Vance Roush is the Founder and CEO of Overflow and on mission to inspire the world to give. Overflow unlocks generosity by empowering nonprofits, churches, and corporations to accept non-cash donations, like stocks and crypto, with ease. Outside of Overflow, Vance serves on multiple boards such as Help Online (suicide prevention) and VIVE Church as a founding member. His background is in technology from companies like Google where he started his career.
What does “entrepreneurship” mean to you?
Vance Roush: Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. Entrepreneurs find solutions to problems, and the best solution comes from the one who is willing to go deep into the problem or pain.
Tell us about your first experience with entrepreneurship.
VR: I used to run a ‘landscaping business’ when I was in grade school. The problem I identified was that my neighbors were looking for a cost-effective and consistent way to keep their lawn maintained. I solved that by going door to door in my neighborhood providing subscription services to my lawn mowing service :).
What is your company’s origin story? What is the biggest reason you started your business? What did those early days look like and teach you?
VR: Originally, I was simply trying to solve a problem within our own church community. Several members wanted to donate stock like Facebook, Google, and Apple stock. When I looked into how they can do that, it required multiple forms to physically fill out and fax in. I knew that millennials won’t fax in anything. So I created Overflow to enable them to complete the stock donation process fully online. When this led to millions of dollars in donation value within our own church, I knew it would be something other churches and nonprofit organizations needed. Those early days confirmed for me that it’s important to clarify the problem you’re solving, and if there are enough people with that problem, you can start a business helping those people.
What do you wish you knew when you started? Is there anything you would do differently?
VR: I wish I would have known from the beginning that customers and providing value to them is all the validation you need. It is greater validation than investors, media, or rankings. Although we are grateful for it all, providing value to your customers is number 1! Having this revelation from the beginning would have enabled an even greater focus and peace in what we are building.
What does “success” look like for you? We’d love to hear your biggest, boldest dream? What do you think will help you achieve it?
VR: Our mission is to inspire the world to give – which means we will exist until every human being on the planet experiences the life of the generous. Because we believe that the world of the generous gets larger and larger (Proverbs 11:24). Practically, there is $450B donated every single year in America to 501c3 charitable organizations. We want to help unlock $1T donated in a year which will in turn translate into an acceleration of impact by the nonprofit organizations that are receiving the resources they need to solve the problems they are tackling. We will achieve this by building the “Amazon for Giving”. The same way you can buy anything through Amazon, you’ll be able to give anything through Overflow!
What is your superpower as an entrepreneur? What is your proudest and darkest moment so far? Share a key high and a key low from your journey if you can.
VR: My superpower is storytelling. I’m proudest of the team we have built. The darkest moment was when I was on the last leg of personal cash that I had from liquidating my 401k. I had a dream in my heart, but didn’t want to sacrifice providing for my family to pursue it. Thankfully, we were able to secure funding in that season and keep building.
What are your personal driving principals, your top values?
VR: We have a principle at Overflow: “Fight To Pay The Bill”. It’s this concept that comes from that moment where you’re at dinner with friends or family at a restaurant, and someone sneakily pays for the whole table. What a blessing! Wanting to extend that feeling towards others comes from an understanding that generosity is our privilege and that we refuse to lead the world somewhere that we have not gone first ourselves.
How have your personal principles and values shaped your company’s values and principles? Give us some examples.
VR: Every single one of our values as a company comes from a personal conviction. I believe this is one of the most powerful ways to construct your values as a company because it then will exude an authenticity that is attractive. Another example of a value we have at Overflow is “Multiply with Momentum”. We believe that results produce freedom, and freedom results in momentum. This comes from my personal upbringing where work ethic was emphasized.
What’s it like to work alone or with your partners?
VR: I definitely aim to do as many tasks and projects as a team, instead of alone. Especially with the position that I hold, ensuring that I’m not the only one on a project is key towards increasing my capacity and scaling our impact.
Do you have a mentor? Tell us about what makes them valuable to you and your business?
VR: I have key people in my life that I invite to speak into my life including my wife and business partner, Kim. Our Pastors. And our marriage counselor/coach who we meet with frequently. These relationships are key for guidance, wisdom and accountability.
What role does mentorship play in your world (as a mentor or mentee)?
VR: The best mentorship for me is simply relationship. And relationship is everything. We say at Overflow that ‘life travels at the speed of relationship’.
Many entrepreneurs continue to perfect their daily routines to support their work and greater vision; would you mind sharing your morning routine or a regular ritual that grounds your work each day?
VR: I am at my best when I am nailing the morning routine with our 4 kids, which includes breakfast, coffee and a bible devotional. Within the day, running for 30 minutes is also key for physical and mental health.
What are you reading or have read?
VR: I am not a big reader, but I am a big listener (podcasts & audio books). A book I’ve been recently listening to is “The Secrets of Sand Hill Road”.
Where do you go for inspiration?
VR: I draw a lot of inspiration from sports, specifically my favorite sport is basketball. The level of focus, determination, and passion to master a craft like basketball at a championship level has a lot of parallels to business.
Do you have a favorite quote, mantra, or words of wisdom to get through the tough days?
VR: I am loved.
What is a problem that keeps you up at night?
VR: Not many will keep me up. I typically sleep very well :). Problems love meeting me in the morning though through my email inbox so I focus on nailing my morning routine before tackling those.
How do you think about helping others through your work?
VR: It’s what our whole company is based on! We believe if we can inspire the world to give, it will not only lead to impact through nonprofit organizations, but impact to the giver as they find deep fulfillment and purpose through the act of giving.
What advice do you have for fellow (and aspiring) entrepreneurs building and leading teams?
VR: Establish your values before hiring a core leadership team. Ensuring your core leadership team shares your values is of upmost importance for chemistry and longevity.
What kind of an entrepreneur do you want to be known as – as in, what do you want your legacy to be?
VR: I want to be known as an inspirational leader. Those I have been inspired by have given me the motivation and courage to pursue big dreams and goals. I hope to be a catalyst like that for others!
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