Recently, the "self-branding" craze is blowing up. As it becomes difficult to get a job, the person "I" should be considered and promoted as a special brand. Let's listen to Brander Lucy, the CEO of Crew&Company, who has challenged self-branding early and now is living a successful one-man entrepreneurial life.
1. You are doing various activities at the same time, from Crew English to Class 101 lectures, e-books, blogs, etc., are there any difficulties while working? Why do you have so many businesses and what motivates you?
There are two main difficulties that I’m facing in the workplace, and it can be said that they all stem from ambition.
The first thing is that I’ve got too many fingers in too many pies, and the second is not to leave the work to the employees because I want to do it perfectly. So this year, I'm focusing only on what I can do well, and I'm trying to balance everything else by entrusting it to my employees.
The reason for doing so many businesses is simple. If I want to try it, I try it. These challenges are led to opportunities and led to many businesses. And my two children are also the driving forces. My friend once said, "Think about supporting two children, how can you not work hard?", it is true. And I'm also doing my best to spend more time with my children and help them experience more in life.
2. How are the 'one-person company debut project' and 'one-person company cheat key' going on? Also, please explain how the two are different.
The one-person company debut project is a hands-on lecture focused on "practice" for those who dream of one-person company but have difficulty trying it alone. In fact, many of the students of the debut project became instructors, published books, or outsourced under their own names. On the other hand, one-person company cheat key, is a newsletter for people who already run a one-person company or for beginners. It is issued once a month and is processed in the form of a subscription.
3. These people are your customers and competitors at the same time. Is there a special reason why you share your business know-how with others?
I use my know-how to turn an individual into a 'brand'. Everyone already has their own talent, but often they don't have the know-how on how to turn it into content and make a profit. Because each individual's talents, including myself, are different, my lecture does not reduce my profits. Rather, these people often grow up and become good partners.
4. I think it will be difficult to maintain the work-life balance because the working hours are not fixed, how do you manage your time?
At first, as you said, it was hard to maintain the work-life balance. So I work at fixed time. Also, I make a to-do list every day and process only five tasks each day. I work for eight hours a day, work for three hours and study or exercise for the remaining five hours.
I have two children, so I wake up at 5 a.m. and go to bed at 10 p.m. I write and study about business or investment until 7 a.m. When children wake up, they take care of them until 9 a.m. and send them to the kindergarden. And then I handle call English work, read newspapers, or exercise. After lunch, I study for about 2 hours to develop my business in the afternoon. And until 5 p.m., I'm doing the necessary tasks. I give lectures, consult, and write books. I don't do all of these things at once, but I divide them up every month, so there's not a lot of work.
5. If you're in a position to lead a company, you need to study constantly. What books should I read and how should I put them into practice? Also, what book was particularly helpful to you?
I mainly read books related to psychology, business, and investment. First of all, psychology is fundamental to running business. Also, you need to know how to invest to run business well, and you need to know business well to invest well. To recommend one book for each field, it will be <Psychology of Persuasion>, <God of Business>, and <Rich Dad, Poor Dad>.
I think it's important to read one book a week, and practice a little one thing of what is in the book. I think good reading is “doing” books, rather than just reading them. So when I always read books with the idea that I apply at least one thing here to my business unconditionally.
6. After reading your blog posts, I thought you wrote really well. Do you have any tips for writing attractive articles that people would be interested in?
I think being interested in people is a good way to write. Because I think good writing is writing that moves people's hearts. When you try to write something that can help people based on my interest in others, you naturally write it honestly. Why don't you focus on what you think your readers need and how you can show it?
7. Recently, as self-branding has become more important, many students are running blogs and YouTube, so could you give them some tips for monetization?
Ironically, it's most important not to think about profits. Focusing on profit can lead to loss of authenticity in content. Of course, it's difficult, so I also deliberate it every time and try to move without thinking about the profit as much as possible. It's important to think about what I can share and what people need. If you continue to share what people want, you'll have a brand called "I," and the profits will naturally follow. I thought it was a banal story at first, but this is the most important. First, share what you can share. That will lead to opportunities.
8. Do you have any advice you would like to give to college students who dream of starting a business?
If you simply dream of starting a business because you can't get a job, you'd better think about it again. A start-up seems plausible, but it's like throwing you into the jungle. Because it's about feeding yourself. But I think it's something that you have to do someday. I've seen an article that there will be a world where "office workers" will become more rare in the future.
It's a good idea to start small as far as you can at the moment, instead of thinking big. Keep trying small things, selling things, etc. In my case, I made a joint purchase through SNS, then I ran an online shopping mall, and now I am running a call English business. I think small attempts come together and become your experience and eventually let you get results that you want.
9. Lastly, is there anything else you want to try besides what you're doing now? Also, what is your 'final goal' in life?
Other than what I’m currently doing, I want to give a try on farming. I want to help promote better food in Korea. I’m thinking of marketing education, platform construction, and smart agriculture to further promote traditional food and good ingredients.
My ultimate goal in life is to always remain calm. Now I'm happy if my business goes well, and I don't feel good if it doesn't. I want to be a person who is not swayed by the external environment.
We have heard the story of Brander Lucy, who is living a second life as the CEO of a one-person company. She is gradually expanding her value from engineering student to brand manager for a marketing company, and from brand manager to entrepreneur. Through the conversation with Brander Lucy, I was able to learn more about the start-up that was felt vague. If you're dreaming of starting a business, why don't you try the little things you can do now, as she has advised?
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