If You Have A Family, Place Your Family Before Your Business

Chan Huang Yee On Biggest Challenge A Woman Entrepreneur Faces

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By Aashika Jain

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Time management is the biggest challenge a woman entrepreneur faces according to the executive director of Singapore-based I Can Read Chan Huang Yee.In a chat with Entrepreneur India, Chan said women need to manage their time efficiently to cater to the expectations the world has from them.

"On one hand, you have your personal goals that you want to achieve as a woman entrepreneur, you want to achieve great heights for your business and on the other, you have to be a mum, a wife and a daughter," said Chan.

Chan, who has been an entrepreneur since the last 16 years, believes the expectation to succeed in all areas is the second biggest challenge a woman entrepreneur faces.In an organization, you will be the go-to person in the company, so you need to have solutions for everyone - personally and professionally - believes Chan.

Her advise for women entrepreneur is simple. "If you have a family, place your family before your business," says Chan. If your family is stable, your business is successful.She says unmarried must take the plunge and venture out to achieve what they want dauntlessly.

"If you are single, don't be afraid. Feel your gut, follow your heart. I think there is an amount of risk taking that is involved and don't be afraid to make mistakes when you are young," Chan said.

Chan acquired the business she worked for four years ago along with her partners. I Can Read is now looking for franchise partners in India as the company is looking to enter the lucrative education market.

Four points entrepreneurs could learn from Chan Huang Yee.

1. Be persistent

Chan started working for I Can Read 16 years ago as an employee and eventually acquired the company along with her partners. Such commitment goes a long way and can actually benefit an entrepreneur.

In an aggressive startup culture where job-hopping isn't considered distasteful, entrepreneurs must not forget staying on pays. It is not necessary for an entrepreneur to start a company of his or her own. If you believe in an idea, you don't necessarily need to be the one to start it.

Taking hundred to thousand can sometimes be more beneficial that starting from zero.

Among some of the most famous entrepreneurs who worked from scratch with their companies only to lead them are Ursula Burns, the Chairman and CEO of Xerox and David Geffen of DreamWorks.

Being persistent could be your key to make it to the top.

2. Never be afraid

Chan, who is a successful mother and a daughter, says she has never been afraid to take chances.

"Being Asian, everyone has several expectations from a woman. The female entrepreneur has to learn to manage her time well and keep everyone happy," says Chan.

Chan believes women are no different in any part of the world, and hence to make it on top they must not be afraid to take chances. When it comes to married women, she advises them to keep family their top priority as a happy family leads to successful leaders. She advises single women entrepreneurs to follow their heart.

3. Work for the company you believe in

Chan says she continued to work with I Can Read only when she saw its curriculum actually working.

"My children have imbibed the I Can Read syllabi and are now smarter children," Chan says. She believes if one has complete trust in the work they are doing, they are likely to succeed.

Chan says once you are convinced of the work the company is doing, you may end up working harder towards the cause of the company.

4. Wait for your chance

A clerk to CEO story cannot become a reality till the time entrepreneurs exhibit some perseverance for their chance to come.

Chan says she has been an ardent worker since the beginning of her career.

"Success did not come overnight, it involved great hard work," says Chan. Those who work patiently towards their growth always end up with rewards.

Aashika Jain

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Associate Editor, Entrepreneur India

Journalist in the making since 2006! My fastest fingers have worked for India's business news channel CNBC-TV18, global news wire Thomson Reuters, the digital arm of India’s biggest newspaper The Economic Times and Entrepreneur India as the Digital Head. 

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