The First Half a 37-Year-Old Man’s Life: Work for Himself, Not Others; 4 Companies, Uncountable Challenges!


The First Half a 37-Year-Old Man’s Life: Work for Himself, Not Others; 4 Companies, Uncountable Challenges!


Source: Pintu360.com


When I started my entrepreneurial career in the third year of college, my father asked why I had such a decision. I told him that I wanted to find the ceiling of my ability. I believe that running a business can fully display my talents. I am Peng Lei, the founder and CEO of Keruyun.



Born with pioneering spirit


Born in Chengdu in 1980, I finished my undergraduate courses in the University of Science and Technology of China and obtained my master’s degree from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


In fact, I am not as typical as the native people in Chengdu, who are relatively fond of comfortable and leisure life and are seldom as hefty as me. My grandfather comes from Shanxi and I inherited his body size. Therefore, I am more like a northerner.


I left Chengdu and went to college in Hefei because I was discontented with my lot, and I believed that a young man should be pioneering. After entering the University of Science and Technology of China, I still refused to take the same way as others, becoming the only one in my class who had started an business. I have founded four companies since the third year of college, and have never worked for others.



Move forward during attempt and exploration


My current company is named Keruyun and we serve catering merchants. Apple helps consumers become smartphone users while Keruyun hopes to help merchants become intelligent ones by offering them the SaaS hardware and software system, as what Apple has done. This is what we are doing.


This road is a repeatedly iterative process of constantly looking for a goal to verify, adjusting the goal when there are setbacks, and then re-verifying the new goal. No one knew at the outset where the company would go and no one could expect what kind of difficulties the company would eventually encounter. We move forward during exploration. 



At the beginning of 2015, an old professor of our company asked ten catering merchants in the street if they heard of Keruyun. Only one merchant answered yes while the remaining ones refused to change their systems on the grounds that their systems were working well. 


Earlier this year, I asked the professor to ask the same question a second time. His feedback is that seven or eight out of ten merchants he encountered had been aware of the need to change an intelligent system and hope to make their systems intelligent, because the smart phone, mobile payment and takeaways have popularized among consumers. 


We believe the turning point will emerge this year. 


Countless setbacks


Different problems arise at different stages. The problems can be strategic ones at the initial stage, i.e. whether your model is reasonable or not, and whether there is commercial value. Those coming after may be the financing problems, while what matters later might be your brand power.

Three or four investors participated in our B round financing. At that time, all the processes of the agreement were finished, but when it was the time to sign, the last investor said that he needed to think it over again.    


However, we had to complete all the signatures and the payment on that same day. At that moment I did have a feeling that the sky would collapse. Since the investment was jointly made, the sudden hesitation of even one person would lead to the need to restart some procedures, which could be a chain reaction.

We made a prompt decision to exclude that investor and look for another person to replace him, and then we got everything done at that day. Our company was listed on the NEEQ bulletin last year, and we said at the press conference that the new round of financing was nearing completion. Although we did not use the word “completion” but “near completion”, we werestill involved in disclosure violation, which resulted in the suspension of our entire procedure for four to five months. The result was extremely severe. The capital could not flow in and the investors’ capital could not be used either. Under great pressure, we admitted our mistake to the relevant company and at the same time sought help from some partners of our original shareholders so that they could divert funds for us to endure until our capital could be used. The entrepreneurship process is full of setbacks and you will never know what kind of setback you will encounter. At present, I have already got accustomed to these setbacks, and there is nothing particularly serious to make me shocked.



Learn to be peaceful


I like music very much and the first website I created was a website for music downloading. Sometimes I was impatient and therefore I tried to find a way to calm me down. In order to make myself calm down, I started to learn piano on my own about four years ago by playing the piano for half an hour every day when I get home. Even if I still look fat, I have reduced my weight by 13.5 kg-14 kg through running and playing badminton in the past year. I think good mental state and physical condition produce multiplier effect for running a company. If you frequently stay up late, your physical health and mental state will be damaged and you will become particularly anxious, which will prevent you from having a clear vision of the road ahead. Entrepreneurship is not a one hundred-meter sprint where you can win by exerting all your strength to run but a marathon game where endurance has the final say.


Beloved Daughter

At present, I spend half the time each month on business trips, usually starting on Monday and getting back on Friday or Saturday. Accompanying my daughter on Sunday is the most important for me.


My daughter is four years old now. The career always requires concentration while my daughter needs my companionship only for a fixed time period, for she will not need such companionship when she grows up. Therefore, I try to accompany her more when she needs me.

My daughter will call me each time I am away on business, asking in detail when I will come back, what time the flight will take off or land, and what time I will arrive at home. 





The education of our generation is the education of knowledge. However, no one has ever taught us how to form our own way of thinking, which is quite different from knowledge. People of our age need to spend time thinking about how to undertake the knowledge and how to reflect it. 

I also hope that I can find the answer earlier, but I am still in the process of seeking.



Make self-achievements while helping others


People may begin to think the real meaning of life when they reach a certain age. Inamori Kazuo, the “god of management in Japan”, once said that the value of life lies in elevating the mind and refining the soul so as to better meet the death. As the saying goes, “at thirty, I became independent; at forty, I had no doubts”. At the age of thirty to forty, one often ponder over a lot of questions, extremely hoping to unify one’s state of mind and the attitude of doing things. In detail, people of this age hope to be peaceful about things they are doing without fear, be enthusiastic and curious about new things, and enrich their lives and make some achievements through constant practices, so that they can help others as making self-achievements and lead a meaningful life.


I have started business again and again since the third year of college, and I will never stop the process, as it really makes me feel enjoyable and has become a part of my life.