Paige Soya is a financial consultant and executive director at K Street Capital, an early investment stage firm located in Washington D.C. With over fifteen years of financial expertise, Soya has built a prosperous and diversified career in the field of investment capital.
A 2009 graduate of John Hopkins University, Paige began her career working as the director of investment operations before leading as a private client advisor for Brown Advisory in Baltimore, Maryland where she provided expertise to family offices, foundations and trust in tax, estate and charitable planning and investment allocation. During her time in this position, she continued her education and earned an M.B.A. in finance from Johns Hopkins’ Carey School of Business.
Building upon her expertise and determination, Paige established a socially-conscious tech company, Full Society, which eventually merged to become GoTab, a financial app that allows users to split and pay restaurant bills on their phones. During this time, Paige raised more than $2 million in venture funding and achieved 100% MoM growth in six months.
Paige Soya holds nearly five years in a C-suite level or executive management roles, offering sought-after advice in strategic fundraising, early stage financing, and projection-based cash flow analysis to clients and colleagues, as well as operational excellence. As a private consultant, she has provided senior counsel to a wide range of clients, including early-stage, venture-backed startups to later stage corporations holding $70 million in revenue.
Soya uses her spare time to volunteer her support and expertise to charitable causes. She’s a long-time volunteer at CASA of Baltimore and works as a trained advocate for two children. Paige also frequently collaborates with theShine Foundation, a nonprofit that helps provide free financial education to survivors of physical and domestic abuse.
Where did the idea for K Street Capital come from?
K Street Capital was founded in 2013 by a group of investors from “the hill” in Washington DC with the intention of investing in startups focused on solving problems in regulated markets. It has since evolved to include investors with a diverse set of backgrounds include tech, media, private equity, F&B, etc.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts at 4:30am. I get up, get out the door for a run, have breakfast, and am ready to start working by 7am. 7-9am I catch up on emails. 9am-5pm I’m in meetings and calls back to back with companies and investors. After 5pm is when I get the real work done (research, modeling, evaluating investments). Not every day is 100% productive but getting up early gives me a much higher chance that it will be.
How do you bring ideas to life?
#1 people and #2 resources. Finding the right people is the most important part of bringing ideas to life and I truly believe you have to start there. Once you have the right people, you need to find the right resources (and often times, if you really do a great job finding the right people, those resources automatically come along with them).
What’s one trend that excites you?
Meaningful social interactions. The world seems to be finally tiring of endless social media posts and large format networking events where self-promotion is the only way to interact. The intention of feeling connected seems to fall flat and instead, loneliness is the outcome we receive. The trend of finding ways to have deeper and more meaningful connections with fewer people is exciting to me.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Outsourcing. I never outsource my core strengths but I always outsource nearly everything else – scheduling, marketing, certain forms of ops. Know the high value activities you need to focus on and delegate everything else.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Spend more time thinking about the exit strategy before you even start your company. Without a crystal-clear path (and one that you really believe is do-able) to an exit or to profitability, all the hard work up front will be in vain.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Everyone should run a little bit every day no matter how old, sick, or tired. And strive to use all of your vacation.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Keep your meetings, especially the ones with your internal team. Don’t flake out on them or cancel them or show up late to them. Learn how to manage your schedule to make that possible. If you are “too busy” to make the meetings you’ve committed to, then you are probably also too busy to achieve the goals you’ve committed to.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Fostering raving fan referral sources. I’ve tried to focus my attention on creating fewer total customers (but very high-value, raving-fan customers) rather than lots of indifferent customers. Those few high-value customers are the ones that have really driven the business forward.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Hiring people in fields that I have never worked in. What I learned is that I was always making bad hires (sometimes terrible ones) and I wouldn’t find out until it was much too late. This is expensive not just in terms of the financial cost but in terms of the time it sets your business back. I always include domain experts in my interview process now.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
On Demand Christmas trees (setup included).
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Black Athleta work pants (Wander Stash Skinny Pant) – These pants are as comfortable as yoga pants, durable enough to commute in, and machine washable. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wear them 3 times a week.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Asana – For tracking tasks and projects internally.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Endurance – Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage” – It will remind you that you are stronger and can handle more than you think.
What is your favorite quote?
“We all start as strangers”
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.