'Business is full of nasty surprises. Certainly your competitors will be full of nasty surprises...'
I've always been very independent and from a young age I knew that I wanted to run my own company. The taxi business suited me very well. It gave me the independence I wanted, the flexibility to start a family and the income I needed at that time.
If I learned anything from this experience that I could pass on to young entrepreneurs, it would be to gain experience in your field from the ground up before trying to dominate it. You cannot develop systems or solutions from only your own point of view.
Understanding your business and having a passion for it drives you to succeed. I work at least 60 hours per week and people ask where I get the motivation to do this.
The truth is that I don't want to go to bed at night and I can't wait to get up in the morning. I have a passion for what I do that can't be measured. This, I believe, is key to success.
I love adventure sports, particularly deep-sea diving. I've dived some of the most amazing sites in the world - but I've found that running a business is one of the most exciting adventures that you could ever embark upon.
Like most things, you learn the hard way - through trial and error. There's often going to be someone who thinks you or your ideas are crazy.
Those of us that are doing something different tend to stir things up wherever we are, and this will always attract the kind of attention you don't need. But the trick is not to let people or doubts grind you down. Trust in yourself and your ideas. Let people think you're crazy if they want to, but go for it anyway.
They say knowledge is power and when you're starting your own business, there is no substitute for knowledge. Always research your industry, your competitors - and yourself. You have to get to know your abilities and limitations and be brutally honest with yourself.
Business is full of nasty surprises. Certainly your competitors will be full of nasty surprises. The last thing you need is to be a nasty surprise to yourself.
So if you're not good at something, own up to it fast - get someone in who is good in that area or find a tool to help you.
But be cautious. It's one thing to be confident when you're young, but it's another thing to be confident without the experience to back it up - you must also be wise.
Sunday Indo Business