Interview with Cindy Nguyen
How is being a leader and heading a business different in a corporate versus being in a startup?
From my experience, being a leader of a corporate versus a startup is drastically different. In a startup, you deal with a lot more risks, the pace is faster compared to the corporate environment. Since you are driving the business in all facets, I find myself being a multitude of contradictions –flexible/regiment, perfect/flawed. My way of leading and working is not as consistent as in a corporate – wearing different hats may be the reason. I previously spent most of my time leading from the bottom up. I dealt with different complexities in the decision tree, plus the internal interests of stakeholders. The pace was slower and more predictable. My motivation was focused on being a part of the journey, instead of guiding or leading the way to the big vision.
What are some of the curveballs you have experienced in running your business and how have you dealt with them?
Being part of a young company, curveballs happen daily. When I first started my entrepreneurship journey, I did not fathom how hard it was to do EVERYTHING. I consider myself to be an organized go-getter, able to make quick decisions and get things done. Accepting that I needed help was hard. I realized I had to focus on the important items and whatever is secondary or not my forte, I need to delegate. How I overcame these challenges was to realize problems quickly, learn from them, and move on as quickly as possible.
Is there ever a good time and can you prepare yourself to be an entrepreneur one day?
I am not really sure if I ever had the right time to start this journey, I was always so comfortable. However, I became so immersed in the problem I am solving that I felt like I would have exploded if I didn’t do something about it. I can sympathize with individuals wanting to leave a corporate to start their own business. Making your own choices,being the driving force behind a vision. You know the saying “easier said than done”? Well, it is very true. It is not the path for everyone. However, I do believe it is very important to work with what interests you. Otherwise it is hard to sacrifice of stability for the pursuit of your dreams.
Do you think your industry is progressing at the right pace? How do you see your industry evolving in the next 5 years?
The RegTech industry just recently came out of the shadow of our big brother, FinTech. At the moment the interest is there, but the transition and market penetration is slow. This makes it difficult for new players to have the traction and attention needed to sustain. In five years, I would like to see expansion and awareness for RegTech stabilized. I also hope RegTech will be mainstream, i.e. individuals outside of the community understand the value of what regulatory technology can bring their organization.
Can you share a crystal ball prediction for 2027?
With the pace of innovation, the world will be very different in 2027, but what that looks like is difficult to predict. However, I wish that in 10 years, we have a cure for cancer, eliminated plastic pollution, and closer to ending poverty.
What is the one piece of advice you would like to give to your younger self? Or to the aspiring female entrepreneurs?
If you are thinking about it EVERYDAY, be your business idea or something other than what you are doing, you need to stop, listen, and make a decision. There is obviously something pulling you in the other direction. Entrepreneurship is not an easy path but have courage to take on what you truly want to become. Do what you LOVE. It’s never really a good time to go for it, the longer you wait the harder it will be to break out of the comfort zone. “You can put things off until tomorrow but tomorrow may never come.” Gloria Estefan.