3 Best Pieces Of Advice For Aspiring Entrepreneurs (From AIESEC’s “Thrive In Adversity” Networking Event)

Interested in being part of a startup ecosystem but unsure of whether the startup life is for you?

Last Friday, our CEO, Katrina Lee, was a guest speaker at “Thrive In Adversity”, a networking event organised by AIESEC Singapore held on Zoom, which attracted over 80 participants. Katrina shared and had a Q&A session with students hailing from different countries and universities regarding her career experience, Savour!, and skills and experiences that would give students an advantage if they would like to enter the startup industry. Other speakers also gave invaluable advice to those who were keen on creating their own startups or joining existing startups.

Here are three key takeaways from the networking session that the Savour! team has gathered for you!

1. Have a strong passion about what you really want to do

~ Benjamin Lee, Co-founder of Sealed Network

When we are younger, we might not have as much credibility as working adults to be able to achieve a lot of things. When we become older, although our life experiences would have increased, the amount of time we have left would have decreased significantly. Thus, there will always be trade-offs, so if you want to start something of your own, just do it!

Go and seek opportunities, maintain a good reputation wherever you are — be it at school or at work — and be passionate about what you really want to do! Being in a startup is actually very tough, so you need to find your own reasons for being in a startup that will keep you motivated and strong during tough times.

2. Being in a startup will allow you to learn much more than from conventional education

Felix Tan, Founder & CEO of Skillio

In the process of creating a startup, you will be able to glean a wide range of experiences that will enable you to learn about yourself through feedback that you can get from others that you interact with. In addition, it will enable you to develop essential soft skills that are especially important. Soft skills are like muscles that can be developed, so with consistent practice, your soft skills will eventually be honed.

To strengthen your soft skills, you can read books that provide actionable tips on how to improve one’s soft skills, or actively network with people and reach out to people that can mentor you and offer you guidance.

Moreover, being in a startup will compel you to develop strong time management skills. Especially for students, managing your business on top of your school work is definitely demanding and at many times, you will need to make sacrifices, often compromising on your own personal time. Hence, you will need to work out what matters the most to you, and learn how to make compromises. In a nutshell, it is of paramount importance for you to be always aware of your behaviour, and always find things to work on to improve yourself.

3. Keep an open mind

Katrina Lee, CEO of Savour!

You might think that you need to possess specific skill sets or experiences in order to embark on the entrepreneurship journey. However, that is not the case. As long as you are open to learning from others, gathering feedback and improving yourself, you will definitely be able to pick up the necessary skills and knowledge along the way.

For instance, actively attending networking events and seeking guidance from mentors will allow you to meet people who are open to sharing and providing any relevant assistance to you. They will usually be open to link you up with people whom they have contact with and share with you things that are relevant to the things you are working on.

Thus, always be eager to share with others about your interests and gather responses from them. You never know who will be there to offer you with help that you might require while on your journey of starting up your business.

Being a part of a startup is often sugar coated. At the mention of “startup” in Singapore, people think of Grab and Carousell, two of the many startups who have achieved significant success to be recognised by the general public. However, people often neglect the countless rejections and the sleepless nights behind the birth of such an outstanding organization.

Being part of a startup means that you have to be willing to put in long hours and hard work everyday, and be resilient when faced with umpteen challenges. However, if you have a cause that keeps you up all night, want to learn things beyond the textbook, and you are willing to keep an open mind — then go for it!