Meet Melissa Lehman, Co-founder of Pogo

Q&A with Female Founders

Melissa Lehman is the CEO and Co-founder of Pogo, a community sources ride sharing service.

Is this where you thought you would end up?

Not precisely, but it’s also not a shock. When I was a kid I had many businesses, the first was when I was about 11. I started a babysitter service staffed by my friends, where I paid my little sister 10 cents an hour to sit by the phone in case we got a booking (back when phones were mounted to walls).

I’ve tried not to be too wedded to one thing, since many of the best opportunities present themselves unplanned.

What does work/life balance mean to you?

We all get 24 hours every day, it’s the great equalizer, but the balance looks different for every person.

For me my time is split between my family, my work, and my friends. It means concretely that I try to be home for breakfast and dinner 90% of the time even if it means squeezing work into times normally used for sleep, relaxing or a hobby.

What are you most proud of?

I’m proud of my family. Founding a start-up isn’t an easy road but it’s a near impossible road without a supportive partner. My husband is 110% supportive, even though it’s come with a lot of sacrifices in terms of my earnings and time.

I’m proud that we’re doing a great job raising our sons — they are phenomenal people and I know they feel secure in the knowledge that they are loved by a lot of people. It also makes me proud that they get to see mom (and dad) do something they believe in and love. The other day my oldest heard me talking to some friends that are moving to Vashon and he said “mama, I don’t want to move. I don’t want you to stop doing Pogo.”

Where do you find inspiration?

I’m part of a very cool Facebook group of women founders, and am fortunate to have a bad-ass advisor that has sold her own start-up and advised many others.

Being around fearless people, and people that own their fear and move forward through it, is really inspiring.

What is one piece of advice you wish you could tell your younger self?

Maybe to relax a little and take more risk earlier. That said I wouldn’t alter my life at all so maybe I’d stay mum and just let my younger self figure it out.

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