This post was in collaboration with Intuit Quickbooks
Let’s be real here: The life of an entrepreneur is not an easy one. Sometimes, there are early mornings, late nights, and a lot of selfless work going on behind the scenes. So why do it, right? Why start a business, especially when there’s no guarantee that it’ll be successful? Although we can’t speak for everyone, we know why we started ours and why we know creating Whose Your Landlord, Inc., was the best decision ever.
If you’ve been supporting us for a while, you know WYL is a site that enables you to rate your landlord and discover a multitude of information about renting, dealing with roommates, and even DIY projects to spruce up your home. The idea came about when our CEO Ofo Ezeugwu who, along with two of his friends Felix Addison and our current CTO Nik Korablin, decided to embark on an entrepreneurial journey together. They had an idea about all the value they wanted to provide but in regards to the financially charged business aspect of it, well, they’d soon get privy to that too.
In order to maintain a presence in the startup world, you can’t solely create content. You have to generate revenue as well. You have to make money to pay employees, pay suppliers, purchase new equipment, pay for your space if you don’t work from home, and so much more -in order to just stay afloat. Thinking about managing financials can make even the brightest person’s head start spinning; but, fortunately, early in the business’ inception, we’ve had QuickBooks on our side. QuickBooks has made it simple for us to balance the ebbs and flows of our financials and they’ve helped accurately display how much the business has financially grown over the years. Our Accountant has been using the product for the last 4 years and due to QuickBooks advanced software, we’ve had access through our portal to view the details of our account, as well.
In fact, QuickBooks has been so helpful, a couple of weeks ago our CEO Ofo and myself, Kelley Green the Dir of Communications attended the QuickBooks Connect Conference in San Jose, California. The theme of the QuickBooks Connect conference was “Anything is Possible” and the teams’ experience at the event definitely spoke to that theme. A few of the amazing topics covered at the conference included balancing multiple side hustles, securing funding, and even work/life balance.
The experience was too dope and insightful not to share with you, so I’ve included some nuggets and photos below.
Jaime Siminoff, Chief Inventor at Ring
A long time inventor and the creator of the world’s first WiFi video doorbell. He created the doorbell in his garage in 2011 and pitched it, then called DoorBot on Shark Tank in 2013, only to leave without a deal after turning down the solo offer he received from Shark Kevin O’Leary. At the time he called it a low point in his life and felt devastated. He also pushed himself to reach success as a result of his unsecured deal. Siminoff’s product is now known as Ring and the company, currently providing various products and services was sold to Amazing this year for over $1 billion.
Here are some paraphrased words from his convo on the panel:
Advice has become sort of a negative to entrepreneurship. As a CEO, inventor, the founder, you know something you can do and advice can sometimes make you make the wrong decision. He gets a lot of support though. A lot of great things come from uniquely doing what’s uniquely you and I think that’s what you should do as an entrepreneur. Be who you are.
Dylan Lauren, Dylans Candy Bar
Dylan Lauren, yes Lauren, as in major fashion designer Ralph Lauren’s daughter, created the world’s largest confectionary emporium and lifestyle brand, Dylan’s Candy Bar. When it came to her brand, Dylan wanted to bring out the inner child in everyone so she merged fashion, art, and experiential culture with candy. She says she works hard to provide an experience for her customers but she’s also grateful to have her father in her back pocket.
Thanks to the QuickBooks team, Ofo and Kelley got a chance to spend some time in VIP with these powerhouse entrepreneurs from the panel!
We also got to kick it with some celebrities and hear their stories!
We met Alex Rodriguez, in VIP, who is best known for his achievements in baseball but now amasses success, in the real estate industry, as the founder of Monument Capital Management. He touched on how he wanted to go from being a renter to becoming an owner due to his experiences growing up – something we hope many people can aspire to do.
Mindy Kaling was a fierce, funny, energetic boss who talked about getting turned down for a role in which she would’ve been playing herself. Crazy, right? Mindy also gave homage to Oprah Winfrey and Kevin Hart whom she respects and attributes maintaining her confidence from. A key takeaway from her was her belief in working hard to gain her confidence, inspired by Kevin Harts bio which says
“Everybody wants to be famous but nobody wanted to do the work”
Breakout Session with Tia Harrison
Then, as if the celebrity speakers weren’t amazing enough, we got a chance to sit down for an exclusive 1:1 chat with the amazing Tia Harrison, Co-founder, and President of the Butchers Guild. She was very candid about the growth of her business and also the struggles that nearly led her to shut it all down. We were able to talk to her about WYL’s upcoming focus, intro her to our Renter Commandments Handbook, and talk about pushing forward when things get tough. We’re so excited to visit her restaurant the next time we’re in San Francisco.
Overall it was a jam-packed day filled with insightful stories, great energy, and useful information. We’re excited to implement more of the QuickBooks software and apps the panelists use to create more ease in monitoring our business activity. QuickBooks has been backing us for years and we don’t know where we’d be without their tools. We can’t wait to check out the conference next year!
This post was in collaboration with Intuit Quickbooks