I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I used to refrain from social media, and although I started my first real business when I was 14 (my first when I was 12), nobody other than my close family, not even my friends had any idea I was anything other than a red-headed teenager. Except the company was growing, fast, and we hit 100,000 paying customers by the time I was 20 (see, I did it again. You’ll know what I mean below).

You see, I wasn’t in the startup scene at all, but my company was bigger than most Seed-round startups I’ve met today. Maybe some Series A ones. It just didn’t really stand a chance at growing beyond that, so I gave up on it when it was at its peak, because I wanted to get involved in the startup community and have a shot at winning it big – and of course making a serious impact.

Before I joined the ‘scene’, I frowned upon blogs like Medium etc. Why were all these supposedly {rich|famous|successful} people doing self promotion for? And did all these {struggling|aspiring|anxious} wantrepreneurs really think reading some blog posts were going to help them?

START – was always my advice. DO SOMETHING – I would say. (Still, my advice to this day. Plus ‘minimise your risk’ is another).

I refrained from all forms of social. I didn’t do frequent status updates from age 16–20. Business to me was a selfish endeavour, and my true friends knew what I was doing anyway. Fame is never something I wanted (and still, it’s something that would make me extremely uncomfortable and not something I at all desire).

So what changed? My Instagram and my Facebook accounts are private, but if you’re a follower you will see I have become more active. I’m sharing more photos from my travel, and even one of me in a Ferrari I rented yesterday in Abu Dhabi. I am sharing more ‘wins’ and seeking more wins, such as my Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia acceptance. These are things I used to despise.

Why am I doing this?

Well, I think I was wrong. I think for the most part, people want to be inspired. And as long as I’m being genuine in everything I say and do, I don’t really have qualms about sharing it with the world. I think it changed when I was awarded Australia’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards winner in 2013. I was shipped to Washington DC for the global finals, and I have to say, that changed my life and my perception of what it was to be an entrepreneur.

Where I used to be embarrassed, I now feel proud. Where I was scared of making people feel lesser than me, I now feel like I can make a difference in this world, share my views, and my learnings.

I know I have already inspired others. It’s made my life easier through connections and more of having a bit of a name for myself. And moreover, I now have a little bit of a platform to share my journey and my learnings as I mentioned above. Largely positive. (Still, I refrain from posting many things to Facebook – including this type of post – etc as it’s just not the right platform for it.)

You see, people like Gary Vee and others who I used to despise are now an inspiration to me. Startups are bloody hard, and they help lighten the load.

And yes, I am long on FB.

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