You would have probably heard of many underdog stories about people overcoming insurmountable odds to becoming who they are today. But this is an underdog story like no other. This is the story of how Richmond Tan, 23, defied the hardships and adversities life had for him. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

The SeniorSays team is grateful to have Richmond with us today to share more about his story and how he went against those odds.

1) Tell me more about yourself and your background

Hi everyone, I am Richmond, 23, and I am currently an undergraduate in National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School. Growing up, life was not easy and my educational journey was definitely a struggle. I got 179 for my PSLE and worked my way from being in the Normal Academic stream to Junior College and finally in a University.

As you would expect, my life was not always smooth sailing. When I was young, I did not have a permanent roof over my head as my father sold our 4-room flat to clear his gambling debt and had disagreements with the landlord regarding our next one-room rental flat which housed my family of 4. It got so bad that we did not have a study table for studying and I had to resort to sleeping in void decks and the airport on some nights.

2) Was there a point in your life that you felt like giving up?

Of course there was! Life was full of surprises, both good and bad, where sometimes the adversities thrown at me made me wonder why life was so unfair. My mother left our family when I was young and my father struggled with gambling addiction, while I watched most of my peers grow up with supportive families. However, this was when I realized that if I did not help myself, nobody would.

3) What are your motivations? ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

Source: The Straits Times

One of my biggest motivations was my grandfather, who worked tirelessly as a cleaner to provide for our family. Seeing the hard work he puts in as the sole breadwinner of the family at his old age pushes me to work even harder so that he can retire as soon as possible with a peace of mind about our financial position.

Given his old age and the realization that his time left is limited, I knew that I had to find ways to accelerate my personal growth which was also why I decided to pursue entrepreneurship, allowing me to be self-employed while I pick up investing.

4) Any tips that you can share with students out there? ๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŽ“

"Life is not about resources, but how resourceful we are"

This saying has resonated with me throughout my life as I felt that it accurately depicted my situation. In times where I did not have money for tuition, I sought help from teachers that were willing to tutor me for free. I learnt that formal education only earns you a living, but self-education makes you a fortune.

I would advice students to continue to upgrade yourself, be it personal finance or anything that you are interested in. People do not fail or succeed overnight, but over time or over a series of bad decisions. Do your best to grow progressively and improve yourself.

5) What are your plans for the future? ๐Ÿ”ฎ๐Ÿ”ฎ

I am currently an Agency Manager with a leading financial institution in Singapore. Despite the stigma associated with the job and the industry, I find meaning in helping people achieve financial literacy.

From personal experience, people end up in situations like mine as a result of a series of bad decisions, like the ones my father made. I believe that with greater clarity and certainty, I can help transform the lives of others and prevent the same from happening to them.

This was why I decided to give the Financial Services industry a shot. I even gave up 2 private MNC scholarships to be in this career. In fact, I recently achieved the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), which recognizes the top 3% of financial advisors.

I also hope to be able to pass on my knowledge and experiences to others. Recently, I was also given an opportunity to share at the Think Act Prosper Growth Conference alongside big names like Ryan and Sylvia from Night Owl Cinematics, and more! I am grateful for my past experiences and I look forward to empowering others!

Thank you Richmond for sharing your inspiring story with us! You can also check out other articles written about Richmond on the Straits Times and The New Paper.

If you are curious about how Richmond excelled in his career as a Student Advisor, you can check out our latest post featuring digital initiatives Advisors leverage on to generate leads and accelerate their careers. Look forward to our upcoming interview with Richmond on his personal tips and lesser known strategies.

Click here to find out more about our Student Advisory Career Acceleration Program get a head start in the industry.

Or, click here for our Full Time Management Associate Program and embark on an exciting journey to become a leader in the industry.

Should you wish to learn more about the other university-related contents that we have OR contribute, do feel free to explore and write in to us today! ๐Ÿ˜‰