Category Archives: C-suite

Lindsay Karas Stencel – Startup and Venture Capital Attorney



My guest, Lindsay Karas Stencel, is a law firm partner, venture capitalist, podcaster, wellness advocate, fitnesser, adjunct law professor, and self-proclaimed dog mom.

One of the reasons that I have such a respect for her is that she thrives in a male-dominated venture capitalist environment. Women represent just 2% of the workforce in venture capitalism. So how does she navigate in that world?

You always want to be in a position where you can make the decisions that are best for you and whether that’s for your career, for your family, for your mental health, whatever.

And when venture capital work is dominated by men, how does she work in that atmosphere?

I never even noticed it because I was just doing my job. Like, shame on me. I should have been better about that. In retrospect, I, I should have. But I was just doing my job. And then I realized like, holy smokes, I have a responsibility. Because if I’m one of the few people who was able to get a role that’s like this and start to pave a pathway for other females and diverse individuals to come, I better like do it right so that their path is a little bit easier. Because mine wasn’t easy.

Lindsey talks about what she would tell women today who are moving up in the corporate ranks.

You can never let that (intimidation) show, that it’s shaking you. If it’s shaking you, don’t let them see it. Because the second that they do, I think a lot of people smell blood in the water and they say like, oh, I can dig in here. The fight isn’t over. We’ve got a long way to go. And so people need to continue to push on.

And how do women do this?

You have to be prepared for that. And you have to be prepared to be better than everybody else that’s around you. And you’ve got to put in the time to do it.

Women can be really tough on women.

I think when people behave in that way, male or female, but females have a tendency to do it to other females for whatever reason. It’s usually a reflection of them. It’s not a reflection of us, right? It’s a reflection because they don’t feel good about themselves. They don’t feel enough. All of those things. Unfortunately, that’s not my problem. Right? That is a them problem and not a me problem.

Find out more about her here.

Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.


Cliff Bishop from Brady Ware Capital



We’ve been starting this year with optimism.

My guest in my last episode was Randy Gerber from Gerber Clarity and we discussed first-generation wealth and wealth transfer.

In this episode, I speak with Cliff Bishop of Brady Ware Capital. Cliff is a good friend and colleague of mine. We talk about how he and Brady Ware Capital help business owners and entrepreneurs understand, increase, and unlock the value of their businesses. Cliff talks about how we can help you buy a business, sell a business, raise capital, understand the value of your business, and more. Is this a good time to sell your business?

2021 was an exceptional year. We see all the fundamentals being really strong for 2022. There’s just a lot of capital in the market looking for good companies. So the answer is yes!

What are the most important factors that drive the valuation of a business?

There are a lot of things that are going to drive the ultimate valuation, but a couple of things jump out. One is growth, and the second thing, no matter what the industry, is predictability and recurring or consistent revenue.

What is the toughest part of the selling process that you’ve experienced with business owners?

I think without a doubt, it’s the due diligence process. Just because it’s a very good time to be selling right now and there’s a lot of money out there, it’s not easy money.

What options does an owner have when they’re considering the sale and transaction of their business?

I think most business owners, there are a lot of business owners that envision that when they sell the business, they’re going to call her biggest competitor and they’re going to take over. And that the owner is going to clear out their desk and ride into the sunset. And that rarely happens.

Cliff goes on to talk about what a business owner is not supposed to do when selling their business. They make mistakes. What are those things that they fall into that can be avoided? And finally, what does a business owner need to do to prepare? And what’s the timeline?

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social, and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.


First Generation Entrepreneurs with Randy Gerber from Gerber Clarity



This episode is going to be about a topic that I love.

The importance of the marketplace in our country and small businesses. Small business is so important. It’s so important to our economy that it needs to work and work well. Owning and running a successful small business is knowing what you do, finding your purpose, living out your “why.”

I can’t think of a better person to talk to than Randy Gerber, and his company, Gerber Clarity, catch his optimism about the marketplace and what he sees about this coming year.

Randy and his team work primarily with first-generation entrepreneurs. Part of the reason why is first-generation entrepreneurs are optimistic, cup half full, people to begin with. They help them understand how to grow their business with purpose. We talk a bit about his book, The Integrated Entrepreneur: Achieving Happiness in Relationships, Business & Life.

The book came about from his realization of how difficult it is to be “the new guy” in any given market. He recognized that if he was going to really work with these first-generation entrepreneurs, he had to help them with things other than traditional financial planning because they have unique needs and unique perspectives. This realization and experience helped him write the book.

I ask Randy what’s the biggest misconception that business owners have about growing their business?

In my experience, it’s they think they need to grow too quickly, and particularly if the question is rephrased, is what are the biggest misconceptions for small businesses or emerging businesses? I am just convinced that businesses grow too quickly.

How should business owners grow with purpose?

If you could sit down and really understand how you want to live your life. What do you want to do? How do you want to do it? What do you want to do? Who do you want to do it with? Want-based questions versus need-based questions. That will give you a clear map.

What are the top three things that women should be considering or putting in place with their business today? Realignment (not resignation), double-down, and become outcome-oriented. Randy talks about what he has learned about being a leader during times of uncertainty with his business, and what he wants business leaders to know?

I think that you really have to be super as a leader, be super cognizant of your culture during times of duress. And one of the things that I’ve preached to our clients all the time, whether you are male, female, doesn’t matter, if you’re a first generation entrepreneur, you’re a unique breed, to begin with. You’re willing to accept variability risk volatility.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization is the world’s only peer-to-peer network exclusively for entrepreneurs. EO helps transform the lives of those who transform the world. Randy talks about his work and time with EO.

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social, and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.


Being Authentic In Business



Being authentic is a great secret weapon. A strategy.

My guest is Erin Hatzikostas, b Authentic inc Founder.

She walked away from being a CEO her own company.  Urged on by a conversation, a comment, made to her by a fellow airplane passenger (you have to listen to the episode to find out what it was!).

But what we can tell you is that it inspired her to continue her professional journey, and discover that authenticity is unique. What can we do to change “the fake” to move the authentic needle in corporate America?

To keep moving, you need to be 50% uncomfortable.

The good news is that authenticity is contagious.  We must model it when we see it, and continue to pass it along to those that follow. In her new book, You Do You(ish), she expands a very cool acronym, H.U.M.A.N.S.

And a big thanks to her for mentioning one of my past episodes, Defining Success – Does It Have To Be The C-Suite?

Erin Hatzikostas is the friend, mom, coach, guru and boss you always wanted, all rolled into one. Erin became a corporate CEO at the age of 42 — yet she smashes open the executive mold.  She is most regarded for her Midwestern-inspired, unpretentious, witty, and authentic style of leadership. She is a career coach, speaker (TEDx 2020!), podcast co-host, author, MBA, runner, wife, mom of two, and someone who is not afraid to dance in public.  ​

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.


Defining Success – Does It Have To Be The C-Suite?



So many people think success is they’ve made it to the C-suite.

The C-suite is not the only success that is out there in your career in business, so I want to talk about that in this episode.

What might be a better definition of success? How about this (not mine, but well worth sharing) – “Put your heart, your mind, your intellect, and your soul, even into every small act.”

That is a secret of success. Anything that you do in life, give it 110 percent.

My idea of success has changed a lot over 55+ years. Success depends upon the season you’re in. Your 20’s are different than your 30’s, and different than your 40’s, and different than your 50’s. Every season has been different for me (and will be for you), so success looked different in every season (and will be for you).

I enjoyed my career more, I think, because I wasn’t always shooting for being number one.

Being number one is not for the weak. It’s a tough place to be. I still had success because I had a different impact, and influence, and most importantly, I enjoyed and seized the moments in my life outside of the corporate four walls.

I’ve listened to Will Ferrell’s 2017 commencement speech to USC several times.

USC is where he attended. He talks about his success, of course, with all humor involved. He talks more about his 16-year marriage, his boys, his charity. He talks very passionately about the USC family, but he really talks about his journey getting there.

He doesn’t start out by saying, “I was on Saturday Night Live.” He doesn’t talk about, “I’ve made all these movies.” He’s just happy with other things besides being the number one, and all the different things that come along with that.

We can’t all be in the C-suite.

Many of us, first of all, are not meant to be there; we’re not leaders. The good news is you can enjoy success outside of the C-suite.

By the way, top leaders need followers. We can learn from them, and probably we have similar characteristics.

How do we learn from those in the C-suite?

Ask yourself “What does a C-suite person do? What is their success?”

They prioritize. Because when you are number one, you cannot do everything. We can do that (prioritize) in any situation. They get to the point. They drill it down. They make a decision. They go forward. They probably ask a lot more questions. They get a lot of good advice from all around them.

Decisions have impact, so those in the C-suite have to make good ones, because there’s a lot of people relying on them. Trust is at the core of everything with a successful C-suite person. If you don’t have that team and support, you can’t do it.

We all have different career goals to achieve success. There’s nothing right or wrong, and success is measured differently by all of us.

Unfortunately, we tend to obsess over our goals and our career. Most of us do. All the career goals and the success you have, whether you’re in the C-suite, or you’re just going to occur in your own world. All of those goals are valid. So, no matter where you are, focus on yours, and stick to yours, and not to others.

Here are some definitions of success that you should not ignore.

  • Success is always doing your best.
  • Success is learning that you sometimes have to say no and really being careful when you say yes.
  • Success is learning.
  • Success is understanding you cannot keep what you don’t give away.
  • Success is overcoming fear.
  • Success is being loved and loving back.
  • Success is standing your ground when you believe in something.
  • Success is not giving up.
  • Success is never letting a disability hold you back and understand that you control your destiny.
  • Success goes way beyond the C-suite.

Ultimately, you define success, and you enjoy it. Have a good journey, and don’t be consumed in the destination, especially to the C-suite.

This is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. Hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and Director at Brady Ware and Company. Betty also serves as the Committee Chair for Empowering Women, and Director of the Brady Ware Women Initiative. Each episode is presented by Brady Ware and Company, committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home.

For more information, go to the Resources page at Brady Ware and Company.

Remember to follow this podcast on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.  And forward our podcast along to other Inspiring Women in your life.