A Post-Christmas Post

It's been a busy Christmas weekend. With an extra public holiday on Monday, I was able to spend more time with my friends than I otherwise would have.

Though we didn't exactly discuss New Year resolutions or next steps, having some casual time was very welcome, especially since we have been very busy over the past few months and only met up sporadically.

It seems that 2017 looks to be a year of great transition. Friends are getting married, doing up their newly-bought homes, planning the next phase of life.

It was a rainy Christmas Eve when I took the picture attached in this post. And it was on that day that I stumbled upon Valuetainment on YouTube, an entrepreneurship-themed channel headed by Patrick Bet-David, as I spent a lot of time over the weekend pondering my next steps.

I spent hours watching the content and found Patrick to be down-to-earth and straight-talking with his advice and knowledge. Truth be told, I wondered why I hadn't come across his channel sooner.

I sent the link to a few of my entrepreneurial-minded friends and continued to learn from the videos. One of Patrick's videos encouraged viewers to download and do a questionnaire on his website. When I looked at the questionnaire, I realised how in-depth it is and how it wants to bring past mindsets, hurts and fears to the surface. 

I have yet to do the questionnaire, but I will over the next few days. I hope to emerge with a better understanding of myself and be clearer in my plans for 2017. Once I'm through with it, I'll likely post an update on what I learned from it. Until then, stay tuned.

You may never see this post, Patrick, but thank you for putting up such great content, and for being so open and generous with your experience.

Rainy Christmas Eve

Meeting Tom Abbott & Nicholas Ong

Last night, I was at the August APTS meeting, where I met a couple of new people and listened to Tom Abbott and Nicholas Ong.

Taken from APTS website: www.aptsg.com

Taken from APTS website: www.aptsg.com

Tom was an emphatic speaker and an expert in sales training. He shared his story and a few points from his signature training material with us. One of the things that struck me was his emphasis on developing expertise - something that I strongly advocate too.

In answering one of the audiences's questions, he mentioned that saying no to training in an area of our non-expertise allows us time and space to focus on our area of expertise. He acknowledges that, at the beginning of our training careers, we will want to take on practically any assignment, just as he did.

However, he reminds us that once we build up our skills and portfolio, we need to specialise so that we can stand out and focus on giving the best of ourselves.

A picture with Tom

A picture with Tom

Nicholas was a very different style of speaker. He was clearly more comfortable speaking in Mandarin, but, through his gallant effort, and the way he made his personal story so relatable, he received a standing ovation. 

His was a story of transformation, how he overcame a past mired in darkness and confusion to emerge as an entrepreneur and speaker. He told us about the hard work he put in to complete his books and his determination to make something of himself. He certainly has. And he isn't resting on his laurels.

Two very impressive speakers with so much experience to share. I'm glad I was there to take it in. I look forward to the next meeting.

A picture with Nicholas

A picture with Nicholas

Entrepreneurs from Other Countries

Over the weekend, I met up with a couple of gem dealers from Sri Lanka. These were different dealers than the ones I met with earlier in April.

While they were mainly here on holiday, they also brought stones because they have clients in Singapore. We got to talking and they told me of the differences in culture between our countries, as well as how differently our countries are run. We discussed the high cost of living here as a trade-off for the safety and security.

They told me that they started their business in gem dealing when they were about 20 years old, which, to me, is particularly remarkable.

If I think back, what was I doing at 20 years old? What are Singaporeans doing in general at 20 years old? In the army (for the guys), in university, or just starting in their first jobs. Yet, here are 2 entrepreneurs who started their business at that age. A number of years down the road, they aren't making millions yet, but they are making a good enough living to be able to travel frequently and live comfortably.

They aren't the first entrepreneurs I've met from other countries and they certainly won't be the last. 

Perhaps their need to 'do or starve' is a driving force behind their hard work. Perhaps they are simply willing to try new things, whether they fail or not. Perhaps they aren't cloistered in their thinking that the only way to survive is to get a 'proper' job and work for the rest of their lives.

Isn't it strange that we have such an incredible economy but such a weak entrepreneurial scene? Perhaps we have it far too easy.