Pizza with Andy, Serial Entrepreneur & CEO of NDN Group
Andy is a serial entrepreneur who has started over 17 businesses such as HotMob, NDN, Darizi & Klarity Analytics. We chatted with him over pizza at his office as he shared his entrepreneurial journey and major life lessons he had learned along the way.
At the age of only 37, Andy has experienced the ups and downs of an entrepreneur from earning his first million dollar in his early 20s, securing multi-million dollar deals, raising tens of millions from investors to almost going into business liquidation during the 2008 financial crisis. It would be difficult to summarise his 15 years of entrepreneurial journey in a few sentences, and you would need to meet with him yourself to feel his energy, drive and passion in his work.
“Success is not about being number 1, it’s about finding a balance in life and being happy, joyful and passionate.”
Through the ups and downs, Andy learned that success is not only about money, it’s finding a balance in all aspects of his life — Healthy, Money, Career, Physical Environment, Fun & Recreation, Personal Growth & Significant Other/ Romance and Friends & Family.
Andy believes that the most important thing is to take care of our mind, work very hard and to never give up because as an entrepreneur, that’s the easiest thing to do.
When asked about his time management skills, he tries to maximise productivity by working on weekends and learning to say no to certain opportunities.
“Working on weekend is like gambling — if you put in $60,000 on blackjack, the difference between the winning and losing scenario is $120,000 (winning $60,000 and losing $60,000). This is the same for working on weekends. In just one year, a person who works on weekends will have 6 more months of work done than someone who doesn’t.”
Andy is also a firm believer of the Law of Attraction and practices visualisation to achieve his goals — if you believe your vision enough and achieve 30% of the journey towards realising your dream, opportunity will start knocking on your door and the rest will fall into place. He has also generously shared with us a recent story on how he’s putting together a new venture this way!
Lastly, here’s a daily ritual that Andy reads to begin his day. We hope you go try it too!
If you wish to learn more from Andy, stay tuned for his Xtreme Entrepreneurship workshops to learn more about being an entrepreneur from himself! Thank you Andy for sharing your stories and practical tips with us aspiring entrepreneurs. The dinner has raised over 50 volunteer hours to Food Angel, St James’ Settlement, Solomon’s Porch, Hands On Hong Kong and more.
What did the volunteers think?
“Attended a Time auction event last week, hosted by Andy Ann. He shared his entrepreneurial journey, and highlighted his major life lessons from the past 20 years in under three hours. I really appreciated his frankness and openness to share his success and failures. I’m encouraged to know that there is a next generation of entrepreneurs in Hong Kong who care about mentoring and giving back to the city that helped them build their own dreams. I was fortunate to be on the receiving end of Andy’s wisdom via Time Auction.”
“I am a final year student who always dreams to be an entrepreneur, but I used to have little knowledge about the real startup world. I always thought a single great idea itself is the key to success. A dinner meeting with Andy opened my vision about the real business field. I appreciated his detailed sharing of his entrepreneurial path since his university time until now. I learnt that startups have to deal with investors, merger and acquisition and many issues that I had never thought about.
Above all, I am deeply inspired and encouraged by his innovation and courage in creating opportunities out of nothing. Although startups have a lot uncertainties and ups & downs, it is the experience of the journey that counts. An entrepreneur is one who lives a life because he/she will go through much more than a normal person. Thanks to Time Auction for such a chance to meet someone great. This is very much needed life lesson for me!”
“The meeting was definitely much more enlightening and enriching that I would have thought it to be. I felt that every single minute I did for volunteering was paid off three times as well! The informal atmosphere allowed us to sit down, relax, and fully understand what it takes to be a valuable entrepreneur, from a practical view to a holistic one. I would definitely return once again to Time Auction to continue to have a wider perspective on the future.
What I’ve learned is that if you have a dream, it only takes you to finish 30% of your total plan before you unfold your dream into reality. Of course, your hustle should %100 true and tough.”
“I really enjoyed the time with Andy. Some key take-aways from the
“fireside” chat: it helped crystallise the importance of taking action/working hard to make things happen. Also, how important it is to leave behind the mindset in school of competition/needing to win because in the business world, it’s all about collaboration and growing the pie together. Meeting someone like Andy who has life experiences to share that transcends fields or professions offered was invaluable.”
For more auctions, visit Time Auction Hong Kong,a platform that connects you with inspiring mentors while encouraging volunteerism.
By Suet Yi Wong, Co-founder of Time Auction Hong Kong