Rebel is all about being an individual and refusing to follow a crowd that forces you to think the same way they do to become a norm
PeerPower: What is your motto in life?
Yok: “Rebel is all about being an individual and refusing to follow a crowd that forces you to think the same way they do to become a norm”
Over time, I’ve learnt to trust myself. Many people tell me that starting a rock climbing gym in Phuket wouldn’t work; some gave me advice on which partners I should work with, and then the people I approached to partner with had their own ideas. I decided I had to do things my way – be a rebel and believe in myself – so I started Rebel by myself, without any business partners.
PeerPower: How did you come to start your business?
Yok: Rock climbing is my life. I mean you fall again and again and again, but you pick yourself up, learn from mistakes, problem solve, and then try again and again until you overcome the hurdle. And when you do overcome it – there is a true sense of calm, a true sense of zen.
That is life as well. You have to face whatever life throws at you. You can stand there and get overwhelmed, or you can overcome the hurdles.
I wanted to share this with the community of avid rock climbers – they were already climbing on natural rock all over. Creating a rock gym allowed people a chance to train indoors, rain or shine, and improve their technique. A rock gym was also a great way to get people to try out the sport – we’ve had lots of young kids try out the sport in our rock gym. And it’s a nice feeling to see how people progress and scale to the peak.
In many ways REBEL Rock Climbing embodies my values and my personality.
PeerPower: What struggles did you face?
Yok: It wasn’t an easy process for sure. I designed REBEL Rock Climbing from scratch – everything from the building design, the climbing routes and the cafe area where people can rest and grab a bite. I made myself the ‘user’ and created what would be the best experience for myself as a user. I went to rock gyms around the region for ideas – figured out what I liked, figured out what I can do better. Never for once settling for less.
Finding a business partner to work with me was a big struggle. After a couple of months, I gave up trying to find a business partner to work with me. I decided to do it on my own. Then came the struggle of getting financing to jumpstart REBEL. I saved up quite a bit but there was still a shortfall. I didn’t have collateral in my name so I applied for personal loans. My first loan took me 6 months and there was a lot of to and fro with the bank – they kept needing more and more documents. It was really stressful. My second loan took me 2 months. Both loans had interest rate of about 22%.
PeerPower: What was your experience with PeerPower?
Yok: I heard about PeerPower from a friend. I did some research on their website and decided to register. They were really efficient with the loan – clear in the documents they needed, and responsive to my questions. Most of the application was completed online and within 3 days they gave me a loan offer which took into account my credit score. My credit score has always been pretty good and I was relieved when they offered me a loan that was 10% less than my personal loans today.
I wish I had found out about PeerPower sooner – it would have solved me months of waiting for a loan.
Don’t accept the norm – go out there and pursue what you believe in and keep pushing the boundaries.
PeerPower: What advice do you have for people in your situation?
Yok: Don’t accept the norm – go out there and pursue what you believe in and keep pushing the boundaries. There are going to be people that say it’s not possible or that you should “do this… do that…” don’t just listen to what people say – take a step forward.