Blogging about my entrepreneurial journey to strangers is quite intimidating. Because I'm dyslexic I make many simple grammatical mistakes, I constantly go back to reread and edit this blog. Plus, I'm afraid how judgemental people can be since my writing style and slight paranoia (it's an American thing) and humour is unique. Despite this fear and endless editing, I blog because I am not alone in the journey, I've come along way and want to inspire others that they too can achieve their dreams. So thanks you all for your support :)
Practice: my humble beginnings learning to socialise and network
I have a confession to make, I wasn’t as extroverted and sociable as I am now, I used to be shy and self-conscious when I met new people (really who isn’t!). I used to be envious of those that could enter a room and talk to everyone with confidence. I read novels about socialites gracefully hosting tea parties and charity events for high ranking officials and high society. At a young age I promised I would learn how tell interesting stories and be a great host one day. In my small town and tight-knit religious community I had few examples to learn how to network and socialise, and it wasn’t until I went to university that I was able to practice and join organisations where I would develop into the person I wanted to be. I joined and gain positions in my university student council, Black student union, I attended the ballet and symphony shows in Boston (discounted student rate), attend parties and events for students to “mix and mingle” with university administrators, alumni and leaders in the community, I volunteered and worked for the local city government, volunteered on political campaigns (Obama, Warren, Markey, and Kennedy), and studied French in Quebec for a summer where I discovered my love for traveling, and moved to Israel for my graduate studies and learn how to start a business. I still have a way to go, and Bangkok is the perfect metropolitan city that has allowed me to socially bloom.
Bangkok: social and networking opportunities
Since I have a lot more free time now I can attend more events and social activities. Though I’ve been in Bangkok for about 2 years I never been to any of the “chamber of commerce” like the British Chamber of Commerce of Thailand, American Chamber of Commerce of Thailand, Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, etc (many countries have their own), until last week. So what exactly are these “Chamber of commerce of Thailand”? Well, each chamber promote commerce between their respective countries and Thailand and give legal and business opinions within their respective communities. Having membership to a chamber as a professional or business owner has many benefits and opportunities for promoting your business, personal brand, and staying connecting with your fellow countryman/woman. And last week, I went to the British Chamber of Commerce networking night and I met many interesting people (Brits have such a different sense of humour compared to Americans!). Essentially, I was able to practice talking about Healthy Hair Asia and why selling quality natural and organic hair products is a great business, that is not limited to women (Why are there always more men than women at networking events??). Great food, lot of people, few Aussies and Singaporeans, I’ll definitely be attending more of their events.
Aside from professional networking I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams by creating the Ladies Afternoon Tea Network, a group of amazing and busy businesswoman and entrepreneurs who get together once a month over tea to catch up, share, and leverage their network to help members. This wasn’t exactly planned, but came up as a fun idea over afternoon tea with two of my favourite girlfriends who are super busy and successful. There are so many fabulous tea houses in Bangkok, and getting together to genuinely catch up and share whats going on in our professional and personal lives is so much fun over tea and sweets! (will keep you updated).
Techsauce Global Summit Thailand Pitching & Roadshow 2017
Last Friday I went to the Techsauce Global Summit Pitching Road Show at Siam Discovery. I did sign up to pitch Healthy Hair Asia, and received an emailed 2 days before that I didn’t make the cut. I was a bit sad, but glad that I didn’t pitch because watching the 10 startups pitch I knew I had a lot of work to do. I do have a pitch deck, I have customers, and market research of the demand for natural, organic, and Halal products in SE Asia. But, I never practiced pitching in front a panel of judges and audience, which is quite intimidating. Overall, the startups were at passed the seed stage and had an amazing team of people (something I am working on building), and many pitched within the designated 5 minutes with questions from the judges. I didn’t stay until the end (I had another social event that evening), but I have a lot of work to do and excited that I was able to attend the road show. The Techsauce Global Summit will be July 28-29 with thousands on entrepreneurs, VC’s, angel investors, and businesses. Healthy Hair Asia will definitely be attending (may have a booth!) and if you are interested in buying tickets, you can email me for a special discount.
As always, thank you for reading!
Check out the pictures below: at TechSauce and British Chamber of Commerce networking!