“So what’s it like working for Dan?”
I blankly stared at the woman who just asked me that question. The “Dan” she was referring to is Sigstr’s CEO and Founder, Dan Hanrahan.
This was during a morning coffee “networking opportunity”. Our conversation up until this point had been fairly standard and surface level. “Where are you from?” “Where did you go to school?” “What did you major in?” “Did you see that last episode of Game of Thrones?”
This new question threw me for a loop. How do I describe what it’s like working for Dan and being a part of the Sigstr team? For some reason, it reminded me of a conversation that I had with my father when I was 14.
One of my dad’s closest lifelong friends has been his high school baseball coach. When it dawned on me that “Coach B” was quite a bit older than my father, I asked my dad about their friendship. Sort of taken back by the question, he paused before going into this explanation:
“Coach B is the kind of coach that made you work hard. If you committed to working hard, he was your biggest advocate. If you worked hard for him, he worked hard for you. He is the kind of coach that makes you want to run through walls for him. It made him not only a great coach, but a great guy and now a great friend.”
This recollection brings me back to the moment when I was asked, “So what’s it like working for Dan?” Dan is the type of CEO that makes you want to run through walls for him. His passion and voracity for making Sigstr successful in-turn impresses a passion and voracity to work hard in all of us.
Personal Goals + Sigstr Goals
At the start of my career at Sigstr, Dan had me write down all my goals for this year, the next 3 years and beyond. He asks each new employee to do this within their first few days at Sigstr. We met at Patachou (which if you have NOT been, I highly recommend the Cuban Breakfast) and exchanged our printed list of goals. We talked through each point extensively – Dan genuinely interested in each point on my goal list, no-matter how ludicrous the ambition (i.e. walking the red carpet). Dan’s ending note on our goal conversation was that Sigstr would enable us to reach those goals.
I left our breakfast with a newfound sense of confidence that these goals were within reach. Any time I was feeling downtrodden by my (then) Business Development role (“Business Development” being a fancy term conjured to sugarcoat the number of prospect calls and emails being sent to gauge interest), Dan would bring up one of my goals. He would remind me that everything that I was doing was helping me get one step closer to my goal. Every time we reach milestones here at Sigstr, we are greeted by an alarmingly forceful high five or beer (or in my case an Angry Orchard).
Working Hard + Celebrating Achievements
Dan expects hard work. He wants Sigstr to succeed and help marketers save time and energy managing employee signatures for email. He wants Sigstr to give us the means to accomplish all the goals we shared with him and more. At the same time, Dan also expects us to participate in Friday late afternoon Beer:30’s. He has one rule about out of office company bonding and it is that each adventure must end at a local Irish pub, which is met with no complaints (and if you want to understand why Dan is so passionate about Irish pubs, read this post).
Another Sigstr team member, Kolby, recently wrote a blog post that reiterates our work hard, play hard mentality: “Life at a Tech Start-Up: Three Truths and One Lie”. As said best, “The benefit, or perhaps consequence, of being part of a small team is that everyone is expected to contribute in a big way.”
We all work hard for our big wins, and celebrate when we accomplish them. Dan lives by the age old boss man proverb, “if you’re a man by night, you’re a man by day.” I can only interpret this as a more sophisticated way of saying “you can play hard if you work hard.”
The Sigstr team is growing and we’re looking for more rockstars to join our “work hard, play hard” culture. If you’re looking for an opportunity in a high-growth Marketing SaaS company, we’d love to meet you. Learn more about our opportunities at: www.sigstr.com/company