Neil Patel

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After selling her first startup, Roxanne Bras Petraeus has raised $50M for her most recent venture. The company, Ethena has attracted financing from top-tier investors like Felicis Ventures, Lachy Groom, GSV, and Homebrew.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The future of training and actionable data
  • Roxanne’s top advice when thinking about starting your own company

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    About Roxanne Bras:

    Roxanne Bras is the cofounder and CEO of Ethena, a startup offering customized sexual harassment training. Bras holds a bachelor´s degree in economics from Harvard University, as well as a master´s degree in international relations from Oxford University A Rhodes scholar, Bras is a US Army combat veteran.

    After her time in the Army, Bras worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company, managing large scale transformations, working with C-suite clients on organizational design issues, and conducting due diligence work for private equity clients.

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    Connect with Roxanne Bras:


    Read the Full Transcription of the Interview
    :

     

    Alejandro: Already hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So I’m very excited about the guest that we have today I mean she’s a powerhouse we’re gonna be talking about going from the army to mckinsey to startups I mean building scaling financing. Jumping off of planes going to combat in Afghanistan I mean you name it I think it’s goingnna be quite inspiring so without far ado let’s welcome our guests today Roxane Bras petros welcome to the show.

    Roxanne Bras: Um, thank you so much I’m excited to be here. Um.

    Alejandro: So originally you were born in Texas but you did trouble quite a bit you know with your father being a pilot and your mother being a nurse so give us a little of a walk through memory lane. How was life growing up.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah I think um, my parents are a very um, kind of adorable like american dream story my father’s from Holland he flew with the dutch air force and through Nato was in the Us my mom had joined the Us air force to kind of see the world and of course they sent her to Texas. And they met my dad’s data commercial airline pilot after that moved around in Texas and Florida and ended up in celebration Florida of all places which is Walt Disney world’s planned community which is as weird and creepy as it sounds.

    Alejandro: That’s Amazing. So I guess saying from from moving quite a bit I’m sure that you developed the you know the personality there of dealing with uncertainty because I guess that as a child. Ah, you know moving is new friends. New Environment. So Would you say that that perhaps helped you to dealing a little bit better with uncertainty.

    Roxanne Bras: I Think so I feel like you end up being a bit. Um I don’t know resilient in just sort of figuring ah things out and yeah I mean I think a lot about ah people in the military bounce around all the time and it ends up teaching you how to make friends very quickly kind of adapt and like um. Whatever be put into a different environment and be okay with that. So Yeah I imagine that there was like some version of that that was helpful.

    Alejandro: So how do you end up in Afghanistan jumping off of planes tell us about that day. How how you get there.

    Roxanne Bras: um yeah um I ended up jumping out of planes in the US and deploying to Afghanistan I think there were very few people who jumped out of planes in Afghanistan but um, ah yeah, so in the um and the army I ended up there was actually kind of a pretty simple story. My I mentioned my father’s from Holland he served in.

    Alejandro: Ah.

    Roxanne Bras:  Dutch military and essentially he was very confused about the idea in the us that you pay forty fifty Thousand dollars a year for college tuition. He thought that was absurd and so I got into harvard and I was very excited and we still have a family moment about this. He was like congratulations. How are you going to pay for it and obviously I was. Um, a little bit upset because I thought he was going to pay for it and indeed he was not and so he had a friend who had a daughter in Rotc I learned a bit more about that and realized that it’s a good way to pay for college and we kind of compromised on I would try it for a year see if I liked it and we would go from there and that is. I ended up in Afghanistan.

    Alejandro: So how was how was like the experience of of going to Afghanistan I mean obviously you know I’m sure I mean that was crazy adrenaline field and and I guess to a certain degree you know building a startup is also like going into war I mean it’s a every day, especially during the early days is kind of like a fire that you need to put out. But how was like you know the experience of of going to a place like Afghanistan where where you don’t know if you’re going to be able to come back.

    Roxanne Bras: Um, yeah I would say it was definitely a really like um important like moment in time in my life and I’m glad I did it in my twenty s because I think now I don’t know it’s just a different um game. I think what was amazing about it is seeing really good leaders and kind of having this very like visual sense of them. So when I think of a good leader I like can picture you know the certain captain who came back after like a really tough mission and how he interacted with. Soldiers or I just have these different moments of like something scary happening in a helicopter and someone projecting calm and I think that’s probably None of the key things that has stayed with me is like just knowing what good leaders look like and I had a ah mentor tell me. Like just hang out with people you like and want to be like and it will rub off on you and um, so I I think that Afghanistan is a really helpful time for that. Those are very helpful for perspective building I don’t want to you know say that like I never get flustered because I’ve seen real hard stuff like I absolutely do and. Startup hard is different than army hard. But I do think it has helped me put into perspective stressful situations frustrations like I can contextualize it and generally keep a pretty even keel. Um, just because I kind of have like I guess um. A bit of a stress inoculation. That’s not to say I’m impervious to it. But I think I just got like some pretty good I guess to continue the metaphor like vaccines for stress whether it is from army training when to like survival training. It’s like a simulated prisoner of war camp like. All of those moments um are really helpful because they like my body has kind of remembered stress and remembers how to how to deal with it.

    Alejandro: So how do you deal with stress I mean in your case I mean now when you have like ah like a tough day for example, like how how do you deal with stress.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah, um, hypothetically because there’s never tough days in startup world. Um, yeah I mean like I think that it’s like it’s all super basic, but it’s just remembering to execute it. So it’s things like taking a breath I think of good leaders who always.

    Alejandro: Um, yeah.

    Roxanne Bras: Escalate the tension in a room. So if there’s like a stressful meeting I will try to remember to take a step back, maybe crack a joke see how other people are reacting if someone needs a minute like give him that minute just in almost always like de-escalation is kind of step one because there’s very good like very few. Um. Good decisions are made when you’re stressed freaking out like not able to see clearly so usually try to gain some composure if you have the time. There’s other basic stuff. That’s actually kind of more about like self-care but trying to make sure that I’m working out seeing my family like all of those things I think allow you to have perspective in the stressful moments whereas if you’re always, um. Kind of running on empty like I think it’s really hard. You bring that energy to your team. So Those are two things I think about.

    Alejandro: Now in your case when when you came back, you ended up going to Oxford and out of all things you studied you studied your masters in in in sorry in philosophy so out of all in.

    Roxanne Bras: No international international relations I yeah like master of philosophy. But honestly close Yeah, you know.

    Alejandro: Yeah, so international relations and and Master Master of philosophy and International Relations. So So I know that that obviously you know perhaps opened up a little bit more of the perspective and and literally right after that you know you even you know a little bit after you know because obviously you enter the Labor market and all of that stuff. But. But right away you know, not not not long after you’ve started your None company. Super meals. So Can you tell us about supper meals and what was that journey like because obviously he was fully bootstrapped a little bit different from what you’re doing now and and I’m sure that it shaped you a little bit

    Roxanne Bras: Um, yeah.

    Roxanne Bras: Totally yeah I mean I had you like um you said graduated from Oxford went back into the army for a while and one of the pain points I saw in the army was actually around nutrition like it’s just really hard if you’re busy to um to eat. Well, it’s a problem I think a lot of people have encountered. And there was a grad school friend of mine. Um, who was sort of thinking about a similar idea we we went to a reunion or something like that and kind of started um like riffing on this idea that became supper um about using commercial kitchens and professional chefs to deliver healthy meals to essentially a suburban audience think like young families. Um, and it was like a really neat opportunity because I wouldn’t have thought of myself as an entrepreneur in particular, not a tech entrepreneur like I went to Harvard when Facebook was becoming a thing and I think in my mind entrepreneurs were like you know, candidly men with cs degrees and um. So it was. It was really neat to be able to um to build a business and to realize that like part of building a startup is building a business I think this has been a realization that people have had more in the past couple of months um it was really cool to ah bootstrap and like learn what that’s about and sort of see this whole like life cycle of a um of a business. But I’m really glad that I you know just happened to be talking to a grad school friend about an idea that we both had because I’m more like I get interested in the ideas I was never someone who said like I’m going to start a company. It was more like I get really passionate about an idea and then I end up starting a company because I get so obsessed with the idea.

    Alejandro: Got it now with the experience with supper meals I mean you went through the full cycle. You know, Obviously you didn’t raise any money but you know you were able to see it from start to finish because you ended up selling it to a competitor. So.

    Roxanne Bras: Um, yeah.

    Alejandro: How did the whole acquisition. You know come about and and what did you learn from really seeing a company from the beginning all the way to the finish line.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah I think I mean it’s like you know, obviously you learn so much but something that I learned from that experience is like getting um leverage on time. So I think that a challenge because we hadn’t um. Raise capital that my co-founder and I had was really getting leverage on our time and so the business worked incredibly well when we were putting our time into it but it was like it. Um, it wasn’t as I don’t know I guess I’d say like sustaining as we would want it. We would have wanted it to be either for it to be a lifestyle business for us or for us to sell it. So I thought a lot about that and starting. Um Athena my my company now like how can I make sure that I can replace myself at any of the lower level tasks that I’m doing to make sure that I’m getting like the maximum leverage on time which I think is genuinely really hard in bootstrapping because you just um, you you aren’t able to trade off money for time as much.

    Alejandro: Yeah.

    Roxanne Bras: And yeah, that’s probably like 1 of the key lessons that I’ve um that I’ve kind of taken away. Yeah, so you know my co-founder and I like kind of saw that it wasn’t um, we didn’t want to necessarily like spend our next ten years on this

    Alejandro: And what about the acquisition tell us a little bit about the acquisition. What a versus like.

    Roxanne Bras: There was something there that were really passionate customers. Amazing retention. But we’re like this this just without capital isn’t what we want to be and we’re not We’re not totally sure. We want to raise and so for variety of reasons to include personal. We kind of decided like we would like to put this somewhere. And it was neat because we realized we had this network of people in the food industry from um, where we were working at the time which was like North Carolina and so we just ended up talking to a handful of them to see like ok would this feel you know would you be a logical um like home for this business and through those conversations found essentially like a very similar business just in more in the like um. Csa like ah groceries um delivery and ended up um, ah, kind of having those conversations and and the owner of that business ended up wanting to buy it so it was like a series of a couple of conversations with logical homes and figuring out. Um the right one for it and it ended up being pretty pretty quick.

    Alejandro: And as they say I mean once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur but in this case, you know it took a little bit of time to go at it again. So why did you think you know it was it was better to go to Mckinsey you know, rather than you know doing another company.

    Roxanne Bras: This.

    Roxanne Bras: Um, yeah I talked to a bunch of mentors like essentially when we had um, sold supper and said like here’s what I’m interested in but I don’t know specific like it’s kind of funny when you ah so in the army I had had about 6 years of work experience. Gone to grad school but I wasn’t a specialist in anything right? I wasn’t like ok I’ve spent 5 years in enterprise sales or I’m a marketer at heart or you know I’m a um engineer so has kind of in this position of being like I’m an expert on leadership and kind of vague things. But I don’t necessarily want. To go into like a um chief of staff role because that was a really logical thing that was thrown around I talked to a couple of companies but just never found the right fit talked to um, a Vc in Boston and I think he was totally right? He’s like look you can either be a consultant or a banker. Um, as your next move. Until you figure out what company you want to start next because I think he saw that like that’s what I was going to do eventually um and he just said consulting is nice because you get to see a bunch of industries and see if an idea sparks there and I talk to people who want to be founders and my advice generally when they ask like should I quit my company now and just ideate. And I’m in the anti ideation camp because I think you could just sit and kind of drive yourself crazy in a room thinking about an idea but at Mckinsey I was seeing real world business problems all the time just through my normal you know day to day and so I think it was much more helpful for me to find a business that I wanted to make and build. While I was doing something versus if I was just kind of like going on walks and talking to people. So I mean my perspective is generally if you’re thinking about building a business. Um don’t quit your day job is like like where I I met it out.

    Alejandro: Now, let’s talk about Mckinsey I mean Mckinsey Consulting I mean obviously is really great because it’s it helps you kind of like grabbing a big problem and breaking it down into like small different problems. So I mean it’s a good training. So I guess from that training when it comes to tackling problems. What did it teach you that perhaps you didn’t know before that you’re implementing now.

    Roxanne Bras: Exactly that I think that um consultants are it’s like None skill set. But it’s a pretty good skill set which is like breaking down problems solving them in a logical order and that is essentially what I do as Ceo now you know like I’m not um, again, an expert in anyone. Domain. So even if for example, like our cro comes to me with a problem I’m not going to be able to say like well in my experience as a so cro here’s how I solved it instead I’m pretty good at asking questions to try to get at the root of the issue. Sort of map it out. My team members know that I love a whiteboard or a Google doc or like any sort of visual representation to just give ideas some structure and help someone else solve a problem and um, yeah, so like not that I think consultants make. The most amazing um, ceos necessarily. But I do think it’s a really nice skill set to have um because like I think my job is essentially problem solving at this point. It’s very rarely like just executing on something.

    Alejandro: So then at what point during your st at Mckinsey Do you come across? you know this next idea and and and what was that process like until you said you know what I’m I’m going to execute on this.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah, so I had been thinking a bit about um training going back to the army I took a lot of training against some of it amazing the jumping out of planes. A lot of it. Really bad, checked the box. It was supposed to address things that were important and it just wasn’t um, it really wasn’t helping any soldiers navigate a situation. It was it was kind of a joke. And so I remember being at Mckinsey and then at some point getting an email saying like it’s time for your annual risk training or annual compliance training and I was just surprised because I thought that for some reason I thought that only the government did check the box training. It seemed um, candidly kind of dumb for a company that just spends so much money. On an employee’s hour to be kind of wasting time with training that everyone acknowledge you press play and then you open up your phone and you send emails until you can click next and and that’s what you do and so I just found it. Strange to see that there at at such a um otherwise like. You know, obviously incredible. Um, like high functioning institution and when I was thinking of leaving mckinsey in part because I had this idea I went to talk to a senior partner who is in the insurance practice because you just happened to be a mentor of mine and I told him about this idea. And he explained to me how the cyber security market had evolved from kind of check the box to risk base targeted like actually reduce the likelihood that a um, a company be vulnerable to a um say like a cybersec security attack. Um, because of like really good training simulated phishing. Whatever it was. And he said like nothing similar has happened in the people doing bad stuff part of compliance whether that’s code of conduct insider trading conflicts of interest harassment and he totally bought my thesis and said like look all angel invest and it’s funny. How I think in those pivotal moments. It’s really nice to have a little bit of external validation because. Sometimes an idea just sounds really dumb and hearing even None other person be like yeah it put some money behind that was it was a bit of like a shot in the arm. Um, yeah.

    Alejandro: Now Let’s talk about also your cofounder and oh why you guys have met a few times you know even you know before you actually came together and and really became cofounders. So so give us ah a lot of ah of our walk through through that counterintuitive you know with knowing.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah, yeah, so I am unlike supper when I knew my cofounder from you know, 2 years of grad school. We traveled together I actually really knew Anne um soulmson my cofa. My co-founder.

    Alejandro: You know you’re a business partner and and what comes with that

    Roxanne Bras: Um, really minimally we had met I think twice in person before we decided to go into business together I got connected to her because I was talking to some founders in the New York ecosystem and talked to his founder of it Ai company I almost didn’t pitch him on my idea because he had this like super fancy office. Um, you know in downtown and I just thought you know he runs an ai company. He’s going to think my training idea is very small and kind of dumb and like candidly I thought there might be a gender component just in that like women businesses don’t often get valued in in the same way. And so I almost didn’t pitch him on it but I ended up pitching him on it and he said I think it’s a brilliant idea because I just took mandatory training at my company and I hated it and it you know, just like it was dumb and I was embarrassed to put it in front of my whole team felt like a waste of time. So yeah, I’ll also angel invest. And he said like I know this woman you should talk to her. She’s thinking of starting her own company. She’s thinking of leaving her current job I was like oh great. So I called her and none of that part was true. She wasn’t really thinking of leaving her job I think he would this founder was just setting us up on a date. But we just like really hit it off from a couple of phone calls and I think we face timed and then you know met in person and she left um a job. She was an engineer at Mark 43 that she had really loves um and I’m still kind of shocked. She did just because like there really wasn’t a lot of there. There. It was just me. And an idea that wasn’t really fleshed out and she’s an incredibly methodical thinker. Um, but it was interesting when we started fundraising for I think our prese round sometimes investors would look at our linkedins and realize that we both went to harvard and they would say like oh you met at Harvard. And we would just kind of let it fly because we knew that and investors often didn’t like to hear like now I met her last month like we’ll see how this goes but I think the fact that we didn’t know each other forced us to be really intentional early on in our relationship and so we did things like.

    Alejandro: Right.

    Roxanne Bras: You know, sit down and map out what happens in six months if the business isn’t here. What’s a reasonable um expectation like have all those hard conversations that I think if you know someone really? well you almost want to avoid because you you know have this friendship and it’s it’s hard to suddenly have a really transactional business relationship.

    Alejandro: Understood now for the people that are listening to really understand what ended up being the business model of Athena. How do you guys make money. So.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah, yeah, so what? Um Athena does is where modern compliance training platform. So you know if anyone’s in finance. For example, you know you get all this email saying like you’ve got to do your training what we do is automate all of the workflow because there are different. Requirements regulations based on state country etc so we plug into an hr system to automate all of that and then we deliver the training we call the moments that matter so instead of just all at once we dump training on you, you might get your gifts and entertainment policy right before the holidays that you can remember that your company doesn’t allow you to give and receive gifts. Above $75 and we give the training in graphic novels in short form video to make it really engaging all with the idea of actually learning instead of just checking a box. The business model is a saas business model um companies when they train they’re always training their whole organization. So per employee per year. Um, ah, license fee in order to get someone compliant and essentially keep them there meaning if they move from California to New York halfway through the year all of those changes trigger you know different compliance training requirements and we just meet those um through our compliance training engine.

    Alejandro: And for the company. How much capital have you all raised to date.

    Roxanne Bras: We’ve raised just a little over a $50,000,000 to date. We raised um a $30,000,000 series b that we announced around um may june um somewhere around then so that that was ah a fun moment.

    Alejandro: So tell us about signing the term sheet that a seed extension. You know what was what was that like because I know that was packed with with action.

    Roxanne Bras: Um, yeah, so um, I was ah pregnant like pretty early on in our company journey and um I thought that I had a bit more time than I did. Um. We we were probably maybe like um I don’t know None or None person company. At this point are investors. Um, who let our seed called gsv really believed in what we’re doing saw that we were getting to product market fit. We had just had some like really big logo sign. Um, at the time. Some like I think Netflix had closed and maybe Zoom and it was just looking like everything was going right? and so they preemptively said you know we’d love to to double down and we were. We were excited to take it because it allowed us to invest more in the business. Um, just that the timing had worked out that the term she arrived when I was supposed to go in for a normal appointment and it turns out that I needed to um to quickly have the baby due to a slight emergency so I ended up signing the term sheet. Um, you know at the Lennox Hill um hospital which just felt like a real. Um.

    Alejandro: Ah, no kidding Oh my God and now how how has the um, you know because you you’ve done quite a ah few rounds of financings. How has the I guess the process or the experience gone from you know going from preseed or microeed whatever people are calling it nowadays.

    Roxanne Bras: Ah, real woman founder moment. Yeah.

    Roxanne Bras: Um, yes.

    Alejandro: All the way to proper C to series a to series B I mean how has that journey been like going from one cycle to the next.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah I think None thing I think about is like this was my none time as a founder fundraising because I bootstrapped the the first business and there’s definitely a learning curve and I’ve gotten you know feedback from investors on this I think early on. Um. I realize that you know you’re selling a vision. You’re selling the future and I think and I’ve I’ve heard this um in particular with women founders. But I know it happens like um to others as well that sometimes that balance can be hard and so I would usually get some version of like. From investors every time you know sign a term sheet now they’re kind of on the table and they see us operate and they basically say like I expected there to be a much bigger gap between what I thought you were and like where you are, but instead you guys are like really good executors. And so like often it results in our um, whoever read like was in the previous round wanting to double down in the next round like the gsv example and I think that’s just interesting because it it’s kind of taught me that balance of really pitching this exciting long um term vision that we absolutely have about. Um, what we call like building this culture ekg where we can give companies insight into what’s actually happening at their company at real time and explaining that compliance training is a part of that. But that’s what there is today and like pulling the future forward I’ve just gotten much better at as as time goes on but I also like later rounds in some ways because it allows. You know you as a founder to do a little bit more of just like a point to the scoreboard and show like look you don’t have to um, necessarily believe this vision just look at what my team is closing look at these customer referrals look at these testimonials look at our you know net dollar retention. Whatever it is. Um, and I think that it’s a little bit harder at the early stages to do that because obviously you just have you and your idea and your vision. Um, so the level of storytelling and pulling the future forward that you have to do you know is less ah as you get as you raise subsequent rounds.

    Alejandro: Now for the people that are listening to understand a little bit more the scope and size of Athena I’m in anything that you can share in terms of number of employees or anything else that you feel comfortable with.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah, so I mean you know we raised our um series b earlier this year I think we’re about 70? Um, ah, employees at this point which is like a really fine time because I think mostly I have like amazing senior leaders under me. Um, and um I’m I say mostly being meaning mostly I can get um out of some of the day to day work and really start to to someone one of our investors I think Andy Dunn who is um, the founder of bonobos told me like. A bit earlier this year. He’s like you’re kind of transitioning from founder to Ceo which felt totally right? like that does feel like kind of what’s happening at this stage or maybe around the the a. Um, yeah, and in terms of like um employees on the platform I think we trained like None plus employees from incredible companies from carta to Pinterest to Netflix really focusing on tech in particular.

    Alejandro: And that’s very interesting what you just mentioned there. What is that transition from founder to Ceo what what does what does that feel like yeah.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah I think it feels like you know early on when we were a None 3 person company I would get on a sales call and so would say like you know who makes your training and I’d say the content team and it’d be like it’s me and they would I’d say like oh I’m going to pass you to our Cs team and’d be like it’s probably going to be me, you know it’s like it. It’s you’re wearing None different hats. Ah very heavily and I see I’m responding to every email that comes in etc and then I love the giveaway your legos article. It’s in none round review I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it. But the idea that as a startup grows you kind of give away these legos right? So I’ll give away. Cs because we hire a great vp of cs I’ll start to give away like certain parts of it and instead become more of a leader of the executive team. Um, which doesn’t you know it still means that occasionally something’s going on and I dive in and I become a sales rep again or I dive in and I you know am editing copy for this or that. But I think it just means that instead of solving problems I’m now mostly in the business of helping my leaders solve problems and that’s like a really interesting transition that not necessarily every founder wants to make and I I totally understand that like some love the build phase and this is kind of more in that like manage phase.

    Alejandro: Now imagine that you go to sleep tonight and you wake up in a world. Let’s say five years later where the vision of Athena is fully realized what does that world look like.

    Roxanne Bras: Um, yeah, no.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah, it’s a very exciting world in which I think that what’s really neat about what we touch now is it’s like all of these super sensitive important interactions at a company right? So whether it’s like sexual harassment. Do I feel included at my company. It’s like a huge um issue or it’s like. Um, are people doing the right thing. Um and and these are like massive issues and training is one part of that but there are so many other components of that whether you think about how I might report on those issues. How a senior leader might have a leading indicator that there’s a problem somewhere like I think about this a ton compliance is reactive. But this five year vision I wake up from now and like a customer who’s using Athena can actually kind of see blips for example and oh we brought in a new manager over there and like the way that employees are responding to the surveys and the training and the reporting is really different like I wonder if somehow they’re not comfortable. Reporting abnormalities anymore in the sales process or like whatever it is um, this five year vision is our tools really allow senior leaders compliance legalhr to be much more forward looking um and have and have like insight into what’s coming down the pike instead of just reactive um two things and. Um, I mean it’s like small stuff but I’ll hear from a customer hey someone yesterday realized that this interaction they’re having with a client is actually pretty inappropriate the client’s asking them to do things that the the client shouldn’t be asking and what was very cool is they took their Athena training. And they actually solved it like they either addressed it with the client or they brought it t r they brought it to compliance and it’s neat because our customers are realizing that if it weren’t for this training that probably would have escalated into a much larger incident but instead they they were able to solve it like in that moment so going from reactive to proactive is my like. Dream scenario of 5 years from now.

    Alejandro: So then let’s talk about the proactive being proactive. Imagine you had the special power of being able to put yourself into a time machine and going back in time and being able to have a chat with your younger self. Maybe you know even.

    Roxanne Bras: Um, yeah, yeah.

    Roxanne Bras: This.

    Alejandro: Before you started your your previous company supper meals and you were able to sit yourself down your younger self and give that younger self one piece of advice before launching a business. What would that be and why given what you know now.

    Roxanne Bras: Um, yeah, it’s hard to limit it to just one but I’m going to try I think it would be like kind of a like shoot your shot. Um at like any any time because. I think there’s such a hesitation sometimes to swing like early on you know to to pitch an idea or to um, take a sales call when you’re not ready for it or to like land a deal like there are all these moments where you they’re always your none right? like maybe you’ve never fundraised before and so this is going to be the None time you talk to a Vc. Um, first time you try to sign a term sheet like everyone has to have those none um and I think that I would want to tell like earlier me to just be willing to swing um and be like pretty quick to swing. Because you learned so um, like it’s just amazing. How much you learn when you like have multiple reps at things and I think there’s often that hesitation like I don’t want to look dumb I don’t want to feel stupid. The product’s not ready like whatever it is that that is that moment of hesitation and of course there’s always a balance right? like you, you know, um, it is important to be methodical. But in general if yeah, at least for me I would encourage myself to um to like really early on just be willing to take some of those risks. Yeah, um.

    Alejandro: I Love it now. Roxane for the people that are listening. What is the best way for them to reach out of say hi.

    Roxanne Bras: Yeah, um I am probably most active on Linkedin. So it’s Roxanne Bras: Petraeus there aren’t a lot of Roxanne Bras:s or petraeus is um and then our website is go http://athena.com and again if you um. You are not enjoying your company’s compliance training. Um, please reach out to us because we always love to chat with new folks.

    Alejandro: Amazing. Well roxane. Thank you so much for being on the deal maker show today. It has been an honor to have you with us.

    Roxanne Bras: Thank you I Really enjoyed it.

    * * *
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