Looking back at H1 2017

Time flies so fast sometimes, today marks the start of the second half of year 2017. Exactly a year ago, I also wrote something similar, with the title “Looking back at H1 2016” and there were so much anguish, hurt and disappointment at that point in time. I was down and stuck in the bottom of a rut, recovering and slowly getting myself out of all the things that happened to me.

It had not been easy at all, it was a very difficult period for me, I learnt a lot of life lessons and lessons taught by the society and economy. Thus, my route to recovery wasn’t as fast as I would like it to be. Taking small steps at a time to get myself back on track, I met with the loss of extended family members and close friends. I got a little bit shaken and deviated off slightly on my recovery journey.

Today, as I looked back on the first half of 2017, there wasn’t so much of anguish, hurt and disappointment. Instead, it’s a physically and emotionally tiring journey since I decided to start my own small business in photography services, a journey that maybe 80% or 90% of the friends/people around you that will not step in, whether to start a small business or enter into the photography business industry.

Being a one person business owner / photographer / story teller/ accountant/ administrative / marketing / social media / public relations, there are times whereby no words can further describe everything that you have to carry on the shoulders. Basically, I have to do everything myself until the business is stable.

Moreover, with the amount of disruptions and technological changes to our living and economy, things are constantly changing, sometimes too fast and too furious. On the other hand, changes and disruptions are incoming in the months and years ahead. Marketing directions change, styles and engagements change.

Over the past 6 months of year 2017, it had been a journey of building up the foundations and processes. Thus these affect earning revenue, not to mention how tough and challenging the current economic climate is and in the near future. Even though, the business is still in its infancy stage, I am trying my best to get it up and flying high.

Partnerships and collaborations, are two areas that I am looking at for the future, in this modern world of disruptions and changes, businesses need to help out each other more than ever before. Although not all businesses may see it this way, due to competition or products/services similarity, this would be helpful and ideal for different businesses to collaborate and partnership together in handling projects, business deals. This is the real Win-Win situation for all, helping each other to grow and expand their businesses and networks.

During the past 6 months, while there weren’t anger, anguish or disappointment that clouded me in H1 of 2016, this period had been at times very exhausting and stressful because I am running a one person small business. I am grateful for the help and support some of my friends gave me, from accounting/book keeping advice, business operations to networking.

I am also more appreciative of the surroundings, from family, partnerships, collaborations and friendships. I may not have the wealth and money, I always tell myself and remind myself to be down to earth, be humble and appreciative of the family, relatives and friends (only those that deserve your love, friendship and appreciation) around you. The loss of two relatives from my extended family in the past 8 months shaped me up most recently.

Life is precious, time is limited, treasure your loved ones. As the saying goes, YOLO ~ You Only Live Once, therefore, giving it all out and striving ahead. Whether I succeed or fail, the very least is that I have taken the first step since January 2017 where many many are afraid and will not even take the first step.

The first half of 2017 is now over, the second half of 2017 starts now. My journey is still a very very steep mountain to climb. Taking step by step, even if the future remains uncertain on all fronts, I must still continue moving forward, learning new knowledge and skills, gaining more experiences.

During a recent chat with my friend, she gave me this quote:

“Keep Calm and Keep Shooting”

Indeed very true and this brought me back to where I started off this year, why and what I wanted to start this journey.

Now to continue adding more photography works to photography business portfolio website at Tan Geng Hui Photography.

Took 3 days break

I took a 3 days break, from Saturday 10th to Monday 12th June. No, I didn’t travel overseas for a holiday, although I wish to go for a short trip out of Singapore and get away from this rat race + high pressure cooker + too much rubbish at times happening. I just stayed at home and didn’t go out anywhere over the weekend and today Monday, except to buy food, went to my auntie’s home and fetch my mum from the airport.

Things hit me in both physically and emotionally, I was just recently physically drained and emotionally drained, probably due to both happening concurrently. A number of factors, finding and strategising ways in this challenging and difficult economic climate. Emotionally because there are some things that I cannot say out here, only very very few people know what is happening.

I need to reorganise myself in many ways, to plan and utilise my time, for personal photography, marketing, collaboration and partnerships for my photography business, to build side businesses to ensure additional sources of income in lieu of changing and disrupting world economy.

My tech and business articles writing on this site has slowed down, don’t worry, I am slowly writing and publishing them as many as I am able to handle. There are some priority articles to publish first e.g. tech review articles, B2B articles etc etc.

3 days of doing nothing, it does help, to rest and recharge. This allows me to plan and carry on forward ahead, as the Chinese saying goes, “taking a rest, is for taking a longer journey ahead”.

I need and I want to commit to less things/events/commitments, sometimes I wish friends can understand why I want to do less things/events/commitments, yet they do not want and do not wish to understand. I only want to commit to those things that I want to do within my time, my means and my commitments.

These are the spaces whereby I express and write down a lot of my thoughts, feelings and emotions. It’s different from people who rants on Facebook wall everyday. Probably Twitter and Instagram are my two other spaces whereby I share more updates.

I do need a short travel break overseas, to get away from Singapore for a few days to recharge and rejuvenate. It might be start to restart my travel photography projects.

Back to managing my time, priorities, photography and business well. The past few months had been some good learning life lessons, on how much I am able to handle and prioritising the areas that I should focus on. One step at a time, to learn, improve from mistakes, new knowledge, skills and experiences.

Onward!

Start of June 2017 – 5 months have passed

In the early morning hours of 2nd June 2017, a new month has just started, reflecting back, 5 months have just passed, it seems like a flash at times. There were times when there were so many thoughts, words, feelings and emotions going through my mind, heart and soul. It was very difficult to write or share it out. I do not believe in typing out essays on my personal Facebook wall, I do not want to do it too. Typing it out in 140 characters on Twitter proved to be very challenging since I got to summarise everything into a few 140 characters posts. Therefore, sometimes and many a times, bits and pieces were posted on my Twitter and my Instagram.

Life is precious, be grateful and thankful

First thing first, handling two passing ons in my extended family tree in a period of six months is totally not ideal at all. I didn’t share it on Facebook, I shared it on Twitter, a few weeks back, I rushed back to attend my younger paternal cousin’s funeral in Malaysia, he suddenly passed away due to an illness. To be honest, I was totally shocked. This wasn’t the type of gathering that I thought I would be meeting my relatives again. Life is so unpredictable, unexpected and so fragile. Life is precious, be grateful and thankful. Not to forget, eat and live healthy too!

At a recent gathering with uni friends, they were all celebrating something wonderful and happy in their life, I am really happy for them. As for me, I had to deal with two passing ons in the past six months, I just don’t have the happy celebrations at this time. Slowly, things would start to turn better as times goes by.

Economy – more slow and difficult times ahead

The economy is still slow and difficult, personally, it’s not getting easier, echoed by a few friends running their own small / medium sized businesses.

This is a crucial period to change, adapt, innovate, improve and learn new skills and knowledge. We have to be prepared for consistent slow levels of growth in the years/decades ahead as Singapore enters into a mature economy.

Hopefully, the economy is able to steady the ship in 2018 and we have adapted to the slow economic growth for the next era ahead.

Running my photography business – still a long long long journey ahead

For the record, in case you forgotten what I wrote earlier in the past few months, I had established and registered a photography business at the start of 2017. For those who kept asking me what I am doing when I already told you what I had started, please read the paragraph again, and also revisit and read the following articles:

Currently, a one person operation, taking on almost everything from top to bottom. Running out of words to describe the type and amount of work that I have to do. It’s still a long long long journey ahead.

The business is moving very slowly since it’s still very new (regardless of my number of years of freelance photography). Competition and market saturation is very intense in a small country and economy like Singapore, like many of the other industries and businesses in Singapore.

Always thinking out and beyond the box, innovating and challenging myself, to learn and improve in as many areas as possible, not just photography skills and knowledge.

Learning to Say NO

Sometimes, I have to learn and say NO more often. Slowly, I am getting there. There are times whereby my kindness, giving and willingness to help have be more abused than before.

I want to reserve my kindness, giving and willingness to help for those who really need help and support.

Personal thoughts

I don’t rant on my personal Facebook wall, I can be a very private person even though I can talk and chat a lot with people. I sometimes share bits and pieces of my thoughts on Twitter and Instagram.

Even if I wrote this article, friends also don’t visit my website and read. Sometimes, I just don’t want to repeat something that I already wrote and shared earlier. Sometimes, I just don’t wish to talk more about private things unless necessary.

My patience with people has been very thin and my tolerance for bullshit is almost zero.

To everybody that read my whole article up till this sentence, thank you for reading my rants, thoughts, feelings and heartaches.

Introducing TGH Photography & Hpility SG

In an earlier post on my photography and travel site, www.photojournalist-tgh.tv, I introduced my photography portfolio website, my photography business logo and my partnership with Hpility SG. That post was more of a formal announcement, in this post that I am sharing here on my personal website, it’s more informal and personal, while introducing TGH Photography & Hpility SG.

First and foremost, let me introduce my photography portfolio website www.tghphotography.com, I wrote and shared about my new portfolio website in an earlier post. They were kind of a soft launch type instead of an official announcement launch. Building it up from scratch, setting up a small business, lots of hard work, sweat, tears, stress, pressure and some voices from the sides (from both good and bad angle).

When the earlier article was posted on my FB personal wall and FB page, I received congrats from a few friends and I really see it as a blessing, in lieu of the slow economy in the year 2017 and taking a big plunge into this journey. At times, there were also voices and opinions that weren’t as encouraging, critical and a few times, putting you down, looking down on you or maybe don’t want you to enter and become their competitor. I had to shut them down, away from my ears, heart, mind and brain.

The journey had never been smooth, always a roller coaster, some friends who are small business owners from other industries, fellow photographer friends and close friends who always listen to me ranting from somewhere behind, are among a few group of friends who can and are willing to understand this journey that I took. I really appreciate all these (small and big) help and encouragement that you had given me from behind the scenes that cannot be seen here (and it’s going to a few pages of essay writing to get it out here too). Thank you very much!

Next, there were things that I learned along the way, the hard way, since I am currently a one person business operation. There are some things that are needed to be done and it gets slipped out of your radar due to the magnitude and quantity of things to be done. One of them was a company logo.

This is my company logo, designed by hatchdesign on Fiverr.

http://www.tghphotography.com/
http://www.tghphotography.com/

Now, let me tell you the story behind this logo. I was “pushed”, in a good way by Hong Peng of Hpility SG, to get the company logo done up because it was needed for the partnership collaboration on Hpility SG, a Digital Lifestyle Blog-Portal. There were some delays and procrastination that I admit, not knowing where and how to go about doing it as well. Finding my own way through, shortlisting designers and finally settling on this design by hatchdesign. I am impressed with his logo design for my photography portfolio website www.tghphotography.com

Last but not least, let me introduce Hpility SG!

https://www.hpility.sg/
https://www.hpility.sg/

Hpility SG is founded by Hong Peng, it is a digital blog-portal that covers a variety of interests from lifestyle, travel, food, gadgets and entertainment. We had a good discussion on this partnership between Tan Geng Hui Photography and Hpility SG, we are currently building up the foundations, procedures and networks for our partnership to grow and expand further down the road.

This is a new start, a new hope, there are still a lot of things to work on, explore, expand and push forward to greater heights. A new journey ahead, time for this partnership between TGH Photography and Hpility SG to light up and open up a new path ahead.

Updates – 28th April 2017

The last update that I did was on 12th March 2017. I haven’t been writing much on my personal thoughts and feelings, rarely sometimes, probably ranting on Twitter and my Facebook Page. I may not even be posting any updates on my personal Facebook, probably just pasting my round up of updates in a article post from here and paste it there.

In between the previous update and this update, the content and articles on my personal site here were mostly about technology updates, I had been pushing myself through, sharing technology news, there were quite a handful over this period of time. Due to a bit of news influx, the sharing of the news, events coverage and reviews might be slower than usual due to my schedule constraints.

This personal site is one of my sites to share content on technology and financial news, one of my channels and platforms for sharing content, complementing my photography business, news and updates relating to photography and travel, as a writer on different industries and interests.

Our current economy is still slow and subdued, personally, my view is that this is going to be a slow and small growth for 2017, a trend that we have to accept for the future as Singapore enters into a mature economy stage. I mentioned earlier in the year that starting a small business in this year is going to take a lot of guts and hardships. My photography business is moving slowly, it still needs some time to get my business stabilised. This journey is very tough, not many people can understand, not many people are willing to learn and understand.

Partnerships and collaborations are stepping up a gear, in time to come, I will share a new partnership. Just to refresh, I am working/partnering with

  1. Wills & Wills
  2. Pro Traders Code

If you like to know more about Will Writing, check out my article here. If you like to know more about trading in the stocks & shares, FOREX market, check out my article here.

Although I need (and we all need) to earn revenue and bring in income, I always tell myself to count my blessings, be full of gratitude, grateful and stay humble. There are some things in life that money CANNOT buy, that is your health and well being. Nothing lasts forever.

Be appreciative of your family and loved ones, spend time with them. I know it is very difficult for me at this stage in time, building up this small photography business and other small business partnerships and collaborations.

I don’t want to make the same mistake again.

End of Q1 & Start of Q2 2017

1st April 2017, most people will associate it with April Fool’s Day, not for me though. This date and day marks the end of Q1 2017 and the start of Q2 2017, a new quarter in 2017 has now started.

Q1 2017 was mixed with working behind the scenes where nobody can see what you are doing to get the website, collaborations and partnerships established. The “blood, sweat and tears”, the stress, pressure and growth of more white hair. Yet, hard work and perseverance pays off, your fruits of labour, very slowly appear and start to grow, while it’s still very very small, this marks a start, new growth and expansion. The journey ahead is still filled with many giant obstacles, winding roads, tall mountains, gusty weather, there are many things to weather and get through them.

Today also marked the return back to my alma mater, Gan Eng Seng School Dragon Scout Group. I had been pretty quiet and away from this family for probably about 1 year since the 94th anniversary campfire in 2016. It felt really great to be back, in the midst of an old old boy among the young boys and girls in secondary school, ventures, rovers and the junior leaders. This was homecoming for me, felt great to return back to this one big Dragon Scout Group family, celebrating her 95th anniversary in 2017.

Sometimes, I write a short personal post, sometimes a very long personal post here on my personal site. Updating status on my personal Facebook wall is going to be a lot lesser or non-existent sometimes, except sharing of my personal and my photography and travel site posts, or interesting news/articles. More action can be seen on my Facebook Page on the topics of photography and travel.

Sometimes, I need to write and share something different, to break away from the technology posts that readers would usually read it here.

Goodbye Q1 2017 and Welcome Q2 2017.

Some updates and announcements

Taking the pen and writing down the points that I wanted to write for this post, I took a back in time and reflected on my journey for the past 1 year. It was coincidental or even an omen that it took a year since I left my previous organisation in 2016. March 2016 was the start of a journey from the bottom of the well, getting myself back on track with the hurt, disappointments, anger and a big blow to my self-belief. The journey in 2016 doesn’t make it easier dealing with the loss of three people that left the world.

All these life lessons taught me and honed me in many different ways, over the course of this 1 year. Yes, it took me a bit longer than some of your “perceived + expected” expectations to reach this juncture today, writing out these updates and announcements article. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

In the past few months, the first quarter of 2017, I was very busy preparing and setting up my photography business, when you planned and prepared your things yet you faced even more things popping up here and there. More life lessons learned during the past few months, always be prepared for more of the unexpected even though you had did your planning. Thus, there was a slowdown and backlogged in writing and sharing my technology posts. They would be swinging back to action soon.

Therefore, what are my major updates and announcements?

First and foremost, I took the leap of faith and founded my photography business, Tan Geng Hui Photography. There were some changes, restructuring and realignment of my photography sites, written in an article here for your reading.

Meanwhile, I am still working with Wills & Wills, let me recap on what they do and the importance of will writing and estate planning.

Moreover, I am now added another work to my portfolio, working with ProTradersCode. They specialise in conducting classes on how to invest/trade FOREX and stocks and shares. I would be sharing more about them in an upcoming article soon.

The journey ahead for 2017 and 2018 are very tough and challenging, a time to adapt, adjust, innovate and change. I took the first step on my long journey ahead of me, let it be an amazing adventure of growth, expansion and learning.

100 Days

On the 27th February 2017, this was the 100th day since you left us.

In the blink of an eye, 100 days had gone by. You have left behind a legacy that few people can match up to, your best testimonial is the unity and bonding of the extended family tree of five generations under your matriarch leadership over the past few decades, beyond the times when you are no longer around us.

I wrote a tribute to you and your legacy as the matriarch of the extended family, after we marked the 49th day, this testimonial to you took a bit longer than what I had initially planned to write. I am glad and relieved that it was off my chest, into my own tribute and testimonial article for you and on you.

As we marked the 100th day, the extended family come together again to remember you, your wisdom, stories and adventures. Walking up the hill on a beautiful Monday morning, paying a visit to your final resting place, we saw nice little plants growing on top of your little garden. I personally think it is a fitting tribute to you, I still remember you growing vegetables and crops in the garden beside your home.

There was a little red flower that stood out among the small plants and crops when we were there visiting you, blooming beautifully on your 100th day. Do I want to put photographs in this article? I should though, then I decided to do something different, a photographs only article of my 100 days tribute on my photography site.

Dearest Grandma, you may not longer be physically around us, your presence, aura, legacy, divine protection and blessings will always be among us, looking after us , all five generations under your charge, from above the sky.

Lest We Forget. Your memories and legacy lives forever. I will and we will always remember your teachings and wisdom.

Quick Update – 23rd February 2017

This personal and technology website of mine here has been a bit slow for the months of January and February.

I do have a few new technology products announcements and events that I attended that I would like to share here. I apologise if my posts had been a bit slow here for the months of January and February. Moving forward, I would try my best to make my balancing act better for both my personal / technology website and my photography and travel interest website.

I had been working a lot behind the scenes, on the setup of my new photography portfolio website, it’s coming soon! I am currently pushing out more photography and travel content on my photography and travel interest site – http://www.photojournalist-tgh.tv/ , in preparation to complement my upcoming photography portfolio website.

Thank you to all you folks who had been following and reading my posts from personal, technology, travel and photography!

Jaybird Freedom Wireless Buds Review

This pair of wireless buds are the smallest in the music earphones world, they may look small yet we cannot judge them just by its size. Inside this pair of wireless buds, it is packed with pretty awesome music sound power and strength, with style, design and secure fit features. Let me introduce the Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Earphones.

First and foremost, let me start off with the package, the nice looking box when it first arrived. The Jaybird Freedom box has a nice feel with a well thought out design and layout. Take a look as I started to unbox and displayed all the items that were packed inside the box. One nice feature of this package is that Jaybird gives customers a small pouch to keep the Jaybird Freedom wireless earphones, charger and cable.

There are two aesthetics aspects of Jaybird Freedom wireless bluetooth earphones that makes it stand out and unique for the music lovers. They are the

  • All-metal housing
  • Silicone ear fins

(1) All-metal housing

The Jaybird Freedom wireless earphones is made up of elegant and premium sand-blasted metal material. This not only gives this pair of Jaybird Freedom wireless buds its unique style, it also improves its durability to its special micro-sized wireless ear buds. With all the top engineering processes, innovation and design, the Jaybird Freedom is a premium, iconic, sturdy, small, lightweight yet powerful wireless earphones to suit almost every music lover. Last but not least, the all-metal housing removes all distortion, giving music lovers the experiences of not just an incredible sound, the noise isolation feature sometimes feels like a noise cancellation feature at times!

(2) Silicone ear fins

In my personal humble opinion, the silicone ear fins are another feature that makes the Jaybird Freedom wireless earphones unique. For a start, users might take some time before they get used to the design and fit inside the ear. You can choose to wear your Jaybird Freedom over-ear sport-fit with fins or over-ear sport-fit without fins or under-ear with fins or under-ear without fins. It’s your personal choice whether you want to have the ear-fins or without ear-fins. There are 4 different ear fins sizes (XS, S, M, L) inside the package and they fit in nicely for sporty/outdoors lifestyle e.g. running, biking, trekking. From a personal perspective, put on the silicone ear fins when you are doing sports/outdoors. Do take note on how to attach the ear fins, look out for the letters R (right) and L (left) on the top side of the circle.

Let me continue on with the other components that come with the Jaybird Freedom.

Silicone ear tips and Comply ear tips

There are 2 types of ear tips, they come in 3 different sizes for each type of ear tips, to suit your needs and requirements.

Cable

The length of the Jaybird Freedom wireless earphones cable is just nice in my opinion, not too long in length if not it would dangle down and get caught on to other objects. There are cord clips available to shorten the cable behind the neck, you can adjust the length to your liking and preference. Jaybird also gives customers another additional accessory option, a shirt clip is inside the package, that allows the user to attach the cable to their shirt, ideal when going for sports/outdoor activities.

Bluetooth connection

The bluetooth connection between the earphones and devices are smooth, easy to setup and connect.

Battery life

The battery life of the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds is 4 hours with additional 4 hours if the charger clip is attached to the earphones (with on the go charging).

Functionalities of the Jaybird Freedom

  • Music + Calls , easy to use and connects easily
  • Share 1 device with 2 buds
  • Pairing – remember up to 8 devices
  • Multipoint – connect the buds to 2 devices simulatanously
  • MySound App
  • Smartwatch – pair with your smartwatch and leave your phone behind

Announcements/Updates

  • Inform user of battery life percentage when switched on
  • Inform user to charge battery when it reaches 10%

For all the techies, music lovers, the next two areas would be of great interest to you –

Sound

First and foremost, I do not claim to be an audiophile, as much as I love listening to my different types of music on my Spotify with my earphones while traveling between places or during my sports activities. What I am sharing here would be my personal thoughts, views and experiences on the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds.

The Jaybird Freedom wireless produces a clear and sharp treble, with solid and strong bass without being overwhelming. One key and very interesting unique feature is that the user is able to utilise the MySound App, choose, adjust and customise the low, mid range and high range of their sound/music preset to their music/hearing preference.

MySound App

When I first heard of an app for the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds, to be honest with everybody here, I wasn’t sure how good it can be or how useful it would be. You have to try the MySound app, I was told and reminded.

Since I am reviewing this pair of Jaybird Freedom wireless buds, I have to try it. Once I started using it, I was completely blown away by its features, functionalities and capabilities. This MySound app is a must use for Jaybird Freedom owners!

  • Nice and easy to user user interface
  • Presets available for you to choose and add to the app dashboard
  • Customise your own preset
  • Battery life indicator on app

The sound quality of the Jaybird Freedom by itself is already pretty solid and awesome. With this MySound app, you can tune it, to your own hard rock mega bass musician style or the soothing and clear classical music style.

I would just like to highlight some observations when I was using the MySound app with the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds

  • Discrepancy between earphone announcement of battery life versus battery life indicator on the app
  • Jaybird Freedom earphones are paired, connected and playing music but MySound app says no earphones connected

I would like to emphasis that these observations DO NOT affect the excellent and powerful sound quality produced by the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds nor does it affect your listening and usage experience.

Overall, the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds are a remarkable pair of wireless bluetooth earphones. They are small, lightweight and powerful bluetooth wireless earphones. It is secure and fits into your ears. The noise blocking / noise isolation is very good, the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds owner is in a music world of their own! The design is trendy, bright and colourful, suitable for sporty, outdoors, leisure and daily usage earphones. It is sweat proof , they would be suitable for a number of sports/outdoor activities.

In my personal humble opinion, the Jaybird Freedom is an ideal choice for your pair of wireless bluetooth earphones, a worthy investment for music fans who are sporty/outdoors and also for their daily leisure usage. Visit my photography and travel interest site article, on how the Jaybird Freedom wireless buds fits into two different people lifestyles! Power Your Passion with Jaybird Freedom!

The Jaybird Freedom is now available at authorised resellers at the retail price of SGD $259. The Jaybird Freedom wireless buds come in four fresh colors: Gold, Carbon (Black), Blaze (Red) and Ocean (Blue). For more information, please visit JaybirdSport.com or connect with them on Facebook.

* I would like to thank Jaybird for the opportunity to review the Jaybird Freedom wireless bluetooth earphones. *