Prioritising Work-Life Balance And Success At The Same Time
What is work-life balance to you? A fixed 9am to 5pm work schedule? Having the time after work for your own personal well-being?
To Dominic Loke, Founder and CEO of marine, oil and gas business solutions provider Astoria Solutions, it’s all about prioritising time, maintaining efficiency levels and being able to delegate work.
“It really depends on how efficient you are, and how well you delegate work,” Dominic calmly puts it.
“Family is important too. I always encourage my staff to leave work on time to spend more time with their loved ones.” To entrepreneurs, work-life balance is constantly being redefined. As someone juggling so many roles, Dominic also points out that passion would also help fuel the journey.
An individual who is passionate about his work and the mission is able to make work less of a chore and more of a collective set of enjoyable and fulfilling tasks.
There’s no correlation between your work-life balance and how successful you will be.
His Entrepreneurial Journey
Dominic started Astoria Solutions in 2003 and back then, the entrepreneurship community was not as strong as it is today. If one was not strong-willed enough, he would crumble under the negativity and pressure from doubters – even if it was out of genuine concern.
Few will disagree that the first step of entrepreneurship is tough and entrepreneurs often have too much work on their hands to handle other commitments, yet Dominic further challenged himself and pushed his limits when he decided to take up a full-time Master of Science Technopreneurship and Innovation Programme at the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore whilst at the same time juggling his duties at Astoria Solutions.
“I was heading to the office early in the morning to clear work, before rushing over to school, then coming back to the office during my breaks, and then heading back to school for my remaining lessons, and finally ending the day back at the office,” recalls Dominic.
“It was really challenging, but I very much appreciate the benefits that a formal education can bring to my job and role in my company.”
While many of his counterparts learnt the ropes the hard way, he was thankful that an education was able to provide a low-risk environment for him to make mistakes and ask “stupid” questions. It also accelerated learning by allowing him to fail fast, and fail cheap.
Family is important too. I always encourage my staff to leave work on time to spend more time with their loved ones.
The First Investment Round
Unlike most entrepreneurs, Dominic met his first investors in school. “The program together with the abundant opportunities was a great place to source for funding, and to meet the right people for investments, it is an ideal platform for knowledge-meets-application,” says Dominic.
Dwelling more into how education aids the development of one’s entrepreneurial skills, he also reveals that the biggest takeaway from going through the course is the importance of a self-reflection and being honest to oneself, to ascertain and acknowledge one’s strengths and weaknesses.
“Once you understand and accept your own strengths and weaknesses, you put your ego aside and you find someone who can do it better than you. It’s all about efficiency and working to your own strengths,” he says.
Thereafter, a work-life balance is not such an unattainable aspiration anymore – as Dominic puts it, striking a delicate balance between work and life is really all about each individual’s own style and their priorities and goals they wish to achieve.
“Being an entrepreneur, there’s no real need to differentiate clearly what is work and what is life. What’s important is that you enjoy what you are doing, and that’s all that matters.”
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Dominic graduated with a Master of Science in Technopreneurship and Innovation in Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Dominic is the Founder and CEO of Astoria Solutions, a Singaporean company set up to help clients in the marine and oil & gas industries increase revenue, efficiency and lower costs. Founded in 2003, Astoria Solutions is headquartered in Singapore and has branched out to offices in Hyderabad and Dubai.