You too can be Limitless — A Story on How I Overcame a “Death Sentence” Given by My Doctor
There will be a time in life,
When all hope seems lost.
You stare at the bottomless abyss,
And the abyss stares right back to this soulless being.
But channel the energy deep from within you,
Your full potential is yet to be realized.
You too, can be Limitless
Hello everyone, my name is Ivan Yeo, and this is my story.
I am the founder of Avium, 32 this year and based in Singapore. Please feel free to connect with me via LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivan-yeo-b937431b!
I’ve been a serial entrepreneur all my life, building businesses across several industries with my last gig being in the esports and gaming space, where I built one of Southeast Asia’s most influential esports organisation (17m fans) & creator network (1,000 creators). Being part of this industry gave me a lot of joy as I could see first hand, how passion can motivate people.
Unfortunately, things took a turn for me back in 2020 with my health while I was working on my previous company.
“5 years left to walk, talk…and possibly eat.”
I was diagnosed with Kennedy’s Disease — a genetic disease without a known cure — and for a period of time in 2020, I believed my doctor’s prophecy when he informed me that my condition is worsening. It was basically a death sentence. A countdown to my life in all meaningful form ending within 5 years.
Being in a wheelchair for three quarters of the year, I thought my career as an entrepreneur and CEO was over. I always knew this day would come since my initial diagnosis in 2015, but experiencing it was a whole different story.
I’ve rushed through the last 5 years building my dreams knowing that there was a limit to my dreams and unfortunately the trade-off was my health.
2020 will go down in my books as one of the hardest years of my life. I had zero confidence, the world was telling me I was not good enough, the people around me was telling me I was not good enough…
Diminishing vocal strength.
Progressive weakening and decaying of muscles.
Struggling with eating solid food.
Requiring assistance for basic everyday tasks.
The COVID pandemic affecting my company’s revenue and operations.
Investor pressure to step down because of my health.
Potential insolvency because of a struggling fundraising round.
At this time, I was truly “eating glass and staring into the abyss of death”, as Elon Musk said, describing the life of an entrepreneur. I hit absolute rock bottom.
Everything around me signaled that my life was slowly ebbing away.
But I am not a person who gives up easily — this has been evident throughout my life. No matter how hard it was to see light at the end of the tunnel, I told myself:
“This is not my end.”
I motivated myself to pushed through the hardship, with support from my family and friends.
I did what I felt was right for the company and ignored the noise.
I worked together with my co-founders to revamp the company operations, and nurtured the next generation of leaders as part of a succession plan.
I applied everything I knew to solving for Kennedy’s Disease.
I worked out everyday for an hour to ensure muscle mass recovery. Working out is a painful process for me due to the disease. I told myself it was a necessary pain, if not my muscles would completely waste away.
I dug deep into myself to muster my all, overcoming all limits.
By early 2021, I managed to co-exist with Kennedy’s Disease, becoming healthier and stronger, hitting an appropriate weight and muscle mass. It is still not curable, but I’ve achieved an equilibrium for now.
With the new generation of leaders, the company achieved 100% YoY growth and we were one of the few profitable esports organizations in Southeast Asia, hitting an ARR (annual recurring revenue) of USD 25m.
In April 2021, I made the decision to take a backseat from the Company to focus more on myself and my health. The new generations of leaders have been groomed and they will lead the company to the next great height. It is time to pass the baton.
During this “me-time”, I read literally everything I found interesting, revamped my mental models, and reinvented myself as an entrepreneur. I discovered Web3 and started going down the rabbit hole to better understand it, assisting my company to launch launch a blockchain gaming guild and taking advisory positions in several blockchain games.
But still, something was missing. I missed helping people to chase their passion and dreams, which brought so much joy to people. I missed the community spirit, and being part of a tight-knit band to chase stars together.
And that inspired Avium. Harnessing the power of Web3 technologies to enable the passion and dreams for millions. Creating the most prominent and legitimate Web3 brand, where ownership is shared with our core community.
A limitless world with endless possibility.
I spent the next nine months preparing for Avium launch, making sure that everything was in place for the launch. I assembled an all-star founding team with experience in Web3, tech, legal, art, and startups.
The team will be fully doxxing, to build legitimacy in the space, to build trust in a trustless world.
Avium has given me another chance to do what I love, building together with everyone in the Avium community. It is not just another project, it’s everything to me.
I’m ready for my next 10 years with Avium, even if it is my last.
My name is Ivan Yeo, and this is my story.
And now I invite you to join me, on this Limitless journey.
Enabling Passion, Building Dreams.
For Avium, For All.