Stories of startup founders working full-time jobs to support their families while they try to grow their companies are plentiful, but Pablo Chavez’s occupation just might win him The Most Interesting, Unrelated-To-Tech Job Award… unless someone can make a very convincing case for scuba diving in dolphin tanks qualifying as tech work.
OK, it would be fair to say that working as an Operations Manager at Seaworld has taught Pablo Chavez a thing or two about leadership. And he’s put the lessons to good use by developing startups and helping others launch their businesses. His latest project, ConsultCaddy, builds upon this experience even more – in the shape of a consulting platform that connects business owners with needed professional help at affordable prices. Chavez tells us more:
What’s your company about? What do you do? Who are your customers?
[We’re] a business consulting platform that connect experts with small business owners and entrepreneurs through video and voice chats. Affordable price, only direct advice. No offices, or fancy suits. Just business. We want to help people gain experience, help others, start businesses, and grow companies.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website? Why is it better than the competition?
We have an array of value drivers when compared to our competitors. We have the protection of intellectual property, the ability to save consultations after they happen so that they can be considered after the fact, a fixed payment system to eliminate undercutting and price gauging, and marketable logo and name. Our experts are called “Caddies.”
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
A caddy assists the golfer in finding the best strategy to play the course. He sees the problems ahead and guides the golfer in the right direction. ConsultCaddy
What was your first computer? How old were you when you first got on the world-wide web?
12. A clone computer in Ecuador, South America. Only one in the house. Neighborhood kids would come in and use it for their homework. I started charging for the time.
What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?
I work a 40hr-a-week job, 4pm to 3am, and then wake up to care for my daughter. I then work on my startup until I have to go to work and do it all over again. I work with my co-founder by meeting at a Panera Bread once a week.
When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go?
Boston, Massachusetts, daughter’s birthday. I took the chance to meet with a marketing consultant and get him involved with ConsultCaddy.
When do your best ideas come to you?
Driving to my 40hr-a-week job.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
2 people to start. 4 currently work with me, not for me.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
Knowing that not doing it is worse than failing at it. I don’t want to be 45 telling my kids, “I almost did …..”
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
I didn’t know anything about websites – how to drive traffic, how to market a product. I didn’t understand product validation, so I thought if I got a website built by a freelancer in Asia, I would immediately sell stuff… yeah right.
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
I have learned to internalize it and focus on other things. My biggest frustration is the lack of innovation and forward thinking in the corporation I currently work for.
What’s your office environment like? Do you listen to music? Watch movies? Play video games?
I work as a scuba diver, cleaning aquariums and dolphin pools…. no music.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
As a one-stop shop for business creation, development, and growth.
How’d you fund this venture?
I got extra money from my student loan for my MBA. I either returned it or I used it for my startup.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Set a budget, get validation from people that don’t give a shit about you but will still pay money for your service… Mom and friends don’t count.
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
I’m there right now… let’s go have a drink…
What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?
Work on another startup… I have a few in my idea bank…
Top 5 websites you couldn’t live without?
Mobile apps you’re in love with?
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet? (And why that country?)
New Zealand, ski and surf in the same week.
Three people (other than you) we should follow on Twitter?
Please share some specific numbers (funding, revenue, visitors) that highlight your growth.
Just finished validation, we are at 1000 signups and haven’t launched out service yet… Social media grows everyday…
Where else should our readers find you online?