Born in Malaysia, raised in New Zealand but made in Australia, I was born an entrepreneur. Both of my parents ran businesses when I was little, instilling in me the spirit of entrepreneurship and financial confidence.
In fact, at just 11 years old, I learnt my first lesson in entrepreneurship: the market only pays for results. I got paid NZ $25 to deliver newspapers to 250–300 households throughout the often cold and wintery climate of Wellington, New Zealand, during which the only concern from the news agent was the output I produced.
It was tough work but the desire to never have to ask for pocket money gave me the endurance. While I no longer put forth the same physical effort or endure undesirable weather, the grit I learnt continues to serve me well today in my business and life successes.
And that grit stayed with me.
Throughout my adolescence, I worked almost every weekend and during school holidays as a waiter to earn my pocket money. It was hard labour working at a busy 300-seat restaurant.
Being paid $25 for a five-hour shift and realising that my boss’ turnover was $5,000 (circa year 1990), I had an epiphany: no matter how hard I worked, profits were better than wages, and whilst wages could reward me with self-confidence, profit could give me freedom. And so, it was affirmed that running a business was the key to my success.
However, that passion quickly plummeted because the odds were stacked against me. English was my second language and every word I spat out was so broken that I had to use sign language. It was evident that I was lacking verbal eloquence; worst, I was a C-grade student at best in the courses that mattered. Furthermore, I was a racial minority in both Wellington, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia, where we resided later when I was 17 years old.
I was faced with two difficult options: accept my disadvantages and throw in the towel or work hard and take massive action to evolve myself by consuming the right education. I took the latter.
When I graduated from La Trobe University, I knew that my odds of getting the most coveted position were slim. Like many fresh graduates, I could have ended up with an entry-level job if I was lucky. So, unwilling to settle for less, I headed straight to my university’s library after my final exam and spent hours researching and studying the art of communication. One day, it so happened that a job opportunity came up. I applied, delivered an outstanding response, and landed myself a near-six-figure income (in today’s time) that catapulted me seven years ahead of my fellow classmates who were more eloquent than I. With that level of high income, I was able to invest in properties, attend weekend seminars and take other self-development training. Entrepreneur lesson #2: luck is equal to opportunity plus preparation!
Nevertheless, like most jobs, it was not what I thought it would be. It quickly led to pure boredom: there was lack of growth and what felt like an intellectual suppression of my true potential. I felt deflated and drained, and my entrepreneurial spirit wanted out! And that was when I decided to pump more resources into self-development: buying, acquiring, and consuming the latest business and marketing training courses from the United States; attaining another academic degree; attending more seminars and night classes; getting coached by business consultants and advisors; and continuously consuming hundreds of hours of expert content.
Eventually, that investment of time and money paid off and led to my next step: the purchase of my first “build, grow & sell” business venture. From that, I went on to repeat this process again and again where I built, grew, and sold multiple businesses throughout my 10+ years of business life without any business partners or venture capitals.
Although I had already attained a humble “financial independence” status, I was at my prime and hungry for more success. Unlike others who sit on the beach and sip margaritas after they have gained financial independence, I was even more thirsty for knowledge and began to spend my excess time consuming more expert content on business and marketing. I did this to the extent that I was addicted to learning, intoxicated with possessing more information, and obsessed with knowledge…
… until covid-19 hit and snapped me out of my delirium for my thirst for knowledge. My passive income plummeted drastically. My lettable assets were empty, existing tenants were unable to pay rent and some terminated early to seek a cheaper property. Overall, my rental properties were vacant, and I had to drop my rent radically to secure new tenants.
Well, I spent some quiet time pondering on how Covid-19 has disrupted my conventional thinking, which was, that property investment is the undisputed passive income generator, and Covid proved it wrong.
I continue to spend some time in solitude and kept asking myself, what is something that I love doing (i.e., knowledge seeker and teaching it), and that I’m good at (e.g., business and marketing), that the World needs it and willing to pay for it (business & marketing help)?
Aha. Another epiphany.
And that resulted in the launch of Business Ignite – a business and marketing firm designed to help business owners optimise, market, and grow their businesses.
After more than a decade of running businesses and consuming both academic and scholarly education and training, I found it obvious that most businesses operate on the same framework and growth strategies, which can be modified and applied on any similar business models if I wanted to replicate the same success – which I did many times. I also discovered that few business owners had the time, privilege, resources, or the right condition to spend hundreds of hours digesting business and marketing content and training. Therefore, I have made it my life mission to become a resource powerhouse that helps business owners and entrepreneurs can depend on to increase their likelihood of their business success.
I can do this by helping them optimize, grow, and market their business using the knowledge, tools, strategies, and skills that I’ve acquired throughout my years in setting up, growing, and selling businesses.
And I have put some of these strategies on a free training on how to do just that.
Register for the quick training on how I was able to, metaphorically speaking, put $1 to kickstart the business, and get $6 to $9 back when I sell. And in between the years of business ownership, how It has helped me create Time-Wealth, knowledge-wealth, and cashflow.