Saturday, November 22, 2014
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
I had a big gap in my resume' then when I was not working for any registered company. It was close to almost a year and my business was not going well, so I made the hard decision to look for jobs like any other normal people would do. I had to eat and pay the bills, and I gave up--I couldn't take it anymore. I kept telling myself, I'm not going to suffer anymore. I chose the easy way out and applied for a job instead.
And eventually I got an interview with XYZ Company for a business analyst position. On the day of the interview, I put on my old long-sleeve shirt, with the green tie that I had stashed somewhere in my cupboard before and hurriedly looked for the file where I kept all my certificates.
The interviewer was a thin, bespectacled man with a strict, long face that looked like a donkey; a strict, angry donkey. Or so I thought.
Just as he had walked into the interview room with a copy of my resume' in his right hand, we shook hands and then sat down on the swiveling office chairs. He began with an interesting question, why are you looking for a job, Cliff? (Somehow, some people still go around calling me Cliff. I got used to it though.)
I can see that you ran your own business before, so why apply now? What happened?
I told him what happened.
What happened that day, instead of a job interview, I thought it was more like it was an appointment with a psychiatrist. He shook his head slightly and I could almost see a shadow of a smirk on his face.
He continued by telling how he got his company up and running. He told me how hard it was in the beginning and there was no stopping him because he believed in his ideas. He would not let anyone or anything stop him and it would be best if I could follow his footsteps.
That interview was just one of many encounters with strangers that had generously offered me the strength I need during the hard times. Yes, it was unbearable and I wish I could just forget everything and focus on job-hunting like the rest of my friends.
My story is a story that I love to share over and over with any of you.
It's also an inspiration for my new book too. In my pursuit to achieve my life ambition to become an entrepreneur, I went broke a number of times, owed money to some of my closest friends and even considered moving back with my parents back home. Majority of my projects failed and made little or no money. Nothing--nothing seemed to be working and it was really stressful. That was when I finally decided to self-publish my own books, to start bringing in the adequate revenue each month to keep me afloat.
During those hard times, it is important to identify the key factors that could keep me going. I still looked for jobs (after the interview), not entirely convinced that I should stick on with what I was doing at the time. But after a series of bad luck in job interviews and a few good luck turned up on the side of the court with some of my own clients, I lingered on.
I kept going by being absolutely terrified to fail. I did not want to disappoint my parents, and I am doing it for my own kids.
Sometimes, I would suddenly have an outburst and became really frustrated with everything when I could not help but compared my life to the others around me. They were climbing their respective corporate ladders well and there I was, on the ground floor still struggling to find the nails to build the ladder. I was really angry that I was not able to make money from doing what I love. I was a captain without a ship...
This fear kept me up most nights. I rolled over and over on my bed, too many to think about. That was one of those earlier moments that kept me going with this blog. I worked at nights, writing and reading so I could achieve what I set out to do:
financial freedom and living a life as an entrepreneur.
I began to read more motivational and inspirational sites; that by reading and learning about a lot of people who had been in difficult situations before, made my journey less...err...lonely.
It was not always positive with me. I was this pessimistic son of a bitch who turned down a lot of life opportunities before. Positive thinking did not come naturally for me. But I made an effort to force myself to think positively.
It was a slow process, but little by little this whole image of Mr. Positive slowly becomes a part of me. What choice did I have? And I'm glad I did because my effort paid off. There were a lot of small (but OK) mini projects that could help me pay the things I need to pay. Every tiny project then grew into a snowball.
It is important to keep on reminding myself that every small step is bringing me closer to my goals. Maybe not today, but I am a little bit better than yesterday. My piece of advice: If you are Planning to escape from whatever dark hole you're stuck in your life currently, planning is the easy part really, it's the escaping phase which requires persistence, determination and commitment.
I had gone through some really dark and difficult moments of life, but I am still committed to my plans nonetheless because I believe in what I do. I have decided that I would not bow to these pressures. There might be hiccups, but hey, that's the wheel spinning, isn't it?
My friends, I have not accomplished everything that I set out to do, but the journey is simply amazing and great. I have learned a lot. I have learned how to bootstrap. I have learned how to survive in this urban jungle. Don't get me wrong. There are still nights these days when I could not sleep but the fact that these ambitions are still alive within me, that's what most important to me.
I am not saying it will be easy for you, but every step that you take from here onward, it will make you a stronger person come the next sunrise (if you hold on and endure). I promise; but only if you are willing to learn and train yourself.