lead domino effect

This article’s idea has been coming to my mind for the past couple of weeks and months. Or maybe years.

There are other similar names for it:

  • first things first
  • fundamentals
  • basics
  • foundations
  • etc

But I came across this name recently, and it makes more sense because once you see the dominos, and if you can’t recognize yet, most of the results that we have today, be it our health, wealth, happiness, career, business – whatever, are the result of actions that we took many, many, many months and years ago.

NigelChua.com is a larger site with multiple goals and ideals, compared to sites that just talk about a single idea eg online business, or health, or something. I have never found my interest to be just single-lined that way (#sorrynotsorry) because believe me, I’ve tried.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s zoom in to a more generalized aspect that is more general of NigelChua.com: early retirement.

I wrote two earlier pieces of articles:

Which basically is sharing about how I ended up experiencing sort of a mini-early retirement experience as I transition out of my decade old business. Long story short: bootstrapped a therapy business with my wife, got acquired, wife exited first, I serve a bond that ended in 2017, now am in transition.


That’s the short story.

A longer story is:

Between 2002 to 2005, when I was studying to be an occupational therapist, and I was still a student in Nanyang Polytechnic, I chanced upon Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, which was owned by Ratna, a fellow OT classmate.

I loaned the book, and read and re-read the books so many times.

Each time I read and re-read the book, it burned into my heart and mind that

“I have to be a business owner”

I knew this because I know that first and foremost, I am an average student. I go with strong basics, but I am not the kind of super enthusiastic therapists that spends hours on YouTube watching therapy videos on how to improve one’s therapy skills.

And I knew that my starting pay of SGD 1700 and the income ceiling cap wouldn’t lead me far.

And that’s why in the first few years, I tried so many stuff:

  • got ripped off by so many internet opportunities
  • tried a few multi-level/network marketing opportunities (ugh)
  • thought about switching to higher pay careers/businesses

But nothing worked, until I met my girlfriend (now wife) and we decided to embark on therapy entrepreneurship together (I write about that on the side at TherapyEntrepreneurs.com) and I know at least, I dont have to beg for promotions and increments (in the hospital/corporate setting that I have chanced across, seems like those who talk/network best gets promoted first).

And that’s how we got started.

But even then, the last 10 years (2008 – 2017) wasn’t a bed of roses. It was fucking tough. People tend to see the fruits and outcomes (end result) and don’t see the tough times:

  • getting cheated by landlords who are unkind and seek to benefit their own
  • getting cheated by corporates that promises a lot but fails to deliver
  • getting pushed by people who wants something out of you
  • neglecting health due to pursuit of ensuring cashflow
  • putting life on hold for long – we didn’t go for holidays or had our honeymoon until 5 years into the business

It was really tough, all the knocks, lessons, scams and cheats.

But it really wizened us up to many things that we see today.

But after 6 years, in 2014, a growing MNC, approached us and wanted to work at closer length with us, with an opportunity to buy shareholding and help grow. It was an amazing experience that no money can ever buy.

  • The corporate experiences
  • The entrepreneurship experiences
  • The partnership benefits

…it was good. And I am still grateful for the acquisition by the larger medical group, and though I’ve decided to step down, it’s not because I hate or dislike the corporate and larger health group.

It’s really for personal reasons as I mentioned in the two articles:


In this case, for me to be even have the chance to experience the mini early retirement experience, what needs to happen that is here is:

  • for us to have started the therapy business
  • for us to persist and keep growing the business sustainably

That two are the points that really are the lead domino effect.

After all, I was already studying occupational therapy, and I would be bonded post graduation (I was on bursary) and I don’t cope/work well in corporate setting cos I am too straight to play the corporate game and didn’t want to climb the corporate ladder with others – I wanted more control in my life.

That’s my 2 lead dominoes that led to growing the business, learning how to be manage people, learning how to manage money better, and learning how to manage myself better.

For anyone who wants to accelerate their wealth building, I highly recommend starting a side hustle.

Nowadays, one don’t have to quit their job entirely to start a new business – that’s very risky. I recommend to start an online business (I recommend Solo Build It SBI – read my review on it here) – it makes much more sense to keep you 9 am to 6 pm day job (and it’s fixed salary) and spend your 8 pm to 11 pm working on your side hustle.

Only when your side hustle can either

  • cover all your expenses OR
  • is at least 50% of your salary

Then only you should consider to exit your salaried job.

(Note: there are many people who actually keep working even when their side hustle makes same or more than their salaried job, because what drives people differ from person to person – a job exposes you to more social connections and different work compared to working online or solopreneurship).

Start an online business with Solo Build It today.


The Lead Domino Effect can be applied to any outcomes that you’re looking for.

An example is that I’m applying it as well to:

1) Cryptocurrency For Growth Potential

The reason why I’m in cryptocurrency, is because of a few reasons. Firstly, the blockchain technology is highly advanced, and will revolutionize the way many businesses work and operate.

Even now, even Google is looking at blockchain technology.

Also, even within my cryptocurrency portfolio, I still hold some Bitcoin because I feel and think that Bitcoin is the basic cryptocurrency to hold as reserve (yes, I’m a mini Bitcoin fundamentalist), and that what I invest in, I aim for 25% to increase by at least 2500%

Whatever surplus of original injection will be pushed to item 2 below.

2) Dividend Stocks For Dividend Income

I try to push as much of my surplus (past) and future to have a portion set aside to purchase highly defensive and long-term dividend stocks for long term dividend income.

This is highly important to me because I am also a long term income maximalist – this key for me to retire early, and from my calculations, I aim to have SGD 2 million so that if the annual returns are 5%, I can have SGD 100,000 per year (about SGD 8,333 per month) in dividends to use.

I want to accelerate this by my entry into cryptocurrency.

By pricing/budgeting in FIRST a portion of all revenue to dividend stocks, my dividend stocks portfolio has already begun to grow, and so has the dividends.

3) Health And Wellness

I mentioned before that my health was neglected in the first 5 years of pursuing my business, and when my dad passed away suddenly as well as the introduction of my kids to my life, that prompted me to get my act together and take care of my health.

  • I sleep more regularly now.
  • I make it part of my routine to exercise every weekday (so 5x per week)
  • I take my high quality health supplements regularly (not all health supplements are created equally).
  • I drink mainly filtered water using a quality countertop water filter (to ensure I dont intake weird particles in our water)
  • I read more books and listen to podcasts
  • I read the bible, pray and meditate more
  • I spend more time with wife, kids and family
  • I try my best to avoid sugar/carbs and processed foods


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About NigelChua.com



Hang around here for some time, you’d see that I don’t well with hype or bullshit. I can smell that typically a mile away, and I hate that shit too.

I’ve been working on myself and on NigelChua.com for years, since 2006, and only in late 2019, I started to focus on intuitive and loving leadership, entreprenership and personal development.

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