How to Battle the Green Monster of Entrepreneurship

There are only a couple of green monsters out there. It’s not the Hulk, or how your private parts looked like after being stung by an exotically fatal jungle hornet*.

No, I’m talking about the one inside you (again, dude, not the one in your pants).

Yeah, let’s talk about jealousy.

So here’s the scenario.

You are scrolling through your Facebook timeline at 3.04am on a chilly Monday morning, and you see:

  1. Your friend’s startup raised USD1mil
  2. That other dude won another hackathon and another free trip to the Valley to yumcha with Mark Zuckerberg
  3. Your college roommate flying off for another holiday again, after the three he has already done in the past 2 months
  4. Your ex-colleague got nominated for an entrepreneurship award
  5. Your spouse’s ex just wrote a bestselling book and is dominating the bookshelves
  6. <feel free to fill in yours here>

And although you know you should feel happy for their successes, you just can’t help thinking “Man, I want that too”, “Seriously, when can I get my break!” or “But I was voted Most Likely to Succeed four years in a row!”.

And then, sometimes, resentment creeps in, mixed with some hatred too. “Walau**, like that also can raise money?”, “My idea is like 100x better!” or “Fucker stole my business plan!”

Before you know it, you’re it. You’re the green monster of jealousy.

You boot up your Mac and go super-saiyan on your hustle mode. You stalk those “friends” more and try to find dirt on them. You slap yourself awake and try 1001 ways to start 101 things, hoping by 7.07am one of those will become a goldmine of an idea.

Let me be the first to admit, I am guilty of that. Sure, not to the extreme of my exaggerations above, but yes, I do battle with the green monster. Despite my monk-hood training, despite knowing better, despite fighting it for so many years, it still gets to me sometimes, though much lesser now. It made me cynical of the success of peers, critical of the works of friends, diabolical of my scheming schemes, basically an overall dick lar.

Lucky for me, over the years, I had the privilege of mentors, coaches and loved ones tugging me out of that battle over the green dick that I had become, and I thought, why not share the love.

Here’s a 5-Step Program to Kick that Green Monster’s Ass to Mars (and make Elon Musk wonder why he even bother with SpaceX in the first place).

#1. Don’t fucking deny it.

Jealousy is a feeling, and no, don’t say shit like “everybody also get jealous lah…” because it’s about you, not them. So the first step is to embrace that you are feeling envious of others, acknowledge it, own it.

#2. Dig for the why.

Surely got reason wan… Try to write for the next 8 minutes why you’re feeling this way. Don’t bother if it’s right or wrong, and don’t even bother justifying them. Just pour it out and a couple of bullet points later, you’ll find out why.

#3. Be realistic lar, please.

Know that you know the reason(s) your Hulk got released, ask yourself, are you comparing yourself based on something unrealistic? Are you looking at the super-dad-ness of Mark, career growth of Jane, hot wife of Nazir, industry awards of Rajesh, Cynthia, Siti and Alex combined, holiday pics of your 2,498 friends on Facebook… and expect to win all of them, combined? Sure, you can be super-positive-I-can-fucking-rule-the-world and insist that you can have the cake and eat it, but let’s face it, that cake is probably left in the pantry for over 2 weeks***.

So be realistic. As a matter of fact, stop comparing with others. Instead, see those feats as a possibility for yourself, set your own goals, and go for it at your own pace. Because seriously, it’s not how many right swipes you can do on your Tinder app, but keeping your hook-up success rate at an all time high.****

#4. Identify 3 things you can do within the next 24 hours to become 1% better of yourself, and do at least one of it.

You’re smart, and the fact that you’re feeling jealous is probably because deep down, you know you can do it too. Let’s work with that.

List down 3 actions you can take to immediately improve yourself, may it be that phone call you had been putting off, brushing up your LinkedIn profile, deleting Facebook off your phone for a while, calling in sick and spend a day at MPH being surrounded by the wise words of the gurus. Whatever works for you, seriously. Even if it means reactivating that Pornhub account and masturbating****** for a while. As long as it pumps the right hormones into the right place, I say why not?

#5. Reach out and connect.

Here’s an idea that you can do for the next 24 hours. Why not drop the person you’re jealous off a PM to congratulate him/her, and ask if he/she can give you some advice? Take said advice, apply it, become successful and kick the shit out of him/her! Nah, I’m joking about the last part. Peace, bro… Namaste on a Satay.

#6. Kick yourself in the nuts.

But if you’re being a mega dick and don’t want to do #1 to #5, then grab the hardest object you can find, bite on a pair of chopsticks, and swing said object between your legs until it’s stopped by something.

#7. Or go up to a hot chick, comment on her weight and call her a sl*t.

At this point, you should figure out that there’re only 5 steps in this 5 steps program.

Let me know how it works out for you.

And remember, killing the Hulk at your first try is close to impossible. Try for a slap on his wrist or a mean scratch on the arms, jump for joy, and run for your cover. Rest, Rap, Rinse, Repeat.


*1. If you have balls the size of Hulk’s but the other parts of your body is still pretty much Banner, seriously, WTF are you still reading this? Go see a doctor already! Check out my friends’ startup GetDoc like now.

**2. An expression which origin is a constant fight between Malaysians and Singaporeans, just like the hokkien mee and Ampang Yong Tau Foo, walau or wahlau, is a local version of WTF?-like-that-also-can. Not to be confused with it’s distant cousin, wahlan.

***3. If you’re like my girlfriend Debbie who claims as long as it doesn’t stink you can still eat it, sure, you go ahead and eat that 2-weeks old cake. And while you’re at it, why not lick that coke stain around the back of the fridge and that Twistees under the sink? If you’re sick, refer to the link above.

****4. In retrospect, this is a bad metaphor, but who cares? I’m just following the footsteps of our fearless leader who said we can live on RM1.40/day. That’s like a plate of white rice with some soy sauce and home-made jalapeño from that Wan Tan Mee aunty and the ketchup packets you sneaked out of KFC.*****

*****5. Man, I sure know how to digress. Why the fuck are we talking about a dick-tator again?

******6. I’m not honey-docking you here. Research has shown that masturbation can be healthy.


Co-Founder of KICKSTART by night, Talent Development Consultant, organising workshops and conferences by day, and full-time single dad in between, Maverick is pretty much a renegade. An ex-monk who's always first to ask "why not?", Mav enjoys hacking the way things are done, and pretty much happy with the success rate of 50% (coz sometimes mom is right after all...). When it comes to business, give him a million bucks and he'll most probably get a new set of gadgets, drive home an Audi R8 and reload his Starbucks card. But give him little to nothing, and see how he starts switching on the little brain-matter between his ears. Challenge ACCEPTED!

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