May 12, 2020


What drove you to starting an agency like Popcorn?

I lost my job in 2008 when the recession hit. At this point, I was still in university and was actively posting and growing an audience on social media, specifically Twitter (@dennispang). As most of my content was about food and eating out, it soon caught the eye of some local restaurants, as a few of them reached out to me to see if I could help them establish a presence on social media. It was still early days of social media, and it dawned on me — to offer a service that businesses wanted at a time when not many people were offering it. That’s how Popcorn got started. Since then, we’ve pivoted and shifted several times along the way, adding more services to our offering and diversifying the range of clients that we work with to include many more industries, not just food and hospitality.

Did you have a long term goal on keeping Popcorn running?

Prior to starting Popcorn, I had never been completely satisfied or fulfilled with any of the jobs that I had worked. I think that’s a common thing that you hear amongst entrepreneurs. I often thought- is this how all jobs are? In fact, I never thought about starting a business until I lost my job.

With the global pandemic, I’d be lying if I said that I don’t worry about the long-term sustainability of my business. With so many small businesses having no choice but to close- I’m thankful for the team at Popcorn. It’s important for me to build a culture with people with an entrepreneurial mindset. My close knit team understands that they have control on dictating the company’s future like an entrepreneur. As an employee, being aware that your work can impact the company in a positive or negative way, and always putting your best foot forward is essential. To know that everybody has an important role to play in helping the company grow, it results in professional growth opportunities for our staff.

When the economy goes down, there are people that are gonna get dragged down with it. But there are also success stories that emerge. When I think about where Popcorn started, it started when the economy was down. I think that’s the exciting part of being an agency owner, and it’s that we are ultimately in control of our own destiny. We can use this opportunity to be strategic and look for ways to create more value for our clients. As long as we are doing that, we’ll be just fine.

How do you balance being a parent and also a business owner?

Before being a parent, being an entrepreneur, it meant that I would be able to work around the clock with no set schedule. These days, I generally work around my kids’ schedules like starting my work day after dropping off my kids at school and daycare. My day ends when I have to get my son from daycare. The change in prioritization is challenging but great as it puts boundaries around my day- encouraging a healthier work life balance. It also forces me to be more conscious of how I’m spending my productive working hours. The only time I really get to spend time with my family is on evenings and weekend, so I make sure to give them as much of my attention during those times as I can. I’m certainly not perfect in this department, as I’ll still sometimes sneak in some work on weekends, but I’m definitely trying to create a better work life balance for myself.

Thank you Dennis for taking the time to let us gain insight of your life working in the marketing industry! 💛

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