Friday, 3 February 2012

A path trodden by failure and rejection

Well yes it a follow up to what entails from the journey in seeking out that special cup.

Every now and then you meet a very inspirational person whom you have come to respect and adhere to his preaching s with extremity. I took a course called Entrepreneurship under the Imperial College Business School (No longer known as Tanaka Business School. Why? Well.... it appears that Tanaka hasn't been a good boy and he was caught read handed. lolz). The Entrepreneurship course commenced with a lecture by Mr. Simon Stockley. He was a pretty hefty fellow. Big boned I'd say. He spoke with a very charismatic tone which simply honed my attention to what he had to say. Simon was a banker in a retail bank if my memory doesn't fail me. Why is he teaching at Imperial you may ask. Well here's his story and I will try to recall as much as I can (I'd wan't to rekindle this thought someday in the future):

Simon was a retail banker. He was soon promoted as a manager of his branch office somewhere in the UK. He tell's us that it was a positioned he had worked towards for his entire career. But that was just about it. It wasn't a great life which he expected. One day his superior called him into his office. His boss sat him down in front of his desk, asking Simon to look on the table in front of him. Laid on the table was a pen. Mr. Boss-guy asked Simon to pick the pen up and handed it to him. Mr. Boss took the pen from Simon and he told Simon:

"You see this pen which I'm holding? It's just like you. I can use it but I can also do this: *Mr. Boss throws the pen into a waste paper bin next to his desk*"

It was indeed a cruel scene in corporate life which I had to picture and probably come to expect in the near future. But that wasn't the end. Simon resigned from his job at the bank and assisted his wife with her hobby-cum-small business venture. Mrs. Stockley had a knack for designing hats. Yea HATS and she was pretty good at it apparently! Most of her hat designs themed for wedding functions and most importantly, she enjoys it! One day they were approached by a magazine publishing company which proposed to the Stockley's that he would want to co-produce a magazine catered specifically for wedding hats! It was a pretty novel idea and with no sign of local competition. It had potential. So the Stockleys agreed with the magazine and the the editorial commenced. The magazine was a success. Though not a regional blockbuster it was a leap from where they were operating at. 

As the foundations of the magazine were laid, Stockley got in contact with a couple of friends which operated consultancy based businesses (I'm guessing he provided Financial consultancy judging from his previous occupation). His wealth slowly recovered as he contracted small consulting gigs ever so often and so did his net-worth as an individual! He was back on track after seeing life from a down up perspective. But that wasn't it. Not much of an implication career wise (not at this point to say the least *touch wood* ) but there was a night after work where he returned home late from work but had no appetite for dinner. Mrs. Stockley found it rather unusual but Simon insisted that he was fine. So later that night a horrid discomfort woke him from his sleep. He soon started regurgitating blood. Mrs. Stockley called up the emergency hotline and by G0d's will the ambulance arrived within the next 20 minutes or so. 

Simon was immediately brought to the hospital and doctor's treated him immediately (not sure if an operation was involved). The doctor says that it was due to a stomach ulcer!!!! The doctor even mentioned if the ambulance hadn't been around the area, an extra half-hour wait would prove to be fatal considering the amount of blood loss. It was exactly what happened to my grandpa who had a stomach ulcer 2 years ago. Thankfully we were quick to take action and grandpa has fully recovered.

OK so maybe some parts of the story didn't match up that well and there isn't much of a relation ( i mean I did and I still do). Simon tells us that we shouldn't be hampered by academics and monetary rewards. Money for one is simple yet necessary element which job seekers seek. Personally I would and probably still am having the same perception but hey who doesn't want $? He tells us that opportunities are everywhere and it depends on our effort to seek them out and of course, a whole lot of LUCK. He also made a remark stating that Finance, though an important and well sought after career, is a deep trench. Though aligned with ones goals, it's almost never a continuous learning curve. To make big $ we have to be entrepreneurs (hence the course) and more importantly we must have a passion for what we do. PASSION is something which you may or may not have found yet. So he urges us to highly consider Consultancy as a starting career path. Consultancy is a business line which sees all types of businesses from an objective perspective but almost always a subjective solution. It was the exposure and learning that a fresh graduate needs to develop inspirational goals. And consultancy as Simon mentioned is a perfect way to kick start a career in finding one's true calling. 

So maybe some would see Mr. Stockley's claims as a crude way of contrasting the Consultancy line of work with that of finance. But his message was sincere. We had to do something we are passionate about. Life is very short and sheer happiness itself is not everlasting. He must be very glad with how things turned out. Not being hampered with unemployment, Simon seeks to grow other important 'assets' which he share in life and has learnt to appreciate even the least significant of returns of the day. I for one, will always remember him as a figure which reminded me of the reason I stepped out of my comfort zone. Drilling for the stars! 

As for the drill; until next time ;)

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