Many of us dream of pursuing our passion and achieving things as big as we are able to dream, but unfortunately, only very few manage to do it
We had the opportunity to speak to a few Malaysian business owners and artists about their journey of undertaking the course of doing what they love
The aforementioned individuals are Basira Yeusuff (chef and founder of Root Cellar KL), Adly Syairi Ramly (creator of iconic bands inspired LEGO models, curator of #ProjekBuku, and all-around music enthusiast), Mustakim Ismail (founder of Bawang Studio), Hafiz Jalaluddin & Douglas Khoo (the duo behind the impressive MOC* LEGO creations), and a collaborative group of artist called Foursomekl, that is made up of Donald Abraham, Fauzan Fuad, Mohd Anuar a.k.a. Fritilldea, and Mohd Azhar a.k.a. Orkibal.
*MOC stands for My Own Creation. The term used by LEGO builders when they create something without instructions and purely based on imagination.
1. Don't expect shortcuts. You have to put in the work to see the results.
In the words of Basira, “Research the heck out of what you plan to pursue and be prepared to put your head down and work harder than you've ever had to because in the end if it all works out, it's going be worth it.”
2. You'll be facing lots of challenges - making excuses for yourself shouldn't be one of them
There will be lots of obstacles and challenges to go through along the way, like dealing with disapproving family members, acquiring funds, trying to stay afloat, getting your name out there, etc. Don’t add more to the table by doubting yourself and making excuses as to why you shouldn’t or couldn’t do it.
3. Never get too comfortable or stop improving. Always keep yourself relevant.
Keep working on something bigger and better, even if you’ve perfected it. Always have a goal to work towards in the future and Adly shares the same sentiment, “I’m a sucker for relevancy. One of the people who I looked up to, once said this to me when I was with The Malay Mail, “Your masterpiece today, nasi lemak wrapper tomorrow.” My past achievements, no matter how great it was, will only look good on my resume - my future achievements are the ones that make me legit.”
4. Be disciplined
Even though you might be able to work on your own terms and schedule, but that doesn't mean you have the luxury to be lazy, mentioned Mustakim. The pressure to be disciplined and management of your time lies on yourself. After all, the early bird gets the worm. ;)
5. It's no time to be doe-eyed. Be prepared and know what you're getting into.
“Passion without proper preparation or even just simple understanding of what your passion entails - hard work, sacrifice, possibility of failure, plan B, exit strategy - can't ensure success no matter how much you like what you do,” said Basira.
6. "Never underestimate yourself."
Douglas is right, and it's true that sometimes we are our biggest enemies. We might overestimate what we can in a few months, but we tend to underestimate what we can achieve in 3 years' time. Stop doubting yourself and just keep pushing through.
7. Once you've made your decision, go hard or go home
"To pursue your passion, put full effort into it, set [your] targets clearly and most importantly, keep on learning, reading and always grabbing [any] opportunities. You must able to see yourself in the next 5, 10 years," said Hafiz.
8. Be patient
Success comes to those who has the patience to start with the simple things and acquiring the skills that make doing difficult things easy over time, Douglas reminds us. Be patient in mastering your skills and never be afraid to seek for the golden opportunity.
9. "Fear in measured doses is a good thing."
Basira mentioned how the occasional doubt, being cautious and questioning yourself, is natural in owning and/or running a business. It helps keep you on your toes and not get over confident. It pushes you to do better by learning things and making informed decisions
10. But don't let that fear take over and steer your emotions and actions
The guys from Foursomekl admitted that it can be nerve-racking, scoping out the competitors and realising how many good and talented people are out there. However, they also warned that you can't allow yourself to go down the rabbit hole of obsessing over it and falling victim to it. It can get unhealthy when too much time is wasted comparing and being tormented by what your competitors are doing. Everyone else is just trying to pursue their passion like you.
11. Money talks but it also serves as a double-edge sword
"Things might be a bit easier if you have it and things might be very difficult if you are dependable on it. Thankfully, in all the things that I did, money have always lost to my passion," admitted Adly.
12. "Most importantly do not sabotage your own success."
Whether it's because you stopped leading, neglected growth or setting goals for the future, keeping to the same routine instead of changing and innovating, your decisions and actions can single-handedly destroy your own success. Don't get too wrapped up in your own bubble, be intentional, and make every action and decision count.
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