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Email from Hans Christian Sulistio (26 Sept 2009)

posted 3 Nov 2009, 00:01 by Roderick Chia   [ updated 3 Nov 2009, 00:07 ]


Hi Roderick,
I am Hans from minor E batch 19, just now asked you about the web thing
If possible, I just wanted to ask some personal questions, unrelated with EN105 :)

Sure. However, I may not response fast on such issue as it is not related to EN105 so I would only do so when I'm free.
 

I read your story on
http://www.soe.org.sg/files/107.htm
It is said that
I don't try to hide things and feelings- I openly say out and discuss. A lot of them don't dare to discuss, for example money issue. At the beginning, I already discuss with them.
For me I find it a bit unconventional, but I agree with you - I think it is the correct way to do things.

1) How do you openly engage people about money? Because sometimes it seems a bit awkward for others to discuss about money at start. And sometimes I have less clear standing ground when I want to discuss with people with the sharing of wealth - because I am not sure what is the market price. Is there any way to check market price? Is it through your networks?

If anyone not comfortable to discuss about money issue, than you'll have problem being an entrepreneur.  I'm personally not very concern about money and I was not driven by it.  Other than in business, I seldom take about money issue.  I know clearly that in business money is 1 of the very important component and without it business cannot move.  All the partners must share the same believe and must be willing to discuss such issue for the welfare of the company.  It is important to start to understand what is it other's money value system.  Different people see money differently and have different system in determining what is consider worth it and what is not.  Some people put high value in entertainment and feel that it is worth to spend money in it and consider that as investment but other may think that it is a waste of money and feel that it is simply fulfilling the other parties' need for enjoyment!  If such issue is not discussed up front or you have absolutely no idea of each others' money value system, there will be conflict in future and friendship will be affected.  However, once such issues is addressed and all agree to a common standard then such conflict will be reduced.  It is important for partners to have very clear idea of each others' motivation to start a business.  If the motivation is not aligned, it will also definitely end up with breaking up.  Some are good at sharing hardship but not sharing wealth.  Is is important for you to know yourself very well and be very honest to yourself.  Many people don't know themselves or have not been very honest in confronting themselves to find out the inner truth of themselves.  You need to start with yourself and see the man in the mirror before you are able to open up such topic for discussion.  Are you one that feel happy if your friends end up making more money than you or will you end up being jealous.  Even if all put in the same hardship, certain position will end up being more recognized and more financially rewarding.   This many result is difference in wealth allocation.  How will everyone feel about this?  I bring friends into my team because I like to see them do well in life and I'll be very happy for them.  Not everyone think the same so if there are difference and yet all can come out with a consensus then you can still work together.  Some team id design for 1 off project and not long term partnership.  One just need to be very clear on this.  As for market price, I assume that you are referring to market salary.  Check out Kelly research for an indication.  There are also some benchmark that you can find but all this is just indicative only.  If you hold a position that demand a high pay but if you did not match up to the demand of the task for such position, should you still deserve to get such pay?  This is just 1 of the question that you may need to bring out for discussion.


2) If you are planning a venture, how long do you usually plan an idea, before you engage your potential partners?

I'm always in content thinking.  I share my idea with friends and get their excitement and buy in.  If I cannot excite them or convince them, then I cannot be a good leader. Sometime by talking and sharing then you can formula your idea.  If you think that you idea is very great and don't dare to share, then as far as I see, the idea is mostly nothing special.  A real good idea is those that depend on good execution and cannot be copy easily so sharing will only have more to gain than lost. 


3) Do you have to be the "master of the subject" before you engage in a venture?

Master of subject comes with time. Well you might not be a master for a start, you must have enough detail research into the subject matter. Else you don't even know of the lingo and industrial norm to being with.
 

4) I read about how you managed to stand 2 years with no salary. But no salary means no capital to invest in business right? How do you get your first capital? Do you think it is socially acceptable to "loan" from parents?

I comes from poor family and we only start our venture with $500 capital.  With I work full time on the venture for 2 years without salary, I can still give tuition part-time over the weekend.  I've been teaching since my JC time and I earn my pocket money for my education. I can easily make $1800 per month just by teaching over the weekend. So basically, I worked almost everyday for few years.
 

5) Do you have a mentor before, when you start your venture?

I only hope that I have mentor to guide me just like I spend time guiding students.   I have to learn everything myself.  I have to get involved at association to gain contact so that I can see how they work and learn indirectly from them.  Many of my learning is indirect, ie. I learn by observation and inference. 
 
 

Thanks a lot! :)

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