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All Businesses start as adventures

Letters live.

I caught up with a few friends who had some business senses and had been working in their related industries for several years. The minority of them said to me the following statement: "There are massive opportunities out there! Let's start something amazing and make big money."

Not surprisingly, most of them then shared their business ideas which could be an amazing thing. There was also supportive data to show that there was a market. Some of the ideas, as they pointed out, were "Blue Ocean".

I wrote this post for those of my close friends who want to start their own businesses as their way of living, and the future me. When the idea of being an entrepreneur came to our minds, follow through and ask yourself: Am I ready to become an entrepreneur?

This sounded like a silly question. But please hold onto that thought. Because whenever I raised this exact question, most people fall into a long silence. They had never thought about this. Perhaps, becoming entrepreneurs, such uncertainty overwhelmed them for a moment.

I took an entrepreneurship paper when I was doing my MBA program at the University of Otago. But sometimes, the moment I walked out of the classroom I would think: "I am not ready to do this." The simple question of "Am I ready to be an entrepreneur?" triggered and exploded into countless grenade fragments. Those countless fragments then became countless questions.

Questions such as: "How shall I raise funds? Should I quit my job to do it full-time? If I quit, how would I pay my mortgage? Should I look for a co-founder? If yes, who would they be?" Those questions struck me one by one. Numbering themselves. And the questions about the actual product and sales plan did not even come through to my head until the 10th question. Most people, unfortunately, started thinking from the 10th question and did not notice the previous many questions.

Temple of Athena Nike, Greece丨Kun Lu

The successful businesses we spent time talking about today, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Nike, etc. They all had gone through dilemmas which could have made them disappear from the world. Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, told the story of one the most successful sports apparel companies in the world in his autobiography "Shoe Dog". Nike would not exist if there were no Nissho Iwai. Mr Knight made me realise the importance of cash, partners, company culture and LUCK. Yes, luck. As a strategist, sometimes it is hard to admit, but somehow, I find a way to adapt to that luck plays the most crucial role in the crisis of the business world most of the time.

I did not want to demotivate or discourage people from being entrepreneurs, but I suggested to ask people to take a step back and think thoroughly. About whether they were ready to start their businesses. Or their ideas could be used for a better time or even by more suitable people. My friends, be brave but not be bold. Under the sun, simply being a fast runner may not result in becoming the first, and strong fighters may not always win.

Finally, salute to those companies that have made significant contributions to humankind and to those business partners who silently lend a helping hand to good companies.


Book to read: "Shoe Dog" ------ Phil Knight

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