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Austin Katz Of Somebody: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Founder

Lean on your teammates. When one is down, pick them up. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. As we say, “don’t be a superhero.”

As part of our interview series called “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Founder”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Austin Katz.

Austin Katz is the co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Somebody, a company founded by three friends who came together from varying backgrounds to pursue a common goal: to build a self-care brand, backed by science, that combines the most potent and effective raw ingredients into life-enhancing products that look beautiful and are sustainably produced. With a strong focus on conscious living, education and personalized product curation, Somebody aims to redefine “wellness” in terms that build a positive connection between our health and well-being, our bodies, the city we live in, and the natural world.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

We had to regroup after COVID and rethink our strategy, especially when it comes to D2C. We cut costs, got rid of our office, had to let go of employees and operated lean and mean. We had drive since the beginning and that hasn’t changed. But challenges have put some extra heat behind us.

So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

We are very happy with the current trajectory of our business. We have three amazing new products, a face cream, a new website and have forged new and exciting partnerships.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I wouldn’t call if funny, but early on we paid for some services that turned out to useless and expensive. We’ve since gotten good at weeding out the oversellers/underperformers and even worse the bad players that care nothing about anything but money (which there are ALOT of).

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Lean on your teammates. When one is down, pick them up. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. As we say, “don’t be a superhero.”

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

Early on we were lucky to receive small investments, normally $25-$50k checks, from friends and family who believe in us. We’ve since brought on new investors as we’ve shown success, but early on we would have had no chance had it not been for these investors.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Our products change lives in profound ways. People share with us stories about our transdermal patches staving off chronic back pain in ways that no medication has before. We’ve had cancer patients tell us how our Muscle, Joint and Skin balm and Full Spectrum Oil Drops helped them manage side effects associated with chemo. We have athletes tell us how our products help them recover after workouts. There are hundreds of other stories that you can read via reviews on our website.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Starting with nothing and growing a company to profitability is very rare. Anything above an Etsy store will likely require working capital to grow. It’s a sad reality but the world has never been more “pay-to-play” than it is today. Pay for shelf space. Pay for distributors. Pay for media placements. Pay for marketing and influencers — the list goes on and on. And unfortunately, raising money is hard, especially for women. Who represented only 2% of entrepreneurs funded in 2021.

Can you share a few ideas or stories from your experience about how to successfully ride the emotional highs & lows of being a founder”?

I learned from a mentor of mine to enjoy the small victories. Let yourself feel sad when you are down. And to prioritize your own wellbeing and health as a means of becoming a more powerful and productive force for your company, and probably a better friend and family member to those you love.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be.

I would 100% invest in small businesses. One of the big problems with our economy is that it’s not truly competitive. Realistically, less than 1% of individuals have the resources to properly start and scale a business. The bulk of entrepreneurial talent is stuck in the back of high school classrooms and work service-level jobs. There’s are thousands of Steve Jobs out there. We just need to find ways to unleash their creativity and give them changes to start businesses. As a result, overall product quality will go up, services will be better, and we’ll be living in a far more fruitful, fair, and prosperous world.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, and sign up for our newsletter on our website. Go to ShopSomebody.com, spin the pop-up wheel (and get a discount code or free product) and you’re good to go!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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