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Cherilyn Tan:  Having No Fear, Mom Founder Hard Truths & Seeking Help

· Founder,Start-up,Singapore,Podcast Episodes,Purpose

So, of course, if you can't trust a person 100%, then don't have them in the village. Because one of the things that you will realise is you don't want to go backwards and have someone that you don't trust and then have all these negative or toxic kind of thoughts around that relationship. So even when we hire today within the company, we ask for 100% like integrity first.-Cherilyn Tan

Cherilyn is driven by her quest to empower people and businesses and to help them make better decisions to emerge stronger. The companies that she has founded are testaments to this fact. As Founder and CEO of Interstellar Group, she started Asia Law Network in 2014 out of frustration at being unable to find a suitable and affordable lawyer at a time when she needed one the most. Over the last six years, Asia Law Network’s service offerings have included a lawyer-vetted legal blog, lawyer directory, flat-fee legal consult and quick contracts.

 

Four years later, in 2018, Tessaract.io was launched to empower businesses across Asia Pacific by digitising their operations and introducing them to new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and data analytics. Today, Tessaract.io is a powerful and flexible business management tool that is powering countless businesses, big or small. Tessaract.io has become a cash-flow positive business and has launched operations outside of Singapore.

Jeremy Au: (00:30)
Hi Cherilyn, so good to have you on The Brave Show. Really excited to have you here as a founder in SAAS across Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, US. I so want to hear your story. Cherilyn, for those who don't know you yet, could you introduce yourself?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (00:47)
Hi, everybody. Hi, Jeremy. Thanks for having me here. I'm Cherilyn, the CEO and founder of Asialawnetwork.com and Tesseract Technologies, Tesseract.io, a workflow automation platform that starts with the professionals industry. It's now mainly in law, in funds, in accounting as well as in engineering and insurance.
 

Jeremy Au: (01:08)
I got to ask, how did you get started with this whole entrepreneurship thing? How did the bug bite you?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (01:15)
I think the bug bit me a very long time ago. I came from a family business background. So, you know, my mom always told me about business, would go into a cafe and she'll tell me how many staff are serving people, how many people are sitting in the cafe. And I will look out on the ratios and like, she'll tell me, Oh, I think they’re understaffed or I think they’re overstaffed.
And my mom has always been someone that's very business minded. And I think that bug has bitten me a long time ago.
 

Jeremy Au: (01:42)
I got to ask I see that your background, one of the first official things you co-founded was the Tchoupitoulas Bar, the first shooter's bar in Singapore. So I got to ask, like, how did I get started?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (01:55)
I don't remember half of it because I was drunk most of the time. No, kidding. We actually won a business case competition that's organised by INSEAD, Capitaland and a number of the corporates. And it was this space up for rent. It was free rent in Clark Quay and it was supposed to submit like a business case for that particular space, and the best idea wins and then you get to execute it.
So that was really fun because I've lived in Barcelona for about a year doing my exchange programme and in Spain, every city has their own shorts bar, you know, it's like a pre clubbing kind of place where you go to get yourself a bit sloshed and you don't have it here in Singapore. So those are the days before your cocktail bars that you have today.
So it's very fun. We implemented that and business was really good. Yeah, so that was a great run then.
 

Jeremy Au: (02:46)
I love the fact that yeah, it's just a place that has lots of shots.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (02:53)
25 years old. Yeah. Yeah, that was the best friend. Because, like, at 25, you know, all your friends are starting to drink a lot more and got their first jobs with money to spend. And they're like, Hey, you know, we need to go to somewhere that's fun and cool and hang out with friends. You know, in those days there was only the clubs.
So in clubs the music's loud and can’t really talk. So best place to hang out. Too bad now it's really hard, right? Because in the FMB it's a bit hard to hang out and drink. So can bring those parties home with two people, max, now.
 

Jeremy Au: (03:25)
How did you transition from alcohol and F&B side, which is obviously a very interesting, rewarding obviously business and obviously founding experience and to where you are today. Walk us through how you got there.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (03:40)
Let me remember. I think the idea was when we won the business case competition, I was with my partner then Jamie, and she's still now in the F&B industry. She's super passionate about F&B and I think no better person than to take it forth. One of the things I learnt during that period of time was F&B is not really a passion for me because I really liked my days as an introvert.
Actually, that kind of lifestyle kind of was difficult for me. So after eight months of running it and more and doing really well, I decided to move on. And those days, it was not really a thing to be an entrepreneur. It was just kind of like fell into it. And the next thing I went into was I invested in a marketing, a creative agency called You're An Associate, because I decided that one of the things I could really do was to pitch for projects like BD type stuff.
So I spent six months actually watching the creative industry and how they pitch for projects, and so I got into that for the next few years. Then at that point in time, I was going through something rough personally and whilst I was trying to decide what to do next. I wanted to sell off my shares in the agency, also at that point in time, I was trying to find lawyers to help me draft out all these contracts that needed to be done.
I think I was like 28, 29 years old. And it's funny, right? It's not like today where lawyers are all aligned on LinkedIn. You can find one easily. In those days, actually, it was so difficult to find any lawyer. So after looking for a lawyer for like three months and only managed to get like two meetings because law firms in those days were really more difficult to get to, they were busy with their corporate clients.
So as an individual who was 28, 29, they wouldn't expect much from me. Right? I was imagining that if at that point in time I have friends who are lawyers and they're working in big firms and those law firms were not responsive to me. I cannot imagine being just a man on the street. How am I supposed to get the legal help I need?
And knowing that it was a crucial need for any, any developed world, I decided to, like, plunge myself head in and to spend one year and researching about the legal industry across the world. And that's when actually I founded Asialawnetwork.com.
 

Jeremy Au: (05:54)
This time was quite different, right? Because now we were talking a little bit about it and you know, you said you learnt quite a few lessons from being a founder this time around. What would you say that you learnt from being a founder of an Enterprise SAAS company across both Asia Law Network and Tesseract IO?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (06:13)
What I've learnt, I think that being a founder of a tech company requires an intense amount of passion and always being at the forefront of technology. Because technology moves so fast, you have different tools coming out every single day. You're talking about adoption rates and across the world you're talking about competing not just within your own jurisdiction, like an FMB, it's like within the community or that neighbourhood that you serve.
But when I'm talking about technology, you really have to be very well informed and you got to do a lot of research and understand global trends. And these trends not just have to deal with within your own SAAS. Like for example, we're doing workflow automation. We have to know everything from servers, cloud computing, everything that's happening on that front because all of that will affect our business as well and how we implement our tech.
So being a SAAS entrepreneur or a tech founder, one of the cool things that I realise is it’s totally me. We saw running of F&B and then going into creative agencies. I realised that everything was preparing me for this particular stint I have. I was actually in the creative agency trying to launch our own cloud way ahead of time.
I guess in those days I was like more than ten years ago and I was trying to launch our own cloud platform using whatever cloud software that's around. Even before that, before running the bar, I was actually running a consulting company called Resonance Consultancy, where we focus on design thinking. So design thinking. I kind of built like a mini Dropbox equivalent for one of our clients, a listed company.
So that they could share huge images across all their different outlets so that they can use those images in their marketing or advertising efforts. All these experiences kind of like drove me to do what I do today and really enjoy it. So being a tech founder, lots of learnings, I think. But the key thing is that you always have to be on the go and you always have to know and want to be curious about what's happening in the tech world.
 

Jeremy Au: (08:17)
There you are just doing all of this about being on the go. Any tips or reflections about how you've learnt how to be on the go and keep it all juggled/spinning/gyrating?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (08:32)
Yep. Lots of compartmentalising. I think one of the key things to learn is about how you yourself work and how you capture data. For me, I love influx of data. I love influx of stories, I love to learn. So I actually read a lot. But I don't go and read like a huge book at one go. So what I do is I subscribe to a lot of podcasts like yourself, I subscribe to in those days was RSS feeds all the way through to email newsletters from McKinsey from kind of other places from Seth Godin about like marketing.
All these are places where thought leaders share what are the cool things that's happening in the market and what you should not forget. And I think over time when you have that habit of learning and reading constantly on the go, you know, when you're taking a break, when you are having 10 minutes time out in between or whilst waiting for someone else in the café, just reading up on an article actually makes a lot of sense.
And even before this whole internet era when I was in uni, I read a lot of news articles from Forbes, from Newsweek, excellent places to learn about business models. All of these things are huge drivers to inspiration later on where everything starts to consolidate like a bit like chaos theory and the butterfly effect.
 

Jeremy Au: (09:50)
In all of that, how do you define what it is that you need to learn? Because, you know, there's so much information you kind of subscribe and all that stuff. So I think they’re all pushing information at you. But yes, I guess when you need to learn stuff because you had a frontier of getting stuff done, how do you learn something they need to learn.
For example, I assume like there's clients that you need to learn how to sell to, or there's engineering requirements that you need to figure out how to build for. So how do you pool that information?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (10:23)
Okay, so I start with having a broad picture of what I need to learn. So whether it's in tech and operations and HR and finance and fundraising, I label them down into different segments every time I read something and I find that I don't know enough about something. I will ask a lot of people, when I meet them, questions that's relating to that particular topic.
And that helps me a lot because of course you can go and read like tons of books, but the people around you are already resourceful and it works a lot more for you if you're chatting with someone and you're finding out what they do, having mentors really help as well from a young age, actually, I've had mentors that can help me with these different topics.
For example, I think one of the key things that I learnt and I wanted to share because I just caught up with him. So like Richard Yu Yang Sang. I caught up with him and this is really funny. One of the key things that I did when I was younger was really having no fear. So I took his business model and I drew a huge mind map and I literally just emailed him and I say, Hey, I need to talk about this huge gap you have, which is e-commerce at that point in time.
And his business and him and his board was actually very open and they decided to invite us for a pitch and to hear us out in terms of what they were missing. So over the years, I caught up with him to find out, like, how he manages problems. You know, as you grow bigger in terms of your size of the organisation, there are different things that you need to do.

For him, I always ask him some of the curious things I found about like people dealing with big organisations, right? Is that how do you prioritise what is the most urgent thing that you need to do or learn which comes back to your topic of like all the things that you need to learn and read about. And he said that if something can be done or managed by someone else, you should let that person deal with it and then focus on the things that you cannot outsource.
And so I think along the way, as I started to grow businesses, I've learnt that the things that yes, it might seem like someone else can do it, but I need to let go and let someone else who is even better at it to deal with it. And that's how we've been growing the team also right now, which is to hire people who are better than me at all these different topics.
And then every week I'll just catch up with them for an hour and then like basically download all the stuff that they have learnt or known and that kind of works.
 

Jeremy Au: (12:43)
And you said an interesting phrase, you said back then, you had no fear. Tell me more about what you mean by that and, to some extent, what has happened since then.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (12:56)
Age. Well, I won't say specifically age. Well, no fear. I think in some things I still have no fear. I mean, think about it. We started Asialawnetwork. We serve mainly, I mean, at the beginning, lawyers. So that’s a tough bunch to serve. If you have worked with lawyers before, they expect really high quality stuff. They expect really good standard of service.
So that kind of fear is okay. But I think as I grew, that fear was more like health related. Things like, okay, I cannot be the only one that drives this and this company has to exist, even if I don't, that kind of fear. But when you're younger at 23, you think that you're superhuman. You don't ever think that you're going to die immediately the next day.
So there was that kind of fear that creeps in over time when you realise.
 

Jeremy Au: (13:47)
Interesting. So you're saying that you had no fear back then because you were unclear about what was going on?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (13:53)
Unclear about the fact that I could be sick. I guess I'm super blessed, right? I used to do a lot of sports when I was younger. I took very little sick days, if any at all. So that wasn't something that you think about naturally when you're younger. But as you grow older and you're like, Oh man, this is real.
I mean, just even giving birth alone, had a very difficult pregnancy. So I had to go through like seven operations. So I literally almost died.
 

Jeremy Au: (14:22)
Seven operations?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (14:23)
Yes, seven operations.
 

Jeremy Au: (14:24)
Oh, my gosh. That sounds like seven too many, to be honest.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (14:28)
Yeah. Yeah. These are the things that make you feel human. And then you're like, okay, I need to build something that's more robust. And not just I, but the whole team. And that's why I grill unto our team as well, that unfortunately we have to make ourself dispensable. Yeah, that's the only way that we can build a super robust business and company.
 

Jeremy Au: (14:52)
And what's interesting is that obviously you have your profile here on aside here and you had this very strong profile statement out here where you said, quote unquote, I'm a strong believer that mothers are the most efficient and effective people around with the right drive and motivation, they become great workmates hashtag she for she. So tell us more because that's a big statement to put on your LinkedIn real estate.
Talk us through that manifesto.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (15:19)
Okay. I think that I was probably very ignorant before being a mom, but after being a mom I realised that moms really have to deal with a lot, just give an example. I'm here in the room speaking to you. But if I do hear any cries at all, if I hear any baby cries now my body is like tuned to kind of respond to it.
So you can imagine why people are going crazy with this whole work from home thing. And moms not just have to deal with the hormonal changes, the bodily changes. You're talking about having to deal with your own personal growth to identity, having to deal with multitasking, having to take care of kids. I mean, I guess the luckier ones have help and if their husbands are not helping and that's where it kind of like still lies mainly with the mom.
So mom's at work, fully salute them. And that's why also within our own work environment, we're very supportive of moms and we are quite flexible in terms of working with around their time, as long as they contribute the same way.
 

Jeremy Au: (16:20)
This has been a big discussion topic because, to some extent, lots of founders, when we have this conversation, I like how do I become a parent? Is that even possible to be a parent and a founder? So that's like one level of conversation. And then I think a deeper level conversation is like there's a double ding, which is like, how am I going to succeed as a female founder?
Plus as a mom founder, if that makes sense. So it is even like a double I use the word double ding because that is more commonly seen as a, you know, negative, you know, from a self judgemental or slash question mark space. Right. You know, this there's one magnitude worse, I think frankly I think that as a conversation topic from how historically I guess a father founder may even see that conversation topic.
So how would you approach this topic in terms of the parameters of conversation? I'm sure people have talked to you about that, like how do you handle that, etc.?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (17:16)
I think it's important to be really upfront and truthful to yourself first. Of course, I think a lot of women struggle with the idea of like, am I going to have kids first? And the answer is yes. Then you got to make it work. I think that question came some time, even before I got married. So interestingly, that was a very difficult time in Asialawnetwork’s history.
And I almost postponed the wedding and my very kind family asked me, I was like, okay, you don't look too good right now. Do you want to postpone the wedding so that you are okay? And I thought to myself, hey, you know, if life is going to be on hold for my start up, then something is not right.
We need to embrace the fact that everything has to go at the same time. So, once we did that and the whole plan was to work around it, so I moved my mom and my dad up to 100 metres away from me. So the planning took like three years before even like having a child, planning for my husband to be the primary caretaker for my baby so that took a lot of negotiation as well and family planning and say, hey, you know, we got to take turns, do stuff, being able to work around it, talk about it and being really truthful.
If this is the right time. And I strongly believe in a gut feel, if you think that the time is right, then do it because then everything else will fall around it. I've even seen moms with four kids like have a start up. I mean, that one hands down, I didn't know how to do it because, one, I am trying to learn how to be more effective.
But yeah, so I think people make it work. And that's why it's even more amazing when I see moms that are trying to make things work because it takes an extraordinary amount of courage and effort to make it work.
 

Jeremy Au: (19:08)
Yeah, I empathise with that.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (19:11)
You're a dad, right?
 

Jeremy Au: (19:12)
I'm a dad. And I did actually tell my wife about potentially rescheduling my wedding because of a founder dynamic, because, you know, we are rushing to close our series-A and it was touch and go for a moment. And so I was like, maybe we might have to reschedule the wedding. And she was like, Put her foot down on me.
So we went on, we closed it right before the wedding ceremony. But I was very distracted during the planning. So I empathise with that piece and obviously everything else obviously that not so much obviously but I think I resonated with a lot the truths around that because I was helping with the planning for the kid and everything.
And obviously, you know I was getting a lot of help from in laws and as much help as possible. There's actually a big element that you said which is obviously talk about planning, about getting help but what I liked about the phrase you said was step one is actually being very truthful, being very direct and frank about that.
Do you feel like people are not very frank or direct about it?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (20:15)
Yes, unfortunately, I feel so. I do experience a lot of conversations, I guess. I have friends who are questioning whether should I have kids this year or next year. I told them to rewind and think about it again, like maybe do you really want to have kids at all first before you go into this year or next year or the year after?
Because, in the end, it boils down to what you really want. And I feel like if anyone puts their heart and soul into something that they really want, they might find themselves in a better position to answer the questions instead of this year or next year. I do have that question, but you know, getting married or having my first child, it was like, hey, is this the right time?
If you know you're going to go for it, then you go for it. Interestingly, when I was fund raising was a time where I had my first child, I was pregnant and it was really tough. There was a period of time where I was lugging around like this huge watermelon in my tummy and going to meet VCs and sniffing away because you know how pregnant women get sick a bit more easily and then having like second looks.
But I take it as experience, it was a tough experience, but I think that through that experience you also learn who are the ones who are there for you, who genuinely care, who understands that if you are actually sniffing and out with your tummy and raising funds, you're going to make this work. So that's another way to put it.
It's just like how these days I actually just wear t shirts and track pants just like I'm wearing a hoodie because I realised that, hey, I'm done with the days of wearing pencil skirts or dresses just because it doesn't work for me anymore. So as long as you can be truthful to yourself and just do you, I think the rest of the world will come to realise that that's going to be you.
 

Jeremy Au: (22:02)
When you think about all of that, about getting to the truth of the matter, about whether you want to have kids before you start thinking about the timing of the kids and then it's about a planning for the kids and then planning in context of the start up and your family help and all these other different dynamics.
I think there's also a huge element of fear about having that conversation with people. Fear in having the conversation with VCs, having fear of having a conversation with your employees. Fear of having a conversation with your friends or other founders. So any thoughts or reflections around that dynamic?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (22:40)
I think the key is you don't have to tell everybody. So, I mean, we all have fears, right? And of course, at that point in time, I was obviously afraid of being judged by the VCs that I’m fund raising with. And you try to put up a brave front, of course, but you do all the time. I think all start-ups try to put up a really strong front in front of VCs because that's how you raise funds.
So, I think the idea is not to have to be super open to everybody, but have a small kind of village of people that you really trust. And you just need that few people that you can speak to and sound things out or someone that you can just tell everything, your fears included and they’re not going to judge you and is going to tell you as is, and there's some things that you're not going to like hearing.

So one of the things I realise is I always like to go to my friends who tell me nasty stuff. I mean, not that I'm sadistic, masochistic, but I think the key thing is I want to hear things that my friends are able to say in my face that may not sound nice, but I know it's the truth. The earlier on you get used to that, I think the better it is for me or for anybody, because then I'm not saying you have to absorb it and then start feeling bad, but being just grateful for people who can be honest and truthful to you is that much more important than just hearing the good things.
 

Jeremy Au: (24:01)
That's a lot of truth right there. That you just laid out. Hard truths to keep mom founders going. So, could you share with me about a time when you were BRAVE?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (24:20)
When I was brave? I don't think there is a time that I am brave, but I think the whole period of time from being pregnant, going through a difficult pregnancy because I have high risk of preeclampsia, having that seven operations done, then coming back without maternity leave to continue to manage a Start-Up and then through fundraising during COVID, that entire period of time to me was really tough.
And the BRAVE part is not so much dealing with that period, but more acknowledging that I was super vulnerable and I sought help. So that part, to me, was brave. I acknowledge that I was killing myself internally and I actually sought help and that really helped. It completely changed my perspective and it completely made me stronger because now I'm able to free my mind a bit more.
You know how people talk about mindfulness, but in this case, it was a whole period of actually every day waking myself up and saying, Hey, I got to do this differently because whatever I used to do doesn't work anymore.
 

Jeremy Au: (25:29)
What does it mean to seek help? Whatever you're comfortable to share?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (25:33)
Well, I actually sought therapy. For a period time, I thought I was going through, like, post-natal depression. So I actually went to a therapist, I spoke to a counsellor, and then I went to a psychiatrist because that's where they can test whether it's hormonal or not. So if it's hormonal, then, you know, of course they can prescribe some medicine for you.
Then in the end it all came down to not having enough sleep because I was working 20 hours a day, so I was prescribed sleeping meds so that I could sleep. Effectively, I slept for like almost a week and then I bounced back. That's it. So sometimes, you know, when you're in the deep depths of it, it may seem like you can not get anywhere.
But when we start talking to people and you start to reframe your mindset and talk to people who actually know, right? Instead of wondering like I was wondering whether it's postnatal, but actually it's not because it's clearly not hormonal.
 

Jeremy Au: (26:29)
Yeah. What's interesting is that at some point you got to help, right? And I think it's an interesting story, right? Because there's a certain threshold where you don't get help and then suddenly you do get help. And then if you get help, it's just in time. And then if you wait too long and then it's too late. So timing is that interesting dynamic for that's why we kind of encourage each other to seek help.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (26:52)
Yes, absolutely.
 

Jeremy Au: (26:53)
How do you think about that dynamic around for a founder to come to a resolution and feel that they're comfortable to seek help?
 

Cherilyn Tan: (27:06)
That's interesting. I feel like all founders should seek help. Whether or not you feel bad. Honestly, I feel like the whole idea of coaching this is a fine line between counselling, coaching, therapy because in my good days, my chats with, for example, the therapist or my counsellor becomes coaching because it helps me to do better.
On the not so good days, of course, then you know, it's just like me trying to find new perspective. You'll be surprised that actually most of the people that I know of that high performing are open or actually already seeking some kind of help, whether it's coaching, whether it's counselling. So it's super, super common these days, which means that it's no longer a taboo topic.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (27:50)
And I think if you can get past your own ego and the rest is history because then you invite a lot more wisdom into your own life. And instead of just relying on yourself, you realise that you have a lot more people to rely on for different perspectives. And it actually makes me grow as a person so strongly encouraged.
You'll never wait till the point of time where it's too late, right? You just have help whenever you need them.
 

Jeremy Au: (28:17)
Yeah, I totally agree with that and while the spirit of making it less taboo, I happy to acknowledge, I, too, have an executive coach. Actually, I did have a time where I felt pretty shitty. I did check myself in and it turned out had similar to you. It turned out I had really, really low vitamin D levels because I spend way too much time indoors working on Start-Up Life.
So I was like, Wait, I totally get outside, right? Because it I'm like, I look relatively tan, I thought, and they were like, no, you know, vitamin D levels is like, really suboptimal. And I was like, Oh, okay. What you need to do is like chug vitamin D supplements, you know? So yeah, that helped a lot in terms of energy levels and everything as well.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (29:02)
So it's very funny, right? Like sometimes we think or it bugs us for so long, but actually the solution is it can be so simple, right? Like if we knew it.
 

Jeremy Au: (29:13)
One interesting thing, of course, is that, you are someone who has mentioned a couple of times about how you like to I think you mentioned it was like Village friends, community, a couple of times. So when you look at that community around you. What would you say differentiates the community that you have versus a community that you had, say, five or ten years ago?
The people that you've chosen to bring in, the people you've chosen to stay behind for that past chapter of your life, what is that differentiation of that community and village today.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (29:47)
Through a building, the village itself or through even hiring? You see our current team and the team I had before. For every single, I guess, wrong hire or inappropriate or misfit kind of hire. I do write down notes in terms of like what I can’t do next. So, as you grow, you will learn to maybe have your gut a bit more polished to know whether the people that are choosing for yourselves or to form that village is important or is someone that you can trust.
So of course, if you can't trust a person 100%, then don't have them in the village. Because one of the things that you will realise is you don't want to go backwards and have someone that you don't trust and then have all these negative or toxic kind of thoughts around that relationship. So even when we hire today within the company, we ask for 100% like integrity first.
And that's what I tell every single one of the hires. I mean, we deal with a lot of data. We deal with law firms, we do accounting firms, we deal with funds. We're talking about a lot of highly sensitive data and people that we work with. So even within the work job scope itself, because of the nature of our job, being able to trust the person that's serving you is of utmost importance.
So integrity number one, even within your friends, if there's any bit of doubt that you have on a person, discomfort, then choose not to reveal some of the things that’s very, very close to you. Or you could choose to basically build your village and different like groups of people that can shed light on different matters. I have a group of friends who have lots of kids, family, you know, so they teach us like how they deal with their time.
Of course, another group of founders whom I go to, fundraising and I'm dealing with like self-doubt or any of these imposter syndrome that I have, I think to build different groups of friends and village around you. It's important also for you to have some kind of sanity around like who you should go to immediately when you have a certain issue or things that you need to share.
Like I said, whether or not it's any of these issues, integrity has to be the first thing that I choose, whether it's my team, family or friends.
 

Jeremy Au: (31:59)
Thanks, Cherilyn, I’ll love to paraphrase the three big themes I got from here.
The first is, thank you so much for sharing the phrase No Fear, which you shared was something that you had in the past. And I will say that you still have today. And I think you exemplify that through so many experiences that you had from the way that you email the client with the mind map about what they needed, which was e-commerce, to how you think about the conversations you to have with fellow founders or to the community that you're trying to have today.
The second, really, I think the mom founder hard truths to keep mom founders going, which is really about the frank conversations and I think some of the fears that are both subconscious and conscious in terms of the conversations, both external and internal, and how to have that conversation, both from whether to have kids to timing to planning to start up itself. And I think there were some really interesting anecdotes about how you are out fundraising and being pregnant and who you trusted to have that conversation with, the dynamics, the tradeoffs there, so I thought that was brave of you to share for everybody's benefit.
And lastly, thank you so much for sharing so much about what it means to you today, about seeking help, how to build a community over time that reflects what you are looking to learn or you're looking to build and what represents your values and integrity and part of that is the people that you surround yourself with. And this other aspect is also seeking help for yourself in terms of your own resilience and your own requirements and health and growth.
So, thank you so much, Cherilyn, for coming on a BRAVE show.
 

Cherilyn Tan: (33:49)
Thank you. Thank you for having me. I hope we can all share and learn from each other.
 

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