Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a father to two kids and a husband to Fourfeetnine (Audrey Ooi). I’m also a businessman and entrepreneur with my latest venture – Colony, a luxurious coworking space in KL.
Some would say you’ve done a lot in life. What would you say motivates you? Has that changed since becoming a family man?
Not sure if I can say I’ve done a lot. I’ve done some right things and some wrong ones too. I can’t tell if that’s a lot or little.
Still, before having kids, all I worked for in life was career and money. After becoming a father though, I began to have other goals. I want to see my kids grow up and be a good parent to them. That’s my main motivation now.
How do you balance business with family? What advice would you have for someone in your similar position?
I think once you become a father, you naturally find time to both run a business and a family. It’s not that you suddenly have more time – it’s just that your time becomes more valuable, so you become a lot more selective about how you spend it.
I for one go out a lot less with friends now than I used to, and I spend less time on myself. It’s all good though – the time I spend with my wife and kids is worth it.
How do you manage running a business and raising two children at the same time? Would you say its tough?
I think all parents whether it’s running a business or working as a professional, find a way to make time and do their duties. In fact, I think having your own business sometimes gives you a bit more flexibility on timing. Like for me, I can choose to go home just before my kids sleep and carry on work after that.
How about inspiration? What/Who’s an inspiration to you?
Different people inspire me to be different things. My kids inspire me to be a better parent and a better person. My Dad inspires me to be a good entrepreneur, my mom inspires me to be honest and my wife inspires me to be a better husband. The list goes on.
That sounds like a great support system too. I’m sure that must’ve been helpful during difficult times in your life. Could you tell us of an instance when things were tough for you? Personally, or professionally?
I think leaving my previous company and starting a new one (Colony) from scratch was difficult. It was tough, starting over as a one-man show.
I’m glad I went through it though, because the result of what I have now is this awesome, fast-growing, profitable company. I know I’ve been lucky. I didn’t expect things to take off so fast. Since we started less than a year ago we’ve raised about RM20 million and are now valued between RM60-80 million.
Seeing that fathers’ day is coming up, what advice do you have for your Fighter (Tim’s son)? Do you hope that he’ll follow in your footsteps?
I hope he’ll chart his own path rather than follow in my footsteps. I just want him to be a good, honest, kind person. And someone with street smarts.
Could you tell us of the fondest memory you have with your family?
It’s the simplest moments sometimes. Like I had a lot of fun bringing them to a kid’s birthday party this weekend where they went over and over again on these slides.
Finally, IRL is about real Malaysians and their stories. What advice would you give to someone who’d like to be successful?
I’m not sure again if I’m in the right position to give advice on that. Ask me again if the day comes where I do consider myself successful.