Female Startup Club

1 of 623 episodes indexed
Back to Search - All Episodes

6 quick questions with Lily Dempster, Founder of One Small Step (part 2)

by Female Startup Club
September 29th 2022

Today we’re learning from Lily Dempster, the founder of One Small Step app.

One Small Step is a social enterprise that uses technology and behavioural science to make it easy and rewardin... More

Welcome Back. Here are the six quick questions. So question # one is what's your why? Why are you doing this every day? I guess I really care about the world, like I don't want there to be a needless amount of human suffering or you know, for the planet to sort of burn. I find I'm pretty emotionally connected to the potential impacts of climate change and so it's been a pretty consistent driver of my behavior for a long time. Yeah, I just I just really want to feel that I contributed to reducing some of the worst potential impacts of this crisis. Question # two is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? Look Probably too for different reasons. One was when we got featured by Apple because that was just a really, really nice recognition for like what we've built and its quality with such a tiny team shoutout to Remy and Lois Market Tessa by the way, who have been involved in the business and helped make it what it is.

Yeah, so that was really nice. That happened super early on and we got a big boost in numbers, but just to have like such a huge company with so many so many apps out there for them to sort of single us out and say like these guys a good value was really gratifying. And then another marketing moment which was for a totally different reason, was like I got photographed for vogue for their like they had this like vogue codes, female future innovators thing and I was one of the finalists and like I've just never been in like a photo shoot before and it was really weird and I enjoyed it for the novelty, that's amazing. They had me dressed like Hillary clinton in this like powder blue suit, like that was like four sizes too big, like looking at the camera with fan that's just fun for them for the spectacle of it in hindsight. Congrats. Thanks Question # three is what's your go to business resource when it comes to like a book or a podcast or a newsletter or something that you're consuming. Yeah, I've said this on a few podcasts, so it's the same as the same answer as before, which is the book Principles by Ray Dalio.

So that's just like this gigantic book about how to make better decisions in business. I think it's really good and that's what I'd recommend. Yeah. A classic out of the reading list, question number four is how do you win the day? What are your AM and PM rituals that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated? Yeah, I would say that one is to be less have lower like lower expectations in terms of winning the day. Like the fact that life's journey and there's gonna be days where I'm really productive in other days where I'm less productive. I'm not a machine. I'm a human being and so is everybody listening, You're a human being. So you're gonna have ups and downs and having some self compassion around that and some gentleness has actually really helped me to perform better counterintuitively. So, you know, I tended to be a bit of a slave driver in the past with my kind of task list and really pushing myself to do a lot every day and now if I'm tired I rest, I take breaks, checking on my energy.

That means that I can actually maintain a pretty good pace and and my output solid, but I'm also not stressed and exhausted. So yeah, I would say take the pressure off and be kind up and think about how you talk to a friend. I feel like we're all in this race, but it's just with ourselves and when you catch yourself, you know, getting into the fluster and the craziness of it all you realize like hang on, it's just me that I'm trying to like push against myself and you need to take yourself away from that. Yeah, for sure. And also something that helped me with tricking my own mind was like rest is really crucial for productivity, you know, that you need to take time off. You need to have solid leisure time when you're away from thinking about your business, it actually improves the speed at which you can execute. So it's a necessary part of high performance. Love that. Very good Question. Number five is what has been your worst money mistake and how much did it cost you? There's one, but I won't talk about it, I don't wanna, don't wanna pull on anyone publicly sorry for that phrasing, I think worst money mistake, I think it's just about like honestly hiring or bringing people in to do work that I felt like I couldn't do, but in hindsight maybe it would have been better if I just kind of struggled along for a bit longer.

Like I think my view on recruitment now whether you're dealing with contractors or employees is you want to hire someone at the point where like I literally can't do this piece of work anymore, there's no space or I'm just terrible at it. Um but I think going through that kind of learning curve especially when you're an entrepreneur, like there are just really big costs associated with having payroll, having headcount um and you also then have a responsibility to your staff, you know that you're providing them gainful employment, you want to give them job security and it's a really big outgoing cost of a business, especially a business like mine is so little overhead is the staff costs, so just being really, really thoughtful about hiring and only hiring when it's absolutely critically necessary and then you try and get by as much as you can prior to that without bringing anybody in because typically you can find automation work around, you know, you'll have a learning curve where you get faster at things every time it forces you to ruthlessly prioritize and it keeps your burn rate low. So, you know, don't, don't do the company building mission building pieces where you're adding headcount unless you can cover all of those costs and you know that you're gonna be able to cover them into the future.

Absolutely, that's a really good one. And I feel like you can get sucked into this trap of, you know, the glamorous side of having a really big business and lots of people and all happening, but actually it can really be a downfall and it's so common, you know, companies that are much bigger than mine, You know, they have a bit of a boost in revenue, they get excited and they go, Okay, we've got to grow the business with staff so that they can grow the business more and then they end up hiring beyond their means, because they think they're going to make it up with an increase in revenue that they haven't validated. Something like the economic conditions shift. Suddenly they have to lay off 20 people. So, you know, that's such a common experience with startups and I think it's, it's easy to make that mistake mistake of going, well, I need these people cause it's going to help us grow and it's like, great, but how can you, how do you, from a defensive standpoint make sure that that their salary is going to be covered and you've actually validated that already, I think that especially in the current economy, that's a more sensible way to go about hiring.

Absolutely. And question # six, last question, what is just a crazy story, good or bad that you've had from this journey in building business. I don't want to complain about the sexism stuff because I've been really lucky and I have a huge number of really fantastic men supporting me. Like most of my investors are men. Most of my mentors have been men, they've all been wonderful. But every now and then I have a conversation with someone that is just like sort of ridiculous, like telling me the most basic stuff, you know, like what a mobile app is and how our pretension works and like, you know, I'm the ceo of a mobile app company and so just stuff like that where it really boggles your brain when it's just two people in a room and you're like, I can't believe this person is telling me this, like they think they're being helpful, but actually it's just that unconscious bias where so stuff like that I think has been infuriating and funny one of the nicest things about running your own business is that you have more autonomy in who you choose to work with. So you know, the the steve man splendor in the office, you're like, well I don't have to work with steve necessarily have more more choice around that and shout out to the steve's like often it's not deliberate and they probably just need someone to gently take them aside.

But you know, classic men's planning hate it, absolutely hate it and for me it's been the exception. Not the rule. Most people that I've encountered have not behaved that way, but definitely sticks out outrageous, egregious. Yeah, absolutely lily. Thank you so much for taking the time to come on the show and share your journey with one small step. I'm such a cheerleader and I'm excited to see where you go with this. Thank you so much. It was really nice chatting. Hey it's dune here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the female startup club podcast. If you're a fan of the show and want even more of the good stuff, I'd recommend checking out female startup club dot com where you can subscribe to our free newsletter, we send it out weekly covering female founder business news insights and learnings in D. C. And interesting business resources. And if you're a founder building an e commerce brand you can join our private network of entrepreneurs called hype club at female startup club dot com forward slash hype club.

We have guests from the show joining us for intimate. Ask me anythings expert workshops and a group of totally amazing like minded women building the future of dtc brands as always, please do subscribe rate and review the show and post your favorite episodes to instagram stories. I am beyond grateful when you do that

6 quick questions with Lily Dempster, Founder of One Small Step (part 2)
6 quick questions with Lily Dempster, Founder of One Small Step (part 2)
replay_10 forward_10