Starting a business in today’s highly competitive environment can be a daunting task, especially with technology, customer demands and the market expectations changing rapidly each season. For our resident entrepreneur commentator, Sidney Ng who launched Foodpanda.my, he dissects the 4 Mindset Shifts that need to happen among entrepreneurs or budding entrepreneurs to want to stay in their game and to succeed in starting, running and sustaining their businesses profitably.
The Law of Attraction. Important for Entrepreneurs but Is It Wishful Thinking?
The Law of Attraction – I used to think it’s pretty much wishful thinking than a solid science. Being a science student for most bit of my life and even a trained biotechnologist – I was pretty much a skeptic.
In the corporate world, it’s all about chasing your budgets and having a concrete plan to get there. Almost like orchestrating everything to ensure that we get there. Its almost success by design. Well, for most of the time at least, before bureaucracy and differing agendas sets in. Then, its very much how you play your cards with the deck you have been dealt with.
The Big Boys vs The Minor League
In a startup environment, there is only so much you can plan for and so much you can orchestrate – given the budget, manpower and still growing brand name that we needed to build. To quote James Cameron “Luck is not a factor, Hope is not a strategy, Fear is not an option.”
But somehow, like bits and pieces of the puzzle falling in place – everything seems to flow into place in a serendipitous synchronicity. It was almost surreal, the people we got on our team and who came in for interviews.
From the many unexplainable coincidences – I finally understood what it was like to have passion, work hard and let things fall into place. The right people came our way, the right contacts came by, the right delays happened at the right time for the right things to happen.
Being in a startup, we needed people who are flexible. We needed team players who were not afraid to move out of their comfort zones and take up whatever challenges that came their way.
We needed people who would laugh at how ridiculous job descriptions and job objectives are because there is so much to learn from so many different functions. A startup is the best place to learn so many things in a short amount of time.
Being the Marketing Director, I also had my hand in pitching to restaurants, operations, HR and even menu uploads! My previous 9 to 9 job gave me lots of opportunity to learn but not as much experience and depth as this in such a short time period!
Here, the learning curve is steep, the expectations are high – but it makes you a better person. I learnt and experienced so much in the past 2 months than 2 months in my corporate job. Honestly. One just needs to roll one’s sleeves and soak in all the experience.
The A Team
Sure, we had people who came in for a few days and decided this was not what they wanted but those who have stayed with us have evolved so much from when they first started. Seeing their growth is almost as fulfilling as seeing the site grow. The best part is that they know that they are growing and they enjoy coming to work every single day – sometimes on weekends – and even on their free time online. The secret sauce is that everybody is having fun doing what they are doing. Work does not seem like work.
I am proud to say we have the best team – everyone in our team can attest to that. The work environment is very much like friends helping friends and getting work done.
We work in a very open environment – there are no cubicle spaces or special offices to distinguish your hierarchy – everybody is an equal. In fact, the Country Manager and I have the smallest space amongst the team!
Everyone pitches in to help when there the need arises and that is our major strength as a team and we are constantly looking for other great people to join our team! We are fueled by passion and the willingness to learn and grow.
Chase Your Dreams – The Universe Beckons
If I knew earlier in my life that all it takes is a great, tested idea and willingness to execute – I would have started off as an entrepreneur. But all that being said and done, the things I learnt in my corporate life has helped me immensely where I am today. I would not even be half the person I am today if not for the experience and learning I had in the corporate environment.
So, perhaps it is true – life is charted in such a way that we learn what we need to before we proceed to the next adventure in an orderly (but not necessarily linear) manner. In retrospect, I felt that every challenge, difficulty, learning and job that I faced so far are necessary building blocks to equip me with the tools to be the person I am today.
So, for all you hopeful entrepreneurs out there; I say – test your ideas, have enough enthusiasm to chase your dreams, be patient with your current challenges and be passionate to make your idea work – the rest will fall into place. The universe beckons!