Lindsay Pinchuk 0:03
It was a very scary decision to make. I will that is the very first thing that I will tell you. I have only known this for the last 10 years, my kids have only known me as the founder of club and beyond, they do not know my previous life. And it was comfortable, you know, I mean, I could do it in my sleep.
Adam Baruh 0:38
Welcome to the change, where we share stories and inspiration from business leaders and people making positive work life changes in this time dubbed the great resignation. Reinventing oneself, whether it’s your career or personally is something many people go through, and it can be a very scary and vulnerable experience. In earlier generations, it was common to go to college, land a job and stay within the same profession until retirement. However many people today we’ll go through a few different careers before retirement. And for many, the idea of retirement itself is hard to grasp. Personally, I’m in my fifth or sixth career, I’ve been a national park service technician, an IT professional, a wedding photographer, and currently I’m the CEO of an IT consulting agency, as well as the host of this podcast and producer of other podcasts through E IQ media. Back in 2012. While I was still photographing weddings, I recognized that financially it wasn’t going to work out. I was on vacation in Bologna, Italy. And I remember vividly the night I decided to leave this career that I loved so much. And it spent several years developing. I couldn’t sleep at all that night torn with the realization that I would have to leave this profession that gave me a complete sense of creativity and independence. But in the end, I had to listen to the voice of reason inside myself. And I know that I made the right call to walk away and pivot back to my career in it. In this episode, we will discuss reinvention and what it takes to pivot a career or brand as you or your idea evolves. Our guest today Lindsey Pinchuk did just that, after growing her company to a base of over 3 million users. But let’s start at the beginning of this story. With $500 in her pocket and a baby on the way, Lindsay left her high power job as a magazine publishing executive, and founded her first company bump club and beyond. She turned a profit in year one, and less than a decade later led her company’s acquisition. Hey there, Lindsay, welcome to the change.
Lindsay Pinchuk 2:35
Hey, thanks for having me.
Adam Baruh 2:37
Yeah, of course. Um, I’d like to talk about your time as a magazine publishing executive. I’m starting at the beginning. So tell us what timeframe this was in, and also what you loved and what you didn’t love in that role?
Lindsay Pinchuk 2:50
Yeah, so it’s ironic because I always wanted to be a journalist. And while I wasn’t a journalist in magazine publishing, I was actually supposed to work in advertising right out of college in my, my first day of work was supposed to be September 10 2001. And everything, as we know, changed on September 11 2001. And prior to that, when the economy tanked all of our jobs at this big ad agency, and many ad agencies around the nation were put on hold. And so what ended up happening was, we were just in a frozen pattern, especially after 911. And no one really knew what to do. And I decided to get my GRE and I was kind of just waiting it out. And when I decided that it was time that I should probably look for a different job. I randomly found an assistant opening at Sports Illustrated in Chicago, where I already had an apartment. And so I was very eager to move and get my life going. And so I ended up I went in for this interview, and I didn’t even know what advertising sales was. But I was so enamored by Sports Illustrated. And I knew I always wanted to work at a magazine. And when I interviewed the woman who interviewed me her name was Sally Webb at the time, she said, you know, we’re really close to hiring someone. And I said, No, no, you have to hire me. And she did. And I was very lucky. I ended up starting a career at timing and my boss Sally at the time and a couple of other mentors now mentors of mine in my life, really helped me to move forward and to get executive jobs at Hearst Corporation and at Nickelodeon. And I ended up working at Hearst for and I also worked at the Tribune Company to and worked at Hearst for about a little less than 10 years, like eight years of good housekeeping and Redbook and I sold integrated marketing programs essentially to Fortune 500 companies. This was before this was 2002 to about 2010 was when I did that
Adam Baruh 5:00
Okay, now had you ever stopped? Have you ever thought about entrepreneurship or owning your own business? Or, you know, eventually, you know, when you founded bump club and beyond? I mean, was the idea to start a company something that you had envisioned for yourself? Or was there like a need that you were surveil?
Lindsay Pinchuk 5:21
So I never, quite honestly, I’ve always been a little entrepreneurial at one point, actually, when I was working at Sports Illustrated, I was selling beaded necklaces. I mean, I was like, making these necklaces, and I was wearing them. And people in the office, were liking them. And so they were buying them and, and that was, that was great. I knew that wasn’t going to be a career of mine. Right. But, um, you know, when I started Bug Club, what ended up happening was, I had a couple of friends who were pregnant, and I was not pregnant yet. And they very much, were looking for a community and they were looking to connect with each other. But they didn’t really know how to do it. And I said to my husband, like, there, there is something in this there is nowhere in the city of Chicago, for expectant women, women who are expecting babies to meet one another, once you have the baby, tons of opportunity. But until you have that baby, there really was no option. And, and I looked, I was trying to help some friends of mine that were pregnant, like I said, and they’re just there was no, there was nothing. And I knew that when we decided to pursue trying to have a family that I would want to have support and community. And so when I eventually i ironically, I started the idea for bumped club before I got pregnant. So I knew we were going to start trying. And I knew that this was just a good idea. And I knew that when I got pregnant, I would want to have a community around me. So I kind of started building the plan for it. But I never in my wildest dreams was like, this is going to be my career. It’s very funny. And I actually don’t say this often. But there was a point in my life when I was like a kind of little unsure that I even wanted kids, you know. And so the fact that I made a whole career out of being a mom is quite ironic. And I mean, I love being a mom, it’s the greatest role I’ve ever had. But you know, when you’re younger, you just sometimes don’t know these things. Some people know they want to be a parent, I was just not sure. And when I got pregnant, I actually announced bump club. When I was eight weeks pregnant, no one knew I was pregnant. So here I am saying, okay, pregnant people of Chicago, we’re going to have a prenatal event at the at the Daily method is what it was called. At the time, it was a prenatal workout. Come join me and my friends were like, What is this? What’s going on? Why? Why are you doing this? Four weeks later, I announced my pregnancy. And we had our first event. And, you know, essentially, I very much wanted to find like I said, community and support for myself. None of my friends were pregnant at the same time as me, lo and behold, we all have fifth graders. And I was just the first. So from there, you know, I really developed this company in this brand, and everything that we offer and based on my own needs as an expectant woman. And every single thing we did was out of necessity for myself. And I was asking my peers around me who were also pregnant at the same time.
Adam Baruh 8:07
Yeah, I mean, this is, you know, in 2021, it seems, you know, so easy to connect with people. I mean, all we live inside of are these social networks, right? But back in 2000 So what paint paint the year for me one, yeah, what year was
Lindsay Pinchuk 8:21
in 10. There were no Facebook business pages. So it was I started Bug Club by sending an email, everyone I knew. And that’s still to this day is the number one thing I tell my clients is when you start a business, you have to send an email to everyone, you know, a lot of people don’t do it. So that was the first kind of thing that I did. And then I posted on my LinkedIn because there was LinkedIn at the time. And I know I posted on my personal Facebook and I know this because I get my still like get the reminder, you know, like on the on the work anniversary, but that was it. There was no Instagram there was no Snapchat forget tic tock you know, I that was it. So to your point, there was no real social media. The other thing too is when I created bump club, I didn’t want to go online into a chat room or I wanted an in person real life connection. And that was truly the catalyst for why I did what I did. I wanted to meet people in person that I can then have as friends and my kids could have be friends with their with their kids. That was why I did this.
Adam Baruh 9:26
Now was it locally driven, I guess tell us a little bit about bump club and you know how it was unique and how you guys, you know, met together and what sort of resources you provided through bump of course.
Lindsay Pinchuk 9:37
So clubs started just in Chicago. And we started first the first event was a prenatal workout. And the second event was a shopping event at a local maternity store. Both of those events filled up it was like 50 people 75 people and people were like, what’s next? What’s next? What are you going What are you going to do? We love this we we want to be a part of this After every single thing I did, no matter what it was, I always said to survey boys I wanted to I really wanted to know what people thought and what they needed. And so the third thing that we did was we started we had a dinner. And I got I brought in a speaker. It was about baby registry. I partnered with a local store called giggle, who doesn’t exist anymore. They were a giggle was a Nash, a small, nationally based company. There was like a couple in California in New York. There’s one in Chicago, maybe there was one in Miami and Arizona. And it was a baby gear store. And so I partnered with them. And we brought in their person to like their head registry person to dinner to answer questions about baby registry. And that was, that was the first dinner, we have gift bags, we had giveaways, I had reached out to companies and let them know what I was doing. And we sold about 75 tickets. So people were coming, they wanted this speaker, they were getting a dinner and they were going home with a gift bag that had really truly a ton of value. If you Google, or go on YouTube and search Bob club and beyond gift bags, you can see people on on bagging our gift bags because they became a thing over the last decade. And so there were a lot of value bottles, swaddle blankets, like stuff that you would actually use. And a lot of times people just love the gift bag. So people came to the dinners. They would sit by trimester, we really encouraged community. And the amazing part about it was that people want to community and they were talking and they were exchanging numbers. And they were making plans to meet at our next events. We I never had event had an event without having another event planned. And eventually what ended up happening was we kind of did about two events a month until I had my first daughter. And after that all of the women who were coming to Bob club at that time, we’re saying what’s next, what’s next. What’s next i i want to keep coming. So five weeks after Jordan, my daughter was born. We hosted our first event for moms. And we all brought our babies. We had a brunch, and we had a speaker came in and talked to us about sleep. So it was you know, everyone was in it. And everyone needed it. And truly from there, that was how our curriculum got started. And we started hosting dinners. Every month, we started hosting brunches every month, and word spread Facebook group. Then it came Instagram, we definitely adapted to those forms of social media. And the word got out about what we were doing here in Chicago, we had a nice group here in Chicago. I mean, it was 500 than 1000, then a few 1000. And you know that we had repeat customers, we started doing family events, bring your kids on a Saturday to like a play space, and we had a big playdate. And it was really a very large part of the parenting culture here in Chicago. And then what ended up happening was, I had someone from Minneapolis, reach out to me, and she said, I’d like to bring this to Minneapolis, and she came down met with me. And we decided to do that. Then I had someone in Chicago who was helping me to all these brand ambassador moms who were helping me to run events here in Chicago and one of them moved to Austin. So we started doing it in Austin. And then I had people reach out to me in Detroit and in Los Angeles and San Francisco. And we started to do that there as well. And from there, we started working with some big brands like Nordstrom, and target and the Honest Company, and they were hiring us to create programs for their brand that we would essentially create the whole program and then bring our audience to. And from there, it really became a national phenomenon. And at this point, you know, all the social social media was all the rage. Yeah, you know, we had over 100,000 followers on Facebook, our Instagram was booming. And we became a content provider as well. We started hosting webinars, and we started hosting various things online. And during the pandemic, we made a huge shift. And we saved a very large contract with target by putting everything online so it ended up you know, we became a premier resource for parents in the parenting space.
Adam Baruh 14:00
Yeah, for sure. I want to get into the pivot that you made during the pandemic. We’re going to cover that here in a little bit. Um, but I’m going back to this time when the when bump club and beyond was just starting out. I don’t imagine there was really any competition or really anybody else doing it. Exactly. I mean, I don’t even I was just as you were talking, I was thinking about, you know, how did people leave get together before there was like social networking, right? But tell me what the landscape was like. I mean, was there anybody else doing what you were doing?
Lindsay Pinchuk 14:32
Yes and no. So there was a group in in New York, they were called Big City moms. And they were owned by two sisters who have become friends with over the years. They were frenemies at first for sure they were enemies or not like each other. Okay, but then we became friends and to the day I mean, they are friends. I communicate with them on social media all the time. And you know, they were doing kind of they were doing things for really only expectancy in New York and then a came on the scene and here in Chicago and I started working with a lot of the brands that they were working with because brands like bugaboo UPPAbaby Rotax, they needed people in Chicago to New York is not the end all and be all their parents outside of the city of New York City. And so brands started working with me, and we actually expanded before they did. So we started hosting events in other cities. And I think it really put the pressure on them. And then they started hosting, they had one big event that they did, called the biggest baby shower, and it competed with our event called gear palooza. And they did it in various cities around the country, and so did we. But we did it in like 12 to 15 cities a year. And I don’t think they ever surpassed a dozen if maybe even 10. So they were a competitor. And then there was another company called MommyCon. That did sort of what we did, but they were these very large conferences, and they were more in the Attachment Parenting space. And then there were some other like, offshoots, that, you know, people that were trying to do things like a club and big city Mom’s not quite there. And then of course, you had the people who were trying to do exactly what we were doing. I had someone who, who try who came to me and wanted to expand Bob club to LA, we had an agreement, I trained her. And then she said she didn’t want to do it. And then she showed up with a website that was verbatim mine, and I had to issue a cease and desist. So you always will have those people too.
Adam Baruh 16:26
Yeah. So, you know, in our, in our last episode, we talked about emotional courage. And we talked about kind of, you know, launching something new on and, you know, the courage that it takes, and, you know, to get through that vulnerability, to do something that you’re passionate about. And so I’d like to explore that a little bit with you. I mean, for me, when I launched my business, it was out of a recognition of a particular business opportunity. But I was a software developer, I had never launched a consulting agency, I’d never been a CEO. So I had a lot of doubts, I felt the imposter syndrome. On, you know, we’re in our fifth year in business. And it really wasn’t until this year where I really started to, you know, kind of come into my own. But I’m curious what your experience was, like coming out of, you know, a magazine profession now launching and, and running a company and everything that goes into that, what do you remember, like at all what that felt like,
Lindsay Pinchuk 17:28
I didn’t know any different in and I think, you know, I know, we’re going to talk about my mic, my second change eventually, in this conversation. But you know, that in that moment, when I left, this large career that I had built, and that I loved, because there was nothing wrong with my magazine career, I just wanted to be more flexible and be at home for my child, which ironically, it was ended up traveling more than than I did at hers. But, you know, I just I didn’t know any different and I just went with it. And I think that is something that, but the second time, it was very different than when I left off club and started my consultancy, which I just did. I did have imposter syndrome. And that’s when it did kick in. And I said to myself, Am I really capable of doing this? But of course I am I have 10 years of business experience and 10 years of executive experience. But that’s when I was really unsure was when I I knew and I think the more you know, the harder it is truthfully.
Adam Baruh 18:31
Yeah, I’m good segue for my next question. So you know, I think for the audience, and people listening, that are interested in starting their own fan on, you know, there’s the there’s the old cliche of CEOs wearing something like 20 different hats, I still do, I still do a number of things, which I would love to delegate to people, but, you know, describe, you know, how your role at bump club and beyond evolved, you know, going from those early days where you may have been, you know, that kind of like, where I’m at, you know, wearing the 20 different hats still, and then your evolution to kind of wear things, you know, how, I guess, when you ended up at bump club, and, you know, focusing on the strategic things that you were doing at that time talk, talk a little bit about what that experience was like for you.
Lindsay Pinchuk 19:18
I will be honest in saying that, I don’t think I ever stopped wearing multiple hats. I think as a founder, that is just something that is going to be part of your product. It’s also something that’s inherent to people who want to be entrepreneurs, and you’re going to be involved in a lot of things. And even if you don’t want to be you’re going to be so how it evolved though. You know, when I first started, it was just me. And I very distinctly remember I had someone approached me who had just graduated grad school. She said, I’ve never worked a day in my life and I love what you’re doing, and I want to be a part of it and I just want to learn Will you hire me? And I truly needed someone to run errands for the business and I hired her and I knew she was looking for a full time job as well. But we clicked, we got along really well. And she complimented me and I thought she had great ideas. And I worked my butt off to secure a sponsorship so that I could pay her and I paid her before I paid me. And when she came on, you know, she alleviated some of the, I guess, the nitty gritty stuff that I was doing. And in terms of like, operations for events, she took that off my plate, but what ended up being put on my plate was more of the growth and more of the the sales. And, you know, we were growing. And so I needed to ensure that we had revenue funneling funneling into our business. So I think, you know, as much as you, when you take something off your plate, usually something else gets put on. Yeah, and, you know, and up until the fact up until the time when I sold on club, you know, during that time, I was running a team of 12, I think it was, and we had events, you know, until November 21, of 2018. And I was going to all of them across the country. And I was also in secret, because my team didn’t know. I mean, they did not know that I was selling this company until it was like December 10, I think that I told them in secret, I was having these planning meetings with my CEO, and like, we were in my, we were trying to figure out what we’re going to do and what the deck was, and I was flying out to Orange County, and, you know, so so that was put on my plate. So you know, I think, you know, there’s always going to be something that’s put on your plate. And even after I sold the company, I sold the company, and I moved over to the new company, and I worked there for two and a half years. And yes, my role changed. You know, I said, I don’t want to deal with operations, I don’t want to deal with the finance and I didn’t anymore, but I was dealing with our strategy in a much bigger way. And I was dealing with our content in a much bigger way. So you know, I was still going to bed at night worrying about what was going to happen with bump up even though I didn’t own any.
Adam Baruh 22:08
Yep. Um, where’s your question? 100%? Yeah, okay. Um, where did? What was your sweet spot? I guess, what did you enjoy most about your role?
Lindsay Pinchuk 22:19
So what I loved doing well, two things, I guess I would say one is, was building the community, everything I did was I loved, loved, loved building the community of bump club, and not just building the community, but engaging with going out and talking to the community, I would be, you know, the last one to leave every event because I wanted to talk to the people who were coming to our events. And I loved being a part of that. And, you know, naturally our community grew and built built up because I was the face of this brand. And I put myself out there and I talked to people and I talked to people on Instagram and Facebook. And you know, people would show up at our events, and they would want to talk to me, and it was so awesome, to be welcomed into their lives and their community and this important part of their lives. And so and I loved that I really just I loved building up our audience and getting to know our audience and even changing to meet their needs. Because I will tell you, parents to be parents changed a lot over the course of the 10 years that I was at bump club. The other thing that I loved doing a bump club, and really what I did up until the day that I left was I ran all of our content and our social media, and our marketing, I you know, I’m a creative person, by nature, I am a salesperson, too, but I really don’t love the sales process. And that’s, if I have to I will, but I love telling the story. And you know, in telling the story on all of our various platforms and sharing other people’s stories. And that to me was there was nothing better than interviewing people and helping people and knowing that we were making a difference. Really, truly.
Adam Baruh 23:58
Yeah, I can totally resonate with that. Alright, so you’ve mentioned the acquisition. So I think this is probably a good segue for that. So let’s talk about the acquisition. I believe it was by advantaged marketing solutions, is that correct? Okay. And around 2019?
Lindsay Pinchuk 24:15
Yeah, we’re closed on January one. 2019. Okay.
Adam Baruh 24:19
Can you tell us about what led to your decision to be acquired? Was this part of your planned exit strategy all along or
Lindsay Pinchuk 24:27
so I always knew that there would be some kind of exit and, but I very much wanted it to be some kind of acquisition where I could stay on for as long as I really wanted to stay on. I love love loved what I did at bump club I love like I said, the community and being a part of what we were doing to help people. I also knew that is someone who built a career off of being a parent. I was not going to be a young parent forever and I I knew that it would be weird at some point for me to be talking about strollers and car seats, because I wasn’t using them anymore. And I also I just felt that wasn’t so authentic. I mean, I, overtime became an expert in the parenting space, I worked with all of these brands, I’ve been to their factories, I can tell you anything about any model of UPPAbaby are bugaboo you want to know, you know, but I’m not using it anymore. And so it felt weird to me to be talking about these things from a past standpoint, or from a hearsay standpoint. And I kind of always thought, Okay, we’ll figure out some way either where I could sell or get investors, but I still want to be involved because I can do the marketing and the strategy and be the face of this company as the founder, not necessarily as the person who’s consuming the products, right? For as long as I want to be. And what ended up happening was, I had hired a, her role was more of a controller, to help me kind of get things in order financially. And the notion was, we’re going to get things in order, we’re going to build a deck, and we’re going to shop this thing around. But what ended up happening was, I was reached out, I was approached on LinkedIn, by three different entities in the summer of 2018, was like June, May, June 2018. Okay. And one of them was advantage. And then there were two others and I rolled the other two out one right away, one, I was going to go to New York for a meeting, and it became clear that we were not on the same page. And so we cancelled the meeting. And then advantage was the last one. And part of what enticed me about advantage was, they didn’t just want me or my brand, they wanted me my brand and my team. And they really wanted all of us. And so for me, that checked all the boxes of what I was looking for, which was someone to really provide more resources and financial backing. And this happened, this couldn’t have happened at a better time, because truly, we would have gone out of business during the pandemic had I not been backed by a large company. You know, we you know, so during, during that summer, when I decided to go with advantage, we spent a lot of time building a deck. We I like I said earlier, I flew out to Orange County a couple of times, we had some meetings, there was a lot of negotiating. But ultimately, I knew that this was the right move. And I’m glad that my gut told me that it was, you know, in hindsight, looking back, sure there and I can’t answer, I can’t answer what they are. So don’t ask, but I just just tell you sure, there are things that I would have maybe changed about the process or about the conclusion. But I would never have changed the fact that I sold this company when I did.
Adam Baruh 27:42
Yeah. And so yeah, I mean, the timing was interesting, because this is around 2019. And then, you know, and you mentioned before, earlier in this conversation about when the pandemic hit in 2020. So at this point, now, bump club and beyond is is owned by advantage marketing solutions, but you are still on board, you had I believe you said a two year commitment to stay on board. So I’d like to get into the experience when the pandemic hit, like, how, what were you guys thinking on when things started to get shut down? And things you know, we’re starting to look pretty serious. And I’d also like to get into, you know, not only what you guys thought at the beginning, but how you’re able to pivot or evolve and, and, you know, end up staying in business.
Lindsay Pinchuk 28:33
Yeah, of course. So what ended up happening was, so the first year, we were a part of advantage, just like any acquisition, you know, it was a lot of it was a lot of bumps, we were really trying to get ourselves into this big corporation and match our businesses. We were also the first consumer facing business that they bought. They are a b2b business, they own many agencies. And they had never owned a consumer facing brand before. And so it was really a lot of trying to figure each other out and what worked best. And during that first year, it was not the most successful year of bump club, I can say that very honestly can’t get into too many more details. But what ended up happening was we had had a long standing relationship with target. And it was kind of paused during that 2019 years, we were trying to figure out what we were going to do and where we were going to go and we ended up getting back in with target at the end of 2019. And we had decided we were going to do a very large program with them. In 2020. They signed on to this huge, huge contract huge as in like, I was probably 20 times the revenue of the target contract from when it was just me owning up. Okay, and our very first event was supposed to be a 300 in store event on March 21 2020. And that didn’t happen, obviously. But what ended up happening was the last week of februari target. You know, we knew we had heard from other people within advantage that target was pausing all in store events. And so what we did was we went, I said, we have to save this, we cannot let this go away, they’ve invested a lot of money, we’ve invested a lot of time, we need to save this revenue. Here’s a plan. And I created an online program where we took everything we were going to do in store, which was a lot of education. And we built it out into a series of Facebook Lives over the course of I think it was six weeks, we did a webinar. And then we did these live free Facebook events. The kicker was part of this event was that people were gonna come 10,000 People were supposed to come into the store, interact with Bob club representation and our brands that were paying for to sponsor this. And they were going to get a gift bag. And so obviously, we have these gift bags now sitting in a fulfillment center that we needed to distribute, we ended up sending 10,000 gift bags to people’s homes. Wow. We, it was amazing. We found a way to capture their information and to get them to watch these live events. And in exchange, they got these amazing bags. They were awesome bags, you can find people unboxing those on YouTube as well. And and it was great. And so that showed us during the pandemic when everyone was home, that why should we stop with the target events. I mean, we have these expectant parent dinners, we have workouts we have playdates. And we started putting everything online. And they were being sponsored. And we were getting 1000s of people to watch them. And so really, truly that was the pivot that took place during the pandemic. And to this day, I mean, I’m not there anymore, but they are still doing online virtual events. And in a way, I think it showed all of us that we need to be doing more of this online, in addition to the in person stuff because we were reaching so many more people aren’t during the pandemic bump clubs, audience grew three times where our traffic was, it was triple digit increases. It was crazy. And so you know, the pandemic, and it still is going on is a terrible, terrible thing. And we found a way to still reach expectant parents because and parents, because pregnancy and parenthood wasn’t stopping. And a lot of our competitors went out of business. They weren’t doing things virtually. And they weren’t reaching people online. And so, you know, we did it first. I mean, our the webinar for target was March 8 2020. Okay, this was like before the panel, this was before the ship, right? Yeah, they’re in a hotel ballroom that we rented, we set up our whole setup. And we broadcast it was the bug club team, we broadcast from there. And, you know, then it just, you know, the pandemic, obviously got worse from there and the shutdowns happened. But we were already in a place where our audience had come and engaged with us online. So it, it worked out really well for book club, and from a profit margin standpoint, book club had our best year in 20.
Adam Baruh 33:09
That’s amazing what a pivot. I mean, that’s, you know, the ability to kind of read the tea leaves, and really, also get lucky, you know, um, as things were coming together for you guys is great. So ultimately, you decided to step away from bump club and beyond, on entirely. And since that time, you’ve launched your own brand, and marketing consulting business, you want to tell us a little bit about, um, number one, I guess, let’s start with your decision to step away. Um, and do something completely different. And then also, you know, and I don’t know if maybe you want to start with this, but just describe what you’re doing today describe, you know, your what your consulting business is doing and what your focus is there.
Lindsay Pinchuk 33:51
Yeah, of course. So today, my focus is really to help other small business owners and founders to start grow and nurture and if they want to eventually help them sell their businesses. I am working with most of the companies, I’m working with our small business or startup, but some of them are very established brands, like I’m working with a granola company, for example, that’s been around for 12 years. And I have some other projects in the work in the works with some established brands, but I do a lot of social media strategy, marketing strategy, revenue driving strategy, how to come up with different revenue streams and ultimately growth strategies for the business. So, you know, in in getting to this place, this was it was a very scary decision to make. I will that is the very first thing that I will tell you. I have only known this for the last 10 years. My kids have only known me as the founder of club and beyond. They do not know my previous life. And it was it was comfortable. You know, I mean, I do it in my sleep. But at the end of the day I was starting to get kind of put my antennas up. But not only you know, what I was saying before was that I, you know, I have a tween and an eight year old in my house now. But I was starting to get approached by people who wanted my help, and who wanted to pay me for projects, and they will projects that seems really interesting. They were projects that were really starting to kind of like light a fire within within me just how about club did when I first started and I realized that it was really complacent. And I was just, I wasn’t, and I realized ultimately that I wasn’t happy. I, I couldn’t figure out I think why it was so hard to get up in the morning. And, you know, we were also going through a global pandemic at this time, and my whole job changed, and I wasn’t traveling anymore, which I loved and everything was different. But I realized that I just, I was complacent, and I wasn’t feeling challenged anymore. And it was just time for me to move on. And I think that it takes a lot to get to that point. And then it also takes a lot to get to the point where you’re going to do it, because it’s a really scary thing to give up a salary and to all of a sudden be out on your own. You know, the big thing, you know, my husband and I were always like, well, what if I, what if I can’t find clients? Again, if I can’t find clients? And I my whole answer was if I can’t find clients, I’ll go back and find another job, or go work for someone. But, you know, ultimately, it took a little bit of time and in like grieving, you know, I would say there was a grieving process for me to say, okay, like I am okay, leaving this brand, that I feel I have taken it as far as I can take it. And it is time for me to move on to what’s next. And, you know, a big part of what I said I loved was building this community and engaging with this community. And honestly, towards the end, I felt like I wasn’t able to do that, because I was so busy doing other things. And now I you know, I have a whole community of founders and entrepreneurs, and women who want to start businesses and men who want to start businesses who are following me on Instagram who are in my Facebook community, in the group of mine that I have on Facebook, and that’s what I want to be doing. I want to be helping people, I want to be helping people further their own dreams. And that’s, you know, that’s what I did when I started a club for the parenting space. So that’s, that’s kind of where I am today. Yeah, I have a handful of clients. I just started this summer, I am building out a podcast of my own right now. It’s called Dear found her. And it’s essentially weekly conversations with founders that I female founders that I have come across that I have met that are a part of my life, many of whom I’ve become friends with just through being a founder myself. And it’s my blueprint to founders, because at the end of the day, there is no blueprint to being an entrepreneur. And there is a lot of knowledge that I wish that I had known 10 years ago, five years ago, even three years ago before my acquisition, and if I can help one person to save time to get ahead quicker than I feel I’ve done my job. And I just I want to get this information out. And I want to share these stories so that others feel inspired so that others can grow their businesses and can find their own success.
Adam Baruh 38:17
Yeah, I’m perfect. Yeah, I wanted to cover your your podcast. And so with deer found her. Um, so it’s a it’s gonna be focused on on female entrepreneurship, correct?
Lindsay Pinchuk 38:31
Yes. I mean, I think that truly, and I have about 30 interviews that I’ve done already for it. And honestly, I think that any entrepreneur would benefit from listening to these women talk, you don’t have to be a female to listen to this. Obviously, just given my background and what I’ve done, I really want to focus on helping women make those decisions, especially women later in life, who has maybe stepped out of the workforce, and went home with their kids. And now they want to do something together, they have an idea. I really want to give people the courage to make that pivot. And I do feel that oftentimes women because of motherhood and other circumstances, just have different kind of, not, not more not, but just different kinds of pivots. But I honest to God, like the stories that I’ve been getting from these entrepreneurs are mind blowing. They’re amazing. And the advice is just off the charts, and anyone would benefit from it.
Adam Baruh 39:32
Yeah. Can you give us an idea for what type of topics or stories you’re going to be covering?
Lindsay Pinchuk 39:36
Yeah. So the very, I mean, I’m talking to different entrepreneurs, like I said, so I mean, everyone from Dana Borden, who owns Dana Rebecca design. She’s a huge jeweler to Ashley Murphy. She started neat method she is they have 90 franchises around the country for home organization, to baby sideburns, Karen Alpert. She’s a New York Times bestselling author and mom blogger so it’s all Different kinds of stories for from female founders. And we talk about how they got to where they are, their pivot and what what it was that led them to do doing what they’re doing today. And then we talk about ideas and their actionable takeaways from every single episode on marketing on social media, and building community, things that you can do in steps that you can take right now, when you are done listening to the podcast to start your business or further your business.
Adam Baruh 40:29
That sounds incredible. Yeah, I’m going to be super excited to listen to that.
Lindsay Pinchuk 40:33
You should be it’s, you’re gonna love it, you are going to love it, for sure.
Adam Baruh 40:37
Um, I want to talk a little bit more about female entrepreneurship, because I was I you know, in doing some research on for this episode I, I came across a statistic that I thought was interesting, in the year 2021, that women owned businesses only accounted for 31% of small business franchises in the US. So where do you see the market going for women in business? I mean, here in 2021? And what what factors do you put behind that projection?
Lindsay Pinchuk 41:08
I think truly, that the pandemic is going to be a positive for women in business. I think that a lot in your what you talked about the great resignation at the top of the episode, and I truly, truly, truly in my heart of hearts think that the pandemic provide the silver lining for a lot of people and women know what they want and what they don’t want. I just before this had a call with someone who just who thinks she might want to make a career change, and I was just talking her through it. Women want to be happy. I think everyone wants to be happy. It’s not just, you know, for women, they want happiness, Everyone wants happiness. But and I think that now more than ever, women can see that you don’t have to have a ton of money to start a business, you can start a business with an Instagram account. Sure, a lot of resources that are out there to help you. I think that through this pandemic, and through the last two years, people have seen that people are willing to help, you know, anyone who who messages me, I messaged back, and I’ll oftentimes get on a zoom with them, you can do business, the way you and I are talking right now, so much more efficiently than we could before. And so I think that what’s gonna end up happening is just women entrepreneurship is going to continue to skyrocket. And it is, there are so many people out there right now who are really trying to push the needle, and help women to come out of these situations that are not so desirable for their life or themselves. And to put them in a place where they can find what whatever it is that they need to find to be happy and a little bit more well balanced. And so that is what I truly see happening. And I just the interest that I’m seeing and hearing and in my discussions with people and on social media, is through the roof. Truly.
Adam Baruh 43:06
Yeah, I think your podcast is gonna resonate, it’s gonna be so great for a lot of women. And it’s such an opportunity. I mean, it’s so weird to say it that, you know, talking about the positive aspects of the pandemic, you know, because I mean, like, I’m not trying to discount the trauma, um, which was real. But, you know, there was a lot of positive aspects that came out of this pandemic, and, you know, if women can recognize and now, you know, go forth, knowing that, hey, I’m just gonna go for it, like, this is an opportunity to timing, it’s all coming together in a way where I feel good about going forward for it. Um, you know, then, then that was a great aspect of the pandemic.
Lindsay Pinchuk 43:54
I also think with the pandemic that you know, it, it just, it helps people to see the light, you know, and yeah, I can say this coming from a place of, I was a corporate employee, during the pandemic, I was a corporate employee at my own company. So I kind of straddled both, both worlds, you know, I mean, I did have a lot of flexibility, just as the founder of bump club while I was working for advantage who owned a club, but I saw what is not desirable for women in corporate America. And, you know, it’s not an advantage specific thing. It’s not any one company specific thing it was, I saw what women were going through during the pandemic as corporate employees firsthand, and I had my own employees who left because they had to go home and teach their kids virtual school. And so, you know, I think that this really just opened a lot of eyes and I know it opened my eyes you know, once I realized that I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing and it has nothing to do with advance had nothing to do with bump club, it was just my needs had changed in that moment. And I missed jumping out of bed every morning, excited to get my day started. And I had that with bump club. I had it with Hearst. And it was time for me to get back to that. And I think it really truly took what happened during the pandemic for me to see it.
Adam Baruh 45:21
Yeah. Touching a little bit more on this female entrepreneurship I was there any specific challenges that you experienced in your career? As a result of being a female entrepreneur?
Lindsay Pinchuk 45:36
You know, I don’t I’m a pretty straightforward, you know, I say it like it is I, I don’t, I don’t really balked at like, you know, a big powerful male executive like that doesn’t like so I really can’t think of any challenges. I will say that when I was going through the acquisition process, one of the companies was owned by two men. And I felt like, through our conversations, I felt I didn’t feel like they were trying to railroad me. And I just, I, I, I didn’t get a good feeling from it. And they were people who had been in the parenting space before they their company owned other parenting brands. And I it was funny, I had a friend who worked with them in it and one of their other entities. And she, she’s an attorney, and she called them and was like, What do you want with Lindsay? Because she’s not getting a straight answer from you. And once we figured out what it was, it was not what I wanted. And I was able to say I don’t want this, but I did feel like they were trying to take advantage of like the mom or Noor that was that they were trying to buy out essentially, right?
Adam Baruh 46:50
We talk a lot about work life balance on the show. Um, so what does balance look like for you, as a mom, entrepreneur?
Lindsay Pinchuk 46:58
What does balance look like? For me, um, there is no such thing as balance, to be honest. You know, I mean, every day is different I, I would say, you know, right now, it’s, I’m feeling a little bit more balanced at the moment, because I’m back to doing my own thing. And so I can make my own hours. And I can, you know, pick up my kids, and I’m not reporting to anyone, so that I feel very balanced at the moment, I will tell you that. But you know, prior to, you know, prior to the pandemic, I would say which, and I’m going to go back to that time because the pandemic was an anomaly. But prior to the pandemic, it was very much, I was either in work mode, or mom mode. And when I was working, I was working, and I showed up at work. And when I was at home, I really tried to be here be present for my kids. And, you know, some days were more work. And some days were more mom. And I really, I don’t, I don’t think that there’s such thing as his balance. I think it’s showing up and doing your best in whatever role it is, in that moment.
Adam Baruh 48:04
Okay. Um, so one of the central inspirations for this podcast is, you know, something we spoke about earlier, the great resignation. And this, you know, so called movement in the workplace. So, what do you attribute the great resignation to? And where do you see the workforce headed?
Lindsay Pinchuk 48:24
So I think like I said, Before, I think the great resignation very much as a product of people seeing the possibilities as they were home. And you know, it, the pandemic was an eye opener to a lot of people in that. You don’t have to be in an office every day, you don’t have to commute two hours every day, you don’t have to travel in order to get business done. I think people realize they were saving a lot of time and money. But I also think like in terms of work, like the, like workforce dynamics and economics, right, in terms of people resigning, I think that people ultimately saw what they where they wanted to spend their time and what they wanted to spend their time doing. And I think that this whole past two years of the pandemic has opened everyone’s eyes to wanting to be happy. I mean, I really just think that people have realized that life is short. You never know what is going on. You never know what is going to come your way. And I mean, you know, we were out in a bar on March 9, and three days later, we were home and we haven’t really emerged. I mean, not in the same way, you know. So I think that and that was two years ago. I mean, it’s very, life is very different now. And so I just think that people see are seeing what they want. They’re there. It’s very clear what they want. And so they’re going out to get it and they don’t really care what the ramifications are, because you just don’t know what tomorrow is gonna bring. So I think in terms of the workforce, I think we’re gonna see people remaining to work at home. I know at least my husband like, I mean, he worked In advertising as well, and, you know, being in person and entertaining and dining, that’s a huge part of what he does. I mean, they close their office, he’s at home, and definitely right now. So, you know, the big tech giants are home and definitely right now. So, you know, I think that we’re gonna see a lot more of people working from home, staying at home, maybe co working spaces, day here a day there, I hope to God that this flex time remains something that is not only the way it is now, but it gets even better. Because I think that we’ve all shown both women and men, that you don’t have to work a nine to five, in order to get your job done. And I and I really hope that that continues to be the case in terms of, you know, Mike, not like not micromanaging people and just allowing people to do their job to get their job done and, and to be happy and, and, you know, I think right before the pandemic, you know, you’d go into a lot of these offices, like we were in a co working space at one point, and it was like, a ping pong table, and we provide this and we provide that and what, like, no one cares about that stuff, right? We just want to like, do their job and go home and have a life outside work. And so, to your point, like, I think it is about finding balance, what that means to you. And I think that companies need to kind of get on board with that.
Adam Baruh 51:23
Yeah, I follow Gary Vee, and I’m really interested in everything he has to say. And he, you know, a lot of his messaging is around the house, like nobody is gonna stay at a job because there’s free snacks. 100% Yeah. Alright, so I want to ask you one last question. Um, what is the number one piece of advice you would give to women that are considering launching a new business?
Lindsay Pinchuk 51:45
Just do it. I mean, honest to God, I and it was, it’s funny, I posted something on my Instagram saying this today, and I say all the time, there is never a right time. There’s never a right moment, it’s not going to be like, you’re gonna wake up one morning and say, Today’s the day, it’s a great time in my life, and like, my kids are at school. It’s not, that’s not how it works. Just get started. And I had a conversation with someone actually, today, we were talking about getting started in a way that makes sense for your life where you feel like you’re not giving up something before it before you, you know, or you’re taking, you don’t want to give up something before you know if it’s gonna work. And so, you know, for me, with this new change of mine, I knew I was leaving bomb club. And I started in my spare time building my website. And then I became a consultant for ballclub for six weeks. And during that time, I was able to put out the fact that I was leaving, and I started getting clients, but I still had income from one club. And that’s very similar to when I started book club, when I started book club, I was still working at first and I was testing the waters to see if it was a viable product. And if people were actually going to show up for these events and pay for them. So you know, I think if you can find a way to get started with little to no risk and to just kind of test out the waters. All you really need is an Instagram account, to start putting things out there and seeing if people engage and if people are interested. And then from there, if you allow it to grow organically, you will get customers. And so the biggest hurdle is just to take the chance and do it. And you know, I think a lot of people have a really hard time to your point earlier with imposter syndrome. And I don’t know, and I don’t have the time and I don’t have the money. We just do it. Just do it. And it will fall into place if it’s meant to be and you will figure it out. You absolutely well.
Adam Baruh 53:38
I totally echo that. I mean, that’s that’s a great piece of advice. And I again, like for anybody listening to this. Go and check out her, Lindsay’s podcast, um, dear found her when it launches, I believe that’s going to be January of 2022. Is that right? Okay, great. And then yeah, lots more. Like she said, actual stuff that you can use right then in there after you listen to the episode. So I’m Lindsay, it’s been an honor to hear your story and about the work that you’re doing to enable entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs. So thank you so much for being our guest today.
Lindsay Pinchuk 54:14
Thank you so much for having me. It’s been an honor to be here. And this has been such a great conversation. So thanks so much.