The Beginning to a Life of Abundance
The first of: 365 days before i hit my big 3.
This year has been one of the most tumultous but yet enriching year. Some of you may know about the challenge I went through this year. The toughest amongst my 7 years as an entrepreneur.
For those whom don’t, I thought to share about it. Many of us entrepreneurs have read about this article, The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship — ‘No one said building a company is easy. But its time to be honest about how brutal it really is and the price so many founders secretly pay.’ And yes! Entrepreneurship is brutal. A lot of times many situations happen unpredictably.
Thankfully, I have another strong belief. All things happen for a reason. And I finally found the reason to why things happen the way they do. Every year on this very date, I will write a journal of how the year I have been. Many a times, I wanted to share it online, but I held back for fear on how others would judge the article or sharing. But this year, I decided to open up this journal because I believe in the value of sharing my experiences in hope that someone else will not have to walk through the same road which could have been prevented, and it does not really matter if anyone judges it because the pure intent to sharing this is turn the experience I have to be of value to another fellow entrepreneur or entrepreneur wannabe. And of course am thankful to some of the friends whom I got to know recently whom has encouraged me to share my journey publicly.
So here is my story. I started my first startup when I turned 21, because I thought of doing something different and fulfil my dream as I hit adulthood. A simple idea to solve the problem of not being able to use my new iPhone 4 in the cold quickly turn into a real business as I invented a type of winter gloves that can be used on touchscreen devices even while living in climates below -10 degrees Celsius and sold It globally.
They said every down leads to an up. It was hard to believe before I started my entrepreneurship journey. But as I hit my first down when technology changed from capacitative to proximity resulting in my gloves being obsolete, I got my next up as that led me to my current startup, QuickDesk.
QuickDesk started because I realised the one thing that I could have really done better in my first startup was to understand distribution channel and sales processes. And as I was looking around the other startups, I realised the fact that out of 10 startups, 9 die was really very real. Many of us, entrepreneurs want to change the world and want to be the next Unicorn and we end up chasing funds after funds.
To be honest, I have always been very thankful for the grants and funds that I could raise from investors. But I think as a startup, we are also a business and its important to be able to make good revenue, so that whether winter come or not, we will be able to survive on our own 2 feet.
One very dear ex-teammate of my, asked me a question one day: as an entrepreneur you are a jack of all trade but a master of none. If one day, u choose to not be an entrepreneur anymore and look for a job, what job will u want to chase for? What will u want to specialise in? That really got me thinking. The very next day, I found my answer. I wanted to be a sales guru, because revenue is the bloodline of every business whether we are a startup or not. With much belief in technology, I kickstarted my second company providing sales solution to businesses through technology and sales processes because if the companies with great products could have done well in sales, the market will have a lot more awesome products that would be so valuable to the market.
So in 2014, we built the first CRM with Do-Not-Call list, but realising that Do-Not-Call is not a strong pull factor, we rebuilt an intregrable simplified sales engagement CRM, with focus on outbound prospecting and for sales people on the ground.
Since launch in 2015 Nov, we have been getting a steady stream of customers till the incident this year. It was hard to accept going down this year, But to be honest, its the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Facing 2 months of depression and going down to ground zero allowed me to find back myself. To know who I am and be completely ok for being myself the way I am. When you are left with nothing, u realised that actually a lot of things in life does not matter. And many of us has been chasing the vanity matrix or the vacuum life. And it make me realised how blessed I have been with the teammates and friends that God has blessed me with. Lastly, it taught me about leadership.
True leadership starts with having the heart for people, to be humble and to give more than you could take. And driving value for the market starts with driving value for the team. Thinking that u have been a great leader because you could produce results or that you have experience in being a leader is by itself a self-limiting factor because learning happens first with self awareness. Experience can only bring u so far. Being relevant and strategic would bring you further. Hopefully the teammates that I have got a chance to work with will get to read this blog and know that I am sorry for not being the best leader but I am thankful, thankful that I have got a chance to work with u! 🙂
During the period when I realised that I have to slow down, and being away from the daily hustle, I finally found back myself. Found back the why I do what I do. And I cannot be more than thankful to have the best job in the world. A job that blended in my passion, talent and values and a job where I can be of value to many others.
And since I found back myself and live life authentically with the connected mind and heart, I have been blessed with the greatest friends ever through EO and many other groups (You know who U Are), and to be able to make a difference in the lives of many others through the conversations that we have.
So this year as I hit my last 2, I just wanna live a life of abundance. To live life to the fullest with joy and to do the best that I could in my startup to show my gratitude to my investor, mentors, teammates (past and present) and to let them know that they have made a right investment in my startup. Because time is the only asset in this world that you can never earn back. And life is too short to live to please others but to be of value and live to what you are called to in this world.
Can’t wait for the start of a ‘new year’. 🙂