Hi om, I’m 22 yrs old working in an oil and gas company but my real interest is in pastry and baking. I want to bake and start doing an online shop that specialize in cakes and sort of. Any advice on starting a business especially for food and beverages? Take note that my startup capital isn’t much

My advice? Write a business plan. Just google it, there are countless sites that will guide you on how to write one. Does it mean you’ll stick to your plan once (no, IF) you mulai jualan? Not at all. But it’s a way to think things through coherently.

Honestly speaking, I’d be a rich man if I got seribu perak for every person who asked me for advice on starting a business. And after hours of capek ngomong, in the end akhirnya ngga jadi apa2 (yes, those of you who say “jadi gini, dri… gue tuh mau bikin fesyen label”.. I’m looking at you). So now I always say “send me your business plan, let me read it, and then we’ll talk.”

Oh, and stop using the word “startup.”

Ada apa dengan anak muda generasi “startup” ini? Senior gue pernah bilang: kalo mau mulai usaha, jangan pernah punya rencana cadangan, jadi lo nggak bakal mikir “kalo gagal ya gpp”. Wdyt?

Hmm. Terus terang, saya agak susah sih menjawab ini… tapi cenderung setuju. My dad once said that once you decide to do something, you should “burn the bridge” so that you have no option but to go forward. In a way, I understand what he meant… karena these days, kayaknya basi banget ya tiap kali denger ada yang mulai usaha (okay, okay.. “START UP”), and begitu kena kesulitan atau halangan sedikit aja kemudian langsung berdalih “mau sekolah lagi” or “sibuk ngurus anak.”

(2) kalo nitip di koperasi/kantin, jujur aja untung kami tipis bgt & modal pun blm cukup utk buka stand sendiri di kantin. Hasilnya, udah 3 hari ini kami kurang tidur krn harus mediversivikasi produk dan makanan sehat pun bukan lg prioritas kami krn untungnya yg hmpr gak ada itu. What should we do?

Let me guess.. makanan itu “sehat” by your own definition, kan? Does your market know it’s healthy? And even if they do, does it mean they will spend money on it on a sustainable basis? Sorry, in the end the market yang menentukan sih. Maybe if you just sell food that people *want* (sehat or not irrelevant), maybe you wouldn’t lose as much sleep. 🙂

Dan tanpa meremehkan masalah2 yang kamu hadapi (dilarang jualan di kelas, untung tipis), you have to be aware that business is NEVER smooth dan lancar. You have to accept the fact that problems WILL arise on a daily basis. Itu mah comes with the territory of doing business.

Here’s an example: do you know how guided missiles hit their targets? It’s by constant readjustment during flight. When it launches, it only has a *general* idea where it is going. It evaluates its course every few miles, readjusts flight plan, and maneouvers around whatever obstacles (radars, mountains) it encounters until it hits its target. That’s what running a business is like. Sure, you set out with a plan.. but once it’s running, it’s all daily adjustments and dodging countermeasures.

So if you lose sleep over every single bump you encounter, then maybe this isn’t right for you. But if you can make that mental adjustment, then keep going. I wish you the best of luck.

Hey Vipey, what up? Consider yourself at this position, you want to do a big change but people around you won’t do the same or even anything. I have an organization that I want to change, in a good way, but my people already give up. I just can’t control them. Gimme your thought dude, thanks

I’m going to guess that the people you would like to change are not your subordinates, or perhaps don’t even report to you. Well, the best thing you can do is propose the changes to someone higher up in the organization and hope for the best that they’ll see your perspective and carry it through.

Just bear in mind that -despite your best intentions- you probably don’t have a full view of the big picture. An organization is like an elephant, and most of the times the employees are blind people holding on to one part of the elephant. For one guy an entire elephant is a tusk, while the other guy swears it’s just one flappy big ear. It takes a someone with experience and perspective (and has seen the entire elephant) to know what changes are worth trying. If your proposal is refused, just keep that in mind.

Adri, Apakah kamu membuat target berjangka untuk usahamu pd saat ini dan dulu ketika memulai? Menurutmu apakah target berjangka yang kita tetapkan selain menjadi acuan baik atau tidaknya proses bisnis dapat menjadi beban juga? bagiku terkadang menjadi ketakutan juga misalnya khawatir tidak tercapai

First question: yup

Second question: yup

“Khawatir tidak tercapai?” Memang. Kemungkinan besar ya memang *tidak* akan tercapai. If only running a business was so easy that semua target tercapai, ya semua orang akan bisnis dong. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. If you assume there are any guarantees in running your own business.. then you shouldn’t do it. The fact is, you will miss your target countless times before you even get near it. You just have to keep trying. That’s a given.

(“Tapi kamu kan privileged…”)

Vipey, apa kuliah itu penting sekali ya? Saya cuma lulusan SMA dan memilih langsung terjun ke dunia kerja. Banyak yang bilang harusnya saya kuliah dulu, padahal saya kurang cocok di bangku kuliah (i tried for one year and i stopped). Mungkin karena saya lebih suka langsung kerja. Apa saya salah ya?

Menurut saya sih ngga salah ya. Lagian kamu sudah coba setahun, dan sudah jelas2 tidak cocok. Trust me, time and time again I’ve seen how a degree ngga nambah APAPUN to a person’s outlook and personal qualities. And that’s after 3 years of dad’s money and 1 year of “iya lagi bikin skripsi tapi maleess…” (that’s when they use the “ngejar2 dosen!” excuse).

You think SOME of your friends kuliah karena they have a burning desire to learn? Because they LOVE hukum or hubungan internasional? Nope. It’s like marriage. “I’m doing this WITHOUT QUESTION because it’s what everyone else does, and it is what is expected of me. Lagian, nanti apa kata saudara dan tetangga kalau ngga…”

Tapi ya gimanapun juga sebaiknya kamu punya direction. Know what you want to achieve in life, know what you want to do. If it doesn’t require a degree (some professions do, mind you), then just work. With enough focus and dedication, I guarantee that by the end of 4 years you’ll be way beyond those yang baru beres kuliah.

Just remember this… all those people who doubt you? Who think you’ll be nothing of substance karena ngga kuliah ekonomi or akuntansi (who probably don’t give a damn about jurusannya sendiri anyways)? Who think you are too dumb to earn a degree?

Prove them wrong.

hey om vipey, i’m 18, mahasiswi kampus ekonomi swasta yg surrounded by temen-temen yg udah pada buka bisnis (clothing line, online shop, you name it), and i just start thinking to open a new business with my 2 best friends. any tips for us? since this is our first time and clearly we’re an amateur

Sure, here’s a tip:

Don’t start a business with friends.

“Kenapa tidak?”

Ya kenapa harus? I bet that if you sit down and really think about it, there is NO reason why you need your friends in starting the business. Do they offer specific skill sets that you do not have yourself? Or simply karena ‘ih kayaknya lucuk juga ya kita bikin bisnis bareng’?

“Ya karena modalnya kan harus kumpul2..”

Think again. Can you start with a lower investment that does not require ngajak2? Can you borrow money so that you can be the sole owner?

“Ya aku kan ngga ngerti pembukuan.. temen aku yang ngerti…”

Then pay someone who does. Or learn it on your own. There is always a way that does not require sharing ownership with someone else.

I’m not saying that starting a business with friends is a bad idea. All I’m saying is, the reasons should go beyond ‘ih kayanya lucuk juga ya kita bikin bisnis bareng’.

That’s all.

Do you think that being an entrepreneur is the ideal job for parents who wishes to continue working after they have kids?

If you think being self-employed means you’ll have more time with your kids, you’re mistaken. Especially when you first start out. As an employee, you leave work at work. It’s someone else’s problem. But as an entrepreneur, you may BE at home, but work will always be on your mind 24/7.

Then again, it really depends on what type of business you are considering, which can range from jualan online to opening a restaurant. These are obviously very different, when it comes to how much time you’ll spend away from home.

Adri, yang nerusin usaha wiraswasta bapak siapa? Andai kamu meninggal atau tidak mampu lagi melanjutkan wiraswasta ini, apa ada cara yg kamu antisipasi supaya tetep berjalan atau biarkan saja meredup?

Maaf ya, jawabnya pakai bahasa inggris.

My siblings and I didn’t continue our father’s business. Why? Because it didn’t interest us. And my father specifically said that we should follow our own paths and pave our own ways. His business was his, and it was what interested him alone. I’m sure he would’ve been pleased if one of us took it over, but he would have never made us do it. He even said that he would gladly give it to his employees, if it is what they wanted.

And now, 15 years after his death and with a business of my own, I feel the same way. If my kid takes interest in it, sure. But no, I would never make her feel obligated. Apa sih artinya meneruskan sebuah bisnis, kalau itu berarti yang menjalankan harus dengan setengah hati, for the rest of her life? Memaksa anak meneruskan bisnis is no different from urusan “meneruskan keturunan” and “hidup kekal”… it’s nothing but hollow narcissistic vanity. There, I said it.

Dad always told us that we don’t owe mom and dad anything; we owe to pay it forward to our children. So like my father before me, I owe it to my daughter to let her find her own path and pave her own way in life.

saya cowok, 22 tahun, dropout dari kampus sekarang lagi belajar mulai business, boleh tau gak, dulu waktu pak adry di umur saya, apa yang sedang dilakukan? Kadang saya takut sama masa depan saya

Di umur 22 saya terima jahitan baju. No, bukan “desainer”, bukan “start-up”, bukan “stylist”, bukan “creativepreneur”… tapi beneran terima jahitan baju. And no, I’m not the kind of person who does that “Kultwit Kisah Hidup Supaya Kamu2 Orang Ambil Hikmah” thing.

So please don’t ask.