In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

Entrepreneurship may seem like an elusive endeavor in which you have to quit your 9-to-5, jump in head first, throw caution to the wind, sell your soul to investors and live on ramen…  

But real entrepreneurship is messier, more complex, diverse (and also attainable) than what the movies, tv shows, and allure of Silicon Valley can make it seem. And while there’s no one type of entrepreneur, there is something they all seem to have in commona burning desire to solve a specific problem. 

Juliet Starrett is the perfect embodiment of THAT entrepreneurial path. In addition to her role as CEO of the world-renowned digital health and fitness company — The Ready State, she’s also an attorney, mother, and former professional whitewater rafter. 

Juliet co-founded The Ready State with her husband, Kelly in 2008. At the time it was called Mobility|WOD, and it went on to revolutionize the field of performance therapy and self-care. Juliet and Kelly also co-founded San Francisco CrossFit and StandUpKids together. She’s a Precision Nutrition Level 2 certified coach and co-author (with Kelly) of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Deskbound. She also helped mastermind the marketing campaign that drove Kelly’s books Becoming A Supple Leopard and Ready to Run onto the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

Connect with Juliet: 

Via their website:

Via LinkedIN: Juliet Starrett

Via Instagram: @julietstarrett  

On today’s episode we cover: 

  1. Hiring and firing good people: the most important part of small business
  2. How to adopt an abundance mindset when it comes to competition in your field
  3. Battling burnout and the myth of balance in business and life
  4. Working with your spouse and navigating the overlap of personal & professional life

Spots for our Fall 2021 small group mentorship program (The Coalition) are almost gone! If you’re ready to take the next step in building your career, personal brand or business, join our growing family and get personalized mentorship and accountability from our team and a diverse array of professionals. Don’t wait, Apply here!

If you’ve been searching for an effective non-load bearing workout (perfect for returning from injury and travel), you need SAGA BFR cuffs. The first wireless version to hit the market, SAGA has made what was once a niche, complex tool accessible to everyone. We’re glad to have them as a part of our team! Get $50 OFF by using code BRETT20 at checkout!


Brett Bartholomew  0:03  

If you’re somebody who values efficiency in life, let alone your health and fitness. Be sure to check out today’s sponsor Saga Fitness. Now, hold on, this isn’t some chain. These are the inventors of the world’s first wireless upper and lower limb BFR cuffs. Now all jargon aside BFR cuffs leverage the benefits of blood flow restriction training, it’s perfectly safe, it’s been well researched. And this reduces the time and intensity required for you to build muscle increase strength or recover from injury. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder or an athlete. I’ve mentioned this before, my father is nearly 70. And because he put off so many surgeries that he should have had earlier, we all know how this is with our parents. He is going to have to have several procedures done this year. Now he’s not a weightlifter, he’s got a number of health complications. And he is going to have to utilize very light weights and a long kind of procedure to be able to get back on track and be autonomous. But with the use of these cuffs once he’s cleared, he’s going to be able to use those lightweights to see significant changes and increases in strength, something that wouldn’t be possible without the use of the cuffs it would take much longer and I don’t have that time. I need help corralling my son and I want to see my dad chase his grandson around. So these are in my suitcase every time I travel there for every fitness level. Make sure of course, you’re cleared by your physician, but visit and use code Brett 20 That’s br e t t to zero to save 20% off.


Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me and now let’s dive into today’s episode.


All right, this has been one that I have been excited for for a long time. Today we’re going to talk to Juliet Starrett. And to give you context, Juliet is an entrepreneur. She’s an attorney, and she’s the CEO of the world renowned digital health and fitness company known as the ready state. Now Juliet co founded the ready state with her husband Kelly, also a friend of ours in 2008. And at that time, it was called mobility WOD. And it went on to revolutionize the field of performance therapy and self care. So if you have a dad, a mom, a sister, or a brother, or domestic partner, or what have you that has ever said, Why does my back hurt? Why does my knee hurt? Why does my shoulder hurt? What can I do about it? Mobility WOD. And now the readyState was always and is always the go to resource. 


So Juliet and Kelly also co founded San Francisco, CrossFit, and a great nonprofit called stand up kids together. Founded in 2005, San Francisco, CrossFit was the 21st CrossFit affiliate in the world, the 21st. And stand up kids, as I said, is a nonprofit dedicated to combating kids sedentary lifestyles, which you guys know, if you follow me at all we’re really passionate about I sit on the board for a nonprofit called movement to be which helps kids in underserved communities, learn more about physical literacy and get moving themselves so tremendous synchrony here. Juliet is a precision nutrition level two certified coach. She’s been a co author and by the way, this isn’t a hobbyist. Her and Kelly’s books have been on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. And they’ve also helped mastermind multiple marketing campaigns that drove these books to get on those lists. She has earned her Juris Doctor or JD degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. And for over eight years she had a successful career as an attorney practicing complex commercial litigation. Get it get a little bit of a polymath here. 


Now we also dive into her role as a parent, her role dealing with staffing, all these things that admittedly I’m super interested right now, because we are a growing company and I know so many other people are looking for good help. They’re looking how to scale their business the right way or at the very least scale their impact. Well, look no further today we have an incredibly candid conversation with Juliet Starrett

  here we go


all right, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The Art of coaching podcast. I am joined by Juliet Starrett

 , how are you Juliet?


Juliet Starrett  4:53  

I am so great and so excited to be here.


Brett Bartholomew  4:55  

Yeah, listen, this is always the good part of how we try to run our podcast is We don’t do a lot of prep you and I probably haven’t talked since pre COVID, like you mentioned prior, we only kind of get a chance to really interact on social. And so the warts and all are going to be shown but so that our audience gets to know you, as well, as I do, relatively speaking. 


Tell us a little bit about you know, what you do, the organization that you’ve co founded, and in a little bit about yourself, so we can orient everybody?


Juliet Starrett  5:24  

Sure, you know, I am the co founder and CEO of a company called the ready state. And we teach people how to take care of their bodies and understand how their body works and fix their nagging pain and injury. And we do that by way of a thing you can subscribe to We we have these things called protocols where you can fix little, like ongoing injuries you have. And we’ve been doing that since roughly 2008 in sort of a very organic form, the company actually started as mobility WOD, which might be a more familiar term to some of your listeners. We rebranded the company in 2019. For a variety of reasons which we can get into if you’re interested in that, I’ll skip over that for now. We started off as mobility WOD, we actually never started it with a mind to avoid being a business. We started making free YouTube videos in 2010, and just putting them up on the internet with like, low quality video and terrible audio. And then we realized there was something to this. And so we ultimately, and also out of respect for our own time, we ultimately turned it into an actual business in 2013. Simultaneously, we co founded San Francisco CrossFit, which we owned for 15 years, and actually just closed during the pandemic. We opened San Francisco CrossFit in 2005, we were the 21st CrossFit to open in the world. And that’s significant for those who don’t know, CrossFit because I think today there’s like 14,000, CrossFit ‘s worldwide, maybe slightly fewer after the pandemic, but still a lot of cross fits. We were super early adopters of CrossFit. And we ran a really well known really visible CrossFit gym in San Francisco for many years, and actually just close it in COVID. Prior to that, I was a complex commercial litigator at a big international law firm for eight and a half years. And prior to that, I was a professional whitewater paddler. And so I traveled all over the world going down rivers, that today would be way too scary for me. But it was just an awesome opportunity to be a professional athlete and travel the world. You know, and beyond that I was born in Boulder, Colorado. I used to be a Taurus, but I don’t know if you know, but all the signs just changed. They added a new one. And so now I’m an Aries. I love and I love mountain biking. 


Brett Bartholomew  7:47  

There you go. And you can always tell people that are well practice at having to go through their background well practice at the interview park because that’s a hell of a logline that you just went through, but what’s uniquely relevant about all of it, and there is all of it is uniquely relevant right at the time, you and I are having this conversation. We’re actually in the middle of a launch of something we call blind spot. And there’s so many people that listen, that are like, I want to start something I want to do something. But what’s the first step? And you’re familiar with this, right? Like you go through imposter phenomenon, who’s my audience. And that’s why I love you talking about how you went through the rebranding and the messy parts of this with mobility, WOD and everything else. The key is you got started with something as most people should have, they feel like they have value to provide right and they and they plan it out. You don’t overthink what it’s going to be in 20 years, you just get your damn hands dirty. Hopefully you find good enough people to help you scale that which is its own thing. And then you start getting the muck and mire. 


Here’s the one thing though. You didn’t mention being a mother that I caught there. And this is a selfish desire of mine. And I know much of our audience relates to because balancing all that you being a world class athlete, your former lives his life as a litigator, you being a mother, you being a wife, you being a CEO, you know, with people that are just still in their heads in general, trying to figure out how do I start building something? You know, I feel like it’s got to be perfect. And oh, by the way, I don’t feel like I have a lot of time. You know, like, how does your mind go into that? I’m not gonna say how do you balance it? Because there’s no such thing. But how did you even attack that then? And how has that changed a little bit now?


Juliet Starrett  9:15  

Yeah, well, thank you for bringing it up, by the way, because of course, my most important job is being a mom. And I actually have made a lot of decisions in my life professionally, because I am a mom and want to be a present mom. So thank you for you know, circling back on that. And you’re right. It is so messy. And I think it is about, you know, for me it was about getting started. And you know, while I think I’m someone who has a certain amount of risk tolerance, one of the things that I was always super conscious of especially as a mom and someone who wanted to be able to financially provide for my kids is you know, Kelly and I never started our other businesses by way of letting go of everything and just jumping in feet first. When we started our gym, I was still I’m a full time litigator running the gym on the side, Kelly was working at a traditional physical therapy office coaching on the side. And I actually didn’t leave my law practice until 2009. So I did this overlapping thing for many years. And my kids were little at that point, too. 


So I mean, I’ll start by saying that someone used this phrase once and said, You Juliet, you have a really high work pain tolerance. So I do, I am, I don’t mind working hard actually really like working. I’m not one of those people that’s like waiting to get to my lazy boy at age 60. Like, I think I will probably always be working in some capacity, I really, like I enjoy working get a lot out of it. So I think just that sort of basic trade has helped me be able to want to do a lot of things. But I will say that, you know, there was a point where I decided to leave my law practice because it was simply too much. I mean, I was starting, you know, mobility WOD was starting to take off the gym had taken off, I had two little kids. And I was like, alright, you know, there’s a point at which I want to be present for my kids. I want to see what there is to be seen with these two businesses. But I mean, I really was totally overwhelmed. So, you know, there was no point at which I mean, there was a lot of strategic thinking about you know, jumping in, full bore into entrepreneurship. But also part of it was just sort of that I reached a point where I was like, wow, I can only do so much as a human. And really at the core, I did want to be a present mom. And I will say that being a big, firm, billable hour litigator is like often not congruent with wanting to be a present mom. So I don’t even know if I answered your question, Brett. 


Brett Bartholomew  11:39  

Yeah, no,I think it was clear. I mean, I’m asking you broad questions on purpose, becausethere’s some good anchor points here. Because again, just getting in the head of so many people that Listen, you’re very humble. You guys started with essentially, you know, Mom and Pop roots with wanting to help people in a wide variety of ways move better perform better. And now it’s a global I mean, global, massively scaled organization. But it started I mean, still, there was no perfection. I mean, right now you guys have a beautiful like a wonderful film crew. Every time I see you do something, it’s the utmost of professionalism. Whether you’re talking about a new partnership, or a new product, or just how to get rid of elbow pain, it always looks pristine. But if most people could go back and see those early YouTube videos, it’s a shit show. Right? It’s a shit show. Yeah. And it’s what endeared me to you guys. I mean, my wife and I, being from the Midwest, like, I don’t have a business background, my father was a stockbroker, my mom worked for the government. All I knew is if the camera was on hey just tell it like it is, and be straightforward. And that seemed to be your guys’s approach. I mean, am I correct or did you guys have some kind of education on how to deal with the marketing and the business of this at all?


Juliet Starrett  12:44  

None. I mean, we were total 100%. Rookies. And I think anyone who wants to go have a good laugh should go look at like, go like 2010 Kelly starter out on YouTube. And like, you will have a really funny laugh, because I’m the one operating the camera, I’m terrible at it. Like really, I actually could win an award for being bad at videography. And, you know, here’s what I would say, as far as advice, though, is that, you know, we never saw out to start a business, we started out to solve a problem and help people in both our businesses, right. Like, you know, the problem we wanted to solve when we started our gym was that we found this way of training, we fell in love with it. We are former professional athletes, we were getting really tired of stair mastering and doing curls at our like local Globo gym. And so we’d fallen in love with the CrossFit methodology. We’ve been working out with our friends in the backyard. One morning at 5am. You know, a guy yells out his door, like shut the EFF up at 5am. And then we thought, Well, okay, I guess maybe these group classes in our backyard in the middle of San Francisco of five o’clock in the morning. It’s not sustainable, right? So the problem we’re trying to solve there is like, Okay, we realize we need to move out of the garage, we need to find a space, you know, let’s solve the problem of just literally finding a cool place we can train with our friends, like that was literally the beginning of San Francisco CrossFit. You know, at that point, there was no model right, like now, if you start a CrossFit gym, you know, you it’s a question of which 27 software’s you want to use to have your member sign up. And, you know, you can literally press one button on the rogue fitness website and outfit an entire gym. And, you know, you can talk to 5000 other gym owners who can say this, and they can give you this business model and these projections about how much money you’re gonna make and how many members you need to have and all that. Well, none of that existed in 2005. Like, literally you couldn’t buy a kettlebell, we had to drive to Santa Cruz to buy kettlebells row fitness didn’t exist. There was no software we literally had to exchange like checks. 


And let me just say We probably lost a lot of money because we weren’t great at that. And then you know, the same thing with mobility WOD. What I mean the story there is that we had started an in house physical therapy clinic at the gym. When Kelly left his physical therapy practice. He started seeing clients at our gym in a room that he loved. really called the pain cave. So any veterans of the pain cave are, you know, it’s like a badge of honor for them. But what he started seeing and what our dinner table conversations were showing was that the people everybody was coming in with like, like five problems, like five of the same problems. And what Kelly started seeing is like, most of these problems were preventable. People were spending a lot of time and money going to see him during their work day losing work at time that you know, then they’re also seeing their physicians, and we’re getting MRIs. And he’s saying, like, Hey, this guy who came to see me has gotten two MRIs, and X ray seen as physician and for physical therapists, and like, literally, he’s just missing some shoulder range of motion. Like, what the hell, you know, so I think for Kelly, you just sort of had this lightbulb moment. And so what we realized is that people’s knowledge about how their body works and was like zero. And also on top of that people had no tools to sort of take a crack at like trying to fix their own body before they went to see a doctor or some kind of professional chiropractor, you name it. 


So that was the beginning of mobility Wod again, not a business idea. never, we never thought we would make $1 on it. That wasn’t the thing. What we saw was a problem, which is people didn’t understand how their body works and had no tools. So we started making these really hilarious YouTube videos. And just, you know, put, I mean, and by the way, you know, as far as like, just so people realize how dawn of time this was technology wise, like, the only reason we were able to do what we did was that 2010 version of the iPhone, which I think was like the first iPhone or second, maybe like iPhone, 


Brett Bartholomew  16:38  

yeah, would have been like two, 


Juliet Starrett  16:40  

it was the first time because because they had just, you know, YouTube was on the phone, and we could directly upload from our phone to YouTube. If we have literally had to video, download into a computer, upload it to YouTube, like mobility WOD wouldn’t have existed because we needed that quickness. We didn’t have time to edit. And I think like you said, people appreciated it. Because, you know, we literally were like running our businesses, putting our kids to bed, and then going out to the garage at literally, sometimes 10 o’clock at night, you know, and we’re both like, exhausted, and, you know, Kelly would like throw some water on his face. And, you know, we’d like film these videos in our garage. And I think what people picked up on was exactly that, right? Like, we were just trying to solve a problem and get some information out into the world. And we weren’t slick and fancy. And, I think that that resonated with people.


Brett Bartholomew  17:35  

Yeah, I think you know, first of all, all this makes sense for two people. And I’m gonna butcher this that if I’m right, you guys met while you were competing in a whitewater rafting competition? And what was it called the Futaleufú in Chile, like, what’s the name of this river?


Juliet Starrett  17:50  

Yes, Futaleufú. But amazing that you pulled that off right away. that was impressive.


Brett Bartholomew  17:55  

And your husband has white blondish hair, and you’re thinking I mean, at that point, you guys didn’t really have a history and you’re thinking this is going to be a risk. So if that’s how you met the person that you’re spending the rest of your life with, really starting a business that helps people live a more pain free lifestyle.


Juliet Starrett  18:09  

No problem. No problem. 


Brett Bartholomew  18:10  

No problem. No, but I hope people heard the nature of that there. It wasn’t about making money. It was about here’s a problem, we have a solution. And we play at our workshops, we do a game improv game, kind of a silly warm up. But it’s purposeful, right? And gets people thinking laterally, a call problem solution and you’d say, hey, Juliet, I have a problem, I can’t sleep. And you would say, Hey, Brad, I have a solution. I have a computer mouse. And the goal is those two are not related, right? Like I can’t sleep and you have a computer mouse. But now I have to deal with that I have to say great. I’ll use your computer mouse to mindlessly scroll the internet until I pass out from boredom. The point is getting people to understand what your resources are, right? That’s your competitive strategy. You got to garage, you got to shitty camera, you have some knowledge rate, don’t overlook that as the idea of the thing that might go on to provide people with enough value to create a lifestyle that can be scalable in some kind of way, right? being resourceful in that capacity. And I mean, because you didn’t have that kind of training you had no, this was before really now. I mean, think about how many people have copied that model. On Instagram. It’s like how to solve a hurt shoulder how to address a painful knee. But you know, giving people just that information alone doesn’t help. You’ve got to give them an ecosystem, you’ve got to give them a way of empowering themselves. How have you continued to differentiate during a time where you know now you have so many people copying what you do. And I know you don’t mind that because you guys don’t have a scarcity mindset. You’re distinct. But you know, how do you navigate that now continuing to stay true to that differentiation and being solution focused?


Juliet Starrett  19:41  

Yeah, I mean, you know, I will say that when you know, it took a while for any like so called competitors to hit the market, right? We were really the only shop in town, right? Because we sort of like we created the category of like movement, mobility and mechanics, like we really were the category creators of that. And I think First, when some competitor started to drop, I hit like, I did have a little bit of a fear, like, oh, no, you know, is there space, but you know that that went away really quickly because number one, I realized that, you know, all of our so called competitors are really often doing like very different things and their models are different, right. So even though it may be a choice for some people between us and some competitor, ultimately, you know, we’re doing different things, and we approach things differently. And, number two, there’s plenty of space for all of us in the market. You know, there’s, so many people, I mean, I don’t have the exact data, but I think it’s like one in two Americans complaint of musculoskeletal injury at this point. So I mean, it’s a gigantic problem, you know, compounded, I think, by COVID, and everybody’s sitting in their houses and, you know, getting depressed and, you know, sitting in hunchback position on their laptop for, you know, 18 months or something.


But, I will say, actually, that I have learned so much from our competitors, you know, like, what we brought in innovation and creativity, you know, some of our competitors have brought in technological advancement, you know, different ways of doing things. And so, you know, I would say that, our competitors have made us up our game a lot, right? Like, again, you know, it wasn’t really until we were just kind of doing our like, no edited whatever, Instagram YouTube videos for a long time, and then we’re like, Okay, well, all our competitors have subtitling, and titles and this and all right, okay, we’re gonna jump into that market. So I think in many ways, you know, if I look at sort of who else is out there in the market, if anything, those people have just pushed us to continue to think differently and innovate, think about our marketing strategies differently, you know, make sure that we’re always trying to kind of give the best products to our customers. And also, like, really understanding like, who it is, our audience is. 


So, you know, I had only I would say, five minutes, sort of like God, dang, like, now other people are in this market. And now I think, you know, there’s plenty of space for all of us. In fact, there’s probably room for even more, because this is such a gigantic problem in our country. And, you know, I think our focus right now is, how do we get beyond the people who might use the word athlete to describe themselves? That’s our current focus? Because, you know, one of the things we the one of the pieces of feedback, we’ve gotten multiple times over the last couple of years and rebranding to the ready state has helped this a lot. But, you know, we have had the feedback in the past that people say, Well, this looks super cool. You guys are doing but like, I don’t lift weights. This isn’t for me. Right. And, I think, you know, to the extent that Kelly and I started this company, with really the fundamental mission of like, trying to help people feel better in their bodies, and, you know, be able to move and do the things they want to do until they’re 95 years old, like that, really is our core value, that, you know, now our current focus is how do we broaden the net, and bring in those people who, you know, just go for a hike a couple times a week or get on their peloton, or, you know, just mostly how do we reach the people who want to be able to move freely in their life without nagging pain, and also the people who would literally never use the word athlete in any sentence describing themselves. 


So that’s kind of where we are now. And, you know, I still think there’s the market is not that big. There’s we don’t have a ton of like, so called competitors. And there’s a lot of work to be done out there and different ways to skin the cat.


Brett Bartholomew  23:45  

Yeah, well, I mean, listen, when there’s a billion people in the world, anybody that takes this idea that there’s a competitive mindset, and there’s not enough for everybody, right, they’re already kind of behind the game, because you’re gonna spend so much time worrying about, like you said, so called competitors. They’re not upping their own game, right? It’s mutual learning. There’s and a lot of these people, I think, want a seat at the table. But when you lack the decorum to even know how to pull up a chair, and you just try, like biting off other people’s stuff, you’re ruining your chance, you know, and you make a good point too about nomenclature in the name, you know, we deal with that to a degree at art of coaching, right? Coaching has this connotation that it has to be a sport, you know, and we can tell people all we want, hey, the term developed in the 1500s, and always meant mentor guide, and a lot of our audience has figured that out, but we know that at some point, hey, do we have to face a rebrand? Because are people going to think that because my background is in sports performance, right? You see the jerseys behind me? That that’s all we’re talking to. And that’s not you know, 


and it’s tricky Juliet. I wonder your thoughts on this because on one end, we do have a responsibility we being business owners, to put things in the parlance of the individual is many people out there that can find us so that you know because the average person is just short on attention. Right? And you don’t want them to have to think so much you want them to just be like okay, they’re ready state that seems like for everybody, art of coaching that scene. Like for everybody on in, so you feel like okay, I need to adapt. On the other hand, you know, I know when I started following you guys, like I don’t participate in CrossFit for no particular reason other than that’s just not what I do. But I never once thought, oh, when you were mobility WOD ah, this isn’t for me, right? Like, it’s like this fine balance between the need to cater to the market and just the average person’s kind of short attention span by no fault of their own. That’s just the way the world is it’s fast paced. But on the other end, people have to be discerning enough to know whether that product for them and at least be willing to try it out. And finding that balance of where you strike the brand and knowing that you could be called hurt me Or I’d like to move freely now. And there’s still going to be some people that are like, so do I have to move? And you’re like, well, guess what, you actually move anyway.


Juliet Starrett  25:47  

Well, I mean, you know, here’s what I would say, you know, if I, the slight part of me that is competitive, is 


Brett Bartholomew  25:55  



Juliet Starrett  25:57  

slight part of me that’s a little competitive, I would say that no professional athlete, military person, you know, CrossFit Games athlete, across any Stripes is picking up the phone and calling any of our competitors, if they’re injured or hurt. I would say that’s a gigantic differentiator, right, like who’s using our stuff. And to the extent that gives us some like, bonafide, like, if Pete You know, we really do work with a lot of like, people who are at the top end of their, you know, athletic performance career, or military career or whatever. Those people call and pick, you know, if I looked at the marketplace, they’re not calling our competitors, if they have a need, right, they’re calling us. And I think that is because of our credibility and being first to the market and a variety of things. But I don’t even know, I think you asked me, I totally just started saying and


Brett Bartholomew  26:55  

you’re speaking to, we’re kind of, you’re speaking what I was saying, you know, that that balance of rebranding and worrying about your name and your messaging, right, knowing that you want to meet a broader market, but you still can’t always be overly concerned, and you made a good point. You can name your name or whatever, if you’re not working with those organizations, or those individuals that bring those bona fides to you. It doesn’t matter, right. And and even if somebody wanted to bite off you, let’s say somebody, it was not the ready state, it was the ready system. Well, you know, somebody the other day pointed out to me that somebody started using the term art of coaching. And that’s great. I didn’t invent that term right now, do we have common law trademark rights, and we can debate about those in the market that I’m in, right, and you can have a federal trademark, and people can argue over those things in court. But what I said is, listen, let everybody that wants to use the name art of coaching and that nomenclature, and you know, as opposed to worrying about taking them to court, I’m gonna build a superior product. And then they’re just doing free advertising for us, because everybody’s gonna know who the hell it is. And so you remember, I spoke to it, yeah, just


Juliet Starrett  27:53  

Yeah. And you’re, you know, you’re the thought leader, and you’ve written a book on it, which gives you all this extra credibility and exactly like, you know, what I always think is funny is when our competitors are always like bidding, they all bid on the name Kelly startup, which I think is so funny. And I’m like, look like, to me, that’s a waste of money. Because, you know, if you go to Google and type in Kelly Starrett, you’re not going to click on some competitor of ours, like you’re specifically looking for Kelly’s tried. So there’s some funny things that do happen. But I think just one point you made. 


I mean, I think one of the ongoing challenges and I wonder if you share this, is this what I was talking about before, which is, you know, how do we reach as broad an audience as possible, at the same time making sure that we’re always nurturing sort of what we call our super users, right? Like, we’ve had people that have been with us from the beginning, right? they watched our low quality YouTube videos fell in love with us, when we turn to a subscription model, they happily paid a monthly fee for our content. They’ve bought our books, right? Like, this is our super user bases. It’s like, we want to always keep innovating, providing new content and value for those people, because that’s our core group. So how do we, you know, I think it’s always a difficult balance. And I wonder if this is something you faces, you know, how do we strike that balance between making sure we’re stoking out our super users, making them happy, keeping them part of our community and our brand, while also widening the net? And saying, hey, peloton, mom that lives in an apartment in Manhattan, like, you also have a body that you’re using and might want to take care of. Right? Like, this is a difficult challenge. I’m wondering, do you guys do you feel like you’ve struggled with that


Brett Bartholomew  29:30  

100%? Again, given the name art of coaching, right? There’s that connotation that it’s for sport, and then my background in sport performance. And so we acknowledge that, like, if you were to come to one of our apprenticeship communication workshops, you’d see firefighters, we had two Marines, we’ve had teachers, we’ve had comedians, but we also still have a lot of strength and conditioning coaches. I think our last one in Chicago was almost all gym owners and strength coaches, and that’s the first one we’ve ever had like that. Now, we could try to push away from that and I don’t want to push away from that even though we make a conscious effort. to crossover with our content and say, hey, people in other industries have, you know, we do that same thing in sports performance, the way that I still kind of maintain that base or that super user group and show them that respect is, you know, sometimes it’s just a little nod of something I put on Instagram, where it’s something a little bit different. And now it’s just me training in the garage, talking about, you know, something I did like the other day, it was during our lunch, hey, you know, to keep my head clear, I do complexes and beat the hell out of myself, because my mind goes a million miles a minute, if somebody’s at one of our workshops, and I have to give an example to somebody that’s in in an adjacent industry about how they use this communication tactic, always fire three more towards our coaches in the room. 


Right. And so I think sometimes our super users or our base, whichever term you want to use, I always just try to make sure they’re acknowledged. And they know, and I’ll throw some examples their way. And thankfully, they give me a lot of grace with that, because they already know I’m going to over acknowledge them. If anything, it’s still getting the other people in the room comfortable with the fact that like, no, you’re not here just with a lot of sports performance coaches. And so I think through the examples I give through one out of every six posts, I put on Instagram, because my Instagram is not sexy, right? It’s pretty straightforward. It’s thoughts. It’s this, it’s that, but I still show strength coach, Brett, and I’ll still peppered those things in and as long as you have that thing, it’s almost kind of like, when you call somebody by name, right, like, just making sure that every now and then even if we have a friendly relationship, Juliet, I’m still gonna reference you by name. Because that’s the sound that we like to hear. And sometimes it even almost brings our super users back into it, because you can scale in so many other directions that you kind of need to remind them, ah, like, I’m still that guy, I could still go lead a group and do this, especially because I still work with NFL athletes and a variety of athletes a certain time of year. And so I think, yeah, just giving them that nod, you know, and finding different ways to do that. I don’t think it always has to be some big grand gesture. I think those people just take a lot of pride knowing they were a part of your original base. And and maybe you even have an extra incentive. We’ve talked about this, too. What do we do for our OG users? The people that were really here, day one, you know, is there and I’m being facetious here, but it’s tongue in cheek, is there our version of a Costco card or an Amazon Prime membership, that if you’ve been a supporter of our club for a certain amount of time, you know, and what we’re doing, then you get special access to certain things. And we also try to open it up to people to have that personal relationship, because you know, like, the readyState is so much bigger than you and Kelly, but it’s still you and Kelly. And at the end of the day, people value the time, and I know I would do that, like I can engage with your content. It’s wonderful content. But I love I mean, nothing is more valuable to me than just a little bit of a conversation with you guys here and there. And I think that’s a way you can do that, too, is open up a little bit more time that you gotta be careful, right. That’s where boundaries come in. And, and what have you. Did I answer your question effectively? Did I give good enough examples? 


Juliet Starrett  32:45  

Yeah, that was awesome. I love it. I mean, I and it’s, it’s always fun to commiserate on, you know, the challenges of entrepreneurship. And I think we all face many of them.


Brett Bartholomew  32:53  

Yeah. Well, I mean, we look up to you guys a lot. We being my wife, and I, you know, because when I talked to her, and we’re still trying to balance and this kind of goes into where we’re going next, and we’ll jump around a bit. You mentioned with your competitors, you think about doing things differently, approaching things differently. This ties into when you’re the founder of an organization with your significant other, you know, so often it’s very easy for the CEO, these books where the CEOs and business owners talk about, oh, you know, we just, there’s this wonderful separation between work and life, or if they give examples where it’s not wonderful, they still almost kind of play to the audience. They’re like, we’re not perfect, hahaha. But sometimes my wife and I, like, we’re just like, damn, this is ugly. And she’s like, do I need to find something else to do? You know, today, we got mad, she’s like, do I need to find something else to do? And I’m like, Why do I feel like I communicate with everybody else Well, instead of you, but then in our friendship and our marriage, we’re good, but business that can clash, 


if you don’t mind, and it’s not too personal. You know? Because we look at you guys and we’re like, maybe they have the answer. And because I know other people are looking at that too. Did that ever happen with you? And Kelly, did you ever just want to be you know, metaphorically out each other’s throats one minute and then next minute you’re back in the groove. How did that work over time?


Juliet Starrett  34:00  

Yeah, I mean, let me start I think it’s kind of like balance and you said it earlier in this conversation where like, I’m anti balanced because you know, we can’t do what we do collectively and raise kids at the same time and have anything resembling like there’s just balance is not a thing we even seek right and similarly, we are not ever seeking and probably will never get to anything. Perfection when it comes to our working relationship. I mean, you know, the dynamic is that you know, the challenge for us is that we are both like very type A ambitious people. Thankfully, we do have different skill sets. You know, I am uncomfortable and awkward on camera and Kelly is like an energizer bunny you just press play and he goes and is articulate and charismatic on video. I don’t have that skill at all. And on the flip side, I am hyper organized and a you know, really strong strategic thinker and I really kind of understand business and marketing and that is 100% Not Kelly’s strong suit, right. So, I mean, thankfully, I do think the only reason it works is because we do come in with like slightly different skill sets and sort of like personality types. But I mean, it is hard and it and then I mean, you know, we’ve tried to have this thing where it’s like, no, we’re not going to ever talk about business when we get home from work or whatever. And like that 100% does not work. And partly because I imagine your home life is a lot like our home life, you know, our business and social life really intermix a lot, you know, our favorite thing to do is have people over to our house and barbecue and get in our pool and sit in our sauna. And, you know, a lot of those people are people that we have a professional connection to, but also have become friendly with. And so there really is this, like deep overlap between our home life and our professional life. So trying to create some kind of boundary there, like 100% would never work for us. And then I think Kelly would also agree with this, you know, probably where we butt heads a lot is I am really bossy. And are you shocked?


Brett Bartholomew  36:02  

I want to know more about how this manifests, though?


Juliet Starrett  36:04  

Yeah, yeah, um, I mean, I am, you know, kind of a controlling person. And I want to do things my way a lot. And then I also sometimes can take the posture of like, I’m the CEO of this company, aka, I’m tippy top of the triangle. And even though you Kelly are arguably co founder, like, you’re below me. And you have to list right, so 


Brett Bartholomew  36:26  

I hope to use that term, too. 


Juliet Starrett  36:28  

Yeah. And I mean, I’m not saying I’m proud of that, by the way, but I’m saying that, you know, that is sometimes the sort of posture I take, and I’m sure you’re not surprised to learn that Kelly sort of pushes back on that a little bit. And, you know, fortunately, we aren’t like, yell arguers. We don’t get in that. But you know, you definitely there’s some times where, you know, we have kind of terse interactions, I think the biggest challenge, and I don’t know whether you guys feel this is like, it’s impossible for us to have zero terse interactions in front of our staff. So sometimes our staff have to bear witness to our terse interactions. And I think that it’s different, right? Like, if you just had to, you know, co founders who weren’t married to each other, there might sometimes be difficulty or challenges, but there wouldn’t be kind of the same level of interaction that can, again, rare but does happen. And I always definitely feel a little like, Oh, God, we just kind of like, you know, did a little biting, wit back and forth at each other, like a spouse would do? Yeah, but we’re at the office, and all our employees are there, and they’re probably, like, awkward. And so. So you know, we try to keep those interactions to an extreme minimum, and we’re conscious of it. And in fact, if we do have that, and we do feel like it’s ever awkward for our staff, we he and I kind of like reconvene later and like, hey, how could we have handled that situation better to not make mags feel awkward? 


And, so, you know, I will say, we do try, you know, we really do do this thing, we call the feelings meeting once a week. I don’t know whether you’ve adopted this yet. But we’d go out, literally at like grandparent time from like, 5 30 to 7 30. On some weeknight, we get it when our kids were little, we got a babysitter. And the only rule at the feelings meeting is no defensiveness. So I could say to you, Brett, like, Dude, it really bugged me when you did X, Y, and Z. And you can’t then be like, Well, I didn’t do that. Yeah, or whatever. You know, there’s a no defensiveness rule. So it’s like, we’ve sort of created this space where like, you have this time during the week where you can kind of get off your chest and anything that’s bugging you, I will say there’s plenty of feelings meetings where no one feels bugged by anything, and we just enjoy a nice dinner together. And there’s no time. Like, that’s, that’s probably more often, but also knowing that like, you know, you have a space in at some point that sort of designated like, Hey, we’re gonna go have a time to talk about this. And so, you know, rather than reacting in the moment to something that bothers you, you often like that. What’s nice for me is it gives me time to process like, wow, I didn’t really like that interaction. But we’re not having dinner till Wednesday. And it’s Monday, I’ve got 48 hours to process how I felt about that. And chances are I can articulate better what bothered me after I sat with it for 48 hours. And, I found that that’s been super effective. For us. It’s just having sort of, like, you know, like a line in the sand, we have this meeting, it’s open no defensiveness, real chance to just sort of like air our grievances, so to speak.


Brett Bartholomew  39:32  

How do you feel when people waste your time? How does it make you feel when you try to help somebody? And you know, they’re not listening or they’re kind of on to the next thing? And even if they say they hear you, you know, that they couldn’t even recall the last few things that they said it’s infuriating, right? Because time is the most valuable commodity we have. Nobody wants to waste it and once it’s gone, you’re never going to be able to get it back. There have been so many instances in my life where either I was looking for help and I asked for help or what have you. I was willing to Pay for help. And you know, I went all in on something and it ended up just being a waste of time. Now, there’s also been times where I wasn’t willing to pay for something, and I tried doing it on my own. And I wasted time learning stuff, the hard way that 1000s of people before me could have taught me, it’s in this spirit guys that I created the Coalition


I cannot mentor 1000 People one to one every year. But what I have done is create a group a community of accountability and clarity that spans a wide variety of professions. And twice a year, for six months, we meet virtually, bi weekly, we record all the calls, all the details are there, and we meet to help people overcome goals or struggles that they’re dealing with in their personal and professional life. That’s the core of it. Because at some point in time, you guys are going to make a mistake in your life and an approach. And it’s going to cost you 10s of 1000s of dollars, or maybe worse 1000s of hours. Or let’s say we’re embellishing that, okay? 10 hours, 100 hours, either way, you’re wasting time and you’re wasting money. Now, this is definitely not for everybody, it’s an investment, there’s skin in the game, this is not a group where people are just gonna come and we’re gonna meet. And we’re gonna say, hey, just a positive, you’ll figure it out. This is a safe space where people will get on your back. And make sure that you continue to make progress, because it’s way too easy for us to say, oh, it’s not the right time, I want to accomplish this, but I don’t have the money, there is never a perfect time. And if you’re waiting for that you are wasting time. So if you don’t want to waste time, you want to get out of your own way you value mentoring, you value creating a network of people that actually care about you, and what you have going on. And they’ll give you real time feedback on the most important things you’re working on. Go to, one time in the movie voice now.


Juliet Starrett  41:55  

And I found that that’s been super effective for us, it’s just having this sort of,, like a line in the sand, we have this meeting, it’s open no defensiveness, real chance to just sort of like air our grievances, so to speak. Yeah. If, if any? And, and then I think as you know, I’m sure is that men, it just requires a next level communication strategy, right? Because I know in any normal marriage, lots of communal communication is everything. But I think when you are both married to and running a business together, it’s like 10 times more important. And so I think we just, you know, we try to be pretty forgiving of one another. I think, you know, we know each other well enough. Now, that’s like, if Kelly can tell that I’m just like, tweaked and stressed. Like, he’ll just like, let me boss him around. Yeah, yeah. Because he knows he’s just like, I see my wife is spinning out. And I, you know, he’s like, I’ve been married for 20 years. He’s knows the signs. And he can just be like, okay, whatever you tell me to do? I’ll do that, you know. So I think, you know, it’s maturity, it’s evolution. It is certainly messy. And, you know, and now though, I can’t imagine the thing that is weird about having worked together for so long as I can’t actually now imagine, like, coming home and being like, how was your day? Like that Now, I’ve gotten to the point where that seems very foreign, that we would have to come home and like, share what our different days were. So you know, we’re pretty deep at this point.


Brett Bartholomew  43:27  

Well, first of all, let me talk, let me say how refreshing it is for somebody to go as in depth on all these things as you do. Right. You know, and you interview folks on podcasts, and everybody brings something unique to the table. And it’s great, but it is nice to just not hear myself talking to hear you go in depth especially on like, really personal stuff, Juliet So you know, and you address a couple of questions. And I want to make sure they don’t go unrequited. Otherwise, it seems rude. And it’s definitely the podcast host and the good listener and you also your new nickname is The Power Broker. That’s what I’m going to call you from now on that, but with how you describe yourself in the power broker. 


You mentioned a couple of things. You asked me if we deal with certain things. Here’s the thing with Liz and I, and I hope you get to meet her someday, is you know, I started art of coaching about three to four years prior to Liz coming on. Right? And so there’s this idea that when she came on, there was some inherent challenges we had to overcome. Whereas, you know, when you’re trying to build a good team, people come and go, not always the right fit. And so I had felt by the time she came on, there were a lot of redundancies in communication. You know, I’m not shy about it. I had to act as my own assistant at times. When we had assistants duck out on us one stole money all this so eventually, I didn’t always want to be the one being the product and also having the money conversations. So I developed an assistant named Amber and Amber was very organized and she created you know, the scripted responses to certain things when people would reach out with business inquiries. I had to figure out what billing system we’re going to use. So I’m in front of the camera, giving the presentations traveling a million times coaching all my athletes, coaching execs. coming back and doing all the billing. And so when Liz came on, you know, and she kind of had to figure some of these things out, you know, I was already going through kind of a stage of burnout. And that impacted some communication because she had never been a part of this. I had been a part of it by this time. I’m so desperate finding help, because that’s another thing we don’t go to school for is this idea of people think hiring is easy hiring is not easy, especially


Juliet Starrett  45:22  

So hard, 


Brett Bartholomew  45:22  

right? Especially when your product. You know, I had told Kelly when I first met him, really, I’d said, Hey, what you and Juliet are doing for movement I want to do for communication, not just coaching communication? Well, you know, I had a lot of people in my network at the time that were in sports performance and the military and what have you. But I didn’t have a lot of people that could help me build a scalable communication business where, the subject matter is power dynamics and influence tactics. Hey, show me how to get a film crew, Hey, show me how to get a manager, Hey, show me how to do this. Right. So by the time Liz, and I started working together, I’m already running hot. And so when she would ask some questions, you know, I tried to communicate, you know, what I had learned are kind of, you know, standard operating procedures, but eventually, then somebody else would come on. And I’d have to repeat that to them. So there was this knowledge gap that increased the amount of burnout on me or the amount of strain on me. So I became more self aware that I wasn’t a great communicator, when I had to repeat myself, or I wasn’t a great communicator, during certain periods of my life, where there were all these expectations of me to deliver to other people. And then internal expectations, it was very hard for me to not redline. So my wife is like the picture of equanimity. Right? You, talked about how you and Kelly are both type A, I’m pretty type a I’m, go, go go. Imagine that you probably hear the urgency in my voice. My wife, Liz is wonderful, because she’s very easy peasy. But it’s sometimes I need to bring her urgency up. Sometimes she needs to bring my Type A down. And that’s not something you’re taught as well. 


So we did have periods that led to increase of self awareness for me, I can be a yeller not proud of it. But I started wearing, you know, the Amazon Halo band that interpreted different aspects of my tone. And I started seeking out other analytics to try to communicate, hey, when I yell, and I know it’s not a great thing, but that’s me. And the analytics prove this feeling sad, not heard, kind of burnout. I’m not yelling to be intimidated, right? But then what I learned is my wife, she closes down, when I yell, she closes down. So it’s not like you and Kelly, where you’re like, you know, sometimes I wish she had a little bit more like you write like, Hey, I’m the project manager, shut up. This is how we’re going to do it. But sometimes to do that, well, she needs a little bit more of me. We’re all anticipate the pre mortem. I’ll say, Okay, we got a webinar tomorrow. Here’s everything that’s gonna go wrong. Are we ready for it? You know, like, I have to be ready for a million questions when the camera turns on. Please don’t make me hit start recording. Please take care of that, you know, but we’re at a point now where we’re getting better at some of these things. We still have growing pains. 


The second thing you ask is, how do you deal and correct me if I didn’t hear you, right? Making sure you manage tough conversations in front of employees. You said, I wonder if you deal with that. am I right about that? 


Juliet Starrett  48:04  

Yeah, yes. 


Brett Bartholomew  48:05  

So we just brought on we’re still a small team. We just brought on another employee, her name’s Ali Kirshner, she lives in Palo Alto. Well, we’re in Atlanta. Now, Ali may still see some of those things when we run our mastermind retreats and other things. But I’m also just really upfront with Ali, I’m like, Hey, we’re business owners, still learning a lot of these things. We don’t have a whole lot of external help. I don’t have a mentor guiding me on this. Sometimes you’re gonna see Liz, and I kind of chat about it. And you know what, Ali? I know, it may not be professional in some circles, but at least it’s real. And we don’t need to have an end. So we do manage it right? Are we going to have certain conversations in front of her? No, you know, but I’m also not going to I need to be relatable to some aspects of my employees. I’ve worked with people and I have massive respect for them. But you never saw the veil of input you never saw beyond the veil of imperfection. And I don’t, I’m gonna work harder for somebody that I see is naturally struggling in real with me, as opposed to somebody that puts on a face. 


So now where we’re actually at Juiet had to put a cap on all that is, we’re still trying to figure out the best hires, you know, we’re scaling and, any arguments now or disagreements are mainly because we’re both grinders. We’re both gonna take on work. And we’re both taking on too much work. We shouldn’t. But we’re stuck in that middle ground of we also don’t know the next kind of right hiring move to bring on because we’ve had, you know, we’re just trying to find that balance. And so now it’s like, Alright, how do we take a step back? Mainly, I just tried to exhaust myself, like, I’ll go walk for five miles out in the Georgia heat. And I love that your daughter’s name is Georgia, you know, and I’ll train and she’ll try to find her own ways. But yeah, we’re still very much learning. So we’re not quite there yet, which is yet another reason why we look up to you guys as you continue to build it. Because you’ve got to manage the dynamics of marriage, the possibilities of burnout and the expectations of constantly wanting to deliver to your audience, high value does that encapsulate everything?


Juliet Starrett  49:50  

Yeah, I mean, you said it all and I just want to super emphasize how hard it is to hire and train and keep good people and then keep the good People you have motivated to keep being good. I mean, it is really, truly the biggest struggle, I think, in all of this. And, you know, and just to sort of also relate to one thing you said, I mean, I, you know, have been running businesses since 2005. And it wasn’t until 2018 that I thought, you know, I feel like I’m doing too much like, I think I ate too much, too much. So I’m gonna make an org chart. So I made an org chart. And I realized that literally, every single person in the organization reported directly to me, literally, including Kelly, you know, everybody reported to me and I was like, somehow it wasn’t until I put it on paper, that I was able to see it, right. Like, even though I kind of knew that, actually putting it down and realizing then, just in the ready state alone, excluding the gym, just in the ready state alone, there were like 19 people who reported directly to me. And I was like, Wow, no wonder I’m feeling a little burnt out right now. Right? Like, huh, I wonder why I kind of like, you know, struggling to feel motivated or whatever. And so, you know, that was like, my big mission and 20. And I still, it’s still not perfect, but you know, I’ve been working really hard and now actually feel like I have this sort of buffer, right. So that, like, I have a marketing director, and all of our marketing agencies report to her and she to me, and I have a, you know, CTO and all of our tech people report to him. And he reports to me, right, so it’s, you know, I still have my hands in a lot of things, probably still too much. You know, and I’m still the one who pays the bills. And you know, I’m still doing a lot of, I’m still probably doing too many micro things that I shouldn’t be here. Some of that is just the nature of being a small business owner. Some of that is probably my own challenges with being a control freak and saying, well, like, I can do it the best. So I’m going to do it myself. You know, it is but really the people and the hiring and having good people and paying them enough and keeping people excited to work for you. It’s it’s hard. It’s really hard.


Brett Bartholomew  51:50  

Yeah, well, not only paying them enough, you know, but helping them understand that let’s say they go, Hey, Juliet, I have an opportunity that’s gonna pay me 200 grand, and I’m making all this up, of course, and you guys only pay me 65. And what have you, making sure that people understand because you’ve got to find the right skill set the right person, and also people that aren’t short sighted, they can see this big number and go to a job, that’s golden handcuffs, and they’ll never they’ll get their 200 grand, or whatever it is, but they never see the results of their work, they’re never gonna see this, they’re never gonna see that. Or it’s sometimes and I remember, I learned this lesson in 2015. I think it’s 2015. I could have gone and taken a job that immediately, okay, now you’re in the NFL, and you’re making this and what have you, or I could take a job where I’m making not even a quarter of that. But like, it taught me ancillary skills from the inside out. So that let’s say I stayed with that organization, 5 10 years, and then eventually I go decide to do something else, I’m so much more equipped to do those things. Or maybe you stayed with that organization for life, and you ended up becoming, you know, a co owner, or you own some other asset that you have equity in some other thing. So it’s hard to find good people. And then it’s hard to find good people that see the big picture. And the real chess game, as opposed to just the short term move of checkers. And I have to ask you, and if you’re not comfortable with it, just say pass, I totally respect that. When you look to hires, you know, did a lot of your some of your best hires, were they? Did they come from your friends network? Did they come from or some of them supporters of yours? Were they already in your ecosystem? Or were they through third party connections? And I’d have to imagine it’s a mix of all three, were you able to find folks external? Do you mind kind of walk in some of our audience through a little that?


Juliet Starrett  53:21  

No, I mean, I actually have all three, you know, I actually have two friends of mine that work for me, which is a classic, like, founder, entrepreneur startup kind of thing to do, which is to hire your friends. But so far, so good. Our friendships are intact. And, you know, when I hired those two people, I said, Look, my friendship with you is better than anything. And there might be a point where you decide to leave, or I have to let you go. And like we’re signing a pact in blood right now that like that cannot impact our friendship, but like, we have to be above that, that our friendship has to outlast whatever this thing is going on here. You know, but it’s sometimes a challenge because, you know, I sometimes don’t think I can manage my friends in the same way that I could manage a stranger, right? Like, I have to take a different management approach with with my friends. So you know, in retrospect, would I do that again? I don’t know. I also know that so many startups and beginning entrepreneurs, like I mean, I think like 95% of entrepreneurs like me do this exact thing. We’ve hired people externally, we actually found our director of marketing, but via LinkedIn, so like a total stranger. Yeah. And then we’ve, and then our other people we found like, through loose connections, like we’ve got this guy, Dave, who’s spectacular and has been working for us from the very beginning. And we actually met him because he had some loose connection to Jesse Burdick, who I think you may know. And Jesse said, yeah, hey, you should try calling this guy Dave. Right. So it’s been a real mix of sort of loose connections, friends, and then some full on strangers. And you know, so far so good, 


we’re like you, you know, we’re starting I have a really remote team. I mean, we have, you know, between agencies and actual employees, like four or five people on the East Coast, someone in the Midwest, we’ve got some West Coast people, you know, we really are also learning, you know, I’m really learning how to hire and, manage, you know, international and national employees and have remote teams and making that all work. You know, we actually hired our Director of Marketing, like at the beginning of COVID. And so we actually didn’t meet her until like, a month and a half ago in person. And so that’s just weird, right? We were like, we’re like, wow, it’s weird to just meet someone where you only see like, you know, neck up. Yeah, yeah. 100%. So, yeah, you know, and I think, you know, we’ve made man, I mean, we, here’s what I’d say, you know, I go to all these like business entrepreneur things, and which I have a real mixed feeling on by the way, I struggle with them a lot. Which is probably more like a dinner conversation than 


But one of the things that I hear a lot, which I don’t do, and I actually think I disagree with is, you know, hire slowly, fire quickly, and I am actually the opposite of that. it has an, I’m not proud of this, but there’s been several employees, I’ve had that I have known, probably nine months to a year before I’ve let them go that I need to let them go. But I think what drives that is that ultimately, I am a nice person, and what underlies that is like, I know that my job is helping them pay their mortgage and put their kids in preschool and, you know, that weighs on me really heavily when I have to make, you know, letting people go decisions. And so I have been really slow to come to that point. And I certainly could be better about it. But I guess in some ways, I am proud of the fact that like my instincts, as a human have overtaken my instincts as a business person in that like, this is messy business. And like, you know, I do feel responsible for the people that work for me, kind of like a mom. And, I you know, sometimes that overrides, like my real like, hardcore business self. 


And then I will say, in hiring people, like, you know, I was on the hiring committee at my law firm for eight years before I left. And so I went through hiring probably, like 50 attorneys during that time. And what I learned is, you know, man, so much of it is like, do I want to sit next to you during the day and like, walk out and get a salad with you at lunch? And, you know, obviously, you’ve got to have the actual core skills, but like, once you kind of look beyond that, like, do you know, are you able to do paid social media marketing? Like, do you check? Do you have the skill to do that part of the job, like, you know, our team is very tight and really, like connected, even though it’s become a remote team. And I can tell pretty quickly now after, you know, 20 plus years of hiring and firing people, you know, who’s gonna fit in, in our team, and who’s not and certainly, I’m going to continue to make mistakes, sometimes in hiring, and I’m probably going to continue to be too slow and firing. But fit for me is so essential. Because, you know, we really try to create a work culture that is like welcoming and warm, and people can laugh, and you know, it, yes, we’re trying to grow a business, but like, the, you know, people’s feelings really matter. And, you know, So that’s a struggle for me, you know, and I’m probably going to, you know, end my entrepreneur career and retire one day still being a slow fire.


Brett Bartholomew  57:53  

Yeah, well, I mean, and by the way, you mentioned instinct, I want to make sure that your instincts, you don’t feel off here, then I respect your time. So I have one thing to add to that. And then I’m gonna ask you one more thing on risk taking, and then something about your nonprofit, and I’ll let you get on with it. Because I feel like we’re definitely gonna have to have a dinner conversation because these things could go a lot of different places. But I don’t want to take you from your posts too long. Just to touch on what you said about being a slow fire. We relate to that as well. And and for something, you know, it’s not always just, I love that you said, Do I want to sit next to you another thing that I’ve found through my mistakes is also can I trust you to have my back. Because one thing that made things a struggle for me when we had to let some people go is, you know, I’d have to go, you know, I might travel 80 to 100,000 miles a year. And I know you and Kelly understand the nuances with that. And then sometimes I’d come back and it was almost as if, even if there were clearly set directives. You know, we’d have somebody that great person, I always want to sit next to him, I’d love to met there on my wedding. And if I did it over, and vice versa, there’s, but it was almost like nothing got done. Then I’m like, timeout, I’m traveling my ass off, and you know, our directives, and you couldn’t even start on that presentation or that piece of content, or you didn’t build that out, right? Or even if it was an executive assistant, which we don’t treat, like a pineal roll, you know what I mean? Like, some kind of just small role, right? That’s a serious, role. And there’d be some times where I’d say, Hey, you’re gonna have to save me for myself, because I’m inherently sometimes uncomfortable with, I never want somebody to feel like they’re below me. So even if there was a task I needed help with. And this is a weakness, right? If I could do it, I would do it. And so sometimes that fed this sense of entitlement, when we would have an executive assistant, where they almost like worn intuitive, they’d look at my weak, and they wouldn’t be like, Hey, I noticed you had this coming up, make this easier for you. Because it’d be like, Well, I’m just used to you taking it. So some of that was my fault, too. 


But it drove me nuts. When I just I want to know that I can trust somebody to have my back. I want to know that, you know, even though down the road, I don’t want art of coaching to just be about me, right now, I understand that my face is still attached to it. Now you also have to have if you’re hired for a co creative position, right? Like, let’s say, right now, somebody’s mind number two, or they’re a co pilot, I need to know that they’re not going to get mad their name, they’re not the ones being requested, or after a workshop if they helped me, you know, that somebody, they’re not going to get in their feelings if somebody else gives me feedback, because I’m like, here’s the one that you’re not seeing. You might see the good feedback and this and that you don’t see the other shit that I get. You don’t see the death threats in my DMs over random stuff. You don’t see other people that, you know, call me a cult leader, even though they’ve never even met me, right? And I know you guys get this as well. But it’s like, Can I trust you to have my back, which means Be patient, it doesn’t have to be about you right now. Just do your damn job and do it well, and trust that I’ll take care of you. And if I’m gone, even if I don’t tell you to do something, just try to be intuitive and keep the ball in play. Keep the damn ball in play. And it’s very much and I know you’re a water polo fan. Like it’s very much like that, because you got to play your role be offensive and defensive at the same time. And you’re burning a lot of calories just staying afloat.


Juliet Starrett  1:01:35  

Yep. Yeah. I mean, there’s two things I’d like to comment there. First of all, one of the things I heard is what Kelly and I call lead singer syndrome, which we’ve had over the many years, right, where it becomes obvious at a certain point that, that we have had some people working for us. And really, they think they’re going to be the next Kelly Starrett, right? Except for they’re going to be way better than Kelly Starrett, like, that’s their plan. But that motive doesn’t become obvious right away. Right? And, so those people are difficult, because, you know, they may be really smart, and charismatic, or whatever. But really, ultimately, they’re trying to become the next Brett, or the next Kelly, or the next face or whatever. And ultimately, those relationships don’t work out, right? Because, you know, we’re trying to build a thing. And we want people who are motivated to stay with us and help us build a thing not like, you know, build some skills and go build their own thing, especially not their own competitive thing. So I mean, that was one thing I heard in there. 


You know, and I think also, you know, I think what you said about like keeping the ball afloat, you know, I am like the only person I know that is does not think this remote from home work thing is going to universally continue to be a thing. I think the vast majority of people are going to go back to the office for the exact reason you said, and, you know, I experienced it on a micro level. And last year was like, No, you know, it was out of everybody’s control. People were homeschooling their kids. But I think that there’s a percentage of people who probably work more and work better from home. But there’s a huge percentage of people who don’t, and they’re a huge percentage of people, like, you know, people always say, Well, you have to use this metric of like, did you get all your work done? I’m like, no, no, no. If I don’t ever see the person working for me physically, do I know that they how do I know that I haven’t given them two hours of work a day when they’re supposed to be working for me. And I was, right. So I think this is a fundamental challenge. Because, you know, not everybody is super self motivated. And not everybody is going to put in the extra time. And I think that ultimately, that is what’s going to drive people back and largely back into offices for most days a week is exactly that thing is that employers need to know and only want to pay people if they feel like their employees are keeping, you know, the ball in play. And it is really hard to make sure the ball is in play when you have people all over the place on and you know, the only check in his on Zoom like that is just I struggled to see how that’s really going to work. So, you know, I’m sure people think I’m immune skeptic on this forever. But, you know, that’s kind of what I see. And what I heard. And what you were saying is, you know, ultimately, we got to keep the ball in play. And it’s great that, you know, people are walking their dog during the day and folding their laundry or whatever. But ultimately, if you’re working for me, like I need to be working.


Brett Bartholomew  1:04:20  

Yeah, well, and it’s it’s pragmatic. I don’t think it has anything to do with me at all. And people have listened to this podcast enough know that I won’t just agree with guests to agree with them. I think you make a good point. You know, we’ve even said with our small team, hey, we’ve got to figure out something quarterly where people come out here collectively, and you guys can stay with us or what have you for at least three days to four days because not only all the things you said Juliet but also just there are some things that can happen in terms of the medium of communication. It’s so much quicker if you’re here and we’ve never had that benefit. We’ve never had a centralized team. Since inception. It’s always either been just me or remote. But yeah, I mean, there’s times where like, I can’t wake up in the morning and wonder, hey, Ali, or hey, whoever’s with us Have I given them enough, have I not given them too much, because I can’t see that. And at the same time, I know they want to respect my boundaries and not check in with me. And that’s why we need great management, project management is to say, hey, so and so can use more on their plate, what else you got? Otherwise, I’m just gonna grind, they’re gonna do whatever and we found that we found for some of our employees early on, it was a much better deal for them, you know, because they didn’t have to travel on the weekends, they didn’t have to do those things. And then they’d wait and be, Oh, tell me what to do. And it had nothing to do with them as a person or good or bad person. It just these things are inherently a different kind of challenge. And they’re not intuitive. They’re not intuitive to us. 


Alright, so I promised two more questions. This one is an example of serving our base and our super users. A week ago, I asked folks if they had a specific question. This one is from a small business owners, particularly a gym owner, followed by work and followed your work for a very long time. Essentially, the question is, I’ll whittle it down, you know, I’m to the point where I need to hire more staff, but the thought of taking out a loan scares me not because I can’t navigate the business nuances of it. It’s just I’ve learned that there’s some people you can trust some people you don’t, and everybody’s always wanting to go on to the next thing. I’m stuck in this position of, if I don’t, they basically don’t have the finances on their own to scale. But then they know if they don’t go seek alone, or what have you, or other investment, they’ll never scale. So can you share a little of that? If that’s not too personal?


Juliet Starrett  1:06:22  

Sure. Yeah. I mean, what I would start by saying is, it took me way too long to hire employees in every instance. I mean, when I started the gym, I started the gym in 2005. I didn’t hire my first gym manager until 2012. And that was on a part time basis. And then, you know, as I said earlier, you know, I did an org chart and realized I’d hired you know, a bunch of people all of whom reported to me up until as early as 2018. You know, that was more than eight years into the founding of mobility WOD. And, what I will say is, wow, and I also am, like, really financially conservative too, like, I kind of want to, like hoard my money in my mattress kind of situation. So, you know, and I think, as we all know, as entrepreneurs, like hiring a human is your largest expense, right? and definitely can weigh on you, right. Like, as an entrepreneur, there’s been times where I’ve been, you know, I’ve had well over a million dollars a year in payroll, right, you can, like lose a little bit sleep over that you’re like, wow, I got to generate, like, at least a million dollars this year, my people, let alone myself, you know, 


but every single employee that I have hired has been worth it has made my life easier, and has actually allowed our business to scale at these key moments where I think we could have just continued to stay flat. And, by hiring that person, and I think part of it is again, you know, I have like you I can grind I can work hard, but I can’t do it at all. And there’s no way these businesses can grow without hiring people. So I think it’s a worthy investment and actually to the person who asked the question, like, I’m actually a huge fan of loans by the way. And you know, I’m not a huge fan of debt, but what I see especially because I am near to Silicon Valley is this obsession by young entrepreneurs in like getting venture capital or private equity guys to fund me and doing round a round see and run Money, money, money money, and, and I think that there’s a giant drawback to that and that you lose control of your business, you have a lot of reporting requirements, there’s you know, in fact, I have a bunch of VC friends that have specifically said Do not raise money if you don’t need to, and I think a lot of people forget is man you there are and especially now after COVID There’s all these really low interest loans that you can get that you can service without ever having to report to a you know, a venture capitalist or group or bored or whatever. And really can be kind of on a small monthly payment basis and really allow your business to scale you know, like most of my employees and I don’t have good data on this but like let’s say I pay an employee $75,000 Like in almost every instance their mere presence has allowed the company to grow by double that and not then some so like it’s it and I relate to this person’s fear because I you know, as you can tell by my own history, I have struggled to do it and I’ve struggled to bring on people you know, because of just that fear of like spending money and taking kind of financial risk in investing but it has always been worth it and when I am when I’m ready to do it, I always have to go back and remind myself like always worth it always will help scale the business. I have never looked back upon hiring anyone


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:25  

I think that’s a great answer especially giving the distinction between bringing in outside investors and getting a loan right being practical about then you’re right there is this obsession and almost became like a cool thing to do a status thing if you have like VCs and


Juliet Starrett  1:09:39  

yeah, like I’m getting my series A and you know, whatever right it’s like a status symbol right? You’re like a cool entrepreneur if you’ve been raising money but you know, what I see is you know a lot of reporting requirements, a lot of loss of control. A lot of added complication to your life like man alone is a really simple like, you give me this money. I pay you this amount every month until it’s paid off. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:59  

Yep, 100% Alright, easing into it now and I sit on the board for a nonprofit that helps kids and underserved communities. I know this is something huge that you guys do, right? equal to, if not even bigger than everything with the readyState. Stand up kids, right? If I’m correct on this, you’ve helped convert more than 95,000 kids from sitting to standing, stand up desk, all the things tell us a little bit about stand up kids, for anybody that wants to not just support the ready state, but also everything you guys do from a nonprofit standpoint?


Juliet Starrett  1:10:29  

Sure. I mean, I would say it’s sort of my like, passion beyond what I do professionally is kids and kids health. And, you know, it’s it really is it’s alarming. The data about you know, where our kids health is going and continues to go. And technology certainly isn’t, you know, technology and easy access to crappy food are not helping at all, in fact, making the problem worse. 


But, you know, the starting point for standup kids was that Kelly and I actually first sort of like mechanic’s reasons, were suggesting that some of our adult like physical therapy Office clients switch to standing desks, because they would come in with low back pain or neck pain. And, you know, we just said, Hey, look like standing would be a great option for you, you know, it’s going to help open up your body and help you get rid of nagging neck and back pain. And so we’d started sort of prescribing this to our clients in our physical therapy office. And then I don’t know, we had this lightbulb moment when we were working in our kids field day, at their elementary school, and we just saw how poor the kids mechanics were, I mean, really poor mechanics for kids that like, you know, like, their mechanics really shouldn’t have gotten that poor as early. And we thought, man, here we are, like, recommending to all these adults we work with, like, Go stand at work. And then we’re like, you know, sending our own kids off to sit all day for six hours a day at school. And, you know, we so we thought we’d just try this experiment at our kids elementary school, and we had like willing teachers and principals, and we converted the whole school. And so what’s super cool about it, as my younger daughter, Caroline literally never sat in all of elementary school like never, ever saw, like, she started kindergarten all the way through fifth grade, she’s sadly in middle school, we’ve converted about half the middle school, so she does sit half the day, which does make me sad. 


But you know, the key is, is that, you know, there’s all this controversy around standing desks, which is like, whatever. But what Kelly and I have tried to really make clear in our mission with stand up kids or having suggesting that adults stand is it’s not really about sitting versus standing like Man sitting at night after a long day. And like watching some Netflix, it’s beautiful. Like, it’s a beautiful thing. There’s nothing inherently wrong with standing neither, right? Like both things. But what we aren’t doing enough as human beings is moving enough. what we’re doing is going you know, hitting it hard with our peloton workout or one hour across the class, and then we’re literally sitting for 16 hours a day. And that’s not really what humans were designed to do when there’s a whole sequelae of problems, downstream problems that are, you know, that sitting too much is exacerbating, right, it’s exacerbating obesity and musculoskeletal problems, and probably depression, and, you know, ADHD, and like, you know, the long list of things that are probably like sitting too much all day like schlubs is contributing to are a lot of things. And so you know, the reason that we like a standing desk is not because you stand there like a statue all day and like win a prize for standing. But because people move more when they’re standing at a standing desk, right, because they’re changing positions, they’re putting up a foot, they’re putting up a leg, they’re using a stool, they’re sitting moving, and you know, actually have done like a time lapse video of myself at a standing desk. And like, you’d be amazed how much I’m continuously moving all day at my standing desk, versus, you know, most of us get in a seated position. And we sort of adopt a slouch. And that’s where we go, right. 


So there’s really interesting data. So the thing we’re really excited about now is actually, we’ve taken a pause on funding schools for right now in actual standing desks and instead have funneled all of our nonprofit money into a study being run by UC Berkeley, in connection with the University of San Francisco, and they’re actually studying fourth grade kids in Richmond, California, the impacts of standing versus sitting along with some other kind of health interventions. We’re really excited about that. Because there has already been quite a bit of research done on kids in standing desks, much of which is like shockingly amazing in terms of like reduction in kid kid BMI and focus and attention. You know, there’s a lot of like, really positive signs. But where we think we want this organization to go is to have enough research to say, hey, State of California, next time you build a new school, or next time there’s money to update an old school, the go to should be putting standing desks it like that, that’s where this is going to go nuclear, right, as if it, you know, where we as a little teeny nonprofit can continue making these little micro impacts in schools and classrooms. And, you know, we can keep doing that. But where we think this can really go big is when it becomes a matter of policy. You know, governments are saying, Hey, kid should be standing in school. And so if you want new desks for your school, like they need to be standing desks. And so that’s kind of Avenue. We’re going right? We’re really focusing on the research side, because we feel like if we can really have in hand this this big research, we can amplify our message. So it It’s, you know, we’re just a little nonprofit in the background chugging along. But really, ultimately, what we care the most about is kids health and, you know, trying to like, you know, re steer the ship in terms of kids health and outcomes as adults.


Brett Bartholomew  1:15:13  

Yeah, I mean, and that’s important. I mean, just like there’s a lot of problems right now, at the time of this recording of people finding good help and hiring I know, a number of friends are trying to they can’t hire just because there’s, you know, they’re having a tremendously hard time finding talent, not only talent, but just the nature of some people not being out there in the job market. I know it’s impacted the nonprofit we’re,  movement to be it’s hard to find coaches, Hey, come on, guys, like be a part of this. So I hope everybody hearing that, you know, small, nonprofit, big nonprofit doesn’t matter. The purpose matters, the outcomes matter. And these are organizations that need more help than ever, especially given the constraints of COVID 


and Juliet, where can everybody support everything that you’re doing with a ready state, if there’s anything and we’ll put it on the show notes, we’ll put it in swipe files, or plug us with that so we can support you every way? 


Juliet Starrett  1:15:58  

Sure. You know, our, the thing we’re most proud of on the ready state is our product called virtual mobility coach, which is basically like, you know, we always like to say it’s like having Kelly Starrett in your pocket, but you know, people go go far out of their way to try to see Kelly as a patient. And what we’ve tried to do is kind of create a product that’s like, you can have Kelly in your living room. And it’s a way to, you know, learn how to fix your nagging pain and injury and just take care of your body. If that’s what you need to do. You can, you know, learn how to mobilize before and after your workouts. So there’s a lot of options in there. There’s a free trial, you can check it out at the There’s also tons of other stuff we’re doing there. You can follow us at the ready state on Instagram and Twitter at the ready state on Facebook. You know, we’re not on Tik Tok yet, but we probably should be coming soon.


Brett Bartholomew  1:16:48  

That’s where we’ll see you emerge. 


Juliet Starrett  1:16:51  

Yeah, exactly. I know I need to do more dancing and then maybe you’ll see me on Tik Tok. But anyway, the You can learn more about what we’re up to. And you know, we really pride ourselves on making sure that all the stuff we do is always current and updated and innovative. And you know, we’re and we try to make it fun too. So 


Brett Bartholomew  1:17:07  

well, you’ve given more than enough time more than enough. Great advice. I’m deeply appreciative. I know your time is extremely valuable and from all of us at art of coaching just a sincere thank you guys, Brett Bartholomew Juliet Starrett until next time, we’ll see you soon.

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