Your first and now

Your first cry and now faking it to get attention. 
Your first poop and now cute facial expression when you make one. 
Your first smile and now loud hearty laughs that melts hearts. 
Your first murmur and now baby words. 
Your first crawl and now fearless walking by trial and error.  
Your first reaction to ice, birds, dogs and now to people close and far. 

Your first birthday party with balloons, candy, but now with family and friends you will remember.

Happy first birthday our little man.

We love you,
Mommy and Daddy

Uncontrollable Phenomenon

After a long day at work and arriving home past Justin's bed time, I notice an interesting phenomenon. The moment I laid my eyes on him, a smile appears on my face for which I have no control over. I was clearly smiling because my eyes are looking down my cheeks but my brain cannot comprehend why.

A smile from the heart.

A phenomenon that is new. 

I can get used to this.

~Good night, my little man. See you tomorrow.




Your startup life in 2014

A few words about Lunar New Year Resolutions (if there is such a thing) that I will lay down for myself and I hope you will like them too.

Back in 2009, there was a huge gap of qualified startup mentors that are able to help first time founders (especially) or serial entrepreneurs building product companies for the first time. The FTM (fuck this moment) came when I see too many sub-par quality companies funded and fail (a total waste of money) and hence sparked the creation of Founder Institute Singapore in 2010 with huge support from the IDA and Spring Singapore. Since then, we are crushing it, thanks for asking.

Four years later in 2014, the mentorship gap has narrowed considerably although never completely, we now have a new, and flourishing startup ecosystem that I am proud of. However, the evolution of founders has brought them to meet different challenges especially people management, setting a vision and direction, work life balance and defining the culture of their companies.

What is missing is the next step of founder coaching. Whether they come from the board, advisors, or fellow founders or even full-time executive coaches focused on startup leadership. Our fraternity should come together to help like-minded folks to plough through the good and mostly tough times.

Back in 2010, I gave away some internal secrets on how to build relationships in business (probably not much of a secret). I spoke about it only once publicly in a SMU lecture. Here are the highlights:

The way to build relationships with anyone in business is to know how to (in that order) take care of their:

  • Love/Family Life (especially Kids - their health, education and/or love life)
  • Physical, Mental Health (especially physical health - a thought, an action will change perceptions deeply) 
  • Money matters/Career (especially making them look good and proud of their achievements)

So taking a page above, in 2014, founders please:

1. Take care of yourself this year. Do not let your startup and milestones consume you whole. Slow down and look up at the blue sky once in a while and take a deep breath. Look at your love ones and be clear on why you are doing what you are doing.

2. Seek out a small fraternity (less than 5) of like minded founders that you can chat, update and share your journey with. Grab dinner with them once a month, create a Whatsapp/FB Group Chat, connect and share. Startup life is hard, period. You need an outlet and a sounding board.

3. Focus on your job at hand (money matters/career), have a personal life (love/family life), and have a side interest/hobby (physical, mental health). And lastly, workout (preferably in the late morning or early afternoon, a few times a week).

No matter what your situation is, founders are a different breed of people whom I have the good fortune to meet, train, (occasionally scold), and invest in. Stick together to help one another. Be blunt. Remember, there are people around you who is there to help, support and lend a helping hand. 

They do care about you no matter what you may think. Sometimes a text, a message, a nod will trigger a catch up that is long awaited. 

Sometimes just knowing that they are around is all you need.

Blogs I found that you might like to start with:

http://scott.a16z.com/2014/01/17/success-at-work-failure-at-home/

http://www.themonsterinyourhead.com/

Books:

Startup Life

(of course there are plenty more...)

Happy Lunar New Year to one and all. (This post was inspired by this song below, hope you enjoy it).


Welcome home

From a recent dinner conversation with friends from Japan. One topic came to mind which we (at least for me) take it for granted.

In the countless number of Japanese dramas I plough through since I was 21 in Los Angeles, California, I have always been fascinated by the Japanese greetings below and wonder why we don't have the same in Singapore:

A:  Tadaima.  (I'm home.)
B:  Okaerinasai. (Welcome back or welcome home.)
Every time someone comes home, these brief greetings are exchanged. 

After a hard day's of work or a tiring business trip, coming home to family and/or friends and greeted with "Welcome home" is indeed a nice warm feeling. 

May all of you take a moment to greet your loved ones some, if not all of the time.

Thank you for all your birthday wishes today and to my friends who share the same birthday, "Happy birthday!" 

Happy Thanksgiving and welcome home wherever you are.


~ My own version of "Okaerinasai"