by S.U. Chae (Singapore)
Climbing the Mount Everest is a tough and an enduring journey. On the way you will face a lot of challenges and doubts about yourself, especially when you see what path lies still ahead of you. You will struggle and arrive to the close edge of just giving up. Having never climbed up the Mount Everest, at least this is what I imagine it to be.
Going through the process of building and developing my own start up company, I experienced similar things. From the very beginning, my team and I had a hard time, as we were very limited in man power. The initial complexity of our business idea was huge. To be frank, I had no prior knowledge in the domain of our business. But, this was only one part of the millions of challenges I faced and what our small team faced. So, while catching up the basic foundations and learning more about the subject itself, we had to take our initial idea and come up with a workable business. One way to do it is to strip down your business model and try to simplify it; get to the core, and really narrow it down. During this time, we continuously added new ideas, discard old ideas, changed elements and so on. We constantly modified and adapted our business model and I am sure we will continue to do so, as we evolve and grow. The key element here is that your idea has to be feasible and executable. There is nothing wrong with thinking big, but the question is whether it is achievable given your constraints i.e. financial resources, current capabilities etc. Maybe there are smarter ways to do it. So, what’s important is to come up with creative ideas to overcome your constraints, forming joint ventures is one possible way. As a start up why not leveraging on established companies? Why not standing on the shoulder of giants?
Moreover, I experienced on my journey so far, that even though with all the challenges, the process of venturing a business can be fun and exciting. Everything what you learned in theory during your education comes into play and you can actually put it into practise. It makes perfect sense. You will recognise the key elements of your learned theory and what is just plain rubbish. In addition to that, I also learned that you should not limit yourself even when you don’t have the initial knowledge or even expertise. The learning process actually helped me to identify my strength and weaknesses and further develop myself. Essentially, you will grow as your start up grows because of the constant flow of challenges. So summarizing my experience, it is really not about the issues of becoming rich, but furthering yourself; or as a Chinese proverb says: “The journey is the reward.”