Life of FBi | Non-Tech Start-up Founder

Looks like a Chinaman, Sounds like an Aussie, Utterly Confusing

Archive for January 15th, 2010

Doing the BIG THINGS Differently

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From a couple of conversations with a close friend in Boston who has recently started blogging, and then by girlfriend who just opened a WordPress account, I was challenged with the question – What do I actually blog about? It was in my explanation to them that one must find an audience to speak to, be empathetic to it, and provide something of value to them, that I realized, once again, I think I’m moderately good at giving advice (i.e. I’m gifted in talking crap), but often fail on executing on what I know I should. Who is my audience, who I am writing to, and most importantly, why should anyone listen?

It somehow seems that people out there are listening. Between my periodic comments on my posts and my WordPress Stats telling me that I do indeed get a decently daily readership, I thought I might as well state my intentions. So here it is. The Life of F Bi is a life of doing things, especially the BIG THINGS, differently. There have been some interesting lessons learnt from it, and for the most part I think there are some values in those stories. My intention is not to be a story teller, partly because I’m not a very good one. But rather to share observations and hopefully some insights as to why doing things differently might be of interest to you, especially if you’re young, don’t have too many financial or family obligations, and have the patience and ambition to discover yourself.

[Back in the day in London 2006 when I was certain I wanted to dedicate my life to climbing the ranks of investment wanking]

Now I am far from the most qualified person to convey this message, after all my life is far from extraordinary. On paper, I am 22, have no degree, no job prospects, and no visa into the country I wish to reside. Yet by 22, I have lived in four continents for a year or more, worked in a startup finance company in London straight out of high school, interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers whilst starting university, received a full-time offer from Australia’s biggest investment bank before even finishing first-year uni (which I took), started what became Sydney’s biggest youth-based think tank with no experience in academia or policy/advocacy work, bought my first convertible sports car before turning 20, and have now worked on my own startup from Sydney to Boston to Shanghai.

So for someone who doesn’t really believe in luck, I’m partly arrogant, but partly think there’s some method to this madness. For the last few years especially, I’ve been dedicated to doing things differently. Whenever there was a chance to do something different, I usually took that as a good reason to do it, just on that principal. And the more different the better, and the bigger the better. To decide to go to London with no real job opportunities, not knowing anyone, to just ‘work and live’ was a really big deal, and it was really different to my peers who were just going off to college. And for that reason alone, I chose to do it, and for that reason alone, it turned about to be one of the best decisions of my short life. Much more recently, as of a couple of months ago, when I decided to drop out of school, leave the country I feel in love with, and go to Shanghai to pursue a startup without really knowing anyone and with flimsy language skills at best, it was pretty different, and for that reason I think it’ll turn out to be another case of something working out because it was a BIG THING done differently.

So what’s my point. Take the risk, find that BIG THING you really want to do, that you’re scared to do because it’s different. What’s the worst that’s going to happen, you delay graduation for a year, you delay your career. But what happens if it works out? It could change your life in unimaginable ways for the better. Doesn’t that sound interesting to you?

Written by Fan Bi

January 15, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Posted in General

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