As a young female entrepreneur, Evelyn Chew, Founder of Ministry of Adventure, took to the stage of NTU’s Entrepreneur Society’s Failure’s Night to share her own failures and obstacles as a businesswoman in today’s competitive start-up environment. In 5 questions, we discuss what budding entrepreneurs of tomorrow can do to overcome the fear of failure.
1. What motivated you to start at such a young age?
I am very passionate about adventure sports. What keeps me going is the transformative experience I see it has on people, the physical, emotional and even spiritual impact. I want to make a difference in people’s lives and build a legacy. I saw the possibilities and decided to put all my time and energy to make it happen.
2. What is the most defining failure you’ve faced thus far and how has it shaped you into who you are now?
The most defining failure I’ve faced was managing my emotions as a leader for my team. Being a young founder back then, I lacked patience and empathy and let my temper and stubbornness damage many relationships. I have gone through many painful lessons as a result of people leaving the team. However, I’ve learnt to be more mature in the way I handle things. I’ve learnt to give more care and concern, be more empathetic to my comrades and make it a point to communicate with my team.
3. As the leader of a team in your company, how does the price of failure affect your employees?
It will definitely affect the morale of the team. It is also my responsibility to hold the team and to realign the team according to their values. I have to give them more encouragement and motivation. Most importantly, my team has to understand that it is the learning and progressive nature of a startup company to rectify mistakes immediately, so the company won’t repeat old failure.
4. Has the journey gone according to plan?
Progressively yes. Of course, we need to understand that the first plan is never the optimal plan. It takes the two, three or even four revisions to produce a feasible plan. Business is about progression.
5. Why did you wish you knew back then when starting your business?
I wish I would have started earlier. I wish I could have learnt from whatever failures that I have made at an earlier stage so that I would not need to spend much time and money on painful lessons. But then again, it is my journey that I need to acknowledge it.
Good stuff must share!