Kickstarting a business dream can be a profoundly satisfying experience but the uncertainty is equally unnerving. While you are bootstrapped, you would try to make the best of everything you already have – including that crampy workspace, such as the dorm (in the case of Facebook) or your living room (Airbnb). But thanks to The Working Capitol (TWC) in Singapore, local budding entrepreneurs can now work comfortably in a beautiful and conducive environment. But a nice desk doesn’t mean everything else would be rosy. Six local business dreamers at TWC shared with GoBear how they continue to fuel that dream when the going gets tough.
Tip #1: Not confident enough to venture out on your own? Start in your company.
You don’t have to forsake the security of your job to be a self-starter. Work with an organisation that gives you the room to spearhead your own projects.
“I wanted to move to Asia to be at the forefront of some of the trends that we are tracking, so I spoke to my company about moving me to Singapore to be immersed within the region, and they were very supportive about this initiative.” – Michael Agnew, Head of APAC of Foresight Factory
Tip #2: Do your homework before taking the leap.
Got a rough business plan or an idea for a new product? Don’t quit your job just yet, not until you have thoroughly researched for this new venture.
“Start developing your product, and of course it will involve many sleepless nights, and that’s a sacrifice you will have to make to get things going while you’re still in your current job.” But Aditya also adds the reminder to know when to make that leap away from a secure job. “Remember that you need to make a call at some stage of your business development to commit to it full time.” – Aditya Haripurkar, partner of an upcoming startup venture
Tip #3: Make sure you like what you’re doing!
It’s a no-brainer, but we could get too caught up with making the dough and forget about enjoyment.
“When I resigned from my job, I took a sabbatical to think about what I wanted next. I wanted to be able to play and have fun as part of my job. Regardless of working for a big firm or running your own studio, you cannot sustain your work if you don’t like what you’re doing.” – Lorenzo Petrillo, designer and founder of Lopelab
Tip #4: Believe in your product.
Create a product you know you would buy; plan a business you know you would be happy to work for.
“Do not raise funds simply to reduce your own entrepreneurship risk; you have to believe in your business before you can let others put their money in it.” – Chua Meng Kiat, account director of Akimi Technologies
Tip #5: Keep sane by keeping balanced.
Long hours of hustling and less time to sleep are inevitable when starting out on your own but Anjali reminds us to take regular breaks to prevent a burn-out.
“At first, I was just working and forgot about other aspects of my life. Now I make sure I balance my time between hobbies and work. Having other activities such as playing tennis, cooking on the weekends and spending time with my friends add an additional dimension to my life, and motivate me to strive further.” - Anjali Datwani, Founder of Urban Journey
Tip #6: Don’t sell yourself out to the wrong investor.
It may be your own business but investors and clients are a lot like bosses because they put the cash in your bank account. So make sure you know who you’re getting the moolah from as they could dictate the direction of your business.
“I didn’t have an investor because I wanted full independence and jurisdiction. It was my hope that with the first client, projects will start rolling in. And that's how it has been ever since. We’ve got almost all our clients through referrals and never really pitched for a business. We also made a conscious decision to make ends meet with only what our clients pay us and this has created a system where we always invoice, and receive our fees on time. We are not a one-size-fits-all agency. We consider factors like a vibe, energy level and relationship potential in potential clients before we sign on for the job. Therefore, we keep the core team small we can have the luxury of choice.” –Sukamar Menon, founder and creative head of Black Swan Life
It’s the final week of our #GoBearDreams video submission contest. If you have a dream that you’ve always wanted to fulfil, take the first step now by submitting a 30-second video and tell us about your dream! We are providing a $10,000 fund to make one dream happen and it could be yours. Submission deadline is on 29 July, so wait no longer and submit it at gobear.com.sg/dreams now!