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  • Songsong CaO

3 Lessons I learned from starting my own business

#Target2Drug bioAdvisory has been in business for 4 months and I've won 4 clients. I'm extremely proud of the fact that 3 out of my 4 clients were complete strangers. I know how scary it is to put your mission-critical projects in the hands of a complete stranger. For that, I thank all my new clients for putting their ultimate trust in me.

This seems like a good time to reflect on my short journey as an strategic advisor. 3 lessons I've learned so far can be useful for those of you thinking about starting your own business:


  1. Just do it! Sometimes, we over-think things and many great ideas die from procrastination. We will make mistakes along the way, and that's OK. We will also have many opportunities to course-correct.

  2. Follow your passion! As a former consultant who also spent years working in big pharma, I'm well equipped to go back to my former colleagues and friends at big pharma for the same big-dollar projects I used to deliver as a consultant and RFP out as a client. But those projects don't have the same level of impact for an organization as the projects I do for startups. What's more, I'm immersed in transformative science on daily basis when working with startups. This is a far more rewarding life to me as a former scientist. So I chose to focus on startups despite the fact that I have to deal with smaller projects, small budgets, and the constant need for business development.

  3. Build your business for long-term success! From day one, I set a goal for my business - I wanted to be a trusted advisor for my clients. In other words, I want my clients to completely trust that whatever advice I give is always in the best interest of them. And I put this motto into practice. For 2 out 4 clients, I told them their inititial projects were not framed properly and they would be wasting their money hiring me to do the projects. Guess what, now one of them has put me on a monthly retainer. Honesty and transparency pay off!


Finallly, I would like to thank all my friends and mentors who have helped me embark on this journey. You're so generous with your time and wisdom and I can never pay you back!

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