“I launched BOOTHYPE about a month ago. It’s an online magazine that discusses the latest in football culture. I’ve always been a bit of a geek when it comes to soccer boots and jerseys, and I enjoy discussing material and colour, even if it means nothing to my girlfriend.

In Europe and America, there are many YouTube channels that do a lot of unboxing for product reviews. I figured why not start a site that does the same thing and see where that takes me. There’s a very big space on the Web, and I believe no one in Asia is doing it.

Before I started working on BOOTHYPE, I led the digital marketing team at Starbucks for about five years. I planned and conceptualised a lot of the online promotions you see on the website, mobile app and social media channels.

I had a good time there, but somewhere down the road, I felt like I needed to do something new. Things were getting a bit same ol’, same ol’ for me, and I thought of maybe pursuing my passions and integrating them into what I do day-to-day.

I was actually quite inspired by Queer Eye on Netflix. It’s a makeover show where five gay guys help a man who’s going through a rut in life. Each of them covers a different aspect of well-being so that the guy can be the best version of himself.

So now I’ve made a couple of goals for myself. In terms of fitness, I want to be able to run 10km under 60 minutes. My very first 10-klick run took me 69 minutes. It will take a lot of practice and discipline to reach my goal, but hopefully I can do it.

I also want to volunteer more. When I was still working at Starbucks, we ran a lot of volunteer programmes, and one of the more popular ones was with the SPCA. Now, I go there once a month to help out. The cats give me allergies, but the dogs are not too bad.

Yeah, a part of me is anxious about not earning money while I’m still growing the site. But I’m 32 this year, not married, and I have no kids. So why not try something new for a year and see whether I can improve on myself not just as a professional, but as a human being as well.

Life is quite short, and I want to enjoy living it that’s my mantra. I’ve seen so many people who don’t enjoy what they do. Why spend your life being unhappy with something? Manage your life and do something that you like.

Have you heard that Jim Carrey quote about his dad? It’s very inspiring. He said his dad was one of the funniest man he knew, but because being a comedian was not a safe option financially, he settled on being an accountant.

Not long after, he got retrenched and struggled to find a job to make ends meet. Jim Carrey said that choosing the safer option is just using fear as an excuse to cover up what you really want to do.

The retrenchment also shows how you can fail in something you don’t want to do, so you might as well take a chance at something that you love and want to do. The faster you realise that, the happier I’ll be for you.” – Hatta, 32


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Arman Shah

A former travel writer with fond memories of solo adventures in Southeast Asia, Arman is now Founder of The Everyday People. He's also the co-host of Channel Empathy, a podcast about the marginalised in Singapore.