Megan Everett – From Friend to $120k Con Artist

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[00:00:00] Michael King: Hey everybody, welcome back to In the Trenches with Michael King where we talk with business owners, leaders, and executives about the lessons they've learned while fighting In the Trenches of the business battlefield. I am Michael King.

[00:00:23] If you’ve found yourself in one of those situations, one of those predicaments where you realize that you're in a world of shit, a really bad place. You've made some kind of mistake, you've screwed something up pretty badly and you know you need help. But you don't ask for it because you're so embarrassed by the mistake that you've made.

[00:00:46] You're so fearful that others are going to judge you for what you've done, or you feel like you don't have anybody around you that can even help you out of the particular situation that you're in, so you don't even bother asking. I know I have, and I think for me, when you get into those kinds of spots, you start to feel really alone.

[00:01:08] Shameful, isolated and quite honestly just scared shitless. Today, I'm talking with my friend Megan Everett. Megan is the CEO and founder of Perform. She's going to tell us all about performance here in a minute, but Megan, a couple of years ago, had paid software developers, six figures to develop some custom software for her platform.

[00:01:34] The person ended up not only milking her out of that six figures, but they also tried to leverage her network against her, and all of a sudden, Megan found herself alone and afraid. Ill equipped to handle what was facing her. And so, she went into a place of depression. She isolated herself and really just got under the blanket on the couch and hid for several weeks until she got herself out of it.

[00:02:02] By surrounding herself with a strong support network. And also, some lawyers. So today, I'm going to talk with Megan about her journey into this really bad decision to work with this horrible company. We're going to talk about the lowest lows that she felt during that time, and then she's going to tell us how she got out of it.

[00:02:22] And she's going to give you some great ideas on how you can avoid a similar fate. Without any further ado, here's my conversation with Megan Everett. Megan Everett. Good morning. How are you?

[00:02:35] Megan Everett: How are you?

[00:02:36] Michael King: I'm awesome. You were telling me that it wasn't in the too far distant past, that you lost $120,000 from a shitty vendor.

[00:02:46] You were telling me that basically you got conned, you signed a contract, you did not lawyer up and have them take a look at it. And this vendor walked away with $120k. In cash, basically at a time when you really didn't have $120,000 to spare. Tell us what happened.

[00:03:06] Megan Everett: I knew this person for about a year before I signed a contract with them.

[00:03:10] So they played a nice long game and we started talking about things that I wanted done with the platform that we currently had and coding that needed to be redone and dashboards, things like that. And we came up with this idea for like the kind of just revamp, perform all together.

[00:03:29] Michael King: So tell us what is Performed.

[00:03:30] Give us a little bit of background on the company.

[00:03:32] Megan Everett: Yeah. Perform is a forecasting software. it's a little bit more than that. So simply plug into your CRMs and we have an API to most of that, making custom build, anything else. But what we do that's a little different is we do it on an individual rep basis.

[00:03:49] So we take all of the data from your whole team and then we take it rep by rep. And tell you with what they've done and the leads that they have currently, what they'll do this year. And then we give you information that you're normally not getting. Like this is what this rep closes fast. This is the leads that you're going to have to give them this year for them to do the same thing or to meet your goals.

[00:04:12] So, and then we give each rap and education path and it's all gamified. We're building an app right now that'll make it a lot more fun to do too.

[00:04:22] Michael King: Interesting. So you take the data that's already in a CRM and existing CRM, you've got something that plugs into it. It says, Hey, based on, you know, this particular sales reps, past performance, the goals that they've got for this year, this is what you're going to need to tee up for them if you want them to close those targets.

[00:04:41] Is that accurate?

[00:04:43] Megan Everett: Yeah, that's exactly what it is.

[00:04:45] Michael King: So early days. You've got some software build out that you need done. And this, this evil doer for a year is kind of nurturing. And, you're telling him all these things you need built out. And then he's like, Hey, we can do that.

[00:05:02] Megan Everett: And very strategically, and I didn't think about this till recently.

[00:05:09] I was with the person that he had introduced me to. The day that he sent his proposal. So he knew that we were spending the weekend in San Francisco, and so he knew that I was with that person and had like a little bit of reinforcement of somebody to be like, this student's super cool.

[00:05:29] He's so great. It's going to do these great things for you. So that was interesting. But he sends this proposal, this guy also has a law degree. And I trust them and he's like a super simple contract like, and does the whole, if you want to have a lawyer, look at it, do that. But you're really wasting your money.

[00:05:50] And I find the only thing I'd ever used the lawyer for at this point was to file an LLC. And even then it was like, I could've done that on my own. So I really didn't know and we weren't making a ton of money at this point. We'd just like literally the week before I had gotten our first enterprise contract and the money hadn't even come in yet.

[00:06:10] So I'm looking at this. The contract is for $250,000 to be paid out over the next eight months or something. And I'm looking at our growth and like what's coming in and what I think is going to come in and I'm like, we get a for this if we strategically make our payments and kind of like. I don't hire this person.

[00:06:31] I was going to hire, but like then I have the software. So things were already really tight and this was going to be a stretch. But I also have this other person that's like, he builds a means and softwares, look at these other softwares he's felt, and I'm like, okay, like I'm going to do this. And then the next month comes, this is like November, 2018.

[00:06:53] He starts talking about like, maybe you should come to Dallas for a while and actually work with the team so it looks the way that you want it to look. I uprooted my entire life and moved to Dallas in January. Literally like get rid of my place and I get to Dallas and he has like a few interns working for him.

[00:07:13] There's no dev team here

[00:07:19] Megan Everett: So what the actual fuck. And he started to explain to me that, like his team is actually in Pakistan I think. And I'm like really weird. Like why am I here? And a couple months go by and there's a lot of arguing and me having to like pull information and basically threaten to pull our contract to get any updates and I'm not getting any, like I haven't seen any code and we're in March at this point.

[00:07:49] So we've gone from November to March and I've seen no code at all. So no code comes through and it's March.

[00:07:57] Michael King: How much have you paid at this point?

[00:08:00] Megan Everett:  I think we're towards 100,000 at this point.

[00:08:04] Michael King:  So you're north of six figures in this thing. You're five months into it and still not a line of code.

[00:08:12] Megan Everett: Not a line of code.

[00:08:13] All I've seen literally like to illustrate our mockup. mobile pages, all I've seen and like maybe 10 and 10 is probably generous, like a Google doc of up to 10 pages that is basically like, this is like a book broken down and ways that we can use it in the app, which I'm not even sure that that person actually wrote.

[00:08:38] Michael King: Wow.

[00:08:38] Megan Everett: I think they pulled it from somewhere else.

[00:08:41] Michael King: Where you having that sinking feeling at this point

[00:08:44] Megan Everett: The thing that gets me is I was having it in December before I even knew that I was like somethings off and I had sent this text to him and was like, Hey, I need a timeline and I need benchmarks and I need all these things, but I've also already signed this contract that has no cancellation clause, and I'm like, what am I supposed to do here?

[00:09:06] And his response to that was, you need to trust me and you don't know how development works. Why would I waste my time with that with you?

[00:09:16] Michael King: Like literally he said that

[00:09:18] Megan Everett: I have it in text messages and at this point I'm such a very naive but not seasoned owner or CEO at all at this point. I mean, I have two other employees right now when we're talking about this.

[00:09:32] So I had no idea what to do.

[00:09:37] Michael King: When you got that text, what did that feel like? What were you thinking? What were you feeling?

[00:09:42] Megan Everett: I mean, I'm pretty sure I cried because I cry. I thought I had made a horrible, horrible mistake and the thing I wouldn't have done. I kept doing. Was I kept going to men in my life and saying like, this is happening and this is how I'm feeling.

[00:10:00] And they're all so logical and a lot of them like our engineers or have like these coding brains cause I was like, is this normal? Like, like what is happening? Am I being overly sensitive? And a lot of their answers were like, well Megg, you are like a little overly sensitive in general. And maybe he's just like, this is the way that a human and he's just not responding in the right way.

[00:10:23] So I dismiss a lot of this early on. As like just bad social skills and like being very intelligent and an engineer, which I later found out that he's not, and he doesn't code, but other things start happening. Like he starts like going into, he's calling my lawyer on his own.

[00:10:49] He's going into my bank on his own and asking questions about our accounts and he's not on the accounts.

[00:10:57] Michael King: So he's like physically going to the bank and asking them questions about your account. Yeah. And he's calling your attorney and asking questions about you and your business.

[00:11:10] Megan Everett: I mean, this guy is smart.

[00:11:11] He introduced me to my attorney in Dallas, and went to my first meeting with me. Part of our contract was like. Equity given upon completion of the product. So my attorney knows he's involved in the company. He went to the private banker. I'm not going to say the name of the bank with us and introduced me when I first came to Dallas.

[00:11:37] So he's like, he's already put himself in a place to look like he's a business partner when he's not. And he's telling people and like introducing me to people and I'm not seeing any of this. So like when he goes to a meeting to meet an investor with me, he looks like a business partner and he's basically setting this up to be like, if I were to freak out and say, you're no longer part of the company.

[00:12:03] It looks like I just took the company from him.

[00:12:06] Michael King: Wow.

[00:12:08] Megan Everett: Which is so ingenious, like evil genius, that that's how half the people would, it happened. They thought that like I actually screwed him over.

[00:12:18] Michael King: So he was just kind of strategically inserting himself alongside you. Yeah. With the key relationships that he would be able to leverage later to make it look like he was part of, of you in your team and perform.

[00:12:32] So that's when the scam was kind of coming to a head like this. Honestly, this seems like an episode of American greed. I on CNBC where it's, you know, how people scam other people and defraud people. This could legit be an episode of American greed.

[00:12:50] Megan Everett: I've never seen it. There are two other large companies that, I won't say the names because they have lawsuits going on with them as well.

[00:12:57] They'll have the same thing happen and he still tells people that he built their entire platform, which is part of why I was like, you built those platforms. Those are like nationwide companies that are killing it. Of course I would go with this person.

[00:13:12] Michael King: So the guy goes into your lawyer, your attorney, your banker, he's, he's finding out, I'm guessing, financial information, like what do you have?

[00:13:22] How much can he milk you for? He's kind of figuring that out. Probably pinging the lawyer to see how much does she really know about law and you know, how far can I push her?

[00:13:32] Megan Everett: A lawyer that he plays basketball with. So this is like a friend of his, which is also interesting and like mad that I couldn't use my lawyer for anything with him, which was so beneficial to have because I had to go find a new lawyer that had no history to actually like deal with this case

[00:13:52] Michael King: and all the expenses that come along with that when you're super half strapped.

[00:13:56] Megan Everett: Yeah. So, it's so frustrating.

[00:13:58] Michael King: But. I didn't know we were going to get a roadmap for fraud today. This is the first for In the Trenches. We have a roadmap for fraud. Everyone take notes.

[00:14:06] Megan Everett: Right? Like it's so funny cause I have for a while now, I wanted to backtrack this and actually start telling people like these are signs to watch for and I put it in some kind of document or start talking about it.

[00:14:19] Michael King: We'll put it in the podcast. Right? Here we go.

[00:14:23] Megan Everett: So many people tell me they've had similar things happen. Not this strategic. This is incredibly strategic and I think this person has done it more than the other two times that I know of.

[00:14:35] Michael King: He's a pro.

[00:14:36] Megan Everett: Yeah, definitely. So everything comes to a head, and I know exactly the date because I was supposed to go to a benefit with him that night.

[00:14:45] It was March 27 so we were supposed to go to that earth, earth acts, garden party or something. Anyway, it doesn't matter. And literally throughout that day, like everything is starting to blow up and I am realizing that this person is actually going to try to steal my company. So it wasn't just the money.

[00:15:05] He started trying to say that. He was now the CSO of my company and that I had guaranteed to have another 20 per site and I wasn't keeping up my end of the deal with the vendors and he starts telling people there was investor fraud. We had not taken any money or gone into due diligence with anyone at this time.

[00:15:27] So there was no way for there to be any new investor fraud and that he is going to do. Something that makes sure that I am out of the company and he gets the entire company. So this is a story that he's telling everyone I've met in Dallas, which is insane, and I am hearing it like I'm literally walking to get a blow out for the benefit and like my phone is blowing up and people are like

[00:15:52] Did you commit investor fraud? And I'm like, we have no investors. What the fuck are you talking about? And I literally, it's like literally blowing up like that for 45 minutes of a dry bar. I'm sitting there looking at my phone and like in spheres at Drybar and everyone's looking at me like, who the fuck is this girl crying?

[00:16:14] I'd be like, I just have to leave. I think I left before they even finished and didn't go to the gala. Obviously. I just went home and I was like, I don't even know what to do. And all of a sudden I have my lawyer telling me, you need a new lawyer. You shouldn't spend any performa money on it. You need to spend your own money.

[00:16:35] And I'm like, I don't have my own money.

[00:16:39] Michael King: both say no.

[00:16:41] Megan Everett: Right? And I'm like, I have none of my own money. Everything I have is in performa. I have a C Corp, how the fuck do I have to spend my own money on this? My life literally imploded within. What it felt like five days to me.

[00:16:56] If like the Friday before this, we were all at a birthday dinner, my birthday dinner, and I had friends from my hometown there, other friends from California, and the sky had picked up the entire bill for the dinner. So it went from like, we're celebrating me and this guy's picking up a bill at stir, which is not super expensive, but like.

[00:17:36] Because this thing that I spent a year and a half building was either going to go bankrupt or was going to be somebody else's is what I thought. I'll not die and it was fucking horrible.

[00:17:47] Michael King: So what did you do?

[00:17:48] Megan Everett: What I did is not something I recommend for anyone. I went into this like panic. I am going to try to fix it with him mode, which I think anybody who's inexperienced thinks that they can fix it, especially when they're at this place of like, I can't afford this.

[00:18:05] So I started texting him and trying to meet with him and giving him more and more information, which was exactly the opposite of what you should do. But I realized that at the point I thought I was, I really thought I was going to be able to make it better and that I went on like. Just a spiral of like crying all the time.

[00:18:26] I wasn't leaving my apartment at one point. I packed up my car. I told my lawyers I was doing this. I was like, I'm going to go home for a week or two. I don't get on a plane for some reason. I think it's a really good idea that it's going to clear my head to take a 30 hour drive.

[00:18:42] Michael King: That'll kill your head.

[00:18:43] Megan Everett: Yes. We also have to drive it back at some point.

[00:18:47] Michael King:  There's too much, too much.

[00:18:50] Megan Everett: So I drove back home and went to a friend's house and just showed up and they knew I was coming, but I was like, I just can't deal with life. The only people I talked to for those two weeks were the lawyers and I had never watched Game of Thrones before.

[00:19:06] And I watched all of Game of Thrones in two weeks.

[00:19:10] Michael King: You didn't watch that before season eight, right? Yes. Yeah. Good, good. If you'd watch season eight, you would have probably just quit the business. You're like, I did what my first missed. My first mistake was letting this guy scam me. My second mistake was watching season eight of Game of Thrones.

[00:19:29] Megan Everett: but it started while I was there. So I think the first episode happened while I was home. But I went home and continued to watch it while all this was happening, which is just a really bad idea. But it took a really long time. I went back to Dallas. I was just like in this horrible fog, fiddly broke at the time because I was spending everything I personally had on lawyers and decided that the best thing I could do was to move back to California where I had a support system cause I felt like everyone I was talking to.

[00:20:00] There was a quote, friends were coming into help and they'd be like, Oh, so we'll do this for you if you pay us $10,000 a month. And I was like, what is happening? And we had started to build a sales team at this point. Thank God I had a good sales leader to talk to, brought up the work for a while and I had a little breakdown.

[00:20:21] It really took until like September for me to get to a point where I was like, okay. None of this is okay. I'm not going to keep arguing with this person or taking their equity away. Like I'm not even not even fucking dealing with this guy saying that he owns part of my company. He hasn't busted over three years.

[00:20:40] He didn't deliver a product and he stole from us. Like send him a letter. He no longer has equity. we're reporting him to the FBI and then we're suing. To him for everything that he took times like five. So that's where we're at now. He hasn't bothered us with equity. He's still seeing things, but I don't, he can say whatever he wants, I don't care.

[00:21:03] But it was very much like this process of like, I thought that I had screwed up so badly that no one would ever invest in our company. Like I saw all of that as my fault, and I think the best founders and CEOs would. Like, we're not going to blame anybody else for our financial mistakes, but it took me a longer to get over that.

[00:21:25] Then it shut up. I didn't go into like action and I didn't feel comfortable telling lawyers that they were wrong. Like their whole, like, let's just like make a settlement. People kept telling me like, you're probably going to have to pay him 200,000 more. And I was like, no, like I know. So it just kept being this argument and I spent so much on legal fees, but knowing what I know now, I would have immediately just told lawyers like, we're not even discussing this.

[00:21:52] Like this is a con artist. We need to take his equity back. We need to start suing them and we need to report him. And I wish I would've done that earlier, but this is where we're at.

[00:22:03] Michael King: When you think about the breakdown that you had, what was that like?

[00:22:08] Megan Everett: I don't know. I've never thought of myself as a depressed person.

[00:22:12] I've always liked, not that I haven't been sad or been depressed before, but I've always been like any depression I've had, I can name. And it's so situational that it's more like sadness and event based, like somebody dying or like losing the job, things like that. This was different and it was the first time that I was ever actually worried about my mental health.

[00:22:37] Like I don't think I've ever felt that lost or like there wasn't a next step. And I remember talking about like if I had to go get another job, I was actually so afraid that this event would mean that nobody would ever hire me. Like I had convinced myself, but like I was so stupid. I had fucked up so badly that this was just ruining my entire life.

[00:23:05] And I joke about it now, but at the time it wasn't funny at all. Like I was either ordering Instacart or Postmates every single day will Instacart, not every day, but like I would order Instacart and not eat groceries and then order Postmates because I think when we're depressed, we do this stuff a lot.

[00:23:23] And then I was just like watching TV and literally, so this is like June in Dallas. You know how hot it is. I was so hot, but I had my AC so low that I was literally in like Christmas flannel pajamas with a plush robe and blankets on my couch watching Netflix. Like this was like, I don't know what I was doing, and I was kind of working like I was doing what I had to, to make sure that we didn't lose our corporate clients, but I wasn't doing anything else.

[00:23:58] I wasn't working with new clients or going into the office at all. I can't really explain it. The only way out of it was to literally leave where I was physically. Like I had to be around people that like. Would be there and show up and like be a support system. And I also just knew that there was no way that I was going to get out of it.

[00:24:22] Being in Dallas and feeling like I had no one there.

[00:24:25] Michael King: So that support system was really key in kind of pulling you from it

[00:24:32] Megan Everett: and it still took some time.

[00:24:34] Michael King: What does a good support system look like? If I find myself in a place like that, what type of people would you encourage me to go surround myself with?

[00:24:44] Megan Everett: I think it's what I encourage people to have all the time anyway. And I actually, I think we all need a cheerleader. Like you're annoying friend who thinks you can do anything and actually believes it. We all need that person. they're also the friend that's always going to show up. Like your cynical friends that are going to tell you the hard truths are normally the ones that are going to show up, but like cheerleaders from the things that you're really going to be a billionaire and on stage with Oprah.

[00:25:09] That's the one. And then we do need, like the friends that are like, this is bullshit. Get out of bed. So I have, I have like my cheerleader friend who was amazing. I actually came back to my hometown, so I went back to my hometown, rented like a little 300 square foot pool house for the summer. And, I have a really good friend who's like a cheerleader.

[00:25:33] I have a friend who is my no bullshit. None of this matters. And would tell me these things, like, I don't want to fucking hear about this anymore. Why aren't you working in, what the fuck are you doing? Why aren't you in Dallas? And it would be like, what are you doing to make this better? And I think those two people are so key.

[00:25:52] And then my mom and my sister are still in my hometown, and that was really important just to be able to go over to mom's for dinner or have my sister over or do something. And I think that the church for almost anything in this world is really community. And I think that's why we do things like join masterminds.

[00:26:13] Michael King: It's not Instacart

[00:26:15] Megan Everett: No, apparently not. Also like not your four year old, a Christmas drama from your mom. Not, not the cure either, but I don't know. I think for me it's those two key key people, because you need the person that's going to be like, you're full of shit and this is dumb, but you also need the person that's like, you can do this.

[00:26:35] And I think rarely are they the same person.

[00:26:38] Michael King: Do you think that, in all seriousness, do you think the four year old Christmas pajamas in the Instacart is part of the process? Is it a necessary part of the process to get out of it? Do you have to have time to kind of be in your own mind so that you can get out of that place.

[00:26:55] Megan Everett: I think you do. At one point when the fog had kind of lifted, I, I hired a coach in July, which I'll talk about, but I had sent him a text and I was like, if I ever get to a point where like, I'm working for my bed for four days, can you just like snap me out of it? And his response to me was the darkness as important as the light, which gets a little annoying when you don't want to hear.

[00:27:16] We were shit. But I was like, fuck it. Like it is. And it's important to feel all of that. I don't know that it needed to be to the extreme that it was like, I don't think it's ever healthy to just not leave your apartment for three weeks at a time. Am I not leaving my apartment? I mean like, you know where I live in Dallas, but literally there's restaurants all around me.

[00:27:38] So it was like going downstairs and going to Starbucks or going to the smoothie place behind. Or maybe go to Eavis and pick up something, but always at the back of my apartment within like 10 minutes.

[00:27:51] Michael King: Was alcohol part of that time.

[00:27:53] Megan Everett: No, actually, so I don't, I have a rule. I come from a [00:28:00] family that has a lot of addiction issues, and this is a rule I made in my mid twenties that if I'm sad, I don't drink, and it's something that I just stuck to and I don't actually know how, because.

[00:28:11] I'm like, fuck. Like drinking would have made that so much easier. It wouldn't have, but you know, like drinking is not something I turn to when I'm sad at all. I think I've always just been too afraid that this kind of like addiction gene will be an issue if I start doing that. Does that make sense?

[00:28:32] Michael King: Absolutely. Community it sounds like is something you really value. And, it sounds like it was pretty critical in, in your ability to kind of get out of this dark place, almost kind of like empire strikes back shit, right? Like, you know, this, this was what you needed to, to get back in the game.

[00:28:52]and you talked about coaching and masterminds. This is not a plug for a coaching system or a mastermind system at all. Tell me more about why you think coaching is important and why you think masterminds are important. So how does that contribute to the community or community?

[00:29:08] Megan Everett: For me, I was seeing a therapist, which was great, but it was so based on like pulling me out of the depression.

[00:29:16] I wasn't dealing with anything. And so I had reached out to a coach on Instagram actually, which is. I still like sometimes think it's so funny in that this is how we find people.

[00:29:29] Michael King: I don't know that I'd admit that on a podcast, but you own it. That's awesome.

[00:29:33] Megan Everett: I wrote it on many podcasts, including his, so that's okay.

[00:29:37] So at the time, and this is awful, what am I like guilty pleasures in life as a whole? Like bachelor, all of it, like bachelor, bachelor, paradise, bachelorette. It lets me check out and just be like, Holy shit, these people's lives are Iraq. it's super entertaining. This coach, which might make it worse, was doing  a breakdown on Instagram live every week on the bachelor.

[00:30:06] So I'm watching this cause I bought like I just deep and my TV, Instagram, like this is my entire world at this point. And I'm watching this visa, something about how he goes into companies and talks about culture. And I was like, Oh, maybe Mark can help me, like integrate back into my company and come talk to the whole.

[00:30:30] Company about culture. And so I reached out to Mark and I'm like, Hey, how do you feel about going to Dallas and like kind of helping us with some issues. We have some unique things going on and we talk and he's like, there is no way I am helping you with your company until you deal with your own shit.

[00:30:47] But it was also somebody, not just telling me to deal with it, but like I can help you feel with it. It's the first time I've ever really used to coach. And I think for me it was this turning point of like, there's so much action that you can take when things go wrong. And coaches are kind of like, like a cheerleader and no bullshit friend into the same person.

[00:31:11] And I think that's where you find it. So I think that's interesting. But Mark really kind of helped me through those couple of months that were really, really hard. And then honestly, I didn't even know what the fuck a mastermind was until July. No idea at all. We don't talk about them in software, like we talk about accelerators, which are not really the same thing, but kind of the same idea of the support you get and really realized that I.

[00:31:40] Once I kind of came out of the full fog that I needed to be around people that were doing really big things still because I didn't have that.

[00:31:48] Michael King: Why is that important?

[00:31:48] Megan Everett: I think having people around you that are like minded and are also working towards big goals keeps you on track to work towards yours. It was really easy to go back to my hometown and not do those things.

[00:32:04] Most people are like in service based businesses. Most of my friends are married with kids and are stay at home moms or they have like cute little side businesses, which is great and works for them, but that doesn't align with what I'm doing with my life. So it made it super easy to just go hang out with my friends and their kids, or like go to yoga at 11:00 AM and not be working.

[00:32:28] You know what I mean? Like, yeah. It was just, I didn't have anybody to keep up with or to keep me driven. And I am a very competitive person, so when I'm surrounded by other people that are doing really big things, I like, Oh, like they're doing that. Like why are they achieving their goals faster than me?

[00:32:52] But when I'm the one that is achieving big goals and no one else is doing it, I don't really feel a need to keep thinking like that. Keep pushing myself. Does that make sense?

[00:33:02] Michael King: Absolutely, Yeah.  And you're a former athlete, so, there's something to that that needs to compete and to be raised up. Do that competitiveness around you.

[00:33:13] Megan Everett: Yeah. I'm a firm believer that you're the average of the five people you spend the bulk of your time with. So if you're around people, again, there's nothing wrong with that lifestyle. The back of my slide, if that's what you want, that's great. There's no, there's nothing wrong with that, but, that's what you're going to kind of become, you know, or, you know, You're going to kind of average out somewhere in there. Yeah. But if you want to be a high performer in a high achiever, you've got to have people around you that are doing that too.

[00:33:48] Michael King: So you've come out of all of that, Megan, and you're on the better side. You disclosed a huge round of funding.

I find it interesting. You were telling me that it's going forward. One of your big goals is to replace yourself as CEO in the next three years.

[00:33:58] Megan Everett: Yeah. I used to be terrified probably since like the moment I had my first VC meeting that I was going to be replaced as CEO to the point where I had started thinking about who I would want to replace me and then.

[00:34:17] I changed that whole subject in my head too if I wasn't CEO anymore. Because realistically, I am not qualified to run a $27 million company that I have now. And if we go where everybody thinks we're going, I am absolutely not qualified to run a half a billion dollar company, which doesn't really matter.

[00:34:40] But because you can figure that out and hire people that are around you that are. But I had to really start thinking about like, do I want to be the person coming into work every day? Like do I want to be in an office 12 hours a day running a nine figure business? Not really. So I, this past few months as we were closing around, a lot of conversations came up about like, what if there is a point where.

[00:35:09] We all decided that it's better that we have a really qualified and students seasoned CEO and tack, and my answers at first were like really angry, really defensive, but then I came to a point where I was like, well, the best thing for the company is probably when we get to that point for the right person to be running it, regardless of who it is.

[00:35:30] And it's still mine. I am always the founder. I will still hold my equity in the company. So I'll still have a board seat and a say, and I can still be involved in what I want to be involved in, which is really interacting with the team and really large clients. Like those are the things I love doing, but it brings this question of like, what?

[00:35:51] What would I do if I wasn't the CEO of Perform? Which is an interesting question. And the answer was like. Oh, I would be speaking and writing books and maybe writing my own mastermind or doing things like that where I just get to be around people because that's what I really enjoy is teaching and inspiring people and connecting other people.

[00:36:17] And so it gave me an opportunity to really think about that. And we sat down a couple of weeks ago and I was like, I think that we need a roadmap for. Two to three years from now. Who is the person that we're replacing me with. And I think if young people have CEOs and some people do great, like there are CEOs that can do it and their founders and they can take it all the way through.

[00:36:43] We've talked about this, that I don't really have the financial piece for it. Like I don't, and I don't have a desire to know everything that a CGA knows or everything a lawyer knows. And I'm not. Complete CEO and I don't love working 12 to 16 hours a day. Like that's not something I really enjoy doing.

[00:37:07] And in software, you have to be committed to that for years and years. And so for me, it's an opportunity to step into something different, which is a reason that I started doing the mastermind to build a personal brand.

[00:37:19] Michael King: I think for a lot of people, you always picture yourself in the driver's seat all the way to the quote unquote end, whether that's your retirement or what have you, but rarely do we say.

[00:37:33] I want to take this thing. I want to build it, I want to nurture it, and at some point. I want to hand it off to somebody that can take it to the next level. And I want to take the, the culmination of those experiences, the good ones and the bad ones. Now that somebody else is driving that ship, I want to take those experiences and share them with other people so that they can build and nurture their own companies and do amazing things.

[00:37:58] And I'll get a lot more fulfillment doing that.

[00:38:01] Megan Everett:  I don't think a lot of people can do it. I think having like a complete breakdown last summer brought me to a place where I have to think about what I really want in life and what's going to make me happy. And I don't recommend having a major breakdown.

[00:38:16] But, If you can get to that place where it's like, what's best for everyone involved and really what do I want for my life? And some people's answers are like, I want to be the CEO for the rest of my life and I'm willing to do all the work to be that person. And that's great. Like I'm willing to do the work to not be the person that needs the power and willing to do the work.

[00:38:40] They create something totally new in my life.

[00:38:43] Michael King: I think that's the thing is, you know, you talked about not needing the power. It's the ego probably keeps most of us in that place of like, hell no, I'm going to be the CEO. I'll do the IPO and you know, often to never, never land. So Perform. What are you guys, you just closed around?

[00:39:02] What's next?

[00:39:04] Megan Everett: We just closed our first round, which was significant, but we boot strap and self funded for. About two and a half years. So we are building an app, which I'm so excited about. So our app has a different name, which I'm not allowed to say yet, which you may not know. This is the hardest thing for me.

[00:39:21] I can not keep my own secrets at all. Everyone else's. I can get my own cat. I want to scream it to social media, but this is the name of our new app.

[00:39:31] Michael King:  It's, it's just us close friends right here just to, I mean, nobody's going to tell you, you can't tell.

[00:39:38] Megan Everett: And all of your listeners, no, I can't, I'm not allowed to.

[00:39:42] Michael King: When do you think that'll be ready? When will that be out?

[00:39:45] Megan Everett: We are going to beta in May and then we'll do a soft launch and like late June, July. And then we have a really exciting thing coming in, but I'm also, I hate it when people do this, but like I'm also not allowed to talk about, we're going to launch our app officially from an event stage with one of my favorite people, so I will announce that.

[00:40:09] I think they're actually going to announce it like in June. I have a blot of secrets I have to keep right now

[00:40:14] Michael King: It's really, I don't even know you anymore. Let's talk about pricing. So first one,

[00:40:23] Megan Everett: Yes. Our pricing is 24.99 a month per user. And you get access to all of our courses and our software.

[00:40:32] Michael King: Which CRMs do you integrate with?

[00:40:35] Megan Everett: Our automatic ones, our Salesforce and HubSpot. The API is so easy, like we can just do it and then a couple days, so it's not hard. Most of them are written.

[00:40:46] Michael King: What about on the scroll holes? Where can people find you?

[00:40:52] Thank you. Thank you, Lauren Schwab for introducing me to the term scroll hole.

[00:40:57] Megan Everett: I think that's my favorite thing. I've never heard that. I am most active on Instagram and it's @Meg's Everett, so it's, I mean, she asked E V. E. R. E. T. T. yeah. And then everything else is linked through there, so that's the easiest way to find me.

[00:41:13] Michael King: We will have links to everything in the show notes. Megan, thank you so much for coming by and sharing that story. I know it's not easy to open up about a lot of those things, but I think it's important for people to hear those messages, to understand that community is important.

[00:41:30] Being around people that are going to be your cheerleader and support you. And, having people that are gonna tell you to get the fuck out of bed regardless. You know, it's important to hear those things. So thank you so much for joining us today.

[00:41:50] Thanks for joining us today. Please don't forget to subscribe to In the Trenches with Michael King on your favorite podcast platform like Apple, Google, or Spotify. Once again, I'm Michael King with KFE solutions. We'll see you again next week.