Classified Post Career Forum highlights: EasyVan founder Chow Shing-yuk’s career gamble paid off, but he advises graduates to make informed choices
The founder and CEO of start-up EasyVan, Chow Shing-yuk, shared with forum participants his unusual road to success.
He was a straight-A student and got an economics degree from Stanford University. Not having a clear career goal after he left school, he joined management consulting firm Bain & Company.
It would have been a dream job for many, but Chow found it uninspiring and in no time, he found he was spending more time playing online poker than working. “This is what happens when you are working on something that you are not passionate about,” he said.
After three years, he decided he was better off playing poker, so quit his job to play cards full time.
It was literally a gamble but it paid off and he managed to make HK$30 million in eight years as a poker player – enough for EasyVan’s start-up fund.
Chow has certainly made some controversial career choices, but he could not stress enough the importance for young people to make informed decisions when it comes to their career. “It is tough for young people to make the right choice because the way we are educated never really prepares us to make choices. We are often told what to do instead of deciding things for ourselves,” he said.
When making a decision, Chow said it’s important for young people to be realistic about their prospects. While it’s great that people can do jobs they are passionate about, he said that in reality, only a few lucky ones get to do that.
“I love to play soccer, but my ability can never make me a professional player. It will be a waste of time for me to pursue it as a career, even though I am very passionate about it.”
While the start-up culture is growing in Hong Kong, Chow warned people to think twice before starting a business because not everybody can deal with the stress.
“You never get any time off when you are running your own business – there is no ‘after work’ for business owners.”