Jess Ruhfus is the Founder of Collabosaurus, basically a dating site for brands. The site connects complementary brands together for awesome cross promotions and collaboration projects around events, social media and products. We spoke with Jess to find out how she sets goals, deals with roadblocks and what she's inspired by.
Tell us about your journey in getting to where you are today
It all started post-uni working at a fashion and lifestyle publicity firm. From there, I worked in marketing education for small businesses, before simultaneously realizing that Tinder was a killer idea and smaller brands were missing out on a tonne of opportunities to partner up with larger brands (and vice versa). I was 22 at the time, woke up in a cold sweat and believed I was onto “the next Facebook” (…. I still think that guys). Two years on and a hell of a lot of ‘learning’ and we’ve grown the platform to over 3300 users in 5 countries.
How do you set goals? Do you follow a specific process?
I set a lot of goals based on data and analytics. I never used to, but running a tech company has opened up the doors to all the tracking + analytics software.
I put everything in writing and give it a deadline. I think that’s really important. I also reassess goals throughout the month/year to make sure my goals change as I change. For most things, I force a bit of accountability, such as telling my CTO or a friend that something is getting done. They’re both awesome and follow up on me - putting the pressure on! I work best under pressure and to deadlines, so this works well for me.
What do you do when you hit a roadblock or things aren’t going right?KEEP MOVING. Stopping to wallow in self-pity doesn’t achieve much and makes you feel stuck awfully quickly (not saying I’ve never stopped to have an hour of popcorn gorging devastation, but after that, I make a plan). Make a list of all the things you want to do next - lists are amazing, they keep you moving and they’re so fulfilling when you get to cross things off.
What’s one habit you credit with getting you to where you are now?
Is overconfidence a habit? ‘Faking it till you make it’ is something I’ve always believed in working - it’s still working too, by no means have I ‘made it’ yet. Looking at things with positivity goggles and a hard-working attitude gets you very very far.
What keeps you awake at night?
Aside from hitting sales targets, my development team LOVE that I’m constantly having light-bulb moments about the sites’ UX features (the poor buggers, the work never ends haha).
Who or what inspires you the most?I think a lot of people inspire me in different ways and it’s good to have a group of people you look up to in all sorts of industries and walks of life - is it cliche to say my dad? He’s pretty cool and he works hard so I can’t complain in front of him haha. I met Emma Isaacs at a conference we were both speaking at and SHE is a bombshell to look up to - super inspirational. Andy Lark is one of the smartest (also hilarious) humans I’ve met. Aaron Brooks + Taryn Williams + Tess Robinson are also inspirational in their authenticity and ridiculous generosity helping people out. There are so many!
What is your favorite quote or saying?
Great things never came from comfort zones
What tool, tech or app are you loving right now?!
I heard Collabosaurus is the bomb dot com for finding awesome brand partnerships!
Also, Hotjar website heat-mapping is addictive.
Describe one big goal you have set for 2017
World domination, just casually.