Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alan Li, Co-Founder and CEO of Moxa, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Moxa is a mobile app with video tutorials teaching customers how to do acupressure at home to relieve stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Our customers are interested in natural wellness and don't want to prematurely try pharmaceutical drugs for their ailments.
Tell us about yourself
I started Moxa during my last semester in business school at Harvard in March 2020 during the pandemic. I was seeing my acupuncturist, Katie Pedrick, and her clinic was forced to close down due to mandatory quarantine. So instead of seeing her patients in person, we transitioned to Zoom sessions where she would teach us how to do self-acupressure at home and recommend herbal supplements for us to take. We quickly realized this could help a lot more people if there was a mobile app, which we set out to build!
Coming from an Eastern background, I grew up with acupressure and herbal medicine. On one hand, I can count the number of times I've taken Advil or Tylenol, which is a shock to many people. I'm motivated each day by helping people live healthier lives, naturally.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Going from 0 to 1. We had this idea and concept in our minds without ever having worked on a mobile app. Over a year, we learned how to prototype, design, A/B test, and launch a product that is used by tens of thousands of people around the world.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Navigating the mental rollercoasters. Some days you feel like you're changing the world into a better place, and other days you wonder if what you're working on will ever actually work. The highs and lows of being a business owner are not for the faint of heart.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start nights and weekends - Even with a 40-hour week full-time job, you still have plenty of time to work on your startup/business on nights and weekends. Don't quit until you have found a strong signal that your business has potential and will work out.
- Decide which route of funding you want to take early on (Bootstrapped, venture capital, debt). This will shape how you build your business because, at the end of the day, if you don't have any more cash left, there is no business.
- Find great co-founders. Find people who have complementary skill sets and will challenge your thinking. If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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