Since today (April, 09 th 2011) I add one category in Rumah Pintar Kembar website. Its about English writing, to practise my writing skill in english and also to share any inspiring and useful information for you. I hope you like it. Now, this is my first English article. Its about Merry Riana, a succesful person from Indonesia, I interviewed her several weeks ago. FYI, this article has also been published in First Issue of Inspirational Woman Magazine (IWM). To subscribe IWM freely, just go to inspirationalwomenconnecting.com and fill in the subscription form at the homepage. It is a bi-montly digital magazine and it has been read by many women in the world. So, here it is:
Tina: What inspiredyou to be an enterpreneur?
Merry: Actually I never had the intention to become an entrepreneur. I come from an average middle-class family from Jakarta, Indonesia. I am the eldest of three children. My parents worked hard to provide us with a good life. My father owned a small engineering business while my mother is a very loving and caring housewife who took care of us. In 1998, there were a lot of unrests in Indonesia and anti-Chinese riots were breaking out in many places. Concerned for my safety, my parents sent me to Singapore and gave me $1,000 for my living expenses. When I got here, I enrolled in the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). So as to lighten the load on my parents, I took up a study loan as well as a tuition-fee loan from the bank to help me with my living expenses.
While I was in University I started to think about my life more seriously. I saw how my parents needed to work hard even though they were already in their 50s, just so they could provide for their children’s education and save up for their retirement. That prompted me to want to achieve success early in my life. I wanted to give them a better life. I wanted my parents to enjoy great food, travel to exotic countries and live life fully. Seeing as I was already 21 at that time and my parents were in their 50s, I thought that if I only achieved success in my 40s or 50s, my parents would be too old by then. I might not have much quality time to spend with them. And they might be restricted by their health and their old age to enjoy all the things that I wanted to provide for them. While I might have the time, on a personal level, to achieve success later in life; but the question is, can they?
So it was important for me to achieve success while I am still young. It wasn’t so much about me, but for my parents. Therefore, I made a resolution to achieve success before I reached the age of 30. That gave me a specific deadline of about 10 years to achieve my goal.
There was another significant event that drove me to become an entrepreneur. During my third year in the University, I was doing my Industrial Attachment with an American-based semiconductor company. It was my first official nine-to-five job in the working world. Initially I was very excited about it. But after working there for a few weeks, I realized that I could never achieve my goal of achieving success and financial freedom if I were to work in a nine-to-five job.
My direct supervisor at that time had been working with the company for about 10 years. He was a nice guy, but from his sharing with me, I got to know that his situation had not improved much since he first joined the company. He was still sitting in the same desk where he first sat on his first day in the company. His roles and responsibilities were pretty much the same. His salary had not improved much either. Then I looked at his boss, who was the manager and had been working there for around 20 years, and I thought to myself, “His situation has not improved much as well!”
I asked myself whether I would be contented working for someone else if the prospects were so grim. Then I did a rough calculation. As an Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) graduate, and even with honors, I would probably be getting a salary of around $2,500. After deducting CPF, I would be taking home about $2,000. And after deducting $1,000 for rent and living expenses, as well as another $500 in allowance money for my parents, I would only be left with $500. Taking into account the 4 per cent annual interest for my loan, it would take me about 10 years to repay my study loan amount of $40,000. Obviously I won’t be able to provide a better life for my parents if I were in that situation. I wasn’t willing to subject myself to that bleak future and I was determined to look for alternatives.
Tina: You got many special awards, such as Winner of Great Women of Our Time Award 2010, Winner of
LG Asia Life’s Good Ambassador 2010, Winner of MyPaper Executive Look Readers’
Choice Award 2010. Would you share with us how did you get? and which one do you
think the best of all?
Merry: I’m very fortunate to have won some other awards in the past, most of them to honor successful entrepreneurs. But, I feel extremely blessed to even be nominated for the Great Women of Our Time Award, because it honors me as a woman, something that I feel especially proud and grateful to be.
The Great Women of Our Time Award is a wonderful concept. While there are many other awards that recognize successful women, this special award honor outstanding women who are making significant contributions to society.
And that’s exactly what success really means to me. My definition of success is the ongoing process of striving to become better, to achieve more. It is the opportunity to continually grow emotionally, financially, intellectually, and spiritually while contributing positively to others.
Tina: I look into your profile that you write a book which title is “A gift from a
friend”, what is that book about?and what inspired you to write?
Merry: In July 2006, I successfully published my first book “A Gift From A Friend”, which, within the first month of its launch, has successfully made its way into the Best-Seller list in the major bookstores in Singapore & Indonesia.
Currently, “A Gift From A Friend” is available in English, Mandarin, and Bahasa Indonesia. At the same time, it is in the process of being translated into its Vietnamese and Filipino version to reach out more to the regional market.
I am on a mission to provide avenues for others to reach their ultimate goals. I’m passionate about inspiring people to fulfill their own goals and dreams through education that is engaging, uplifting, entertaining, and of course, fun! This is my dream realized.
Since the interview is too long to put in one article, lets continue read it here.