Failure has never been uncommon for me, and it shouldn’t be for any entrepreneur. When I arrived as a young, bright-eyed entrepreneur in Hong Kong, I thought myself prepared. I believed my knowledge and passion for the mobile industry would be enough for me to thrive in the sector. I was very wrong. Not more than four months after I opened my first mobile retail store, I found myself closing shop permanently due to lack of traffic. A failure. My next venture was a website development business. Another failure. I tried developing an app resulting in a catastrophic failure.
By this point, I was low on fumes, physically and metaphorically. I had less than $3,000 to my name, and I was sleeping in my office. However, while pondering the company’s future with a colleague, I realized that what could have potentially propelled my app to success was mobile marketing. The only problem was that such a service didn’t really exist in Hong Kong, and therein lay the solution.
Not long after, I founded GoGoChart; a company specializing in mobile and digital marketing with services in app store optimization, Google ads, Apple Search Ads, search engine optimization, and more. Now 5 years later, we have worked with over 2000 apps from companies such as Uber, Riot Games, HSBC, Tencent, and NBA to name a few. We have won countless awards and have received recognition within the industry from the likes of Deloitte, Mob-Ex, and Red Herring. Despite Covid-19’s presence we have still grown significantly, 600% last year and projecting 500% this year.
Despite these significant milestones, it has never been clearer to me that the key to success is failure. Every failed venture, every unsuccessful experience, has taught me my strengths and weaknesses, and how to grow and adapt. However, there must be a willingness to embrace failure with resilience and grit. Had I fallen at the first hurdle and rushed back to a corporate job when my initial retail venture closed down, I would have never founded GoGoChart. Had I given up my entrepreneurial dreams when I reached my low point, I would have done so not knowing my break-through idea was just out of arm’s reach.
Entrepreneurship is different for everybody. Some people find success on their first attempt. Others (like me), may have to try a bit harder to find their niche. Nevertheless, we will all experience failure at one point in our careers, but it is how we handle it which will define our success. Many companies in Hong Kong micro-manage their employees to ensure an absence of failure within their work. Conversely, I offer my employees the freedom to experiment and fail. Without failure, how will they understand their weaknesses and strengths? How will they learn to adapt and handle unpredictable challenges? The absence of failure is the absence of growth, and the absence of growth is the death of innovation. So I urge you readers, and any aspirational entrepreneurs - fail, and fail a lot.