January: Launch

Wow, January was a big blur. Every single day felt like a sprint and I guess that's what happens when you launch a company? The leaps of faith I took this this month was all about launching. Launching a company, my personal website, this blog and community. 

The 12 leaps of faith I took in January! 

  1. Launch #100leapsoffaith
    • #100leapsoffaith is something I knew I had to do for myself but also it was my responsibility to invite others into it. It's pretty awesome to have this virtual community who are all supporting and encouraging one another. My goal is to create a physical meet up in Austin and Houston SOON. They are a priority, launch month was crazy but I'm going to keep trying!  
  2. Launch sophiekwok.com
    • Well, this resulted because I didn't want to buy another domain for #100leapsoffaith. It's no where near the vision I have for my personal website... which is supposed to double for my portfolio. I don't know if I'll ever have time to actually put together a portfolio... and at this point I'm like God please just send me work I don't have to make a portfolio for :P However, it's out there! It's a start and I can always iterate so wooohoo just doing it anyway! 
  3. Launching Love Intently
    • I launched a company this month... This is was probably by far the biggest leap of faith I've ever taken. Never in a bajillion years would I think, THIS would be the business I start. 
  4. Asking customers to buy
    • Asking people to pay for Lovenotes was something i avoided for months. It's a whole lot harder than you'd think because so many insecurities go into it. However, it was my next right step so I'm glad I took it! I have paying customers and thats a win in my book. 
  5. Applying for Div Inc 
    • This is a pre-accelerator for minorities, meaning people of color or women to promote diversity in tech. I'm a huge fan of the people involved with Div Inc and it would be an honor to work with them. The community is filled with incredible people with huge giving hearts. Fingers crossed, because I think it would be an amazing opportunity for me and Love Intently! However, even if I don't get in, I'll always support what they do! 
  6. Editing my first video
    • I'm not sure that I get to take full credit for it but I do understand kindaish what all it entails. I made a short founders video for my Div Inc application... Maybeee I'll post it somewhere soon? :) 
  7. Send out Prelaunch Material 
    • So there's actually 3 stages to launching a company... Pre-pre launch, pre-launch, and launch. This book, changed my life on how I viewed launches. I read it about two months too late but I was still able to take away a lot from it even though I read it a week before I launched, oops! 
  8. Send emails to Developers 
    • My greatest need for Love Intently is by far Developers.. so I made a point to reach out to a few and see if they'd be interested in working with me on Love Intently. So far, I have one super brilliant and generous friend giving me a couple hours a week... but I'm still looking for someone with more time to join me. Let me know if you know of anyone! 
  9. Conversation with an Investor
    • I'm not even sure I should be sharing this, but a conversation means nothing. In my experience, getting meetings with investors really isn't that difficult... however convincing them to give you money is another story. I don't think I'm ready for investment and I'm unsure that's the round I'd like to go... but I'm open to it and proud of myself for having those conversations! Advice: If investors reach out to you and want to meet, I would take the meeting, there's always something to be learned. However, remember you don't want any money, you want smart money. Lastly, money is for scale, not figuring out the process. If you don't take time to refine run tests to really understand what your user needs/wants, you will waste tons of money building the wrong thing.  
  10. Asking couples to be featured.
    • I have some really amazing couples who are to be featured on Lovespiration coming up this year. I'm excited to share their love story and journey with the world. I know no part of it is easy but I also know there's an endless flow of wisdom from them. Any role or part I can play in sharing that information is an honor! 
  11. Start creating partnerships and relationships with brands 
    • I threw together a brand guide for Love Intently and started building relationships with brands. 
  12. Take on Free Lance Clients 
    • In order to stay in Austin I have to take on Freelance clients or a contract position to keep me afloat. I'm in talks with a few people and have done a small project for a friend! So yay for paid work. 

Overall I feel pretty good about the progress I've made so far. My goal for next month is to start curating other stories within the community. The collection of our stories will be far more impactful than just mine. I won't lie in many ways I feel like I've been failing big time too. I haven't been the best of showing the hard parts, the raw vulnerable aspects or investing in other women in my community I so badly want to. I've been a terrible steward of my body... but that doesn't mean I'll stop trying to be better. February, I'm coming for you.

To believers: 

If you’re not one, thats fine you can stop reading here. But know I love you and don’t judge you. You will always be included and welcome at my dinner table, or anything I ever do in fact. Because what you believe doesn’t change the fact that I’m called to love you too. Everything, and I mean everything else is secondary. 

I used to be hesitant to write about my faith because of the diverse set of people in my life. I was afraid of losing them as friends because of terrible experiences they’ve had with other “Christians” or the church. However, I’ve learned they don’t care and they choose to love me anyway. It would be dishonest and disservice to not talk about this aspect of my life at all. I really do believe it’s changed everything and the only reason I have the purpose that I do. I've prayed desperately for other examples of Asian American women doing out of the box things, starting businesses and really living out the gospel to come into my life. How dare I not share my journey with younger women who are looking for permission to step into their calling, whatever that might be? How dare I not share my journey so others can say, me too. My faith saved my life and maybe it can inspire growth in yours too. 

Here were my main take aways from Jan 2017. 

  1. Start living like God is going to show up because he always does. 
  2. If he's called you to it, he will provide for it. You are not big enough to screw it up. He will fill in the gaps for you. 
  3. When you take a leap of faith, God meets you, every time. 
  4. I often ask God for help and he usually sends a friend.