I’m thankful to have a team. They keep things in check. They see my blind spots. They nudge me gently when I am going off-course. Sometimes they even come down on me hard when I am unable to pinpoint my own personal weaknesses. One thing I will say is that a startup team must consist of leaders–no matter who the founder is.
In the darkness of being abandoned, I found my way. Freed from the shackles of being second-in-command, I became the leader of my own life. And for a long time, that was enough. Till the day came when I found myself with a second-in-command.
Building a business from scratch is no different to planting a seed in the hopes that it will become a tree one day. Everything in nature takes time and only grows when it is in an environment where it can flourish. There is a right time and place for everything. A time to toil and a time for harvest. A time to rest and a time to flower.
She was doing something that no other tree was doing. Her branches–instead of stretching up to the sky–were returning to the earth where they came from and firmly replanting themselves in the ground. In a world where everyone is trying to outdo everyone else and be taller and better than everyone else, the Banyan remains steadfast and quietly proud–preparing itself to survive for generations.
I rest my hands at middle C. I remember that much. Now what shall I do? Is it like riding a bike? A skill that one apparently never forgets. I have memories of people who hadn’t touched a piano in years and it suddenly coming back to them like a flash of inspiration. As I gazed at the keys of my piano, I didn’t feel inspired at all. I felt a numb nothing.
So many of us are mired in a world where we play politics. We say one thing and mean another. We cleverly disguise the truth under a mask. We think that by practising diplomacy we are being polite–when in reality we’re preaching kindness and practising inauthenticity. That is what leads to the demon that lurks in our basement and comes out at night.
The spirit that resides in this body longs to create. It draws its inspiration from an unseen hand that pervades the universe.
My new book is out. It’s the second book I’ve written and it’s non fiction. It’s called The Merchant of Stories and it follows my journey as a creative entrepreneur–a voyage where I juggle the dual hats of living in this world as a creative as well as navigating the marketplace in which my work is published and distributed.
The other day, I saw a tree. It was a tree unlike any other. Its branches did not reach out for the sky. It did not attempt to bear fruit. It stood there, proud and unyielding–an outsider who neither demanded praise nor attention.
The Kinokuniya flagship store is located on Orchard Road–Singapore’s iconic shopping district. I’ve always found the entrance to the bookstore rather modest and inconspicuous. The moment I walk in, however, I am always spellbound by the impressive 33,000 sq. ft. space that houses an extensive collection of more than 400,000 titles from all over the world.