Sunday, 8 January 2012

An Entrepreneur's Story "From Networking to Business Alliances" Workshop

By: Clarie Kwa & Filda Yusgiantoro (Nanyang MBA intake 2011)

On the 10th of December 2011, the Nanyang MBA Women in Business club conducted a workshop “An Entrepreneur’s Story”. We had the honor of welcoming Mllie Stephanie, founder and CEO of Mobiliari Media Group, a company that counts Indonesia Tatler and Forbes Indonesia among its many publications, to share her experiences with us.

Millie is a veteran in the publications industry in Indonesia and has a MBA from which she graduated cum de laude. However, she has had her fair share of trials and tribulations in the early days of her entrepreneurial career. Sharing how her first and unpaid publication project flopped, she said, “Nothing will ever prepare you for life.” Her message to the members was clear and crisp. “Unlearn what you’ve learnt”, she laughed and continued to point out how humans have a need for structure and predictability. Yet, the entrepreneurial path is nothing but predictable. To overcome the fear and doubt that can plague every new idea, Millie encouraged everyone to recognize that every moment is new. It is thus only sensible to be always present and savor one moment at a time.  To do that, we need to be relaxed and go with the flow. Millie continued to emphasize that this does not conflict with the need to strategize and plan. The key to go with the flow is to never be attached to the outcome but to instead focus on the process itself to achieve what we want in life. She cited David Foster, a multiple Grammy Award winner and current Chairman of Verve Music Group whom she had the pleasure of meeting some time back, “Whenever I enter my studio wanting to produce a song, the minute I want to control, I no longer produce anything.”

Millie shared how her role model was her mother whom she described as hardworking and humble. Having many friends from different background and nationalities, Millie finds her mother the perfect example of a good networker. Sharing how she used to be a shy person and would hide behind her mother’s for comfort in various networking events, she soon realized the importance of networking and that she needed to step up to establish her own networking. This helped her to be independent and gain respect from people, thus supporting her business and alliances.

Another engaging point of the workshop was the sharing of viewpoints from both gender representatives. The general consensus was that women entrepreneurs can earn the respect of their male counterparts by being hands-on in the business. Support groups protected by confidentiality, such as Young Presidents’ Organizations (YPO), are safe havens for entrepreneurs and managers, helping them to maintain clarity and emotional balance. After all, entrepreneurship is about living one’s dreams and while tough, it should be an enjoyable journey.

It was an honor to have Millie share with WIB. She also generously gave each attendee a copy of the latest Forbes Indonesia magazine that listed the top 40 richest people in Indonesia and who were incidentally entrepreneurs.

A WIB event is never complete without partying. The club closed the year with a mini Christmas feast, birthday celebrations and laughter.

We look forward to a meaningful 2012 and for WIB to scale greater heights.

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