Traveling together to Machu Picchu

If you want to go far, then go together — Ep 5

I once tried to start a company by myself. The loneliness killed me — I would spend all day in my pajamas, waiting for Kim to come home so that I could have some human contact (these were the days before WeWork made it easy to join a co-working space).

I believe it’s incredibly important to have a co-founder, not just to get through the tough times, but more importantly, to add a set of complimentary skills and experiences that I don’t have.

I’m therefore searching for a co-founder for my pet project that I’m working on nights and weekends.

The concept

  • There are a ton of lessons that I want to teach my children
  • Stories are great, but I believe it’s important to add a visual element to make the stories concrete and memorable
  • I therefore want to write children’s books to teach my children the most important lessons that I’ve learned

Since I’m going to write the stories anyways, I thought it would be fun to make it accessible to all children.

Why it’s different

The stories I’m writing will focus on the following themes:

  • Discover and follow your passion in life
  • Highlight minorities and women as the main characters
  • Characters will represent real people that come from humble beginnings and pursued their passion

I’ve already completed the first draft of my first story about an Asian American musician.

I need a co-founder

I love writing, but I suck at drawing. Since this is a children’s book, the visuals and illustrations will be incredibly important.

I have my eye on my friend Wilbur. He’s an incredible artist that loves to doodle illustrations, has shown an interest in illustrating children’s books, currently works at a mobile technology company as a designer, and has expressed a desire to leave the company and start his own project.

I will pitch him tomorrow.

What does an entrepreneur do?

An entrepreneur gets it done.

Need revenue? An entrepreneur roles up her sleeves, cold calls, walks door-to-door, and sells the product.

Need funding? An entrepreneur attends every pitch event and emails every single person on Angel List until she finds someone that is willing to take the chance.

Need to hire? An entrepreneur asks for intros, goes to events, and promotes herself online until she gets lucky and finds the perfect hire.

And when that perfect hire presents himself, an entrepreneur closes the deal.

So if you’re wondering what I do as a profession, then there’s your answer: I get it done.

If all goes well, by this time tomorrow, I will have my co-founder.


By the way, several of you have asked how I find co-founders. I met Wilbur through a friend-of-a-friend here in San Francisco.

It’s better to be lucky than talented

If you want to start your own company, then I suggest getting a co-founder with complimentary skills. I know, it’s easier said than done, but here’s how I‘ve found my previous co-founders:

RewardMe

  1. Yu-kai Chou: we were pledge bros at DSP, a business fraternity at UCLA
  2. Stephen Johnson: I sent out a mass email to the engineering department at UCLA and Stephen replied to the email

Lion Step Media

  1. Joseph Yi: I posted a job posting at several universities and Joe applied for the open position
  2. Rees Retuta: we were pledge bros at DSP, a business fraternity at UCLA

Rebel Tribe

  1. Gabriel Mizrahi: I started an organization at UCLA called Bruin Consulting and Gabe applied to become a board member
  2. Jordan Harbinger: I met Jordan through Gabe

People say, “It’s better to be lucky than talented.” I believe we each make our own luck. Go out there and hustle until you make it.