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Startup Life Hacks | Business and Life Advice | Founders | Entrepreneurship

Updated 5 days ago

Business
Education
Careers
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Inspiration For College Student Entrepreneurs

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Inspiration For College Student Entrepreneurs

iTunes Ratings

52 Ratings
Average Ratings
49
2
0
1
0

Must Listen

By Pod9955 - Oct 30 2015
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Really important topics on navigating and optimizing the steps of starting your business.

Not a single boring show!

By Mark Costes - Oct 30 2015
Read more
Rommel gets great guests and is a great interviewer. The stories really are inspiring.

iTunes Ratings

52 Ratings
Average Ratings
49
2
0
1
0

Must Listen

By Pod9955 - Oct 30 2015
Read more
Really important topics on navigating and optimizing the steps of starting your business.

Not a single boring show!

By Mark Costes - Oct 30 2015
Read more
Rommel gets great guests and is a great interviewer. The stories really are inspiring.
Cover image of Startup Life Hacks | Business and Life Advice | Founders | Entrepreneurship

Startup Life Hacks | Business and Life Advice | Founders | Entrepreneurship

Latest release on Jan 01, 2016

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 5 days ago

Rank #1: Ep 022: The Importance of Serving Others w/ Robin Zander

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Robin is an author, educator, and strategist, with a background ranging from management consulting to circus performance. He has a desire to help people and companies keep pace with rapid change. If you can’t find him in a dance studio, he is directing the Stanford-founded Design for Dance Conference, and also runs his own podcast, The Robin Zander Show.

STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS

My main gig right now is the educational startup called SOCOS. SOCOS is 3 years old right now; I joined a year and a half ago. But we’re bootstrapped. SOCOS had started with a small scale consultancy for online universities. Only in the last 6 months was where we’ve taken decades of research into learning and turning it into a product that people can use. The product is called MUSE. It’s for parents of kids 0-12 years old, where it’s that one thing that parents can do every single day to maximize the life of their child.

WHEN DID YOU FEEL YOU’VE GAINED ENOUGH KNOWLEDGE FOR CONSULTING?

Every consulting opportunity is different from the one before. When I started consulting as a special needs consultant to families, I didn’t evolve yet like I was the expert. But I realized that by having that outside perspective, and having the story of one other family of whom I can share with the person in front of me right now, was incredibly useful. We often overlook our strengths because we assume that other people have them too.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP

One moment was with my old consulting business, Move Autism. I had a couple clients and decided to give it my all. I was getting great feedback from my initial clients, but when I decided to expand my business, it was very difficult since I was relatively new to social media marketing. There was a point when I questioned if I should join my friends and enter into the tech industry or get my Ph D. The thing that saw me through was that desire to be of service.

HUGE SUCCESS

From consulting, success at that time was seeing the changes in the little girl and her family. I asked myself, have I to the best of my ability in this setting been of service to that person. If the answer is yes, then that’s success.

SUPERPOWER

One is the ability to ask questions and helping people reach their conclusions.

KRYPTONITE

It’s setting a high expectation for someone else and not having those expectations delivered and getting upset about that is my kryptonite.

IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER

I would love to have a “Narnia” closet where time is paused and you can do whatever you want to feel refreshed.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Evernote: The workspace for you life’s work

Slack: Be less busy

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance

WHAT IS YOUR STARTUP LIFE HACK?

Be more appreciative. I found that most of my successes come from being appreciative towards every situation.

FOLLOW

The Robin Zander Show

Robinpzander.com

Twitter @robinpzander

Linkedin

Nov 23 2015

38mins

Play

Rank #2: Ep 024: Founders, Date Before You Marry w/ Mike Chan

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Mike Chan is an entrepreneur, consultant, marketer, and blogger. He is the co-founder of Ribl, a real-time, location based message board app, where you can share and discover the most relevant content about your current vicinity, so you’ll never miss out on what’s happening around you. Not only that, he is also the Founder and Host of his own show, the Go and Grow Podcast. Where he interviews entrepreneurs and industry leaders to learn how they launch and grow products and companies.

STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS

My businesses are often bootstrapped. I’ve either started them working on the side while working a full time job or leaving a full time job and doing some consulting. There are certainly pros and cons to that but the bottom line is…just make it happen. Funding from outside sources is not necessary to create a startup

FOUNDERS

The first startup that I worked on didn’t last very long. And it was because of founder issues. One of the biggest problems for non-technical entrepreneurs like me who are trying to get into a tech startup is to find technical co-founders. I found 3 technical cofounders really quickly and what happened was that I essentially got married without dating. It failed a couple months down the road. We couldn’t agree on the next steps, we couldn’t agree on the strategy and the vision of the company. And this was the startup I quit my full-time job for. Date before you marry.

HUGE SUCCESS

I haven’t got to the point, at least in my eyes, when I realized I’ve achieved great success. You have to celebrate the small successes. One of the things that I look at is just seeing the fruits of your labor when you’ve worked hard.

SUPERPOWER

I think empathy is my greatest strength. Whether in business or life in general, I think I’m pretty good at putting myself in other people’s shoes and seeing things from their view.

KRYPTONITE

My kryptonite is that I am a Jack of All Trades, but a Master at None. It’s tough for me. I like to know a lot about a lot of things, but it’ll serve me well to focus on one thing and get really strong at that.

IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER

I want to be able to read people’s minds. Empathy is part of this, but I’m definitely not at the point of reading people’s minds.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Trello: The free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

The Business of Happiness: 6 Secrets to Extraordinary Success in Life and Work

WHAT IS YOUR STARTUP LIFE HACK?

Don’t think about what you might miss out on if you fail. Think about what you gain when you succeed.

ADVICE TO HACKER NATION

Depending on what business you want to start, just do one little thing because that’s what gets it going.

FOLLOW

mike@goandgrowpodcast.com

Twitter @mikewchan

http://www.mikewchan.com/

Linkedin

Nov 30 2015

25mins

Play

Rank #3: Ep 023: “We want people 22-26 yrs old with 30 yrs experience” w/ Ken Arnold

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Ken Arnold is a consultant, author, engineer, and professor at San Diego State University, where he teaches a wide variety of courses such as programming and embedded systems. Aside from starting multiple companies in the past, he founded HiTechEdventures.org, whose purpose is to connect motivated students and potential employers, by providing work-for-hire consulting services. Students have the opportunity to work on client’s projects while they’re enrolled and working toward their degree.

STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS

When I first started as an entrepreneur, I hired my friends to do consulting work for companies and bootstrapped the entire thing. I paid them depending on the money I was getting from the companies. At the time, the best jobs were going for $1-2 an hour and they were getting $4 an hour. It was a win-win-win situation.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP

One of the biggest ones was when I had just jumped off and started the business. The large company I had worked for had a health plan. My son had become ill when he was born and had substantial hospital bills. It turns out there was a limit on how much the hospital paid out. All of the sudden the hospital gave all the money back to the insurance company. The company said they weren’t going to pay money that was over the limit, and I was forced to spend tens of thousands of money to cover the cost. That was all the money that I was going to spend on advertising and all sorts of business stuff. Family first.

HUGE SUCCESS

My favorite success is the HiTechEdVentures program because it’s something that I feel addresses a direct need and it solves a problem so many of my students had. Good students are not able to get jobs because they couldn’t even get an interview because they didn’t have any paid experience to put on their resume. I feel proud to start that because none of the people that have called me back have said, “Ken, I couldn’t find a job or get an interview.”

SUPERPOWER

I’d say my primary strength is simply that I try to be creative in finding different solutions to problems that people have used the standard solutions for.

KRYPTONITE

Bureaucracy, definitely. I’ve always had trouble with big companies and big organizations. What really grinds my gears is the bureaucreatic BS that prevents people from doing what needs to be done.

IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER

If I had any superpower it would be to inform people widely of really important things that they’re not aware of.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Doodle: The scheduling tool you’ll actually use

Google Hangouts

Skype

youcanbook.me

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative

WHAT IS YOUR STARTUP LIFE HACK?

If you’re in an environment where you get interrupted a lot, you spend a lot of that time trying to get back to what you were doing. One of the recommendations is to find a place where you can work uninterrupted and focus on the task at hand. You will accomplish more if you implement this simple hack.

FOLLOW

Linkedin

Twitter @technoken

email: Ken15@hte.com

http://hitechedventures.org/

Nov 25 2015

38mins

Play

Rank #4: Ep 021: How to Manage Social Media in Your Business w/ Laura Roeder

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Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. With all of the clutter on the web, it’s hard to get recognized and your thoughtful post may never get the exposure it deserves. Laura is the Founder and CEO of Edgar, a social media marketing tool, that tackles the problem social media is having today, finding and connecting with your audience.

STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS

Edgar was self-funded. I had another business, LKR Social Media, and also another training business called B-school that I started with a partner. Both of those businesses had done really well, so I used some of the profits to launch Edgar. It was basically a bootstrap model where we didn’t take on any investors or outside funding.

FOUNDERS

I am a solo founder. My husband is the CTO of Edgar, he built the product. He is like a founder in a lot of ways, but since this product was stemmed from an existing business, we didn’t make him a founder.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP

Once you grow your business larger, managing people is really what you spend your time on. If you have someone on your team who isn’t performing or isn’t a cultural fit, those can be the hardest days. In particular, when I have to let someone go, that’s definitely the most emotionally exhausting and the most difficult thing I have to do as a founder.

HUGE SUCCESS

Something really fun with Edgar was how quickly it’s grown and how much our customers have resonated with it. When we launched Edgar it was really an experiment. We just knew that we wanted it; we thought that other people wanted it, but we didn’t know if people would buy it. As soon as Edgar got out, we got to our first million in annual recurring revenue in about 11 months after launch.

SUPERPOWER

I find that the problem is never the lack of ideas; it’s the action of implementing it. Being decisive and putting some version of it out there so that we may continue to improve it would be my strength.

KRYPTONITE

One of the flipsides of the decisiveness is the impatience, which is definitely a problem of mine.

IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER

I would love to be able to read people’s minds, but I know it would be one of those that I would immediately regret as soon as it happens.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Edgar: The Social Media Queque That Never Runs Out

Slack: A Messaging App For Teams

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)

ADVICE TO HACKER NATION

Get something live today. Most people spend so much time planning and messing around with things that are wasting a bunch of time. What really matters is, will anyone pay for this, and you can find this out by selling one little piece to someone

FOLLOW

Twitter @lkr @meetedgar

Meetedgar.com

lkrsocialmedia.com

Facebook

Linkedin

Nov 16 2015

23mins

Play

Rank #5: Ep 020: How To Take Hits and Get Back Up w/ Mornee Sherry

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Mornee Sherry is a former United States Marine and Google employee. He is a self-starter with a passion for changing things and the way we approach life. His latest venture, Lume Cube, offers the world’s first off-camera flash and video light for iPhone, Android, GoPro, and other casual capture devices.

STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS

To fund it, we went through Kickstarter, but to fund the Kickstarter, we had started a few businesses beforehand that were mildly successful bringing in a few hundred dollars a week. We also utilized a great idea and the future of that through equity. We enticed a branding firm to give us their services in exchange for equity. That resulted in a great engaging video and raised $229,000 in 30 days.

FOUNDERS

“No man is an island,” is a very good saying. Every great CEO should recognize their strengths, not lie to themselves, and realize their weaknesses. And they should surround themselves with people who are strong in their weaknesses.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP

We developed a product through Kickstarter and very close to our initial launch of the product; the product we were getting from the manufacturer at that time was not meeting our standards, but requesting the order and the money. I had this gut feeling and I knew it was going to upset a lot of Kickstarters, a lot of my coworkers, and this manufacturer.  Nothing wrong with the manufacturer, but my gut feeling was that you don’t release a product you don’t want to put your name on.

HUGE SUCCESS

Lume Cube is a great level of success. I’ve started five of my own companies from scratch and they’ve all been successful within 18 months. I look at those as battles won, but I haven’t won a war yet.

SUPERPOWER

I believe I read people incredibly well through people’s body language, through people’s language and eye movement. I feel like I am good at reading and adjusting who I need to be to succeed in that room.

KRYPTONITE

Sometimes you can take on too much, and I’ll say for me, my kryptonite is initiative. I come up with new ideas to change this world every day. I definitely have focus, but you have to make sure that other ideas don’t become a distraction.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Cision: Stream your process and Power your story

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Anthem

The Catcher in the Rye

To Kill a Mockingbird

ADVICE TO HACKER NATION

For any people out there crowd-funding, start your outreach at least 60 days prior to launching your campaign.

Do you. People who encourage you are good. But don’t believe them. People that discourage you are bad. But don’t believe them. If you are an entrepreneur, you are a stubborn, intelligent, self-motivating, self-starter, and arrogant individual. It’s all about being on time.

FOLLOW

Facebook Mornee Sherry

Instagram @lumecube

Twitter @LumeCube

Lume Cube

Bongo Buggies

Foto Promos

Think Eleven

Nov 11 2015

35mins

Play

Rank #6: Ep 019: Staying Consistent, Connected, and Collaborative w/ Karim Roushdy

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Karim Roushdy enjoys founding and being part of startups. He is analytical, yet creative. Loves the calmness but enjoys having an adrenaline rush! Karim came from Egypt and is currently residing in the Finest City in America, San Diego. He started a new program, called Project26, which aims to help connect the startup tech community in San Diego.

FOUNDERS

People would go directly towards their friends, but I wouldn’t always recommend that. Choose your founders based on the passion you see in their eyes. Ensure that your partner is really passionate the same way you are about it. A partner means that they have to be a part in the business decisions, give them equity, trust, and leadership.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP

Starting a social startup in Egypt was definitely not easy. Despite the huge market now for entrepreneurs in Egypt, it’s not as big as it is in Europe or here in the United States, but it is getting there. There are a lot of times over there when I wanted to give up, but I decided that there are no limits, and there were no boundaries. And that’s why achieving that dream, whether it may be in Europe, in the US, wherever it is, I would do that.

SUPERPOWER

My greatest strength is that I am very consistent and that I am very social as well. I believe these are two very important traits that an entrepreneur should have. They have to be easy with people to pass on their vision to others.

KRYPTONITE

My kryptonite is SLEEP!

IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER…

I’d like to have either of these two powers; speed or high focus.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Slack: We’re on a mission to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm

The Secret

WHAT IS YOUR STARTUP LIFE HACK?

You don’t need some time to start. People always wait for this perfect time, when in actuality there is no perfect time, so start now.

FOLLOW

Project26.co

Twitter @k_roushdy

Email: kroushdy89@gmail.com

Nov 10 2015

28mins

Play

Rank #7: Ep 018: Creating a Better Version of Yourself w/ Derek Loudermilk

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Derek is one crazy dude. After graduating from Montana State in 2014, he went on a little adventure to explore the world. And by little, I mean travelling to 27 different countries and visiting all 50 states. He is also the host of his own show, The Art of Adventure Podcast, who’s main goal is to teach others how to learn what they need to know to navigate each new ecosystem of life.

STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS

When I was in grad school for microbiology, I was experimenting with a lot of businesses. I had experience as a cyclist so I started coaching athletes, selling other people’s sporting equipment on eBay, and teaching artists how to build an online presence so that they can sell their art online. I decided that cycling coaching was the first business that I would bring with me as I traveled abroad in 2014.

FOUNDERS

I did this all on my own. I heard about the rock star business model where you use your personality and your personal brand as the business. As the rock star, no one can really copy them and so they always have a unique value proposition.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP

The first time I tried recording a podcast I was in a crappy hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and I had a famous pro athlete on the phone. The interview went great, but I had realized that I had not recorded his half of the audio. As I played it back, it was just me talking to nobody. I was so embarrassed I thought I would just scrap the whole project and never talk to anyone again because I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. It took me 2 months to get over that and try again.

HUGE SUCCESS

As a podcaster, a great success was the first time someone comes up to you and they say, “Hey, I recognize your voice. Are you the host of Art of Adventure?” To be recognized by your voice, and to hear that I am helping this woman in her career, it makes it all worth it.

SUPERPOWER

I would say that skill acquisition is my greatest strength because I’ve worked in many different fields and I’ve studied so many different things. I’m able to take in new knowledge and assimilate it into my existing knowledge.

KRYPTONITE

There are so many good ideas out there, and they all seem so tempting and perfect when you hear about them. The problem is that there are too many to do in a lifetime. I have a lot of unfinished projects, and so good ideas are my kryptonite because I get so enticed by them.

IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER…

I’d say the ability to heal myself and other people because that basically eliminates any excuses and barriers that prevents you from doing your best work.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Schedule Once: ScheduleOnce is a field-proven solution for powering online scheduling with your customers and prospects.

Meet Edgar: The social media queue that never runs out.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

WHAT IS YOUR STARTUP LIFE HACK?

I do an annual review each year where I look at what worked and what didn’t work, and I set goals for the next year.

FOLLOW

Twitter @DerekLoudermilk

Instagram

Art of Adventure Podcast

Derek@derekloudermilk.com

Nov 02 2015

24mins

Play

Rank #8: Ep 017: How to Build Subscribers from 10 to 10,000 w/ Derric Haynie

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Derric Haynie is a serial entrepreneur working his way up to a Keynote Speaker. He is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and startup founders “growth hack” their way to success. he started the company Splash – Online Presence Management, with a goal of helping 10,000 entrepreneurs successfully set up profitable inbound marketing funnels, and get their first 10,000 subscribers.

STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS

In the beginning I focused completely on education. I needed to stop playing poker in order to make this passion of mine a success. When I knew I needed to jump ship, it was in the back of my mind that I needed an investment to help skyrocket the business. I had a few friends who were angel investors, including one who was in the email marketing space. He saw a lot of passion in me and really believed in me; therefore he made an investment of $50,000 into our company for 15%.

FOUNDERS

I picked my wife, Shana Haynie, as the Creative Director, she is an amazing artist and graphic designer.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP

There are definitely a lot of times when you feel like this isn’t working and it’s worthless. We have a small child in our home and moved from a 4-bedroom home to a 2-bedroom home, sold a car and went into debt for our business. I remember one night in particular when the baby was crying, we were still figuring out our business in the early stages, and it was just a murderous feeling that I should just give up now. The thing that kept me going was acknowledging that business and life struggles may come at you at full swing, but you have to know that there will be another moment when you have huge success as well.

HUGE SUCCESS

I’ve had three 6-figure days as a professional poker player. One of them was at the final table at a World Series of Poker event. Those moments of success I felt were deserved because of all the years of hard work I had put in to get lucky enough to be at the final table of a tournament.

SUPERPOWER

My greatest strength without a doubt is that I am an expert decision maker. I can ascertain what criteria I need to know and then make the best informed decision and execute on it.

KRYPTONITE

I don’t have experience managing other people and sometimes I set ridiculously high expectations for others that I couldn’t even expect myself to perform at.

IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER…

The one that is most attainable is the ability to stop aging.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Asana: The easiest way for teams to track their work—and get results.

Timedoctor: Accurate time tracking software.

Grammarly: Grammarly makes you a better writer by finding and correcting up to 10 times more mistakes than your word processor.

Sumome: Tools to grow your website’s traffic.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Quantum Poker: Summing Up Everything You will Ever Need to Know About Poker

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

ADVICE TO HACKER NATION

You need to learn every single day, and you need to be able to handle the highs and lows of your business.

FOLLOW

Splashopm.com/blog

Twitter @splashopm

Twitter @sixpeppers

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

Oct 26 2015

30mins

Play

Rank #9: Ep 016: How Mentors Can Help Save Your Business w/ Jenny Amaraneni

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Jenny Amaraneni is an MBA graduate from San Diego State University, who is on a mission to restore vision around the globe. She is doing this through a company she had co-founded, SOLO Eyewear. With each SOLO sunglasses purchased, the team funds eye care for people in need.

STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS

I initially started with a family loan, and then we turned to crowd funding and launched a Kickstarter campaign to really get the company going. Right now we are looking at taking on investment.

FOUNDERS

Dana Holiday is my co-founder. She has a background in graphic design and is also our Creative Director. She and I met on SDSU while working on campus in the entrepreneurship center. My advice for people who are seeking cofounders is making sure you find someone who has a specific skillset who delivers a different value than yourself to the company. And someone who has a strong work ethic that is equal or greater to yours.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP

We have had those times when the thought has crossed my mind and I’ve reflected on it greatly. The conclusion that I’ve come to is, NO, now is not the time, I am not giving up this easily. I typically find my stamina to persevere by listening to inspirational talks, reading books about companies who’ve had experienced failures and gotten past them, and also turning to mentors.

HUGE SUCCESS

We were hurting for money in the beginning of the year. I was wondering how we were going to get through this time. I had started a spring board program that would prepare us to raise money for the company. We had been approached for offers in investment, but Dana and I didn’t feel quite right about entertaining these offers. It was just that gut feeling that prevented us from taking on investors at that time. After foregoing those opportunities, a crazy opportunity came about, and we were featured in Good Morning America. In 24 hours we had made enough sales to relieve all of our headaches.

SUPERPOWER

My entrepreneurial superpower would be the ability to keep multiple projects going at the same time and maintain that calmness.

KRYPTONITE

My personal kryptonite is mail. Mail is just something I can’t stand.

IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER…

I would have to say, flying. I have a pretty healthy fear of heights, but I am fascinated by climbers and rock climbing. I am just amazed by the limits people can push.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Trello: Trello is the free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone.

Turboscan

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

ADVICE TO HACKER NATION

There’s no such thing as the wrong first step when starting a business, so just go for it. You have nothing to lose.

FOLLOW

Facebook/SoloEyewear

Instagram/soloeyewear/

Twitter/soloeyewear

Linkedin

http://www.soloeyewear.com/

Oct 19 2015

21mins

Play

Rank #10: Ep 015: Building A Team That Works w/ Luke Sophinos

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Luke is a student entrepreneur from San Diego State University. He has won numerous awards such as winning 1st place in SDSU’s Lean Model Competition and awarded the top student entrepreneur at San Diego State University during the Spring of 2015. His software company, Coursekey, aims to improve the lack of interaction in classes and is currently being used by more than 5000 students in Southern California.

STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS

We went out and recruited top tier engineering talent at San Diego State. I was able to lock in a couple engineers and bought into the vision and have been with us since. That allowed us to put out software at a very low cost. We got to our alpha version last Spring for around $1200. From that, after proving what we had, we funded ourselves completely off business plan competitions.

FOUNDERS

I started a totally different concept with another individual, and that ended up not working out. While that process was taking place, we were in recruiting mode and we brought on some really talented kids that I would consider to be co-founders today because we wouldn’t be where we are without them.

DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP

Early on was the most challenging. We had a totally different concept and we stumbled upon someone who was doing the exact same thing. We almost threw in the towel, but fortunately we ended up recruiting and pivoting and recruited a straight hustler, Ryan Vanshur. He really propelled us and helped us all see the value in the idea and got us out there grinding and putting in the work that was required.

HUGE SUCCESS

Being able to recruit the team that we had was a huge success. On top of that, one of our favorite memories was when we went down to Brigham Young University for the International Business Plan Competition. There were over 3800 student teams there and we finished in the top 11.

SUPERPOWER

My entrepreneurial superpower is being a generalist. I think a lot of entrepreneurs really try and focus in on one talent, which is very valuable, but being able to dive into every aspect of the business (finance, accounting, etc.) is extremely important for a founder.

KRYPTONITE

I’m a little bit of a pleaser. I try and make everyone happy and sometimes that’s not how it should be.

IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER…

I think being able to tell when people aren’t being honest with you would be my superpower.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP

Sunrise Calendars

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

How to Win Friends & Influence People

ADVICE TO HACKER NATION

The idea is less than 1% of the journey and the evolution of the company. Don’t hang so much on the idea. If you can create something that is valuable and you work hard towards it, and you build people that are better than you around you, you’re going to be successful.

FOLLOW

thecoursekey.com

Thoughts of a 21-year old tech founder

Twitter

Oct 14 2015

19mins

Play