Austin Rolling's energy and can do attitude explode through the phone. Today he's the co-founder of Outfield, a sales team management app which help companies discover valuable insights about their market, track and verify team activity, and communicate across all their devices. Outfield is Austin's fourth startup. His first three start ups failed. Austin feels that today he has the right experience and team to help him execute this startup and grow it successfully.
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Austin graduated with an MBA towards the end of 2013 and had no interest in working for a larger company. He did a few internships and odd jobs but could never seem to get the high paying, $150,000 jobs his fellow students were receiving.
One of his internships was with Startup Aggieland , an on campus accelerator at Texas A&M University. This is where he met his co-founder and over the years they would work together on several projects. Austin tried to start and grow a few companies but all failed. He said the main reason they didn't work out was because he simply wasn't able to execute their growth properly.
So with no job and going broke, he lost his house and car. Austin spent about year and a half couch surfing. He's thankful for the friends and family who supported him doing this dark time.
While working various jobs after grad school, including Beats by Dre, Austin began working with the company who owned the initial iteration of Outfield. He and his co-founder built Outfield into what it is today and they bought the company from the original owners.
As they were building the company, Austin said that they were able to save money because he had a job that could support him so he didn't have to take money from the company while they were in the early stages of growing it.
Today Outfield is in close to 80 countries and has 200 (and growing) companies as clients.
So what are some lessons we can glean from Austin?
Managing your mental health is important
Austin shared that when you're sleeping on the floor and you're in a dark space you've got to remain positive and surround yourself with people who can understand what you're going through. You've got to be able to manage your attitude and not get too mired down. Listening to positive music is one tactic that can help.
Austin champions celebrating small steps of positivity and celebration. When you wake up, be happy. When you make a cup of coffee, be grateful.
Need to be inspired, listen to Les Brown.
Be a self learner and constantly learn.
Austin is addicted to reading. He recommends, Shoe Dog, by Nike's founder, Phil Knight.
Minimize your risk.
It's important to minimize your exposure to risk. As you evaluate what risks to take, consider what's the UPSIDE of making this decision and what's the DOWNSIDE? Measure how big a risk vs how great a reward will the outcome of your decision be.
Failure is a word that worries some people. At Outfield, Austin said that he encourages failure.
The only way a startup can make it in a competitive environment is to think outside the box and be creative and embrace original thought.
A final ninja tip from Austin: If you're doing everything you're stunting people's growth.