Tell us about yourself?
I’m a former software engineer turned tech entrepreneur and patient advocate. I currently live in beautiful Austin TX.
What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?
The most unexpected lesson is the importance of good parenting. Being an entrepreneur is challenging, but because my parents drilled into my head that “I can do anything I set my mind to” it gave me to the courage and resourcefulness to go and make things happen.
I aspire to pass this mindset along to the next generation, as well as to the organization.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
My primary advice would be to invest more time in developing relationships and partnerships to advance the mission.
A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?
There are at times when working overtime is absolutely required, but it should be the exception, not the rule. I strive to work efficiently so that I have plenty of time for hobbies and for family.
For example, we prohibit useless meetings and we invest in people so that everyone can share the load.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
We are inspired to change the lives of patients living with a rare disease. As former patients ourselves, we know how much our support communities are needed.
What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?
Our magic sauce is our ability to play the long game. We felt that our success or failure would be determined by patients’ trust in us.
In the short-term, that meant declining partnership opportunities that might weaken the trust, but in the long-term that builds our authenticity and integrity.
How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?
As a nonprofit, we don’t have any sales. —– ——— ———– ——— —– ——- —– —–
What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge we’ve had is fundraising shortfalls. We overcame them by digging deep into our networks and convince friends and family that this is a cause worth supporting.
What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in Texas over other states in the US?
The low cost of living here in Texas makes it much easier to keep overhead low and survive on a small budget.
Are there any disadvantages of operating our business in Texas?
None. —- —– —– —– —– —– —– —– —– —–
Texas has a pretty diverse population. How have you found the quickly changing demographics have impacted your business? Have you got new opportunities? Managed to expand your business into new areas?
N/A —– —– —–
It is often reported that, in Texas, politics and business are intertwined. Have you noticed this? Has it impacted your business?
N/A —– —– —–
With rising prices across Texas (and the US as a whole) have you been impacted? Do you have a plan for dealing with inflation going forward?
N/A —– —– —– —– —– —– —– —–
What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years with your business?
We hope to continue what we’ve been doing for the last 15 years, building safe and helpful support communities for people affected by rare and chronic diseases.
And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?
Email us at [email protected]. We’re always looking for passionate volunteers, moderators, and supporters.