The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.



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In this episode, Steli and Hiten discuss what it means to trust your intuition and follow those gut feelings. Steli shares a story of how he followed his intuition when it came to a potential hire. Steli wasn’t feeling very great about this particular candidate, decided to act on these feelings, and do his due diligence regarding the candidate. What he found out confirmed the questions he had regarding the candidate and in turn, informed his decision to not hire this particular person. Tune in to find out the importance of knowing and trusting yourself when it comes to those gut feelings.


Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:04 – Steli introduces today’s episode about trusting your intuition

00:59 – Steli explains why he wants to talk about intuition


01:04 – Steli was on a call with someone who applied to work for them

01:33 – The staff said he was skilled and likeable, but there was something off about him

02:01 – Steli talked to him for an hour and the interview was fine, but Steli also felt weird about the guy

02:36 – He felt weird because the guy was likeable, but Steli did not like him and he didn’t not know why

03:01 – Steli’s intuition made him feel like the guy was not authentic

04:02 – Steli asked the guy upfront that he wanted to know who he really is

05:10 – The guy answered that he was with the military and learned how to communicate


05:49 – Steli fought with his intuition

06:15 – The guy said he was working for a company that Steli had connections with


06:48 – Steli called the company’s founder to talk about the guy

07:07 – The founder said he worked as a full time employee and then, suddenly disappeared after 2 months, without any communication

08:01 – After 7 weeks, he sends in his laptop without any explanation


08:35 – They did not hire this man

09:16 – Steli thought that if he did not do his due diligence, he would have hired the guy and not trust his intuition

10:18 – Hiten says Steli listened to his gut and did his due diligence

10:29 – Steli says he got lucky, because he knew the founder of the company where the candidate was previously employed

11:05 – People have different strategies for decision making

11:50 – Hiten says anytime he gets a gut feeling, he follows it and does extra due diligence

12:10 – You need to be very diligent when it comes to hiring someone new

13:14 – Gut feelings about other people are usually bad feelings

14:07 – Intuition is still based on life experience

14:45 – Don’t just override your intuition with logic—keep on investigating because there is a reason why you have a bad feeling to begin with  

15:18 – Either there is something hidden about that person or there is something hidden in you and you should uncover that

16:20 – In business, you have to deal with your gut constantly

17:04 – A lot of times, you have to listen to your gut first

17:20 – Your vision comes from your gut

17:53 – In a startup, all your decisions come from the gut

18:37 – As a startup founder, you are able to move on your intuition and gut feelings

18:51 – Just relying on data blankets you in a false sense of security, telling you that you are not making mistakes

19:59 – The risk of trusting your gut and making a mistake is much lower than not trusting your gut

20:44 – When you are not trusting your gut, it affects the way you communicate

21:17 – The gut is powerful

21:40 – Your gut feel can help make better decisions

22:57 – Hiten shares how he is usually right about other people’s decisions, even if they’re making the wrong ones—based on the data

23:47 – “Other people just need to listen to their gut better”

24:38 – Steli’s therapist friend once told him that the person already knows the solution to ...

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