Founder of Humble Bundle, and
Insight Analyst in AGL
What did you want to be when you were a child?
I don’t know. Because of my family background, I would say entrepreneur.
My family has their own business and my dad is a great entrepreneur. I look up to him a lot. He didn’t even finish high school but he is very driven and the type of person that would pursue something once he set his eyes on it. I would say he is someone I aspire to be.
What was the best business advice you were given when you were starting out?
Don’t be afraid of change. My friend, Jesse Oey, said this to me as a passing comment. It was very early stage in the business, he ordered some flowers and we were catching up about life and the business. At the time I had a blueprint of the business and what I wanted to do. He reminded me to be flexible and don’t be afraid of change. He probably didn’t event realise how much of an impact his moment has on me but it does.
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting or running your business?
Sleep. I used to be a night owl. Now I consciously have to force myself to be in bed at 10 pm and wake up at 5 am so I could buy my flowers from the suppliers.
What is your proud moment?
I would say my first online sale from a complete stranger. I said to my partner at the time, “OMG I couldn’t believe someone actually wanted to buy this”. We were so excited about it and hand-deliver the flowers ourselves!
What does success mean to you?
I don’t think I am successful yet. If i have to define success, it would a point where I am able to tell myself that I have given 110%, regardless of the outcome. If I have to be practical, success is when the sales goes beyond my capacity and Humble Bundle has to employ first full time staff. At the moment, my sister is helping me with the business with the deliveries. In short, I would say success will be when Humble Bundle employs the first full time staff.
Name the biggest overall lesson you’re learned, ie. having a side hustle while you’re being employed on full time basis.
You need to find a good balance between passion and practicality. You need to be smart, don’t just try to succumb to adrenaline of the hype of starting a business. It still is a constant lesson for me. I took 6 months of career break to have a taste of what it feels like running Humble Bundle full time. Whilst I have enjoyed it, I have decided to come back to AGL full time. That is me being practical J
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
Can I say wine? Haha
I would give myself time to feel sorry but then it’s time to go back up. There is a lot of positive self-talk. I don’t have anyone close enough to constantly telling myself to go back up so I have to do that myself.
In terms of support system, I would also go to my friends or my parents. My parents are very practical because they have their own business so they could relate to the problems I face in running my own business. My dad would ask open questions about the business such as, “do you think it’s because of the type of flowers? Do you think it’s because of the change in market? etc”, whereas my mom would slip religious comments in her advice, such as maybe I should go to church etc. I’m grateful that my parents are really supportive with the business as they want to me to be an entrepreneur.
What motivates you to do well in the business?
I have always wanted to prove myself to my dad. It’s not a good thing but it works haha. He used to tell his friends that his children will never be successful because they start here *lift his palm on eye level* whereas I start here *lift her palm on knee level*. I overheard him saying that to one of his friends ages ago and to be honest it hurts. I want to impress my dad and want to prove him wrong. I chose that to motivate myself to be successful in this business.
At what point in your life did you first learn about floristry? What called you to it?
It was Mother’s Day and wanted to buy flowers for my friend’s mother. I went to a florist shop and the lady started asking me all sorts of questions like, “what type of flowers does she like? What type of flowers are you looking for? What sort of colours do you want?” and they are expensive! I thought to myself, “I don’t care what sort of flowers”, I simply wanted to buy flowers for someone I care about. I wanted it to be convenient. That’s how the idea started.
I am selling convenience. Most people just want to buy something for the girlfriend, mother, etc. People don’t understand different types of flowers, they simply want to buy flowers for their loved ones. They don’t care about specific as long as they are good flowers. It’s a trust business. I’m selling convenience, not the flowers. It’s a gift service.
Can you believe it? I used to hate flowers. I used to say to my friends that I hate flowers and not to buy me any as they are going to die anyway. But look at me now. I’m selling flowers!
What does the world needs more of? Less of?
More do-er. Less talker and complaining.
Which of your traits are you most proud of?
I’m a perfectionist. I’m proud but it’s a bad thing. It’s bad because it sometimes took a while for certain things to be achieved but it is also good because I know when I produce something, it is something I am very proud of.
What’s your favourite thing to come home to after a long day of work?
How do you juggle full time and part time? Any advice on doing that?
That’s hard. You just have to make do. Just don’t get stress easily if things don’t work out the way you want to. No details plans. Just high level.
In terms of time management, I know I need to make time to buy flowers, arrange them and get them ready to be delivered in the morning. Flexible work arrangement helps a lot. Negotiate with your employer a working arrangement that would be suitable for both you and them. I just recently came back to work after having taken 6 months of career break. I have negotiated to work from home one day a week and to start working at 10 am. I am very lucky that AGL is supportive of flexible working arrangement.
Why have you decided to do this?
I have always know that I wanted to have my own business. It is very trendy now for everyone to have a business but I’ve always known. If you go back to Indonesia, almost everyone has a business. I want to stay in Australia and be able to run a successful business here. I want to prove that you can apply what you are good at anywhere.