Angeli Yuson is the Co-Founder and COO of Workast, a task and project management app for small businesses. Originally from Sydney Australia, Yuson moved to the United States to start Workast with her Co-Founder, Guillermo Gette. Prior to building Workast, Yuson worked as a Project Manager within Software Development and helped set up companies in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Workast gained traction as being the number 1 task management app for teams that use Slack and obtained investor funding in 2017. Yuson and Gette were part of the Muckerlab Accelerator Program located in Santa Monica, California.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
My family immigrated to Australia from the Philippines when I was a baby. We were first-generation immigrants and lived in a very different Australia to what it is now. I grew up in a very white town in South West Sydney where our family was one of the only Asian families at our school. My parents worked full-time and there were 3 of us kids. Education was very important to them and they made sure we had everything that we needed. I didn’t think entrepreneurship was an option for me growing up. Being a first-generation immigrant, I thought I had to get through school, go to university, and get a job and that was it. As the world changed, and I changed, I realized there was more for me out there.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak within me. At a young age, I was always pushing the boundaries and thinking outside of the box. During high school, I was selling mixtape CDs that I burned myself for $5 to my classmates. Then after high school, my friend and I tried to organize nightclub events that never eventuated. Then in 2013, I created a supplement online store called Help For Fitness. I manufactured my own protein powder line called Protein-Up and launched it at the Australia Fitness Expo. Then in 2017, Guillermo and I started Workast. I always felt that the corporate world was not for me. I always wanted more out of each job that I had, and never felt satisfied with the level I reached. In most of the jobs I had, I was promoted very quickly through the company and reached the end of my career quickly after there was nowhere else for me to advance. Entrepreneurship has been the biggest challenge for me. It is always challenging me, I am always learning new skills, growing, and faced with different problems which prompt me to think outside the box.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
Being a Founder is not a glamorous life. Forget what you see on social media or on TV. It is hard work and it is not going to be easy. You are going to want to give up so many times throughout your journey and you will be faced with so many challenges. Many people like the idea of “playing start-up” but when times get tough, they aren’t willing to put in the hard work. That is why many start-ups fail. This journey is not for everyone and not everyone will make it. Keep pushing forward, keep trying, and believe in yourself. Surround yourself by people that support your journey and don’t stop pushing forward.