|▲ Yeoju Korean Alphabet Market Cooperative / Auditor Im Ki-rin|
Many experts voice together that people can now expect to live up to 100 thank to the advancement of technology and medical science. Unlike in the past where retirees felt safe on the pension they would receive, today many of them are being challenged from the fast changing market trend and system that is requiring a longer work-span than ever before. So, many retirees jump into startup. But it is reported that 7 out of 10 startups quit or went bankrupt within 3 years. This is because they have no experience or information about the field they challenged.
Im Ki-rin, an auditor of the Yeoju Korean Alphabet Market Cooperative and a franchise specialist, points out “It is most important that they need to find a work or start a business within the boundary of their previous career which they have extensive knowledge and knowhow. Or at least they need to do what they really want to do.”
Im’s father was a teacher but he quit and poured everything into real estate which then was booming. Like many ‘rushers’, he failed and put his family in financial difficulty. Seeing his father in despair and mother in harsh reality, he tried a number of businesses including kitchen furniture and gas in which he drew a satisfactory success if not big. Of course he faced many failures and even betrayals from his business partners yet he never gave up.
As an auditor of the Yeoju Korean Alphabet Market Cooperative today, he is being engaged in brown rice processing to make vinegar and cosmetics as well as potato processing. Around 8 products made by the cooperative are being supplied to highway resting areas and online shopping malls.
“As an experienced startup, there is no right answer to starting a business but one must learn from failure. Failure, like many say, teaches success. If you never give up and keep challenging, you will make a success one day no matter how small it is. If I give one more advice, not all successful people are happy. I’ve rather seen many of them not happy. In other words, success doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness. It is more of one’s mind and above all generous heart.”
This might be the reason that Im habitually emphasizes on the virtuous value of ‘sharing’. Im saw her mother helping people in need even though she herself was in dire situation. Im says that ‘sharing’ not necessarily comes from ‘what I have left over’ but also from ‘what I have as a whole’ which he means that it is more about ‘attitude’.
“It is very important for us to think about what valuable things we can do in life and what kind of people we want to be. Money of course is important but finding a meaning of life or meaning of the work is more important because earning money for bread and butter leaves nothing but emptiness. So I ask all of us to start a journey to find ourselves and to find the meaning of our life.”
Im finished a number of specialized courses at Seoul National University, Dongguk University, Kyung Hee University and Yeoju Institute of Technology from 1998, and is making busy himself writing books and giving lectures at the moment.
“One of the most impressive lectures I had was the one Yonsei University philosophy professor Kim Young-suk who said that having lived 90 years, he was the happiest and most energetic during his years between 60 and 75. It broke my prejudice about age.”
When asked about the true happiness and true meaning of life, Im said “The meaningful and valuable life I found was that I prepare myself to work until I become 100 years old. I’m not talking about the work for bread and butter but the work I really want to do and the work that makes me happy. Because I’ve found the direction and the goal of my life, I feel thrilled and happy every day.”
“It is not the power knowing something but putting it into action” emphasized Im. Im has failed many times but learned from it and kept challenging. Im calls himself as ‘multipotentialite’. “It means a person who has a variety of interests and a wide range of creative activities.”
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