1st December 2017 – Time to reflect and plan

Time flies, too fast too furious. In the blink of an eye, 11 months have gone by in the year 2017 and today is 1st December 2017. As I start counting down to the end of 2017 and I will be very happy to bring a closure to year 2017. For those who have been following my updates via my article posts here, thank you for following, reading and supporting me along this journey.

This journey that I embarked on, was much much more tough and difficult than I prepared myself for. Behind all the scenes, I hide my pain, sorrow, stress and pressure from some friends, some people. Having to deal and handle people who passed on (6 people in a 1 year time frame from 2016 to 2017 if you had been following and reading my stories here), a very emotionally and mentally draining life experience and journey.

Taking the first step to reflect year 2017, wrapping up year 2017 and planning ahead for year 2018. Changes will take place, new strategies and directions. While it might not be too private and confidential, it will not be too openly shared, might not even be shared at all.

One of the areas that I am working on is my computer workstations setup for year 2018

  • Photography workstation
  • Business / Admin / Digital / Social Media marketing workstation
  • Trading / Forex investing workstation
  • Tablet
  • Photography printer
  • SOHO printer
  • Monitor (For photo editing and trading)

Business development directions and strategies, it’s still in the thought and planning process (some preliminary, some advanced, some still thinking further ahead). I am most likely not (and unlikely) going to share much into them. Not so much of competitors or copying, it’s more of keeping the “big loud noises” around me out of my ears, I need anti-noise cancellation in-ear monitors.

Next year 2018, I am going to upgrade myself, gain more new skills and knowledge, looking into these few areas:

  • Advanced drone flying
  • Learning videography and short film making
  • Improving and learning photography genres that I haven’t embark on
  • Learning Adobe Photoshop

There are many people out there whose full time job is to judge and criticise other people, telling other people what to do, how to do, when they themselves are not in the other person’s shoes and situation, as well as, thinking that they have/are successful and more knowledgable than others when they are not and they have not.

Why can’t we spend the time to upgrade and improve on ourselves, knowledge, skills and experience, instead of spendng time to judge and criticise people?

Imagine a society with citizens constantly and willingly upgrading their skills and knowledge. We worry less about disruption and displacement. Together, we can make a difference to the future ahead in many different ways possible.

Alright, it’s time to wrap up, finish my backlogged technology related articles, get my photographs uploaded into my Flickr, 500px and Tan Geng Hui Photography portfolio websites.

In our current world and society norms today, if you are still reading up till this last paragraph, thank you for taking the time to read my article that I wrote. Considering our attention time span is probably a minute or less, it really takes something to read an article online (or a hard copy book) today.

20th November – Remembrance + Other Updates

Today on the 20th November 2017, it’s a day of significance and rememberance for me.

Remembrance Day

Exactly 1 year ago on 20th November 2016, my paternal grandmother passed away at a ripe old age of 99 years. My matriarch had always been the pillar and foundation of the extended family, someone that I had the utmost respect and admiration. Her sharpness, observations, along with her meticulous nature, were some of the life skills set that she had passed on down to her future generations, I am one of those that inherited those traits of my grandmother!

While her anniversary will be based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar (early December for year 2017), I used both calendars to remember her and what she did for the entire family under leadership and guidance. While it had been a year, we all missed her.

Other Updates

Collaboration project – Love At Second Sight

For the past few weeks, I was involved in a collaboration shoot with my friends Tiffany and Peps, for their Love At Second Sight short films project. I was shooting behind the scenes and another segment on lifestyle product shoot. Shot over a 4 days period in a two weeks time frame, I had a great time, tiring at the end of the day, managed to capture some really nice photos, for the short films, on behind the scenes, for marketing and publicity. Keep a look out for Love At Second Sight short film on Tiffany and Peps FB page, as well as my FB page for more updates!

Editorial Coverage

Editorial coverage for some of the events that I attended, in technology, lifestyle and musuems events, my coverage had been slower than I would like it to be. I promise to get my backlogged editorial coverage published and shared in the coming 2 weeks. Thank you to all for your understanding.

95th Dinner Anniversary Celebrations

95 years is not a small milestone and I am very happy to be part of this celebrations and this special family, the Gan Eng Seng Dragon Scout Group, along with my old boys and girls club a.k.a Dragon Chapter. I hope to share more photographs and stories soon, it’s just a small shout out first! 95 not out, next monumental milestone, 100! Onward Dragon Scouts!

Marketing, branding, publicity, partnerships and collaborations

An era of disruptions, more to come in the years ahead, running a business has changed, my personal opinion and view is the traditional ways of running a business may not be that applicable, adapt, change, disrupt or get left behind in this fast and furious pace. Redefining, reorganising and restructuring my business, building up more partnerships and collaborations with different groups of friends.

Some inner most private thoughts

It had been a very tough two years for me, if you had been reading my stories and updates from 2016 till today in 2017. All these life experiences shaped my in many different ways and aspects. Losing 6 people from your life within a 1 year time frame from 2016 to 2017 had quite a big impact on me. At times, when friends were celebrating their happy milestones, big travel holidays, delicious expensive restaurant food on a weekly basis, I just kept quiet and hide away.

Running a small business in this year, are more long long stories to share, some of my stories on running a small business, you might have read in my updates/stories along the way. I leave this segment for my future story telling and sharing.

As a photographer, I faced quite a number of times of unpleasant comments, remarks, sometimes dislike, sometimes asking u along the line of “when are u going to fail”. To receive credits and acknowledgement from friends, partners and supporters for the photography works that I do is a blessing.

There are times when not everything is about $$, it’s about giving thanks, gratitude, giving back and pay it forward! Giving back to my alma mater Dragon Scout Group is one of them.

Tough times never last, tough people do. A constant reminder to myself, be thankful and grateful for everything that I have at this point in time, stay humble and grounded. Keep learning and improving.

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.

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.