I think communication is key and getting out into the world and speaking to people is the best thing you can do in order to not only grow your business, but also grow yourself.
Ladan Davia is the CEO and Founder of Beeya. Beeya is a meta-search engine and employee matching platform that has partnerships with companies including Zip Recruiter, Indeed, and Nexxt. Prior to founding Beeya, she worked in the entertainment industry pursuing her career as an on camera host. She was also the Founder and President of Excelerate Test Prep, a business she started in college aimed at helping students improve their scores on the SAT and ACT. Davia earned degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Political science from Chapman University.
Ladan’s passion for philanthropy ranges from a wide array of interests. She is a big sister in the Big Brother Big Sister organization, involved with Girls Inc, and held a seat on the board of Working Wardrobes. She currently sits on the board of the American Heart Association.
Professional accolades: She has been nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year, Innovator of the Year, and Women in Business.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
The idea for Beeya came when I saw how difficult it was for my peers and I to find a job. I had always had internships and
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day consists of addressing all aspects of our company. I work with marketing, engineering, outreach, and partnerships to make sure it’s all on track and running the way it should be. I like to meet with each team to also think of new ideas and how we can improve daily. I try to think long term and think of how we can move things forward not just quickly, but efficiently too.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When I have a new idea, which is often, I email them out to my team as they come. I get their feedback on it and if we all think it’s viable, we start figuring out how it would work. We plan out every aspect of it and when we think it’s ready for our customers, we launch.
What’s one trend that excites you?
A trend that excites me is more women working in tech. I think women make the best CEO’s, best engineers, and best employees. The technology field needs more women to create healthier workspaces, and bring more creativity to the table.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have a habit of saying hi and starting conversations with people I don’t know, and that is I think they key to being an entrepreneur. A lot of times starting a business is uncomfortable, awkward, and hard, just like trying to relate to someone you don’t know. I have always had a habit of talking to strangers and people I’m not necessarily close my entire life and I think it taught me how to be okay with rejection and get out of my comfort zone.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self that it will all work out. I remember when I started Beeya I was so nervous and stressed out about it not working, not taking off, not being loved by our users. I wish I could have enjoyed the journey more, while still working hard. When I get stressed out now I try to remember that and enjoy the journey.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
To voice your opinions. No matter what situation, what atmosphere, what audience, I always speak my truth. A lot of my peers and fellow entrepreneurs’ think it’s best to keep your opinions to yourself to avoid driving away potential customers and investors. I don’t agree with that because my beliefs are about peace and equality so if someone disagrees with that, maybe they’re not the best person to be around. I think as long as you voice your opinions in a calm and respectful way there’s nothing wrong with speaking up.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Reach out to someone you’ve never spoken to. I can’t stress enough how important this is. That person could be your next business partner, best friend, co-worker, customer, or even investor. I think communication is key and getting out into the world and speaking to people is the best thing you can do in order to not only grow your business, but also grow yourself.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
A strategy that has helped me grow my business was working with the people who have been forgotten about. When I started Beeya, no one would use it. They didn’t know what it was and were wary of trying something new. I went to the groups that people had overlooked whether it was under privileged youth, the homeless, rehab centers, and I made sure they knew I had not forgotten them. Those are the people who gave Beeya credibility and they know no matter how big we get, I will never forget them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had as an entrepreneur is hiring the wrong team. When I just started, I reached out to the president of my Alma Mater and asked him if he had any recommendations on how to find an engineer. He said he had two amazing computer science students who could do the job, and I hired them instantly. Because these two came from a trusted source I didn’t do as much vetting as I should have which led to hiring two people who ended up being con artists. They stole 50 thousand dollars from me and a year of my time. They never made the product, or returned the money.
What I learned from that experience was two things. The first is that the mission of Beeya was strong. We are trying to take the bias out of job searching. Getting a job should be based off of merit, not the color of your skin, gender, socioeconomic background, and most importantly, not off who you know. I hired these two because they came from someone I knew, but that doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for Beeya.
The second thing I learned from that experience is that I didn’t want anyone to go through that again. I was able to make features for our website that would help other people prevent going through that. Overall, it made me a better business owner because I learned that people respect what you inspect, and I needed to learn to inspect.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I wish someone could figure out a planner that also syncs with your phone! I have seen some out there, but not on the level I’m talking about. Everything is on our phone calendars, but some of us are old fashioned and like to use planners. I wish there was a way to write in your planner and have it sync to your phone. I think a lot of people would pay a premium price for that.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a family of 5 Krispy Kreme donuts because I knew it was their daughters birthday and they couldn’t afford it. This was important because 1, it’s always important to give back and 2, who doesn’t like donuts??
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
The best web service that helps me stay productive is Copper. It’s a CRM system that is really easy to use, affordable, and keeps me organized.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I think everyone should read The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fu*k. This book teaches you ways to stand up for yourself but more importantly, to not care about what other people think of you. It’s no ones business what other people think of you, don’t forget that.
What is your favorite quote?
“The journey to the top is a lonely one”
- Don’t care what other people think about you
- Voice your opinions no matter what
- People respect what you inspect
- Stay true to yourself and do what you think is right
- Don’t quit. Starting a business is a lot of work but in the end it pays off.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.