Robin is an author, educator, and strategist, with a background ranging from management consulting to circus performance. He has a desire to help people and companies keep pace with rapid change. If you can’t find him in a dance studio, he is directing the Stanford-founded Design for Dance Conference, and also runs his own podcast, The Robin Zander Show.
STRATEGIES USED TO FUND BUSINESS
My main gig right now is the educational startup called SOCOS. SOCOS is 3 years old right now; I joined a year and a half ago. But we’re bootstrapped. SOCOS had started with a small scale consultancy for online universities. Only in the last 6 months was where we’ve taken decades of research into learning and turning it into a product that people can use. The product is called MUSE. It’s for parents of kids 0-12 years old, where it’s that one thing that parents can do every single day to maximize the life of their child.
WHEN DID YOU FEEL YOU’VE GAINED ENOUGH KNOWLEDGE FOR CONSULTING?
Every consulting opportunity is different from the one before. When I started consulting as a special needs consultant to families, I didn’t evolve yet like I was the expert. But I realized that by having that outside perspective, and having the story of one other family of whom I can share with the person in front of me right now, was incredibly useful. We often overlook our strengths because we assume that other people have them too.
DESCRIBE A MOMENT WHEN YOU FELT LIKE GIVING UP
One moment was with my old consulting business, Move Autism. I had a couple clients and decided to give it my all. I was getting great feedback from my initial clients, but when I decided to expand my business, it was very difficult since I was relatively new to social media marketing. There was a point when I questioned if I should join my friends and enter into the tech industry or get my Ph D. The thing that saw me through was that desire to be of service.
From consulting, success at that time was seeing the changes in the little girl and her family. I asked myself, have I to the best of my ability in this setting been of service to that person. If the answer is yes, then that’s success.
One is the ability to ask questions and helping people reach their conclusions.
It’s setting a high expectation for someone else and not having those expectations delivered and getting upset about that is my kryptonite.
IF YOU CAN HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER
I would love to have a “Narnia” closet where time is paused and you can do whatever you want to feel refreshed.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCE OR APP
Evernote: The workspace for you life’s work
Slack: Be less busy
WHAT IS YOUR STARTUP LIFE HACK?
Be more appreciative. I found that most of my successes come from being appreciative towards every situation.