I Hate Being Bonded


After being bonded twice:

  • first time from 2005 - 2007, to serve out a bond that was because of my bursary awarded by a public hospital who provided and paid for the last 2 years of my polytechnic days

  • second time from 2015 - 2017, to serve out a bond because of the acquisition of our physiotherapy and rehab business by a larger health company

...I can truly tell you that I really hate being bonded.

But to be fair, it's a two-way street.

  • For the 1st bond, because I was bonded, in a sense, I have less financial worries because the hospital provided me enough cash (about $950 per month) for my living expenses, which helped to offset my parents' financial burden.

    And then, I have a job already waiting for me when I graduated.

    This forced me to learn the hardship and resilience of being a new grad, with no way out, and I have to learn to improve my clinical skills, social skills, and more.

  • For the 2nd bond, I was pre-paid a sum of money that is roughly 2.5 years advance of profits, in return I was to help drive the business during my 3 years. I had a fixed salary, and some interestingly tough and lesser-than-nice environments.

It tough, but looking back, there is a few key benefits, other than learning the darker side of being employed.

the main reason why i hate being bonded.

I think the main reason is...I have no choice.

Specific to my recent bond, there is 2 issues:

The #1 main issue is choosing very short term business tactics as opposed to really spending time and effort to understand a business, and adopting a more well-balanced mid-to-long term strategy that encompasses the 80/20 rule and sound business-specific principles. I was stuck in business tactical hell.

#2 is being in a helplessness situation, where I have to face certain people/individuals who aren't nice, or good, or helpful...and worse, force to do stuff that is against my values - I find it very stressful and painful.

An example is I really dislike giving discounts "just to make sure there is ongoing revenue targets", especially during quieter months like December. I had explained, EVERY December, patients and therapists are away, so consumption naturally drops; and there is seasonality to therapy businesses, so we dont have to chase sales each time before December or any other known downtime.

Yet, I am pushed to do it because "it'd look better for reporting" and that the higher-ups will be happier with it.

People will be happier when they are lied to...?

And presented with less than accurate data?

That's just ONE example.

Another example is deciding to milk a system "because we can and others are doing it" - I didn't like it and had shared verbally and in writing, but in the end, I was still pushed to do it. I recall this very vividly.

There are too many examples, but of course, it can be tempered and said that growing companies will have growing pains, and these are all transient and transitional problems associated with growth.

the problems with short term thinking

The main problem with short term thinking is because it creates short term value - stuff that don't last...because they don't solve the main problem.

It's like wanting to build a passive income lifestyle, but do not want want to study how it's done properly, and buying every single shiny object, and failing again and again and yet not learning from it

Or if a patient has a fracture, and we just paste on a plaster, so it looks like it's being managed.

That's the problem with short term thinking. That being said, short term thinking has its benefits, but only when appropriate. An example is very short termed projects, such as throwing a party or gathering, and unless you're in the business of throwing parties, it shouldn't be the central way of building and growing your business.

Short term thinking is very tactical and tends to be superficial, which I don't mind if it's light or for fun. But if you expect me to grow a business 25% or 50%, I can't slap on tactics and plaster and pray it'd work.

Maybe a little.

but it wont be a sustainable growth model

And it's really frustrating.

I understand the opposite, because long term decision making takes time. Stuff that I recommended, takes 6 months to 18 months to show fruits, and the management above me, cannot wait that long for results, so they want SOME results NOW.

Any results.

Maybe the best is a combination of 2: 80% on long term and 20% on short and mid term?


But I am very big into long-term, sustainable and scalable business and financial systems - that will and can work without me.

that's the crux of what annoyed me when i'm bonded - that i lack the influence and control...

...is that true?

That's what I tell myself, especially because whenever I am bonded, I feel as though that I have no choice, and don't pushback things I disagree with.

But I think, that's not true.

Regardless whether I'm bonded or not, I can pushback regardless, and to speak freely.

I am personally growing too, and should I get bonded again, I will pushback and speak freely, instead of suffering in silence and resenting.

NOT. I rather not get bonded anymore lol, cos I just dislike the perception of lack of options and choices, despite developing awareness that I can pushback.

I just don't like it.

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