Mind Transformations
Suresh Keerthi

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor, Former Chairman of Rotary ASME Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Entrepreneurial Courage: 8 Uncommon Tips to Be Successful

One of the changemakers in our community that we can't forget is Suresh Keerthi. He served many years as the Chairman and Committee Member of Rotary ASME Entrepreneur of the Year Award (EYA) for ASME in Singapore, which played a key role in transforming the country's SME landscape.

This is the most prestigious award of its kind and its aim is to recognise and bring into the limelight people who are not known and who have worked hard to build companies. There is a very systematic approach to evaluating their contribution: interviews are being conducted face-to-face and people are thoroughly questioned, which allows them to get a lot of feedback on the way they do business. So even those who don’t win, still gain a lot: their business is being broken up in various potholes and at the end of the interview they can see what they can improve.


With your level of experience and success, what do you have to say to those thinking of becoming entrepreneurs?

“First of all, you must dare to think about becoming an entrepreneur.”

“It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s very different from corporate life. Entrepreneurship is a lot of hard work and sacrifices. Your family feels it and you feel it; your lifestyle becomes very different.”

“An entrepreneur is proud to say he’s failed, but a corporate person will never admit this because he could lose his job.”

Entrepreneurs live a humble life, very often, solely focusing on making a profit that can be brought back to the company.


Suresh has been kind to share with us 8 great yet uncommon tips for Entrepreneurs.

First of all, be very clear of what you want to “build”. Then, see what’s missing in order for you to make it happen.

“It’s not an easy thing to do and it’s very different from corporate life. Entrepreneurship is a lot of hard work and sacrifices. Your family feels it and you feel it; your lifestyle becomes very different.”

  1. Look at how others have done it before you: what resources have they used?

  2. Learn as much as you can about your field.

  3. Don’t compare yourself to others; YOU are your biggest competitor, not others. Do better than YOU did yesterday. This being said, be aware of others; they can act as benchmarks for your performance.

  4. Travel. It’s good to go out and see how people do things in other countries. And also learn to deal with different nationalities, religions and races.

  5. Every entrepreneur must have some skill. Fundamentally you should know what your strength is and then you need people who gel with you and make things happen for you.

  6. Don’t succumb to the “kiasu” syndrome. If you fear failure, then how can you succeed? You need to be prepared to fail, as that is your learning. And that’s how you will know what you did wrong and why, so you don’t repeat it.

  7. Don’t chase money; chase a career. This is what many Singaporeans do: if someone gives them $100 more, they’ll change jobs. You can’t expect to build a career when every year you change your industry. Care less about your immediate benefits, but rather think long-term. Have persistence.

  8. Do some social work. Anything. Help out the less fortunate. It will change your character.

Active social worker and founder & mentor of the Rotary Youth Social Enterprise, Suresh believes in doing good for others and one of his guiding principles is that “you always get back more than what you give”.

“Don’t expect things; if you get them – good, if not - you’ll still be happy.”


What brought you to NLP?

“I came to NLP to know how to understand people better and then be able to help them. Thanks to NLP I’m able to listen and really understand people, identify the gaps between their skills and their aspirations, and take them from where they are to where they want to be.

And Barney is such a smart and passionate trainer! Having that kind of passion is so important in his profession. That’s why I send people to his courses all the time.”


Suresh turned serial entrepreneur in 1989…

...after having acquired a rich corporate experience working in 70 countries. Since then, he’s been working, among other roles, as a strategic management & cross cultural consultant, executive coach, and mentoring many teams from start-up to listing.

Among the skills that got Suresh where he is today, he counts his fearlessness about the future, the focus on what he wants to achieve, the gratitude for what he has, humility and the ability to learn and constantly develop.

“One of the things I’ve learned in NLP is that the more you practice and get familiar with that which you fear, the learning becomes subconscious and thus fear is eliminated. So get familiar with the unknown. When you do, it becomes ‘known’ to you, which means it becomes a habit, then goes into your subconscious. This is how fearlessness and confidence are achieved: by a little bit of practice, consistently. And this is how you achieve anything.”

As an entrepreneur you wake up every morning - and you need courage for this - thinking where the next dollar can come from; you don’t have the security of a fixed salary and you need to pay your employees.

Suresh Keerthi

If you’re an entrepreneur, or if you’re considering this challenging path, we hope you found this sharing useful and that you were able to gain insights about the entrepreneurial world, as seen through the eyes of someone who is, without a doubt, a reference in the Singaporean, regional and international entrepreneurial landscape.

All Change-makers started their journey by boldly stating their outcomes.
Do you have dreams and aspirations, wish to bring out your potential and be your best? Meet us for a Course Consultation & Outcome Setting. Let’s work out your bold outcome. Start here.