This is my cute wifey (Phoebe Yap) … before I met her, my life was sucked. It was dark, cloudy, and meaningless. Her innocent smile melts my heart every single time she does it. 

I still remember the day she told me that she was pretty much an introvert who hardly traveling around. She wanted to end her otaku’s lifestyle. Immediately, I promised her that I will explore the world together with her! 

She is the main reason for me to walk the entrepreneur path despite having a comfortable corporate life because the only way for me to have both time and money to travel around the world with my family in a frequent manner is beyond a corporate career. Maybe it’s just me. I have nothing against employment. It’s steady. it has a lesser risk. Especially during pandemic like this where employees are still able to draw out salary without much worried. 

It’s not an easy decision to walk out of my career at my peak and venture into a completely different world of entrepreneurship when I have a newborn daughter, 2 mortgage loans, and other debts. My friends were puzzled, my parents were worried, my in-laws were probably worried too. 

Despite being experienced in IT, I am not a salesperson! I am an introvert “IT guy” who just keep my head down and doing works quietly in a corner, probably no one ever notices. My wife is a damn good web designer but she is autism, which is worst than an introvert. How would 2 introvert entrepreneurs going to survive in the hardship of the startups’ life?

At the start of this lockdown period. We practically lost more than 98% of our income. The startup company we co-founded was no longer able to pay us salaries. We have clients who stopped paying us because they were financially in trouble, closed down, or simply stopped all the digital marketing activities to conserve cash.

Things go from bad to worst when our water tank starts leaking, auto gate stop functioning, our car’s battery went dead and the BNI chapter that I joined crippled due to heavy dropouts. It was extremely stressful for a family guy like me whose primary goal is to put food on the table for my family. I would satisfy with just looking at their smile.

Did I panic? I didn’t. Why? I simply have no time to do so! absolutely no time!

What I did was putting things that I have been learning and preparing for months in practice. Sorting out short and mid-term goals to survive and thrive. As a result, I had managed to achieve my short term goal, and my midterm goal is on the right path. I am not going to share exactly how much I had made or how many deals I had managed to closed during this period of time because I am not writing this to brag about my result. Anyway, this result might not be significant for many people. But, it’s still a win for us.

So, what am I going to share with you here? During this pandemic, I have friends or relatives who feel lost. They wanted to venture into entrepreneurship but are unsure of whether this is the right time and whether they can make it.

First of all, when would ever be the right time for a normal guy (who doesn’t have a rich uncle or investor to back them up financially) to start a business? The answer is – yesterday. Yeah, you didn’t hear me wrong. If you are broke and there’s no easy money falling from the sky for you then you need to act now, right now! Not tomorrow, not wait until this pandemic has gone over because no one will ever know when is this going to be over. According to some scientists, COVID-19 would be like seasonal flu and stay among us for years if not forever. 

So now, you know that you should start a business. The next thing is what you want to do which can give values to your society and by doing so, make money out of it. Don’t start a business merely because you want to make money. You might be able to make some money out of it at the beginning stage, but there’s hardly any momentum that you can build to change your life forever. 

So, what’s next? Stop doing things that you know deep down that wouldn’t change your life. Start having discipline in your life. Don’t do things only when you feel like doing it. Do things that can help you even when you don’t feel like it! Like my idol – Sabri Suby said, kill the little bitch in your heart that stops you from doing what you are supposed to do. 

Start investing in yourself heavily so that you can become someone who deserved to be successful, and no one can stop you from doing so. The most direct way is to identify who can coach or train you so that you can have the skills and mechanic to be successful in business, and join their coaching program. The benefit of doing so is to cut short your learning curve. It’s way easier for you to achieve your goal by following proven strategy, tactic, and skill instead of learning from your trials and errors. 

What if you don’t have the money right now? Well, speaking from experience, learning from a coach does makes a difference. But, if you really don’t have the money to do so, invest with your time to do self-learning via books, relevant videos, and podcasts. No matter how you need to keep investing in yourself by keep learning. All the greatest leaders in the world never stop learning. If they are not stopping, why should we, right?

Opportunity only comes to those who are prepared. As a normal guy who doesn’t have a rich family, self-improvement is one extremely important step to get yourself prepared for your next big breakthrough. This is the number one reason why I’m able to achieve my goals during this pandemic. 

One of my coaches – Jonathan Quek once said that an entrepreneur is like a gladiator. We have to go out there and win the match to survive, and do this every single time! 

An entrepreneur’s road is one with a lot of ups and downs. If you have the capital, you invest in the systems, coaching, and processes that can give you the result. If you don’t have the capital, you invest human capital into your business which is effort, time, sweat into the business to grow it up. There are no two ways about it. Don’t look for a shortcut, magic wand, silver bullets and that’s sort of thing. There’re only these two roads you have to go down about it.