The Ultimate BFCM 2022 Guide

From 7 Figure Agency Owner to Shopify App Builder

November 3, 2022


Hosted By

Rabah Rahil
CMO at Triple Whale


Kelly Vaughn
Engineering leader during the day, engineer at night.

Episode Description

In this episode of ROAS Kelly Vaughn goes over her stellar career and how she went from agency owner to a Shopify app builder. #ROAS

Notes & Links

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Kelly Vaughn (00:00):

In the tap room. Uh, we have a number of KPIs that we're looking at estimates that we actually send out and then conversions from there. So it's important to do that because for example, from 2020 to 2021, our number of leads that came in dropped significantly. But that was because we increased our rates, our close rate increased. And so we are spending less time on introductory calls, less time sending out proposals that were going to be rejected. So we, to,

Rabah Rahil (00:41):

We have a screamer for you today. I had to grease some palms to get Kelly on the podcast, but Kelly Vaughn, the Georgia superstar, the Shopify plus builder is here today to drop knowledge bombs on you, Kelly, how are you?

Kelly Vaughn (00:57):

I am doing great. So excited to be here. How are you doing?

Rabah Rahil (01:01):

I'm doing great as well. I'm a little tired. We had the state of oil earlier, but, uh, I've been, just really had this circled on the calendar. You're such an interesting person and a lot of eclectic backgrounds and a lot of really just cool stuff I wanna talk about. And, and you have, you're a Peloton. So I mean, oh yeah, there's just everything. <laugh>. Um, as always, I am in the Austin HQ for marketing. Um, where does this podcast find you?

Kelly Vaughn (01:24):

I am based out of Atlanta.

Rabah Rahil (01:26):

Oh, cool. Hot Atlanta. All right. How long you been in Georgia?

Kelly Vaughn (01:30):

Um, almost 16 years, actually. I have it marked on my calendar three months for now. I wanna say is officially living in Georgia longer than living in Michigan. And I'm having a little bit of it, of an existential crisis over it because I define myself as a Michigander and I'll be living here longer. <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (01:47):

So every time I get somebody on the podcast, I do a little stocking. And now I understand cuz you're quite the cyclist or you yes. You like to cycle. Yeah. And so you had a very slick Uhum, uh, cycle thing, but, but you're actually a Georgia gal. Right? So you, you went to UGA.

Kelly Vaughn (02:07):

I went to UGA for a very long time. I have three degrees from the university of Georgia.

Rabah Rahil (02:12):

Oh wow. I missed that part. What, what do you, what'd you get your degrees in? Oh my gosh. So he, the triple bulldog offline. Now I told you I was a little slow I'm under caffeinated. Yeah. But now I'm clicking. I

Kelly Vaughn (02:22):

Get it now. So my bachelor's is in psychology and I have two master's degrees in public health and clinical social work. So I'm actually a trained therapist.

Rabah Rahil (02:30):

Oh, wow. How about that? Maybe you should be leading the podcast on, I need some, how

Kelly Vaughn (02:35):

Does this make you feel?

Rabah Rahil (02:37):

Yeah, exactly how fascinating. So what an interesting mix, what, uh, led to cuz that what that's a decent time in school, right? Oh yeah. Semi, semi long time in academia. What, what drove those decisions? What, what made you want to kind of pursue those pathways?

Kelly Vaughn (02:52):

I have always been fascinated with, it's a weird thing to be fascinated about childhood obesity prevention. Yeah. That was my core focus when I was in both undergrad and grad school. So I, I ran a, a camp, uh, that focused on teaching healthy behaviors to kids and involved the parents because all these healthy behaviors started at the house. And I have some really fun stories from, from that camp. Like the time somebody came to me, it's a weekend camp. Uh, and one of the kids comes to me on a Sunday afternoon, was like, my mom has a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich in the car. Can I eat it? I'm like one it's Sunday. So obviously it was not purchased today. <laugh> two. No,

Rabah Rahil (03:33):

That is a all I'm picturing in my head right now is just replays of heavy weights. <laugh> the movie and the Bob and everything like that. That's incredible. So, uh, randomly enough, one of my best friends actually, um, his PhDs in nutrition and his, uh, dissertation was on, um, Hispanic obesity in, um, really, really young kids. Cuz there, there gets to, uh, the hi not to go too far in the digression, but it's, semi-interesting in Hispanic culture. A lot of times the male is usually a laborer or something like that. And so they can buffer a lot of carbs and so they can eat a certain style and the women aren't usually doing that much, uh, physical labor. And so you get kind of this really challenging, um, you know, uh, nutritional kind of environment, um, where these kids and then the mother aren't really getting the nutrition they need. Whereas the father is basically this nuclear blast furnace and they just need calories because you know what I mean, they're working sun up to sun down, usually manual labor. And so he, yeah, the going back to your stories, like there was some really incredible stories. And then, um, there's also some really interesting stuff around like food deserts where it's just really challenging to get, you know, some, some decent nutrients, um, that you need. There's some economic kind of, uh, hurdles there, but how fascinating it's yeah, that is that's actually, that's really,

Kelly Vaughn (04:53):

That's a very, that's actually a very fascinating topic as well because, uh, I'm Hispanic. I'm very, very white. My parents, my grandparents are from Spain and Cuba and there's actually, my mom just pulled or sent an email to me like a couple weeks ago that have newspaper clippings that my family was one of the first families to escape Cuba and like seek refuge in the us. And there's like all kinds of newspaper articles about them. And actually they ended up in, in Ohio. <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (05:20):

How, oh, really? That's a car excuse in Columbus. How ran look at these just to that's have you been back to Havana or Cuba at all or anything like that?

Kelly Vaughn (05:28):

I haven't, I haven't. And I was, I was talking to my family. Uh, it was probably was pre pandemic I guess. And I was like, yeah, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm looking to book a trip to Havana and they're like, oh, you can go hang out with so and so in this family room, I'm like, I'm just gonna show up and be like, I don't know you, but we're related. So please take me in and you know, Hispanic, culture's gonna be like, hello? Yes.

Rabah Rahil (05:50):

<laugh> hundred percent. Yeah. Uh, my mom's Mexican, so I, yeah, I could definitely vouch for that. That's so funny. <laugh> um, yeah, I've heard a fan is beautiful. Uh, I think during Obama you could go really easily. I think now it's a little more difficult. There was kind of some stuff, but um, there there's some ways around it, but uh, how fun, how cool. So how did all this manifest into like e-com and like Shopify development?

Kelly Vaughn (06:12):

It is such a wild journey. Um, I have to back up to when I was 11 years old to actually start the story. Okay.

Rabah Rahil (06:19):


Kelly Vaughn (06:19):

Wanted it? That's when I learned how to code <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (06:23):


Kelly Vaughn (06:24):

I was a child, um, very much a child. I, so there's this website called Neo pets that some may be familiar with.

Rabah Rahil (06:33):

I'm dating myself, but yes, I know it. I know it for

Kelly Vaughn (06:36):

Those who are not familiar, uh, it's website, where you can have like your own virtual pet and you can feed it and play games and earn meal points and you can have their own communities called guilds. And I wanted to run my own community. I wanted to run my own Guild, but in order to style it to, you know, do what you wanna do with it, you had required it basic HTML and CSS. And so my dad bought me a book called HTML goodies, and I learned how to code from a book just so I can have my own Guild, one Neo pets, which is hilarious now looking back and like, this is what I've become. Um, but I, it, it kind of sparked that entrepreneurial spirit in me very, very early on. Um, I was selling my space layouts for $15. A pop to middle schoolers,

Rabah Rahil (07:17):

The flames, the sparkles. Oh yeah. The songs. Oh,

Kelly Vaughn (07:20):

So good. I, I built my first website for a client when I was 14 years old. It was for a hunting supply store. It was actually reflect, it was e-commerce before you could actually do all the payment side of things online. So you'd have to call in to actually like place your order, but it wasn't, it was an online catalog. So it's kind of funny to look back and that's what actually what I had built. I was paid a t-shirt for that job. Really good deal.

Rabah Rahil (07:46):

Not horrible. I mean, I, I, to tell you, I I've done some, some spec work for less <laugh>. I mean, at least you got out with some cotton, you know? Yeah.

Kelly Vaughn (07:54):

I got a little something, you know, I, I, it was my dad's size. It wasn't even like a shirt that I could wear or anything like that, which made it so much better. Uh, about five years ago, my dad texts me and was like, you'll never guess what I just found. And then he sends me a picture of the shirt it's missing a sleeve it's so dirty. He had been using it as a dust rag and had no idea what it was. And so now I have it in my position and I am definitely gonna be hanging it and framing it. <laugh> in my

Rabah Rahil (08:21):

Office. That is a cool, that's a cool memorabilia. How random? Oh my gosh. And so from there it just snowballs and, and, uh, as you get more proficient with technologies and stuff like that, things just kind of caught your eye.

Kelly Vaughn (08:33):

Yeah. So I have a tendency of saying, I don't wanna do something and then doing it anyway. Yeah, yeah. <laugh> so you very

Rabah Rahil (08:40):

Much so coder.

Kelly Vaughn (08:42):

Yes. Oh, absolutely. So I was in high school and I was like, there's no possible way to wanna code for a living if I do it, I'm gonna hate it. And so I got my degree in psychology. I was freelancing still through undergrad and grad school, cuz college is expensive. Sure. And when I graduated from grad school, I had a fellowship at the centers for, for disease control of prevention at the CDC. Uh, they, they needed somebody who had their master's in public health, who also knew how to code, uh, two months into that, uh, fellowship. They were like, so I just wanted to let you know that you are the only applicant for this. I'm like, cool. Thanks for making me feel special. <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (09:20):

Yeah, I could, I could have went without knowing that that's exactly

Kelly Vaughn (09:23):

It makes for a good story now, I guess, but I was still freelancing. Uh, and that's that's around the time when I, uh, a little before then when I discovered Shopify, I actually got my first shopped by project from eat tweet. Uh, somebody had reached out oh cool. And was like, I have too much work as if, if they're a freelancer and you can, you can code, reach out to me. And I was like, I can help you on poor. I need money I'm in college. And so he started giving me work and it was, you know, a lot of WordPress for the most part. Yeah. And then he was like, Hey, so I have this, this project, the client is on a platform called Shopify. I know you've never used it before. Do you wanna give it a shop? I'm like, of course let's, let's see it.

Kelly Vaughn (10:00):

And so I absolutely fell in love with the platform. And it was, you know, it was a big difference coding for something like WordPress site versus an online store because you get that immediate feedback. Like if there are convers rates going up, if there's, if there revenues going up, you did something, right. If it's going down <laugh> you did something wrong and you can tell, you know? Yeah. And so, and it's kind of, you know, reflecting back on the fact that in 2014, I loved building on the Shopify platform. Now it's just like, I don't know how in the world I did it because I was coding directly within Shopify, not even like locally or anything like that. And it was just a terrible experience, but you know what? I loved it. And so I stuck with it. I, uh, yeah, I became a Shopify partner, uh, and a Shopify expert in 2015. And when that happened, it's kind of snowballed to get more and more clients cuz I was one of the few experts listed at that time and I was making more money freelancing, excuse me, making more money freelancing. Then I was making at my fellowship. So <laugh> when my husband and I got married and I can get on his health insurance plan. I left the fellowship and went all in full-time freelance. And that was in October of 2015.

Rabah Rahil (11:09):

How cool. Wow. And so you were really, that was a pretty smart bet. Cuz 2015 Shopify was still like, you know, cool. It was a cool kid on the block, but not near the behemoth that is now.

Kelly Vaughn (11:21):

Oh no, it was it

Rabah Rahil (11:22):

Much smaller. I mean commerce, WordPress Megento uh, big commerce. There was tons of options. Um, wow. That's a great pick.

Kelly Vaughn (11:30):

Yeah. Yeah. I also wish that I had bought more than two shares of Shopify stock too. Yeah, I know. <laugh> my two shares are doing great.

Rabah Rahil (11:38):

Yeah. Ain't that the truth? Oh my gosh. Yeah, those Canadians, they really crush it up there. That is uh, how fun, what, and in a weird way, um, the psychology kind of dovetails really nicely, honestly with like user experience, user interface, kind of things of understanding like empathy and how somebody's going use this and the cognitive kind of load that you're generating with this element or that element. So it wasn't off for not yeah. The public health you

Kelly Vaughn (12:04):

Public health is

Rabah Rahil (12:05):

You keep it tidy. You keep the office tidy. You know,

Kelly Vaughn (12:08):

I always, I always like try to, the only time public health ever came into use was when we were talking to a client who happens to be health related. I was like, oh yeah, I actually have my master's in public health. They're like, oh, that's so cool. The, the, the social work degree on the other hand, I use that degree every single day

Rabah Rahil (12:22):

I could imagine,

Kelly Vaughn (12:23):

Which is great because there's no possible way in this world. I would ever actually be a practicing therapist. So I'm glad I can still use those skills and apply them to my present day. Instead of I love therapists. I love the it's a

Rabah Rahil (12:37):

Hard gig though.

Kelly Vaughn (12:38):

They need to be paid more money <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (12:40):

Yeah. It's, it's a hard gig man. And paradoxically like the better you are, the harder it is because like you empathize even deeper. And so like exactly, somebody comes with heat and you're like, oh man, I need to help this person. And like, um, yeah. And so yeah, it's a, yeah, they need to get paid more, but that's a, that's a tough gig, man. That is a tough one. There's

Kelly Vaughn (13:00):

A recent turnover. So high.

Rabah Rahil (13:02):

Yeah. Right. Well, exactly. So not only are you underpaid, but you're kind of overworked and then there's just certain aspects of it where it's just, you know, sometimes it's a rock and a hard place where it's not to the same magnitude, but, uh, again, I had a really good friends in personal training and nutrition and it's kind of same, same, but different there where there's just, you know, some cognitive hurdles that some people like you're just not gonna be able to remove for them. And they, they have to either figure it out or they don't, but you know, you can just end up like you either end up leaving or you become what they call treadmill clients, where they, you ultimately, as a personal trainer, you just turn to a therapist and they're just giving you money and they're not, you know, they're not getting skinnier or they're not getting anywhere towards their goals. And it's just like, yeah, it can devolve very quickly. I love that. So, and then tap room sprung up in 2015

Kelly Vaughn (13:50):

Tap room sung up in 2017. So okay. Another, another, I'm never going to do this. And then I did it situation, uh, in 2016 I was featured in a MailChimp newsletter with a title, a freelance success story. And I was like, yes, I made it. This is awesome. In this article, I talk about how I never wanna start an agency that I love this hybrid model of being a freelancer and, and partnering with other freelancers, not even a month after that came out, I was like, well actually I kind of do wanna start an agency <laugh> so it took nine months to go from, okay, I'm actually going do this to launching or relaunching as the taproom, which happened in October of 2017,

Rabah Rahil (14:30):

What a trajectory and for people that don't know, can you give a little color what tap room is?

Kelly Vaughn (14:35):

Yeah. So the tap room's a Shopify plus development agency really focus on building custom apps, custom themes for merchants on Shopify and Shopify plus

Rabah Rahil (14:43):

How cool. So you go from one of one applicant at, uh, you know, nothing wrong with government jobs, but you know, they are what they are. Yeah. And to starting your own agency building on one of the most innovative platforms or especially in eCommerce. Wow. That's cool. Yeah. That's, that's a <laugh> is definitely a trajectory. I love it. <laugh> so what do you, would you say, like, was there any resources or frameworks or like how, how did you get from there to there? Cause the other thing that, um, you have a lot of is entrepreneurial spirit and academia and entrepreneurial spirit usually are like oil and water. Yeah. Like academia is very stuffy. It's very theoretical. Um, very rarely is it practice, right? It's like, oh, well, if you did this and the reason I'm saying this, I, I studied economics. And so you, you, what economics is basically is like all theory land. And then by the time you get to practice, you're like, oh, well, the reason it didn't work. And so economists are just really good mathematicians at post HOK explaining why something happened, but there's like zero predictive power where it's like, we, we just rationalize <laugh> in the, in the, uh, past, but we can't really predict anything. So how did that work out with having like this really deep, strong academic background, but yet you're uh, like this top tier entrepreneur?

Kelly Vaughn (16:00):

I think one of the things that from, from academia that I learned early on is that it's okay to be wrong and it's okay to fail. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and every time every failure is an opportunity to improve. You know, when you are testing hypotheses, if you're, if you're uh, getting it correct every single time. Congratulations, something's weird about you, but that's cool. Yeah. Um, it's just not gonna happen. And when it comes to entrepreneurship, you have to, you have to be willing to take those chances and be willing to fail and be willing to pivot and learn from those, those experiences. And I think that's something I really embraced early on, uh, you know, being willing to, to test the field, see, see what I, what I can do, what I shouldn't do, what I like doing what I don't like doing. And speaking with others really was a huge part of that.

Kelly Vaughn (16:46):

You know, there are always people who are ahead of their ahead of your journey. You know, whether it's a year ahead, months ahead, years ahead, you're, there's so much you can learn from them. And most people are willing to share with you what they've, you know, their trials and tribulations. Most people are not keeping it close to the chest because what good does that? Do you know, I'm playing in the same field as a lot of these people, a lot of these huge agencies and I've, you know, we're technically going for the same deals, but we'll talk, we'll talk all day and we'll share ideas and tips and whatever, because you know, there are things that I've experienced as an agency owner that some of these other agencies have never experienced and they might have been in business for 10 years and I've been in business for four. It's just, you know, different, different games that we're playing in that same field.

Rabah Rahil (17:32):

I love that. I love that. Yeah. And that's honestly too, I've been my experience as well is, um, a lot of people, especially the top tier people, um, they want to pay it forward where like, obviously it's not like the, Hey, can I pick your brain kind of stuff? You know, you have to, uh, formulate the ask in a way that it's beneficial for both parties. Right? You don't wanna just take, take, take, but when you do that in a, you know, respectful kind of manner, I've, I've had really, uh, success as well, kind of reaching out to those people, especially as well. Sometimes that might not be like directly competitors, but like kind of periphery competitors. And there there's still really, um, open to, um, you know, helping those people. I, I love that. Yeah. Um, what is, so let's wrap up the main segment. One last question. What's one piece of advice you would give to kind of aspiring entrepreneurs that you wish you received when you were kind of, uh, on your journey or starting your journey. I guess

Kelly Vaughn (18:26):

I would say keep a living, breathing, document up your goals. And it seems like a funny thing to just to say, like, that's what I would recommend, but you know, we live in our heads so much about here's what I would love to do, but if you don't actually write it down and you don't keep it in front of you, it's hard to remember sometimes, especially when you're not having, you know, great days, you know, your trajectory should be up into the right beer, going to have those down days as well, keeping those goals ahead of you. And, and so you can always see them is really helpful, but the point of it being, living, breathing document is that your goals are going to change over time and welcome that change. Allow yourself to change your goals. If you decide that, you know, what was interesting to you before is no longer interesting to you. That's totally fine. Just update what your goals should be.

Rabah Rahil (19:09):

I love that. Uh that's that's sensational. Yeah. And, and I love the idea that you said, uh, or the point of making them visible. Cuz I know a lot of times I've done some goal setting stuff and like doing it and putting it on there and then not having them like in front of you is like just as bad as keeping it in your head because it like outta sight, outta mind kind of thing.

Kelly Vaughn (19:27):

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.

Rabah Rahil (19:30):

I love it. Oh my gosh. You made it to the second segment, the value ad segment. This is why the people bought the ticket. Okay. Let's get into some nerdy stuff. All right. So what are the best parts and hardest parts of running the tap room?

Kelly Vaughn (19:43):

Uh, best parts I have an, I, I get to work with so many talented people and I allow, you know, the kind of work that we do allows me to give them the creative freedom to, to learn and grow, but also fail and allowing them to make mistakes along the way in teaching them how to veer back to where they need to be. I, I love leadership. I love being a leader and it is one of the absolute, most rewarding things about running the tap room is having such a talented team that I can help build up both personally and professionally as well. I don't remember the second half of the question.

Rabah Rahil (20:21):

Oh, the hardest. So that's the good stuff, the bad stuff, or not necessarily the bad stuff, but what are kind of like more, the more challenging parts of running the tap room

Kelly Vaughn (20:29):

Cash flow is definitely one of the, the, and, and this goes for really any business, but service based businesses in particular, you know, we are constantly selling constantly having to do with, you know, new leads coming in, playing together, proposals, scoping things out only for them to fall apart 3, 4, 6 months later when we had no return on that investment. It's such a typical thing to have to deal with. And, you know, four years in, especially, you know, I, I would say I'll give an example, 2020, uh, Nope. It is now 20 22, 20 21. I don't know what year it is anymore. I'm

Rabah Rahil (21:04):

Saying, I'm

Kelly Vaughn (21:05):


Rabah Rahil (21:05):

20, I got the first two digits and that's pretty much it. Yeah.

Kelly Vaughn (21:08):

2021 was a huge year of growth for the tap room. Uh, we, we passed a million in revenue for the first time, uh, in one calendar year, uh, we finished around around 1.4, which is awesome, cuz we had done seven 90 the <laugh> year before. But keeping up with that growth also meant hiring a lot of people yeah. To do the work as well. And as that work started to taper down towards the end of the year, I had a lot of people and not a lot of work. I had a high, high expenses, lower amount of cash coming in, which meant I had to make some very difficult decisions. And that was a mistake on my part to, to hire so quickly early on, which, you know, the pandemic really led or like fed into what we did there to, to, we got more work because of the pandemic had to hire because of the pandemic, but we did not continue to adjust as needed. And that resulted in us having to get rid of some people. Um, the positive side of that is I had started this other company. And so we laid off four people at the chap room and rehired them at Kavalo. So how we got to keep a job?

Rabah Rahil (22:12):

Yeah. Stay stayed in the family. Yeah. That's definitely, um, something that can be really challenging is matching that burn rate to your growth, right. Because yeah, you need to have the supply to service that demand. But then as you said, if that supply or if that demand is a bit fickle and then it's just this big wave, like, you know, mediating, that can be a really big challenge because you know, what do you do then maybe you get freelancers and then you don't have to eat the w two S but at the same time, like it's just a different relationship with the freelancer than it is a W2 worker. Exactly. And then there's just a lot of nuance that goes into that. And you know, a lot of times it just is what it is and you, you know, like you said, you have to make some tough decisions sometimes as the, you know, as the facts change, your, your strategy has to as well. And it, it, it's a challenge and that's so cool that you were able to kind of feed them into your, uh, kind of second company with Kavalo. That's really neat.

Kelly Vaughn (23:06):

Yeah. I'm, I'm really fortunate to have been able to do that because they're, they're all such wonderful people and I'm glad I had, I had another option. Like obviously most people are not running two companies at the same time to be able to do something like that. So I'm, I'm, I'm grateful for, for that opportunity.

Rabah Rahil (23:23):

I love that when you guys are looking at kind of Shopify user experiences, um, or, um, in specific like cuz you guys operate on Shopify plus stores, what are you, what are you kind of looking at? Or like take me through that. Is, are people coming to you with like an ask or is it more of kind of a nebulous? Like I wanna make more money. Can you help me with that? Or I wanna increase conversion rate or is it like, I wanna wanna build the bundle builder app that looks like X, Y, and Z, or how, how does that work?

Kelly Vaughn (23:49):

We get a good mix of all of those clients. I will say the ones who are more nebulous in their requests are the most difficult to kind of parse part and figure out, okay. Yes. You wanna make more money? Cool. Tell me why. Yeah. Constantly asking why are you it's? I would say there are two in both sides of it. People who don't know what they want and then the people who know what they want, but it's the wrong thing to want.

Rabah Rahil (24:13):

<laugh> like, that's good.

Kelly Vaughn (24:16):

Yeah. I, you know, I know I need this, this particular thing for my store and here's why, and I'm like, here's why you don't need that. And this is also a terrible idea when it comes to user experience. Um, and I have actually hung up on leads before who were very, very rude to me because they would be like, I'm not hiring you for your opinion. I'm hiring you to pay, to build this. I'm like ho I don't think that's the case.

Rabah Rahil (24:46):

<laugh> it's the wrong,

Kelly Vaughn (24:48):

Wrong answer, buddy.

Rabah Rahil (24:49):

Wrong answer buddy. <laugh> no, I love that. I, uh, I, I used to run my agency and that was kind of one of the things that I would always push back with where it's like, then why are you giving me all this money? Yeah. Like if you, if you don't want my opinion, that's fine. But why are you paying me then? Like, that's the whole point? I'm the domain expert. You're not, if you were the domain expert, you would be doing this. That's what, that's what the money's for. And so it, it, yeah. And I love that you cut that off at the past, cuz I've found, um, especially in like agency life, um, especially when you're starting out one or two clients can scuttle an agency, man, but you get one or two cuz not only are they gonna over ask, they start getting way outta scope.

Rabah Rahil (25:30):

And then you either tell 'em to F off. And now you have this person that's yelling at everybody about how bad you are or you do the work they pay late. They don't pay. Like it can just be a nightmare. And so being able to that's what I've always told people with like starting an agency, one of the biggest inflection points is once you can get to a cash flow where you can say no, because obviously there's gonna be times where, you know, you're gonna take on project. You do what you need to do when you need to do it. Right. Exactly. But the farther you can get away from that, um, of necessity of cash flow and more into choosing who you get to partner with. Um, paradoxically again, you make more money because you're just partnering with really great partners. And there's a bit of a parallel again in media buying where um, when I was just starting out, I would have, you know, a thousand dollars contract or something like that $500 contract. And this person is like, I need a blood sample. I need you to be online for 25 hours a day. And you're just like, what are you, dude? You're giving me 500 bucks a month, chill out. And then you get like $10,000 retainers and like, Hey, do you need anything? Like, no, we just I'm good things sent the check. Yeah. And it's just like, man. Yeah. So being able to level up the quality of clients is, uh, that that's definitely a step function for a lot of agencies out there and multiple verticals.

Kelly Vaughn (26:42):

Yeah. There are two things that I learned over time from that one. Every time you say yes to something you're saying no to something else.

Rabah Rahil (26:49):

Oh I love that. So going back to my economics background, this, the fancy term for this is opportunity cost. Exactly. But I love that.

Kelly Vaughn (26:57):

I love that. Exactly. I, I, I recently took an economic class too. So we're talking about opportunity cost. Yeah. That's good. <laugh> I went to Harvard business school online. It's not the same thing. Um, <laugh> I love,

Rabah Rahil (27:11):

I went to Harvard business school. I love that. But, but honestly it's better to say it in, in terms of people understand. I, I, I think that's honestly a better way to communicate it because it's you, you understand what you're saying? Where I, I, I love that. Sorry I cut you off. Keep going.

Kelly Vaughn (27:24):

No, no, no. You're good. No, it's, it's, it's definitely something to learn. And to remember every single time you're presented with a choice and sometimes you need to, and I, it's actually a really good exercise to do just in your day to day when I say yes to X thing, I'm saying, Y I'm saying no to Y thing and think through what is that you're giving up. If I'm saying yes to this project, if I'm saying yes to being on this podcast, I'm saying no to taking a break and reading a book on my Kindle. I mean, doing work. What are you talking about? Um, you know,

Rabah Rahil (27:56):

Or hidden belly or whatever, or reading the

Kelly Vaughn (27:58):

PE. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I, I did. I ran three and a half miles yesterday and oh,

Rabah Rahil (28:04):

I forgot you switched. You're you're not, you're on the,

Kelly Vaughn (28:06):

I'm doing both now. I'm still doing

Rabah Rahil (28:07):


Kelly Vaughn (28:08):

Yeah. Wow. Well see, here's the thing. I'm not a runner. Well, I guess I am, cause I just ran three and a half miles. Um, but I'm still learning to be a runner. And so my, my, my knee is killing me right now, which means I can easily get on the bike and not hurt. So <laugh> I just switch between the two of them.

Rabah Rahil (28:25):

That is incredible. Oh, I love it.

Kelly Vaughn (28:27):

But yeah. So the second thing that I was going to mention was, and I will remember it in just a moment here

Rabah Rahil (28:34):

Saying yes to no opportunity cost. Um,

Kelly Vaughn (28:39):

I was so close. Almost

Rabah Rahil (28:40):

Got it. I derailed this. I'm so

Kelly Vaughn (28:42):

Sorry you mentioned Peloton. My, my has just like,

Rabah Rahil (28:45):

Oh, I totally went to, oh gosh. Darn it. Yeah, it is. What's we'll

Kelly Vaughn (28:50):

Come back to it'll come back.

Rabah Rahil (28:51):

Yeah. Um, the, was there any kind of any favorite implementations from the tap room that you really remember? And you're like, man, we crushed that. That was really awesome.

Kelly Vaughn (29:02):

Oh, so many of them actually, so many, obviously I'm trying to figure out which ones we can actually share.

Rabah Rahil (29:08):

Oh yeah. That's true. That's

Kelly Vaughn (29:09):

The problem. Yeah. Yeah. And do they really

Rabah Rahil (29:12):

Fun? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. We can skip over it too. I just know you guys do some really cool work over there. I didn't know if there was anything that you wanted to highlight.

Kelly Vaughn (29:18):

I think one of the ones that, that was a relatively recent launch that we did was copper cow coffee. Uh, they have a custom, so it, they, they were switching from their whole thing was they were switching from a lot of one off purchases to going more subscription based and they needed to change the way the, the, the website was structured to support that move. And so we built them a custom quiz flow that let them know which flavors of coffee that they would like most based on their 10, you know, their general coffee preferences. And then they could edit that box or they can go ahead and subscribe to it or purchase it one time or, you know, all these kinds of things that subscriptions are complicated. They're very complicated. Especially once you start introducing boxes of goods that you can switch out the items

Rabah Rahil (30:06):

It gets. We

Kelly Vaughn (30:06):

Did another one. Who's uh, another subscription one who's I, I can't mention the name of the company, but I can talk about the project, uh, where they have like a weekly meal plan, for example, and you can choose which meals you wanted to get that week. And so we provided up to five weeks in advance of choosing which meals you wanted for each of those weeks where you can skip a week. And it was a lot of like, you're, you're purchasing the subscription itself. And then you have all these one time products that are the actual meals that you're getting as well. So there's a lot of like a lot of logic that went into ranking that work. And it's one of the, I I'm so proud of our team for building that out. That was one of the coolest things we built.

Rabah Rahil (30:46):

How awesome. Yeah. You get into some really weird, uh, just combinatorial stuff, right. Where it's just like, that's a lot of combinations, like, oh yeah. Whoa, how do we deal with all that? And

Kelly Vaughn (30:56):

Then, yeah, we've done some weird things with like, uh, custom discounting based on any number of user tags. And so which, which customer tags are take precedence over other customer tags, make sure they're ranked, make sure they show based on their tags, but also based on the items in the carpa make sure they don't see the items that they shouldn't see because they have the wrong tags. The, the amount of logic that goes into some of these custom apps that we build is, is it's it's bonkers.

Rabah Rahil (31:21):

Oh my gosh. And so this is also something that can be so frustrating when dealing with clients where it's like, can't you just move that button over there or whatever. And you're just like, oh my, especially when you have a ton of dependencies, you're like, uh, that's gonna be another 10 grand. They're like, what are you talking about? It's like, it's like, well, you kind of, don't like, we basically have to refactor the whole app that we built for you just to do that one change. Are you sure you want it? And, uh, it can be challenging sometimes where people that aren't necessarily Uber technical have asks that seem reasonable to be fair. They seem like a reasonable ask. Yeah. But it's just, when you don't have the, um, knowledge of the infrastructure and the architecture that's underpinning it. Um, it's not as easy as an ask and it's the, exactly that would always like jar me when it's like, well, I could do that in five minutes. You're like, really? You could, you wanna show me how you that in five minutes? <laugh>, that's

Kelly Vaughn (32:09):

What I

Rabah Rahil (32:10):

Was really. Then maybe we should hire you because

Kelly Vaughn (32:12):

You'd be the cheapest

Rabah Rahil (32:13):

Developed driver ever found. Yeah, exactly. Oh, I love that. Um, when you're at, cause I want to talk a little bit about Gava, but we'll wrap up on tap room a little bit, but, um, how are you measuring success in your businesses?

Kelly Vaughn (32:27):

So in, in the tap room, uh, we have a number of KPIs that we're looking at. Um, so we, we, we track our, our funnel. So the number of leads that come in intro calls that we have, uh, estimates that we actually send out and then conversions from there. Love that. So it's important to do that because for example, uh, from 2020 to 2021, our number of leads that came in dropped significantly. But that was because we increased our rates, our close rate increased. And so we are spending less time on introductory calls, less time sending out proposals that were going to be rejected so we can actually get to the work that needed to be done. So,

Rabah Rahil (33:08):

Oh, that is such interesting insight.

Kelly Vaughn (33:09):

So that's one thing that we measure. Um, I'm also looking at how our team is spending time per week. So our, our developers are logging their hours, but it's not so much a like, let me make sure you're actually doing extra hours per week. They put together estimates based on the tasks that needs to be done. And then you measure their actual time spent versus the estimate to see where we're spending too much time. What did we run into? Why was this twice the amount, the estimate, where do we go wrong? Or heresay, here are some things that we are estimating we're overestimating how much time we actually need when we do it in half the time. So that keeps us, that helps the team become more efficient. Uh, and it helps us allocate to,

Rabah Rahil (33:53):

Oh my gosh, I love that. That's so brilliant. I think of, uh, cause I'm, I'm a huge fan of time blocking. Like my whole day is pretty much planned every day. And so I get really grumpy, um, when, because obviously there's bosses prerogative. So when like AJ or max, this, the co-founders ping me or the VP of engineering, you know, <laugh>, it is what it is and you move things around. Um, but I love that because I think of, and almost going back to your previous point of opportunity cost, I think of, um, kind of time and bets, right? And so it's like, this is the bet I'm gonna make. And with that bet, cuz I found that humans are horrible with the Bundance and fantastic with scarcity. And so if you're like, Hey dude, if you cuz another thing I had where you join an early stage startup, you just work a lot and you know, it just is what it is.

Rabah Rahil (34:35):

But at the same time, it's not really a healthy lifestyle. And so there's a certain point where, cause I was working from home, we finally got an office and the office finally acted like a forcing function for me where it's like, Hey, work at the office and when you're home, you're home. Yeah. And so, uh, you know, try and get in like eight or nine to six o'clock. And what I've found is kind of what you were saying is instead of me thinking I have the whole day to work, I was way more focused cuz you're like, Hey, I, I have nine to six. This is the time to bet I'm gonna place my bets and crush these out. If not, you just kind of, there's always something that you can slide in your plate and you just end up perpetually working. And that's not necessarily the most pernicious part about it for me.

Rabah Rahil (35:14):

I just never felt accomplished exactly. Because like, even when you do crush something out, you're like, oh, well then there's this next big thing I can start working on there. And there is just never that really kind of, you don't feel, I love that. I'm gonna suggest that too. Yeah. I love that. Cause to your point, it's not about clocking and clock out. It's about how are you perceiving your ability to get things done and then how are you matching that? And then how are you betting your time throughout the day? I man, that's brilliant Kelly. I, I really like

Kelly Vaughn (35:39):

That. I'm, I'm very much against the typical 40 hour work week. And I, you know, I, I run the tap room differently than I run GVA. And of course I've, I've transitioned out of the tap room at this stage, but I still own the tap room. So I'm very much still involved in it.

Rabah Rahil (35:54):


Kelly Vaughn (35:54):

Yeah. But I I'm against the 40 hour work week mindset because you are asking the question, how can I feel 40 hours of my time? Yes. Instead of asking, how long is it going to take the tasks that need to be done this week? And if it takes less than 40 hours, awesome. Maybe you wanna spend some time of that doing personal or professional development. Maybe you do wanna get ahead on next week's stuff. I'm not gonna stop you from doing that. But I would rather make sure that you're doing the amount of work that you can get done in one week. Not how can I fill up that time?

Rabah Rahil (36:30):

I, I love that. That is so brilliant. And I think too, that is the bifurcation between quote unquote skill work and labor. Yeah. Where labor is really punishes you for being efficient. Yeah. Um, so like, uh, there's a great book by David graver called bullshit jobs. Um, and ultimately the, the thesis behind it is like, you'll basically what you just said where people are just working in these jobs that are just filling time. And what was crazy is these, these are really like, they were high level people. You're talking about high level lawyers, et cetera, et cetera, but they're just failing their time versus to your point. Like here's an objective and let's work on it and it takes as long as it takes, but let, let's get and move this forward. And then we'll modulate around the resources that we need. If it takes longer, it takes longer.

Rabah Rahil (37:09):

If it takes less, it takes less. But it's not about the time like the, the work isn't a function of the time, right? Like the work is actually a function of the goals. And then the time is just a byproduct and a kind of that forcing function of like, you can't work 24 hours, you gotta use the restroom, you gotta eat, you gotta, you know, have some semblance of a life with a, either a significant other or your hobbies or something like that. Yeah. That's a really enlightened way to look at things. I love that, Kelly. Yes. Okay. One more question. And then we'll get to the rapid fire. So strap in, um, what's the biggest opportunity you see with digital gifting? I know we didn't get to do goo too much, but give us kind of the skinny there. So one, tell us kind of what goo is. Give us that little elevator pitch and then tell me kind of what you think the biggest opportunity there is for digital,

Kelly Vaughn (37:52):

For sure. So goo is a new gift card app for Shopify. So if I were to purchase you with gift card using Shopify's native functionality, I purchase a gift card, gets emailed to me and then I either have to forward you that email or print it off and hand it to you. So there's no actually actual gifting when it comes to gift cards on Shopify and go sets out to solve that. So when you install go goo, it takes, you know, less than three minutes to get onboarded. And when you're on that product page that has the gift card product, instead of seeing an added card button, you see send a gift card, you click on that and a popup appears and asks you for the recipient's name, their email address as well as a gift note. So you can customize the message that gets sent out.

Kelly Vaughn (38:28):

And then we take it a step further by actually adding a delivery date too. So you can purchase a gift card now to be sent at a future date. So for example, you wanna that's brilliant plan all your, your Christmas gifts ahead of time. Boom, boom, boom done. It'll be delivered on Christmas day. You don't have to worry about it. So we automatically treat those gift cards for the merchant and automatically send them directly to the gift recipient or schedule for future delivery as, as requested. Uh, we also offer store credit. So Shopify doesn't do anything in terms of store credit. So it's the same underlying functionality as gift cards, but we separated it out for analytics. One of the things about gift cards is that a lot of them go unused, like let's take 2020, for example, 15.3 billion in the us alone sat UN unused gift cards.

Kelly Vaughn (39:13):

I am literally part of the problem. I have props that are gift cards that are literally unused gift cards in here on my desk. <laugh> and with that, there's, there's a benefit to actually getting your customers to use those gift cards too, because on average, in order that uses a gift card as a payment method or partial payment, method's $59 higher than those that do not. So it increases your AOV as well. If you can get your customers to use those gift cards. So we're surfacing those analytics, how many gift cards have you sold? How what's the total value? What's the total of value you've made from aura that continue to gift card. That's a payment method and what is that average order value as well? I love that. And we're gonna continue to build out those analytics because the, the data is so in. It's incredible what data's out there with around gift cards. It's just not being surfaced right now.

Rabah Rahil (40:00):

I love that. The other thing about gift cards that aren't used is you can get in a really weird accounting situation. Yeah. Because you really can't, you can't, um, claim that revenue yet. I think it's like a few years. There's some sort of time limit that eventually you can then take that revenue on your books, but um, ultimately your gift card is, you know, you, it's just sitting there in this zombie kind of place in your P and L where there's just, it's a service that needs to be rendered and hasn't been, and so there, you don't really actually get to claim it on your books as well. So it's even better when people, I mean, obviously you don't, people don't use it and then eventually you do get to claim it. That's great. But at the same time, that's not the point of a gift card. Not, it's not the swindle people to make people, you know, buy your stuff and to your point, you're buying more stuff. Exactly. So it's even grabbed

Kelly Vaughn (40:43):

Even better. Gift cards are great for immediate cash flow needs. Especially during a time when the supply chain is, that's a good total shit. That's a fair point. It's super helpful. A fair point gift cards are deferred revenue until they have been used. And so they are a liability on your books. And, and to your point of being able to convert into revenue after a certain number of years, that varies from state to state. So in some states, gift cards never expire when it comes to achievement laws, which is what you were talking about in converting. And what does that dollar value in X number of years? It varies everywhere in the state of Georgia. We're just like Yolo, do whatever you want, gift cards. You know, they can expire after five years. If you want, in some states, let's say you have a gift card that's over $25 and you have less than $5 remaining on it. You can go and exchange the remaining balance for cash <laugh>. There are all so many weird things when it comes to gift cards, I'm really fun at parties. Now I can tell you all about gift cards. <laugh> I could

Rabah Rahil (41:38):

<laugh> imagine. Let me see that gift card. How long have you had this? What's the ante left. Hold on. Oh, what state did

Kelly Vaughn (41:45):

You find? Exactly?

Rabah Rahil (41:46):

Oh, Kelly. That's so amazing.

Kelly Vaughn (41:48):

But yeah, to answer your actual question about, you know, missed, you know, I don't know exactly how you phrased other than missed opportunities. The,

Rabah Rahil (41:54):

The biggest opportunity. Yeah. The biggest opportunity you've seen.

Kelly Vaughn (41:57):

So we think of gift cards as holiday related, or, you know, for your birthday, I'm gonna give you a gift card for something. Or we, we, we kind of think of a gift card as like a cop out. Like, I don't know what to give you. So I'm just gonna give you a gift card,

Rabah Rahil (42:11):

But better than cash,

Kelly Vaughn (42:12):

But better than cash. Here's the thing though, millennials and gen Z in particular, they want gift cards, but you know, and, and it's starting to move up, you know, back mark. I, what, how, you know, previous generations we'll just call it that, uh, more and more people are starting to want gift cards, but it's not really a cop out because let's say like, I know that, you know, you are really into, like, you spend a lot of time at your computer. Okay. And I want you to be taking care of your iHealth. Well, Felix gray is one of our users. So why don't I go and buy you a gift card for Felix gray instead of an Amazon gift card or a, you know, just like an Amex card that you can use anywhere. I've taken it one step further to think about what you actually like.

Kelly Vaughn (42:55):

Maybe I know that you love cooking. So I'm going to get you a gift card from our place and you're gonna get yourself some really cool kitchen stuff. You know, there's, there's a level to, you know, care that goes into giving a gift card, but it goes beyond just like holidays and birthdays. I, you know, we we're collecting data of course, on how, how customers are purchasing gift cards, why they're purchasing the gift cards. We're seeing more and more gift cards being purchased just because, Hey girl, I know you had a really bad day. So drinks are on me. Here's a house gift card.

Rabah Rahil (43:27):

That's cool.

Kelly Vaughn (43:28):

I think that's, there's so many opportunities here and it it's really on the, you know, the merchant to surface the opportunities to, to really push gift cards. One of the things that we built in on actually built it the weekend before we launched the out, cause it was like, oh, this is that of a really cool idea. If you land on a product page and the item is sold out, we built it in the function. The we built in the functionality where below that sold out button, we add a button that says, send a gift card instead

Rabah Rahil (43:55):


Kelly Vaughn (43:56):

You never have a dead end on a page. That's one of like that is, is like CRO UX 1 0 1. Don't let any page be a dead end. Well, I now just gave you an opportunity to, to sell something else.

Rabah Rahil (44:06):

That's really cool. I really love that. That's really cool. And I, I think to your point too, uh, gift cards are especially like outside of the universal ones where it's in a, a vertical or at a store or something like that, it does come across personal. And there's certain things where you can know somebody's kind of, uh, preference set, but not necessarily proclivities. Right? So it's like, I know you like to shop at this store, but I don't really know what you would buy. Yeah. Or maybe the items are a little intimate, right? Like a watch or a handbag or something. It's like, it's really hard to buy for somebody. But if you give them the capability to get that from that store, it's like two birds with one stone. It's the best of watch.

Kelly Vaughn (44:42):

Like you might know. Well, you obviously know that I love my Peloton both now the bike and the red. So you might be like, oh, I'll get you a gift card to the Peloton apparel store, but you don't know what size I wear. Exactly. So why not just gimme the gift card instead? Exactly. Exactly. You really gave me something that, you know, I enjoy.

Rabah Rahil (44:58):

Yeah. And, and it does come across sincere because I would, unless I know you, I wouldn't have known that you like

Kelly Vaughn (45:05):


Rabah Rahil (45:06):

I love that. That's fantastic. All right. Midwest girl, Michigan. I'm from Indiana. I love the Midwest, but I'm not gonna take it easy on you. Rapid fire. All

Kelly Vaughn (45:16):

Right, let's go.

Rabah Rahil (45:18):

Okay. UGA overrated, underrated.

Kelly Vaughn (45:21):

Uh, in what sense?

Rabah Rahil (45:24):

It's, it's totally kind of either campus life or, or underrated. What, how underrated take the question? Underrated. I love it. Uh, gift cards, underrated, underrated. Ooh. I love it. Cycling. Overrated. Underrated.

Kelly Vaughn (45:38):

There's a pattern here. Oh my

Rabah Rahil (45:39):

Gosh. There's a pattern. PE the Peloton overrated, underrated,

Kelly Vaughn (45:44):

Uh, Peloton CEO. Just kidding. I will not get into that one. <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (45:48):

Oh, did you say, oh my gosh. That thread was so

Kelly Vaughn (45:51):

What are my opinion on something Peloton related when there's a, there's some news around the Peloton? I would say my gosh. I mean, being in the Peloton environment is absolutely underrated. It's the, the, the people I have met through the Peloton community are some of the best people. I know.

Rabah Rahil (46:09):

I actually did my first ride. I was out in Columbus, uh, last week for, um, we had a leadership meeting or whatever at HQ. And I did my first ride. I was actually who's you ride with fun? Um, it was, uh, it was some black German guy. I, it was in the morning and like, I thought I was having like a stroke or someone, what the hell is this guy saying? I can't understand. Then I was like, oh, he's speaking German. So it was some black German guy. I, I

Kelly Vaughn (46:31):

Hope he turned on

Rabah Rahil (46:32):

Subtitles at no, I just ran with it. I had the cuz it's really nice. Like, there's a, like, I love analytics and metrics. And there's like all these little feedback things like, okay, I turned it up the right way. I'm hitting the right cadence. Exactly. It was very aligned with my personality type for, uh, like pretty much the feedback loops almost instantaneous. Um, yeah, it was fun. It was a great workout. And your point, cycling's great because there's, it's pretty much a zero impact activity and you're gonna get a ton from

Kelly Vaughn (46:58):

It. Exactly. So it's, it's definitely zero impact unless you're riding outside and you turn your body, but you don't turn the bike and then you just, you know, hit a curve, not speaking from experience or anything. <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (47:10):

No, of course not course

Kelly Vaughn (47:11):

It's my first time out on the road and

Rabah Rahil (47:12):


Kelly Vaughn (47:13):

Two years. And I'm like, this is going great. It's the end of the ride. I'm going back to where we parked. And I just like ate shit right in front of a bunch of people. I'm just like getting up. I'm like, haha, that didn't happen.

Rabah Rahil (47:25):

And those, those road bikes, you can get moving.

Kelly Vaughn (47:27):

Oh, absolutely. And clipped in. I clip in on mine.

Rabah Rahil (47:31):

Oh, that's the scariest. Oh gosh.

Kelly Vaughn (47:33):

It scares, especially since

Rabah Rahil (47:34):

I, you just, and you can't,

Kelly Vaughn (47:36):

I couldn't get my foot out. And also there's like based on my seat height and where I clip in my feet don't hit the ground. So I clip out and I literally have to lean to get my, my foot to hit the ground.

Rabah Rahil (47:47):

<laugh> oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Yeah. I love it. Uh, the grand canyon overrated. Underrated.

Kelly Vaughn (47:55):

If you ask me other locations, I think if you're going during the day, it's overrated. If you're going for the sunrise, absolutely underrated.

Rabah Rahil (48:05):

I love that. I love that Shopify plus overrated, underrated.

Kelly Vaughn (48:09):

I'm supposed to say underrated hot

Rabah Rahil (48:11):

Take hot take. It can be accurately rated. It can

Kelly Vaughn (48:15):

Be, it can bely rated accurate. I, I think that it's, uh, with some upcoming changes that it's, uh, it it's approaching over.

Rabah Rahil (48:25):

Yeah. There's there's some man. There's some big bills I had like again, when I was running my agency, I was like, gosh, dang, that's a big bill man to run a website. But at the same time, you know, it is what it is. Yeah. I see. It is in my opinion, I think one of the best platforms to, uh, run on, but the, the plus the plus

Kelly Vaughn (48:43):

I see

Rabah Rahil (48:43):

A lot of, be kind of spicy

Kelly Vaughn (48:45):

Seven, eight figure businesses doing great on advanced Shopify. So

Rabah Rahil (48:50):

I know you didn't hear folks got that. Plus I loved

Kelly Vaughn (48:55):

Z choose a Shopify plus, but I also recognize the fact that some of those plus features are working their way into advanced Shopify. So

Rabah Rahil (49:02):

Yeah. And to be fair too, the economics just get really weird with plus where it's like, that is a, you know, if you're making under billion dollars, if

Kelly Vaughn (49:09):

You're making under a million, don't look a plus full stop.

Rabah Rahil (49:13):

Yeah. <laugh>, it's a big wine item. It's a big wine item. Um, kilts, overrated,

Kelly Vaughn (49:19):


Rabah Rahil (49:20):

I told you I stopped. You really did. I love it. It's

Kelly Vaughn (49:23):

Literally my husband in a kilt on my pick on my phone background. <laugh> that's the one.

Rabah Rahil (49:28):

Yep. That's the one I found. I love it.

Kelly Vaughn (49:31):

Uh, Scottish weddings, underrated, Scottish.

Rabah Rahil (49:34):

Oh, I would love that. Are you, uh, Outlander? You like show Outland? I watched it. Do you know what

Kelly Vaughn (49:38):

I was? I, I got, as soon as I mentioned that I was gonna Scotland. Everyone was like, have you seen it? I'm like now just like by principal alone. I can't.

Rabah Rahil (49:47):


Kelly Vaughn (49:47):

<laugh> it's the same reason why I'm not going to Iceland anytime soon.

Rabah Rahil (49:51):

Fair point fair point. It's actually really good, but I, I take your point. Um, what's your favorite city in Georgia?

Kelly Vaughn (49:57):

Atlanta. It's easy.

Rabah Rahil (50:00):

I love it. What gave you more gray hair Gava or gives you, I guess you're kind of just sitting or founder of tap room, but what gave you more gray hair Gava or tap room? Tap room. I totally

Kelly Vaughn (50:12):

There's a big difference between bootstrapping and having a VC backed company. That's for sure. <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (50:19):

That's yeah. Capital can really create a lot of like makes us a lot of headaches go. Oh yeah. When you have some money it's for sure. Um, favorite meal and why,

Kelly Vaughn (50:30):

Uh, can I count wine as a meal?

Rabah Rahil (50:33):

<laugh> liquid

Kelly Vaughn (50:34):

Diet. I, I can.

Rabah Rahil (50:36):

I never, it's your, it's your show?

Kelly Vaughn (50:38):

I'm in it's Mexican food food. And I know people expect me to say spaghetti because I talk about spaghetti all the time. Um, if

Rabah Rahil (50:44):

Which is not Mexican food for our listeners out there

Kelly Vaughn (50:47):

A few years ago, I made a new year's resolution to eat Mexican food at least once a week, every week for the entire year, best new year's resolution I'd ever created. Great. Absolutely. I, I no succeeded. Obviously I was in another country and I'm like, I gotta find the Mexican food at least one day. And so I had tacos and worked perfectly

Rabah Rahil (51:06):

That's brilliant. Georgia has some pretty Atlanta has some pretty good

Kelly Vaughn (51:08):

Atlanta has some pretty good everything. It's such a it's it's such a foody city. It's

Rabah Rahil (51:12):

A big city.

Kelly Vaughn (51:13):

It's big. And it's very underrated. It's a lot of people don't even have Atlanta on their radar. Most people, what they know of Atlanta is passing through Heartsfield Jackson <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (51:23):

Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. Um, I love that, uh, favorite place travel to and why

Kelly Vaughn (51:29):

New Zealand was probably my favorite trip. Um, absolutely beautiful Auckland or I, I did two weeks there. So I did a week in the north island week in the south island. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um,

Rabah Rahil (51:38):

I heard the south island south

Kelly Vaughn (51:39):

Island was incredible, right? Yeah. I, you know, it, Auckland is another city. Um, that's where we started. We ended our, our trip. Right. Uh, I loved one actually. I was one of my favorite favorite cities. Yeah.

Rabah Rahil (51:51):

Really? How cool. Yeah. I need to make the, I've heard just incredible things about a guy named Troy Ratcliffe. Uh, I used to be really in photography and he actually ended up moving out there and it's just, uh, nature's gems. There's

Kelly Vaughn (52:05):

FSS, so

Rabah Rahil (52:05):

Beautiful. Everything everywhere.

Kelly Vaughn (52:06):

I have such a weird top three countries that most people wouldn't think of. So number one is New Zealand, which I guess is pretty pretty given. Yeah,

Rabah Rahil (52:15):

That's not right. Number

Kelly Vaughn (52:16):

Two is visiting Finland in the winter. Amazing.

Rabah Rahil (52:20):

Interesting. So what's the big cities in

Kelly Vaughn (52:22):

Finland. Uh, so, uh, that's the wrong country. <laugh> Helsinki

Rabah Rahil (52:28):

Helsinki. That's right. That's

Kelly Vaughn (52:29):

Right. Uh, but we, we took an overnight train to, uh, above the Arctic circle. Uh, so Roia is up there, um, which is like the Christmas town, but we went like dog sledding, uh, ice carting is so much fun. Oh cool. They have like, we went snowing a few times because you just rent like you, you can, you can go from like Norway over to Russia, just from snowing pets. <laugh> it's cool. What, so that was a really fun trip. And number three is Slovenia,

Rabah Rahil (53:02):

You know, so we have a, a good friend of mine, rock, shout out rock. Um, he's in Slovenia and I've, I've heard this actually a few times now where it's, it's supposed to be stellar and kind of undiscovered. Absolutely still. Right. Where like, yeah, everybody goes to the Pariss or the Romes and like just go a little Eastern block, get into it. Yeah. And like, uh, Belgrade actually came up, uh, with somebody else and, uh, but uh, different country, but same,

Kelly Vaughn (53:25):

Same region. I had been prior to this past November, I had visited 24 countries and had never been to London, Paris or Rome. I've now added Paris to that list. I spent Thanksgiving in Paris in November, but I still have never been to London, which I will fix next month. And Rome is some time, but it's, I'd rather visit other cities. And

Rabah Rahil (53:43):

How was, how was

Kelly Vaughn (53:45):

It was great. It was still, you know, it's, it was winterish or approaching winter and also still dealing with the pandemic. So I couldn't do all the things. Oh

Rabah Rahil (53:54):

Yeah, yeah.

Kelly Vaughn (53:55):

Like that. They walk out. I usually travel out of the country about three times a year and I got Finland in October or no in February of 2020. And then my next trip was November 20, 21 being, uh, France. So I, I snuck one in before the end of the year. I was able to do that, but my travel schedule officially start kicks off next week. So I'll be away more than I will be home. Go.

Rabah Rahil (54:23):

Well, that's go, Kelly. I love it. Okay. Two more. And then we'll wrap it up. Uh, favorite, favorite follow on Twitter.

Kelly Vaughn (54:29):

Oh, that's a really good question. Is it weird to say that I don't look at other people's tweets that much? I have 108,000 followers on Twitter and I don't, I just like tweet and sign off. Oh, you have a

Rabah Rahil (54:43):

Massive account. That's it just post and ghosts. It's good

Kelly Vaughn (54:46):

For help. Yes, exactly. Um, it's good for that. I mean, there's not really like, I, I, I have like, my friend's alerts turned on for their tweets, but I'm not really reading much on there.

Rabah Rahil (54:58):

What about newsletters? You wanna throw in a newsletter instead? My

Kelly Vaughn (55:00):

Favorite newsletter is my own newsletter newsletter. For one thing,

Rabah Rahil (55:04):

Ums, it's called

Kelly Vaughn (55:05):

Your friends guide onto dealership. Um, I, I write an email every Friday or might be once a month right now because I'm busy, but love it. Actually, funny thing tomorrow's email that's going out is about time blocking. So its very, uh, very timely. Um, so is your friend is the website I also owned or I also bought your friend's guide, and then realized that I don't wanna type that out every time. So I sorted it to your friends. <laugh> <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (55:30):

And, and entrepreneurship can be a challenge. I

Kelly Vaughn (55:33):

Type it wrong almost every single time. Yeah.

Rabah Rahil (55:37):

It's a challenging

Kelly Vaughn (55:37):

Word. I do love, uh, the 2:00 PM newsletter though. Um, web

Rabah Rahil (55:42):

Web web is

Kelly Vaughn (55:43):

Wonderful human. I absolutely love him.

Rabah Rahil (55:45):

Yeah. He's he's a really has his pulse on the, uh, GTC, um, space. Yeah, really smart guy. Um, also Midwest guy, I believe he's in Ohio as well. Okay. Last question. And it'll make it through rapid fire. If you could have dinner with three people dead or live fiction and non fictional, who would they be? So this is a four person table. You're taking it one seat. You have three seats to fill.

Kelly Vaughn (56:05):

Okay. Ruth bit Ginsburg.

Rabah Rahil (56:07):

Ooh. I love it. R I

Kelly Vaughn (56:08):


Rabah Rahil (56:09):

Um, there's a great not to cut you off, but there's a really good documentary on her on I believe it's Netflix or Hulu. It's incredible. She was a really a, a, just a, a behemoth, just absolutely tight in this space.

Kelly Vaughn (56:19):

So this is a funny one, but I just have so many questions for her Mo the number, question number one question is why Elizabeth Holmes.

Rabah Rahil (56:29):

Oh, did she get got,

Kelly Vaughn (56:31):

Yeah. What happened? She got, got, I think out five outta seven counts. I think it was, yeah,

Rabah Rahil (56:36):

There's a phenomenal book called bad, so good. Um, but oh yeah. Oh, you know it. Yeah.

Kelly Vaughn (56:42):

Uh, there's also a, a podcast that followed the trial also by John Kerry. R my gosh. I was highly recommend.

Rabah Rahil (56:49):

Yeah. Oh, is it okay? I gotta do. I was so obsessed with that and the WeWork stuff. I was just, I could not, it was like my watching a train wreck. I

Kelly Vaughn (56:57):

Couldn't, that's the thing. I love train wreck business stories. So that's, that's a big one for me.

Rabah Rahil (57:02):

That's why you lit up on the peon stuff.

Kelly Vaughn (57:05):


Rabah Rahil (57:06):

You saw? I just saw this smile. It's yeah. That's a brutal one. It is challenging. Okay. You got, um, RG or RBG. You got, uh, Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos. Infamous. Yes. Theranos fame. And then who's gonna round out the trio.

Kelly Vaughn (57:21):

I would love to have dinner with Barack Obama.

Rabah Rahil (57:25):

Oh, wow. So you have some pretty big political heavyweights in there. Where

Kelly Vaughn (57:29):

With, I

Rabah Rahil (57:30):

Realized that with the Supreme court justice and then a former president, he was Senator too, right? Yeah. He was a pre Senator before his was president. Correct? I think so.

Kelly Vaughn (57:38):

<laugh> yes. I'm pretty sure.

Rabah Rahil (57:39):

I'm pretty sure he was Senator. Yeah, I'm pretty sure Senator read

Kelly Vaughn (57:42):

His book, but I also forgot <laugh>

Rabah Rahil (57:46):

You go? Um, you made it, you made it, you made it through fire Kelly. Incredible. I should have known a Midwesterner, a triple bulldog. Of course, you're gonna make it. Um, okay. This time is yours. Kelly plug, whatever you need to plug and let the people know where to follow you, how to get involved with all your awesome.

Kelly Vaughn (58:02):

Yeah. If you wanna follow me on Twitter and I probably will not see your tweets. Uh <laugh>. Let's be honest when you have as many followers. I, I miss a lot of my mentions too is pretty bad. Uh, um, KV, L L Y is my, my Twitter handle. Uh, again, my, my newsletter is your friends Uh, if you have questions for me, you can reach out to me directly via email it's Um, my, my website contains all my socials and everything at KV, L Shocking Gava is G O V a L The taproom is the, which is also occasionally I get people saying theta room, which is probably my favorite when I was like, I'm gonna choose a name. That's really easy to pronounce when you read that. Like, so are you Kelly VA from, from theta PR like, yes. It's kind of like super bowl or superb owl.

Rabah Rahil (58:57):

Yeah. <laugh> the, I don't know that that's pretty bad actually. Theta room is,

Kelly Vaughn (59:02):

You know, I think, I think it's mostly people who have some kind of like Greek connection, like where a sorority,

Rabah Rahil (59:09):

For example. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. That's fair point. That's a fair point where, yeah,

Kelly Vaughn (59:15):

Me analyzing everything. People say shocker. <laugh>,

Rabah Rahil (59:18):

There's the psych, there's the psych degree coming out. Kelly. You're a gem. Thank you so much for taking the time. It has been an amazing, this is 21 in the books. Everybody. Thank you so much for stopping in. If you wanna get more involved with triple well, it is tri triple go sign up there. We are also on the bird app at triple well, and then we have a fantastic newsletter called whale mail goes out every Tuesday and Thursday. You can sign up on our Twitter bio at triple well, Kelly, thanks so much again, if you're ever in Austin, gimme a shout. We'll grab a beer or some wine and maybe a cycling trip. Hopefully we won't fall. I'm not doing the Clifton pedals though. I'll tell you that. <laugh> um, well that's all we got folks. Thanks again. And, uh, we'll see everybody on the flip. Bye. Bye.

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