Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur?
(Photo credit: Kevin Ng)
Believe it or not, you could discover your dream career through a video game.
Kevin Ng, founder of two companies Vicinity Studio and Down The Aisle at the young age of 25, discovered his passion and flair for videography through popular video game Maple Story. Proclaiming that he was not a class-topper and did not see himself “mugging” for the exams, Kevin pursued a Polytechnic degree and started his own business right after graduating.
He shared, “If I never try, how will I ever know that this is not for me?”
His daring and entrepreneurial mind-set is really one of a kind. He knows that it is okay to try, as even if he fails, at least he knows that he has done his best.
“There are literally no risks at all. You can always restart and stand up from where you fall.” Kevin is an embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit, willing to try out new things and unafraid of failures.
Entrepreneurship is a buzz-word that has been gaining traction in recent years. What exactly is entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, marketing, and launching of business onto the free market. Entrepreneurship is becoming more mainstream in Singapore, with approximately 7% of Singapore’s population starting their own enterprise and three-quarters of millennials planning to launch their own business within the next decade.
Singapore seems to be the fertile ground for enterprises to sprout. The innumerable unexplored sectors in Singapore – such as agriculture, digital marketing, clean or sustainable energy, and elderly care services – are great starting grounds for youngsters who have a keen eye and sharp mind for monetising their solutions to the problems they see in their daily lives.
Many people dream to be the next Mark Zuckerburg or Jack Ma, and envision their laudable success in bringing their ingenious ideas to life. However, do they truly have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?
Below are some qualities that most successful entrepreneurs share.
- Rise against stereotypes
Kevin Ng, the founder and managing director of both Vicinity Studio and Down The Aisle shared some interesting trivia about his companies.
“The average age of employees in my companies is 22,” Kevin shared. This means that Kevin himself, a 25-year-old, is the oldest. He prides himself as a responsible and mature boss that leads and takes care of all his junior employees. He is also in charge of client negotiations and master plan in his companies. While their youthful ages bring about more dynamism, spontaneity and creativity, this may not be ideal all the time.
Late payment invoices and doubt cast on their capability and competency as a video production company are just some struggles they face.
Kevin cracked a self-deprecating joke that puts a smile on all of our faces. “How are we supposed to compete against the other bidders when everyone in the room thinks that we are 18? Wait, do we actually look that young? I guess this is both insulting and complimentary at the same time.”
Indeed, it is hard for youngsters to emerge victorious from a whole pool of competitors who look much older than them. It is an even harder job to convince their clients that they are truly the most competent and capable. Kevin confesses that this is why he rarely says no to opportunities in order to beef up his companies’ portfolio and involvement.
- Be eager to learn
Nevertheless, Kevin’s tight-knit group of 14 employees, which mainly consists of fresh polytechnic and JC graduates, always strives to produce high quality videos and shoots whilst developing their own signature style of videography that puts his company up and beyond all his other competitors.
Kevin wants to continually optimise his video productions as he knows that the pursuit of knowledge is like a bottomless pit – for it is a continuous and never ending journey. After all, self-betterment is almost like an unanimously agreed motto for the company, especially since the industry for content creation is volatile and ever-changing. Kevin believes that “textbooks are only knowledge from the past” and that the process of mastery for video production techniques is never-ending.
Tutorial Tuesday and Thursday are half-weekly meetings where everyone takes turns to present tips, ranging from positioning of potted plants for the background, social networking, video marketing to publicity and promotion after the release of their company productions. With the spirit of humbleness and eagerness to learn manifesting in the company, it is no surprise that Kevin’s companies have secured so many partnerships with renowned brands like DBS, Changi Airport, Singapore Airlines and McDonalds.
The fresh-faced team from Vicinity Studio! (Photo Credit: Vicinity Studio)
- Follow your heart
Back in 2005 when Kevin was still a primary school student, he was hooked on a multi-player online roleplaying game called MapleStory. Through making MapleStory videos, he learnt the basics of video editing and screen recording. He had uploaded these video clips onto YouTube and amassed an impressive number of views and subscribers – a feat for a full-time student and amateur who had barely mastered any videography and filming techniques.
This was how Kevin discovered his passion and aptitude for videography.
Moreover, Kevin has a heart to serve. He first started volunteering at just 14 years old, using his media skills to curate slideshows for charities. These slideshows were embedded with meaningful and impactful messages that aimed to change the viewer’s perspectives on societal matters. After tackling several creative assignments by the charities, Kevin uncovered his passion and flair for video productions. This spurred him to enrol in the Film, Sound & Video course in Ngee Ann Polytechnic – a decision that he will never once regret.
From then on, Kevin knew that his heart was dead set on pursuing videography and championing community-centric social causes. This also shapes the vision of the company for each and every video produced – to broadcast a meaningful message to the society and bring communities together.
- Dare to take risks
When asked about his best piece of advice for all the budding entrepreneurs out there, Kevin urged, “Be willing to take the risks and dare to try something uncertain. Always try something new while you are young as you have plenty of time for trial and error, and learn from your mistakes. Always take action when such an idea surfaces in your mind, because if not now, then when?”
Do you have a hobby that you are incredibly interested in and want to make it your life-long passion that you could earn profits from?
Or perhaps you are so sick and tired of boring daily life that you want to try something different?
Do you have any ideas bubbling at the back of your mind?
Take action now and may your business be the next “Facebook” or “Alibaba”!
In 2020, Kevin joined Youth Business Singapore, a programme under Heartware Network’s entrepreneurship thrust.
Vicinity Studio also created our beautiful Corporate Video, which can be found here.