Tag Archives: success

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[caption id="attachment_2234" align="alignleft" width="399"] Talk - Action = Shit. But, Action - Talk = Wasted Energy. You need to find the balance[/caption] Happiness in all walks of life is often more about stopping than starting. More about subtracting than adding. More about letting go than holding on. I wish more startup founders followed such advice, me being one of them. The problem is that we're repeatedly bombarded by messages to get more shit done. So we get a lot of shit done. We don't bother to stop and ask, are we getting the right shit done? Talk - Action = Shit I do agree with what IDEO’s Tom Hulme once said, ‘Talk – Action = Shit.’ I don’t know how…

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[caption id="attachment_2169" align="alignleft" width="374"] The "motorcycle wave" is one of the reasons why entrepreneurs should each other out.[/caption] To my parent's dismay, I bought a motorcycle about 2 years ago. I remember my dad giving me the talk about how one of his friends back in Philippines died in a motorcycle accident. I explained to him that I'll ride as defensively as I can. I consider myself a safe driver and rider. So far so good. I'm still alive, ain't I? But this past Canada day long weekend, I had the scare of my life. While travelling on side roads, my motorcycle chain fell off! Right away, my motorcycle's rear wheel locked up and I started skidding. Stuck at the…

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[caption id="attachment_2104" align="alignleft" width="311"] FamilyTales's first $10, because we weren't afraid to ask our customers for money[/caption] I love ice cream. Mango is my favorite flavor. That was until a few days ago, during father's day, when me and my family had an almost spiritual out-of-body-experience when we tried Spring Roll's coconut ice cream! I'm already drooling just writing about it. It didn't hit me to ask the waiter where they got the ice cream from. But Mary, my sister, did. When I asked her why she didn't ask, she told me it's because it's rude to ask and they would never tell us. Asking is The First Step Receiving Asking is the beginning of receiving. People forget that. The…

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[caption id="attachment_2069" align="alignleft" width="335"] Can Entrepreneurs Find A Work-Life Balance?[/caption] @Startup_Canada hosts regular startup chats on Twitterverse. Recently, one of the topics was about work-life balance with entrepreneurs. Can Entrepreneurs Find Work-Life Balance? My first reaction is absolutely not. I heard a saying once that you need at least the following three things to be happy in life: something to do, something to love, something to look forward to. The problem with most startup founders and entrepreneurs is that all three is wrapped up nicely in the startup they're working on. It's almost like being in love. You wake up in the morning thinking about her. You talk to everyone how amazing she is. You wake up early in the morning…

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[caption id="attachment_2003" align="alignleft" width="328"] The BizInc crew and friends feels like a family[/caption] There's an african proverb that goes, "It takes a village to raise a child." The basic meaning is that child upbringing is a communal effort. The responsibility for raising a child is shared with the larger family. Everyone in the family participates especially the older children, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and even cousins. They take the time to pass on their wisdom to the child. Building a startup is the same. I've learned this over my last three failed startups, all of which I tried to do it on my own. It's really, really hard to build a startup in isolation. Why do it alone? A Startup's Extended…

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It was two weeks after we launched the beta for FamilyTales in mid-April that we realized very clearly that we had to make a customer hypothesis pivot. We were filling in Mike Kirkup, the director of Velocity. That's when he said, 'No startup product survices the first customer contact.' That's why it's so important to get your product out in front of customers ASAP. The problem is that a lot of startup teams are afraid. What if our customers think our product is shitty? To cope with this fear, developers start building more features, while business co-founders hustle until they have X number of likes on Facebook their page and Y followers on Twitter. So, they push off the launch until the…

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"The best kind of feedback you can get is when you hear a definitive no." That's what Mike Kirkup, the director of Velocity Garage and one of the mentors for FamilyTales, told me, Ali and Beatrice. We were talking about pricing. We finally got someone to pay us $100 for subscription for our startup FamilyTales. Kirkup was telling us that we should have kept raising the price to see at what point the person would say no to. The problem is that people are afraid of 'no'. It's negative. It's uncomfortable. It's discouraging. We avoid the word "no" as many times as possible. As entrepreneurs, startup founders and type-A leaders, we pride ourselves in being able to convince most people…

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Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity. - Will Smith "I'm just being realistic." I hear this a lot. And I absolutely hate it. I will not tolerate it in my team and the people who work with me. I tell people all the time to stop being realistic! Being realistic comes with a sense of security and comfort. You use language like "I will try" or "I'll do my best." In some sense, you're hedging yourself from embarrassment, disappointment and failure. But that's the beauty of life. You learn from failure. You get stronger and smarter when you do things that are impossible, things that aren't "realistic." Yes, there will be disappointments. But if you think about it, it's…

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[caption id="attachment_1672" align="alignleft" width="350"] The mug shot of me and Beatrice for the Seed Your Startup pitch competition[/caption] A few weeks ago, I attended a workshop about how to hire rockstars for your startup at Communitech. During the class, we had a discussion about the tradeoffs between hiring or building rockstar employees for your startup. I think too many startups are way too focused on just recruiting rockstar employees. You need a little bit of both - hiring and building rockstars. There's obviously tradeoffs between time and money. If you're looking to hire rockstar employees, you're competing with other more established companies like Blackberry, Google or Microsoft. You most likely have to shell out the big money or huge equity…

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[caption id="attachment_1585" align="aligncenter" width="455"] Moving is messy. Here's the mess I made while moving out last week.[/caption] Last week was the last week of my one-year MBA journey at Richard Ivey School of Business. You know what that means - it's time to move again. I don't like moving. I consider myself a borderline hoarder. I keep a lot of things because I think it might be useful in the future. But, this raises a problem when moving. I have so much stuff that it makes it really hard for me to pack my things in a few small boxes. After much hesitation, I finally decided to start two piles - one were things I'll keep and the other were…