Episode 37 -Leaving the world a better place through job creation with Jillian Manus

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Terri talks to Jillian Manus about how she went from having her own businesses to leveraging her vast network to help build brands and companies and ultimately invest.  Jillian shares her passion for creating jobs that people can be proud of and the importance of being life-long learners.   

Who is Jillian Manus?

Jillian Manus is an experienced banking and media executive, a technology investor and entrepreneur.  She is the Managing Partner of Structure Capital.  In her role with Structure Capital, Jillian provides strategic support to founding teams.  Prior to Structure Capital, Jillian was founder of Broad Strategy, Manus Media and Global Goal Sports Management.  Jillian is a co-host on the podcast The Pitch, which has been called a ‘better, more realistic version of Shark Tank.’


Show Highlights

  • Terri asked Jillian about how she transitioned from starting her businesses to investing in startups

  • Jillian talks about how she used the Ginsu knife method to slice and dice to optimize and amplify the message for her clients

  • When she heard people wanted to venture into other areas, she would coach them through the path and use her vast network to bring the best people in

  • Jillian attributes her vast network to the fact that she talks to everyone she meets regardless of where she is and who they are

  • Jillian’s’ first question to people is ‘what can I do for you?’ which helps to build the relationship and build trust which makes it easier to ask for something later.  

  • Jillian uses the principle outlined in "the one thing" to focus on the most important because it makes everything behind it easier and helps to set boundaries for her time.   

  • Terri asked Jillian whether Jillian is bad at receiving and she responded with a story about Southern women who taught her the importance of graciously receiving a compliment with ‘thank you for being so kind.’

  • Jillian doesn’t see herself as successful yet and that she is not yet the best person she can be.  This fuels her and motivates her. She is fearless and gets out of her own way.   

  • Jillian and Terri talk about how women can be very mean to themselves and need to speak to themselves like they would to their friends and their seven year-old selves.

  • Jillian is the eternal optimist.  Jillian strong believes that you cannot waste time on worrying and other people’s bad behavior.   

  • To Jillian, 50 is fabulous.  You know your voice, you know who you are, you know what you don’t want.   

  • Terri talks about how she was demoralized for about 24-48 hours after reading Ellen Pau’s book Reset and the lack for accountability for the VCs because of the amount of money they have had and the resulting power associated with it.   

  • Terri and Jillian discuss whether we can shift the existing VCs to increase diversity in investing or if we need to create a separate funding ecosystem.  Jillian thinks the answer is a hybrid.  The existing investors are getting educated.   

  • Jillian says the problem is that men invest in people who look like them.  They can connect to the founder and their philosophies and character traits.  It’s a place of comfort to invest in other men.  Once they shift, there is a better outcome.  We aren’t going to be able to change all of them to step outside of their comfort zone.   

  • Jillian said that we need to create more onramps for other investors and provide women with the ability to invest in small amounts into the Seed round.  Before doing this, develop the top 10 questions to ask an entrepreneur and get educated on how to run a business.  This will give the comfort to be able to put money into startups.  

  • Jillian talks about the importance of being a life-long learner.   

  • Jillian never invests in a woman because she is a woman, but she does give women more opportunity to pitch to her.  Once there, they need to prove themselves at the same level.   

  • Women have an insight into men that men don’t have, having raised children.  Women are more easily able to see a person’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • Jillian is living the life she wants to live more than she has at any time in her life. 

  • If Jillian could wave a magic wand, she would make sure that every single person in this world had a job that they were proud of. The path to self-sufficiency paves the path to happiness and peace.  

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Jillian Manus would use her magic wand to give everyone a job they were proud of. The path to self-sufficiency paves the path to happiness and peace.


  • Jillian did not become a VC to make money, her mission is to create jobs for people and invest in founders for that reason.  She gives away 90% of income every year.   

  • She is passionate about supporting veterans and has invested in a startup (The Shift) to help veterans translate their military skills into the private sector.   

  • Jillian wants to leave the world a better place and she is doing it through creating jobs.   


Terri’s Key Takeaway

You cannot waste time on worrying and other people’s bad behavior.


References in the Podcast

  • The Pitch Episode #17:  Jillian’s backstory:  https://www.gimletmedia.com/the-pitch/17-investor-spotlight-jillian-manus

  • Structure Capital: http://structure.vc/

  • The One Thing:  The Surprisingly Simple Thing Behind Extraordinary Results: http://bit.ly/BookTheOneThing

  • Reset by Ellen Pau:  http://bit.ly/BookReset

  • The Shift: https://www.shift.org/

  • The Pitch:  The Shift:  https://www.gimletmedia.com/the-pitch/15-shift

  • Skillmil: https://www.skillmil.com/



Listen to Jillian on The Pitch: https://www.gimletmedia.com/the-pitch.   

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead. 

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com.

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife.