What I learned from my startup and my VCs


What I learned from my startup and my VCs


Make Mistakes

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Not knowing terms of references used by your VC’s, board of directors or anyone in your circle. You’re not meant to know everything, you’re meant to do what you do best, that is to lead your vision, lead your people, drive your product and understand your customers.


Be Supportive

When things get tough, be supportive and most importantly be positive. Negativity breeds negativity so although you feel like exploding or locking yourself in a dark room, you toughen up and lead others that feel the same way into thinking positively


Planning is everything

Plan for the best. Plan for the worst. Planning is the key to putting structure in to your vision. Remember, investors, advisers and your BOD do not like surprises.


Don’t try to please everyone

Don’t strive for perfection, if you please everyone there will be others that you did not consider. Not everyone can be happy with what you have built or how you have handled a situation so don’t bother. Maintain your focus and your loyalties on current objectives of the business.


Seek out external mentors

They are the best people to give you unbiased, non-judgmental opinions of your business. Don’t be afraid to ask and Seek out external mentors.


Listen to your gut

Everyone’s got an agenda, some are personal, remember that everyone has an agenda. You may not like the thought of it and knowing that there are two sides to every coin, but keep your head out of politics and focus on what you know best.


Be loyal

Be loyal to your customers and your employees. There is nothing else. Without your customers. Without your employees, you are nothing.


Don’t burn bridges

Your network is everything. Don’t burn bridges. Make the best first impression you can to anyone. It doesn’t matter who. Even if it’s the pizza guy or a tuk tuk driver. People remember you. So how do you want them to remember you?


Control your temper

At times it’s expected that you let off steam, but maintain your composure, control your temper. As a female leader, you’re already considered to be ’emotional’, so keep calm counting to 10 helps.


Be frugal

My ex-boss taught me the best lessons in being frugal. Don’t spend if you don’t need to and if you do, it’s better to spend on solutions that would drive product, move the revenue meter or when the opportunity outweighs your cost.

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Sarah is the co-founder of WhatsNew, Thailand’s first vertical eCommerce retailer backed by Ardent Capital, she has experience in building and managing technology teams in S.E Asia and India. Previously the General Manager for Exa, She managed the complete setup of an offshore center for development and design in Thailand. She also obtained investment promotions and reform policies for government compliance and successfully launched over 400 digital & eCommerce projects within Australia.

Whatsnew owns and operates Petloft, Venbi & Sanoga.


Note: The views, services and experiences expressed in this Featured Post are solely those of the contributor.

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