icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog

Startup Success, Mentorship & No BS Leadership: Interview With Patrick Leung, Co-Founder of 4HK

As part of our #BeTheChange series, we sit down and discuss how businesses have evolved, with change-makers in our Garage Community. 

 

This week, we talk with Patrick Leung, co-founder of 4HK, a marketing and creative agency based in Hong Kong.

 

We deep-dived into how he defines success, his heroes, and his experience with no BS crypto startups. 

 

Author: Ching Lam Ip, Programme & Marketing Lead, Garage Society

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND 4HK

I’m Patrick Leung, I’m the co-founder of 4HK, a marketing and creative agency based in Hong Kong. 

 

 

What was your journey in co-founding 4HK? 

I guess you could say that I became an entrepreneur for the sake of being one!

 

The short version is that I was simply drawn to the entrepreneur lifestyle because it seemed really cool. Plus, I was a young and hungry 26-year-old! 

 

I had worked for a few years in a sales role at a marketing agency and was starting to feel a bit disillusioned. Another one of my colleagues at the time felt similar - we were both very driven to create something that fully belonged to us. We wanted to build something that would let us take ownership of our path and control our time. That’s how we co-founded 4HK.

 

 

Is the reality of entrepreneur life the same as what you imagined 6 years ago? 

I can honestly say that I truly have total control over my own life right now, and that’s a good thing. That said, control is a bit different from freedom

 

I have the freedom to make a lot of decisions in my business, but that also means that often, its success hinges directly on the decisions I make.

 

I am personally responsible for many aspects, and so I have to be very dedicated to it. There is a kind of freedom, but perhaps not in the strictest sense of the word. 

 

All in all, I am very happy with my life right now. I fully encourage anyone who has dreams to become an entrepreneur to just give it a try!

 

man looking at his phone at a business event
Source: LimeHK

 

How was your definition of success evolved?

When 4HK was first established, I was hyper-focused on making sales and closing leads. It was the measure of success I used to prove myself, and practically speaking, for the survival of the business.

 

I was like a soldier on the battlefield - putting in the work to generate the highest profit margins to ensure business viability. But now, I’m starting to appreciate that there are many aspects to success that can’t be calculated using tangible numbers. 
 

My role is more like a general now. I’ve started to step back, and take a leadership role in shaping the values, vision, and culture of 4HK. 

 

While it’s important to be able to execute my visions for the company I’ve built, it’s equally important to be able to communicate this vision clearly to team members and other stakeholders, so that they believe in its value.


 

Who do you look up to in work and life? 

There are many successful leaders who I look up to - I would go so far as to call them my heroes. Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Carl Sagan are all pioneers and thought leaders of their time - I look up to them immensely. 
 

Another one of my heroes is Winston Churchill. He was able to take on the relentless pressure of making daily life-or-death decisions amidst a world war, in an era without the internet. 
 

He had so much on his plate, and yet he still managed to write prolifically and just... get on with the rest of his life! Of course, the realities of running a business pale in comparison, but I admire his tenacity in coping with challenges. 

 

 

You often take on a mentorship role in the startup community. Could you share more about that? 

Dr. Toa Charm, who is the former Chief Public Mission Officer at Cyberport was a mentor to myself many years ago. He’s great a sharing his vision, planning his business, and crafting his own community. 

 

I look to him a lot in my own mentorship work with LimeHK, where I’m currently the Director of Open Innovation. I work a lot with startups, especially guiding them on how to bridge the HK, GBA and the Japan market. 

 

To me, a great mentor is someone who can provide practical, actionable advice, but also explain the philosophy behind it. 

 

​​group photo at a blockchain event in Hong Kong featuring LimeHK team
Source: LimeHK
 
 

You’re a self-described tech-enthusiast and have done a lot of work with Web3 brands. What is your experience with the crypto community and beyond? 

4HK has provided marketing and branding services for a number of blockchain companies, and the approach is really quite different from traditional enterprises. 

 

The main goal for most crypto companies is to fundraise, and so the branding strategies will revolve around creating a brand that’s attractive to investors. 
 

Their management teams also tend to be young, and therefore already very tech-savvy. We spend much less time educating clients on the importance of a social media presence, and eCommerce integration - it’s already ingrained in them. 
 

Instead, they’ll hire us for our specific professional experience, which means they’ll seek a lot of technical advice. They’re not afraid to call out bullcrap, so it’s important for us to stay in the loop with industry news!

 

 

Is there anything you would like to see more of in the community? 

I’d like to see more genuine community building in Hong Kong. It’s very easy to fall into the practice of “business matchmaking” and call it a day. It’s all too fragmented and transactional for any real, meaningful outcomes.

 

To me, those tech forums full of Apple fanboys are an example of a real community! The forums are full sharing about the latest news, hidden features, and tackling problems together. There’s a lot of back and forth, and people really try their best to take care of each other. That is the true meaning of community. 

 

Note: this interview has been edited for length and clarity


Garage Society Wan Chai Jaffe Common Area in Hong Kong

 

When Patrick isn’t meeting with innovative startups, you can find him building his business at Garage Society Wan Chai Jaffe. 

 

Learn more about 4HK’s marketing services for startups and enterprises alike, on their website

 


 

Garage Society helps businesses and individuals work better, through WorkStyle solutions tailored for them.  

 

From entrepreneurs to large corporates, we understand the diverse ways in which people work.   

 

We focus on getting to know you and your business so we can tailor a better and smarter way for you to get work done.

 

Whether it’s hot desks, private offices, or custom spaces for enterprises and MNCs, we’ve got a WorkStyle solution for you.  

 

Interested in a flexible workspace at Garage? Get in touch with us.

 

similarposts
icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog Between Passion and Pragmatism: Interview With Zev, the Artist Behind The 33PRESS

As part of our #BeTheChange series, we sit down and discuss how work has evolved, with change-makers in our Garage Community. 

 

This week we chat with Zev, an artist and lighting consultant. She uses The 33PRESS moniker for her artistic endeavors, and prefers to remain anonymous! 

 

We chat about finding fulfillment, creating balance, and embracing discomfort in a cut-throat city like Hong Kong. 

 

Author: Ching Lam Ip, Programme & Marketing Lead, Garage Society

icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog Data-Driven Design: Marketing In the Brave New World [Mandy's In-House Notes]

Welcome back to Mandy's In-House Notes, a twice-monthly column touching on all things brand-building, entrepreneurship and female-empowerment related, from the mind of Mandy Pao.

 

This week, we're talking about the power of using the right data to inform your design process.

 

Author: Mandy Pao, Founder and Creative Director, Eloquence International

Cover image: Jezael Melgoza via Unsplash

 

icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog 4 Steps for Unlocking Career Fulfillment

True career fulfillment can be puzzling—yet not impossible to find. What many people don’t realize is that it’s a process that takes work and patience. 

 

Most importantly, we need to search for it. If you’re lucky, you’ll find not just a job or career but a mission.

 

Cover image source: Liz and Mollie

Author: Pin Cher, Career & Clarity Coach