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being like wind and water

a different journey of scaling a business

· scaling,business,mindset,tao,paradox

In No Mud, No Lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh pointed out the personal growth is a paradoxical process. The hardship and struggle in life is exactly the ingredient that leads us to success and happiness. Laozi has the similar teaching:


“What you would shorten, you first should lengthen
what you would weaken, you first should strengthen
what you would topple, you first should raise
what you would take, you first should give"

(Tao Te Ching)

We become stronger by being weak, we grow bigger by being small, we move faster by walking slow. Just like wind and water. What happens when wind and water encounters resistance? It breaks out! So when you put your hands in wind and water, it runs through your hands without causing any harm. The softest thing on the universe overcomes the hardest thing in the universe, the one without substance can enter where there is no room. So wind and water is yielding, and you may call this weak, but it is its weakness that makes it strong, it can also be devastatingly powerful and penetrate things as hard as rocks.

When I started School of Gumption 2 years ago, it was just two of us. We spent a long time explaining our idea and concept to the foundations in order to get their funding support, we tried to collect as many proofs as possible to make us look accountable - a list of amazing people on our advisory board, direct association with the world-known university to put weight of our curriculum design, partnership with famous companies and entrepreneurs - we saw our characteristic of being new and small as something to hide, not something we leverage on and benefit from, in the end nobody believed us because all we talked about was a concept that has not been proven, nobody wants to invest in a big and expensive program started by a new kid on the block.

In the end I got tired of pretending we knew all the answers and asked myself what baby-steps might look like with or without funding support. That was when the idea of Future Creator Camp was born. I spent an evening to draft a short proposal based on my previous experience and pitched it to Hoi Leong of Mistletoe the next day. When I finished, he asked me how he could support us to make it happen. 3 months later, Future Creator Camp was launched with 27 students and teachers from Thailand and Vietnam financially supported by Mistletoe.

After the successful completion of the first launch, we felt good, we captured all the memory in text, photo and video, we celebrated. Then we sat down and asked ourselves, what's next?

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