Start of Q4 2017, Final Sprint

The final quarter of year 2017 starts today on 1st October 2017, for some of you folks out there, this is also the final sprint to the end of year 2017, on 31st December 2017. Everyone of us had our own unique and special journeys during the first three quarters of year 2017, yet we might have something in common with the tough and difficult economy and market sentiments.

I am taking this time to write on a number of different topics in one article, I might expand on them that I wrote here today, if my time and research planning permits.

Updates: Running my own photography business

How was your first three quarters of year 2017 been? It had been nothing less than a very tough and challenging journey for the past nine months. Running a photography business, time was spent on building the foundations, networks, systems, marketing, branding, collaborations, partnerships and last but not least, finding the business. We are looking at 80% of time spent on the above and 20% spent on actual photography shoot and post photography shoot.

I never really talked or revealed too much into this area, not just that it is private, most of the time, many people around you don’t understand, don’t want to listen, learn and understand. There are also a handful of people around you that don’t want you to succeed, they want you to fail, sad but true (or they might change their stance and words and said they don’t mean it after they spilled the “wrong words” out from their mouth”)

There are a small group of photographer friends that can and will understand what I am going through. Listening to their own photography business journeys over the years, there is a similarity in my own personal journey. Therefore, I still have to grind my way through and make a breakthrough.

Micro influencers – a bit more differentiation into Mini and Micro influencers groupings?

Recently, there has been quite a lot of debates and discussions on the topic of influencers, from both sides of the equation, the brands/companies, public relations agencies, digital agencies etc on one side and a diverse group of influencers on the other side.

I came across this infographic article on LinkedIN written by Preeti Kumar – 7 Influencer types & How to work with them. Reading and analysing this infographic, I was looking at where I fit into – Key Opinion Leaders: Creatives, partly Micro influencers and product seeders.

On the role of micro influencers, it is probably a bigger area of growth and investment for both sides, let’s put it as demand and supply sides of things. While the quantitative part of micro influencers have been debated, some put 20,000, some put 10,000. Personally, I reckon that it is totally and suitably possible, to differentiate them into Mini and Micro influencers.

Why use Mini and Micro? What are the differences?

I am using the two words from a Forex trading lingo, mini and micro lot.

Standard Lot = 100,000 units

Mini Lot = 10,000 units

Micro Lot = 1,000 units

Translating it into digital marketing side of things

Influencer – Above 100,000 followers

Mini Influencer – Above 10,000 followers

Micro Influencer – 3,000 to 5,000 followers?

This is just something that crossed my mind and got me thinking, I have yet to analyse and put into greater details. It’s still a preliminary stage for me, if the opportunity arises to work with other digital marketers on this, that would be nice. Nevertheless, I hope to continue working on this topic in the future if my timing and commitment allows.

We must go beyond ROI with numbers and statistics, while quantitative is important, influencer marketing has a lot of qualitative, intrinsic and psychological aspects that cannot be measured by numers, revenue, statistics and numbers.

Planning to expand with/in the following areas/collaborations

Although the list above doesn’t directly translate into business for my photography business, they reinforce my networkings, contacts and collaborations on my digital marketing, technology writing and social media.

Over the past three quarters of 2017, I unlocked small achivements for myself when organisations approach me, to have a chat and see where I work together with them from there. All these are small testimonials for myself and everything that I put in for the past 10 years at least through writing, social media and photography.

Of mental health, physical health, emotions, mind and soul

A friend whom I look up upon, a very creative and talanted person in writing, photography and music, Fernando Gros, recently wrote an article titled “Creative Health Part 2 – Your Mind and Your Path”. I saw his tweet, read his article and I am kind of like being “shaken up”. In my reply to his tweet, I posted “After reading your article, it dawned upon me that I am stressed out, not taking care of my mind, body and soul.”

The truth and harsh reality is that it can be really brutally hard at times, we just have to take care of ourselves, going through regular maintenance. Not to mention, even the best engineering devices also wear and break down even with regular maintenance.

In case you missed it, Fernando published this book title “No Missing Tools”, do check out my article and have a read and you would be enlightened and know why I respect his works and views a lot.

Where do I go from here?

The seeds had been planted, watered and being taken care of. While not everyday is sunshine, there were rain, storm, bad weather that hit the growth of the plants. Hopefully, the changes and corrections were in place to make the seedlings grow better and faster, allowing me to harvest the fruits of my labour.

Being thankful and grateful

In this short time frame period of a year, there were those that have happy news while I am fighting pain, hurt and loss. Losing 6 people, 4 were relatives of which 2 of them were very close to me, the others were 1 mentor and 1 uni junior.

I may not have the most happy and joyful time during the past 1 year time frame, one of the toughest time that I went through. It made me reflect a lot and be thankful and grateful for everything that I have, the family, relatives and friends support.

Final thoughts

Technology and disruptions are not going to destroy us, ignorance and complacency are going to destroy us.

We MUST start to make the changes, no matter how painful and difficult it will be or else, we might be in a spiral downfall for the next 1-2 generations.

In the midst of re-strategising and making changes to my flow, workflow, daily flow, well-being, growth and rest, while embarking on my Final Sprint Q4 2017.

Introducing Wills & Wills

A few months ago, after I left my previous job, I was approached by my friend to help out and handle the marketing aspects of his business. After a few discussions over the past two months, the website is up and I am able to kickstart the marketing efforts and outreach, via traditional, digital and social marketing channels.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce Wills & Wills!

Wills & Wills specialises in

For Will writing and Deed Poll, these two services can be easily completed and submit online, at your own time and convenience.

With my previous work experiences in the financial advisory industry (financial planning, estate planning) customer service and marketing, I believe that I am able to contribute and share in these areas of work through marketing, sharing of knowledge and articles in the professional services listed above.

Moving forward, on top of writing and sharing articles (on Wills & Wills, as well as on my personal blog) relating to the above services that Wills & Wills provide, estate planning from different perspectives, I would also be working on seminars, collaborations, marketing, outreach, publicity and awareness.

The areas of marketing and outreach are pretty huge, it will not be easy! I am looking forward to the challenges ahead! This is also a time to piece together my various work experiences over the years, combine them together to get things kickstarted and working towards growth and expansion.

Do help to share the word on Wills & Wills, the services provided, easy online submission for Will Writing and Deed Poll. Stay tuned for more articles on Will Writing and Estate Planning, coming soon!

Where are the World’s Leading Financial & Trust Centres ?

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed” – Mark Twain

How much do we, and can we trust the newspaper reports ? How about financial news ? With the rise and fall of the recent global financial crisis, that rocked the entire world economy really hard, it was a testing time for all those inside the financial industry, no matter where you are worldwide. In this vibrant and dynamic financial industry that spans worldwide and interconnected, do you know where are the World’s Leading Financial and Trust Centres ?

It was with great honour and pleasure to be invited by the President of University of Queensland Alumni Association of Singapore (UQAAS), Dr Angelo M Venardos, to the official book launch of “World’s Leading Financial and Trust Centres“, whereby he was the General Editor of the book, on 6th October 2010 at Thomson Reuters Auditorium, at One Raffles Quay.

Dr Venardos, Founder and Executive Director of Heritage Trust Group, with many years of expertise and experience in the corporate and offshore banking, along with 3 books written by him under his portfolio,

(1) Current Issues in Islamic Banking and Finance: Resilience and Stability in the Present System

(2) Islamic Banking & Finance in South-East Asia: Its Development & Future (2nd edition)

(3) Islamic Banking & Finance in South-East Asia: Its Developments & Future

Many distinguished guests graced this event, listening to the words and wisdom of Dr Venardos. During his speech, it was very insightful and enriching, it also showed how much more I have to learn and expand my business consultancy experience and specialised knowledge, something I am striving towards to and it’s a steep and huge learning curve in my journey, for somebody very junior level like me (compared to the rest of the guests present).

Do drop by here at this link and you would have more information on the book “World’s Leading Financial and Trust Centres”, the order form is attached there too, facilitating your order and payment.

Over 1300 pages of knowledge and information inside “World’s Leading Financial and Trust Centres”, it’s definitely a niche area that I can develop learn and hone my skills, knowledge and experience down the road, in my entrepreneur and consultancy career.

Should there be a Retirement Age ?

The art, science, myth and reality of Retirement, should there be a Retirement Age ? This topic wasn’t something new in today’s modern society and economy, it’s not just an issue or problem common to some countries, it’s getting significant and common among different countries and economies around the world.

It was with great interest from this article here – Retire Early, Live Longer from the TodayOnline paper. The topic of Retirement Age was brought up with this headline “I don’t think there should be a retirement age” and retirement is something that all societies/countries/economies need to face today, tomorrow and eventually.

Some countries are facing retirement issues, in the area of support for the elderly and retired whereby the future generation would/may not be able to support the aging population and if we observe carefully, more countries might or have already raised their retirement age, encouraging more people to work longer beyond their retirement age.

Why do we continue working beyond our retirement age ?

– Is it that we fail to plan for our retirement and golden years ?

– Is that we don’t care about our own future ?

– Is that we can or want to depend on others during our retirement years ?

There are probably 2 schools of thoughts on retirement –

~ People who retired early and not doing anything passed on within the next 10 years

~ People who retired early that planned for their retirement years, financially, emotionally and lifestyle, living a longer life.

From the TodayOnline article by Tan Kok Tim

Japanese Nobel Laureate Dr Leo Esaki once spoke on the relationship between longevity and retirement age. He revealed that the pension funds in many large companies such as AT&T, Boeing, Lockheed, Lucent, and so on, are overfunded as many who retire at the age of 65, usually die within two years of retirement.

Separately, Dr Ephrem Cheng of the University of Alberta did an actuarial study of lifespan versus age at retirement, based on the number of pension cheques sent to Boeing Aerospace retirees. It found that staff who retire at the age of 50 had an average lifespan of 86. Those who retire at the age of 65 live to an average age of just 66.8.

Therefore, if you want to retire early, have you plan for it, financially, emotionally and what’s the lifestyle that you wanted? If you want to retire early , yet you don’t take any action at all to plan for your retirement , do you blame yourself or you find somebody to blame ?

Or you have grown complacent, lazy and don’t care or can’t be bothered about your future, your retirement ?

Retirement Age is up to YOU, it can be a daunting task if you fail to plan …..

One Year Later – Financial Crisis

One year ago, a world economy that was flying and moving strongly in the world markets and economy suddenly came to a halt and an avalanche followed, tumbling prices, crisis, bankrupt, spiraling from a financial crisis to a world economic crisis. This crisis magnitude was of such a GIANT size equalling second to the Global Depression of the 1920s and if you are experiencing this economic crisis, regardless of young or old, you have been a part of this financial and economic crisis that might not happen (hopefully) in your lifetime.

The financial crisis, the causes and aftermath are well documented and researched in today’s highly connected world, google any key words and many information and data would be easily available. It’s VERY IMPORTANT that we learned the harsh lessons of the financial crisis, realised our mistakes and remedy them, before we can embark on the road to recovery (that might be going slow).

First and foremost, remembering how it started, the timeline of the crisis done by CNN Business and Global Recession Timeline by BBC News, learning lessons of Lehman and 5 Lessons from the CRASH, great information and financial planning lessons for ALL. Do drop by this special insight reports by BBC News on the Special Report of the Global Recession.

Moving forward, the world economy and financial markets ahead are still uncertain, some experts said the worst of world recession is over – do check out the reports here. However, the world economy is still sluggish and most probably longer to full recover.

There are many lessons learned here, we all need to learn and move on, rebuild and grow again.

Staying Strong, Healthy, Brave, Tough and Moving

In recent weeks, with the outbreak of the H1N1 virus, it had caused great anxiety, fear and many inconveniences to the current economic climate. The global economic crisis might be slowing down and bring to a halt of the world economic decline and bleeding, however, is that really the real and actual reality ?

The H1N1 virus doesn’t help the apparent recovery or bottoming of the global economy and it is definitely causing world tourism industry another big hit, on top of the impacts and fall in earnings due to the current economic crisis. How it develops further is still a question mark, how powerful is this virus ? 

The times doesn’t seem to get easier, is it unprecedented ? It might be for you and myself, in our life time.

“Tough times never last, but tough people do” – Robert H. Schuller

Let’s all 



– Stay BRAVE

– Stay TOUGH

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” John D. Rockefeller 

Take this time to strategise, take stock of your life, personal goals, financial goals and career goals.

When the crisis is over, are you ready to ride on the wave to even greater heights ? Are you ready  ?