The whole point is fun! Jen Gotch is a creative powerhouse who brakes for yard sales and unicorns. She founded Ban.do, a lifestyle company, with a friend in 2008, and with no prior business experience, was able to transform it from a small, vintage, one-of-a-kind hair accessories company into a multimillion dollar brand.
We tracked Jen down after watching her on her (wildly popular) Instagram gush about how Bulletproof has changed her brain for the better – in her words, it’s “Activated” her.
Dave Asprey and Jen go into how starting Ban.do with a great group of other entrepreneurs was a little like the “Oregon Trail” computer game. And how a male model in Hawaii (and her therapist) got her hooked on Bulletproof Coffee.
Plus, a rating scale on mental health you may find useful in your own life.
Enjoy the show!
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- Jen on starting out. “We were supported very thoughtfully by a bunch of hard nosed business people, but honestly, every day was a learning experience even before we were really calling ourselves a business.”
- Dave on common problems for startups.
- Dave on anxiety. “and a huge number of entrepreneurs are anxious, they have anxiety.”
- “I am so passionate about the sparkly thing, I just want to go do it.”-Jen
- On Jen’s Instagram. “You have a really cool Instagram presence. It’s very happy, but you’re extremely honest, which is why I wanted you on the show because you’re like … You posted this picture of a file called divorce, and you just aired your laundry there.”
- On her brand being realistic. “Brands are usually aspirational, especially the type of brand that we have, because we’re a women’s lifestyle company based on fun.”
- “I felt like one of my strengths has always been to just say what I’m feeling.”-Jen
Dave on demographics “85% of Ban.do’s customers are between 18 and 35. For marketing people, it’s like, “Oh my God, they’ve got the best demographic ever.” You’ve got more than half a million followers, which is pretty amazing, that’s on Instagram. Do you think that this radical honesty is extra attractive to younger people?”
Jen: “Because I’m basically come out as someone who has bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADD, I talk about divorce, I curse, I do weird dancing.”
- Jen on what a “long hauler” is. “A long hauler is actually, I don’t know if you’ll find this that relevant, but I spend a lot of my time on Instagram stories because I have found that that’s actually the easiest way to really connect with an audience, because you don’t have to find a picture that’s going to draw people in and write a caption that’s going to appeal to them, you can actually just go.”
- Dave on Neurofeedback: “My experience with neurofeedback is that almost all of our insecurities were implanted when we were kids.”
- Jen on Self Care for women.
- “For me, it’s not just, “Here are the five things that mean self care.” I think it’s being aware that what you need from moment to moment can be different, but paying attention to that and letting yourself know that that’s … You deserve that, to be okay, whatever that means.”
- Dave on helping others. “I’m like, “Wait a minute. People help you because it makes them feel good.” No one had ever taught me that, and I like to help people because it makes me feel good.”
- “When Ban.do was starting, we really got in with a great group of other entrepreneurs, and it was very Oregan Trail-esque.”
- You talk about your one to 10 daily rating system. What is it and where did you get it and how do you use it?
Emotional rating system. “I’ll talk about it on Instagram and stuff, and I feel like a lot of people have implemented it just as a way to check in, even just to ask yourself how you’re doing, because it’s kind of good to start the day and be like, “Where am I today?”
- “The 10 is dangerous and the 7.8 is awesome.”-Jen
- Dave on Jen’s ability to connect with her audience. “I think that’s why so many people follow you as well as your company, just because you’re willing to say stuff like that. What advice would you have for someone who’s listening who maybe doesn’t know that they’re dealing with some of these mental health things you’ve dealt with? It sounds like you knew it as a younger child, that you were dealing with something. There’s so many adults who have stuff going on that they just are unaware of. What advice do you have for them?”
- Jen on the Bulletproof Diet. “I was like, “Oh, my God.” I was like, “Oh my God, this actually works.” My brain was like … It was very similar to Adderall, but without the come down. What I hadn’t read was anything about how it actually worked, so I was eating chocolate croissants along with it, so that wasn’t great.”
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