How I Succeeded: Liven's Grace Wong

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How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Grace Wong, co-founder of Liven.

Current gig: Co-founder of Liven

Location: Melbourne

Current mobile device: iPhone X & Samsung S9+ (Yes I carry two phones, one for photos and one for everything else and also if I lose one or one loses battery, the other survives, very handy).

Current computer: MacBook Pro

One word that best describes how you work: Passionately


What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

Telegram, Wechat, Slack, Asana, Gmail (seems like all of them are communication tools!) Other than communication tools,

What social network do you find the most useful?

Instagram

What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?

Trusting your instincts when it comes to people and culture. Especially when hiring new people, you can’t always trust what people put “on paper” about themselves, you have to speak to them and asking probing questions, but ultimately the decision often comes down to the “vibe”

After several years and many hires, some amazing and some truly regretful, I’ve slowly learned to trust my gut instinct and tuned my gut to pick-up on the right wavelength, and I’m making much better decisions about people now as a result.

What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?

That the restaurant owners would be so keen and excited to join in the revolution of creating a digital currency for food.

Most restaurant owners I’ve met have not been very tech savvy, so I was shocked at the enthusiasm I have received when I explain to them the power of the blockchain and how it can help their industry.

I guess it just goes to show that it isn’t the “how” or the “what” that inspires people, it’s the “why”. Even when people don’t understand the nuts and bolts of what you are building, if you communicate your vision passionately, you can inspire others to share it too.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

I’m immune to the feeling of rejection. This makes hustling much easier, because I’m never afraid to ask others for help, even after hearing “No” a thousand times! I learnt very early on in the startup journey that the nos are always temporary, many nos become yeses later, when you listen to what people have to say and take it on board.

I always get a little bit excited inside when someone tells me no, because I know it’s an opportunity for me to learn something new, to get someone else's perspective and use it to improve my already awesome product even further.

What's your sleep routine like?

Only when I fly. I sleep on an 'as needed' basis only. When I need rest I’ll take it, but otherwise I’m staying up most of the time trying to squeeze in the most work I can and manage relationships across multiple time zones.


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