I am trying to grow shrimps. But the home for these shrimps is a planted tank. And it is not easy building a planted tank in Singapore. First, I need a chiller to bring down the temperature to 23 degrees Celcius. Then I need a CO2 cylinder, to mist the water with CO2 air droplets because plants need water. Then, I have to cycle the tank, so nitrogen-eating bacteria can establish themselves in the filter media.

These shrimps are known as Crystal Red Shrimps. And they are extremely fragile, and require a specific pH, a temperature between 18-24 degrees celcius, etc.

Even though I have gotten my kitchen extremely wet and drank some of the aquarium water trying to suck water into the canister filter, none of the above is the point! The point is that I have a hobby, or rather, I needed one. I have been running a business even before I graduated from NUS (National University of Singapore). It is my 6th year, and not once, since I started have I had control on the pace of the company. The only thing I had control over is how much time I dedicate my life into the business.

Businesses require incubation

The thing is, the business runs at its own pace. Take NuMoney for an example; In the first three months of its birth, we met with a roaring cryptocurrency bear market and the company was suddenly thrown into the thick of growth without any warning.

But realistically, more often or not, every business requires an incubation time. And continually working on a revved-up engine will only lead to an inevitable result - crash and burn.

Burning out is no fun.

Historically, I have burnt out a few times trying to be both the grunt programmer aka Bangla and the CEO at the same time. It does not work! And burning out is no fun, especially if you run the company. I had to force myself to work every day because I have a team. I had to force myself to code every day if not, I will be blocking the other programmers.

These days, I do not code at work anymore.

My advice for the 26-year-old me

Be patient and pace yourself. Entrepreneurship is a lifetime endeavor (for me) and if you keep pushing every project to be a blow-out success, you will be the blowout. The progress will come eventually, believe me, because I'm the older you, and I am enjoying my life right now. Work out, have drinks with friends, have a geeky hobby, and the CEO you at work will naturally be happy and creative.

What I am trying to grow, hehe