There are so many “what if” questions in life and I often ask my husband:- “What if you have given up your dream to be your own boss thirty years ago?” He pondered, deep in his thoughts. The fact of the matter is my beloved husband was retrenched at that time!
My husband is not in the elite category, or rather in layman terms, less smart. He is not a university graduate. He seldom got promoted while in his course of employment. If there was any headcount reduction, he was among the first to be laid off. At the age of thirty-one, he decided to call it quits, quitting to be the “YES” man to his boss, quitting to be judged by others, quitting to live in the “Circus”, a life with no control of his destiny. A new chapter began, he started his solo journey to be his own boss!
While his childhood friends and classmates are enjoying a stable monthly income, ‘happily’ complaining of the overloading work in the corporate environment and annual increments that are never enough, my husband has to borrow money from his parents and siblings to start his trading business. Sadly, he lost it all. Subsequently, he embarked on an electrical school with his friends, but yet again, failed. All his closed ones were worried about him.
“NEVER GIVE UP”, is his golden quote! Everyday, he searched for all the motivational quotes and successful stories to boost his morale. Through the dark days and nights of toiling, at long last, at the age of thirty-five, he took over a small office to provide virtual address for start-ups with an estimated takeover cost of twelve thousand, together with three staff and less than one hundred customers’ data-base. Recalling those days, he has to work three shifts daily just to raise money to pay for office rental, staff salaries and overhead charges.
Today, his company is worth millions of dollars specialising in providing Accounting and Taxation services. His other company, which is a joint-venture with a Singapore renown group, is now becoming part of Experian Plc. On the contrary but without prejudice, let’s look at his friends, colleagues after almost thirty years working in the corporate environment.
Mr Tan, my husband’s good friend since secondary school, is working as a senior manager at a reputable company for almost thirty years. Recently, he suffered a sudden stroke due to years of diabetics. Now, he is worried about the possibility of his condition worsening and fears of the dreaded word – Retrenchment!
Mr Soh, a university graduate and childhood buddy of my husband, has retired last year at the age of fifty-seven as a civil servant. He is now playing basketball daily and wishes to be a taxi driver to earn additional income.
While many of his friends and classmates are approaching retirement age and worrying about how to keep up the same living standard they are accustomed to, my husband has freed himself from all these worries a long time ago.
What if he gave up to his dreams thirty years ago? Obviously, he will end up in the same situation as most of his peers who have devoted almost their entire life building on someone else’s dreams!
The most common solution is he needs to find a way to get additional income to maintain the same living standard as before. He worries if his insurance is adequate to cover his illness in his older years. He may also have to downgrade his big house to a smaller one in order to get the additional cash to support his living. There are many worries along the way in his later years……
On the contrary, my beloved husband is totally free from all these worries NOW. His well-established financial status and freedom are envied by many of his friends. He can have his holidays anytime. The irony is while he is taking time off, his company is still operating and money is still flowing in. Therefore, his advice to the young people is:- “BE YOUR OWN BOSS, EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT THAT SMART”
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