Tag Archives: Mark Twain

An Open Letter

This is an open letter to my cofounders, my cofounders to be, my colleagues, my colleagues to be, my partners, and all my awesome friends.

This is our time.

With the advancement of technology and access to the internet, everything that we need to build the things that we want has never been so easily accessible before. New applications and technologies are built everyday and things which were once hard to be built which needed deep knowledge of how the different web technologies work are now easily accessible. There is an app for everything. However, just as every tools needs a master craftsperson to use it, it is up to us to leverage all these abundant resources. This is our time to use them to equip ourselves and prepare for opportunities that might knock on our doors soon.

“This is our time. Until that time stops – for one of us, for both – it is our time. Now. Will you waste it, because you are afraid?”
― Diana GabaldonDrums of Autumn

Why should we care?

Because we are more empowered than ever before to make things happen, the only time in our life that we can focus and do the things which matters, for the ones we care, for our family, and for the society. We only have 60-70 years of our life, and do we want to live our life 30 years from now regretting that we did not try harder when we were in our prime time? If there is a time where we can make this happen, the time is now, because as we grow older, we will be bogged down with responsibilities such as family commitments. We should care because we are capable of making an impact to the ones that matters to us, to make a change and contribute to the society, and to make meaning to our lives.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

- Mark Twain

What we have to do?

Seth Godin says this: Pick yourself. If you want to start a movement, start it. If you want to publish a book, publish it. It is up to us to be focused, and believe in the things we do, and make them happen. But we have to be fast, because time slips by second by second, minute by minute as we procrastinate, and it is yet another weekend today. We have to be focused. We have to want it bad enough. Because there are a lot of amazing people out there making it happen right now as you read this, and they are hungry and motivated. We have to be willing to sacrifice the comfort, security, uncertainty, because success seems to be a matter of holding on when others have forsaken you and when other have given up. We have to be constantly moving forward bit by bit everyday.

“Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself.” 
― Seth Godin

This is our time. Lets work together, and make things happen.

This represents a personal opinion and if you have read this far, you should follow me on Twitter. Also, always love to help and grab coffee with anyone!

Getting started during university life

Many would agree that the best years in life are actually during our University life. Therefore, it would be a waste if one were to sail through the 4 years of university life in a mundane way.

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1. Do something. Anything.

So if you are still in University, do something, anything. Seth Godin too puts it in his recent interview that you have to pick yourself:  “You want publish a book, publish it. You want to sing a song, sing it. You want to start a movement, start it.”  Mark Twain has my favourite quotes of all time, which I always remind myself:  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

2. Get out of your comfort zone and meet more people

Most of us are preprogrammed to be in our comfort zone because we are brought up that way. When we are in university, it is common for us to stick with a bunch of friends where we are comfortable with from our year 1 till our final year. What a lot of people don’t realize is that once you explore beyond your own social circle, there is a higher possibility to cross path with someone that shares the same ambition as you. Also, when you meet new people, you could share with them your ideas and get real customer validation. It is this spirit of stepping out of your comfort zone and meeting new people that will help kick start your business ideas.

3. Get a good Mentor

Another tip to getting started is to find a good mentor.  The role of the mentor is to give you advices from his own experiences as well as pointing you at the correct direction. Your mentor could also open up a few doors for you and introduce you to some key individuals in the community. With a mentor, mistakes that could be detrimental can be avoided. Of course, the question is, how do you find these mentors? One way is to go for events and talk to them. Don’t be afraid to approach these prospective mentors because they, like yourself, are usually comfortable in talking to people.

4. Just do it

Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths. If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy who actually is. A lot of times its not because things are difficult that we dare not, it’s because we dare not that things are difficult. So if there is something that you want to do but you are held back, you should go ahead with it because there is really nothing to lose.

5. Read a lot

With the advancement of technology as well as the ease of information sharing on the web, it is crucial for us to get updated with what is happening around the web and around the world. This facilitates learning as well as sharing of information, leveraging on the wisdom of the crowd to know what works and what does not work. Reading a lot can also help identify trends and new business ideas and models which could be used to refine your startup idea.  Other than just reading, one should cultivate the habit of reading everyday because there are too much content on the web nowadays, and if you stop for one day, you would miss out quite a lot that is happening in the local community as well as the global community.

Helping yourself

I was sharing with my younger sister yesterday about helping oneself.

I remembered when I was back in Shanghai for the NOC programme, a friend once shared with me,

If you cannot even help yourself, nobody can.

So true.

Also wanna share 2 quotes:

There are only 3 days in our life: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. And the only one which you can work on is Today

20 years down the road, you will be more disappointed with the things that you did not do Today

So yeap, work on the things that you are supposed to do today that you told yourself to do it tomorrow. =)