Keepin' it 100 with Christian Kletzl, UserGems

Keepin' It 100 is a series of five-minute episodes of bite-sized tips and encouragement for revenue practitioners.

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The hosts:
Trinity Nguyen
Christian Kletzl

Our guest for this episode is Christian Kletzl and co-founder of UserGems. Even though he's an engineer by trade Christian wears multiple hats on a daily basis. 

“It doesn't matter how many no’s you get along the way. As long as you're getting one yes, that can be life-changing.”

In our conversation, he provides insight on how to view success and calculate how to say ‘yes’ while also handling the many ‘no’s’ we get in our line of work.

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Christian Kletzl is CEO and co-founder of UserGems, a software that helps B2B marketing and sales teams reach buyers that matter most for their businesses. Christian is a software engineer turned sales. Prior to UserGems, he was at Google, Microsoft, and McKinsey. Christian holds an MBA and Master of Engineering Management from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management.

Read Transcript

Trinity: Hi everyone. This is Trinity from UserGems. Welcome to Keepin It 100 a series of mini-episodes as part of The First 100 Days podcast. Keepin It 100 is a series of five-minute episodes of bite-sized tips and encouragement for revenue practitioners to have a more fulfilled life and work. 

Our guest for this episode is Christian Kletzl and co-founder of UserGems, who is also one of my two co-hosts for this podcast, even though he's an engineer by trade Christian wears multiple hats on a daily basis.

So, Christian, what do you want to share with our audience today? 

Christian: So for me, it's what I come to the realization is that in pretty much every role, I think this applies to everything, to the place, to me as a founder as well, that in pretty much everything that we do, there's this outsized return of a yes, over even many knows that.

And I see this as a founder, when I'm fundraising, I see this in the sales process, but this starts as early as when you decide and apply to college, it doesn't matter how many nos. You get along the way, as long as you're getting one. Yes, that can be life-changing. And for me, this is also really motivating because we all know how much and know hurts, but as long as we're not giving up and going after the yes, we will still be successful because nobody's asking after the nose like they don't ask how often you fail at the end, they see the yes.

And they see the success. The other thing that I. Often think about that is to evaluate your decisions in your life based on the opportunity cost. So I feel like we always when we decide what we should be doing in life, and it's so easy to continue going down the path that we've already started, but in addition to what we're already doing and what we've succeeded there or not, what is the opportunity costs of in a sense, spending my life on this task?

What else could that be doing in that? So this has because our life is short and because we have so much potential and so much fulfillment that we could achieve, what is the opportunity cost I'm giving up by going down that path that I'm going down right now. And I think that helps me evaluate, is it the right thing that I'm doing or should I be doing something else it's oftentimes just too easy, not to make a decision, but by not making that decision, you make you decide not to do something else.

So you always need to consider that as well. So I think it's more often than not it's an argument for trying something new, but at the same time, it could also be that what you're doing right now, doesn't have anything equally that you could be doing. 

I've been working on startups for many years and for startups, there's always a hard decision. Is this something that will go somewhere or is this something I should stop and I should be doing something else. So during these times, I was always evaluating is, um, what's the opportunity cost of my life, really of continue doing that or doing something new. And this is similar to Airbnb. And I love this example of the thousand days of pain.

There's this article from Airbnb, where for a thousand days, they didn't grow. It was the pain. So it was very easy for them to give up, but because they didn't give up, because in this case, they made the right decision of, of powering through that pain. And then they achieved the growth, the success, the hockey stick.

And therefore for us, we always need to think about, are we in these thousand days of pain, or is it really the moment to stop and do something new? And I think for those doing something new then the opportunity cost calculation comes in. 

Trinity: Do you have a note of encouragement or insights to share email me? And we'll get you onto the show at podcast@usergems.com. Thanks for listening.