Question: How to overcome weaknesses for tech-turned-founder people?

This is the question I was asked during a talk I gave to Seed the Future Program organized by Shinhan Future’s Lab Vietnam. You can watch the full talk here: 8 + 1 ENTREPRENEUR THINGS TALK.

Question: Mr. Hung, yes, we have another question. Developers who turn to be founders often find themselves in trouble with business and sale … strategy. So while they have the advantage of implementing and developing platforms, how can they overcome their weakness in areas where they are not professional as a part of that business?

Answer: As one of the suggestion I throw out that you need to pick the game you want to play. And if you cannot pick the game that suitable for you, then it’s harder. I don’t say that it would be a failure or anything. But it’s much harder, if the game is not suitable for you to play. But I believe that because of that super team kind of things, kind of concept, then you still, if you really want to work on the area that you don’t know before, you need to approach that industry, that network of people that who know how to do the work. And then from there, you can recruit your partner who can really take care of the part that you are not strong at. And that’s not easy. The first thing is that you need to find a suitable person. The second thing is that you need to find that one who share with you the vision and the core values. So it’s not that easy to do that.

And that’s how I would suggest you guys, like any one of us, need to really invest into expanding our network, i.e. quality network, right? It’s not just people who you know. You go to the networking event and you give out your business card and you collect like 100 business card and then you keep it there in your drawer. And then that’s not the network that I mentioned. The network that I mentioned, I mean, is that the people that you can talk to, you can really share with them a lot of interest and then you can help them as well as they can support you.

So it needs a lot of time to do that. So you need to go out and prepare for that. So that when times come, then you have people at hand. In the book called “The millionaire mindset” that is a result of another research in the US, I learned that most of the business… I mean they do like a few thousand surveys to millionaires people in the US and then they got one conclusion very powerful is that most of them and most of the business that they have is they do business with their friends. Right? With their friends. So that’s very powerful. And that works. I think that is sustainable. So I would suggest you to go out and then just to prepare for your network.

For me, I’m coming from a developer, technical background. (People with) technical background like me… Usually, I don’t talk that much. I can talk in front of you now. But people would would not imagine that I’m an introvert. I’m nervous when I’m talking to people. But because of my job, as a managing director, I need to go out every day in the last ten years, so I become my better and better in public speaking. It doesn’t mean that I’m very good at that, but then I can do that, decent. So at the very beginning, I’m quite hesitant to go out to meet people. But because I know that I need to do it, so every month I commit myself that I commit to myself that I need to go out and meet at least one person, new person, one new person in one month.

So, as you can see, that one person per month is not that many. But if you keep doing that for 12 months, you have 12 people that you know who you can really keep exchanging email and then once in a while and you check with them, then how are you doing? Any help and support that I can have for you? Something like that, right? And usually after two years, then those 24 people, then you can only keep connection with only two or three people, after two years. So meaning that a year then you can only find a new friend. But if you keep doing that in ten years, you have ten new friends who you can consider quality in your network, right? And that’s a lot already, if you can count your closed friend, I don’t think that we can count a lot. Usually it’s like in one hand. It cannot be ten. But then if you keep doing like I said, you (will) have ten new people in ten years. The great thing is that those ten people would have their own network. And usually they are the ones who are suitable, who share the same core values with you as well. So the network is like exponential. It’s not just like ten people, right? So a lot of investment upfront. And during that experience, it would help you to build a healthy relationship with your team as well, with the people around you as well. So that you appreciate what you have, currently. So good luck. Just need to head down and then do the work.

Viet Hung | A Happiness pursuer | Author of The Happiness Journal, Tản mạn về Hạnh phúc and NGẪM CAFÉ 
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