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19 - How Jan Smejkal hustled from a rural town in the Czech Republic to Startup Grind in Shenzhen

“Hustle all the time if you want to build something for yourself”

Jan Smejkal currently works for Startup Grind as Community Director for the China and APAC region. Previously he had started with Startup Grind as a community volunteer and, because of his increasing interest and involvement, he was eventually asked to join as a full time employee.

Jan grew up in a rural town in the Czech Republic. His family was hard working and stable, which gave him a good base to get involved in many extracurricular events and communities.

This active participation and motivation gave Jan the confidence to set up a partnership between Charles University in Prague and Peking university in Shenzhen in order to move there on a scholarship.

Jan is an extrovert and is happy to be a showman and a salesman when gets up on stage. He learns from many of the people he meets and places a huge emphasis on his own self improvement.

In this episode:

+ How hustling for travel money can give you positive learnings for your future.
+ What is ‘Startup Grind’ and what they do.
+ The business model of Startup grind and how do they manage their events.
+ The 3 different methods Startup Grind have to help Startups sell their product.
+ Creating a small business on the side for education & for fun.
+ Jan’s parents and their influence of them in his young life, creating his current ‘lean’ lifestyle.
+ Jans extroverted nature and how he relaxes from the consequences of being an extrovert.
+ Spending the day with Gary Vaynerchuk in Hong Kong and his influence on Jan.
+ Learning about yourself and having fun by being out of your comfort zone.
+ How to hire good interns.
+ The instant feedback loop and how to forget the negative things quickly.

Jan Smejkal

Jan’s YouTube channel:

Video blog about day with Gary Vee:

‘Extreme ownership’ by Jocko Willink:

‘AskGaryVee’ book about family, self awareness and being the good person in the room:

‘The Daily stoic Book- 366 meditations on wisdom, perseverance, and the art of living’ – about life and perseverance etc. about Stoicism. By Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman.


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