Do things even if there are no tangible benefits

Ever since I went full time into Just Tangy, I hardly interact much with other people because I don’t have colleagues or bosses. So the only people I really talk to, top number 1 is the courier guys, the cai fan aunties, and some shop owners/merchandisers but not often.

Yesterday one of the courier guys came to pick up parcels and he always like to chat and share random things with me. He told me he used to be in the fashion industry and also went out to open two shops selling ladies dresses / fashion before the blogshop wave hit. After which sales was very bad for him in his shops when online blogshops started so he had to close down his shops and worked in a shipyard company as he needed money to get married as well. Then after which he went into several other business, and he’s now only 33, to me that’s still pretty young.

The thought hit me that what if my husband was like that, or I was like that? He seemed rather happy but also tired from running around collecting parcels. It does seem like not such a glam job. It hit me that what would I think of myself in this situation, doing this and that but never really made a big break or staying in a stable job would give you a stable income and by 33 you be earning a good salary. But then again, I don’t think they are grads and the inertia for grads to go out there and do your own things is actually pretty daunty because you can command a higher salary and what you give up is much more then someone who did not study a lot.

A lot of times, we see the cost benefit this way, we see what we WILL potentially lose out for sure compared to what we MAYBE can get. But we don’t see it other way around. And then again, I hope that I won’t end up being like this, doing this and that but nothing really and regret compared to staying in a job when I look back in life later where I focus and be the best in working whatever I was doing. When I look back later in life, I definitely want to say that it was the best decision I made, that changed something or everything in terms of career, but I would never know.. maybe till it’s too late?

And last night Alvin & I had this convo about him taking his masters and he told me that he asked around for opinions from his seniors if it was worth it. Most of them said its good to have but they are not thinking of it personally because they already have some other accreditation, and most of them have kids and lack of time to commit to doing a masters. In the end I realized from this is that we often seek to do things only because it’s “worth it” meaning it’s the means to the end – we have to get something out of it to classify as “worth it”. I think it’s a very Singaporean thing to only do things that give you tangible benefits and if there isn’t then we don’t do it because it doesn’t make sense. If you gone ahead and do it, people may judge but that’s just because we are Singaporean. There are other intangible benefits to things we do that we often don’t know until we do it, but we end up not doing it in the end. So anyway, we agreed that whether or not its “worth it” he should take it if the opportunity rises next year and I definitely think it’s a great thing for him as well. There isn’t a need to get something back but it sure would open eyes to something more and new.

My point is, if you want to do something, even though it has no value on the surface what so ever, I think it’s still okay to do it. You never know what comes out of it, it could be even someone you met that give you your next job. It could be the people you meet, the things you learn, personal growth is something we cannot put a value or tangible-ness to it. I am hoping as I learn and grow to be more open minded, I won’t have the Singaporean too safe and too scared mentality and I would be able to live life to the fullest.

For awhile now I thought I was being kind of lame to have taken French the first level and then not follow through with the second, why take in the first place? Then I realized that it is perfectly fine to have some self growth and personal learning, not everything has to end up with something I am very good in. It is just one of those things that I wanted to do at that point and i am happy to say that I know a little French. I stopped “beating” myself over it. More recently, I found that others were doing the same, Vivien shared with me that she was going to take up a short app development course when she’s back in UK this month, just to know and learn something new. There’s no outright tangible benefits since she’s not going to do be a developer and do coding business, but it dawned to me that it could just be in us to just want to learn and know more things. The “jack of all trades and master to none” is no longer very relevant today for our generation. Plus things like that are not cheap.

Honestly, sometimes it’s not easy to think horizontally /  laterally because we have been ingrained by our education and conformed into society to be a certain way and tick certain check boxes, if not we will be judged. I spent a good amount of time moving away from what I think I should be based on comparison to my peers etc, and hopefully I am threading on the path I want to be on, or at least the right one to end up on..

2 thoughts on “Do things even if there are no tangible benefits

  1. Do what you think is right babe! It is definitely not lame to take up French. Who knows you might want to import French products in the future. It’s always good to know more languages. In Sydney, my classmate in Indonesian class was amazed I had knowledge of 4 languages (English, Mandarin, French and Indonesian) and fluent in 2. I spoke French to this migrant in Berlin who spoke only German and French and it helps though my french was not fluent but I made my intention so there.. it still helps to know more languages..

    You are really determined in what you do and I believe that you will bring your business to greater heights. You already had major retailers as your clients. That’s a massive achievement! Tres bien !! =) To meet more people, you can go for more entrepreneur networking sessions or you can jump on meetup( and search for fashion/cosmetic jewellery enthusiasts, and who knows you can get potential business leads! I’m not sure if co working space exist in SG but if there is , it’s worth to pop in and take a look!

    1. Thank you dear!! Yes you’re right! Thats amazing how to can even speak just a little bit of French to the person, i guess its like in Singapore people only speak English and Chinese, and there’s no “use” for other langs. But overseas you meet so many many people and it doesn’t seem silly to know a little of every lang! Yes thank you for the idea, I been going to meet ups like seminars to kind of get to know more people!:)) Hope you doing well, you shld keep a blog too, I am sure alot of people would want to read your journey and story!

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