nicholas tay

Own Your Story #19: Never let anybody tell you that you’re too young to start

When I first met Nicholas, a mutual friend jokingly told me that I should do a podcast with him to hear his interesting story.

I looked at the humble young man who didn’t talk much and thought, sure, I was eager to find out what I can learn from him.

Sometimes, the smartest person in the room is the quietest one, Nic is a person who somewhat fit into this category.

1| Time is your best currency

Ever since he was young, Nic was interested in the stories of great entrepreneurs and technology. At 19, when he realized that he was capable of solving problems for small businesses, he went with it and started a digital solutions company with a few college mates.

At a young age, he learned how to set up a company, communicate with clients, manage a project and deliver results. These are all invaluable lessons not taught in college.

He compensated for the lack of experience with creativity and innovation that belongs to the millennial generation.

2| You don’t need a lot to start a business

Nicholas strongly advises college graduates to have a piece of the action in start-up when they still have the privilege of family support and youth.

It’s crucial to know that ‘business experience’ is totally different from ‘working experience’. When you are working for people, you can’t learn what it took to go through the struggle of running a business.

Besides, a business doesn’t start with raising a lot of capital. You can always validate an idea by finding people who would pay for a service or product, or adopt an agency model that could start small and scale quickly.

3| The importance of mentors

When he was a student who made websites, Nicholas had a paradigm shift when he was challenged by a mentor to think big. He started to think about scaling up, building a team and a real business that grows.

Along the journey, there are other mentors who were crucial in helping his team to diagnose problems, build a company and improvise the business model every step of the way.

They say, ‘you are the average of 5 people you spend most of your time with’. These mentors have shown Nicholas what’s possible and challenged him to go beyond his own limitation.

Believe in yourself

Nicholas lives by the principle ‘never expect anything less than extraordinary’. It is the reason he always pushes himself out of the comfort zone and aims for a greater height.

As a millennial entrepreneur, he wishes young people would believe in themselves, ignore the noises that tell them what they can’t do, and take risk when they are young.

Whatever the outcome is, all the actions taken will lead to experiences and invaluable lessons in life and career.

‘You win or you learn. You never lose until you stop trying.’


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