Godaddy Shopping Cart – A chat with Melissa Wu, Olympic diver and entrepreneur
We’re speaking with our GoDaddy Olympic ambassador & entrepreneur extraordinaire, the extremely inspirational Melissa Wu. Not solely has Melissa been competing as an expert diver since she was simply 13 (!) with an Olympic silver medal to-boot, however she’s additionally a proud small enterprise proprietor of not one however three companies. We chatted with Melissa forward of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to see how she’s feeling and for some smart phrases of knowledge for different small enterprise homeowners juggling all of it.
This interview has been gently edited for size and readability.
GoDaddy: Thanks for chatting, Melissa! First of all, why diving? What impressed you to comply with that dream?
Melissa Wu: My older sister was a swimmer, and she was actually good at it when she was youthful. She used to race at Olympic Park [in New South Wales] fairly ceaselessly, and that’s the place I noticed diving for the primary time.
I used to be all the time flipping round the home and I did a little bit of gymnastics once I was youthful, in order quickly as I noticed diving, I assumed “wow – that’s amazing and I want to do it.” So I begged my mother and father and that’s how it began.
GD: How are you feeling forward of the Olympics?
MW: It’s positively going to be a really completely different Olympics to earlier ones, however the reality it’s going forward is admittedly thrilling.
With plenty of the world nonetheless struggling with COVID-19, to have an occasion that brings a little bit of hope and brings the world collectively is admittedly cool.
But it doesn’t matter what occurs, I feel it’ll be an incredible Olympics. Japan’s an superior nation and Tokyo is an superior metropolis and I feel they’ll do an amazing job internet hosting.
GD: What are your goals for these Olympics?
MW: I’d love to only put in a extremely good efficiency. A efficiency of a lifetime, that may be superb.
Diving is a extremely psychological sport, so performing beneath stress within the second that counts is difficult, so to try this could be superb. I feel if I can do this, the end result will maintain itself.
I personally don’t focus an excessive amount of on what color medal or what place I get. I like to only deal with the method, and if that goes to plan, then issues often go fairly nicely for me.
GD: As somebody who has competed professionally from such a younger age, how do you deal with stress?
MW: My first large competitors was on the Commonwealth Games once I was 13, and I didn’t actually really feel the stress. I feel you solely get that chance as soon as when all the pieces is so new and you’re a bit naïve, and you don’t know what’s coming subsequent. But after that, particularly since going to my first Olympics, I already felt the stress on the age of 16. The stress is all the time there.
I feel it’s one thing that I’ve gotten fairly used to over time, however really I feel the stress as an athlete comes largely from your self. That stress from placing in all of the hours, figuring out that it’s what you’ve been coaching for, your coach is invested, and that you just owe it to them, the Institute and your self.
It’s your personal mindset that places you beneath stress.
I’ve needed to work actually laborious over time to regulate my mindset and cope. Learning to not all the time be so laborious on myself. To simply give myself the time and house to have the ability to carry out the way in which I must.
GD: Who or what lets you keep motivated?
MW: I’m fortunate in that I’ve all the time been a motivated particular person, however I feel having a bunch of various issues to work on is sweet, because it helps maintain it new and thrilling.
So regardless that my diving coaching might be probably the most steady factor that doesn’t change a lot, I soar from that to business-mode, and all the pieces is completely different and thrilling.
The individuals round me additionally assist me to remain motivated. Sharing a business with my brother who’s doing so nicely in enterprise motivates me to maintain up my finish of the cut price and do what I must do. It’s just like the Diving Academy with my buddy Kevin, when two persons are engaged on the enterprise and they’re each invested, it makes you need to do higher and be higher.
GD: Do you see related qualities between elite athletes and entrepreneurs?
MW: Definitely. I feel the most important similarity is the ups and downs and constructing resilience.
It’s actually vital in each [sport and business] to have the ability to bounce again, however to additionally let go of what’s occurred up to now, reset and refocus on future targets.
What I’ve learnt is that when issues are up within the air or don’t go to plan, it’s the way you deal with the challenges and the way you see it.
Whether you take a look at it as a possibility to enhance issues subsequent time, or dwell on it and let it have an effect on what occurs subsequent.
GD: How have you ever constructed resilience over time?
MW: I’ve learnt quite a bit as an athlete about respect, and that it’s concerning the time, ardour and effort you place into one thing.
When one thing doesn’t go your means you possibly can take it actually personally and it may be laborious to bounce again. So as an athlete, I’ve learnt the significance of mindset and all the time looking for the positives in issues. I do know it’s type of cliché and everybody says it, however actually the way you take a look at one thing determines what you’re going to do with a scenario. Are you going to:
- Learn from it?
- Let it maintain you again and set limitations on your self?
Learning as an athlete to only transfer on and get the job completed has been so vital and useful, for me as a enterprise proprietor as nicely.
GD: What conjures up you to assist with resilience?
MW: There’s a quote that I take advantage of quite a bit – really it’s my tattoo throughout my left rib, that simply says ‘only as much as I dream can I be.’ It’s vital for me as a result of I do know that if I set limitations then I’m solely hurting myself, and if I permit myself to only go with it, then the chances are infinite.
GD: What’s it like coming again to on a regular basis life after enormous occasions just like the Olympics?
MW: I do know from earlier Olympics that while you’re on such a excessive and then you definately come again, and this one shall be significantly laborious as you must go into two weeks of quarantine and I can’t consider something more difficult than coming off the excessive of the video games into quarantine, there’s positively that interval the place you are feeling a bit low as you’re popping out of the thrill bubble from the previous couple of weeks. But I’m really excited to come back again and have issues to do with my companies to maintain me motivated and maintain me going.
Now for a take a look at Melissa’s companies
It could also be mind-boggling however Melissa Wu has not one, however three companies.
GD: Let’s begin with your first enterprise. What is Havok Athletic?
MW: Havok Athletic is my activewear label — we make activewear predominantly for athletes in power sports activities like CrossFit and weightlifting.
We actually worth power and neighborhood, and celebrating what the physique can do, relatively than simply the way it appears.
As an athlete I feel that’s actually vital. I need the model to assist different individuals really feel a part of a neighborhood and put on garments that allow them to carry out their greatest and be ok with what they’re capable of obtain. They’re all designed to be comfy and look good, clearly.
GD: And your second enterprise – are you able to inform us a bit about HrdKAW Strength?
MW: So HrdKAW Strength is a gymnasium that we at the moment run out of our personal storage like a house gymnasium, or from a buddy’s gymnasium. It has a little bit of an uncommon title, which really comes from the initials of my sister’s title Kirsten, who handed away a number of years in the past now. So HrdKAW Strength is in honour of her and her title, and we predict it’s fairly becoming for the title of a gymnasium.
When we first began (my brother and I), we weren’t positive of precisely what we wished to do.
Both of us had been teaching, performing some normal PT work. Josh had been doing weightlifting teaching and I’d been doing diving and different varieties of teaching. So it was a bit extra normal to start with, however then we actually determined to focus more durable on the weightlifting side.
We then created a weightlifting membership referred to as HrdKAW Weightlifting Club, which is now the most important membership in New South Wales — it’s attending to be one of many largest golf equipment within the nation, which is fairly thrilling. And out of a storage gymnasium! My objective once I retire from diving is to get a premise for the enterprise with my brother and sister, who additionally run teaching and handle social media.
GD: And your brother Josh is kind of a gifted athlete in his personal proper we hear?
MW: Yes he’s. He’s a weightlifter as nicely, and he’s competing in the mean time. So he’s making an attempt to juggle coaching and competitors and teaching and operating the enterprise as nicely. So we’re all very busy [laughs].
GD: You’ve additionally obtained a 3rd enterprise! Can you inform us a bit concerning the Australian Diving Academy?
MW: So this can be a new enterprise. Diving isn’t a really large sport, so it’s one thing we’re testing the waters with as we go.
Half of our [diving] coaching relies on dry land, the place you apply abilities and take off into foam pits, crash mats, that type of factor.
As an athlete, I’ve entry to that in New South Wales and Sydney, however most club-level divers don’t have entry to that. We’re the one state in Australia the place membership children don’t have any entry to those amenities.
The Australian Diving Academy is a specialist diving teaching service I run with my buddy Kevin Chavez, who’s additionally an Olympic diver. So we run it collectively, and give membership divers the chance to:
- Train with us
- Work on mindset
- Get entry to dry land amenities, which they don’t usually have entry to
GD: You are one busy girl! How do you cut up your time between every enterprise? Do you’ve got a favorite?
MW: [Laughs] No, not likely. They’re all actually completely different. My function in every enterprise includes plenty of various things.
But when it comes to my weekly schedule, as a result of I’m doing this and juggling diving, my schedule could be very set in stone, and that features time commitments throughout all three companies. I principally get a sure period of time that I simply need to allocate the very best I can, and put that point into no matter must be completed. But I’m positively very obsessed with all three of them.
GD: Is routine vital to you?
MW: Yes — routine is tremendous vital. Like I mentioned, my schedule is actually set in stone, and I typically run from one factor to the subsequent to the subsequent. And I don’t even have to consider it, I simply know, “OK, this is whatever day it is, so I’m going here, here, here and here, and this is what is going to happen.” And then I attempt and maximise the time I’ve in between to do issues, though I don’t all the time really feel prefer it!
GD: What impressed you to create your first enterprise? How’d you make the leap?
MW: I feel having the assist of my brother and household, who’re very concerned, actually helped.
My brother and I’ve by no means actually been the workplace kind.
We’ve all the time been athletes who’re obsessed with sport. We’d additionally completed teaching individually and we each actually loved that. I feel that’s what impressed us to begin the [HrdKAW Strength] enterprise.
The hardest factor was determining the place we had been going to go with it, however as soon as we actually found out we had been going to slender the main focus and follow weightlifting, I feel that’s after we obtained actually excited. And that occurred steadily over time. We first set the gymnasium up as a extra normal gymnasium, and then we needed to redo it once more later for weightlifting. But that was the inspiration. Being capable of coach and assist individuals.
GD: What was your largest barrier to beginning your first enterprise?
MW: I feel it was simply not figuring out what to do or methods to go about it. I feel the toughest factor for my brother and me, was that we might by no means put 100% in with our different time commitments. I do know that’s the identical for a lot of enterprise homeowners, significantly when it’s extra of a facet hustle.
So we wished to make sure we didn’t have any large overhead prices, and having the gymnasium in our storage was one of the best ways to do it. But aside from the bodily house, we’d by no means began a enterprise earlier than, so we had no thought, so I feel that was the toughest factor after we first began. Knowing what to do, and what order to go about it.
GD: What steps did you are taking to make the method of beginning a brand new enterprise really feel much less overwhelming?
MW: I like to verify all the pieces is finished completely, and all the pieces is ‘done’ earlier than I take a step to do something. So it was taking like a very long time! But my brother and I assumed “Let’s just get in and do it and whatever happens, happens. If something goes wrong, you just need to deal with it” – that kind of factor.
Having individuals round me actually helped. If I needed to begin my first enterprise on my own, I feel I might have been a lot slower to get it going and get it transferring. But having individuals round me to say, “Just give it a go,” I feel that’s what actually helped push me.
GD: Did you discover it simpler to begin your second enterprise?
MW: I feel that preliminary setup and these issues had been a lot simpler for me and a lot much less scary as a result of I’d already been via that course of earlier than. But [Havok Athletic] is a very completely different enterprise, so there have been nonetheless so many unknown issues that second time. And that’s not essentially on the enterprise facet, however the precise operations — like discovering a producer and issues like that to get the enterprise going.
GD: What would you say to others who dream of beginning their very own enterprise however don’t suppose they’ve the time?
MW: I might say that you just by no means have sufficient time, so it doesn’t matter if you happen to’ve obtained one enterprise or three. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, on this day and age time is all the time an element. There’s no good time to begin, you could as nicely simply do it now.
You’re not going to have any extra time down the observe than you’ve got now, so simply do it. If you’ve got an thought or need to begin one thing that retains consuming away at you, then simply do it and simply begin working in direction of it.
GD: Was constructing a web site a precedence in your companies?
MW: A web site was actually vital for HrdKAW Strength, as a result of we had been constructing phrase of mouth within the space.
You want someplace to ship individuals to indicate what you supply, who you’re, and how one can assist them.
And while you’re providing providers, individuals need to know precisely what it’s, pricing, the place they’ll submit an enquiry, so a web site for us was a should from the get-go. We see plenty of exercise, like individuals looking for our enterprise with Google, or having us pop up when individuals seek for weightlifting of their native space.
Havok Athletic is an internet retail website, so the web site is the most important half. Making it simple and accessible for purchasers to search out us and purchase our clothes is important.
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GD: Thinking again to while you began your first enterprise, what’s the one factor you want you knew then that may have made life simpler?
MW: I feel it’s laborious to choose one factor. But then once more, simply because you understand it now doesn’t imply it could have made life simpler if you happen to knew it then. I feel it’s the method of studying and making errors and making an attempt new issues that everyone goes via once they begin a enterprise that helps you, so it’s not only one factor to make life simpler however the course of itself.
GD: Did COVID-19 have an effect on your companies? How did you adapt?
MW: So for HrdKAW, it positively affected us as a result of we couldn’t proceed to coach individuals at our gymnasium. We needed to transfer all the pieces on-line, which was fairly troublesome as individuals had been used to coaching in a group surroundings. But that’s what we needed to do, and we really elevated our consumer numbers throughout COVID-19.
I feel simply being adaptable was actually vital, nevertheless it was actually difficult, particularly for weightlifting which is a really technical factor.
Before I began the Australian Diving Academy, I additionally began doing diving teaching on-line via Zoom and HrdKAW, which I don’t suppose had been completed earlier than. Most individuals did dry-land coaching, however one lady wished to do pool work in her yard, in order that was fairly cool.
And for Havoc Athletic, it was additionally troublesome as a result of I manufacture my merchandise abroad, so all the pieces was actually delayed. And I’m nonetheless seeing the consequences of COVID-19 when it comes to order delays, however we’re getting there.
GD: What’s the one tip you’ll give somebody who is considering following their dream to begin their very own enterprise?
MW: I might say, discuss to people who you understand which have their very own enterprise, or somebody who has expertise.
Get as a lot info and expertise from different individuals that can assist you, as a result of that’s actually beneficial.
There’s a lot info on-line that may be troublesome to kind via, so simply having the ability to chat to individuals who have had the expertise can generally provide the increase you could know you are able to do it.
GD: Did you’ve got a mentor that can assist you? How vital is having a mentor in enterprise and sport?
MW: When we began HrdKAW, my brother and I just about did it ourselves and discovered a means. It was very sluggish to start with, however as we constructed our neighborhood, we met new individuals. That consists of certainly one of my now closest buddies who owns her personal physio apply (the place my brother and I each now go). Once I met her and we shared plenty of issues and helped one another, I then met an entire bunch of different enterprise homeowners, and it type of grew from there.
Having that neighborhood was actually useful as a result of even now, there’s nonetheless issues I encounter which can be new and difficult. Having individuals to bounce concepts off to say, “Hey, did you try this?” has helped me in my enterprise life and additionally as an athlete.
I didn’t actually have a mentor in diving, nevertheless it’s one thing that I do now. I attempt to mentor youthful athletes, and I feel it’s actually vital. It’s actually good to have any individual, if you happen to can, that you would be able to flip to and get assist from when issues are difficult and you’re in new uncharted territory.
GD: What’s an important a part of your each day routine as each an elite athlete and entrepreneur?
MW: I’m studying (and ought to have learnt a very long time in the past), that sleep is an important factor.
I don’t have any downside being motivated and going, going, going, however I burn out if I don’t get sufficient sleep.
When I get sufficient sleep, my efficiency as an athlete is best, I’m extra productive, my ideas are clearer, it’s only a a lot better means of doing issues. I feel most small enterprise homeowners in all probability do the identical factor and run themselves into the bottom, however I feel sleep is unquestionably an space that’s actually vital.
GD: How will you handle your companies whilst you’re away on the Games?
MW: Yes, that’s a difficult one [laughs]. HrdKAW and the Australian Diving Academy are the best, as I’ve enterprise companions to run them whereas I’m away. Havok Athletic would be the most difficult one.
I’m positively going to get plenty of assist from my household for orders, however I’ll attempt and automate as a lot as I can. I’ve skilled my mum to do the orders and I assist with the pc half, however Havok will certainly be probably the most difficult one to handle whereas I’m away.
GD: How does GoDaddy assist assist your online business goals?
MW: Having the assistance of GoDaddy for my web sites has been superb.
It [website building] is one thing I’m not excellent at, so having that assist behind me is admittedly, actually vital.
I feel the [GoDaddy] enterprise is superb and studying extra about them has been thrilling. I simply used them for domains up to now, and didn’t know they did web sites and all these different issues. Even earlier than the Olympics my expertise with their customer support was actually constructive, so I’m trying ahead to studying extra about GoDaddy and all of the issues they’ll do.
Godaddy Shopping Cart – A chat with Melissa Wu, Olympic diver and entrepreneur