Monday Motivation from Amanda Patterson, Founder and CEO at The Call List
Mondays can be rough and, sometimes, we can all use some motivation. Our #MondayMotivation blog series brings you tips and life hacks from industry leaders and some of the most creative entrepreneurs out there.
We sat down with Amanda Patterson, Founder and CEO at The Call List, a live video participation platform that connects educators, performers, and brands with their fans and followers across the globe. She discusses the need for her platform, the challenge of fundraising, and the spirit of friendly competition inspired by Project Entrepreneur.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was a management consultant and could live anywhere with an airport; so, I chose to live in New Orleans. My friends in NOLA are folks of varied persuasions. I found inspiration in one who is an anthropologist and performance artist with a large fan-base spread across the globe. He would give taste bites of his performances via FaceTime. He might make over 30 calls when he got into character or together with other recording artists. I wanted to help him make fewer calls to more people at once while maintaining the collective energy of his digital audience and monetizing events — thus, the genesis of The Call List.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Fund-raising. We are in the throes of our first big integration with a global partner, which is a catch-22: if we struggle through with a skeleton crew, then we can grow by reinvesting our revenue (super inspired by Sara Blakely in this regard); if we find the right investment partner, we can scale rapidly.
What’s been the greatest reward?
There has been real magic in sharing this project. Everyone has a unique application for exclusive interactive access. Through listening to feedback from mentors and potential partners across industries early in development, we’ve been able to build a flexible platform and plug-and-play solution. This means brands and individuals can host content on The Call List, quickly add this capability to an existing app, or white label the marketplace and platform with their branding. We were also able to recognize that our video participation dynamic is HIPAA compliant, and Health Call List emerged to meet the need for secure, two-way video engagement between remote patient or caregiver communities and experts. I feel rewarded in knowing our tool and marketplace will genuinely help people connect more intimately in the digital age.
What is the biggest thing you’d like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?
Generally, I would like to see generosity be a priority over competition. The more you give of your talents, the more they’re amplified. Through taking a genuine interest in others and, if it’s a natural fit, helping them succeed, you learn and grow tenfold. I also believe in finding inspiration in seemingly unlikely sources. You never know what a tangential conversation might bring. I make time for lending my professional experience and integrate volunteering into my lifestyle.
Something that really struck me about Project Entrepreneur was the supportive and collaborative energy of the entire group. During Jennifer Willey’s session, she even encouraged us to compare notes with industry peers on what conferences are worthwhile. The very spirit of friendly competition! I’ve since already had dinner and drinks with a few of my classmates, and have more on the books. I can’t wait to work through pitch decks and models on Monday evening with a classmate before she heads into some seed-round meetings next week!
Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?
Sharing the whole journey. I communicate my appreciation for the people that work with me and believe that progress and success are collectively achieved. I also give updates on my daily hustle. When there are setbacks or missed marks, I work with people involved to develop an approach and timeline to address getting back on track. I also communicate dependencies and the domino impact of everyone’s piece(s). If I need a tuneup in navigating human dynamics or a personal boost of confidence, I’m fortunate to have my mama, Mia.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to another entrepreneur just starting out?
Developing thick skin, active listening skills and community are key. People are going to say some jaw-dropping things to you. Breathe and think about what they’ve just told you about themselves and/or their organization. You have an opportunity to learn a lot more and make a positive impression if you keep your composure. Never allow yourself to be abused – it’s habit forming. Networking with other entrepreneurs and mentors will turn you on to valuable resources to get off the ground, and networking within your industry will help you develop products and services organically.
What do you do every Monday morning to prepare and motivate yourself for the coming week?
I’m a big fan of soulcycle first thing in the morning. It forces me out of bed, into the world, challenges and energizes me. If I’m not in a city with a class, I find hot yoga. Sumits Yoga is my favorite. I’m grateful to have a healthy body and mind and want to continue to honor both.
For more #MondayMotivation, check out our interview with Adero Davis, CEO and Co-Founder at FairFare, an efficient mobile platform that facilitates a user’s ability to find and book the cheapest and/or fastest rideshare options. She discusses disrupting Uber’s market share, educating first before expecting a behavior change, and working towards more women and women of color in the industry.