The Entrepreneur Who Loves Academia

โ€œๅคฉๆ—ถใ€ๅœฐๅˆฉใ€ไบบๅ’Œโ€ โ€“ loosely translated as right time, right place, right people โ€“ This Chinese idiom aptly sums up Shen Guopingโ€™s thoughts on entrepreneurship.ย 

As an angel investor, startup business strategy consultant, and soon-to-be e-commerce founder, Guoping is no newcomer to the entrepreneurship landscape in Asia.

After graduating from university, Guoping first worked as a teacher at Jiangsu Wujiang Secondary Specialised School in Jiangsu province, China.

โ€œIt was a stable job that paid well. Plus, the work was really satisfying and I felt very accomplished then,โ€ he said. โ€œNot many people would want to give this up for something (like entrepreneurship)ย that is perceived to be high-risk and unknown.โ€

โ€œYet, this is also one of the most toxic mindsets and biggest misconceptions that people have โ€“ that entrepreneurship equals risk-taking.โ€

 

Taking the first step

 

In his eyes, entrepreneurs do not take risks. Rather, entrepreneurs need to minimise taking unnecessary risks through precise calculations, sleepless nights and contingency plans.

โ€œThe biggest mistake an entrepreneur can commit is to take whatever he is doing as a gamble.โ€

But to him, this does not necessarily mean that entrepreneurs have to make excessively careful considerations before moving forward with their passion. Apart from basic requirements, spending too much time planning for worst-case scenarios will only let opportunities slip through our fingers.

โ€œBefore I took the leap, I had the basic conditions met โ€“ there was demand for my product, supply was low, I had sufficient finances to fall back on and I had also garnered enough confidence,โ€ Guoping explained. โ€œMost importantly, my wife was also very supportive of my ideas emotionally and financially.โ€

 

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Money as a motivator

 

On the topic of motivation, he too shared with us another common misconception that many people have of entrepreneurs.

โ€œMany people feel that most entrepreneurs do what they do because they want to earn big money. Personally, I feel that this is a wrong and very dangerous mindset,โ€ he said. โ€œThe value you bring to the society should always be at the core of what you do. By helping people solve their problems, the money will come naturally, alongside more important things such as respect and recognition.โ€

 

Entrepreneurs and education

 

Guoping shared with us how education has shaped him into the entrepreneur he is today. โ€œBack in my times, not many people were able to be enrolled into university. Entrepreneurship was seen as an alternative route โ€“ a route for people who werenโ€™t able to pursue further education,โ€ said Guoping.

However, he points out the shifting mindsets of todayโ€™s generation โ€“ that education and knowledge is becoming a cornerstone of entrepreneurship.

Guoping later went on to further his studies with the Master of Science Technopreneurship and Innovation Programme.

โ€œIโ€™ve always been interested in entrepreneurship and innovation since young, and took up many of such modules in my university days,โ€ said Guoping. At that time, he was an undergraduate with a major in Physics. He laughs as he recalled even going as far as sneaking into other universities to attend more of such lectures because he โ€˜couldnโ€™t get enoughโ€™ of these classes.

 

Find out more information here:

http://www.sunlordengine.com/

Guoping graduated with a Master of Science in Technopreneurship and Innovation inย Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and is the Co-Founder of SunLord E-commerce Co Ltd.

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