#Asia From Archives: Lessons & life hacks that built successful entrepreneurial empires


Moving beyond college degrees and copy-paste business ideas, the Singapore Country Manager of imoney.sg has five fail-safe tips for entrepreneurs


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Editor’s Note: Here’s a story from our archives we feel is relevant even today and deserves your attention.

Entrepreneurs have always been viewed with a fickle balance of awe and scepticism by most working class citizens. However, such working class folks also happen to anonymously share the fear of diving into the realm of entrepreneurship themselves, because they liken its risk factor to that of playing Russian roulette with their careers.

Luckily, one of the few redeeming developments that have accompanied the global economic recession is the resurgence of entrepreneurship among young urban working professionals.

We have a whole new generation of young, self-made billionaire entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerburg, Chad Hurley, Jack Dorsey and Andrew Mason to seek inspiration from. Singapore has also done a great job of capitalizing on this business class Renaissance and helped nurture plenty of successful young professionals who dared to romance entrepreneurship.

Singapore’s homegrown entrepreneur superstars like Chua U-Zyn (Ping.sg), Cheo Ming Shen (Nuffnang), Paddy Tan Lek Han (BAK2U.com), and Chew Choon Keat (SharedCopy.com) were able to punch their tickets out of the 9-to-5 grind by pursuing their dreams and churning a brilliant business model from it. The reason we’re constantly fixated on the personal and professional lives of these dynamic business heroes is because they capture an essence of our own concealed career desires. We’re always keen on feeding this fantasy and exploring what drives these individuals to reach such pinnacles.

So let us treat you to 5 of the most essential and fail-safe life hacks and lessons that shape the enigmatic mind of a triumphant entrepreneur:

1.   What Would You Do If Money Was No Object?
Singaporeans are brought up to believe that attaining a graduate and post-graduate degree is the sole mechanism for cultivating their careers. While school may be cool, it’s unwise to shove it down the throat of students who have unique skills and ambitions that may not reach their culmination by sticking to generic degree programs in an overcrowded job market unrelated to their field of interest.

Your real life path can be determined by just honestly answering this simple question – what would you do if money was no object?

Information is available at the click of a button to anyone with the curiosity to pursue it, and you will encounter no shortage of famous entrepreneurs who dropped out of college and went on to build empires like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, and Steve Jobs

2.   It’s Better to Innovate Than Copy-Paste
The trademark skill of every successful entrepreneur is their ability to identify a niche before the rest of the market and design a product based on it. It’s all about your channelling your instincts based on an observation and asking the right questions before you answer them. It’s what defines their role as a trendsetter.

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Singapore’s Lincoln Cheng used to be a cavalier hippy with a soft spot for music festivals around the world. He went on to launch the legendary nightclub chain known as Zouk simply because he was one of the first ones to identify the evolving electronic music scene and built his business to cater to all the new-age party fans who love this genre of music.

3.   Vision > Ideas
Ideas come a dime a dozen, but vision if what an entrepreneur needs to start putting them into action effectively. The mind is an amazing tool and if you have a goal in sight, you will achieve what you focus on.

Entrepreneurs do not get their work cut out for them as employees do. They have to learn to track, hunt and survive without any supervision. Businesses involve an unpredictable mix of logistics, management and social engineering, which must blend together to fulfil all your deadlines and obligations. This is why decisiveness and time management efficacy are two invaluable skills for all entrepreneurs.

4.   Giving a Global Appeal to Your Products & Services
Thanks to rampant globalization, Singaporeans have developed a strong bias towards foreign brands rather than local ones. Although it may be a challenging hurdle for some entrepreneurs to tweak their products to appeal to broader audiences, it’s not that difficult to do so when you are in the implementation stages of your business idea.

Online businesses are the hotbed of this entrepreneurial renaissance because of the sheer simplicity in conducting business operations, minimal investment in set-up and marketing of your brand, and ultimate flexibility in regards to the scaling of your business model. An online presence for your brand is absolutely critical in keeping your name relevant in today’s age.

5.    Sooner or Later, Delegation is Going to Become Your Best Friend
Entrepreneurs develop their dynamic and influential personalities over time by learning to be a boss, a salesman, and a client at the same time. It’s a hard task for entrepreneurs to give up control and delegate responsibilities when they start off, since they are too paranoid to lose face for a mistake someone else can potentially make and damage their reputation in the process.

Also Read: 5 technology tips for digital startups to cut costs

However, a business cannot expand with such obsessive micro-management, and it is imperative to build trust with your employees in order to be a worthy and productive leader who can nurture his business well.

The author is Country Manager (Singapore) of imoney.sg.

The views expressed here are of the author, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them

e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested to share your point of view, please send us an email to writers[at]e27[dot]co

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