You can learn a lot from success, and you can learn even more from failure; but the intersection of the two is where you find true genius –– to fail first and then succeed only gives more value to said success.
Bryan Loo is by no measure a failure. But his highly publicised fallout over the Chatime brand and his subsequent return with Tealive, all within a few weeks, stand testament to the young man’s business acumen and experience at dealing with ups and downs.
As the first unveil of our 2017 Generation T list, Bryan gives us insight into the most important lessons he has learned in his years as an entrepreneur; to hopefully help other young and budding entrepreneurs experience more ups than his downs.
Here are 4 things you need to know:
1. Put everything in writing
“When you are in business, especially with family or friends, every agreement must be nailed down and put in writing to protect your business, and yourself,” says Bryan.
“Many arrangements you make, especially when you start, will be verbal agreements, and nobody looks at agreements when everything is going well. But when it’s not, then the only way to prove what was agreed to is in writing. Putting things in writing will avoid any grey areas or misunderstandings.”
2. Diversify your business
“No business is evergreen, and the only way to protect any negative impact on your company is to spread your risk.”
“I used to ask, about 3 years ago ‘Why should I diversify when the business is doing so well? Shouldn’t I put my focus on this one thing?’ But then I was advised by some very experienced businessmen to diversify.”
“They were from conglomerates that were very highly diversified across many industries, and they told me that all industries will never go down together; so when one is down, the other will go up, and help cover the losses.”
“We (Loob Holdings) began diversifying the business about 2 and a-half years ago, and I think if we didn’t decide to do that, all our eggs would be in one basket.”
3. Good public relations start with loving what you do
“People come up to me and say ‘You are very good at PR,’ but frankly speaking, until recently, I didn’t know what PR really meant, or how to manage it for myself as a personality.”
“The only thing I’ve always said is: ‘Do what you love.’ Because when you do what you love, everything gets amplified, and people will feel that love that you put into your work.”
“Every time you put yourself out there, it will be to talk about the thing you love to do, and the people listening will catch on to that, and that will become your good PR story.”
4. Work-life balance is hard to achieve
“I cannot admit that I have a balanced life,” says Bryan with a laugh. “It is always more work than family.”
But the father of two credits the “very strong relationship” with his wife.
“We have been together for 18 to 19 years, and the last thing I need to ask of her is to be considerate or understanding. She’s been there with me since the start, so she knows. It also helps that she is involved in the business.”
“I am also lucky that my two daughters are able to see and understand what we do. And hopefully, over time, they will love the business as much as I do.”
Look out for more stories and events from our Generation T.