Ever since I started my entrepreneurship journey in 2008, I had the impression that I was the odd one out, that no one in my family were entrepreneurs, and that my non-entrepreneurial family will not be able to understand the struggles we face as entrepreneurs.
And this has been proven right many times over the years since 2008 ever since I made the decision, and even till today, many people still either don't get it or don't accept it and are delusional about life and the work-life-balance.
But I felt really good and sort of relieved somewhat, when I suddenly recalled that:
- before my dad settled down working for the income tax in Malaysia, I remember that he used to tell me stories of how he used to be a medical sales representative, going door to door of clinics. Of course, he told me of how frugal he was, having to eat a meal of roti canai and teh a day to save money. Later after he passed away, only then my mum told me how he did pretty well, and had to “curtail” his sales so to “also curtail” his bosses expectations. Hmm. He was a commission-agent, a freelancer in his own right.
- my mom's dad ran a mom-and-pop grocer store since the early 1950s. When I was younger, I didn't have understanding of things, I only knew how to go to his shop to eat his food and drink his soft drinks (he never did complained, not once – and I recall that he would stock up more when he knew we were coming from JB to visit them in Seremban). In fact, he was one of the pioneers of night grocer before 7-11's 24 hours came about – he came up with the idea of opening his shop at night, so that he can compete well against his competitors who only often open in the day time. He brought in alcohol, brought in oil – all the stuff people were looking for but can't get in the middle of the night. He's definitely a business man, doing fast moving consumer daily goods.
- I've two uncles from my mum's side who're entrepreneurs in their own rights – one is a trader of watches, and the other did a couple of things from opening a snooker shop, to now trading fast moving packet foods such as chips etc – both are entrepreneurs in their own rights too.
My dad was the only one in his family to be an entrepreneur and self employed then, before making the decision to be an employee so that he can provide stability to his family. My mum's side has at least 3 employees.
It's nice to know.