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An Update on Ami Bateman’s Pleasant State Equity Crowdfunding Results So Far ($600k raised!)

Hiiii and welcome back to the show! It’s Doone here, your host and hype girl! If you’ve just found us - we are SO grateful and happy to have you here. Every week we’re learning from some of the world’s most brilliant founders in business - that happen to be women.

Like Ami Bateman. If you follow the show you’ll remember her episode from a few weeks back where she shared her journey in building Pleasant State and is taking us on the ride of her Equity Crowdfunding Campaign that’s currently live. This episode is your update to how she’s doing, what’s been great and what’s been not so great. So buckle up! There’s lots in here to unpack..

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Please note, this transcript has been copy-pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!

Amy. Hi. Welcome back to the female startup club podcast. Thanks for having me again. I'm so excited to be doing part two of this episode for anyone who hasn't listened to part one, you need to go back because this is gonna be a deep dive on everything that we kind of covered in the first episode. But in more detail, exciting. How's your day going? Any wins or? Oh shit moments? Well, it took me until I think about 10 o'clock to get out of my pajamas. So I kind of went to my computer, decided to get on top of admin. I think I neglected paying bills just so much stuff, Sean wanted Sean, my business partner wanted to do filming today. And I just remember being in my pajamas and thinking I can't like, I've got nothing left in me then I went to the shower probably like, I'm not a crier every now and then I feel like crying. So I go through like the motions of feeling like crying and then I'm like, just, you just get it together, you gotta keep going. We what we like, we're literally uh during this call, we're a week away from closing the equity crowd funding. So, yeah, I'm just having to dig deep and kind of go to another level every day. And, yeah, at this point, I'm like, I'm quite surprised I'm operating and functioning and at this sort of level, if I'm honest. Yeah. Gosh. Ok. One week to go, it's not long. You can see the finish line. Ah, I think I'm counting down the seconds. I keep, I keep refreshing the website, the virtual website and being like, oh, how much longer, like is this, when is this going to end this middle bit? Because it runs for three weeks. This middle bit is the worst in any campaign because the beginning really takes off. You've primed everyone. They're really excited. Then the middle bit. There's no real sense of urgency. So I, I feel like it's almost, you know, two weeks or 1.5 weeks of almost nothing and then it goes really hard again at the end. And so I've just decided during this middle bit, rather than pushing too hard, kind of take a bit of a breather and then prepare ourselves again to go hard at the end. But we cracked 600 K last night. Oh my gosh. Amazing. Congratulations. Thank you from 400 investors. So all things considered given the environment we're, we're pretty happy with how it's going and yeah, just so uh humbled by the support. Oh my gosh. That must be just the best feeling. 400 hype girls and guys out there backing you. Where should we start this episode? I feel like maybe just a quick recap in case anyone listening hasn't listened to the part one and then like rewinding to because we were in the expressions of interest phase, right? You had just opened up the first part of the campaign. So I kind of feel like we need to go back to that time. Let's let's, let's do a quick recap. OK. Amazing. So that was probably about five weeks ago. I'd say yes. So Pleasant State is doing an equity crowdfunding campaign. So we're calling on people to invest in Pleasant State for as little as $250. They'll become owners in our business and help us build a people power brand that's helping us change the way that we clean our homes for good. We did extensive kind of um I guess campaign in the lead up to this. So probably let our community know a good three months in advance that it was coming, but we've been planning for it for a really long time, you know, that, that included a whole lot of marketing campaigns to build our database and then just giving people the hint that it's coming so that they could get prepared. And then yes, about five weeks, I can't even remember the date. Where are we, where, um, mid June? Oh my gosh. I li uh 16, so four weeks ago, 16 of May, we launched the expression of interest phase. And so, you know, we had a whole lot of data around the number of um interests that we should get before, you know, ideally before we kind of launch, because we had an idea of conversion rates. You know, we had a really good idea of how much we should spend per expression of interest. So had really clear budgets and I, you know, been trying to execute against that plan. Uh really happy to talk about how we've kind of gone against that. Yeah. And then I think two weeks ago we launched the actual offer and that's where we're at now. Two weeks in one week to go. Oh my gosh. I can't believe it's been four weeks already. That's so crazy. I have a few like paint the picture questions so that we can kind of all be on the same page before we talk a little bit more about the EO I phase expressions of interest phase. What was your initial goal that you were kind of aiming for in that expressions of interest phase. Yeah. So before we embarked on the campaign, we had a bit of an idea about a maximum raise of sort of 1.6 million from our equity crowdfunding campaign. Um That was, that was really driven by us thinking about how much of the company we were willing to give up in this round. So combined with uh an like an early investment where we had people on safe notes that would get us to about a $2 million raise maximum post money valuation of about 10 million. So we were looking to give up a maximum of 20% noting though that the whole virtual expression of interest campaign would really determine what our minimum and maximum targets would look like. So if we were aiming for a 1.6 million raise, what we were really looking to achieve was about 4000 expressions of interest at about $30 per conversion. We, we were kind of aiming for, I think Sean's original goal was sort of 30% paid expression of interest. So about 1000 we were hoping to pay for that's not cheap, right? So if you do the maths on that, I'm not gonna do it on the spot. Do you mean sorry, just to confirm to clarify rather. Do you mean like you were gonna spend $30 to acquire 1000 people? And then the rest would be kind of like word of mouth organic from your community. Yes. Correct. So 30% was going to be paid at $30 per lead. Right. So it was like a three K budget to 80%. Oh my God. 30,000. 0. Right. It's 30 times 1000. Ok. Got it. 30,000. 0, wow. Ok. Right. Go on. Sorry. No, no, no, not at all. Not an insignificant investment. Right. So, um $30 a lead 1000 paid leads $30,000 just in the expression of interest phase. And then we were hoping or thought that 70% would come from organic. It was very clear really early on that it wasn't going to play out that way. And in fact, we had to shift the amount that we were going to acquire through paid paid leads. And so I think we shifted to a goal of sort of 50% paid 50% organic. We're kind of angling for that by the end, you know, the the leads did creep up. So we probably landed at about $36 or so a lead on average. But we, we only hit, um, only hit. It's still like really amazing. We got 2000 expressions of interest. So we achieved half of what we were hoping for. And in the end, a lot of them were actually paid. But again, you've got to think that even though these were people that we probably had in our database, they were seeing us all over social media ads. Um emails, et cetera. So there's probably a lot of them were coming, we already in our database that came through ads. Um but there were benefits to that too in terms of sales. So, you know, we had really huge sales during that period and while Facebook isn't necessarily attributing those leads to conversions, it all was really making a difference. There's lots of noise and lots of awareness. So we, yeah, we had a really good month, those last two weeks we were doing, I think about $4000 average daily sales, which if you think back to Feb where we're about $1200 average daily sales, this, that's a really significant increase. So there's definite benefits from Yeah. Yeah, it's amazing. Yeah. Really cool. Um So what else? Yeah, so we achieved half of what we were really aiming for. Um knowing that probably 30% of the eois would convert. Um It just was what it was like. There wasn't much more that we could push, we weren't going to push that budget too much more. In fact, we sort of went from about 30,000 investment to about 50. I think we spent about 50 55 K just through the expression of interest phase on ads. Again, we, you know, we plan to invest quite heavily in this campaign, which is why we did the early raise because we know if you know, to get money, you got, you really got to invest in those campaigns. It's definitely not as easy or as cheap as it was two or three years ago where in um you know, quite interesting times with inflation and interest rate rises and people really concerned about the cost of living. So getting people to, to, I guess part with their money and be interested in investing at this time comes with its own set of challenges. But we're really fortunate that we've built a really awesome brand with a really engaged community and a real purpose behind what we're doing. And that, that's really seen us through definitely as we're in this offer phase. So yeah, I think that that touches on the EO I and how like our success measures, um in the end, we set our minimum at $350,000. So while we're doing that, eo I phase, the pla virtual platform is using all of its data to really assess where they think you're gonna land. So they have a ballpark figure. So depending on the number of people and the amount that they're looking to invest, they have pretty good data. Now that tells them the likelihood of that conversion at different sort of, I guess investment amounts and their data is pretty good. Now, they've done a number of those. So we did rely on that quite a bit to actually set our minimum. So their advice was sort of 30 $50,000 odd below sort of their minimum ballpark. Uh We were going to send it at 400 bits at the last minute. Just decided, let's, let's just go a bit lower so we can hit, hit that minimum and get really good momentum. So that, that's a really important aspect. Uh They talk about momentum in terms of psychology, which is get to it quickly. So it feels like the balls rolling. The second is scarcity. So when thinking about your maximum, you want people to feel like that they might miss the opportunity, opportunity. You don't want the gap between sort of where you're sitting after that two day private period ends. Um And you move into the public period which opens up to everyone. You don't want the gap between where you're at and your maximum to be too great because otherwise, that feeling of scarcity isn't there. We kind of overlaid the data we had in virtual with conversations that we've been having with our community. So, uh obviously, I've talked about the ads that was one component, but combined Sean and I had over 60 calls. I think I probably did 40 45 of those. So, um just so everyone knows, I'm actually, I think as I get older, I'm a bit more introverted. Uh I'm on the Myers Briggs. I was slightly e extroverted when I was younger, but I definitely feel introverted these days. So in terms of energy output, for me, that's been a really energy uh consuming exercise. So, um I've had to push myself myself to places that are really difficult for me, even though mostly those 45 my mates, they're my network, they're former people I've worked with. There are customers, they're people who just love our brand. So I'm on these calls and, you know, getting really amazing reinforcement and positive feedback, but still that, you know, having to call that many people on top of still running a business and running a campaign and doing podcasts and media um was like a really huge undertaking. And um yes, there's been a few breaking points throughout. So combining that data with people telling me what they were going to invest, we kind of treated it like you would in um BD with a pipeline. So I'd kind of say this person's really high chance of conversion at this number because I'd ask them directly and then we'd have sort of the moderate where I knew what they had said through virtual, but they was, you know, still had to negotiate something with their partner or work out their finances or set their structure up. So they'd be sort of more a moderate low and so kind of weighted that overlay that with the virtual data and kind of formed our own opinion about our maximum. So we ended up setting our maximum at 1.1 million, right? So minimum 350 maximum, 1.1 you're currently at 600 you're in that lake, you're about to come out of the valley of death and you're gonna be in the like high intensity final week. Yes, I know that it's been a roller coaster for you. We've obviously spoken a lot on Instagram and message and things like that and, and you've had like these breaking points which I want to ask you about. I also imagine that you've had some truly heartfelt beautiful moments in these conversations with your friends and customers. And I just wondered if there's anything that really comes to mind that you would want to share or shout out. Yeah, definitely some really good ones. So yeah, for just so many messages of support, like even people who have, you know, not necessarily been biggest supporters, they're often like, weirdly, I'm not gonna name them close family members who have potentially not see value in this too big, not women just, you know, message on us constantly being like, oh my gosh, you're at your minimum. And then the next day it's like, wow, you've got this like going and just really like realizing that there's huge potential and can see now like things that they didn't see before because our community is so behind us. And for someone like both Sean and I are people who, if we're doubted, we just love proving people wrong. So for me, like that's super rewarding. Yeah, finally, um now, yeah, you were surprised, told Yeah. Yeah. Just converting the disbelievers even when it comes to customers. Right. Those ones that are really upset with you over something. If you convert them, they become your biggest champions and there's something so rewarding in that, um, uh, I don't like to talk about them too much because I'll get emotional. But let's like, let's see if I can do this without getting emotional. Um, people have to, like, separate it from myself. So um those that will say it's an investment in humanity, you know, that's why they're doing it or um you know, they're investing in me personally because, you know, they've worked with me. Um Th this is one that I've got a lot in my life, which is, if you know, if anyone can do it, it's Amy. And so that hearing those stories again is just really encouraging. I don't like, honestly, I don't know where this comes from. It's often been a lot of pressure. But in moments, you know, when I'm feeling like I don't have the energy or I'm not really sure myself. I just remember that, that one, like if it ain't anyone can do it, it's Amy. And so just really drawing on that energy from my community is really important. Honestly, you know, we're asking women who have typically not invested before and 77% of our investors at this stage are women. Um Oh my God, I love that. Yeah, it's like in, it's crazy 70% of women and I would say the majority of those have never invested before in an asset like this and they're investing at a time where, you know, times are really tough. Like, you know, they're probably wondering about their mortgages and stuff and yet they're still taking a gab like I shouldn't say gamble, but they care enough that they're like, yes, this, this is the kind of future that I want. This. This is the kind of world that we need to build. And for me that that's probably the best thing out of all of this because you know, I I show what you believe this too. I I really do feel having seen all the businesses women that are building that we're, we're really gonna change the world and we're gonna build the right kind of world. And for that, we need women investing in those types of businesses. So to see that happening when times are really tough and we're having to make choices about our money is, yeah, super humbling. I mean one 100% like you're part of the change of statistics, which is just so cool and exciting and and and special love that for you love to be involved. So just quickly before we kind of go into more of that 48 hour period where people started to convert from an EO I to an actual confirmed, this is the amount that I'm going to invest, how much is the average kind of investment. I know that you said originally, you know, you could start from anywhere from $250 and up. And I know from our conversations you had, you know, smaller investments like that, you also had larger investments and kind of bigger angels coming in. What did it land at, on average? Yes. So during the expression of interest phase, it was sort of just shy of $1300. Um and virtual thought that was a little bit low. Um, relative to other campaigns, what we're seeing at the moment is we're just over 600 K and that's just over from over 400 investors. So we're just shy of $1500 which again, they're really happy with, we're really happy with a game at a time when it's a little bit tough. That's, you know, people are putting in like really amazing money and that's, you know, we've had a couple, like a few bigger ones. So one at sort of 45,000, 1 at 40. Yeah. And then some at 10 and some at five. But on the whole, you know, while people are definitely coming in at $250 and that's amazing. Um The average at $1500 is still a really good result. Yeah, that's amazing. And overall for this whole campaign, what is the kind of budget slash, what you will actually spend on bringing this campaign to life. Oh, yeah. Really great question. I wish you just, I'm just kind of riffing here though. Um, how about I would love if we come back to this question at the end because there's some follow up expenses that will come out of this. Like we, again, in some cases we've negotiated with, say a lawyer. Well, actually he offered this just because he really incredible delayed payment on certain things or, you know, I've got some invoices and like, I'm kind of asking about hours and stuff because that's something I can do if I feel like it's not necessarily reasonable. So where we land, I would love to come back and I can give you an accurate figure. Yeah. Yeah, let's do that in part three of this mini series. Ok. So I wanna dive in a little bit deeper to your marketing because obviously we've touched on the kinds of things you were doing, you know, you did some ads, you were doing lots of calls, this kind of thing. But can we just go a few layers deeper in what you've been doing on a daily basis? And what are the things that have like, really worked? And what are the things that have been like a bit of a waste of time? Yeah. Really great question. So we made a decision to invest quite heavily into pr So pr is a really important aspect of this campaign. So we engaged someone who was having a lot of success in the crowd funding space and made a, a $15,000 investment into the pr and that, you know, uh he's working really hard for us. So we got channel seven up in Queensland really early on, we just had an interview with Forbes magazine. Oh my God. Cool. Yeah, yesterday, so fingers crossed that comes out in time. But even still like after the fact or something like that's amazing that it's really a story about uh female founders and the follow on story will be fe females investing in female founders and what's happening kind of in the Australian space. So that's a really cool story to come out of that. So yeah, um quite a few pr opportunities, a couple of radio interviews, which has been a bit fun. Um So yeah, pr is always a really important element because you get, you get to get in front of a lot of people, obviously paid advertising, paid media has been really critical and that's been our biggest investment. So I mentioned at the end of the expression of interest, we're about 55,000. Uh I believe we've got about $15,000 reserved just for this period. So again, we went, that's over budget, but we've recognized it's really important. I from what I can tell the return on investment at the moment, Sean told me this morning through this, this offer phase is about 6.5 meaning that um for every dollar being spent, the investment amount is 6.5 times more than the cost to actually acquire that lead. So that, that's worth it, right. So we'll continue to invest knowing that, that we're getting that sort of return. So we have, we're always assessing that. And is that factoring in the like new customer acquisition you've also received in that process or is that like a whole other bucket of? And there's also this ro i that we haven't really factored in yet, but down the track, once the campaign is over, you'll be able to look more closely at that. Yeah, definitely. So, uh you know, the conversion ads for actual sales are performing really well. That's, uh you know, we're, we're getting massive traffic, we're still converting. Uh I think our conversion rate is sitting between 4 to 5% on, on our website for conversion, but the 6.5 is purely dollar spent to acquire a dollar of investment. So for every dollar we're spending, we're getting 6.5 times investment on that. Um Yes. And so there's that, I'm doing lots of podcasts, Sean's on a podcast. I'm attending lots of events. So I've been to three or so events so far during this time and then the biggest one is hitting the phone. So calling everyone we spoke to before who said they were going to invest, contacting them and making sure that they're investing, um or understand if they're not, um, if they're willing to share that with us. And so in the, the remaining days, that's a really big focus. So next week between sort of Monday to Thursday, Sean and I will be on the phones having face to face conversations. The other day we had, yeah, 11 of our investors had committed a $5000 investment. We saw that she had canceled the investment, Sean gave her a call. And during that call, uh she's Sean was understanding what was going on in her life and she had a lot of things going on in her life around health and finances and relationships and you know, decided that it was a bit hard and she needed to sort some stuff out. And then at the end of the call, this lovely woman said to Sean, I'll check your number again and literally on the call, she made that $5000 investment. So this is a bit that people are a bit afraid to go to because particularly if you're e-commerce, you, you often are not speaking directly with your customers. You can do that through the computer. So to get on the phone and do this is a really important aspect of the campaign and then linked in. So yeah, we do, we do frequent updates obviously across our Instagram and Facebook, but linkedin because I've got a really big network there. That's a really big one. And yeah, people people are popping out of the woodworks. Uh A girl I went to uni with, got an email the other day. She's like, oh my God, I knew you were gonna do amazing things. I just invested and reminded me of uh environmental projects we were involved in together many, many years ago. I don't want to give away my age, but yes, uh linkedin has been really effective for, for me engaging my community. Gosh, it sounds like a lot to also be running a business day to day. Um And doing this campaign, you said that you had 2000 eois and you had 400 to date investment like confirmed. So for, you know, that drop off, do you think you will like based on what Bertha has told you, do you think those, you know, 1600 remaining investors are likely to convert or is that just the nature of the game that, you know, they drop off? And that's it. Yeah. So if you think we were looking at sort of a 30% conversion expression interest to, um which is why it was kind of let's get for, you know, we assumed we might have to have 1000 investors if we were to gonna gonna hit that 1.6 million, which was the max we were willing to go to uh in terms of not giving up more than 20% of the company. So we've been factoring in sort of a 30% conversion. So if you think um on 2000, you want roughly, you know, 6 60 odd uh investors. And so we're sitting at four, 400 some of those have come through during the actual offer phase. When we looked at the numbers this morning, 20% of our uh eois expression of interest people had actually converted. So we've still got a week to go. So it looks like we're tracking to that 30% again that, you know, the data says that that's the case first, you know, previous raises. And that's one conversation that's important to have this, you know, your expectation versus reality. And ma really managing that because I'm finding that it's the gap between the two that really causes discomfort and frustration or unhappiness. And so it's, it's really easy to look back at campaigns two or three years ago when crowd funding was new and there was lots of money and, you know, there are campaigns where they were sometimes converting 50%. I think there was one that converted 80% of their A Ry. Uh, so I'm glad we kind of stuck with the 30% because otherwise that gap would be very disappointing. But, you know, I think for us it's just such an unknown. Like sometimes it really feels like gambling when you do crowd funding because you, you really don't know what's gonna happen. You don't know what's going on in people's lives, you know, I've definitely had people who looked like they were gonna, they were high conversions, tell me one number and it will have. And I, I think that's really an indication of the time. So one of the things Sean and I talk a lot about is saying, well, yes, we like maybe wanted 1.1 which is where we set the max in the end because we, we had to definitely drop that and while it's not there and it might not be moving as fast if we just kind of get remove this gap between expectation reality and to say, be present, you know, back to sort of Buddhist principles. This is it, this is a reality. Oh my gosh, 400 people have invested in us. We, we, we have $600,000 more than we did two weeks ago, which for a business that was money, there's a lot of money, like for a business that was running at sort of, you know, $10,000 was where the bank would often be sometimes less that like that is so much money and it might, you know, we might not be able to achieve the retail and the global growth plan that we aimed for if we were to kind of achieve the 1.1 to 1.6. But, oh my gosh, we're gonna be able to do so much with that. It'll be a different, it'll be a slightly different plan. But we're still gonna execute a really good plan and we have all these new people who are owners in pleasant state who will benefit and mostly women, um, hope and hopefully they will benefit. Right. Uh Everyone knows this is really risky and need to read the risk warnings, but that's really huge. So, uh I'm applying a lot of my Buddhist pract. I'm not really, I'm not necessarily Buddhist, but I have been practicing a lot of the philosophies for about six years now. So it's often like, yep, this is what it is, be really present, practice, gratitude, really appreciate what's happening um particularly in a really interesting, challenging time and keep going. Um I freaking love that and I would also say like, it's not just $600,000. You have so many more customers, so many more eyeballs who have seen your brand. So maybe they want a customer today, but then next month or in six months time, they are then touched by your brand again and then become customers. Like, it's just amazing what this campaign has drawn to you. And I also think that you've like leveled up with your content. Like I was looking at your reels today and I was like, damn, this is a really great reel. I feel like I've shared so many to my stories and I feel like you guys have just gotten really good at the real thing. Yeah. Amazing. Well, that, that's all credit to definitely Sean and Natasha, our graphic designer, I do I know in advance when we were doing our crowd funding video. Uh Tash, our graphic design, Super junior, but super talented and like a massive learner. We asked her if she wanted to do the animations for the crowd funding video. And she said yes and you know, on off her own back on her weekends, like an out of hours, she was teaching herself animation so that she could animate and do illustrations in our video. And so I think as a result of that, a lot of that is starting to come through too. So yes, she's amazing. I'm like, we're just so happy with how the team has really committed to this process. I love that. That's so cool. Go her tash. Was it? Shout out to Tash. Yes. Love that for her. And you in hindsight from where you are today. So I know that you're like in the midst of it, you're still kind of like deep in the weeds. So you haven't had time to kind of like really step back and zoom out from the whole process. But from where you are today, is there anything that you would have done differently so far? I, no, I don't think I would have done anything differently at all. The only thing that I wish was different was the external environment. And I like, I can't change that. So the only things I can change are things that we can control and just manage my reactions and response to the environment. And again, as, as a leader, it's important that like, I'm not too nervous and stuff about it or too down because I, I definitely set the tone so I'm just being realistic about it. Um No one thing I'm super proud about actually is we did a lot of work on our valuation, so engaged an economist. We looked, I think I may have shared it in part one. And so people can go back and have a bit of a listen to that process. But, you know, and then I tested that valuation with a number of, you know, ex I guess experts in the market who are familiar with investing on that valuation. That was so important to me that when we did crowd funding that we went out with a valuation that was really fair. Um And so that, you know, in future as we grew, that people who had investors who had invested or investors could benefit in that growth if we went out with a valuation that was inflated that that potential for upside obviously is reduced. And it's a concern that I had with equity crowd funding when it first started, the multiples were too high. And so I just had an ethical dilemma with that. I, I just really felt that wasn't fair. It's really important for me that our community investors share in our growth when, if we, if and when we do grow. So, um I we've had zero pushback at all on the valuation, not from a single person throughout this process. And I really do think that that's also part of the reason that we're really doing well and succeeding because there are other businesses doing crowd funding at the same time that are, that are just not getting there to be honest. Um And that's a combination of the environment but, but also making sure that you're offering like real value to these people who are looking to invest in your business and you're, you're genuinely interested in building and sharing wealth as you build and share wealth in your business. And so for, that's another thing that I'm just really proud of and I would encourage people not, not to look at equity crowd funding as a way to get inflated valuations because at the end of the day, you're, you're basically in my view, cheating investors and potentially taking advantage of the fact that they're not as and I do this in quotation marks sophisticated because that that's just a technical investor term. They're not as experienced or educated in this and they're often not able to necessarily looking at the numbers. Uh So 100% the onus is on the business to set a fair valuation. Um So that, that's something, yeah, we haven't got pushback, haven't got a single question on it means that we priced it properly and I'm, I'm really happy about that. That is such an interesting insight and an interesting point. Thank you so much for sharing last kind of thing. I wanna touch on just before we wrap up for today. Um In this episode is burnout. I've been asking founders about this a lot recently. I mean, you and I speak quite often, you know, that I'm someone who's struggling with this feeling at the moment myself. How are you dealing with everything that's going on? How's your mental health? I know that it's been a bit of a roller coaster. What's the 101, what I'd say is uh Sean and I are probably just managing that line really carefully. So we, we watch out for the signs of genuine burnout and just as we're like getting there, we, we're like, all right, we need to slow down, we need to have a break, whatever that is so on. Like the honest answer is we're basically borderline, burnt out. Um And that is not a, this is not something that I think you should be proud about as founders. It's definitely not something that I'm proud about. I like, I wish it wasn't the case, but it just really is a reality. So we knew the irony is I walked into this year after taking my first couple of weeks break thinking that's it. We're gonna have a work life balance. I'm not working like I have the last three years again, that, that's unsustainable. Let's like, aim for a four day work week. I've honestly never worked harder in my life and I come from professional services like ERNST and Young. So that's a massive statement. But we, you know, for like, I reckon Sean and I have been running sprints but in marathon format since February this year, that is, that's not healthy, that's not sustainable, but it's been necessary in order to like, sorry. And we're in mid June, right? That's a really long time. This, this for us is we're gonna make sure that this business survives. Like we're really committed to it. We knew we had to do this crowd funding and we're doing it at a time where our business is growing massively. So we had 90% growth in the last 90 days on the last, the prior 90 day period. So we're kind of managing that at the same time. So how are we doing it? Yeah, we, we just talk honestly about it with each other on the weekend. I think on Friday, I just messaged the other kind of manager management team and said Sean and I um we're not, we're not available this weekend. Don't like unless it's really urgent, don't even message us about the campaign. Like, don't, don't share anything. We just need to really turn off like no, no communication about the business at all and you know, being really strict and not you know, trying as best as I could not to look at the campaign results, not, not trying to look at our sales and just saying no stop. And I, you know, forcing myself to go to the beach and read. But I, like, I was really emotional on the weekend. It was really strange. I think, you know, we'd been working for so long to get to this point and we were, we've pushed ourselves to levels we didn't think were possible and it almost feels like every day is like, ok, go to the next level. I got to go to the next level and like, we've had to dig really deep. So when it got to the weekend, when I could pause because we're in this like valley of death. So I just decided I'm not pushing it too much. Let's just have a bit of a breather. Um I was reading this really beautiful book called Love Stories by Trent Dalton who wrote um did I tell you about this thing? Yeah, I his um Boys Follows Universe is one of my favorite books. I love it. And so what was beautiful about that is I could like cry at the end of every chapter but not like feel really bad about it because they were just really lovely um stories. Oh Yeah, I forgot my, my grandma who I'm like, not super close with but still like deaths in the family like they cause a bit of trauma. Right. She passed away just the weekend as we were about to launch our campaign. And so I had to, oh, thank you. I'd had to, like, just put that sort of in a bucket. Right. And be like, I know that's happened and I had to support my dad a bit, but I just kind of had to put it, like, over here and not really deal with it. So I think like, on the weekend I could process that a little bit more. So, yeah, like you, you do things to get through and then we, we're just really mindful of it and really honest and authentic about it and, you know, tell our team don't get out of your pjs until late the other day. I'm like, Sean, don't even come into the office, just do a little bit from home and then work it out. So we're, we're just trying to work around our energy but like it's, it's real and I'm not, there's nothing to be proud about but it's just a reality. Yeah, dealing with like the business, the campaign, then everything that's happening in your real life. I know Sean also just got engaged. It's just, there's a lot going on in, in your world right now. Oh, my gosh. Congratulations Sean though. We're so excited for you. Um I feel like this is probably a good point to wrap this episode up. I feel like we've covered all of the update part of where you're at. You still have a week of the campaign left for everyone who is interested in pleasant state or wants to learn more. Go to any of your channels. There's information everywhere. Is there anything else you want to end with? No. Uh No, just thank you again for having me. It's really exciting to share this journey. And yeah, I think I asked you before. Have you ever spoken to someone like in the middle of it? Because it's so easy to forget the really challenging things. I think we have a tendency to like focus on the good. So you, you're kind of getting the warts and all where like I've admitted this morning, I could barely get out of my pajamas. Um So that's really cool. Like to be able to share authentically what this process is really like. And thanks to everyone for tuning in and especially to those who have invested in pleasant state and you know, really putting their money to building a better working world. So, thank you so much. Yeah, let's keep changing the world and you in particular, Juan, I know you invested too like at, you know, at a time where you're, you're going through something. So it just means so much. Thank you. Happy to be invested in your business and happy to be your hype girl. I'm so excited to be part of your journey.



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