5 Life Lessons Learnt From 5 Years of Business

get rich in 2017

 

5 years ago, I quit my job to head-dive into the world of business.  The director of my company discouraged me and told me that if he knew how hard business was, he would have never done it.  Upon hearing that, I got even more excited.

“BRING IT.”

That was the only thought in my mind.

Few years later, I remembered those words.  And boy was I struggling.  But hear me out, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  If you get inspired by what I have written, I dare confidently say: YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK, MY FRIEND.

  1. Make it Count.  You ready? Let’s go.

 

  1. FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS. BUSINESS IS BUSINESS.

One of the earliest lessons I learn about business, I learnt it in Secondary 1. Friendship is important… Friendship is life… without friends, life is worthless.  But in business, you are not in the business of making friends.

 

You are in the business of WINNING.

 

In Sec 1, I joined a class of intelligent but mostly soccer-retarded classmates.  Only 3 people were watching soccer at the time. And most of us only knew how to see a ball and kick it with 60% accuracy.  Naturally, we were the laughing stock of the school and we lost EVERY match.

 

Desperate to recoup our dignity, we had to confront some hard truths.  After some discussion with my most logical best friend, whom I call Logical Tay, we decided to put one of our strikers to be a goalie, and kick our current goalie out.

 

It was the most uncomfortable decision because the goalie couldn’t do anything but stand at a goal and complain and scold the other team mates for his own shortfall.  And our striker would just call out for the ball, dribble horribly, refuse to pass, and lose the ball.  And because our striker was one of those people who watch soccer and support Man U, every other team mate would pass the ball to him.  So the soccer ball goes to him, and he loses it in 2 seconds.

 

After we changed the positions, to the chagrin of these 2 friends, we started winning.

 

In business I made the same mistakes.   I confused friendship with winning.  Partners in business must bring their A game to table.  People who don’t possess the right skills, people who underperform, people with the wrong mindset, people who don’t believe in the mission, people who don’t believe in winning…. They’ve got to go.

 

Letting them go, facing the hard truths, quarrelling, having egos shattered… is part of the process of WINNING.

 

And philosophically speaking, if they are your TRUE FRIENDS, they will come to terms with the mutual decision, and know that friends are friends, and business is business.

 

True friends will stick around and support you no matter how horrible the business separation was.  Because they understand that they have skills… just not the type suited for the industry you are taking on.

 

I say again: YOU ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF WINNING. NOT MAKING FRIENDS.

 

  1. MINDSET IS EVERYTHING

 

Now this is the most cliché phrase in the world of the ultra-rich or entrepreneurship… and I myself didn’t believe it at first… is the mindset shift.

 

Once you decide on the path of entrepreneurship, or on the path of business, or the on the path of success, wealth, domination…or whatever floats your boat…

 

YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IT CAN BE ACHIEVED.

Recession?

I decide I won’t be part of that.

 

Earning enough to get by?

The world is full of riches, it’s your oyster to take.

 

Get rich slow by saving and investing?

Believe in having your cake AND eating it.  You can get rich fast, you can get rich slow, you can do both – just in case.  Just look around you.

 

Setbacks become learning lessons.  Failures become insights.  Breakthroughs become growth hooks.

 

Every day is an experiment.  Every day you try to optimise a process.  Every day you push.  Every day you take a step closer to your goal.  Every day you analyse.  Every day you learn.  Every day you do your best.  Every day you give your all. Every day you spot opportunities.  Every day you plan, scheme and execute.  Every day you go to bed completely spent and used up. Every day you get punched.  But you keep walking forward…

 

Because in your mind, you create your narrative, your story, your future.

 

Your dreams shape your thoughts, your thoughts shape you actions, your actions lead to results.

 

And the results will lead you to your dream.

 

“Whether you think you can or cannot.  You are right.” – HENRY FORD

 

 

  1. PERSEVERANCE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS

 

I nearly quit 1 year back.  Now when I look back, I couldn’t believe what would have happened if I had quit!

 

I would have postponed my dream in the back burner, convince myself that I was doing the adult thing, earning enough just to get by, get rich slow…. You know… the usual boring, average bullshit.

 

But my mind set was do or die.  I am going to keep doing this entrepreneurship path until the day I die.  I cannot imagine life any other way.

 

I had friend offering me a more comfortable and higher paying job.  I had loved ones worry for me and tell me to get an easier life out of love.  I had moments where I put myself on the line, risk embarrassment and getting embarrassed in the process… I had people telling me I will fail, I had countless deals where unscrupulous businessmen try to fuck me over, I had customers who tried to mess with me – ruin my reputation and try not to pay, I had people who laugh at me, I had haters who spam me with bad comments.

 

And you know what, I KEEP ON KEEPING ON – then I got lucky and HIT THE GOLDMINE.

 

Lots of people think I am lucky in life, including myself, and that mind set of being lucky manifests itself into real luck.  So yes, finally, after 5 years later, countless embarrassments, haters, failures, doubters…..

 

I finally got LUCKY.

 

If you sit on your ass all day, watch TV, and talk about how you are gonna be successful without taking any action…. Do you think you will be successful?

 

I think not.

 

Luck favours action.  Wealth is attracted to speed.  And perseverance will lead you to luck which leads you to success.

 

 

 

  1. CONTINUOUS LEARNING IS LIFE

 

Most people stagnate because they stop learning; they stop growing.  They stick to their same old routines, same old habits, that take them nowhere.

 

My breakthrough came when I stopped dealing with petty shit and started learning.  After years of graduating from university, I was a student of life again.  I learned whatever was applicable to being a successful entrepreneur.

 

I read every single entrepreneurship or business book that is recommended by the most successful people.

 

I read biographies of successful people and followed their thought processes, mind sets, habits and actions.  (* hint  –  they are ALL in this post.)

 

During Chinese New Year 2015, I taught myself SEO.

 

Throughout the whole year of 2015, I studied the marketing and sales from the pros.

 

In May 2016, I read an $11 ebook on copy-writing that helped be break through the 5 figure income ceiling.

 

And every month, I complete at least one ebook, and 1 audiobook which I listen to every time when I am driving.

 

To be really successful, mindset, perseverance are good qualities to have… but the market will reward you for your CONTRIBUTION.

 

And you can only contribute with SKILLS.

 

START LEARNING AND AQUIRING SKILLS NOW.

 

Don’t just learn from ‘experience’… it is like banging your head against the wall and trying again… what a slow and painful process!

Start learning from books, courses, podcasts, audiobook…RIGHT NOW.

 

 

  1. THE MORE PEOPLE YOU HELP THE MORE SUCCESSFUL YOU BECOME

 

In the past, my partners and I only care about our goals and ambitions…that was why we failed again and again.

 

To become successful, you must be a servant to your market.  Your customers are your bosses, your staff is your family, your partners must be joined at the hips!

 

I used to complain about customers, I used complain about how I didn’t get what I want, I used to complain about everything…

 

But when I started helping others, I felt a purpose…

 

I felt stronger.

 

I felt abundance.

 

I felt my ego slip away.

 

I felt my fears fade away.

 

I felt the gratitude of the people I’ve helped.

 

I felt their happiness, their tears of joy…

 

And in return…

 

I felt TRUE HAPPINESS.

 

So you want to be really successful?

 

Help others get what they want and YOU WILL GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT.

 

  1. Go. Get. It.

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. Sean

    Hi!!

    I was very inspired by your post and the ones on how to survive at work.

    To be honest I’m terrible at the being fake and bonding with people and I’ve tried quite a bit.

    Would you be able to share on how you generate biz ideas or started your biz? I guess I’m always too risk adverse to start on my biz ideas and lately I see a lot of biz ideas on Instagram etc.

    Reply
    1. Jerry (Post author)

      Hi Sean,

      The ones on how to survive at work is purely for jokes…Please don’t take that advice hahaha!

      (Please don’t be fake at bonding.)

      To generate business ideas:
      1. Be self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses
      2. Have a strong interest or passion in whatever you want to do
      3. Make sure you listen to the complaints and problems of your target customers.
      4. To eliminate risk, the job of the entrepreneur is to create real-life scenarios to ‘test’ the idea. Don’t go dumping 500k to start a cafe…

      5. …I probably should write a post about this if more ppl are interested. If you’are interested, let me know in the comments!

      Reply
  2. PasserBy

    Glad to hear that you have made it.
    Just sharing my thought about ‘true friends’. I think being true friend is ‘mutual’, and it is just that you have chosen business instead of friends.
    Those who don’t share their view and simply support whatever ideas you have are not your true friends.
    Only those who spend time to share their thoughts with you are your true friends.
    Most importantly, you got to be the true friend of others first, before expecting others to be your true friends.

    Reply
    1. Jerry (Post author)

      Hi Passerby,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yup, I agree true friends should speak their mind and the part about being a friend to others.

      But sometimes friends who are good to hang out with can be a real pain to work with. ( I’m sure you know what I mean if you’ve done project work in school.)

      And nope I have not ‘made it’; (That’s a dangerouns mind set to have.)

      I am just getting started.

      Reply
  3. Michele Cooper

    These are some very good life lessons. I think you should be confident in accepting your faults. So that you can learn from the past and thrive towards your goals that faster. In my opinion, its good to take risks in your business, but make sure those risks are calculated, weighing all the pros and cons.

    Reply
    1. Jerry (Post author)

      The entire role of the entrepreneur is to design experiments to test the market to minimise risks. Once you become a master of that – you will get crazy ROI on small ‘bets’.

      Reply

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