From the Rigidities of Military Life to the Dynamic Realm of Entrepreneurship

Categories: Entrepreneurship

Serving as a regular in the Republic of Singapore Air Force provided Mike Li with a safe refuge from the uncertainties of the working world. After graduating from polytechnic with less than desirable results, Mike opted to sign on as a regular after failing to enter any of the local universities. 

Without a clear goal in life, Mike decided to do his best in the military and make the most of his time there. His determination and hard work helped him gain the respect of his superiors and enabled him to get promoted several times at the earliest opportunities. 

Despite doing exceptionally well in the Air Force and having a hefty iron rice bowl, Mike found himself restless and unfulfilled; the military might have provided him with financial and job stability, but Mike knew deep down that his passion laid elsewhere.

When an opportunity for entrepreneurship came knocking on his door, Mike leapt at the chance. His wife, who was working in HR at the start of her career, was receiving requests for help on improving their resumes and interview skills. Recognising an opportunity there, Mike started working with his wife to help clients vet resumes and learn interview skills. 

Mike fully embraced the people-centric nature of this job, quickly learning that he preferred it over the primarily machine-centric nature of his time in the air force. Even so, he was still fearful as he felt he lacked the skills employers looked for in the corporate world.

Intent on pursuing his passion, Mike took the initiative to venture out and gain the skills to boost his budding career. He even went so far as to fly to a rural town in Australia to learn from internationally-renowned body language expert, Allan Pease. 

His expertise and skillset eventually landed him jobs as a career coach at Workforce Singapore, and later, in a joint business partnership at Trainium Academy, where he is now the Principal Coach. 

Mike’s road to success deviates miles away from the conventional pursuits of many Singaporeans. Throughout his experiences, Mike aims to emulate his life motto of “flow like water”, a homage to his Chinese name “yi chuan”, which directly translates to “million rivers”. 

To Mike, flowing like water is to be continually adaptable in facing life’s circumstances, and he has clearly done so in forging success for himself.


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