''Do what you're passionate about, And help others along the way''
Jan is the Founder of Webtastic - The AI-Powered Sales Lead Platform To Make ( Sales ) Lead Discovery Efficient And Fun Again! - He has taken the challenge to answer our 20 Truth Questions, For us to get some insight, And learn the Truth about the people behind the venture.
My TRUTH Story:
1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN THE THIRD PERSON TO A CROWD OF 10,000+ PEOPLE? Jan was born in Ghent, Belgium. With a background at Google, Red Bull, and Snap in sales and marketing; And recently embraced the call to entrepreneurship. He cofounded an AI-powered B2B lead discovery platform leveraging his matchmaking skills. Beyond business, He enjoys such sports as running, tennis, and kitesurfing.
2. WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF A TRUTH FOUNDER? I believe a Truth Founder is someone with a clear and authentic personal narrative, a purpose, and a mission.
3. WHAT EVENT OR EVENTS HAPPENED TO YOU THAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A FOUNDER?
I enjoyed working for some of the world's largest and leading media brands and tech companies, but learned that building often gives me more energy than just managing.
As a side project I learned to fly helicopters as part of a bigger plan to become a rescue helicopter pilot. It taught me I have a real passion for helping people that really need help. At the same time, getting to know the aviation scene also came with some unexpected surprises.
I accidentally played matchmaker for three of my closest friends, and guess what? They're all married now with kids on the way. It made me think I should leverage this skill in my career too when it comes to matching businesses.
4. WHAT IS YOUR MORNING ROUTINE & RITUAL? I've tried to install morning meditation and exercise routines, but I never managed to turn these routines into long lasting habits. From that perspective, I just wake up, take a shower, have nice breakfast and start my day.
5. WHAT MANTRA,QUOTE,LINE OR PHRASE DO YOU SAY OFTEN TO INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE YOURSELF? Do what you're passionate about, and help others along the way - is a mantra I live by. My 2023 focus is to temper my inner critic to enable faster growth. And more recently I stumbled upon choosing the game you want to play, instead of just playing the games that are in front of you. In other words, it’s way more fun to lose a game you choose to play, than win a game never wanted to play.
6. WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD CARE ABOUT YOUR VENTURE? Since our Q2 launch this year, we've been instrumental in helping over 50 paying customers in identifying new clients. These new clients have generated an average ROI of over 8.5 for them.
Moreover, clients are praising our product's increasing similarity to the market leaders' offering. This progress is notable as we are just two people, which is in contrast to the market leaders' workforce of close to 1000.
With this advantage in cost structure, we are confident in our ability to not only create a product that matches or surpasses existing market standards but also deliver it at a more competitive price.
7. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE THE ONE TO MAKE YOUR VENTURE A SUCCESS?
That's mainly because of the mix of my prior experiences, expertise, and connections with my dedication to making this venture thrive. Furthermore, with guidance from my mentor in recent years, I've learned to attentively heed my intuition in decision-making, which so far has led to beautiful things.
8. WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND FOR YOUR VENTURE? First I want to continue to help our clients achieve an ROI north of 10x with Webtastic AI, while creating the personal runway to start a next venture before turning 40.
For this next venture, I'm enthusiastic about extending this same level of dedication to enhance people's lives by promoting healthier, more adventurous, and active lifestyles through a digital B2C service.
Furthermore, I remain steadfast in my aspiration to pursue my long-standing dream of becoming a helicopter pilot focused on combating wildfires. Especially as it’s clear that the need for fighting wildfires will become increasingly important.
9. ANSWER THESE AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE - I BELIEVE... I DON'T BELIEVE... I really believe in the idea that the more you invest in life, the more you'll get back from it. Or in other words, all experiences and happiness depend on one's own actions and attitude. In the Netherlands we say: Life is a party, as long as you put up the party decoration hehe.
I don't believe in things just happening by chance anymore. Lately, I've started thinking that there could be reasons and links between events that I hadn't noticed before. All of this without getting too much into the spiritual space.
10. WHAT'S ONE DECISION YOU MADE AS A FOUNDER THAT COMPLETELY CHANGED THE COURSE OF YOUR JOURNEY? I had the chance to secure a pre-seed investment from a well-known VC for my B2B crypto payment app, a project I had fully conceptualized and prepared a pitch deck for. Considering the prevailing market circumstances in the aftermath of FTX's and BlockFi's setbacks, and factoring in the sudden emergence of OpenAI's ChatGPT, I chose to decline the offer.
This decision initially meant departing from a startup incubator program without tangible results.
However, it also paved the way for a serendipitous encounter with my present co-founder during a farewell gathering for the program. Little did I know that this casual conversation would mark the inception of our ongoing entrepreneurial journey!
11. WHAT DO YOU REGARD AS YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS PERSONALLY & AS A FOUNDER? Growing Webtastic AI from 0 to €5K MRR in less than 100 days.
12. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHY? I like my blend of perseverance, creativity, empathy, energy, intelligence and my passion for sports and adventure. Although I think I don’t excel in any of these fields specifically, I do in the combination of these personality traits/skills.
13. WHAT'S ONE THING YOU CAN IMPROVE ABOUT YOURSELF, AND WHY DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE NOT DONE IT BY NOW?
In recent years, I've come to realize that genuinely being friendly can occasionally result in others taking advantage of you. From that perspective, I'm actively working on finding the right balance between being my authentic self and setting clear limits to prevent anyone from taking advantage of it.
14. WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED OR GIVEN, OR BOTH?
I have monthly half-day chats with my mentor Bart. The advice I have received from him has been life changing. From that perspective, my advice would be to find a mentor.
15. ON A SCALE FROM 1 TO 10 - 10 BEING THE BEST. HOW WELL DO YOU THINK YOU AND YOUR TRUTH STORY IS CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BY YOUR COMMUNITY? ( WHY NOT 10? ) 8
16. WHO DO YOU MOST ADMIRE AND WHY? I genuinely admire humble, hardworking individuals who don't take themselves too seriously and eventually use their success to support people, community and/or environments they care about.
17. DESCRIBE YOUR VENTURE - ELEVATOR PITCH STYLE? Too many sales reps waste excessive time on lead discovery within the sales process. With a lean team of only two members, we're developing an AI-driven lead discovery platform poised to finally fix this aspect, offering a more cost-effective solution compared to the market leaders.
18. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT MISSION STATEMENT OR MESSAGE + MARKET FIT FOR YOUR VENTURE?
We're on a mission to make b2b lead discovery efficient, predictive, affordable and most of all.. fun again!
19. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AFTER A LONG WORK DAY?
I balance my time between running, kitesurfing, and embracing a brief 10-minute daily meditation, often Jeff Warren's "Daily Trip" on the Calm app, before falling asleep. Often I fall asleep before the 10 minute Daily Trip ends.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU TREATED YOURSELF TO AND WHAT DID YOU CELEBRATE? Since I'm not tied to a specific location for work anymore, I'm ready to enjoy a remote work policy. I'll likely set up in a coastal suburb where the temperature is above 20 degrees Celsius, surrounded by fellow nomads, and close to a breezy ocean for daily kitesurfing.
BONUS QUESTION: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE SUPPORTING YOU ON YOUR AMBITIOUS JOURNEY?
I am extremely grateful for the trust you have placed in me! I won't disappoint you!
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