I sat down with Qin En, co-founder of Glints for a quick chat the other day. It was laid back yet focused, much like the dude himself.
Right away, he started off by telling me about what Glints means to him. I could see his passion through his long and detailed explanation about the developments that Glints has undertaken (so long and detailed that it warrants a whole other article). The success of Glints is evident through its ever expanding client and user list and it is clear that a lot of sweat (and possibly tears) have been showered on this project but what struck me most was how lucky he was.
“We chose this because we didn’t know any better,” were his exact words and he is thankful everyday that he was fortunate enough to find this start up and find meaning in what he does.
Perhaps it is his attitude towards life more than anything else that shapes his success. This can be seen through his favorite quote, “Exploring, not wandering.” “The difference,” he explained, “is that exploring has a purpose or a general direction.” And he maintained that “young people, no matter what they do, must explore.” Clearly, even though he may have chosen to start Glints because he hadn’t known any better, he had (and still has) a general direction in mind that he’s heading towards.
Naturally, with him having found his general direction and a rather great job, I had to ask if he had any advice for those of us who have not been as lucky in the job scene and have no specific career goal in mind. His reply was a well thought out explanation about a Venn diagram (refer to the Venn diagram below for a visual summary of what he said).
Also, he emphasized the importance of “writing it down” so that it becomes more real. It doesn’t matter that the first few times you write it down, the circles don’t intersect. Eventually, it will become clearer. As for himself, he has a general direction he’s headed towards but he’s still not sure and it’s already been two years since he started Glints (so not to worry if your circles still don’t intersect).
Since he works at Glints, a fairly young start up, and Glints started by connecting undergraduates with startups, I wanted to know what was so special about working in a startup.
“The biggest difference is the amount of responsibility,” he answers, with hand gestures to show the amount of responsibility (hint: it’s a lot). In a start up, everyone pulls their own weight because of the smaller size of the company. Interns are thus given full time roles in terms of their level of contribution.
Given that he’s the co-founder of a start up, I asked him how stressed he was and his answer was surprising. He chuckled as he happily declared that he has learnt to better manage his stress and can now plug out on the weekends to reflect and recalibrate. Compared to the past when he would be working non-stop throughout the whole weekend, this is a definite improvement.
Impressively, even though he has so much to do and so many things on his mind, he still has a fairly good sense of humor (to me at least), answering my “what’s your best joke?” with a humorous “I tell many throughout the day”.
After gaining all these new insights into his mind, learning that his favorite author is Cal Newport who wrote “So Good They Can’t Ignore you” is no surprise. I’m pretty sure he’s on his way to becoming so good he can’t be ignored and he’s bringing Glints along for the ride.