How I Accidentally Learnt To Earn My Keep…And It’s A Gift That Keeps on Giving

I shared earlier on two articles

Today I want to add on it.

What happened to me was that in 2002-2005, I:

  • Sought my polytechnic education in Singapore. Together with some friends, I went to research and apply on my own during that time, what courses and work that I may be interested in, eventually settling in on occupational therapy.
  • My parents had to pay for my monthly financial needs, which included rent, books, food, stationery, tuition fees (school), and whatever I needed to be able to focus on school and graduating.
  • In the first year of study in 2002, I approached more than 12+ health institutions to get a bursary (where I get a monthly stipend which in turn, I get bonded to institution), and I finally secured one in mid 2002 which provided about $900 per month for 2 years, in return for a 3 year bond. This helped offset my parents financial burden for the monthly living expenses, but they continued to pay my tuition fees (about SGD 6000 per year for 3 years)

Having earned my own bursaries and monthly money, which led me to learn how to live within what I have, as well as having moved out to live on my own since I was 20 years old, quickly taught me how to survive.

No one else was responsible for my rent, food, mobile, internet, health, grades, relationships, use of time – BUT ME.

Naturally, this made me grow up and mature very, very quickly, that if I should live or die, pass or fail, grow or not – falls 100% on me. And I’ve no one else to blame. And when there’s no one I can rely on in Singapore, I really had to be independent.
This is what I am saying I want my kids to achieve: full independence and maturity, and better still, become rich by adding good value to the world. (And as Christians, to find Christ and bring glory to His name).

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Of course, in addition to that experience, because we also took the path of hustling and entrepreneurship, with a lot of extreme experiences where:

  • we got cheated by people who didn’t honour their words
  • learning to handle cash flow, money and promises
  • learning to handle weird patients and people
  • our business getting acquired and subsequently handling the buyers and the employees post acquisition
  • and more

All these together, formed and solidified our ideas and values, and more than ever, we are deepening our value of wanting to earn our own keep and being entrepreneurs. Life as employees isn’t aligned with who we are, what we want and where we want to go.

I think I will continue my focus on being the Mean Dad so that the kids will grow up well.

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