Paul Selfridge graduated in 2012 from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a minor focus in Psychology. Directly out of his graduating semester, Paul self funded his entry into the Reading Regional Police Academy in August of 2012 sponsored by the Westford Police Department.
Paul Selfridge holds a unique ability to apply emotional intelligence in extremely stressful situations that not only reflects empathic approaches but also the complexity of strategic intelligence at its finest. With a current career in law enforcement the ability to work in a fast paced environment comes naturally to Mr. Selfridge but the years of training in applied criminal psychology gives him the capability to see objectives from a boots on ground perspective and from 30,000 feet.
Mr. Selfridge has also worked in the private sector as a Vice President of Human Resources of a technology company which resulted in operational excellence, on time completion of projects, and invaluable advice on human capital management. In his current role at the Westford Police Department he is tasked with the Traffic Officer responsibilities. Mr. Selfridge has shown the utmost and highest respect which gained the trust of the community and gave him the easement into the Community Service Officer role. Mr. Selfridge ensures his department stays close to the community in all efforts, not just those of criminal nature.
Where did the idea for RecGrid come from?
The idea for RecGrid originally came from my Co-Founder, Joshua Hinkson, and myself sitting in my living room wondering what we could go out and do. I remember asking him out loud, “how cool would it be to be able to recruit a bunch of people we may not even know yet to join us for some pickup basketball at the courts down the street!?
Being the experienced Entrepreneur that he is, Josh simply said, “why stop there? let’s build it”. After years of perfecting this idea in our head, we now are the first activity and event based social platform built around YOU.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
When it comes to being productive it is extremely important to be a creature of habit. Not only developing personal habits, but developing habits with your business partners. For me, mornings are spent in the gym lifting weights and it just so happens that my Co-Founder is there with me. We spend the early hours of the day on our physical fitness and wellbeing while at the same time, talking strategy about our business and goals for the day. From there, I have the rest of my day already feeling accomplished, with a clear mind, and a clear focus on what needs to be done. There is no wasted movement when you begin your day by mapping out your day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Every great idea truly can come to life if the visionary is able to manifest it. The ingredients to success are universally accepted in all aspects of life. Relentless hard work, dedication, and trust in yourself are absolutely necessary if you are going to be truly successful at anything in life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that is most exciting to me right now is the trend of “back to normal” in this (now) post-Covid era. After being locked inside with almost nothing to do for the last two years, people are ready to get back outside and be active in the community again. RecGrid will not only assist the user in finding something to do, but it will enhance your ability to meet like-minded people and make new friends.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The habit of investing in myself! Every day I invest in my physical and mental health by being in the gym and living a healthy lifestyle. If I can present the best version of myself on any given day, I have the best chance at success. To invest in yourself is to believe in yourself.
What advice would you give your younger self?
My advice to my younger self would be to think bigger. For me, it was always a goal of mine to have a job with a pension. While pensions are great, I never considered owning my own company until I was almost 30 years old. The fact of the matter is that owning your own successful company pays a lot better than a state or federal pension does.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Making mistakes is a good thing. Some of life’s most valuable lessons come from mistakes. I would rather be someone who makes mistakes and figures out how to navigate them, then be someone who has never made a mistake. People who make mistakes learn how to make things right. People who make mistakes don’t panic when things don’t go to plan. Make mistakes and embrace the lessons that they will teach you.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Regardless of what day of the week it may be, or how busy my schedule is, I always make sure I leave time every day for my family. It is so important to put your phone down, disconnect from work mode, and embrace your loved ones. Your family supports you in your endeavors, so show them how appreciative you are every single day.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
A strategy that helped our business grow was building RecGrid in our heads and out loud conceptually for years before committing to build the product. We didn’t rush into building the app because we knew the potential that was there for the idea. We didn’t want to be a facebook knockoff and we didn’t want to be just any other sports app. To go from the initial idea of being a pickup sports app to where we are today with RecGrid is incredible. We have now built an app for everyone by making RecGrid a social network for anyone and any event. It truly is an “anything you do outside of work” app.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The only failure I have had was not doing this sooner. Being an entrepreneur means you have fully committed to believing in yourself and your ability to overcome any obstacle that may come your way. The best advice I was given when I committed to starting this company was, “congratulations, you just did the hardest part”. While starting a company is tedious and stressful, there is a great sense of pride that comes with believing in yourself to the extent of being in business with yourself.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
When you think of door to door sales, you probably picture a solar company or a religious group recruiting to their church. Why not have a door to door interior/exterior design company? Someone to show up at your house and tell you how they can modernize or improve the aesthetics of their home for a fee (if services are accepted) while also contracting out the jobs that they get commitments on (for a fee). Home improvement projects are expensive but everyone knows someone that is currently doing one. Finding a way to facilitate the transaction with a fee on both ends of the deal could be extremely profitable.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 dollars I recently spent was on a sushi night with my girlfriend. With all the time and stress associated in starting a business, it is extremely important to allow yourself time to decompress. For a couple of hours and $100 dollars, I was able to recharge my batteries and get back to work refreshed and with a clear mind the next morning.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Docusign has been unbelievably useful for RecGrid. With all of the influencers we have signed and all of the different types of contracts needed for NDA’s, or stock purchase agreements etc., Docusign has made the process exponentially easier.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein“. While the novel is largely about the “monster” and its creation, the deep seated messages are what stuck with me the most. My favorite message in the novel is that science and creation can go too far. Even with the best of intentions, what may appear to be a scientific miracle could turn out to be an abomination and an irreversible mistake. Now that I own a technology company, this message is something that really resonates with me.
What is your favorite quote?
“We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented.” Christof (The Truman Show). This is something that is absolutely true. The quote represents life in general but also provides a blueprint for how you should treat your own life. If every day you are presenting your best self to the world, the reality of the world in which you present yourself will be optimal.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.