An Entrepreneur, one year on …

It has been exactly one year to the day I founded Mobiusly and became an entrepreneur. The year has gone by quickly, but I couldn’t have hoped for a better first year for Mobiusly. I’ve earned more money this year than I’ve ever earned in any other single year as a working professional and employee. In addition to the financial rewards, I’ve also grown more as an individual and learned more about myself than I could’ve ever hoped for.

It’s been hard work

Upon reflection, I see I’ve had to work harder this year than I’ve had to before. Throughout most of the year, I’ve held 3 “jobs” simultaneously – one full-time contract at the Ministry of Transport, one part-time contract at the St Vincent’s Hospital and finally the tech founder of an online startup. It’s been hectic for sure so it’s a good thing I know how to wake up early consistently.

At the Ministry of Transport, Mobiusly has helped build an online Payments Processing System which handles over $1B annually for all Bus Operator contracts in NSW (Australia’s biggest state). I go to sleep every night knowing I make it possible for school kids to get to school on time.

At the St Vincent’s Hospital, Mobiusly has helped build an online Pathology Results system to provide timely information to doctors about their patients. I go to sleep every night knowing I help doctors help people get better when they are sick.

As the tech founder of an online startup, I’ve helped architect, develop and shape a great product that I’m really proud of. Also, we’ve just launched! It has been an awesome learning experience. The startup also happens to be congruent to Mobiusly’s credo and mission to help people do what they do better with great yet simple software. I’m pretty excited about it, and hope it’ll really take off.

I’ve had to make sacrifices

I’ll be honest and tell you now that it has certainly been tough going and I’ve had to make sacrifices along the way. Most weeks I work about 80+ hours. I’ve had to use every trick in my personal development arsenal in order to stay focused – including minimising distractions, fighting off procrastination, working in time boxes and keeping motivated with well defined goals.

Of those 80+ hours I work, I get to do 40+ from home. Thankfully, throughout all this, I’ve somehow still managed to make time for my wife and 2 kids. Needless to say though, I wouldn’t have been able to make this year such a success for Mobiusly without the support of my wife – who understands my passion and believes in what I do enough to put up with me.

My friends however have been neglected – for that I am really sorry! I seldom found the time to “hang out” or have drinks at the local pub. Whilst my friends went to socialise or have dinners together, I’ve had to go home early to take care of the kids and work on my second and third “jobs”. It is definitely with grim determination that I soldier on.

It is totally worth it

At this point, you’re probably thinking … You’re crazy! Maybe you’re right. But I made a conscious decision at the beginning of this journey that my dreams and goals are worth attaining and that in order to do so, I (may) have to work as smart and as hard as I could. I also realised I may not be the smartest, fastest, most good looking or most articulate person out there, but these shouldn’t ever stop me from trying. I refuse to acknowledge that my limitations are anything but self imposed.

So was it really worth it? For me, the answer is a resounding Yes! And not just from a financial sense. As I’ve followed my dreams, I’ve become a more competent person. I’m also happier. I’ve learned that I am prepared to work hard, have the ability to stay true to my tasks and can keep going when faced with tough choices. I’ve also realised if I work at it, results and success do eventually come.

Theodore Roosevelt from a 1910 speech puts it better than I ever can

If you value your dreams in any way, you have to give them a fair chance of success. What’s a little hard work in the pursuit of dreams? For me, I didn’t want to be that guy on his death bed 50 years from now looking back at his life and wondering what might have been if only he tried.

I’m reminded of a speech I came across recently by Theodore Roosevelt. I quote:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Dare to dream. Work hard for it.

In the end, remember that dreams give us reasons to be better than who we are. Without them, we are but walking empty shells. Don’t listen to that part of your brain that fears failure. Don’t listen to that part of your brain that tells you that you don’t have time. Because if you want it bad enough, you’ll do it anyway and you’ll find the time to do it. No matter how busy you are.

It doesn’t matter whether you have more or less skills, charisma, contacts or time than the guy in the next cubicle. It doesn’t matter at all whether you come from a poor or rich background. It certainly doesn’t matter whether you were a B/C or A student in school. What matters is daring to have dreams and working hard to achieve them. Yes, you might fail the first few times. But you’ll learn and you’ll get better.

Eventually, you’ll succeed.

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17 Responses to “Work Hard For Your Dreams”

  1. Jansen says:

    Well done Dave! ^_^
    It’s great to see that you’re living your dream

  2. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Jansen,

    Thanks! It’s hard work but it’s worth it.

    You’ll be living your dream too – once the paperwork is finalised.

    dave

  3. Łukasz Wojciechowski says:

    Hi Dave

    Your post is very incentive

    I could place myself in Your position. I feel that I can and should create big software projects and I believe I have enough expertise to do so – but… till today all of my project are in a drawer.

    But I feel that this will change in near future – partially because of Your story too :)

    I wish You all the best


    Best regards

  4. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Łukasz,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, you have to believe in yourself. You may not have all the skills right now, but you have to start the journey. Along the way, you’ll pick up more skills. Good luck with your projects! :)

    dave

  5. Vaidya says:

    Hi Dave,
    Congrats on achieving your dream. Wish i could also do the same :)

    Vaidya

  6. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Vaidya,

    Thanks. But realise this is only one step of many. I definitely wouldn’t say I’ve achieved my dreams. I’ve only made progress towards achieving them.

    dave

  7. Senthil says:

    Hi Dave,

    Its nice one, and great inspiration to start the new year. Please write more frequently if possible, thanks

  8. Richard Shelmerdine says:

    It’s true. Find something you love and work hard to get it. It can’t be a struggle if you love doing it!

  9. Nags says:

    Hi Dave! You have written a very inspiring article. Everyone keeps telling me I will never graduate from university because Im not smart enough but I am working very hard to prove them wrong. Do you think that I need to do anything in order to succeed in university? Let me know thanks.

  10. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Nags,

    Thanks for dropping by. I know from first hand experience that the smartest person isn’t necessarily the most successful. I’ve met plenty of smart people who aren’t successful (rich or happy). I’ve also met plenty of not traditionally what you’d call smart people (ie didn’t get straight A’s or go to university). Some of these people I count as the most successful people I know.

    The most important thing is to first believe you can do it, then to map out how you can achieve your goals and what you need to do. Everything else is simply hard work and time.

    Don’t give up. Believe in yourself. Good luck with your studies.

    dave

  11. Emile says:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m finished my Masters Degree (Computer Science) in a couple of weeks, and as i suspect is the case with many people, the greatest obstacle to overcome was my own fear of inadequacy and failure. From the get go i was fearful my work would be meaningless but through reading blogs like yours i realised, its not all about brains, A’s and great grades (though they are nice to get). Its, about hard work and single-minded determination and focus. Working hard and smart will get you anywhere you want to go. I plan on following your example and opening a ISV developing software that allows people to be more productive, but thats the next chapter of my life. Here’s to more inspirational guys like yourself, and the hope that i shall someday be an inspiration to someone as many like you have been to me.

    Emile.

    P.S sux that you’ve been kinda quite this year…hope you get more time to write…:)

  12. CY says:

    Way to go. That’s really an inspiring piece. Do remember to have fun as well – life is short and we do want our family and friends to be around us on our deathbed 50 years from now.

  13. Baker says:

    This piece is insightful and empowering for me. I agree also remember to put in balance to the overall process as well. Nice read.

  14. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Emile, CY and Baker,

    Guys, thanks for dropping by and leaving comments.

    Emile, I wish you all the best with starting your own ISV. I’ll also try to write more this year. As CY and Baker pointed out – this year I’ll strive for better balance between my various engagements instead of “working” all the time.

    Best wishes,
    dave

  15. Tarek Metwally says:

    dear Dave

    it’s really great and emotional words, this energetic thoughts is more than excellent

    if you don’t mind i want to use part of this articles the last portion in my company newsletter as a motivated words for employee

  16. Dave Cheong says:

    Hi Tarek,

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I’m ok if you would like to use some of my words in your company newsletter. I’d appreciate a link back to my site though.

    Best wishes,
    dave

  17. Ralph says:

    I love this post. That Roosevelt speech is priceless. Good stuff!

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