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Christopher Boseak, Founder of AdvaSchedule.com

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Today, The Asian Entrepreneur speaks to Christopher Boseak, the Founder of AdvaSchedule.com.

Tell us about yourself Christopher.

I am a Software Engineer and Entrepreneur. I have a beautiful wife and recently had a baby boy named Liam. I have 2 bachelor’s degrees, one in Computer Science and one in Business. I grew up in Michigan with entrepreneurial parents that had it in their blood to start a business. They have had every business you can think of from pet supplies, promotional supplies, antique brokers, real estate development, and the list goes on. Growing up, I constantly dabbled in being an entrepreneur but I never actually realized it or referred to myself as one. It wasn’t until I got into software that anything is possible and that I was going to be the guy to make that happen. I am an ideas guy, I keep a notebook with me that I constantly write ideas down in. I don’t plan to use every idea, mostly because some of them are pretty terrible, but I never want to lose an opportunity to create something great because I didn’t internalize the thought in the moment.

And, in your own words what do you do?

I am a Software Engineer and Entrepreneur.

What led you to your current business?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I write everything down and put everything on my google calendar. It was not always like this, there was a time when I was consistently late and forgetful. In my efforts to be more productive, I began creating task lists and adding reminders to my calendar. My issue was that I was spending so much time adding meetings to my calendar that it took away from actual work. Finally, I wrote software so that others could schedule meetings directly into my calendar. I initially wrote it for myself with the hopes that someone else would find it useful.

Could you walk us through your process of developing your business?

I followed a plan of developing the minimum viable product, one with the bare minimum needed to work, so that I could figure out if this was something people actually wanted. After I built a working version of the site, I had friends and family use it and used their feedback to drive the direction of the features. I have used this approach many times, the beauty of it is that it helps me move on from ideas that will not get traction.

Did you encounter any particular difficulties in the beginning?

Yes! One challenge that I faced in the beginning was sorting through the feedback from the beta testers. This sounds like a good problem to have but it became information overload. How do we know what features users actually want and which ones are just kind of “that would be cool” ideas? I overcame this by taking all of the data and having the users prioritize it for me. So instead of just asking “what features would you like?” We took the data from the beta tests and organized them into a feature voting system where the users would rank them based on timeframes of when they would like us to develop that feature. An example of this is that we kept hearing that users wanted the ability to customize calendars but when we sent it out in a voting system, almost every user said that this was a low priority.

What is your long term plan?

My long term plan is to build a suite of productivity solutions. I want to add value to people’s lives and help them achieve their goals. An example, I have an open inbox site in development that will allow users to send spam to our mailbox and retrieve it, the website is www.mailspire.com, the backend is built, we are just working on the user interface.

Could you share with us some industry insights?

The software industry is about finding a good balance between innovation and perfection. You have to find something that people will use that hasn’t already been done, or if it has been done that you can do better.

What are some important lessons you’ve learnt about entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship has taught me that failing is okay and that failing can take many forms. It is okay to fail because I learn so much in the experience. Sometimes failing is realizing that an idea you had is not practical and that you have to pivot into a new idea. Sometimes failing is having a business that does not turn a profit. It sets the tone, that all is okay as long as I am still moving forward.

Any tips for achieving success?

My tip for success is to pound the pavement and throw everything you have into your business. I often hear people say “I wish I would have thought of that first” but it’s not enough to be first, you have to work harder than everyone around you. One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Cuban and it goes “Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you.”

Connect

Website: http://advaschedule.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-boseak-816b3b57

Callum Connects

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

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Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnesyee/

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Chrystie Dao-Szabo, Founder of iPayMy

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Chrystie Dao-Szabo founded iPaymy for Business – a secure and easy to use
platform enabling SMEs to pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today.

What’s your story?
I’m Chrystie Dao-Szabo, and I’ve worked as an international banker for over 22 years. During that time, I travelled through Asia, Australia and Europe, and everywhere I saw how my clients struggled with managing their finances and keeping cash around.

I wanted to use my experience to help them, but I also knew the solution they needed didn’t exist yet. This pushed me to give up on my secure career, and instead look into the innovative world of FinTech for an answer.

This is how I founded iPaymy – at its launch, a platform to help consumers pay their monthly expenses using their credit cards. We’ve grown a lot since, and today, iPaymy for Business is a platform that allows business owners to use their credit cards to pay for rent, salaries, invoices and taxes, freeing up their cash for business-critical operations.

What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me most about FinTech is it’s culture of constant disruption, thanks to cool and innovative products and services coming out every day.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Vietnam, grew up in Australia and worked in Asia, Europe and Australia. Being raised by traditional Vietnamese parents meant that deep down I was still an Asian at heart, so I have a strong connection with the region.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore of course. It’s easy to do business, English is the main language, and the infrastructures like public transportation are great. Also, the government supports local innovation in multiple ways, like giving grants for SMEs and FinTechs.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Keep giving, and one day you will receive.

Who inspires you?
My parents. My father had a successful business in Vietnam just before the fall of Saigon in 1975. After the war, my father was sent to a re-education camp for three years, which meant my mum had to bring up two young kids – a 3-year-old, me and my 4-year old brother on her own.

In 1980, we all fled Vietnam on a boat and arrived in Sydney, Australia via refugee camps in Indonesia and Singapore. There, my parents had to start over with nothing to their names and only AUD 50 given to them by the Australian government.
They went on to build several businesses in Australia!

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The number of young and smart people who have carved out successful careers by founding their own startups (or joining really cool ones). When I was starting out my career, doing any of these was not a viable option; it was either working for an accounting firm, an insurance company or a bank.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
If I were starting out my career now, I would choose the path of joining a startup as you get to learn so much about running a business and how to assemble a winning team.

How do you unwind?
I like travelling to a beach or a resort destination and just relaxing by the pool or beach. I also like to unwind after work with a glass of champagne or wine, and a bowl of truffle fries.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. I love the people and the spicy Thai food.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The E-Myth. It’s a book series that dismantles common myths about entrepreneurship in different industries.

Shameless plug for your business:
With iPaymy for Business, SMEs can pay rent, salaries, invoices, and even corporate tax using the credit cards they already have in their wallet today. SMEs love iPaymy because it works like a credit card, but pays like cash.

iPaymy’s secure and easy to use platform reliably delivers payments to vendors while freeing up cash and providing access to interest free credit. Forget the delays and aggravations that come with traditional SME financing options. Schedule recurring payments, manage invoices, set payment reminders, and monitor payment status all from one dashboard.

It’s never been easier for SMEs to meet monthly payment obligations while keeping cash available to fuel growth, bridge receivable gaps, and make immediate investment in the supplies, services, and expertise needed to drive a growing business forward.

How can people connect with you?
You can find me on LinkedIn or contact me by email.
My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrystiedaoszabo/
My email: [email protected]

Twitter handle?
https://twitter.com/ceedeees

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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