Three years of doing KICKSTART, where we gather about 250 entrepreneurs once a month to network and learn from mentors, and personally running a few businesses (failed four at least) for 12 years, you wanna know the truth? I get kinda icky feeling when I’m called an entrepreneur.
3 months after the divorce, I’ve been dating again, and there was this girl who I felt a connection with. As I was pretty nervous (the last time I dated, we still used the payphone, so go figure), I asked my buddy Anthony, who’s a Harvard grad, reads a lot of social dynamics, charismatic around women, personal growth enthusiast, so I figured he can give me a tip or two on the date.
At the end of the date, hug her, smell/sniff her hair and give her a kiss on the cheek.
I can tell you even now most Malaysian dudes (Anthony is Malaysian-born but grew up in the land down under. No, not Singapore you idiot, Australia!) will cringe at that suggestion, and said what I said “That’s stupid!”
So when I was supposed to be finishing my slides for a guest-lecture for a University I drop out from (yeah, I know, it warrants another blog post), I sort of kepoh (1) a bit a overheard this hot, smart, funny, gorgeous Malaysian young lady having such a good time conversing, laughing, flirting and touching with an ang moh (2) dude.
Then I remembered a couple of hot, smart, funny, gorgeous Malaysian girl friends who are either married to or dating ang moh dudes too, and I did ask them why not give the local boys a shot. Now, here’s a compilation of the age-long survey. Now, please bear in mind these are just opinions of a few and does not reflect every Malaysian guy, but if you terasa (3), well, maybe you are the few? ;p
Have you ever been in a relationship where you both kinda know it’s not gonna work, and yet, you put effort into it hoping it will work? Hey, sometimes it does work, i.e. flame rekindled, better than ever, block-your-calendar-we’re-getting-married. If these describe you, go read something else. Some conspiracy to over throw the PM, what stuff can and cannot be stored in the first lady’s hair, or if RM42b were changed into 50 sen coins, how many rubber balls you can fill you bed room with (HINT: You’ll be buried alive).
Cos the rest of the article is for those who didn’t have those kinds happen. (No, not talking about the PM)
Here’s a story of how letting it go turned out to be a better thing, but before that, as a dude, let me tell you why dudes generally hold on to the relationship.
We hate competition, yet, we were moulded by the concept since school. No, this is not another shot at the public school system. This is also not on how some of us grow out of the condition of the old, while others may not grow at all.
We can’t go through life alone. That’s why we made friends, and sometimes, if we’re lucky, we picked a special someone and made him or her, well, the special someone. Sometimes you marry them, sometimes it’s just a commitment of the heart, but regardless, they have become your life partners.
Then the clash sometimes happens. See, some friends had been with you since the beginning of time (ok, a bit of exaggeration, but you get the point). They stick with you through thick and thin, through your ups and downs. Some you lost contact for ages and yet after meeting them again, the friendship rekindled, as if it never stopped at all. We’re fortunate to have friends like that – through the victories and fuckups, through the heartbreaks and triumphs, through the wounds and recoveries.
Competition, special someone, friends, so where does that lead us?
At the end of this blog post, I predict that two things will happen. And if you’re the smart ass who thinks, “Better scroll to the end now and read them predictions!”, then I’ll predict something else.
You’ll scroll back up here again.
Yup, welcome back.
Here’s the thing. Over the few years, I have to admit that the number of “startup entrepreneurs” are increasing, and initially, I felt proud. You see, when I started doing this glamour thing called entrepreneurship over a decade ago, hardly would I meet people my age. (Yeah, one of the reasons why we started KICKSTART back then was because I’m tired to seeing entrepreneurs my dad’s age at networking events. They so love to wear those ties and suits.) But now, I do. May it be at an event at an awesome hall, a meetup at the top floor of a tall building or at a workshop deep in the hearts of Cyberjaya, I see youngsters dominating the crowd, and that made me feel happy.
For a while. Until you deep dive a bit.
I was told, as I can recall during my days as a novice monk, that there was once two villages during the time of the Buddha, that were about to go to war over ownership of a river. You see, kampung (village) A was on like the top left bank of the river, and kampung B was on the lower right. Don’t know how it started (although I suspected kampung A start doing their shit in the river), but as the tension of a simple argument built, the two kampungs decided to go at it. Swords were drawn, battle axes sharpened, armour plates checked for rust, Hans Zimmer battle music full on.
After a killer breakfast in the busy corner of Seminyak, Bali (seriously, the place is called Corner House because, well, it’s around the corner), I’m faced with a life-changing crossroad – do I nap, work, or write something? After (pretend) working for like 3 hours, I decided to shift place and shift gears. I moved upstairs and do this writing shit.
One (coaching) question I recently liked to ask aspiring entrepreneurs or wantrepreneurs is:
What are your bankable skills?
If you ever enter my home, perhaps you’ll notice the altar with a broken statue of a Buddha. Here’s the predicament. Unlike other broken things you can easily be disposed of, any religious symbols, once broken, are always hard to throw away properly.
More so, when it’s personal.
It’s 7.30pm. Hundreds of KICKSTARTers were already in the Hall of Awesomeness. Unlike the previous KICKSTARTs we had ran for the past two years, there wasn’t hip hop music blasting through the speakers. The usual video loop of our great community sponsors were not being projected. Cameras weren’t setup, registration was messy, and every one was in the dark.