I am a Singaporean with chutzpah. A Jewish term for near-arrogant bravado. As a Singaporean Chinese living in a Confucian society, it is not an easy trait to carry. But I carry my chutzpah proudly on my sleeve.
In the past, my near-arrogant bravado has put me in situations by which
- I stubbornly believe that I could do everything from development to fund-raising, to marketing and sales
- I refuse to accept that an idea, my idea, could be a bad idea
- I took every rejection as a challenge
But in the very same vein, this chutzpah has led to
- a simple arrogance that I, and my small team, can build a content distribution network
- that two programmers can set up a retail shop selling Bitcoins
- fueled a drive that has built a business with nothing more than just a laptop
I have so many stories of myself laughed out of the room or conversations just because my statements were ridiculously outrageous (to them).
Partners that have you shine bright like a diamond
Over a meeting today, the guest guessed that I must be lonely. Because who will befriend, let alone walk in the same journey as someone like me?
For a moment, I believed him, because I used to be like this. My friends from school were nothing like me. They were content with the set of cards that life had handed them, and there is nothing wrong with that. The people around me would discuss their work-life as an employee -- on bonuses, annual leaves, seeing the doctor to skip work, and switching to the civil service for job security. But I could not relate. I was lonely.
But in recent years, I found my crew.
One would complement me by being the gorgeous gold band. Putra has done that for me by being the best people's person who is a natural salesman.
The other would complement me by being the sandpaper that would file me down from a dull rock to a shining gem. Benjamen and Bach have stood by my side by providing harsh truths that have sharpened my thoughts. They have never tried to tell me to be someone who I am not.
These people are my peers. (It will be too arrogant to say that I am the diamond in a diamond ring because I am not. So take the analogy with a grain of salt.)
And this is why I snapped over the meeting today. Because I violently disagree.
It took me years to find my crew; a crew that has stood together through failures first, and hopefully great successes down the road.
I hope you find your partners-in-work too as I did:
- Partner(s) that will complement you in ways you lack
- Partner(s) that will hone your best (raw) traits into a shining gem that you ought to be.