Kara Goldin is a disruptor, builder, thought leader and a successful entrepreneur. She is the Founder and CEO of Hint, Inc., best known for its award-winning Hint® water, the leading unsweetened flavored water. She has been named one of InStyle’s Badass 50, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Fortune’s Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink and EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California. The Huffington Post listed her as one of six disruptors in business, alongside Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Kara has successfully navigated the world of large companies and startups in many industries including media, tech and consumer products. In addition, she understands retail and direct to consumer well. She is an active speaker & writer and hosts the podcast Unstoppable with Kara Goldin where she interviews founders, entrepreneurs and other disruptors across various industries. Kara’s first book is called Undaunted, (published by Harper Leadership in October 2020). She lives in the Bay Area.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • Excellence = Always learning… And “hire people who are smarter than you.”
    • As a leader, “you need to always be pushing your team to hire people who are smarter than them. Try to work yourself out of a job.”
  • Advice to people who report to an insecure leader?
    • “Be great at what you do. Offer to take on new roles.”
  • The dramatic story of how Hint began. Kara kicked her diet soda addiction and figured out how to make flavored water healthy and natural. Then she found out she was pregnant with her fourth child. She placed Hint on the shelves of her local Whole Foods just before heading to the delivery room. 
  • After graduating in 1989 from ASU, she moved to New York City, after accepting her first job out of college at Time Inc. Goldin worked in circulation at Time Inc. for three years. She started out as an executive assistant and worked her way up to managing the airline circulation for the Time Inc. publications. She then moved on to work in advertising sales at CNN. “Ted Turner was kind of a bad ass.”
    • “We got a Super Bowl ad that year that hit 80% of the country for less than a million dollars.”
  • FIRST JOB — > Kara’s first job was at age 14 working for a local toy store, Alphabet Toys in Scottsdale where after a few weeks, she was asked to help with buying for the entire store. Kara credits this experience with launching her on the path to entrepreneurship
  • Community — She created The Kara Network as a place for fellow entrepreneurs to reach out and tell their stories as well as provide some helpful insight to those who were interested in following a similar path.
  • Kara realized in 2001 that she wanted to create a healthy alternative to the fake sugars put in diet soda… And Hint was founded.
    • She started slicing fruit and throwing into water.
  • March 9, 2010 – The Starbucks test. It was put in all 11,000 locations. Revenues skyrocketed.
  • In 2012, it was taken out of Starbucks. 40% of their business was tied to Starbucks. A big lesson learned: Don’t have 40% of your business tied up with one account.
    • Then Amazon called and wanted to launch it. Lesson learned: bad stuff will happen. It’s part of the journey. Think: “What did I learn from it?”
  • Every employee at Hint has a stake in the business. They create ownership for all.
  • Hiring qualities Kara looks for in a leader:
    • Passion
    • Curiosity
  • Here is WHY joining a Learning Leader Circle is a good idea…


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