Kim Kaupe is the Co-Founder at ‘ZinePak (alongside Co-Founder Brittany Hodak), a company that creates custom publications for entertainers, brands, and celebrity clients. Their past releases include Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, The Beach Boys, KISS, Johnny Cash, and more. On days that end in ‘y,’ Kim enjoys witty banter, creative ideas, and handwritten notes. Follow her @zinepak.
Who is your hero?
In business, Colonel Parker for revolutionizing the entertainment industry, specifically in music. In life, my family. They truly are the definition of synergy.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
When faced with a new idea ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I do this?” It might seem silly to think of the bad before the good, but in the end the “bad” is what holds people back — fear, disappointment, or unhappiness. However, if the “bad” really isn’t so bad, then you have found your answer! It’s time to forge ahead!
Take for instance, starting your own business. You ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” It’s then that the thought bubble seems to magically appear over your head, “What if I can’t make rent?” “What if I have to eat ramen noodles?” “What if I can’t afford the $12 cocktails at happy hour any longer?!”
The answer? The worst that can happen is you move back in with your parents, learn to love those chicken noodles, and consider yourself on an alcohol cleanse. I bet you can think of a handful of friends who went to law school who are in that very “worst case” predicament right about now. If they can handle life that way, then so can you. I encourage you to try it.
I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
The biggest mistake that I make (and sometimes continue to make) in business is underestimating how quickly things can get done. You’re blazing through your day and another request pops across your desk and you think, “No problem, that will take 30 minutes!”
Lo and behold, 50 minutes later, you are slumped over your desk, still working on it, stressed that it has now backed up your day and made you late to your next meeting — all while the looming feeling of not wanting to disappoint bubbles inside of you. As a business owner, you sometimes feel as if you want to be Superman, taking on every task, completing it with ease, but sometimes it can’t be done.
I try to overestimate how long something will take me to complete, how long it will take to travel somewhere, or just how inefficient my phone can be when I need to dial into a conference call. Allowing myself extra time leads to a more relaxed mindset, less anxiety, and in some cases, when I’m really lucky, time to pick up a Starbucks!
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
Absorb. The first hour I read everything, respond to nothing. I allow myself the time to think about everything I’ve read and prioritize what needs my attention first. I also look at the trades, entertainment websites, and CNN, as sometimes you can look quite ill-informed if you don’t know that a major event happened during your nocturnal slumber!
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Figure out the best method of cash flow for your company. Is it a charge card versus a credit card? A wire transfer versus writing checks? Then find the best bank or credit card company that can not only provide those services, but support.
When, after months of being in business, we discovered our American Express OPEN card, I thought we had been graced by the gods of entrepreneurship! While it was amazing to finally have something that was of use to us, I was kicking myself for not finding it sooner. There’s nothing that keeps you up at night like the project, client or business deal that got away because you didn’t have the proper support or resources at the time to close the deal.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Get eight hours of sleep. Turn off “The Walking Dead,” remove yourself from the sports bar, politely decline your dinner invite, and once doing so promptly put yourself in your bed at 11 p.m. No amount of coffee, tea, or Red Bull can replace a rested mind that can think of creative ideas with ease, come up with financial solutions quickly, and problem solve at the crack of dawn. You might be called “lame” by friends, but they all have to answer to someone you don’t: a boss!