The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. Kyle Linton is up.
Who are you and what do you do? Hi everyone, my name is Kyle Linton. I grew up in Black Mountain, NC and graduated from NC State University in 2014. After graduating, I launched a digital health company Nicotrax and now split my time between Nicotrax, running operations for Lithios Apps, and building a new non-profit called Our Wave. Today I want to talk a little more about the non-profit work I do with Our Wave.
Our Wave is an anonymous story sharing and data gathering platform for survivors of sexual violence aimed to build a community of hope and healing online. We were inspired to create this website after seeing friends and family members suffer from the effects of sexual violence. We built this platform in response to survivors desires to anonymously reflect and connect with others who have undergone similar experiences. An anonymous #MeToo platform if you will.
The mission of Our Wave is to 1) Amplify sexual violence survivor voices who are not typically heard through main stream media, 2) Foster connections between survivors to build hope that healing is possible with time, 3) Educate society on the scope and impact of sexual violence through story sharing and and analysis of survivor narratives, and 4) Mobilize our communities to create evidence-based strategies for prevention and survivor support in order to create a wave of change.
What did it take / how did you get started? Statistics show that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. We started this non-profit with a simple goal: To create an online community for survivors to be be heard, believed, and supported.
With the rise of the #MeToo movement, more and more people are beginning to come to terms with their own history of sexual violence and are beginning to feel empowered to share their stories to promote awareness and help others. Many fear publicly joining the conversation, however, due to emotional states, fear of external exposure, as well as a variety of environmental factors. This leaves many stories untold, especially those originating in underserved populations. Our Wave was created to fill this gap, to meet the needs of a variety of individuals who are unable or unwilling to tie their survival stories to their identities, but still want to contribute to the public conversation.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle? The aim of our organization is to collect and showcase as many survivor stories as possible to provide community, raise awareness, and improve prevention patterns. This year our primary focus is to raise enough private donations and grant funding to support two staff so that we can ultimately collect thousands of stories from survivors and partner with other national sexual violence advocacy groups.
What drives / motivates you? My amazing non-profit team and my family. Specifically my mom. She has been the leader of a small non-profit that has provided over 100 million in aid to the people of North Korea (yes, that Korea). It is incredible to see what she has been able to accomplish with immense focus and dedication over 25 years of service. What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do? Building startup companies and non-profits is hard. It takes an immense amount of focus, execution, and learning to build value. The biggest lesson I have learned is to surround yourself with mentors and team-members that have different experiences, opinions, strengths, and weaknesses. By learning from other’s mistakes and leveraging the skills of others around you, it can help you run into less roadblocks and build something faster. That being said, no company is built without maniacal dedication and perseverance. What has been the hardest part of the hustle? The path to scale and sustainability. It is clear the product we have developed creates value for survivors, but HOW do we create the most value the quickest. With limited hours in the day you can only focus on so many things at once. We are always re-prioritizing and tweaking our strategy. What are a few resources that you'd recommend? I have troves of resources (articles, podcasts, etc.) that I have collected over the years that I would be happy to share with anyone interested. Recently I have been impressed with the CEO of Front and her approach to focus, execution, and management. Specifically, I found this article to be particularly insightful.
Side or full-time hustle? Side List the founders These amazing 9 other people. How many hours a week do you work on this hustle? 15-30, depending on the week. # of Employees? 10 part-time volunteers. When did you start? January 1st, 2019. How much did it cost to launch? ~$3,000 What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised? ~$6,000 raised through private and corporate donations. Annual Revenue? N/A Our Wave is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Projected Revenue? N/A Any call to action? We are looking for volunteers to join the Our Wave team. We are specifically looking for marketing and social media specialists. Separately, if you would like to follow our progress, check out our newsletter! Social: