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3 Important Entrepreneurial Lessons From An Ordinary Work-From-Home Malaysian

I was just reading an article on Forbes the other day: “Re-Definition of Entrepreneurship – Rise of Freedom-Seeking Freelancers” and I strongly agree that the younger generations these days are more interested in working for themselves (independent) rather than on traditional jobs. However, most of us know that entrepreneurship is NOT for everyone, and it is certainly challenging especially for those who are just starting out.

Honestly, it all boils down to whether you have the correct mindset and proper attitude. It’s not so much on the amount of money you gonna make. I will explain in a short while.

This reminds me of a free video series I created in 2012 when I launched Part Time Boss program. The first ever video I had done was about the traits of an entrepreneur. Not many people have actually watched it. You can find the 4-min video below:

I don’t know why many people have the perception that working on the Internet (or your own business), you will definitely make a LOT of money and able to enjoy the things you always wanted in life. If this is true, my only question is – if everything sounds so easy then WHY people who think this way are not doing it? Why still stick to their 9-5 routine?

Personally, I think the word “Entrepreneur” is too overrated. Having the cool title alone ain’t doing any favor to you, you need to prepare yourself with certain successful traits.

Being a work-from-home geek for over 4 years+, I consider myself “still qualified” to give you a few good words should you decide to walk on the entrepreneurial path someday…

#1 Work Hard Only On The RIGHT Things: There’s nothing wrong with working hard but in many cases, people who worked hard often feel unhappy / distressed with their work. I’ve experienced this with my own family members as well as some close friends.

I discovered that the main reason which causes this is either people work on the wrong things (or) they jumped into it because of the rewards / compensation promised to them.

I remember when I was an Insurance agent in 2008, I worked hard selling life-insurance and able to make some decent income every month, but I felt unhappy doing offline sales and often brought back my bad moods home, thus ruined the relationship with my family.

It is not until I started working on the things that I enjoy doing, i.e. working online from home, I work harder, feel happier, and perform better on the projects I’m involved in.

→ Work hard on the things that you’ve got interest, most importantly, have fun doing it!

#2 Work With The Right PEOPLE That Can Help You Grow: There’s this saying – you’re the average of the 5 closest people you spend the most time with. Not only you need to work on the right things, it is equally important to work with right people as well.

Your mentors, colleagues, teammates, seniors, etc. Basically people that you can learn from, people that are better than you in your field, people that earn more money than you.

Here’s WHY. You can’t succeed all alone… one person doesn’t make a country, one person doesn’t make a corporation, one person doesn’t make a community, and one person certainly doesn’t bring harmony. You gotta have to work with people in order to create opportunities and possibilities. And if you were to work together with people, you better make sure you work with the right people. Walk away from those who are “toxic”.

#3 Work On $KILLS (Value) That Bring Out The BEST In You: This is somehow related to #1. Not only you need to work on the right things, but you also need to work on things that can bring you the MOST income. As you probably know, a person’s income is very much determined by the skills (value) that he / she able to bring to the marketplace.

I remember few years back, there was once where I wrote articles online and the paid was $1.67 (RM5.00) per 400 words article. I quit on the 3rd day of writing simply because  I realized I could have used the time to work on projects that can generate more income.

You know the concept of opportunity cost? E.g. Let’s say you’ve got 2 skills: ‘A’ and ‘B’, if A can help you make $100 per day while B can only help you make $50 per day,  then doing B that “only” brings in $50 per day is very costly. I hope you get my point here.

→ Here’s one important point you must keep in mind – almost all skills are LEARNABLE.

Just last week I was working with a U.S. Doctor on a web project. Initially I was very confident and comfortable with the requirements he wanted, but on the very last minute he decided to transform his site into an eCommerce (which I’ve got no experience in).

Am I able to deliver it to him? Absolutely yes. How did I do it? I spent 2 hours watching the tutorial videos and reading the documentation. That was how I gained a new skill.

Therefore, make sure you equipped with the skills that are valuable to the marketplace.

These are just 3 entrepreneurial lessons based on my 4 years+ humble experience. I’m sure there are plenty more attributes on how to become a successful entrepreneur. Are you an Entrepreneur? Anything more to add? Please leave an insightful comment below.

by KM Lee

KM Lee has been a self-employed geek since 2008. Currently he's working full-time from home online. You can also connect with him:

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  1. wow, that’s was a motivational article about Entrepreneur, thanks for sharing :D

    1. hi Alvin,

      Thanks for your kind words.

  2. KM,

    Do I know this doctor?

    In a former life of mine, I worked as an tile setting apprentice. I was getting paid minimum wage. I was doing all of his work and mine. I asked for a raise and he said…NO. I said okay, so I will go out on my own. All the sudden I started to attract and get new kinds of tile work that I had never done before. I quickly went to the Home Depot and read every book I could find about how to get the new jobs done, despite the fact that I had never done it before. I had the basic skill but needed to go out of my comfort zone to add to my “tool bag of knowledge” in order to serve more people. That happy customer lead to more referrals and before long I was doing and learning new things related to my original skill set. I even do this today. If we’re not growing…we’re gettin old too quick.

    Thanks for the plug…

    1. hi Alan,

      You sure do.

      Thanks for stopping by and share your story. Guess we all have to start from somewhere. It could be challenging in the beginning, but it’ll be very rewarding once we give it a try and keep growing.

  3. Hi KM,

    Thank you very much for your sharing.


    1. hi Francies,

      It’s my pleasure to share. Have a great start of the week!

  4. Your posts are mostly very motivational!

    1. hi Marilyn,

      Thanks for noticing my little blog here and most importantly, thanks for reading!

  5. I’m extremely impressed. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Not a problem. Thanks for reading it!