Friday, 25 September 2009

Newbies and oldies

A customer from Bombay has been keeping me very busy lately. K and her colleagues have left their employer and banded together to start up a new company. I can see how they're just bursting with enthusiasm. I receive enquiries from their local office during the day and a flurry of phone calls, text messages and emails in the night, even when I'm falling asleep.

I'm not complaining of course. Any enquiry during this downturn is a positive sign. The customer knows they're king, so they drive a good bargain. Sometimes I relent so that I could close the deal and go to bed.

Seeing a group of driven entrepreneurs hard at work is very inspiring. No matter which country they're from, most entrepreneurs are just as self driven and courageous.

My good friend had recently left a huge corporation to strike out on her own. Yesterday she disclosed that she's been doing very well. While the big corporations are financially strong, they often move like an 800-pound gorilla. When it comes to negotiating a deal, you often have to be nimble to clinch the contract. More often than not, big companies are bogged down by office politics and red tape that they lose out to entrepreneurs like my friend. She's loving her new life outside the corporate jungle.

Another business associate I was chatting with today sounded a little disenchanted. I could see why. His wife and kids have already migrated to Australia while he had chosen to stay behind in Malaysia to tend to his business. Today, he's back at work after spending a month with the family in the beautiful Melbourne suburbs fishing in the creek, driving to the countryside, seeking new business opportunities and generally, having a good time.

He revealed that he has grown accustomed to the Australian lifestyle, he finds it a pain to be back in the humid and dusty homeland. He had left his heart in his new Australian home where his family now resides.

He is in a dilemma of course. His business is here but his family is over there. The business suffers when he's not around. That poor man will have to choose.

Unlike the newly minted entrepreneurs, this industry veteran has been in the same business for the longest time. He's feeling a little jaded and homesick. I'm sure he'll find the answer soon.

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