Meet Kyle Vamvouris, top SDR Manager in the game turned entrepreneur.
Friend, colleague, father of two.
He wasn't always a poker player, but when it came to Sales Development he's all in and this is his story.
It was February 2018.
It was one of those rainy days in California.
"Getting home past 9 pm was common for me. "
You know, the days when everyone forgets how to drive and there is an accident every 5-miles on the freeway.
I was driving home from work at 8 pm.
The traffic from all the accidents made it obvious that my 1 hour and 30-minute drive home was about to increase by 50%, maybe even double.
Getting home past 9 pm was common for me.
Some call it workaholism, others call it part of being at a startup. I’ve always said the ladder.
This time was especially hard for me.
My first child, Delphi, was 4 months old and this was going to be the 3rd day in a row where I didn’t see her.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I thought about it.
I ended up pulling over on the side of the freeway and balled my eyes out.
I couldn’t stop thinking “Is it this hard for everyone?”
The answer, of course, is no.
"I started consulting on the side and really enjoyed it."
It’s hard for the people who strive to make an impact.
It sounds wo-wo, and that’s definitely not my style but, I truly believe that the universe pushes on you when you push on it.
And boy was I pushing.
We grew revenue by 8.3x in 20 months and successfully raised a Series B round of funding.
The only thing that ate at me was that it wasn’t my company, and I was risking childhood memories with my daughter.
I had to figure out a way to see a greater reward for my efforts.
The best way to do that?
"I have two kids, a wife, and am the sole income earner for my family. "
I started consulting on the side and really enjoyed it.
I had expertise that people really wanted access to. Scaling a sales organization at a startup is super challenging and something I had done successfully twice.
But there was always this burning question.
“When do I take… the leap?”
When do I stand on my own two feet, leave stability behind, and take the biggest risk I have ever taken?
I chose to take that leap July 2020. I have two kids, a wife, and am the sole income earner for my family.
Talk about pressure.
There are three things I had lined up before I decided to start a company.
1. Have enough money in the bank… and double it
To say having money in the bank is important is an understatement. When you are deciding to take the leap and start your own business, you MUST take the amount of money that you need to “figure it out” and double it.
When I started Vouris I had enough cash to survive for 2 years without an income. I think that’s a good place to start.
Also, just the ability to be able to save that amount of money means you have enough financial chops to create a sustainable business.
2. Have clients that you can leverage to snowball growth
I had two clients when I decided to start Vouris. This allowed me to reinvest in the company and fuel our growth. That early revenue snowballed and now we have a lot of clients and plenty of cash flow to support our growth goals.
Without these early clients, the journey would have been more stressful than it was, which is hard for me to imagine because of how challenging it was to start a business.
3.) Keep a strong vision for the future
This is probably the most complex of the three things.
A vision is powerful, but sometimes what you do and your vision for the future isn’t totally aligned.
For example, our vision was always to help founders by relieving the pressure of running a sales organization but early on we were focused on cash.
My business partner and I would do projects like writing cold call scripts and onboarding guides just to keep the lights on.
Now, we work directly with founders, which is totally aligned. The vision hasn't changed but it’s a lot clearer now.
"Sometimes you have to work like no one else so that one day you can live like no one else."
I clearly see a world where Vouris is a household name for early-stage founders. I have no clue how I will get there, but I believe the plan I’ve laid out is a good start.
That’s the beauty of business.
Things don’t always go as planned, that’s why a vision is so important.
When things derail, or you have to pivot, you have a guiding start that helps you keep your head on straight.
Our business has grown exponentially since July 2020. Something I am extremely proud of.
It was unbelievably stressful and I still feel the pressure. I spend quality time with my children but it’s still not as much as I like.
Sometimes you have to work like no one else so that one day you can live like no one else.
It’s like learning to walk (which I’ve now witnessed twice). At first, you hold on to anything you can, just to try to avoid falling.
After a while you start to walk with momentum, taking a few steps in rapid succession until you grab on to something.
Eventually, you'll start taking steps consistently and have a new, more efficient way to march towards your goals.
For my kids, that goal is getting into something they aren't supposed to.
For me, that goal is building a company that has an impact on every startup founder.
Is my goal lofty?
I wouldn't bet against me.
Words from Jax:
Kyle is a very dear friend of mine that I hold closely.
I've watched and followed his content religiously and was really happy to see the progress with my own eyes.
I had the privilege of interviewing him on the 1UP Sales Development Podcast and knew he was a keeper off the bat.
Not only is he a good friend but he's helped me many times when I found myself lost in the woods during my early days when it came to Sales Development.
Kyle, thanks for all you do.
I truly appreciate you and everything you're doing for the Sales Dev. Community!
Those who'd love to connect with him directly please do so here
(Don't forget to mention the blog!)