Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Insights from Minor in Entrepreneurship

About Marriage
From what I heard from the lecturers, some of the most innovative and aspiring young men, they seemed to be skeptical about marriage. There are few disadvantages of marriage for entrepreneur such as lack of freedom to be a risk-taker (since he/she has a family to support financially), difficulties in finding time (since the first priority should be the family), and no room for failure (once the business fail, the house may be sold, the children may postpone school, or even worse, the wife may leave). I must admit this is quite true. However, there are more good sides than bad sides of it, in case we marry a right person. Imagine we were tired after negotiation for a huge tender, and not sure about the result; it would be great to have spouse who hugged, saying everything will happen according to God’s plan, and pray for us. Imagine we were super-excited after doing a great presentation and winning a million-dollar-project; it would be great to call someone who will shout and be even more excited than us. They are people we share our life with, our journey, and our destiny. They will not forbid or prevent us from achieving our visions and dreams, but they will support and help us achieving those. For me, this is the purpose of marriage, being together forever with the one from God who are excited about your visions and dreams, vice versa. From what I learned in a Psychology class, married men are fairly healthier and live longer than those who choose not to marry. For women, this is not the case, the health and life expectation is about the same.
I am sure you’ll find a good one for yourself, if you ask God. God has given one for each of us :)

About Being Nice
One quote that I remembered is “It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.” I strongly agree with this. This is quite similar to another quote I’ve heard: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. By being nice and caring, people will remember us and count us as a friend. This is important because someday, they might have a project and offered us to help, since they trust us. If we need their help, assistance, or information, we can also approach them, and they will regard us as a friend rather than a competitor. However, being nice does not mean being a yes-man. We must be assertive and able to voice out our opinion, without offending others. I really respect nice people, those that hold the door for a person behind, those who pick up garbage (not theirs) and throw it away, those who greet their friends cheerfully, those who offer seats for older people, those who buy tissues from old men at MRTs and streets, those who donate for disaster, the long list goes on... I believe in karma; whatever we do, it will goes back to us.
This somehow relates to entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs seek to change the world, doing innovations here and there, improving lives by their products and services. In this sense, entrepreneurs do help people. And through the profits, it goes back to them. By being customer-oriented, they do better and consequently, their sales increase. In any areas, whether good areas like logistics, tuition, school, or “bad” areas like casino and prostitution, they all provide their best service for users, they be “nice”. This “niceness” is going to make them important. One example could be TATA; it is trying to raise a generation of young leaders through its programmes and competitions. As a result, the company become renowned and gain trust from communities as well as youth.

About Friendship
I fostered good friendship with my minor in entre teammates. Since this module encouraged learning, I purposely find things to learn from my teammates. One of my teammate is very straightforward, she speak whatever she has in mind. From her, I learn to be more communicative. I voiced out my opinions and make sure the decisions taken are logical and well-calculated. The other one is funny and friendly, he throws jokes. There is one really good and fast in calculation, I always ask him to sum up the market size and everything. And there's a very nice girl, she constantly asks “What can I help?”. I really appreciate that. Though I have not worked with them before, I enjoyed the module together with them. This taught me not to judge a book by its cover, not to decide and make assumptions before really understand a person. When we don’t know a person, it is impossible to like or love them. Vice versa, we should not dislike or hate a person we don’t know.

About Motivation
Lots of seniors said that certain module is very tough; there will be lack of sleep and more conflict. Less slack, more crack. I personally feels it is not as stressful as it was described. Yet to go through the difficulties, such as preparing for VC fair and presentation, reading through the extensive manual, we all need motivation. There are two types of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is from outside of ourselves, such as grades, money, fame, and position. Intrinsic motivation is from inside, such as personal satisfaction, autonomy, purpose fulfillment, and mastery of skills. I am very sure that intrinsic motivation is the key to survive, persevere, and finally succeed. It is true that grades and money will make people work hard day and night, there is not much difference in the process of achieving; they all seem to be striving. Yet from what I learn, those whose motivation is extrinsic, tend not to be as happy and contented when the goal is achieved. For a while, maybe, but not for a long time. Once we get the grades, money, and fame, that’s it. So what? In this situation, people start being stressful. They’ll finally know that all those things are not everything. They are not happy. Even worse, they start doing illogical things, buying handphone made of gold and diamonds, having 10 sport cars in the garage while only 3 people staying in the house, etc. This is what I saw. In the contrary, people who achieve success based on intrinsic motivation, they continues. Once they become very skillful in what they do, they seek to fulfill their purpose even more, There is happiness in whatever they do, and they inspire others along the way.
One example could be Jamie Oliver, a celebrity cook from England. He is very famous in England, he has the skills, fame, money, everything he need. Yet he seek success based on his intrinsic motivation of helping people in America to fight obesity through cooking from scratch. He does it to save lifes. He survive, persevere, and started Food Revolution Movement from Huntington, West Virginia. His journey has not finished. By being successful in doing that, he is very satisfied. But his journey never end, he need actions from all American schools, homes, and regulators to continue what he started. This brings me to share about destiny.

I strongly believe in destiny. Everyone has a reason of being made. That reason is special, given by the creator, and unique. To know why we are here on earth, we must ask our creator. We may also look at our strength, abilities, interests, and environment; everything is there for a purpose. Based on any motivation book, having clear, written, and confessed goals will enhance probability of achieving that goal. Hence, when we know our purpose, we should write, speak, and develop a plan for achieving it. All these are also related to other people. This purpose will benefit other people in the end.
I have a purpose in life: Bringing glory to God by benefiting others in need through my money, organization, and skills. However, this ‘vague’ purpose does not state what I want to be. It can be entrepreneur, doctor, chemist, social worker, HR manager, sales executive, anything. I have been thinking along the way of entrepreneurship and social worker, in area of language, including foreign language, writing, reading, and entrepreneurship skills. This is how I prepare myself; I joined NTU SIFE (Student In Free Enterprise) to overseas project, I registered as SGCares volunteer, I donate a part of my earning to Soup Kitchen, I learned German language and went for an exchange, I study hard to see more of the world through getting scholarship overseas, I do research project in school about Book and Paper preservation using chemicals, I work part time in library to see how it works, I also work freelance as ghostwriter, I was Head of Media and IT in NTU Indonesian Student Organization and I am saving money specifically for this social thing I am going to do. Through this Minor in Entrepreneurship, I confirm that I will be an entrepreneur; having good products, improve lives, and enjoy doing it. I really enjoy my time in this course.

About Planning
Fail to plan = plan to fail. All success is intended. Big success are never accidental.
These sentences are TRUE. I don’t know which one is true. It is either the demand followed my scratch on tactical plan, or my tactical plan just magically accurate. The projected demand differs less than 10%, which made me kind of wondering about the power of written goals. The tactical plan was developed in quarter 5, after VC Fair, edited here and there. And we achieved it! We even exceeded it by a bit.
From this experience, I learn that written goals, plans, and projections have supernatural powers. It somehow comes true. I guess there is a book called “The Secret” by Rhonda Bryne talking about this. The book mainly focuses on the secret of having positive mindset and thoughts, which will attracts positive things to ourselves. This whole idea of detailed planning and positive thinking related to our business and success in life excites me. I will continue planning and executing things in my life. Big plans, small plans, other people’s plans. Specifically in the field of entrepreneurship, there is business plan. I want to be adept in tailoring business plans. Though I was not born a good planner, I know it is very important and hence, I will strive to have a mental map of my life and plan it well.

Success is when opportunity meets preparation. All people want to be successful, but not many are willing to pay the price. Oh please, my dear friend, get off your lazy ass and prepare.
All the best!!!

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