#Asia Think being a founder and founder member is the same? Think again


How does a mere change in title become so much more? Newbie entrepreneur Yuhwen Foong answers this question eloquently

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The author Yuhwen Foong was a struggling artist for 11 years before she decided to welcome the opportunity to introduce content creators like herself to digital platforms with her brand-new startup SushiVID. She has worked in various startups for the last three years before taking the leap.

I have worked in three startups of different sizes in different roles and I think, at least for myself, I have worked really hard and gave it my all. Yet, my ‘all’ today is taken to a whole new level, as I have become a founder at SushiVID.

If I hadn’t taken this leap three months ago, I wouldn’t have known that just a mere change in title could really weigh so much more and mature one so much faster. So, what has changed?

In short, everything.


My head is forced to make hard decisions every day and when I’m done executing one, I have a different, equally hard decision to make. The mind never stops and the worries never cease either.

All the things I never thought I had to worry about: worries of over-hiring too soon or not soon enough, and the thoughts of what if this actually fails or what if I run out of money (it’s my second month!) now plague me constantly.

Also Read: Using lessons from technology innovation to build change elsewhere


“Spending is like fireworks, poof and the money is gone — all too fast!”

God bless all my friends and mentors for giving me cute analogies to keep me sane amidst all the craziness.

What the heck was I thinking? Did I validate enough? Will I get my first customer? What if nobody wants to use this? All these doubts and fears wake me up every morning at 430 am like an automatic alarm clock.

The days when I wake up late and cab to work are over. I’m out of the house before there are signs of any other car on the road. And all you wannabe devil advocates, why do I need you when I have me to play that for myself over and over every day, every night, every minute?

Please, let me not burn out

I love this adrenaline. I thought it’ll stop once I am adjusted to the founder life, but it has been a couple of months and I’m still walking with that same spring in my step. I remember the first week, messaging my mentor to ask why am I so energetic and that very fact freaked me out! We all know the saying ‘the candle that burns twice as bright, lasts half as long’. But I hope to keep the light going as much as I can.

Others will never work as hard as you. Accept that

Nowadays I have become petty too! How come my team is not doing things right? There is a spelling error here, people can see the colour difference in the email you copied and pasted. Will my partner really help me? Wait a minute, another public holiday? Come on!

Managing the bank account

Worries and fears, while they are new to me, drive me to rethink my strategies every day, to reconsider and calculate my steps, to be aware that money is put on this table, and this is all I’ve got.

It’s the first time I’ve had to sign so many cheques and the first time I dare not look into my bank account to see the amount I’ve actually spent! I finally took that leap and filed my claims for two months and it came up to be almost RMB20,000 (US$3098).

How did I spend so much so fast? is all I can think.

Also Read: What investors really mean when they say “you’re too early”

Insecurities about myself

Not to mention all the insecurities about myself I have not felt before. Things like, am I too bossy? Am I too nice? Am I paying them too much? Are they stepping all over my head? Am I hard to work with? Will I be able to get replacements? Am I too trusting?

I had to list three redeeming qualities about myself for an interview the other day and all I could think of saying about myself is intense, focus and competitive? WTF! not sure about removing this…can stay, no? (MAY BE USE WHAT THE HELL)

Being true to self

The truth is, when I was working for someone else, I never thought as hard about the bottom line. I never gave a damn about the junior not performing because it wasn’t my “responsibility” or my pocket. But now that it definitely is my responsibility and my money that could be better spent elsewhere, the hard decisions have to be made for the betterment of the company.

All I can say is no amount of experience could have prepared me for this. The enthusiasm, passion and drive, the sleepless nights. All the good, bad and ugly.

I hope it’s the same for you.

Also Read: This KZ startup founder wants people to travel this Christmas. Why?

This post has been republished from Medium. 

The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, please send us an email at writers[at]e27[dot]co

Image Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

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