Wayne Yap shares how he became the "accidental owner" of Kosme Aesthetics and overcame challenges running the biz.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Wayne Yap, the owner of Kosme Aesthetics, gets it done like a boss.
Entrepreneurs we love: Wayne Yap
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
I’m an accidental owner of Kosme Aesthetics. So, how did this happen? Being an investor and marketing consultant, my team set out in 2020 to acquire businesses. In 2021, we acquired two including Kosme Aesthetics, which one of my team members would lead.
After we realised she preferred marketing over the operations of a retail service business, she released her equity back to me to run it with a different operations manager I hired. The backstory to becoming an investor is that I was previously making over $1 million a year playing poker professionally. But I found it unfulfilling because it’s a zero-sum game.
When I walked away from the game, I decided to go into businesses that I could use as a platform to create value in the world. After I accidentally became the sole owner of Kosme Aesthetics and realised there were critical issues in the beauty industry such as huge packages and lots of businesses closing down with unfulfilled packages, I felt a need to make a difference.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
Taking over a company that was losing money and turning it around was a huge challenge. Despite investing over $800,000 (of my poker winnings) into marketing education, expensive masterminds and incredible coaches, the first few months were really hard.
Many of the marketing challenges in a hyper-competitive industry (we have over 10 competitors in our building and over 100 competitors within 5 minutes of us) were new to me. Thankfully, we found a way to position ourselves to stand out and solve the “bleeding neck” problems in the market. After getting a clear sense of our numbers and optimising our traffic, conversion and economics, we cracked the code with some highly profitable ads.
When you can make your ads highly profitable, you can scale really quickly. That’s how we grew five times in the last six months and are still on track for 20% to 25% monthly growth, provided we can open new outlets fast enough.
How do you stay motivated and energised?
When it comes to business, I clearly split things into three categories:
- The work I love that energises me.
- The work I find “meh” but is important and I have to do it because only I can do it.
- The work I hate and can get someone else to do.
I build my day to spend as much time as possible on 1 and I never do 3. Sometimes I have to do 2 and I think of my family and team as the motivation to get those things done. Especially my team, because I don’t want to be a bottleneck and prevent them from doing their work well.
How do you keep stress levels low?
I have simple practices I learned from over 1,000 hours of meditation and about 10 retreats. Mainly, it’s to acknowledge stress when I feel it. And to realise that my stress comes from an obsession I have in my head – about something in the past or something in the future. I do my best to observe it and let it fade.
Apart from that, I’ve found a hobby in bouldering which I love. That keeps my stress levels low while keeping me healthy. Lastly, I have a cute dog that definitely helps with stress levels.
Favourite place to work?
After doing 10 trips to the US in 2019, I realised I do great work while on Singapore Airlines’ Business Class flights. I get a lot of inspiration while on planes.
Favourite business tool or work ‘mantra’ that you use?
I have so many of them I love. But to pick one: The Theory of Constraints – that there’s one main bottleneck which prevents our business from growing.
One thing you can keep talking about for hours?
Your go-to self-care activity?
One piece of advice to your younger self?
We’re linear creatures living in an exponential and cyclical world. In an exponential world, all great things come from compound interest – money, relationships and health and all things that compound. So, play long-term games with long-term people.
Get in touch with Wayne Yap online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!