Sunday, May 4, 2008

When Did The Negativity Creep In

Had a very interesting talk with a friend yesterday over dinner. Our talk almost always consist of some business related topics. Let me highlight just one that I think is very interesting and true.

We were talking about the negativity that surrounds Singaporeans when it comes to starting a business or making money.

The first thing that comes to mind when I ask anyone about the possibility of starting a business would be cost. How much is it going to cost running the business? What's the startup cost? How much will it cost to run everything? I don't come from a rich background to fall back on when the business fails.

See anything similar in the responses? All they think about are the forces that are out to take the business down. They don't even have time to stop and think for once about possibility of an opportunity. So adverse are Singaporeans to taking risk.

The problems comes from social conditioning that our education system and parents have put upon us. Most of them will tell you to study hard, find a good and stable job for the rest of your lives. If it works for them, it'll work for you too.

They'll give you examples of people who have studied hard and made good money. But they never tell you the examples of people who made it through to the top with little education. Even if they do, they'll say that those were the exceptions but do they encourage you to be an exception?

After years of conditioning, or brainwashing, one naturally forgets that there are other paths to be taken in life. And this typically takes place when you're in secondary school and slightly later. In the university, if you're lucky, you'll get to meet speakers who actually have been in the world of business and speaks to you about their real life experiences.

Everyone can see negativity so you practically have no advantage over others there. But not everyone can see opportunities.

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