When I first started training, one of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome was the fact that I was so young. Many parents and teachers commented on how such a young chap had the credibility to train their students/children. When I started doing corporate training at the age of 24, I got funny looks from participants who were in their 30s-50s. I had to also dress up and consciously act maturely to get the results I wanted. I would also feel some intimidation whenever I saw clients (parents, teachers, principles, HR managers, CEOs) who were always older than me. In fact, when I ran my first Patterns of Excellence Programme 10 years ago, 60% of my participants were OLDER THAN ME. It was indeed a big challenge to prove to them that I could help them succeed.
Time has really flown since then and now, I feel I am getting old man! Few months ago, I was flying on Singapore Airlines. As I was admiring the air stewardesses, two came up to me and said, ‘Hey! You are Adam Khoo!’ ‘We attended your camp when we were 15 years old!’ Wah Low! Make me feel like old man. Then, a week ago, I went to Tengah Air Base Medical centre for my FFI medical checkup. The Medic who was going to take blood from me (probably aged 18-19) said,’ Haha! you are Adam Khoo. I attended your programme when I was in Primary 5′. I felt really scared that this kid was going to stick a needle in me. Thank god, I was nice to him last time. Then when I went to see the Medical Officer (the doctor…for you civilians who dun understand), I got bigger shock. He said, ‘Are you Adam Khoo?’ I said, ‘yes?’. He said, ‘ I attended your camp when I was in sec 4 in raffles Institution!’ You inspired me to become a doctor.’ That made me feel even older still. But then, I felt great because I could see how my work over the years have made a difference in his life.