Thinking big: Businessman shares tips for success

Posted on  20/09/2018  |  Media Centre

| Danial Norjidi |

THE starting point for thinking big in business is to begin with a desire to make an impact and a desire to do something significant, said Chairman of Asia Inc Forum Dato Paduka Timothy Ong while delivering remarks yesterday at the Local Business Development Forum.

In his speech, the chairman said, “The question we have before us today is how to think big in a small market? This is a question that is easy to ask and not so easy to answer.

“I have been in business for a long time – some successes, some not-so-great successes and some failures – and I still do not know what the full answer is.”

He shared that he has arrived at three conclusions: “Firstly, the answers will vary from journey to journey. Each entrepreneurial journey, each business journey, is not quite the same as the other journeys. There are some things we learn that we can share with others. There are some things that are unique to our circumstances.

“The second thing I learned is thinking big doesn’t work all the time, but it works a lot of the time, and it is better than thinking small. Great ideas, great achievements start with a desire to do something significant.

Dato Timothy Ong, the Chairman of Asia Inc Forum during his remarks

“Now, there is no universal definition of what big is. Is big becoming an ASEAN enterprise? Is big becoming a global enterprise? Is big becoming the leading enterprise in Brunei? The definitions will vary from person to person.

“But the starting point, in my view, is that you must begin with a desire to make an impact, a desire to do something significant.

“And the third thing that I’ve learned is there is opportunity to learn from others – people much younger, older people and people from all walks of life.”

Later, the Chairman of Asia Inc Forum elaborated further on thinking big, during an interview with the Bulletin.

“I have this belief that we are all unique in our own way, and that we need to lead purposeful, impactful lives. That’s a statement of personal philosophy,” he said. “Whatever business you’re in, always strive to make an impact.

“For entrepreneurs, thinking big, in my view, is important. It’s important because it’s a reflection of wanting to make an impact. But it sometimes doesn’t work when we don’t realise the implications of thinking big.”

He highlighted that “the process of doing well in life requires us to evaluate ourselves realistically, to be willing to put in the work to get there, and unless one is willing to do those things, thinking big sometimes doesn’t work well.”

“The other thing is, sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes, we chase the wrong thing. One of the themes of today’s discussion is how much we can learn from mistakes. If you get something wrong, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. It means you have failed in that project or idea, but you can always come up with another and try again.

“My personal approach to living life and being in business is: think big, do your calculations, make sure you talk to as many people as possible, keep an open mind, and ideally recruit into your team people who are not the same as you.

“So if you are extrovert and good at marketing and PR and so on, make sure you have a partner or someone working in your team who is different,” he added. “At the end of the day, of course every team has to have one captain, and you may be the captain, but it’s important that you don’t have people who just agree with you.”