The Law Of Reversed Effort – The More You Want, The Less You Get

Have you seen someone trying hard to get something but just cant get it?

  • Could be money or wealth.
  • Could be love or relationship or that guy or that girl.
  • Whatever.

Just that whatever they try so hard for…it seems to elude them.

And then the other corner, there’s a bunch of people who don’t seem to care BUT they actually get what they want.

Heard that story before?

Aldous Huxley coined the term ‘The Law of Reversed Effort’ to explain that the harder we try with the conscious will to do something, the less we shall succeed.

Is this true?

I’ve experienced this personally and know individuals and even businesses who experience this

This happens a lot in life.

An example is when people chase after happiness and joy.

They will say things like “I want to be happy” and they may do everything remotely possible to make their lives happier…but they dont get happier. They try and try but happiness seems to avoid them.

Ironically they get less happy.

Conversely…people who dont really care about happiness or joy…seems happier and fulfilled.

Weird right?

Another common example is when banks start calling you to offer you loans…WHEN you don’t need the loan or the money.

Or when people avoid committing to someone because they seem needy or trying too hard.

Or when clients are adamant and insistent to engage you when you’re fully booked, or I reject them or don’t need new business or clients?

So why do some people try so hard but dont get what they want?

And yet another group of people who don’t seem to try so hard just gets what they want?

What are we missing?

I find the issue stems from 3 main things

#1 They spend too much time dreaming, talking and thinking about the end result and what they will do with it than actually doing what is required


  • talking / dreaming about benefits of jogging or what to wear to jog than to actually fucking jog – just wear that running gear and go jog
  • talking / dreaming about earning $100K, $1M or whatever amount and what they will do with the money when they get there….instead of putting the work to actually earn
  • liking the idea of falling in love and being in a relationship instead of actually liking or loving the person in the relationship

It’s distraction from doing what is important.

#2 Taking Short Cuts

Taking short cuts is where many businesses and relationships start to fail because they start taking short term transactional thinking, and people may start to compromise quality and ethics.

This is like taking clients as cash cows or special ones like convenience, minus any real relationship.

It becomes a “how much can I take in the shortest time possible”.

This approach will kill relationships and businesses, because no one wants to be with someone that just takes and takes without giving, loving or committing.

#3 Trying too hard & Spending too little energy and effort on the process itself

This is the actual focus that you need to be at. You got to love the process and love the execution.

If you’re a baker and own a bakery, you gotta enjoy the process involved including the waking up early, buying the ingredients, preparing the dough and the process of letting it rise, baking, slicing and packing and then selling and networking to build the brand, dealing with customers etc

If you’re a physical therapist, the magic is in it’s falling in love with your patients and the process of healing them from injury to zero pain and normal movement

If you’re in a relationship, you pay attention to your special someone and what they like, what they don’t like. You give them time, love, energy etc, again and again. It’s that daily “saying hey baby, how’s your day” and “I love you” and “I’m sorry”

You got to love the process and daily do the processes and improving them consistently

How Can You Get What You Want?

You got to disconnect from the end result and you got to fall in love with the process.

  1. If you want six pack abs, you gotta exercise, cut your unhealthy food intake on a daily basis, for 6-12+ months.
  2. If you want good clean teeth and dental hygiene, you gotta floss and brush your teeth at least twice a day everyday. Avoid sticky sweets.
  3. If you want to build a good business, you gotta fall in love with your clients, find out what’s their #1 problem that you can solve and help them solve it again and again transparently and damn well
  4. If you want a loving relationship or marriage, you got to put in the effort of the little kisses, flirting, the how’s your day baby and I’ve got you baby
  5. Etc

That’s really it. The magic is in the diligence and the process.

This can be applied to ANYTHING that you want in life be it relationships, love, money, business – anything at all.

Remember, end results that you want come as a byproduct of consistent doing and improvement. Don’t just dream or talk about it, execute and do something about it consistently.

6 Skills For Successful Startup Founders

6 Skills For Successful Startup Founders will help maximize your startup chances of success, and frankly, will also be required for all small, medium and large businesses to thrive.

1) Technical / Core Skill(s)

  • technical skill is the core of the deliverables that your start up want to provide and generate revenue from, be it baking, physical therapy, coding, platforms, massage etc
  • to learn go to school or apprentice

2) Hard Product & Systems Processes building, maintaining and refining

  • this is about the business itself per se, knowing what and how to build the business system
  • online can be a platforms like Amazon, search engines like Google etc
  • offline can be physical therapy clinics, bakeries, cafes, massage places
  • about knowing what to build
  • continually upgrade the system
  • build and do part time

3) Design

  • visual, taste & user experience
  • visual is how it looks
  • taste is the quality and how it communicates
  • user experience is how well or easy it is for your clients to use or purchase your stuff

4) Sales and Marketing

  • underrated and sometimes looked down upon skill BUT highly highly invaluable core skill, but need to bear ethical and value-add perspective
  • be able to get the attention of people
  • communicate, convey and convert them

5) Finance

  • metrics to know if your business is actually working…growing…or dying
  • you need to know how to read profit and loss statements, balance sheet statements
  • helps you make decisions to build or grow

6) Leadership & Management

  • most important because the higher your leadership ability, the more you’d be able to attract and retain high quality team mates
  • how to lead and get people to do things
  • leading from empathy is more important
  • build trust so that they need to be able to have crucial conversations in a very constructive yet impactful
  • learn: take on projects that require coordination with multiple people and with numbers involved eg can we do X to improve Y revenue?

Most of the time, you can likely do well in just 1-3 at most (2 is more normal), and generally know the rest which needs to be supported by hiring or recruiting other team members

Secrets For A Successful Business

A number of friends, family and colleagues asked me, what’s my secrets for a successful business, and after years of simple answering, I decided to think about it and collate to answer properly.

Apparently I only have six (6) secrets to the secret sauce of successful business. To me, these are my “open” secrets, of which is so obvious that people seem to gloss over or ignore, because it’s too basic or generic. I laugh…because like ANY sportsperson, you know it’s mastery of the fundamentals that overrule everything.

Much like how the pro-boxer runs and runs and runs; shadow box for hours, train their left jabs for hours, then their right for hours etc. Nothing fancy shmancy. I do them still because they work.

That’s it.

#1: Know Your Stuff

Ie you gotta know what you’re selling (products and/or services) inside out, so that you know the benefits so that when leads, prospects and clients ask, it’s easy to share with them and help them make a buying decision.

Also, by knowing the benefits of your services and products, it makes it easier for you as a business owner to streamline and target your marketing and sales channels (easier to identify who are your clients).

#2: Be On Top Of Your Business Too

Some business owners like to be busy in the business, and that’s not wrong, as long as you want to and are not forced to.

Being on top of the business allows you to see what’s working and what’s not working in the business (eg processes) and you can refine to improve the business from a process-standpoint.

#3: Delight Your Clients

This is a famous saying by Warren Buffett, where he shared “no business has ever gone out of business by delighting their customers” and this is 100% true.

You delight your clients by spending time with them, helping them, communicating with them, being sincere. If you mess up, admit it and make it up to them, be sincere and don’t treat them just like ATMs or cash cows, which is just being disingenuous.

Instead, I recommend you treat them like family, take good care of them, and they may just well become raving fans who comes back again and again, and recommends others.

But be sincere and do it well.

#4 Work hard and keep improving.

Hard work helps you get bloody good at what you do
Hard work helps you reach more clients
Hard work helps you expand your business
Hard work helps you get to where you want to be

There is no substitute for hard work, you’ve gotta keep progressing, punching and moving forward

#5 Simplify / One Core A Time

Do one thing very well first before offering another. What some businesses do is that they have too many offerings but nothing they specialize in,

#6 Push through + Persist

Success takes time.
Getting good takes practice and time.
Overcoming tough times takes time.
Sometimes you may need to persist through assholes, betrayals and criticisms too.
Sometimes you get good days, some days may be awful.
Sometimes you get tired.
Sometimes heartbroken.
Sometimes what you started may not be what you wanted or end up with.

Learn from mistakes, pain and lessons and use it to pivot and refine until you get to the path where you want.

Good times will come, and so will tough times – just roll and push through

The Number One Rule To Become Richer

The number one rule to become richer is this: to understand that money IS a game. And once you get this, you will realize that you can definitely get better (and richer) by learning money rules.

Overall, there are just 3 general rich money rules (laws of money):


  • It’s a doubles game. How long will it take for your money to double? Is it months? Days? Weeks? 3, 5 or 10 years?
  • You want to invest into assets that puts money in your pocket (cash flow positive).
  • Compound (time + reinvestment) is where the money is at.

2) You need CASH to play the MONEY GAME.

  • Make more by earning more, starting and growing a business or spending less.
  • Don’t buy shit that you don’t care about / don’t lose money.

3) PATIENCE In The Get Rich Game

  • To let compounding do its magic, it takes time.
  • To earn more, you need to learn and apply and refine.
  • It takes time, patience, practice. Lots of patience.

What They Don’t Tell You About Entrepreneurship (Entrepreneurs Struggles)

I usually get this sense from my friends and families that I’m swimming in money, being popular, being successful and crushing it. They think that I wake up happy and passion lighting my energy, I wake up early, exercise, have a nice cold shower and then my bulletproof coffee.

That I can take holidays whenever I want, however long I want.

Entrepreneurship seems to be trending now because of super successful platform businesses such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and more, making people like

  • Elon Musk
  • Jeff Bezos
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • etc

to be very popular.

Throw in social media sites such as TikTok and Instagram which further glamorizes entrepreneurship, and thats why you will get the hype of entrepreneurship today: it’s trendy to have “founder” in your name card.

Here’s what they don’t tell you about entrepreneurship and the struggle of entrepreneurs.

1) I’m always stressed. There’s always a fire to put out, a problem to solve. Sometimes these happens during inconvenient days or times but we cant choose.

2) I’m always worried about money, sales, revenue, people, vendors, competitors, compliance etc.

3) I’m always thinking. I cant disengage. There is no 9-5 weekdays for me – it’s 24/7, 365 days a year.

4) Work never ends I can’t clock out from a 9-5 weekday. Any problems at work on a Sunday – the buck ends with me. Also, many of these work are boring and cannot be delegated such as executive decision making and works.

5) Your relationships WILL be tested. Both business and personal. Business because you will be working with co-founders who will have their own preferences, nuances and ideas, so expect some disagreements and sometimes things don’t work out. Personally, your personal life may be more strained too because if you have un-ending work and cant check out, your family may feel distanced from you. We hadnt talked about social life too.

6) Many Risks such as
– extreme highs and lows which can be crazy
– high-blindness which can put you at risk of mad failure
– mental health strains
– physical health decline
– loneliness

….BUT is entrepreneurship worth it?

How To Deal With Entrepreneurship Loneliness

Entrepreneurship loneliness is a real thing, and now with COVID19 and global work from home, this is also affecting employees who ends up isolated and working long hours by themselves from home.

If they live alone far from family, that’s worse.

We all need to learn how to deal with entrepreneurship loneliness, and here are 10 ideas that you can consider:

  1. Talk to people: your parents, your siblings, your friends etc. Pickup the phone and call them. Don’t text them. Call instead.
  2. Video conferencing such as whatsapp video call, Skype or Zoom is better than nothing and definitely better than a text.
  3. Network with people who are either in your same industry, or in business networking group such as BNI (Business Networking Initiative)
  4. Physical conferences are great places to meet like-minded people to discuss about common topics, problems, solutions etc
  5. Arrange to meet someone in your area over coffee (or whatever you all prefer), and just connect, live, in person.
  6. Get / Give mentoring – this one takes time, because not everyone will be wanting or available to mentor or mentee.
  7. Hire Coach to help your business, fitness – whatever, and this can help you get out of your isolation quicker, plus help you.
  8. Schedule me-time out of office / business to go for walks, museums, libraries, workouts etc.
  9. Join a professional organization of your trade, and volunteer your time there to serve.
  10. Join mastermind groups where you connect and help each other on a deeper level

How To Build A Business That Runs Without You

Learning how to build a business that run without you will be one of the key / core differentiators between an entrepreneur / small business owner and a CEO of a business.

It will increase the value of your company, free up your time to work on the business (and not be busy in it only), spend time with loved ones, or start another business hehe. This is also the difference between entrepreneurs and small business owners versus CEOs of growth and larger companies.

There are a few steps you need to do to do this, which is mainly around systematizing (pretty much fancy word for “recipe”), showing the hiree how to do it first, then they do it with you, then they do themselves.

You may need to pay to use the right tools when it makes financial sense – using the right tools will save you time and money and frustration – lots of it.

Thank you for watching how to build a business that runs without you.

Being An Entrepreneur Can Be Lonely

I have shared this notion why being an entrepreneur is lonely to all I know, because it’s true.

Remember, statistically, 95% of all start ups fail in the first year. 90-95% of those start ups that survive in the first year, don’t survive in years 2-5. That means roughly 1-2 start ups “make it”. Imagine, only 1-2 entrepreneurs who can connect with you as a fellow entrepreneur.

Next, if all your friends and family members are employees…they will not understand or jive with your entrepreneurial tendencies. They may not get how the buck ends with you, that everything in the business is your problem. They may get upset that you’re not spending time with them, burning your weekends and hours, and tell you to get a job.

Imagine your entrepreneur friends betraying and back/front stabbing you – that’d make it worse, LOL – speaking from personal experience too hoho.

Thirdly, you may strain relationships, lose friends, lose health in your entrepreneurial journey…because your business in the first few years will need a lot of your time, energy, attention.

This is why I nowadays recommend people to start their entrepreneurship journey on the side, preferable with an online one (I recommend this: where costs is low and you leverage technology to help build your business.

Entrepreneurship can be a hard and lonely journey, but I am wired to be an entrepreneur – I used to joke with my wife, that we’re the shit and crap cleaners, putting out fires and anticipating forward. Everyday is hard and challenging, and I fucking love it.

I will do it again in a heartbeat, because there are just so many benefits to entrepreneurship, which I will share with you in a future series later, including meaning and purpose and fun cos it’s challenging.

Why Entrepreneurship Is Good For You

Why entrepreneurship is good for you – there are just so, so, so many good points about entrepreneurship that I sometimes don’t know where to start.

1) You can earn more – $500/month, $1000/month or more, if correct niche is selected and scaled right. What will this extra income mean to you? Also…what if it can earn more than your current salary?

2) Entrepreneurship is a growth-hacker – it will force you to focus and grow so fast personally and professionally in such an intense way, but gosh, those who love to grow and learn, it’s awesome

3) Entrepreneurial skills are valuable – you can choose to teach this skill to your kids, get hired to make money as a consultant or just keep working in your own businesses.

4) Profitable businesses are valuable – you can scale them further, you can take them public, you can sell them for multiples of annual profits, give them to your kids – whatever.

5) Create jobs and a community and work culture that you love

6) You can meet more like-minded people and even may meet the person of your dreams. You may meet interesting people from all walks of life. Or not if you don’t want to.

7) Deal with boredom..and maybe get happier?

8) Increase natural confidence, leadership, communication etc

Entrepreneurship is so addictive to me because it hits so many of my spots, and I will likely never get sick of it – consider it, you may like it too =)

Earning More Money Is A Game

Earning more money is a game to me, and it has a few rules that once you understand, you’d get it.

I grew up in a poor to middle class family with our own stories of lack of money – I had a happy childhood, but I remember lots of stressful arguments my parents had about money, and at 10 years old, I remember making a promise to myself: that I will never let money be a problem for relationships, and that I will earn more than enough and have surplus.

I learnt that there are certain “rules” of earning money, earning more, and I’m still learning every day.

Rules of earning more money:

  1. The higher value you provide, the higher income you’d get. It’s like a $5 burger at McDonald’s versus a $100 burger at a high-end place. Different value. Choose a specific skill or industry that pays your the income you wish to earn.
  2. Mastery. The beginner or junior person will almost always earn less than the master in the same field; so your job is to master the job or skill.
  3. Process of Earning More Money:
    • Desire – you must desire to earn more, not just talk or brush it casually. Be serious with wanting to earn more money. It is a good thing to earn more.
    • Decide to earn more. This is to make a true decision and commitment that you will take the necessary actions in a consistent manner and with patience to work towards earning more (amount that you wish to earn)
    • Determine the pathways and process that you need to learn to earn the amount you want. An example is if you wish to earn $10,000 a month, and you’re currently earning $1,000 a month, find out how you can earn $2,000 a month. Then $3,000 a month. Then $5,000 a month. Then $10,000 and more a month. This could include learning a new skill, joining a new company etc.
    • Do the actions that you had determined to get you to how much you want to earn.

The real question is, are you committed and do you dare to dream to earn more?