Thursday, November 30, 2006

Perceived Value and Actual Value

Perceived value of an object is the value derived from others' opinions. Actual Value is the innate value of an object. I am writing because I have heard this from Jay Abraham and some other speakers in the World Internet Summit 2006, and found this concept vital but often overlooked.

One of the participants of the Summit posed a question to Jay Abraham, saying that small companies have a hard time fighting with big companies. Consumers tend to squeeze the small firms by pushing prices lower and lower. His question was how to tackle this problem.

Jay Abraham gave a thinking look, looked upwards, and then said that one has to respect one's own value in order for others to respect it. Small companies need to respect themselves so that consumers will pay a good price for them.

When you actually see yourself as a valuable asset and are confident about the fact, then people will see you differently. People will perceive that you are valuable when you think you are valuable.

My tutor, Mr Terence Ong from Temasek Junior College, used to tell me a short story. It goes like this: Tom went for an interview. When the interviewer asked him what kind of salary he wants, Tom said $2k. Immediately the interviewer said okay. The interviewer actually wanted to pay him $5-6k for the job. But since Tom deemed his own value at $2k, the company would have just saved $3k for employing this person. And if Tom is satisfied with his own value, the company would continue paying him such an amount.

Self-respect and self-valuing are crucial and they make up the perceived value.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Immense Value of Giving Speeches

It occured to me that giving speeches in seminars do earn one a great income, but never did I know how powerful it can be. At the WIS 2006, John Childers presented the idea to me, as well as to the rest of the audience.

You see, speaking in public is a one-to-many sales technique instead of one-to-one sales technique. By doing a one-to-many, you can actually increase the efficiency of your sales and the credibility of yourself. When you show that you have the confidence to speak out and convince the crowd, people will develop trust in you even though they have never seen you in their entire living life.

So if they start to listen to you, and they start to like what you are saying, it will be easy to promote a product to the audience. When you compare a one-to-one selling, the odds may be about 10-20% chance of closing a sale. Whereas if you do a one-to-many selling, a 10-20% would give you a good portion of the audiences.

When training others to speak, these learners will eventually turn out to be great speakers in their own realms and regions. When this happens, they become living proof and testimonials of yourself. And your value increases, and people will start inviting you to give speeches at their events.

Finally, you will just need to speak once in a while to get your living expenses. What a great potential job it might be.

World Internet Summit 2006

Held at Expo from 25 November to 28 November, which sees many Internet Marketing Experts sharing their knowledge, is the World Internet Summit 2006. Speakers came from around the world. They included Brett McFall, Tom Hua, John Childers, David Cavagnah, Stephen Pierce, Andrew and Daryl Grantt, Rick Raddatz, Jay Abraham, Ewen Chia, Jo Han Mok, Fabian.

Of them all, Ewen, Jo Han and Fabian are Singaporeans. Ewen and Jo Han took up the Internet Challenge and earned themselves US$60 000 from selling online throughout the 4 days. How amazing Internet Marketing can be.

Jay Abraham gave a keynote address to the audiences on the first day. He speaks for up to US$25000 per pax in other seminars. He is a powerful speaker. Able to analyse questions and formulate a solution just at the blink of the eye.

John Childers won a landslide victory in a vote for the best speaker of WIS 2006. He trains speakers. For the event, he promoted his course by saying that those who joined him need only pay S$7500 for his S$45000 course as a deposit, and when they earn from public speaking, will he then collect the remaining money from them. This is an amazing feat of confidence.

I thought Matt Bacak was the best speaker. He gave a lot of useful information and insights to us.

At the end of the 4 days, I feel that I am 80% equipped with knowledge and just need the other 20% of energy to kickstart this income-generating source.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My Maiden Post in the Straits Times Forum

This is my first letter to the Straits Times Newspapers. It did not appear in the printed media but I'm glad to see it online.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A health lesson

The second interview is more of a reminder that I am taking my health for granted. Health is generally dependent on three adjustable factors - food, exercise, sleep. I'm glad he made it sound so simple.

Also learnt something about magnetic therapy and some beneficial magnetic therapeutical products such as mattresses and pillows. It's a good-to-have and I will eventually buy one for my family members since they are important to me, and so are their health.

Flipped through the Straits Times forum. I believe my article will come out tomorrow.

Steering in the right direction

Finally, the Straits Times have got back to me over my entry to the forum in regards to the purpose of rewarding programmes offered by national transport giants. This was discussed in the previous blog entry. There are two possible follow-ups. One would be that the rewards are being sponsored. The other would be that the rewards were from the profits of the companies. The latter would then lead to a fierce debate in the forum.

Dispatched two teens to work. Gathered some feedback from them and discovered that business is good. Imported new goods. The future looks bright.

Went to a free internet marketing seminar. This was the best so far that I have attended. Registered for a course, organised by Success Resources, and received some bonuses. It is a 4 day course which sees all the gurus imparting their knowledge and skills. Did some networking at the seminar and also saw a SISPEC platoon mate.

The next day will start with an early "interview" to learn more on the products and services that the company provides.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Useful Recurring Advices

There are certain advices in life that must recur from various sources in order to remind, if not motivate one. These advices are in the context of proper planning for the future, having a proper mindset, methods of achieving goals, etc. These all lead to the word "success".

201106 Afternoon, I listened to what was the most enriching conversation I have ever heard from a stranger. Interestingly, the conversation was actually a job interview. The firm is looking for candidates to train them to be distributors for the main company. However, for the first interview, there was no mention of the products and services catered by the firm.

The job interviewer get ourselves to think and applied some concepts of thinking and planning to us. Throughout the 1.5hrs interview, he just conversed with us regarding the route to success. It was awesome. The next interview will be 3hours. I am looking forward.

This talk actually came at the right time. Acts as a morale booster for me personally, giving me the fuel to go on and endure this current mega map that I am drawing. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Purpose for Transport Companies to issue rewards?

I have just entered this topic into TJC forum because I find this topic very commentable.

See, Singapore has two major transport players. They do not actually face a true competition. Their buses and trains do not overlap each other's routes, and they actually serve different major sectors of the island. Based on this fact, it is hard to think that the rewards are given to retain loyalty of customers.

The rewards given are great deals. Prizes include free transport for a year, free overseas trips, etc. You can find this on some of their buses and trains.

Transport costs keep rising every year. If the rewards are provided for by these companies, is it acceptable for the citizens? The prizes only go to some lucky customers. Transport costs affect all. Surely they should pour such profits back into restoring their transport fares.

My next step is to contact the companies and see their replies.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Underage pornography

I have come across this link through a forum. It is a global support against underage pornography. Recently, this has also come in the form of advertisements on cable television. It is shocking to see the high numbers of children being exploited sexually. It is outrageous.

I've watched a documentary showing the prevalent children prostitution still existing in other parts of the world. The journalist actually went into the brothel and was disgusted by the dozens of girls being exploited.

It will take a long time for such exploitation to end. If we unite against such atrocities, I believe one day, the sufferings of young children in other parts of the world will cease.

Light the candle to show your support @ now.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The day George Bush came to Singapore

Early in the morning, I was surprised to see my brother still at home. Then I recalled that George Bush's arrival to Singapore has caused a change in the "O" Level Examinations schedule. After doing some work, I left home to NUS for a lunch with my girlfriend.

The book that I was reading, Singapore Burning - Heroism and Surrender of Singapore during WWII, was soon to be overdued and had been extended previously after a fine of S$2.50. The day before, I read the book till about 2am and then surrendered to the bed.

As I was reading on the train, a caucasian male, about my age, suddenly asked me whether the book was fiction. And that started the conversation for the trip.

He was accompanied by 3 others, all dressed with white shirt and black pants, each with a tie, and on their breast pockets were their name tags. On the name tag was the words "Elderly [Name]" in various languages.

They are voluntary missionaries that have come to Singapore for a tour of their service. While I served my 1 year 10months in National Service, they spent 2 years going around Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and other regional countries to serve as missionaries.

Initially, I thought they would want to preach Christianity to me, but I was wrong. They respected me as a Buddhist and conversed with me about other matters. When I told them Bush was coming, they jokingly commented that there might be terrorists that want to blow him up. When they alighted at City Hall to transit to Newton to meet up other friends for lunch, I returned to my book.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Trip to Malaysia

Uncle Francis gave us a lift to Golden Mile Tower, the tower that houses almost every travel agencies that you can find in Singapore. We reached early but soon we had companions. I met a new friend. Her name is Su Ting. She's the daughter of my Mother's friend. Chat with her for a while, even though I am still half asleep. Found her interesting through the conversation.

Everybody else came earlier than the stipulated timing. So, once the driver was ready, we got on board the bus. The bus was a double-decker. Each seat has a monitor screen in front, with a gamepad and a set of earphone. The inclining controls also enable one to fully lie flat parallel to the ground. Cool.

My book "Singapore Burning" kept me company for the most part of the journey when I was awake. I am entering Malaysia while reading about the part where Malaya fell to the hands of the Japanese. The TV couldn't be turned on, probably due to copyright laws in Singapore. As the school holiday period has yet to start, the queues were not visible in any area. We cleared our customs and the Malaysian one rapidly. No luggages were checked.

We rested at a canteen in Yong Peng. In the book, Yong Peng's nasty experience was brought to light. Here, I met a Mr Su, a fellow Singaporean heading to Genting. After a brief chat, he passed me his namecard as he thought it was fate that we met. After a short brunch, we continued the monotonous movement towards the North. Along the way, I played some tv games like Batman, Demolition man, and got bored. Then I watched Tian Di Ying Xiong. And then zzZZZ....

We checked into Berjaya Times Square Hotel. The room arrangement and design was interesting. From the room, we can see the Twin Tower and some distant mountains. The haze obscured the nice scenery of buildings and mountains, and it fused with the faraway clouds.
Soon, we started our first activity in Malaysia. Beside the Hotel was a shopping mall. The shopping mall housed the world's largest Borders bookstore as well as the world's largest food mall (it occupied the whole 10th floor). Our first stop is the Cosmos Indoors Amusement Park.
Imagine having roller coasters spanning from the fifth floor to the tenth, merry-go-round, bumper cars, and other machines littering around part of the shopping mall. It is a creative concept and is something Singapore couldn't afford to do due to space constraint. I tried the roller coaster which had two 360 degrees vertical turns. The others were just usual games you can find elsewhere.

Next stop: Chinatown - Chi Jeong Gai.
We took a limousine cab (packed with 13 people) to Chinatown was packed with stalls selling counterfeits products as well as pirated discs on the road. There were plenty of stalls but most sell the same things as the rest. Soon it reached dinner time and our group dined in at a Chinese restaurant. Visited a shopping mall, bought confectionary products from Feng Huang shop (well-known shop), ate Herbal Jelly, waited for limousine cab...

Day 2:
Breakfast at Berjaya Times Square Hotel was satisfactory. Didn't eat too much, not much variety.

Toilet was cool. The last time I saw the thing beside the toilet bowl was in Shangri-la hotel Singapore. Luxury.

Next trip: 1Utama Shopping Mall.

Most Singaporeans always get a pleasant surprise when they first visit a Malaysian Shopping Mall. It is the equivalent of four or five local equivalent. Spent 3 hours browsing through the mall and getting what we wanted. Then we went for an amazing race.

Amazing Race: Steam Fish Head @ Chan Sau Lin

Shu Ting suggested a well-known steam fish head restaurant for lunch. Our group of 5 began our exploration. First, we took a cab to the nearest LRT terminal. We took the train to an interchange at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, transferred to the KTM Komuter train, and then transferred to another one to reach Sungei Besi. According to a brochure, the steam fish head restaurant was situated in Sungei Besi. Along the way, we met a Malaysian Indian, Balli, who was helpful and guided us to the destination. Balli worked in Zouk Singapore as a DJ before and I was heartened to hear that he would want to return to Singapore to advance his music career.

We walked around and saw a police station. Shu Ting and I asked the sentry officer and he gave a doubtful look. This was a Malay ground and any Chinese restaurant is not heard of. We are in the wrong place. Near the train station, when we were just about to give up the search and head back to the hotel, Mum suggested to ask a cab driver. We did so, and were rewarded with useful information. The restaurant was at Chan Sau Lin instead of Sungei Besi.

Reached Chan Sau Lin via train. Chan Sau Lin was 2 stops away from the station near our hotel. Time was around 1700hours. At Chan Sau Lin, we tried to get a cab but 2 Chinese cab drivers declined because it is illegal to carry 5 passengers. Then a Malay one came. He was glad to take us along. He drove to a petrol station and asked for the exact location and then drove us there. He quoted a price 150% more than what should have been the cost. We relented since it was just a few dollars more, and he got us to the place.

The Steam fish head restaurant was a run down place, a place I feel will serve good food. From past experiences in Malaysia, I had good food always from run down places. Our lunch and dinner cost us roughly RM50, cheap and good. We will not forget the location... Jalan Tiga, Chan Sau Lin.

After a brief rest at the hotel, Mum and I went to Sungei Wang, a shopping mall 15min walking distance away from Berjaya Times Square Hotel. With the lethargy accumulated throughout the day, we bought a few items and left the mall. Ate some desserts at Secret Recipe. Mum wanted to go try the KL monorail and so we went.

At Bukit Nanas station, we alighted and found a spot for us to photograph with the Twin towers. I wonder why the twin towers is called as such, because both towers actually differ in height. After a photoshoot, we headed back to the hotel... zzzZZZ...

Last Day: Going back to Singapore

Early in the morning, we had breakfast in the hotel again. This time, I felt bored with the food variety and only ate not much.

Went with the rest to search for some shopping place. Gave up and then went to Sungei Wan. Went back to hotel shopping mall to buy some items. Ate lunch in the world's largest food mall. The food mall spanned nearly the entire level. However, there are still many vacancies left. Each shop had a wide area to occupy.

Took some photos at the swimming pool area. Here, I met a new friend. He is Kamal, a Gurkha Security Guard on contract to the hotel for 3 years. He wanted to work in Singapore but could not secure a job there. But he will be visiting Singapore soon.

Journey ended at around 1900hours.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Operationally Ready Date

The anticipated moment of the year, the indescribable astonishing moment, has just happened. I am operationally ready. I can bear arms and fight a war now. I am a trained soldier.

After a year and ten months of not having a pink I/C in the wallet, after a year and ten months of fun and hard work, getting led and leading, getting faulted and praised. This is a next step in life.

Looking back, I remember vividly the unity of the section and the platoon in times of hardship, in strenuous exercises. The way soldiers encourage each other in hard times, motivating others to carry on the missions to complete the objective together as one. The way we relaxed while we looked back on the tough missions and laugh about it.

Now that I am a civilian, there are important lessons learnt from the Service that I can learn from to apply to a civilian context. And now that I am a civilian, it is time to start revving things up.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Cashflow game

After giving tuition in the morning (not a very good way to start the day), I settled some tuition work and departed from home to Clarke Quay. I was on my way to learn how to play a game called "Cashflow".

After meeting with a group, we made our way to the Settler's Cafe. It is a I-think-I-have-heard-before-but-not-too-sure-about-it-kind-of-cafe. It is actually in a shophouse, amidst some heritage-looking corridor.

The cafe exudes a cosy and comfortable atmosphere, making it a conducive place for chit-chats and some relaxation. A brief look at the menu reveals set meals incorporated with the activities that are going to take place later. All the staff are attired in uniform with the words "I play game for a living, do you?". Good.

After we settled ourselves down, one of the guides (I would not call them waiters because that is just their side-job as far as I am concern) set up the board game for us and then briefed us to the rules and regulations of the game. This is an interesting game that can take you more than 4 hours to complete. It is educational as well.

The aim of the game is to allow yourself to be able to buy your dream, that you have selected before the start of the game. In order to buy this dream, you will need to get out of the "rat race". All players start in the "rat race".

Everyone is asked to pick a card initially and that card will tell what occupation are you having. For example, I got "Secretary". There will not be repetitive positions. Each card also states your income-expenditure statistics as well as the liabilities that you have. Every one starts off without a passive income. The only way to get out of the "rat race" is to get your passive income to be greater than your expenditure.

It resembles monopoly a little. You get to pick up cards when you reach certain boxes after throwing your dice. Then the cards will either give you an oppurtunity or a deduction of your money.

Although I nearly could have gotten a fourth or fifth position (I ended up getting 6th, which is also the last), I would say I have learned some key points out of this game. I have attended talks and read up books that mentioned about passive income and its importance, but it is in this game that left a lasting impression on me.

Our group is going to bring this game to more youths and hopefully, many will benefit important financial knowledge through this game. Cashflow game.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rascal-ity or Childhood

Children making a nuisance out of themselves in the public. Is that an act of childhood, or are they simply rascals? Sometimes it makes you wonder.

Some days ago, I was distracted from watching a game that my friends are playing, by a group of children making a nuisance out of themselves. I was at the bowling alley. This group of boys on my right tried to enjoy themselves by throwing two balls at one time to the pins. They then throw 3 at one time.

At one point in time, the technician working behind opened the cover just above the pins and scolded the boys, even though his volume is too soft. The boys continued nonetheless. A few times, the balls hit the metal piece that clears the pins. As they are playing at the furthest alley away from the counter, they got away with it, laughing and cheering themselves when they do the "tricks".

I stopped to ponder if this is a scene of childhood life or just simply rascal-ity as I call it.

From their point of view, they will remember this as a childhood memory, and they will laugh at it when they recall it. However, from our eyes, they are vandalising and creating a nuiscance out of themselves.

It depends on the extent of damage vs the importance of childhood memories for the individual. I have yet to determine the balance for myself. Wait till I witness another of such activities...