How to be an entrepreneur
with Amelie Hua
To end our anniversary celebrations, we caught up with founder and owner of MOTION, Amelie. She gave us some tips on being an entrepreneur and what she learnt from her journey with MOTION.
How do you become an entrepreneur?
You don’t wake up suddenly wanting to be an entrepreneur. You either are or you’re not. From the age of 14, I was trying to start my own business and I never even thought about another path for myself.
I see a lot of people trying to build their companies and I always ask them what their reasons are for quitting their jobs and becoming an entrepreneur. They often say that they want to be independent, or earn more money, or they don’t like their boss. But these reasons aren’t strong enough to develop a sustainable business in the long run. When you are faced with challenging moments, those reasons won’t keep you going. You need to have a real passion for what you do.
Some people have the ability to transform any idea into something real. For me, this is what makes an entrepreneur. Just because you don’t have a company yet doesn’t mean that you’re not one already. You’ve probably already used these skills in your job, like managing a budget, having ideas, utilising resources.
What do you think are the keys to success?
- Make the idea yours
We sometimes forget our ability to create. What will make you stand out is you and your ideas, because your best asset is always yourself. Don’t copy. People who copy doubt their ability to create. A poor concept will never survive in the long run. It may benefit from the initial hype, but if you want your concept to be strong and stand out in the market, you have to become a real brand.
- Stick to your intuition and your vision
People will always disagree with you, but it’s important to trust yourself and your vision for your brand. Don’t let anyone tell you how to run your business or what to change. Stand up for what you want.
- Focus on what you can control
There will always be external factors that you can’t control, such as Covid, but don’t waste your time and energy on these. Just because business doesn’t go well for a bit or you hit a rough patch, that’s not a reason to give up everything. There will be ups and downs, things that you can and can’t control. You can control your employees, your product, your assets, so focus your attention on those.
- Try to do things for yourself
You can find out almost anything online, such as shooting a video, editing, SEO. Instead of hiring people to do certain jobs for you, try to do it yourself. Not only does this save money, but it also allows you to know your business from A-Z. When something happens, you’re able to react more intuitively because you understand your market better.
What advice would you give to future entrepreneurs?
- Just start
Don’t wait for the perfect timing because there isn’t one. Don’t be afraid to fail. I failed 7 times, but I learnt a lot from it. Try to use all the resources you have, test the product, and see if it gains traction. When we opened MOTION, it was far from perfect. The site was still under construction, we had no AC, but we decided to try. People were coming just for the class, not for the changing rooms or the shakes or anything else, and they were so happy that they started to come back. Everything else is a bonus, but the product itself is so important. Launch the idea and build the rest around it as it grows.
- Respect your values
The way you start your company will inspire the spirit of your brand. The way that you do things is sometimes more important than what you’re actually doing. It’s important to start with a story, with good values, as this will be the base of your project. Clients want to be invested in something; they want to be inspired and be able to relate to you. So share your story and be honest.
- Know when to stop
Sometimes things don’t go to plan and it’s perfectly fine, but don’t waste time and money when you have a feeling that it won’t work. We have to fight for what we want, but deep down we know that sometimes we are fighting for something useless. Follow your intuition. You’ll lose a lot more if you don’t know when to stop. You face judgement, your ego is involved, other people will say that you started something and you failed. Don’t think about those comments. Focus on yourself and your product. If it doesn’t work, change. You can restart with something new, however long it takes. Don’t let judgement or your ego get in the way of real life decisions. It’s important to know when your business isn’t working and when to cut your losses. I have learnt so much from my previous failures. I don’t think MOTION would be the way it is today if I hadn’t been through everything before. Every single venture that I started taught me something that I use today.
Listen to the episode on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.