Well, I’m not attempting to hard-sell any idea, nor am I prejudiced in any way. I intend to speak from the bottom of my heart. And this is a story of how working at a startup for the past year has managed to inspire me tremendously.
I joined Sqkii as a member of the door-to-door sales team; approaching different merchants and being exposed to frequent bouts of rejection and skepticism. That in itself was a great learning experience for me. It was thereafter; as I took on different roles and responsibilities, that I started to ease my way towards a greater degree of self-awareness.
And the team I work with has consistently served to be a powerful source of inspiration.
In 4 simple ways.
They inspire me with their talent.
For one, this is a talented bunch of guys whom I’ve got the privilege to work with. Word has it that you are the average of the three individuals who you spend most of your time with or around; and indeed, in other words, you essentially feed off the value offered by the other. Maybe it’s the purported ‘startup culture’ that so many young-blooded companies have so religiously preached — flexibility, open communication of ideas and so on — but I believe it goes beyond that. The people ultimately shape the culture, and the people who I work with know their stuff, which creates a healthy context of being able to constantly bounce ideas off one another in an unimpeded fashion. New perspectives often enter the fray in a matter of seconds. Work with talent, and you’ll become one yourself soon enough if you keep learning and growing. I grew to appreciate different points of view, and learnt to synthesise them to form something much more valuable than before.
2. They inspire me with their drive.
And if these people do not know their stuff, they will damn right get down to it to seek the solution and relentlessly get to the bottom of things. You can easily imagine how much of an uphill battle it is everyday- from running day to day operations, to keeping the technical bugs out, to always thinking about what comes next and how to best prepare for the next moment of truth. And actually, more often than not, we are faced with the unknown. It takes a whole lot of motivation and perseverance to keep going in this mental marathon, and I respect the fact that the fire does reside in each and every member of the team. They keep going. They want to be the best. And that has exercised a positive influence upon me. I have grown to become an advocate of growth and personal development. I see the need to keep growing outside my comfort zone, and always strive to better myself each day through whatever means possible.
3. They inspire me with their courage.
It necessitates balls of steel to keep a business up and running. Moreover, there exists a difference between survival and growth — you can choose to scrap by, or find ways to scale greater heights. Of course, the latter is usually preferred. No matter how tough the going gets, these people rise to the occasion. In fact, there’s an apt episode that demonstrates this point very well. The night before we planned to launch the app, disaster struck. A costly slip up resulted in our entire database being wiped clean, to the core. 8 hours will be needed to get everything back on track, and the launch was expected to happen at 8am the next morning. In a split second, we plummeted to the bottom of the abyss. Well, they could have whined about it and kicked themselves in the nuts, but that will certainly offer little to no value at all. Instead, calm and cool as they were, a plan was drawn up and it was stuck to. A whole lot of will, courage and faith drove them to code through the night; battling exhaustion and self-doubt, to finish what they started. And to let themselves not be defeated or victimised by the circumstances. The launch was eventually saved, kudos to the tech team.
4. They inspire me with their humility.
Empathy — that’s what the company lives by. And these people are as human as you can expect them to be. They believe in trying their best to put themselves into the shoes of others, understanding what a person might be feeling or experiencing given his or her situation, and taking one additional step to show care and concern. Like what Stephen Covey said, one should first listen before seeking to be understood. And I suppose these guys are the living example of that. As one gets more successful, it might be easy to lose sight of these intrinsic values or forget what brought you here in the very first place. But I believe that Sqkii will not forget. It lives by a powerful culture of empathy. We constantly tell ourselves not to lose sight of the ground.
Earlier last month, Sqkii launched its new and upgraded app. And what a ride it has been indeed. Through all the ups and downs, I’ve grown so much as a person. I can only look forward to the future, and to getting better every other day.
So, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to this startup known as Sqkii. Thank you for selflessly offering so much value to me all this while. Thank you for giving me a conducive environment to experiment, fail, grow and learn. Thank you for all the memories thus far.
Thank you for inspiring me to greater heights, and limitless horizons.
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