The Woman's MBA

Road to C-Suite 101 With Kate Bradley Chernis, With Christina Garnett of The Woman's MBA Podcast - Featuring the Lately CEO

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Speaker 1: (00:02)

I've listened to hundreds of business podcasts. I've been to the webinars, I've been to the conferences. I've seen all of the presentations, but there was always something missing for me. I was missing the story of women and how they've crafted and created their business journeys. I wanted to know their wins. I wanted to know their challenges. I wanted to see the walls that they had to climb and the ladders that were pulled up or were placed in front of them as they grew and had to figure out how to play the game. Whether they are freelance consultants, corporate leaders, or are just trying to find that magical balance between having a life and having a career. I wanted to hear their stories, and that's why the woman's MBA podcast exist. Whether you are a seasoned professional or you are brand new in building and crafting your own journey, I hope you'll join us for the women's NBA as we celebrate and share a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and all the bumps along the way. Thank you for joining us.

Speaker 2: (01:15)

Hello everyone, and welcome to another insightful episode of the woman's NBA. I'm your host, Christina grt, and today we have an extraordinary guest with us, Kate Bradley Turner. She's not only a trailblazer in the field of ai, but also a CEO with a remarkable journey to share. We'll be diving into her experience and career growth, her perspectives as an AI thought leader and the struggles that she's faced along the way. But before we get started, let's give a warm welcome to our guest. Kate, thank you so much for joining me.

Speaker 3: (01:39)

Hi. Hi, everybody. Thank you so much. We were, um, you know, just talking about our hair before we pushed live there. And, you know, that's one of the things that I think every woman I know is, you know, always concerned about how she's looking on good days and bad .

Speaker 2: (01:57)

Yes, that's true. I love the color. I, I just had the red taken out of my hair, so I feel like you're, you're bringing the red for me so I don't have to thank, I can just kind of chill. I love the color.

Speaker 3: (02:06)

Thank you so much. My mom doesn't like it, by the way. She's always like, when are you getting, just be blonde. But I don't know. I, it makes me feel younger and that's, you know, that's the batter. I, I just turned, um, 50 actually.

Speaker 2: (02:17)


Speaker 3: (02:18)

Thank you. This past Tuesday or last, not today, week from today. And, um, I was just saying how, like in this is the year, this last year is when all the bad things started happening at once, like the gray hairs and the thinning hair and the jowls. And I was like, my God, , can I just trickle? Can I have a trickle out? Like, does it have to all

Speaker 2: (02:42)

Happen? You just like slowly like, deal with this. I don't want it all at once. . Yeah.

Speaker 3: (02:46)

Yeah. And my like, devotion to the time that I'm putting into, in, in all the things has definitely, um, doubled, tripled, you know, but it's, um, you know, it's all part of it. Right.

Speaker 2: (03:01)

I'd love to, I'd love to dive into that. So, yeah, it's, it's difficult and different, mainly different when we're talking about like, men going through their journeys and Mm-Hmm. and like climbing the ladder and everything. As a woman, you have that, you have that same kind of journey to take, but it looks very different for us. I'd love to learn more about your journey into being a CEO and then, like you said, how do you manage, like, you have to take care of all these things, but then you're also, as you're getting older, especially in marketing, it's all about packaging. And so we're, we're, we're present thinking about packaging. Like, how do I look? Because that is a part of the story. I wish it wasn't. Like, I wish I could hide and just type behind my little Twitter keyboard, but for sure you gotta, you gotta show up sometimes. So I'd love to learn more about that for you. Like, what's that

Speaker 3: (03:47)

Journey like? Well, one hot tip is that if you're on camera for a living, which I am, and you are also, I guess what the salon is a de a tax deduction, by the way. Mm-Hmm. . Um, and so it's like, that's a

Speaker 2: (03:59)

Really good tip. Like we're starting strong ,

Speaker 3: (04:04)

Um, and also like aesthetician stuff. So I mean, literally I do all of the lead gen for my company by being on podcasts. That's what I do. And then we run it through our own AI and, you know, the drill. Yeah. Um, and so like, I, I do take, you know, eye cream and, and whatever else as part of a line item for marketing. So, um, valid.

Speaker 2: (04:26)

I love it.

Speaker 3: (04:26)

Number one, number one. Um, and number two, like, it, if you look good, you feel good. I, I know that's maybe vapid, but it is true. That's, I mean, I'm, I'm as enamored with the Kardashians as the next person for these reasons. Right? Mm-Hmm. Um, one thing that my trainer told me to do back in the day when I was really nervous about going to pick venture capitalists, um, 'cause they're all white guys, you know, and it was really intimidating to me, and they're mean, I mean, like, you know, there's gotcha questions and, and I, I didn't know in the beginning to not be polite. Like, I thought you were going to a business meeting, you're shaking people's hands and you're supposed to wear a suit and, you know, all this stuff that I don't do anymore. Um, and, and honestly, you're supposed to be kind of a jerk, right? You're supposed to be aloof and tough and all that. But anyways, so I would go into the bathroom before a meeting and I would take the paper towels and, um, you know, no one would be in there and I would do put paper towels in the ground and I would do some pushups to get a quick pump.

Speaker 2: (05:32)

. Nice.

Speaker 3: (05:34)

Sorry. I felt like strong, you

Speaker 2: (05:36)

Know, like, you know who you're messing with.

Speaker 3: (05:38)

Yeah, yeah,

Speaker 2: (05:39)

Exactly. I just, I just did reps in there, like, we're going, we're ready. Come on,

Speaker 3: (05:43)

Come on, , put my muscle shirts on, you know? And, um, and I would always wear my cowboy boots too, because I, I could, um, hide them under my jeans or like, or I'd wear it with a dress or something. But they make you taller. Mm-Hmm. like hills do. But you can walk in the city with them and there's power there. And, and that's what I wanted to feel like. I wanted to control what I can control. Right. And that's kind of, that's this situation. Yeah. I mean, as much as I can. Um, and it really does make a huge difference, you know, like, um, this is maybe a little bit too racy, but like, I have power underwear. Do you ? Well, you know, like there's the levels of the underwear, there's the period underwear, which is like, nobody's feeling empowered with that, you know? But then you have your, you know, your I feel great underwear and, and, um, it starts, you know, even with the stuff people can't see, you know? So,

Speaker 2: (06:47)

But I I, I love that that lens is very, like that psychological stuff. It makes me think of Hannah Watting in Ted Lasso where she does that, that move where she like stretches herself. She does like the red panda thing, which I, I adore Red pandas, but she's this like goddess and it's, for lack of a better phrase, like I, I love how she talks about how she tries to empower herself because I'm like, lady, like they would've built a temple and fought wars for you like 500 years ago. For

Speaker 3: (07:15)

Real, for real. I love

Speaker 2: (07:17)

Her. Like I see her on the red carpet and I was like, do you need a temple? I can build a temple like . How do we, yes. How do we treat you the way you deserve? Because like, you are not the door. I, I assure you. But I think that that really kind of plays into it. Like you have to, what does that empowerment look like? And like, what are the psychological steps that you need to take? So you're in the right head space to be like, you have no idea Yes. Who you're talking to. Like, I'm gonna adjust my crown and then I'm gonna go into this meeting and you're gonna listen to me. Like that's how it's gonna go. I think that's really interesting. And I think that that's, that's really interesting too. 'cause there does seem to be this dichotomy for women in power Mm-Hmm. or women in business that have kind of gotten to these certain levels is you need to showcase that you can stand your own in a room full of men. Right. But then also there's this like, you're

Speaker 3: (08:07)


Speaker 2: (08:07)

But you're a. Yes. Yeah. Like, it's the, it's the Barbie monologue for America. Ferrera. Like, it's the, you gotta be tough, but you can't be too tough. You gotta be authoritarian, but you can't be mean, like you gotta, it feels like there's this additional tightrope for women. And so Yeah.

Speaker 3: (08:22)

And you do have to leverage your beauty. I mean, you have to flirt. Yeah. Like, and it's, you're silly if you don't use that to your advantage and Yeah. Because they're dumb enough to fall for it. Yeah. Let's be honest. Right. and . And, and I learned, you know, one of the things I had to learn was to, um, not, how do I say this? To, to not be so forthcoming, which is my nature. Yeah. Right? So to hold it back, you know, people, they, the metaphor is just get, get the number, get her, get her number Right. Get his phone number as opposed to go, you know, go to bed. And I didn't understand that metaphor because I am a woman and like, I was like, I've never had to get somebody's phone number.

Speaker 2: (09:10)

Yeah. They come to me, they come to me like, I don't need, I don't need to work at all. I just show up. That's

Speaker 3: (09:14)

Right. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (09:15)


Speaker 3: (09:16)

You know, so I was like, what is this? Oh, okay. And you have to play hard to get, and like, all this stuff, it didn't, it was just totally mind blowing. Even recently, one of my investors was coaching me, and this was the craziest thing he said to me, all of my female CEOs, uh, have this fatal flaw, which is they answer the questions. And I go, what do you mean? And he goes, the guys don't answer the questions. And I go, I don't understand this. Isn't that totally rude? And he goes, yes, yes it is. And I'm like, so what do you mean if someone's asking me for their, my pitch deck? And he's like, don't give it to them. He's like, you're giving them cards. Like you hold you, you hold the hands and nobody knows what your cards are and you're constantly just showing them all your cards.

Speaker 2: (10:03)


Speaker 3: (10:04)

It's an eye for an eye. Like if they get you, if they get a meeting with you, then you can show them the deck. And I was like, this is crazy. And I was like, don't they need to understand my, my business before they make like these decisions? And he's like, no, they don't. They're fully authorized to make the decision without, you know, a data room. Yeah. All these things, you know. Um, I, I was thinking, Christina, like in life after lately, I hope I get some good paying job where I can spill all these secrets Yeah. To other entrepreneurs, female or, or not, it doesn't really matter. Yeah. But you can't, there's no school for this.

Speaker 2: (10:46)

No. There really isn't. Mm-Hmm. Especially for women, which is why I think the women's MBA is so important. 'cause I'm used to, I was talking to someone the other day about someone like going on stage and talking about how to do like eight, nine figures and like how to grow and do all these other things. I'm like, I've memorized that presentation. I've seen it like 30,000 times .

Speaker 3: (11:06)

Right. What else is there

Speaker 2: (11:07)

I need, I need a different story. I need a different perspective. 'cause this is not hitting, like, this is not hitting the way you think it's hitting. And it really comes down to, like you said, there is, there is no story. There is no place to learn these things. And that's one of the things I love about TikTok is you're seeing more and more people who were sharing their whole, like, I literally ran right into that door. , I'm gonna tell you exactly where it is. So you don't do that , or what's the one piece of advice about corporate life that you wish you would known sooner? And I'm just sitting here, I was like, all of this is gold. This, this is the presentation I wanna see. Because my thing was, I, I grew up a very, I, I grew up as a perfectionist. I am a healing people pleaser. I'm, I'm getting to that stage where I'm like, I'm in my era. And they're like, no, no, Christina, you're just saying no for the first time. And I was like, oh, that's, that's, that's a personal attack, but also accurate. It feels good

Speaker 3: (12:00)


Speaker 2: (12:00)

Um, it feels great. It feels great. Um, but you need to know that, like, especially for millennials too, we've kind of grown up with this whole idea of like, if I do all the right steps, if I work really hard, if I do everything, then I'm gonna get what I want. And then I love that you're being so frank to be like, no, sweetie, there's a game.

Speaker 3: (12:18)

There is a game and you, it, it changes and

Speaker 2: (12:20)

It's being played and it's being played whether you are wanting to play it or not, it's being played around you and you're a pawn if you're not playing. For

Speaker 3: (12:26)

Sure. And, and like what is, it's very frustrating because the rules are not, are not obvious. Yeah. And you know, life doesn't teach you that. You can't just get an A. Right. That's how it is. And unless someone pulls you aside and and tells you this is what's happening to you. Yeah. Like, and it's remarkable because people tell me, oh, you're such a strong woman, like blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, no, no, I'm not. Like, this is all a show . Yeah. You know, and it really is. Like, and, and at some point, one of one of my investors was like, I think you have PTSD from like this whole experience. And I was like, yeah, I do. I do. And I've become so jaded, like, um, boy, I wish, I can't really kind of tell you all this, but like Yeah. What's amazing to me is when I'm looking at the bank account and when there are numbers so low that like, I used to have a coronary total panic attack, stop everything.

Speaker 3: (13:30)

And now I'm just like, next, you know, because I can't actually change that in this moment. I'm doing things to, to change this. Right. And I was thinking about that the other day. Like all, all of those types of things that have made me so jaded where like, oh, I might miss payroll again, , whatever, you know? Yeah. Like that is actually, believe it or not, not my biggest problem. . Yeah. Um, I don't know if I would recommend this to anyone by the way. Like Yeah. 'cause the hardest part for me, and then I'm switching gears a little bit, is I'm, I only see the glass half empty. That's all I see. Yeah. So the moments to celebrate, like I was writing, um, I, I wrote, um, on LinkedIn, I, I it's been 10 years since I've founded lately. Mm-Hmm. . And so I was just describing like a decade of all these things. And I was listing out at first to myself. I listed out all these negative things and I was like, well, wait a second. , there's been some great moments also. Yeah. Yeah. You know what, what are the, I gotta sprinkle those in and remember them. And, um, on the, on the flip side, that ability by the way to, to find the problems makes for a great CEO because you're always looking at what to, to fix.

Speaker 2: (14:51)

Yep. Well, I think that's why women make great CEOs is because we are fixers by nature. Like we love a project. It's true . We love a project. We'll be like, why are you with that trash can of a man? He's a project . I'm gonna shine that boy into a diamond. So true.

Speaker 3: (15:09)

You're hilarious.

Speaker 2: (15:10)

But, but it's true. Like, you, you see all these things and you're like, we love a project. We love to do that. I think that that's also a really great point. 'cause I see like imposter syndrome is not a gendered issue and I don't wanna like present it as that. But I will say, I think women are really kind of like hyper positioned to like swim in imposter syndrome. And I had someone reach out to me Mm-Hmm. . And they had mentioned like, oh my God, you're doing all these great things. Like, how are you doing all of this? And I was like, I'm, I'm just taking it day by day. Like I, I'm not doing great things. And it hit me. And I don't know if other people, if you're listening, like feel free to like, comment with your hand, whatever you gotta do. But I find that my biggest moments of imposter syndromes are right after a win.

Speaker 3: (15:52)

Yes. For sure. I agree. The same thing. It's

Speaker 2: (15:54)

Like, like I have my Ferris Bueller five minute parade , and I'm like, I'm not bad. I'm actually kind of good at this. And then immediate was like, no, sweetie, you are common. You're not doing anything special. Yeah. That fell into your lap. Yeah,

Speaker 3: (16:09)

Yeah, yeah. Totally. Anyone

Speaker 2: (16:10)

Could have done that. And it's, it's weird that you go doubt from that like highest high to like, let's just settle you down for a second. And I think it comes down to the idea of, I don't wanna take this for granted, but I also don't wanna assume that I am this like all knowing, all being person and for women who are ambitious. That's the other thing too, for women who, who are ambitious, we have to brag about ourselves.

Speaker 3: (16:34)


Speaker 2: (16:34)

'cause no one is in line waiting to do it for us.

Speaker 3: (16:37)

That's right. Yeah. No one.

Speaker 3: (16:39)

Yeah. And it's so hard because, um, that's the bit, you know, edge, right? Yeah. Yeah. And, um, you know, I I, one of the writing rules that I teach is to remove the word I from your copy whenever you can Mm-Hmm. for this reason. Mm-Hmm. , you know, because you, it really sounds so braggadocio, et cetera. But you know, on the flip side, like, like you have to tout your strengths and celebrate your wins, or nobody will know about 'em. And the accolades are actually long. But when I am, you know, when someone will read my bio or something like that, I'm just sitting here listening, going, uh, , I did a good job of really selling it .

Speaker 2: (17:24)

Yeah. Like, I wrote that very well. I

Speaker 3: (17:26)

Did Yeah.

Speaker 2: (17:27)

instead of like, I did all those things.

Speaker 3: (17:29)

Right, right, right, right. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (17:31)

All of the things I'm gonna give myself full credit, I just, I think it's, I think it's wild that we're in that position though. And I find that, I think that's why women need each other. Because we, when we say like, we're proud of you, we're saying we're proud of you knowing exactly what it looks like in that trench. Exactly what it looks like going up there with the biggest sledgehammer you can find to break a ceiling Mm-Hmm. that you shouldn't have.

Speaker 3: (17:54)

Yeah. I didn't, you know, I didn't, I poo-pooed this in the beginning. Like Yeah. I, I hated being grouped with female founders. Like, it comes from like, I hate when you go out with some, with, um, you know, a couple or something. Like Yeah. The guys do their thing and then the girls. And I'm like, well, I wanna be in the whole conversation here. What the hell? And uh, it wasn't until I realized how bad it was for us Yeah. That I was like, oh my God, I gotta get in, I gotta get in and help these people out myself. Like, I need help and, you know, and, and find the women who I can relate to. Yeah. Um, because, you know, I don't, I don't want to, you know, I don't like girl time or Yeah. I mean, I, I like to do get a massage and stuff like that, but Yeah.

Speaker 3: (18:38)

But you know what I mean? Like, I didn't, I didn't wanna be a part of like the whole pink kind of crowd. And, um, now that I've ba now that I've gotten beat up so much and that's it. I mean, we joke, I get punched in the face every day. Yeah. But I really do. I really do. Yeah. And I obviously, I love it. I'm back for more every day. Yeah. You know? Yeah. Um, and that's, I think that's because, um, one of the things that surprises me is it doesn't occur to me that what I'm doing is scary or unrealistic or anything. It's a shock to me when someone points that out. Yeah.

Speaker 3: (19:18)

And so I'm just going along at this clip with my, not blinders, but just with my, you know, shield on. Yeah. And it, it's actually when someone stops me or, or if they don't understand what I'm doing, like, and it's often a mantle like question like, well, uh, how can you, how could you have built your own, um, language model? Like, you know, over 10 years, how could you have done this all by yourself or whatever, or your team. And I'm like, how could I not have, like, I'm like, what are you, duh . Yep. Right.

Speaker 2: (19:50)

Yeah. I love that. I think, I think it also comes to the point too, of that kind of community need. Because when you're getting hit in the face, if you don't have people who've also been hit in the face, you think that you're not fighting correctly.

Speaker 3: (20:05)


Speaker 2: (20:06)

I, I am, this is clearly my fault. Right. And that's why I'm hitting these walls instead of No. Yeah. It has absolutely nothing to do with you on a personal level. This is not a personal failing. These are probably the, the variables that are at play here. And then here is how you can work around that, strengthen your skills so that you can prevent it in the future. All those things that I, I love that this has really kind of turned into this, this need to understand the system that's working Yeah. And how women either have to break it or work within it.

Speaker 3: (20:43)

It's that soundtrack that you just pointed out, which I find we're all very guilty of self included, which is my first thought is, what did I do to cause this? Yep. Right.

Speaker 2: (20:53)

Mm-Hmm. . Yeah.

Speaker 3: (20:55)

And that happened to me. Um, so I, I used to work in radio and uh, I was, um, sexually harassed. It was a really hostile work environment. And at the time I thought, you know, sex jokes and stuff like that, we all made them radio was, was like the wild, wild west. And, you know, I'm not offended by very much and you were rewarded. Um, and, but, but what I didn't understand was this hostile work environment and why it was being used against me. And there's like, there were like four women in the whole building out of, you know, several hundred DJs. And, um, that was kind of, didn't make any sense. I'm like, why am I not getting an A I'm doing all the great work, you know, why am I not getting credit for this? And it took me years and to understand that, like I didn't cause what was going on.

Speaker 3: (21:46)

Yeah. Right. Mm-Hmm. . And that was a real eye-opener. And I catch myself still doing it. Um, maybe I'll walk out of a meeting and it doesn't go the way I want to, or I'll get a no from a venture capitalist or something. And like, I totally take it personally. Yeah. You know. Oh, oh, great. failed again. Yeah. You know, and, um, it's, the best thing is I have, I I I put cheerleaders around me Yep. The kind of people that I'm not, you know, who can keep me lifted, but also can keep the people around me. 'cause I've got enough negative energy for, you know, to cover it.

Speaker 2: (22:26)

Beyond little storm cloud floating around.

Speaker 3: (22:28)

That's right. Yeah. . So it's important to have that balance and, and, um, you know, and, and have these conversations like to be, when someone asks me how I am, if I'm not fine, I, I say I'm not, I'm not fine actually , oh, you know, I, I need a, I need a soundboard, or I need a shoulder, or I need a glass of tequila, or I need to go for a run. Yeah. You know, whatever it is. And, um, people, people want to help you. They want to, they really do. Especially other women. Yeah. Um, for the most part, let me just make one caveat, which is that the venture capitalist women that I've met on, for the most part have been remarkably unhelpful because they're being extra scrutinized at the decisions they make. And, um, fun fact for anybody who doesn't know, but female founders only get 2% of all the venture capital out there. So we have to work 98% harder than our male counterparts. And our female VCs actually make it even harder for us to get the money because they're just more, um, scrutinizing, you know,

Speaker 2: (23:38)

So, so they're, they're they're playing, having to play the same game that we are. Mm-Hmm. . And then it's like, did you give her that money because she's a woman, woman Instead of it's like an actual viable product or service. Um, this has been a powerful conversation. I think. I think a lot more women are probably thinking about these things and wondering if they are singularly experiencing this. I'd love to end with, um, what's the one nugget, like what's that one piece of information that you wish, like at the very beginning of your career, you can be like, this is what's gonna unlock the most potential, the most doors, the most. Like, just, it's gonna, it's gonna remove a lot of that animosity that you have for yourself when you're, when you're breaking things or things aren't working and it has absolutely nothing to do with you. What, what is that nugget?

Speaker 3: (24:23)

You know, someone taught me this. I was on a, I was on a plane. I was on a plane every week for four months going to San Francisco and back. Right. Which is insane. Mm-Hmm. And I have a partial permanent disability. I can't type it all without a headset. And so I don't get anything done on the plane. Mm-Hmm. . Right. It's not a productive time for me. And I'm forced to like, make friends . Yeah. Which I also don't really like to chitchat 'cause I chitchat for a living. So I decided I was gonna embrace it and I met this wonderful woman who was doing wellness work for Fortune 500 companies. And so I asked her like, what's the, what's the thing you do that everyone loves the most? And she said, it's, it's this. So lemme see if I can remember this. You can do the sitting or standing, but you wanna first just try to make yourself tall and pull your spine up and, and, and think to yourself, um, this is my dignity.

Speaker 3: (25:16)

Okay. In this moment. And just breathe. And then you wanna pull your shoulders back and you'd think, uh, this is my strength. Right? Mm-Hmm. . And then if you lean back just a little bit, even if you're standing, just lean back and you're just sort of taking the world in. This is my vision. Mm-Hmm. . Right. So it's dignity, strength, vision. Yeah. And then you say out loud what it is you want to achieve in that moment. I'm gonna close a round of $2 million, whatever it is. Yeah. And it's, it's super powerful. You can do it before a meeting. You can do it silently. It like, just gives you that I, I forgot to do this actually until you just reminded me of this. So yeah.

Speaker 4: (26:01)

, you're gonna get ready for some meetings today. Oh, it's gonna be awesome. Let's go. Here we go. .

Speaker 3: (26:10)


Speaker 2: (26:10)

That's perfect. Thanks. So it has been lovely chatting with you. I know that there are people listening to this who would love to learn more about you. How can they connect with you online and learn more?

Speaker 3: (26:20)

Thank you so much. Christina. Hi everybody. I'm Kate Lee from Lately. Lately AI is is where I live. And, uh, all over the social spaces, Cape Bradley Chartists. But, um, and say hi, say that you met me with Christina so I can, you know, let her know

Speaker 2: (26:34)

. Perfect. And that concludes another enriching episode of the women's NBAA heartfelt thank you to our remarkable guest, Kate, and to our listeners for joining us. Remember, every woman's story is a story we're celebrating. And until next time, stay inspired.

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