This article was contributed to us by Loo Cheng Chuan.
The world’s best investor, Warren Buffett, once said: “If you wait till you are old to start working on something that you love, it is as if you are saving sex for old age.”
I recognise that this quote is highly unusual for a personal finance article, but rest assured that this article is not about sex, but a strong encouragement for you to start working on your passion if you want to do well in life.
A few months ago, I ran a online survey asking the question “Why do you want to be rich?”. From a few hundred respondents, these are the top 5 reasons given:
I am surprised by the top reason that so many people who want to be rich so that they can quit their job, retire, relax and not work anymore.Upon probing deeper, I realised that many people actually hate their jobs, but they dare not quit and change to one that they love because of the sizeable financial commitments that they have. Some also could not bear to forgo the high salary that they are receiving, and step into a work they enjoy but with a lower income. Often, job ‘haters’ pay a heavy price both in terms of personal joy and health after decades of working life.
Let me share my personal experience.
Since my graduation from university, I had worked in a large Singapore MNC for nearly two decades. I had climbed corporate ladders and my job scope increased significantly over time. Corporate complexities increased with each hierarchy step up and business targets became increasingly difficult to meet. Work stress and difficulties gradually took a toll on me.
Deep inside me, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I have always enjoyed the process of building a business, innovation and creating great products. Eventually, when there was an uncomfortable corporate restructuring, I decided it was time for me to step out and do what I love. In 2015, I took the plunge into entrepreneurship. It was a tough, humbling, and difficult experience where the hours were significantly longer than my previous corporate life.
But I loved it.
The rush of adrenaline as an innovator and business creator brought out the highest productivity, energy and incredible creativity from me that I could never summon in my corporate life. While it was a very tough journey, I never once felt mentally stressed for the first time in my working life.
What helped eased my transition was my financial safety net in the form of Central Provident Fund (CPF) built up towards 1M65 ($1million by 65years old). So, even if I were to lose everything in my business, my wife and I would still have more than a million dollars waiting for me when I retire. It also helped that I have been thrifty and kept a decent sized savings that helped to fund my business.
Fast track five years since my entreprenuerial journey, I now make more financially than before. I have the time to better manage my investment portfolio. I even started 1M65, a social movement to teach many fellow Singaporean’s how to deploy their CPF savings well to become millionaires. I now lived a happier and stress-free working live because I chosen the jobs I loved. And I am not alone. I known of many individuals who succeeded because they made similar transition into work they loved.
My only regret is that I made the transition to the job I loved in my 40s and not much earlier. This is why I would like to encourage you to pursue your passion early in your life.
Yes, there are probably many cutbacks needed in your expenses, some savings you need to accumulate quickly, and risk-taking that is needed. However, often if you persevere in the pursuit of your passion, success will eventually find you, and you will find that you will be living a happier and more meaningful life.
There is no better time than now to pursue the passion of your life!
Loo Cheng Chuan is a father of three and founder of the 1M65 movement. To find out more about the 1M65 movement, you can watch our DollarsAndSense Tonight interview with him: