The Beginning Part 1 : Gratitude

Bear with me, while I introduce myself and some of the most important people in my life. Despite the fact that I treat this blog as a platform to share my experiences as an entrepreneur, these people and thoughts play a crucial role in shaping my experience as an entrepreneur so far.

I have been running VC (short for VC eCommerce Sdn Bhd) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – which was founded in mid-2015 with someone I trust. If you know me well, I do not trust easily. So, we found each other at a programming bootcamp at NEXT Academy (then called Code Division based in MaGIC) and we took a leap of faith with RM1,500 investment each (400 US dollars at the time), and we have been running this business together ever since. We’ve gone through ramen profitable periods,? Fast forward 3 years, we have achieved 100,000s % of growth over 3 years and now manage a team of 7 grinders – with 3 more joining us in July. If you know Jeannette, you know what a capable (and crazy) person she is. I hope we do not ever get sick of working with each other and continue to build empires together, no matter how small.

Caption: Jeannette on a Monday – she’s sick but still at work. Find a partner like this.

Before I took the leap from full time employment, I have worked for as a product manager in multiple FMCG companies before I joined the bootcamp. I come from a humble middle income family with happily married parents and two older siblings who have both set up a family in Singapore. I am a product of organic economic growth experienced by my working class parents – my siblings were not as lucky as I am. Being the youngest child,I was the biggest economical beneficiary from my parents’ hard work.?We had endless arguments in the beginning.?They may not have agreed with me starting my own business – as they are old school AF and would prefer me to have a steady job and predictable income. Despite this, I have always wanted to build a business empire (no matter how small) that I am proud of and they have supported me as much as they could. I cannot thank them enough for all their sacrifices.

Jeremy Ong's Parents
Caption: The sum of these two people = me. I don’t have a lot of photos with them.

I am also happily attached to a wonderful woman that I’ve known for 15 years now (we’ve dated for 5 years at the time of writing). We cook, eat, travel and become sloths on weekends together. She is the best friend I always wish I had. That being said, it was not always like this, we have already been dating once during high school (when we were little kids). Our relationship turned sour because I was not even remotely prepared to be in a relationship.?But I am now.?I have gotten emotional (and sometimes financial) support from her that I do not deserve during the early days of Vape Club – where I did not have the time & resources to spend a lot of quality time with her. With her looks, personality and qualifications, she could have easily picked someone else who’s already financially established and probably more handsome, but she didn’t. She also shares my career aspirations – she an ambitious woman who runs her own bag brand – Livlola.?I love her and?this superwoman is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Sim Li
Caption: She looks better than this in real life.

Another person I would like to thank is the founder of Next Academy?- Josh. I knew the importance of mentorship and until Josh has quit Next Academy a few months back, I have always seen Josh as a business mentor and respect him as such. Like Jeannette, I was connected to Josh during my time at the web development bootcamp. He has provided me teaching opportunities in Next’s digital marketing bootcamp to improve my speaking and trade, and indirectly connected us to wonderful students in the batch that I was mentoring for. I would like to thank Josh for his unorthodox insights, crazy ideas as well as the inspiration to grow as an entrepreneur.

Image result for josh teng
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These people have played a huge role in driving me and my business(es) forward, even when times were bad. There are other people that I will write about so please do not be FOMO – haha.? Thank you for inspiring and supporting me.

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