So what’s next

Err… nothing for the time being. That’s the answer I gave when some people ask me so what’s next? I’m going to rest awhile and build up my social capital.

Yesterday, I just finished the book on “so good that they can’t ignore you”. It talks about 4 rules:

  1. Do not follow your passion
  2. Importance of skill, build up social capital
  3. Importance of control
  4. Mission (start small, think big)

I cannot say that I agreed with all the points highlighted in the book but looking back maybe there are some sense to “not following your passion”

When I was 26, I had to make a decision to choose my university major / study or whatever you called it. Friends and family were saying to go along with your passion. During that time, my passion was bike riding but there is not such courses available. So I choose the most general one I could find.

I wanted to go southeast studies but got rejected because of my grade on English Language

Each time when people talks about “follow your passion”, it is only possible if you know exactly what you want no? What if your passion change down the road? It’s hard to make a decision that would plan for the next 50 years of your life. For example, who would expect that I would be a technical product manager. I code and manage products. (I have no official programming training)

There are several examples listed in the books about people following their passion and ended up not doing so well.

There is one about a graduate leaving her PhD Programme to teach yoga full time because she fell in love with yoga. She went to take a yoga instructor course and start pursuing her passion. The instructor course was only 200 hours. It was hard compete with other Instructors who had years and years of training. They were able to get more students to train with them. In the end, she failed in pursuing her passion.

Maybe if she had taken little bets, like starting YouTube channel to build up her social capital (like people know her for her style of teaching yoga), she could validate the idea more before jumping head in. Or she could have change her PHD course to something that relates of mindfulness / body healing to further build up her social capital? Maybe it will turn out better.

Looking back, was I wrong to venture into home automation? I do not have the social capital. Ie. no one knows bryan as the guy for iot when I first started. Yes, I build up this social capital over time. Now people know me as the iot guy but would it be better and more helpful to my startup if I started with more social capital in this space?

You can argue too that this is no necessary, just take a look at the awesome Carousell? They work Super hard, I witnessed that when we were at Blk 71. We all started from scratch. Maybe they have a little social credit coz they were buying and selling on HardwareZone but I’m guessing that is about it.

Than take a look at Naildeck, another great business run by my Friend, Daryl Chew. Today he is running this business on “semi auto pilot”. It took him a Long time, he does not have much social credit in the nail Polish space when he started but he is now. People know him as the nail polish guy BUT would his business be bigger / successful if he had more social capital when he started? I’m not sure.

What I do know is that building social capital is also a long process same as building up from scratch. However it comes with lower risk, entruepurership is all about lower risk: learn this the hard way. So many gather more social capital now might be the way to go.