This is one of the not so parenting blog post but it has been something which I have been wanting to share with my fellow readers out there who are parents or non parents. Many of us go through different phases of life. Some of us experience a mid life career crisis when they are in their 30s or 40s while some of us become stressed in our careers the moment they become parents. There are some of us that are dying to start their own business after having some experience while working for others. I have personally known people who have worked for many years and then decided to strike on their own. Some have succeeded while others have failed. I am personally one of them who decided to come out and give it a shot. Yes, you hear me clearly, a daddy of a 19 month old kid striking out on his own. To all the parents out there, it is definitely possible to do your own business
I have been working in various aspects within the I.T industry for many years and have seen the ups and downs (From the dot com boom all the way to the Asian Financial Crisis). After working for so long, I felt it was a good time to strike it out myself. Let me tell you, this entrepreneurship road is a narrow road, there will be many haters and critics that you will have to face. In such a fast paced society like Singapore, it just makes things harder. I started out with nothing (zero dollars) but through sheer hard work, this nothing has became a something (more than 50 dollars.. =p). Am grateful for this! Definitely not anything near half a millionaire yet but learning and working hard everyday. In this post, I will share what I feel strongly about what an entrepreneur should have. It works for most kind of businesses that anyone wants to set up.
- Passion Yes, you heard me loud and clear. You need 110% passion on the business that you want to start. As the chinese saying goes, 三分钟热度. which means being passionate for a little while before the fire dies off. Why do you need 110% passion? this extra ten percent will take you through your darkest moments. No business is a bed of roses. There will be times when you will doubt if your business will succeed, that is where this extra 10 percent will remind you on the very reason you chose to start the business. Without passion, the chances of succeeding will be very low. Even if you do experience some small successes along the way, the whole business might just last a few years before it goes down the drain. I am pretty sure anyone who starts a business would be aiming to build a lasting one. No one starts by aiming to close down within a year or two.
- Willing to work more than the usual 8 hours/day or 40 hours work week Ask yourself, are you willing to work more than the usual office worker. If a customer calls you at 6.01pm, are you going to reject his call? If you are, then maybe starting your own business is not the right choice for you. As the boss of the company, the business is like your “new baby”. You need to spend time nurturing, watering and growing it. Of course in the process, tiredness will set in. You just need to look at the future knowing that when the business succeeds, the rewards that you will reap would be intangible. That should be enough to motivate you.
- Find a good partner If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go very far, find a good partner to run with you. This saying is true. There is always a limit to what one person can do. Always find someone that you can trust. Many businesses go bust because partners run away with the money or partners have disagreements which leads to company splits. The unity among the managing partners is of top priority for any business. I thank GOD that I have one of the best business partners that compliments me in terms of character and other traits.
- Do not work for the money only. This statement is very true. Do not start the business just for the sake of earning money. As a parent, the reason why I am doing this is also for my family. There should be more meaning in life than just money. I am sure you do not want to be a slave to money. If your sole purpose is only for money, one day, you will be burnt out and you are very like to give up the dream years down the road.
- Ability to build a positive vibe in the team. Positiveness attracts the right talent. I am sure you do not want to work in an environment that everyone is always complaining. You want to be working in a place where there is always encouragements from the bosses, fair treatments among your co-workers. Having a positive energy within the team can take a business to greater heights. People are more willing to share ideas and daring to try new stuff. Never limit the talents of your staff just for your selfish ambitions.
- Have fun.Yeah, I am serious.. have fun while working. If you do not want your 12 hour work day to be boring, learn to have fun. Take some small breaks in-between, head to your favourite cafe to work. Enjoy what you are doing and it will never be a chore!
I hope my post would encourage the right people who are in the right frame of mind to start their own business and follow their dreams. If you really cannot do the above stuff, please stick to working for other people.
Follow your Dreams!!