I don’t want to be a cog in the machine.
That is the single insight that changed my direction in life from programming to business.
Back in 2013 I graduated from university doing a bachelors degree in Mobile Computing from Malaysia.
As a freelance developer, I wanted to continue my education in IT and become a better programmer so I applied and got accepted to continue my masters degree in Australia.
While waiting for my student visa I was doing freelance work as well as working on a side project.
Working from home was getting tiring
It sounds great to be able to work from home, in reality it gets very unproductive and unhealthy. So I had to find a better place to work from.
I found a co-working space called The Nest which had some cool pictures online of people working, swimming, playing games and all in one place.
The Nest was the home for a venture builder (MGVD) and few startups.
Unlike other spaces, it was in a bungalow house with a swimming pool, PlayStation (that we rarely used because we had so much fun working) and a bunch of passionate entrepreneurs — it was by far the coolest co-working space.
The manager of the co-working space had to leave back to his hometown so the owner offered me his job and live at the co-working space; in return help them run the place.
The idea of working alongside passionate entrepreneurs building companies excited me.
I said yes and moved there the next day
My life made a 180 degrees turn since then as I moved from working and living 90% of the time alone to working and living with 10+ people.
While working there I learned more than I have during 4 years of university by being involved in the different ventures, projects and meeting a lot of people.
It was there where I realised that being a programmer is limited to building tools that are part of a bigger, more exciting system — business.
Thanks to the good company and mentorship I received at The Nest, my freelancing career got supercharged as I stopped seeing myself as a programmer but as a consultant.
I quit my application to university and went on a journey to build a digital agency.
No longer a cog in the machine, today I am building my own machine.