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  • Writer's pictureJacob Fohtung

Starting a business is Hard. Doing it is even harder. But it's still worth it!

Right after completing school about a month ago from Babson College, I was so excited to now launch some of the exciting projects that I had in mind during the last few months of my finance program. One of it is to provide online entrepreneurial education via workshops and collective engage programs. Another is supplying non-medical masks (partnered with a friend that I met in my business school program at Babson College) here in the United States and East Africa.

The excitement quickly withered when I was actually starting working on them everyday. They are certain things that seemed obvious such as marketing your product or service, which you believe that has value and expecting a "potential customer" to respond via purchase or sign-up. The reality is that it is not that easy. There is a lot of iterations and creativity that comes into it, and I am still at this steep learning curve to fully convert potential customers into paid customers.

"The reality is that it is not that easy."

In the meantime, I listen to those who have done this before and have been successful at it to stay motivated and focused on building successful products/services. One of my recent inspiration is Tyler Tringas, a successful bootstrapped entrepreneur and founder & general partner at earnest capital, an early stage venture capital firm.

An inspiration: Tyler Tringas, bootstrapped entrepreneur and general partner at earnest Capital

He has a very fascinating story on how he literally went broke (he got into $50,000 in credit card debts in the transition between his two startups: and Maptia). In an interview with Justin Jackson, Tyler eluded to this credit debt between (6:30 to 7:51 mins mark), I highly to encourage you to watch the entire interview if you have the chance. If you are interested in venture capital space, Tyler also talks about the philosophy and structure behind earnest capital, which I am going to elaborate more in an upcoming blog. I greatly admire the transparency and practicality of his venture capital model, and I think it can be a good fit for the African market.

Now, below is more information about my ongoing projects, and I'll invite you to be a part of them.

A Mask Supply Business: Keeping you, your community and the environment Safe

1. Recently launched a Masks supply business called ProMask4u. We provide breathable, reusable, and washable masks at an affordable price. We're certified as anti-bacteria Muslin by Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Honestein Institute. We also care about every material we use to make sure that we only deliver good quality and sustainable product to you.

The picture on the left is our ProMasks Nanotech (4-Layer Cloth Mask). It's current market price is $12 per piece. We have this in four colors: white, grey, blue, and dark blue.

We strive to play our own role in ensuring everyone's health and safety by developing creative ways to provide our ProMasks to every individual, community, and company.

Some of these models include: buying 3 masks, A pair for yourself and third mask (+1) is donated to a community that needs it. Or you can simply buy the masks for all of them to be donated to a community. I was able to find an ongoing list of communities that needs masks, and we hope to support them with your help. Once you select the community that you wish to help, we will ship the masks for you to them at no-cost.

An online Entrepreneurship Program: Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking Together (Saturday, June 13th to Saturday, July 11th)

The second project that I'm also running is an online entrepreneurship program beginning Saturday, June 13th to Saturday, July 11th. In this program, it will be a month immersive cohort format, you will learn the Entrepreneurial & Thought of Action methodology coined at Babson College, and many other concepts in-depth to nurture that idea you had in mind. With the nine other participants within your group to hold you accountable, you'll certainly stay motivated and engaged throughout the program. Simultaneously, you will also be equipped with some of the basic concepts on how to start your business from the ground up with limited capital and much more. Finally, will will also go through some key concepts from the book: lean startup by Eric Ries together through out program.

If the above description of the program sounds interesting to you, you can register for the program here. The first 10 sign-ups will be provided a copy of the Lean Startup by Eric Ries for free.

A few key takeaways from my experience so far running both of these two projects simultaneously:
  1. Pace yourself accordingly: I've assigned specific days to run the mask business exclusively as well online entrepreneurship programs

  2. Take a mental break: I sometimes watch one of my favorite youtubers, Mark Weins, a full-time eater and world travelers to clear my mind.

  3. Call family and friends: This helps you bring your startup challenges in perspective, and reminds you they are more important things that we should all acknowledge and grateful for.

  4. Sleep and eat well: It is really hard to both effective and efficient if you fail to complete both task well.

It's still worth it!

Overall, these projects provides me with an opportunity to learn more about myself and apply some of the skills as well as learning from my graduate school education. It also has also provided me with ways to be creative on how I can help others live healthier and acquire new skills within this "new world" we live in.

Thank you so much for taking the time for reading this article, and please subscribe to blog to be the first to read my upcoming write-ups about the progress of this projects and many other exciting ones.

Feel reach out to me at for collaborations, partnerships, or if you just want to say hi.

I also run and co-host several podcasts such as the collapse before collapse, Doers within Emerging Markets, and trendsetters, movers, and changemakers. For other projects that I work on, you can check out my personal site for details.

See you on the next blog. Stay Safe & Healthy!

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