Note: This article is in my own words (that’s obvious), Hello I am the editor of Mirastars, Shiangker (SK).
Shiangker Wong (SK)
| Star Profile
| Skills and Passion
|| Life Quote
I grew up in Ipoh, a very small and authentic old town in Malaysia. Before I was 20, My world view was extremely simple and naive (compared to now), well if you grew up in a town with limited access to information you would be like that too. Most of my time spent on books and studies, hardly for TV / games / social. People often commented that I was born talented, however they didn’t see the hard work behind the scene. Exams or not, I would study at least 12 hours a day during secondary school time every day. One of the books that influenced me a lot was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki; I was fortunate to be exposed to it when I was just a teenager. It changed my way of thinking about money forever.
Moved To Singapore
In 2007 I came to Singapore to pursue tertiary studies, that was the biggest turning point of my life. It was the first time I was exposed to a totally different kind of culture, and I had the freedom to pick and choose whatever life I want to live. I grew up in a very humble background, my pocket money was only RM20 (~SGD9 at that time) per week when I was already 18-19 years old. Imagine that kind of culture shock I had when I came to Singapore! Everything here was fascinating!
I was still a poor student on bursary and loans, I was always on a tight budget during university days. How tight? SGD600 as pocket money for a semester (4 months). Every cent was big for me, I gave excuses when friends asked to hangout just to save up my super limited money. The learning for me was, if we make decision purely because of money, we would make very poor decision. In hindsight, I should go figure out how to make more money in university (I did take up part time jobs but it was very low pay); not just trying to save everything. With a hefty loan of -40k SGD in my bank account, I graduated anyway.
Upon graduation I was lucky to land on a job with a prestigious investment bank, until today I’m still very grateful for it. Money aside, I picked up a lot more things that would shape my future. My life had just started! I finally got to enjoy life a lot more, spent time with friends and family (no need to make up excuses anymore), no more missing out! My personal growth was exponential in the past 6-7 years. I started reading English books, in 4-5 years I read ~200 books and they really helped me a lot in terms of mental growth. I traveled a lot, till date I have been to 29 countries. My career in the bank was doing well, thanks to all the support from my management and colleagues. They say millennials don’t stay in the same company for long these days, well, I worked for the same bank for 5.5 years. One year after my title promotion, I quit.
Journey to Entrepreneurship
It was not an impulsive decision. I knew how many people would be queuing outside of the bank to take my role, how lucky I was to be here. But as days went by, I just couldn’t imagine myself still working in the banking industry 10-20 years down the road. I have other dreams to pursue. This was what I wrote in my farewell message to my ex-colleagues on the last day at work: “Today I am taking a chance to try something else, discover different areas and learn new skills. It doesn’t matter if I fail because at least I didn’t fail to try. And I will keep trying :)”. The worst case scenario I could think of is, I might fail and then I go back to corporate. With more skills and experience. So how bad could that be really? But if I didn’t give myself a chance to try, nobody else would. And I would regret.
After leaving my bank job, I joined a startup as digital marketer. I wasn’t aiming for any huge monetary rewards in future, just wanted to gain some startup experience from it. But coming from corporate background I had not much idea how to run a startup at all, I needed to learn from others who have the experience. That’s how Mirastars project got started, I interviewed and learned from other entrepreneurs, at the same time shared the knowledge with others too. Till date I have interviewed more than 50 people, I achieved more than what was expected when Mirastars first started. The biggest bonus from this project is, my social network expanded quickly (connected to a lot more entrepreneurs or people in this startup scene).
Now that the interview project (for entrepreneurs) just ended, I’m excited to share with you that there are a few plans in place already. If you have read the intro of Mirastars, you would know that this project is named Mirastars because I believe everyone is a star, and everyone can shine brightly. My next mission is to help people to discover their possibilities, and build career they love. Stay tuned!
- Always follow up, don’t leave it to chances assume the other person would get back on time
- It is okay to fire your bad clients / partners; don’t always compromise
- Even when everyone else belittle you, don’t let them succeed; ignore them
- Network is gold! Build your network as early as you can, keep in touch always
- Be open-minded to opportunities, you might know what would come next
- There is no such thing as “no choice”, there are always alternatives and options
- It doesn’t matter if we fail, as long as we don’t fail to try
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