Denise Bevers shares her hard-won tips on how to be successful in business. 

It still makes my heart pound a little to say this, but I co-founded a company that combines my experience in pharmaceuticals with my passion for animals and raised more than $120 million in funding to make it happen. My current reality has surpassed my wildest dreams, and I want you to do the same. Find out what makes your heart beat. Know your strengths, but take time to understand your passion. Then go do it.

First, uncover your true passion.

I don’t care how many online quizzes you’ve taken or how many times you’ve read What Color is Your Parachute, finding what you truly love to do is both deceptively easy and elusive at the same time. My advice? Pay attention to what you do when you aren’t working. Look beyond the occasional hobby. What subject matter do you tend to read about or participate in when you have free time? Where do you spend money outside of your living expenses? Is it holistic healing, uncovering the nearest bike trails, eco-fashion, or documentary films? Does doing it every day make your heart skip a beat and put a smile on your face? Whatever it happens to be, there’s a good chance it could be your thing, your true passion.

Then, unearth your hidden talents.

The second part of the equation is knowing what skills or expertise you already possess. What have you picked up along the way–even if you didn’t completely love it in its current form–that might translate well to another role? Are you the researcher, the connector, the innovator, the writer, or the planner? Everyone is not only good at something, but they do it in their own way. Take a look at your career successes up to this point and see what jumps out. Then get creative about how that experience or skill set might translate in another field. Look at it from multiple angles. Brainstorm all the ways it could play out.

Our passions are the winds that propel our vessel. Our reason is the pilot that steers her. Without winds the vessel would not move and without a pilot she would be lost.

– Proverb

Finally, unlock the power in the pairing.

For me, that meant merging my 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and my deep love for my furry family members (a horse named Wasco, a border collie, Betty, and two cats, Gladys and Glover). It didn’t take long before I realized there were others out there who were feeling the same pull to pair their pharmaceutical/biotech experience with their passion for animals. In 2012, I co-founded KindredBio.

KindredBio’s mission is to save and improve the lives of pets by bringing them the same kinds of safe and effective medicines that human family members enjoy.

With the mission clear, we began to partner with others who shared the same vision. We quickly realized that there were talented, heart-driven individuals in both human and veterinary medicine who wanted to be a part of this work.

What has become apparent to me is that my honest passion for the work we are doing not only propels me forward, but it creates this authenticity I haven’t experienced before–in myself and our amazingly talented team. Our heart is behind everything we do, from the creative and far-reaching to the mundane and tedious. This work has become my personal mission. And I truly believe the deep connection between personal passion and the vision for the company is the reason we have been so wildly successful, both in fundraising and breakthrough product development.

Passion + experience = success. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series, which is about pairing vision with investors and achieving great success in fundraising. 


Denise Bevers, Co-Founder and COO of KindredBio, is an expert in clinical operations, medical affairs and scientific communications. She overseas the organization’s clinical operations, data management, pharmaceutical development, commercial operations, investor relations, human resources and IT. Along with KindredBio’s CEO, Denise has raised more than $60 million in IPO (NASDAQ: KIN) in 2013 and over $62 million in a secondary offering in 2014 to bring the very best science and medicine to animal companions.