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How CEO Kara Goldin kept doubters from crushing her vision for Hint water

March 31, 2021, 3:26 PM UTC

It’s no secret that the beverage business is a challenging space, and flavored water is a crowded area within that challenging space. So back in 2005, what made Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint, think her indie brand could go up against the likes of Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Nestle?

Goldin joins  Fortune’s Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt on this week’s episode of Leadership Next, a podcast about the changing rules of business leadership, to talk about taking on giants and her new book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters.

Honestly, says Goldin, “I can’t say I actually thought the whole thing through.” Now that’s some honest flavor right there. But when she did start telling people about her plans, the doubters hit her from all sides.

The CEO of Hint started her career in circulation at Time and later went on to sales at CNN followed by a seven-year stint as VP, electronic commerce and shopping at AOL.

Her pivot to the beverage industry was just about solving the problem of, basically, boring water, she says: “I didn’t even think of it as you know, taking on the beverage giants.”

And sixteen years later, Goldin’s brand is still an independent but now? It’s a giant in its own right.