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Mint Now

Theodoric Chew

“What drives me is really that inner desire to work on problems and things that I find meaningful to solve for, to tackle.

When I was younger in my teenage days, it was figuring out the Internet and how technology works. Then my first startup eight years ago was in digital media, which was rooted in developing people in terms of personal growth.

More recently, a problem which I experienced myself was a want or need to access mental health support but not knowing where or how to get it. That led me to starting Intellect, which is focused on making mental healthcare accessible to all. So when people ask me what exactly I do, it’s really about finding problems that I relate to, that I find needs to be solved for and then tackling them.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learnt over the years, it’s that you don’t need to believe or think that it takes a genius to be an entrepreneur. Many iconic or famous founders often get put on a pedestal but they’re also very human. Many of them have made mistakes and had a few strokes of luck to get where they are. Some think they need to be super smart or different to be successful, but you just need to be smart enough with a clear idea or a problem that you want to solve for and work towards it.

It’s not all rosy, of course. Probably the hardest part of entrepreneurship was coming to terms with the shortcomings I have as a manager. At every juncture, you face a new set of challenges. When you’re a team of 5 or 10, there’s one set. And then when you get to 50 people, there’s a different set of issues, like how do you manage a team? How do I delegate, how do we all level-up in skills?

But that’s also the excitement of being an entrepreneur. As long as you have the tenacity to keep enjoying the challenges, there’ll be really low moments, but there’s really no other role that would be more fulfilling or rewarding for me.”