As South by Southwest kicks off this week, we decided to look at our CEO and Founder, Janice Omadeke’s, jump into entrepreneurship. The decision to start your own company is deeply time consuming, expensive, and a huge commitment. It can be a scary leap to take on a side hustle or to pause what you’re doing with your career and dive in to the startup world. It helps to hear from people who have become successful in their start up’s, especially while they are still growing and expanding. For these reasons, this interview will inspire and help you to decide if start up life is right for you!
It was a gut feeling. “Two days after thinking of the idea. I knew it was right when I couldn’t sleep because I was enthusiastic about the opportunity.”
It’s not going to jump straight to Shark Tank. “I never thought “Am I ready?”. I thought “Let’s try our solution, see what happens, and you’ll learn a lot along the way”. I didn’t think about where we’d be in two years, exit strategies, or being on Shark Tank”.
Some higher education training is helpful. “I used my MIT entrepreneurship training to look at the market and competitors. From there I knew I wanted to take the leap and see what happens when I put that together with my passion for workplace diversity and inclusion”.
Getting rid of an employer doesn’t mean getting rid of someone to answer to. “Even though I don’t have a “boss”, I do feel responsible to my customers. They’re paying for our product and trusting us to solve a real problem for them. Keeping them engaged, happy, and seeing results is important to me and something I think about daily”.
You might have to give up some things in order to achieve your dreams. “The scariest thing I had to do was quit my 6-figure job and go to no salary to make this dream come true.”
It’s alright to miss previous comforts, like a salary. “Sometimes I miss the security of knowing that a salary is coming in, but I wouldn’t trade this opportunity”.
You will, inevitably, make some mistakes. “I let imposter syndrome get the best of me a few times. It can manifest itself in the way you speak about yourself, your company, your goals, and even team building. I have great mentors who have helped me kick that and refocus my mindset on success and the confidence that comes naturally to me”.
Remember what it is all about. “We first new it was going to turn into a real business when we got paying customers! Otherwise it’s just a hobby.”
And, for some last advice. “Look at the market, keep the idea to yourself for a while until you know the direction you want to take it to avoid pressure from outside opinions, trust your gut, and start small.”
Thanks so much Janice and please look for at South by Southwest. For updates follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To see Janice speak check out this panel!