Call Me Spongebob Nick

Call Me Spongebob Nick

For now you can call me Spongebob #NickG. Not since the day I started my 1st biz that I’ve felt this amount of energy, passion, excitement, craziness.

Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. Thru the journey, the ups & downs, we get tired, distracted, etc. In a common scenario, sometimes unknowingly we will hit a plateau or worse, digress.

Hence, always check yourself. Check your mindset. Check your emotions. Check your energy.

Am very blessed to report that I am back to the basics….my origin where I am learning everything with super ease and everything is possible. I can even walk thru a wall! The No is replaced by the How. My brain and heart is driving me crazy.

This is my 2nd wind…..and I am enjoyyyyyying it.

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INVEST in Business or Idea

INVEST in Business or Idea

As a serial entrepreneur, I started exploring investments into businesses a short few years ago. Back then my focus was towards the startup setups mainly because of

  1. Our love for pioneering businesses
  2. A way for us to give back to the youth community (funds, experience, network)

Fast forward to December 2016, looking back, we were definitely close to investing in a few startups, in a host of industries…. shoes, fashion, medicine, IT, ecommerce, etc. BUT why have we not thus far?

Few issues come to mind…

  • Fund management
  • Character of the founders/team
  • Sustainability & Scalability // Limited vision

Too often, many operate on a fairy tale basis….all’s well and will continue to be well. A best case assumption is unrealistic. How about a worst case scenario too? Not pleasant to think about but necessary.

Today, we continue to receive invites and pitches countries across the globe and of variety of industries. As investors, we have ourselves matured too. The investments we have made are more matured businesses. Yes, businesses, not ideas. These businesses are at the early stage, primed for growth.

The difference is, these founders/owners have gone thru the heat and is realistic in their approach to business. Investing in a business costs significant higher compared to a startup but the risks are lower. Investments are not just ROI but also risk management. For us, RISK management is priority. Can a startup be likewise? Absolutely!

Many have asked what is it that we are expecting…

  • Character
  • Brave & Creative but a Realist
  • Some appreciation for our funds e.g. utilization
  • Business Model
  • Team is super duper prepared!!!

So, while we have invested in businesses, we are still waiting for the right startup to come knock on our doors. Don’t paint us an ideal picture. Show us the REAL picture.

The MaGiC Moment

The MaGiC Moment

Seems like only yesterday when I stepped into Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC). Blink and months have passed. Our tenure in MaGIC has come to an end with beautiful moments of our experience there.

I still remember the first day I arrived in MaGIC and met a friend. I was asked if I was there as a mentor or investor. Well, neither! I was there as a participant. Even the most seasoned serial entrepreneur needs to continue learning. Sometimes the best place to learn is from the startups…..a collection of fantastic minds and ideas.

I was there as a participant aka cofounder of my new brand, #SparePartsAsia with my Philippines partner. SparePartsAsia is a true Asean Economic Community brand, a joint venture between Malaysia and Philippines, for the Asia market.

I already had experience wearing the hat of an entrepreneur and investor and now, a whole new experience – a startup cofounder. Yes I was expected to go thru the works – build the system, pitch, etc etc etc. Does that make me a more complete entrepreneur now? A BIG yes 😀

So as I complete this post, I wish to express my thanks to the amazing people in MaGIC for their support and encouragements.

 

My Journey

We are drawing near to the conclusion of 2014 and commencement of 2015. Many in facebook are posting their Memories of 2015. Seeing the pics of the many has triggered my personal memories….but not of 2014 alone, rather it’s about my entrepreneurial journey.

The entrepreneurial journey I am referring to is my forklift parts distribution business. Of all the businesses I have dabbled with, this business is the most challenging and fearsome. Never have I felt this helpless and fearful. The biggest contributing factor was the fact that the nature and culture of the business and industry as a whole was a complete stranger to me and opposite of all that I know or experienced.

To step into this business is truly a step of faith. I had tried my utmost best to flee from this business/industry but as hard as I tried, I didn’t go far. After 2 years of struggle, I received an impression in my heart. It was the little voice of my Lord Jesus. He asked me why is it that I flee? I had always been interested in businesses at a young age but this business and industry struck so much fear in me that it was overwhelming. To summarise my experience with my Lord’s question, he showed me the other side of the coin and that opened my heart to be more receptive.

Acceptance is easier said than done considering the amount of fear I had. The night before I stepped into the business, I was blessed with a vision. The vision showed me standing in a valley surrounded above by my many competitors. These “competitors” are seasoned industry peers who would take the path “by hook or crook” for business sake. Then Jesus spoke…. “See the people above there? I tell you now that you are to never harm them, not even a strand of hair”. I woke up with a WOW! Logic says that in such a dream, the most probable message is not to be afraid for I will be protected. However the message I received was completely different and much more powerful. Me, standing in a valley surrounded by the many aggressive peers are told not to harm them. The entire message is telling me:

1. I will not only survive in the business but prosper and grow in strength
2. No harm will come upon me whatever my peers attempt
3. In my strength and victory in coming future, I am to exercise grace and mercy. Retaliation is not an option

Today, after years of being in the business, I have encountered countless number of challenges, sometimes almost overwhelmed and yet I continue to grow. I have even received entrepreneurial awards and being interviewed by media such as:

1. Prestige Top40 Under40 Young Achievers Award
2. Prestige Top40 Under40 People’s Choice Award
3. Full feature in MillionaireAsia Magazine under Rising Star segment. This magazine is a very exclusive magazine catering only to the super high net worth market
4. Interviewed by a TV business media in FaceTime with CEO

I take not for granted my journey especially my Lord Jesus’s favor, teaching, encouragement and blessings. To Him I give all the glory.

Silent Success

Silent Success

Being an entrepreneurs all these years has made me realise that us, as human beings, covet attention and praises. Admittedly or not, it is the truth. The only difference is the degree of our covetousness.

Peers have told me that it is good to be known and admired. It is good for business, supposedly. I guess that’s why so many people are hunting down media representatives, from paper media to online media, etc.

There is indeed some truth in this claim. After all, some exposure and recognition may help us with our business. My question is , what is it doing for our #character? Is it building our character in the process? As I believe, gaining success is easy, having the character to own and keep it is even more important.

Okay, let’s not stray too far. My personal journey is such that I’ve always stayed below the radar but late 2013, God saw it fit that I am given some recognition. Was an awardee of the Prestige Top40 Under40 Young Achievers Award and special award, People’s Choice Award. Was also featured in the prestigious MillionaireAsia Magazine. My experience thru this made me desire for more awards and recognition. It is not a bad desire but looking deeper into it, it seems to be distracting me. I seem to be doing it to merely satisfy my ego.

I thank God that not long ago, I was brought back to my senses. He asked me of having the award were that important. How different would my life be with and without them? Who’s receiving all the glory?

Awakening for me, you may say. At the end of the day or rather my life, the only and most important recognition I should covet is my Lord Jesus’s compliment. If He says “good and well done my faithful servant”, that would surpassed all the world’s awards and recognition combined.

Feet is now back on earth. If ever I am to receive anymore awards or recognition, it will be a gift from Him, in His time and place. I am now perfectly contented to continue my journey with my Heavenly Father, where a whisper and pat on the back from Him is more than sufficient.

Thank you Father.

Entrepreneurs – What is Beyond your Vision?

Had a wonderful Christmas or as the French would say a eu un Noël merveilleux.

Everything was a blessing – time with wife, food, church service and time with family members.

Over the weekend, I was given a fresh reminder of something truly beautiful and I wish to share with all of you…

The following message is for all Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why are you an entrepreneur or aspire to be one?
  2. What is the single most meaningful thing you wish to achieve by being an entrepreneur? 
  3. Have you seen the bigger picture?

I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. In fact the desire and passion dates back to my schooling days. When I started my business and then it blossomed more and more, I had always had this reason for my entrepreneurship venture – ME! Yeah, ME! Everything was about me.

I wanted the following:

  1. Self satisfaction
  2. Self gratification
  3. Better and more comfortable life
  4. Better finances (was never in my priority list as I believe money is an automatic reward for doing things right)

Needless to say, in my prayers, the whole idea of praying for my businesses has always been for my benefit. That was until one day, I received a revelation – a challenge – the true big picture.

My heavenly father made these statements to me: 

  1. My involvement in business is not for ME! 
  2. I am only a VEHICLE so that thru the blessing I receive, I will be a channel of blessing to the needy

As I was shocked and at same time awed be the question, I have no doubt that I have seen the BIG picture. God does not mean for me to live as a pauper just because I am willing to be a vessel of blessing. Myself and family will never be short-changed or deprived. He has promised to meet all our needs.

As I searched my heart, I realised that in my heart, thru the years, I have a burden for the needy – people who need finances for a variety of needs – medical, education, home, food, etc. Self-satisfaction was a still a factor but was never the primary factor.

The Lord has opened my eyes to my heart and understood my true desire. Life was never the same again then. My involvement in business is now to be EXCELLENT and be financially RICH so that I can be “the vessel”. Of course in our daily lives, there are many distractions – busyness, family, “wants”, selfishness, etc. That is why I need to be consistently reminded which my wife helps me and also God (in the most subtle of ways).

So my fellow entrepreneurs what do you think will give you the most pleasure or satisfaction – blessing yourself or see someone’s life changed?

It is ok to want to be rich and successful. Otherwise how can we be effective and have the ability to bless others? God says it is not sin to be rich. In fact He wants us to prosper.

However, please be warned that we need to cover ourselves in prayer. Else we risk being successful and then hoarding everything for ourselves. Nothing that we own belongs to us, not even the credit of doing well in our businesses. We are but a vessel. We are a steward of God’s blessings. We are blessed so that we can be a blessing.

My fellow entrepreneurs, I encourage all of you to see beyond ourselves. See the needs – the people.

 

Aspiring entrepreneurs – do you have a new perspective in your pursuit to be an entrepreneur?