Seoul Global Center, Business Start-up School
Last year was the time when I first heard about Seoul Global Center. Bunch of my friends were involved in a forum called SISF (international student forum thing, they have the weirdest ideas ever), and a year after that I started to use their homepage every week to look for a part time job. I forgot about it temporarily when I was in Malaysia and a week before I came back to South Korea, I visited the website again hoping to get a job before I am actually here in South Korea.
That's when I found out about this Business Start-up School, which in their 3rd session this time around. It is a 10 days business school program provided for free by Seoul Global Center ! (not to forget they give infinite amount of free choco pies and juice too) Through the business school, you will learn about everything you need to know to start a business in Korea, from how to conduct business effectively in Seoul, setting up, running and tax, real estate, writing a business plan, SME development policy in finance,
Seoul Global Center is the place where they provide all the help foreigners needed, again, they ask for no payment. It was a program started by the Seoul Metropolitan something, and trust me Seoul Global Center is really helpful.
So, for 10 days, as long as I attend all the classes for 10 days, which starts at 7 and ends at 9 everyday for 10 days, I will get a certificate from Seoul Mayor, saying that I completed a business start up school and is eligible to start a business in South Korea ! OH yeah right, great! So, I am writing this when I should actually be writing my business plan right now, I am going to do this real quick.
Don't be stubborn and try to change the whole culture, accept it.
This was from Steve Mckinney, head of Seoul Global Center. South Korea is a very homogeneous country, only 2% are foreigners and if you think that their culture is weird and not effective, don't be stubborn and try to change the whole society to your way of thinking but just accept it. In this country, you will not survive without a Korean to help you do stuff. Learn cultural differences, accept and work with others.
Kwonrigeum is part of the country's real estate culture (I don't know why I decided to write about this)
Premium, is probably the closest word that I can use to explain what Kwonrigeum is. It works as a compensation for concession, invested expenditures on facilities and equipment and compensation for location specific benefits. Honestly, I don't have the slightest clue what this thing does, I just know that it's not normal to have that in other countries and it's done confidentially between the owner and tenants. I am sorry, I am usually hungry or sleep whenever I am in the class.
Have a 30 seconds introduction for everything
Perhaps this is really important in your every day networking routine. This is how you can get people's attention, this is how you make people pick up the phone and call you whenever they have good things to share. You don't have a lot of talk time with strangers or friends usually, so make sure you have a 30 seconds introduction to promote yourself to people about what you do, what are you products, what are you planning to do, or basically anything you think you need help on getting things done. Cannot borrow a book from the library ? Do the 30 seconds introduction to every stranger you meet on the street, or do it to a single person repetitively like how shops in South Korea are playing Gangnam style 200 times a day and you might get to borrow more than one book !
Always give people information on how to contact you, you never know how the next person might be a person important to help you achieve your goals. Do not judge someone by it's cover, and I was wrong to think that walking around the university saying hi to countless amount of people I barely know meant networking, I was dead wrong.
90% of new businesses fail in 1st year, a myth.
Not true, they survived usually. Most people think that starting a business will make you big bucks, and you don't have to work 9-5. No, when you own a startup, you might not even get sleep for few months just because there are too many data to process and problems to solve. But, I have no idea how did the myth about 90% of the businesses fail in their first year started, maybe a gossip from a jealous 9-5 man ?
Use a mentor
Yes, YouTube and Google can teach you everything you need to know but a mentor is someone to watch and analyse how you do in real time. It's like learning how to swim from YouTube vs learning how to swim from a trainer, it is always better to know where you screw up from someone and that person is no doubt someone with experience in the same industry as you do.
Find your love
Perhaps the simplest thing ever. You will not enjoy what you do unless it's something you love to do. It is the thing that keeps you awake til 3 am and it is the thing that you don't mind waking up at 5 am to work on. Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers, states that anyone who clocked up 10,000 hours of deliberate practice (not the same with blind practice!) will eventually become an expert. SO, find what you love to do, and spend 10,000 hours doing it.
There are many alumnis who attended the course and are actually running their business right now. Now I know a bunch business owners in Seoul ! That means, more seo bi seu (service)!!!!
Wham, see you at the top !
P/s - there are more, but I think I should stop now.