by Jeanie Chen Jiawen (Singapore)
Just thirteen weeks ago, the mere thought of me being involved in setting up a business seemed laughable. I had no clue what it takes to be an entrepreneur, what is a business plan or even the word “bootstrapping”! At the back of my head, I was also pondering if I had what it takes to be an entrepreneur…
Thirteen weeks later as I write my final journal entry for this class, I realized I have learnt so many things that I will take with me and these are the four main key takeaways that I would like to share.
First, to be an entrepreneur one needs to have a vision, be willing to take risk and the determination to crystallize one’s business plan into reality. These are the qualities I learnt that are essential to be a successful entrepreneur. It is not about the brains or the prestigious degree. It is about having the positive attitude, common sense, the drive and the passion. It was inspiring to hear successful stories of entrepreneurs who made it big like Mr David Lim, Ms Theresa Goh, Mr Inderjit Singh as well as Mr Patrick Koh who have created something out of nothing. In addition, I feel there are two kinds of entrepreneurs – those who build a business to make money and those who build a business from their passion. I aspire to be the latter one because when you do something you love and enjoy, it will motivate you to overcome obstacles.
Second, I learnt the importance of having a good efficient team. My teammates have made this journey enjoyable for me. Despite coming from different academic backgrounds specializing in marketing, finance, accounting etc, all of us had a common vision of turning our LitBullPen.com business into reality. Each of us knew how to have fun and at the same time get the work done just like the Google culture.
Finally, aim for success not perfectionism. A good business is not achieved by trying to aim for the “perfect business plan”. Striving for perfectionism can be a strong impediment to success for an entrepreneur because more often than not our business idea will evolve from the original idea. It will also cause an entrepreneur to constantly rethink decision, delay projects and spend lots of time on trivial details, thus delaying success. As what Nike says, “Just do it!”
Finally, looking back on the journey during the past thirteen weeks left me with a sweet after taste. There were the fun memories of making new friends and meeting a professor who was passionate about the topic and it was great to hear her share with us her past experiences. There was also the joy of seeing our business plan slowly forming from the ideas we had on paper into something real and comforting to know that our professor was always there to guide us through the ordeal. Back to the question on whether I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? After going through this course, I feel that I am.