The similarities of finding a biz partner and finding a lover with Elyse Daniels from Exodus Wear
Welcome back to episode 2 of Female Startup Club, this one’s a quickie. My name is Doone and if you’re new here, let me bring you up to speed.
I’m a year and a half into my own entrepreneurial journey with my sparkly jewellery brand called Kincs and I started this little corner of the internet to connect with all the badass female founders that I’m inspired by on the reg - and all you really need to know is that by subscribing to all the cool stuff we’re putting out there, you’ll have knowledge, tips, tactics and strategies delivered straight to your ears / straight to your inbox and straight to your social media from the world’s most successful female founders entrepreneurs, and women in biz! I’ve created this space for women-in-progress (like myself!) to learn more, get inspired and take action to getting what you want out of your career.
This next mini ep that you’re about to hear is actually out of the regular 6 Q’s format that I’ve been harping on about since Female Startup Club launched. Elyse Daniels is a well seasoned founder, she’s 10 years into her business creating customised jackets for dance wear for groups of more than 25 people and she’s had a bunch of crazy success - my most favourite being that JUSTIN BIEBER wore one of her customised jackets… I KNOW. Let that sink in for a second.
Anyway, she’s currently going through the sale of her biz at the moment and when we caught up before filming this ep she was telling me about what it was like on the journey of finding a business partner, and how her friends likened it to single life and the big bad scary world of dating. Soo I’m just jumping in her to remind you that throughout the ep she’s talking about finding her business partner and how it’s pretty same same to finding a lover partner: it’s not a recap not of her actual dating life - LOL.
Make sure you’ve subscribed to the FemaleStartupClub.com newsletter to have her 6 Q’s delivered straight to your inbox.
The 6 Q’s we’re asking women all over the world:
* What’s your why?
* What was the thing that made your biz pop?
* How do you win the day?
* Where do you hang out to get smarter?
* When faced with failure how did you deal with it and what did you learn?
* If you only had $1000 left in your biz bank account, where would you spend it?
You can check out her biz here: https://www.exoduswear.com.au/ and find her on Instagram @elysedaniels.
AND you can find me (Doone) on Instagram @dooneroisin with the real life interview videos with female founders and a lot more questions I’ve been asking at @femalestartupclub. If you get something out of this episode please subscribe and share on social media so other women-in-progress can access the knowledge as well.
Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
Tell me about dating in your business. Yes which is very confusing for like 10 years now. So um whenever I talk about it people like you like married and like you're in a relationship and I'm like, oh no, the reason why I like to call it, that is for the last three years, I have been in the process of finding someone to purchase the business, so I'm in the process of exiting.
00:04:27Edit And obviously whenever you exit, there's a handover period and so essentially it's kind of like you're married to that person for a while and then you like amicably split split. Hopefully. Anyway, so at the time when I decided I wanted to sell the business, it was probably like a little bit already too far down the track to start dating. Like, I was right at the point where I was like, I want to just like get married and have kids will be done. Like I want, so I the first guy that I got this stereotypical guy that you think you should marry, rich has got that big house, big office building and he did a lot of boring, boring as uh very small. You know what, He's just the type of guy you can get your married, but like you eventually wake up and realize that if you spend the rest of your life with this person, you're miserable and you're like, have an affair and you know, it just won't be good, but I actually with regrets. Yes, I've actually never dated really like almost in real life, like because I met my partner when I was 16, I never really dated in business.
00:05:28Edit Yeah, I know. All right. So I'm like, uh and so when I started the business negotiations, I literally just was like, oh my God, I'm in love with you. And like he's seen me naked and he's my bank account. And like, like you love me. And like, yeah, like it was like, tell me that you love me. That's like, it was like, I'm getting married like the worst kind of like data ever. So I went into into it all wrong thinking that like I was so lucky that they loved me and that, you know, like I was so like lucky to have found the one or whatever and negotiations just took so long because it was like 100 year old, 100 year old organization that I was in discussions with very different style to like, you know, the modern startup. And so like we have a discussion and like, cool, yeah, we need to like chat to the board about this and then I'll have to wait six weeks. And I was just like, oh my God, there's people like dinosaurs. And so it's time for a whole year. And so I was like trying to explain to my friends and people who don't know what was going on. And so like as I was explaining the situation to them, I was like, okay, so now we're negotiating the prenup.
00:06:33Edit So in the event that they're gonna buy out the rest of negotiating how much I'm going to get all this sort of stuff. And it was so funny because at the time a lot of my girlfriends are single, we're on the dating scene. And so I'm telling them what's going on and they'll be like, police don't you know that he's ghosting you ghosting, What does that mean? And they're like, oh yeah, girl, like, you gotta get with the times and like, how, why did you like sending news already? And we like all that sort of stuff kind of thing. So it became this hilarious like joke within our group that every time we catch up with each other, everyone would go around like sharing their dating stories. But I finally got to be part of the like group and say what was going on with me. And I would share my business dating my business dating anyway. So you know how everyone has that one girlfriend who, like, it's going to be the one who will like cross the barriers of friendship and forgiveness and be like, okay, here's the like, you need to like, he's a funk. We and like he's treating you bad bob. All that stuff. Well, I have a business mentor is a male much older than me, but he's my girl that does that for me.
00:07:38Edit And I remember a year after negotiations and it's still going with the dinosaurs with the dinosaurs. He said to me, police, you know, I never tell you what to do and I support you all this stuff, but like, I don't think you should go ahead with this deal. Like he is not the one for you. Like, you're just rushing ahead. Like you want to be married. And so you're just trying to, you know, make this still happen when they're not right. Like, just the fact that we have taken a year to negotiate says to me that You will not survive the hint over period and it will all end in disaster because they wanted me for five years. And essentially, if I walked out in any of that time, I lost my final 50% equity, like I wouldn't have vested all about. So it was heartbreaking, but I ended up telling them that, you know, the deal and like we were very talent of it. And I was thinking like, oh my God, I just want this deal to happen so much. So that was really upsetting. But ironically, throughout that like, situation, I found out that they were dating someone else, which Australia because in a business setting, they can do that. But through a mutual friend, I found out one of my main cheating.
00:08:39Edit Yes. I was also in discussions with them. And so we started to compare notes about dating them and he wants you, like, let me introduce that, this is not the one, this is not the one. Anyway, so I got set up on a blind date. You're a business coffee meeting and met this guy, don't, you're selling your business terminology, don't get confused, you don't have to sleep with that, mess up everything. Um but yeah, so pretty much I got introduced to this guy and he was the rebound. So any girls out there who date and all that stuff know that he was like the fun boy, He was the one that like, wined and dined. You promise you the world or fly your feet, no substance. Never called when, like he said he would, but so I got swept down that gun in part because I'd obviously never experienced that. And so I was like, well this is nice, like being wined and dined in Melbourne and come see you and you fly to Sydney and so they're like a long distance relationship.
00:09:40Edit Um Yeah, so that, that went on for like another year, obviously, like, I got better with the second time I dated, which everyone always, but eventually, like, I had learned a few life lessons and look, we weren't monogamous or anything, so I was like talking to other businesses at the same time and learning a lot and comparing and like, kind of working out, but like, he was kind of like the second serious one that I talked to and you go, yes, my girlfriends were backing me up, so you'll be needing well, so do you want to know what happened to this one? My girlfriends told me all about, It was a breadcrumb ng me, oh my God, you tell me what this is, You know what this is, This is where like guys will have like doesn't have to be a list, but what essentially happens is like they'll go radio silent and then all of a sudden they'll just like drop a little breadcrumb, which would be like a text. She's like, hey, hey girl, what's up? Yeah, I know what you're doing, what you're doing all your life, your instagram post, like you haven't heard from them? Like why are you liking my instagram post with you?
00:10:41Edit Why you could page Yeah, so also get out of there, you didn't want to date me whatever. Anyway, so my friends are telling me he's breaking what I'm like, okay, so like learning what all of this stuff is. So thankfully my girl power, Mental, Mental. Yeah. Male mentor was like, okay, at least like you have done like I didn't give anything, didn't give financial is nothing like I pretty much was like, you tell me like what I should take you, like I don't, I learned all about this. I know what kind of guy. Yeah. Uh pretty much got to like the talent that process and I had kind of an accused what I want call me anyway, so he says, yeah, maybe I'm going to call you in a couple of weeks or whatever. Anyway, so that was like in september october do you know what he called me, january, january. I'm like, what the hell? So anyway, yeah, january. I was past that face.
00:11:42Edit I knew that I was I had so forth. I knew that I was something of value. And so I was just waiting for the one. Anyway, so he calls me literally like, already made the phone call. I seen his number pop up. Like, you kidding me? So, I'm like, I said, hey man, I'm like, yeah, ok. He was like, oh, okay, well, you know, like, I'm coming up to Sydney next week, and I was like, okay, he's like, should I call you? And I literally said, should I call you? Yeah. And I was like, I won't hold my breath. And then I was silent so I was like, no, I refuse to be breadcrumbs by you anymore. And he was like, oh, okay, cool. Like, I guess I'll call you then. I'm like, radio, like, high. Anyway, Suffice it to say, I never heard from him again, but ironically he introduced me to one of his friends while we were dating because it's never happened to you in a different um and he and I started doing business together. So he had a factory and started to manufacture one of my products to me, and we just got a really well, and I was like, he's just such a nice genuine guy.
00:12:51Edit Like, you know, like there was certain things, like, has been right in front of my face just noticing and there's like certain tests in every relationship. So like, I always say like putting together IKEA furniture, like going away if you like first weekend away or like any sort of renovations is like a test for your relationship or when you get really yeah, you get like bali belly. Yeah, they're gonna like nurturing or not. So we had our first test as a relationship where like his factory or custom, that kind of remember like sucked up and essentially like this school was not going to get their goods on time and I was like, okay, well fine, like I'll just go to the airport and get them. He's like, no, no, I'll go. And I was like, oh, like I have the one, I did so many crazy things, you have no idea. Like, I literally make him meet my parents, I made him come and meet with me every single week for a year. We have classes every week, like at seven a.m. For like a whole year. I was like, such a psycho.
00:13:52Edit Like I remember early on, I wanted to see what the car because the last one had driven like a real fancy fancy car and I was like, no, I want fancy cars there, I want something sensible with their money and I don't want Flash, I want somebody's not gonna blow everything anyway. So I remember this one time that I was like, we were going to a coffee shop or something. And I was like, let's just take one car. And he's like, okay, we're gonna take your message. And you know, like it's like your car. Anyway. So I was like, okay, well my car's been messing up big time. Anyway. He drove a Toyota Prius. He's like a double is a great way, literally was like, oh, you're learning a talent. Like going through his vanity essentially like looking at everything in his book. Anyway, so this guy turned out to be like the real deal. He's the guy that you marry, He calls when he says he's gonna call. Ok. So he may not send flowers like every anniversary or like do one of a kind experiences.
00:14:54Edit But when you're sick, he's there when you need like someone to help your parents move. Like he volunteers. Like he's the guy. But the little one. Yeah. Good guy. But the little like truth to the story was that when he approached it was like, Okay, so I know that you're looking to like sell and get a business partner. I happened to be 10 weeks pregnant at the time. So of course I had to delay everything. And then like, so essentially we became engaged, he actually like invested in the business and we started to work together more. So I like the four gospels made him work hard. Okay. But essentially I finally agreed to sell 50% of the business to him. So yeah, that was my business dating story, how's it going now? You're obviously not divorced, not divorced. Look, we've had troubles as all couples do. It's been a learning experience, but I think the difference is we're both committed, so we made those, we don't take them lightly. Um Yeah, so look, there's been times like he's trying to kind of get involved, like he's very hands off kind of guy, which is really good to make something, tell me what you do and that's the same for my husband actually what to do.
00:16:05Edit Um But yeah, he kind of lets me do what I want to do. But then like he tried to like, like I don't mind suggestions, like he'll suggest something for marketing, whatever. But then like he tried to get what I want to like employed this guy to do this. And I was like, yeah, like that's my division. Yeah. It's like if you want to like employ someone to oversee something, the factory get ahead. But I'm like that's that's not my department. Yeah, that's all good. But then the one thing that we left open ended was I have to negotiate the final 50% in terms of evaluation and I have to negotiate the period of time, which at first I was always a bit of time to work against the before completely. And like before I was all like, oh yeah, I want to really quick and I want to get out of this stuff and then when the reality struck that I was like I was going to sell my business and I thought I was going to be like a lady of luxury and do nothing. And then I had a kid and then being a lady of luxury just now. Your playground. Yeah. Yeah, I actually had green floral paint down my mm like an hour ago. Um But yeah, so I'm asking you to clean.
00:17:08Edit Yeah, but I you look so nice. I was like, I couldn't come like, but yeah, so pretty much I realized that the thought of doing nothing was absolutely petrifying to me and while I love my daughter, the thought of going to messy play Injun peru and like that's what we do all day, which is cool. But I kind of would like to work out what I'd like to do next in life but have absolutely no idea what that is. So I'm currently like, like you don't understand my housewife, I wish I wish I could, like I wish I could, but I just can't do it. So me and my daughter were very busy. We're always saying lady busy ladies, you can't sit at my mother's gonna schedule. Yeah, otherwise we got crazy. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope it was helpful if you're singling singling business. I feel sort of partner. I feel like these are great analogies for all of us to take on board. I mean I'm also engaged, it doesn't happen now, but I don't know if it was if he was a few.
00:18:12Edit Um so if you've got at least a story, I'm going to be putting out her business story. I have some questions in the newsletter. Female start a club. Just totally lost my train. But and with that I just had another question for her elemental how they met and how that partnership can it out. So she's just gonna tell me I'm hearing it, I have all these weird stories all the time. Okay. So I knew that I wanted to mentor, right? And I was like you should have a mentor and I'm like cool, so how do you, how do you actually get a mental Yeah, so everyone always has like what happens organically when it's right? Does that mean, what does that mean? Yeah. Anyway, so when I have actually, so when I decided that, well I hadn't even really decided that I wanted to sell the business at this point, but I was in this period of like what a moment to do next. And so Everyone I knew like was getting investment and raising around and stuff and I was like, I never did that like a boot strap to my business with $6,000, like I didn't know about going and asking people for money. So I was like, should I have been doing that?
00:19:15Edit Like I don't know, should I like international, what should I do? So I ended up emailing um and like connecting on linkedin with all these people who had invested into custom product brands. So anyone who had kind of invested into a company that made some sort of custom product cause obviously I make custom jackets. So I met um well I connected this guy on linked in, I was like, hey um and I kind of did a very like short, I don't know if this is what got his attention, but I literally was like, hey been in business 10 years, turn over this, I don't know what I'm doing next. Should I raise, can I ask you some questions? Like very like instead of being all like, oh like I literally was like, yeah, no, I was like, which turns out it's his personality anyways like yeah cool kind of coffee with me. Anyway, what are the chances the day before I am meant to meet this guy? Like I'm super excited about it, right? And so I am the type of person who gets into an Uber and I think it's like a therapy session or that I've paid for like someone's advice and I'm like okay, so here's what was going on in my life?
00:20:17Edit And so literally I said to the like hi my name's at least tomorrow meeting this guy. I'm very excited about it, like what do you think? And he's like, oh sorry, like what did you say you guys, you say that again? Yeah, he's like uh where are you going? What was the address? Um Anyway, so I was like yeah I'm meeting him and he's like hold on he's like sorry what did you say the guy's name? And I was like yeah this is his name. And he's like and I'm like what? And he's like that's my next door neighbor. It was like shut up, can you put in a good word for me scam Because like I don't want to reveal my mentors address and stuff but like your listing Bellevue hill and it's a very very nice house. Was like Uber, what is this about? I'm like you do not with me, 40 a Volvo or something. I was like, oh cool. So like why are you driving? You know Uber? And it turns out that like he's this super successful guy that lives in like somewhere overseas for six months, comes back to cities with six months, it doesn't work, was bored and just like, oh yeah like I'll do some Uber driving.
00:21:26Edit And so I was like this is going to be busy. Yeah it was like this is probably would be me because I'd be like I'm so good, I will go driving, get in the car, I love you, I want you to be the person that's constantly reported it, I don't know why you were driving a car with a kid and a dog in the back. But anyway, so I was like, this is so weird. And so the next day when I meet him, I was like, do I bring it up? Like what I do? And he's like, so my neighbor met you just now. What the I'm like, it was true. And I was like, yeah, like what are the chances of that? That's really crazy. So like really broke the ice anyway for some reason, like I can sometimes be quite guarded like in terms of business and like, you know, I feel like as entrepreneurs, sometimes we're forced to put on these really strong front, like everything's great. Like I'm going well. Like, I don't know like sometimes vulnerability is kind of seen as a weakness. Yeah. And so sometimes like I wouldn't really be very vulnerable with people, but with him, I've never met him. I don't know why. All of a sudden I was just like, you know what I'm doing?
00:22:28Edit I'm really lost. And like I've had the business for this long and should I do this or should I do that? And then this thing happened to me before and like I just like, it was so weird. Like it just was like, here's everything about me and we got to the end of the meeting. He's like, you should not be raising capital. He's like, you don't need to raise capital, Why give up like, um, you know, part of your business. He's like, I think you need a strategic partner who's going to take you to the next level and there's also a potential buyer. So like, he's the one who set me on this path, right? But that's so cool. Yeah, so weird. And then what ended up happening is the very first guy that I talked about in my story. The first guy that I dated literally within like a couple of days or a week reaches out like, hey, can we like meet with you? And so I ended up contacting the first time, like, hey, like this situation is happening now and I don't really know what to do, like what should I give them all the same stuff? And he's like, give me some advice. Yes and help. Yeah. Anyway, so he left no words like, can you be my mentor? No, not at all. Anyway, so he's like looking apparently like some of the phones like, okay, he's like, all right, so I've got two hours next thursday, can you meet me here?
00:23:29Edit And I was like, yeah, yes, of course I can. So literally met with him for the first two hours and then consequently throughout that first year when I was dating that first guy, I pretty much just kept kept reaching back to him and then never ever asked like, can you be my mentor, but just pretty much like, here I am again with another question and it just inadvertently, you never had the chat and chat. It just, I just moved in and he was like, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, and then it just turned in that like every, at the start of every month I just send him my like financials, like here's my financial still last month, like you know, what do you think about like anything, you'd be really great and whenever he had time for me, I would drop everything and so this is okay, so in terms of, how do I think you get a mentor and like have a good relationship with them, you have to listen to whatever it is that they say and try the advice and then report back on whatever happens. So like whatever he would tell me, even if I was like, I don't think this is gonna work at all, I would go do it and then I'd be like, oh, here's what happened from that advice you gave thing and I would always value his time as extremely important, which he is a very busy businessman, very successful, so it is, you know, he is very busy and so whenever he had time available for me, I would go whether he was whatever time anything.
00:24:44Edit So like one of the funniest stories I have is like 100 important like negotiation coming up and we just could not schedule ourselves to like get together and he's like, she's like, look at least the only thing I can think of is like, I'm dropping off my car at Alexandra to be serviced, and then he's like, I've got to go to Rose hill, and I was like, I'll drive you, I was like, I'll drive you around, I'm like, what do I need to be that little, because he was like, I'm like, I'm either gonna get an Uber or if you want to come drive, and I was like, yes, of course I want to drive you because like to have someone's undivided attention in a car for an hour, it's just like priceless. So you're like, sometimes he'll be on the phone to me and then made sense. He's like, I gotta go like whatever, like if he doesn't call me back, I just like totally get that, that's, you know? Yeah, so I guess it's more like about finding someone. I mean either mentor, it's j I found out today, like all the time and like every podcast I've been on I've mentioned. Um But yeah, I always wonder like, what other people do and like how that situation comes about because I never know do people say it happened frankly.
00:25:44Edit Well I think at some point I was like, you're kind of like a mentor, can you be my mentor, like, officially can be beneficial. Um And he was like, yeah, like anytime um and he always gives me advice and he's always yeah, like it's yeah, it just developed that he was giving me advice on things that I was doing and providing support, like I would always go to him with questions and I would be like, what you think about this? And like I remember one day we were flying back from were flying from Geneva to London and so we had like a few hours and I was like, oh let me tell you about this idea and it was female startup club and we ended up just jamming the whole time and he built this like a wicked spreadsheet for me and like I'm someone that's not good with spreadsheets, but I love a good operating spreadsheet and then I can like live my life. Yeah, and so now this spreadsheet like runs exactly what I'm doing and like I keep up to everything with this spreadsheet that he helped me build and I was just like, oh my God, this is just so good, like thank you so much. Um and so those kinds of things where when he has time to help me and like when he comes back to me all the questions that I have is just like pure genius that I appreciate, but I always wonder for other people because obviously mine happened organically and then I kind of was like, can you be like, like a mentor kind of thing?
00:26:52Edit Um but I don't know what other people do or if people like pay for mentors or if people are like because people will often say like I have a mentor a la and I might seem like a coach, you don't have an executive coach and if you gel with someone like that you can, but sometimes when you're paying someone that can blow the lines of like obviously it's their job to tell you the truth, but then obviously you're paying them and stuff. So I like if possible to have an organic relationship, like truly it's so frustrating but it's like it literally it's just one of those things that it's going to have to happen naturally. The only thing I would say is put yourself out there because at least everything out to people being like, hey like I'm going through this phase of my business and I know you've got knowledge and he's like can I have five minutes of you and I met with a ton of people but no one I didn't connect with anyone. Like I connected with him. And so it's like when you know, you know um And so yeah like you just need to meet its like a numbers game, maybe you're gonna meet a lot of people. And then when you do feel a connection to someone like everyone that needs a mentor yeah, when you do feel a connection to someone, try and keep them in the loop I guess.
00:27:57Edit So it's kind of like yeah keep the keep this lot happening yeah Even if it is passive like I guess with me with like sending my financials are kind of like here's my financials I don't expect a response. But often that will trigger like oh hey like this looks good. Let's talk about that. So you might find someone who you can say like oh can I just like send you this or can I ask if you could like review what I'm doing or something? And most people I think you know happy to give up a bit of time. I just think don't take advantage of it really like acknowledge that they are. Yeah. And if it's not drilling from their side like if you think they're the one but they're just like definitely giving you the signal that like they're not interested. Yeah this all comes back to data right? So they're not interested. Not interested. Yeah. And so you kind of kind of move on and just be like okay you know because you might be thinking why I want my kind of brooks to mentor me. And he's just like yeah I'm not interested. Well then you need to move on and think about who else. I could probably get a lot of memories of sex and the city scenes when they go through these things it all comes back to me.
00:29:05Edit Yeah look if he's not responding is just about just about it and if he's constantly got reasons why he's not available like if he wants to be with you, he'll make time for you. Well, you know, thank you for that. We're definitely done. You don't want to do that. Oh my God. Doing just in this story, and I totally forgot to ask you about it the other day and there's an existing video. Can we put in the link? We'll put it in the link, we'll link you to put it in the link because this is very important preview. I got Justin Bieber to wear one of my jackets without paying a cent. Oh my God, everyone's dream. Just just please with my King story. Yeah. Might be a better brand. She might be more on brand. Um She might be a king's girl. We can only hope. All right, that's it. Okay, bye. Thanks. Mhm. Yeah.