Continuing the interview with Elizabeth, Co-founder of HomeZada. If you have missed the Part 1 of this interview, please click in the below link:
Chief: What is the usual mindset you carry as a mantra to be successful? How do you make your day productive?
Elizabeth: A quote by Neale Donald Walsch, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I have learned to push outside my core comfort zone and realize that what was once uncomfortable becomes easier to accomplish. I wouldn’t say that is comfortable, because certain aspects of business are still uncomfortable and hard. But I push through.
Making my day productive starts by getting organized the night before. If I know what my key items to accomplish each day are, I focus on them. This sounds simple because it is. Other situations throughout the day will come up, and they go on the priority list like anything else.
Chief: I am always eager to know how an entrepreneur maintains work-life balance. Recently I came across a blog post, which says – “there is nothing like work-life balance, you just need to blend in”. What is your point of view on work-life balance?
I agree with this blending process. However, one step I take is to focus one task at a time. To really be committed to what I am doing. So for instance, I like to cook. I focus on making a meal as a way to start the separation of work and personal. So for others who are struggling with work life balance, choose a walk, a yoga class, cooking, going out to dinner or some other event to separate the work and personal. And commit to not talking shop. This is most likely harder to do. Another tip, don’t sleep with your mobile phone.
Chief: How many members are there in HomeZada? In your point of view – what is an ideal approach to build the next leadership team in a startup
Elizabeth: Our team is lean. We have three cofounders and 15 other members that provide services to the help grow HomeZada. This team is made up of developers, marketers, business development, legal, and finance.
When building a leadership team, I like the approach of finding the best fit for the organization. Each company needs specific skills to build the product or service. However, there are individuals that may not have all the necessary skills yet, but they have a desire to contribute and they have the will to gain knowledge. These types of individuals are extremely valuable. They are loyal and they will be willing to perform in any capacity to help the company.
Chief: What advice will you give to the aspiring entrepreneurs on how to pitch or sell your idea to the prospects or the investors?
Elizabeth: Be clear about what your company does. Understand the value that your company provides to your customers.
And be confident in your communication of your company. If there is any uncertainty about your business model, the value of your solution or your team; investors, partners and prospects will sense your uncertainty. And no one wants to invest in a company that does not believe in what they do. No prospect or partner wants to work with a company that is unsure.
Read about What Great Leadership Looks Like
Chief: You have aged closed to 6 years with HomeZada. What advice you will give to those who are getting ready for their entrepreneurial journey?
Elizabeth: If you truly believe in your solution, and you have vetted the market opportunity, then go for it. But understand that you need thick skin because you may need to talk to a lot of investors. You will need the ability to keep moving through when everyone else thinks you might be a little crazy. The entrepreneurial journey is not easy and requires a lot of persistence. But you will learn how to get out of your comfort zone and you might find that you like it.
On a final note, how near are we from fully smart homes?
Elizabeth: I think we are a long way off from a fully smart home. There are so many areas of home management that tie into other aspects of life that require human intervention. Our appliances talking to us and telling us what to expect and how to care them, sure. But is the appliance going to replace itself when it breaks. Every homeowner will still need the necessary experts to replace the equipment and appliances around the house. Many homeowners will still need someone to lay tie or carpet. Homeowners will also need the necessary financial details for complete home management
I think we are some ways off from deep market penetration of fully smart homes. New homes being built have more smart devices in them, and we are still in the early adoption phase of consumers fully automating the daily control of their homes. However, the inventory of existing homes in the US is huge, and it is going to take more maturity of these products and a common secure, platform to make all the devices and brands work together before greater adoption occurs. In addition, a smart home for us is the ability to control the day to day usage of the home. There is still the need for homeowners to not only manage the financial aspects of the home, but also the ability to either perform maintenance and remodel projects themselves, or to hire contractors and service providers to do it for them.
For more information on Elizabeth and HomeZada, please visit the below links:
HomeZada Website: http://www.homezada.com/
HomeZada’s Blog: The Zen of Zada https://zen.homezada.com/
HomeZada on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HomeZada
HomeZada on Twitter: @HomeZada
Elizabeth on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/edodson/