Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

i don’t have to be who you want me to be – muhammad ali

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if i could add another word to it - my belief. i have my family, friends and my beliefs - i am rich!!


when muhammad ali was denied to eat at an all white restaurant in louisville, he threw his 1960 olympic gold medal into the ohio river and said, i don’t have to be who you want me to.

in ten words he said what most of us would not dare to say – i don’t have to be who you want me to be.

earlier this year upon leaving my job -many people out of  goodwill had said to me – girls like you, as smart as you should pursue your mba and do finance. make loads of money retire before you turn 45.

a big shot in an investment firm clsa said to me while clutching to his blackberry – i have 300 contacts in my phone. all high network individuals many whom i have met during my mba years. i asked him then as a follow-up question – besides contacts what else did you gain – he said nothing.

i have nothing against mba programs and people who study them. it’s just that to me, i have always been one of those, i need to find meaning in the things i do. i will never be one of those who do it just because everyone is doing it.

i evaluated the possibilities of studying for one. it is extremely expensive to get an mba and the only mba program  i was interested in was the columbia business school. i mean it would be nice to be able to learn from guys like warren buffett and jim rogers but since i have already met jim, i would do my best to capitalize on the opportunity. and also living in nyc and going to all the museums – paradise!

people around you, especially people closest to you want the best for you but you have to know what is best for yourself. to me writing a business plan, taking exams for it and having group discussions are all theories.

i feel that my learning process would accelerate further and faster if i put my own money into it. i would have no choice but do what i need to do to float the boat. and seriously over the past few months, i continue to surprise myself at how creative i have become in figuring solutions. i don’t have any parameters of people telling me what works and what doesn’t.

i wonder how many of these professors teaching mba programs have actually run their own businesses. the most brilliant business people i know get close to the action, develop an action plan and figure out an opportunity – not sitting in lecture halls assigning projects out.

i don’t think case studies would work exclusively in one type of scenario as well. like the fact that at one point, every company talked about being six sigma certified – i don’t think it is applicable to all companies. in a lot of instances, the six sigma have actually stifled a lot of growth and the creativity of many companies.

all my life, i enjoy building things. so why not.

what if i fail..when i was 5 my dad bought me a bike. i taught myself how to ride like the wind. did i fall? of course i did, did it kill me? no it just made me more resistant to pain. nowadays we have become too afraid to fail. failing makes a person a better person. there are a lot of good things that comes with eating the humble pie.

i think there is a very flawed notion of thought that circulates our culture today. retirement. why does one need to retire? it is because we deem jobs as so boring that after doing it for 30 -40 odd years, we can’t wait to hang up the hat.

instead if we do things that we love, i doubt anyone wants to retire. i have a friend who is 63 this year. he tells my best friend and i, he wants 50 years more to live – why? to build all the businesses he wants to build.

isn’t it sad that a 63 year old says that when most of us are just wasting our lives away? waiting for retirement or nowadays – a pink slip.


Written by smalltroubleinhk

October 10, 2010 at 10:31 am

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