From Survival to Prosperity

Fast backward to my senior high school year, my report card and SAT were bad enough that I got turned down by all the colleges I applied, not that I was a bad kid, but I simply prefer writing and playing video games on my Apple IIe to studying.

I ended up going to a local community college and taking random courses to find out what I want to do in life. It was around that time that my Dad who was at his 60 and had put 40 years of loyalty into the company, no longer had a job as his employer figured out it’s cheaper to hire a few young college graduates to replace him. My mom was primarily a homemaker and occasionally taking temp jobs here and there.

To help out, I got myself a part-time job in the cafeteria near school and also worked in a local club as a restroom attendant. Very soon I found that making a few bucks an hour would never make ends meet and I needed to improve the quality of living for my family.

I looked at all the resources around me. The first thing that came to mind was to look for some game publishers to publish the games I had written. In the mid 80s, game publishing was a lot less transparent than today’s mobile apps marketplace, and I didn’t have the know-how nor the networks to reach the decision maker in the game publishing companies. After knocking numerous hard doors and hustling around, I did manage to get a local game magazine to write about one of my games in the hobbyist column, but that’s as far as my game business went.

Soon after that, I figured out the business world has many invisible barriers blocking my way to achieve what I want in life . I gradually learned the importance of building my reputation and business connections, in addition to acquiring the necessary knowledge and skillsets to give myself an edge via information imbalance.

In a few years, I pulled myself together and got into a decent college to finish off my degree. Through the powerful alumni network, I landed a high paying job in an investment bank and eventually found my sweet spot in the venture backed startup market segment.

Throughout the years that follow, I went through a good number of up and down cycles, which led me to think deep about the purpose of life as being a happy and wealthy person, mentally, spiritually, physically and financially.

In the process of realizing this very purpose, I would like to share my 2 cents on the transition from merely survival to prosperity. To survive in a competitive environment, we need to possess something unique.

That is, relative to most of the people around us, what are our inborn strengths and the strengths that we acquired later in life?

By combining these two, we form the basis of our core competence which enables us to develop a killer business instinct: the ability to tune ourselves in with a particular business segment and create the optimal market value.

The key is to make sure whatever we chose is something we feel passionate about. With passion, our strengths can be magnified many times over and the road to prosperity will unveil itself.


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