Being a full time solopreneur was lonely. I was living at home with my parents, 8 months after I went into solopreneurship full time. My parents were happy to have me, and it was fun having my new nephew sleeping, pooping, and crawling around during the day. But one quote stuck out in my head: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I’m sure there’s zero scientific proof of that, but as they say about mathematical models – they’re wrong but useful – I took this “fact” to heart. As much as I love my mom, dad, and nephew, to be a successful entrepreneur I needed to surround myself with a community of entrepreneurs like me.
So I filled my brain with entrepreneur podcasts like Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn, the Solopreneur Hour with Michael O’Neal, The Amazing Seller with Scott Voelker, and Startup by Gimlet Media. That took care of a good chunk of my five. But I also wanted a community I could interact with, that would get me even more. That would be a community of Asian entrepreneurs, because we have similar experiences, for example doctor, lawyer, engineer, or failure syndrome. So on June 5, 2015, I started a Facebook group for Asian Entrepreneurs.
The group went through many iterations of names, from “Community of Entrepreneurial Asians” to “EntAsians” and settling on “EntreAsians,” and many iterations of missions, settling on “To help Asian Entrepreneurs find fulfillment through entrepreneurship.” As of this post, we’re at 315 members on our Facebook group, we’ve had 8 open Mastermind calls, and a retreat in San Francisco.
Last week, I went to the Thrive conference, a conference for entrepreneurs. The theme was “Make Money Matter” – a great tagline. You want to make money, but you want to make it matter. It encouraged for purpose businesses, where you include giving back to the the world in your business model. I love that idea – it’s a win win situation. I figured this was the perfect philosophy for EntreAsians.
So this is the point where you would think I would present to you what my plans are for the future of this group. Well, I don’t have any concrete plans. Let me tell you what I’m going to do instead in one word: meta. Let me explain.
The Startup Podcast is “a podcast about the starting of my podcast company. Meta, I know,” says Alex Blumberg. I had to look up the word “meta”: it means “referring to itself.” I think meta is awesome. It’s the ultimate behind the scenes look, the “factory tour” that I love to do. That’s what I want to do next with EntreAsians.
At a workshop I did in July, I wanted to illustrate getting yourself out there and failing. So I did a short stand-up comedy routine. I’ve never done one before in my life, and what a better way to demonstrate failure by doing it for the first time in front of a crowd. I did four jokes, and as expected, two of the jokes bombed. But the surprising thing was two actually got laughs. I had exceeded my own expectations.
So, I’m going to bring you all for the ride and show you what it’s like to try to turn EntreAsians into a for profit, for purpose company. I’m sure I will document plenty of failures along the way, but hopefully those failures will show you all it’s all part of the process of finding fulfillment through entrepreneurship. And maybe – just maybe – it’ll be better than I expect.