Growing Her Startup Meant Buying, and then Selling, Her Home

Avelist CEO Jody Porowski writes for Medium about the strategies and sacrifices she's made to grow her company

BY LAURA BAVERMAN@laurabaverman5.12.14

Filed Under: NEWS: Startups

Avelist CEO Jody Porowski realized long before most entrepreneurs that she couldn't spend all her time fundraising. That to build a successful business, she had to focus the majority of her time on the building.

And that's why she made a bold decision two years ago, when she was a full-time employee at SAS with cash to spare. She'd invest in a home, and when the time was right, she'd turn that real estate play into a business-building one.

And so when March 2014 came along and Avelist needed quick cash to market and grow the product, she sold her home in Raleigh's highly-desirable North Hills neighborhood. She sold the rest of her belongings on Craigslist. And she moved in with Mom and Dad.

She needed to double down on the most important thing in her life right now—her business. And she documents the decision, and the lessons she learned from it all, in a now trending post on Medium.

She wrote: The way I see it, many people work hard to buy their dream house. I sold a house so I could have my dream job.

ExitEvent has written about Porowski before. She's known for taking big risks—abandoning a promising career in social media analytics at the prestigious SAS to start the company that allows social list-making and list-sharing.

She raised $300,000 from friends and family in 2012 and 2013, and that helped her hire a team of now six who work out of an office in Durham. In recent months, she's made a big marketing push, partnering with bloggers and other online personalities to write and share lists. In April, the site reached 25,000 users, with average time on site of 4 minutes and 30 seconds, a figure Porowski calls a "hugely exciting milestone." The $276,000 house sale will continue those outreach efforts.

Entrepreneurs have to be risk-takers and sacrifice-makers in order to have a chance at success. But Porowski's story proves the best risks and sacrifices are the calculated ones.

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