September Recap 2023

Written by: Kaylee Franklin

Welcome back to another monthly recap! I know for some, the month of September felt like the longest month of the year, and for others, it flew by. But nonetheless, we had an incredible lineup of four amazing guests, with incredible backgrounds and stories. Let’s jump in to see what they all had in common, some life lessons they had to share, and take a peak into what we have coming out in October.

1. Roots of Resilience 

For our 174th  Episode, Lee sat down with Greg Starkman, Founder and CEO of Innersense Organic Beauty.

Greg shares some of his defining moments with us, touching on the intentional way they have selected, produced, and released products, surviving the tougher times before things started to tip toward success, and how an approach of steady and continued growth has served the company so well. Our guest also talks about leadership and his continual journey of learning and support for his team, so make sure to tune in to catch it all in this inspiring conversation with Greg.

Best piece of advice:

“Have perseverance, and an unwillingness to fail.”

If you haven’t yet, be sure to tune in to Episode 174:: Roots of Resilience, it’s an episode you won’t want to miss!

2. Acuisitions and Ambitions

Walking into the second week of September, we heard from Jeanine Lobell, Founder of Neen.

Her story is truly remarkable and underlines the unexpected turns we can all encounter and how far a commitment to one's ideals and ideas can take things. Jeanine talks about the acquisition of her previous company, Stila, and what it took for her to take a dive into something new and exciting. The lessons around healing, community, and authenticity that Jeanine has learned and generously touches on here, are truly inspiring. Tune in to hear it all!

Best piece of advice:

“Don't ever let anyone tell you that you shouldn't be an entrepreneur.”

Be sure to tune in to Episode 175 to hear more of Jeanine’s story!

3. CEO Has a Nice Ring to It

Heading into the middle of September, Lee chatted with Tom Hale, CEO of ŌURA.

ŌURA, which delivers personalized health data and guidance to make wellness and recovery part of your daily practice. Tuning in, you’ll find out how Tom went from growing up with dreams of becoming a train engineer to discovering the OŪRA Ring and writing a letter to the board about why they should hire him as CEO. You’ll gain some insight into Tom’s journey as a leader, which started with executive positions at Macromedia and Adobe, to becoming President of Momentive, where he set enterprise strategy and led product growth. Join us as we discuss Tom’s leadership style, why he says it’s lonely at the top, how he got a crash course in fundraising from raising $40 million in less than a month, and so much more!

Best piece of advice:

“The role of a CEO sometimes is to go against the grain.” 

To hear more of Tom’s great advice, tune in to Episode 176!

4. Fries, Flights, and Wellness Insights

Continuing the month with a strong ending, we heard from Kristy Morris, Co-Founder and CEO of Kailo.

Kristy Morris has had a close relationship with entrepreneurship from a young age and saw first-hand what it was like to be a business owner when her parents ran one of the earliest McDonald’s in Australia after the brand was introduced into the country. Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kailo, Australia’s leading luxury wellness brand. Tuning in you’ll hear about her upbringing in Australia, the influence her entrepreneurial parents had on her, her struggles at school, and how she came to own a coffee shop when she was just 24 years old! We then go on to learn how her eldest son inspired her to start Kailo, the pivots she and her business partner had to make during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with her reflections on how the business has grown and changed in ways she could never have predicted. Tune in to learn the full scope of Kristy’s story and the many lessons she continues to learn as a leader.

Best piece of advice: 

“Always surround yourself with really positive, successful, humble people. Because you don't want to lose sight.”

Be sure to tune in to Kristy’s episode, number 177!

Surround Yourself with Positivity 

This month every Founder and CEO shared how important it is to go against the grain and most importantly, to surround yourself with positive people who empower you in your path to entrepreneurship. 

This Month: October 

Stay tuned throughout October to hear from amazing CEOs such as:

  • Kate Foster, Co-Founder and CEO of The Outset
  • Dillon Ceglio, Co-Founder and CEO of Chubby Snacks
  • Stephen Kuhl, Co-Founder and CEO of Burrow
  • Sarah Jahnke, Co-Founder and CEO of Homecourt

Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, follow us on Spotify, or tune in wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Have any guest suggestions, comments, or questions about Stairway to CEO? Drop us a line here!

Kaylee Franklin


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