Working for Wonka
is about Startups

Startups can be exhilarating, fast paced, career-making adventures. They can also be mind-numbingly stressful, heart attack inducing, pressure cookers.

If you work in a startup, you know what I’m talking about.

And if you work in a startup, you want to work in a startup, or you're ready to startup something of your own, this blog is for you.

Kathy Ver Eecke

This Blog is For You If

  • You're ready to startup your own business
  • You're ready to leave the corporate world
  • You're in the thick of a startup already & need guidance
  • You want a job in a startup
  • You want to better understand your entrepreneur boss
  • You want to survive & thrive in the startup life

Who Am I to Talk? Glad You Asked.

Consultant | Blogger | Public Speaker | Startup Addict

If you’ve ever started a business, or worked in a startup, then you know.

You know it's insanely stressful, yet crazy rewarding You know you'll accomplish more today than your
corporate counterparts will all month. (No offense corporate counterparts.) You know keeping up the pace is a feat of mental athleticism You know, a startup is like nothing else.

And just when you get a handle on it...you pivot

I’ve worked in startups in half a dozen industries and in three different countries. I’ve worked for startups that
went bankrupt startups that went public and with more than one entrepreneur who went postal I’ve worked with an entrepreneur who threw office furniture and in an office where the furniture was repossessed.

And that was just a typical Tuesday

Then it hit me; it was “Groundhogs Day.” The names had changed, but the supremely uncorporate environment,
the chaos and challenges of each startup was eerily familiar. There were patterns Methods to the madness.
Predictability in the seemingly unique

So now I write about startups and speak about startups. But mostly, I work with startups I can’t help it; I’m addicted.

I work with startups in the early stages of business development where the good stuff happens Helping with business strategy, branding, product development, consumer messaging, sales strategy, social media and public relations. (And of course, investor relations. Yeah, a lot of investor relations.)

Look Who Else Is Talking About Working for Wonka

And Tweeting About Working for Wonka

And Singing the Praises of Working for Wonka

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Kathy showed me how to triple my consulting rates, move my business online and create a passive revenue stream. She completely reshaped my business model.

- Christina Ranallo, Creative Director - PenPaperWrite
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Kathy - You're amazing. Seriously, your brain dump just blew my mind. We've been talking about doing things like this, but hearing your logic, rationale and thought process really helps me understand exactly the right approach and angle."

- Shaila Ittycheria, Co-Founder - Enstitute
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Kathy - Your quick, thorough, and unbelievably insightful advice on optimizing our website not only helped us with our SEO, but also provided lessons that we will leverage as we develop additional collateral. Jargon aside--because you didn't use it--you're worth every dime and then some.

- Joan McGeachy, Co-Founder - Highgate MBA Admissions Consulting
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This was the best investment we have made to date as a startup. Kathy gave us great depth of advice and insight in such a short space of time. Looking forward to our next consultation! Kathy really knows her stuff and shows genuine understanding and interest in where we are before giving excellent, tailored advice and guidance. Highly recommend.

- Mick Barrett, ManageMyGPS (Australia)
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Kathy's commitment, responsiveness and most import, knowledge for marketing was above and beyond. She helped me clarify my market and message, structure my programs and create copy that truly expressed the heart of my service clearly and powerfully. She also provided invaluable guidance as to my business model and next steps.

- Shirly Joy Weiss, Holistic Wellness Coach
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We loved working with Kathy. She was the ultimate professional. She seemed to care about us and the work that she did for us. We would highly recommend her services. She used meetings over Skype and her sense of humor made this a very enjoyable experience.

- David & Kathryn Gerhard, Kingdom Rand (Treasures in Heaven board game)

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12 Comments

  • Moses

    Reply Reply August 5, 2010

    Hmmm, so did they choose you or did you choose them?

    • admin

      Reply Reply August 5, 2010

      I’m a magnet. For entrepreneurs and stray dogs. In some cases, it’s hard to tell them apart.

  • Jason

    Reply Reply August 6, 2010

    Hahahaha! Yes, oh there are so many types, and you hit it on the head that they really are all the same. loco and not so grounded.

  • Jason

    Reply Reply August 6, 2010

    And another thing, I understand the necessity of using ‘big name’ entrepreneurs, but I would suggest compiling several ‘small time’ entrepreneurs under the headings of the big ones…cause these people have some crazy quirks.

  • bob todaro

    Reply Reply August 7, 2010

    I have worked for many myself. The best, were the 3 founders of Snapple. They made everyone feel important from the mail room to the executives, but more importantly, they made sure we sold product…every day..not just basking in the glow of seeing their name in some trade publication or a press clipping. They judged their success by how many empty bottles of their product was in the trash outside the deli or at the bus stop…more people drank it!

    Which leads me to descibe another classification of entrepreneur I worked for:

    “The Emperor’s new clothes” guy..
    – his idea is genuis, yet others dont see it the same way
    – problems, including serious ones are remedied by a good fluffy press release and that fan club e-mail he gets; you know the one that some consumer told your neighbor that they liked your product..whew, financial crisis averted

    – The only reality is in their own mind, example…we’ve opened up hundreds of new accounts just this week, neglecting to acknowledge you lost the ones you opened last week.

    – There is no such thing as a legitimate negative reaction to your product…”they just don’t get it”

    – They hire people with tons of experience in the industry, yet they feel obligated to tell you the “right way” to do things. So much for 20 years in the trenches

    – Rome is burning, they have real problems so, let’s do a photo shoot for an innovation magazine that has a ciculation of 10 people who get it for free.

    – “Hey, did you see everyone with our new product at that event..they loved it! (yeah, it was free, it was handed to them and someone snapped their photo before they could find a place to put it down)

    • admin

      Reply Reply August 7, 2010

      Bob: you’re incredibly insightful, and your examples are DEAD on! I’ve heard rumor of these mythical good-entrepreneurs from Snapple. Kinda like unicorns for me.

  • Azil

    Reply Reply August 19, 2010

    Sometimes we have to take a look at life and simply laugh. Wwe are faced daily with the harsh realities of the world and the on-goign stresses of the work-place! I have been on both sides of the coin having worked in the corporate world for a decade and then opening my own business. When you own you company you have clients and people you must still answer to. Many I find need a prescription for Paxil, others a sheer delight to work with.

    Having experienced a few of the character types: ie: over bearing female boss that treats other women like crap, male boss that wanted to sleep with me, over-demanding and unrealistic corporate climber who just wanted to shine at any cost including my departments overexhaustion and lastly, the slacker that did nothing except look busy but let everyone else do the work and take the credit.

    Instead of leanign on alcohol at the end of a horrible day or going postal, i think it great to have a forum or site where employees can learn from others, vent and share experiences. Kudos on the site!

  • Azil

    Reply Reply August 19, 2010

    Sorry for the “typos.” As fate would have it, tried to write here while waiting for a demanding client that is ALWAYS 30 miniutes late and then just storms into my office as he JUST did. Have a great day!

  • Jamie Farrell

    Reply Reply January 4, 2011

    The first paragraph you wrote -“having the therapy bills to prove it” – in reference to working for entrepreneurs – couldn’t have hit me any harder ( ; glad to know I’m not the only one!

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply January 5, 2011

      Happy to hear that I’m not alone. Maybe we can get group discounts with the Doc!

      Thanks for visiting.

  • Motty

    Reply Reply April 5, 2013

    I really enjoyed reading some of your posts, as a guy who worked for Startup (and even founded one), I couldn’t agree more with some of your insights:)

    How can we connect via LinkedIn considering we haven’t go to school together, worked in the same workplace or sharing membership in the same groups?

    • Kathy Ver Eecke

      Reply Reply November 6, 2013

      Hey Motty – sorry for the delayed response. You can just click the “connect” button and send an invite. I get them all the time from readers! Looking forward to connecting. Kathy

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