It takes a whole lot of courage, a great deal of confidence and perhaps a little bit of crazy to pursue your dreams. After all, it is easier to settle with the ordinary, but who said we were normal? We only have one life, and we deserve to give it our best shot.
In this series, Moxie would like to invite you on a journey of growth, empowerment, strength and faith. We want to share the successes of women who are at the pinnacles of their domains. Here, you’ll get a peek into their world, how they have emerged from the odds, creating that little sparkle in their lives. In reading about their stories, we hope that you will be encouraged by them and take your first step towards realising your dreams.
Our very first story belongs to a young, ambitious venture capitalist, Pocket Sun. Bubbly, zestful and confident, Pocket is unlike a typical millennial. At 26, she is already on her path to being at the top of her game in a male-dominated industry. She founded the first female-led millennial venture capital firm, SoGal Ventures, that invests in female entrepreneurs, and was featured in Forbes Asia’s 30 under 30. Beyond her impressive portfolio, we love her unique views on life and fashion.
“..we’re okay with that because now we have established our thinking, our thought process, so now we’re not afraid.”
In an industry where women form only a single-digit percentage and competition is stiff, Pocket shared that being different was not necessarily a bad thing, “When we first started, we know we looked very different from the other VCs, so we wanted for our fund to look as standard as possible. We wanted to create a story that investors are familiar with, something they can relate to. But as time goes by, we realise that we are just different, and different could mean that we are better.”
Focusing on the future generations, Pocket shared the approach SoGal took, “In our portfolio we mostly set our sights on the next generation, how they live, work and stay healthy. So it is all about having an eye in the future, thinking about how we’re going to experience every aspect of our lives, especially from the female millenial perspective.” Understanding the needs and mentalities of millennials and the future generations to come, Pocket emphasises that it was crucial to comprehend them in order to stay in touch and make sound decisions.
Pocket says that the initial cookie-cutter standard acted like a social proof, “We wanted to co-invest with the Sequoias of the world, and we did. But now, we’re like “we’re okay with making different decisions”. Like if we’re the only investor going into this company, we’re okay with that because now we have established our thinking, our thought process, so now we’re not afraid.”
She embraced their differences, and it blew up to something amazing.
“I like changing it up and I feel like women are just more versatile and more flexible, so you can express yourself in different ways.”
Just like her approach to business, Pocket is not one who rushes to fit in. She embraces and loves the fun of being different. Growing up in China, she was restricted to school uniforms and did not get to truly explore her personal style. Only through her college years in U.S, was Pocket exposed to the world of fashion. “My friends will still comment on that like “Ahh Pocket, you look just so weird”. Because back then, I would try all the different colours, I would try capes, people would say, “You are like Halloween everyday.”” She laughed, describing her style as funky throughout her high school years.
Now, still true to herself, she opts for styles that are a mix of cool and feminine. When queried if dressing differently will make her feel different, Pocket replied, “Some people want to keep it simple so that they don’t have to think about it. But I think that thinking about it is a big part of the fun for me, so I like changing it up and I feel like women are just more versatile and more flexible, so you can express yourself in different ways.” Just like the words of a writer, Pocket enjoys the language of fashion as an extension of how she feels that day.
“It really depends and doesn’t matter, there is no one step path in the venture world.”
With her adventurous yet grounded personality, we were not surprised with how she started SoGal. “Before I started SoGal Ventures, I started SoGal as a local community, so that for me was like building a startup because in the beginning, we were a student organisation on campus. In 4 months we were hosting our first 500 person summit for female entrepreneurs and now we’re in 10 global cities in the world and we have 50,000 female entrepreneurs in our backyard.” Despite not having much experience running a startup, she felt that there was no fixed route to getting into the venture world. She added, “I think everyone has a different path, some people will venture in an operational world, some will venture in investment banking or private equity and some people will go to history and journalism. It really depends and doesn’t matter. There is no singular path in the venture world.”
To us, it felt applicable to life and how it should be handled.
There is no fixed path to attaining success in life, it depends on what you want and it doesn't matter if it is different.
“..it’s more about knowing yourself and feeling really comfortable with yourself.”
At SoGal, they hold GalBoss bootcamps comprising training and educational programmes to help female entrepreneurs. Curious about her opinions on the relations between dressing up and entrepreneurship, she emphasised, “I think it’s not about appearance, it’s more about knowing yourself and feeling really comfortable with yourself.” Then she adds, “We think it’s really important, like your dressing style and how you speak, public speaking is very important and how your personal brand matches your company brand, and finding that connection and balance. Ultimately, your business is an extension of yourself.”
In the pursuit of our dreams, there will always be naysayers, obstacles and tough, tough times. It is important to be comfortable in your own skin, simply because that comfort creates strength. The strength to power through the toughest times, strength that creates courage for you to take a leap of faith for your dreams. And your dreams deserve it, you deserve it.