Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Life Worth Living

You only LIVE LIFE ONCE. When was the last time you took a risk?

If you have dreams and a passion for something, you best execute it when you're young or before other lives depend on your handouts. There's always two sides of a story, but here's how i view it. If you're going to venture into business then you, like all successful people know that success, like everything else in this world only belongs to the brave. If you're going to venture into a business or start something that you have a passion for, i truly believe you best do it before your commitments and comfort compel you not to (i.e. kids, mortgage, wife, etc). Its best at times to execute your own venture early in your life, before you become too comfortable chasing your pay cheque every month. Which sadly, is what most people do. Most people i speak to don't exactly enjoy what they do, and speak of interesting ideas which could be profitable but fail to act simply because they yearn for that pay cheque at the end of the month, and the ensuing potential bonus.
FEAR is what stops good ideas from becoming great - FEAR of stepping out of your comfort zone. Our lives have been shaped by the "old-school" line of thought, by our parents & teachers - go to school, get a good degree, land a job in a big firm, find a nice girlfriend/boyfriend/partner, get a mortgage, settle down, etc etc. I'm blessed in a sense to have parents who's only wish was to see their children happy. A vast majority are complacent with this arrangement but if you want to live life, to feel what it's like to accomplish something that's all yours, to taste freedom, to have that "zing" in your life, then take that risk and walk the road less traveled. Truth be told, running a business opens a tough and cruel world, and it isn't for everyone. The thoughts and advice penned here today are purely my personal take on working life.

"People have a fear of failure, and while this is perfectly reasonable, its also very odd. Because it seems to me that it's through making mistakes that we learn how to do things. Watch a musician practice, watch a baby figure out how to walk, listen to a toddler speak. Skills like walking, talking and making music emerge gradually, steadily from a blizzard of mistakes."
- Sir Richard Branson

Starting early in life has its pros and cons, i stopped looking at the cons awhile ago because i'm engulfed with the pros. What i lack in experience and networking, i make up for with creativity, go-getter attitude, passion and enthusiasm. Before starting a family, i have nothing to lose other than time and maybe a car or two. Which really is NOTHING cause it does not directly affect the stomachs of other lives. I can honestly say that if i had joined the corporate world, started a family and mortgage, collect a pay cheque every moth, i wouldn't have the guts to step out on my own. sad really. Cause i currently reap the rewards of running my own business - i may not (yet!) be personally earning a million bucks, but for the hours i put in, i'd say i'm earning above average and the number of friends i've made, experiences learned, the fun i have during work, camaraderie forged, coupled with the amount of personal time i have is well justification for running my own business.
You must be prepared to jump off a building without a parachute if you choose the path i took. Cause every business isn't without risk, and not every venture is a success. In business you must be prepared to fall flat into the ground, and mistakes do happen. I don't call it mistakes anymore, i call it LEARNING. And by god, i've learnt a whole damn lot!! You just pick yourself up, dust off the dirt and grime, and start again.

"If you want to be an entrepreneur and you don't make a few errors along the way, you certainly aren't going to learn anything or achieve very much."
- Sir Richard Branson.

In the past 5-years i've gone into debt from a failed venture that took me a year to repay, i've gone without the ability to pay my car and credit card installments, and i've had one credit card canceled on me. But putting yourself in a situation that's out of your comfort zone, drives your mind into overtime and amazing things can be achieved when the situation necessitates it (with a little luck!). A small risk worth taking, whats there to lose? And when one door closes, another opens. My latest venture is a product that materialized from the previous failed business - and i'm proud to say that in under 6-months we achieved outstanding profit figures and doubled our staff count, and in 12-months or so we're expanding to a bigger premise. By the 18-month mark, we would've again expanded our team's size. During this economic downturn, we're embarking on an expansion plan and launching an aggressive marketing campaign. Screw the pessimists! The way i see it, IF this venture fails (by god i won't let it!), i can still pick myself up and try again or go back into the corporate world cause it's stil not too late, and have some wonderful experiences and memories to take with me to my golden age.

Wondering why this post? well, a friend of mine has just out-of-the-blue resigned from his very very comfortable job in one of the world's most profitable MNC's (they don't flinch even during the economic downturn!) to pursue a dream. Sacrificing his secure pay cheque, annual bonus and a myriad of benefits (incl. a neat company car) to venture out on his own. And we're backing him with everything we can to help him see his dream come through... To me, anyone willing to step out of their comfort zone and take a risk is already a success in his own right, be it if he makes big bucks or not. As the quote below holds true:-

"nothing happens unless first a dream"
- carl sandburg

Irregardless of what you do in life or how you choose to live it, always remember, "Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away." (Hitch).

1 comment:

e-leen said...

well said. will remember your words and quotes in mind for my future reference :D