A year ago this day, I began my path as an entrepreneur in Asia. The start was harsh, as I decided to join a local startup first, but the seed of setting our own co was neatly set up by my partner Mathieu who (courageously) stayed in Paris.
After (not even) two months of marketing at this startup, I left, with “mood in the socks” as we say in French, not knowing at all what to do. I jumped on the opportunity to do a new media reporting of SXSW in Austin, and started a crowdfunding campaign. After 18 days of craze, we made it to get the necessary $7000 to reach the US, produce news, and come back in France and Singapore to share what we saw.
I still needed to set up something for good to get my mind busy, so I eventually accepted to set up a branch of the social media marketing agency I was a not-so-present partner of in Paris. I went through the ups and downs of setting up a legal entity in a foreign country, got my visa, so, well, now was time to get clients at least to paid for the expenses of the company, right?
I spend 4 months of business development where I met an average 10 new business leads each week, working on our content, website and other stuff in the meanwhile. I joined BNI, a networking association with weekly meetings, thought it was a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous at first, then enjoyed the way I could gain trust among Singaporean businessmen and women.
The few first deals kicked in late August, a few hundreds bucks here, a few thousands there, with companies ranging from startups to large MNCs with global reach. These are extremely rewarding moments, even if barely pays for the bills, but, yeah, someone is giving you money for your skills. And you keep this money, you don’t give it to your boss 🙂
In parallel, I set up a project of world tour of innovation with another partner in crime from Paris. We began a few weeks ago and since then have already “covered” trends, contacts and best practices of innovation in Malaysia, Iran, Kenya and Belgium. We’ll be early next year in Dubai, Nigeria, China, India, and later on in Chile, Canada, Russia, and South-East Asia.
I now know that the path is still uncertain and will be for a few more months, but I know also that this is a main turning point in my life (a timely one: I just turned 30 and lost a few years in the 20s on Call of Duty). My biggest fear is to come back some day in a company which is not mine, and it gives wings to keep on meeting, negotiating, twisting my brain so as to GET. THE. MONEY.
So I’m wishing myself another fruitful year, would love to thank too many people for the place I have here, my family (they pushed me first outside the country), my friends here and there, my partners Mathieu and Nicolas, and my girlfriend who is now almost used to my u-turns, roller coasters as an entrepreneur, maybe I should act as if I were a bored employee for a few days to see her reaction.
I will hopefully keep travel a lot (134 000km in 33 flights), get a new passport, and spend all my money on travels. I’ll keep drinking two (free) glasses of white wine in each flight and watch a crappy movie or the clouds.
4 thoughts on “A year as an entrepreneur”
Ad augusta per angusta! Fair winds and following seas!
eh eh 🙂
Love your new project, although it’s not bringing you back to Central Texas so far, good luck with it!
Well, I think we’re still going back to the Us at some stage but more to (re)discover crushed cities such as St Louis or Detroit, where they are almost like new emerging markets, local tech and community-powered initiatives 🙂
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