Top 6 Unexpected Perks When I Quit My Job To Be My Own Boss

Before you proceed….

Please know this. I was a blogger known for being a troll before NS unplugged me from the internet. I like to joke, I like to be sarcastic, and that’s the voice I was used to writing. I was a fan of Douglas Adam’s style too, and always tried to imitate his voice when writing compositions.

A little bit on myself now – I’m a full-time Entrepreneur running a mildly successful iOS & Android App Development House called Originally US. We believe in being honest and transparent with our clients. I was on the client side once, and I’ve had enough of bullshit from typical Software companies.

I’ve been running Originally US for 6 months now and I’m surviving – I define that being able to have enough sleep everyday and have some spare cash to eat hotdog buns on weekends.

So here I am. Straight to the point, straight from my heart (or brain). No sugar coating. Just what I honestly feel. Read this to provoke some thoughts in your mind or read this for entertainment, I don’t care. I often have strong, sarcastic opinions on the tech scene, the startup scene, and why do we even call these “scenes.”

Oh, and I don’t do grammar very well. I consider it a waste of time. I want to get the ideas out of my head as fast as possible (limited by my typing speed, which isn’t typically faster than the mating ritual of snails) – so I went cheap on grammar. Someone in white once said, cheaper, better, faster. When I write, its, faster, faster, and no grammar. I don’t care. You shouldn’t too, you Nazi.

Opinions expressed here has nothing to do with my company. Business is business. Tongue in cheeks are tongue in cheeks.

Top 6 Unexpected Perks When I Quit My Job To Be My Own Boss

Perk #1. No More Alarm Clocks
I have this belief that alarm clocks are the bane of human existence. Sleep and dreams are such beautiful, natural things. Why destroy it 5 out of 7 days a week? The day I left my job was the day I stop setting any alarm clocks.

I now wake up naturally at about 8 to 9am, refreshed, well-rested, and ready to start the day.

Perk #2. Enjoy Any Set Lunch Promotion I Want
Local restaurants are big on set lunches. Set lunches give the best value for money. Since I don’t have a fixed office or lunch hours, I can visit any restaurant I want and enjoy its set lunch discounts.

Perk #3. No More Monday Blues
Being your own boss means you either work every single day of the week or slack through every day of the week. Either way, no more Monday blues!

Perk #4. No More “Apply Leave”
Sick and tired of having your leave application turned down, or having block out periods where you can’t apply for leaves? Do you have more fingers than the number of annual leaves?

I hate having my life dictated by ours. Be your own boss and there’s no such thing as leaves!

Perk #5. Do Anything You Want, Anytime You Want
Feel like lazing through the day and start working only in the evening? Trying telling your boss that and see if your promotions are still assured. No such worry when you are your own boss!

Perk #6. Travel Comfortably and Efficiency On Public Transport
I think traffic jams are a waste of time. Standing on public transports is also uncomfortable because I tend to game or read books when travelling. When you decide your own working hours, there’s no need to sardine your way into the morning or evening peak hours. SMRT’s slogan of “Love your ride” comes true for me.


How I decide what I want to do after graduation

Upon graduation, I took a step back to ask myself what I really wanted. This is what I have decided:

Freedom of time and financial freedom are most important to me. And I want that as soon as possible.

Freedom of time is defined as being able to do what I want whenever I want. In a way, being in a full-time job is a little like conscription. You “book in” at 8.30am in the morning at “book out” everyday at 7pm or later. My romantic notion is that I want to be in the position where if I want to take a walk at the beach and work from there at 11am, I can. If I decided not to do any work today, I don’t have to ask for permission. In other words, I want to retain control of my own time.

Well, a jobless guy would have freedom of time. That’s easy, isn’t it? But the kicker is, I want to have financial freedom too. The two seldom plays well together.

I’m a gadgets person, and I spend thousands of dollars a year on gadgets. I have a wedding coming soon (less than 2 years after graduation), and a new flat coming (about 3 years after graduation). I still have a tuition loan of S$35,000 to pay off. If I were to command salary at the average market rate (based on my academic performance alone), I would make about S$50,000 a year. That’s barely enough money repay my loan, buy a reasonable amount of gadgets, pay for wedding and renovation expenses. I won’t even have money to invest. Yes, there’s always promotions and pay increment, but even at 10% increment a year (an amazing figure in today’s job market), I’ll never be able to afford these expenses without taking a loan.

I’m not even a big spender. I spend an average of S$300-S$600 a month at present! I don’t even aim to be rich as in millionaire rich. But it is obvious that financial freedom cannot be achieved via fixed salary from a full time job, as a fresh graduate.

So I decided to take matters into my own hand. Instead of looking at structured graduate programmes where everything is pre-planned for me, I decided to look at the road less taken. Why leave your future in the hands of others? Your life is yours, take charge of it with your own two hands!

It is with these reasons that I have decided to start my own company. Not because of sexy notions like trying to change the world (although if that’s possible it will be great!), not because of the lure of big investments that venture capitalists are seemingly dishing out at startups (the whole community got too carried away with seeking investments, and that actually plays very well into investors’ hands), and not because my results were so bad that I am unemployable.

Starting my own company is fucking tough, and I was lucky that the journey actually began early in my life. I’ve been building products since I learnt programming when I was just 13. I’ve made a game that hit “cult-like” status and licensed it to SPH and M1. I’ve failed before, even with decent startup grant funding from a government agency. And I know the kind of shit I’ll be putting myself, my future wife, my family through when I gave up lucrative job offers (highest so far was about S$7000) to be self-employed. There’s too much uncertainty, too much risks. Am I even going to be able to earn as much as my peers in corporate jobs, month on month?

I still decided to do it in the end, and things got off quite decently. I got most of what I wanted. When my dad was hospitalized briefly and had an extended MC after that, I was able to accompany him without taking any leave or needing any permissions. When I feel like it, I pack up my stuff and work out of whichever cafe or fast food restaurant I wanted. I have enough cash for my upcoming wedding, and will soon have enough cash to do some decent renovation work for my upcoming house. With luck, I might even be able to afford a car when I move out, so that I can still visit my parents frequently (we will be 2hrs apart by public transport after I moved).

Though, the nature of my work is that the future is very uncertain. But I’ve made my choice and I’m fucking loving it, at least for now.

I think it is really important for fresh graduates to discover what they want and get their choices right really early, whatever it may be. Find a happy path that you would want to walk, for the next 5-10 years.


The followers and the leaders

We have a leadership succession problem. It seems to be incredibly hard to find youths who could serve as our future leaders.

We can start by encouraging the youth to think about the people, the society and the policies around them. Many just live in their own comfortable lives and don’t give a single shit to what is happening around them.

Once in a while though, we come across individuals who are passionate, critical thinkers who bothered to take time to understand and analyse the situation around them. They often share their discoveries and opinions in hopes to encourage people to think. I don’t think such acts are malicious.

This is what we should encourage. We worry about finding talents to lead us in the future, yet we do not foster an environment where people are passionate about policies and think critically about them. We are not talking about empty mud slinging articles about the government. We are talking about a new generation of educated youths who care, who think critically, and who are passionate. These people are potential leaders.

Yet instead of addressing the concerns, they were shut down. Probably because they asked questions that were difficult to answer. Maybe their opinions are “wrong”.

There’s another type of individuals. Those who feel good about themselves by association. These are the people who don’t care, don’t think, have no passion for anything, other than having a proud organisation with which they think they are associated with. You see them in crazy mega churches. You see them among the whites. These people will always think they are right. And they think they are right “just because”.

It is disturbing to see them echoing what they were told, with zero input of their own thoughts. They do not believe in the two sides of a coin. There’s only “right” and “wrong”. These people are followers.

I think the followers and leaders are in the wrong place. And that’s a scary thought.

 

Inspired by Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s post on CPF.


@Roosevelt’s Diner & Bar

So TasteBuds’ Country Manager Alvin was invited to Roosevelt’s for media tasting. I’ve read good things about this new establishment and decided to tag along to enjoy the food. Amanda, the Marketing Manager at Roosevelt’s was quick to comply. Here’s a shout out to Amanda for the kind invite!

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Tucked away in a quiet corner of Tanjong Pagar, Roosevelt’s Diner & Bar is an eclectic modern diner that offers hearty all-day dining in a casual environment and at approachable prices. Our menu has a huge slant towards artisanal and gourmet fares, with our food, coffee blends, wines, spirits, and cocktails embodying this focus.

Roosevelt’s Diner & Bar
8.30am – 10.30pm Sunday to Thursday
8.30am – 12am Fridays and Saturdays
331 New Bridge Road
#01-02 Dorsett Residences
Singapore 088764

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To Juniors: Graduating liao? So? What’s next?

graduation cap and diplomaFor the past few days, my Facebook was filled with various declaration of triumph: “Graduate loh! Last presentation loh! Last class loh!”

Many of you will be graduating with crazy internship stints, various positions in CCAs and ex-co, or even with crazy GPA and think that your future is secure. Some of you who are less fortunate may have simply floated through those 4 bitter years and have insurmountable fear for your future.

Let me tell you this: It doesn’t fucking matter.


30 Pilots And Flight Attendants Confess The Best Kept Secrets You Don’t Know About Flying

Viralquake posted a question to readers:

Flight Attendants, pilots, or engineers, what are some secrets that passengers don’t know when you ride on planes?

Read more


Relationships are built through hardships, not on a bed of roses. The former forms a lasting bond, the later just makes you fall in love the concept of being in love.
-weikiat

An Advice From a Local Managing Director to Fresh Graduates

The founder & Managing Director of a publicly listed F&B company shared this about his younger days:

When I was a fresh graduate, I did 3 times the amount of work I was paid for. I involved myself in everything. I have this friend who joined the workforce the same time as me, but he always leave work on time and spent all his extra time on mahjong.

In one year, I accumulated working experience that others would have taken 3 years to accumulate. Now, I am the boss of a publicly listed F&B while he is still playing mahjong.

When you are young, don’t be so fussy about how much you are doing for the company, or whether the pay is worth your the amount of time you spend at work. When you work, you learn, and what you learn is something that you take and keep in you. It will stay with you for life. The company gains, yes. But this is not just about the company. This is about you too. This is your reason for working when you are young.


“How much you earn is not a measure of your success. It is a result of the things you are willing to do for money.”
– weikiat