1,033 days for my first customer. - part 2

(This is part 2 of my blog series about how I started my business Your Circle from the very beginning to its first customer 1,033 days later. Be sure to check out part 1 of this story before reading this. It will not make sense if you do not)

The month after. The momentum continued.

If you remember from part 1 of this blog series, the Startup Weekend where this whole project began was finished. At this point in time, we were 54 hours into our business.

Sunday night after Startup Weekend finished, all I could think about was me2. That was all that was on my mind. I had participated in a couple Startup Weekend events before and usually when Monday would come, I was back at the normal grind of college life. This weekend was different though. I wanted to work on me2. I didn't want to go back the normal grind.

With Startup Weekend, typically about 1-3 of the teams will continue the business after the weekend is done. It is rare, however, if any of the teams will continue past 6 months or even go full-time ever. Startup Weekend to me is meant to learn something new, meet new people, and most importantly have fun building businesses together.

With that in mind, I could not get me2 out of my head. I wanted to be one of those rare teams that continued past the weekend. I wanted to get back together with the me2 team and build this app.

We continued to chat together as a team for the next couple of days. Texting each other asking how each of us felt about the project. Asking if anyone was interested in continuing to work on me2 together.

me2 Team...Assemble!!!

That Wednesday, only 3 days after Startup Weekend had ended, we officially began working on me2 again.

Email sent out to me2 team members only 3 days after Startup Weekend ended. We got to work.

I will repeat this a number of times while I tell this story:

We had no idea what we were doing.

We ran entirely on assumptions of "This is what startups do. Right?". We spent more time setting up our Google Drive folders and Trello boards than we did on research and development of the product.

We held weekly video chats on Google Hangouts since we were living in different towns. We would give each other tasks to do to get the app built. My roommate Brad and I would stay up late a few nights a week designing and building the mobile app. We were a group of college students and young adults working together in our spare time to build this app together. I was not alone. We all felt that this app needed to exist. Progress was being made slowly but we felt that we were making leaps and bounds. We had momentum on our side pushing us together. We didn't have the experience to tell us what we were doing wrong!

I made a big decision.

This is the part of the story when I tell you, "...it changed my life". Original, I know.

Only one month after Startup Weekend Iowa City 2014 where the me2 project all began, I attended yet another Startup Weekend event. Startup Weekend Cedar Falls 2014 had come before I knew it. This was when I made a big decision in my life.

The Friday night of Startup Weekend Cedar Falls was upon me. The event was in full swing. As a very pleasant surprise, a bus load of 30+ people from Iowa City and Cedar Rapids came down to Cedar Falls for the Friday night pitches! Included in that group of 30+ people were a few members of the me2 team. This was the first time that we had seen each other since we began our business together only one month before.

That whole weekend while I was working on another idea with a brand new team I could not concentrate. I was not passionate. I did not have any emotional connection to the idea. The entire weekend all I wanted to do was work on me2. Friday night after the pitches and joining teams, we began to get to work. All I wanted to do was work on me2. This was going to be a long weekend for me I could tell. While everyone else at the event was full of energy and jumped right into work on Friday night, I thought a lot about me2.

That next morning I made a phone call first thing in the morning. I called up my aunt who lived in Cedar Rapids, a city about 20 minutes away from Iowa City where me2 was born that October Startup Weekend event. I called my aunt to ask her a question. I asked her if I could live with her after I graduated college.

Yup. That Friday night before when I saw the me2 team, I decided I was going to pursue me2 full-time after I graduated college that December. I decided I was going to move to Cedar Rapids where I would be close to the rest of the team, work out of the co-working space there, and live in my aunt's basement to make me2 happen.
She said yes. Plans were made.

That Monday after Startup Weekend Cedar Falls, I declined my other full-time offers I had after college and I delivered the news to the me2 team. I will never forget how they reacted. "What?! No way! Holy s*[email protected] dude!" Yup. You could now say that me2 changed my life. I decided that I was going to change my life plans after college and instead pursue me2 full-time. No turning back now.

After I told the team I was going full-time, another team member decided to leave law school for a semester. One team member decided to take on fewer classes that semester to work on me2 full-time as well. That January 2015, the me2 team consisted of 3 full-time members and 4 part-time members.

January 2nd, 2015 I moved into my aunt's basement. I was more than ready. Scared and super excited, I could not wait a single day past the New Year holiday to get started. My full-time position working with me2 began January 2nd, 2015.


...and with that, I am going to end this post for today. This story is just getting started. I have only told the first 3 months so far.

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