Can you share a little about your story and how you got to where you are today?
I'm 35 years old and the Founder of a New Dating App called Love The Network. I had a keen interest in computers in the 90s and got on my first at about 8, before windows 95. Think floppy disk.
Anyways, I was too young to really know enough and I missed the 2001 dot com hype and bust by about a decade. I was a junior in HS then.
Still, I developed websites that looked like this yourlocalisp.com/~username
First it was cheat codes for video games and then as the internet evolved, it became a webmasters / css / js / cgi which was eventually replaced by php resources.
I moved onto construction after being hired by a local dealership to build the then 2nd biggest snowmobile parts dealership online while still in HS; I used front page, and I hated it. I backend the database with schematics; we ripped off the #1 site, which I warned him was possible ©️ infringement. Sure enough they pursued legal action.
Fast forward to 2018 and I was tiring of construction after working as supervisor on commercial projects, and owning my own company (which I leveraged my internet marketing skills to get jobs). This is when I started to notice the complaints about dating all over social media.
In 2019 I quit construction and went back to computers full time and c corped our first startup. I was shortly after accepted to Facebook's F8 convention where I slowly started to realize my passion for other innovations, startups, and technology. My passion for people has always existed, but this career allows me to expand on it.
What do you wish you knew before you first started Love the Network?
More technical skills and general development knowledge I guess? I mean honestly I've learned more in the past 2 years, then I have my entire adult life. - They say being uncomfortable gives you 70% learning more capability. I guess that's what I wish I knew, how uncomfortable my life would be for this long since starting. 2 years deep I'm almost back to where I left off at working in construction. It's been a tough road, but I wouldn't trade it back for the life of me.
Can you describe your average day?
My average day is terribly unaverage. There's little consistency to my life at the moment, and this is something I need to work on.
A day can range to anything from writing blog articles or email campaigns, Facebook and Google ads, editing videos or images, creating prototypes, deploying servers or new implementation on our cloud host, researching an industry, company, or concept; lots of walking, reading, meditating, connecting with other entrepreneurs, connecting with investors, administration of our Disrupt Entrepreneurs and Investors FB group, Zooming with potential investors, testing our app, and working (starting at midnight) oversees with other developers, project managing our app development. - Be prepared to wear a lot of hats, and learn to be excellent at all of them (until you can afford to and find someone better to replace you).
Everyone that works for us, is smarter than me.
What has been the largest obstacle you have had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
My specific largest obstacle has become getting in front of investors and creating a name for myself in this industry. - Get on LinkedIn and use Facebook groups and start connecting with peers to pros today!!
I've overcome this by spending more time making meaningful connections. Honestly at first when we were bootstrapped I just shouted everywhere on Facebook we were onto something big and looking for investors. We received $47,500 from 6 individuals, 4 of whom we never knew prior. Currently we are looking to do an official seed raise, and as much as I would have liked it to happen already, I'm not as stressed about it.
What has been the highlight of your career?
The highlight of my career was realizing my passion for startups and innovations. It was and is: continuing to connect with those that have their own startups, while solving massive problems, helping investors find unique opportunities, and building great things that change lives for the better.
What has the adjustment to Covid-19 been like?
I'm not going to lie Covid has been great for us business wise. Online dating has blown through the roof, and we were set up already as a remote company. Furthermore it has validated the remote culture, and is pushing others to connect online, instead of in Silicon Valley.
What I dislike about it is the major social, family, and individual personal impact on mental health. We need fun things to do that are social, we need school, we need sports. I'll take this stuff back any day and see people as generally happier than any of the above benefits I've mentioned. I'm sure things will get back to normal, but we've adopted some of the good that has come from it, for good I believe.
What do you think has been the "key" to success this far?
I personally don't feel success yet, and with my dreams and aspirations I may just constantly set that bar higher.
But if there were some things that have contributed to where I am now, it would be my excitement and passion that I'm able to spread to others digitally, via video or text.
It's driven momentum, attracted volunteers and customers, as well as other amazing things I would have never suspected. I believe it's my drive for continued knowledge and learning that will keep me on my 'A' game.
How has failure helped you later in life? Can you share any specific lessons you have learned?
Sorry failure isn't in my vocabulary. Things either work or they don't. And you learn more from the things that don't, than the things that do. Don't let success of those things that work stop you from improving them either, it can always be better, and will never be perfect, despite our valiant effort.
What is some of the best advice you ever received? Some of the worst?
Some of the best advice I received was that I was onto something. Some of the worst was I should quit and find a regular job again. - Honestly I've received tons of great advice and feedback, and I've received some bad; which I don't focus on long enough to remember.
What is some advice you want to give to an aspiring high school entrepreneurs?
We'll if you've been paying attention I've already dropped some. Other than those, it would be: really explore what you enjoy doing and focus on that (I mean not what you feel like you want to do, what you love doing! - And sometimes that takes time [years even]), read a lot related to your interest and about being a better leader and person, and finally exercise.
• Also don't forget to join and connect with our entrepreneurs, investors and freelancers - Join Disrupt Entrepreneurs group.