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Welcome to the jungle

Tips to stay ahead of the pack

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Starting your own business is both exhilarating and frightening. Are you still nurturing your side hustle or are you looking to turn it into something more? These are three thought starters to keep at the back of your head as you embark on your journey. 

Love your idea, but be sure to test it! 

Did you come up with this idea because you found a pain point in your own life? Did you test it in easy company like friends and family? Now is the time to take that next big step: Test it on strangers. 

Take it from the pros! Airbnb found its unlikely start in 2007 when co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia decided to literally blow up and rent out air mattresses in their apartment because they were broke. Brian has continued to keep his toe in the space. In 2015, he revealed he still rented out his couch and in it was widely reported in 2022 that he offered a room in his home on the platform! 

Staying open to feedback is a great way to improve your product. Have a prototype? Bring it to a pop-up market or if you are further along on your journey try launching a Kickstarter campaign! 

Love your idea but the best way to get your product out there is to test it on real people and like Brian, be constantly at the frontlines getting feedback.

Have enough cash?

Entrepreneurship can be an expensive journey. As you are scraping together money to make your dreams take flight, your personal lifestyle should not be suffering (too much). Beyond savings, friends and family, there are other avenues of support!

If you are setting up your business in Singapore, there are a wide range  of services ranging from advisory and matchmaking services to financial support available. Start your journey at Action Community for Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Singapore, and Singapore Business Federation

By the way, taking out a loan to start a business happens a lot more regularly than you might think. If you are thinking of taking out a loan to start your business, make sure to check out “Are loans bad?”. 

Stay curious!

Entrepreneurs and other inspiring people we’ve spoken to all talk about the importance of reading and dabbling widely. In Singapore Represent! artist Kenn Lam spoke about being inspired from outside of his craft, from pursuits such as cooking, music and languages. For GXS’ own pixel pusher Tim Lai, he stretches himself by listening to audio books. 

By the way, we had a great conversation with serial entrepreneur Ruth Ng-Qiu on her entrepreneurship journey. Her best piece of advice?

Taking the leap is always scary. But the scarier thing is not taking action and regretting it when it’s too late. That being said, do your homework first and don’t leap blindly. When people say go with your gut feel, this should be based on your prior experiences, acquired knowledge and sufficient research.

She  also gave a list of some lessons she got from books. 

  • From her reading of Benjamin Mee's We Bought a Zoo, Ruth said she learned to embrace being uncomfortable and to be ultra-brave when facing new and uncomfortable situations. As she puts it: “If we hesitate for too long, we’ll end up doubting ourselves and not take that first scary step.” 
  • And from Earl Nightingale’s 20 idea method, she learned that when brainstorming, we should take it to the limit! The first few ideas will come easily but it’s good to have a bigger figure in mind because that's when the breakthrough happens.

Psst! Here's something else you should know! 

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