The Entrepreneurial Spirit | Earnest | EP 05

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90% of businesses fail - a telling tale on the difficulty of success for entrepreneurs. Evidently, starting your own business is not an easy feat. Entrepreneurs have to work long hours, deal with uncertainties, and manage their team effectively. 

So, why is it that so many people still continue to chase their dreams? Let’s turn to Earnest to find out more about his drive and passion for his own companies, and how he navigates through the tough times.

Who is Earnest?

Earnest is the co-founder and business development lead for Version22, a boutique automation consultancy focusing on helping businesses identify, build and maintain software automation solutions. 

With a fervent passion for sales and entrepreneurship, Earnest has started multiple businesses. His entrepreneurship journey started in Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a t-shirt printing business, where his company became the first in Singapore to offer 'live-printing' services. With participation in notable sporting events such as the OSIM Sundown Marathon, they managed to hit $100k revenue in their first year. 

His next venture was Munch, an AI-powered food discovery app that learns user behaviour to improve suggestions. 

"I'm always looking out for different opportunities"

Entrepreneurial Mindset

Something that stood out to me during Earnest’s interview was his mindset and his innovative spirit. With a penchant for identifying opportunities, Earnest was able to capitalise on the gaps in the market, making his mark through various ventures. 

By looking at things from a different angle, he created opportunities for himself in ways that others might not have contemplated. Perhaps we can uncover interesting opportunities if we take on a different perspective too!

Uncertain Outcomes

A common theme that surfaced was the unpredictability of Earnest’s initial ventures . For his first t-shirt printing startup, they did not intend to offer live t-shirt printing. Yet, as they saw the potential of printing t-shirts at live events, they transitioned away from traditional shirt printing. They managed to participate in notable sporting events, generating more than $100k in revenue in their first year. 

When it came to his second venture, Munch Technologies, their progress was relatively smooth as well. Investors were interested in their technology, they had partnerships in place and were already working with hundreds of F&B influencers. Unfortunately, after considering their options and outcomes in the long term, they had to make a tactical retreat.

For better or for worse, there are many elements in business that are unforeseen. Regardless of the final outcome, there is always something to take away from such experiences.

Knowledge Is King

With technology disrupting industries at an unprecedented rate, it is imperative that we keep ourselves abreast of the developments and equip ourselves with relevant skills. In the interview, Earnest explains how to start learning about technology strategically. Even as a non-tech person, there are many ways you can learn about tech, especially when it comes to business applications of these technologies.

While there may be instances where we are unsure of what we can work on, we can seek the help of business mentors or friends who are more experienced for guidance.

Some questions I asked:

  • How was raising money from your family and friends like? (07:20)
  • What were some of the key lessons from your previous ventures? (09:45)
  • How do you stay focused on a daily basis? (12:47)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Earnest’s entrepreneurial spirit (01:10)
  • Earnest’s first shirt-printing venture, Inked Group (01:59)
  • Earnest’s second venture, Munch Technologies (05:31)

Show notes:

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