The French have some great sayings.

‘Live to eat, not eat to live’ and more crucially ‘Work to live’.

It’s this type of perspective that is important in today’s fast paced world.  It signals to appreciation of life. Many of us have a tendency to get bogged down in the hustle and bustle of a busy day-to-day life and we get swept away in the ‘always on’ and ‘connected’ world that we are surrounded by. We forget to look at what’s important. We sometimes forget to just stop and appreciate what’s in front of us.

‘Work to live, not live to work’ really struck a chord with me a few years back. But it’s how I interpret its meaning that’s important to me. I was tired of working long hours, working very hard to make someone else’s dreams come true. I had so many ideas and dreams of my own, I just needed to be willing to take the risk and chase them down myself. After all, if I can be successful making someone else dreams come true, then why not my own!

It’s this mentality that led to the creation of Toc.

How should ‘Work to live’ be interpreted?

Not everyone will want to work for themselves and many people are extremely happy and successful working in small and large companies across many different industries and sectors. This is great when it works for you and it should be embraced when it does. But it wasn’t working for me, at least not anymore.

The meaning of ‘Work to live’ hit me one day when chasing furiously after an unachievable monthly sales target. I didn’t hit the target that month and I was left deflated and exhausted despite my best efforts but still I had to get up the next day and start again from zero as it was a new month with a new target.

I felt like a little hamster running round and round in circles and that was what my life had become. I stuck in a rut. I was still successful and making a decent wedge but this had lost all meaning to me. I was moving very fast but not getting very far. Well at least that’s how I felt and I was starting to feel this way almost all the time. I was losing my mojo.

Overall I was accomplished with my career to date. I had worked in well paid desirable roles in different countries. For example by the age of 25, I was living in a serviced apartment on Clarke Quay in Singapore with my own driver, working for a global media company where we would only meet with CEO’s of large multi-national corporations. Work hard play hard. It was one of the best experiences of my life. That seems like a long time ago and I guess it is over 12 years now but it’s all relevant. Even then I dreamt of having my own business. I just didn’t know what shape it would take at the time. All I knew was that if I put the same energy and determination into my own business it would be successful.

Life is truly short and time really does fly by. I’m 37 now. How did that happen?! It’s only the last few years I have really understood, that for me, I want to work hard at something that actually makes me happy; something that engages me, challenges me but satisfies me also. I need to do something that I am passionate about, something I can give my all but at the same time something that adds to my life.  

People that love their jobs are much happier in life, much more balanced in every way. Since starting Toc last year, I feel this balance and see its positive impact in my daily life already. (OK, I am working crazy hours since we started, as at the moment, I still have my current sales job until we launch at least) But now I see the light at the end of the tunnel and it excites me.

A new perspective

I will still work extremely hard but it won’t feel that way as I love what we are doing with Toc. It actually energises me, it propels me forward, and it opens my perspective to great ideas and opportunities while affording me the balance to enjoy life.

Toc is a lease of life that my working life has been crying out for.

Of course there are many factors to setting up a business. There are many pros and cons when compared with working in the corporate world and you can easily find these by a quick google search. But these won’t tell you if setting a business is right or not for you. You need to trust your gut while also having the chance to take the risk. Because it is a big risk, but it’s one worth taking.

I now get up every day excited about what lies ahead, ready for the challenge and the next stage of this journey. My partner feels exactly the same way.

Setting up Toc has been one of the hardest and most exhilarating things we have ever done. It has been a fun, challenging and difficult journey to get this far but we are only a few short months from launching our first watch or many and already we know that this has been the right decision. We can now build our company around the life we want, maximising both.

The months and years ahead are full of opportunities and challenges that excite us and we can’t wait to take them all on.

Follow the rest of our journey here. or on Facebook.


Written by Will, Toc Watch.


P.S. Don’t wait and get access to one of 100 watches priced at 179EUR/189USD on Launch Day. That's 50% OFF!