As part of AAPI Celebration Month, we welcome Eurie Kim to the show. Eurie is a venture capital investor, serving as Managing Partner at Forerunner. As a former entrepreneur, Eurie has deep personal appreciation for the emotional commitment and relentless passion required of a founder, allowing her to be radically empathetic to the entrepreneurs she works with while being realistic and honest in the advice she offers.
Her point of view reflects her practical nature and her penchant for seeing the big picture through the mess of fighting fires day to day. Inspired by identifying evolving consumer needs, Eurie seeks opportunities to leverage technology to optimize and innovate every aspect of life and to find the right entrepreneur with the vision to take on the challenge.
Listen as Eurie and host Sean Li discuss her South Korean roots, growing up in white spaces, pivoting from consultant to venture capital, and staying cool, calm, and motivated.
*OneHaas Alumni Podcast is a production of Haas School of Business and is produced by University FM.*
On why she had not been vocal about her Asian roots and AAPI-related topics
My answer, very authentically, is that I don’t spend all my time thinking about it. I’m just really busy living life, doing work, trying my best, and moving forward. I didn’t feel like I had discrimination overtly, either for being Asian, Korean, or female, to be honest. I know it was there, but I just didn’t bother with it. I just kept moving on and ignored it and considered it the exception, not the rule.
Now, with so much conversation that has happened over the years with all the AAPI hate, I felt very personally afflicted. And it’s always sad that you can’t really feel it until it gets that close. And I hadn’t felt it until those few years. And now, it’s more on my mind. And I say, representation does matter.
On the path to becoming a good venture capitalist
If you do not have an appetite for risk, you will never be a venture capitalist. Well, you’ll never be a good venture capitalist.
So, for all of those listening who want to get into venture, ask yourself really, do you have the risk appetite? If you picked your next job as though that was your venture investment and your dollars was your own labor, what company would you pick? That mentality will help you get your head in the right place to speak the language.
Challenges of being a VC
I think one of the largest challenges of this job is that you don’t know if you’re good for over 10 years. It’s not just one investment makes you a star. It’s the continued ability to do this job on an ongoing basis and to have internal validation and motivation. So, it’s a roller coaster industry. You need to have serious conviction in, not only the companies you invest in and the founders and the entrepreneurs you invest in, but also yourself. Because there’s plenty of weeks where I’m like, I don’t have a good idea. I’m not inspired. And then, there’s other weeks where I can’t stop myself from thinking things that are interesting. So, you have to think about it as like it’s an ultramarathon, and you can’t just get give yourself a pat on the back at 26.2 miles and be like, “I crushed it.” You’ve got 99 million miles to go.
How Eurie keeps the motivation up and going
If you can enjoy the wins of the building, when you launch a product, when you see that consumers are excited about something, when you work with a founder and you see her crush a pitch or raise that next round, those are absolutely worth celebrating, because those are the moments that I like to always say, my philosophy is all about the baby steps. The pyramids were built one brick at a time. You can’t see it yet for so long, but you’re building something amazing. And so, it does require you to be able to pan back.
And I don’t want to say there’s no validation, because there is. You have to celebrate those wins, because otherwise, I mean it’s honestly too long, of a course. But the motivation comes from knowing that you took something that didn’t exist and you gave it life, or you gave the founder of this idea the chance to bring it to life.
And that is amazing. That feels really, really special.
- LinkedIn Profile
- Forerunner Ventures
- The Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
(Transcripts may contain a few typographical errors due to audio quality during the podcast recording.)
[00:00] Sean: Welcome to the OneHaas Alumni Podcast. I’m your host, Sean Li. And today, as part of our AAPI Celebration Month, we welcome Eurie Kim. Eurie is a venture capital investor, serving as managing partner at Forerunner.
Welcome to the podcast, Eurie.
[00:24] Eurie: Thanks so much for having me, Sean.
[00:25] Sean: Here, we like to start out these podcasts hearing about your background story — your origin story, as I like to call it.
[00:31] Eurie: All right. Going way back, let’s see. So, my family’s originally from South Korea. They came here to the States in the ‘70s and have a pretty common immigrant story of coming with very impressive degrees from top colleges in Korea and then being relegated to blue-collar work and jobs because of language barrier, but definitely a vision for what they could build here. They owned convenience stores and grocery stores in and around California, but ultimately found a spot for us here in the Bay Area in Marin County. So, I grew up in Marin County.
But they always focused on the importance of education. Again, it’s not so dissimilar from a lot of other immigrant families. And SoCal was always a dream for them, even when I was young. And so, when I got in, I felt like I had won the lottery. Haas was just a cherry on top. I don’t even think we knew what Haas was until we got in there and really started understanding the school and the offering. But it was a really special time for them seeing me be able to achieve that dream in education and, obviously, making them feel like a lot of their sacrifices were very well worth it.
[01:35] Sean: Would you happen to know or be able to share why they left?
[01:39] Eurie: Why they left Korea? Yeah. Actually, my father was in politics. He was very senior. I guess, the comparable would be like he was in line to be a senator situation. But the party that he was a part of, which loosely would be like the Democratic party, was out of favor. And so, there’s no jobs to be had during a time where you’re not in the prevailing party.
So, they thought, “Oh, maybe we’ll leave for five to 10 years. We’ll go learn English and build some other skills, and then come back.” And that rarely happens. Life happens. And so, they ended up staying. So, my brother was about three when they came here. And then, I was born seven and a half years later.
[02:15] Sean: Wow. How did they come to pick the Bay Area?
[02:19] Eurie: That’s a really good question. They first started in Texas because I have an aunt who’s still around. She lives in LA now. But my mother’s oldest sister lived in Texas, so they started there. And then, through friends, there was an opportunity to come out to California for a business. And so, then they came out. And it was really just friends of friends. I mean, I think that’s how immigrants always find their path and who do they know and what opportunities can they be exposed to. It was a bit of an organic decision. But we have some families still in Texas, some still in LA, and then here.
[02:55] Sean: It’s funny you mentioned that because I actually do know a lot of Koreans in Texas. For some reason, I don’t know how they ended up there.
[03:03] Eurie: I always love meeting Koreans in random places. I’m like, “Wait, you’re Korean?” I don’t know why it surprises me, but it’s always fun. It somehow feels… I was born here Korean-American, but I think that, as I get older, when I find out that people have that in common, I do feel closer and somehow connected.
So, it’s pretty cool. When I was younger, I didn’t want to be Korean. I just want to be white, like everyone else in Marin County. But turns out I’m not very white and not very blonde. My daughter now is six, and she really loves Elsa. So, every time she says she really wants long blonde hair, I’m just like, “Oh, my God. Daggers in my heart.” But then, I just inundated her with Moana and Mulan for the last six months. And now she’s like, “Moana, I love Moana. I like having black hair.” I’m like, “Great, great. We’re good.”
[03:44] Sean: That’s really interesting to say that. It’s why it’s important representation is there.
[03:49] Eurie: It matters.
[03:51] Sean: I grew up in Southeast Michigan. I don’t know how many times listeners have to listen to this, but one thing I never shared was, growing up, there wasn’t much representation. My community where I grew up was very friendly, very well-educated. And so, I personally had, I feel like I never really dealt with discrimination and racism until I moved to LA after college, where LA felt like there were a lot of pockets of… I mean, every community has its own pocket, right? And that’s one thing I love about San Francisco, was that everyone’s living on top of each other.
[04:26] Eurie: Jammed in there.
[04:27] Sean: That was really nice. But growing up, I remember I wanted to change my name to “Billy.” I don’t know why. I thought that was a cool name.
[04:36] Eurie: “Sean” is pretty good.
[04:38] Sean: Well, so “Sean” is not my… this is my legal name now, but previously when I moved here from China, it was Xiang. So, it’s spelled X-I-A-N-G.
[04:46] Eurie: Oh, amazing.
[04:47] Sean: And obviously, no one could pronounce it.
[04:49] Eurie: Yeah, that’s not having it in.
[04:50] Sean: It wasn’t cool. But it’s interesting that, when people talk about representation these days, it’s something that I hadn’t really thought much about until you just brought this up with your daughter. Because growing up, I just assumed that this was my life. This was status quo. And I remember moving to LA and starting a business and interviewing somebody. And then, when that person showed up, they didn’t expect to see this Asian guy. They were like, “You’re Sean?” It’s like they expect to see some other person. So, it’s really important that our kids get to see and grow up in the society today.
[05:30] Eurie: I was chatting with another person last week, and they asked me why hadn’t I been more vocal about my Asian roots and AAPI-related topics. And I think it’s a really good question. And my answer, very authentically, is that I don’t spend all my time thinking about it.
I’m just really busy living life, doing work, trying my best, and moving forward. And as you said, I didn’t feel like I had discrimination overtly, either for being Asian, Korean, or female, to be honest. I know it was there, but I just didn’t bother with it. I just kept moving on and ignored it and considered it the exception, not the rule.
And now, with so much conversation that has happened over the years with all the AAPI hate, travesties that had happened, I felt very personally afflicted, because I was like, wow, there are 40-year-old moms pushing strollers, getting attacked and killed. What is going on right now? This is preposterous.
And it’s always sad that you can’t really feel it until it gets that close. I mean, there’s a lot of other people that had been abused, attacked, all of these horrible things. And I feel empathy and passion and want to help. But when it’s somebody that looks exactly like you, you just sit there and you’re like, “What is happening right now?” And I think it gave me a whole new level of empathy for my Black American friends, other folks that every day feel that. And I hadn’t felt it until those few years. And now, it’s just more on my mind. And I say, representation does matter, and it’s hard for me to think of myself as the representation.
I think that might sound weird, but I just do my job. I love what I do. I don’t consider myself a particularly successful person. It’s just strange to sit there and name yourself that, or like, “I am a role model.” I’m just a person. I love what I do. That’s where it comes from.
But then, I get all these young people who email me and they want to talk and learn about my story. And you guys want to talk to me, and I’m like, “I don’t know. Do I have a story that’s that interesting or different?” And over the last couple of years, I took a difference of opinion where I decided, well, whether I think so or not, it doesn’t even matter. Because if other people think that hearing about my story, feeling a connection, feeling seen or feeling like they have a chance because I made it, that’s amazing.
So, what a privilege to be able to offer that to somebody that I don’t even know. And so, I’ve spent more time just saying yes. So, yes, I’m on this podcast and I’m going to share a lot of personal stories to you and our audience here, because I hope that all the people at Haas now and in the community at Cal and at the UCs, broadly, can continue to give back in that way, because we just don’t know who you can inspire by sharing some small story that you don’t think is important because it’s just something that you did.
But ultimately, maybe somebody else is like, “Wow, maybe that job that I quit ends up getting me this job that is going to be my dream job.” And just so many times, my parents were, they were equal parts, like tiger mom and tiger dad. But I think, deep down inside, they were actually quite entrepreneurial and risk-taking. But it’s just the environment in which we lived in and the stress that they were under, being who they are in this country, that that created more conservatism. But in thinking back, a lot of the things that they let me do, I was like, oh, wow, that was very bold and forward-leaning. And we can go into any number of random stories, but I really credit my parents for being able to just give me the opportunity to not just totally have to do it this prescribed way, but allow for some wiggle room to test different things and try to do something different.
[09:21] Sean: You graduated early from Berkeley. Why was that?
[09:25] Eurie: Again, I feel so not original. But I was pre-med when I started Cal, no surprise. And it took about four classes of Chem 1A to realize that was a bad idea, that there were about 998 people who were smarter than me in this class, and there was no amount of studying… I’m very efficient. So, I did that calculus really fast. I was, there’s no way I am going to be able to keep up here. And everybody knows a good old C-minus is totally fine for Chem 1A, but that was not going to cut it for me.
So, I learned about Haas right around then because I saw this, it was a pamphlet for a session that was talking about media and fashion magazines and how that intersected with business. And I was like, “This sounds so cool. What is this? What’s Haas?”
So, I walked up the hill and found out that there was this beautiful perch of a school on top of our school that had a business program. And so, I learned about it. And suddenly, one semester in, I switched all of my classes over to the business pre-req classes. Then, I found out, this was great because I was crushing it. I was getting A-pluses in every class. I’m like, now, we’re back. Now, we’re good. I found my sweet spot.
So, I had to pitch to my mom how it was better for me to go to Haas and apply to Haas than to go down the pre-med route. And so, I had a whole case that I had to pitch her there. But ultimately, as part of Haas, those years… so, think 2000 to 2002, that was the dot-com bubble. That was when all of this stuff was happening. We all had Nokia phones on campus, the ones that you could change the color of the faces, and good old StarTACs. That’s when I was in college, guys.
And so, my environment was all about this tech innovation that was happening around us. And so, I was really obsessed with it. And in school, my RA for Cunningham unit two was this guy, Ken Singer, who still is at Cal, running the entrepreneurial programs there. He decided he wanted to start a company in the wireless mobile software space.
I mean, this is, again, so far long ago. There was no iPhone, you guys. There was no Facebook. I don’t know what to say, but it was just dinosaur times.
So, he started, and he was like, “You need to come do this with me. I’ve got seven engineers. We’re all quitting and doing this.” And I’m like, well, I’m not going to quit because my mom will kill me. But I’ll finish early, and then I’ll work after that with you. And so, I somehow secured an internship at Bain, finished early, and started this company all at once.
But they did an incredible job. I think it was just hard because the dot-com bubble was as fast as the burst. So, everything cratered and everyone lost their jobs. I think my friend and I were the only two people that still had internships that resulted in jobs. And so, it was just a very volatile time. But even from those early days, I always wanted to start a company. And that was my very first time doing it. And it was really fun.
[12:34] Sean: So, how do you go from a Bain consultant to a venture capitalist?
[12:39] Eurie: There is no straight path, my friend.
[12:41] Sean: That’s everybody’s question, by the way, as every MBA would wonder.
[12:47] Eurie: Yeah. You know, what I like to say is that, if you do not have an appetite for risk, you will never be a venture capitalist. Well, you’ll never be a good venture capitalist.
And so, the currency you have when you’re in school is yourself and the ability to look at the market, see where the trends are, map those to your skillsets and your interests, and try new things, is exactly what builds the career that gives you an opportunity to maybe be a VC one day.
And it’s not just like banking and consulting and private equity where you just do this for two years, do this for two years. It’s not so prescriptive. And I think that’s what makes it hard, because most people who get to VC nowadays are the top of the top in the class. And they have those experiences. And I went to Bain, I did private equity. So, I still did all that, but VC was a black box. I didn’t think I could ever work in it. I didn’t even consider that as a job. Because what kind of consumer VC ever existed, to be honest, before our firm? Nobody. It was just generalists, very tech-heavy VC.
And so, the reason for Forerunner is really consumer for the first time as a result of digital proliferation and mobile proliferation was able to influence technology development at a rate that would make it reasonable for new investments to come in on a regular basis. It was a new distribution channel. It was a new marketing channel. It was a new technical stack for companies that were being built to service consumers digitally. And so, there was a step change that made venture a viable path for me. But it was truly serendipity for me.
And I think that those who are looking to get into venture now, you probably want to go work at one of the big firms. I think it’s pretty similar. You go work at a great bank or consulting firm. You really have to show an eye for early-stage trends and early-stage having a network and having the right people that you know and that you interact with, to say, “Why would this young person…”
Because this is the only industry where, just because you’re young doesn’t mean that you can’t find the best deal. You could be best friends with Mark Zuckerberg back when he was at Harvard and be like, “You know what? My best friend is badass. I’m going to put $5,000 in. I don’t have any money, I’m going to put $1,000 in.” And your eye and your decision to invest whatever dollars you have, that is being a VC.
And so, I do think that the Venn diagram of people who want to over-manicure their careers and VC is less of an overlap than, maybe, private equity or hedge fund investing. It’s just other asset classes rely more on analytics than venture, which relies a lot on understanding, where are things going?
And then, certainly, there are certain pockets of VC where deep domain expertise helps. But for us in consumer VC, it’s really understanding the customer and understanding, where are behavioral trends going? Where’s culture going? And so, we’ve created our own approach or philosophy on how to make unique investments in venture. And I think we’ve proven out that we’ve got some knack for it. But you know, what do they always say? Success in the past is not necessarily a determinant of future success. Every day is a different moment to be able to find something special.
So, for all of those listening who want to get into venture, ask yourself really, do you have the risk appetite? If you picked your next job as though that was your venture investment and your dollars was your own labor, what company would you pick?
And that mentality will help you get your head in the right place to speak the language. And then, the next time you talk to a VC, present some deals. We will always respond if somebody has a good idea.
[16:41] Sean: Love that. Thanks for that advice. If you don’t mind sharing, what were some of the hardest challenges you had to overcome in your early years as a VC?
[16:50] Eurie: I think one of the largest challenges of this job is that you don’t know if you’re good for over 10 years. So, thankfully, I’m 12 years into it, so I think I’m amazing. But given the market downturn, like a few of those exits have been delayed, so I’m not quite amazing yet. But it’s really hard, the feedback cycle, which overachievers love to have on a quarterly basis or bonus, annual bonus.
You could find a deal. Then, you need to get the deal. You need to influence the team and support the team for the better part of a decade. And then, you need to return money. And then, you find out that just returning money isn’t even good enough. You have to manage a portfolio, such that the entire portfolio returns 5, 6, 10, 20, 100 X for your LPs.
And so, it’s not just one investment makes you a star. It’s just the continued ability to do this job on an ongoing basis and to have internal validation and motivation. Because if you get excited about what other people are saying, you can get very distracted. There’s a lot of noise. And so, people are, “Oh, minus list.” I think that’s coming out next week. And it’s like it doesn’t even matter, because those people are getting on that list for stuff they invested in eight to 10 years ago. But what are they doing today? And how is that going to influence the next 10 years and the next 10 years?
And so, the challenges in my role here were just in the early days, thinking about, how was I going to differentiate from my partner, Kirsten, who had an incredible track record as an angel in this space and really founded Forerunner on the vision that there was a sea change happening in consumer businesses and that they were all going to switch to being digitally driven over time, which I think we’ve seen over the last decade.
I think that there was one time where, as a firm builder, because we are investors, we’re portfolio managers, and then we’re also firm managers, I remember in funds two and three, it was very difficult to get new LPs to see that being consumer investors didn’t mean that all we were investing in was fashion companies and retail companies. And we tried to explain it, like here’s the portfolio. It’s 40% B2B companies. A consumer company is eBay. it’s Amazon. It’s Shopify. Why is it somehow a mental block to think that consumer businesses means that this firm is going to be limited in its upside? And so, I remember one LP, huge LP, said no, or was dragging out saying no. But it was clear that they were trying to say no.
And I just wouldn’t give up. On the call that they had, where they were going to tell me no, I responded with a 60-slide deck on why consumer is everything. And they ended up putting in a huge check into our third fund. And so, it was a huge win from a place of trying to explain yourself 50 different times. And you’re not understanding, why don’t you believe and see what we have built?
But those were really important times. And I remember, actually, one of my first investments that I led. I might’ve been a principal at the time, actually. So, it wasn’t even a partner. It was, in a way, the travel brand.
[20:08] Sean: The luggage company?
[20:10] Eurie: Yeah. And so, I met Jen Rubio through friends before she had thought about starting this company. And ended up investing in it, joined the board, worked with the team in those early days. And it was an incredible ride because there were six other luggage companies that all started at that time. And there were other firms with really senior partners that I was like, oh, no, that partner invested in that firm. That company, that’s so stressful.
So, it’s a competitive moment, coming out of the gates. And we just kept plugging along. And I kept believing that this was the team to win. And I think 2019 was our milestone series D, where the team raised 100 million at 1.4 billion valuation, which is incredible.
It’s like all steams ahead, you clear path to IPO over the next couple years. And then, timeline-wise, 2020 comes around the corner. It’s like COVID hits, and I think everybody knows what happened to the travel industry.
So, to go all the way from that high to that incredible hard stop took all the air out of everybody. And this is a team that’s been working so, so hard. Thankfully, they’re all incredibly resilient people as well. And the company is thriving now, again, their post-COVID levels. But, again, talk about thinking that you’ve crushed it and you’re so successful, you led this amazing investment. Hurrah! And then, nope, you’re going to go to whatever it was, ostensibly zero, because nobody was traveling.
And then, come back again. So, it’s a roller coaster industry. You need to have serious conviction in, not only the companies you invest in and the founders and the entrepreneurs you invest in, but also yourself. Because there’s plenty of weeks where I’m like, I don’t have a good idea. I’m not inspired. And then, there’s other weeks where I can’t stop myself from thinking things that are interesting. So, you just have to think about it as like it’s an ultramarathon, and you can’t just get give yourself a pat on the back at 26.2 miles and be like, “I crushed it.” You’ve got 99 million miles to go.
[22:11] Sean: How do you keep that motivation up and going?
[22:15] Eurie: Given how hard it is to do what people do in this industry, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in general, it’s all about building. And I think that, if you can enjoy the wins of the building, when you launch a product, when you see that consumers are excited about something, when you work with a founder and you see her crush a pitch or raise that next round, those are absolutely worth celebrating, because those are the moments that I like to always say, my philosophy is all about the baby steps. The pyramids were built one brick at a time. You can’t see it yet for so long, but you’re building something amazing. And so, it does require you to be able to pan back.
And I don’t want to say there’s no validation, because there is. You have to celebrate those wins, because otherwise, I mean it’s honestly too long, of a course. But the motivation comes from knowing that you took something that didn’t exist and you gave it life, or you gave the founder of this idea the chance to bring it to life.
And that is amazing. That feels really, really special. Because there’s a lot of down times. I think one thing to realize is that each founder has their days that are ups and downs, but they’re really only calling you as the board member for fire drills.
And so, then my day is just a litany of fire drills. It’s like firefighter doesn’t complain about having to fight fires. That’s literally your job. So, in a way, being a venture investor, the winds are, you fought the fire, you got people through, but it’s also staying cool through that.
And every day I’m like, “That was a pretty tough week, but we’re cool, everybody’s alive and we’re still moving along. We’re all going to show up on Monday.” And I think that level of resilience, it’s pretty self-motivating.
[24:02] Sean: Have you always had that kind of cool-headedness? Or, is that something you developed? And if so, how do you think you developed that cool-headedness?
[24:10] Eurie: Well, it’s going to go a little bit to a dark place. But my father passed away in 2009 after my Wharton graduation from business school. And it was a surprise. And I think after that I just realized not much matters more than health and family. And so, everything else is cherry on top.
So, the times I’ve been most stressed are probably when there’s lawyers on the line and someone suing somebody for something. But other than that, numbers don’t look good, can’t get a raise, got to fire someone, can’t get somebody hired, those are all manageable. It’s like parenting. Those are the tantrums that happen every day, but you can’t worry about them that much. You just have to keep moving forward
[24:58] Sean: That’s right.
[24:59] Eurie: And it is progress being made, despite how ugly most of those days look.
And so, I think the resilience came from… fairly young, I was 29 at the time. So, at a fairly young age, before being a full adult in my professional career, that there’s other things that matter. And all of this stuff, if it’s causing you that much stress, you need to stop for a second and just take a breath, clear your head, and think, what is the one thing that needs to get done right now? What is the next best thing that can be done? And if you fail but you gave it your best, that is all people can expect from you. And my parents, that was their motto, is try your best.
And I feel that’s the case. Some people really get worked up, but it’s like you waste more time getting worked up than just getting to a solution.
[25:49] Sean: Absolutely. You’re the first VC I’ve talked to, and I’ve talked to plenty, that has framed the job as a firefighter.
[25:59] Eurie: Maybe it’s just for me, I don’t know.
[26:01] Sean: No. I think it is so accurate. And the skill — to have that skill is so critical, not just in venture capital, but like you said, in daily life and parenting. And this is something I’m very appreciative of having kids, too, is that I feel like I’m, especially at this taller stage now, I’m firefighting every day.
[26:23] Eurie: We’re in the same boat. I’ve got a six-year-old and a three-year-old, so I think we’re right in there.
[26:27] Sean: It’s really realizing that you are the adult. You have to keep your cool. And for you as an advisor, as a board member, I mean, everyone’s an adult, but you have to keep your cool because the buck stops at you sort of deal.
[26:42] Eurie: There’s no one else. And it is. There are some times where even I, not because of the work, but maybe, I wasn’t sleeping for weeks because my son had a sleep regression or my mother passed away in 2021, and so I was pretty depressed about that. So, there’s personal things that then lessen your ability to take on more at work. But I do think that, becoming a mom really helped me be a better, I don’t know about a better investor, but certainly a better board member and a better partner to entrepreneurs. Because you realize, you cannot convince somebody to do something they don’t want to do.
[27:20] Sean: That’s so true.
[27:21] Eurie: So, you can manhandle it. You can just force it. And sometimes, I just take James over my knee and I’m ripping off his diaper. I mean, it does not feel good to anybody doing it, but we need to change your dirty diaper. We just have to.
And then, I realized, do we have to? Do we have to do this right now? It’s not comfortable for him. He just doesn’t want to do it right now because I asked him to do it right now and we need to go to school and I’m late for work. And so, multiple times, I just take him to school in his pajamas and a dirty diaper with no socks on. And then, really quickly, he’s like, “Oh, can you change my clothes and diaper?” I’m like, “Oh, okay, we can do that.”
And it’s just the same with people that you work with. If your teams or your colleagues are super not wanting to do something, then you just got to let off the pressure. Because maybe there’s a reason. Maybe you need to listen and seek to understand before you just continue to fight the fight.
[28:14] Sean: 100%.
[28:15] Eurie: And I didn’t do that before I had kids. I think I was very much trying to get it done the right way. And so, you just got to be nice to yourself and to everybody around you.
[28:24] Sean: That is one of the best pieces of advice, because the more you fight, the more they fight back. It’s an endless…
[28:31] Eurie: That’s exactly right. There’s no other response other than… or submission. That’s not winning, either.
[28:37] Sean: I’ve realized that, yeah, it’s really tough, the first few days or times, but the change… Once they trust you, once you build that trust, and understanding communication, all these good things, it just makes life more frictionless, I feel like.
[28:57] Eurie: So true.
[28:58] Sean: To end the podcast on a light node, a lot of us are voracious readers. I’d love to hear some books that you recommend that’s had a big impact in your life.
[29:08] Eurie: I don’t know if that’s going to be a light note. But I have shared this before, but one of the books that is most impactful to me is The Man’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. It’s just one of those books that was with me right after my mom passed away, just understanding purpose. What is your purpose? And through thick and thin, through things that are really impossible to overcome, humans can overcome it if they have that purpose in their heart. And I think that it’s hard for people to find that because there’s so much noise in life and in the market. But if you can quiet all of that noise to get to that purpose, I think a lot of the challenges that you feel will melt away, because they just don’t matter. So, I read that often to remind myself that.
[30:00] Sean: That’s a small book, but heavy-hitter.
[30:03] Eurie: It is. It’s a punchy one. I highlight it. And everything is highlighted. I’m like, oh, I think I just made my book yellow.
[30:09] Sean: I think I’ve earmarked the crap out of the book. I’m like, why do I even bother earmarking this? Let’s just read every page again.
[30:17] Eurie: I know, I know. And I think, each stage in life, you read it and you get something different out of it.
[30:23] Sean: That’s amazing. Any entrepreneurial books that you recommend on entrepreneurship?
[30:29] Eurie: I really liked Atomic Habits because it was one in which I think people who are building companies are overwhelmed with how much work there is to do. And so, just thinking about piecing it into smaller bits, just the baby steps concept, relevant to my way of getting a lot of things done. But I think that one’s really useful for people.
[30:49] Sean: All right. Well, thank you so much, Eurie, for coming on the podcast today.
[30:52] Eurie: Thanks, Sean. Super fun to chat.
[30:55] Sean: It’s a pleasure having you.
Thanks again for tuning in to this episode of the OneHaas Podcast. If you enjoyed our show today, please hit that Subscribe or Follow button on your favorite podcast player. We’d also really appreciate you giving us a five-star rating and review.
You’re looking for more content? Please check out our website at haas.fm. That’s spelled H-A-A-S.F-M. In there, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter and check out some of our other Berkeley Haas podcasts.
OneHaas Podcast is a production of the Haas School of Business and produced by University FM. Until next time. Go, bears.