Saturday, November 4, 2017

The seemingly uncommon common thing called Insommina

if it's wasn't Michelle posted some apps about recording the sleeping hours or whatsoever, I wouldnt have known that she suffered from insomnia as well. To me, insomnia sticks on more more than the shorts does, and I just couldn't get rid of it.
There are many reasons I think insomnia loves me. Stress, expectations, celebration and disappointment. Running a business is tough, on a higher view, life can be tough. If it's not tough, I'll find the challenge. This leads to hype, expectation and rejection is inevitable. All sort of emotions are tied to insomnia and I sort of get used to it.
Don't get me wrong, I hate it. And I think that it's a serious issue. This post is meant to hightlighy the on the ground issue i face as I take on my life. I am actively searching for solution. Self healing, self coping, whatever it is, I need a healthy solution. Not cans of beer every night. I do this very often because I cannot risk a night for insomnia.
Till then, see ya!

Monday, October 2, 2017

First sense of disappointment

Today is the first time I got a sense that mum is not very proud of me running an optical retail business despite holding a civil engineering degree. It broke my heart. Of course I wouldnt know if I have broken her heart and disappointed her when I decided to walk this path. All along I thought she is proud and happy, because she's very supportive in every aspect.
But in the conversation with my secondary school teacher then only I found out that she'd mention my degree before my current work. And the tone of conversation carries a certain disappointment . Couldn't blame her for that, after all she has spent years grooming me to who I am.
I came across a lot of articles from start up founders saying how hard it was to get encouragement and support from family but I have never experienced that. Today I get a bit of sense of it. It will not change what I do but I prefer to pen down the feeling because it reminds me everything has a deadline. Time to put in double hard work and get some result.

Not so happy,

Friday, June 2, 2017

the will power derived from desire

Want and desire can be mysterious. The difference between both ly within the will power each posseses. To simply things, I'd group them under the same category, the feeling of getting thing that is out of current reach. This thing can be obtained either immediately or through hardship. And it's different from things one needs. Because of this, uncontrolled want can be devastating. What is meant by controlled then?
To control is to be conscious about it. Will power is only being generated when there's a presence of want. Without this element, we do not move forward. Here's the thing, we need to be conscious about this fact and utilise it.
This is often the case: I have an iPhone 6s but I want an iPhone 7. Being conscious means that I'd work for it. Being uncontrolled can make life miserable. But, even after buying Iphone 7, I'll get uncontented, I want more. Maybe iPhone 8. Then I work harder, I get hungry. Of course if this is healthy I'll be moving forward all the time.
Now. Take a deeper thought on this. The adrenaline derived from the  desire of wanting an iPhone 7 is higher than actually owning one. Get it? The happiness level of planning a trip is much higher than going for a trip. See how our mind work? We do not need these things, to be exact, we do not need to own these things, we just need to dream about it. And that is the beauty of it.
Having snacks for birthday was fun, not until you want more, like having KFC, and then more, like throwing a party, and even more, making one extravaganza. We are constantly pushing ourselves to taste the boarder of our limits. Without being aware about this fact, the desire will drive us crazy. Nothing can content us. However, we can manipulate this feeling.
We always aim high, just to abstract the adrenaline and the will power, and turn that hard work into more fruitful things. Work hard, earn more, and instead of buying a new phone, save for new house down payment. Being practical about life, but not to forget to dream wild. Because all we want is the intangible feeling, not the tangible product.
Oh well, occasional vacation and luxury items can be good, if you can afford

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Journey Thus Far

Just got back to the room with fried chicken and beer as supper. It's my second time travelling by flight attend sharing session with undergraduates and get my accommodation covered (the first one was in Curtin, now in USM). A little pride dancing around inside.

When I first got the invitation from Chun Kit, the project director of Enactus, the first question that came to my mind : how on earth that they found me, and why me? But Tai Hau being Tai Hau, I grab every opportunity that comes to me. I love talking in front of crowd, I love sharing, and I often get inspired attending talk. This is the very reason why I accepted the invitation, to talk about the journey in front of 100+ undergraduates from USM, UMP and UUM. Very honoured and humbled to be invited.

I feel both excited and nervous at the same time because I am sharing the stage with the legendary burger cafe's founder, Wee Kiat. An infamous face in F&B industry, an enlighten start up founder cum blogger and EY Young Entrepreneur nominee. Then I found out more about another speaker, Mr Ko, the executive director of + Solar, the dominant player of solar power industry in Malaysia, with a turnover of multi million dollar.

Okay Hau, wait a minute. What are you going to share? And who are you compared to these guys?
Self doubt and low esteem kicked in, adding even more fuel to my burning nervous. With all the overflowed jobs that pilled up since last week and Air Asia post event follow ups, I had little time to focus and plan for the talk. I decided to do a more down to earth sharing, instead of talking about all the cool stuffs, I wanted to share about the challenges and emotion.

So the talk began. And ended. Followed by Wee Kiat's and Fax's.

I learned a lot from both of them. Not just about the story, but the way to present too. Wee Kiat has a lot of empathy elements in sharing, and he can connect well. I got the chance to ask him more about his journey personally (I've read his blog and really respect this guy a lot)

Then Fax. This guy is good! Speaking of gaining experience and garnering resources before venturing into an industry that requires solid fundamental and technical knowledge, he has executed flawlessly. Spending 4 years working with different companies to starting up his business with 100k and getting multi million turnovers in the 5th year, this is the technical-to-business path one will take.

Then come to this point when I start to think, what would the audience perceive about our sharing. Was mine too shallow? or too irrelevant?

We had tonnes of photo sessions after the sharing. Before leaving, a young lady walked up to me and thanked me. Funny thing was that I asked her : why thank me?
She answered that I cleared her doubts and the questions she has been having all the while. Whether or not to choose to start a business. This sharing I really opened up to share about my own feeling and experience rather than giving all the politically correct answer. And she valued it.
"I was so focused during your sharing and you've given me the answer" this makes every single second spent preparing the talk worthwhile.

I think our sharing resonates with different people. Some find mine relatable, while I find theirs relatable. I admire and respect them for what they've done, they may find the same about me.

Everyone has their own story to tell. Let's not be inferior about our own, You'd never know how powerful yours is. After all, every business is different, there's no way to compare, and there is no need to compare.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

It's okay to ask for more.

It's okay to ask for more. There's this saying, if you want 1 million, aim for 10 million. It's okay to aim high, because even if you fall, you'll be somewhere higher than what you initially wanted to.
Couldn't make 10 million, you might have made 5, or 3 , or even 1.5, that's still higher than 1. And you know 1 is good enough. Want to run a sub 5 marathon? Train with sub 4, you might be able to improve faster.
Along the journey of going after that 10, you'll ask for more. How about 20? It's okay to ask for more. You've stretch beyond your initial limit, you've grown, you're stronger, more ambitious, and asking more drives you.
Ever heard of this saying "if you're the smartest in the room, you're in the wrong room. " ?
If you're want 1 mil, aim for 10 mil, mix with 20 mil guys. It's okay to be the dumbest, it's okay to do more work to catch up, it's okay to get rejected, because anywhere you fall, you'll be making more than 1 mil. You will get disappointed, feel like you're negligible compared to the people around you, and that's okay. Hey, you're mixing with those who are way better than you, what's the disappointment?
The real disappointment should be not able to mix with them.
It's okay to ask for more. It's just not okay to be over greedy. Chase for what you want, be happy with what you have.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Our second shop

The opening of new store was nothing short of amazing. My mind is still filled with the hangover but I see huge challenges ahead. Before everything, I'd want to blog about it because this is the transcript of the journey and grand opening of the second store should not be missed out. Many congratulate me, and I thank you guys for coming and all the supports. Your flowers, gifts, buying glasses from me, I have endless gratification towards these.
Opening this new store doesn't come easy. We've got to be very rational and objective in making the decision. Thanks to the smooth sailing of the first store, we are able to snowball the capital to opening the second one. When everything is so smooth, we start to fall into the comfort zone. The zone where we feel kinda satisfied, and kinda work lesser. But like aforementioned, it's part of the plan to open new store, and it's a step that we have to take. As much as opening a new store gives us joy and feeling of success, it gives us as much challenges and headache, if not more. This is the very reason of the inertia for us trying to move away from the original plan. 
Now, I feel like everything starts from zero again. It's time to give out flyer with the not-so-thick but gotta thicken it face. Start to worry about everyday sales. Start to worry about maintaining the quality. The competiton, the sustainability and so many more. It feels exactly like the beginning. And to pick yourself up and fight through the challenges, the hurdle is even higher, with your expectation and ego serve as the foundation of the hurdles. Well, this is really what I feel like saying. May the force be with us and really, we need to create the success ourselves. Looking forward to more shops in the very near future. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Entrepreneurship #12

Start-up industry is booming nowadays; we see new start-ups making headlines on the tech blog almost every week. And the wave has hit Malaysia for quite sometime. What has been supporting the environment is the increasing number of funding organisations and accelerators. I'm always interested to find out how the start-up events look like, how pitching looks like and how talking to investors feels like. The ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival was the first start-ups alike event that I've attended. Would like to pen down some takeaways from the events:
1. Abundance of opportunity
I always want to find our more about Magic, Cradle, Axiata etc. From what I gathered online, these organisations have been very supportive to new start-ups, in providing mentoring, funding, connections. I finally got to talk to them during the event. Now I'm being more informed with the available resources. There are indeed a lot of platforms to tap on, and thankfully I get to know about these platforms before it's too late.

2. Meeting new faces
The people I met in the event are very passionate about things they do. Many are very pragmatic on the methods of doing things. I met Tripovo, VASE, BEAM and few others. Meeting new faces means gaining more insights on doing things. More brains means more ideas. For instance, BEAM seems to be a very good social network that gathers human resources in start-ups industry. You can look for UI/UX designers, marketing or join their networking event. VASE on the other hand is a start-up that helps you to get survey if you're keen to find out the opinion from public.

3. Exchange idea
There's a question that has been bothering me for quite some time : do we need funding? Glad that I talked to two people there who gave me more insights. The thing is that many start-ups are getting funding and it makes me wonder if we need funding and how will funding help us to grow. Then these two people share with me about their experiences and things to take note. Really didn't expect to get answer from this event!

4. Get challenged
When you're in event like this, you get a lot of questions about your products, services, business plan etc. I was excited to talk about Pott Glasses. But what I've forgotten is that the idea or services we have might not be suitable in the market. So the feedbacks gained are actually very realistic and constructive. With all the feedbacks, I can rethink about the idea before implementing. And if I can answer their questions, it means that we are on the right track. Take feedback with open mind and start doing something on it!

Definitely looking for more event like this!