What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
“Work with people who you trust and who share your values and your work ethic.”
What is the best method you've found to avoid burnout as an entrepreneur?
“If you want a work-life balance, you should not start a high-growth company. Something that has worked in my favor is that I have a high motor. I do not need a ton of sleep. Six hours is plenty, and I can get by on five for a while. With that being said, it is important to disconnect at different times and take a break. That's hard for me. I have found that getting outside and just changing up where I am helps out a lot. I also work out twice a week, and I make sure to be home for bedtime with the kids and dinner with my wife every night.”
What is your advice for coming up with a unique startup idea?
“I think the best startup ideas come naturally. Typically, these ideas come to fruition because a person experiences a problem and wants to solve it. I think that if multiple people are experiencing the same problem as you, that is an indicator that there is a need in the market. In the case of Empower, I realized most Uber and Lyft drivers were struggling financially and didn’t feel valued.”
What is your advice for overcoming challenges and failure?
“You are going to have tons of setbacks. You have to just push through them. It's frustrating to have to take steps backward, but you need to keep in mind all the steps forward you have already taken. As a founder, you will have the highest expectations for yourself. However, at times, you need to give yourself a little bit of a break to acknowledge the things you have done well. There is always more to build, but you cannot build everything.”
What is the biggest lesson you learned and what can aspiring entrepreneurs take from it?
“Important decisions need to be well thought out, and you need to get advice from other people. However, at the end of the day, you need to go with what you think is best because if you don't have firm conviction in the strategy you select, you probably are not going to execute it very well.
The more successful you start to become, the more investors will start to care because they themselves are getting closer to a big financial return. That's when people start to become afraid. As the stakes increase, listen to what people are saying, but do not lose sight of your own expertise, knowledge, and experience. You, as CEO, know the ins and outs of your business better than anybody else. So trust yourself.”
What is the best advice you've ever received?
“Focus on what you can control.”
- Check out Empower’s company profile and ways to support them!
- Keep up with more startup companies by visiting our list of the top startups to watch.
- Hear startup stories from real founders on the Startup Savants podcast.
- Form your own startup by reading our review of the best online incorporation services.