An Aimless Road To Entrepreneurship
“All this time I was searching for answers on how I could improve my business. But what got me back on track was a random person asking me the question: What is your goal in life?” — Virgil Wongsokario
In my earlier writing “An Anchor Moment”, I shared the story of Virgil Wongsokario, an entrepreneur based in the Netherlands with a passion for online video education and production called ‘Online Video Power’.
Well, last week I had another opportunity to meet Virgil. While having lunch at a Japanese restaurant, I fired some questions at him. We ended up having an interesting talk about how he entered the world of entrepreneurship and the very first few challenges he had to overcome. I felt inspired and I’m sure many can relate to his challenges.
This is his story.
My Safety Net
As we were waiting for our order to arrive, I asked Virgil how he actually started Online Video Power.
“I launched my start-up company ten years ago in 2008. It was in my last year of college, and back then it was under a different company name called ‘Valuable Project’. I graduated in 2009 and got a full-time job at Bayer as an online marketer.”
“Regardless of my full-time job, I continued with video production projects for a few clients for my own company. At that time, a few clients were enough because I had a job which was my safety net. My start-up was more of a side project, and therefore, I wasn’t that driven to invest more time into growing my own business.”
“That lasted until 2012, when I decided to quit my job due to Bayer cutting down on expenses and employees. I thought that was my opportunity, the push that I needed to get serious about my own start-up. I remember that day so clearly how I fell into this black hole where I couldn’t think, eat, and sleep.”
“I got my start-up which I neglected, and I was clueless about what I should do. I tried cold emailing and cold calling people and companies, but all I got was ‘no’. I was aimlessly marching towards being a full-time entrepreneur — the pressure was there, but in some way, the pressure wasn’t enough.”
From Stranger To Mentor
So, when was the turning point where you discovered what you needed to do?
“2015 was the year where changes started to happen. You see, I knew I needed to meet new people to get new leads, but I was never taught how to do that, not even when I was in college. Things were not looking good for me and I even got divorced from my wife at that time. Meanwhile, I found myself a part-time job to keep me financially more stable.”
“Near the end of 2015, I saw a man standing on the other side of the hallway. I forced myself to walk up to him to just start a conversation. It turned out that he, his name is Vikash, was an investor and a coach. We started chit-chatting about everything, even my past. At the end of our conversation, he invited me over to his place. At first, I wasn’t that interested, and I postponed his invitation for six weeks.”
“Finally, I could talk myself over to call him and to pay him a visit. I arrived and there I was, I thought we’ll chat some more and have a coffee together. Suddenly, Vikash asked me what my goal in life was. I was just staring at him and I didn’t know an answer to that question. He walked away to another room, and I thought that he got tired of me. However, I could hear his footsteps getting closer as he came back holding a book. He sat down and handed me a book called ‘No Excuses!’ from the author Brian Tracy.”
“It really took me some effort to open the book, since I wasn’t into reading. As I was staring at the front and back cover, he told me that this book might change my life. So, when I got home, I started to read the book and I felt so inspired. The book taught me to accept complete responsibility for everything that I am, everything that I have become, and everything that happened to me, and choose to see the positive things.”
“That was my turning point. Since that day, Vikash became my mentor who I visited every week. I started to attend seminars and to read a new book every month.”
Changes Took Place
What changed since then?
“Yes, the first thing I noticed was my social skills. I started to have more confidence and my sales talk made a lot more impact. Also, I became more talkative and more open, as you may have noticed by now. Networking slowly became a habit of mine. I was actually acquiring more clients than I had planned. Wherever I went, I just talked to people randomly. That’s when the business really kicked off. In 2016, I changed the company name from ‘Valuable Project’ to ‘Online Video Power’.”
“The crazy part about all this, is that I was searching for answers on how I could improve my business. But what got me back on track was a random person asking me the question: What is your goal in life? Not only do I get to improve my business, but also myself. Now, I make goals on a daily basis and I found my real goal in life — to provide my family with a stable life while doing what I’m most passionate about.”
“My message to everyone who finds themselves in a similar situation in their lives, is to get out there and meet people. Meet someone who doesn’t give you answers, but questions you on whatever you’re doing. Because through questions, is where all knowledge comes from. Who knows? You might find yourself a life goal.”
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