We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Ronzio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I used to think that investing time in my personal life was at the expense of the business. Early on, I was too focused on work and on my email 24/7. I defined my value by how much I could get done in a day. But over time, I’ve found that investing in my personal life amplifies my focus and productivity on the business side. My value isn’t tied to what I can get done in a day, it’s tied to what the company can get done. My job is to lead with focus and motivate others to do their job well – and that’s directly tied to how I’m doing in my personal life. The way I do this is by dedicating time each day to doing something active like going on a run or having a fun experience with my family and friends.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
After running an operations consulting firm and working with tons of small businesses, I had this desire to help business leaders find the time to do more of what they love by providing a way to document and delegate what they do. I worked with a small team to create Trainual and once my consulting clients wanted to use it more than they wanted to work with me, I knew I had something. Trainual is a one-stop-shop for documenting your SOPs and training and onboarding your team. It provides an easy way to capture every process, role, and responsibility, to create a consistent and scalable knowledge base. We love small business so we wanted to create an affordable, simple solution that works for any company size, unlike the traditional enterprise-catering LMS. We launched Trainual in January 2018, and despite the first-year bumps that come along with running a startup, I’m really proud of where we are now, the team we’ve built, and everything we’ve accomplished. We experienced 500% growth in our first year, we’ve more than doubled the team over the last 12 months (even hiring 14 people sight-unseen due to COVID), and we’re continuing to grow month over month. We’ve hit huge milestones like closing our Series A for $6.75m and winning 2nd in Phoenix Business Journal’s Best Places to Work award.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This would depend on what time of year they’re coming of course! If it’s during the summer I would take them to some of the lakes around the Valley or up north to hike and explore. Although most summers I take off with my family and go somewhere with better weather. The rest of the year we’d probably grab a bite to eat at a couple of my favorite restaurants like Herb Box or Chop Shop. I’d also take them to the McDowell Mountain preserve, my favorite spot for a trail run or hike. Getting outdoors is one of the best things to do here and whether it’s with a friend who’s visiting or with my wife and kids, I always try to find new places to explore.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The music would start playing long before I’m done giving my long list of shout-outs because SO many people have been a part of this journey. My wife might as well be a board member for how much she has to listen to me talk about business stuff. Trainual’s earliest employees and everyone that reports to me make things happen on a daily basis, and we couldn’t do what we do without them. The entrepreneurship groups that I’m in — EO, YEC, StartupAZ, SaaS Academy, Warrior, Strategic Coach — continue to inspire and educate me on how to be better. My parents were massively supportive in my early days when I was learning how to set up bank accounts and collect credit cards. There are dozens of podcasts and books that have wiggled their way into my DNA, so much so that I’m not sure where any of my ideas come from, but I know that nothing I come up with is exclusively thanks to me.