I am hustling around Fisherman’s Wharf with 3 other Wonoloers, trying to get 30 seconds with people passing by. “What are you doing tonight? Do you like comedy?” Today, my job is to sell comedy show tickets for a SF comedy club, and I am miserably failing at it. I have pitched and sold a multi-million dollar deal to an aloof CEO of a public company before. Yet, I am having a hard time selling a $10 comedy ticket to friendly tourists. A huge humble pie – that is what I am having for lunch.
Over the past 6 months, AJ and I regularly pick up jobs posted on Wonolo to better understand the needs of our customers and Wonoloers. Each job we have done, from warehousing to data entry to ticket selling, has given us such profound learning lessons on what we can do better. At the same time, we get to experience the real impact of Wonolo on businesses as well as Wonoloers who are out there, doing amazing work.
Despite our early wins, we continue to face new additional challenges with each problem we overcome. On top of it, we are surrounded by many who constantly criticize and forecast why Wonolo will fail. We often try to mask our fear and exhaustion by acting overly enthusiastic and optimistic, but there is no doubt that this journey is one of the toughest ones we have done in our career.
Then, there is this.
Many heart-felt “thank-you” notes from our customers and Wonoloers. They are telling us that we have somehow made a difference in their lives. We also bump into random people who talk about Wonolo. For example, my wife was at a local restaurant last week and heard a mother of two sons randomly talking about Wonolo – how her sons in college had been looking for jobs for so long and almost gave up, but they accidentally stumbled upon Wonolo and started making income immediately. She commented that Wonolo gave her sons the opportunity to not only make extra income, but also regain their confidence. Stories like this gets us through the darkest moments.
Wonolo now enters the second half of its first year, and for sure, our journey will be even more difficult than it was during the first half. However, thinking about many smiles, thank-yous and tears along the way gets us pumped up.
Are you with us?