Why I left the Start-up company and some thoughts on this
I thought I'd share a few thoughts that came up and maybe it'll touch someone. Today I was able to talk with someone who asked me to help them and advise on how to get closer to their goals. We agreed to try meet every 2-4 weeks, either online or in real life, so that we could move closer to our goals and dreams.
At today's meeting, we discussed priorities and I spoke about one of my own decisions, which still raises questions for many. Why did I leave CheckSpot Start-up? Everything seemed to be going well and we even raised big money. I think there is one great grain of wisdom behind it that I thought I would share with you. But what was / is this CheckSpot and how did I get there?
What is CheckSpot and how did I get there?
CheckSpot is a mobile application what's main idea is to offer time-based pricing at restaurants. If there are fewer customers in the restaurant / cafe, the prices are 30-50% discounted. If there are enough customers, there is no discount. Cafes get their vacancies filled, customers get bargains. CheckSpot receives a percentage from each customer. Like Uber or Taxify in the food world.
There is also a great story about getting a job at CheckSpot, which I have also shared on the stage of Saku Suurhall. I had been working with Amway and the N21 for a few years by then. One day, sitting down with my mentor, we thought that I could try to apply what I had learned in my business to other things. Since my mentor is also a person who has worked in the field of staff recruitment, she helped me to compile a very professional CV and we put together some ideas for where to apply and what to try. CheckSpot caught my eye.
How did I get a job at CheckSpot?
They were looking for a business developer who wants to work in Start-up company, which has big potential, and be a part of its success story. At least 2 years of experience in B2B sales was required. As I later learned, from the owner of the business, 100 people applied for the position. All other candidates had more work experience and a better education than I did. How did I do? During the interview, I mentioned that my main focus is my own company in cooperation with Amway and N21. The employer's reaction was interesting. He asked me if I attended N21 seminars. He said that it was from these seminars that he gained knowledge, skills and attitude that helped him build his own 4 companies. And he added: “Would you be willing to give me a ticket for the next seminar? And by the way… You are hired!” Wow… It was an experience. I didn't even have a chance to apply my skills yet, if only in a conversation, but the names of the companies were already doing a great job for me.
I started cooperating with many restaurants in Tallinn. Later, I ran many campaigns at Tallinn universities to get people to use our app. We started with an app that didn't work. I remember when I met the owner of a café in Ülemiste Center and when I arrived they wanted to see the application. I opened the app then, but the app didn't work… He ended up not wanting to partner with us. 😀
The more time we spent, the better the app started to work, the more companies partnered with us, and the more people started to use the app. Thanks to that, we also managed to raise money, reached the top 30 in "Ajujaht" TV-show, etc. And then, when we received confirmation that we would get funding from the investors and it would start working, I decided to leave.
Why? Working at CheckSpot was definitely a huge experience for me. There are no 8-5 working days in a start-up company. You can be in the office and work from 8-6, but after that you still work from home. You need to generate new ideas on how to develop your application further 24/7. I clearly remember one day when I went to lunch and thought, hmm, interesting… I hadn't eaten for a long time .. I started thinking and the last time I had eaten was exactly 24 hours ago. Since I had been busy all the time and immediately after the workday I had my own business meetings and interacted with people, so I couldn't think that my stomach was empty. As a result, it was the first moment I took some time off for a while and realized that I hadn't eaten as long as until 24 hours later.
My mentors' advice
At that point, I received a suggestion from my mentors. It said that if I try to have two careers at once, I will not be able to do either. Of course, it's okay to go to work and start your own business, another job or a hobby. However, if you work on several projects, in all of which you are constantly generating new ideas and giving all your focus in, then different projects will start to interfere with each other. I had to make a decision! Either I choose CheckSpot, which seemed to have huge potential and a chance to get a very good salary, or .. My funny little Amway business .. From which I earned many times less than I did at work at the time.
Why did I decide to start my own business with Amway and N21? Because I had seen the big picture and the potential future it could offer me. CheckSpot was a well-paid job, but I would have done it for someone else and created nothing for myself. I saw an opportunity in Amways and N21. No matter how long it takes me, no matter how much I have to learn, one moment I will have a business that operates without my active contribution in several countries and I can be free, both financially and in timewise. Moreover, to be completely honest, it's about seeing this flame in people's eyes, when the hope that their dreams and goals can come true, reappears. It has made me feel so special that CheckSpot could have offered me anything more valuable. It offered me this emotion.
There can only be one focus at once
If we bring this whole story together with what we talked to the person I was counseling then there can only be one focus at once.. The easiest way to lose a war is to fight on two fronts. If you really feel in your heart that you want to create something for yourself, take that focus, focus on it, and give it your energy and time. When we start pursuing a personal goal, be it good physical fitness or our own company, it is not real that we will leave work, end relationships with loved ones and focus only on what we want to create.
As an example of counseling, this person already had a school and a job that must be done to survive. I believe the solution is to do the necessary thing - go to school, go to work. And just at the expense of our little free time, we must be able to force ourselves to do things to make our dreams come true. Believe me, when you start doing, it gets easier every day and you will find these opportunities. As has been said, no one has made their first million by 8-5. But most of the first millions are created in 5-8 (the time after work).
Don't be afraid to catch your dreams. Don't fall for the sparkling object syndrome, just follow your dreams. (Sparkling Object Syndrome- As soon as you notice something that seems a little brighter and more interesting than your current activity you change your purpose.) I discovered that CheckSpot was becoming my sparkling object, keeping me away from my dreams. What is your sparkling object or problem area? Write and share your thoughts with me too! 🙂
Finally, I'll add a video here about the story of CheckSpot - getting hired and other great things that have happened. This performance has been on the biggest stage for me so far - Saku Suurhall. The feeling that was after this performance when people came to talk and thank me was wonderful! That was the moment when I knew for sure that I was doing the right thing and would never leave. A small dream that was not so small came true!