Why do I want to start a company?
No. It is not because of money.
No. It is not because I fancy the term"founder" on my name card.
No. It is not because flexibility or freedom.
I was once an employee
I used to work in a commercial Biotechnology laboratory for 2 years. I worked hard, gave my 110%, worked overtime till 1-2 a.m. back to work the next morning at 6 a.m.
I donated 6-8 tubes of blood for the research bimonthly.What did I get? Less than $2,000 monthly salary and free lunch for the blood"donation".
Then I realized with the effort that I put in, the skills and knowledges that I have. I can build my own start-up, my own company.
To be honest, I was not sure.
My plan: learn from start-up -- hands-on.
I registered in cofounder.com then applied a few start-up jobs from techinasia.com.
Within a few days, an on-demand errand runner (similar to TaskRabbit) start-up called me for interview.
But somethings unexpected happened, he offered me a 40% sweat equity for another start-up, a travel & lifestyle website.
Here is what I learned "When somethings are too good to be true, most of the time it is not true at all.” It is bound to be sh*t.
This was the start of my learning journey. The hard way.
Then i was being used by my co-founder
First month, I posted articles daily, scheduled all social media posts, we had discussion on founders' contract. Results: 1,000 to 5,000 unique visitors/day.
Second month, I printed my name card, emailed a few event organizers. We got sponsored to multiple events with media passes, free hotel stays, free foods etc. It felt great living a superficial luxury life.
Third month, we focus on speed up the website, mobile page optimization, UX/UI improvement and looking affiliate-partnership program.We manage to secure partnership with HotelQuickly, Lazada & Zalora. I learned that I am good in business development.
Fourth month, we brought in 11 freelance writers onboard.
I managed all of them through Whatsapp. Motivating them and got them to submit1 draft weekly. I learned that relationship is important in building a business.
Fifth month, we helped LG Singapore in their product launch & product review. We also sponsored by GoatStory and ToughMudder. I learned that to get what you want; you must give first. Give something that is of added value, think of something that can help the employees not the company(unless you need something from the business owner).
Sixth month, I found out my tech co-founder planned to raise a seed series for his new start-up. I helped him checked on the decks and financial projection, hoping that I could be involved with that start-up as well.
He managed to raise the seed round. He went missing& uncontactable for 2 months. During the official launch of his other start-up. He announced himself as sole-founder and continue to say nothing about anything.
Eventually, we decided to cease the hosting and operation of the website.
I wasted 6 months getting nothing but 40% on paper equity. I worked day and night to grow the audiences and partners. Everything gone in one day, not even a record left for my resume.
However, I learned not to trust strangers. I discovered my new strength in business development. In fact, I am working in SaaS startup right now as a business developer.
I have grown the business to 40+ B2B clients all using actively and paying with 0 churn rate in the first 6 months.
Will I go back to start my own business again? Absolutely
It is more satisfying to know what you work so hard for is yours.