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How She Got There: Liz Dean, Founder of FitYap

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Name: Liz Dean
Age: 29
Job Title and Description: Founder of FitYap
College/Major: Pennsylvania State University/Telecommunications
Website: http://www.fityap.com
Twitter Handle: @elb194 

 

 

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day? 

Liz Dean: My job entails transitioning my startup into a viable, sustainable business. When you start a business, you are a sole proprietor, or you are one of only two founders. You are responsible for every operation that maintains the company.

I am the marketing department, human resources, hiring manager, social media lead, development manager, content manager, sales manager, SEO/SEM manager, account manager, QA manager, design manager, UX manager, project manager, operations manager and administrative assistant. There is never a dull moment!

What is the best part of your job?

LD: The best part of my job is all of the small victories. Each day brings a new user on board and a few more visitors. I can track the growth and really feel the momentum gain.
 
What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

LD: My first entry-level job was for Chegg.com and I was the Regional Marketing Manager. I found the job posted on Craigslist. I met with the founder who had traveled from NYC to interview me at a lobby in a hotel in downtown Philadelphia. My previous experience of running marketing and promotions for local bands and an internship at Pat’s Management Company helped me to land the position.

What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?

LD: I am hearing that the number one issue personal trainers face with their businesses is finding available rental space for private clients. If we knew about that initially, we could have built the ability to find that into the initial FitYap build. So now we are doubling back and working on enabling the ability for facilities to also list out rental spaces (if they have some available) with a calendar to show availability by room. But that will take some time to complete!

Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?

LD: My dad. He has coached me through good times and bad. He has many years of experience from working in corporate America to starting his own businesses. He knows everything and can answer every question. He is an incredible mentor and a brilliant guy.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

LD:Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

LD: Not everyone is out to truly help you. I learned to not trust everyone when they come to you and say they will help you in some way. They can end up being a waste of your time and not follow through.

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

LD: I think the most surreal moment was the day I realized I was leaving my dream job to work on my dream company.
 
What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

LD: Someone who has passion and is self-motivated to further their skill sets outside of the work environment, whether it is through entrepreneurship, taking classes or something else.
 
What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

LD: You only live once. Follow your dreams and make it happen. I am a 20-something and doing just that!

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