6 years ago, I was an admin clerk in an army camp.
To be honest, it could have been a great job but I landed with the wrong Company Sergeant Major: I stayed in-camp while watching my clerk friends go home every day. In case you are wondering, the computer was not connected to any internet and my only luxury was a “dumb” Nokia phone. I made a total of $500 each month. That life, for 2 years.
Somehow, I managed to save $10,000 while moonlighting on the weekend. I used that money and backpacked around the world for a year. It changed my life. (I highly recommend everyone to do that once in their life.)
After coming home, I took my interest in wedding planning and started a studio, Beautiful Gatherings. One thing led to another, I became one of the top 10 wedding planners in Singapore and now, I run a 2D animation studio, Sage Animation.
I thought an appropriate end of this chapter would be to share 10 lessons I learned along this journey (More on the chapter ending next.)
Stop Growing my Business
I once interviewed a hospitality mogul. After the interview, he said to me: “Bryan, I’m so jealous of you. You can just take off anytime and travel anywhere”.
He felt trapped by the business of his own making.
I had to reflect: “What the most important point of the business?”
It’s easy to forget about things to be grateful. I used to go on a morning walk, like an old man, and go through a list that I’m grateful about in my life. Life goes on and I forgot all about it.
Last week, I met with my primary school teacher, Mr Au. Over the years, he had a couple of bad accidents. He is now in the midst of recovering from a surgery. He mentioned that every time that he moves his arms – pins and needles will be sent down his entire arm.
I asked him: “How do you feel now?”. He answered: “Much better”.
I replied: “Well, that’s great!”. He responded: “but I still feeling a little pain and I have to stretch every now and then”.
I noticed how he kept focusing on the pain. Why isn’t he happy with his progress? Wouldn’t he be healed with time?
It got me thinking that it is easy to forget about the good things that happened. My health, my relationship, having no debt, air to breath and so much more.
I had an idea to live and work in a van.
I imagined all the nature that I would enjoy.
I gave my wedding studio away and spent the year building Sage Animation so that I can work from anywhere in the world.
In Oct, I flew to Las Vegas and bought a cargo van. I spent the next month building my own travelling home.
Randy lent me his tools. I found Nick and Alisa, who had just finished converting their van and they gave me great advice.
Every day, I tell myself: “I can’t wait to finish this and finally be able to live my dreams.”