Episode 41: Kate Walling

Startup Life: Know When to Walk Away and Know When to Run

kate walling

Kate Walling knew entrepreneurship was in her blood. At 24, she cooked up a digital recipe startup long before Nailed It became a family pastime. Then 2008 happened. Enough said.

Originally from the deep South, Walling moved to rainy Seattle to build a boutique consulting agency, Scrappy Face. The company thrived, but her personal life got complicated as she faced divorce. And did we mention the rain?

Walling had her “screw it” moment and left both her business and Seattle to experience Silicon Valley.

Her latest venture, Traction Hero, is an agency solving high-growth companies’ marketing challenges. Listen to the twists and turns of Walling’s life and how she came out on top in this episode of SheVentures.

Key Moments

  • 4:16 — Walling’s parents gave her a helping hand (aka funding) for her first tech startup, Secret Ingredients, and helped her through hard lessons learned.
  • 7:45 — How did the 2008 market crash impact Walling’s business?
  • 10:11 — Walling provides tips on how to evaluate when to pull the plug on a struggling startup.
  • 14:01 — What is Scrappy Face, and what are the pros and cons of running a consulting agency?
  • 17:20 — Scrappy Face was anything but scrappy when Walling decided to get divorced. Discover how she coped an dealt with burnout. Plus, she shares her tips to recognize burnout.
  • 20:50 — Walling reveals whether the stress and demands of her startup affected her marriage.
  • 25:01 — Why did she move to Silicon Valley? How can women help one another in this “pressure cooker” environment?
  • 29:53 — Walling describes being part of a tech accelerator while working full-time, and discusses how she managed to balance it all on only two hours of sleep per night for three months. 
  • 32:31 — The art startup Walling co-created launched with 20 artists and more than 80 pieces of art. What started off with a bang couldn’t last. Learn why.
  • 36:08 — What are the major red flags to identify when going into business with someone else?
  • 40:25 — Traction Hero, Walling’s latest venture, seeks to solve high-growth tech companies’ marketing issues. 
  • 46:24 — What is the best email platform for a small business or startup? Walling has done the research and has the answers. Spoiler: There may not be just one. Find out about her free white papers on marketing automation.