Meet Kim Kirton, social entrepreneur and Founders Fund co-founder
Intro yourself! Who are you and what are you passionate about?
My name is the real Kim K. JK, it’s Kim Kirton.
I am an experienced and passionate social entrepreneur who loves bringing big ideas to life and solving really big problems. If I had to choose a superpower, it would definitely be curiosity, as I love asking questions, learning new things and thinking of creative was to spread the word about whatever I am building. With an unwavering desire for new experiences, combined with a dedication to hard work and social impact, I have managed to forge a path that is uniquely mine.
I also really like spin — like, a lot. I love it because on the off days, when I don’t feel productive and not best self, I get myself to a spin class, because then at least I accomplished that — and, well, I just love a good sweat.
What's your personal mission statement?
I actually created a personal mission statement a few years ago, but haven’t looked at it since this question, so here’s the OG statement I made:
“To live an intentional and meaningful life, and to spend time with people who matter and on projects who contribute to the larger goal of humanity. Gain your own power by sharing your truths and empowering others to share theirs, and always hustle hard but always stay humble. Oh, and always remember to love people, not things, as the other way around never works.“ Full article here!
How did you start working with the Founders Fund?
Sheena (my Founders Fund co-founder!) and I have known each other for about three years now. I reached out to her originally on Linkedin about a business idea I had at that time — I thought if I could get her interested in my product, that I had something. Sheena was one of my very first beta clients, and she’s been a close friend and mentor of mine ever since.
When I was transitioning out of my startup (...long story there), Sheena actually approached me about starting a project within Tease Tea where they could give away $5K of their profits to other businesses. She mentioned that they tried to bring it to life a couple times and failed, but thought I would be the best person to actually make it happen.
What turned started out as just a casual freelance gig ended up turning into one of my most meaningful and best pieces of work to date. I am so grateful to have said yes around this time last year when Sheena said, “Hey, I have this idea.” Our story is a true testament to mutually valued collaboration, respect and commitment to building something that truly matters.
What is your favourite thing about being a mentor to others?
Knowledge-sharing, hands down!
As much as I share with my mentees, I learn a lot from them too. Everyone comes from different walks of life, and we all have so much to share, whether that be personal lessons or professional ones.
What are some key lessons you’ve learned for your mentors?
1. Timelines are healthy — they force you to make hard decisions, then move on.
2. Developing non-negotiables in all areas of your life will help you get clear about what you need and how to maintain your mental, physical and emotional health. #FACTS
3. Trying to understand someone’s context will help you empathize and understand them more. This is super helpful in business, whether that be a client, customer or even just when someone disagrees with you.Michelle obama gave me this one! Not personally, but I was in the audience when she said it and it felt like she was saying it directly to me… so I guess it counts!
What are some ways you invest in yourself?
1. Working out — I do spin 4-5 times a week!
2. Therapy — having someone to talk to without judgment and who is a professional is super rewarding, scary and comforting all at the same time.
3. Listening to my body — whether it’s feeling anxious or not feeling creative or productive, I listen to it. Still working on it, but really trying not to force things, as every time I have forced something or felt resistance, it always backfired and made things worse for me and my well being.
That it’s a brand new decade, and anything is truly possible. It’s crazy to think we are almost at 2021 — that’s the year Phil of the Future was forecasting as so far in the future back in the day!
We are in such an exciting time. By 2020, 49% of the workforce will be self-employed. That is a HUGE shift in the future of work — in other words, the future of work is here. It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur and to build business with impact. I am so grateful for the work that has been done, but I am even more excited for all the work that there is to follow and all the communities and people each of our business will impact in 2020, and beyond.
Seriously, what a great time to be alive right?
Kim Kirton is one of the founding members, head of growth, and a mentor with the Founders Fund. She’s worked with clients across sectors on growth marketing and business development. Kim also founded her own company, UnCo, in 2017, an online platform through which women could buy and build capsule clothing collections from sustainable, independent Canadian brands. She also hosted the first ever UnCo summit, a gathering of women-identifying entrepreneurs looking to build something that matters. You can follow Kim’s journey on Instagram @kimbexo.