In life, most of the time we are not able to follow a script from the beginning till the end. Along the way, there are different people that comes into your life. Some made an impact, some don’t.
I joined a German MNC in the smart card industry shortly after I graduated in 2000, as a R&D software engineer. I had a colleague HK who is 5 years older than me. We became very good friends and often went out for supper after work. Being the older and more experienced one, HK shared with me things about the real working life. I started to think beyond the daily job and asked myself what should be my career path. I was lamenting about how IT specialist and technical personnel weren’t properly recognized in Singapore and often encountered bottle-neck which forced them to switch over to project management instead. And there was very limited freedom in expressing your creativity. Programmers were basically white-collar workers who performed the instructions of the management. One thing I remembered HK told me was: “Don’t think about doing anything else. Follow your passion. You are born to be a software developer.”
That was probably the first time my passion and ability was firmly recognized. And HK was probably the first influencer that led me to holding on to my passion. And I started to toy around with the idea of starting my own company, or pursuing a software developer career in the states (where I presumed would be more recognized).
So if you are reading this now and feel that you have a real passion for entrepreneurship, I would like to put forward the following quotes from Mark Twain:
“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.”