I’ve been very blessed to be able to have a close circle of friends who inspire me – in their capacity to push for solid work, and their personal capacity for empathy and suspended judgement. (Might not be on the top of the list for relationships for most, but I find this incredibly important, and a rare trait!)
Now that I’ve embarked on starting my own biz I’ve also been blessed to come across many other individuals who inspire me to break out of the mould and do things better, and to keep on keeping on, even if the going gets tough.
Our own local talents also never fail to inspire me – from friends that have boldy ventured into the arts, to those that have made a name for our tiny island: Joseph Schooling, to Yip Pin Xiu, to Nathan Hartono, to most recently Kyra Poh. I think about how much hard work they must have put in to master their craft, and how much shit they must have had to take from our pragmatic society. I’m incredibly proud of our generation: these are people who dared to dream; and did something about it.
Most recently I’ve come across a group of people that I look up to most – entrepreneurs who are Christians. I don’t know a lot of them – probably less than five – but I was discussing this with Davian (of the very talented RECKN studios) and this is our conclusion on what’s inspiring about Christian Entrepreneurs: that they’re incredibly restful.
I rarely talk about faith on my social media sites, but it’s important for me to document this because it’s what I aspire to be.
This is my story as a “Christian Entrepreneur”.
In this space, especially when you’re starting out, it’s easy to worry about things like your “five-year-plan”, financial projections, and how you’re gonna grow your profit margin. In our first year of business we kept things lean, so it wasn’t my priority to get those in place. It was my priority to learn as much as I could about the social media space. I was incredibly blessed to have ex-colleagues thrust jobs into my arms, and incredibly blessed to have that kind of trust thrust along with them.
In our second year right now we’re scaling up. And yes there were hits and misses with hires, highs and lows, but I have then learnt so much more about leadership, learning how to manage a team, partners, and clients. Again, God has blessed me with a steady stream of jobs, and jobs that I enjoy working on. I also thank God that I never really needed to do much pitching, because that really isn’t one of my strengths. In these two years I’ve operated pretty much based on faith, and I’ve seen that in His perfect timing, He gives me the right opportunities that teaches me so, so much more about being a better person and running the kind of business that I want to run.
I have been so blessed that I know that leaning on faith is much more rewarding than leaning on man’s wisdom. There’s only so much speculation and finite wisdom can bring to the table, but there’s so much more God has in store. Davian and I are always smiling when we talk about how divine our chance encounter was, and I appreciate that as a fellow brother in Christ he is always understanding and forgiving about the shortcomings of my team; that he gives feedback in a way that helps me improve, and is never condescending.
I recently also got reacquainted with an old friend, Huron, from The Virts, who is a fellow Christianprener (?). It amazed me how he boldly used his world as his playground. Huron was always obsessed about magic when we were teens, and I’d always been in awe at his dedication to his craft. In the past few years he’s shifted away from magic, and into cardistry (check out their site for more of an idea of what cardistry is). This is such a small niche! When they started out, there weren’t many players in the global scene, let alone local scene, but that didn’t stop him. He and his team were determined to elevate the craft on a global scale. Being Singaporean was a good thing to them because they could then market both to the West and to the East. They started off doing tutorials, and when these gained traction, the Virts moved on to designing their own decks that were meant to visually elevate the craft. They were the first in the world to look at designing decks for such a niche, and sales of these decks have allowed them to build a business out of it. Soon Huron quickly accelerated his learning about marketing and sales, down to producing his own videos in-house (check this one out) and has plans to take his business to the next level.
Huron also shared about how it’s obvious that God’s hand played a part in the business, and how he gets opportunities to work with talented people from all over the world, from composers to coders. All these unplanned opportunities were pivotal in growing his business. He never claims any credit.
“It’s favour,” he puts it, surely and bluntly.
I find it such a rare gem to find people like that, and lap up every opportunity I get to hear from fellow Christian Entrepreneurs. Many other entrepreneurs are quick to give opinions and advice on how I should run the business, but the advice from Christians are different: trust, pray, and do the best you can given your current circumstances. There’s no talk about KPI, ROI, EBITDA, P&L and what have you. What I admire about the Christian entrepreneurs I’ve met are that they’re so humble and so at peace. They don’t hustle for business, they don’t need to do anything that puts them in compromising situations, or that requires them to do anything unethical. They’re not self-serving. They don’t prioritise money. They treat everyone with respect and compassion, whether it’s a client, or their intern.
Most importantly, they rest in the knowledge that God will provide, in His own time. And that helps them focus on giving their all in what they do, because they know that on the grander scale of things, someone else is orchestrating the perfect path for them.
And that’s the kind of business owner I aspire to be.