Time and tide waits for no man. Don't wait when it comes to working on your passion in life.
Opinions expressed reflect the view of the writer (this is his story).
I recognise that the title of this article is highly unusual for a personal finance article, but rest assured that this article is not about sex, but a strong encouragement for you to start working on your passion if you want to do well in life.
A few months ago, I ran an online survey asking the question: “Why do you want to be rich?” From a few hundred responses, these are the top 5 reasons given:
I am surprised by the top reason, that so many people who want to be rich so that they can quit their job, retire, relax and not work anymore. Upon probing deeper, I realised that many people actually hate their jobs, but they dare not quit and change to one that they love because of the sizeable financial commitments that they have. Some also could not bear to forgo the high salary that they are receiving, and step into a work they enjoy but with a lower income. Often, job ‘haters’ pay a heavy price both in terms of personal joy and health after decades of working life.
Let me share my personal experience
Since my graduation from University, I had worked in a large Singapore MNC for nearly two decades. I had climbed corporate ladders and my job scope increased significantly over time. Corporate complexities increased with each hierarchy step up and business targets became increasingly difficult to meet. Work stress and difficulties gradually took a toll on me.
Deep inside me, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I have always enjoyed the process of building a business, innovation and creating great products. Eventually, when there was an uncomfortable corporate restructuring, I decided it was time for me to step out and do what I love. In 2015, I took the plunge into entrepreneurship. It was a tough, humbling, and difficult experience where the hours were significantly longer than my previous corporate life.
But I loved it.
The rush of adrenaline as an innovator and business creator brought out the highest productivity, energy and incredible creativity from me that I could never summon in my corporate life. While it was a very tough journey, I never once felt mentally stressed for the first time in my working life.
What helped eased my transition was my financial safety net in the form of Central Provident Fund (CPF) built up towards 1M65 (S$1M by 65years old). So, even if I were to lose everything in my business, my wife and I would still have more than a million dollars waiting for me when I retire. It also helped that I have been thrifty and kept a decent amount of savings that helped to fund my business.
Fast track five years since my entrepreneurial journey, I now make more financially than before. I have the time to better manage my investment portfolio. I even started 1M65, a social movement to teach many fellow Singaporean’s how to deploy their CPF savings well to become millionaires. I now live a happier and stress-free working life because I have chosen the job I love.
And I am not alone. I know of many individuals who have succeeded because they made a similar transition into work they love.
My only regret is that I made the transition to the job I loved in my 40s and not much earlier. This is why I would like to encourage you to pursue your passion early in your life.
Yes, there are probably many cutbacks needed in your expenses, some savings you need to accumulate quickly, and risk-taking that is needed. However, often if you persevere in the pursuit of your passion, success will eventually find you, and you will find that you will be living a happier and more meaningful life.
The world’s best investor, Warren Buffett, once said:
“If you wait till you are old to start working on something that you love, it is as if you are saving sex for old age.”
There is no better time than now to pursue the passion of your life!
Read these next:
Pros and Cons of Keeping Your Savings in Your CPF Special Account
6 Common CPF Myths in Singapore (You Probably Believe)
Is the CPF Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) Worth Using?
What are the Pros and Cons of Using CPF Life?
CPF Has No Equal as Investment Vehicle: Singapore’s Mr. CPF
By Loo Cheng Chuan
Loo Cheng Chuan is the founder of the 1M65 Movement that aims to help many Singaporeans retire as millionaires. He is a regular public speaker and writer in the area of Personal Finance. In 2018, Loo was one of the few non-civil servants to be awarded the Public Sector Transformation award for his 1M65 efforts.