Showing posts with label Entrepreneurship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Entrepreneurship. Show all posts

Sunday, May 16, 2010

National Achievers Congress 2010

27 - 29 April 2010

The National Achievers Congress is an annual event where prominent speakers gather to deliver their secrets to success with participants. It was held at Expo this year. (Read National Achievers Congress 2007)

This year, the speakers included Robert G Allen, Spike Humer, Loral Langemeier, Christopher Howard, John P. Coutis, Tom Hua, Greg Secker and Jordan Belfort.

Other than sharing their experiences, the speakers would also promote their follow-up courses, with prices ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

The timing was a little bad for me, given that it's on my exam dates. Nevertheless, I managed to attend the talk given by Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister. He shared some of his candid experiences during his political term, but fall short of discussing politics. I was told the NAC held in Malaysia had protesters right outside of the hotel where he was delivering his speech. Security is so tight that no photography was allowed.

The NAC is a good-to-attend for some dosage of motivation and inspiration. Some speakers clearly provided useful ideas, while some were more concerned with attracting potential mentees to their follow-up courses.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

TR2201 7uicy Wonders Pilot-Testing

31 March - 1 April 2010

7 wonderful individuals, each from different disciplines and faculties, brainstormed a fantastic idea and now it is time to test it out.

7uicy Wonders makes fruit juice concoctions targeting at specific problems that youths face. The various flavours have names that indicate the solutions. They are the Brain Booster, Energy Escalator, Dr Detox, Weight Watcher, Stress Shield, Immunity Injector and the Complexion Clarifier.

We located ourselves in between LT 9 and LT10 where our juicing and blending machines caught the attention of many passers-by.

The pilot-testing, which spanned a period of two days, yielded great feedback and suggestions of improvement on the tastes for the various flavours. It also confirmed our idea that people drink fruit juices not just to quench their thirsts, but also due to the inherent benefits that fruits bestow.

With the positive response, some of us are really thinking of realising this project into an actual business!

Thanks to all my friends who came to support!

Listen to the Jiggle sang by Xavier:

And yes, two days of pilot-testing with lessons to attend were really tiring!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Never Allow Devotion to turn into Desperation

Have you ever got yourself so passionately devoted into a certain activity that you become over-obsessive and then desperately seeking to have it fulfilled?

This predicament/syndrome/scenario* usually casts itself upon individuals who just embarked on the activity. The stages of the desperation-poison set in slowly through this cycle:

Upon introduction to an activity that intrigues you, you go through the first process of Information Gathering so as to feed your curiousity. When you finally collated sufficient information, you will then set certain benchmarks or standards (2) when performing the activity. In some cases you might also set goals to achieve a desired outcome.

As and when you have committed yourself to the activity, you devote (3) your time and effort in it. No obstacles could stop you because you have the Passion to complete the process.

Many of us tend to restrict ourselves to achieving such high standards that we over-commit and become overly obsessive (4). We are blinded due to the fact that we are so heavily involved to what we are doing that we get led by the nose. After realising that we are sinking in too much, we then rise up and set new goals and standards(5).

However, we would sometimes fall again into the trap and repeat the process of (3) - (5).

Experience prevents the cycle from repeating endlessly. Recently, it took an individual who had 20 years of experience in the trade to enlighten myself.

So How to Never Allow Devotion to turn into Desperation?

Referring back to the diagram above,

Step 1
Information gathering should encompass the "failure" component of the activity. For instance, find out the risks involved in investing in a certain industry, or what are the possible fallouts if you were to embark on a business.

Step 2
Goal Setting should not just be positive, but must also include the negatives. Knowing what you want to achieve gives you a high standard. However, there must be limits. State down what you would never do i.e. will not sacrifice family time for soccer.

Step 4
Realise that when you set your goals stating down what you would never do for your activity, you have already set the boundaries. You will thus know when you should stop working on the activity so as to not burn the wick of your candle.

Step 5
Certain adjustments of your goals from time to time are beneficial. This will enable you to know where you have reached, yet giving flexibility and adaptability to different situations.

Sharing with your Loved ones about such situations could also help. They would usually give you the very timely reminders...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Day of Enquiry with the ACRA helpdesk

10 July 2008

You know holidays are about to end when you need to choose your modules again. Selected my modules for the module preference exercise. The theme of study for the coming semester would be Chinese Politics. Studying is about strategising. Why spread yourself thin when you can focus on an area?

After settling the module preference, I went on to Bizfile to help my Uncle in renewing his business registration. From what I thought was a simple process, it took me the whole of my afternoon to get it settled and done with.

Logging on to Bizfile, I discovered that the business registration is expired. I clicked on the renewal button but it can't work. So I picked up the phone and call the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) helpdesk.

Through a long process of repeated calling to ACRA helpdesk and my Uncle, I realised that it will take you just a few months to get your business registration totally cancelled. It does not matter if your business had been operating for decades. With the new policy mooted just 2 years ago, business owners now need to be very prudent and diligent when renewing business registration.

An alternative route of redress was offered by the friendly ACRA helpdesk staff. Enclose a $30 cheque to the Ministry of Finance as a processing fee, together with a letter to the Business Faciliatation Branch of ACRA detailing the reason of delay in renewal and purpose of retaining the original business registration number. This was subjected to the departments' approval.

I immediately typed out a letter on behalf of my Uncle and would be awaiting for the reply from the authorities.

At night, I indirectly learnt some incidents that had been happening. I just find it strange why one could be so unconsciously addicted to money but proclaimed that one is not. It is one thing to love money, yet another to be addicted to it. My message to the individual: Even if you proclaim that money is not the factor, you know it is. Do something about it before it is too late.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Project YEAH 2008 Media Launch

10 May 2008

Started the day off by attending the Media Launch of Project Youth Entrepreneur @ Aljunied and Hougang (YEAH). Held at Bishan Junction 8 open gallery at the 3rd floor, there were exhibits from various institutions including Singapore Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Innova Junior College, Anderson Junior College, Victoria Junior College, etc. Singer and entrepreneur Genie's music school had a booth too.

Among the exhibits, what caught my attention was the booth by Innova JC. The students were selling custom-made pin badges. According to the teacher, the school had patent over the gadget which was used to make the badges. With one simple touch on the lever, the badge is done. I bought two badges, one of which I penned a quote and gave it to Bao Hui.

Another booth worth a mention was the booth by Anderson JC students. They were selling T-shirts that they had designed, together with this small cute little plant [see picture below]. All proceeds go to the President Star Charity. This applies to Innova JC as well.

Organised by Youth Executive Committees (YECs) of Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC, the event attracted various grassroots leaders and members of the public. The Guest-of-Honour was Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport & MP for Aljunied GRC.

If you think you have a brilliant idea and want to participate in this business plan competition, log on to :)

After the launch and lunch, went to meet Bao Hui for a neck-straining movie "What happens in Vegas". Had a great talk, as usual, right into the night.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

CEO Unplugged Seminar

CEO Unplugged Seminar
Hon Sui Sen Auditorium, National University of Singapore
6.30pm - 8pm
18 October 2007

The guests invited this year are Mr Ivan Lee (CEO of Thai Express, Onyx Concept Restaurant, Pin Le, Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe, New York New York) and Mr Adam Khoo (Executive Chairman, Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group).

Adam Khoo graduated from Business Faculty, NUS while Ivan Lee graduated with a double Major in Philosophy and Economics at Faculty of Arts and Social Science, NUS.

Sharing some key points that they mentioned:

Adam Khoo

  • Dare to dream and find out how to get there
  • For goal setting, focus not on the amount of money you wish to have, but on creating value in doing what you love to do
  • No idea is original. Everything is just an add-on to something else
  • Knowing how to sell oneself is important
  • Good marketing makes bad products die faster
  • Making money is just one of many measures of success

Ivan Lee

  • Never cast any philosophy in stone
  • Ego and contentment will destroy you
  • Business is all about being a leader and it is not a democracy
  • Be pragmatic to the core
  • Pay well, and give job satisfaction (Respect, Empowerment)
  • Marketing research and R&D are important. Note: R&D = Rob & Duplicate
  • Get people to like you and feel comfortable with you
  • Fail in order to succeed, to gain more confidence
After a year of waiting, Start-Up @ Singapore '08 is finally here!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Entrepreneurship? Train the teachers first

How do we train our people to become entrepreneurs? How do we instill entrepreneurship into our future generation? My answer is ... Train the Teachers first!

See, the teachers are the moulders of our future generation. Every day, students attend schools and consciously as well as subconsciously gain knowledge. And every day, school teachers are sharing their experience, their knowledge, their habits directly or indirectly to students. Cheers to Teachers!

However, this means that teachers need to be equipped with the best mindset, best knowledge and best experience so that they can in turn impart them to the young.

In my opinion, entrepreneurship programmes should be catered to our teachers. And it should not just stop at this. We should encourage our teachers to take risks and allow them to engage in side businesses as well as other entrepreneurship projects. At present, teachers are not allowed to moonlight, except for tuition assignments. With additional freedom, we could groom teachers who are entrepreneurs.

If we loosen the grip on this moonlighting issue, teachers will be able to immerse themselves in true and practical entrepreneurship experiences. They can then share real-life experience to students and perhaps do it with them.

We do not like entrepreneurship taught as if it is an exam-oriented subject, a theoretical mystery or a word game. Entrepreneurship should be real, practical and exciting. And the best way to achieve this in our younger generation is by training the teachers first!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Touring Internet Cafes

Internet Cafes litter the streets of Katong. After a sumptous appetizing wonderful bowl of laksa, my companion and I visited the cafes.

The Internet Cafes faced intense competition among each other such that they have reduced their prices to S$1/hr. They provide solely the computers, with headsets and cameras, with satisfactory comfort. There is no difference whether you visit this or that cafe. There is no differentiating factor. This competition had led to a price war, which is the worst thing that could happen.

At Burlington Square, the Internet Cafes were more comfortable and conducive. Of course the rates were slightly higher, but the higher price is worth it. And yes, there was also price war but not as bad as seen from Katong cafes. The two Cafes across the street of one another around Burlington Square were competing against each other.

Generally, the receptionists in the cafes were cold. There isn't passion within them. This makes the users feel that they are really there only for the computer and the Internet. There is no experience factor in it.

Had a discussion with some friends over a business plan on an internet cafe. The discussion went well. I hope it really comes out into reality.

Monday, December 18, 2006

We Care Tuition Agency AGM Preparation

Soon it will be the Annual General Meeting for We Care Tuition Agency. This means preparation for materials to be shared during the meeting has to be done.

The AGM is going to signify the end of the work year 2006, and the embracement of the new year with fresh goals and new directions setting. Everyone will be sharing their ideas on expanding the agency.

I have my agenda too. I find that I may have too many. I will be also taking this opportunity to share my new business plan, hoping that some of them might be interested in it and join me.

And if everything goes well, by next February, I'll be able to become a Director of my own firm. This is simply exciting.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Business Opportunity Fair -- EAP Graduation

The Business Opportunity Fair at Le Meridien Hotel started at 1300hrs, 16 December 2006. About half an hour prior to the commencement of the Fair, our CRE-ACTION team went out of the hotel to start giving out our specially designed flyers.

Giving out flyers in shirt and tie is quite a fun experience. Beside me was an Indian man also giving out flyers. After seeing me approaching people and giving out more flyers than he had given, he came to me and asked for one flyer. 1 hour later, I returned to the Margaux Ballroom where the event was held.

On the way back, I met my Mother and my Aunt who had just visited my booth. Got two leads from them.

Worked through lunch at the booth, entertaining visitors to the booth. More than half of those I entertained were full-time national servicemen (NSFs). One visitor conversed with me for a long time, telling me about his plans to sell his health products. From various interactions, I gained quite a lot of insights into other's activities.

The whole event ended at 1700hrs. We generated around 50 leads, and S$80 profits for our team in the event. Overall, we earned ourselves S$9.85 each after weighing in the costs for setting up of booth.

Even though our team did not clinched the champion award, we enjoyed ourselves. When we retire back at one of the team member's office, we did a little of debrief and after-action reviews. We also agreed that we should meet bimonthly to keep each of us updated, as well as a possible discussion of team effort in starting up a business opportunity.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Art of Selling

Just discovered someone replied to my online ST forum letter. And he agreed to my point of view. Great kind of feeling now.

At the Exec-Directions office today, I attended a lesson on sales. Sales and marketing are the most profiteering division in any organisation. If you have the best idea in the world, but you do not have the sales knowledge, the idea will forever be only in your hands. Sales is useful in many areas of our life, so it is very important to know more about it.

Everyone was sent up on stage and to repeat some sentences showed on the projector screen. The purpose was to train up the versatility of the individual in tackling others with different characters.

I discover that I am not a very good sales person. There is much more to be improved on.

Yesterday, I got involved in a car accident. There was an old car parking at a turn left filter. So our car nearly hit it. Then, as we were turning right, the driver saw a taxi coming our way backwards, so he instinctively drove forward a little, but we still got bumped at the back.

We came out from the car. I stared at the car in front with vengeful vision. The car then drove off, knowing that he was in trouble. Useless figure.

The taxi did bump into our vehicle but it did not cause a single scratch or dent. Whew, what a ride.

Experience gained through selling Christmas Cards

After 3 weeks of sale of Christmas cards, I have received a considerable sum of profits. The profits weren't that crucial but it is the learning process that had occured.

It is my first major lesson in leveraging on other people's time and money. The power of leverage is immense. Wonders can be created from leverage. It is the fundamental principle in moving towards creating a successful system of business.

Another lesson is that accounting is a basic knowledge and skill that one will need when entering the business field.

Opportunities are abound.

Friday, December 08, 2006

EAP Flyer Design

This is the flyer design by my team CRE-ACTION. We were pressed for time and I came out with the idea of the Christmas tree. The idea of it all is that our team will be placing the cash and opportunities there, would you be the one receiving it at the bottom?

We clinched 3rd position, gaining S$50 for the team. Our very first profit in the the programme.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Getting Sponsors for Cre-Action Business Opportunity Booth

After being tasked from the meeting to source for sponsors for the team (named Cre-Action) booth, I set off with an open mind.

Big companies websites do not include their marketing and communications branch contact information. So therefore the only way to get to them was via the tele-operator. And so the chain of command starts from the operator, then being directed multiple times to other call recipients and finally reaching the yes-no person.

Sometimes I hit the voicemail. And I suspect the voicemail had not been checked for ages, or it had replaced a tele-operator whose sole purpose might just be to reject calls. Automation replaces the need for human at times.

Then I reached a staff who bothered to listen after some convincing words. I managed to email her a proposal for sponsorship. The odds of getting it is small but at least I got the message across.

Later, a friend of my Father returned a call handled by his secretary when he went to a meeting. I respect him a lot from what my Father always say about him. My respect for him is even higher when he even bothered to find out exactly what the business opportunity fair was about. Even though he's quite skeptical that his bank company could actually sponsor for such a private function, he said he will still put in effort in helping me.

And so, the excitement builds up...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

1st EAP meeting

The first EAP meeting went on very smoothly. The meeting place was in the Wee Luk Office where one of our member worked in. There were many timber products such as furniture around.

My eyes were drawn to one piece of artwork called "Ping2 Mu4" in Mandarin. I believe in English, it's called a screen. In the ancient history of China, families place screens to block the view from outside into the house by situating them facing the doors. I was especially drawn to this artpiece because it is a creation based from "Romance of the Red Chambers", a classic Chinese novel. In it there were the characters of the novel and also some poetries. It is not for sale. Too bad.

The other team members looked quite dreary from their day of hard work. 2 of them just came from a meeting. But everybody got focused on the agenda of the meeting and voiced out useful pointers. The Entreprenurial spirit.

Everybody was given his/her roles and responsiblities. We set off with the lethargy of the day but with the refreshed mindset of the evening.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Entrepreneurial Action Programme

This is a 2 day programme conducted by Exec-Directions.

I used to be doubtful of entrepreneurial programmes because I believe that entrepreneurship is either an innate character or it can be attained through real-life business practice and experience. However, this programme proved me wrong. EAP actually brought me through the idea of entrepreneurship through real action and sharing of experiences by successful entrepreneurs.

Through the course, there are many lessons that I've learnt. These include penning a good USP, sales and marketing techniques, how to start a business with no cost at all, and last but not least, the correct mindset of an entrepreneur.

EAP also provided a good oppurtunity for like-minded people to gather around and network with each other. I was glad to meet people of various positions such as CFO, Directors, Consultants, Designers. I also met a young boy named Luke. He had just taken PSLE and expressed interest in attending the course. I find his way of thinking rather mature and that made me the third youngest in the whole programme.

The programme ends on 16 Dec when every teams will set up booths at a business oppurtunity fair at Le Meridien Hotel.

It is always to start young, as many I met told me. Seems like the best part of your life is still being young. "Learn Learn Learn and you will Earn Earn Earn".