Ally Calder, Founder of Furevery App
My journey to entrepreneurship is a little unconventional. If you asked me 5 years ago where I saw myself today, I would say working for a reputable technology company with great benefits and a great company culture - feeling safe and secure. For the past 24 years, I’ve been all about playing it safe. In high school, I took part in extra-curricular programs and found part-time jobs that would look attractive on my University applications. In University, I took every step to build up my resume to look good when applying to post-grad opportunities. Straight from University I jumped into a big-girl 9 to 5 job with a flourishing tech company. I dabbled in various sales, marketing and customer success roles at this company and worked with some amazing people. I would have been perfectly content following this path and working my way up the totem pole but I realized one thing was missing...passion. Work felt like work, my heart and soul wasn’t in it. At the end of the day, it wasn’t about the free lunch and ping pong tables, it was about my inner happiness.
This is when I started to focus on myself and what I truly wanted to be doing. I reflected on my career so far. I learned what managerial styles inspired me the most and learned that I love interacting with people and helping them solve their problems. Now for the passion part. I thought long and hard about what I am most passionate about in life…People…Technology and…. DOGS!! I looked through my phone and suddenly realized that 99% of the pictures on my phone were of my dog, 90% of my hangouts with family and friends occurred at the dog park and 100% of the notifications I receive on Facebook and Instagram were of friends tagging me in dog memes. I was so clearly obsessed with dogs.
This is when Furevery was born. As a first-time dog pawrent, I discovered a gap in the dog industry. I sought out to create an application to unite dog owners with reputable dog professionals and showcase dog-friendly community events. I joined a local incubator where I began developing a business plan and talking to various dog owners to understand their needs. I created a network of mentors and advisors that I ran my idea past and listened to their feedback. Once I felt confident enough that the application could help solve problems that dog owners were facing, I knew my next step was to go full throttle and give it my all. I was veering away from my safe path. Taking an enormous risk. A million thoughts were running through my head like what if no one likes my idea, what if I fail, what if I don’t have the right CEO mentality, what if I don’t make money... but then I was left with one final ‘what if’...what if I never try. I will never know if I don’t try. I went in the next day, quit my job and started my new life as an entrepreneur with a passion.
Being an entrepreneur has been the hardest thing I have ever done, no doubt. I’ve never been so scared of failure, I’ve never been so stressed and I’ve never felt so dependent on the people around me to support me. Despite this, I have zero regrets. Starting your own business is the most rewarding experience. You get to be in charge of your own destiny and you get to work on something you love every single day. The success of my business depends on me, and that is pretty motivating. I’ve learned to stop playing it safe and to embrace risks. To me, flawless doesn’t mean I am without imperfections. It means I am comfortable being myself and following my passion.