Pop Quiz, Monday with Jane Wilson, Head of Marketing and Social at Fantastic Cleaners Melbourne

Photo credit: Jane Wilson

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?
Jane Wilson

What is your job role?
Head of Marketing and Social for Fantastic Cleaners Melbourne

Tell us about your company?
Fantastic Cleaners Melbourne is a local cleaning company, which provides a full portfolio of services for both residential and commercial clients. Some of our services include housekeeping, cleaning carpets, upholstered furniture, windows, ovens, tiles, gutters, and more. We also have pressure cleaning machines, and we work with many leasing agents and property owners who rent out houses and apartments.

What do you love most about your job?
Seeing happy customers 🙂 We often get mentioned in social media where people share the work done by our cleaners and thank us for the awesome results. It brings me a great feeling of accomplishment to see that what we do makes a positive impact on someone.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The fact that every day is different from the others, there are always new things to learn, new ideas to develop and implement, new challenges to overcome. Of course, we have a few constant work plans and processes that we follow, but the whole field continually develops and improves with time, so you’ll never get bored and fall into a tiring, endless routine. It’s the perfect job for people who quickly get bored from monotonous activities. There’s also a big diversity of things you can do in the marketing sector — online marketing, email marketing, paid campaigns, social campaigns, special events and a lot more.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
By being the funniest, craziest and most dedicated team, I’ve worked with in my life. We spend lots of hours together almost every day, and even though we spend hours at a time without speaking to each other, we still find fresh ways to brighten each other’s days — be it a funny picture seen online, some stupid joke or someone bringing chocolate for everyone on a stressful day or a special occasion. They are also bright, and proactive people, who are always full of great ideas and they are still ready to help a colleague out when they need it. I guess when you’re surrounded by greatness, the only thing you want to do is match it.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We have it all here regarding fun. We organise department team buildings at least twice a year, every time we do something different — barbecues, bowling, karaoke, anything you can think of, we’ve probably done it as a team. We also have Christmas, anniversary and Halloween parties. On every major holiday, we have some contests or games planned by our internal department. Sometimes we have to look for clues around the office, and sometimes we have to wear silly things and take pictures, every time it’s something different. We also organise gatherings by ourselves, we find a nice bar or restaurant, reserve a table and share a meal and some laughs. We are not just a team. We are friends.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
This is a difficult one. Mostly because I don’t believe in challenges, are believe that every obstacle on our way is here to teach us something, and we should use it as an opportunity to grow. I guess one challenge is to coordinate your work with the work other departments are doing. It’s easy to organise the work you do with the work of the people around you, but it’s a whole other thing to coordinate what you do with the work the other departments do. Miscommunication happens even to the best ones sometimes, and the biggest challenge is to find optimal ways to avoid it.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Many people think that in marketing content is the most critical part, if you provide your clients with great content and the right lines, you will win them over instantly and everything will be perfect forever. Our work in the last few years confirms that content is, in fact, important, but it’s not the only thing you should focus on. Distribution of this content is equally important. You need to be where your potential clients are, and answer to their questions and needs timely and efficiently with your great content. This means forums, online communities, online and offline magazines, Q&A sections in relevant websites, and more. You need to define your primary audience, find where they hang out and join them.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Don’t give up right from the start, some of the things may seem complicated at first, but if you give it some time and practice, it will get more comfortable, and even the stuff you don’t know will seem more like a challenge, not a burden. As my first-year company gift said: Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.

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:

Website: https://fantasticcleaners.com.au/melbourne/
Blog: http://modernhousewives.com.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jane.wilson911
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaneWilson911

Pop Quiz, Monday with Jon C. Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer of House Advantage

Photo credit: Jon C. Wolfe

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?
Jon C. Wolfe

What is your job role?
My role is Chief Executive Officer of House Advantage and our subsidiary companies. I focus more on our overall strategic vision, as well as all of our innovation strategies.

Tell us about your company?
House Advantage loyalty marketing technologies, reinforced by strategic expertise and broad industry experience, empower the world’s most successful entertainment brands to integrate powerful new marketing strategies and tools seamlessly. Brands using House Advantage, increase customer engagement, generate vital business intelligence, and boost per-customer share-of-wallet with seamless integration and total support for their existing systems. House Advantage is headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, with offices in Macau and Memphis, TN.

What do you love most about your job?
The dynamic nature of the job is exciting. We work on a lot of inspiring and agile initiatives which are a blend of creativity and some deep technology deliverables. It is exciting to be able to visualize something interesting, and then be able to very dynamically see that solution make its way from concept to an actual product or deliverable in a very short period of time.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I am very excited about what we do every day. Its exciting stuff, and cutting-edge technology, and it is highly motivating. I also love working with our very competent and diverse team of people.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
They are so committed to our mission. As an entrepreneur, I am always committed to the items I see as part of our horizon, but to have them come in and match my enthusiasm, and most of all my commitment to seeing these things become a reality is incredibly inspiring.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I think its all of the above. The stories that get created from our experiences are unique compared to other companies, and we spend a lot of time laughing and reveling in what we encounter a lot of times. We do have pranks in the office, and everyone has a nickname that they have earned (but not necessarily chosen)!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
We deliver some very aggressive and challenging solutions for companies that have some incredibly high standards. Mix in with that the dynamic nature of some of the requirements that we are encountering in our industry. It can sometimes become changing a tire on a moving truck! Very challenging, but at the same time, very rewarding.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
90% of a project’s success comes from formulating a very detailed and well thought out plan. 5% from execution, and 5% in mitigation of the items that you couldn’t anticipate. Lack of investment in that plan can sometimes result in 60% planning, 60% execution, and 60% mitigation of unexpected events or outcomes. Additionally, its a team sport. No matter how talented you are individually, you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Take that first step. Its the most difficult but it gets you on your way. If you are waiting on all of the right elements to be in place, and the planets to align, etc. You may never permit yourself to start the biggest adventure of your life. Also, embrace failure. Those are the most significant opportunities to learn and spring forward in a big way. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s really when the most significant opportunities and the clearest paths forward reveal themselves.

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:

www.houseadv.com
www.etouchmenu.com
www.entouragegrp.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Keyur Barad

Photo credit: Keyur Barad

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?
Keyur Barad

What is your job role?
Being the head of the agency and its founder, my job is to maintain goodwill and equity in the market. Bring new business and foster a culture of creativity and teamwork within the organisation

Tell us about your company?
Gecko Worldwide is a boutique communications agency headquartered in Mumbai. We offer brands an integrated communications strategy — which includes PR, digital and design — and give them the tools to tell their story through content that educates effectively, is reliable and is valuable to their audience.

Gecko Worldwide is headquartered in Mumbai. We harness the power of the entire communication spectrum, from integrated strategies and public relations to digital and design, to do one thing and one thing only. Tell a damn good story, and tell it well.

This becomes possible thanks to our ability to craft content that educates, is relevant, actionable and holds value in the minds and hearts of the people we talk to.

Every story we tell is built around this intent so that it enhances the lives of the people it touches. We work with clients across sectors. From Startups to legacy brands to individuals.

What do you love most about your job?
Every day is new, never a dull moment, extraordinarily challenging and gratifying. Allows me to meet interesting people doing phenomenal things in life! Hence, being a student of life, it provides a constant source of learning and inspiration.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My love for travel, experiences, and people. The youthfulness of our team, the creative challenge my colleagues throw in my direction and the need to meet our goals

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Their discipline and diligence inspire me. With so much happening in each of their lives, they bring their A-Game every single day. I am in awe of their ability to multitask. Their high expectations from me motivate me to push forward every day.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Regular team outings, Decorating the office during festivals, Celebrating birthdays, playing pranks on each other. Also, our bonding over good food is reaching unhealthy proportions.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
People. My job predominantly deals with people (clients, colleagues, media) People are unpredictable, often untrustworthy, they over promise and under deliver. One has to continually sift through what the truth is when dealing with people. Reading between the lines has become second nature, such as the job, it allows us to hone a superpower.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
A crisis can hit a client’s brand at any moment, and In our profession, one can genuinely never take it easy.

The macro environment has many factors completely uncontrollable and the best one can do is to be in control of one’s actions. Also, always be honest about your brand. Never project an image that has no semblance to reality. It’s a sure fire way to lose trust.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be sincere in your approach towards your work. What we do isn’t rocket science. With the right guidance, strong willpower and persistence and continually learning and staying updated about the industry, anyone can be successful in the communications industry. Always be a team player, Singularity in our business doesn’t work. Teamwork makes the dream work.

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:

www.geckoworldwide.in

www.facebook.com/geckoworldwide

www.instagram.com/geckoworldwide

Pop Quiz, Monday with Alex Heiche

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?

Alex Heiche

Tell us about your business and what you do?

Sound Royalties is transforming the landscape of music financing, giving artists and musicians financial and creative freedom by offering specialty financing and access to cash based on future earnings.

I founded the company based on my deep appreciation for music and the people who create it. We believe in money for all music, and work to ensure that artists have funding options which also allow them to retain their copyrights.

My day-to-day involves being where the musicians are — at recording studios, awards shows, concerts, music festivals, songwriter camps and much more. This helps us stay in-tune to the industry’s latest trends and find the best ways to help creatives succeed.

Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur wasn’t something that I originally planned on, it just came naturally. I believe most successful entrepreneurs don’t start out trying to make money, rather, they want to solve a problem, and that was my motive.

What are the challenging aspects of running a business?

I think the most challenging aspect of running a business is growing it. It’s amazing to have an innovative idea. But getting it off the ground and helping the marketplace to understand your new idea can be challenging. It takes a solid team to help grow the business along each step of the way.

What do you love most about your job?

The ability to be a part of and to positively impact the music industry is what I love most about my job. Music is woven into the fabric of our lives. It’s with us every step of the way, to pump us up or even to console us. And I get to work in that space for a living.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We actually have a “fun committee” that is constantly having events and contests. From bringing in an omelette chef to ice cream socials and office Olympics, we strive to keep the office a fun place to work. We also have artists occasionally stop by and perform live for our staff. It’s an amazing experience to see the talent of the artists we work with first-hand. It reminds us of how lucky we are to help fund creativity in the music world.

What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?

If you have an idea, figure out if you’re the right person to get if off the ground. If you are, chances are you will need other experts to then help you grow it.

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:

Website: https://www.soundroyalties.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/soundroyalties?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soundroyalties/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexheiche/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sound-royalties/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Darius Ferdows, Chief Executive Officer at Mindsquare

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?

My name is Darius Ferdows.

What is your job role?

Chief Executive Officer

Tell us about your company?

Mindsquare is a concussion assessment platform consisting of mobile applications as well as an online web portal for decision makers. Our suite of assessments uses speech recognition, computer vision, mobile sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The Mindsquare assessment provides one of the most advanced and fully comprehensive assessments for people who may have suffered a concussion all through a mobile device (no additional hardware necessary). We then push that data, in real time, to medical providers through our web portal. All data is secured in a HIPAA compliant environment that can be downloaded to an EMR system. We work with high schools, Universities, leagues, and hospital systems.

What do you love most about your job?

Neurological issues [and brain trauma] are somewhat of an unknown area of medicine, and technology can help our understanding of what is happening within the brain. Our mission is to fuse medical knowledge with technology to help make better decisions. I love working towards this end goal, it is part of our initial mission and why we started this company. Being able to help a massive amount of people at scale is very fulfilling, and this belief drives us every day.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

Each day that we are not improving our content, technology, and know-how, we fall behind. I believe we have the resources to incorporate cutting technology to helping this growing issue. We have been able to deliver some very helpful products in such a short amount of time, and I have my co-founder and team to thank for that. I am always amazed at what my team can do, and that is extremely exciting. I worry about the millions of people suffering from brain trauma, neurological disease, and patients being misdiagnosed. Another motivating factor comes from a personal story for me, having a family member suffer from dementia and having suffered a concussion myself during my martial arts days, allowing me to see how serious these issues can be. When there is a personal drive to do better, I think amazing things can be achieved.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

Their level of technical knowledge amazes me each day. I always learn from them and truly believe they are some of the best in their field. Collectively we all contribute our expertise which allows for substantial output. I am always trying to tell them how impactful their work is and I must do my part to share these technologies with as many people as possible. They inspire me to be patient, to become a better problem solver, and to never give up no matter how difficult a particular task can be.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

Coming from an intense consulting experience, I never liked to be micromanaged, so I try to let my team feel relaxed in their work. I don’t pressure them with deadlines. I try to plan everything in advance so that there is never a high-stress situation. That does not mean I am not hard on them when we have a big demo coming up or a large project in the works.
We will conduct trips to certain cities since most of the team is remote around Europe and the US. Its always good to have some face-to-face, relaxed interaction.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Keeping up to date with the latest medical protocols, understanding the newest technologies, keeping our mission laser-focused, and trying not to get overwhelmed with all the things I need to handle as CEO.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Communication is key: don’t assume people understand your perspective and leave things unsaid.

Empathize, be compassionate, and make people feel valued.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Always look at the big picture, stay patient, test out your product with real users as soon as you can, know when to step back, and get your priorities straight.

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:

www.mind-sq.com
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Mindsquarehealth/
IG: @mindsquare_
https://twitter.com/mindsqhealth

Pop Quiz, Monday with Ayda Shabanz

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?
Ayda Shabanz

What is your job role?
I am the Co-Founder of several multimillion-dollar Property and Finance companies. Which include Grow Consulting Group (Development Management, Investments, Buyer Advocates), Money Genius (Finance Company), Newstead Realty (Sales & Rentals), The Feature Enterprises (Marketing Company) and Ayda Shabanz.

Tell us about your company?
Grow Group is driven to become Australia’s leading property organisation. Providing expert knowledge and industry-leading customer service, we help people to achieve their financial goals through the medium of buying and investing in property. Through offering buyers access to a vast portfolio of available property, as well as investment opportunities, we continually work towards satisfying the needs of our clients.

Ayda Shabanz the coaching and educational platform that I created to help Gen Y as well as the younger generation with investing, money education, coaching and mentoring.

What do you love most about your job?
I am passionate about helping as many people as possible achieve their goals faster. I love being able to use my experience in business, money and also just life to help inspire other people that it is possible for them too. I also love seeing my clients grow and my staff.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Helping as many people as possible. I have been doing this for over 16 years and still each day I look for ways that I can make a more significant impact.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I am always inspired by seeing their growth and progression. My co-workers are my extended family, and I love to watch each of them grow through life and expand their reality. I am huge on work culture and have worked hard to create a group of people that share the values and also love coming to work. I think it’s important to make sure you like the people you work with. We spend the majority of our times in a day at work.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
One of our work values is a Positive attitude. As a group, we ensure that the workplace is a happy and positive environment and we don’t tolerate any less. We have weekly department meetings for each area of our business and then each week on a Friday we combine all our companies and have one group team meeting. At this meeting each week a different team member runs this to show their leadership. We also request each person share their weekly wins. We also do monthly team building social activities together. For example, we close the office after 12 each Melbourne cup and take all our staff out for a long lunch and let them all have fun.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
HR is always an ongoing challenge. Finding the right staff and managing the current staff. Over the years I have learnt to manage this well. I have an HR consultant and also an employment lawyers on call. The HR consultant not only assists with new recruitment but also makes sure that our current staff is meeting their KPI’s and also assist in proper career planning and progression. I also have an Office manager that takes a load of day to day office staffing requirements. So learning how to get really good people to delegate some of this detail to has freed up a lot of time and also has helped create a growth culture.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One of the biggest lessons that I learnt is not to trust a handshake. When I was in 20, I trusted business associates on a handshake and in my naivety this got me into trouble later. I learnt that ensure every meeting held is followed up by a confirmation email and the importance of getting agreements signed.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Well, I am across a few industries so I might give a few tips across business and property. If you want to enter the property industry, I would suggest that you really become an expert one area and be the best in it and then expand from there. Don’t try to be everything to fast, I started in Finance, and after 16 years I am here. Decide what area you want to specialise in and completely immerse yourself in everything that is to do with that. Regarding business two things, I would suggest that you get clear about your values and then base all your decision making on these, hiring staff, what clients and projects you take on, etc. 2. Know your numbers a lot of business fail because they do not know the simple numbers around what it costs them to run the business and what they need to do be in profit.

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:

www.growgroup.com.au
www.aydashabanz.com
Social media
https://www.instagram.com/aydashabanz/?hl=en
https://www.facebook.com/growconsulting/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Simha Sadasiva, Co-Founder and CEO at Ushur

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?
Simha Sadasiva

What is your job role?
Co-Founder and CEO

Tell us about your company?
Ultimately, Ushur was designed to make enterprises smarter and more efficient. It is a service engagement platform that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to accelerate workflows across many departments including sales, claims, billing, administrative tasks, and service desk — and this is just the beginning.

Ushur was born out of our frustration with the relationships between customers and enterprises. As customers, we face significant friction and frustration when communicating with companies (think insurance claims or tech support). Simultaneously, companies struggle to powerfully and efficiently act on their customer data.

So, we created Ushur to eliminate friction between enterprises and their customers for seamless customer engagements.

What do you love most about your job?
Finding a solution that solves customers’ top of mind problems is most exciting to me. Discovering what customers need and finding the ways and means to fill those gaps.

People also tend to love what they’re good at. My greatest strengths lie in building and managing teams and selling something I’m proud of — and those are also parts of my job that I enjoy.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
I wake up energized about talking to current and prospective customers to figure out the best ways for Ushur to make a true impact in their businesses. We also have a fairly high-energy team with little friction, which makes it a great place to spend the day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Ushur is built with people who are not just skilled at what they do, but who also have positive energy and who we know will stick together through the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Building effective teams at startups is all about assembling like-minded, highly-skilled people who can row the boat in the direction it needs to go, facing and overcoming all kinds of expected and unexpected challenges. Growing quickly and efficiently is much more feasible when there isn’t too much friction among team members, and we’ve been both thoughtful and fortunate in our hires.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I’m a major advocate for sleep and exercise. It’s amazing what people can do when their body and mind are centered and aligned. I’m a long-distance runner, so sometimes I’ll take the team out for a run. We also all enjoy a good meal, so we try to pick unique places each week to eat together.

Volunteering is also a big part of our culture, so we make sure to build in time to give back to the community. For example, we’re all taking a day off this week to volunteer together at Second Harvest. This time is great for team building and for reminding the career-focused people that we’re all part of a greater community and we have a responsibility to do our part to give back.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Starting a company from scratch is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life — and I’ve run 14 marathons. The biggest challenge a startup faces is in finding the right customers — particularly in finding the first. Then you have to switch gears and find the new momentum to find five customers. Then, again, you have to switch gears and find the new momentum to get to 50. Then again to 500.

The need to dig deep to find that inner momentum to face adversity as an individual and as a team becomes vital to the organization’s survival and success. In that way, it’s a lot like running marathons — despite any amount of exhaustion or energy, pain or pleasure, good days or bad (and there will be a lot of bad) you have to find the strength to persevere.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One major lesson Henry (co-founder) and I brought to Ushur is to prioritize team dynamics. The ability to hire the right people at the right time, and to recognize and quickly correct bad hires, is a vital skill, and one that comes with experience.

Young companies with young founders don’t always have the ability to spot the challenges in recruiting and retaining the right talent, but having been through mergers and acquisitions, as well as taking a company public, we’ve been able to build a strong team that continues to grow with the company.

Another major lesson we’ve learned is how important it is to be lucky. People often say luck has nothing to do with it — it’s all about hard work. Yes, of course, you need a good idea, a solid business plan, the right skill sets, capital, the ability to survive the rough times — all the essentials. Fortitude is absolutely necessary. But I truly believe that luck is equally important.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
The most important piece of advice for any entrepreneur is to be sure to match your solution to your customer’s actual problem. There are so many false positives that can set up a new company for failure, so it’s crucial to uncover specific and real pain points to be able to offer something that resonates with the customer and truly solves their problems.

Then, make sure the company has some mature management with experience behind them. Ultimately, the idea is only as good as the ability to execute, and the skills that will help the company do that come with experience.

Finally, funding doesn’t necessarily lead to customers. However, if you can prove that there are companies that find value in your product or service, funding will follow. So, rather than focusing on finding someone who can lead you to investors, focus instead on finding someone who can point you in the direction of a customer.

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:

Website: www.ushur.com
Twitter: @ushurInc
Facebook: @ushurme

Pop Quiz, Monday with Mark Graban

 

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?

Mark Graban

What is your job role?

I was the third employee after the co-founders, helping the company go to market in 2011. As the company has grown, I’ve had various roles, but now serve as a part-time “Senior Advisor” to the company and various customers, while also doing speaking engagements, writing, and some independent consulting.

Tell us about your company?

KaiNexus is committed to helping customers create a culture of improvement, and we support them through our web-based software and services.

What do you love most about your job?

I love seeing our customers in various industries doing great things and improving the way they improve… using our platform to help improve patient care, employee safety, customer satisfaction, in addition to bottom-line savings.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

The shared sense of mission and purpose (we are working to build a culture of improvement just like our customers are) — the feedback from our customers drives us to improve our platform and everything we do.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

Our co-founder and CEO, Greg Jacobson, MD inspires me as an E.R. doctor who found a calling in helping other health systems (and eventually companies in many industries). He’s a principle-driven leader who is trying to build a company that everybody can be proud of. I’m also inspired that we’ve hired and built a team that shares the vision that companies are better (and employees are happier) when they are engaged in a culture of improvement.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

I don’t get to participate in the office Nerf basketball battles very often, but the company Fantasy Football league is something that brings together people from our Dallas and Austin offices (and other remote employees).

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Of all of the things that can possibly be done in a day, prioritizing the important, not just the urgent.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

One lesson is a story that I told last year on stage at the Lean Startup Week event (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh1WhHcsNz8) and has told in my recent book, “Measures of Success.”

At KaiNexus, leaders tend to react (if not overreact) to every uptick or downturn in a performance measure. Or, we report a simple comparison of this month’s data against the average or this month compared to last month. I’ve seen a similar dynamic when I worked at companies like General Motors and Dell, and I also see it within hospital clients that I work with.

The problem with two-data-point comparisons is that we’re missing a lot of contexts that would turn raw data into insight that allows us to improve. Our director of marketing, Maggie Millard, has a lot of metrics related to sales, leads, website traffic, etc. I have tracked metrics in the company just the same around webinar registrations, social media engagement, etc.

After realizing we were falling into that trap of explaining every up and down (sometimes driven by inquisitive questions from our CEO), we decided to plot key metrics on what’s called a “Process Behavior Chart.” That form of a chart, for one, visualizes data over time to make sure we’re looking for meaningful trends and separating signal from noise (noise being routine fluctuations in the metric).

In the Process Behavior Chart methodology, you calculate “natural process limits” that help you understand the range of routine variation in a metric. Using three simple rules/guidelines, you can determine statistically if any single data point is an outlier (or signal) that tells you something has changed significantly in your system. The method also teaches you to look for a run of eight consecutive data points that are better than your baseline average instead of declaring victory too soon after making a change that you hope is an improvement.

As I’ve taught the team, including Maggie and Greg, to use Process Behavior Charts, Maggie spends less time digging to look for a “root cause” of a small fluctuation in a metric. Instead of spending an hour looking for a cause that isn’t there (there is no root cause for noise), she can spend an hour creating marketing content or doing other things that improve the system… which means she’s doing more to improve the system instead of trying to explain it.

We’ve learned that when you react less (looking for and reacting to signals instead of noise), you can better focus your time and do the things that contribute to improving your metric. Process Behavior Charts also help you better determine cause-and-effect relationships between changes you’re making as a company and your bottom line results. We’ve found this to be hugely beneficial, and we hope others would adopt this methodology.

I’ve written about how we use these charts in this blog post:
https://www.leanblog.org/2017/09/process-behavior-charts-save-us-time-help-us-sleep-better-night/

As our CEO said in his endorsement of my book:

“Mark Graban taught the KaiNexus team how to understand the story a metric is telling over time. We’ve saved time by not overanalyzing every up and down in our metrics — and that’s valuable time we now put to better use. This new way of thinking also decreases stress, which further helps us do better work. I’m excited that Mark is sharing these lessons through ‘Measures of Success,’ a book that will help accelerate your progress and lead to better results.”

And Eric Ries, author of “The Lean Startup” and “The Startup Way” said:

“By combining a range of case studies and stories across industries, including many from his own personal experience, with detailed, clear explanations of what Process Behavior Charts are and why they’re so effective for managing data, Mark Graban has written a readable, informative book to guide any leader who wants to help an organization achieve true and lasting success. Improvement has been made easier thanks to his work.”

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

You might have an idea of what your career is going to look like, but it’s hard to plan more than a few years out really. Look for moments of serendipity where you can let your career go in an unexpected direction. Those are where you often find the best and most fulfilling opportunities.

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:

http://www.kainexus.com
http://www.markgraban.com
http://measuresofsuccessbook.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Harry Sekhon, Founder & CEO at Feastively

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?

Harry Sekhon

What is your job role?

Founder & CEO

Tell us about your company?

Feastively helps busy families save an hour a day for what matters most in their lives. We deliver fresh meal boxes, with pre-cut ingredients so that you can cook a delicious & nutritious meal in 15 minutes using just one pan. Feastively is the first of it’s kind in the Australian market.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the variety of work that comes with being the CEO of a small company. In a week I could be working on creative projects such as brand strategy, assessing technology tools for improving efficiency, coaching my team to achieve bigger goals, exercising my culinary passion for food with recipe development and speaking to customers.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

I came to this realisation after speaking with a number of our customers — we help people spend more time on what matters most in their lives. Whether it’s having more downtime so they can perform better at work the next day, spending more time with the kids so that they grow up to do well or going to bed satisfied that all the chores have been taken care of. We empower people to do the things that will help them have a better life. Making dinner choices and preparation easier is how we do it. Knowing that we make a difference in people’s lives keeps me motivated and excited every day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

I am a product of my experiences in life, and the same goes for my co-workers. I believe by sharing our experience we can learn from each other. My team inspires me by giving me different ways to look at things, which has been shaped by their interpretation of the world and reality. This is fascinating because sometimes all you need to do is change the perspective to solve challenging problems. They each have their ways to address challenges, both in business and their personal lives.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We’re all foodies at Feastively. Although we have our personal preferences, we love putting random ingredients together to experiment with food. Every Saturday, when we break for lunch (yes, we work on weekends), we put our heads together to cook a new dish with the leftover produce. Everyone chips in with ideas and we sit and eat together. Every once in a while we end up using one of these recipes as the inspiration for what we serve to our customers.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

When we get inquiries via live chat on the website from prospects asking about something we can’t deliver it can be tempting to say yes. I’ve made this mistake before and realised soon after that we were in no position to continue to fulfill the customer’s requirements. As a small business, it can be tempting to grow by doing a few different things. Cashflow is king, after all. This is when having communicated and understood guardrails become very important. In a nutshell, it’s challenging saying no, for now, at least.

I’m learning a lot of different things on the job such as people management and company management. Thankfully, due to LaunchVic’s funding for amazing programs run by Rocket Seeder, a business accelerator for food & ag innovation, and Dr. Zivit Inbar from DifferenThinking, a people performance consultancy, I have the right foundation for tackling day to day challenges.

Finally, recruiting remains a major challenge for us. We’re a digitally native food business. We’re evenly split across food and tech industries. It’s not as hot space as blockchain, and there’s a dearth of chefs in the hospitality industry. Getting culinary staff comfortable with tech and processes unlike the kitchen brigade has also been an uphill march.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Don’t worry about building the product and the operations. It’s already been done. If you’re going to create a digitally native brand in a competitive marketplace, spend as long as you can on getting your route-to-market (RTM) strategy right. While differentiation can be an excellent way to enter a space with few market leaders, differentiation combined with niche customer segment is likely to produce better growth results, presuming you already have a product a few people love. Your RTM will make or break your business. This will be one of the most significant risks in your business plan.

Secondly, if you’re going to be an e-commerce-only brand, learn to do some of the tech in-house. It’ll save you tens of thousands of dollars when you’re starting. It’s about getting your priorities right. As mentioned in the last paragraph, it comes back to spending on RTM testing and development. You can use any of the big 3 e-commerce platforms to get you off the ground, i.e. WooCommerce, Shopify and BigCommerce.

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:

https://feastively.com
https://facebook.com/feastively
https://instagram.com/feastively

Pop Quiz, Monday with Elyse Daniels, Founder & Director at Exodus Wear

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?

Elyse Daniels

What is your job role?

Founder & Director at Exodus Wear

Tell us about your company?

Exodus Wear makes the most customisable jackets and tracksuits. We specialise in leavers wear for Year 12 students, tour jackets for dance schools and tracksuits for sporting groups. Whether it is a baseball shirt for your Roller Derby Team, a satin bomber for your Car Club or a tracksuit for your Chorus Group (yes we have done all those!) we can make it and customise them to your specifications inside and out. Our jackets have been worn by Justin Bieber, Justice Crew, Kylie Sandilands, Stan Walker, Israel Cruz plus many more celebrities.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the freedom and control. The reason I started my own business is that I wanted to be able to make decisions and act on them quickly. If I want to develop a new product I can make it happen within weeks as opposed to having to go through an approval process which often occurs in large organisations.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

Our customers inspire me to get up every day and go to work. I never know what brief customers are going to give us so every single day we create new designs and products. It is very inspiring.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

My co-workers inspire me with their positive attitudes and willingness to help out in all areas of the business whether it is in their job description or not. We work to a lot of tight deadlines so it can often mean trips to the airport at night or on weekends to pick up urgent goods. There is always someone willing to put their hand up to go the extra mile to make sure our customers get their goods on time.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

The majority of our team work remotely and are spread all around the country so building a fun culture can be challenging. We try and get everyone together in one place at least once a year and do a fun activity or weekend away. We love escape rooms, and one of our most memorable trips was staying on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

While I love the control being a boss gives me it also means to buck stops with me so whenever there are big issues it inevitably falls into my plate to fix. It can be hard dealing with production problems, unhappy customers, etc. Sometimes I wish I could delegate the responsibility to someone else, but there are some really critical things that you should never delegate but look after yourself.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

The biggest mistake I have made in business did not have a plan in place for currency fluctuations. We were hit very hard when the dollar dropped in 2014/2015, and a big part of that was because we moved too slowly because we didn’t know what steps to take. I strongly recommend having plans in place for when external factors could impact your business

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Working in apparel or fashion can be challenging when you don’t have experience it is also a very competitive industry to even get an unpaid internship in. My recommendation would be to look outside of the typical places to get experience. Work for a small company instead of a large one because you will often be exposed to more parts of the business than if you work for a larger organisation.

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:

www.exoduswear.com.au
Instagram: @exoduswear or @elysedaniels
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExodusWearAU/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Hasan Ali, CMO at PAZO

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?

Hasan Ali

What is your job role?

CMO — Leading the sales and marketing activities

Tell us about your company?

PAZO is an operational excellence platform for retail chains and large facilities to help them gain visibility of the daily operations.

What do you love most about your job?

Strategising, implementing and improving with things at hand for growing the company.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

Taking PAZO through the journey of zero to one to two to ten to twenty (where I feel we are today). Reaching to hundred and thousand is what keeps me going.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

By keeping up high standards of work and ensuring we are on the path to do doing the right things.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We go out for team lunches, short trips, celebrate birthdays, etc.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Scaling the business in the most scalable manner.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Learning to say a “No” to clients for feature requests.
Not getting carried away with the heard/competition.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

If everything in life were easy, everybody would have been successful.

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:

www.gopazo.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLFQojkG6X4, https://www.facebook.com/peacefuloperations/, https://www.linkedin.com/company/go-pazo/

 

Pop Quiz, Monday with Philippa Giles, Founder and Managing Director at The Giles Apparel Group.

 

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?

Philippa Giles

What is your job role?

Founder and Managing Director of The Giles Apparel Group.

Tell us about your company?

The Giles Apparel Group is an Australian owned apparel business which believes women of all shapes and sizes should have the opportunity to access great quality, stylish clothing and express themselves in a way they choose. The key brand, a consumer-facing eCommerce platform, is called SISU & FINN.

What do you love most about your job?

The diversity of tasks each day. After 15-years in corporate communications, my day to day became very repetitive — the same problem dressed in a different colour jacket. At SISU & FINN, I have a broad view of the business and everything that happens within it. At times it can be overwhelming, but for me, it’s also exciting.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

I fundamentally believe my business is improving the quality of life of plus size women around Australia. SISU & FINN gives me an opportunity to offer our customers a chance to dress in a way where they can express themselves. That right should not be just for a ‘traditional’ sized woman — whatever that means. For many, clothing is not just an item to wear; it’s a form of self-expression. When someone doesn’t have the opportunity to express themselves authentically, it can be crippling to their sense of identity. This mission is what drives me to get up, help others, and myself, every day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

I feel so much pride when my employees are learning, laughing and believe in what SISU & FINN is doing, and trying to do. In turn, they also teach me; whether that be a skill, further developing my management style, and everything in between. How could that not be inspirational?

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

My team is very lean and passionate, so when you have people who believe in your mission, it’s so much easier to enjoy the day today. This allows for a great working environment. I love spoiling my team — whether that’s taking them to a hot new restaurant, sending them flowers, or enjoying a Summer Friday team activity. We joke around, laugh and we celebrate all the wins. Especially the small ones.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Everything needs to be done now. As a startup which is rapidly growing, every part of the business needs attention. As helpful as my corporate comms background has been, there is so much more to learn when it comes to running a business; I have been forced to learn very quickly. I love it, but it can be difficult. You need to have a very strong sense of self. Otherwise, the constant challenges and uncertainty will destroy you.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

For me, mission-critical tasks need to be done onshore and preferably onsite. Last week my whole site when down. My developer is based in the same co-working space, and he was able to look at the problem instantly. When I initially looked at hiring a developer, offshoring made the most sense financially. But some things are worth so much more than cash! I am very grateful I hired someone who was instantly accessible and committed to fixing the problem asap.

The other issue I am tackling is people. I recently hired a junior all-rounder based on instinct. The biggest lesson in this situation, and for where my business is now, is to trust my instinct. Skill can be taught but a commitment to you and the business, work ethic and values can not.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

You are in it for the long haul. Have access a personal support crew (to celebrate the highs and discuss the lows) and a strong sense of humor! Humor will get you through (almost!) everything. Grit is also an undervalued trait and the ethos my whole business is built on; ‘SISU’ is Finnish for grit.

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:

Website: www.sisuandfinn.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sisuandfinn/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sisu_and_finn/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Donna Hoffman, Founder and President at Women on Course

 

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?

Donna Hoffman

What is your job role?

Founder and President

Tell us about your company?

Women on Course is the fastest growing national community for business professionals and lifestyle enthusiasts interested in connecting through the game of golf and all it has to offer. We help women leverage the golf lifestyle to make new connections, deepen relationships and learn new skills.

What do you love most about your job?

The freedom to create new ways to grow the business by overcoming the challenges of working in an industry that has difficulty embracing change.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

The most demanding boss is myself, and I love the flexibility to set my direction each day. I enjoy opening doors for women to discover the many ways that golf can enhance their business and personal lives.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

I surround myself with positive people who have different skills and interests. Brainstorming with them allows me to be more inventive and energized.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

Most of the time I work solo, so the fun is when I am managing an event which is typically at a golf resort, country club or happy hour. Our event topics include fashion, wine tasting, golf and travel to the ‘product’ of my business is already fun.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Limited resources — the potential for more events and more exposure is vast. With more staff, I could accomplish more aspects of my vision.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

If your customer base is loyal and the business concept is sound you can always find a way to be successful. Several years ago, the company was dissolved by my business partners. My reputation for outstanding customer service and care for the customers was all I needed to restart the company.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

The golf industry has not cracked the code on how to grow the women’s segment. My advice would be to think way outside the box and understand what draws women to the game. Set the expectations and deliver. Exceed the expectations, and you grow!

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:

www.womenoncourse.com
Twitter: women_oc
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/womenoc/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Sean Hampton, Managing Partner at Crash Site Films

 

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?

Sean Hampton

What is your job role?

As Managing Partner I’m responsible for the oversight of all projects in our company, at all stages of development. Depending on the project my involvement can be as light as reviewing a script for production, or as detailed as negotiating distribution deals for a film. I also work closely with the many creative people it takes to make a production such as sound engineers, directors of photography, and other producers who may need to bring in another company to help get a production completed.

Tell us about your company?

Crash Site Films is a Los Angeles based production company specializing in feature films and digital content including web series, commercials, and original virtual reality series.

What do you love most about your job?

Throughout my working life, I’ve always paid close attention to what I liked and didn’t like about where I worked. Most of the time the reason I didn’t like a job had to do with the environment in which I worked. Now I can create a good working environment that I’ve enjoyed operating in before and don’t have to feel hesitant about going in to work.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

I love the entertainment industry and what it takes to get a project done. That doesn’t mean there aren’t days filled with challenges, but every career comes with that reality. I’m also motivated by the people I work with. A creative project is a team creation and not just the writer, director, producer, performers, etc. Collaborating on this scale and breathing life into a project that just started as a simple idea is a unique experience that never gets old.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

My co-workers are experts in their fields, so they’re always bringing their A game when it’s time to work. When everyone else is doing their best, and they are at the level I see day to day, you want to do your best, so you’re not dragging the project down. We’re only as strong as our weakest link, so the desire to add real value is always present.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

Film crews are full of talented people so during breaks we like to see who has unusual talents they can display. We’ve had knife throwers, contortionists, voice performers, etc. It’s always fun discovering what someone can do. That’s the sort of thing that, depending on the skill, can sometimes end up in a movie. After we see it on set if the skill we can put the crew member doing it on camera, and it might make it into the film.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Most of my challenges come from coordinating schedules. Because everyone is an independent contractor, they are usually working on multiple projects. That means they might be booked to work on another set on several, non-sequential days and now I have to find the days I can use them and fit them into my shooting schedule. If that doesn’t work, I now have to find a new person for the job. Also, it’s common for people to leave a job because another came along offering more money, so now it’s a rush to replace someone at the last moment.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Just because something doesn’t work doesn’t mean it’s bad. “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.” It’s an old cliché, but it has stuck around for a reason. No matter the industry there will be plans that don’t work, costs that seem out of control, and people who don’t do exactly what you expect. This is where many people decide to quit, but that won’t lead to victory. To be successful, we have to learn to adjust and go with the flow. Because something doesn’t happen the way, you expect it doesn’t mean it won’t ultimately be a benefit or work better in the long run.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

The biggest hindrance to success I’ve seen in this industry is complacency. Always remember this is YOUR career we’re talking about. You have to work to make opportunities for yourself constantly. Hanging out and trying to feel important will not lead to work.

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:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanhampton3

Pop Quiz, Monday with Jimmie Thomas, Principal at Curators of Hip Hop

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?

Jimmie Thomas

What is your job role?

Principal

Tell us about your company?

At Curators of Hip Hop, we use film to highlight and tell the stories of practitioners within the culture of Hip Hop.

At the Media Rhythm Institute, we teach kids the skills they’ll need to be successful in the music and entertainment industry.

What do you love most about your job?

I love hip hop and kids. My job/companies allow me to build both simultaneously

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

I love what I do. The youth depends on us. I have a dope job that affords me to provide for my family as well.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

I love watching them grow. My business partners are professionals in their areas which encourages me to do the best in my area. They always find creative ways to make our company better.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

By jumping in and assist in facilitating classes.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

At MRI its finding professionals in fields who can also teach young people.

At COHH is getting distribution for our documentaries.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

So many lessons!
1. Planning leads to better execution
2. Define what a win looks like to you because not everything is going to go as planned

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

In the film industry, you have to continue evolving. It’s an ever-growing industry

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:

Curators of Hip Hop www.thecohh.com @thecohh

Media Rhythm Institute www.mriprograms.org
@mriprograms

Pop Quiz, Monday with Charles Cridland, Co-Founder & Technical Director at YourParkingSpace Ltd

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?

Charles Cridland

What is your job role?

Co-Founder & Technical Director, YourParkingSpace Ltd

Tell us about your company?

YourParkingSpace is a platform that matches up drivers with parking spaces. Parking space owners, comprised of private individuals, and commercial organisations, are able to generate income from their vacant parking bays, whilst drivers can find and instantly book these spaces on an hourly, daily or monthly basis.

The business now markets over 45,000 locations, powers the parking technology of businesses such as Confused.com, and processes thousands of online booking reservations daily for parking space owners across the UK.

What do you love most about your job?

The flexibility is what I love most about the job. Not so much the flexibility of hours — as is the case with any tech start-up, they are long — but rather the flexibility in the direction we’re heading. There’s no blueprint or instruction manual to follow, the company is creating its path, and it’s hugely exciting to help shape its direction.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

Creating something of real value is what motivates me. It’s very rewarding when you read positive reviews from customers, and similarly, when the company does well, we’re able to reward the team that made it all possible. There’s so much to achieve still, so many customers to recruit and milestones to reach to ensure the team can benefit. It’s this that provides the motivation each day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

It would have to be their different skill sets. When you see people working up close, you do start to appreciate each of their strengths.

Some co-workers are great salespeople, able to develop a rapport with potential clients instantly. Others are more shy but have a real eye for detail, essential for adding the polishing touches to everything the company produces, whether it’s testing new website developments or reviewing new marketing material. You have the co-workers that are never satisfied, always pushing the boundaries and asking where improvements can be made. Then there are those co-workers who are the engine of the company, consistently delivering huge volumes of work each day.

It makes you realise that everyone has a unique strength or talent that they can contribute. The challenge for the business is ensuring that each person’s strength is identified, with that person placed in a role that maximises their contribution.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We try to create an office that people want to walk into each day. We’re lucky to be part of Level39, an 80,000 square foot community space in Canary Wharf comprised of hundreds of fast-growth tech companies. As part of this, we benefit from many of its perks, including spacious break-out areas, free drinks, and cookies every afternoon. In addition to this, we have a table tennis table within our office, hand out beers on Friday afternoons, and frequently hold team lunches and evenings out.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Prioritising is one of the biggest challenges of the role. Heading up the technical side, I receive development requests from all areas of the business, whether it’s customer service asking for new functionality within their administrative platform, the sales team requesting an integration to assist with managing their sales flow, or the frequent customer requests that are submitted. Then there are the high-level development goals for the business. It can be a real challenge balancing all the requests, and not everyone can be kept happy at all times!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

The one lesson that always stands out is on the development side. When developing a new website or service don’t try to make it perfect from day one. Many years ago we lost six months of development time by attempting to create the perfect booking platform from the moment it launched. We attempted to launch with all types of clever features, leading to a project that was simply too complex to deliver. Subsequently, as we’ve received real customer feedback, we’ve discovered that many of the features we attempted to develop simply aren’t required.

Instead, at the start strip everything back to the one core purpose you’re trying to deliver. For us, it would have been attempting to make it as quick and simple as possible for customers to make a booking. At the early stage everything else is a distraction, deliver on your core feature or purpose, and you will have opportunities to add in those nice-to-have features over time.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Stay open to learning. If your role is on the technical side experiment with the latest technologies. If you’re in marketing, subscribe to the top news websites to learn about developments within the industry. If you’re in sales, spend some time each month reviewing the latest sales tools and advice. It’s not always noticeable on a day-to-day basis how much is changing, but if you look back over the past few years in any sector, huge changes have taken place. The old adage is that knowledge is power, to fulfill your potential it’s important to keep adding to your knowledge.

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:

https://www.yourparkingspace.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/yourparkingspace
https://twitter.com/ypsuk

Pop Quiz, Monday with Gaurav Mehta, Chief Marketing Officer at GirnarSoft

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?

Gaurav Mehta

What is your job role?

Chief Marketing Officer

Tell us about your company?

GirnarSoft is the mother company of leading consumer internet businesses like CarDekho, ZigWheels, PowerDrift, BikeDekho, Gaadi (India), oto.com (Indonesia). These are all automobile-focused businesses and help automobile buyers and enthusiasts with their car buying and content needs.
Girnar is backed by Blue Chip investors like Sequoia, Capital G, Hillhouse Capital, and Mr. Ratan Tata. More than 2,000 people strong; Girnar is a critical part of the automobile ecosystem in India and Indonesia.

What do you love most about your job?

We are a young company that is digitizing one of the most critical sectors in India. The auto sector contributes 7% of India’s GDP, and Girnar is digitizing the entire ecosystem; from car & two-wheelers buyers to OEMs to dealers. It’s an audacious task but one that challenges all of us continuously & positively. To see your work making a significant impact is pretty rewarding.
From a domain perspective; being in charge of editorial content has helped me understand content marketing in a comprehensive manner. I do believe this facet of my work helps me be a progressive marketer.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

1 — People I work with. I am working with some of the most driven people I have had the chance to work with.

2 — Opportunity we have created for ourselves. We find ourselves at the center of all conversations in the automobile ecosystem.

3 — From a personal perspective; opportunity to create another strong consumer internet brand from the ground up is something any CMO would love to have.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We are digitizing the entire automobile ecosystem. The pace of growth and challenges are unforeseen and insane. My colleagues are learning & un-learning on a daily basis and this openness to disrupt themselves and get out of their comfort zone is super motivating/inspiring.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

While there’s a structured approach that business heads and HR follows towards fun at work; more fun is the unstructured spirit that takes over the teams 🙂

It won’t be a rare sight to see jamming sessions late into the night after tough road tests/drives at the chief editor’s home; nor would it be rare to see Amit (Co-Founder & CEO) hosting impromptu parties at his place that will end with the sunrise. There are departmental teams that will take mini-breaks super zealously. And you will also have individuals getting 30 people to join on a cyclathon/marathons. Our colleague’s sense of fun is fairly broad-based 🙂

What are some of the challenges of your job?

1 — Getting the big calls right. As said earlier; we are fast-charging a big industry that’s already optimized majority of their GTM strategies. It’s essential that our forecasting of how things will pan out bangs on to get the stakeholders to share the same vision.

2 — Aligning People: Since things move so fast; it’s essential that colleagues understand and are aligned with what we are creating. Internal people, management & alignment is a critical part of creating value for the external ecosystem.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Through data analysis and research; we were able to find specific values that our group sites deliver to our consumers in a specific manner. We had to take hard calls to make sure that the specific sites were built on those values from a tech, product, content, marketing, ops perspective and we let go of short-term numbers to stand for the most important value. We see a tremendous upsurge in our engagement metrics since the CX has improved for our users due to us taking those hards calls. Would always sway to build long-term value by taking hard calls and not be deterred by short-term losses/pains. Most significant learning that I have had in the past 18 months.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

1 — Don’t straitjacket yourselves per your designation. Your designation/job role is hygiene from a deliverables perspective. Be curious to see how can you add more value to your organization upskilling yourselves. Be a part of conversations that are outside your job role. Best way to learn.

2 — Data centricity. Data helps you be more creative. Data enables you to be more creative; it doesn’t hamper creativity.

3 — Disrupt yourself every four years from a domain perspective.

4 — Be structured in your workday. Highly valuable & under-appreciated facet. It helps you get the most out of the least.

5 — People relations. At the end of the day; we all work with people. You can be a genius, but not a good people’s person and that reduces the probability of your success.

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:

www.cardekho.com
www.zigwheels.com
www.bikdekho.com
www.oto.com
https://www.instagram.com/powerdrift/?hl=en
https://www.instagram.com/zigwheels/?hl=en
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMDV6J2hWXet7ZCfgrXGgeg
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMSjsvDuobchFSw5U1SDaqg

Pop Quiz, Monday with Ashwini Tiwary, Founder and CMO at Autobot India

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?

Ashwini Tiwary

What is your job role?

Founder and CMO

Tell us about your company?

Autobot India (ABI) is an organisation which is growing and focused towards developing a professional workforce for the evolving EV industry worldwide to support the transforming eco-system from ICE to EV. Our objective is to create a one Stop Solution platform for the EV technology solutions and services.

What do you love most about your job?

Being completely from management background into core technical field, I enjoy new challenges, learning opportunities and my see my self as an engineer by Passion, not by profession. The passion inside me to learn and explore.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

In one line I would say my purpose of life which means educating young people for the right approach and quality education which the Indian education system lacks significantly.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

I always find my self around passionate team working for their real interest and passion which always motivate me to push myself to the next step.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

Within our organisation, we have a specific self-developed eco-system where our work itself a joy which is full of adventure and fun. But sometimes we prefer to take a break and hang out with the team.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

We made a whole new blue market where we didn’t find much challenging at business or management level but yes re-structuring our existing education system is a real concern. Convincing the university or institute management for the future benefits of practical education is real competition in itself. In a nutshell that is not at all ready to take the extra responsibility to make this happen for their students. A better future I would say except few responsible institutes.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

There are few lessons from my early life failures are:

  1. Work for the name not for money, once your earn name(trust) in market money automatically will come to you.
  2. Life is too short to live all your dreams. Try to live as much as you can.
  3. Never give up no matter what. God is always kind.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

I would suggest making a better product or good services which add some value even after your support is not there.

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:

Main website — www.autobotindia.com
Edu website — edu.autobotindia.com
Follows us on LinkedIn for new technology updates — www.linkedin.com/autobotindia.com

Pop Quiz, Monday with Ankit Mehta, Co-founder at MMC Convert

 

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?

Ankit Mehta

What is your job role?

As the Co-founder of MMC Convert, my focal role is to grip and manage all strategic tie-ups with varied accounting software across the globe. Going beyond, establishing growth hacking practices at MMC also falls within my responsibility.

Tell us about your company?

MMC Convert is a Migration Specialist. Accounting can be quite a tedious process, even for software. When one wants to make a switch, it is highly probable that some of your significant data may also get lost during the process. Also, it is not possible for the entire financial data to be ported over as is; it is, therefore, imperative to perform thorough conditioning.

MMC simplifies; superlatively. We ease the intricate job of porting crucial data from one accounting software to another in an automated manner for our customers.

From inception, we embarked on converting accounting data to Xero. Over ten years, as we built scrupulous expertise and experience, we graduated to becoming official and exclusive partners with ClearBooks and BillyApp as well.

What do you love most about your job?

When you have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart, there’s seldom anything that you don’t like!

Since we play a significant role in acquiring new customers, we get the opportunity to interact with anxious users. We listen to them, find solutions and bring them some peace & ease. Every client has a great journey, and I love to walk with them in theirs.

Being a people’s person, knowing people comes inherent to me. Travelling, meeting people around the world and eventually making them a part of our world is challenging, yet so fulfilling.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

Love it. Work it. In there, lies your unending motivation and ultimate win!

It pacifies the intellect when you have a solution for someone’s problem. Unceasingly making the customer’s life more comfortable and exposing them to great experiences inspire me to bring my ‘A’ game.

And when effort translates into measurable results such as monthly growth in customer reviews, migration volumes, and the absolute bottom-line, the motivation grows manifold.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

A great team makes humble beginnings achieve extraordinary results. My co-workers are a bunch of happy & passionate people who are a fantastic mix of go-getters, innovators, and specialists. They push my limits, sometimes even perplex, only to refine the thought process and never let the rosy projections blur my view.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

A team that celebrates together stays together! Beyond upholding a pleasant office vibe of ease and fun, we go on holidays with our entire team and frequently! An outing is more than just having a meal somewhere; it’s exchange of gratitude, a celebration of small victories, deepening friendships, uncomplicating & unwinding.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

When finance is at the core and technology is ever-changing, creating constant sync for ‘future-proofing’ business is a manifested challenge.

Originating as a tax and audit firm M Mehta & Co, making a switch into finance & technology was quite an ambitious task. However, this is a micro point. The macro challenge is entrepreneurship itself!

Accounting and Finance come innately rooted in our culture right from generations. You might be familiar with our age-old ‘munim jis’ who would maintain the accounts in their red books, and some of us are still on that practice. Converting the inheritance of traditional work style into a tech-driven, growth-focused modern business model takes an army! I attribute this transformation to my co-workers and family who’ve been enormous support in bringing it to where we are today.

I’m grateful to my mom Shobha Mehta, who’s an entrepreneur and runs an art gallery; dad Rajendra Mehta, a chartered accountant, the torchbearer of MMC who’s guided me throughout; and my wife Shanu Mehta, co-founder at MMC, a computer science engineer and professor at IIM. Entrepreneurship hence runs in the blood by default.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Sustainable Growth takes precedence over escape velocity growth! Often, while focusing on growth and acceleration, we start to overlook the fact if the customer is satisfied or not and if her entire experience with MMC is incredible or not. It is imperative, and it is impossible to overstate the value of this.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Being passionate about something is one thing, but mapping your skill set with it, with relevant assessments of monetizing & growth possibilities is another!

To someone who’s starting in this industry, my advice is to identify your area of excellence, where you have the required skills, strong enough to match or even surpass the competition. Then try and reverse attribute it to how you can help others in your industry with this skill.

While business gives you the freedom to make mistakes, sharpen the mettle to learn from them. Remember those lessons well. You don’t have to wait for a perfect product. It’s okay to have a few embarrassing versions; only these will help improve the next set of offerings.
Amidst all this chaos, have fun with what you do.

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:

website — www.mmcconvert.com
twitter — @mmcconvert

Pop Quiz, Monday with Nikitha Shiv, Founder & CEO at Mana Network

 

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?

Nikitha Shiv

What is your job role?

Founder, CEO

Tell us about your company?

Mana Network is the newest and most robust community for entrepreneurs and the entire startup ecosystem in India. What originally started as a way for VCs to generate next-gen startup data turned into a way for startups to thrive in what is already a difficult endeavor.

At Mana, you can experience the power of a complete digital network where VCs, Startups, Agencies, Influencers, and Experts help each other tap into the future of a sustainable Business Ecosystem!

Mana Network helps startups get in touch with Global VCs and accelerators, get the initial media exposure required, connect to few of the best-vetted agencies, connect to influencers from various industries and gives a platform to tell their story to the rest of the world. Mana enables VCs to Filter startups based on intelligent data parameters and finds their perfect match!

What do you love most about your job?

We also do a podcast with various founders and business influencers. Being the host, I get to talk to such brilliant and passionate individuals every day, and through their experiences and stories, I get to learn something new EVERY DAY! As a founder myself, to have other founder’s experiences add to my own is a blessing and it makes every day interesting for me.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

In addition to learning exciting things and building a platform that is helping my fellow founders and everyone else in the startup ecosystem, I get to lead a highly talented team of young individuals and experiment something new every day. The percentage of Women Entrepreneurs is really low, and I plan to work on changing that as well. There have been a lot of hectic days, but there has never been a dull day.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

My co-workers, each one of them is different and inspiring in their ways. The parent company — Avalon Labs is the only investment fund based out of India run by a team of millennials with a presence in 7 different countries. Having few of India’s best talent around me gives me that extra push.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We do a lot of fun activities at work. We have game nights on Fridays. If we hit a milestone, we make sure we go away for a day or two to blow off steam. We have a lot of networking events that happen in the office where we also invite people from different industries. Pizza and gossip sessions is a regular :p

What are some of the challenges of your job?

As an entrepreneur, I face a different challenge almost every other day. I’m sure every other entrepreneur would agree with me on this.

With Mana, one of the challenges that we are facing currently is to not get startups on board but to get them to finish their profiles on time. With the 100 other things that a founder has to do, it’s understandable, but the follow-ups can be a pain sometimes.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

In addition to the quality of the product, it is very important to market the product in the right way.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

When you believe in your idea, don’t plan too much. Jump into it and start implementing it. There is never a right time to start something. Also, irrespective of brilliant the idea is, everything takes time. It’s essential to be patient and not give up. Being an entrepreneur is a whole different experience on its own.

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:

Website — www.mananetwork.co
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/themananetwork/
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/themananetwork/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Chris Davis, Executive Director of the Dream Center of Tampa

 

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?

Chris Davis

What is your job role?

Executive Director of the Dream Center of Tampa

Tell us about your company?

We are a Dream Factory for youth ages 5 through 18. We are planted in the center of an underserved area in the city and are dedicated to bringing the same if not better opportunities resources and relationships that bring about life transformation as in any other part of the city affluent or not that will Lead youth towards their dream. Our vision is to transform lives in our community Through caring relationships, and we plan on doing that through displaying the love of Jesus Christ in a very practical and meaningful way.

What do you love most about your job?

When I see the transformation from where are young person starts to win, they start to get it and begin living the values that we stand for which are Respect, Integrity, Excellence, Empowerment and Generosity.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

Because it’s not a job to go to this is something that I get to do and it just so happens to be in direct alignment with my purpose. That purpose is to rebuild the village of success and support around each one of the young people that I get the opportunity to serve.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

Because it takes a village to transform the lives of a child and their family. I count it a real blessing and a joy that I get to serve alongside the gifts and talents of the team at the Dream Center every single day. All the gifts working together in concert in accomplishing one purpose which is to rebuild the village through Kingdom unity and loving intentionally inspires me more than just about anything.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We have the distinct opportunity to work with children, so the fun happens as we get the unfiltered and authentic reactions and responses from the children we serve. We also are like a family we’ve had our ups, and we’ve had our downs, and after we made it through some of the downs, that’s what it’s brought us closer together to where we can laugh now at What used to piss us off. We’re intentional about having fun as a team as well we’ve done do our best to celebrate in between the wins.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

I guess one of the biggest challenges would be the transient nature of the families that we serve. Due to eviction or just moving to a new place it can be tough sometimes to have invested so much into a young person and for reasons no fault of their own they need to uproot and move to a new place that is outside of the state or maybe our service area. But even then the cool part is they still come and visit.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

We do events every year, and one of them is the back-to-school bash where we Supply students and teachers with what they need to succeed in the classroom. One of the greatest lessons that I’ve learned in doing events like this is to make sure that you assign roles based on gifting and talent and passion not just based on position. This has served us as some of the most innovative ideas have come as a result of allowing somebody to walk in their gift even though it’s not fully connected to their role at the Dream Center.

Since this is the Dream Center, we try to make sure that this is as close to a dream job or dream preparation type of situation as possible. That means we seek to prepare everyone involved including volunteers, staff, children, and parents for the dream that they have.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Be faithful, be consistent, and be you. Be clear about the purpose and mission of your organization and know that partnerships can help you to extend your reach. You don’t have to be the answer to every problem just be the answer to the problem that you’re gifted to solve. Call on your partners when a problem arrives at your door that is begging for or in dire need of what they’re gifted to do don’t let it shift or adjust your purpose if you’re not gifted to do it. This doesn’t serve the person being served with the best solution and takes your focus off of why your organization exists. Stay focused and in alignment with your organizations purpose.

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:

Www.Dctampa.org | FB: @DreamCenterofTampa

Pop Quiz, Monday with Heather DeSantis, CEO of Publicity For Good and Press Demand

 

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?

Heather DeSantis

What is your job role?

CEO of Publicity For Good and Press Demand

Tell us about your company?

Publicity For Good is a purpose-driven PR firm. We love working with brands which believe that having a mission and doing good work is as important as the product or service you provide. Our passion lies around an early stage, emerging and fast growth companies who focus on results and believe that the way PR has always been done is ripe for a change — and we’re excited to be that disruptor.

Press Demand is a monthly PR SaaS program which allows experts to pitch themselves to the media directly using the software. This subscription-based program simplifies media relations for entrepreneurs and media by using our proprietary PR process.

What do you love most about your job?

What I love most about my job is being able to launch innovative campaigns and secure organic interviews for my clients. Most of the time I find that companies have worked with other PR firms and Ad agencies and were not able to experience any media interviews. I love being able to support our clients and their goals by getting them in the media, through our proprietary process, understanding their brand first, being a consumer, building a campaign around social listening and trending topics.

Being a publicist since 2012, and securing more than 1000 interviews since then on TV, Radio and Online, my excitement for every booked interview for our clients has never dwindled. And I genuinely love being able to teach and support my team so that they’re able to be the fantastic Publicists that they are.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

I am motivated building a purpose-driven PR firm such as Publicity For Good because the real ‘mad men’ style of doing things in the PR world isn’t working.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

My co-workers inspire me because day in and day out they are so client focused and they get behind the movement of their clients. I wouldn’t be able to service our clients and/or build Publicity For Good to the PR agency that we are today without the support of my team.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

I have fun at work every single day and every single second by simply living an unfiltered life where I can be me every second of the day. No part of my life is compartmentalized, and everything is integrated through showing public gratitude to my team, to celebrating client and team member wins. I love creating a culture that is client obsessed and a culture where team members can truly be themselves.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

The challenges include every day being in the trenches to support our clients in the media. When you’re so focused on your client’s story, and mission and you get a ‘no’ from the media, it’s important to take a moment to know that ‘no’ is not a forever ‘no’ and then to take a moment before reaching out to more media.

Also with this industry, there is so much confusion when it comes to Public Relations. With some contributors charging for their articles and the unethical behavior of some, not only does it taint the industry but it is hurting how people think of PR. Traditional PR is needed, where traditional PR is securing with physical media members instead of giving someone money for a feature.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Always follow your intuition and gut. Only take advice from people who are ahead of you and in alignment with your ethics and beliefs. The importance of understanding the goal of what your client is trying to do and what they’re hoping to see come from the PR articles. Often there’s a misalignment with what people think will come from PR and a lack of understanding about how to amplify on their own social media channels the media they’ve done elsewhere. Most times people think traffic or more sales will result automatically. But there needs to be a plan to share media results with your email lists and use as content. Also, transparency is super important too.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Absolutely get an internship first. I worked at an Ad agency for three and a half years which is where I learned everything I know about PR. Anyone looking for an internship with Publicity For Good should let us know as we’re always looking for purpose-driven interns. If interested in an internship, you can email us at hiring@publicityforgood.com.

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:

https://publicityforgood.com/
http://pressdemand.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DeSantisPR
https://twitter.com/HeatherDeSantis
https://www.instagram.com/publicityforgood/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Xenia Atanasovski

 

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?

Xenia Atanasovski

What is your job role?

Senior Content Marketing Manager

Tell us about your company?

Automotive Startup in Berlin which grows quickly.

What do you love most about your job?

I am free in creating new projects and developing a Content Strategy. I love the moment where my colleagues and I can see successes and positive developments at all.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

My personal development, very nice colleagues and a very good working environment.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

My co-workers inspire me with new ideas, brainstorming results that bring us to our target.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We have team events and good times during lunch.
We also have the opportunity to do sports.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

My challenge is, to bring the Content Marketing to the next Level!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Every day is a new day with learning, but always essential for me to is, to be in conversation with your Team.

Regular discussions ensure an excellent atmosphere and motivation.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Always keep the goal in mind, be open to new ideas and be honest with colleagues.

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:

https://caroobi.com/service/motorschaden-reparieren/

Pop Quiz, Monday with Reem Saied, CMO at Wishfin.com

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?

Reem Saied

What is your job role?

CMO @ wishfin.com

Tell us about your company?

Wishfin.com is a fintech platform run by Mywish Marketplaces Private Limited (MMPL). MMPL has pioneered financial marketplaces in India. It runs neutral financial marketplaces and credit score solutions that leverage its proprietary technology to intermediate between the banks and customers seeking banking products.

Wishfin is growing at an exponential rate and has won a massive customer base of more than 14 million customers as of current financial year. We have become India’s largest digital lending marketplace today.

What do you love most about your job?

The freedom to think big.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

The challenge to succeed in a hyper-competitive and hyper-regulated fin-tech environment.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

Their relentlessness in tackling difficult tasks in short time frames because they want the startup to succeed.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

HQ has regular parties, dinners out. I personally enjoy my work, don’t even consider my work as “a job.”

What are some of the challenges of your job?

The biggest challenge is the regulatory environment in India that prevents fast scale due to complex rules. And the rules keep changing frequently. Example: KYC using aadhaar.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Nothing is Impossible. In one of my earlier roles in a startup ad agency, a leading bank had a new e-sourcing program for credit cards which the agency considered “impossible” to execute at a profit. I accepted the project at a huge risk. No media plan had ever been made at such a scale for such a tough ROI target. So I made a plan in a blank sheet of paper from scratch using a heady cocktail mix of intuition, experience, bravado, and hope. As they say, fortune favours the brave, and the campaign was a success from the very first month. And over the next few months became the most successful digital campaign in the history of credit cards.

The lesson: When you face a new challenge in a startup, don’t give up because it never been done before. Attack the problem with the spirit of an adventurer.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Be CURIOUS. Keep LEARNING. Work HARD. Success and money will follow automatically.

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:

https://www.wishfin.com/
https://twitter.com/wishfin