Behind-the-scenes of an adulting strategist, student entrepreneur and author
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
Many know Jing An as an Adulting Strategist, Financial Advisor, Entrepreneur, or even as the "Instagram guy who shares about personal finance and growth". After all, Jing An has received many requests from incoming university freshmen and even graduates for advice on finance, personal growth, and adulting. The Refuel Team had a chat with Jing An to learn more about what goes on behind-the-scenes of his well-curated personal brand.
Entrepreneurial ventures and their beginnings
The NUS Business undergraduate first started his own watch brand, KYROS Collections, two years ago. KYROS was born out of the feeling of being lost and lacking direction in life, which Jing An experienced towards the end of his National Service. The watch brand is based on a concept Jing An personally found enlightening - Ikigai. The Japanese term roughly translates to "the reason for being" and is based on doing what one likes, what one is good at, what the world needs and what one can be paid for.
I wanted to have a brand (Kyros) to create more impact and to show people how they can find a meaning and purpose in life. Most importantly, it is for people to know how they can use the concept of Ikigai to navigate through the uncertainties or for younger people to find our way through society today.
In the summer whilst waiting to commence his freshman year at university, Jing An began reading up on books related to entrepreneurship and innovation. He also invested in courses and workshops, which got him inspired to create something bigger than himself, and to be excited to get up for work in the morning. He then started to pursue creating value from scratch, building a product or service to solve problems that he faced himself.
You know the quote - if you love what you do, you don't have to work a single day of your life. Entrepreneurs work full-time but is it really work when they enjoy it?
Like many, Jing An initially found entrepreneurship attractive because he could be his own boss. However, as he progressed on with his journey, he realised that what many founders are doing is beyond money or freedom. Thus, for him, success looks like being able to motivate and inspire someone else, helping and changing the lives of people, leaving a legacy.
Jing An was offered numerous opportunities to work on multiple business ideas throughout his entrepreneurship journey from Eatspo and Founders’ Institute SG to his most recent stint at Xpertise Platform. His latest business venture is a book he wrote to educate millennials on personal finance (Psst, there’s a special discount for Refuel readers at the end of the article!)
Managing his various ventures
Jing An mused that he tends to end up taking on a lot of projects and doing a lot of different things as he tries to seize every opportunity possible. Hence, he made the conscious decision to cut off certain aspects of his life, and prioritise on what he thought was important.
One of the tips that he has learnt from a mentor is that one should have seven objectives lined up in order of importance in everything they do. So, Jing An actively tries to merge and integrate everything that he does together, and allow his different projects to complement each other.
Building a personal brand and dealing with judgements
Jing An started off building his personal brand by documenting every part of his journey. He wanted to show the process of building KYROS, which also led to people learning and knowing about his story. Customers then started associating the KYROS brand with him, and the opportunities for sponsorships such as pageants and business conferences started coming.
When I document and share, it's not to teach people as if I am an expert. It is to show people my journey and the reason why I do that is because I want to find like-minded people and to help those who are interested
Jing An also believes that it is very important to be authentic when building a (personal) brand. To him, it is important to show one's vulnerabilities along with their achievements, as it allows the audience to relate better. He believes that your mess is your message.
Jing An candidly shared that he had received his fair share of judgement (some self-imposed) when embarking on his personal development journey. He has crossed paths with various individuals who fail to understand what he did, and as a way to feel accepted, he tried sharing less about the things he was truly passionate about. The same goes for being a financial advisor, and Jing An often has to deal with rejections and setbacks like the stigma that comes with his job.
Sometimes people will question and say: "Why do you post this kind of stuff?" or "Why do you share so much?" Along the way, I embraced it, and I am very encouraged by people who reach out to me to tell me I have helped them. Eventually, my friends also understood what I was trying to pursue and they encouraged me instead.
According to Jing An, he realised that the biggest problem in the world is not the income gap but the knowledge gap, which is a problem he aims to solve. He strives not only to make a living, but to make an impact. He has a simple mission: to be better and help others be better, which has kept him excited to wake up every morning.
Interested in getting a copy of The Simple Wallet? We have partnered with Jing An to give all Refuel readers a special promotion! Simply click here!
Follow Jing An on Instagram where he shares content on how to accelerate your personal development.
Learning more about entrepreneurship, innovation or just curious about how startups make money? Find out more about KYROS's business model, and check out a SWOT Analysis on the company here!
Refuel was founded to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs through the stories of startup founders. We aim to build a global community of entrepreneurs and innovators, and hustle on together.
We hope you liked the story! If you have any requests for startups to feature, questions on entrepreneurship, or just simply want to chat, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or Instagram!