Crystal Huang is the founder of ProSky, an online training and recruiting startup that was part of 500 Startups’ latest batch. In our interview, she talks about how she schedules her tasks and what it’s like to be a founder with a family.
What’s your favorite business app?
Asana! It’s great to keep myself accountable for all my tasks and as a CEO, allows me the birdseye view of what my employees are up to and how they are doing. This allows me to more effectively pitch in and help them out on their projects!
With which person (dead or alive) would you love to found a startup with and what would the product or business be?
While I’m not certain how famous this person is, it would be my maternal great-grandfather. He was from Hainan Island, China, and was an incredible businessman, who owned pepper fields and imported/exported pepper. I would love to pick his brain and see how he conducted business. I’m so entrenched in my current startup, ProSky, now that I can’t even imagine doing another startup at the moment but I suppose with his experience, it would lie in the global logistics industry.
Do you have any rituals to stay productive or increase your productivity?
I don’t know if I would call it a ritual but in the past, I also wanted to do everything almost immediately. I fond myself split among a hundred tasks! Now, I have a goal of completing 2 large tasks and 10 smaller tasks each day! I am able to focus better and produce more effective results, while at the same time, not feel guilty that I couldn’t complete everything at once.
What does your work place look like, and what are your desk essentials?
More than essentials, I need my desk to look “pretty”! As weird as it sounds, it motivates me to work harder and I’m happy to be at my desk! I guess there are three must-haves – my laptop, my hard-drive, and a pen! Sometimes, I just need to jot something fast!!!
What bothers you most about being an entrepreneur and what are you doing to deal with it or change it?
I think sometimes in Silicon Valley, the hype is too much about being a founder who is single and young (like early 20s or under young). Yet, thinking back to when I was in my early-20s, while I was motivated to make things happen, I was also probably very naive and lack the experience and fortitude it will take to make it, not at the beginning but in the long run! I am so grateful that I have been out in the real world, working through office politics, crazy projects, and tough days.
It has certainly molded my idea of how I want to run my company. Next, I am not single! I have a family and kids. It makes building a business so much more worth the while. I’m doing it not just for myself, my employees, or community; I’m doing it and sharing my success with the people I love most.
In addition, I hear often that you can’t make it because you are a mom. Yet, I think moms are the best entrepreneurs! First, we already have a community of moms/women who will spread the word for you! I am more targeted and focused when it comes to working on my product, forging connections, and ultimately building my company. I am more efficient and don’t waste time in getting things done. Every minute spent on the business is a min away from the family so yes, I’m going to make sure those hours count for something great! I don’t feel like I have to deal with these issues. I have thick skin…I walk to my own tune and at the end of the day, I believe action speaks louder than words. So I guess…watch out Silicon Valley!