Why a 26 year old guy with no clue in life decides to quit his cushy job to help his family business?
Well, this guy, now 27, still has no clue in life. But he thinks he is beginning to get it. Read on to find out!
He has a wholesale dried goods family business which he helps out at every weekend begrudgingly. Since young, he has emphasized vehemently to anyone and everyone willing to listen that he will NEVER take over his family business. He hated it. It ate up his weekends and playtime, rough environment, and the hours excruciatingly long.
Then he grew up. Stumbled through Singapore’s education system, hopped across a few jobs, and landed unknowingly in a renowned bank. He didn’t know how he got there, but he knew it’s not what he likes. Working felt like a chore. Life felt empty. The work, though challenging at times, holds no satisfaction. He wasn’t changing anyone’s life nor helping society in a positive way.
Something happened one day:
The family business started a line of dried fruits and nuts in order to stay competitive. This guy, now a young adult, was piqued by the increased customers interest, a consequence of society’s heightened conciousness in healthy eating.
So he went around telling anyone and everyone who would listen about his nuts. He drew smirks from cheeky testosterone charged friends. Raised eyebrows from some others. And then everyone forgot about his nuts.
All except one.
Rebecca, in charge of organising events for her company, needed a vendor to come in for a health-themed roadshow. She approached him. He was hestitant. He had no experience in such exploit. The idea of running a roadshow sounded daunting. Rebecca was insistent.
Long story short, he did it, and was completely mindblown. Comments and feedback from staffs of the company ranged from warm to extremely gratifying.
“Wow these are super fresh! I love it!”, said one. “Oh my gawd I’ve been looking for this! Thank you for bringing it here!”, exclaimed another. “Any discounts? Offers? Discount lah, pleaseeee?” Inevitably asked by many others.
A rusty lightbulb went off in his head. Suddenly he recognised what he needed to do.
A new day for a 26 years old:
He was extremely distracted back at work. Ideas were bouncing around his head faster than an Atari ping pong game.
People have limited access to fresh nuts and dried fruits of premium and trustworthy quality. Even if they do, they are exhorbitant. He has the solution. And the country needs to know about it.
As he gives more thought to it, he realised that to commit to growing a business selling nuts and dried fruits through the family business, he needs to commit to the family business. Maturity and logic sets in. He loved his grandfather dearly – a role model who showed him that anyone can give up on you, but never your family. This man started the family business with blood, sweat and tears in order to feed his brood of children and wife. The journey was excrutiatingly tough. His parents has picked up grandpa’s years of effort to carry on his legacy. And they are not getting any younger. This business was raised from scratch and fueled by a legion of loyal customers. He don’t want to see it vanish into an empty void the day his parents call it a day. As much as he used to loathe it, he love it too, because of all that it provides for him.
So he fired his boss, and job hopped for the last time in his life.
The journey is more than just buying and selling:
Over time, as he grew into his new career, he learnt that the job entails more than just solving a market’s needs. It is a community. For every 3 customers that visit the shop front, 1 will stay for a chat. Travel stories were exchanged. Life’s experience shared. Cooking recipe and tips from using the tiniest sesame seed to frying the biggest potato interchanged. He sees old friends reunited when they met unexpectedly at his shop. Mothers whose kids abandoned or disrespected them break down as they recount their tragic stories. Foreigners from all over the world congregate in front of one humble shop. Meeting his online customers during delivery also provides unexpected surprises. Such as being asked to join in for meals, being rewarded with food and drinks, or simply engaging in friendly chats as bonds are built.
Despite being questioned numerous times by naysayers, who felt that a young, educated guy should be achieving so much more in a corporate world, he has never regretted leaving his fancy office building in exchange for sweating long hours under the sun. He might miss his stable, lavish salary; the medical benefits; paid leave; air conditioned office once in a while.
But he is now finding meaning explaining to customers the best dried anchovies and shrimps for various dishes. Teaching customers how to soften red beans for easy cooking. And seeing the smiles of customers who love not just the value and quality of his products return regularly, but also enjoy the occasional jovial banters. His dream now is to earn substantial income through this business and return it to society, particularly children charities, because children are our hopes and inspiration for the future.
He has found his calling. He has discovered what he wants to do in life. Most importantly, he learnt never to say never, because life has an interesting way of making you eat your words.