An Inspiring Story in a Small Country.
1. It doesn’t matter where you start, what matters is where you finish. He didn’t do well in school and lost jobs, was down and out before.
2. He had no income for more than a year. And had to sell his 4-room flat to upgrade himself by completing a Master’s degree. If you don’t upgrade and improve yourself, you’ll be stuck where you were.
The beliefs, mindset, skills, know-how that you have brought you so far. But if you want to breakthrough and achieve the next level of success, the first thing to do is to upgrade yourself.
Learn. Continuously. That’s your biggest edge.
3. You can start anywhere, even on a kitchen table. I did that when I was starting out. Many others did that and are doing that too. But make sure you’re not stuck there by being too comfortable.
4. At the beginning, especially when you’re bootstrapping, you have to do every damn thing yourself. Accept it and just get them done. Build good cash flow and a little capital as soon as you can. Then grow by leveraging.
5. He generated $5 million in revenue after 5 years in business. It was ok considering his business is in the construction industry that was booming during those period. Most likely because he was still building foundations.
It was only in his 8th year that things started to scale up quickly.
After his 8th year, his revenue jumped from $10 million to $30+ million to $60+ million, to $80+ million and in 2014 he crossed the $100 million revenue mark.
This is very insightful for those who understand the power of compounding.
Big things don’t happen instantly, like what most are promoting. They often happen after you spend sometime seeding the growth by building a strong foundation.
Often times people want instant gratification, which is why they’re trapped in mediocrity. To build something big takes time. And patience.
Then suddenly when things fall into place, success seems to happen “instantly”. Don’t be fooled by it. It’s an illusion.
Keep your head down, do the work and build.
6. Around his 8th year, he started going into the telcom industry by distributing Singtel phone cards to his customers. Later on he also opened a coffeeshop. Still serving the same market. (Focus)
He also invests in properties later on as well.
He combined high margin but low scalability (training) with low margin but high scalability (Singtel phone cads). This is a pretty good combination that can give you growth and stability.
7. The market can change and you must be adapt enough to take advantage of those changes. When the government and the market changed their focus to a different segment, he also changed his business to focus on serving the market, instead of insisting to offer his old services.
He also benefited massively from the two casino projects and the property boom.
Know your market. Serve them. Grow with them. Don’t get stuck with products or services.
By the way, the market is currently changing as well. For those who are discerning, you’ll be able to take advantage of the trend.
8. Even when things are going well, there can and will always be challenges and failures (lessons). He folded two medical clinics.
There will never be 100% success rate in business unless you’re doing things too slowly or too small scale.
Even Bill Gates and Warren Buffett regularly fail in their ventures. They just manage their failures to keep them small and make sure that their successes are big.
Failures (lessons) are not to be feared. They’re data for you to learn from.
9. The article shows that it took him 15 years from when he started his business to reach to where he is today.
THERE IS NO OVERNIGHT SUCCESS.
But most people forget that he was already putting in the time, effort and money learning and honing his skills for several years before he started his company.
Like what Bill Gates said, “Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade”.
If you want to build a $100 million dollar revenue business, you better start putting in the time and effort, because it’ll take time to reach there.
Even if you’re just aiming for a $10 million dollar business or just a million dollar business, it still starts with you putting in the time and effort. It might take you a shorter time, but you just can’t escape the process.