Tex Dworkin is the Co-founder and Chief Community Officer of Raddle, a virtual space for 20-minute conversations between solopreneurs and community members who are there to help them succeed in business. Before Raddle–she was a socially responsible business leader and spokesperson, supporting thousands of entrepreneurs around the world, serving on multiple boards and making media appearances to promote business as a tool for social change.
Where did the idea for Raddle come from?
My co-founder had an idea for a virtual brainstorm platform. We met when she put a call out for user testers and during our very first conversation we arrived at the conclusion that magic could happen if we worked together to bring diverse perspectives together to support solopreneurs.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts with a 15-minute morning ritual involving meditation, free-writing, and stretching. (Truth be told, I don’t always make it happen, but I’m getting there.) If it’s a school day, I jump in to help my husband get our daughter off to pre-k, then I “go” to work (a vintage trailer in my backyard). Somewhere in there I eat. When my work day is done–it’s daughter time, and then I make dinner, more family time, and get my daughter to bed. She’s really into routine too, right down to 3 books, 1 song, 3 kisses “and one for good luck”. Once she’s asleep I usually go back to work, but occasionally veg out on a book or a movie instead.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It usually begins by sharing my idea, usually with my co-founder. Sometimes our lead engineer as well. We have a lengthy, weekly meeting for things like that. We talk ideas out and figure out what if anything to do from there.
Having others to talk through ideas with really helps keep me out of my head and building forward. And having people to do that with who I know are on my side, not waiting to judge my every thought, makes it easier to share my ideas with.
What’s one trend that excites you?
People helping people. I’ve believed it for a long time: people are one of the most untapped resources when it comes to problem solving (they have a natural instinct to problem solve) and providing emotional support to others. They just need a place where they feel comfortable enough to put their ideas and challenges out there without fear of judgement.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Hands down…leaning on others. For ideas, feedback, support, you name. When I leaned on myself only, I was much less productive, because I kept getting stuck in my head. Leaning on others fuels me forward.
What advice would you give your younger self?
You know enough now, so don’t try and work it all out in your head before you start. Start and work it out as you go along.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The best way to launch a business is to start doing it, not planning it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
In terms of daily–I constantly tweak and re-tweak my daily tasks list to make sure I’m hitting the most pressing priorities for that day. Because things in business are constantly changing and usually involve other people’s actions (which of course I have no control over) my daily tasks list is a reflection of where I want the majority of my energy and attention to go each day.
On a more personal level–the one thing I do over and over again is muster up the courage to do things that scare me. Things that I’m not sure I can do. Things that are outside of my comfort zone. And the funny thing is–the more I do this over and over again, the more comfortable I’ve gotten with doing uncomfortable things. I guess you could say–operating outside of my comfort zone has become my comfort zone.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Without a doubt–what’s helped me grow my business is being able to grow it WITH others, including my co-founder, team, and our community of users. I actively seek out feedback about how to improve what I’m doing. Instead of pretending that I have all the answers, I ask for help around things I don’t know, which I finally see as a strength, not weakness.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I can sum it up in just two words: building alone. Before I co-founded Raddle, I had so many ideas around how to support solopreneurs, to the point where it stifled my ability to move forward, and I felt stuck in my head. I’ll never forget the day when everything changed: I wrote in my journal: what if I partnered with somebody? Less than a week later, I responded to a user interview request my now co-founder posted in an entrepreneurship group and the rest is history.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A gift basket site that offers local products from a variety of small businesses but carries no inventory. The small businesses could help drive traffic to it. It could do just 1 shipping round per holiday, customers choose what goes in their basket, and the biz purchases only the products it needs to fulfill orders, then assembles and ships baskets. Then closes shop till the next holiday.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
On Nat’l Adoption Day, my 3 yo daughter (who’s adopted) and I had ‘special time’. We went to 3 local shops and dropped at least $100, first at a local bookstore for some new and used books, next we picked up takeout for dinner and finally, the ice-cream shop. Then we went home and shared all the goodness with her papa/my husband. It was perfect and I hope to continue the tradition each year.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Notion! I’m a huge fan. It keeps me organized. I use it for my daily task lists, my team uses it to work through ideas together, we use it to share working documents with partners. There are so many ways we use Notion. It’s so user friendly and intuitive. And its search function is excellent. I cannot highly recommend it enough.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
There are a lot of great books out there that I’m a big fan of. So choosing one is super hard for me. But community seems to be on so many people’s minds these days, and if you want to know how to grow community, Get Together is the best place to start. Its authors literally wrote the book on what it means to build WITH your people. There are no shortcuts for building community but there are proven methods. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in growing (with) community.
What is your favorite quote?
The only way to find your voice is to use it. -me
- To bring an idea to life, start by sharing it with the right person
- People are one of the most untapped resources when it comes to problem solving and emotional support
- To be more productive, lean on others
- You know enough to start. Work it out as you go along.
- The best way to launch a business is to start doing it, not planning it.
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.