From Employee to Employer

OneClubNet is a solution for the private clubs and their members to stay engaged with each other at any point of time. This easily available connection creates value for all parties.

To find out more, we spoke to their director, Gabrielle. She let us in on her journey and also the prospects of OneClubNet.

Tell us more about your story

First off, I would like to say that not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur, otherwise there wouldn’t be anyone working for the entrepreneurs. I think as Singaporeans we have to travel more, because it is when you travel that you meet different people and realised that there are different ways of living. Most Singaporeans tend to think that the right way to succeed in life is to go to school get a Diploma or Degree and get a good job, but nobody said that, there are actually many other ways to succeed.

I believe that we are all different, my first job was in the armed forces, I took on an overseas scholarship in order to further my studies. I had to do this as I was the eldest in a middle-income family and I had a brother which was 2 years younger than me and if my family could afford the university expenses the money should go to my brother first. For me, my first career in the armed forces was very interesting, I held my Officer Commanding appointment in 23SA, this was the highlight in my armed forces career as I got to lead over a hundred men and test out new weapon systems. My take away here was, if you don’t know something, just ask. The best way to learn is to put yourself in situation that are difficult, if you don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone, you will never learn. Always try to push yourself further out from your comfort zone, most of us are too comfortable and not willing to take the first step to do anything because we are too comfortable.

So, at a point in time I thought of starting my own business because I wanted to do something different. At the end of the day in the armed forces, you are training people to kill with the minimum amount of ammunition and this is not what I wanted to do, I don’t want to teach people how to destroy or kill. I left the force is 2009 and started my own social enterprise without any knowledge about starting a business. I had a background in psychology so I went on to find partners and dealt with sensitive issues in the armed forces. We went to help the commanders and whenever they had issues they would call me. Overall I think the experience in the armed forces is very much related to running a business when we look at the culture, recruitment process and even succession planning. However, this venture did not work out so I went back to the public sector and eventually left after a year, it made me realised that I am not suited to work in the government sector.

I worked in a non-profit sector, government sector and private sector before I finally discovered the tech start-up sector which I felt was the best. In a tech start-up, you get to learn everything from scratch which includes sales, talking to random people on the street, providing services for people, interacting with investors which I would have never gotten a chance to do so if I was not in a tech start-up. So, if you really want to start a business, join a tech start-up and learn everything. While all these was happening, I also started an affiliate marketing platform and I am still running it now as I believe that there has to be a way to earn money from the internet. I think it is always good to have multiple income streams so that if one of it doesn’t provide enough income or no income at all you still have others to rely upon. This is essential to me as I am the sole bread winner of my family.

How did you join One Club Net?

I was in Hawaii when OneClubNet called me via LinkedIn. LinkedIn is very important as many people are hired via this platform. So, my current COO called me and requested for a chat via Skype. I believe that we should always be opened to new opportunities, so I had a Skype meeting with him and the next thing I knew was that this company has quite a lot of opportunities.

What sort of gap does your company seek to fulfil?

We are addressing a gap in the industry, right now most of the private clubs are only kept for the wealthy and let’s face it, the shopping mall around the neighbourhood are more interesting for youths nowadays as you don’t play golf. Knowing this problem, the clubs still wanted to engage the millennials and also continue to engage with their current club members actively. We also help to bring in events to the clubs so let’s say I want to do a Chanel show, I can just target the females and if I want to do a whiskey events then I can focus on targeting the males. This is a multiple-wins situation where the members can know the events better and bring their friends along, the clubs can have more events held at their location which can be handled by us and the brands also can have access to an exclusive database which they did not have a chance to get before.

What is your company culture like?

We are based in Texas, Bangalore and Singapore, we also have a partner in Indonesia. We depend a lot on remote work to interact with my colleagues from overseas. We don’t necessary have face to face meetings and I need to get used to working with them via Whatsapp, you have to be very discipline when you get this kind of autonomy. In tech start-ups, we get a lot of autonomy and not everyone is suited to work in this kind of environment. We have a very young working group ranging from 24 years old all the way up to 50 years old. We need young people for creativity and energy and the older ones for their experience and their network.

What do you look for when you hire?

Actually, I am hiring right now, I need someone that is good. A very important factor to me is the attitude. Attitude ranks first followed by high EQ and ability to communicate well, written and verbal. This candidate doesn’t need to be a degree holder, a few people in our team are not degree holders and ultimately a degree does not guarantee success. In fact, many successful people are not college degree holders.

What motivates you daily?

This is something very personal, and for me, I believe that my faith is very important. I believe that I am in this job because god has placed me here and ultimately my god is like my CEO and I have to be accountable to him. Having this faith motivates me and every day I will read my bible and say my prayers, so what I feel is that this is my motivation. I don’t think that we can rely on material motivations as it is not going to last.

What do you do to maintain your work life balance?

I don’t really have a work life balance because my mission right now is to quickly grow the company. In the beginning when you are growing a company, you have to make sacrifices. For example, last Sunday I flew to Hong Kong and stayed there for 3 days for a conference, immediately after that I flew back into Singapore for Tech in Asia and I have to send my updates by Saturday. I fell sick halfway thru but I had to manage my time well in order to meet deadlines and also to take good care of my health.

Where do you see your company in the future?

At the end of this year, we should have successfully penetrated the South-East Asia market, a thousand clubs and about a hundred brands should be in our portfolio.

If you could go back in time, what would you like to do differently?

I don’t think I have any regrets in my decisions concerning business. But for personal life wise, I think should have put in more effort to date. It has never been a concern for me but thinking back now, I do feel regretful but if I could do it differently, I would have spent more time going on dates. I meet a lot of people while working but there was always a clear line drawn between business and personal.

Any advice for our readers?

The world is your oyster. 

Go and explore as many sectors as you can and you don’t have to be afraid because of your age and youth, you will have plenty of opportunities and you have nothing to lose. The only thing you will get to lose is living a life that is average because average is boring. I would recommend that you read this book, “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek it is an excellent book. You will have to find your purpose in life and then everything will align for you.

More about OneClubNet:

Facebook: @oneclubnet1


Featured Image Credit: @oneclubnet1

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