Tomm Zorn is the co-founder and Director of Marketing at LugIt, a soon-to-launch mobile app that connects users to a cargo van and two Lugrs instantly with the tap of a button. Prior to co-founding LugIt, he worked in the fashion industry as an editorial director and freelance stylist. He enjoys creative writing and traveling when time allows. Follow him @tommzorn.
What is the first thing you did to turn your current business from an idea into a reality?
The idea for LugIt was born when I was visiting my mom and she was trying to pick up a foosball table her friend was selling and bring it home. Pretty much everything that could go wrong did and what should have taken an hour and a half max wound up consuming the whole day. We were surprised there wasn’t a simpler solution for these sort of small hauling jobs, given that so many other services are available on-demand through apps. Going back and forth over wine later that evening, we dreamt up our ideal way to handle these sort of jobs and collectively had an “Aha!” moment, and decided to go for it. I was living in Paris at the time, so I flew back, packed up my stuff, and my mother, sister and I all moved to New York to work on LugIt full time. We drew out each screen in painstaking detail, hired developers, and basically devoted all our energy into creating a service that truly gives users a convenient and affordable way to transport their items on demand.
What is the scariest part of being a young entrepreneur and how can others overcome this fear?
Honestly, for me the scariest part of being a young entrepreneur is just that – being a young entrepreneur. There are a lot of people who see your age first and immediately jump to conclusions about your capabilities or work ethic, so you really have to work twice as hard to be treated as an equal.
Were you ever told not to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams? Who told you that, what did they say and why did you ignore them?
I’m lucky in that I’ve always had the support of friends and family who believe in me and encourage me to pursue my dreams.
What is the No. 1 thing you wish you’d known starting out and how did you learn it?
To trust my instincts. Unfortunately this is a lesson I’ve had to learn quite a few times. Being a young entrepreneur, I often work with people who have more experience under their belt than I do. In the past I have gone against my gut and taken their advice, trusting that they know best. Doing so always ends up being a mistake that costs time, money, or both. It’s frustrating, but at the end of the day it is nice knowing you were actually right all along.
What do you recommend all new founders do for their business — or their personal lives — that will help them the most?
Always make time for the things you love to do and the people you care about. Even though it often seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need to for your business, let alone socialize or do something just for fun, it’s important to make time so you don’t burn out. Particularly if you have a mental block or a problem you can’t decide how best to solve, I’ve found stepping back and taking a break leads to a solution much quicker than staring at a computer screen or pile of papers for ten hours while trying not to pull your hair out.
How do you end each day and why?
With a glass of wine! I try to reflect on what I’ve accomplished at the end of each day and make a game plan for the next, which of course is easier said than done because every day is different. But, by creating my own little daily ritual where I turn my phone off and sit away from the computer for twenty minutes or so, I have a little “me” time to reflect and relax over a glass of wine.
What is your best PR/marketing tip for businesses just starting up?
Timing is everything, especially if you plan on hiring a firm to represent you. It is very easy to spend a lot of money when you don’t necessarily need to if you bring a team on too early.
What is your ultimate goal? What will you do if/when you get there?
My ultimate goal is to revolutionize the way people transport goods, as well as grow and expand LugIt following our New York launch, both throughout the country and internationally. Once there, we’ll continue to grow by listening to our users and adding features and services to meet their needs. I also love to write, so someday I hope to have a book published too!
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