For Starters: How Instant Teams Found Fit And Purpose Helping Military Spouses

This week’s For Starters sponsored by Robinson Bradshaw is back with new-ish host Anil Chawla, who is continuing his journey this season of tackling product-market fit by allowing founders to tell the story of how their startups became what they are today.

For this episode (the second of 10 this season), Chawla spoke with Liza Rodewald, the Co-Founder and CEO of Instant Teams, a jobs marketplace. This startup has a specific goal of hiring military and veteran spouses, a cohort whose constant travels can impact job retention rates. As a former military spouse herself, Rodewald talks about how she recognized a need and decided to create a space that allowed this community to gain long-term, stable jobs, even while all in different time zones. (We first profiled Instant Teams last April.)

Here are some show highlights:

  • Instant Teams is the fourth company that Rodewald has founded, so she noted that one of the most important things she learned was to personally recognize the health of her startups: “And I think one of the most important lessons is I learned to listen to myself, because I think a lot of founders struggle with ‘Should I just keep pushing, even though this isn’t working?’ And ultimately, you kind of know internally when that point is, when to keep pushing just because you’re going against the odds and to (not) keep pushing because it’s just not the right thing or time for me.” (3:16)
  • Rodewald talked about how over the course of time, she realized that her startup did something that she didn’t originally intend it to do—it kept people from having to work overnight, outlining one of the hidden gems of her work. She said, “We could put it all together with everyone working their day, which also increases retention, which was really cool. And we didn’t start out the build to do that, but we discovered it along the way.” (14:34)
  • Hearing positive reviews from those that her startup had helped motivate Rodewald to stay focused on her goal of improving Instant Teams: “I had stories of military spouses who literally have said, ‘This has changed my life, being able to have this career.’ And when you have the hard days and you can read something like that, you’re like ‘Alright, I got it.’”

To hear more about how Rodewald found product-market fit by helping military spouses through Instant Teams, listen to the full episode (and subscribe) below. And thanks to our sponsor, Robinson Bradshaw!