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INTRO Am I ready?

jadkki

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Hi all,

First and foremost I would like to thank @MJ DeMarco for creating and maintaining this forum so that myself and so many others could benefit from it. Thank you so much.

I have read both TMF and Unscripted many times over the past few years but the shittiest thing is, I only REALLY took action now.

Why now? I had my FTE just weeks before.

I have always thought that having kids will be FTE enough for me as I really value having my own children and loving them and providing everything I can for them. But the truth is, that really wasn't enough. After the birth of my son, I had a FTM that I thought was an FTE. I was spurred, I told myself this is it, this is when I will start doing the things that matter, to build the business that will be able to buy my freedom so that I can use the time for him. I even when so far as to create my own private label of baby apparel , spoke to a supplier in China, got samples, and even had my first shipment shipped! But then it came to a crashing halt. When sales were almost non-existent, I started to falter and when the funds dried up, crawled back to the comforts of a job again.

Then came my baby girl just 3 months back. This time again I felt the same rush that I had when my son was born. But again, it died down even faster. I was still at the same job, but things were about to take a drastic change this time.

I worked for a long time friend in his family owned business in the field of commercial interior design as a project manager. When he roped me into the business, he told me that he was prepared to bring the business to the next level and needed a right-hand man that he could trust to help him along the way. Talks of sales proceeds, bonuses and partnership came into the conversation and I took it. I really took it upon myself to assist him and improve the company as if the company was already partly owned by me. I was excited at all the things that we could have done and fantasised about the amount of money that we could make and the size we can grow the company.

A few months after joining the company, my wife and I had our baby girl, and thats when things started to go in a way that I did not expect. I had to knock off on the dot to pick up our son at his childcare in time as my with is carrying the baby and handling a 20 months old is definitely not any easier on her. My friend started to hint at the loss of commitment to the company, not being able to perform OT is really a minus point when everyone else in the company is seemingly able to do so, (My friend/boss and I were the only people in the company that have young children). I was disheartened but promised that I will do my best to still contribute the same, even when working off site, after working hours at home and even on weekends when I site supervisors or clients called me. I was always reachable for anything.

Things started to get sour at home as my wife felt that I was always on the phone when the office called. Even when I was with her and my son on the weekends, she felt that my heart wasn't there for them. So Minus points wife, minus points career.

Then my baby girl came along.

She really caught us off guard as she arrived 3 weeks early and I was in the midst of running the biggest project that our company had so far and I had to be taken away to go on paternity leave for 2 weeks. Making things worse, our lead designer for that project injured himself in a freak accident and had to be away on medical leave as well. My friend/boss had to run the show for 2 weeks while we were away.

One day, I received a message from him 24 days after my girl was born. This is when I had to take some leaves to help out in the house, bring the kids to their checkups and stuff. At this point I had already felt that I needed help and am in the midst of getting a helper to help out in the household chores.

After some short text conversation, he ended with this "Ok, Let's see your progress when your helper arrives, But don't take too long please. Ideally should come before nanny leaves." The nanny is referring to the a special someone that we engage during the first month of the baby's birth to help out with the baby and also to care for the mum when she is recovering from birth. This is a common practice in Chinese communities, Singapore here by the way.

24 days. That's all it took for him to classify me as a liability.

Not willing to just throw in the towel, I tried my best to make it work. I gave it my all at work, many times skipping proper lunch and taking care of everything that I can during the office hours. But then life decided to throw me another something to deal with.

My wife was diagnosed with post natal depression and her case was considered quite severe as she is having negative thoughts about the kids and even some suicidal thoughts. That was heavy blow to me and thats when I had a deep and long conversation with her. We came up with the solution of me taking 2 months unpaid leave to be with her until she goes back to work all while seeing a therapist at the same time. With renewed hope from this I when to speak with my friend/boss's boss (his dad, the real boss) about it.

What caught me by surprise was that even before bringing up the notion of the 2 months unpaid leave, they had already been posting job offers for my position, as early as 2 weeks before. I was like, whao, that's really unexpected. A year ago my friend and I were talking about how we can support each other as we understand our commitment of our family and to make this company work. And now I am just treated as some liability that they have to get rid of as soon as possible. On the day, 2 months unpaid leave became thank you and goodbye 1 week later.

FTE. No matter what promises and good feelings and friendship and talks of support, when you are a liability and not contributing enough to the company, off you go. I understand that it is just business, no hard feelings, but, shit you.

This one single event, has made up my mind to NEVER step into a job ever again. (Except to gain relevant industry knowledge that will be essential to my own business)

So now, I lost my side of the income, have to deal with a young baby and work along with my wife to deal with her depression, and think of how to make ends meet.

Despite all these, am I ready for entrepreneurship? ABSOLUTELY!

I know the stakes are high, challenges are as tall as a mountain, and time will get tough. But somehow this time, I know I am really ready.

I will be starting out a progress thread to document my journey, to also act as a journal to myself to guide me along the way.

I appreciate the time that you have spent to read my lengthy introduction, I hope it have given you some value in someway.

Thank you.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Wow. Sorry to hear a the job and its false promises as well as the struggles with the wife. I hope she gets better.

What really sucks is putting forth business owner hours yet still being an employee. Looks like your "partner" really is a bad person to work for.

Welcome to the forum my friend.
 

ZF Lee

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This is a common practice in Chinese communities, Singapore here by the way.
Welcome from across the Causeway, then!

Reading your story has me really, really furious at whoever put you through so much trouble in an ungrateful manner, yet I'm glad you pulled it through quite decently.

IMO, do take a while to spend time with the wife and kids...especially the wife, at least until she recovers back to normal.

It might take more than a few months, so unless you have a decent chunk of savings...

Depending on your skills and current industry experience, you can hit up Linkedin or Upwork for freelancing, but to keep them from turning into another job nightmare, you can afford to state to prospect clients that you have strict limits on your time available, as well as the scope of work.

A brief example from my own freelancing experience, is that I send them a template blueprint of the task, which clarifies how I do things.

I also state clearly that I can only respond within X time frame to queries, and also don't do jobs below X price point. Clients respect that, and make room for that, as long the deliverables pop in.

BTW, what's your main skills and expertise in?
 

Ernman

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Welcome to the forum jadkki. You have some serious challenges to deal with, sending you all the best wishes.
 
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jadkki

jadkki

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 18, 2019
10
14
17
Wow. Sorry to hear a the job and its false promises as well as the struggles with the wife. I hope she gets better.

What really sucks is putting forth business owner hours yet still being an employee. Looks like your "partner" really is a bad person to work for.

Welcome to the forum my friend.
Hi MJ,

Thanks for that, really appreciated it.

The thing that pissed me off so much is the grand display of support and so-called partnership at the very beginning before I joined, we were talking about days where we can work from home, be with our family while still contribute at the same time (like I said we were the only ones with young children in the company), and then poof! All of that was forgotten the minute my girl was born and then I became a liability.

If you don't mean it, don't say it to begin with.

All that said, I can't really put all the blame on him as I was the one who chose to believe that this will work, and he was not the only one who calls the shots.

That's all behind now, I am just grateful for him for showing me my FTE.

Welcome from across the Causeway, then!

Reading your story has me really, really furious at whoever put you through so much trouble in an ungrateful manner, yet I'm glad you pulled it through quite decently.

IMO, do take a while to spend time with the wife and kids...especially the wife, at least until she recovers back to normal.

It might take more than a few months, so unless you have a decent chunk of savings...

Depending on your skills and current industry experience, you can hit up Linkedin or Upwork for freelancing, but to keep them from turning into another job nightmare, you can afford to state to prospect clients that you have strict limits on your time available, as well as the scope of work.

A brief example from my own freelancing experience, is that I send them a template blueprint of the task, which clarifies how I do things.

I also state clearly that I can only respond within X time frame to queries, and also don't do jobs below X price point. Clients respect that, and make room for that, as long the deliverables pop in.

BTW, what's your main skills and expertise in?
Hey Bro!

Sadly, I do not have any specific skills that can immediately translate to work online, unless you count translating mandarin to english something. My expertise is more on social, people skills and project management.

And sadly again, I do not have a decent chunk of spare change lying around, got to hustle quickly to cover the expenses at home.

My current plan is to drive with GRAB (The UBER of south east asia), to cover my expenses while working on setting up my e-commerce store. Until the point where I can cover all my expenses with the proceeds of the e-commerce store, then I will focus my efforts full time on it.

Welcome to the forum jadkki. You have some serious challenges to deal with, sending you all the best wishes.
Thanks man, really appreciate that.
 

ZF Lee

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Sadly, I do not have any specific skills that can immediately translate to work online, unless you count translating mandarin to english something. My expertise is more on social, people skills and project management.
Yes...translating mandarin to english can be a great skill to use.

Think translating product copy for Western Amazon entrepreneurs, to sell in Chinese or Asian online marketplaces. Or even product documentation from Europe, sent over to clients in HK.

As for project management, I think it's still possible to transition over to online work.
I have seen mentions for Asana and MS Project on Upwork.
You would be taking a Virtual Assistant approach here.

I haven't read up on any courses or books for that approach though, so you could just read the freelance job descriptions, see if they even remotely fit your skills, in terms of your project management skillset, and then toss them a PM or a call, if possible.

As for Grab...decent for side cash, based on what I talked with Grab drivers on my rides, but they usually had a main job to bring in the main money.
 
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jadkki

jadkki

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 18, 2019
10
14
17
Yes...translating mandarin to english can be a great skill to use.

Think translating product copy for Western Amazon entrepreneurs, to sell in Chinese or Asian online marketplaces. Or even product documentation from Europe, sent over to clients in HK.

As for project management, I think it's still possible to transition over to online work.
I have seen mentions for Asana and MS Project on Upwork.
You would be taking a Virtual Assistant approach here.

I haven't read up on any courses or books for that approach though, so you could just read the freelance job descriptions, see if they even remotely fit your skills, in terms of your project management skillset, and then toss them a PM or a call, if possible.

As for Grab...decent for side cash, based on what I talked with Grab drivers on my rides, but they usually had a main job to bring in the main money.
Thanks for all the suggestions bro!

However, I don't think I will take any of those paths as I am going to concentrate my efforts on my e-commerce business. The GRAB stint is just to cover the expenses shortfall. My wife will still be working and thankfully her pay is pretty decent and I will only need to make up approximately $1500 per month max (if we decide to still keep the car).

That said, I think my GRAB stint is up in smokes as well as the finances do not add up, its now GRABFOOD. Bummer, but life goes on.

So time some time in the day will be dedicated to make up the expense difference, the rest will be spent for the business.
 

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