It is NEVER too late to be the person who you always wanted to be

February 18, 2014

I ventured into business at a late age — before that I had toiled through various jobs for years and even experienced a long spell of unemployment. So when I began my business, I had reservations. As when I looked around, I was always surrounded by much younger men who always seem to know more than me. There were many moments of self doubt, when I found myself wondering whether this was even a worthwhile move or perhaps it was just one of those things that I would come to regret starting, as I might not be able to see it thru to the very end…happily…successfully…and above all without regrets.

In my first year, I didn’t really know what I was doing (and probably still don’t). I tried everything to turn in a good harvest – to even remake myself as someone who I wasn’t – to come across as more congenial and easy going to others, in the hope of putting them at ease…to be accepted…less threatening…in the fervent hope that, they would like me…and even welcome me with open arms. Some of it worked, but most backfired – for example, I am by nature trusting of people and this meant many people saw me as easy meat. I was also the sort who much preferred to walk away from trouble and many perceived this as a sign of weakness.

But through trial and error and most importantly leveraging on my previous work experience and allowing time to slowly carve me to the person who I was meant to be – I was able to discover the right formula to succeed. I realised with the passing of every harvest (which got better with time) nothing is ever wasted in life – as though I had ventured into a line of business that had nothing whatsoever to do with what I used to do before – something I learnt, came across or just did in the past can always be brought to bear to improve my yield as a farmer…. to add value to my enterprise. When I began to grow more comfortable with the idea that I could do this and still manage to get good results which often made me a subject matter expert in my own right. I realised many of my initial fears in not being able to compete with younger farmers who had considerably more farming experience than me began to diminish – truth be known, there were many things, they didn’t know which only I knew. As since their experience is limited to only farming and the constrains of a kampung – mine on the other hand was considerably more varied and richer than theirs and that by itself provide much more raw material for improvisation. – above all I no longer saw the idea of being NEW to commercial farming as a handicap. Rather it gave me a competitive advantage. As since my experience was not exclusively confined to only the traditional industry of farming – I did not come with any preconceived assumptions of what can and will work – and that simply meant can, I had absolutely no hesitation in changing many of the practices which I can only describe as parochial, insular and backward on how things have always been done since time immemorial – I was not afraid to kick down the door of convention many a time and to even throw out time honoured practices which I considered restrictive and backward and to even experiment with new methods of improving yield.

I am not here to show that I’m superior to anyone, but to share an example of what might actually work for you should you decide to embark on a career change, especially if you happen to be someone of my vintage. To show that nothing is ever wasted and that it can even be reused again to serve you so very well in whatever enterprise you want to pursue.

Knowing this is very important as it will give you the much needed sense of confidence to succeed in doing the things you never thought possible and to do it so well, that only you and you alone could have done it – if only you can find the courage to believe…..nothing is ever wasted…it can all be useful again.


‘I once had a fren in Singapore who was a high class call girl. (for some inexplicable reason, I always make friends like this) She was very nice to me and would often allow me to drive her Masserati and even buy me expensive meals in places that I could never afford to dine in, but nonetheless much preferred over economy meehon…. I was unemployed at the time.

Most of the time, she just followed me around (as she worked flexi-hours) and she would talk and I for my part would listen. She found it comforting to talk to me and she could literally go on and on for hours without the need for any prompting…a very unusual skill.

One day she told me, she was sick and tired of her life….she wanted a career change. I asked her what was she good at. She said, not very much…though she graduated with a double first in media studies, but since she hasn’t worked a single day in the industry, as the pay was crummy, her experience stood at zero.

This prompted me to asked her again…what r u good at..this time I said…think….she thought long and hard this time and then she mentioned she was really good at one thing…I asked what…she said supplying a perfect illusion of love and that usually her fantasies were so seamless and believable that she never ever had any problems getting rich old men to keep her living the life of the rich and famous. I asked what else was she good at…. she said, not very much again, as she had the bad habit of making promises that she often realised she could never deliver on and whenever she was asked why she had made those promises, she would just switch off her mobile phone and go to Australia for an extended holiday only to return and insist she had no possible recollection of ever making those promises and much preferred everyone to move on from just nitpicking on her imaginary faults…she went on to tell me, to the very best of her knowledge and those who knew her intimately, she was just…totally useless..with zero marketable skills and her only aspiration in life…if it ever qualified as one was to get the most out of the system without doing a single day’s honest work.

Thereafter she turned to me and looked at me with her large liquid expressive eyes and asked me for my honest assessment. I sighed and told her that she was really too hard on her self. As based on what she had shared with me, she was in my considered opinion imminently qualified to go places…as she certainly has loads of ministerial potential….she smiled and told me, I was a very nice man. That is very true….as to the best of my knowledge, I have always been very forthright and true to her.’

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