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.
Nate Guggia is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Nate Guggia and I am one of the Co-Founders of Before You Apply. I lead our go to market and brand strategy.
The Co-Founder piece happened in a unique way for me. I started as an employee and about a year ago, the Co-Founder of the original company, Job Portraits, and I created an offering that took off so fast, we decided to make a new business unit out of it... and then subsequently, with more growth, we ended up creating a new business completely.
The crazy part about all of this is I didn’t even set out to start something out on my own. I created an opportunity for myself through Intra-entrepreneurship.
My story starts in sales through boutique wineries. I then got into insurance and then finance. Around 35 I was looking to do a reinvention, like a total pivot in my career. I wanted to be an Account Executive. The challenge was I was continuing to be overlooked. I was 35, a lot older than most AEs and I had a bunch of experience but not directly related to an AE. So I found this hack where early stage startups saw the value of the type of background I had, regardless of direct experience or skills.
With that, I joined a startup and it wasn’t going well, but I found a lot of success in services. I saw selling a product as challenging and seemed too transactional. Fast forward a little bit and I found Job Portraits, which blended creative services and recruiting. I've never looked back since.
What did it take / how did you get started?
I am obsessed with learning. I spend most of my days talking with people in my space, purely with the intention of broadening my perspective and understanding what can take this industry to its next level. I've found that in the pursuit of learning, business growth naturally happens. It's never forced. And by focusing almost solely on ongoing market research, we've developed a deep level of domain expertise and empathy for our buyer. Because of this, we've been able to reverse engineer a business to solve their exact problems.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
Going into fundraising mode right now. Seed round is next. We want to own the top of the funnel for recruiting teams. What we’re doing right now is just the entry point.
What drives / motivates you?
I am not driven or motivated by money. What I am driven by is I want to help people so bad that is has been my greatest asset but also greatest liability and the distinction between the two is hard some days. I really love my industry and I really care about the people who are the champions of this stuff. The people I get to help everyday are largely undervalued and they don’t have a lot of respect, yet they’re fighting an important battle and I want to help them win.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
If you want to be able to progress in life, i'd say autonomy is huge. This comes with a lot of discomfort, but it is vital. As much as we want to have autonomy, we're still used to people telling us what to do and that's hard. However, autonomy is the thing that will enable you to move up and pivot your career. Also, there's nothing better than being an entrepreneur within a company.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
Two things: mental capacity and not being able to turn myself off in order to separate work from family. There are boundaries, but it is hard to turn it off. Put another way, there's always something for me to do and it is a very real problem. It is hard when you love something.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
I don’t read, but one book I have read 12 times: The War of Art.
I listen to podcasts a ton:
Invest Like the Best (VC stuff)
Christopher Lochhead (marketing one)
Side or full-time hustle?
List the founders
Jackson Solway and myself
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
None raised yet. Funding methods so far would be recruiting agencies that are interested in investing.
Any call to action?
Looking to raise money.