What is the first thing you did to turn your current business from an idea into a reality?
I started coding. I wasn’t a computer science grad or an engineer. But I wanted to see it happen. So I Googled literally every line of Jobscan’s first version. It became a reality in 60 days.
What is the scariest part of being a young entrepreneur and how can others overcome this fear?
Most people think being an entrepreneur is this daunting life change that requires one to risk everything. It really isn’t. Many successful companies started as a personal or academic project, like Facebook, Google and Uber. Don’t think of it as “starting a business.” Just work on a project. The first stage is to just start. So change your mindset. It’s not a big deal. Oh, if you’re building apps or web sites, don’t even bother registering a company or filing a patent/trademark. In a majority of the cases, you’re putting the cart before the horses. Prove people want your product first.
Were you ever told not to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams? Who told you that, what did they say and why did you ignore them?
Yes. One of my best friends told me it wasn’t going to work. In fact, I don’t specifically remember what he said. Maybe I just have the ability to ignore and forget what naysayers say. I loved the idea and there was no real cost to trying it other than my time. So why not give it a shot?
What is the No. 1 thing you wish you’d known starting out and how did you learn it?
I’m actually glad I didn’t know about many things when I first started. I never conducted market sizing or wrote a business plan. I just knew there was a pain point and I wanted to solve it.
What do you recommend all new founders do for their business — or their personal lives — that will help them the most?
From the business side, I’d advice not raising money. As much as media touts how many millions startups have raised, I actually think raising money increases the chances of company failure. Don’t get me wrong; all the top companies raised money. But they’re the 5 percent.
How do you end each day and why?
I end each day by writing down how the day went and what could’ve been improved. I also do a weekly self-review of how I did and what I should change. It’s sometimes difficult to find time to do this, as we love executing. But slowing down and reflecting builds your self-confidence and lets you reflect on what should be done differently.
What is your best PR/marketing tip for business just starting up?
Have the product ready and email reporters in your area to try it out. Give them free access and let them play with your shiny new toy. If they actually end up reporting on it, congratulations. Stay in touch with the reporter and build a relationship. PR is relationship-based; just like many types of partnerships.
What is your ultimate goal? What will you do if/when you get there?
My goal and Jobscan’s goal are the same: Take the pain out of job search. I want all job seekers to apply to jobs using Jobscan to ensure they match with them before going any further. I think it’s a 10+ year endeavor. But if we get there, Jobscan will continue to innovate on a monthly basis and keep our promise to job seekers. If time allows, I’d look for another world problem to solve and start again.