What does start up life really entail?

It was 4:45 on a Wednesday evening, about a week and half before the unveiling when I wrote this. Sitting out back on the fire escape, I realized it was about to be that time of day where the wind is breezy and the sun is setting. I’ve come to find that this is exactly where I can always find a peaceful place to decompress. At this moment in time, rather than feeling the pressure of it all, I found myself feeling nothing but an overwhelming amount of gratitude for this place.

While I haven’t been around to watch Grifin grow from it’s Market Champ days, I feel that I have witnessed an enormous amount of it’s development in such a short timespan. I catch myself feeling like this small bodied startup haws quite literally become this young child we’ve just handed it’s first bike to. And now, it’s partially my job to watch it ride without falling on the cold rough concrete.

That being said, no one gets on a bike for the first time and takes off for a clear and easy coast. That’s what a helmet, knee pads and training wheels are for, right? In this case, the helmet being a metaphor for the rest of the team I work with every day. I’ve never met two more hardworking individuals then Aaron and Bo. Mornings for them start at 6 and end at 1 or 2 most days. There is a constant buzz of creation and whirl of excitment they both exude at a constant. Getting to experience this has made me more and more thankful each day. To wake up each morning and participate in Grifin, I can confidently say makes me feel like I’m apart of something where the main goal isn’t primarily to make a profit, but rather to change the world.

While I could ramble on and on about the days that are filled with an overflowing amount of positivity and sunshine, it’s only fair to you all to mention the days that are not. For those of you reading this that have started a company, you know for every wonderous moment of success there is a downfall to match it. And most of the time, it’s right around the corner. There are days where even the never ending supply of cold brew doesn’t suffice. The exhaustion rolls in and with it comes the inevitable stuck in rut feeling.

I’d like to give credit to our training wheels for aiding this one. Our relationship with Aaron Dixon and Quang Tran has been the epitome of finding safety and comfort in trusting those willing to lend out a helping hand. Always just the swivel of an office chair, a text message, a midnight panicked phone call away — these two have talked each and everyone of us off the ledge more times than I can count on my own two hands. And for that, thank you for keeping us (me) sane.

Last, to the safety padding that essentially prevents a series of very broken bones and bruised bodies. Our investors, advisors and influencers that have made the decision to join us on this journey. I think Verizon wireless can personally thank Robin for their increase in sales this year. The foundation of Grifin lies within your support and without you we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are today.

I can’t thank Aaron and Bo enough for bringing me on to the Grifin team. This opportunity has taught me more about the importance of learning from your successes and failures, given light to interests and passions I never knew I had (search engine optimization) and most importantly,

how to fall off the bike and get right back on it again.

Thank you.


All words by Kyley Hagan