carrie peele headshot

Episode Description

How to Get Investors on Board: With Carrie Peele

It can be challenging to kick off a new entrepreneurial journey. Finding the most effective resources, the right people, the best team, and generous investors all at once can be daunting.

Our guest on today’s episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast is Carrie Peele. She is the CEO and Co-founder of Jade Lending, a capital fund that helps women and minority entrepreneurs access money to fuel their businesses.

Carrie comes to the show with great stories about her business and a great challenge.Carrie’s greatest challenge is finding the right investors – people who have the same mission and vision as her company. However, her real challenge might be that many candidates haven’t invested before, so they’re afraid to take the leap. She also may not be looking for investors in the right places.

As we discover in our conversation, the solution is right in front of her, and it goes beyond investors!

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back. For those of you who are tuning in for the first time, let me give you a little bit of an introduction.

We coach leaders, executives, entrepreneurs from all over the world, and we use our infamous, at this point, Frame of Mind Coaching approach to coaching leaders. And we'd love to share that with you, love to tell you more and give you some insight and some exposure to what we do.

But right now we are spending the next 20 minutes with an incredible woman. Her name is Carrie Peele, she is the CEO and Founder of a company called Jade Lending and she comes to us from North Carolina. Carrie, welcome.

[00:00:53] Carrie Peele: Hey, good afternoon! Or good morning, wherever everybody's at, but thank you, Kim, for having me today. I'm looking forward to our conversation.

[00:01:01] Kim Ades: So am I. So what is Jade Lending? Fill us in, explain to us what you do, why you do it, who is it for? Just give us a little bit of a rundown on that, please.

[00:01:09] Carrie Peele: Just a little background at Jade Lending, so we kind of have to go back a few years. I started my first company in my early twenties and I was newly divorced with two small babies and not even two nickels to rub together, Kim. So I borrowed on three credit cards, at 27% interest to buy my first asset. And at the time I was in the luxury transportation business. So I bought my first limousine.

So Kim, it was the wrong color, the wrong size, the wrong everything. But you know, fast-forward 26 years later, you learn your hard lessons, you take your knocks, you figure out how to, way to build it. And we built it into the largest woman owned luxury transportation company in the south.

[00:02:03] Kim Ades: Amazing. What was it called?

[00:02:06] Carrie Peele: It was called Blue Diamond Worldwide Transportation.

[00:02:10] Kim Ades: Oh wow! We know that.

[00:02:11] Carrie Peele: Yeah! In Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2014, we went after the largest single event in the state of North Carolina, which was the US Open. So if anybody plays golf, they know that la crème de la crème of golfing is Pebble Beach and Pinehurst and that. So we handled the contract for the transportation. We did seven figures in seven days.

[00:02:41] Kim Ades: Wow.

[00:02:42] Carrie Peele: Sold the company on the last day, Kim... It was all planned. But that has always been the foundation of why I do what I do is why when I was 20 something years old and ask banks, I just needed $15,000. That's all I needed... No banks would even talk to me, you know? I couldn't find anybody interested.

And so the only way that I could do it, and the only one that was out there was credit cards at 27% interest. I didn't care what I paid for it, I got the money, I bought my first asset and the rest is history.

[00:03:25] Kim Ades: And you weren't scared?

[00:03:30] Carrie Peele: All entrepreneurs should be a little scared, okay? Always a little scared. But I always had the training from my parents, that there's some risk involved and if you don't ask, the answer is always no. So yeah, a little scared, but always had it in the back of my mind that this was going to be a success. There was never any plan B ever. We don't have plan Bs in our houses, we just go for it.

[00:04:06] Kim Ades: Okay. All right, so where are you now? And before we continue, I just want to say I've been having conversations with two of my kids in the past two days about this fortitude that's required to pursue your dreams. And it's really not about the work you're doing specifically, it's about the resilience. It's the grit that you need when you're on this roller coaster.

The ups and downs of business, the ups and downs of doing your PhD, the ups and downs of whatever it is that you're doing. And so what you're saying is exactly that. There is no plan B, this is what I'm doing. Let's go for it. I'll figure it out as I go.

[00:04:41] Carrie Peele: There you go. And the other thing. You may talk to your kids, Kim, I talked to my granddaughters. And so I've got eight-year-old Lily and five-year-old Vivi and we eliminate the words "don't" "not" "no", and "can't" from their vocabulary.

They know that if they say that around me, I can't. They get a nice little soft slap upside the head and say, "we don't say that. You can do anything. There is none of that".

[00:05:19] Kim Ades: And how do they react when you slap them gently upside the head?

[00:05:25] Carrie Peele: Oh, they've been slapped lot, let me tell ya.

[00:05:28] Kim Ades: [Laughs]

[00:05:29] Carrie Peele: And it's a hard lesson for them to learn, but they're learning it at eight years old and five years old. And just to kind of share a little bit, Kim, is our eight-year-old started her own company two years ago during COVID. She's in the chicken egg business. This kid here has started her company she's delivers eggs every week. It has the dirty jobs with it, the chickens, oh my gosh...

But she can, and she's a CEO. And every time she says, "but" I say, "there's no 'buts' in our life either". And she's been very successful and put over $10,000 in her college fund in two years, selling eggs.

[00:06:21] Kim Ades: Incredible.

[00:06:22] Carrie Peele: So there you go.

[00:06:23] Kim Ades: Eight years old, she started at six.

[00:06:25] Carrie Peele: She started at six.

[00:06:27] Kim Ades: Crazy. Amazing.

[00:06:28] Carrie Peele: Crazy. But anyway, it just takes that grit. Can you keep on telling those children, "you can do it, you can do it", and there you go.

[00:06:38] Kim Ades: I agree. All right. So we're here today, but we want to hear about you and hear about what is your greatest challenge, so share with us that. Also tell us about Jade Lending, 'cause we never really covered that.

[00:06:48] Carrie Peele: So Jade Lending was a company that I started along with one of my Women President's Organization sisters, Dr. Lynn Yanyo, and it is a fund, a capital fund for women and minority entrepreneurs, to be able to get capital to fuel their business. And it all goes back to the day that I was 20 years old and had to take three credit cards at 27% interest 'cause nobody would invest in me.

So this is women, and we've got 12 investors and one man that at the point in their lives that they say, "I need to help the next generation, the next generation of women". And especially, Kim, brown skin women that get very little access to capital. And so Jade Lending was an idea that Dr. Lynn Yanyo and I had sitting around dining room table, as all conversations start, and said, "how can we help these women?"

And so we came up with an idea. Other folks have done it. It's a little bit of a novice idea that... Let's just say, Kim is an accredited investor, and I say, "Kim, I want to borrow your money for five years. I want to borrow at least $50,000. And to come into the fund, I will pay you 5% annually per year on that money. And at the end of five years, I'm going to give it all back to you with 5% interest".

But what you will be doing with that money. And it's the same as if it was in the market. I mean, I've got some money in the market. One did 4% a fund last year, and one did 11, you know, it's the same as in the market. And we use that money to fuel women in business.

And so we have 12 investors, we have over seven figures in the fund, we've got now six women since the summer that we have fueled their growth in their business. And if it's okay with you, Kim, I'd like just to share a couple of little examples of these women.

[00:09:09] Kim Ades: Sure, sure.

[00:09:10] Carrie Peele: Okay. So one of these women was in the catering business. She's 29 years old, her name is Gabby. This was a woman that came through our Athena Powerlink program, which is our nonprofit here in Raleigh, in which mentors women. We put them with incredible mentors that help them throughout the year on their business.

She was in the catering business, and of course, what happened in 2020 is that in-person meetings stopped, you know, everything stopped and she had to pivot. And one of the things that we shared with her is an idea, when Gabby and I were talking at her Powerlink is, "Hey, what about the food truck business?"

And Gabby says, you know, "well, let me do some research on that". I said, "Gabby, come back to me, in about a week or two to Dr. Lynn Yanyo and me, and tell us about this food truck". Well, Kim, you have no idea the numbers on a food truck. The amount of profit on a food truck, the top line revenue, the bottom line revenue, what it costs to run a food truck.

And we ran the spreadsheets with Gabby and that's what Lynn is famous for, is her numbers. And what do we need to do to make this profitable? But the top line number in a food truck in Wake County on average is $300,000 a year. And the top line profitability on that, on the product is 52%, which is quite incredible.

And so I said, "Gabby, how do you feel about a food truck?" She said "I'd love a food truck". So we lent her $65,000, and on Saturday she's picking up her food truck.

[00:10:55] Kim Ades: Amazing.

[00:10:56] Carrie Peele: We're wrapping it, she already has a book out, she knows exactly how many events she has to have, she knows exactly how much it's going to make, she knows her numbers. And you can consult every executive all around the world, but the one thing that they have to know is their numbers.

They have to know their data, they have to run the spreadsheet. They have to know that. And so Gabby is super excited and here we are, we're fueling her growth of her catering company.

[00:11:33] Kim Ades: Amazing.

[00:11:37] Carrie Peele: That is amazing.

[00:11:39] Kim Ades: So let me turn your attention a little bit to the left or to the right, one way or another. Let me ask you a question. So you're doing this, you're doing an amazing thing, you're helping women. What is your greatest challenge when you think about yourself in this role?

[00:11:56] Carrie Peele: You've got it. So my greatest challenge. Every morning I get up at 4:30AM, I'm one of them women, you know what I'm saying? That hits the floor at 4:30--

[00:12:04] Kim Ades: What time do you go to bed? 'Cause you look fabulous.

[00:12:07] Carrie Peele: I do go to bed at nine o'clock. And hit the ground at 4:30. One of the things that I share with... I'm seasoned, which means I'm already ready for Medicare, you know? And my friends say, "are you going to take it?" Ah, I don't know, we'll wait a little while. But any which way.

So, one of the things that we love to do is, I get up every morning and every other day we get to the gym at 5:30, my business partners, we all get on the StairMaster, we climb the equivalency of the Empire State building flights of stairs every other day.

And in that 30 minutes of doing 82 flights on a StairMaster, it's amazing what our minds fix and solve and talk about everything. But what you asked me is what is-- I call it an opportunity. It's an opportunity to solve it. And that is every day I get up and I look for credited investors all over the United States that has the same mission and vision as we do, as the investors and the founders of Jade lending look for.

And that is taking your money and using it, having a social impact with your investments, for women and investing in the next generation of women. And so you ask, "well that shouldn't be too difficult, Carrie, you know, there's a lot of wealthy women that have the same investment ideas".

Janine Firpo is one of them. She wrote the book on impact investing instead of just going out and investing in, not saying anything about oil companies or anything like that, that may have a detriment to the environment, whatever. But investing in people. And what we find out is that men invest very well, but a lot of us women do not understand the game of investing, and having not invested.

And so many of the men and women in our fund that have invested are first time investors that are investing in a fund. Now, Jade Lending is not a venture capital fund. We do not take equity. We do not take the first born. We do not ask for a board seat. We do not attach any assets. And the reason why we do that is because the data shows that 92% of all women pay back their loans on time.

[00:15:10] Kim Ades: Interesting.

[00:15:11] Carrie Peele: It is interesting. And so that is my challenge every day. Is finding investors that have the same mission and vision of helping the next generation of women.

[00:15:25] Kim Ades: I'm going to ask you a question.

[00:15:26] Carrie Peele: Sure.

[00:15:27] Kim Ades: I'm going to ask you a bunch of questions. So is it access to a pool of women? Because earlier when we spoke, it sounded like you have access to a huge pool of women. So, is it access to the pool?

[00:15:40] Carrie Peele: Is not access to the pool.

[00:15:43] Kim Ades: Okay. Is it the conversation that you're having? Where they say, "I'm not so sure. I don't know. This doesn't sound good". Like, what's the resistance, do you find?

[00:15:54] Carrie Peele: The resistance is twofold. When I get the women that are able to credited investors who are able to get, I have a conversation of either it goes left or right. Left is "I want more than 5%, Carrie. You know, my investments are doing 12%, 15%".

[00:16:14] Kim Ades: Yup.

[00:16:15] Carrie Peele: And I said, "well, we're not the fund for you". We are a social impact funding group specifically for and targeting women and minority entrepreneurs. And so we just say, "thank you for our conversation again, you know, continued blessings in your life, but we're not the fund for you".

[00:16:39] Kim Ades: Right.

[00:16:40] Carrie Peele: Or the other women that say, "well, I've never invested $50,000 in a fund before". "You haven't? Well, I've invested in an Edward Jones or a financial advisor". And the financial advisors don't know a lot about our social impact of funds. So it's getting the word out.

I only know of one other group. She's in the Northeast that she has taken her own money. She's taken $400,000 of her own money and lent to women. She's done it all by herself for over almost three years now and no one has ever defaulted. No one is--

[00:17:36] Kim Ades: I'm going to ask you a few questions, okay?

[00:17:38] Carrie Peele: Sure!

[00:17:38] Kim Ades: 'Cause we're just going to like, turn this around a few different ways and see if we can think about it a little bit differently. Is that cool?

[00:17:44] Carrie Peele: Yes, ma'am!

[00:17:45] Kim Ades: Okay. So number one is, what is your primary interest? Is your primary interest in getting women investors or is your primary interest in getting investors into your fund? Those are two different objectives.

[00:17:57] Carrie Peele: You got it. Investors. Accredited investors into the fund.

[00:18:02] Kim Ades: Okay. So it sounds like to me, you're also focusing on women investors who may or may not feel comfortable making the investment or who are seeking a little bit more. So you're not really tapping into--

In a way, if I'm going to accept 5%, as opposed to 11%, you're asking me to be philanthropic. And so you're not tapping into a philanthropic mindset, exactly. You're tapping into a business mindset that says "this is not the best use of my money exatcly".

[00:18:31] Carrie Peele: So again, remember what I'm sharing with you is have the same vision and mission about where my money goes to.

[00:18:41] Kim Ades: Exactly

[00:18:41] Carrie Peele: Where my money goes to.

[00:18:42] Kim Ades: Exactly. But part of it is to say, "what I'm interested in is the future. I'm interested in giving back. I'm interested in seeing growth in an area where growth has been difficult. I'm interested in making a difference. I'm interested in making a mark". I get that. So that's the first part of the conversation, as opposed to the fund.

[00:19:02] Carrie Peele: Correct. And it's when I'm talking to women or men is, do they have that same feeling?

[00:19:12] Kim Ades: Yeah. So when we spoke a few minutes before we started, you shared with me, you know, "here are the organizations that I'm affiliated with. They're all women based organizations". And it may make sense to be part of organizations that have men in them. It's just a thought, just an idea.

[00:19:29] Carrie Peele: Love it, Kim, I love it! Just a thought, just an idea.

[00:19:33] Kim Ades: And organizations where we see some level of existing philanthropy. And the reason I say philanthropy is because again, based on values, based on decision, it's a gesture we're making where we may or may not be sacrificing a percentage of our return on that investment. Financially, not emotionally. It's not a lower reward experience, but financially I'm making a decision, where am I putting my dollars?

So that's one thought, is let's look at a wider pool of people that may include men who are comfortable investing, but also comfortable giving. That's thought number one. Thought number two is you're asking me to contribute $50,000, and I may be that woman who wants to make a difference, but I'm like, "wow, $50,000 is a lot of money", right?

So maybe I can start smaller. Maybe you can ask me for $5,000, which I'm willing to kind of throw away a little bit. Right. And get my toes in, get me feeling the rewards of my contribution, get me connected to these other women that you are connected to, get me part of your community, because at the end of the day, the truth is the reward is in your community.

And what that brings me over and above my financial contribution. So bring them into my world, my circle. Let me embrace them, let them feel the love and then let them contribute a little more. And so maybe your entry point is a little high.

[00:21:12] Carrie Peele: Yeah. I hear what you're cooking, Kim. I hear it. I hear it. Okay.

[00:21:20] Kim Ades: And there are just some thoughts. I mean, you know, as I'm sitting, listening, I'm a woman business owner, I'm in the category of people that you might knock on the door. I am Canadian, so maybe not, but you got the idea.

So in my mind, I'm like, "wow, that sounds very interesting. 5% is not terrible. I could maybe get more somewhere else", but what's attractive to me is not what you're selling. What's attractive to me is hanging out with Carrie and her peeps, her people, her community. And you're not putting that on the table.

[00:21:54] Carrie Peele: Okay.

[00:21:55] Kim Ades: Right.

[00:21:57] Carrie Peele: Interesting!

[00:21:59] Kim Ades: I hope I gave you some food for thought, at least.

[00:22:01] Carrie Peele: Absolutely.

[00:22:03] Kim Ades: Which is "how we position position this".

[00:22:06] Carrie Peele: Exactly correct. So one of the things that women do very well is work in teams, and Kim, I consider you as on the team, okay? Team Jade Lending, as throw it all out there. In the South we call it a shrimp bog, you know? Where you just throw all the seafood on the table, you throw the the shrimp and the corn and the potatoes and all that stuff. And then you just start picking the really good stuff out of it.

[00:22:38] Kim Ades: Yeah. That sounds like fun.

[00:22:41] Carrie Peele: Oh, it is fun, always fun.

[00:22:45] Kim Ades: So the idea is like, when we have a problem, and I just kind of want to step back, when we have a problem and we're like, attacking it with one way, one way, one way, and we keep hitting our head against the wall, what we want to do a step back and say, "what are the beliefs I have about the people we're trying to target and what is it that they need".

And what we're really looking at is, how are they thinking and am I appealing to their needs? But am I appealing to the way they process information and experience things? Right? Because right now, what I'm trying to do is say, "Hey, this is important. It's an important contribution. And if you've never invested before, I'll take you along the ride with me".

But that may not be their greatest need. And so if we can identify their greatest need and appeal to their greatest need, by understanding how they're thinking and asking them, what do they need, now your organization becomes different because--

[00:23:46] Carrie Peele: That's a good point. What do you need? If I was talking to Kim, what does Kim need in this puzzle to make you feel comfortable, you feel rewarded, you feel valued.

[00:24:09] Kim Ades: Yeah.

[00:24:10] Carrie Peele: And what makes you happy!

[00:24:11] Kim Ades: Exactly. So I will say to you, as a business owner, I'm interested in your ecosystem. What is your ecosystem? All the people you're connected with that you have influence over, where you would go in and say, "Hey, here's Kim and she runs this incredible executive coaching company, and I'm going to connect the two of you together".

I'm like, "wow, how could I get that otherwise?" So my investment makes sense for me because not only am I contributing, but I'm getting this other benefit that's not an unspoken benefit, you could say, but that has way more value than the 5%.

[00:24:44] Carrie Peele: Absolutely.

[00:24:45] Kim Ades: Right? And you're not exactly positioning it that way.

[00:24:52] Carrie Peele: Just so you know, Kim, at Jade Lending, all of our investors have the opportunity to be in the decision-making too, of who gets. Who gets the money, if they deserve the money, if they're... Yeah.

[00:25:13] Kim Ades: I understand. I just think that your secret sauce is something else and you're not really understanding what that secret sauce is. And that secret sauce is the community that you're in, the community you're surrounded by. Beyond your 12 investors, it's way bigger than that.

[00:25:30] Carrie Peele: Oh yeah.

[00:25:31] Kim Ades: And so the question is, how do you bring investors to this table with all the other diners? Who may or may not be investors, that's not that important. Do you understand?

[00:25:42] Carrie Peele: I do.

[00:25:43] Kim Ades: That's the attraction.

[00:25:45] Carrie Peele: And you know who that better than anyone that I've ever known? Is a woman named Vicki Saunders, and she's got a community, Kim, called SheEO.

[00:25:58] Kim Ades: Yes, I've heard of her.

[00:25:59] Carrie Peele: You've heard of her. She has connectors all over the world, I'm one of them. I give a certain amount per month to SheEO. And she has this incredible community, and each year they give a number of $100,000 loans to women business owners at the present interest for five years, I think it is.

And so, if Carrie Peele needed money, I could go on to SheEO, I could do a... Lack of better words, a little shark tank in front of the community, and if they voted me in, if the community voted me in, hey, I win!

[00:26:55] Kim Ades: Yeah. But it's the community that's the draw.

[00:26:58] Carrie Peele: It is the community that's the draw.

[00:27:00] Kim Ades: And you have a rich community that you're not really, I think, bringing into the mix, is my guess.

[00:27:08] Carrie Peele: And I'm doing it one person at a time in which we probably need to do it more of a very large scale.

[00:27:15] Kim Ades: Yeah! You can invite them to an event.

[00:27:18] Carrie Peele: Yes. And we do have an event, on March 31st [Laughs].

[00:27:22] Kim Ades: Great. Amazing.

[00:27:22] Carrie Peele: A Zoom event! Yes, yes, thank you! See, there you go, Kim, you came up with it, already done, already done.

[00:27:29] Kim Ades: Carrie, I hope that this was helpful, I hope that it made you think a little bit differently about what you're doing. But it was a pleasure meeting you. You're very interesting, you're working on interesting things. Your story's fascinating, your granddaughter's amazing. I don't know that I'm going to slap my kids upside the head, but maybe, they're old now, I could do that.

[00:27:48] Carrie Peele: And it's not really a slap, it's more like a tender grandma tap,

[00:27:53] Kim Ades: It's a tap.

[00:27:54] Carrie Peele: There you go.

[00:27:55] Kim Ades: Okay. But the idea is that we are discouraging the people we love from believing that they can't do something, that something's too hard for them, that they're not up for it, a little gentle knock is a good idea.

[00:28:12] Carrie Peele: There you go. And I will tell you Kim, that a lot of young girls grow up with imposter syndrome and we do not teach that around here.

[00:28:21] Kim Ades: We do not. Absolutely not.

[00:28:21] Carrie Peele: We do not. There you go.

[00:28:24] Kim Ades: A hundred percent. Thank you for spending this time with me. For those of you who are listening, I hope you got something out of this podcast. If there's a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me. My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.

And if you have a challenge that you want to discuss, but maybe not so much on the podcast, please reach out to me as well. Again, it's frameofmindcoaching.com and Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com.

Please tune in, please like, please share. We want to hear your comments. Please send a message to Carrie Peele. Carrie, how do they reach you?

[00:28:57] Carrie Peele: Oh, you can reach me at Carrie@cpeelegroup.com or just ping me on the internet and you'll find me. I'm around.

[00:29:06] Kim Ades: Amazing. Look for her, she's on LinkedIn. Thank you. We will see you next time.

[00:29:11] Carrie Peele: Thank you, Kim!