The Thrive Questionnaire With Kara Goldin

The founder and CEO of Hint opens up about overcoming failure, turning to family for inspiration, and the moment she learned that good things take time.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Kara Goldin is the founder and CEO of San Francisco–based hint®, a healthy lifestyle brand that produces the leading unsweetened flavored water and a scented sunscreen spray that’s oxybenzone- and paraben-free. She is also the founder of The Kara Network (TKN), an online resource for aspiring and thriving business-minded people.

In her Thrive Questionnaire, she opens up about overcoming failure, turning to family for inspiration, and the moment she learned good things take time.

TG: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed? 

KG: I go for a hike in the mountains behind my house, sometimes with my husband, sometimes just my Labradors. 

TG: What gives you energy?

KG: A deep conversation with a family member, a friend or a colleague. I love the interactions, the laughs, the insights, they always inform my perspective and get my mind going…Hint water keeps it moving all day long.      

TG: What’s your secret life hack?

KG: Turn no’s into yes’s. It’s challenging but have the confidence, passion and purpose to make it happen.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.

KG: The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace by Lindsey Pollak. It’s an excellent book showing how to manage and live in a world with all age groups.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?

KG: No, that place is reserved for Theo, but it’s always close by.

TG: How do you deal with email?

KG: I do my best to stay on top of it, but I’m an active person and I like to be in the moment, not always looking at my phone or computer. 

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?

KG: Probably check in with one of my children. It’s instant inspiration… or great problem-solving exercise depending on the day.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?

KG: It’s not in my nature, I know how lucky I am, I tend to think about the positives and take a SoulCycle class or something to change the vibe if necessary. 

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it? 

KG: A few years ago, we were heavily stocked nationwide with Starbucks with our blackberry flavored still water. One day I got a call from Starbucks that they no longer want to stock Hint because they wanted to make room for higher margin foods, like sandwiches. That was fine, but what was I to do with the millions of dollars of product in the warehouse? I panicked. A few days later, I got a call from Amazon. They were about to launch food and beverage on the site, and one of its buyers tried Hint at Starbucks. They wanted in. So much so that they bought all of the inventory we had meant for Starbucks. I learned that with scary times, you have to know that better stuff comes.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.

KG: “So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.” —Ruth Bader Ginsburg


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