Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How’s your typical day like?

A friend CY recently posed this question to me. He was interested to know, since I had ventured out for two years, how is a typical day of an entrepreneur like?

I wanted to give a straightforward answer, but found that it wasn’t that straightforward. I had worked in MNC and GLC as software engineer before I ventured out. My typical day in MNC is something like this: Every morning at about 9am, I arrived at the R&D centre of the company. I went to my desk, switched on my PC, checked my email and then open my compiler to start coding. Other than occasional pantry visits and some very rare meetings, the most part of my time in the MNC was spent in front of the PC doing programming stuffs. Seemed boring to some, but actually I quite enjoyed my job there.

My typical day in GLC was a bit more exciting. Other than doing software design and development work, I was also involved in other miscellaneous stuffs like training other engineers, doing some feasibility studies, attending stupid meetings with clueless superiors and customers, lots of documentation, etc. And sometimes I would need to go to customer site to do some integration testing. But overall, I would say 80% of my time in the GLC was still doing technical stuffs like software design and development.

However, being an entrepreneur is quite different. I had to take on different roles at different times due to the scarcity of resources. When I am doing software design and development, I am a software architect cum programmer all-in-one. When I am doing research on new technologies, I am an R&D scientist and Chief Technology Officer. When I am devising the marketing strategy for my products, I am a marketing director. When I meet up with advertiser, I am a marketing executive. When I discuss ad-hoc projects with other companies’ decision makers, I am the CEO. When I do sales demo, I am the sales manager.

So there is actually no typical day for me as an entrepreneur. Normally, I would pre-plan my work-load for the week, and then plan my daily schedule. So my role for the day would depend on how my schedule is like. When I am not doing sales or meeting any customers, I would normally bring my laptop to some public places with air-con and internet access, and do my work there. If my work that day requires multiple PCs or devices like printer / scanner, then I would probably stayed at home. Of course, when I feel that I need to take a break, I would do so and probably do some light stuffs or spend my day walking around or reading some books in a bookshop.

Some of my friends are quite envy of this kind of life-style. Some even thought that I should be rather free, since my products are already developed and all I have to do is to sell them. Sometimes I wonder, do I look so free to them or do I make entrepreneurship looks so simple to them?

So, how’s your typical day like?