1. The only game in life you must win by way of quitting is your rat race! - by Ken Soong

 2. My race is taking my boy away! - by Ken Soong

3. A True Horror Story - The Rat Race That Takes Away Your Entire Life - Right In front Your Eyes! Under the Broad Daylight!!! - by Ken Soong

4. Happiness - the ultimate way to quit the rat race! - by Ken Soong

5. Why you need a steady stream of side-income other than the salary from your full employment? - by Ken Soong

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1


The only game in life you must win by way of quitting is your rat race!

Many a time, our rat-race is self-imposed. Your Indonesian or Filipino maid is not in a self-imposed rat race. If they had better options that allow them earn a living without leaving their home countries, they would surely do so. They have no choice. But many of us do have a choice. Yet we fall for the trap of upgrading our ‘tastes’ for as long as our income can afford us. If we do that, no matter how many times we get our promotion orpay rise for our jobs or additional market share for our business, we will offset our extra income by spending more and more.

The only way we can quit the rat race is a two-fold strategy. Keep our cost of living stagnant for as long as we can; and amass our wealth as much and quickly as we possibly can! No matter how successful you think you are right now, no matter how fast-rising you are in your career right now, you will not ‘win’ if you want to call it that. The only way to win when you are in a rat race is to quit it!

The first step towards quitting your rat race is getting into the right frame of mind. Reading www.kclau.com and www.mrmoneymustache.com every day is a good way to develop the right frame of mind for getting out of the rat race as soon as possible. Both Mr KC Lau and Mr Money Mustache, both had formal training in engineering,, are two financially enlightened family men who were smart enough to realize early in life, the slavery hidden in our daily race for a so-called better life. We already have a ‘better’ life if we use a little bit more of our brain.

Rat-race is probably about the only game whereby the only way to win is to quit it!

 

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I penned down the following ‘poem’ one morning while commuting to work on a train. I call it My Race is Stealing My Boy Away. At that point, I was very fed up with the never ending paper work related to some upcoming audit. Just my own little way of reminding myself that somehow I have to put a stop to this mindless race to the bottom! 

Each day I feel my body getting older,
as my knees tell me they are getting weaker.
As I get myself into the race deeper,
my boy's language faculty is getting better.
While my time with him is getting shorter,
his frame on the bed is growing longer.
 

Each day I get home later and darker,
as he grows to be bigger and stronger.
Selling my time to buy us a future,
just so 'one day' we have more time together.
Selling my time with a toddler,
for the empty promise of a future.

A future of more time with my... teenager?
I love you Dad but since when have you become my stranger?
For that cute little boy of yours I am no longer!

 

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A True Horror Story - The Rat Race That Takes Away Your Entire Life - Right In front Your Eyes! Under the Broad Daylight!!! - by Ken Soong


There is nothing more frightful than being stuck in a rat race. No position in the rat race is a good position to be in. For every winner, there will be very many losers. For those who'd won it - they did it at the expense of their own dreams and precious time with their loved ones. So in other words, they'd still lose.

If you have to be fearful of something in life...
Be fearful of not having spent your time wisely in your remaining years.
Be fearful of not believing more strongly in yourself.
Be fearful of getting in the way of your kids' dreams.
Be fearful of not being able to do the things you are passionate about.
Be most fearful of being stuck in a rat race - whatever position in a rat race is not a good position to be in. (I have seen people who are close to me in their retirement, there is not an adequate sense of fulfillment in their recollections - especially the men and it is truly sad)
Be fearful of losing yourself, your values and your ideals.
Be fearful of losing faith in humanity.

BUT we must never be fearful of facing the challenges in our attempt to leave the rat race.
BECAUSE... Nothing good ever comes out the rat race. Nothing good!

And if you ever want to have anything to do with the rat race in your life, be the organizer of the race. But do not run it yourself. NEVER!

In 2004, we (my Brother and I) were on our way to leave our rat race. We had a small thriving business supplying to pharmacy chains across Malaysia and Singapore. Stupidly or naively, rightly or wrongly so, we sold everything to come to the 'land of opportunities' called Australia without seriously considering whether it suits our unique set of circumstances of the time.

So, we left the rat race in Malaysia to join the rat race in Australia. Only to gradually find out that after all these years, that the race conditions are even more unfavorable to us. High tax, high cost of living, rust-belt industries, downsizing corporations, bullet-proof glass ceilings and so much more that we were not able to see then. (More information on this 'subject' can be found in our book "Migrating to Australia Good Meh???" available in all major book stores across Malaysia and Singapore retailing at RM25).

Some said we are being bitter. I say we have way gone past that point. People who are honest enough to admit their mistakes can't be that bitter about themselves, can they? Maybe, but not as bitter as many would have thought. In our mind, bitterness has more to do with denying something eg self-denial - not admitting our own mistakes or misjudgments. Now, in our tenth year here in Australia, we are reflecting upon our past actions and are able to see things more clearly. We hope to remind fellow Malaysians to think twice before taking the plunge. And also, things do not always have to be done in the way of a plunge. Looks like younger people tend to do things in big splashes!

The top priority in life for anyone (who is still) in the rat race is to get out of one.


Having said all that, does it mean that Australia for us is a basket case? No, far from it. We are still young -although not as young as we would have liked. And we still believe in ourselves - although we should be even more so. We have put ourselves in this rat race. So, we will pull ourselves away from it. It only means that we have to try harder, try smarter, and try more innovative-ly, try more resourcefully to create a breakthrough for ourselves. One way to do that is to learn from those who have made it in Australia, and are still making it and are ever scaling even greater heights.

As a result, we (Michael Soong, Ilja Thomas Gull & Ken Soong) have come up with our first project (with all three of us) together entitled "Making It in Australia Today". It contains inspiring stories from inspiring people who are local Australians as well as migrants from places like the UK, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, India and South America. I am sure everyone will have something invaluable to learn from their real-life stories in Australia.

To access to some of their stories and clips, please join our FB Group - Making It in Australia.

Note: One of the very powerful ways that help us in getting out of the rat race is to connect with people who share the same desire. Strength comes in numbers. Numbers make our dreams even more legitimate.

In reality, nobody succeeds alone - you need a team. But YOU yourself is responsible for building that team!

Ken Soong is the co-author of Migrating to Australia Good Meh and Making It in Australia.
In 2004, Ken migrated to Australia with his Brother Michael. This is their tenth year living in Melbourne.

 

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4

 

Happiness - the ultimate way to quit the rat race!

 

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5

Why you need to have a steady stream of side-income other than the salary from your full time employment? - by Ken Soong

  

Everyone must start learning how to earn side income on an ongoing basis. Famous author of the best-selling Four Hour Work Week Tim Ferris calls it a muse – an income-generating venture that complements your fulltime employment income. This suggestion is especially suitable and practical for working parents with school-going children. I don't care who you are, surgeon, accountant, bus driver or bank teller, if your only means of income is from your employment, you'd better find an additional source of income from not an additional job, but from your own enterprise (or entrepreneurial endeavour) creating value to serve an identified niche in the market you are most well-positioned to serve. The aim is not so much the money you will be able to make from this venture but the learning, knowledge and experience that you will gain from it. Then, you can share them with your kids so that they will learn something really practical and yet never could learn from their schools.

How else can you prepare them for a future so completely different from our past? How else to earn an additional source of income other than making use of the internet technology to start a business venture? In this time of great opportunities and threats (most of which come from not seeing and exploiting the opportunities) do we have a choice? Embrace the opportunities and the world will be your oyster. Ignore the opportunities and you will be at the mercy of the natural forces of change and turbulence. 

Technologies have changed our lives more than we are aware of. Not too long ago, one to two hundred years ago, women had to rely on men for survival mainly due to two reasons. One, physical strength and two, lack of technologies that would compensate women’s lack of physical strength. Most jobs were physically demanding. This means women had to stay home as there were not many jobs they could physically handle except cooking and rearing children at home. Later on, cars were invented and would eventually become reasonably affordable to the masses. Still most drivers were men as those cars had no power sterling. Today, cars, machines and just about any decent technological gadgets are so ergonomic, user-friendly, easily understood that men and women can operate them at similar ease! 

Whist industrialization levelled the playing field for men and women, digitization and the ‘internet of things’ (a term first coined by Kevin Ashton in the late 1990s to describe a system where the internet is connected to the physical world via ubiquitous sensors without any human interaction) have levelled the playing field for adults and children alike! In other words, you do not have to be an adult to start a business. As long as you help solve certain problems and are IT-savvy, you can do so, do it with style and do it big even if you are still below legal age!!!

I urge all working parents to start considering learning how the IT and internet works so that it can be a platform for launching their second career (or possibly their very first business venture)! Today, the safest job is the job we create for ourselves. If even government jobs today aren’t safe anymore, what will the situation be like tomorrow when our kids grow up?

I know one friend who, along with his mom and dad, migrated to Australia in the 1970s. The parents started an Asian grocery shop three decades ago. He worked as a pharmacist upon graduation. Not long after that, he decided not to take any nonsense from anyone anymore. So, he got his parents to loan him startup capital to open his own pharmacy. He has become an entrepreneur since. His brother, an engineer also work in the first few years upon graduation. Then, like his elder brother, he too decided that he should run his own business. So, he started a grocery shop and became an entrepreneur ever since.

Another friend is a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner. Initially he did IT in the university. Then he decided he wanted to pursue something more satisfying. So, he did a TCM course instead. His mom was a traditional Chinese doctor back in Cambodia before they migrated to Australia. So, he had the benefit of combining his mom's vast practical experience in traditional Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture and the scientific and empirical approach he learnt from a Western-styled course in TCM at a leading Australian university in Melbourne.

See that? In Australia, more and more young people are looking to running their own businesses rather than working for others.