Eropa Stein is an HRtech entrepreneur with a Masters’s in Psychology. She is committed to growing her startup, Hyre, a suite of workforce management software made for the shift-based industry. With direct experience as a consultant in the industry and a background in organizational psychology, she has developed a comprehensive understanding of the space she is in.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Eropa Stein: I’m the proud founder of Hyre, an employee scheduling software for the shift-based workforce. Our unique value proposition is a temp staffing marketplace that allows companies to easily fill shifts with qualified temp staff. I am proud of myself for creating jobs during a pandemic and building a product based on tried and tested experiments.
However, if you had asked me ten years ago what my career goals were, I would have confidently said: ‘To become a psychologist!’. My Masters’s is in Forensic Psychology and I have been fascinated by human behavior since I was little. I love reading psychology research papers, especially those authored by Dan Arieli, a behavioral economist.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Eropa Stein: I believe entrepreneurs are both born and made. Some people are more naturally inclined towards that path. However, entrepreneurs need to carve their way. We are made by the life experiences we go through and role models exposed to us. Never in the history of humanity has it been so easy to start your own business. With the internet at our fingertips, we can test ideas and target markets without a budget. If that doesn’t excite you, if seeing other founders’ successes doesn’t get you pumped, then maybe we are made differently. I knew from when I was 6 years old, creating and selling my Dr. Seuss paintings to parents at the scholastic fair, that I was going to be an entrepreneur.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Eropa Stein: I am resilient, given that I had the mental strength to pivot my business to an entirely new industry during COVID-19 after sales dropped to $0. We have now found success in serving the healthcare industry.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Eropa Stein: Hyre is an all-in-one HR platform that started as a temp staffing marketplace. We connect qualified temp staff with shift managers and business owners. Before the pandemic, we served managers in the hospitality industry, but we have pivoted to serve healthcare managers as well. Now we’ve expanded to scheduling and other areas related to shifting management. We’re proud to help managers find frontline staff and coordinate their teams in the fight against COVID-19.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Eropa Stein: I am a serial entrepreneur and have thus gone on many start-up adventures before my current start-up, Hyre. I have made many mistakes, here is one that changed me: giving up on an idea too soon. Nobody knows your business as well as you and your prospective customers. Test your ideas rather than simply listening to “professional” advice about what will and won’t work.
Without going into too much detail, when I was in University, I started building a tech company in the education space. It was pretty revolutionary at the time and the market was huge… but, there was a legal grey zone that was depicted to me as a strict NO-GO zone by lawyers. “This is more trouble than it’s worth.”, is what they all said. And so… I took the advice of ‘experts’ and reluctantly put that idea to bed.
About 2 – 3 years later, another start-up came along with the same idea, ignored the legal red tape, and succeeded. They weren’t sued, shut down, or even slowed down, by the obstacles that my former lawyers presented. They charged onwards with their idea and made it happen.
Watching them build ‘my vision’ against all odds, made me realize ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’. Remembering how I gave up prematurely reminds me to carry on, even when a challenge seems overwhelming. Or at the very least, think twice before giving up.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Eropa Stein: As a determined entrepreneur, I got used to doing everything myself. Nearly every entrepreneur started off taking on every role in the company. When Hyre grew from 0 to 10 employees, I had to learn to trust others to do their roles the way that was best for the company. I was so used to dipping my toes into every part of the business that it took some time for me to let others take charge. However, when I finally did let go, it drastically upped the level of the company as a whole. If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be to trust my team whole-heartedly from day one.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain
Eropa Stein: When you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up. This has been relevant to my life last year, when I felt like my business and personal life were spiraling out of control. I started the year at such a high point, it was jarring to go back to square one, $0 in sales, and new clients to prospect.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Eropa Stein: The worst advice I ever followed as an entrepreneur is being told an idea won’t work. (I answered this in detail two questions ago, so I won’t repeat it here).
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Eropa Stein: Change is the only constant.
To be honest, seeing sales drop to $0 was extremely traumatizing. What’s helped our team and other entrepreneurs stay positive is focusing on the things that we can control when there were so many changes in the world. Regardless of what is happening in the outside world, the way we respond to it is what’s most important. We chose to support the services that needed frontline staff the most… and with that, we were able to rebuild our platform efficiently – turning a bad situation into an opportunity. We successfully built a suite of new features in our product that would help the healthcare industry with their staffing needs (and there were definite staffing needs in 2020).
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Eropa Stein: “Build it and they will come”.
Don’t waste time building a solution before proving a need for it. It may be a long and difficult process, but once you prove product-market fit, your customers will come. My biggest tip for aspiring business owners is to do your research first and prove there is a need for your product.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Eropa Stein: Culture is created by the leaders of a company. The attitude that leaders have created a trickle-down effect. When managers show that they value quality work by example, those under them will understand what is expected of them. I believe in creating a culture that is empowering- so that my team members can better empower our clients.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Eropa Stein: Here are my top three book recommendations:
- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
- Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Startup Into a Sales Machine with the $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com
- Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Eropa Stein: I would be a forensic psychologist. Before starting Hyre, I planned to become a psychologist and further research in that field.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Eropa Stein: My mother. She’s always been there for me.
Without her support, I would not have had the courage to even start my company, let alone persevere when things got tough. Of course, there are others whom I am also grateful for, such as my father and my loving partner, but my mother’s unconditional support and complete lack of judgment has continuously pushed me forward throughout my life.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Eropa Stein for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Eropa Stein or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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