Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Leang Chung, founder and CEO of Pelora Stack, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Pelora Stack provides people operations consultancy for underrepresented early-stage founders and career coaching services for mid-career womxn. The core focus of our work is on ‘first time’ experiences. For early-stage startups, the focus is on advising and consulting with founders as they scale their team, design their people operations infrastructure, or lead a team for the first time. On the career coaching side of the house, the core focus is working with womxn who are changing careers, preparing for a leadership position, or transitioning back into the workforce after a break for the first time. This year we expanded our practice into the entrepreneurial space by launching the Solopreneur Accelerator Program™, a coaching program for first time solopreneurs who are launching their new businesses.
As the Founder & CEO of Pelora Stack, I decided to center our work on these ‘first time’ experiences because of my own lived experience. I came to the U.S. with my dad’s side of the family as refugees from Cambodia in the early 80s. My paternal grandmother, who is here in the U.S., has 15 living grandchildren, and I’m the second oldest in the bunch. Because of our family history and my birth order, I was forced to experience a lot of first time experiences on my own. I understand it very well. And what I know about these experiences is that they can be filled with a lot of vulnerability, ambiguity, and a series of trial and error that can sometimes be painful. I saw an opportunity to connect with people who are going through their ‘first time’ and leverage my knowledge and skills to help them.
Tell us about yourself
I always saw entrepreneurship in my career path. I love business, learning, and connecting with different people. Entrepreneurship has given me access to all these things daily. It’s beautiful. Before I founded Pelora Stack, I had a successful career working for several companies of varying sizes as a Human Resources & Talent leader. Because of that success, I found it difficult to decide to leave. It took me several years to accept the reality that I had reached a point in my career where I was ready to take on a bigger challenge, and the current career path would not be able to provide that challenge.
One question that comes up frequently from solopreneur and prospective clients is what they should do about their current job to start their new business. I recommend considering three different options. One, start with a side hustle to test drive your idea by working with a couple of pilot clients. This one is low risk because you still have the financial security and health benefits by retaining your job. The second option is to share your expertise as a consultant for an existing firm or consultancy. This is a way for you to learn from others and generate income through an existing list of clients they have without having to spend time doing business development on your own. The third option is to decide on a transition date to leave your employer and go all in. This is the riskiest option but gives you time to focus 100% of your attention on launching your new business.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Launching a business as a first time solopreneur wasn’t easy. Launching a business as a first time solopreneur during the height of the pandemic was an even bigger challenge. It feels good to be on the other side of it now. Most new businesses don’t make it to the two-year mark. Pelora Stack celebrated its 2nd anniversary in March this year. That feels like a big accomplishment, given the context of when it started.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a solopreneur is the loneliness of the experience. Even if you enjoy working by yourself, it can test your endurance and pace of progress in many ways. I was fortunate to gain access to other entrepreneurs and solopreneurs fairly quickly into my journey and became members of multiple communities. This was especially helpful during the pandemic because everything went virtual. I ended up being invited to communities that otherwise would not have been available to me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If this is something that you really want to pursue, don’t overthink it. Just start somewhere.
- Pursue a business idea that you’re passionate about and excites you. There will be many obstacles and challenges along the way that will require you to work through them. If you’re not passionate about the idea, it becomes easy to give up when encountering these obstacles and challenges.
- Try not to get overly attached to your initial idea. If you want to build a sustainable business that grows, you must listen to and respond to what the market and your customers want.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
One aspect that people who are in the business of selling their knowledge can lose sight of is the value of investing in their own development. As a coach, investing in myself and getting an outsider’s perspective on various aspects of my business has been invaluable.
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.