Self-discovery, such a simple term, yet with such profound meaning behind it.
I’m sure many of you, at one point in time, have ever felt lost in your life. When you hit rock bottom and can’t seem to find a way out. At times like that, everything feels meaningless and you question your actions and what you have been working towards.
Perhaps it was your dream job application that failed. Maybe it was the trials of getting into your dream club to play sports. Or it could have been that national examination which you flunked badly.
Regardless, all of us have experienced failure at one point in time. The difference is how you react to those failures. Do you allow yourself to get back up, or do you constantly beat yourself up over the past that you can no longer change?
In this episode, we hear from Benjamin, who hit rock bottom at one point in his life, before bouncing back to become the successful person he is today.
“It doesn't matter whether you think you have the substance. You just need to believe in whatever you have and you just go for it"
Who is Benjamin?
Benjamin Wong is currently an Investment Professional at Alvarium Investments, a global multi-family office with US$20bn in assets under advisory that offers tailored investment solutions and provides a network for co-investment, collaboration and connection.
He recently founded Kinobi, a digital mentoring career platform that is present in Singapore, Indonesia and India. With his exposure to different companies including Baring Private Equity Asia, Yamato Capital Partners (YCP) and Shopee, Benjamin has amassed an impressive breadth of knowledge.
He has co-founded several high-impact communities – The Mentoring Circle, and Atomos Watch Club & Cogito Collective. In his free time, Benjamin enjoys discussing horology and philosophy.
Self-Discovery Is A Process
Many of us look for shortcuts in life. When we see someone succeed, we don’t notice the number of hours that go behind it. When someone fails, we fail to see the effort that they have invested into it. Because of this, we don’t realise that shortcuts do not exist, and time is all it takes.
From this interview with Benjamin, he shares with us how he managed to find himself after going through many instances of hitting rock bottom. Gaining confidence in himself was not achieved overnight. It was a process that took him some time to achieve.
During his Junior College days, he lacked good leadership skills and did not hold himself accountable for many things despite his role as President of the club. Fast forward to his National Service (NS) times, he again fell short of his goal to enter Officer Cadet School (OCS). At those times, he questioned his inability to achieve the goals he set out to achieve.
It was also during those times that he really started to reflect and examine what went wrong.
So if you’re feeling lost at the moment, find comfort in the fact that self-discovery is a process, and sometimes it just takes time to find yourself.
Dare to Fail
Failure is both overrated and underrated at the same time. Overrated in the sense that too many people are fearful of failing, but underrated in the aspect that failure can teach you so many things. Without experiencing failure, you would never know what it takes to succeed.
In Benjamin’s case, he tried out his Fintech venture back in his Junior College days. The entrepreneurship scene was relatively quiet at that point in time, but Benjamin did not shy away from the perceptions and even went to pitch to investors and accelerators. Even though his venture did not work out in the end, having the courage to pitch an idea at the age of 18 is definitely something worth commending, regardless of the results.
People might shoot down your idea, but I don’t think they can question your courage to step out there and try to achieve something for yourself.
Putting Others Ahead of Yourself
Being people-oriented is often easier said than done. In the interview, Benjamin shared how his initial individualistic mindset did not sit well with his peers. During his early NS days, his pursuit of individual excellence failed to help him attain his goals.
Instead, when he adopted a different perspective and began to be more people-oriented, he received awards that he did not set out to achieve. By striving to become a person that people enjoy being with, Benjamin became a well-respected leader.
From this story, I believe we should stop and ask ourselves whether our intentions are truly altruistic and people-driven. It is important to remind ourselves to take others into consideration and not just focus on our own individual goals.
Some questions I asked:
- What kind of a student were you in Junior College? (02:00)
- How did you decide to enter the PE industry? (14:30)
- What were some personal qualities that put you ahead of your peers in getting into PE? (21:50)
In this episode, you will learn:
- Benjamin’s experience from the Global Young Leaders Conference (02:42)
- Benjamin’s Fintech start-up (04:24)
- Perspective shift during National Service (NS) (08:09)
- Connect with Benjamin on LinkedIn
- Follow Kinobi on Instagram
- Follow Kinobi on LinkedIn
- Download Benjamin's Slide Deck on Entering the Private Equity Industry