By 30, most people think they should have life all figured out. But Francesca Chia believes therein lies the biggest misconception as life is just about to begin for her in the next decade. “Looking back at the past 10 years, I had such amazing experiences,” says the co-founder and CEO of GoGet who ushered in her 30s last year with her closest family and friends.
Like many startup founders who had the foresight to envision a new reality, Francesca founded GoGet at the mere age of 25, transitioning from a corporate career to a startup life. The past five years have been spent tirelessly building GoGet to be the leading marketplace for on-demand errands and deliveries powered by a community of runners, specifically amounting to 10,000 GoGetters and a permanent team of 12 today. “These amazing 10 years have taught me so many tools and skills and I’m excited to see how these skills are honed in my 30s. My husband and I often joke that your 20s are your boot camp years. You just have to commit the years to hard work, say yes to as many things, attend as many events and meet as many people as you can,” Francesca shares.
A new decade also brings forth a new set of challenges and it comes as no surprise then that Francesca has a list of objectives to accomplish. Her own set of goals – be it long-term, mediumterm or short-term, is inclusive of all aspects such as work, family, health and happiness. “I do this with my husband when we’re on holiday as we talk about what our goals are,” she says. On the health front, staying fit remains a top priority and she has signed up for a duathlon with her husband which will take place this March.
Professionally, she shares that her 30s will be about taking GoGet to the next level as she scales the company. “I started GoGet very naïve but I feel I needed to be naïve to start something, else it will never happen. Two years after bulldozing through, I learned a lot of lessons about the business, how to make it sustainable and how to make sure the model works,” she says before adding, “at 30 now, I feel what’s ironic is that I feel more empowered to dream a little bigger because we have broken even as a business. Now how do we dream to the next stage? So it’s going back to that sense of naivety that we had in the beginning but hopefully with a little bit more sense in us.”
With two years into marriage now, starting a family is also on her mind as she embarks on what she calls a “transitory decade”. “I really look forward to the day I start a family. I have this vision of a day in my life when I’m much older. It begins with me in the kitchen cooking a yummy meal and I have my children with their partners over to my house to eat,” she says with a grin.
Looking back, there were plenty of changes she had to make on her own as she transitioned through the various life phases. As a child who grew up receiving both Chinese education and British international education, Francesca openly shares that was one of the biggest transitions she had to make during her adolescent years. “The way the two cultures educate is very different. I had a huge paradigm shift in my mind when I shifted schools,” she remarks. The next big change she encountered was when she started GoGet as there were no rulebooks or guidance offered. However, she shares that one of the milestones she hopes to achieve with GoGet is to impact the way work is defined. “I hope people will eventually picture work in a very different way. Work can take place anywhere, be much more flexible, mobile, not 9 to 5 and GoGet will play a role in that journey.”
“My husband and I often joke that your 20s are your boot camp years. You just have to commit the years to hard work, say yes to as many things, attend as many events and meet as many people
as you can”