I always invest in the jockey, not the horse

This has always been my investing philosophy for private equity (which is slightly different from public listed companies). And today, while meeting with a customer during a gathering, I saw a young man 4 years my senior (he graduated from the same high school as me), and I know immediately from the minute he entered the room, that he was a winning jockey from the get-go.

This gentleman, which I shall call him ZH for confidentiality reasons, was someone who gave a very positive vibe out when we met. The friendliness he portrayed, the way he presented himself, and his positive outlook in life despite his circumstances (which I will describe in the next few paragraphs) has really portrayed that spirit of “Overcome to Become”.

ZH was a sophomore in NUS when he fractured his neck during the orientation camp, where he was leading a group of freshmen in their final league to collect points, aiming to be the top of the cohort. He was paralyzed neck-down and sent to hospital, and the doctor had to do a surgery to reconnect his spinal cord. Even so, he had to go for physiotherapy sessions (I presume) to learn basic things like how to sit, how to use the fork and spoon and how to use his phone. It was tough, even tougher than all the ups and downs of business I have went through.

ZH then completed his BSc. (Physics) last year (which he took a gap year in between because of the injury) and is now taking a graduate diploma in education with the NIE. He shared with me that he aspired to be a teacher since young and I realized his story could really inspire his students to do more in life.

I really liked the part where he said “What has passed has already passed. All I can do now is to grab hold of the future.” Man, that was exactly what I was looking out for in my co-founders and entrepreneurs when I invest my time, money and effort in them. The drive to succeed in whatever we do, the passion of, in the words of Robert Herjavec, being independent and perhaps building a substantial corporation. Passion keeps us going when others, who may doubt our ability, are attending parties, watching TV or sleeping.

I really had a fruitful meeting with him and I am very sure that ZH is deemed for success in his future endeavors.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” (Alan Kay)

Some Rules of Success

I realized that a lot of young people have the aspiration to start their own business in this day and age. With the advent of the Internet, business has became easier to start, but more difficult to progress. As they say, there’s always someone else out there who’s working his ass off for 24 hours a day to kick you out of the game.

I stumbled upon this picture about success in entrepreneurship and business and I would like to share it with you. I hope you can take away something from it and grow your business to the next level.

The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.



P.S. My fundraising campaign for Children’s Cancer Foundation can be found here. Please support the kids who are fighting hard for their lives.

Hair For Hope 2018

Dear friends,

For those of us who love Shark Tank or Dragons’ Den, you would probably have realized that it was a level playing field. However, it is not the case in reality. The fact of the matter is, some kids out there have been stricken by cancer. Some of them are recovering from it, and some of them are fighting hard. It reminds me of the time when I first started my business; it is a rather similar situation (not saying that I’m fighting cancer but it is an uphill battle to gain market penetration).

I remember Mark Cuban saying on Shark Tank that whenever someone gets a deal there, it reminds everyone that the American Dream is still alive. In support with kids fighting against cancer, I am making a bald statement to tell these kids to keep their dream alive and that they can achieve whatever they want in life if they are willing to hustle. Just like in Shark Tank, many entrepreneurs have seen their dreams turning into reality.

I look forward to your support in this endeavor.

To the hustlers.

The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.