Was just reading an article today about an entrepreneur whom in an interview, mentioned he only needed 4 hours of sleep at night because there’s so much to do.
Not linking to that article because that would personally identify said entrepreneur (whose success story and company happens to be one I respect a lot).
My response to that article was to grit my teeth down and think “so young, so foolish.”
With all due respect to entrepreneurs, there need to be fewer articles sensationalizing about how people survive without sleep (or on very little sleep) to achieve success, like as if it’s a badge of pride or something.
I used to be that foolish person. I stayed awake for 48 hours on several occasions back in my heyday – whether to complete projects as a student or to hit a deadline. And then boast happily about it as if I’m so proud of that fact.
Then again, I was a young person who had my life ahead of me. Or so I thought.
5 years and several illnesses later, this late twenty-something has realized that health is not something that is a given. It is a privilege that can be taken away anytime.
And I’m struggling to get it back. Struggling, because what I have now is irreversible and life is now pretty much a “fight to live normally”.
I no longer consider myself an entrepreneur, even though I’m in the founding team of a startup company. My priorities have completely shifted and my health has taken centrestage. You would say that all the fire has gone out of me, and I wouldn’t disagree with you.
Then again, I’m in an extreme situation so I cannot help tutting when reading about how people put their health on the line just to achieve success. Like heyyy, you guys still have your health. Can you please take better care of it?
Youth does not make one immune to the shit that can happen if you take health for granted.
I know everyone defines success differently and for some, their business/work is their life (like it used to be for me). But nothing is worth throwing your health away for.
Please don’t learn the hard way like me, yeah.
/End of my Saturday night random thoughts.
This blog has really bad continuity, I know. It’s September now – 6 months since my last post and unfortunately, 2015 is pretty much like 2014 – defined by the same health struggle, multiple hospitalizations and less than 50% attendance in the office.
I have so many insecurities now, but I’ll save that for a different post on a different day. If I get round to it, that is.
Typing is actually painful so I guess I’ll stop here.
Good night, folks.
‘Starting Now’ is written and sung by local songstress Tay Kewei. It’s the theme song of a current drama serial on entrepreneurship here in Singapore. Titled Start Up!《创!》, it looks into the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship including betrayal. (No forms of betrayal going on in real life, thankfully. (;)
I did this cover on a whim one weekday – because I loved the melody and the lyrics struck so deep a chord I just wanted to sing it. Yes, that is my voice you’re listening to, and me strumming the ukulele in the background.
This is a tribute to you guys, and everyone out there breaking out of the conventional mould and chasing their dreams. Keep pushing on!
Tay Kewei (郑可为) – Starting Now
同样的悔过 同样的脆弱 共同的脉搏
不要再等候 不要再懦弱 命运自己掌握
开创新的以后 下定决心 就绝不退缩
勇闯未来的梦 相信自己 就放手一搏
Starting now 热血 带领我 冒险
同样的借口 同样的节奏 时间不停留
现在是时候 现在就行动 不向现实低头
Mum told me the other day she often had trouble answering the above question – which seems to be thrown left, right, up, down, center whenever she meets anyone.
It was then I realized that the industry I’m in is probably unfathomable to anyone in that generation. The startup scene, with its unstable income and unpredictability is still pretty much frowned upon by the baby-boomers (and any generation beyond that), at least in Singapore where people are generally risk-averse
And of course, mum will probably have to dodge the “why doesn’t your daughter just get a proper job?” question when she does tell them what I really do (which she doesn’t know how to answer anyway.)
So, I gave her a model answer to refer to.
“So, what does your daughter do?”
“My daughter spends her life doing something she’s really passionate about. Something that gives her space to be creative. Something that makes her look forward to going to work every single day.”
“So, what is that exactly?”
“You wouldn’t understand anyway. Since you most probably hate your job.”
Hurhur. I’m such a troll, aren’t I?