Do you still want to be a hawker…or are just burnt out from your job?

by Yin on May 5, 2010

in Career,Entrepreneurship or Small Business

Even after reading the previous article, you may be sorely tempted to just get out and just be a hawker rather than to take the mental stress. Well, at least you’re your own boss and no one dictates how you should do your work, etc. And selling food generally requires very low startup and the earning potentials are great. 

But, if you google about blogs on escaping the corporate life, chances are, you are also an intelligent, intellectual, educated person who thrive on job and personal satisfaction.

Being a food court hawker would not provide you the mental stimulation that you need to survive. Because the job’s labor intensive, fairly repetitive and leaves you with no time and energy to have a social life, surf the net, hack Facebook or do the things that you once love. Life’s only about working and hitting the sack. 

It constantly amazes me that the previous generation are so true to their job- they have found their true vocation in making the best tasting Hainam chicken rice, laksa, the best coffee, fried hokkien mee, etc. And they do it everyday for 20 years or more. They just like to keep their life simple and their job becomes a large part of their lives- I have seen many of these sellers who are still operating stores even though their kids have grown up, and they no longer need the money. 

But in today’s society, with improved standards of living (thanks to our hard working parents) and after getting a basic level of education, most of the time our minds have evolved into wanting and needing mental and intellectual challenges. Or give us more ways to improve marketable skills that comes in terms of projects, portfolios and responsibilities. 

Sometimes, after having notable job achievements, we may want more- finding and fulfilling our true vocation, earning money but at the same time making a world a better place, etc. To correctly identify this level, it will usually involve leaving our comfort zone, probably going back to school for the new required skills, taking a paycut, moving to another country and lots of trials and errors.

So if you’re burnt out and feel that you’re stuck, your heart and mind may want something more. But often, the answer is not found by being a hawker, cleaner or doing jobs that basically make you ashamed of being seen by your relatives and friends. 

Unless you have a grand plan of selling food at a stall to ‘test the market response’ and ‘consumer readiness’, and then eventually patenting the products, and expanding it into your own brand of restaurants and cafes….

Remember, don’t go into it just because you have read about other’s success stories and want to imitate them. Because if you do, it will easily turn into just another crazy venture that burns you out 10 times worse than your current job at the office cubicle. 

If you’re into the something because that’s what Entrepreneur and Forbes mentioned as the ‘hottest’ startups, you may just give up at the first sign of trouble and get burnt out quickly. 

Instead, whatever you plan to do, do it because you know you have the passion and belief to sustain you through the tough and challenging period ahead. And your personal belief makes it okay for you to go all out and take that kind of risk. It makes it bearable to sacrifice ungodly hours, social life, hobbies for potential rewards that you could reap in the future. It is okay because it matters…to you. 

If you truly belief in something that you’re doing, you will always want to improve and find solutions to your problem. And eventually, whether you succeed or fail, it will be one of those experiences in life that you knew you’ve given your best, and that you can mark it as one of the things you have glad you have done in your life.

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{ 2 comments }

Dila May 17, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Hi Yin Teing,

It’s been a long time since I dropped by. Guess what, I did try to find the ‘Escape from Corporate New York’ but Popular only have the copy in Kedah.

And guess what? I think I’m getting nearer & nearer to tendering my resignation. I’m burning out of boredom with my job. Really loving this freelance writing thingy. Got any motivational words for me? :)

Yin Teing May 18, 2010 at 10:04 am

Hi Dila, I’ve sent you a reply via email.

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