Master Yourself

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Your Personal Legend

A friend of mine asks me a question. Why do you start your own startup when you have a great career? It took me several minutes to realize that I don’t have a good answer.

I have always tried to launch businesses since college. I have a folder in my dropbox with dozens of my failed projects. I start projects that every normal person could think of: start a fashion brand, build an internet media company, join multilevel marketing (twice!), run a podcast, etc. Not my proudest moment but I’m happy with it.

I have a childhood trauma that inspires me to pursue a career in business. My ego tells me that the business path will make me survive in this world (seriously). Even my career involves around helping businesses do digital marketing.

William with business is like a moth to a flame

Illustration of moth to a flame.

Last 6 month

For those who don’t follow this newsletter, I started a startup early this year. I decide that I wanna solve the waste management industry. The thing is, I only decide on waste management in November 2021.

My hypothesis around waste management are:

  • The industry is not sexy and stagnant. Hence not much competition.
  • It is a super fragmented industry. Every region has different regulations. Waste management in Bali is very different than in Palembang.
  • It’s a growing problem. This consumerism trend won’t stop. Trash keep piling up so we need to solve this either way.
  • The last and most important: I always pity people who work as waste picker a.k.a. pemulung. I wish I could make them more hopeful with life.

Of course, I didn’t know anything about waste management. My background didn’t match. So I learned everything from scratch.

The more I learn and ship products, the more I learn about the market and about myself. I learn that I never develop the ability to interact with so many stakeholders in the past. Heck, I never thought that this is an ability. I thought everyone (including me) can do it.

I also learn that I can’t work with everyone, yet. I found it very hard to work with people who aren’t reliable. It’s hard to put trust when you can’t rely on others. Waste management is mostly full of that type of person.

I learn that I am toward helping waste pickers rather than the whole waste management ecosystem. I learn that I care about how waste pickers can live a better life, rather than saving the environment. This realization comes when I interact and sense my feeling. It was a weird sensation.

The Pivot

I’m working on my biggest pivot last month based on my learning. I didn’t find any profitable business model in waste management, but I realize the most important thing is how do I feel about the industry. It’s a long game.

My learning is I wanna help people that are helpless but hopeful. I broaden my view. What industry can bring more impact to this segment aside from waste management affecting waste pickers?

I pivot into the HR/recruitment industry. The HR industry if managed well can bring hope to society, but could make you feel helpless (including me in the past):

  • You feel helpless if you are in the wrong job but afraid of changing it
  • You feel helpless if you are in the toxic work environment
  • You feel helpless if you feel you didn’t make any contribution to the company
  • HR also feels helpless about why talent didn’t fit into the culture
  • A good company also feels helpless if they didn’t find the right talent.

I feel all of that. Don’t you think so?

I launch an employer branding & recruitment marketing agency this month. The idea is to help HR and companies do better branding to attract great talents. My background in digital marketing can help spread their value to the right type of talent.

Most big companies are already aware that they need good branding & marketing effort to attract talents. But they have a dedicated team to run a great branding campaign. We can help with that. KARUN is here to become your HR branding partner. Win-win, right?

OK. Now a simple ask from me.

  • Tell me what you thought of this idea? Especially tell me if you think this is non-sense.
  • If you are an HR, I would love to talk and understand your POV.
  • If you think your HR friend needs this, maybe you could refer them to be my client. Don’t worry I’ll compensate you enough 😉

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