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How Young Women Can Be Entrepreneurs with Doone Roisin

Hosted by Jason Atkins
President & Co-founder, Cake Equity
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Episode notes

In this episode, Doone Roisin, founder of Female Startup Club talks about empowering women to be entrepreneurs and have their own startups. 

Here are things you don’t want to miss:

Doone shared her inspiring journey of starting Female Startup Club and the importance of empowering young women to become entrepreneurs. She highlighted how providing resources, education, and support help women thrive in the business world. As a solo founder, Doone's dedicated herself to creating a platform for women to succeed.

TikTok was also mentioned as a powerful platform for direct-to-consumer brands and educational content. Doone shared her experiences leveraging TikTok to drive engagement, sales, and brand awareness.

Listen to the full episode to learn more. Let's continue to support and uplift women in business and create a thriving ecosystem for all. 

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Transcription

Transcription to follow!

Jason Atkins: Hi, everyone, and welcome to today's Startup Equity Matters. The topic today–well, I've determined this topic. Hopefully, my guest agrees. It's how young women can become entrepreneurs. I'm very excited as we're getting some firsthand insights into life as a young entrepreneur. We all have to start out and learn on the job. It's a pretty crazy time, and so to get real world insights today, I think is going to be awesome for heaps of our listeners, and we might pick up a few new listeners today, which will be awesome as well. So welcome, Doone Roisin, who's the founder of Female Startup Club.


Doone Roisin: Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. I'm not one of the young people, I would say.


Jason Atkins: Oh, come on.


Doone Roisin: I'm not that young.


Jason Atkins: Well, inspired to help the young entrepreneurs. And we're going to learn more about your startup journey and how it's been going. You know, like all of us, there's some things we're better at and some things we're still green at. And we'll unpack some of those stories today. I'm excited.

Doone Roisin: Let's do it.


Jason Atkins: Let's do it. I was looking at your LinkedIn, 14 million views on TikTok. That's not bad. Is this Female Startup club? That's all right.


Doone Roisin: Yeah. We post a lot of content.


Jason Atkins: Awesome.


Doone Roisin: We actually just started a new channel. We've had my personal account for a long time and now, we have a new account for our kind of US entity and like the US side of things, because we're leaning into the TikTok shop, which is launching into Australia in July. But at the moment, to access TikTok shop, you need to be obviously a US entity and have everything set up over there. So we've just started a new channel and it's been really fun.

Jason Atkins: Awesome. Yeah. So how do people find you there? Like what are these channels called?

Doone Roisin: Oh, like everywhere? I mean, everywhere it's either Female Startup Club or Doone Roisin, but the US one is Female Startup Club_US, and it's going to be all, well, I mean, it is already all educational kind of content around TikTok Shop and how to get, you know, ready for the launch when it comes to Australia in July and how to access it if you're already in the US and kind of wanting to get involved.


Jason Atkins: Amazing. I totally mucked up your surname. Sorry about that.


Doone Roisin: Don't worry. I forgot to tell you. And usually I have that on my list of things to do, but today I forgot.


Jason Atkins: All good. And you're a podcast host as well. Yeah. Podcast host. How many episodes? Over 500. That's pretty dope.

Doone Roisin: Yeah. I think we're at 600 and something now, 630 maybe.


Jason Atkins: Wow.


Doone Roisin: Yeah. Thanks. Yeah. Hundreds of hours of chatting with people. It's been so much fun.

Jason Atkins: Chatting with who? Who do you get on?

Doone Roisin: So the show at the moment is very much interviewing super successful founders who happen to be women about the playbook in business. So we kind of dig into–especially in the early days, what it took to find product market fit, kind of getting it off the ground. What was that grassroots approach and the bootstrapped approach before raising capital. And we interview kind of consumer focused direct to consumer brands. And most of the time, it's consumer-packaged goods, so CPG brands and yeah, they're doing seven, eight or nine figures in ARR and absolutely crushing. It's a lot of fun.


Jason Atkins: Yeah, no, absolutely. Getting super successful, interesting entrepreneurs like yourself onto a podcast is an awesome way to learn and meet people.


Doone Roisin: And that's why I started the show. I started it out of my bedroom floor during the pandemic just to–I had a jewellery brand at the time, a DTC jewellery brand, and I was wanting to kind of get some advice from people smarter than me. But if someone drops into your DMs to ask for an hour of your time, it's pretty difficult for someone to say like, “Yeah, sure.” Like, let's meet for a coffee or if they're overseas, get on Zoom. So I started the podcast with no grand plans, absolutely no experience, no confidence in public speaking to kind of learn from people smarter than me. And it just became a bit of a vibe.

Jason Atkins: Really? Amazing. I've learned a lot. So cool. How long has that been going?


Doone Roisin: We started really focusing on it in May. I think technically we started posting our first episodes in November 2019, but we weren't really doing anything with it then. It was just kind of social videos that we were doing and putting it over to the podcast. After the pandemic hit, we started taking it more seriously and actually sticking to a rhythm and everything circa May 2020.

Jason Atkins: Yeah, cool. Have you got a couple of highlight guests or highlight moments? Was that too hard? It's like, which kid's your favorite? You just can't tell.


Doone Roisin: Oh, my gosh. There are so many. But I loved an episode I did recently with Connie Lowe from Three Ships Beauty. She's a Canadian entrepreneur and she's just kind of gone through a raise and I've interviewed her before on the show back in 2021. So we're doing a follow-up episode around like different lessons that she's kind of learned from raising and hiring and firing and like a few different topics and she's just such a weapon. It was so interesting to hear her kind of thinking and approach to business and because she'd come from a really lean startup scrappy bootstrapped vibe to now kind of going into raising capital and all that kind of thing. I think now, this year there may be 11 million in rev. Anyway, doing really well. So it's just really cool to hear those stories. And then another episode that I loved was, I think we recorded it at the end of last year and a friend of mine, she's now a friend of mine. She sold her company for 650 million in maybe like September last year, and she had minimal investment. Really cool story, just an absolute gun. And so hearing like, we'd had her on the show a few years ago when she was early on in the journey. And yeah, they-was that Kate?


Jason Atkins: Was that Kate Morris? No, who was that?


Doone Roisin: American founder, Drew Rue. And yeah, got the business to 100 million in revenue. And then I was like, cool, time to go.

Jason Atkins: Well, definitely check it out. Listen to Startup Equity Matters on your run and then jump in the car and listen to, what's it called? Female Startup Club. Yeah, of course. Okay. I'm kidding with it. The same brand for the pod. Cool. Smart idea. So what's up for 2024? So is it like events, education, podcasts, where are you taking the community to?

Doone Roisin: Yeah. Oh my gosh. It'sbeen such a change. Like the economy really shifted last year at the beginning of 2023, and we had built a business primarily through brand deals and sponsorships. And obviously when you get those kinds of bigger deals, it can be really lucrative, but then, and that was mostly, global kind of B2B SaaS that were my partners. And so I knew that I was in this tricky position of not really being in control of what was going to happen. And then by the end of 2022, things start changing. Sponsorships are hard.

Jason Atkins: Sponsorships are so hard. I'm trying to get sponsors at the moment for a couple of boards that I'm on. Not easy.

Doone Roisin: It's not easy. I just swore. Is that all right? I don't know. Anyway, so yeah, I already knew that it was a bit of a risky kind of move to be just building the business primarily that way. But it was kind of just such an organic process that that's what I pursued. And then last year, we kind of tried a few different things and made the pivot more to educational short courses. And now, we're kind of going back a couple of steps to rebuild our foundations and we're launching a new website and a few different things that are kind of happening on that foundational level. And we'll be rolling out these kinds of mini courses–affordable and highly practical for early stage founders. So that might be something in two weeks, get your pitch deck done in two weeks, get your email flows all set up. Instead of, you know, you can spend hours searching on YouTube and having so many different people telling you where to go and getting a bit lost and overwhelmed and then bookmarking it and never actually doing it. Kind of like going through the learning program taught by these incredible women who I have on the show, who are really just incredible at what they do and getting the outcome really quick so you can keep moving fast.

Jason Atkins: Amazing. Very cool. That's practical. Two weeks at a time, like little bite-sized chunks and you're always making progress. It's super important to be making progress all the time.


Doone Roisin: Totally, totally. So yeah, that's something that we're working on at the moment. We've just started kind of moving through the phase of how our website's going to look and how all that kind of stuff is going to operate. 


Jason Atkins: Keep me updated. I've got plenty of female-founded startups in my community and even in my portfolio, so make sure you keep me in the loop.

Doone Roisin: Yeah, I will.


Jason Atkins: Sweet. Let's go all the way back to the beginning. So we chatted a little bit about this in the past. It's a cool story. How did you get into entrepreneurship? What's driving you? What's bringing your passion for leading this community?


Doone Roisin: Yeah. Well, I'll start with how I got into entrepreneurship. Because I definitely didn't even know that word when I was in my early 20s. I didn't know what a startup was or entrepreneur or fundraising or anything like that, and it's certainly not my kind of–I'm not in the industry as an expert or anything.


Jason Atkins: But what got you to not just go get an accounting job or a regular job? And what took you out into the hustle and bustle of making your own way?


Doone Roisin: Yeah. So when I was in my like kind of finishing my–you know after school studies and things like that. I was a uni dropout then, I went and did a course in visual communications and things like that. I didn't really know what I wanted to do, but I was a really eager person to get internships and work for free to get experience, so I would do that like round the clock, just what could I get and how could I get it and create opportunities for myself. So for example, I really wanted to work in a magazine and in Brisbane, where I was kind of living after high school, I knew that there were no magazines there. Like that just wasn't a thing, but they had a free print publication that went out with the career mail, which is the newspaper. And I was like, cool, I'll get an internship there. I'll be able to learn some stuff. And they didn't have anything listed, but maybe if I could get a meeting with the director, I could convince the director to get me an internship. You know, why not? Let's try. So I went to the local nursery and I bought this like little potted plant like a thyme herb and I wrote my like portfolio on the card and I said something like, “Could I have a moment of your time?” Potted up in a cute little pot and dressed up in my Nike little shoes and a high-vis oversized shirt, because I want to see inside the office as well, so I'm just going to go and deliver it myself. Went in, delivered it to the director, and then long story short, got a 12-week internship. So I kind of just repeated that process of being, ”How could I get the attention of someone that I need to get the attention of to be able to get work experience?” Because then maybe I'll figure out what kind of job I want from that. And I did that a number of times in different ways. And eventually, I heard that there was this company starting in Sydney. And at that time, I kind of wanted to work in fashion. And I was like, “Oh, cool, fashion company.” Like, let's go and work from there, so I packed my bags, moved to Sydney, got this internship, and it was at The Iconic. And at the time, The Iconic was funded, but it was super scrappy in those early days. Like we were working from picnic tables. We had internet dongles to run this internet company, like it was just absolute chaos. And I think we were less than a hundred people at that time, and that was my real introduction to what a startup was, what it meant to raise capital, and what entrepreneurship is. And it was owned by–I don't know if it's owned by these guys anymore, but it was owned by the Samway brothers from Rocket Internet. And so it was just like cutthroat European German dudes who were so intense. It was a really fun time, and that was this era of doing everything, like lots of stuff going on, I don't know. It was just so crazy, like crazy chaos. And I was like, this is so much fun. And then from there, I'd gone into working in more of a corporate environment. And that is just not my personality. And I was like, “Holy s–,” I can't work in these environments. I just can't do it

Jason Atkins: It's not for everyone. Some people hang out there for years or decades, just like crunching away, like half sad all the time, like really never getting to–I don't know, find something they care about or something that they find fun. Totally. It's cool if you're doing it, but I'd prefer for more people to be more engaged by their work.

Doone Roisin: Oh, yeah. It was like selling my soul. And I really realized the power and the importance of lifestyle design and taking action towards the things that you want to do, and there's a lot to be said about doing the things that you don't want to do to find out what you do want to do. And so I went on this journey of working in different things and freelancing and all this kind of stuff. And eventually, I started working with my now husband on his SaaS startup company and basically got to see firsthand kind of him bootstrapping a software and building a content agency arm to fund the development of the tech on the side. So we did that for a couple of years. And then I was like, “Cool, I think I'm ready to do something myself.” I just want to do something and put my kind of skill set and the things that I'm interested in and the things that get me excited basically. And that started the DTC brand. And then that blended into the Female Startup Club in the pandemic.

Jason Atkins: Awesome. What was the big break that sort of got you hooked on the Female Startup Club and sort of allowed you to be full time doing it? Because it's always hard to make that transition from an interest and side hustle. And it's hard to sometimes get that critical mass or get over that hump of like the chicken and the egg period.


Doone Roisin: Totally. So basically at the time, like circa March, 2020, I had said to myself, “I'm gonna start pursuing this.” That was in March or April, and then the advice around that time from Tim Ferriss, and he's obviously a huge podcaster, was to wait till you have a hundred thousand downloads and then get a sponsor. And I was like, “Well, I don't have a hundred thousand downloads.” I've got like 2000 downloads and I need a sponsor now if I'm going to focus on this podcast, because I want to–I think I had a goal of like, as of May, I set a goal that I wanted a hundred episodes before the end of the year and which we hit on December 29. But I  was like, “Cool, if I'm going to hit that like quota, I need to publish three times a week. And there's just no chance my husband and I were going make it through life together with him editing my podcasts.


Jason Atkins: That sounds gnarly.


Doone Roisin: Yeah. So I was like, “Cool. I need a sponsor now.” And so I just started cold outreach and I got my first sponsor, which was $25,000 US for a deal with Klaviyo and that was kind of a signal like, ”Oh s–, maybe this can be something.” Like if I can get one, I can definitely get another. And yeah, that was really, it was an early signal. It was a really early signal.


Jason Atkins: Yeah, I only had 4,000. Typical entrepreneur, I've got one, I can definitely get more.


Doone Roisin: Yeah, exactly. So at that time, that was then May 2020. I had 4,000 downloads and I was like, “Cool, I'm going to run with this.” And yeah, I just really leaned in. And so we did that first hundred episodes, we grew. I really focused on consistency. We started opening up new channels. Now we have an audience of about 150,000 women across our different channels and our newsletter and stuff like that. And so In 2022, we published our first book and then that kind of led to a lot of opportunities that started the speaking gigs, and we used the book as a marketing initiative to start speaking gigs and start that kind of revenue stream in the business. That was kind of the early signal, that first deal, to be like, “Oh, hang on, there's something here.” And at that point, I was also really interested in lifestyle design, like I mentioned before. And so I really wanted to build an online business that didn't have me locked into a certain location and not able to do the things that I love to do. I travel a lot. My husband's team is also a hundred percent remote. So, we've really focused on making sure that we're not kind of tied down.


Jason Atkins: We travel a lot. Great. I was just saying before, how many countries have you been to in the last six months? Quite a few. All sunny ones. For those of you watching on YouTube, dude's got the best hair going.

Doone Roisin: Yeah, it's been a great year. Actually, I went to Canada at the start of the year and it was obviously not sunny, but it was amazing. But yeah, more time in Asia. No, actually, I did go to Whistler though. I was there with the founder of Thinkific, Greg Smith, and he took me to Whistler for a couple of days to show me around, and we did this thing called Scandinavian spa. And it's like, you just go ultra relaxed and there's like thermal pools and baths and all this stuff. And I was like, “Oh my God, this is bliss.” I'm not a skier. I mean, my husband's from Switzerland and so he is, but I'm more into the, I don't know what, what else it's called, but like there it's like the rackets where you walk up the mountain tennis racket things. Yeah. Amazing.

Jason Atkins: Get a bit of adventure in. I'm all for the bathhouse culture. Shout out to my native state guys back on the Gold Coast. They're killing it, keeping me sane.


Doone Roisin: Love that for you. Yeah, thanks.


Jason Atkins: Oh, cool. So right. So we're kicking off. We've done our first awesome sale. Great. Things are going along. We've got our first hundred apps done. And then TikTok comes along somewhere in there. And you're like, hang on a sec. Maybe this will be a good channel opportunity. Can you tell us a bit about your journey with TikTok? How's it going now? Has it been changing over the last year or two?


Doone Roisin: Yeah, I mean, TikTok is just such a powerful vehicle especially for direct to consumer brands and anything consumer-focused, but also for education. And for us, like on my personal channel, we saw a lot of success and we still do see a lot of success for using it just as a lead generator, ao it's really something that we're able to easily drive people into our funnel and then work with them to nurture into different products and things like that. And that was kind of like something that just happened through consistency over the last couple of years. But then when we look at what's happening in America with social commerce and this reinvented, insane, explosive growth for direct to consumer brands, my thinking was, “You know, all these direct to consumer brands.” Like if you're blowing up and going, like the agency that I partner with in the US, they're the leading number one agency for kind of TikTok shop stuff. And their clients, if you've got the right formula on TikTok, can go from, you know, zero to 4 million just through TikTok shop alone or zero to 20 million. Like, it's just insane. And like the way that TikTok shop works and the future of TikTok shop, is you can have your own channel and your own hosts who are live selling constantly multiple times a week. Or you can have like, for example, they have eight live studios in America with round the clock hosts who are on TikTok shop with set designs and like all this amazing stuff. But then it's democratizing like how creators can access and be part of you know, the upside of creating viral content. So you can have a thousand followers and create a viral video with 800,000 views and get the commission from all those sales that you're driving through TikTok shops. So as a brand, yes, you can have your own channel and you can be like us really committing to content and lives and all that kind of stuff. But you can also just work with the creator marketplace and use these affiliates, like thousands of people who are like experts at creating viral videos. And so even today, you can see the importance of growth and having this big following used to be like, that's the old way. The new way is not about having a big following. It's just being about, can you create attention and eyeballs? Because if you can create attention and eyeballs on a video, you can drive sales, and that is the power of TikTok shops. We're seeing so many direct to consumer brands who are–if you can create content that makes someone feel something and then click to buy, like you're winning, you're really winning. So the challenge though, is that as a brand, you need to be able to have the backend sorted. You need to be able to have your manufacturing, your supply chain, like everything needs to be really locked down because if you're going to be scaling from zero to 4 million in revenue, you've also got to fulfill that amount of products. Right. And so my thinking last year watching what everything was going on in the U S and like, what's kind of happening and knowing that it's coming to Australia this year was okay. Well, what about being a first mover when it comes to these educational affordable programs that we have and doing the same process, but we can scale without the kind of headache on the backend of products. So that's kind of what we've really leaned into and we're kind of moving towards now. And it's–we're still really at the beginning, but we're pursuing the US market. Then in July, we'll be pursuing the Australian market as well and being kind of a leader for TikTok shop times education for early stage founders.

Jason Atkins: Teach them how to do it. It's such a great platform. I mean, obviously it has its detractors and all tech can have its downsides, but geez, it can communicate in a powerful way like almost no platform has ever been able to do before. You could just have to look at reels and stories and every other platform trying to emulate the format. So it is an absolute game changer for communicating and connecting with people.

Doone Roisin: Totally. If you're at the beginning of your journey starting a business or starting a brand and you really factor in how can you build this and reverse engineer this business as something that will thrive in the TikTok environment, you really put yourself steps ahead versus already manufacturing and already developing and already getting to this point and then trying to make it work on TikTok, if you can do it the other way around. When you see people develop products with a social first kind of mindset, you know, it's just crazy.

Jason Atkins: It's different. It's yeah. Morality's there. Ultra high growth. No old school thinking. Just jump straight in and hit TikTok. Yeah, cool. Great insight. Totally.


Doone Roisin: Thanks for sharing that. For us, and it's something I haven't really mentioned yet, but for us, we also started to see part of my message and we didn't get into this yet and we can go back, but my childhood was really like the kind of, I guess, driver for why I do what I do. I grew up poor, single mom, middle of the bush, only child. All these different, unique experiences have shaped the impact that I want to have in the world and the opportunity that I want to create for women, because I really struggle with the reality that gender equality is just not, it's not on track and it's just not in a good place, and so we were able to see that, yes, we can create impact through education and learning, and helping in that respect, but also we can create impact by investing our own dollars into small angel investments into brands that we're really excited about and founders that we're really excited about. And so we started doing that kind in their way at the end of 2022. And now, we've got a couple of investments and we're looking to kind of increase that level of our portfolio, I guess you would say, over the coming 10, 20 years.

Jason Atkins: You just opened up like four threads for me that I was looking to pivot across to, so you're amazing. Thank you for doing that. Getting back to how it all began, I think is a really important part of everyone's journey and your purpose and your why. So important in business. If you don't have a real purpose for doing something and it's just about money, like you might make money and then you'll make your money and then you'll be like, “Oh God, this money doesn't really fulfill me.” And so you just have to find purpose and passion, I think. And so to be able to build a company that's educating, you know, young women, women into entrepreneurship that's so connected to something that's so personally important to you and your story must be really cool.


Doone Roisin: It is so cool. You know, I'm a really big advocate for women being financially independent of a partner and having their own access to wealth through assets or whatever it might be. And I was actually invited last week to the U.S. Consulate, U.S. Consulate, U.S. Consul.


Jason Atkins: I don't know. I've never been involved.

Doone Roisin: The private residence of the U.S. Consul. Oh, I'm not saying it right.


Jason Atkins: Anyway, whatever. We know what I'm saying.


Doone Roisin: It's in Woollahra. No, no, in Woollahra. It's here. But the U.S. Ambassador for Women's Global Rights had flown in for a few days of meetings with the government and policymakers and things like that, and her name is Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta. I'm probably not saying that the best way, but that's how I'm going to say it right now.

Jason Atkins: And that's one each for us on this. Thanks for evening it out.

Doone Roisin: And we were talking about a number of issues that women face when it comes to gender inequality and that comes across the funding gap, the pay gap, that kind of bucket. And then it's also into sexual assault, domestic violence, and how all these things kind of fit together. And there are just so many different nuances in all these different buckets. But she was saying that when you see and it's obviously such a big problem in Australia and we're seeing a lot of change and the justice reform that's happening at the moment for sexual assault and violence, which women are disproportionately affected by, when women earn just an income, she said, basically, and this resonated with me, when women earn just an income, they don't have any kind of power to opt out. They are trapped, basically. Whereas when women are able to have an asset, it's the same for anyone.


Jason Atkins: Totally. It's important to call it out for women, but it's the same for me. Like, oh, you've got to earn an income. If you've just got a salary, you have no outs. You can earn a little bit more, you can change jobs, but you were like, there's no outs. But if you have wealth, you have assets that can generate you a salary, like a whole salary, then you have many outs. Totally. And it looks like that's only one inheritance, one element of power. But it's so cool that we can talk about this for women as well and highlight.

Doone Roisin: Absolutely. I think that when you also have those insights and things in mind, it's really important to champion and create change in the impact for women to be able to create businesses, access capital, scale their businesses so they have an asset and they have the option to opt out if they ever need to and have that financial security and independence of a partner.

Jason Atkins: Yeah. Love it. And also, it's slightly off topic, but I mean, even starting, like, even if you're not a founder, for example, if you're one of the first five employees in a great startup, and you get your 1% or whatever. And then that startup goes on to be worth a huge amount, you can still make a tremendous amount of money that way as well. I'm a big believer in ESOPs as a wealth creator, and I know I've taken on a little bit of a tangent, but if you're talking about wealth creation and equity and ownership, the more startups that issue equity properly. And if we make sure that women are getting at least what they deserve when it comes to equity distribution, then that's a huge wealth creator. I think at Cake, we're also very passionate about cross-border equity issuance. So I think if you go back five years, you couldn't. What is it? The cross-border? Let's use a really simple example. So you go back five years, you're an Aussie founder and you've got like five or 10 people working for you and two of them are international, right? They could be freelancers or you could have some particular skill set that you needed in Southeast Asia or wherever. To issue equity to that international person, which 50 is going to be a woman, you couldn't really do it, but now you can. And so by helping to issue equity internationally, We're breaking down borders and we're breaking down the borders between first world., I shouldn't use these terms, but wealthier and less wealthy countries and normalizing wealth distribution, which I think, you know, it really ties into similar concepts, something that we're pretty passionate about.


Doone Roisin: Totally. I think I even experienced this yesterday. I was trying to invest in the platform in the UK, Seeders. It's like an equity crowdfunding platform.


Jason Atkins: What were you investing in? What was tickling your fancy there?


Doone Roisin: Oh, it's actually amazing. You should check it out. It's called Female Invest. There's a lot of similarities to what we do and that it's educational content courses, that kind of thing, but really teaching women how to invest in the stock market and they have an app and things like that. And they've raised before, but they wanted to do a community raise, and I was trying to invest into it. And I couldn't because I'm in Australia. I can do it because I'm going to sort out an address and all that kind of stuff. We have an entity there, but I was like, damn, imagine all the people who are–this is a global company. They have a global community. There would be so many people that want to invest into their platform that are international, and I think that's where those platforms need to evolve to be more cross border. Like you say, because then there are the US ones we funded. It's easy. You just fill it all out and it's fine if you're in Australia.


Jason Atkins: Yeah. We need all this equity stuff, investment, ownership, wealth to be as global as possible. Not quite there yet, but it's definitely improving. I've only been in this space for five or ten years and we've made a lot of progress, so I think it'll get easier and easier to invest and share equity globally, which is awesome.

Doone Roisin: Yeah, I think the rise of those kinds of platforms has been really interesting and obviously so great for companies who don't fit, well, don't fit the playbook of venture capital.

Jason Atkins: The 0.1% playbook that went to Harvard. Sorry to call out the club, but the rest of us need a way to do business as well if we can't afford like 50 grand in legal fees or whatever. Lol. Yeah, so awesome. So we were talking about helping educate young females as well, and you're passionate about that. One of the things we were half-joking about was like, instead of just watching Taylor Swift and being infatuated with her music and her aura, maybe we can learn about her business. She's a marketing genius, I think more so than a musical genius. But look, I'm happy to be shot down on the music side of things, but she's probably both. She is badass. How cool would that be? Maybe that could be one of your courses, you know, talk about the finance of running a global, you know, juggernaut and compare the GDP of a tool versus a small country or whatever.


Doone Roisin: Yeah, I mean, I should. I should start a new series in the newsletter.


Jason Atkins: But it's cool to be able to learn in non-traditional ways, right? I think not everyone wants to sit in a classroom and just go to university and learn. If the price of beef goes up, the demand for chicken will increase and you're just like, “Hurry up.” Yes, that's not my brain. I can't do that.

Doone Roisin: I need to be stimulated. I need it to be fun. I need it to be exciting, and it can be all of those things when it's in the right format, and that's why it's important to have different kinds of format. I mean, when you think about something like Duolingo and how fun that's made learning a language and how fun they are across their channels, you're like, “Wow, this is, this is powerful."

Jason Atkins: Yeah. Hey, we haven't talked about this yet, but it sounds very interesting. Young Australian of the year? Like I haven't spoken to someone with that award before. That's pretty cool. 2022 as well. Pretty fresh. Tell us about it.

Doone Roisin: Oh, my gosh. It was so cool. So I was living in the UK at the time. I'd been there for about eight years and I got this email and I'm like, “What? Nominated for what?" Why?” As if. This is a scam, and then, I get a message.

Jason Atkins: I've got a few of those emails. Actually, we won one of these big SaaS awards last year. And I thought it was a scam too, and I sent it to the internal scam channel. And then they came back and they were like, “No, this is legit.”

Doone Roisin: Oh my God, that's so funny. Yeah, I thought it was a scam and then I got a LinkedIn message and I was like, “Oh, okay.” Anyway, long story short, the kind of focus for, I was in the UK and it's given out by the High Commissioner to Australia at Australia House, which is the embassy in the UK. The theme for 2022 was voices in media, and they had seen my book and kind of been following the journey. Basically, I won Young Australian of the Year alongside Maren Voicy, who is one of the lead scientists for the AstraZeneca vaccine out of Oxford. And she has published a lot of papers on her research and things like that, so she won Australian of the Year. There's a guy who, his name's Tom Hooper, he's a very successful movie producer who produces movies like Cats and Les Mis and stuff like that. And then there was an honorary award, there's four awards, that's three. There was an honorary award for Jamie Dornan for the work he had done in Australia for Tourist, which is, I think it's a movie or a show or something. And honestly, even going there, we would–it's a gala, like you give a speech, you accept the award, all that kind of stuff. But even going there, I was like to my husband, like, I'm just still convinced this isn't real. Like, this is so weird. So we got there and we got there early. Cause obviously, I didn't want to be late and no one was there yet, but we're sitting kind of like in the waiting area of Australia House fully. I've been there.

Jason Atkins: It's a crazy place. There's marble everywhere. Oh, isn't it beautiful? Portraits of all these beautiful old legends of the country. And the wood.


Doone Roisin: Yeah, the wood that they've brought over from Australia. It's so beautiful, like on the roof, you know, everywhere.


Jason Atkins: Beautiful place.


Doone Roisin: So we had an incredible night. It was just so, so special. I think at the time, there were maybe 250 people in the room and that was the most people I'd ever spoken to giving a speech, and it was only a short speech, but I got up there and rattled it off. And I was so nervous, but it was really cool. They'd made this cool video montage and story and all that kind of thing. It was just a really beautiful night. And then that award led to another thing that I thought was fake, but it was real. I was meant to fly to New York on Saturday morning and we were going to leave really early from the house. And then I was like, “Oh, you know what?” We haven't checked the letter box in a while. I should check the letter box. I'm bad at that kind of stuff. So I checked the letterbox and there's a stack of mail because I hadn't looked in like a month. And on the very top, there's the thing that's sent from Buckingham Palace. And I was like, what's this? Yeah. And then basically, I opened it up and it was an invitation to Buckingham Palace to meet the now King and Queen of England. And I was in like, well, shit, lucky I didn't go to New York or lucky I saw it before I went to New York because it was for that week. And so I changed my flight, obviously, and got to go to Buckingham Palace and, yeah, meet the king and queen or queen consort of England and the Commonwealth.

Jason Atkins: And, yeah, that was basically in recognition of… How do you do it? Did you get trained? Do you, like, bow?

Doone Roisin: No, no, no. It was more casual than that. It's like an event that they host for people who have contributed to culture and community within the Commonwealth. And mine was in recognition of the work for women and girls around the world. And when you go, it's just more of a procedure of security, I guess, like all that kind of stuff. And then, yeah, it was amazing, basically.

Jason Atkins: Very stoked. You must have been ecstatic. What a great year. It was a really cool experience. Icing on the cake. Very cool. Very jealous. That sounds amazing.


Doone Roisin: I think I'm not going to be able to top that as a career highlight.


Jason Atkins: No way. The best is yet to come. We'll see. Look, let's talk a bit about your equity journey as a founder. How do you see equity? Do you have a co-founder? Have you got employee equity? Have you raised any capital? What are you happy to sort of share on your equity journey?


Doone Roisin: Yeah, I mean, no, no and no. I am a solo founder. So far, we've just been really kind of bootstrapped. It's definitely something I've seen more as an asset that I'm creating for myself as a cash flow kind of business and as a vehicle to be able to do the things that I want to do. So if I want to invest in other businesses, if I want to travel and do all these kinds of things. Like this is my vehicle to be able to do that as a cash flow kind of structure. You know, never say never, who knows what the future holds. But at the moment, 100% over here.

Jason Atkins: Oh, good. Yeah. I can appreciate that. Some businesses are cash flow businesses. They're not necessarily things that you're ever going to sell. You know, I would probably advocate for having some sort of employee equity or team equity and cutting some people in and maybe giving access to dividends. I hope your team is not going to listen to this. But anyway, that's the sort of thing I normally advocate for. We're very small, but yeah. Look, I totally appreciate that some businesses are best made that way. And look, maybe down the track, you'll have other products that you want to spin out that might need capital. Maybe, maybe not.


Doone Roisin: Yeah, I think for me, I can see a structure where there are different assets that are kind of connected too, and we can use Female Startup Club as a media entity to drive sales awareness, et cetera, too, and have a team and have a lot of people involved. But yeah, right now, we're quite small.

Jason Atkins: Oh, good. And angel investing, you've been doing a bit. How's that going?


Doone Roisin: Yeah. It's been good. I mean, I get a lot of decks coming my way, and you know, I'm also really passionate about connecting dots where I can. Oh, I'll add you to my list. I have a list of people who receive my messages. I'll add you to it. Yeah. So, one of the things that I really try to do is connect the right dots where possible and, and, you know, to, to match up people where I know there might be a good, a good fit, even if it's not me. Um, so to provide some value in some way and yeah, I'm, you know, I'm not investing in tons of businesses all at once. I'm taking more of that long-term approach of a few a year and, you know, in the next 10 or 20 years, I'll have a really nice portfolio and hopefully, some nice wins in there. And I'm excited about a few businesses this year. There's one where I'm about to invest in, it's called Everform, and it is compression wear for pregnant women and postpartum. The founder is a physio and it's been designed with this patented technology to kind of help the issues that happen when you're pregnant–after pregnancy and after labor and things like that. So yeah, this is a really cool one.

Jason Atkins: All the help we can get, Oregon.


Doone Roisin: Exactly, exactly. But yeah, Everform, you should check it out. Anyone
who's interested in learning more could also drop into my DMs and I can connect those dots.


Jason Atkins: She's amazing. Nice plug. Jason Calacanis would be proud of that plug.


Doone Roisin: Who's that?

Jason Atkins: He's like this massive angel investor. He runs the all in pod, which is one of the biggest pods around.


Doone Roisin: Yeah. Yeah.


Jason Atkins: He's also one of our investors.


Doone Roisin: Amazing. Wow.

Jason Atkins: Cool. Cool. Yeah. He loves to talk about his own book on his podcast. That's all. Anyway,


Doone Roisin: Right, right, right, right. They're really big on TikTok, right? Yeah.


Jason Atkins: I don't know. Yeah. I was on TikTok for a while, but I have a bit of an addictive personality, and I was just like, I felt like it was just on me and I couldn't get out.

Doone Roisin: So I have to set really strong boundaries. Me too, though. I can, like, lose two hours and then be like, holy shit, what in the hell?

Jason Atkins: I've never experienced anything like that. That algorithm just knows you better than yourself. It's crazy.


Doone Roisin: Yeah, it's pretty powerful.


Jason Atkins: So cool. Well, I mean, we're running out of time, and we always finish with a little question about health and mental health. You know, being a founder is a hard journey. And we're sort of big believers that we just need to look after your health to have a happy life and be creative. How do you sort of see that when it comes to entrepreneurship? Obviously, you like getting in the sunshine. So that'll help with your mental health.

Doone Roisin: I thrive in the sunshine. The UK, I was there for like eight years, maybe. And yeah, it was just not good for my soul.


Jason Atkins: What do I do? I get the sad lamps out there, all sorts of weird stuff. It gets
pretty depressing.


Doone Roisin: Yeah, it's great like most of the year. So day to day, I focus on the small things and the things that are definitely within my control. So even if I'm having a shit time, I know that I can pull the lever and do one thing that gives me a little moment of joy. So for me, that is daily cold shower, love cold therapy, really find it a mood booster. And especially on the days where you don't want to do it is the days where you get the best results. I love going for a walk by the beach or a swim in the ocean just those kind of like small rituals that you have in your day-to-day life that bring you joy for me even just like having a coffee, I just have to go out and have a coffee every morning, get out of the house before I kind of like get into my day and so on. That kind of level–those small things really keep me on track, but I go through ups and downs. Like everyone, I've definitely experienced times of deep anxiety and deep burnout and just what the f– feelings. Why am I doing this? I should not do this anymore, but you know, there's ups and downs. I think it's really hard when people tout the whole balance and I don't know you're a solo bootstrapped founder and you're really trying to climb the mountain like your brain is thinking about this thing that you're doing all the time. And I find it really hard to switch off from that.

Jason Atkins: And if you're doing something important, meaningful, and you care about it, then what's balance? Like, just go for it. Just go, go, go. Like, I must only work seven hours a day. Like, no, F that. It's like, just get into it. Like, what else are you going to do? Sit down and watch Channel 7 in the evening or like binge on some show? People waste so much of their life trying to find balance, so I love that. If you're passionate, powerful and striving, then just rip in. It's an awesome way to think.

Doone Roisin: Absolutely. I think for me as well, like the other thing that I really enjoy doing is just reading and not reading anything business, not reading anything to make you smarter. It's like reading to switch off and get into a different world and universe that isn't work related. And that's an actual tool that I use to switch off my brain. It is just reading a rom-com at the end of the day, or reading just a story that isn't somehow connected to me trying to build this business and me trying to do this thing or learn this thing or upscale or whatever it is. That's a way that I can actively switch off my brain.


Jason Atkins: All right, let's finish on a share. Have you got a good book people could check out?


Doone Roisin: Oh, my God. I have so many books. Okay. Oh, I'm just going to put you on the spot.

Jason Atkins: Yeah, you put me on the spot.

Doone Roisin: Let me just open my Kindle here. I read, I mean, especially when I'm really in a rhythm, I can read a couple of books a week.


Jason Atkins: While you're doing that, I've been reading books with my 12 year old daughter lately. So I'm reading all these, like, teenage girl books just to connect with her. Hey, they're fine. They're fine. You know, like they're interesting enough, bit of action, bit of young love.


Doone Roisin: I tried to get into the ones that are going super viral at the moment, the ACOTAR, A Court of Thorns and Roses.


Jason Atkins: Oh, you'll have to share it with me. Could a 12, 13 year old read it or is it too hectic?

Doone Roisin: I don't know, I haven't been able to get into it yet. People say that once you get past the first half of the first book, it's like insane and you read all the five books or whatever, but I just can't get to that point. And I'm like, ”Oh, but everyone, even boyfriends of the girls on TikTok that are reading it, then they get into it, and it's like, anyway, it's a whole thing. I just finished Yellow Face, which is a story that was really interesting, not rom-com or anything, but it's won a lot of awards and people loved it. What else do I really like? Going through here... I feel like they're all such chick books. One of my favorite books ever is Boy Swallows Universe and that's by Trent Dalton. He was growing up in Brisbane in the 50s and it's kind of his story of his life. It's now been made into a show and that's just like such a great book. Into the Magic Shop.


Jason Atkins: That show was amazing. I could not stop watching it. 


Doone Roisin: I haven't watched it yet. I need to. It's on my list. Into the Magic Shop is a true story from a neurosurgeon and it kind of tells a story. It's just a crazy story, but it tells a story while also giving kind of lessons in like mindfulness and like the brain. And it's really, really interesting. What else is there? I'm trying to think what am I?

Jason Atkins: It's all good. A bit of philosophy wrapped into fiction. I like that as well. You can learn things.


Doone Roisin: Totally. I also do love like a biography or an autobiography. I just read the Britney Spears and Paris Hilton's and they're both so fascinating and just these intense stories and, you know, just so full on and they're just so amazing. I also actually, not chick flick style, I just read recently, what's the guy trying to find the name of it? I can't find the name here, but it's the book. It's the book that's written about David Goggins, but while he was not known as David Goggins, before his book came out, the Can't Hurt Me book, and it's written by Jesse Itzler, the guy who's married to Sarah Blakely from Spanx. It is so funny and so interesting. And Jesse Itzler is just such a good storyteller, and so I read that and loved it. And then Can't Hurt Me is less my vibe and David Gobbins and that in his book is less my vibe. But still really interesting to read the two and have these like two wildly different kind of like takes on David Goggins and another one of my all-time favorite books actually that I do recommend a lot of people is The Spy and the Traitor and it's this true story that spans decades up until now from Russian intelligence and British intelligence and American intelligence and it's just like fascinating and gripping but without being too much and it's a really good story.


Jason Atkins: Amazing. Thanks for sharing. I've got a few books now for my reading list
as well.


Doone Roisin: I could actually send you my list afterwards. I can curate a list for you. I have so many.


Jason Atkins: Do it, do it. I would love that. I would love that. Inspiring. Well, thanks for inspiring me and thanks for inspiring our listeners as well. It's been wonderful to have you on. Love hearing your perspective and you bring awesome energy to what you do and you're doing something really meaningful. And so thanks for doing that and congrats on your success.

Doone Roisin: Thank you so much for having me. This was so fun. This was great.


Jason Atkins: See you, everyone.

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