Of all my new gigs, writing for the Star SMEbiz is, hands down, the most fulfilling. Here, I get to do what I used to do for my Navel Gazer column, except that I now hunt for hidden gems among the entrepreneurial ecosystem, rather than spot unsung heroes among the men in the street. Same thing, just different circle.

Last week, I finally got my hands on the hard copy of my story on Rempah Haji Halim, thanks to my friend Kenny Fong who also happened to be the one who introduced Wan to me. They are ex-colleagues.

From the little Kenny told me, I knew I’d get a good story. But when I actually met Wan face to face, I was blown away. The extraordinary challenges and the hard lessons Wan experienced left me both inspired and terrified that I couldn’t do justice to his story.

I spent weeks working on the article. Ask any writer and she’ll tell you it’s harder to keep a story real yet powerful without “hyping” it up, like a lot of puff pieces do.

I was in Italy when the story came out and Wan sent me a thank you note, telling me he had been moved to tears because it reminded him of his parents’ journey. Reading it, I burst into a smile – and tears too 🙂

Click here to read the story about his inspiring journey.