Category Archives: Know-How

30 Life Lessons from Joel Neoh, Malaysia High Achieving Entrepreneur

Joel Neoh, the High Achiever Entrepreneur & the GROUPON Head of Asia Pacific wrote a note on the “30 Lessons that he has learned in 30 Years”!

Joel Neoh was 19, about to turn 20, when he turned on the television to be greeted by Oprah, his mother’s favourite TV programme. Oprah was interviewing the cast of Desperate Housewives, and asked Marcia Cross: “If you could go back in time and tell your 20-year-old self anything, what would it be?”

Marcia responded: “Stop worrying. Be comfortable living in uncertainty.”

Looking back at his 30 years of life, Joel Neoh has summarized 30 simple yet important lessons that he learned – about being a better entrepreneur and person.

1. Be comfortable living in uncertainty.

Marcia was right. We can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of life’s adventure. The only thing constant in life is change. Embrace it and you’ll be in for a fun ride.

2. Love what you do.

Don’t ever stop growing, learning, loving, doing & living. Find your niche. Find out what you’re truly passionate about.

3. Embrace your fears.

At 21 years old, Joel Neoh won #1 in the National Men’s Open Rock Climbing Competition. At the post-competition interview, a journalist asked him why and how he started rock climbing: “I started because I was afraid of heights. I once read that most elite athletes feel fear just like everyone else, but they channel that fear to fuel their spirit and passion for competition.”

4. Have fun.

Nothing in life is worth doing unless you’re having fun doing it.

Joel Neoh

At one of those super-crazy-fun Groupon parties with one of my favorite people in the world.

5. Care.

People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.

6. Surround yourself with people who are smarter.

In sports, the only way to grow is to play against stronger competition. In business, hang out with smarter people. It can be intimidating, but always try to be the dumbest person in the room.

7. Creativity is not difficult.

Creativity is just about connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

8. Allow our good to emerge.

We do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within us and allowing that goodness to emerge.

9. Happiness is not a goal but a way of life.

People that surrounds us have a high influence on our happiness levels. Fire negative people out of your life.

10. Don’t let failure hold you back.

Michael Jordan once said: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

11. Stop insanity.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Learn from mistakes, don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

12. Just do it.

Years from now we will be more disappointed by the things that we didn’t do than by the ones we did do.

13. Never too young to dream big.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. The earlier you start, the harder you work when you’re younger, the easier life is when you’re older.

Joel Neoh

Receiving the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2012.

14. Stay hungry.

Often, the only advantage we have when we are young is hunger. The hunger to succeed. Don’t ever lose that.

15. Life is too short to live someone elses’ dream.

We are only going to live life once. If you aren’t following what you love, then what are you doing? Our parents may have once told us that we have to be in either one of these four professions: doctor, engineer, lawyer or accountant. Life is more than a job. You don’t want to live a life where you go to a job every day just so you can enjoy your weekends and get two weeks of vacation every year.

16. Life is too short to work at a boring company.

The best thing about being an entrepreneur is the ability to influence, design and build a great organization culture and a cool office space for the team. A great place to work attracts the best talent. Privileged to have co-founded 2 out of top 3 coolest offices you’d want to work at in Malaysia: http://www.femalemag.com.my/features/work/coolest-offices-youd-want-work-malaysia

17. Be curious.

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

18. Birthdays are best to reflect.

Some spend their birthdays drinking, partying to forget the past, the failures. However, birthdays are great moments to reflect the year that has past – to identify improvements and learnings, towards being a better person for the future.

19. We are the change we seek.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Be a positive change agent today.

20. Don’t let others dictate you.

Often, it’s those individuals that contributes very little to our lives, that dictates our emotions. Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.

21. Ask the right questions.

The right questions can ignite innovation, solve problems, create powerful partnerships and help us live a better life.

22. Do one thing right.

When things aren’t going our way, remember – if we can do just 1 thing right, then everything can start to move in the right direction again.

23. Live the moment.

If today was the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?

We are always waiting for something: for it to be the weekend, to be finished with school, till we are 21, to get a new job, qualify for a promotion, save enough money, etc…and what’s sad is we miss every beautiful moment in the ‘present’ because we spend our whole lives waiting for tomorrow and for the future. We end up skipping our whole lives and one day we will spend our last day waiting on a tomorrow that will never come. Don’t live in your past or your future. Live today. It’s all we really have. Live everyday as if it were your last. Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain.

24. Pay off bad debts.

Some debt is good for building credit, minimizing risk and so on. But there are some debts that weigh most people down from truly following their passion and living an amazing life. Pay off the debts that weigh you down as it’s an amazing feeling once you do.

25. Invest in buying assets.

Broke people spend all income on expenses. The Middle class spends income on expenses and purchasing liabilities. The Rich invests income into buying assets, which in return generates even more income. Assets: property (that generates rental yield), stocks (that pays dividend), bonds, etc.

26. Invest in yourself.

It took awhile before Joel Neoh realized that he should invest in himself, that he should put his personal development first. Here is a few ways to start thinking and investing in your most valuable asset – yourself: Find your Why, Discover your strengths, Read a great book, Enrol in further education, Start a good habit.

27. Be happy with nothing.

You can either be angry for what you don’t have or be thankful for what you do have. Happiness is not having more of what you want, but wanting more of what you have.

28. Be humble.

Have a teachable spirit. Allow others to correct you and tell you about yourself. Correction doesn’t feel good, but it’s necessary for growth. It’s something he continues to work on because having an ego never did anything positive for me and usually doesn’t accomplish much for anyone. Arrogance makes a person power hungry – humility makes one a better leader.

29. You don’t need everyone to like you.

We all want to be loved. But you can’t value every relationship the same, and thus you can’t expect everyone to love you the same. Life doesn’t work that way. Think about this: “When people don’t like you, nothing actually happens. The world does not end. You don’t feel them breathing down your neck. In fact, the more you ignore them and just go about your business, the better off you are.”

30. Don’t ever let somebody tell you…you can’t do something. Not even me.

All right? You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.

Joel Neoh

Joel Neoh and Chris Gardner, the inspiration behind the movie: The Pursuit of Happyness

Source: http://www.facebook.com/notes/joel-neoh/30-life-lessons-ive-learned-in-30-years/10151786394314177

K.C. See – The Multi-Millionaire Entrepreneur’s Tips on Working Smart!


THE WORK SMART ENTREPRENEURS

Most of us realize that becoming a successful entrepreneur requires one to put in a lot of hard work into one’s idea, venture or business. Yet, we also realize that there are many who do that and still have not accomplished much. We begin to realize that to be successful as an entrepreneur takes more than just sheer hard work, diligence and dedication. Granted that these are important qualities but then we are also aware that there are many who worked very hard but never seem to make much progress. We also realize that the outstanding entrepreneurs and those who fail all have one thing in common; they all have only 24 hours a day. We can safely concluded that what they put their time to, determine their success.

Note: The Business Acceleration Workshop is giving out Complimentary Tickets!! Check it out at the end of the Article!

How to work smarter and not just harder?
1. KEEP FOCUS ON OBJECTIVE AND RESULTS. In whatever work you’re doing, two questions should always be kept in mind;
a) What is the objective?
b) What results do I want to get out of this?

2. CHALLENGE THE “OBVIOUS” AND BE CREATIVE. Challenge the “obvious” because nothing remains static for long. Circumstances change, so do the environment, the people and event the objectives. One should always test and challenge what appears to be obvious.

3. FOCUS ON WHAT COUNTS; THE 80-20 RULE. Some of you may be familiar with Pareto’s Principle that states, “80% of the value of a group of items is generally concentrated in only 20% of the items.” For instance, 80% of the sales of a business would probably come from 20% of the customers. In the case of phone calls, 80% of your calls would come from 20% of your callers.

Work Smart Entrepreneur

4. MANAGE YOUR TIME. There is a proliferation of books and seminars on time management and all of them have one principle in common. The principle is best expressed by Benjamin Franklin who said, “If you want to enjoy the greatest luxuries in life – of having enough time to rest, think things through, get things done and know that you have done them to the best of your ability – there is only one way: TAKE TIME TO THINK AND PLAN ACTIVITIES IN THE ORDER OF THEIR IMPORTANCE.

One should guide one’s daily life in terms of priorities. To this end, one should consider:
A) MAKING A DAILY LIST OF THINGS TO DO. The famous TO DO list is a well-known and proven tool, but it takes determination to make it work for you. And it will only work if the list is based on the priority of things to do.

B) STOP PROCRASTINATING. Procrastination is a common diseases, such as ulcers and heart diseases that are due to stress. The idea is to make every day in your life meaningful and not to waste it by procrastinating. There is no time to say you don’t have time. It’s just an excuse because it is a question of priority.

C) LEARN TO SAY NO. The smart entrepreneur knows how to say no. Steve Jobs famously says, “I am proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do. Innovation comes from saying no to 1000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much”

D) DELEGATE. The entrepreneur who tries to do everything himself is surely going to head towards a disaster. It will be the death of your effectiveness as an entrepreneur. You can’t hope to achieve results all by yourself. Learning to extend results from what you yourself can do to what you can control is smart entrepreneur’s key tool.

5. KNOW YOURSELF. This principle calls for you to:

  • Know yourself.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Know what you like.
  • Know what you want.
  • Set goals

Ultimately you should find a business that you love that utilizes your strengths. Confucius once said:“Find a job you love and you will never have to work for the rest of your life.” If you love what you do, you will do well in it. The smart entrepreneur is a happy entrepreneur; one knows what one loves and wants; one does what one loves and one does it with greater effectiveness and productivity. He/ she is working smart. Are you?

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Come and be empowered to accomplish extraordinary things and new pathways to success. Let your eyes and heart be opened to new potentials and possibilities.

KC See

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This is a full-house program you do not want to miss. Success only belongs to people who take action. Don’t let anything hold you back from what you can achieve. We can help you.

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KC See* K.C. See founded the Money Mastery Community with over 8,000 members from 22 countries; a community to support the pursuit of wealth and passion through education and mentorship. He coaches senior managers, entrepreneurs and business owners.

Sell Your Product Before Building it!

Sell Your Product Before Building it!

One of the lean ways to start a company is to sell your products or services before you build them. I know some of you might be thinking, “Are you NUT?! How can I sell something that doesn’t exist?” Well, that’s exactly what I suggest you to do. Selling your products or services before building them brings many advantages.

Let me give you a case study. I run a financial education program for youth called Young Money Master. We train young adults to be financially smart though a creative marketplace simulation. If I were to follow the common startup process when I first conceived the idea, I would do a market research to see whether there is a need for financial education for youth. Let’s say the research result indicates a demand for my idea, I’d invest money and resources to design and build my program. Two months later, I finally get the program ready to sell. After a few months of selling, I might get a few sales but could still be losing money due to other operating costs. Perhaps the poor result could be owing to selling to the wrong market, or wrong value propositions that fail to appeal to the intended market. After identifying the root of the problem, I decide to pivot on my existing business model. I might change the target market, the value propositions, sales materials, the website, program materials, or the marketing channels. And it costs a great amount of money, again.

YMM

All of this unnecessary loss and wastage could have been avoided if we had validated the business assumptions before we committed time, money, and resources to design and build it. Certainly, we could validate our business assumptions by selling the products or services before building them. Back to the case study, what I really did was as soon as my co-founder and I agreed on the concept and objectives of the program, we started to sell. At this juncture, no solid program modules and materials were produced yet. We went to talk to the prospects to understand their needs and eventually sell them. We tested the price point, value propositions, and the effectiveness of each marketing channel. We measured the result and learnt from our feedback. We made numerous changes on our sales material and program after gathering enough intelligence. Only two weeks before the workshop then we began to produce the program material. As a result, we saved a great deal of time, money, and effort. The program turned out to be a huge success too!
The strategy above works especially in service businesses. If your business requires a physical transaction of goods at the time of purchase, you may invest a little money to produce a minimum viable product (MVP). MVP is the version of products that comes with essential features only. It serves to enable you validate your business assumptions. Your goal is to sell the MVP to your potential clients and gauge their reaction. You will then learn a tremendous amount of information about your market and product. To learn how to create a MVP in details, I’d recommend you to read “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.

In brief, there are three primary benefits of selling before building:
Firstly, it helps you design better services and products. You get to know who will buy it, and who will not. You will learn what is working, and what is not. You get to know your clients’ preference in terms of design, marketing, how the products should be sold, etc. More importantly, you get to learn whether there is really a market for your idea or it is just an idea that gets you excited. It is common for people to get fired up by their own idea and start to design and build the products before validating whether there is ACTUALLY a market for it.

Some of you might ask, “Why do I need to pre-sell if I could just do a market research to ask people whether they will be interested to buy my product and service? If I find it enough interest, then I would just create it and sell it.”

This is a common misconception. Your respondents will most likely tell you they are interested in the products or services, but it is not until they commit their money and resources to make the purchasing decision. There is a real difference between asking people if they would buy and actually buying. I have personally done market research twice, but the inputs I obtained were not as valuable and precise as when I went out to the market and sold it. Thus, selling before building will give you so much invaluable information and understanding about the real consumer behaviour.

Secondly, it helps reduce the risk, pressure and wastage. You will not have much financial commitment initially to build your products and services. You will only incur the least expense until you actually sell your products. It will always be much less expensive to change the final design before it is even designed. It helps you save money. You will not so tensed because you didn’t commit so much investment in your startup. You reduce wastage by saving time, effort, and resources to run your startup in a lean manner.
Thirdly, it brings in positive cash flow from day 1. You let your customers fund your working capital. In other words, you can bootstrap on your startup with limited capital. Truth to be told, my partner and I started Young Money Master with ZERO capital because we had sold before we built it.

To sum up, by selling before you build it, you will learn a tremendous amount about how to market your products or services, what the final design should be, who will buy it, and whether you can actually be successful selling it.

Lessons from Apple Founder Steve Jobs for Entrepreneurs

A special story dedicated to the late Apple Founder Steve Jobs and Most Renowned Innovator of our time, Steve Jobs, on his most genuine ways of becoming the legendary entrepreneur and ‘Lifestyle Designer’ that he is so associated with. This special report dissects the different strategies that were deployed by Steve Jobs in becoming the Genius that he is and will always be. Continue reading Lessons from Apple Founder Steve Jobs for Entrepreneurs

How can startups collaborate with big corporations?

How can startups collaborate with big corporations?

Startups/ Small businesses just starting out face a multitude of challenges but they don’t necessarily have to tackle them all singlehandedly, like David facing multiple Goliaths. Going into some form of partnership with a bigger brand can be an enormous opportunity for a startup and take at least some of the heat off when you’re first setting out.

Startups
Photo Credit: http://www.joelonsoftware.com

However, the actual partnership deal can itself be strewn with hidden dangers, and the validation, press, prestige and growth you assumed would follow from a successful partnership may not be so immediately forthcoming as you’d imagined. Just getting a foot in the door often takes tremendous amounts of time and effort, and then after the contract is signed the delivery of real, mutual value can also be a challenge.

But partnerships with big brands can and do work well when approached intelligently and with no undue expectations of magical transformations suddenly taking place. Here are a few points to take on board when considering such an arrangement yourself.

Press isn’t everything
Getting the word out about your business does not in itself guarantee success. Increased press coverage can in fact be a mere passing spike, and everyone can cite examples of where massive press launches led to complete failure only months later. Press should be seen as a means to other ends such as fundraising, but going into partnership for this reason alone would not be cost or time-effective, as well as a sad waste of resources that could better be spent elsewhere.

Contact the right advocates
Thoroughly investigate the advocate company’s business goals, mandate and experience of similar projects before committing. Just because a small group of enthusiasts in the organisation have shown an interest doesn’t necessarily mean that the key players are on board, and they are the ones who will ultimately sign off the Det ar enkelt att lara sig spela spelautomater pa natet , och om du ar helt ny som spelare sa kan du valja att spela dina forsta rundor genom att bara satsa pa ett enkelt nummer. deal.

Define the scope
A list of deliverables has to be agreed upfront and in writing to avoid situations like wanting some additional functionality in the middle of the project and ending up with chaos as a result. A good idea is to adapt the methodology of some previous project that has a good track record, or to carry out customer planning and development beforehand to maximise the chances of success.

Get a budget secured
Where startups often have to survive hand-to-mouth, big corporations spread the load and think in terms of grand budgets and planning way down the line. You need to ask yourself whether they’ll contribute to the actual marketing of the project and whether they will expect to be doing any of the project work themselves. Which employees will they allocate, and for how long? Your project must be able to secure necessary resources which have been allocated to it and when these are formally in place then the chances of success are far greater than if only ‘best effort’ promises had been made.
In the final analysis, go ahead with the idea of a partnership when it makes sound business as well as emotional sense.

10 Biggest Franchise Business Industries (Trends in the USA for 2010) for Asian Entrepreneurs

The most successful franchises are often looked and hunted upon by savvy entrepreneurs overseas, in order to be brought back to their respective local markets. Trends and research done in the United States, among its 100 million strong consumer markets on booming franchise industries and sectors would offer insights into Asian entrepreneurs who are quick to learn and adopt successful franchises abroad that can be done for their home markets. Continue reading 10 Biggest Franchise Business Industries (Trends in the USA for 2010) for Asian Entrepreneurs

3 Success Strategies of Sir Richard Branson

Iconic to entrepreneurs and business owners from across the world, Sir Richard Branson has not only been a successful entrepreneur with inspiring success stories to share. But rather, he has also come a long way through many business ventures which may not have worked out throughout the years. For an entrepreneur who embraces Risk and the ‘Screw it, Just Do It!’ attitude, he is still doing just that!

Continue reading 3 Success Strategies of Sir Richard Branson