by Yee Choon Kit (Singapore)
Honestly speaking, I have never welcomed the idea of working for someone or for a company. Firstly, there are just too many restrictions as an employee. After speaking to many friends and relatives who are working, I realized that very few of them are happy with what they are doing. The reasons are often the same: “the job is too monotonous, there is too much politicking in office, the pay is too low.” Secondly, I detest the idea of making my boss richer at the expense of my contributions for the company.
I reasoned that perhaps starting my own business will be the best way out of this problem. Along the way, I have been inspired by two friends who are entrepreneurs. The first is a friend whom I know in church. At the peak of his career, he sold off his house and bought a piece of land in Bintan. That was more than twenty years ago and his friends were all laughing and saying that he was crazy. When he was young, he used to bum around on the beach but it was where his dreams all began. Today, he runs a resort in Indonesia and his plot of land in Bintan is currently being developed into a beach restaurant with water sports facilities like wind and kite surfing. I’ll always remember what he said to me: “Even a bummer like me is able to make it big. The most important thing in life is to persevere and work towards your goal.”
The second success story which I like to share is a good friend of mine who used to be a banker. Although the pay was high but he didn’t derive happiness from it. He felt like he was being caged and there was too much stress and pressure to meet targets. He quit his job and started a pet shop. Prior to opening his pet shop, he was already selling Holland lop rabbits when he was still a banker. As the rabbit belongs to a rare breed, demand exceeded supply due to its popularity. This eventually led to him going into the pets’ business.
Looking at my friends’ success stories, they have inspired me and strengthen my resolve to go into entrepreneurship as a career. I had my first hand experience on entrepreneurship several months ago in one of my school modules-technological entrepreneurship. It made me realized that it was not that simple when it comes to starting a business. A good idea is only an idea unless the person acts on it. I have come to learn that market research is a very important tool because it gives extra insight into a particular industry. And I must admit that the assumptions my partners and I made regarding the food industry were totally wrong. It has now given us a better focus on where our business should head. The business environment as well as the business model is always evolving and as a first time entrepreneur, I have learnt how to expect the unexpected.
I find myself very motivated when I am working for this new business startup. Amazingly, this is in stark contrast when I have to drag myself to work during internship. Indeed, I agree that passion is what sustains an entrepreneur through the bad times. It is always important to hold on to one’s dreams and never give up.