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It takes a long time to build the life you want, but…

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In 2014, I was working in Singapore. I love my job, have great colleagues, learned a tonne everyday. But it is just not the life I aspire for the rest of my life.

Fast forward to 2023, 9 years later, I can finally say that I am at least half way towards the life I know I want to have for the rest of my life.

What happened in these 9 years and what lessons can I share to people who want to change their lives?

Yes, it takes a really long time for perhaps an ordinary joe to change your life, but the good news is, your life would start improving constantly – sometimes on a daily basis – once you put your mind to it. That is actually the most important part.

Here’s a recap from what transpire in the 9 years.

2015

  • Quit my job, moved into a totally new industry for a change of air.
  • I am lucky I landed at Apple (yes, the Apple) as a fraud specialist.
  • The contract lasted only 2.5 months though, great experience nonetheless.

2016

  • Pack my stuff and leave Singapore for my hometown Ipoh
  • Half ass a bunch of stuff and nothing works out
  • Eventually landed myself a job as a product manager at Radica Software, where I learned a tonne and made great friends

2017

  • Spent the good half of the year setting up a new house and prepping for my wedding
  • Got bored of my job, so I left the job right before the wedding

2018

  • Started the year in a new house now with extra mouth to feed, but without a job nor a plan
  • Spent lotsa time reaching out to old contacts, thick faced af but it works
  • Built up a pipeline of small freelance retainer gig from Singapore, my first actual remote work of sorts
  • Also tried a bunch of ideas like Etsy, ecommerce but none workout

2019

  • Freelance work got better and consistent
  • Tried my hands on being a property agent – nope, I didn’t enjoy it
  • Got pulled into a part time remote job by my ex-company in Singapore, finally living the remote dream while doing a bi-monthly flight to Singapore
  • Decided to build my first saas. Hired someone from Fiverr, failed miserably.

2020

  • Pandemic happened
  • Decided to continue my saas dream by learning to code for first half of the year, failed.
  • Worked with my current partner the second half of the year to launch my first Shopify app (it goes live in Dec 2020)
  • Meanwhile, I got more part time remote gig.
  • Dumping freelance slowly for 2 part time remote gigs, my income is now very closed to what I earned previously in Singapore.

2021

  • My Shopify app goes live and gain traction instantly but slowly
  • This is a good year overall as my income from 2x part time remote gig is steady, this allows me to prep for the arrival of my son
  • Got a son (yay!), I become a dad
  • Got dropped by one of the part time gig end of 2021 – coincidentally I got offered to be a full time by another team.
  • Engaged an ex-colleague to build a second Shopify app

2022

  • Launched 2nd Shopify app – and failed
  • I am basically a full time employee at this point, and a dad.
  • I go debt free this year – clear off my house loan while selling off another loss making property (at a loss!)
  • Oh, my first app is still growing – nice
  • Tried building the 3rd Shopify app

2023

  • Launched 3rd Shopify app – and failed
  • My first Shopify app finally shows sign that it can support me part time
  • Got a new house (prev 5 years), new car (prev 7 years), new phone (prev 8 years) and new macbook (prev 10 years)

2023 is still on-going.

You can basically see the improvement here, in 9 years, I went from a regular employee in Singapore not knowing what to go, to being able to work a remote job and now having a saas-based income from the comfort of my hometown.

Most importantly, I have tried so many things and built enough confidence and resilience to know that I can always make it, regardless of how bad the situation seem.

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