Tête-à-tête with Jian Lv, CEO of 51Zhaoyou.com: ‘My daughter’s birth taught me how to be caring and thoughtful’
The receptionist showed me the way as we walked through the office, which was filled with many young people sitting at their desks. Some of them were brainstorming, while others were busily typing away on their keyboards. All of them were working diligently. Suddenly, someone yelled out my name, “Faye!” Jian extended both hands towards me and greeted me with a warm handshake.
I was surprised at this friendliness, because I had never seen him before. His voice was gentle when he called my name, as if I was an old friend. Actually, by coincidence, he also bore a resemblance to one of my best friends, a doctor, so I was instantly at ease in our conversation.
Jian had started several ventures before, but unfortunately those companies weren’t successful. Once when one of these ventures was failing, his wife was pregnant and close to giving birth, and yet she had to help him deal with shutting down the company and terminating his employees.
Jian Lv, CEO of 51Zhaoyou.com, at his office
At the beginning of the interview, he spoke with a smile on his face as he told me about the various ups and downs of his life. But later, as he talked about this particular event, he paused for several seconds as his face grew pensive. His eyes revealed a deep sense of remorse for what his wife had endured.
Even though this episode had taken place ten years ago, it was still fresh in his mind.
Later, he talked about another entrepreneurial experience of his, one that had occurred shortly after his daughter was born. His daughter was only a few weeks old when his company ran into several difficulties, and he again needed his wife’s help even though she had barely recovered. His eyes filled with tears as he recalled those tough times. In those moments, he transformed from a confident, seemingly invulnerable executive into a gentle husband and a loving father.
You could say Jian was born to be an entrepreneur. Launching a start-up is full of difficulties. I asked him, “Although today your company is on the path to success, startups constantly have to cope with rapidly changing environments and an unending fight for survival. How do you face and solve a never-ending series of challenges?”
His confidence returned, and he spoke without hesitation, “Starting up a business is inherently risky. Facing challenges and overcoming difficulties are all part of it. I don’t consider these to be some kind of torture. In fact, I enjoy the process!”
Hearing these words, I could not help but develop a deep sense of admiration for him. Actually, this was not the first time I had heard this sentiment from entrepreneurs. I have seen similar expressions in the other entrepreneurs’ eyes as well. They all were firm, committed, and fearless. I believe that there are some people in this world who are just born to be entrepreneurs.
“Who has had the greatest impact on you as an entrepreneur?” I asked him. Smiling gently, he said, “My two daughters. My first daughter taught me how to turn my love into tenderness and care. And my second daughter taught me to calm down and think rationally. When I was young, I often marched forward courageously, running directly into the obstacles in my path, and earning bumps and bruises along the way. Thanks to my daughters, I have learned how to take care and think calmly.”
I couldn’t help but compliment him. “You started your journey with courage and motivation, and today you’ve layered in a calm and caring heart. Your daughters really have transformed you into a stronger, more complete person.”
Faye interviews Jian Lv
Jian Lv also talked about many other fascinating topics, such as the creation of 51Zhaoyou.com – the largest online oil marketplace in China – and his transformation from a professional athlete and private swimming coach into an outstanding entrepreneur. We also had the opportunity to discuss how he chooses his investors and his vision about the future of this great online oil platform.
It’s not hard to find Jian Lv’s interviews about a variety of subjects on the Internet. Today, I just wanted to share this small, moving story about Jian Lv as a person.
Jian Ly takes a group photo with Sky9 Capital Founder Ron Cao and Managing Director Jing Wang.
Jian Lv is not only a committed entrepreneur who displays wisdom and courage. He is also a loving, responsible, and grateful father who loves his family and cherishes his wife and her contributions to his success. As a father, he knows how to love and how to think calmly. The person we see today is a great human being as well as an outstanding entrepreneur.
I think that if somebody wants to become a successful and well-respected entrepreneur, he should first strive to be a person of strong character, with a loving heart and a wealth of experience. Such people can weather the highs and lows of the journey. They live a ‘real’ life. They live with self-awareness. I believe Jian Lv is such a person.
Sky9 Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on driving innovation in Internet, enterprise, and deep technology in China.