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How to Run a Million-Dollar Business

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Kate Hancock is a serial entrepreneur, international speaker, and mother of two. She has built four highly successful businesses in less than 10 years, among them an e-commerce brand that she started with a $20 investment that grew to over a million dollars in revenue and over 15 million in online sales within a year.

Kate also created one of the top hotels in the Philippines and a spa that has been named twice in the Inc 5000 list of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America. Kate has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc, USA Today, and many more.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Kate Hancock and Rich Goldstein talk about joining Clubhouse, the rooms they have participated in, and how they met
  • How networking on Clubhouse led to Rich’s appearance on two movies
  • How Kate created and managed long-running communities on the app and how she arranges physical meetups for entrepreneurs
  • Kate talks about her background, selling on Amazon, and the lessons she learned from e-commerce
  • How Kate started businesses in the hotel and skincare industries
  • Kate talks about her new business venture
  • Where to learn more and get in touch with Kate

In this episode…

Entrepreneurship starts with creative people identifying a need in the market and coming up with solutions to meet those needs. When the solution created is targeted to people experiencing that common problem, a business experiences success.

After Kate Hancock joined Clubhouse and realized that many people were looking for information about growing successful businesses, she started her own room to help. This turned out to be a great success, the room lasted a long time, and she was able to help entrepreneurs solve their problems. Later, she went on to start a club outside of Clubhouse where she continues to help entrepreneurs create and run successful businesses.

In this episode of the Innovations and Breakthroughs Podcast, Rich Goldstein is joined by Kate Hancock, a serial entrepreneur, to discuss what it takes to run a million-dollar business. They share their experiences joining and participating in Clubhouse rooms, Kate’s background in the Philippines, and the businesses started by Kate. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Goldstein Patent Law, a firm that helps protect inventors’ ideas and products. They have advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has a software, product, or design you want protected, you can go to https://goldsteinpatentlaw.com/. They have amazing free resources for learning more about the patent process. 

You can email their team at [email protected] to explore if it’s a match to work together. Rich Goldstein has also written a book for the American Bar Association that explains in plain English how patents work, which is called ‘The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.’

Intro (00:09):
Welcome to innovations and breakthroughs with your host Rich Goldstein, talking about the evolutionary, the revolutionary, the inspiration and the perspiration and those aha moments that change everything. And now here’s your host, Rich Goldstein,

Rich (00:33):
Rich Goldstein here, host of the innovations and breakthroughs podcast, where I feature top leaders in the path they took to create change past guests include Joe Polish, Roland Frasier, and Kevin nations. This episode is brought to you by my company, Goldstein patent law, where we’ve helped you to protect your idea and products. We’ve advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 27 years. So if you’re a company that has software product or a design, you want protected go to Goldstein patanol.com, where there are amazing free resources for learning about the patent process. And you could email my [email protected] to explore if it’s a match to work together. You can also check out the book I wrote for the American bar association that explains in plain English, how patents work it’s called the ABA consumer guide to obtaining a patent. I have with me here today, Kate Hancock, Kate has built for highly successful businesses in less than 10 years among these as an e-commerce brand that she started with just a $20 investment and created over a million dollars in revenue in just one year. She also created one of the top hotels in the Philippines and a facial center, which has been named twice in the Inc 5,000 fastest growing private companies in America. She’s passionate about creating community among entrepreneurs on clubhouse. She created a community of 90,000 individuals in just 10 months and she’s impacted more than 7 million entrepreneurs she’s been featured in media channels, such as the wall street journal Forbes, Inc USA today, and many more. I’m very pleased to welcome here today. My friend, Kate Hancock. Welcome Kate.

Kate (02:04):
Thank you. Rich. I’m honored to be here. Finally. We’re doing this.

Rich (02:09):
Absolutely. And, uh, uh, you know, we were just hanging out in Austin and, uh, as we, as we required this, you’re still in Austin. And, uh, so we got to spend some time together, which is great and kind of cool because a year ago we did not know each other, um, a year ago we did not even know a clubhouse was right. Yeah. So it’s, it’s kind of funny any of the clubhouse connections that I’ve made. It’s really kind of, kind of funny to look at how had a quickly, they, they developed and strengthened and like people like some people like you that I feel like I’ve known for years, but the reality is like, I wasn’t even on the platform where I met you until like, you know, sometime later in December.

Kate (02:56):
Yes. That was a crazy time. And I can’t believe it’s going to be a year very soon, but definitely I think it was the most fun ever experience in my life.

Rich (03:07):
Yep, absolutely. Absolutely. And, uh, I don’t know. Let’s just talk about that first. So that was kinda neat. Like, um, I think December 17th, I joined clubhouse and at first I was just meandering around. There’s a bunch of rooms and if you’ve never been on clubhouse, it’s a place where essentially you can, you can go into a room where there could be 10 people that could be a thousand people. And they’re talking, there are people on stage that have the ability to unmute their microphone and talk, and then people that are visiting or in the audience can listen into the conversation. So I started out by, um, just kind of hanging around these different rooms. And there was lots of interesting rooms that were mostly seemed about hip hop and things along those lines. And, you know, I was in a room where, I mean, Snoop dog was there and Warren G and all these other interesting people, they will all talking, but I was just a spectator, but then, yeah, exactly.

Rich (04:06):
And that’s kind of how it started for me and said sometime though, like right around Christmas, like I think it was maybe Christmas Eve that I popped into this room called how to run a million dollar business. And it was all these entrepreneurs talking about running businesses. And, um, and at the very top of the screen is one of the two people that founded it, Kate Hancock. So, uh, that’s where, that’s where I first saw you was in that room. Uh, and, uh, talking about entrepreneurship stuff on, on clubhouse. So how did that get started?

Kate (04:45):
Well, that’s definitely a crazy ride. Well, the reason why I joined clubhouse, which is because of Perry, I saw his path Perry Belcher, and he said, this is a cool app. That was December 12. I remember that day. And I said, how can I get in? And so I right away downloaded the app and you know what someone know me and let me in. And again, similar with your experience, all the music room, majority of it are from people from Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia, which is fascinating. The whole people from my land ties in that app. But, um, yeah, December 24th, it was a boring day. And Dan and I were like, what are we going to do? We’re on down in California. And I said, why don’t we just create our own room today? And the title is what it takes to run a million dollar business, because I know I will not have a hard time finding a speaker because I know a lot of friends that run over a million dollar businesses. So that’s the reason why that’s the title of their room and right there, that’s how I met you. I met wrong Fraser. I mean, all every single celebrity in the world is in that room. It was fascinating. We have of average about 3000 people, every 20 minutes. That’s about the, the turnaround of people listening in that room. Fascinating.

Rich (06:10):
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And, uh, and yeah, so, um, you know, I think I’m going to leave a note for the producers. We need to call this episode what it takes to run a million dollar business. They were always looking for a title that kind of captures what the conversation is about, but yeah, you know, what it takes to run a million dollar business is, uh, the right title for the, the room. And it’s the right title for this episode. And just the little footnote about that long story I was telling you about clubhouse is that was then my first opportunity to go from being in the audience, to being on stage. So that was the chance that I got and many other people got to actually talk on the app and kind of share some things that I know with people. So, um, thank you for that. Thank you for, thank you for the opportunity.

Kate (06:59):
Of course. Well, you’re the nice guy that can talk about patent. Every time someone asks about patent and I was like, where is rich? So sometimes I know I would DM you. Like, we need you here. We need advice. So it’s actually good. You know what, it’s so smart when you position yourself as being the expert of, of a niche right. Market, like you, you’re the only one that I can think of that I can drag around. Oh, this is exactly rich angle. Like, you can answer this question. I think people have to understand, people are asking question what to do with the business struggle, whether it’s an IB question. So we have different experts of every single thing. Um, that was the most fun about it. And thank you for your contribution of impacting so many entrepreneurs and myself.

Rich (07:48):
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, and, uh, and it kind of, of course for me, led to some other things too, it led me to meet other people on the app. Um, it led for me to create my own rooms to talk about, um, patents and trademarks and help people to understand some of those principles and, you know, lots of other cool things came about from that involvement. I mean, actually being on clubhouse led to me being cast in two movies.

Kate (08:19):
Wow.

Rich (08:22):
Well, yeah, absolutely. It was, uh, um, did I not tell you, but this story about, you know, Monica Floyd put me in the two movies, one,

Kate (08:34):
I wasn’t aware that that was coming true. Relationship from clubhouse. I’d love to hear about it.

Rich (08:39):
Well, in January of this past year, like, you know, I was in a small room with a bunch of other people, uh, including, um, you know, Joe Vargas, hustler and Bobby, um, his wife and also, um, um, you know, J young, the J young MDK, the rapper and, uh, Monica Floyd. And it was late at night. It was just a bunch of us. And we were talking and they started asking me IP questions. And, um, so it was 2:00 AM New York time, 11:00 AM Pacific time. So they didn’t seem to mind, but for me, they kept me in the room till 5:00 AM, New York time. And, uh, and at the end of it, we decided that we were going to do a room that was going to focus on patent and trademark info for entrepreneurs. Um, so, uh, I invited all of them back to be in that room and, uh, uh, essentially, um, that’s what Monica and I came to become good friends. And then she started her own room called trials to triumphs. And every Friday night I would be there in her room. And, uh, and out of that, um, essentially at a certain point, she told me, he’s like, I just put you in my, my new movie as the doctor. And then, uh, I shot that. And then, um, also, um, shot a detective role for the Christmas movie that she, um, that she did. So, um, yeah, that came out of clubhouse. Isn’t that crazy?

Kate (10:07):
That is crazy. And I love this collaboration and we just learned that the other day through war room, that the feature brands as community and really the power of community, what you’re getting. And, you know, for me, I’ve been blessed, have a great community and clubhouse that landed me with a lot of joint ventures and filial deals and business partnership. I mean, I love it. I mean, again, we all can grow through collaborations.

Rich (10:36):
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, uh, one of my mentors says that, um, relationship is the foundation of accomplishment. It really is all everything that you do, everything you create is grounded in relationship. Um, and, uh, and so creating community is the source of just about anything that we do. And so on clubhouse, you created a lot of great community by running that room. So first of all, that initial room, it went for how many days consider

Kate (11:07):
That was December 24th to January 12. And then I think we started another branch.

Rich (11:14):
Just got to highlight that 20 minutes, 24 hours a day continuously.

Kate (11:20):
Yes. And that’s, I think that first marathon, we definitely impacted at least 5 million right there. Cause now it’s like 3000 people, every 20 minutes turn around. So that’s pretty amazing. And then April of 2021, we started another marathon room because someone challenged me that the German room B eRecord is like, what do you mean? And we being cheaper. Okay, let’s do it again. And they lasted 85 days. Wow. 80 days, 24 hours a day, seven days a week with 1500 moderators. I manage entrepreneurs globally run to WhatsApp group. And that’s like a 24 hours. Wow. Yeah. I don’t think works so hard building a company. I’ve definitely the building. The community is a lot of work, but it’s fulfilling at the same time.

Rich (12:18):
Yeah. No, but that’s amazing. What, what, um, what you accomplished they have really is amazing. And, and so you’ve had, I guess more than 7 million people come through that, that room during that time.

Kate (12:31):
Yes. 7 million people. Yes. I’ve never, I mean, I mean, what conference can you touch 7 million people? I mean, that’s hard, or even having an audience of you speaking for an hour, we do average about 1600 people. I mean, that’s an hour of 1600 people that’s listening to. You it’s, even though we’re talking about audio opposite, that there’s still a really huge opportunity out there now. Not might not be as popular as early on because they create all this hype, but there’s still a really good amount of people that you can capture.

Rich (13:12):
Yeah, no, absolutely. Absolutely. And, and you’ve, you’ve also, um, taken a lot of those people and, and funnel them into some other opportunities to, to, um, to build community like you’ve had, um, arrange dinners and meet ups and things like that. Correct.

Kate (13:30):
Yeah. So w we just, we just hosted our 10th curated meetup here in Austin, and, uh, I love, you know, what, there’s something about the dinner rich that’s, you can get to know a person way deeper than just joining, you know, just being in a big conference room. I mean, we, we talk about it being in a mastermind, the most voluble of the things that it’s not really the content, it’s the relationship that you’re building, that, that conversation in the hallway, that’s when, you know, you’re finding yourself like, you know what, I like that, that’s my favorite thing ever.

Rich (14:08):
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And, uh, um, so let’s, let’s roll it back a bit and just talk about, uh, kinda how you got here. Um, tell me a bit about your background. So I believe you were born in the Philippines, correct?

Kate (14:23):
Yes. I grew up in the Philippines. I started at a very early age as early as 10. I was, I work in a family business. I was cleaning piece three molds, a hundred pieces a day right after school. And I hated that job. I hated being stuck in that, you know, cleaning that, that pastry molds, and sometimes the costume stick in it. And I remember my hands, just lot of cuts and I have a very sensitive skin and I have all this blisters in my hands. So I grew up in a family business. So I’m used to having that long hours waking up 4:00 AM in the morning as early as 10. And so I move out here in the United States right after college, and I was working several jobs. And I remember I would change the uniform in a parking lot. I have three jobs at one point, which I was a makeup artist.

Kate (15:18):
I was doing a wine sampling and I was doing all this promo job. And eventually it landed me working for a skincare company where I move up 3d fast. And one day I was in Austin, Texas say, right, there’s right here. That’s why Austin a place, a special place in my heart because I was at Costco. I was running a roadshow Costco at that time was running the whole nationwide. I train staff. I train, I put together the sales and marketing strategies. And it was a boring day here in Austin, Texas. I know someone told me one of the manager in orange county at Costco told me that any items the ends with zero or nine and in Costco, that’s the clearance items. So that day I started scanning stuff online through Amazon. So I bought a box and a tape it’s $20. I went to staples and I shipped two items that day and that $20 scale it to a million dollar, you know, revenue e-commerce. And I sold eight figures after four years. So that was the, my entrepreneurship journey. Wow.

Rich (16:33):
That’s amazing. And, uh, uh, and so you, I guess you basically arbitraging products that existed, right?

Kate (16:40):
Yes. I was doing product overcharge. Yes. I was. I was buying pallets and pallets of items at Costco. Then that leads me going to different conference in Vegas. And like, I w I would source this product, and this is early 2012 when margins were high. And it’s, you know, Amazon is not as strict as what it is now. So I was definitely at the right time at the right place. And I was just maximizing it. And, you know, I have a greatest account in Amazon because I could, I could get paid the next day, even before buying the product. And that’s how I was able to scale it without needing a capital. Now, you can’t do that now, but definitely, you know, I was so amazed by the opportunity and I glued on it for the first five years and it pays me back. And definitely it’s not a long-term game.

Kate (17:36):
I know that. I mean, if you lie into big, giant, anytime they can take it away from you. And that happens to me in 20, 20, 20 18. So I lost that business, lost $1.5 million. They throw half a million dollar worth of my inventory. I was talk with a million dollar of products in my store. I was able to invest into a facial center. I have a brick and mortar store in orange county, but I was stocked with millions of dollars of product. I thought it was the end of me, but Hey, you know, that’s part of the game. We play being an entrepreneur. Sometimes you can have it all if you’re not winning all the time, but that was definitely a very difficult time of my life.

Rich (18:23):
Well, would you, would you ever consider doing another product after

Kate (18:28):
No. After that incident, I will never create a business where I don’t own the real estate. I mean, they can’t build a house in a rented man and I can’t, you know, um, you know, that was a very expensive lesson and a very expensive mistake. Right. But,

Rich (18:52):
Well, in this case, though, the rented land is Amazon, Amazon. Like basically you’re saying you wouldn’t build a business built on, on another, one’s another person’s platform that they own the real estate. Um, but if you were going to launch a product and I mean, would you consider launching your product that wasn’t on Amazon?

Kate (19:13):
Hmm. I, I stay away from a business where it requires a lot of inventory, you know, I stay away from that. Um, it just, I don’t want to do that. I think there’s other ways you can monetize things without having to have inventory. And that’s the kind of business what I want to wanted to get involved with yes. Services. I, yes, I own hotels. I mean, I have homes there, but it’s not, as I have to worry about products, exploration and products sitting there and you losing money because par products sitting there. I mean, I just, it just not for me anymore. I think I’ve retired into that. I just want to be a little bit smarter with my time and focusing on the things that make sense for me at this point in my life.

Rich (20:01):
Absolutely. Absolutely. That makes a lot of sense. Um, and, uh, but you know, let’s talk about it. How’d you get into the hotel business? How did that come about?

Kate (20:10):
I actually started with just one Airbnb room at rich, and it was just one room with Tiki hot and has a pool because they envisioned it. Like, I want to have a room where I could visit home Philippines, still my home, even though I’m here half of my life now in the U S I, you know, a half of my family is still in the Philippines. It’s like, you know what, let me just build this. So I, I actually acquire that land while running Amazon. And I have my VA, my virtual assistant, like, you know what, like, just build me this. And so I draw design and in a Starbucks table, African and I sent it to them and listed that, uh, it took them, I think, six months to build one room. It took them a while. And so I listed it through Airbnb and, huh, I was looking at it.

Kate (21:00):
I’m declining guests, six months in advance. And I get so many requests. Like I have a business here. And so I build a room underneath that first. And then I build another two rooms that I’m broke again. I was like, okay. So this is a viable business. I have a team that can run it. I’m 7,000 miles away. And all I have to do is design and make sure everything’s running smoothly. And so I created a second locations in the mountain because I have so much demand and that’s how it all started. And it’s crazy. I, I think I tend to start small and once I get traction and that’s when I put my energy to things and it always worked pretty good most of the time.

Rich (21:47):
Oh, that’s, that’s awesome. Uh, and, and another service business that you’ve gotten into is, uh, the facial business, I guess, skincare, is that it, is that it?

Kate (21:57):
Yes. It’s kind of, kind of similar, you know, it, that the, the Fe I have a medical spine, orange county it’s to see O facial center. It makes sense because I was selling skincare online. So it makes sense for me to have a brick and mortar store, and I wanted to open it as a licensing deal. I might be, probably be, start doing it outside of the U S where the restrictions, a little bit more lenient and then doing business here.

Rich (22:25):
Cool. And, and, um, so, um, what, what do you think is next for you? Like, what do you think might be next things that you work on or new business that you’re working on? Do you want to talk about?

Kate (22:36):
Yeah, so Dan and I, because of the community we built through clubhouse, uh, we actually started doing the media company during pandemic, and now it even elevates because of the community to recreate of 91,000 entrepreneurs globally. So we, we just book a, um, a slot for Fox TV, where we highlight entrepreneur story kind of similar to what we’re doing on clubhouse, where we highlight amazing entrepreneurs. But this time we will be doing this on TV, which I’m very excited. We’ve never done this before, but I’m sure it’s not going to kill us. And, uh, I have this big project where we are putting together a compiled nation book of the top 100 most influential entrepreneurs in the world. And I’m very excited having the Reebok founder being part of it. I’m very excited for this project. And the reason why I’m so passionate about this rich is this actually happened to me in 2018, right before the collapse of the Amazon business, or I actually won is titled as a ward of the top 100 most influential Philippine and a world. But guess what happened? I was in so much stress. I got a nerve damage at that time, and I cannot fly out to London to accept the award. So they, they took it, they took that award away from me, and I was like, well, if you can’t be in the media, then be the media. Right.

Kate (24:12):
You know, the community Media, yes.

Rich (24:16):
Your own, um, list and your own community. Why not? And you’ve got the credibility to back it up, you know, you’ve got the credibility in the community to back it up. I think that’s really awesome.

Kate (24:29):
Well, thank you rich. Yes. I’m very excited for that project.

Rich (24:33):
Cool. Um, and, um, and so currently on clubhouse, you’ve got, um, the, um, it’s now a club. What was once, once a room, uh, um, how to run a million dollar business is now a club. Um, tell us a little more about that.

Kate (24:47):
Yeah, we have, uh, we have, uh, so it’s kinda like an ongoing podcast or radio show where we have scheduled rooms every Friday and the weekends, we kind of do a little bit of marathon rooms. And again, we have a segment there called the founder’s story, or we interviewed, you know, entrepreneur story. And I love doing that. I love highlighting the underdogs and, uh, and the heavy hitters. And that’s, again, the reason why we’re trying to put together this compilation book, because if you think about it, the people there are speaking, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that same people, but there’s so many amazing entrepreneurs that you’ve never heard of. Like yourself, you shouldn’t be speaking on stage because you have so many, so much expertise to share.

Rich (25:34):
Yep, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, I, I totally agree. I mean, I think speaking, it’s all about providing value. Um, and, um, and there’s definitely, um, imperfect information in the area of finding the speakers that have the value and then putting them on stages. Uh, and so I think clubhouse was one of the things that was really great to kind of equalize that it’s like, you can get people, um, give them a chance to share value. And when they do, then they get other opportunities. So it’s like both of us, like, um, you know, back when we started on clubhouse, I follow is just started skyrocketing. Once we started talking and giving value people like I’d like to see them again, then they started following and then, and then having followers got you on more stages. And so it’s kind of like, um, a bit of a, I guess, meritocracy it’s, it’s like people with, um, with merit where the ones that are able to, to share that message and like kind of share, uh, what they had to say and things that might help other entrepreneurs, um, you know, based upon how well they’ve done. So, so yeah, totally. I agree. And, uh, um, and it’s awesome having you here and people want to learn more about you and get in touch with you, Kate, how they go about doing so,

Kate (26:58):
Yeah. So easy to just go to Kate hancock.com or you can go to my Instagram page. I mean, I, I’m very active on and then to gums, but go to key hancock.com.

Rich (27:09):
Awesome. Awesome. Well, once again, Kate, thanks so much for joining the show. Um, great to great to see you in person this week. And

Kate (27:17):
Can we turn it over to you again? Thank you for me too.

Rich (27:20):
You too soon. Very soon.

Kate (27:23):
Okay. Bye.

Outro (27:29):
Thanks for listening to innovations and breakthroughs with your host, rich Goldstein. Be sure to click, subscribe, check us out on the web at innovationsandbreakthroughs.com and we’ll see you next time.

 

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