Building a People-First Company with Natalie Nagele, Wildbit

June 30, 2021

Natalie Nagele, CEO of Wildbit, joins us to discuss building a successful people-first company with a 32 hour workweek. Speaking from her own experiences, as a leading people-first employer, we talk about how you can measure your success as an entrepreneur, how to stay guided by your purpose throughout your entrepreneurial journey, and what it takes to stay committed to your business.  

Three things you will learn from this episode: 

  • Why you should think of your business as a tool rather than an end in itself.
  • Whether you should pay yourself as a founder or reinvest to build towards a great exit.
  • How to avoid burnout by setting the optimum pace for the growth of your business.  

About our Guest: 

Natalie Nagele is the co-founder and CEO of Wildbit. Her priority is creating a happy and positive work culture at Wildbit and the world. This stems from her core belief that businesses are tools designed to create a better world for people everywhere.

On today’s episode: 

  • Measuring your entrepreneurial journey in decades. – 03:10
  • How slow growth changed our entrepreneurial vision. – 06:43
  • Should you service yourself or your business? (the beginning of a people-first philosophy) -09:48
  • You don’t have to choose between building a lifestyle business or a unicorn business. – 10:16
  • How important is fundraising to your success as an entrepreneur? (the answer may surprise you). – 12:55
  • How do you know if your business is moving at the right pace? – 16:01
  • The cost of doing more than you planned for in your business. – 22:34 
  • A good question to ask yourself instead of comparing yourself to others. –  26:04
  • Don’t copy, steal: entrepreneurship vs. being a copycat. – 26:52 
  • Should founders pay themselves, or should you reinvest everything in your business? – 29:03
  • Living your best life BEFORE you sell your business. – 30:03
  • The trouble with the concept of the entrepreneurial legacy. – 32:22 
  • Check out these companies with People First Jobs. – 36:04
  • Lesson #1: Using moments of tension as opportunities. – 39:25 
  • Lesson #2: Pay yourself well. – 41:32 
  • Lesson #3: How you impact who you interact with. – 42:49

Key Takeaways: 

  • Entrepreneurs should look at and evaluate their lives in decades because it takes a decade to build and scale. 
  • Building your business outside trend bubbles can make you stand out and not stick to the trends.
  • When your business plateaus, it is crucial to reevaluate what you are doing and why you are doing it. It is an excellent opportunity to evaluate what your long-term goals are. 
  • It is becoming much easier to start a business and gain traction, especially in terms of cost. 
  • Entrepreneurship is not about fundraising. It is about building value for customers and finding ways to do that in which you are making more than you spend.
  • Frequent change in your business makes you lose out on so much momentum. You must set priorities and stick to them instead of measuring yourself against others. 
  • Hero worship is ultimately going to fail you. You are better off measuring against yourself than you measure yourself against others. 
  • As an entrepreneur, you have to keep assessing how your company fits within who you are and what your goals are in life. 
  • Paying yourself as a founder secures your commitment to building a meaningful business. It ensures that you would not leave your business behind for ‘the next big thing.’ 
  • Paying yourself well is the best way to keep yourself engaged in your business. 

Building a people-first company while providing a good life to your family: 

[31:27] “I tell the team this all the time: if this business gets harder, and I make less money, it does not make sense. Which it doesn’t, like why would I do that? And that’s Ok. But I’m not torturing my team, and I do that while simultaneously providing 32 hour work weeks. I’m not embarrassed to say that out loud because I believe you can equally do both things: you can build a people-first company while also providing wealth for your family.”  


How do you think building a people-first company would improve your life balance as an entrepreneur?

Tell us in the comments, and don’t forget to say hello if you would like to share your entrepreneurship story on our podcast. 


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