ABOUT OUR GUEST
Martha-Edith Hernandez is an international trainer and CEO of Startup Life Coach. She helps entrepreneurs and innovative organizations reach their full potential by guiding them through the customer discovery process and validation while being mindful of leadership practices. Martha-Edith previously ran the Lean Startup (NSF Innovation Corps) at UC Berkeley. There she observed over 200 teams go through the Lean Startup Curriculum. She now focuses on the M+M Approach (Method and Mindset). Martha-Edith believes that successful entrepreneurs focus on mindful leadership strategies and not just business methods. In 2014 she was a featured Keynote Speaker on the topic “The Lean Life,” for Campus Link and Tijuana Innovadora. These took place in Chihuahua, Mexico and Tijuana, Mexico. (All of these keynotes were given in Spanish). Martha-Edith was also a featured speaker in HispanicizeSF 2013 (equivalent of TEDx Latin America). She has consulted with AT&T Foundry, Sandisk and Citrix on their innovation practices and advised on Lean Startup methodologies that have been incorporated into their business practices. She is also mentor and business advisor for startups in Manos Accelerator and Avion Ventures. Martha-Edith holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. She was recently featured in Forbes.com ‘How to Build a Long Lasting Company.’
01:09 – Meet Martha Edith Hernandez, a Start-up Life Coach with an M&M (Method & Mindset) System and a love for helping people. She shares how Start-up Life Coach came to be, and what she experienced in terms of the entrepreneurs she’s helped along the way and their surprisingly limited belief in themselves. She’s learned through years of coaching that people are their own worst critic, and it’s their own failure to believe in themselves that cripple their business, and she makes it her goal to coach people through this self-destructive stage.
03:07 – What the listeners will be learning today: the M&M Approach Leens start-up approach that will really get you moving
03:32 – Martha’s story – who is she, where did she start, and what did she have to go through to arrive at where she is today? The daughter of two Mexican immigrants who never finished elementary school, Martha is the first generation to be born in the US. She’s learned the value of working up the rank having worked since she was 14 years old. She’s gone from selling jewellery to selling subway sandwiches, and these odd jobs have helped her learn the power of excellent customer service. She considers herself one of the few lucky ones to get out of the ghettos of LA and attend school in UC Berkeley. Her obsession with social psychology started there. She went through multiple roles and multiple jobs just trying to find herself. Her turning point came one day when she decided to send a LinkedIn message to the Director of Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley. Four years later, she was handling a three million dollar program for him.
09:11 – The takeaway: Chris wants all listeners to realize the power of just doing something, and to draw inspiration from Martha’s story. It doesn’t matter if it’s imperfect action – it’s still action. As Martha puts it “perfection is a disease.”
10:14 – Martha shares with us what she learned doing the innovation at places like Berkely and Stamford. No matter how brilliant are or how high your IQ, if there is no market for your product or concept, you’re not going to make a difference. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been working on it for 10 or 15 years. It was heartbreaking, Martha shares, to see scientists who had worked on their project for 12 years realize after 2 months of working with her that their products were just not marketable.
12:36 – Martha shares some big start-up tips for the entrepreneurs who want to get moving.
- Download the Business Model Canvas for free (http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/business_model_canvas_poster.pdf) – along with the PowerPoint template (you can search this for Google Just know that when you’re starting out for the first time, everything you’re going to write in that Business Model Canvas is, at best, a hypothesis – an educated guess
- Focus on the Customer Segment (the people who actually purchase your product) and Value Propositions. These two together become what she calls the Product Market Fit
- When you’re starting out, your two big concerns are: ‘who’s my customer?’ and ‘what do they care about?’
- What is Value Proposition? View Martha’s video called “Feature’s Versus Benefit”. A Value Proposition is a benefit. It basically answers the question; ‘Who cares? If your product does x,y,z … who cares?’
19:24 – “There’s a difference between ‘Never Giving Up’ and ‘Never Quitting’” … Always, always, always stick to your dream. However, to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to quit – constantly.”
20:45 – It’s an artform learning when to quit and when you just need to carry on. How do you decide what to do? Martha’s rule of thumb; if you’re not profitable within the first two years, it’s time to move on.
22:47 – Time Travel Moment, Part 1: If you could go back to when you started, what’s one thing you’d tell yourself? Martha admits that she’d tell herself to relax more
24:43 – Time Travel Moment, Part 2: If you’re starting over from scratch today with nothing but your experience, how would you start your business? Martha says she’d go out and start networking – building new contacts and making new friends.
26:00 – Start of QuickFire Questions – What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
26:47 – Can you share one of your personal habits that you strongly believe contributes to your success?
27:20 – What’s one tech, app, or piece of equipment that you or your business can’t live without?
27:34 – What book would you recommend? Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
28:18 – Martha leaves the listeners with this piece of advice: “You can’t get it wrong. Any decision that is based from the heart, just know that it’s part of your path, it’s part of your journey, and no one else can tell you what it is or what it isn’t. Every decision that you make, you cannot get it wrong.”