How I Made the Leap from College to Entrepreneur at 25
When I was 16 years old, my dad introduced me to Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
One quote that stood out in particular for me is this:
“The love of money is the root of all evil.
The lack of money is the root of all evil.”
As you can imagine, it was a controversial statement. But today, I know that to be true.
I’ve struggled with the idea of starting a business since I had no role models.
The people around me work at jobs all their lives.
I thought I had it all worked out—study hard and get into a good university—then get a good, stable job. Climb up the ladder.
But in reality, I just didn’t know what to do with my life.
I was just following a set of paths laid out for me.
Why did I eventually choose to study Engineering?
I guess most people would see that studying Engineering brings prestige and guarantees some sort of preconceived notion of financial security.
For me, the only reason I decided to enroll in Engineering School at my University was because I heard a professor mentioning that Engineers had the best set of tools given to them:
- You acquire logical thinking and critical analysis skills
- Decision making skills improves
- You become more objective and less emotional when it comes to work
Looking back, I guess he was right.
What engineering school does to good students is that they eventually make you a better and more productive employee.
How I Started—and Kept—the dream alive
I discovered the exciting world of entrepreneurship back in 2008.
I was a young freshman student then, and finally taking random ideas I had as seriously as I did with my studies.
As part of my program, I was involved in several competitions that required me to produce and idea and present a business plan. The business plans were pretty complex, but at the end, what I thought I had as an ingenious idea had already been done by someone else.
I just Discovered the Internet – (yes I’m a slow adapter of technology)
At that time, back in Malaysia, where I went to University, I’ve just started to get myself acquainted with the internet.
My idea stemmed from the fact that I often find it troublesome referring to dictionaries while reading something and not knowing the meaning to certain words. That really dissuaded me from reading in the first place.
So, I had the idea of a device where people could read digital books and click on a word, and instantly find out the meaning. That would certainly solve my reading problem.
I really thought at that time, I was the first to come out with this idea of a device to read books.
Only later on, did I actually realize that Sony already came out with its on e-reading device.
Bare in mind, nobody around me even knew that e-reading devices would become the next trendy gadget.
Amazon announced the Kindle Fire, on Sept. 28, 2011.
And the rest was history.
It became the next revolution.
I moved on.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to stop idle dreaming, and start taking your first step.
Naturally, you may think you discovered a million dollar idea but there’s a huge gap between the conception of your ideas and reality.
Don’t fall in love with your ideas.
Test out your ideas by building a prototype.
What is mind-blowing to me at that moment was that I didn’t even know that the Sony e-reader even existed.
Of course, my experience might be drastically different from yours.
Are you thinking of making that leap of faith into business or entrepreneurship?