World-Class Mentality — Dinner with Aaron Lee, Founder of Dash Serviced Suites
Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality and attitude behind their ventures and stories.
Aaron Lee, a serial entrepreneur recognised by Forbes Asia “30Under30 Entrepreneur” who has started 5 businesses since 17. His latest venture, Dash Serviced Suites, is Hong Kong’s fastest-growing, tech-enabled, asset-light serviced apartment company.
Over a casual intimate dinner with 8 budding entrepreneurs, Aaron shared lessons he learnt from growing Groupon HK to over 150 staff with over HK$1 Billion revenue, and how he started businesses in industries he had no prior experiences in.
What is your life philosophy?
“There are a few things that I live by on a daily basis.
#1 Be world-class.
That sets our standards of how we do things. We always strive to become number one.
#2 Have the courage to succeed.
The second and third thing is linked together — Have the courage to succeed. It sounds simple — who wouldn’t want to succeed? But you have to perform your duties and play your part to succeed with the right mentality.
#3 Have fun with what you do.
Life sucks if you are doing it for work, money, or to impress your parents. There isn’t any point in doing any of the above things. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, you just need to find a way to see the positive part out of it. Have some fun, and you’ll be able to do things well.”
What are the most important experiences to get out of in your 20s?
“Get some sales experience.
Sell whatever things you can possibly sell, and find the hardest possible things out there to sell and learn from the process.
Sales is the best way that you could gain the most failures and experiences from. You’ll get rejected but you’ll learn a lot along the way.”
How can someone impress you?
“Someone who takes action — If you’re good at something, show me instead of telling me.
Do more than you say and get your hands dirty.
I’m impressed by people who are leaders or entrepreneurs but still selling and get their hands dirty. CVs and interviews don’t say much. Good academic results like getting a 4.0 GPA isn’t going to tell me if the person is able to sell or do things. I always ask applicants to do some homework and I’ll able to see.”
What is one action you want everyone to take away from meeting you today?
“Fight for something you really want. Don’t just ask for it. Don’t think we deserve it and the world should give it to us, whether it is funding or anything else. Go out there and fight for it.”
Thank you Aaron for donating dinner and raising 100 volunteer hours to FoodAngel, Make-A-Wish, Kids4Kids, Po Leung Kuk, HKFYG, Hands On Hong Kong and more.