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SINGAPORE: Lee Jin Rui, an ex-school rebel turned digital marketing entrepreneur, had a vision of running his own business since he was just 10 years old. His entrepreneurial journey began with an unusual venture – buying and selling Japanese trading card games, specifically Cardfight!! Vanguard. By the time he graduated from primary school, he had amassed close to S$4,000 from these transactions, making him the “biggest dealer” even within his school. However, his early exploits weren’t without consequences; he received a warning from the school for his trading activities.

As reported by TODAY, Lee Jin Rui, now age 22, was undeterred by this setback and pursued his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. In 2021, he founded Wiz Consultancy, a digital marketing agency dedicated to helping clients enhance their brand visibility and optimize their content to reach a broader audience. But he didn’t stop there. In July 2023, this data science student at the University of London (LSE) took a step further by launching Adolet, an education firm offering free digital marketing training programs to students.

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His curriculum at Adolet covers essential digital marketing skills, including search engine optimization (SEO) and WordPress content marketing, and has already attracted nearly 30 students to the program. What sets his program apart is the focus on real-world examples and hands-on experience, providing students with practical skills that are highly valuable in the job market.

One of the program’s success stories is Ms. Quinny Tran, a 21-year-old marketing student at Curtin University. She stumbled upon Mr. Lee’s program while searching for affordable courses to supplement her knowledge. Most courses she found were prohibitively expensive for a student, but Adolet’s free offering was a game-changer. Impressed by the practical knowledge and interpersonal skills she gained, Ms. Tran later joined Mr. Lee’s company as an intern.

Another participant, 26-year-old William Tan, the head of operations at MWI Technologies, emphasized the value of the soft skills he acquired. While hard skills like SEO and marketing techniques can be learned elsewhere, Mr. Lee’s program also taught participants how to effectively communicate with employers, solve business problems, and assign value to their work. This emphasis on soft skills is often overlooked in theory-based learning.

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Mr. Lee’s journey to entrepreneurship was undoubtedly supported by his parents and teachers, who encouraged his ventures. After completing primary school in Singapore, his family relocated to Cape Town, South Africa. During his time there, he started a start-up with friends and received support from his teacher to work on his business. His parents offered invaluable networking contacts, helping his business secure initial capital funding.

For Mr. Lee, giving back to the community is a key motivator. His decision to offer free training programs aligns with his belief in providing value to others without expecting financial gain in return. He encourages aspiring young entrepreneurs to adopt the “Just Do It” mindset, emphasizing the importance of taking action and gaining confidence through evidence.

As Mr. Lee said, “You shouldn’t overthink it and just do it. Don’t expect anything in return when you do something for companies when (you’re starting out) because you can’t have confidence without evidence.”