Cristina Poindexter: The Power of Parable

“Ultimately, I decided I actually owe it to myself to not be in the kind of leadership situation where I’m unable to follow my intuition,” says Cristina Poindexter about the valuable realizations she gained from co-founding Parable, a CPG start-up dedicated to brain health nutrition. She ultimately stepped away from her role as co-CEO just before the company’s dissolution.

At the time of founding, the market was eager for supplements focused on brain health and cognition. Cristina, open about her own mental health journey, was enthusiastic about moving from the tech space to offering more tangible products. However, challenges with fundraising as a female, toxic power dynamics, and her own intuition made her realize it wasn’t the right fit.

In today’s episode, Cristina talks to host Alex Raymond about what she would do differently, how the experience has helped her prioritize, and why she continues to support the next person in the brain health space. She shares the physical and psychological toll of fundraising meetings, a common issue she discovered when she shared her experience on LinkedIn that remains relatively unaddressed. Cristina explains why new entrepreneurs should adopt a community-based approach to their businesses, the pressure on females in the startup space to “boss up,” and the importance of following your intuition.


  • “The advice I give entrepreneurs now that are entering this space is really start with a community-based approach that decreases your reliance on ads and more the direct response and logical way to go to market. Do illogical things that don’t scale at the beginning.” (15:00 | Cristina Poindexter)
  • “There are many people out there who will resonate with your mission, brands and colleagues in the business space. That is actually something that is really powerful in the beginning for startups—to talk to the folks that have a similar mission, that aren’t competing with you and work together to help each other get your products out.” (16:31 | Cristina Poindexter) 
  • “That was this huge learning for me that ultimately, I decided I actually owe it to myself to not be in the kind of leadership situation where I’m unable to follow my intuition that way because I could tell that that’s actually what the company needed from me to actually close the race. It needed me to go off script, it needed me to be intuitive, and go about it in a way that I could sense my way into the field. And no one around me was really telling me that’s OK, that’s right.” (25:46 | Cristina Poindexter) 
  • “What I couldn’t help but notice was my life felt much more exciting and alive and healthy and exciting for me if I was not in the CEO position. And I will say, as a woman, we are taught, in the startup world, to boss up, don’t bend to the guys, stand our own, defend ourselves, lean in. To actually come to the decision that I actually didn’t want it was so hard because I knew what it would look like from the outside.” (43:00 | Cristina Poindexter)


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