I am compelled to write this post because there are many times people asking me about investment. Let me be clear, I am not attached to any investment product (such as insurance, FD, etc.). What I had invested so far are mostly personal choices that I made during my 10 years earning money as a salaryman. After having enough capital and tremendous guts, I decided to start my own business and never look back from that day onwards. So today’s topic ‘Invest in yourself’, I would like to talk about investment. This topic is very board, I know. Been there, done that too.
Nevertheless, let me shrink the scope into very detail. So I am talking about any average people. Earning power is average, which means what you earn and what you spend commonly almost the same. This is the situation that you will scratch your head and thinking about what kind of investment that right for you because if you squeeze some cash from here and there, it means your daily life can be disturbed.
I am in this situation before, because when I am just started my career, my earning is RM 2,500.-. The expenses that I need to pay: transport, tithe, activities, food, rental, utilities, and lastly, hobby. All these expenses almost leave me RM 200 per month for extra cash. Thank God that I did not have debt in this period.
My motivation is always want to earn extra income so that I can have a little bit of luxury. Yep, luxury such as: going to the movie every weekend, dining in good cafes, travel overseas, and so on. I am confident that most people will have the same motivation as I am.
Many of my friends talk about investment, but mostly it comes from insurance products. I have nothing against it, just that my bad personal experience in this makes me trauma on investing in the insurance line. So I decide to collect more information by attending events, seminars, and even social network gatherings. Use Eventbrite for such event. Until one point, there is one person in the workshop told me that the best investment that I can have is investing in myself. Back in my head, I said to myself that yeah, I did that! The proof is that I like to pamper myself. Of course, what my little voice is wrong. Because invest in yourself means that you need to upskill yourself!
Let’s take my case, at RM 200. Yes, I can put it into one insurance and see the return average of 5% – 9% per annum. Now let say you spend that money to learn skills that can generate more cash. This is something that most people did not realize how important the term ‘invest in yourself.’
I take his advice seriously, and I recall the year 2009, I start to learn many skills, including soft skills and finance. This really brings a significant impact on my career too. Because with new skills, I can give more value to the company, thus putting me into a more favorable position. Imagine most of the project managers are fighting to get me into their team. Not only that, every year, I receive a small promotion that makes my salary jump more than double after working for 2 years. If you are working in a company with average performance, the most increment that you can get is about 5% every year.
Until now, whenever are people asking me how to start investing? My general advice always mentions: ‘Invest in yourself’ first. Yep, this so-called mantra has been with me for more than 10 years, and it will continue for a very long time too. This is also one of many reasons why I can start my own startup.
My startup is one of many AI startup selected by Tech In Asia Startup Factory 2019 in Jakarta. One of the benefits will be having access to more than 6000 attendees. This conference is considered an essential event for a small startup like mine. Showcase our capabilities and even to get a new customer.
There are so many people that we met during these events, most of them really like our idea and form a partnership with Workspez. There are a few party queries about our product and service too. Workspez is a relatively new company, so we need to be present at these events. In order for more people aware of our solution and how AI technology can help them.
I can say there are two sides of the positive things that I can take from this event. One is that I can validate my ideas to many people who inquire about our product. Many challenging questions to be answered, despite that, I am enjoying this process. So I know what will be the next step to improve for my product to excel. Another side of positive things is a new customer!! What is the best way to validate your idea, if not other than getting a new customer? Onboarding customers in the conference are one of the success stories that I can share in my pitching. Check this article on how important digital transformation to your business.
If you came to Tech In Asia Startup Factory 2019 in Jakarta, I believe you will be crowded with many exciting startups. In the Workspez booth, I need to stand more than 8 hours and talking non-stop to many people. In summary, I am thrilled with the result of the conference. So if you miss the event, don’t worry because you can contact me if you want to inquire about the Workspez service and product.
This year, I am really honored to be one of a guest speaker for the Malaysia Institute of Accountant AccTech Conference 2019. Last year, I attended as a participant to get the latest available technologies in the accounting world. This year, I come as one of the speakers, indeed an achievement personally for me.
On the stage, I am a bit nervous as many accountants are looking at the arena. I do thank Mr. Wen Tak, the moderator, who breaks my nervousness. With me, all industry players from respective areas, cloud computing, robotic automation, and I am representing from the artificial intelligence area.
Back to a couple of weeks ago, before the conference, someone from MIA called us to be on stage. I never expect it happen at the beginning. We are a small startup, and in the past two years, we focus on enhancing our products and services to be better. We aim to help many accountants finish their work efficiently. So being a speaker for the Malaysia Institute of Accountant AccTech Conference 2019 indeed an honor.
At the end of the day, I do think I am doing well. Because many people come to me on the stages to find out more about what AI technology can help them in day-to-day live. Something that I am pleased about. Because what I am worried that fewer people understand about what I said. I can speak with developers or business analysts to talk about technology. Somehow when talk with accountants is beyond my comfort zone.
After this experience, I need to learn more about public speaking on how to deliver my message clearly to many people and even to a different group of people. So if you just happen to be in Malaysia Institute of Accountant AccTech Conference 2019, do comment about my presentation or add my Linkedin.
Today is the time for all Indonesia citizens to cast their votes. Which marking a historical date of Indonesian general election 2019 KBRI. All outstation Indonesian able to cast their votes to their respective Indonesia embassy.
I arrive at 10:00 AM at KBRI Malaysia, to my surprise that so many people have queue up in front of KBRI to cast their votes. I am surprised that many people have been long queues up, under the hot sun! I am about to give up, thank God one of my friends calls me to come to another voting place.
Without much thinking, I go to second place, which is not far from KBRI KL. Well, not to my surprise, many people are queueing up here too. Estimate about 300 people gather here. Well, it is indeed the Indonesian general election 2019!!!!
I stand under the hot sun for at least 3 hours, along this time, I manage to comfort some people who want to give upvoting. I insist on telling them that they need to make sure that their voice counts! I had seen quite a lot of people complain about the current government as well as fear about the opposition candidate capability. So why not stand for a couple of hours more and use this opportunity to really make your voice matter!!
I do hope the next general election, they can perform better checking and organizing. Credential sourced from Indonesia record that there are about one million Indonesian in Malaysia, with this number, they do only open three locations for casting a vote. Assuming 60% of people turns up for voting, how do you think that three voting place can accommodate such number? Something to learn for the Indonesian general election 2019.
So apart from standing under the hot sun for 4 hours, getting shout by local police and being treated like suspects (they ask us to sit on the road and make us duck walking to bail out office). Not to count people keep pushing from all directions and best out of best, someone still smoking in those conditions. With all those sweat, I manage to cast my vote!!! This is what I do for my country!!
Now, hopefully for those in Indonesia can do the same casting their vote in Indonesia General Election 2019 on 17th April 2019. All the best and pray to God that the next president can lead Indonesia to a better future.
I grew up in a typical Chinese family, parents busy working to meet the end needs. As of now, I have difficulties in recalling good memories with my parents. That sweet memory seems faded away, and the only understanding that I get is my parents always busy to work. I do have siblings, but due to a high different age gap, we are seldom playing things in “eye-level” (I will elaborate more in the future). So my parenting style is obviously copying most of what I had been through in my childhood. I do realize that the need for building a secure connection to children is a responsibility. Parents are responsible for making a connection with their children. Not only providing physical needs but also emotional needs. Which is why I cultivate habits of consistent weekly spending time with my children. This is what I learned after attending Good Enough Parenting Workshop.
I was naive, I assume kids only needs little attention when they are 0 – 2 years, and mainly is feeding them. But building emotion connections from a young age is way easier to compare when they older. If I can turn back time, I do want to spend more time with my son when he is this age. Although I personally believe that I do spend enough time with him along these years. Putting effort is essential, especially when they are still young. Because it tends to forget easily, so I have to keep building a good relationship with my son.
In the beginning, it is kinda tricky for me to have consistent weekly spending time with my son. I have to make a schedule for this, pick one of the days where we both spend personal time. I choose Tuesday morning since that is the time I can come office slightly late. As I write this article, my son is just two years old. So our spending time consists of having breakfast together, we do play a guessing game, and share over a meal together.
He is quite talkative compared to his age, so lots of times he told me some stories that I do not quite understand. But that is ok because I make sure I really pay attention to what he says and confirming that I listen to him. These habits cultivate healthy emotions to children so that they will have a secure feeling of sharing things to parents. Tips is that remove all distraction (especially smartphone) and maintain eye contact.
What happens if you have two or more children? Take each of them out weekly. This exercise needs to be done individually. Take an example if you have three children. So the father needs to arrange an individual time with each of their kids, so does the mother and it needs to be at different time. Check these articles for more details.
You would not get the benefit after doing it one time. Cultivate this habit and slowly if you observe your children they will have changes (some children take a longer time, but that is ok. Make sure to keep doing it). You can also do some activity together, remember the focus is to build a relationship. I notice now my son listen more to what I told him. In the past, I have to keep repeating and tend to discipline him due to this. Apart from listening to me, he is often trying to find me instead of keep attached to my wife. The best part is that, when we play together, we really have lots of fun. I always keep reminding me that I need to aim to be a healthy parent, not competent.
Happy Chinese New Year 2019 for those who celebrate CNY 2019. I wish this year will bring more luck, prosperity, and health for the year 2019.