Be available to the team for high level planning, but then trust them to develop the detailed strategies.
Arthur is a third generation senior housing operator. After selling his family’s senior housing company, he held two financial analyst roles in real estate and finance companies. He then founded a consulting firm, assisting real estate developers and other financial institutions in entering the senior housing market. While pursuing his MBA at Berkeley-Haas, he created Seniorly to solve a problem he noticed while running his family’s business. Arthur is a native San Franciscan, and when he isn’t working he is usually at Crissy Field with his wife, two boys, Jack Russell terrier and Golden Doodle.
Where did the idea for Seniorly come from?
As a third generation senior living operator/developer I’ve been exposed to the problems in the senior living space for both consumers and providers my whole life. While pursuing my MBA at Berkeley-Haas I met my cofounder, Sushanth Ramakrishna. Together, we spent time developing and testing our ideas for what became Seniorly.com. Initially, it was for a business plan competition. Instead, we started the company.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As a startup founder and father of two young boys my days are packed. Being productive is key to my work-life balance. I like to start my day with a 5am swim, return home and make breakfast for the boys. After, I head to the office. I start my day reviewing business metrics, then respond to emails. Typically, I schedule a few meetings, both internal and external. I always make sure to work with the individual teams, but keep my time focused on the high level agenda items. I try to get home in time to have dinner with my family. My day concludes with an hour or two online from the comfort of my home.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Bringing the best ideas to life is easy when you have a great team. I love ideating with the team, but then letting them come up with a comprehensive plan for that idea.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The aging wave is hitting…. GEN B wants “community.”
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Making progress is key to productivity and not getting blocked. To accomplish this, I focus on breaking larger projects down into smaller pieces.
What advice would you give your younger self?
In the early days of the company, hire team members who have a passion for the company. When things get tough or you need people to step up, passion will play a huge part.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Aging in place at home is NOT the best way to grow old.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Find a stress reliever that works for you. For me, it’s swimming. It goes without saying, the ups and downs of building a company are insane. You need something to help blow off steam. Find it and do it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Team is everything! Focus on building the team based on the company’s current needs (and their passion for serving those needs) and they will help you grow business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When Seniorly.com first launched in 2015, we didn’t have product/market fit. From that pain point, we decided to pivot the business. We had to make very difficult decisions that impacted the team and the product. However, we didn’t wait until it was too late to change our business. We adapted by reducing the team to a skeleton crew that was hyper focused on building the new vision to profitability.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Subscription sports equipment for kids. They outgrow it so fast and you keep having to buy up. Why not “rent” it?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
$100 at a Dim Sum restaurant with my cofounder, Sushanth. We love spending time together. And we love Dim Sum. We have proven to each other that the quality time we spend together always leads to great things for our business venture.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Google Keep. It’s so simple. Tracking to do lists, notes from meetings, capturing whiteboard sessions all in one place that easily integrates with all of my other business productivity tools.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination” by Adam Lashinsky. The author brilliantly explores Uber’s specific story to capture the universal struggles, the opportunities, and the tenacity it takes to build any business at an incredible pace.
What is your favorite quote?
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
● Focus on building a team who is passionate about the company mission. They will get you through the rough patches.
● Have something healthy you do outside the office that helps reduce the stress and clears your mind.
● Be available to the team for high level planning, but then trust them to develop the detailed strategies.
● Be open to pivoting your business. As scary as it seems, it could lead to a very successful story.
● Read “Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination” by Adam Lashinsky to get the inside story of Uber and how it can relate to your business.
Seniorly Twitter: https://twitter.com/Seniorly
Arthur Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajbretschneider
Seniorly LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/company/seniorly
Arthur LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arthur-bretschneider-7856736/
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.