha: Yeah. I thought it was really interesting that you kept talking about generosity in your book in relation to being a creative, being an artist, being a leader.
Tell us about how generosity interplays with all of this.
Seth Godin: Okay. So there are two ways to get at this. The first way is this. If I have $6 and I give you $3 generously, I don't have it anymore. So if I give it out to everybody I'm broke, but if I have an idea and I [00:53:00] give it to you, I still have it. In fact, the more people have my idea, the more it's worth.
And so the world has changed from the scarcity mindset of, I don't have it anymore to the abundant mindset of connection creates value. So that's one reason to be generous. We live in that world now. And the second reason to be generous is because a lot of people are trained correctly to not want to take or steal or hustle, or just put stuff out there that they're not proud of.
And so we hold back our good idea, but imagine that you're standing on the boardwalk in Venice beach or something, and someone is drowning a couple feet away from you. Will you jump in and save them? Or will you say I can't be sure I can save them. Will you say someone else here? It might be more qualified than me where you say I'll just hide.
I'm guessing you would jump in and save them.
Hala Taha: I'd try
Seth Godin: because you're generous and that makes it way [00:54:00] easier to do our art. If we realize we're not doing our art for links or clicks or money, we're doing our art. Cause the other person will benefit. Suddenly it's selfish to hold it back. It's generous to say here, I made this and that's an extraordinary opportunity in a great way to hack your brain and get out of your own way to trust yourself
Hala Taha: again.
check out. Number 87. Seth Godin, if you want further information on how to hone your creativity and get some excellent marketing advice while you're at it. We're so grateful for avid listeners and that's why each week I shout out our recent apple podcast review. At the end of my episode, apple podcast reviews are the most coveted kind of reviews for podcasters because they act as social proof and they largely impact podcast rankings.
If you haven't written us an apple podcast review, what are you waiting for? Show us some love and appreciation this week. By taking the time to write us an apple podcast review this week, shout out, [00:55:00] goes to Clayton Lawrence from the U S one of my favorite podcasts. Everything about this show is amazing.
Every time I listened to a new episode, I've learned something new and I feel inspired and motivated to incorporate that learning in my life. YAP is both informative and entertaining. And Hala does a great job of pulling out value from each guest. On top of that, the production quality is top-notch. I highly recommend this show.
Thank you so much for the review Clayton and for all the support you show us on LinkedIn too. And by the way, shout out to Matt on my team. He's our lead audio engineer and the production quality is all kudos to him, Matt. You're amazing. Thank you so much. And to everyone listening out there, don't forget to share young and profiting podcasts with your friends and family.
And remember to follow us on social media, you can find me on Instagram @yapwithhala or LinkedIn, just search for my name it's Hala Taha. And now I'm on clubhouse, follow me @HalaTaha and tap the bell for always. So you always know when I open up a room, [00:56:00] I host podcast office hours each and every week, and I'll also be hosting a lot of gap, live events, big, thanks to the YAP family.
We're now over 40 people strong. It's literally insane how fast we've grown, but I'm so proud of everyone and everything that we're doing much love to the team. This is Hala signing off.
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