Uncommon Business
Uncommon Business
Episode #5 - Wes Kao, the coach you didn't know you needed
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Episode #5 - Wes Kao, the coach you didn't know you needed

Wes Kao: entrepreneur, marketer, writer, advisor, and coach.

Hello good people -

Today’s interview is high energy, insightful and fun.

is an entrepreneur, marketer, coach, advisor, and fellow newsletter author. Wes has co-founded two companies: Maven, an edtech company that raised $25M from First Round and Andreessen Horowitz, and the altMBA, which she co-founded with bestselling author Seth Godin.

Over 250,000 people follow Wes across LinkedIn, X, and Substack.

You can listen to our conversation with Wes right here in Substack (scroll up), on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or in the podcast player of your choice.

Wes Kao is a force to be reckoned with.

Keeley and I (Peter) first met Wes back in 2016 when we both participated in one of the first cohorts of the altMBA.

For those who aren’t familiar, altMBA is essentially a month-long online leadership bootcamp. The work we did and the frameworks we learned during that month continue to influence our work - and we have Wes to thank for that.

Since our time in the altMBA, we have followed Wes’s career with interest, as she co-founded another company (Maven) and then struck out on her own to help individuals and teams level up.

Every week, Wes’s newsletter pushes us to hold ourselves and others to a higher standard. Wes is rigorous, thoughtful, and good at coining memorable frameworks (some of which we discuss today!)

This was a super fun conversation. Keeley and I enjoyed debriefing this one (which you can listen to after the interview).

Enjoy this conversation with Wes Kao.

A screenshot from our interview. Check out Wes’s beautiful house plants in the background - as well as my own conspicuous lack thereof.

Topics Discussed:

  • [00:00] Teaser Clip and Introduction

  • [03:08] Wes’s background

  • [03:55] What it means to be a high performer

  • [08:52] Wes’s career arc

  • [14:03] Lessons that Wes learned from Seth Godin, and what they disagree about

  • [21:07] “Spiky points of view”

  • [28:46] The “state change method”

  • [31:17] Wes’s big vision for her business

  • [35:47] Coaching

  • [40:37] Organizational resilience, leadership succession, and getting raises

  • [48:33] Toronto

  • [49:42] Newsletters

  • [52:05] YouTube

  • [52:46] Houseplants

  • [55:04] Book recommendations

  • [55:48] Post-interview debrief with Peter and Keeley


Please help this interview reach more people by rating Uncommon Business on Spotify and Apple or by sharing it with others.

We would love your feedback, comments, and questions. Please leave a comment directly on the post or email us at hello@lumogroup.co.

Thank you!

Peter & Keeley
Partners, Lumo Group

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