Practice English Speaking&Listening with: StartitUp Conference 2017: Bark.us CPO Titania Jordan

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- Hi everyone, how are you? Good to see you.

Actually, I don't think I need this,

'cause I've got headest, right?

Awesome.

Cool.

Technology.

Awesome, turning that off.

Leaving this on up here

because I forgot my watch and I don't wanna run over.

How many of you in this room are students?

Cool.

How many of you in this room are students

and have a side hustle?

And how many of you in this room are not students

but are local entrepreneurs,

people in the business community,

came here to learn today?

Cool, awesome.

Any group I left out?

Teachers, faculty.

Okay, cool, awesome.

I always like to know who I'm talking to

and all that good stuff.

I'm Titania Jordan.

I'm the CPO of Bark.

Bark keeps children safer online.

You all are the first generation that grew up

having Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat

in a way that nobody else in the history of the world did.

That's really cool,

but it's also really scary for reasons you know.

Cyberbullying,

sexting,

thoughts of suicide and depression.

It's real, it's prevalent, it's happening.

And, when you become a parent,

you're like "Oh my gosh! I just gave my kid this device

"and they can access the internet."

And that opens a whole new world of things

that can happen in their lives.

At Bark we use machine learning algorithms

to help keep children safer online,

but also not infringe on privacy.

Because I was a teenager once

and at that time I had a diary

I didn't want my parents reading it,

if I even put stuff in there,

which I started to not at one point.

We want your privacy to be respected.

We do that by only serving up problems.

When there is a problem,

we will let parents know via text or email.

We don't just give them unfettered access

to all of your messages because I just feel like

there's something dynamically off about that

and it causes friction.

That's a little bit about what we do at Bark.

CPO, what does that mean?

Sometimes I use it as Chief Parent Officer,

other times I use it as Chief Product Officer.

It's interchangeable.

As Chief Parent Officer,

I'm in charge of making sure that

the product is the best it can be for the parents using it.

Do I know how to code? No.

I don't know a lick of code.

I wish I did.

I wish, when I was your age,

I took computer science courses and learned

Java, and Ruby, and HTML, and CSS, and all of those things.

If I could go back in time I would absolutely do that.

Good news is, is that,

despite not being able to do certain things in life,

you still can do all the things

if you put your mind to it and say yes.

Now you kind of have a frame of reference

for who I am and what I do.

But why I'm here to talk to you today,

gosh, there's so many things I wanna say.

I actually wrote 'em all down in this,

can you see?

A little bit all over the place

but I'm just gonna go through them

and mark 'em off as I go.

So, who am I?

Talked about that.

Authenticity,

hat's a big thing.

No matter who you are, where you are, what you do,

if you can be real with people,

they will gravitate towards you.

So much of the early part of my life

was spent wanting to make sure people like me,

they thought I was cool,

I had on the right clothes,

my breath smelled nice,

my hair looked good.

All of those things are important,

but when people get to know the real you,

they know what you struggle with,

they know what your fears are,

they can connect with you.

It's disarming and they start to realize

"Hey, I'm not alone.

"Other people in the world

are going through the same things."

And you actually can get a lot further together

if you are much more real with each other.

Also, the good news is about getting older,

is you start to care less about what people think of you

and it is so liberating.

Oh my gosh, I wish I could go back to my 16 year-old self,

when I'm on a beach in my bikini like "Ugh, I'm so fat!"

No! You look great!

30 pounds up, 30 pounds down, you look great

'cause you're 16.

You will never be 16 again.

When you're 80 you're gonna wish you looked like that.

You know what I mean?

Just own the skin you're in and own who you are because

each person in this room is a unique gift to this planet.

Nobody is alike.

And I know we all know the like.

Okay, yeah our fingerprints are different

and our DNA and yada-yada-yada.

Each one of you has a

very very special gift and purpose on this planet.

It's so exciting to know that one day you

will be living that to the fullest if you're not already.

So embrace that and go with that.

That was the authenticity note.

Next, saying yes and saying no.

A lot of the opportunities that I've had in my life,

and trust me, they have been completely nuts,

I've been a CMO, a CPO, I've owned a marketing agency,

I've been on The Today Show,

I've been on Good Morning America.

All of these things happened because I said yes.

Even when I wasn't sure if I could do it.

It was really really scary,

but I kind of live life with "Why not"

if not me, then it's gonna be someone else,

and I wanna do it, so I'm gonna try it.

Alternatively, saying no more often.

The flip side to saying yes too much can become

over committing and under-delivering,

as you just heard Patrick speak about.

That's a big thing that I struggle with,

even to this day.

I wanna help all the people,

I wanna do all the things.

And as a result I say yes yes yes yes yes,

and then I start to not being able

to respond to emails as quickly

and not being able to deliverable what I said I'd deliver.

And your reputation is everything,

so it's very empowering to be able to say no.

Say no more often and it frees you up

to say yes to the things that matter.

So, that's saying yes and saying no.

Going back to the saying yes thing,

I live by The 4 C's Formula.

There's this book called

The 4 C's Formula by Dan Sullivan.

He's a motivational speaker,

this crazy influential dude.

His story is amazing, you'll have to google him.

And it's the 4 C's:

commitment, courage, capability and confidence.

And I was kind of living that

without knowing that I was until I read his book.

So this first thing is make a commitment.

The producer of Atlanta Tech Edge,

the local NBC affiliate for this market, 11alive.

We have a show that Atlanta Tech Edge airs every Sunday.

They asked me to try-out to be the host

and I was like "Oh, my gosh!"

I had never taken a class in broadcast journalism,

I didn't know how to read a teleprompter

but I was like "This is awesome.

"I am definitely gonna try out."

So I made a commitment.

I was terrified, I was shaking,

I was so, so nervous, but I was like "You know what,

"I'm gonna kick myself if I don't try this."

So I made a commitment.

It took a lot of courage.

Sometimes medicine

can help with that if you are

having panic attacks and anxiety.

I have been through that process

and there are things that can help with that.

Commitment, courage, and then through the process of

committing and having the courage to do it,

you actually develop the capability.

I was so rocky in the beginning.

Don't do this, but,

if you were to go back and Google some of the first episodes

you can tell I'm, you know, I'm a newbie,

I'm just cutting my teeth on this world.

But over and over you start to learn

and refine and get better and better

and towards the end,

as it got to the end before I resigned,

I think I was pretty good.

I'm not gonna brag or anything,

but I was definitely a heck-of-a lot better

than I was when I started 13 months before that.

Then confidence, right?

Now I have the confidence.

I'm just waiting for the phone to ring,

maybe Katie Couric needs a back-up one day,

Savannah Guthrie's like "I just can't make it to work."

I will take that call and I will fill in for you,

I now have the confidence.

So, no matter what you're doing in life,

it doesn't just have to be in the entertainment field,

if you repeat those 4 C's,

you will continue to evolve

and get better and better and better

and the improvement is exponential.

It's not just minimal, it's exponential,

so that's a great thing.

All right, marking that off the list.

It's a small world, y'all.

It is so small, especially in Atlanta,

Atlanta is the biggest small town ever.

I can't tell you how many times

I have been so thankful that I have held my tongue

or not burned a bridge with somebody.

That could've easily done so because

I had been faced with them in the future.

I've walked into investor meetings

where I've pitched funding from

$200 to $500,000 to a million dollars

and somebody sitting around that table

was somebody that I've known from my college days

or even elementary school days.

It's pretty crazy how worlds intersect.

Just always be nice to everybody.

You never know what battle they may be going through.

Attitude is everything,

try to keep a positive one no matter what.

Be as nice and as friendly to the janitor in a place

as you would the CEO, because the janitor, one day,

could become the CEO.

I actually have a friend who's dad

owned the perimeter Ford Dealership,

started as the janitor, Mr. Karr

and ended up owning the dealership

and becoming very wealthy and very successful

because that actually does happen.

So that's it's a small world and attitude is everything.

I also wanna talk about eye contact.

A lot of times people say

"How are you?" and "how's it going?",

you know they don't really mean it.

They don't care, they're just kind of

making conversation and killing time.

When you ask that question, really mean it,

and take the time to listen and see how people are doing

because it might not keep you on schedule,

it might not achieve the objective

you were there to achieve that day,

but you will, again, form a relationship with somebody

that can end up being lifelong and you might be

the person that they needed to talk to today.

So, don't ask that question

unless you really wanna know the answer.

Has anybody in this room read the book Cheaper by the Dozen?

Nice, okay.

I remember reading that book when I was 12

and it's about a family, they have a lot of kids,

but the dad's job is an efficiency expert.

And I was like "What? There's actually jobs that allow you

"and pay you to go in and tell companies how to be better

"and how to do better?"

After I read that, I think I was 12,

I was like "I wanna do that! I have a lot of opinions,

and of course I think they're great,

and I wanna tell people how to do things better

and how to stand out."

It's funny because, in this world that we're living in,

back in the day when I was a kid there were three channels.

And then there were 12 channels,

and then cable came along and there were a lot more.

And then there was the internet.

So, it's like you take a glass globe and shatter it,

and all those pieces of glass are the fragments now

with which you have to get people's attention.

And it's not just a TV screen,

it's a mobile device, an iPad, it's everywhere,

everybody's competing for everyone's attention all the time.

There's screens at the gas station now, y'all!

Everywhere you look people are competing for your attention.

So, it's so important to figure out how to stand out.

One of the reasons I focused on branding,

design,

copywriting,

is because you have to constantly be going to the next level

to figure out how to capture somebody's attention

because there's such a fight for it.

So, no matter what industry you're in,

no matter what you're doing,

always be cognizant of how you're talking to people

and how you can do it differently.

Patrick also mentioned before me about being creative.

I didn't really know when I was a kid

why it was so important that I played with Lego's

and I organized my colored pencils in rainbow pattern

and built my Barbie houses,

but it allowed me to really explore and be creative

and creativity is so, so important in everything you do,

whether you're a B2B, B2C,

you're a doctor, you're a designer,

it's so, so important in how you talk to people.

That was standing out and fragmented market.

I want to talk now about revisionist history.

You read about Instagram and their success

or Yik Yak and their success,

you hear about all these people that had major successes

and then you start a start-up and you're like

"Aw man, we're three months in and nothing's happening!

"Six months in and nothing's happening!"

Y'all, if you go back and read,

it took these people years,

sometimes 10 years to get it right.

It's funny, when you do hit your success,

and Forbes asks you to tell the story of your company,

you'll be able to write that revisionist history

and say "Oh, well, A B and C happened and now we're here!"

But just know,

that in those months and years and weeks and days,

start-ups can put you in the highest of the highs,

but the lowest of the lows,

and those lows are very real and very pervasive,

but know that you will get back up to a high

and you can fight through it and you can get through it.

That is revisionist history.

I want to talk now about depression and imposter syndrome.

I can't tell you how many times I've been in a meeting

or faced with an interview and I have just been frozen,

thinking "Oh my gosh, if they really could see

"inside my head right now and know what my abilities aren't,

"they'd ask me to leave.

"Why am I here? Why am I here on this stage right now?"

It's like, "What?"

Then I read the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg,

and knowing that she was head of

what she was head of at Google,

and head of what she was head of at Facebook,

and she still suffered from imposter syndrome?

I was like "Girlfriend, no.

"That is crazy, that's absolutely crazy."

So, knowing that everybody you encounter,

at some point struggles with

feeling like they're not good enough,

they're not smart enough, they're not fast enough,

they're not innovative enough,

helps you to realize "You know what, I'm okay.

"I'm gonna have good days, I'm gonna have bad days,

"but I'm gonna be okay."

Case-in-point touching on the depression thing.

I used to be an account executive at Star 94.

It was great, it was fun.

Usher would come in,

Jennifer Lopez,

and it was just the cool, fun, happening thing.

And then, the economy tanked,

and nobody wanted to buy airtime.

And I was like "Well, I think I'm gonna start a family now."

I had my son, Jackson.

And I had post-partum depression.

You can't really anticipate it,

it can really just come out of nowhere,

and I didn't really understand what it was while I had it,

but for basically the first five months of his life,

I was just in a fog of hopelessness and anxiety.

I was always afraid something's going to happen to him,

I'm gonna drop him.

What's this chemical my neighbor's spraying on their yard?

Is it gonna give him cancer?

It was crazy town, it was very very awful,

and on top of that, I went from this awesome,

fast-paced,

fun,

pop starry world

to literally being at home, breastfeeding in sweatpants,

surrounded by diapers.

That alone is kind of depressing.

I would watch people

living their best lives on Facebook and Instagram,

their success, and they're speaking here,

and they're on this show,

and they're launching this company,

and they're having these meetings

and launching these cool lifestyle brands

and I was like "Ugh, what is my life?

"What do I have to offer? Who's gonna hire me?

"What am I gonna do?"

And I was really kind of in a hole.

If you were tell me back in March of 2009

that I would be here on a stage talking to all of you

about entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership,

I would've been like Will Ferrell in Old School

like "You're crazy! I love you but you're crazy."

But it can happen. It really can happen.

I personally subscribe to the belief

that I can do all things through Christ,

who strengthens me.

I know there's probably a lot of varied beliefs

or lack of belief in anything in this audience,

so this isn't the platform for me to preach to you today.

But personally,

if you do wanna know what gets me through life,

is that right there,

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Today Show calls and needs me to go talk

about keeping children safe online, I can do it.

Not 'cause of me, I'm a human, I make mistakes,

I have issues, but I have a higher power

that I truly truly, firmly believe in

and keeps me going everyday.

It's why I have eternal hope that anything can happen

and I wake up everyday with that hope,

knowing that if there are problem to solve,

why not me?

Why not me, and why not any of you?

I want to go now and talk about unique gifts

and problem solving versus problem dwelling.

I think one of the things that really hinders people

is that they just dwell on a problem,

they get paralyzed by it.

But if you can shift that thinking to

"You know what, I might not have the answer,

"but I'm gonna solve it.

"I'm gonna become a problem solver.

"I'm gonna use my unique ability,

"and I'm gonna solve this problem,

"and I'm gonna come out on the other side

better for it and hopefully other people will too."

Some of the craziest inventions that have made people

the most money have just been from solving problems.

So what sort of problems do you see in the world

that you can solve today?

You could be making major major bucks

within the next year if you figure that out.

I think, finally, before questions,

I wanna talk about simplifying.

On that note, when you set out to solve a problem,

it can get very complicated.

So many companies that I've helped launch,

both in the Atlanta market and across the U.S.,

have had these great great big plans

and great big explanations when I say

"Okay, so, what do you do?"

They launch into this novel of what they do

and how they do it and who they do it for

and we're multichannel cross-platform for this and blah

and I'm like "Oh my gosh, I've just gone cross-eyed.

"What do you do?"

If you can let people know what you do

in the most clear and simple way

it will resonate leaps and bounds.

Think about Apple, the master of branding, right?

You go there, it's beautiful, it's simple,

a two year old can operate it, they're winning.

So, in whatever you do and whatever you put out there,

if you can make it as simple as possible,

you'll be winning.

How many of you in this room use Canva for graphic design?

You know those little quotes they give you?

One of my favorite one's is

'it's so easy to make something complicated,

but it's very hard to make it simple.'

And that's kind of what I subscribe to

whenever I'm developing, helping to develop a tech product,

I wanna make sure it's

easy for my 95 year old grandmother to use.

If she can use it, and she is on Facebook by the way,

if she can use it, we're winning.

That was basically and ADD deep-dive into my brain

and what I wanted to say to you today.

I just wanna open it up for questions,

you can literally ask me anything.

This is like a Reddit AMA,

ask me anything.

Go.

Yes.

(laughs)

That's a great question,

how close is my actual life to my plans when I left college?

Oh, y'all.

When I left college,

let's just say I was doing things that were not

college-sanctioned activities.

I was definitely drinking, smoking,

all that kind of stuff, I was so lost.

I didn't know what I wanted to do.

I was really really down

because I just felt so unempowered.

I was dwelling on my problems instead of solving them.

Somebody came along and was like

"Hey, you should intern at Star 94."

And I was like "Great! That sounds good."

I had no idea that this trajectory

and technology and public speaking

would even be a thing for me.

That was terrifying to me at the time.

Also, my whole life I was kind of raised in the church

and with a strong faith and that sort of thing,

but in my college years I kinda stepped away

'cause, again, I was depressed,

I kinda felt lost and aimless, and as I came back and said

"Dear God, I'm sorry. "I've been an idiot."

He forgave me and that kinda helped me get back on track.

Questions, all of 'em, just bring 'em on.

Yes.

- [Audience Member 1} You had mentioned earlier

that you don't know to write computer code,

and that Bark.US is based most corley on machine work,

which is not easy.

How did you make the jump from somebody

that does not write computer code to obtaining

software that's been written in such a complex manner?

Did you have an investor to help you pay developers?

Did you give somebody a portion of your company?

What did you do?

- Yes, good question.

So how in the world does somebody like me

run a company based on AI machine learning

when I can't write a lick of code?

You raise money and you hire good people

and you hire smart people.

So we raised money

and we hired a data scientist from Microsoft.

When you run a start-up,

you really have to dig into

are you going to pay somebody what they're worth

or are you gonna pay them less than their worth

but give them equity?

And that's kind of a personal decision

that each founder and employee will have to make

but there's a combination of the two going on there.

Yeah so, developers, engineers, data scientists

that are truly fully solely devoted to solving that problem.

Yes?

- [Audience Member 2] How big is your company as of now?

- So, Bark right now, we have 10 employees.

We just hired our tenth employee, he starts tomorrow.

And he's solely focused on customer acquisition

and our paid customer acquisitions efforts.

It used to be that you could

just create something really awesome,

like a great ad,

and drop it in the world and it would be received

and you'd get tons of customers, it'd be great.

But now there's Facebook ads and Google Analytics

and you've gotta be so, so laser-focused on

lowering your cost of acquisition and quantitative data.

And so, that's what he will be doing.

But yes, 10 people, and we're all remote.

We've got three people in Atlanta

and the rest of the team is spread out

all over the globe.

Yes?

- [Audience Member 3] What's your biggest tip

for managing people on a remote basis?

- Managing people on a remote basis biggest tip:

you have to hire people who are self motivated.

If they're inactive on Slack all day

and posting cat pictures on Instagram,

probably not a good hire.

But if they get stuff done when they say

they're gonna get it done and they do it well,

then there's really no problems.

We touch base daily via Google Hangouts,

or now Slack has video integration.

So we're always talking to each other,

yet there are people on the team

that I've never actually met in person,

yet I feel very very close to them

and have worked very well with them.

- [Audience member 3] So are due dates something

that helps drive your productivity,

or what is it?

- Yeah, we use Basecamp to keep everybody on track

and for accountability, but really everybody

that we hire is a get-it-done-before-it's-due kind of person

and like Patrick said, under promise, over deliver

instead of vice versa.

Yes?

- [Dan} Dan Sullivan, Question.

- [Dan] Three years from now, where are you?

- Wow.

Three years from now, I have two paths:

I have a technology path and I have a media path.

On the technology front,

I want to have either scaled Bark to a place

where we're a household name

and we have integrated with companies like

Life Lock, McAfee, Cox Communications,

we're bundled with internet service providers

and mobile carriers and we are truly making an impact

and keeping children safer online.

From a media standpoint,

I wanna be a regular technology contributor for

The Today Show, or Good Morning America, or CBS This Morning

so,

we'll see!

Other questions?

Literally anything- yes?

- [Audience Member 4] What advice do you have

for people that wanna start a company?

- Yes, great question.

I get a lot of people coming to me with their ideas,

and they wanna start companies.

I would say a few things,

you have to validate your proof of concept.

There's a lot of things you can start and do

that would solve problems,

but will they make money?

Will they make an impact?

Will they be profitable?

I would say don't spend too much money on

the perfect prototype.

I would say launch a minimum viable product

whether that's a tech product

or an actual thing you can touch and feel.

And test, and test, and test, and test.

Constantly test, get feedback,

know that you are not your user.

If you do not listen to your users

and get feedback from them,

that's one of the worst decisions you can make.

So you have to test and get 100 loyal fans.

If you can get 100 people that rally around your product,

help you iterate on it,

and are really using it and it is improving their lives,

and you can make a profit off of it,

then if those 100 people all just tell one person,

and refer them,

then you've double your user base,

and then that's how it grows.

So, perfecting the product as much as possible,

validating your concept,

and then showing that hockey stick growth.

What investors wanna see is that

you've put something out in the world,

and it's resonating with so many people

that your growth is exponential.

And where investors come in,

is when it's here it's here and then boom.

If they're on the upward trajectory,

they wanna get in there because their returns

with net them a 10x return as you start to spike.

Sometimes you can sell on

a hope and a dream and a wish and a prayer,

it's happened before.

It's very stressful.

I don't necessarily recommend that.

(laughs)

Yes?

Yes.

A lot of vetting.

When you put out a job description on Angel List,

for example,

we put out that description for

our customer acquisition marketing hire

and got about 200 applications.

It's really going through and reading what they wrote

but also reading between the lines.

Multiple phones calls,

meeting in person.

I have to give a huge shout-out to 3Ci,

they are a tech talent staffing company,

full disclosure, they sponsor my YouTube show,

but I would recommend them even if they didn't

'cause I've known them since high school,

really good people.

They can take that heavy lifting off of you by helping to

marry the right sort of person and their talents

with what you need in your company.

- Yes?

- [Audience Member 5] I like what you said about

a simple statement of what you do.

It sounds like you have sort of a multi-faceted approach,

where you're going in more than one direction.

How do you put that together?

How would you answer that question

if I asked you what you did?

- Yes, that's a great question.

I struggle with that very often

because I'm a firm believer

that if you're gonna really succeed in something,

you've gotta be hyper-focused.

Luckily, where I am right now in my role

in a tech company also affords me the ability

to pursue the media career as well.

But I'm very very sensitive to it.

If at any time one is pulling me away so much from the other

that I'm not giving my full to it,

I've gotta really re-evaluate which path do I wanna go on,

and to be perfectly honest,

I'm going to need to decide pretty soon

which one I'm gonna go on full blown, full blast,

because it's hard to have to many balls in the air.

And honestly, even more honestly,

a year ago today I had like 10 balls in the air.

It was too much, I couldn't do it all,

I was this and this and this and this and this

and I was doing a lot of things

but I wasn't doing them all well.

So that made me feel really crappy,

I just felt like a failure in all of them,

so I had to learn the hard way to start saying no.

So if somebody were to ask me "Who are you, what do you do?"

I'm an entrepreneur,

who I think is great at talking to people

and connecting with people

and telling the story of a person or a business.

Yes?

The least fun part of my job

is accounting and reconciliation.

Oh, my gosh.

It's one thing to just send an invoice,

but because I'm so OCD,

I'm like "What if I forgot about a receipt?

"What if there's this email that I for-"

You know, I wanna make sure it's

it's buttoned up so I stress about

not having all of the elements I need

to make it perfectly 100%

yeah, accounting.

Well the good news is that I don't get paid

unless I do the accounting.

So if I wanna pay my bills and eat and do fun things,

but, you know, no sugar coating here,

I wait 'til the last minute.

I definitely wait 'til the last minute.

I put it off.

I don't recommend that.

Do not follow my lead on that.

(laughs)

Yes?

Yes, yeah.

It's crazy as we're growing up young women.

I grew up in the 80s when I could be an astronaut

and I could do this and that, you know.

I'm poured into to do as best,

as good as I can in school,

and I can be anything I wanna be.

But what they don't tell you,

is that, if you're going to have children,

and you're going to have them biologically,

it's not the easiest thing,

to do that in conjunction with your career goals.

Physically, there is a toll,

it puts you at a disadvantage against men.

You are tired.

You literally, towards the end, can't walk very well.

You cannot tie your shoes,

you cannot run if somebody is chasing you.

You are physically impaired.

And then there's all the hormonal things that happen too.

For the first two weeks after Jackson was born,

I was just crying all the time.

You can't go out and close deals

when you're crying all the time

and you're just, you know, everything is just not

where it needs to be, and your clothes don't fit,

you know what I mean?

It's rough.

Guys, you're really lucky that you don't have to have babies

I'm just gonna put it out there,

I'm a little bit jealous of you.

I think talking about it,

there's a lot more things I could say

that would make everybody in the room super uncomfortable,

I'm not gonna do that,

you're welcome.

But, having those open and honest conversations

with your male colleagues about

the struggles you're going through,

will help them to realize "Wow, it's really not that easy."

And I grew up in the south where I was taught

I need to always have my nails painted

and wear a dress and heels

and make sure there's a hot meal at the table for my husband

and that's not my life right now.

My husband and I share all the duties.

I'm lucky to have a husband, right?

I'm not a single mom, God bless you if you are.

My husband helps with the cooking and everything,

but at the end of the day,

I still struggle with that mom guilt.

I'm not there.

I'm not there for that first pitch,

I'm not there for that recital

because I'm in Silicon Valley

trying to close a half a million dollar deal.

Long term, will that pay for my child's college,

and will he thank me?

He better.

But, in the meantime,

I feel awful.

I'm kind of rambling,

but just having those conversations and fighting.

Maternity leave sucks in America.

It is not cool.

It is not cool at all.

So working with employers that can understand

and support you in that journey,

both men and women,

great.

My husband went back to work two days after I had Jackson.

I had just brought a human into the world

through my body and my husband was gone.

That was really freaking scary,

because I had to keep this human alive,

all by myself.

It's really scary.

If he could have had better paternity leave benefits,

maybe I would have held it together a little better.

Also if I didn't have to choose between

being with my child or being at work,

that would've been great.

If I could've brought my son with me to work,

you know he slept half the time anyway,

it's like bringing a puppy to work.

People would've, you know,

morale would've been improved.

(audience laughs)

And again, you know,

Sorry if it's TMI,

but if you choose to breastfeed,

you have to pump, right?

So then you feel like a milk cow.

I was in this prize closet at Star 94

with a bunch of tchochkes,

cups and banners and stuff,

and I'm just this machine for, like,

every three hours.

And I couldn't be out closing deals and making calls

and schmoozing people and making my way up the ladder

because I'm literally in a closet like a milk cow.

Not cool.

So really, just pouring in to all women in all facets,

and knowing that you cannot have it all at once,

but you can have it all in different areas.

Just making sure you have work-life balance is huge.

Thank you for asking that.

Yes?

- [Audience member 6] How do you keep motivated

even when you don't have any balls in the air,

the off days?

- Yeah.

Couple things,

today's a good day for me.

Today I'm like "Yay, all the things I'm gonna do!

"All the things that I'm winning and this is great!"

A week ago, I was all like "Unh"

kickin' the can down the street like "Unh, what is my life"

Knowing that when you're in those holes,

just don't stay there.

Know that you won't stay there.

I do a lot of things to get out of those holes

'cause those holes are very scary to me.

Very dark thoughts happen in those holes.

So I listen to music, I paint, I watercolor,

I dance, I go for a bike ride,

y'all I bought roller skates.

Not roller blades, but the old school roller skates

with pink wheels from Amazon the other week.

I was like "I'm gonna get out and skate on belt line."

Just doing anything I can to get outside of that hole.

On a personal note,

I've noticed that whenever I drink alcohol,

the next day, and sometimes for a few days after that,

I just feel like crap.

It does not work for me.

So when I wanna go out and have fun,

and schmooze and drink and stuff,

I've realized that it's really just

not the best thing for me,

so I try to abstain from it as much as possible

'cause I really try to stay in a good mental space.

And reading and talking to other people.

You think your life is kind of sucky,

but then you talk to other people,

and they're going through things

that are way worse than you,

like, hello, everybody in the Virgin Islands right now.

Life's not so bad.

When our power was out for two days last week,

not that big of a deal.

The people down there won't have power for six months.

So, pouring into other people

and getting some perspective,

can really help when you're down.

Yes?

Long term goals.

Either sell Bark for a

ridiculous amount of money to a company that

will keep everybody's best interest in mind,

or scale it from revenue standpoint

to where we're just killing it.

The way I stay focused on that is by

in a start-up you can get pulled

in so many different directions,

but what are our core KPI's,

that's Key Performance Indicators,

what are the core metrics

that we need to hit to achieve those

and then really really just focusing on those.

What can we change about product or messaging

or partnerships or biz dev that will help us on that path

and pretty soon, six months from now,

we'll look back and be like

"Wow, we've really accomplished a lot!"

Our user base has double in the last month,

which is so exciting because you start to

see the fruits of your labor.

On the media path,

I need to get over my fear of pitching these producers

at these large media outlets.

I'm always like "Oh, I've got a really good idea for a story

"but oh, it's probably dumb and I'm not gonna send it.

"No! Send it, Titania, I need to just send it!"

The worst they can do is not respond

or write back and be like "That was a terrible idea."

But they're not gonna do that,

so I need to keep putting myself out there.

All right, cool.

My email address, and full disclosure,

I'm so bad about responding to email

but I will get back eventually.

But I would love to hear from you,

my email address is just

my first name and my last name at Gmail.com.

So, please feel free to hit me up,

Instagram, Twitter, all the places.

And thank you for listening and for your time today.

(applause)

The Description of StartitUp Conference 2017: Bark.us CPO Titania Jordan