Interview by: Amrutha Ragavan (email@example.com)
Bon Intent helps companies communicate better. As the Founder of Bon Intent, I partner with companies to develop communication strategies, content, and processes. We create value through impactful messaging and change management in order to connect to employees and customers. We believe in emotionally intelligent communication that uses empathy.
How was Bon Intent born?
I had a very comfortable job at Genentech, where I was very happy. However, I wanted to do something where my talent met an unmet need. That unmet need was not enough internal resources at companies for communication. I wanted to build something with good intent. I wanted to help unlock potential for businesses, non-profits, hospitals, and others that might lack resources to communicate. One day, I sat down and wrote a letter to myself from 10 years in the future. The letter talked about how I was having a huge impact on the world. I realized then that I could accomplish this by becoming an entrepreneur and dreaming big. Bon Intent is the brainchild of all the above and the need that I saw.
Did it happen overnight?
Not really. Like everything, it was an evolution. I took a 45-day soul searching trip by myself in Europe. I had started blogging before the trip to reflect, and had an idea that Communication would be my field and calling. The confirmation came to me at the Sarajevo Film Festival in Bosnia. I’ll never forget it. There was a panel discussion on Human Rights Day about a film on the refugee crisis. One of the panelists said that the true need was better international dialogue. Hearing that was an ‘Ah-ha’ moment for me. Maybe someday, Bon Intent will be the catalyst for better international dialogue!
As a new entrepreneur, what do you find hard?
Getting the ball rolling is hard. It is all on you. In the initial days, I struggled with the feeling of guilt - the guilt of not being able to do more. At the back of your mind, you know that the possibilities are limitless, and the only limiting factor is you. To help me overcome that feeling, I hired a career coach. She helps me prioritize and establish realistic goals for myself and my business. As an Asian American, I was taught culturally that being in the public eye wasn’t a good thing. So, I was shy about being in a visible role, but I’ve had to learn to get over it. Time management and the loneliness of being an entrepreneur is also hard! Whenever I need to get things done, I work out of co-working spaces. The social energy lifts and inspires me.
What traits do you think are helping you?
I move fast and I am an experiential learner. With the prevalence of online courses and resources these days, learning is super accessible. I taught myself how to build a website, and how to create a podcast. Awareness, of oneself and of others, is also a key trait. I started reading countless articles about Myers-Briggs personality types, and psychology books, in order to understand how to communicate to different types of people.
Getting organized is also fundamental to being a successful entrepreneur. As a former Project Manager, I’m very organized. I use tools to keep track of my to-do list. Lastly, having the humility to admit that I need to lean on others and ask for help has also been very important so far in this journey.
Words of advice?
Learn to thrive in uncertainty. When you’re stuck, just take a deep breath and think to yourself, “What is this moment asking of me?” Being in the present moment and embracing uncertainty will help you be less anxious about future, and less depressed about past.