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A letter from Toolots CEO


Dear all,


When you open your eyes and get ready for a new day of work today, you will notice some personnel changes in our company. Here I want to tell my thoughts.


Many people fail in what they do and say it’s because of bad luck. In my opinion, the problem is more likely rooted in the person, not luck. No one would succeed without a clear sense of what he/she is doing, why and how he/she should do it.  The same is true to a company, or a nation.


Toolots is a startup company. The company likes employees with entrepreneurship, but disfavors those seeking for a stable and easy life. Everyone in the company should be aware of that.


I believe those who like to ask for more and more what they think they are entitled with will receive less and less, not more, because to a certain extent they are framed by themselves. In contrast, those who are willing to contribute to others more and more will end up receiving more and more, and will thus fulfill their life goals.


Is it possible to build a company that shares goals with its employees? Is it possible for the company and its employees to achieve their own goals not only at the same time but also synergistically?


Yes!  But everyone must share the same values first. Otherwise all is in vain.


Second, they should trust each other. What is trust? It is love and support. Not mere passive obedience or compliance.  Love implies respect, and support implies understanding.


Third, be aware of and respect the overall context. We all know butterfly effects. Your words and behaviors influence people around you. So don’t complain all the time. The wise solve problems, but the weak complain. Human being grows and develops by fixing problems, not by complaining.


Besides, bear in mind that running a company is never the boss’s business only.


All in all, joining in a startup company means you must “reinvent” yourself from time to time. The executives need to keep an eye on the current state and progress of the company, from hiring to business conditions, and each employee may be responsible for several posts simultaneously. It is tough.


But the future will be bright.  I like what Jack Ma once said:

“Today’s tough, tomorrow will be tougher, but the day after tomorrow will be glorious.”


What kind of employees does Toolots like?

1. Those who always seek the interests of the company.

2. Those who are clear of what their duties are, and capable of doing the job well.

3. Managers who see the big picture.

4. Leaders who take their work personally.


Like father like son. What the company’s staff look like is what the company looks like.


Some cannot last long at a startup company because the company moves forward every day while they stay where they have been. If one is unqualified, there is no one else to blame.


Toolots is a family, and I hope everyone in the family can facilitate each other’s work, and move toward at the same direction. This is how the family’s dream will come true, and so will each individual’s.


I would also like to share an article. It’s written by a Chinese writer Wen Yan.



Good salary, little work, a close office. An ideal job, or is it?


“Good salary, little work, and a close office,” this is what people think of “ideal jobs”. I was one of them.


But a Waterloo defeat in my work pushed me to a deep self-reflection.


It was the first project of my second job, and I did it like shit. My boss wrote me an email of over- 3,000-characters, blaming, criticizing and swearing at me.


She did not fire me, not because she was nice, because she was short in hands. But I could not help thinking how thing went that worse.


I had this job after giving birth to my child. My previous job was enviable: I worked at an Embassy in Beijing.


It was three years ago that I had an idea of changing my job, since my daily route was only repeating the chores I did yesterday. Soon a very good company found me, but I rejected it for the job was kind of pressured.


Two years ago, I reached the glass ceiling. I started hunting again, and a fairly-well job opportunity was offered. However, I rejected it as the Embassy allowed me longer maternity leave.


One year ago, I finally was determined to change the job. Yet no more appropriate opportunities came to me.


I was scared. What’s wrong with the outside world?


One day, an old friend visited me. She is a successful “international person” who shuttles between Paris and Beijing. In Beijing she’s a curator while in Paris she is a Ph.D. of anthropology.


We walked along a river bank in the lovely spring afternoon. Willows, jasmine flower, and water plants, knowing it’s time of growing, were waving in the breeze.


I told her my bad luck, and even wept as I failed in foreseeing what I would look like one or two decades later.


“What kind of company do you prefer?” She asked.


“A place where I can learn. With room that allow me to grow,” I answered.


“You’ve studied quite a lot,” she smiled. “What you need is a place to use what you learnt.” All of a sudden, I was illuminated.





I started talking to headhunters.


The fact is that again and again those headhunters, using different way, told me that “you  started your career well, but spent too much time on being comfortable.”


Ruthless. People kept reminding me the truth I know.


One of my friend arranged me to consult her friend, a boss of a headhunter company. I waited in a meeting room, sipping iced water. I heard the boss was having a delightful conversation with a young woman client. They chattered, laughed, and their high heels ticked the ground. The rattling sound as if hit my heart.


“Why I am here, not there?” I asked myself. “I wasted good opportunities, because I sought for‘good salary, little work, and a close office’”, I answered myself.


You see? It’s all destined. Not decided by any god, but decided by myself.


The conversation between me and the female entrepreneur were a bit awkward. The boss asked me three questions:

1. What values make you different from others? Not ordinary values, but values that makes the company cannot leave you.

2. You explained what you do not want, so what do you want?

3. You said you intend to leave the comfortable environment, and you are willing to pay the price. But what’s the bottom line of your payment?


With the three questions, I started all over again.



The Building


Many years ago, when I entered Embassy I worked in one of the most expensive office building in Beijing.


Every morning, I stood in front of the French window, holding my cup of expresso and watching people and car moving under my feet. I felt I am someone.


I was wrong. It was the platform that rocks, not me. And I wasted lots of time on being too comfortable on that platform.


Indeed even I was so picky on jobs, I did not find an “ideal” one. In addition, the society is changing so fast that it is beyond my expectation. The plans I’ve made years ago do not suit what is going on now.


I finally got a job in my second company. Ironically, the office is in the same building of my previous job.


But the mansion was not the same as it was. Companies are moving out, some purchased their own land and established their own property, some left the city. The international-brand boutique stores are leaving too. Large offices are cut into cubes to cater small yet vigorous startups. Gentlemen in fine suits and ladies wearing meticulous makeups are less seen.


Replacing them are young passionate people who always trot, as if catching time pace.


I walked out of the building, to look up to it. It was like a monument to me, yet nowadays, an abyss.



The outside world


My second job made me fall into despair.


I had a bunch of plans. Maybe quit and try to be housewife? To work in an IT startup that I have little relevant experience? Or stick to the old company but switch to another department? So many ideas were running in my head that every morning I changed my mind.


Once I phoned a friend overseas, for almost three hours. When we were about to hang up, she said: “anyway, I admire you that you can participate in the wave taking place in China.”


At that moment, I realized I should be glad that at least there are still chances in the outside world. Plus, to imagine what the outside world is stupid. I should try to touch it, to experience it.


Truly I was confused. But who hasn’t been there? My confusion is attributed to that I’ve been staying in a system for too long that I was not sure where I am. But it doesn’t mean the past is  awaste.


During my previous work, I just repeat same work every day, so I developed ability on one dimension only. I was good on executing but not leading, and I was used to take orders, not to think strategically.


Therefore, I learn to connect myself with the outside world, by using the knowledge I gained before. I restudied the books, checked my notes, tried to think as another person.


New ideas did come into my head. I figured out the reasonability of plans that I before thought stupid; and I began to know why my boss made decisions that I didn’t understand previously.


Any opportunity hit me by doing so?

Not yet.


But it doesn’t matter. What approaching to me is confidence. Now I am capable to learn new tech and knowledge. And I am prepared for any change. Neither scared, nor worried.


Six months later, two opportunities came. One offered me to work in a British company where half of the company staff are my previous coworkers; and the other is a IT startup whose employees are mostly younger than me.


It is not difficult to choose. The latter, of course.


It’s new, unknown, and will drive me into anxiety. But if I don’t face them now, they still will see me five or ten years later.


Similar stories are everywhere. An executive of a giant company is fired, he had to take a job of $500 per month. A 40-year-old holding Ph.D. degree could not find a job…


Middle-age crisis will come. It’s good to be ready as early as possible. Waiting in fear is meaningless. Jumping into the wave, you will swallow some water, but then learn how to swim.


Be strong. No matter how old you are.