Jess Ruhfus, Founder, Collabosaurus
1. Tell us what this quote means to you and how it inspires you on a daily basis
I love this quote because it reminds me that success is up to me! Waiting around gets you nowhere, you need to go out there and create opportunities for yourself.
2. So other than having the best name ever (!) tell us about Collabosaurus and what drove you to start the business?
Everyone hated the name to begin with! Luckily, I stuck to my guns and I’m so happy I did - Collabosaurus is fun and memorable, and we get so many comments on it.
Collabosaurus is a matchmaking platform that helps brands grow through powerful marketing collaborations in social media, products and events. We’re a marketing tool up to 30x less expensive than other digital advertising (and much more fun, in my opinion!)
The idea came about because I was frustrated sourcing effective brand-to-brand marketing collaborations while working in PR. We were pulling together venues, caterers, goodie bag inclusions, photographers & instagram-worthy event experiences for media launch events - and it was such a time consuming, scramble of a process. Tinder was becoming popular and I thought: “how amazing would it be to have a Tinder-style platform for brand partnerships?”
Now, we have built a community of over 30,000 businesses, big and small, across fashion, beauty, lifestyle, B2B, food & beverage (and more!) in 5 countries, all looking for brand collaboration opportunities.
3. Miss Collective is all about helping women Level Up. Who's helped you Level Up in your career?
My business partner, Nick! He was heading up the development of Collabosaurus - so we had already established trust and a great working relationship - and we decided to officially become business partners about 18 months ago. Nick has a background in the financial services industry and his perspective has been extremely beneficial to the business. He motivates me and has had a huge impact on the business’ success so far.
4. How do you keep the balance between work, life and play? Do you get a chance to do anything for yourself?
Running an online software business is a 24 hour job, however over the last year I’ve made it a priority to invest in myself! I haven’t taken a holiday in the 3 years I’ve been running the business, and instead I indulge in making sure I get enough sleep, see friends at least once a week and spend quality time at home. You do have to make time for these things - I go as far as blocking it out in my calendar - but it’s 100% necessary and worth it. I work at a greater productivity level if I’m not burnt out and stressed.
5. You’ve recently started your own fabulous podcast! It’s cued up on our phones! What other podcasts are you loving at the moment?
Yes! That was such a difficult project for me - I had no idea how unnerving it was to edit hours of your own voice recording! Thankfully, I have outsourced this part of the process now haha. To check it out...
For iphone: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/stop-collaborate-listen/id1335910301?mt=2
For android: we're searchable on the Stitcher App, otherwise you can listen to the episodes straight through their pages in http://collabosaurus.com/resources
Other podcasts - there are so many! My all time favourite is How I Built This, and I also love ‘Building a Story Brand with Donald Miller’ it’s a very interesting take on communicating & presenting in an engaging way. I’m a B2B SaaS nerd, and there’s a podcast exactly for this! It’s called The Growth Hub Podcast and it interviews B2B SaaS founders, like me (although far more seasoned)
6. If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out in their career, what would it be?
Even if you’re packing event gift bags all day, you’re learning, making valuable connections, and making an impression. Do all things with the right attitude and your career will move quickly in the right direction - everyone started out running coffees and ordering office supplies, it doesn’t make you less of a person, in fact it presents a unique opportunity. When you make your way further up the ladder, you’ll also have a grateful mindset because you earned every little bit of success you achieve.
7. Our three go to pieces of Tech at the moment are Canva, UMUN and Slack to help us be more organised and on top of things! What piece of tech are you loving that helps you work smarter not harder?
Collabosaurus of course! It reduces what currently takes 6months to accomplish, down to about 3 - 5 weeks. In terms of tech, I am also obsessed with Yesware, The Dropbox App and the new ‘Send & Archive’ feature in Gmail.