by Kim Zhang (Singapore Management University)
When I was younger, I’ve always harbored the dream of setting up my own business, maybe a bakery, café or a restaurant, and being my own boss while having fun doing the things that I am passionate about. I had never believed in working or earning money just for the sake of it; I was a person who had always advocated passion as the main determinant towards purpose in life. I thought risks and uncertainties are fun, exciting ingredients towards fulfilling endeavors in life.
However, as I grew older as a student in Singapore, I realized that such a drive in me was replaced with pursue of a stable life and a stable career, where risks and uncertainties are best avoided since they may lead to up to no good. As an economics student, we learnt that uncertainties can be detrimental to the world’s markets and economies, as exemplified by the current financial crisis the world is facing.
The Singapore education system has trained us to always strive for the best; be the best. Along the way, however, it has also trained us to become one who is risk averse because uncertainty and the unknown may inevitably lead us to failures.
So that was why over the years, I abandoned my childhood ambitions of setting up a bakery or a café, and instead, took up a whole new set of career objectives where I shall be the “employed” rather than the “the one who employs” because it’s just the “safer” option, or so my parents tell me.
However, this course (Technological Entrepreneurship) has injected a re-newed sense of drive into my life. Where-else almost all my life, I have been taught to avoid risks, the course’s instructor, Pamela Lim, actually inspires me to take up risks (go out and be your own boss!) and follow my passion.
Being a successful entrepreneur and mother of five, she has proved that the world of business and entrepreneurship isn’t just restricted to men alone – women can also be as successful. Through her own personal experiences, as well as the real-life experiences of several other entrepreneurs that she introduced to the class, she has brought about a great sense of inspiration towards stepping out of the norm, and creating something on our own.
The valuable lessons and take-aways that I have from the course are simply too much for me to express in this journal alone, but here are four of the important take-aways that has inspired me:
1) Failing isn’t the end of the world. It is only the beginning of the route to success.
2) Risks, unknowns and uncertainties can be the door to excitement and success.
3) When you have passion, obstacles are never too big to conquer
4) That being said, passion and ideas are nothing if there aren’t actions to put them to life; don’t just think or say it, DO IT.
Last note: what is most incredible about this course is that although it is a course about entrepreneurship, the lessons learnt from it goes way beyond just entrepreneurship; in fact, I find that it is relevant to everything else in life, and are inspirations towards the way I want to lead my life – with passion.
Thank you truly, for such a memorable journey.