Sheryl O’Loughlin is the author of Killing It: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart. She has successfully served as CEO of Clif Bar and REBBL (a company that makes super herb drinks). She co-founded Plum Organics, the hardest thing she’s ever done, she said. Currently, she works with the J.E.D.I. Collaborative, a group that seeks to help build a natural products industry that promotes justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
After leaving Plum, Sheryl thought teaching might be a nice break from the roller coaster of launching a new business. She accepted the position of Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Stanford Graduate School of Business. As she mentored entrepreneur students, she realized that no one was talking about the realities of startup life—how few startups actually make it, and the price many pay getting there—personally, emotionally, physically. This became her inspiration for sharing her hard-won lessons in the book. She deeply believes that entrepreneurs need a healthier paradigm, one that balances the whole person.
There are several interviews with Sheryl that focus on her experience as CEO and founder, so we don’t dive into that. Instead, this interview focuses more on the intersection of her marriage and entrepreneurial experience.
Her husband, Patrick, did not want to be interviewed, so we miss his voice. He graciously gives Sheryl his blessing to discuss their marriage, as she does so honestly in her book.
Sheryl is passionate and refreshingly honest with so much wisdom to share. I hope you will have grace for some audio issues we experienced. As a team of 3—me, myself & I—there is still a learning curve, and I’m learning some things the hard way. Join me now as I welcome Sheryl to the podcast.