The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
- Can you please tell everyone your name?
2. Tell us about your business and what you do?
Zego is changing the way apartment residents interact with their apartment. We have an AI-powered platform that integrates smart home devices into a single app to connect residents with management, maintenance and a marketplace for local services. Zego improves operational efficiencies and generates additional revenue for owners and managers while improving apartment living for residents.
3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?
While I was in high school, my father lost his job after working for the same company his entire career. The company went bankrupt, and he essentially lost his entire retirement savings. After living through this pretty traumatic experience, I knew I would be an entrepreneur so I could control my own destiny.
4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?
Two things come to mind. First is the people. Finding, recruiting, and retaining the right people is really hard. It requires a significant amount of time, judgment, and experience. Ineffective hires can ruin companies whereas the right ones are critical for building a successful company. The people and the culture are paramount to the overall success of the business.
Second is the mental side. There are so many inner battles you face as a founder/ CEO that can distract your focus or drain your energy if you’re not careful.
5. What do you love most about your job?
I’m very passionate about real estate and love the apartment business. I started buying rental properties when I was 18 years old and have been an owner, manager, and investor in apartment deals ever since. As the founder of Zego, I get to spend time with our customers, who are some of the largest and most accomplished apartment owners/entrepreneurs in the US. So I’m continually learning from them and finding inspiration.
6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I start by trying to create a strong foundation of respect for coworkers, continuous learning, real-time feedback, transparency and alignment of vision. I find it’s a lot easier to have fun once a strong culture and foundation are in place. We do things like take outings to Chicken N Pickle and escape rooms, and drink scotch together to have fun. Most of our “fun time” is spontaneous, but we do organize one official company social outing per quarter.
7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?
Starting a company will be an emotional roller coaster. One day you might feel on top of the world and then next — feel failure is imminent. Then repeat over and over for years. Because there will be so many low points, it helps to find something deep inside that drives you. It could be a painful experience to draw from, desire to achieve a goal, or whatever motivates for you.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: