Liz Grow is the co-founder and CEO of SnapSitter, a mobile platform that takes the friction out of finding, booking and paying trusted local babysitters. As an ardent supporter of the sharing economy, she strives to expand the babysitting market so more sitters can work and more parents can play.
In this Startup Savant interview, she shares how her experience in start-ups, sales, and psychotherapy have shaped her outlook on success, how she overcomes adversity, and reveals a few great resources for every entrepreneur. When you’re done getting into Liz’s head, be sure to hit her up on Twitter to continue the conversation!
What do you typically tell people when they ask you what you do?For me, it starts and ends with Sales, which typically begs the question, “What are you selling?” It’s a great way to kick start a conversation in any setting, and at the end of the day, no matter how mind-blowing your product, finely-tuned sales skills are crucial to your company’s success. I used to be a psychotherapist and that was always a great conversation starter. :)
Have you encountered troubles or mishaps when starting SnapSitter? How did you fix them?How much time do we have? Of course! Everyday there’s a new and interesting hurdle to clear. Some of them are smaller and easier to manage than others, but I find that enlisting the help of the really smart and resourceful people around me always leads to a solid solution. Humor helps too.. A LOT!
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? Is there something you are most proud of?It might sound crazy, but I love the risk associated with bringing a new product or service to market, and proving its value. It’s so satisfying to introduce a new solution that makes users’ lives better, and wonder how they ever lived without it.
It makes me so proud to know that parents are saying “Yes” more to dates, events, me time, and Sitters are saying “Yes” more to their financial freedom, cool trips, saving for college, etc... It’s a virtuous cycle that makes me euphoric.
What is the most exciting moment of your entrepreneurial journey?Each moment, each milestone, is as exciting as the next. Most recently, I think it was when we heard from a mom who described SnapSitter as life-changing. Nothing is more exciting than knowing we’re positively impacting people’s lives on this journey.
It’s also exciting to get real feedback from users that’s not always positive- to me it means our users trust us and want us to make SnapSitter better for them!
What is the toughest decision you’ve ever made when starting a business? How did it make you better at the end of the day?The tough decisions are those that require sacrifice beyond what you think you’re capable of. Personally, I’ve moved across the country to launch a start-up and fractured a number of relationships as a result. Some ties will get stronger in the process and some will fade away, but knowing in your heart that you’re following your path makes the sacrifice worth it.
What does your day-in, day-out look like? Is there any specific habit that has helped you become a better person?My day-to-day is filled with tasks big and small, but each equally important. I strive to give the same attention and care to every action, whether it’s a call with the internet company to troubleshoot a wifi issue, or a big decision about product that will potentially slow down development. This has carried over to my personal life, so I hope that my friends and family would say it’s made me a better person.
Who has been your greatest influencer along your entrepreneurial journey? How did they shape SnapSitter?Tough question. I’ve been so fortunate to have so many people to mentor, advise, coach, and support me along the way. When I look at past and present entrepreneurial ventures, I realize that having an equally committed and determined co-founder was/is the difference between success and failure. I also draw a ton of inspiration from sports, as well as my precocious 11-year old daughter. She is the reason SnapSitter exists.
How do you balance life and work to remain connected and available for your loved ones? Any advice for me?Set realistic expectations with your loved-ones about your free time, and share openly your goals and your plan to reach them. Sure, sometimes every waking moment must be spent on your business.
But when your people feel like they’re a part of the journey and understand what you’re working for, they’ll support you and respect your dedication rather than feeling resentful. That said, I believe that you have to make time for the people you love to nurture your spirit and keep you going! Be gracious and thankful for their patience.
Do you think being an entrepreneur has turned you into a better person? If so, how?I can only say that this is who I am and who I’ve always been – intense, hard-working, resilient, stubborn, resourceful, and ambitious. Neither good nor bad, it’s just me. I can say that my entrepreneurial spirit has definitely rubbed off on those close to me, and it’s awesome watching and supporting them as they chase their dreams too.