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. Maria Goy is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Mario Goy and I’m the daughter of a South Korean immigrant and a Green Beret, married to a German, living in Austin with two amazing fur kids. I grew up all over the US, took a job with Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) and have spent my career working across Europe, Asia, and the US. I’m also the CEO / Co-founder of Spot Insurance, an insuretech operating in the embedded insuretech space focused on the active and outdoor space. I co-founded Spot because I’m passionate about bringing insurance coverage to the under and uninsured; our mission is to make insurance more accessible and affordable for everyone.
What is your business advantage?
We leverage technology to create innovative capabilities and coverage that meet the unique needs of our customers, at a price point they can afford, and when it matters the most. Because we are our ideal customer, our brand is also a huge differentiator - we ski the slopes, run the marathons, cycle the hills, and speak the language.
What drives/motivates you to keep scaling your business?
The feedback we get from our customers; sometimes we have been the difference in being able to hold on versus let go. We believe that protecting our community of active individuals from economic uncertainty and financial adversity is a basic right. The feedback we get from our customers about being able to keep paying their rent or mortgage, being able to get the surgery they needed, etc. is motivation for us to show up every day and love what we do.
What advice would you give someone interested in getting to where you are?
Be passionate about your idea. Make the hard decisions. Hire a team that you respect, and then trust them to deliver the mission. Work with investors that support you. Surround yourself with mentors and advisors and truly listen to their lessons. Trust your gut. Be good at what you do and be honest about what you’re not good at. Don’t take credit for other people’s work. When making hard decisions, think about whether or not it would make your mom proud.
What has been the hardest part of running your business and scaling it to where it is?
Every day is hard in its own way. An investor once told me “the highs are high and the lows are low”…and there has never been a truer statement. Making hard decisions when it comes to people, being on the verge of not making payroll, a bad hiring decision that you need to unwind from, layoffs…if you can think about a hard decision, I guarantee you’ll have to make it at some point. But all of that said, you’ll grow, learn, and adapt…and then it won’t feel so hard…until the next hard thing comes around.
What are 3 things you would say have contributed to your success the most?
1. A co-founder that I love and respect and vice versa 2. The support of family and friends to laugh and cry with 3. A team (employees, advisors, coaches, investors, etc.) that believes in you
Who or what has helped you the most in your journey so far?
Being able to laugh and not take every moment so seriously. Even in the hardest of times, finding a little joy in the insanity has taken me farther than I could have imagined.
Are there any "musts" you have on a daily basis?
Snuggle my dogs and husband. Tell at least one person how grateful I am for their presence in my life. Drink lots of water. Meditate. Laugh.
What mindset shifts were required to achieve the success you've experienced?
1. Moving from the tactical to the strategic. It’s about the big picture, the details and the day to day; the vision has to be kept in mind. 2. Having a growth mindset. What are the possibilities? How do challenges become opportunities? What did my failures teach me? 3. Delegating. Trusting my team and empowering them. I may not have done it the same way but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. 4. Trying to be proactive instead of reactive. Can I anticipate what is going to happen in the market? Do I know enough about my competitors and changing customer demands?. 5. Quick decision making. There is no need to spend hours debating what is reversible - acting quickly is more important than not acting at all. 6. Balancing the short-term and long-term goals and prioritizing the latter. 7. Keeping in mind what is controllable and uncontrollable. 8. Having hard discussions and making decisions about the future of the business, not about feelings or one particular person I might care about.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
So many but these have been my favorites / most influential: People: The good ones. Those that have your back. Will tell you when you’re being a shit or making bad decisions. Are always there when you need them. Podcasts: All In Groupchat Books: The Power of Vulnerability The Hard Thing About Hard Things Untamed The Boys in the Boat Big Magic Shoedog
List the founders
Maria Goy and Matt Randall
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
How much did it cost to launch?
How much have you raised?
$10M - $20M
Any call to action?
If you see us on the bottom of check out, check us out!