Entrepreneurship

Jim Koh - In The Nutshell

Jim is an alumni of the National University of Singapore Overseas College (NOC). He went on a one year exchange program to China, Beijing and had the opportunity to intern in a technological start-up company that specializes in online marketing (SEO/SEM). In Beijing, he also studied Business Management at Tsing Hua University.

Jim is currently a full-time, freelance emcee and actor.

PS: I look like a real estate agent in the picture above right.. LOL!

Scenerio 1 - Career Switch

Angie is a fresh graduate and is currently working as an accountant in a design firm. She loves to design and is good at it. Her boss notices her interest in designing and offers her an opportunity to be transferred to the designing department despite of her lack of paper qualification and experience. However, she would have to take a pay cut.


Do you think Angie should take up the offer?

I would take up the offer if I were her.

It is very important to live our life to the fullest. Life is unpredictable and we never know when we will breathe our last. #YOLO! I don't want to be doing something that doesn't interest me. It would be horrible to look back one day and suddenly realized I've been wasting my youth and life away according to societal perceptions or family's expectations.

There are definitely risks in the transition. However, since we are young and do not have much financial liabilities, we should be bold and take up the offer. Additionally, I feel we would be motivated to improve and be good at it when we're doing something that interests us.

How do you persuade your parents if they do not agree to your decision?

I'm a stubborn person. Once I've decided on something, it would be really hard to change my decision. I will explain to them my decision and prove to them with my actions. As a freelancer myself, my work hours are erratic. I sometimes have to leave home as early as 5am and return home as late as 3am - 4am.

My parents have seen how tired I was. But I refused to complain. It's my life. It's my decision. It's tough, but I'm enjoying it.


Would you wait for your parent's approval before taking on the boss' offer?

Nope. Opportunity seldom knocks twice. If I miss the kairos moment, I might only be regretting the rest of my life.

Scenerio 2 - Office Politics

Angie decides to take up her boss' offer and is now a junior designer in the company. However, her immediate supervisor seemed to be wary of her competence and takes credit for all her hard work. At the same time, another company headhunts Angie and promises her a better career prospect. 

Should Angie leave the company?

No. I feel it was the boss who gave Angie a head start in her design career. She should be grateful for that. I feel that she should have stayed on for a few more years before deciding on changing company. Also, I feel that she should resolve the differences with her immediate supervisor before she leaves.


How should Angie deal with her immediate supervisor?

There are many business books that teaches us how to manage our boss. It is common for any person experiencing this situation to be angry and wanting to expose the immediate supervisor. 

If I were Angie, I would choose not expose my immediate supervisor for usurping the credits. Instead, I will continue to do my designing job with excellence. Because afterall, I'm doing something I love. I will continue to work hard, improve on my designing skills and learn more from my immediate supervisor.

Relationally, I will try to be nice with my immediate supervisor and to work out a win-win working relationship with him.

Do you think Angie can still stay in the company after exposing her immediate supervisor?

I don't think so. I feel that if a team member has to resort to exposing the deeds of her leader, she can no longer be a team player. It is time for her to leave. However, she might have to face consequences of badmouthing by the immediate supervisor to other players in the industry.

Scenerio 3 - Entrepreneurship

Angie left her company for a new one. However, her new company went into a crisis a few years later and has to fold up business. At this time, one of her colleagues invite her to start-up a company with him. 


Should she be an entrepreneur?

Yes, since she has been in the industry for quite sometime and has the necessarily know-how and network.

However, she should do up a business plan to see if her new business is viable. Also, she should not have any financial liabilities to her family. (Specifically, having to support the livelihood of her family)

What are some lessons you've learnt as an entrepreneur?

I started an online business when I was in secondary 3 and I did mainly online marketing for web and shell hosting. Capital for this start-up was low but as a secondary school student, I had to save up for 6 months before I could get a server to co-locate it at Starhub. 

I learnt that in entrepreneurship, we face big problems everyday. However, if we breakdown the big problem into many smaller ones and we start to resolve these smaller problems one by one, the big problem will be resolved in no time.

Also, I learnt in times of crisis, such as the introduction of a disruptive technology or entrance of new competitors, the entrepreneur would be forced to think out of the box and come out with innovative solutions to remain relevant and competitive. It's human nature.

Finally, with respect to getting a start-up capital, I don't think it is a problem to get a seed investment.There are venture capitalists everywhere, all wanting to throw their money into businesses that has high ROI and executable.

Hence, I don't agree with the other guests of having to wait for a benefactor to come along before we can start our business. This is too passive and definitely not the characteristic of an entrepreneur.

PS: Oh, a business plan is very important! :)

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