What They Never Told Me About Being An Entrepreneur

The entrepreneurial lifestyle is often associated with the glitz and glamour. But ask Barnabas Huang, Managing Director of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Gym in Singapore and he’ll be the first to tell you all about the #hardtruths of running a business.

21 Jun 2019

5 mins read


By Joshua Joseph
The entrepreneurial lifestyle is often associated with the glitz and glamour. But ask Barnabas Huang, Managing Director of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Gym in Singapore and he'll be the first to tell you all about the #hardtruths of running a business.

Having ventured into the health and fitness supplements business at the age of 19, he went on to rake a $5 million turnover by the age of 31. Barnabas, now 35, currently helms Singapore's flagship UFC Gym located at CityLink mall. The SIM-RMIT Bachelor of Business (Management) graduate's road to success wasn't as smooth sailing and he had to deal with many obstacles along the way. With a wealth of business experience under his belt, we asked him for advice on what he believes are the essentials for every aspiring entrepreneur to know as they gear themselves up for success.

#Be Prepared to Make Sacrifices
Being an entrepreneur is like being a celebrity or even a minister. It makes you look good because you attend big events and get to dress up but in actual fact you really have to work hard. People may work nine to ten hours a day, I work easily almost 12 hours every single day. When you own a business, the responsibility and commitment level is different. This means making big sacrifices along the way. Sometimes this could mean forgoing time spent with family and friends. You have to be mentally prepared for this and persevere. I had to turn my friends down and get used to the idea of eating alone. I once had to forgo a date because I had already promised to go out with a prospective client. If you have to lose a smaller opportunity to gain a bigger opportunity then so be it. It's about weighing your decisions. I believe this is essential if you really want to succeed.


Having to meet and interact with people was one of the challenges that I encountered when I first started running a business.

#Be Comfortable Getting Uncomfortable
Not all entrepreneurs are outgoing individuals. I am an introvert by nature, I used to go to classes and sit alone. But when I started the supplements business, I was faced with the challenge of not being able to sell any goods for six months as it was a challenge for me to approach people. Eventually, I had to pluck up the courage to meet and talk to people. You have to be ready to step out of your shell and do things that you are not comfortable with- this is one of an entrepreneur's pain.

#Stay Emotionally Strong
You have to really push yourself to be emotionally and mentally strong and to stay focused on your vision. There may be days where you come to work with many things on your mind like family problems. Even at work, you may face challenges of leading a team of different personalities but you have to stay calm and think rationally to be able to lead and inspire a team.

#Never Forget Your Roots
No matter how far you go and how successful you are. Never forget your roots, the people who helped you get to where you are- your family, your friends, your mentors. These are the people who stick by you at your lowest points. For me, my mother has been one of my strongest pillars of support and I've always made it a point to ensure that she enjoys the fruits of my success.