Tope Awotona is the founder and CEO of Calendly, a simple and beautiful scheduling tool that helps you schedule meetings without all the back and forth emails.
Tope grew up in Nigeria and and moved to the US when he was a teenager. After graduating from the University of Georgia, he landed a job at IBM as a sales rep.
He spent the next seven years working in sales, but deep down he always wanted to become a successful entrepreneur. So he spent his evenings and weekends trying to build a business.
First he decided to build a dating site after reading an article about PlentyofFish.com. But he quickly realized he didn't have the resources or skills, so he never launched the business.
His second startup was an e-commerce site selling projectors. But he didn't sell many and the margins were terrible. He also had no interest in projectors.
His third startup was another e-commerce site selling grills. But he found himself dealing with the same problems. And he just had no passion for that business either.
Tope realized that he was just focused on ways to make money. He told himself that he wasn't going to succeed unless he focused on a problem that he was passionate about solving.
It took another year before he found that problem. He'd spent a day wasting a lot of time going back and forth over email to schedule meetings. So he started searching for a scheduling tool.
But all the products he found were slow and clunky. After months of research, he decided to go all in with this idea. He put every single dollar he had made into this new business.
This time, his bet paid off. Today, Tope's company does around $30 million in annual revenue.
In this interview you're going to learn how he took that idea, overcame the challenges of 3 failed startups and successfully grew a SaaS business that has over 4 million users.
I hope you enjoy it.
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