Though A Founder’s Journey is Lonely, It Becomes Less So With A Great Team Around

I’m writing this at the corner of a major announcement we’re making because I’m dedicating this to my team who has made my journey in Purpose less lonely.

To an extent, I’d like to say that this is now Our Journey, not just mine.

For two years, I trodded on this path on my own. I could not see where I was headed – neither did I know where I’ll be. I know where I wanted to be.

Still, in the year and half that followed, we went from a team of one – me, to a team of 8. All in that time. We grew, and along with it came the growing pains.

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Risk and Reward as a Founder

Posted this on my LinkedIn and Facebook last week, and I thought I’d share it here too. While I know that although my LI and FB network are two separate groups, I realised that many of my connections there share the same interests. Happy to engage in a conversation about this if asked.


I’m 50, and Purpose is my first startup. I founded Purpose three and a half years ago with a vision to make it the world’s first multi-sports and activewear brand from Southeast Asia.

Prior to this, I have held senior and leadership roles in brand, creative, user experience, even marketing. My most recent being in PayPal which I did side by side when Purpose was starting. I put all my money and effort into Purpose, obliterating my savings and at one point deeply leveraged in debt.

So yes the risk is real. It’s hard leaving behind cushy salaries for something highly risky.

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Talking about Purpose Magazine on The Future of Blogs for Businesses

Blogs for brands and businesses are something I’ve always advocated. Personally I run this site here, and another called Purpose Magazine, which was set up to be the media and content hub for Purpose.

Of course there’s social media, which brands must get on too (who isn’t?). However to really own the space, brands need to own their own content. Having a blog enables that.

Listen to me talk more about Purpose Magazine as I answer questions from the two hosts – Rauf and Khalid about the future of blogs for businesses.

50 and the settling in into a new normal

The new normal. At 50 I’m blessed that I’m alive and able to do what I love doing. I’m able to swim, bike, run (albeit with creaks on the joints here and there) and still enjoy it. I’m able to pursue, in Purpose what many want to do but didn’t get a chance to do. And lastly, in 5 decades I’ve experienced life coming from nothing; near poverty, living the lows, to the highs, through many life-changing moments and settling comfortably where I am today. I’ve learnt to not want much. What I’m doing now is I’m building on a dream that if successful, will create new moments for the next 25 years and I hope that these moments will impact others for the better. Thank you for all the birthday wishes 🙏🏼

Originally posted on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CA1yLi5pzcy/?igshid=1vb45rhnatlnq

An open letter to all my athlete and cyclist friends during COVID-19

I think some of you may be missing the point. The Singapore government announced stricter measures limiting movements and mandating office closures for one month starting next week.

Yet today, some of you are seeing this next few days before this ‘circuit breaker’ measures start as a reason to have a few more last hurrahs. A few more times for group riding, group running or group training.

I saw today and days before, groups of you cycling, running or training. Following that, you posted it proudly on your social media. Personally I don’t think it’s something we should be shouting about.

I read and listened, how some of you are looking at caveats, finding bylines where it states where and how you are still allowed to go out.

Do you think that the spread of COVID-19 will wait until Tuesday when the measures start? Or do you think that you’re exempted from being infected because you’re out exercising?

Sincerely truly deeply, I urge you, my friends, to think properly if doing these group activities are wise. When you plan for this last hurrah in group cycling or running, think if this is any different from a bar, dance clubs or entertainment establishments planning for their last hurrah when they were told weeks ago, that all venues including private event halls were to be closed.

How are your groups any different from the groups of party-goers? How is this group-riding or group-training any different from groups of friends sitting and eating together in close proximity in restaurants?

Think my friends, if your interest group is special and deserve an exemption, so does others. However sadly, now is not the time to pick which interest is more special than another. Now is the time for us to use our collective mind and consider the impact of our actions.

Unlike our neighbour and friends in Malaysia, our roads are not closed. We do not have to face roadblocks with the Police and armies asking where we are going and for our papers to give us the permission to move on.

Let’s not wait until we’re all mandated by law to stay inside. We’re still fairly free to move about. Use this freedom to also think and hold ourselves back from going out for that group activity; that last hurrah. This are contrary to what we must be doing. Let’s do this on our own before it’s becomes a law that we can’t.

Let’s exercise our brains as much as we are exercising our bodies. Practice emphaty. Whilst we believe we won’t get it, we could be a carrier and we don’t know it.

Sincerely,
Noor

Maybe it’s not lockdown we want; maybe it’s self-reflection and recalibration we need

Have too much become the norm? Is the only way we humans can learn is when this disease of overabundance becomes the vehicle that asphyxiates us? While the world media covers the outcome of the outbreak – deaths and the harsh policies to try and stem it; have we considered the cause of how far and fast it spread, is us?

I was supposed to be writing the third part of my annual update. With 3 months having had passed, I would have seen the momentum for Purpose in 2020. A nice enough time to put to practice what I’ve learnt and see if these are useful.

However, with the events of COVID-19, I feel somehow compelled to write about this. Especially about the lockdowns that seem to be announced on an almost daily basis everywhere.

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10 things I learnt in 2019 as a late-stage founder

Here it is; another close of the year recap post. The second of a three-part series – my yearly highlights. Something that was started in late 2016 and has somehow become a must-do for me every year.

The first part is the annual Purpose Langkawi Report, in which I talked about the state of Purpose as a business through the activities at Ironman Malaysia in Langkawi, the Purpose Fellowship, race report and business update. A mix of everything in one.

Second is this one, where I look back and write personal insights to things that happened throughout the year.

The third part, to be written in January is about the coming year’s outlook. In January 2018, I wrote “Committed 2018“, followed by “More of the same insanity, only bigger” in 2019. Uncannily, those became my personal themes that drove me across those years.

I’ve yet to come up with what the next 2020 theme will be as, at right now, I’m still busy looking back and tying up odds and ends to make sure that the year ends up well. So here goes – 10 things I learnt in 2019 as a late-stage founder.

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