Archive for category Wealth

The man who treated his own spinal cord injury and walked again.

The man who walked again.

The man who walked again.

I was about to retire to bed when I saw the following headline on Gizmodo – Frank Reynolds Treated His Own Spinal Cord Injury and Walked Again. I just had to read the article and watch the TEDxBoston video attached.

To cut a long story short, Frank Reynolds was paralyzed way back in 1992 due to a spinal cord injury. Doctors told him that his situation could not improve. He watched the movie Lorenzo’s Oil about a couple from a non-medical background that stunned the medical world by discovering a cure for their son’s illness. He was inspired. He researched neurosurgery and spinal cords. He tested a new procedure on himself. He walked again.

Now he has gone even further – he started up a new company, InVivo and is currently looking for investors for its IPO.

All I can say is – WOW. He overcome something that most people would have just accepted as plain bad luck with pure determination, willpower and creativity. He took his misfortune, turned it around and is now preparing for an IPO with it. Making lemonade with lemons indeed.

Just when I was feeling stuck with the implementation of my business ideas, along comes this video, out of nowhere, to inspire me once again.

Watch this space.

Awesomeness is returning.

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Why I won’t work for a large, established firm when I first graduate.

Just how fun work can be when you do it right.

Just how fun work can be when you do it right.

When I talk to my friends about my entrepreneurial aspirations, sometimes they tell me that they want to start their own businesses too. However, most of the time, I hear that response with one short caveat – that they’ll only do so after a few years of working experience in some large multinational company, supposedly to gain experience and to be more financially stable.

I never quite agreed with that line of thought and by beliefs were further confirmed when my supervising professor for my professional attachment paid me a visit at the Jipaban office. My supervising professor had been involved in dot coms since way back before the turn of the millennium, before the dot-com crash, and was extremely eager to hear all about the Jipaban.com.

Somewhere in our conversation, he mentioned this – that he had many students who also similarly told him that they wanted start their own businesses. When he asked them how they were working towards their aspirations, they told him that they’ll go start out working for a large, stable firm, gain experience and finally come out, 10 years later and start out a business of their own.

His reply was simple. It was – why do you think that the experience you gain at working for a large firm would be the most relevant to your future entrepreneurial exploits in the future? Really, would experience in spending your day focused on solving someone else’s problems and working on making that person rich be the best teacher at teaching how to make yourself rich? I really don’t think so.

Why I don’t believe that this is the way to go.

When you work for someone, it’s your job to make your boss rich, not the other way around. Always remember that.

When you spend the majority of your time thinking about how to maximize someone else’s profit and not your own, I believe that it’s easy to get caught up constantly focusing on that issue and not on what’s efficient – increasing your personal wealth and working towards financial freedom. Working to make others rich is vastly different from working for yourself.

When you work for yourself, you make all the decisions, but you reap all the benefits (and losses) incurred by your actions; when you work for others, an artificial safety net is put under you. When you work for yourself, it’s so much easier to be motivated to understand every aspect of your business – you try to understand it from a macroeconomic point of view, you analyze customer feedback, you check the data religiously; when you work for others, that kind of intense motivation to master the business just isn’t there.

I believe that the only way to really teach yourself business is to immerse yourself inside a business that you really care about, and experience the pure joy of working hard to make it all come together. That’s just something I don’t see happening much if you decide to work at a large firm where the red tape just ties you down.

The red tape, politics, and artificial safety net does more than limits your potential to shine, but I also believe that it is one more additional barrier that stands in the way of you learning good business habits. Getting used to the wrong level of thinking, a totally different level of decision making, would not only hold you back but may go on further to negatively affect the business decisions you make! You may have been better off starting with a blank slate as you might have incorrect perceptions and habits you may have acquired about business by immersing yourself inside an employee culture!

Money ties you down.

Another reason I don’t want to apply for a job in a big multinational the moment I graduate is because money just ties you down. Holding a high paying, “stable” job is quite a bit like giving in to the urge to just lie down in an extremely comfortable sofa – it’s really comfortable to get into it, and very hard to get out.

I have always believed that the worst thing that can happen to someone is to get too comfortable. When you’re too comfortable, there’s nothing forcing you to get faster, smarter and better – you just take it easy. As a result, you just end up sloppy, lazy and inefficient.

Life’s short – you gotta be efficient.

All in all, I strongly feel that working for someone else just happens to be the roundabout way of doing things should you want to start your own business in the future. I believe that it’s not only inefficient, but also that being trained to be a good employee might not make you a good boss. I guess that’s exactly why I’m so happy during my internship over the past 10 weeks at Jipaban – I’m right on track to getting to where I want to be.

Now I’ve just got to apply those lessons I’ve learnt with diligence and focus!

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The Power of Problems

You get them to work for you!

What do you do about your problems?

Life can be hard, and no living person can claim to have gone through life without facing problems.

What really matters however, is the way that we treat our problems. Do we treat our problems as something that frustrate us, piss us off and cause us to hurt emotionally, or is there a more empowering way of looking at problems?

Yes there is.

Problems can be immensely empowering when you look at them the right way. Instead of letting them piss you off, ask yourself this simple question – how can I help others solve this problem that I now face in an easy and efficient manner?

The fact of the matter is that if you’re facing a problem, it is highly unlikely that you’re the only person out there hurting because of that particular problem. Think about it, almost every problem that you face in your daily life has been encountered by countless other people before. The reality is that the problem persists because no one out there has taken the initiative to solve it in a creative and effective manner.

So go solve it! The greatest thinkers, the greatest entrepreneurs, the greatest contributors to society are men who felt that they could not accept the status quo and took it upon themselves to do something about mankind’s problems! Solving a previously unsolved problem is a sure-fire way of adding great value into the lives of others and is in fact a fundamental part of entrepreneurship.

Find a problem, apply a generous helping of creativity and thought to it, and who knows, maybe it’ll be your next big business idea!

The next time you start to feel frustrated when something goes wrong with your life, know that you have the power to turn it around and convert that problem into a gift, a resource of new insight and value that you can use to improve your current circumstance.

That new girl you hired just suddenly quit on you? Do you get all hot and bothered about it, or do you think about how you can create a system that reduces the probability of hiring such irresponsible people?

Another irritating person flaming you and your business on Facebook? Do you start whining about how irritating such immature people are, or do you think about how you can go about converting that vocal dissenter into your most ardent fan?

Don’t let that treasure trove of great ideas go to waste. Keep a record of the different problems you face every day and spend some time thinking about how to solve them and improve the overall human condition.

Everyone loves a problem-solver because such people add immense value into our lives. So decide to stop being someone who complains about problems today and become a problem-solver instead. You’ll be a problem solving master in no time if you spent some time thinking creatively about solutions every time you face a problem. Now to start thinking creatively about how to pack for my trip back home later today…

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The millionaire club

Just read this online on www.straitstimes.com and I felt that it was really inspiring.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, the two countries with the highest growth of millionaires over the last year are the two countries that I’m based in - Singapore with a 35% increase in millionaires from 2009 to 2010 and Malaysia with a 33% increase! Read the full article here.

This is amazing!

That millionaire dream is possible. Just gotta work at it one step at a time, building the necessary competencies to achieve my objective.

That’s all there is to it.

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Motivation Secrets

What motivates a man?

Conventional wisdom tells you that people react to tangible, material rewards. The bigger the carrot you dangle in front of a person, the harder they work. So is it true that the more money you put in front of a person, the harder they work?

Well, this very interesting video suggests otherwise.

Ain’t this presentation style just so awesome? I just couldn’t bring myself to stop watching it!

Anyway, the main takeaway for this video was this – what people really want isn’t money. It’s really things like autonomy over their work, a sense of mastery as well as being in a position to¬†make a contribution.

I’m not saying that money isn’t important, it still is, but when people start getting sufficient money to meet their needs, it really isn’t what’s going to push them to run that extra mile.

Remember this, economists – human beings aren’t just profit maximizers, we’re purpose maximizers too.

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