Episode 24 - Jeevan Balani - Generational Growth


Jeevan Balani (00:00):
Love somebody so unconditionally and just want the very best for them being patient actually becomes incredibly easy. Talk to your kids. That's it. Just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. The more authentic you are, the more vulnerable you are with your kids, the more you externalize, why you are doing things, the more they can understand it and even push back, anything is possible. And you can sort of, you know, with grit and perseverance you can achieve well, whatever it is that you're looking to achieve

Young Han (00:29):
Hey guys, I'm young, a full-time dad and a fulltime professional with the goal to become the best parent possible. The girl ad show is my journey interviewing fellow working parents aspiring to be both good at work and parenting. I'm gonna do this by gathering and sharing unfiltered perspectives from my guest to join me. As I research parenthood one interview at a time today's episode of the girl ad show is sponsored by something I'm very passionate about coffee. Bluejean coffee brings sophisticated coffee brewing straight into your home. Delivering an elevated coffee experience all without having to make a trip to a cafe. They source their specialty beans directly from farmers all around the world and roast them in small batches. Just for your order. Are you ready to upgrade your home brewing experience? Bluejean coffee is bring a special deal just for my listeners. Really good. Visit blue Jean coffee.com/t GDS to get 10% off your first order of blue Jean coffee. Oh yeah, that's a good coffee. Awesome. Love it. Jevon, how you doing? Thank you so much for joining my girl, dad show.

Jeevan Balani (01:49):
I am well, thank you for having me.

Young Han (01:52):
Let's jump right into it. So why don't you tell the listeners here what you do for a living?

Jeevan Balani (01:57):
Sure. I am a independent consultant focused on growth marketing and I largely do that for ed tech companies as well as other D TOC companies.

Young Han (02:09):
That's awesome. How did you land into that?

Jeevan Balani (02:12):
Yeah, it was a bit serendipitous, I would say. You know, I started off my career in technology consulting at Accenture in the early days. So doing a lot of tech building, particularly in the retail industry parlayed that into management consulting. I was a McKinsey and company for a bunch of years and sort of fortuitously got an opportunity to join something called McKinsey digital labs which sort of took the traditional consulting business management consulting as providing advice and sort of took it to the next level of operationalizing and building solutions. And you know, when when my wife and I were expecting our our first daughter you know, I knew that I, I couldn't be on the road anymore. I loved building and creating and I happened to meet three co-founders who started their own bootstrap, their own company, which, which was a digital marketing agency of sorts. We did growth marketing work for a bunch of D TOC brand. And that's how I got my, you know, that's how I got my start in digital marketing and never looked back.

Young Han (03:26):
That's amazing. I love it. And you've you've just kind of talked briefly about it, but you said you have a, a daughter and do you have any other kids or how old is she and yeah. Tell me about your kids.

Jeevan Balani (03:37):
Yeah. I have two, I they're both six, one is six years old and one is six months old, so that's awesome. 

Young Han (03:49):
You totally threw me off with the they're both six hahaha

Jeevan Balani (03:52):
That's awesome.

Young Han (03:55):
That's great. So you're, you're you're definitely straddling the fence, the, the kid rearing side, right. One's one's like starting to talk, talk to you a little bit more and one's still just kind of like needing so much of you, right.

Jeevan Balani (04:08):
A hundred percent, you know, I, I didn't quite know what to expect in terms of straddling both worlds at the same time. I think one of the things we've been super lucky and fortunate about is our six year old is incredibly mature, really wanted a sibling. And so she's like she, she will independently play with our six month old. So in many ways having the second one has aspects of it being easier because we haven't even bigger team to, you know, to, to team up with.

Young Han (04:40):
That's awesome. And then what do you think sparked your oldest as maturity?

Jeevan Balani (04:45):
You know, that's a good question. You know, my wife and I always talk about this sort of like nature versus nurture. What is it I think you know, I think on the, on the nature side, my wife and I both you know, I'm the eldest in my family, my brother and sister are eight and 10 years younger than me. So my wife and I, yeah, we, we both have two siblings. And so we've, we sort of had a bit of the caretaker ish role in our families of some sorts. And I think our daughter has observed some of that absorb herb, some of it you know, I think there's a bit of nature in, in, in that regard, just, you know, maybe something was ingrained in, in, in her, but I think the nurture has definitely sharpened that maturity for her. You know, she's seen a lot over the past few years, my, my wife is a cancer ever. My father is a cancer survivor. She's seen multiple family members go through you know, health challenges in the past few years, and she's just developed this really sharp, emotional acuity towards observing what's going on and just trying to be helpful. And, and I think it's, it's raised from maturity quite a bit.

Young Han (06:04):
Wow. That's an incredible answer. And I definitely, I love that you and your wife talk about nature and nurture often because it's the same, same thing that my wife and I talk about all the time as well, these days as we start to like, see our kid go our oldest is four and she's gonna turn five and you could see her developing her own mindset and her personality, but also pulling so much from both of us. And yeah. Yeah. It's like this constant battle of how to be a good parent during this, this phase where you actually get to see your input coming out as an output in your kid, you know? Totally. Anyways. Totally. So let's talk about your childhood. What, how was your childhood and what was that like?

Jeevan Balani (06:42):
Yeah, I think going back to that sort of nature and, and nurture framework a bit, you know, my childhood was it was largely shaped by where I was and know what my parents were doing. So, you know, I was born in south Florida near Miami moved to Jamaica when I was five years old where my parents started a, a business Jamaica, the country, not, not Jamaica Queens. Whenever I say Jamaica, we're like, oh yeah, Jamaica, Queens. They're like, no, no, no Jamaica the country. 

Young Han (07:18):
Wow. Yeah and that's wild. So wait, we gotta stop there. You gotta, you gotta double click on that. Why did your parents, why did your parents move from Florida to Jamaica? The country? Yeah. That's a great way. We have to double click. Sorry. We have to double click this. No, no, that's interesting.

Jeevan Balani (07:32):
Yeah. So you know, I think the, the, the what's interesting about, so Indian bias ethnicity and the part of India where my family's from is called sin. That is now in Pakistan and basically in 1947, which was right around when my dad was born. There was a partition in India, right. And India, Pakistan Bangladesh over time sort of became separate countries where we were, became displaced. So people who were Cindy who were from, you know, where, where where my family's from, went all over the world, right. Africa, Jamaica, Hong Kong. And so my dad ultimately moved around the world for basically employment opportunities. So when he was 18, he moved to Hong Kong. At one point he moved to the us one point, he moved to Jamaica you know, worked for different people there and you know, moved to Miami and that's where I was born. And then he had an opportunity to go back to Jamaica and start a business. And so that's what led him to, to go to Jamaica. There were tons of people he knew that had started businesses out. And so he went to do something similar.

Young Han (08:42):
How, how did, okay, so this is like, this is like digital Noma, but without the digital aspect.

Jeevan Balani (08:49):
Totally. Yeah. I mean, when I, yeah, yeah, go ahead.

Young Han (08:52):
Sorry. Yeah, I apologize. How did he find these opportunities? That's like the wildest thing to me,

Jeevan Balani (08:57):
My, my wife and I reflect on this often, which is, you know, we think about anything we're looking for input on a few clicks on a keyboard. We can get the input, right? Like, that's right. Where's the job, where's the restaurant, whatever our parents generation you know, when he was an India way back when, I mean, he was sending letters right. To, to his friends all over the world and keeping in touch with people and just sort of serendipitously people. He knew, went all over the world and that's how he found out, Hey, there's a bunch of people, actually, his older brother got an opportunity in make and told him, Hey, you should come check it out. And then they all ended up leaving in the sixties or seventies. And then my dad sort of led, led the charge back. So, I mean, to answer your question, I mean, he found out about this through just sustaining his network largely through like written form, like letters and telegrams at the like that, and keeping in touch with people.

Young Han (09:57):
That's amazing. That's pretty, that's pretty gangster. I will say right now that's pretty OG. That's, that's incredible. That he was able to do that and basically build out what we take for granted in, in snail mail. That's amazing. Totally. And so how does one even go about, were you there then? So you, he moved you guys from Florida to Jamaica. So what does that mean for starting a business and how, how does he even know to do that? Like how do you even start that process? 

Jeevan Balani (10:27):
Yeah you know, it's interesting when I think about, you know, today's society and you have so much content out there, you can, you can start a business with a few clicks. There it's, you know, it was very much, Hey, I know these five people, they know these suppliers that sell these t-shirts this coffee, these souvenirs, one of these people knows that there's a shop available in this Plaza that I can rent. And you know, what's interesting is today a, when you're opening a business from scratch, it's actually reasonably easy to optically show that you're established, right. You can create a nice Polish veneer on your website. You can, you know there's many ways to sort of fake it. Right. that's right. In, in, in his case, one of the clever things he did as somebody brand new there, and he's going to, you know, he's going to businesses and saying, Hey, let me rent your space, and, you know, I have no capital and I have no nothing established. And, you know, the landlord force is thinking, I might kick you out in a couple of months. Well, what he did was, you know, he had a friend of a friend who had a really nice car, a bend at the time. And so he said, Hey, let me drive that to my business meeting. Right. Mm. And so, you know, a lot of it was networking and your network represents sort of your relationship equity, as well as sort of optically finding ways to demonstrate that your credibility, your, your credible. Exactly. and so that's, you know, that's sort of, that's sort of how he landed those gigs.

Young Han (11:56):
So amazing. He's a total entrepreneur hustler. I love that. He like he made it work. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So now you can continue. So you went from Jamaica and then how old were you when you were in Jamaica?

Jeevan Balani (12:07):
So moved there when I was five. And we just had a, we had, we moved around a ton within Jamaica and then even back and forth. So, wow. You know, I moved outta Jamaica for a little while. My dad thought, Hey particularly where we were at one point of time, the education system he didn't think was giving me what I needed. So I lived with my uncle and aunt in the us for a little while that didn't quite gimme what I needed from family perspective. Cuz I missed my parents. My sister at the time was like want or just being born. So my dad brought me back and so there was a lot of back and forth between Jamaica and, and the us. And then within Jamaica, there's two main cities. We lived in Montego bay and the grill. Ultimately we ended up having a good long stretch run in the city of Negri, which is all tourist land. Not a lot of like there's no true like local economy there it's really all tourism. My school was about an hour, hour and a half drive away. So we're sort of in this like tourist Oasis, running a business and you know, my dad arranged so I could go to school, which there was, there was no high school in our area or even primary, like prep pre-high school in my area. And so that's, that's what we did.

Young Han (13:26):
Wow. That's amazing. And so then ultimately you did come back to the states to finish schooling, right? Or did you just do it all nationally or?

Jeevan Balani (13:34):
Yeah no, I did. So I was 14 and in Jamaica I had skipped a couple grades and the system was set up in such a way that I was actually on track to graduate college sorry, high school at 15 in Jamaica. And and my dad sort of, I think had two, perspectives, one like you not ready for no college at 15 at, at a bare minimum emotionally. And then, and then secondly, you know, he felt well, okay, you're gonna graduate high school here in Jamaica. I would like for you to get educated the United States, but you're not gonna get the financial aid. You're not gonna get, you're not gonna get the scholarship. You're not gonna get the visibility to these us schools. So he made a big decision to have me, my mother, my brother, my sister temporarily move to the United States for two years so that I could go to us high school, get exposed to the us system get, fill in gaps in my education that he thought were important. And so we did that. We moved, we moved to Miami. My dad stayed in Jamaica, ran the business. It came at significant emotional and financial cost especially to him and, and to my mother. And so I was in Miami for two years established residency and that's, I was able to sort of get a, a full ride to a university in the us.

Young Han (14:58):
Wow. Talk about strategy and, and designing what you want out of life

Jeevan Balani (15:05):
That was and sacrifice.

Young Han (15:08):
Yeah. Unbelievable amount of sacrifice. Yeah. That's incredible story. How, how much of that has, how much of that has impacted you in, in when you become, and as you become a dad

Jeevan Balani (15:18):
A hundred percent, it, it you know, it became very central to my DNA around making sure it, it actually started with my brother and sister. Right. Cause I mentioned they're eight, 10 years younger than me. So I sort of felt like a father figure of sort to them. And so in, in, in some ways I sort of like parented semi parented them. Right. They would actually gimme a, a card on father's day. And so what ended up happening was after I graduated college, I had my brother and sister move than with me. And I made certain sacrifices so that they could get educated in the United States and go to university there. So, you know, my dad had sort of instilled that sense into me of like, you know, where as a family making the sacrifice, you're gonna get a college education after that.

Jeevan Balani (16:07):
You know, you're gonna sort of make a similar sacrifice to get your, your brother and sister that in our education. And, and now I think it plays into how we design our lives. My, my wife and I you know, I've a big part of you asked me earlier how I got into growth marketing and, and this gig, you know, it was a combination of a enjoying the growth marketing work I was doing at a startup, but also B finding a field where I could do this work in a fractional capacity. So I could over invest time with my, my daughters at home.

Young Han (16:38):
Wow. That's amazing. I love the level of strategy that you've parlay into your life. And then, so are you, are you then looking to instill some of those kind of mindsets and, and values to your kids?

Jeevan Balani (16:51):
Yeah. You know, that's intro I, I think the short answer is yes, but I think the more nuanced answer is my wife and I are we have a lot of conversations around the trade offs in this. Right. So, so while I think it's easy to sort of lionize the sacrifices nice family has made and the benefits we've accrued from that, right. We've, we've accrued immense benefits, job opportunities, ability to live in places with immense candidly privilege. You know, it also came at certain emotional costs, like being separated from my family came in or real costs. And I, I think it's easy to, to not view that cost today, but, you know, I'm sure it plays out in my life today. Some of those costs, right. And so the short answer is, you know, I mean, we would like these values to be passed on to our kids, but at the same time we want them, we don't want 'em to over index on it. Right. I can already tell my, my older daughter, my six year old she's very much like I will sacrifice anything for anybody. Like she will, you know, minimize herself and I'm not, that concerns me.

Young Han (18:07):
Hmm. So how do you counteract that?

Jeevan Balani (18:10):
Yeah, it's a lot of active dialogue, you know, I think one thing I realize is like, I can't just develop some strategy to try to counteract it and hope it works. I have to actually external externalize my thinking to my six year old. Right. So, so when she does stuff like that, I tell her, Hey, it's great that you're thinking about others. She'll make sure everybody else has like a snack and like, you know, sacrifice her eating a snack. I'm like, I appreciate and admire that. You're so thoughtful. I said, but you know, you do have to nourish yourself. And that's important. And I want you to know that. And so I, I just try to externalize how I think about things not to admonish or anything like that, but just how to like, you know, make sure you're thinking about the other side of it. And so a lot of it is very, very active dialogue with, with our six year old.

Young Han (18:58):
That's awesome. And so if I were to ask you how you qualify success as a parent, what do you, what do you think you would say,

Jeevan Balani (19:08):
How do I qualify success as a parent? You know, I, I, yeah. I don't know that I'll ever achieve success as a parent. But I think the journey that we're on is one such that our daughter has immense self-worth at all times. And I think, oh, wow. You know, I think if she feels a tremendous sense of self worth, I am worthy. You know, we have this book I'm enough and my 18 or 16 month old niece also loves it just keeps saying I'm enough, I'm enough. And I love that. She says that I think a lot of joy, happiness, just, I think it develops a strong base. So if I were to just pick one thing, I think just as sense of worth, I don't need to do something to prove myself to others. I don't need to, you know, do X for love or acceptance. I think that's probably the number one thing I, I really want her to, to have for her whole life.

Young Han (20:03):
That's awesome. And if I can ask a personal question, what do you think your what do you think your dad would would qualifies to is parenting?

Jeevan Balani (20:13):
You know, I think one, one thing he's told me a lot is, you know, he always wanted me to have a better life than he had. You know, and, and I think that that comes in many, many, many forms, right? Like, yeah, he, he worked seven days a week, 10, 12, 14, 16 hour days. And he, you know, he, he, if I think about our generation or my, you know, like I, I can work hard for the day, then I can watch Netflix at night. Like my dad was not doing that. He was not like, oh, now it's entertainment time. He was like, it's grind time or it's grind time. Right. And <laugh> and, and, and, and he did that because, you know, now he looks at my life and he's like, Hey, you have more time to spend with your kid. Hey, you have the opportunity to invest in your hobbies. And he's like, that's what I want you to do. Right. I don't want you to have to feel like you're on the treadmill. So I think he, he thinks of it as he went on that treadmill so that hopefully we don't have to continue to be on that treadmill.

Young Han (21:13):
Yeah. And in, in, in many ways you could say that he was successful then, because you said something earlier about being able to fractionalize your work time so that you could actually allocate yeah. The time that you have for your kids. So what, what, what kind of derived that desire to kind of like manufacture that in your life? Like, why is that an important facet?

Jeevan Balani (21:34):
Yeah. You know, I think it's I think it starts with just like a, a, a broad ethos. My, my wife and I just immensely have valued family, our whole lives. We've, that's a big thing that brought us together. Other one we met each other was just the way family is very high up on our hierarchy, but honestly, I think life took a lot of that conceptual philosophy and, and made it very practical you know, about a year. So our daughter was about a year old and I realized that, you know, with my commute to work and everything, I was basically getting an hour and a half with her a day. And I thought to myself, like 90 minutes a day just doesn't feel like enough. And I'm fortunate and privileged enough to even have that conversation. Right. a lot of society is not, and I know my parents were not, and so I said, you know what I've been working at the time. It was like 15 years. And I was like, I'm what I'm gonna do. And my wife and I talked about it is we're gonna go from a, you know, dual income to a single income for some period of time. And I'm just going to raise her for a while, just all day, you know, let's move away from having a nanny. And I just, just wanna be a stay at home dad for a while. And the intent was always to do that for some short period of time less than a year. And then ultimately start my own startup. And I started trying to bootstrap it at nights on weekends. And then we just had a series of events in our family. So, you know, a few months after I, I did that maybe two, two months after. Yeah. my father got diagnosed with cancer and that was a long journey that, you know, required me to be very, very hands on at the hospital, et cetera. He got out of that and then my wife got got cancer. She got outta that. And then my dad had a heart attack. And so, and then her father had a stroke. So we had a series of family health emergencies, and it forced, I don't wanna say forced. It created an environment where the value of my time outside of work was so immensely high that my problem statement became, I need to make enough money to invest time with my family, be there for them, support them, but I can't do that if I'm working a 70 hour week. And so, yeah, it forced my problem solving and I sort of put the startup thing on the side. I put a lot of things on the side and said, okay, I set, I serendipitously had an opportunity to work at masterclass as sort of like a fractional head of growth for a little while. And that just led me on this sort of fortuitous path of seeking these fractional opportunities. So I could do the things I wanted to do with my family.

Young Han (24:22):
That's awesome. So the, the opportunity presented at itself to you to basically silo a specific skillset that had value that you could fractionalize that's right. And talk about, talk about a great one to have that that opener with masterclass is an amazing company and brand. I, I love that. I love that platform. It's so good. <Laugh> totally, that's a good one. Yeah. It's a good one to have. That's amazing story. And I, that you're doing that intentionally. I will say that hearing you talk about it is very inspiring for me because me starting to do consulting myself a year and a half ago, I had the intention and, and the desire to spend more time with my kids. Yeah. And that was really the impetus for wanting to be a consultant. And I think I may have lost my way a little bit, over the last six months, but talking to you right now has been really, really great and inspiring for me to hear, because it just kind of reminds me about the time that I, you know, talked to my wife about like not working for a few months to find myself and kind of the emotional journey I went through. Obviously it was a lot simpler than I, your story was, but I do, I do need to put some thought into how I got to the point that I'm at. Cause I think I've kind of veered off course from my original attention hearing you talk. And so for what it's worth, I thank you for recal me and setting my, my inspiration for my original expectations for myself about a year and a half ago, this is a really great conversation. So that being said how do you qualify work then? So now you're doing fractional work. So what's success for you at the job. How do you qualify what that success looks like? You

Jeevan Balani (25:58):
Know, it, it's interesting whether fractional or, or full time the number one thing that gives me joy at work is the people succeed. And you know, I think that's something when I first started getting into fractional work, I felt I was not going to have, right, because it's often you go into fractional work and it's sort of transactional or very tactical, but the virtue of the type of roles I've had, these fractional growth roles, you're working very cross functionally across or organizations, you're working with marketing, you're working with product working with R and D. And so I've been lucky to have opportunities to impact people in their careers. And you know, it, it it's as simple as them shooting me a slack message and saying, you know, thanks for X. Like, it really helped me level up my thinking or really helped me deliver on this project. And so, you know, as long as I'm getting that feedback, that I am helping, it, it, it comes back to growth in a broader sense, which is not just the company and the product growing, but the people growing within it and I'm getting bigger opportunity. For me, that's, that's success.

Young Han (27:06):
That's awesome. That's great. And you think that has that changed since you started doing this kind of fractional work versus, you know, previous to you jumping into this and working full time? Like, I think those, those measures of success have changed.

Jeevan Balani (27:21):
You know, I don't think the measure has changed, but the way to achieve it has. Right. So, you know, prior to taking on these fractional roles when I was at a full-time company, you know, I have a team and I am managing their feedback and their reviews, and there's a very formalized structure in which I can influence and simple at their career. I, and in some ways it, it makes the work, it brings clarity to that problem, right? So I need to give person X the opportunity I need to give person Y the feedback I need to syndicate their story with senior leaders. And like the clarity is there now, in my role, in a fractional role, you know, a company brings me in and say, Hey, Hey, here's where we want to grow the company, right? They're not bringing me in for a people, people problem, it's a company let's grow, let's have the product scale, let's move marketing.

Jeevan Balani (28:15):
But the only way to do that is to actually work with these people and help them level up. So it becomes a little bit more implicit than it is explicit. And what I find that's a little bit different about it is the relationship building becomes important because when, if you're not, you know, if you're not in this formalized role to give somebody reviews, they have to trust you and to, to, to, to work with you to do that work. Right. So yeah, I think it's just, it, it's different than I have to really spend that time and build that relationship in a way that is less formal.

Young Han (28:50):
Yeah. That's a really good point. It's so awesome that you've already figured that out. How long did it take you to figure that out or did you get it kind of get it immediately from your management consulting days?

Jeevan Balani (28:58):
I don't know that I got it immediately. I think, you know, when I first started, it was just like, prove value, right? So like company X is bring you in, like, I wanna move this metric by Y percent in the next few weeks. That was my thinking. And then of course, implicitly, as I thought about that, it, it just meant doing what we just talked about. That's right. So I don't, I don't think I had some aha so much as it organically happened. And then yeah, in retrospect, I was like, ah, okay, I see how it's kind of the same.

Young Han (29:30):
It took me, I'll tell you personally, it took me like, I think over a year before, I really like started to like, figure that out intentionally that like I knew what I had to do, but I also needed to focus first on building that trust and report so that it could actually move forward faster, more efficiently, and also more sustainingly right. Like, right. The, the reality is I can come in with this knowledge, which is what I got hired for, but if people didn't buy into it or they didn't trust me, it really didn't matter what I knew. And so you had to really develop a fast, a very, very fast skill on not sorry to develop a very hone skill on building trust and rapport very fast in order for your knowledge to even be applied, to solve this problem. And I, I obviously did it like you similar to you, like not knowingly, but I will say I did have a more magical aha moment earlier this year, and I feel a little bit dumb talking to you about it, cuz you've probably just figured out more intuitively, but yeah. I was like, oh man, I really do need to like intentionally spend the time on this first so that I can get to that faster. So interesting talking to another consultant. It's so fun. I love it. Where do you see yourself going from here? Are you, are you, are you are you gonna like write on this kind of fractional work until your kids are of, of like, you know, leaving the nest or what's the plan here? Yeah, yeah.

Jeevan Balani (30:43):
You know, it go, it goes back to this sort of, there are things that are conceptually philosophical in my mind and, and, and then over time you wanna make those tangible and tactical and I've always you know, you asked me earlier about what success looks like at work and it's, it's always been leveling up people. And so I've always had this interest in building a platform, a marketplace for professional coaching, right. In small groups, one on one. And so that's something I want to invest in sort of bootstrapping my own career coaching marketplace of sorts. But with the forcing function that you, you outlined, which is like, I, I, I will not sacrifice capacity with my kids, my wife, my family. And so I'm sort of in the process of defining what does that look like? What, like how long does that look like? I think the other piece is, you know, when it comes to people and it comes to per is I wanna work with companies that I just feel exceptionally good about. And you know, when I was in consulting or even in the agency, there were times where you work with companies and you just feel like lock step with their mission. And there are times where you might be neutral on it. Like, you know, I don't know it's selling X, Y, or Z. It doesn't really matter, matter as much, but it's good work. Yeah. And then there are times where I'm just averse to it, right? Like I think that this company's creating negative externality. And so I've been fortunate to work with EdTech companies where I believe the purpose is the immense right. Masterclass being one out school, being the core company I work with today that that is a platform for teaching key kids. And my daughter uses all the time. So ultimately I wanna work where people's careers are being influenced in a positive way, and we're creating this positive externality in the world. And if I don't, if I do those two things while investing and spending the time I want with my family, I'm happy.

Young Han (32:41):
Nice. Very good answer. I love it. Jevon, I'm gonna switch gears to my rapid fire questions. I like to ask all the guests go for it. Just so there's some symmetry to these interviews. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> so what advice do you have for other parents and soon to be parents?

Jeevan Balani (32:56):
What advice do I have? Talk to your kids. That's it. Just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. The more authentic you are, the more vulnerable you are with your kids, the more you externalize, why you are doing things, the more they can understand it and even push back. And that's, that's something I love about with my daughter. I'll explain to her why I'm thinking about something a certain way and she'll push back. So yeah.

Young Han (33:23):
Awesome. I like it. If you can go back and tell yourself one thing before having kids, what would you tell yourself?

Jeevan Balani (33:31):
Spend a lot of time with your significant other and enjoy the freedom and Liberty, right. Go to the movies, do that midnight. I deserve run whatever it is, but just enjoy that, that freedom. And once you enjoy it and then you have your kids, I don't think you'll look back.

Young Han (33:49):
Very nice. What is the most surprising thing that you've learned about yourself after you've become a parent?

Jeevan Balani (33:58):
Most surprising thing I've learned about is that I can actually be more patient than I ever thought. I think my career trajectory has always been one that has demanded inpatients from me. Just being consulting. Right. and I've never had to exercise a level of patience. I now have to as a parent and I think when you love somebody, so unconditionally and just want the very best for them being patient actually becomes incredibly easy.

Young Han (34:26):
That's awesome. And then finally what's your all time favorite business book all time.

Jeevan Balani (34:32):
Favorite business book? I love the book pursuit of happiness. I don't think it's a traditional business book. About Chris got Gardner and will Smith played him in, in the movie, but specifically hearing his journey, his grit, his resolve you know, you would never expect him to, to, to hit that meteoric rise in his career. It inspired me a lot. I read it very early in my career. And it was something that I would always sort of have in the back of my mind of, you know, like anything is possible and you can sort of, you know, with grit and perseverance you can achieve well, whatever it is that you're looking to achieve.

Young Han (35:10):
That's awesome. I, I actually do have one more that I want to ask you a little bonus question. Yeah. Just because I know you're well, two actually, now that I think about it, cuz you're a growth, growth expert. And so I want to ask you like, based on the current economic trends and just kind of like the world as it is today, what are you seeing happening in the growth side of growth essentially?

Jeevan Balani (35:31):
Yeah, a lot of things I think, you know growth marketing can in, in probably, you know, five years ago for a lot of people was a, spent a lot of money on performance marketing and B build product loops so that your marketing dollars go further. I think some of the changes we're seeing is a lot more investment and time on product based loops. Everybody who has scaled their business with Facebook and Google and paid marketing is realizing a, the increasing competitive of it B with privacy rules. It's becoming harder to optimize your ad spend. And so I think, you know, the number one thing I, I see as everybody's asking themselves, how can I wean myself off of the drug about that performance marketing? How can I rely more on my product to have the viral loops embedded in it to actually sustain its own growth? That's one I think two thinking about growth, not just from a product and marketing lens, but actually from a community lens, right? If you think about the amount of products that now grow, because there's a community around it that may be having a conversation adjacent to the product but end up sort of fueling the growth of that. I think that's something I'm seeing a lot of a third thing is that particularly companies that are spending dollars today and expecting some LTV, some lifetime value over a period of time with the amount of investment dollars that are pouring into the D C space, these days, people are willing to extend those payback windows. They're willing to make a bet today that will pay back rather than in six to nine months, 12 to 18 months, for example. Wow. So there's a lot of, you know, Hey, we're gonna make that bet today and have the ROI catch up. And we believe at some point, you know, the margin the margin economics will work out. So top of my head, I think those are, those are some, I guess the other one I would add is you know, the newer platforms, right? The, the tos, for example, and Snapchat is not as new, but their, their ad product is, is a bit more nascent. You're seeing a lot of people ask, how can I shift dollars towards these more sort of quick hitting content type of platforms.

Young Han (37:49):
Wow. Thank you for that. <Laugh> I totally squeezed in some free consulting for everyone here. I love it. So I appreciate you answering that question and sharing some of your expertise with us. I know it's probably a burning question for most people that are trying to be successful right now is just how to navigate growth during this time. So I appreciate you sharing that knowledge. Yeah. Javon, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. And I no problem. Talk to you soon. Okay.

Jeevan Balani (38:13):
Thank you. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity and hope we get a chat more again soon.

Young Han (38:18):
Yeah. Look forward to it all. Take care.

Jeevan Balani (38:21):
Yeah. See you soon.

Young Han (38:22):
Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the girl dad show, we really hope you enjoyed that interview. And as always, please take a moment to review, rate and subscribe. We'll see you next time.


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