by Elvin Ong (Singapore)
Entrepreneurship has been some thing very close to my heart for a long time. It started out with a simple biography of Richard Branson. This book inspired me so much that it has been deeply engrained into my soul.
Looking back then, I was full of energy, all ready and did not know what awaits me. I read about it in a book, but never had any first hand experience. My enthusiasm was killed by my initial experience when I joined an MLM company. I threw a big chunk of my every penny from the allowance I saved in the army into it. I was sold on the dream on how easy it will be to earn a very lucrative income. Eventually, I left and through the experience, it taught me many things. Firstly, this experience provided me with a yardstick of what to expect and changed my view of a business. I learnt that there is never an easy way to be successful. I recalled that I frequently have to remind myself of what Einstein said, “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. Of course, I learnt that there would never be free lunch in life. But more importantly, it set the ground for the correct frame of thought for the future.
After plenty of learning and contemplating, I thought to myself that the most suitable business for me at that time is to get into IT (since I have the background) and market that skill. It also has to be low risk. I also gave myself some time to learn the design and IT skills that are relevant to this business myself. This is the first time I am starting a business and frankly I am afraid of the uncertainty. My thoughts were then “what happens if my clients sue me”, “What happens if I fail”, “Am I going to do it all by myself”. I had to overcome this sense of uncertainty with a leap of faith. I have to trust myself. Further more, I have little to lose. Therefore, I started a web design and solution business. Certainly it wouldn’t earn me plenty of money, but I did earn good enough which made me satisfied as a part-time business. I thought to myself that the sole purpose of entering into a business school is so that I get the knowledge and foundation to start a business, and I did!
The lessons that were taught by Prof Pamela were the lessons that left the greatest impression. One that left me most inspired was that no matter what the world gives you, one should never give up, but instead, fight back and show the world that I don’t fall so easily. It is easier said than done. But by constantly reminding myself of these words, I have carved it into my mind and made myself much stronger with each set back. I see myself growing. Through experiences, I made myself larger than the problem so that I am able to better handle it compared to the past. I am able to solve a level 3 problem with a level 4 experience. So I have to constantly learn from my experience and upgrade it. This is my way of measuring myself.
Also through this process, I started to learn about myself. I start to understand more about why do I want so much for myself, what are my strengths and weaknesses, how do I deal with situations and many others as well. I am still on this road to self-discovery and I am not sure if I will ever find a definite answer. Nevertheless, my resolution would be to understand more about myself bit by bit everyday. I have set my dreams up high and hopefully to be a successful entrepreneur. I do not want to look back because I know that failure happens only when I admit defeat.