Monday Motivation from Yoomi Chin, Co-Founder & CMO at Arkaive

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 Yoomi Chin, Co-Founder & CMO at Arkaive, an education technology start-up providing management resources for instructors, administrators, athletic departments, and Panhellenic organizations in higher and secondary education. Yoomi discusses using tech to disrupt the world of higher education, becoming a better decision maker, and the importance of showing up.

What inspired you to start your business?
A couple of years ago, my co-founder, who was then an MBA student at one of the top business schools, shared that at the beginning of each class, everyone would have to gather to take a group photo, which the teaching assistant would use to check students’ attendance. When I heard this story, I believed it. I recalled my professors passing out sign-up sheets at the beginning of each lecture when I was in college. I also remembered speaking to coaches and athletic department staff, who would stop by in classrooms to track their student-athletes’ attendance when I used to teach as a graduate student.

The use of technology has always been behind in the institutions of higher education. Smartphones have been around for almost a decade and millennials are constantly on their phones. My co-founder and I knew that there had to be a more efficient and easier way of tracking students’ class attendance. We decided to break the archaic attendance-management system, which had been around for probably more than a century, and develop a tool that is easy and quick to use for everyone—from professor emeritus to college football coaches.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Having to make decisions on every single aspect of the company, from product development to financing, marketing to customer service, has been, and will continue to be, the biggest challenge. Every decision I make with our team is critical as it not only becomes the building block of our product and service, but also, it shapes the culture of our company. I don’t think I’ve ever carried these many titles and worn these many hats at once in my life.

What’s been the greatest reward?
Nothing feels more rewarding than getting positive feedbacks from our users who tell us how we have saved their time and how much they enjoy using our appt. Being the first in the market and building a product that’s unheard of is exciting; it is also scary. The fear of being a pioneer, however, dissolves when we see how much faith our users have in our product and we realize how we can transform the education management industry.

What is the biggest thing you’d like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?
Pen and paper still remains to be the most popular tool in the education industry. Technology is evolving and advancing every day. Nonetheless, the use of technology is foreign in many education settings, especially at a higher education level. There are so many ways in which technology can be applied to make data management easier and faster. Our goal at Arkaive is to transform the management systems in higher education. It’s going to be a long process. This is why we are starting with something simple that everyone can access easily.

Who or what motivates you to keep going, even when things get tough?
Confidence and passion. Each and every day is a struggle for an entrepreneur. However, no matter how rough things get, I can keep my head, heels, and standards high, because I firmly believe in the future I am building with my team. Every day, I picture where we would be 10, 20 years from now. Knowing how our company will have uplifted and transformed the education management industry in the future is the most powerful motivation.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to another entrepreneur just starting out?
Stay focused and remember why you started this endeavor. Entrepreneurs are, by nature, passionate and ambitious. Often times, we get overly ambitious and deviate from our primary goals. Outlining a clear focus and adhering to your main objectives will definitely help you get closer to your goal more efficiently and quickly and become a wiser and stronger entrepreneur.

What do you do every Monday morning to prepare and motivate yourself for the coming week?
The first thing I do when I get out of bed at 4:30 a.m is open my bedroom window and inhale the fresh, crisp morning air. Then I start my morning with my daily to-do list before I jump onto my e-mails. I always end my list with jotting down an activity that’s not work related—whether that be reading an inspirational quote on social media before bedtime or falling asleep before midnight— something that I can look forward to at the end of a long day.

For more #MondayMotivation, check out our interview with Julie dePontbriand, Co-Founder & CEO of ShopVenture, a customer review platform that allows women to share their online shopping experiences and help others make smart purchase decisions. Julie discusses the eternal optimism of entrepreneurship, marrying her passions, and the best tools for productivity.