Baptism of fire

APSS CSP Awards 2016

(Picture is my recent award of the Certified Speaking Professional designation. The CSP™ is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform skill and less than than 12% of 5000 over professional speakers worldwide hold the designation.)

Many many years ago, when I first started the speaking business, I couldn’t really get any jobs at all. Most companies told me that I was too young with no experience and they will not give me the chance to train their staff, much less their leaders.

It was a hard struggle to live with just earning a few hundreds dollars a month, criticisms, parents concerns and endless thoughts of self-doubt. I followed my dream, but I was not happy at all. This was because I didn’t earn much from doing what I loved. Those who tell you that if you follow your dreams, you will enjoy your work and never work hard at all. I think its a lie. You still work really hard but you endure it because you really like what you do.

One of the defining moments in my earlier business life was when I couldn’t really sleep much for 4 nights straight. My wife (God has made all wives are really sensitive) asked me this hard question “Kenneth, are you stressed?”

Just like any other man, I answered “No”. When she left the house for work, I cried like a baby. I cried because I lied to her and couldn’t figure out how to succeed in what I wanted to do.

Fast forward 6 years later, we now have an amazing lifestyle where we have enough and work with very senior leaders and big organisations. We have more than what we need.

Every successful person has a story of hard work, perseverance and a massive will to succeed. It separates the wanna-bes from those who really go all out to achieve it. Every entrepreneur goes through the period of self-doubt and question whether they should even be doing this. But I truly believe that once you go through the baptism of fire, you come out refined as gold. Remember, gold is never pure, until it goes through the fiery furnace of refinement.

Once you go through the baptism of fire, you come out refined as gold.

This post is for those who are still fighting for their dreams, keep pushing on. Don’t stop. Because at the end of your journey, you will find the success, if you don’t give up.


Picture of Kenneth Kwan, CSP
Kenneth Kwan, CSP

Kenneth Kwan is an internationally recognized Author, Global Leadership and Motivational Speaker, renowned for his ability to inspire and empower audiences worldwide. With over a decade of experience, he has spoken to leaders from 40 countries, helping transform cultures and shift mindsets within Multi-National Companies (MNCs) and Government Organizations. Kenneth’s expertise in solution-focused thinking and strategic planning has guided numerous businesses toward significant results and high-performance environments. Featured in esteemed media outlets like Channel News Asia and Malaysia's BFM89.9, his insights on leadership and motivation are highly sought after. Kenneth's book, "Small Steps To Big Changes," showcases his profound wisdom and practical strategies, making a lasting impact in lectures and training programs across the region.