startup ecosystem

It’s been awhile everyone! Feels so great to finally sit down and catch up again!

Work has been consuming us all at e27. In stressful times like this, I feel we could all use a breeze of fresh air. So here’s a dose of positivity for the end of a hectic week, to remind us all of the reasons to keep us going on our startup journey.

I will share my side of the story: what has the startup ecosystem taught me so far?

Saying ‘yes’

More often at times, we say ‘no’ more than ‘yes’. I realised most of my ‘no’s are fuelled by the uncertainty, the fear of disappointment or the rigid habit of sticking to what I am familiar with. Basically, they are things that do not lie within my comfort zone.

However, there should be no existence of a comfort zone in this ecosystem. Entrepreneurs are those who say ‘yes’ to solving aching problems and those who take the initiatives when everyone else is still hesitant because of the risks they see. Ever since I joined the ecosystem, the most common words I see are ‘disruptive’, ‘changes’, ‘innovation’. And I know that none of these words will apply if entrepreneurs said “no” to taking chances.

Also read: [e27 Tea Talk]: How to be a successful startup community builder

I started building a habit of saying ‘yes’ more in my personal life. Not to lie, of course it’s terrifying, but you should always start from somewhere. I started with the small changes, such as saying ‘yes’ to meeting new friends or trying a new book genre, to bigger changes such as changing my look or having my first experience as a solo traveller in a country where I don’t even speak a word of their national language.

Saying ‘yes’ really is life-changing. Before you think I’m exaggerating, let me share with you a story. This time last year, I was in the UK, struggling for more than 7 months to find a good job in the country. I have never thought about settling down in Singapore until the opportunity came knocking on my door. I was informed that I got the job on the other side of the world only 3 weeks before the start date. I had no accommodation, no friend in Singapore and limited knowledge of the startup ecosystem at that time, but I said ‘yes!’ in an instant. And until today, it remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Think about it, the person who is talking to you now wouldn’t be me if I had let my fear take over my decision at that one key moment.

It’s fascinating to see the way this universe works when you start saying ‘yes’, isn’t it?

The power of not taking credits

Before joining the startup ecosystem, I had some experiences working in a corporation. And what they say is true, it is a ‘every man for himself’ kind of environment. It is not necessarily a terrible thing, taking into account the nature of the environment, I understand that to develop such mindset is inevitable.

The awkward thing is, I came into the startup ecosystem with such a mindset. I had this thirst of proving myself so overwhelming that I unconsciously became rather aggressive. I was afraid to admit my flaws or to ask for help. It wasn’t until I saw how our Projects Director willing spend half of his weekend doing manual work to help another team (not his), or how my teammate took the fall for my ‘rookie’ mistake when I first started, that I realised that none of us is competing against each other, but for the sake of each other.

By embracing your flaws without the fear of losing to others, you will be able to absorb much faster and grow into a strong team player.

Don’t take credits. Instead, give credits, it’s way more powerful.

Also read: [e27 Tea Talk] Solid teamwork takes effort

Things you learn don’t have to be something techie or genius. Sometimes, great things come in small packages, the true value of a lesson is how much of an impact it has, not only on your career, but also to your personal life. I am grateful to be a part of this amazing community, where I get to learn something new every day and inspired by interesting people I meet along the way. I mean, what more can you wish from a job, right?

Do share with me what your experiences and takeaways from your journey in the startup ecosystem, I am curious to know how impactful this journey is to others than it was for me.

May the inspirations never stop flowing!

Til next time everyone, TGIF!

e27 Tea Talk is the column managed by Tracy and e27 Team. We hope to see you join in on stimulating discussions and constructive feedback as we navigate through the startup journey together. :)

Image Credit: niserin / 123RF Stock Photo