I won’t deny that sometimes I overacted but as time passes I learned to stop being dramatic and understand that these situations and feelings are just normal and usual things happen with every person especially with new entrepreneurs. So, I let it go!!!
Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeremy Ong.
Jeremy Ong, founder, and CEO at HUSTLR (https://www.hustlr.com/) — where he writes about his entrepreneurial journey and helps people hustle better. He helps other businesses and people to level up their digital presence in our today’s online world. With many years of experience in this field, He has taken the burden to help ambitious people in building their businesses from scratch until they reach their ultimate goals through providing the most needed and important services.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I’m Jeremy Ong, founder, and the CEO HUSTLR where we help people hustle better. Through my work, I help other businesses and people to level up their digital presence in our today’s online world. With many years of experience in this field, I put all my efforts and thoughts to help ambitious people in building their businesses from scratch until they reach their ultimate goals through providing the most needed and important services.
I always know that day-to-day desk work isn’t for me. However, I am the kind of person who loves to try everything he can do to discover new areas and scopes in life. Well, when I discovered that my ex-boss who was just in his late twenties is a millionaire. I started to think about what I was doing in my life. It was a trigger to get me back on the right track of my aims in life. So, I decided to establish my own business.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
My millionaire ex-boss!! He was very young, very ambitious, he knows everything related to the business inside out. I have great admiration and respect for him. Can’t say it’s just a moment that suddenly made me decided to build my own company. No, it’s the daily inspiration I got from him.
Honestly, the moment I knew that he is “ a millionaire” at that early age, pushed me to make a life-changing decision and started to think about building my business.
In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain
Let me explain here a little bit. Yes, there are some natural skills that are raised along with the entrepreneur that makes him/her an entrepreneur such as, entrepreneurship-related skills which include active listening, creative communication, positive thinking, strong and leadership, charisma. Yet, all these traits and the other acquired characteristics can be learned through studying and working experience. Also, one important point here I’d love to stress here is these skills and all other leadership skills need long-term of practicing and training. So, more training in this regard better results.
Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?
Talking about the inspiration I will say my ex-boss and I mentioned it above. Talking about helping and supporting through my journey. I will mention my dear friend Jack. He is a successful business owner, he always encourages me in different ways. While everybody else tried to suppress me and told me about the difficulties, challenges, and dilemmas I will face, when I decided to build my own business he talked about the benefits of starting my own business. He gave me many different pieces of advice to navigate in my business. Also, he helped me in building network business relationships. He was a supportive friend since I started thinking about my business idea.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
The Anti-Fragility. Like any other successful business, we have -as a team- the needed requirements of success; you know the effective communication, ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances, strategic planning, and continuous development and enhancement. Yet what I implemented since day one is anti-fragility, not just resilience! I mean I and my team prepared ourselves to thrive even in the dark days.
Well, I can share a fact about this. Our numbers, clients, and leads have doubled during the pandemic time. We adapted swiftly and very well for such situations.
You are a successful business leader. Which three-character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
The most three-character traits that are instrumental for my success are,
- Resilient: That’s the first trait that helped me in 2020. Being resilient gives the way of thinking to deal with all ups and downs in business. The example I will mention here is of course “economic disturbance during the last year. At the beginning of that time, I guided my team to compose ourselves and adapt swiftly and wisely to all the changes. And that’s why our business is thriving until now.
- Best communication: Communication is a defining factor for business success. In my business, we used many effective ways and channels: communication apps, calls, instant messages, and meetings. The variety in communication ways that suit us is a key success.
- Goal-Orientated, focusing on goals we determined: And do everything I can to achieve my business goals. I never let the subsided accidents distract me. For example, when we create our strategy plan, we include all the details regarding the action required to be taken and usually and continuously do follow-up with team members. That’s a key factor for my success journey.
Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
Follow your passion!!
That’s the worst advice I’ve ever had. Maybe this looks strange but this advice was the worst one. Before I established this business, I decided to start my own business when I was just twenty, and I did.
I thought that if I had the passion and good education and knowledge about the business this will enough!
Of course, the circumstances weren’t successful. Honestly, it was the first down in my business journey.
I made many business-related mistakes because the thing I needed is an experience NOT passion. After a few second years I focused on trying and doing new strategies, listen and learn from expert people. Then I started to think like an entrepreneur and a young businessman. In fact, the passion comes after the experience that’s what I’ve learned!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?
Yes, Establish Continuous Contact with your employees:
That’s really crucial to help to build more comfortable and productive workplace and away from burning out. Well, I am saying this from my experience in managing remote-working employees. It’s important to know your employees to understand their struggling and the things that make them overwhelmed. What I mean here, is you have to identify the work-related problems, try to figure out the source of these problems, and of course then fix it by contacting them.
Therefore, you have to build a strong basement of communication. And you have to be more open to communicating in different ways. You don’t have to stick to one “traditional” way of communication, the high tech today makes it way better and more effective. Monthly one to one meeting is good, surveys, feedback, but also, using apps for communication makes the process way easier and better.
Besides, always encourage your employees to pursue their dreams and even talk with about their ultimate professional goals, give them advice and tips. This way they feel that you are closer to them and they will feel it’s good to work here!!
And remember all this to create a culture for thriving not toxic ones which will for sure leads to business thriving.
What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?
Add the best value for your service along with the best knowledge.
This value should be substantial and meaningful. In order to be sure of providing a real service, you have to ask yourself always how this will improve people’s lives? Does it leverage their comfort and their life better? Also, give them in addition to your service for free that can raise their awareness, like the good and informative content that relates to your service.
Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?
Well, adding and providing real value and good content is necessary today not just to stand out in the market. But it’s a sign of credibility and authority of your brand in the industry. That proves you know the best that will benefit the audience.
What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Bad Hiring: That’s a common mistake usually the CEOs done once started their business, and unfortunately, it’s the main cause in delaying business thriving. Poor or bad hiring decisions usually come out from the idea of “hiring people who are good!” no, it’s not enough. They have to be skilled in their field, and have the ability to learn and develop, and have passion as well.
Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?
Burnout and Emotional conductor.
That’s a really critical and important point to ask especially in the entrepreneurship and business world. Let me start here why it’s different and how it’s different from having a regular job. When you don’t know how to handle the ups and downs when you are a business owner, the circumstances are mostly destructive! It might blow out your whole business. But it’s not the case when having a regular job.
Especially, at a personal level, the unpleasant circumstances appear faster when you own a business rather than work at a business for someone else.
Also, there is a crucial point in this regard, when having a regular job, you aren’t a boss, so such reactions for ups and downs can be controlled to a certain extent by the rules of the organization you work for so, you won’t do crazy things as a response to ups and downs.
Well, being an entrepreneur and business owner, no one tells you the rules, you feel free to do whatever suits you (according to your current feelings).
So, the only thing that would prevent you to act according to your emotions is just you!! And this itself is a difficulty.
Ups and downs state happen from time to another and yes, no matter how I am successful. I can say it happens with me along my entrepreneurial journey but the difference is “How I manage Them” As time passes I become professionally mature and I have the ability to manage ups and downs more confidentially and in a much wiser way!!
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
Ok, at the first beginning of my business, I usually had “euphoria” at that time when I do something good at my work. Let me tell you a situation in this regard, I tried so hard to be a business partner for one of “Titans” in the industry. I haven’t reached the success level that would’ve prepared me to do it at that time.
I just made my offer, as an attempt. Well, they accepted it, I was literally over the moon even I was very easy when we negotiate the conditions and the items. Because I was very happy, I knew I missed a few things, I could’ve taken a better deals and partnerships, but I didn’t. Even my partner told me after a while I thought you would ask for more and I asked would you accept he said yes!!! Well, after this situation and honestly after many situations, I learned how to manage “happiness-related business” states.
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
Well, I don’t have a specific story to tell in this regard, because feeling down can happen with business owners (as I know from my experience and also from my business owner friends) due to any business problem in their work. However, I always have a strong grip on managing “negative feelings”. It’s something I gained and learned from my father and from the previous work experiences I had.
I can say that it’s something I’ve learned a long time ago, I remembered when I had any bad negative since I was a young child even when I had a difficult exam or a bad exam result, my father was always telling me and keep ringing in my ears until now: It will go!! just let the time passes!! So, I know even in a business that every obstacle will go but the most important is to act well, wisely, and professionally.
And I’d love to add here that I am grateful for vulnerable and downs moments, it’s the best way that lets you see the reality in a very clear way, you will see all the angles you have never looked at.
Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?
Well, when it comes to business, you can’t take decisions according to your ups and downs feelings. And yes we are humans, these feelings come and go. So, overcoming these emotions or learning how to bounce back fast takes time until you master it.
It’s a behavior or even a business style. You have to learn how to bounce back, it comes with steps and practice. But most important thing is to learn how to avoid take decisions when feeling up or down. It needs experience and time. Also, don’t underestimate a good and healthy lifestyle. Through my experience, having healthy food, a healthy diet, going to the gym and all other daily healthy practices can affect positively mental health and will affect in a way or another leadership practice.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.
In order to ride the emotional ups and downs, I usually use something ( as a cap) to wear to protect me from the negative effects of such emotions in business if one can’t control them.
- Avoid Making Instant Decisions by Yourself: At the beginning of your business journey, you will need time to overcome ups and downs and to act super professionally as you have to. However, like the situation I mentioned above, it’s better when you have these feelings, not to take any instant decisions. Delay it a little bit at least 24 hours and it would be great to discuss the decision you intend to take with your team. They will shed light on points you can’t see because of the up and/or downstate you are in.
- Seek Help from an Expert: I usually do this from one time to another. In fact, I love to do it! Taking such courses with experts open your eyes and mind to be more productive at work, more focused, it helps me to make wise and right decisions regardless of the mood or emotions I feel.
- Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle: Since I started my own business I focus more on my daily routine. I make sure every day to wake up early, practice yoga, and then have a cold shower. This refreshes my body and soul every day, it helps me to control my emotions and let my mind always take the lead. In other words, it’s really crucial for all business owners to keep their body, mental and psychological state healthy so they have the ability to estimate the situation very well, no more no less.
- Always Remember the Ultimate Goals: I always remind myself of my ultimate goals and achievements that I am aspiring to do. This helps me especially in times of downs and vulnerability. It encourages me to be reasonable when assessing the situation. You know when feeling down because I failed to get a deal I wanted badly, I just remember it’s not the only opportunity to achieve my goals, I know my goals can be reached in many other ways.
- Practice To Be More Professional Not Dramatic: Yes, exactly. At the early stages when I was establishing my business I had a different mix of feelings fear, enthusiasm, passion, all of these together. I won’t deny that sometimes I overacted but as time passes I learned to stop being dramatic and understand that these situations and feelings are just normal and usual things happen with every person especially with new entrepreneurs. So, I let it go!!!
We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Check how to build resilient work.
Resilience means (Anti-fragility) I mean that any crisis that might happen won’t make business fragile and weak so any unpleasant wind might blow it away! Resilient business means the ability to adapt rapidly and successfully and continue despite the disaster. The most important thing in this regard is the “time” you need to adapt to these difficult situations, the faster the better.
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?
It’s cumulative! I learned resiliency during day-to-day situations. Well, when having issues in a new project, losing important customer, discomfort state at workplace or any problems that sometime occur in the work has taught me resiliency. I remembered once we had a dispute with an important customer, and we lost him. At that time, I acted professionally and rapidly, I heard from my employee, figured out the whole situation and then I resent an offer for that client (a better one for both of us) and yes he’s our client until now. These ordinary daily situations are the key for resilient business. It’s the way that allows you to gain the needed experience in this regard.
In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?
Yes, I do. I tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations and stay calm and wise when take an action. Many things helped me to reach this level; the first thing is experience I ‘ve been through like the situations and stories I’ve mentioned above. Also, I am kind of persons who usually is patient and I usually ask before going to the next level. I usually ask my friend business owners about their opinion, how they would react and my team members and discuss the best steps to take in such difficult situations.
Again, I’d love to say that a daily healthy lifestyle is a plus that would help in controlling the situation and not let the situation control you.
Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.
Positive attitude affects business reputation directly! It’s important to establish a long relationship with business partners and clients. And establishing a productive environment for the team.
Well, let me get back here to the story when I lost an important client. I will flesh some details out. That client was very important to my business and yet at that time not in a position to allow me to be picky!
One day I’ve just informed that he stopped corotating with us suddenly and during that time I’ve could taken an action against him. But what I did was going to the employee who was mainly responsible to work with him I listened to all the details carefully. Then I invited the client to a cup of coffee, we talked gently about the work and there was a misunderstanding! Well, if I just went with the traditional protocols I’ve would lost him and left a bad impact.
Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?
“There is no secrets to success, it’s the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
I lived and still live with this quote. I know exactly what does it mean because I truly experience it through my life; studying and working. I also believe that luck comes with just hard work!
How can our readers further follow you online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!