by Ng Lee Huat Jason (Singapore)
Hi I am Jason Ng, a middle aged businessman running a small business firm in precision engineering. I accidentally fell into business over ten years ago. Fortunately, I survived. From 1998, I have gone through several economic down turns and financial crisis.
It is very exciting being an entrepreneur; you do what you want. You’re filled with courage and passion and run the business with ambition and enthusiasm. When you are successful, you will be very happy: you own a fantastic career, famous, nice house and big car and so on…
However my explanation of entrepreneur means you have one leg into bankruptcy (failure of business) and another leg into riches (success of business).
Think twice, it is not scary but it happened many years ago when I was closed to failure; at the edge and would have gone bankrupt.
Sometimes failure in business may not be due to wrong business model or operation. It might be due to partnership failure, withdrawal of investment, WRIT of seizure and sales from creditors, and other lawsuits. These can disable you from running the business peacefully.
People who harm are usually close to you; they could be your investors, VC, partners! Anyway, what I want to share is that we must choose a right partner with similar vision, business direction and concepts. It is not easy to sniff those out!
What I mentioned above happened to me and I wanted to bring them out as a caution and sharing with you.
I was once caught in the middle of my career and did not know what to do for my future. I was confused and afraid of making the wrong move. Besides luck, the business world is like a psychological and mentality game.
Finally I made the choice to run my own business cause I believe I deserved the success if I managed it well.
Running a business is like ridding an escalator or roller coaster up and down.
I classify businessmen into three categories of entrepreneurship, i.e. beginner, mature and veteran entrepreneur.
The biggest challenge of beginner is to have to worry about personal career, family matters, children issues etc…, while balancing business. My advice? Don’t think too much; the more you consider and the more you worry, the more likely you’ll end up with doing nothing. To borrow from NIKE’s advertisement, “Just do it!”.
It is always advisable to start ventures when you’re young. Age is not the obstacle but a gentle warning: entrepreneurship is physically demanding and we need a tireless body to drive us further to fulfill our dream. Therefore the earlier we start the better it is.
2) Mature entrepreneur
After running a business for 3 to 5 years, we might get apprehensive or overly contented. Consequently, we lose focus as we stand at the crossroads again. At this stage it is common to be too busy handling daily work in a routine.
Nevertheless, we need to come out of our comfort zone and steer the company in the right direction again.
3) Veteran entrepreneur
I have yet reached this level. Veteran entrepreneurs know what he want. They know where and when to exit or cash out. They pass their businesses to the young entrepreneur to continue as family businesses.
I consider myself a mature businessman after done the quote of OTC in Phillip Securities in 2007. My next target is to improve my business skills. I decided go back to school to learn something new to strengthen my knowledge and to explore the securities market of financial world.
I had attended SMU business finance control course and enrolled SIM TEN programme. I am very happy to learn from our professors and entrepreneurs. I had insight into present and ex-entrepreneur experiences that is beyond the textbook.
I noticed that some professors just touch and go to full fill the course requirements due to limited time but some really spent time to share their rich experiences beyond the material from the book. Some lessons were about real combat in the business world, I love them!
Personally I like to attend courses like ENT403, 503, 505, 509 and 515. The courses equip us with the perspective, framework, concept, strategy, decision making, technique and fundamental principle.
Finally I want to encourage everyone here to start your own career path if there is an opportunity. I believe a successful entrepreneur should be capable to manage the business as well as taking a good care of family. I have nothing much to share but this: “Family is the invisible power and pillar to determine our career sustainability.”