SMT You started your business since you became a university student. What was the motive to start your business?
JANG My mother always said to me, “My duty for you is over when you graduate your high school. After your graduation, you are an adult so you do everything yourself.” Thanks to her saying, I always thought I was an adult since I became a university student. Hence, I couldn’t understand my friends in my university who got their money from their parents and depended on parents, because I didn’t. I had lived with a burden to stand alone without any help from parents. I started to deliver milk for my pocket money, and I did my best for getting a scholarship. Once, a friend said that you should go abroad for language study abroad, and I decided to make more money for that. The money from delivering milk was too short for language study abroad. Thus I started a a business to sell skewered grilled chicken on a handcart with my older sister. I was 20 at that time.
SMT As a woman, as a young woman was there any trouble with your business?
JANG As a woman, there was no trouble. Instead, there were many people who helped me because I was a woman. Sometimes people supported by helping to push my handcart. However there were also many troubles with my business. On account of the business with a handcart, I always escaped from a squad. Besides I went behind because of bird flu. Because I got good grades and I was a bad mixer in the university, I was so distressed when someone asked me, “What are you doing here?” However thanks to my purpose, I could endure the trouble.
SMT After language study abroad, you continued to sell the skewered grilled chicken. Do you have any reason for that?
JANG The best reason for that was I knew the value of money. I can’t forget the moment I knew it. The first time I got payed three hundred thousand won, it was too much money for me. In those days, they didn’t give into a savings account, so I had to hold my money tightly. I was so anxious that all the people in front of me looked like robbers. At that time, I saw an injured dog on the street. As I saw it, I hugged him and helped him to get treatment. I realized that I could be confident with money. Without money, I couldn’t do anything for them, just sliding by them with sorrow. However, I was different this time. I had the status which I could save others lives. Through the experience, I realized the value of precious money and I decided to help others with my money. I had the exact purpose to make money.
SMT Please explain about your meaning of money.
JANG People sometimes describe money as trash. They hate money but long for it. I can’t understand it. It is the money which could make me save others lives. I think money is sacred. The money which has the purpose is sacred. It doesn’t mean I overreach money. I merely make moderate money for my purpose. Also, whoever wants the money with the purpose doesn’t need to follow money. Money would follow people who love money. Therefore, people should have the reason for making money, not work for just making money. If you have the purpose, you don’t need to be annoyed in the process of making money.
SMT In SMU, there is Sookmyung Hospitality Business School. It is easy that when we think about Hospitality Business, we recall a luxurious restaurant. What do you think about it?
JANG It isn’t bad the recalling a luxurious restaurant. I wanted to work in the hotel, studied for that and was suggested as the the intern in the hotel because of my ability. However, it is the problem that students want to work there because they think if they work there, they would appear as people who are luxurious and elegant. It is not the purpose. They should look closely themselves and ask themselves why they want to do it. I worked as a caddy when I was a university student. At that time, people thought being a caddy was crude. Even my mother, who respected my opinion as an adult, tried to dissuade me. However I had my definite purpose to be a caddy. I thought I should know the culture of the rich to be rich. The rich played golf, I decided to learn from it. Hence, I worked as a caddy, whatever people said to me. Naturally, I could learn the rich people’s patterns of thinking and acting. I achieved my purpose. I wasn’t ashamed about my job, but I did it with pride. You also need to think of the results through the job, not just follow what people say.
SMT Do you emphasize you own purpose only?
JANG It is important that you have an open mind when you do something for your purpose. From the beginning of my business to now, I am not good at cooking. For these reasons, I accepted all of the advice from the customers. With the knowhow of customers, the skewered grilled chicken have been developed and the customers were pleased with us. People who can’t develop don’t have this open mind because they are absorbed in their own way. If you want success, you also need to listen to others.
SMT Give some advice for Sookmyungians who want to do their best for their future.
JANG I thought Koreans’ effort is not comparable to any other countries people. Everyone does their best without resting. However, people just make an effort without any purpose. I don’t ignore the power of effort. I emphasized WHY, which is worth to make an effort to you. Thomas Alva Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” People just think that effort is important. However you should think about one percent inspiration. On the other hand, he meant that one percent of inspiration is equal as ninety-nine percent perspiration. Perspiration is also important and the perspiration comes from the recognition of myself. You could your perfect 100 percent whether you think your WHY and do your best on your WHY. If I didn’t have any purpose, I wouldn’t have achieved these results which I have got. Literally, you make your time which can help you think yourself without any disturbance. Find your own WHY.
-Jang Jung Youn
The CEO of COZI & FRIEND
1997 Opened her own business as a street vender
when she was 20
Her business is being expanded to Indonesia