Balancing Work And Life, Heavy Metal And Passion At Jackalope Jobs
As a writer for Killerstartups, I’m most interested in startups that are involved in trying to make an impact on a people, a society, or a culture. Let me make that clearer : One could say that a site like Facebook does just this, but as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t fall into the category of helping people who are in need. So helping people improve their lives in some form because they need something to survive is what interests me most about startups.
Sincerity? You might be thinking, “This is business. What does it actually matter?”
Fair enough. Well, to me sincerity is transparent and it comes across whether we’re talking about business, art, science, or athletic competition. In other words, I’m talking about sincere passion.
In my interview with Sudy he told me what it was like starting out, speaking Hindi while also sounding like Big Bird, and Heavy Metal.
Anyone who says that listening to Heavy Metal helps him relax has got my vote.
What were the early days of Jackalope Jobs like?
The early days of Jackalope Jobs were an adrenaline rush to say the least. We were very excited to construct the platform and tailor its mission, to connect job seekers with the right jobs and the right connections. We had so many intriguing things to do, including planning the program and dreaming how it would revolutionize how job seekers find jobs, but we also had a lot of not-so-thrilling tasks to complete, including shuffling through legal paperwork.
What was it like starting out on something new?
[It was] very exciting. Starting out, we spent a tremendous amount of time engaging job seekers (our only customer) to understand their job seeking process and how we could create a product that would ultimately assist them.
Did you get support from your family or friends for your startup?
We received a tremendous amount of support from family and friends. My wife was and continues to be my rock. She is behind Jackalope Jobs 100 percent. Countless friends provided feedback on the product concept, and then on early prototypes. They continue to test the site, introduce me to people for networking purposes and provide invaluable therapy when work just seems overwhelming!
How did you handle the challenges early on at Jackalope Jobs?
We handled early challenges in a variety of ways: Sometimes we met them head on with brute force, sometimes with intelligent thinking and sometimes with hustle. It all depended on what the challenge was and how it affected business.
And did you begin with funding or was it self funded?
We receive funding in a variety of ways, including from insiders and family and friends.
How many people were involved when it began and who were they?
The original team consisted of five people: Myself, Michael Lamoureux (co-founder), Keith Harrison, Carl Berglund and Rob Brown. Our team has since doubled to ten people.
What new elements for Jackalope Jobs are you planning on rolling out to improve the company?
Now that we’re in the process of launching, we’re focusing on improving our marketing and social media mix and analytics that describe how job seekers are succeeding and struggling with our platform.
How do you see Jackalop Jobs in five years?
We want Jackalope Jobs to be the best resource for career-oriented professions for job searching and career assistance. We want to be the “Evernote” for career development.
What lessons have you learned from running your own business?
I’ve learned the importance of establishing a trustworthy and hardworking team to delegate tasks to and rely on because, no matter how fantastic of a businessman you are, it’s simply impossible to do everything a startup requires on your own. I’ve also learned the necessity of planning ahead. At Jackalope Jobs, we always have plans A, B and C developed and in motion, with plans D, E and F waiting in the wings, just in case!
So what inspires you?
I’m inspired by watching people take unfathomable risks and succeeding despite the odds. Both my father and father-in-law made large sacrifices and underwent a huge risk by moving to America, and they both have done handsomely for themselves and their families.
I’m inspired by my wife and daughters who tackle daily challenges that I cannot even imagine pursuing. I’m inspired by Steve Jobs who created a market and stood by his principles even when the market was not in his favor. I’m inspired by the numerous articles I read about unemployment and the plight of job seekers, knowing that I have a product that can help defeat the odds and land a great job in a tough economy. I’m inspired by little things, too, like a re-tweet on Twitter, increased traffic on our website or even a highly viewed press article about Jackalope Jobs. I am also inspired by those who serve in the armed forces – what they do can pale in comparison to what we do.
What does being successful mean to you?
Being successful to me means achieving as many of life’s objectives in family, health, happiness and business as possible. I don’t think there is a set number objectives in terms of dollars, employees or college degrees my kids will achieve; there just needs be enough achieved to make us happy.
What advice would you share with someone considering starting up their own business?
I advise startups to have a mission for the business that is not self-serving, but serves customers and to have passion for that mission. Ensure the people you surround yourself with share that passion, but understand and respect that their level of passion may differ from yours; after all, the startup isn’t their baby!
Do you have a favorite author, artist, or musician?
The band Rush is my favorite. Many of their songs inspire me. Another favorite is a group named Triumph, for the same reason: inspiration. Also, AC/DC gets my blood pumping.
How do you relax or unwind?
I find exercise very relaxing. I have been going to a bootcamp to get into shape, and I enjoy bike riding. Spending time with my family and listening to heavy metal music are two other great relaxers.
Are there any mobile apps that you find particularly useful for you and your business?
I find lots of apps particularly useful in my life and my business. There are probably too many to count as I am an iPhone junkie! Professionally, I use iDashboard (a Google analytics dashboard), LinkedIn, Facebook, HootSuite and banking aps. Personally, I use the Starbucks app to satisfy my coffee urge.
If and when you have time for a vacation, where do you like to go and with whom?
Whenever I have time for a vacation, I enjoy visiting various beaches with my family.
So, What country would you like to visit that you’ve never been to and why?
I would love to visit Australia soon. It seems so remote, and it’s far from my current home in Dallas.
Do you speak any foreign languages? Which ones?
I can speak some Hindi, since my parents are from India. While I was born in the US, my parents primarily spoke Hindi in the house, so I learned from them. On a side story, when my mother realized I was speaking Hindi first, she had me watch Sesame Street. I learned English quickly, but the lessons came with a serious side effect- I spoke like Big Bird until I was 30!
What trick or “life hack” have you learned that helps you balance your work with your personal life?
There’s no one trick to finding the perfect work and personal balance, but there are a few steps you can take. (I blog about the topic often.) Personally, I remember to always have humor, keep healthy, love your family and have a group of friends who know nearly nothing about your business but care about you enough to listen to you vent.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Sudy!
You can read more about balancing work and life on Sudy’s blog. And for the job seekers, HR professionals, recruiters, and entrepreneurs looking for the perfect job, or looking for the right person for your company, check out Jackalope Jobs.