My number is 22. 22 marked the start of my adventure, and I’ve persevered to become who I am today.
Back in 2011, when I was 22, I left my first corporate job at an MNC after 1 year. I never did send out any resumes after that because I knew that my next step was to start my own business; my first job was just a stepping stone.
Entrepreneurship wasn’t exactly new to me then. I ran a few blogshops when I was in the university but the idea of starting a new business was still exhilarating. I was certain that, given enough time, I could make it work. I never thought that my toughest fight would be against the many unexpected assumptions made and expectations people had of me.
At the beginning, I worked from home to keep costs low. Being able to work from home would be a dream for most people; unfortunately it wasn’t the case for me. As I strove to hit my targets and build my business, my family saw something else. They would watch me with an eagle-eyed stare ; to them, I was a 22 year old bum, on the computer “playing games” all day long!
“You have been self-employed for some time right? What kind of job are you looking for?
Maybe I can help you.”
To prove myself, I would work for more than 18 hours straight. Still, there would be the frequent calls from my family, asking me to get a ‘proper’ job because every 22 year old had one. To them, I was not working because I had no office or monthly paycheck. “Don’t be too full of yourself” This was the most demoralising phrase I heard all too often. Because I felt pressured to conform, I almost gave up my dream; wasting time, looking through job portals, drafting resumes and cover letters instead of focusing on my business.
To build my portfolio, I took on projects for free and came to a point where my savings ran low and I survived only on loaves of bread; one loaf, no spread, rationed over two days. This continued for a couple of months until I received my first paycheck from my first paying client.
Some of my peers, who saw me scrimping and saving, insisted I should take on a full-time job and work on my business in my free time. I knew that was not an option if I want to grow my business so I remained committed to it. I didn’t have a social life because I could not afford the restaurants, pubs and clubs some of my friends frequented. So yes, I lost some friends along the way and was branded as anti-social by some. The pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ is true!
Today, my company, a social media agency, has a lean team of 7. Though we’re small, our clients love us for our efficiency and experience. The growth of my team and the positive feedback from my clients are amongst my greatest achievements.
The turbulent period of my life also revealed the true gems that remained by my side. My ex-boyfriend would constantly remind me of my dreams and aspirations and provided a sanctuary when things got unbearable. He is now my husband?. My 2 best friends Jessica and Yina, kept in contact with me even though was a pretty detestable ranty friend then. Thank you girls for bearing with me!
The world tags us by numbers – our age; our certificates; our Facebook friends. But these numbers don’t define who we are, our accomplishments do. We each have our own unique story, waiting to be told.
I am glad I didn’t send out my resumes or I would have taken a different path altogether. I hope that my story can give you the confidence to persevere. To quote Dory from Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming.”
I’ve shared my story, it’s your turn now.
Share your story and stand to win a Lancôme Advanced Génifique gift set worth over S$300 every week! What’s the story behind your number? Redefine it. Love it. Celebrate how much you’ve accomplished, and Lancôme could be celebrating you!
o Step 1 – Post a selfie on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
o Step 2 – Share your number and story behind it
o Step 3 – Include #loveyouragesg #genifiquesg
Find out more atwww.lancome.com.sg/loveyourage
Plus, sign up for a free personalised 15-minute Renewal service by Lancôme for radiant skin you can see and feel; featuring Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Serum, your first step to being ready, radiant and confident to accomplish anything – http://dv.sg/genifique-qiyun
While this is a paid post to promote the said brand’s campaign, this story is my real-life bio and written by myself.