Leave Your Comfort Zone to Find Rich Rewards - Nelson Ko, YCIS Hong Kong Class of 04
YC alumnus Nelson Ko is living proof of the exhortation, ‘Step out of your comfort zone.’ It’s the route to a new level in life and the way to enjoy unexpected and rewarding experiences.
Nelson demonstrated his keenness to explore well before he graduated with the Class of 2004 at YCIS Hong Kong. Lacking experience in musical instruction he nevertheless decided to share his passion and offer drum lessons to students to help them through a time of distress. “I was proud I took the leap,” says Nelson. “I believe the experience boosted my self-confidence.”
To this day, as the director of Wilson Garment Accessories International Ltd, Nelson still continues to test his boundaries and take frequent leaps of faith. In light of the Covid-19 outbreak in Hong Kong and China that placed many of his factory workers at risk and realising that face masks were in short supply, Nelson boldly embarked on a new project.
“We decided to manufacture and directly supply quality face masks to our workers, as well as to others in need at an affordable price.”The company joined the HKSAR government’s Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme.
Nelson and his team faced immediate challenges as the company moved from “business-to-business (B2B) to a business-to-consumer (B2C) model,” he says, adding, “We also faced difficulty in installing and operating the mask-manufacturing machinery with insufficient technical staff. Simply handling the sheer quantity of masks required in a very short time proved very difficult for us.”
Despite the frustrations, Nelson and his team persisted. In the end their effort was successful. The first delivery to the HKSAR Government late June totalled a staggering two million masks.
As well-known American entrepreneur Jim Rohn used to say, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”
Regardless of the numerous obstacles and hurdles in the way, Nelson worked tirelessly to have a positive impact on the lives of many. He never gave up. “By being far outside my element, making masks for myworkers and for the community, I gained the most rewarding experience,” he says.
Nelson believes that staying in your comfort zone is like wearing blinders. “As my comfort zone expanded, I removed those blinders and was able to see new opportunities.” His next step was to venture into making quality reusable masks. He also made masks for kids. Nelson has already ordered more machinery to manufacture more masks. We’re sure we shall get to wear some of these before long.
Nelson’s positive attitude and other admirable qualities make him an excellent role model to encourageus to step out of our comfort zones. Let’s seize those hidden opportunities.