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Posts Tagged ‘business

From relationships to connection capital: give relevant & valuable advice

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According to Brother Michael, connection capital is anything that can help you expand your network of connections. Seth Godin refers to connection capital as your ‘tribe’.

How to get the snowball rolling when you don’t even have a pebble of snow?
How to use our network to grow our network when we don’t have a network yet?

Eben Pagan believes that most people spend most of their time worrying about these three areas of life: money, relationship, and health.
Brother Michael concludes that very few people have all there of these areas as they like.

Even the more successful (as deemed by society) than us do struggle with at least one area about which we know more than they do.
Nobody can know everything.
The more successful people are also humans, and humans have problems.

If we can give relevant & valuable advice,
we can be a ‘trusted adviser’ to people whom we want to connect with.
Being a trusted adviser to the successful people is one of the most powerful ways to become successful yourself.

When you give, do not focus your attention on the hope to get something in return.
Give with absolutely zero expectation of getting anything in return.
Do not expect gratitude.
Simply be grateful for the opportunity to help someone.

We do not give advice immediately,
it is no difference from uninvited lecturing / preaching.

Instead, find creative ways to serve people.

We can start by asking these questions:
1. What’ most exciting / interesting for you right now in your life / business?
2. What’s challenging for you in your life / business right now?

In a social event (e.g. cocktail party, dinner party), ask about their life.
In a business event (e.g. conference, networking event. talk, symposium), ask about their business.

Tips: Be extremely tactful in bringing up some topics (e.g. weight) up.

Below are areas where we can often give valuable advice to (and therefore greatly serve) people who are more powerful and successful (according to societal standard) than we are:
# food, weight, & nutrition
# health & exercises
# purpose & meaning
# hobbies & causes e.g. photography, education, meditation, philosophy, massage, travel (Yes, I have been to numerous places worldwide!)
# relationships. Brother Michael have met many notable businessman and businesswomen who are so control freaks that they are worried of the vulnerability involved in opening their heart. That’s why it’s called ‘falling’ in love for a reason, grinned.
# marketing & sales
# domain expertise

Read more:
# The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg.
With the inflated cost of formal education, I must develop real-world skills highlighted in this informal book for myself and my own children.

Written by blueroselady

October 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

Ten Inspirations from Dato Sri Tahir: an entrepreneur & banker

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Dato Sri Tahir / 翁俊民 is the founder of the Mayapada Group, an Indonesian-based conglomerate.

Literally, Mayapada is an imaginary kingdom in Mahabharata.

I first knew Tahir through Forbes. He was born in Surabaya on 26 March 1952.

Below are ten (10) inspirations that I learned from him:

1. Dare to dream.
To quote Tahir, "One is not afraid of failure, one is only afraid of being fearful to dream. Life is like a competition / race with many participants and few winners. If you do not run faster than others, you will never win prizes"

Transform our dreams into our beliefs & vision / 异象.
With vision, we can exercise self-control.

2.Turn adversity into advantage / 逢凶化吉.
Once I attended a talk by Professor Lui Pao Chuen who also advocates turning adversity into advantage.

In the words of Tahir, "I come from a poor Chinese family," the tycoon says of his roots. "My parents used to make becak (a three-wheel rickshaw / pedicab). My father would assemble the parts while my mother painted them."

3. Be resourceful & courageous to make positive use of our resources.

"His wife, Rosy, the daughter of another Indonesian tycoon, Mochtar Riady, recently started h2h Charity, which has a vintage shop in Jakarta, proceeds from which are donated to help provide schooling for underprivileged children in Indonesia."

Tahir’s father-in-law rescued him from bankruptcy in 80s. Having wealthy (and most importantly keen & willing to help) family or friends may be helpful.

Sometimes, we may know wealthy associates but the timing and place are not right for them to assist us.
Do not blame them.
When the people, timing, and place (the spatio-temporal dynamic context) are right,
and we obtain assistance in the forms of any or some financial ($), intellectual resources,
these people become 贵人.

Make positive use of 贵人, even the best universities and Google stand on the shoulder of giant.

4. To win,
one must continuously learn, absorb, observe, and practice.
自强不息, 力求上进.
Practice makes perfect.
Practice creates talent.
It takes 10,000 hours of practice to give birth to an exceptional talent.

5. It is essential to pursue and support education.

Tahir’s Formal Education:
2008 : Obtained Doctor Honoris Causa (an honorary doctorate degree) from Universitas Tujuh Belas Agustus 1945-Surabaya (Major in Small and Medium Enterprises)
1987 : Obtained Master in Business Administration with GPA 4.00 from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, USA.
1976 : Obtained Bachelor’s degree majoring in business from Nan Yang University, Singapore

Tahir has also been appointed as a Board of Trustee at the University of California, Berkeley, becoming the first man from Southeast Asia to hold this position.
On April 2011, Tahir donated $1 million to the University of California, Berkeley for international student fellowships for students in the fulltime MBA program at Berkeley-Haas.

In my humble opinion, education is not entirely equal to schooling. I will write more about their differences.

6. Abide by the rules.
Competition has rules.
If one does not follow rules, s/he will face extinction.
Tahir cites an example using his banking business that strictly follows rules and regulations of the banking world.

"The Mayapada bank went public at the Jakarta Stock Exchange and weathered the 1997 economic crisis (when many banks became bankrupt due to not following rules) and managed to expand even more aggressively after the crisis. With foreign investment partners from the US, UAE and Singapore, the bank now has over 100 branches throughout Indonesia, and in 2007 has been voted as the second best public bank outside state-owned banks by InfoBank magazine, an influential banking magazine in Indonesia."

Though rupiah (IDR) collapsed in 1997, his bank (The Mayapada Bank) was spared because it was small and had not borrowed in US dollars.

7. Self-know.
Know ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses.
Know our level of competence.
量力而为.
If you are of 50 kg, you should not compete in the 100 kg class.

8. Win over your greatest enemy: yourself.
The only challenge Tahir faces, he says, is within himself: "I have to overcome my selfishness, my improper ambitions and greed."

Tahir could say so because he has successfully journeyed through the climb.
For many of aspiring entrepreneurs,
we first have to overcome laziness, faulty pride (e.g. the need of approval from others), negative mindset.

9. Build strong & solid platforms / foundations.

To quote Tahir, "I don’t build deals, I don’t build transactions … I build foundations or platforms."

Tahir has built the following platforms:
financial services (Mayapada Bank, Zurich Insurance Indonesia and Nipponkoa Indonesia).
Duty Free Shoppers.
real estate business (several buildings in Jakarta, hotels in Bali and Batam, and a new tower in Singapore).
healthcare (Mayapada Hospital).
media (Guo Ki*, Forbes Indonesia, Topas TV).

* the largest Chinese newspaper in Indonesia, with a circulation of 30,000 copies.

10. Make others happy, especially let others happy in their last moment.
Perhaps Tahir has lived long enough (as compared to young students) and seen many death to say: "The most enjoyable moment of my (life) is when I help people, especially when you give pride and honor to a person who is in a crisis in (the) last moment of his life."

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Written by blueroselady

May 20, 2013 at 6:57 am

Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School by Sir Richard Branson: 18 take-home messages

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“The Virgin Group is a constantly evolving aggregation of companies operating in over 30 countries, totaling more than 50,000 employees and serving millions of customers every month.”

There is a RICH in the name of Sir RICHard Branson, but being financially super rich apart, I view that he has other aspects of wealth that worth understanding & learning.


Seeing the video filmed by the London Business Forum in Westminster Central Hall reminds me on many useful talks that inspired me in UK.

Here are the take-home messages:
@~@ Branson focuses on high-quality services.
@~@ Branson praises his employees, creates a sense of fun + reward / appreciation + belongings in his company.
“A company where the staff overuse the word ‘they’ is a company with problems.”
@~@ Empower / treat your employees well and they will do the same to your customers.
@~@ Branson highlights that his employees “should never feel like hired hands but fellow entrepreneurs”

@~@ Fun is a serious business tool. I view that if your personality is not funny, do not try to be so funny; but you can get a fun-spreader as your team mate.
@~@ Focus on your strength, not limitations. Branson never lets his early dyslexia deter him.

@~@ Business is not only about $, but about creating things; this view sounds like inventors / engineers to me.
@~@ Branson carries a little notebook with him. I think carrying notebook alone is insufficient, what Branson infers is that one needs to record ideas / inspirations for action.

@~@ Branson is interested in people, spends a lot of time talking to people, listens to people (e.g. Virgin customers).
@~@ Simple & clear communication. “Try using a Twitter-like template to refine the essence of your concept into just 140 characters.”
@~@ Branson encourages discussion / debates / dialogues.
@~@ Branson & his team tests out new ideas.
@~@ Branson has a stunning personality, a reviewer wrote “charismatic irreverence”. My friend J shared with me that she admires Branson’s combination of bad & good guy personality, he seems to have a deep understanding of people.

@~@ luck; yet I view that luck favors the prepared.
@~@ “If death and taxes are the only sure-fire things in life, then the only certainty in business is that one day things will go wrong. One of your priorities has got to be emergency planning.” Plan & preparation are critical.

@~@ Branson views his entrepeneurship as a vocation, he has no plan to retire. I always encourage my team mates to pursue their passion, not only a job, a career, but a life-long pursuit of excellence.
@~@ Branson concludes that “My story is a very personal one; my strategy will not work for everyone.”
I would like to elaborate that different (sometimes opposite) strategies work for particular people, at particular timing and location. The spatiotemporal context matters.

@~@ Branson gives hope to my dream of space travel, which I believe is also the dream of many of yours. To quote Jules Verne from his Around the World in Eighty Days, “Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.” I look forward to a book / movie / song entitled “Around the Space in [insert a stunning number here] Days.”

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Travel: Angkor Wat of Cambodia & how it inspires me

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When I have no time, $, energy to physically travel,
I love to virtually travel
through high quality documentaries
such as this one produced by National Geographic.

The benefits of documentaries (which sometimes we do not experience while traveling physically)
include:
# bird view taken from e.g. airplane.
# music.
# expert knowledge.
# 3D models.

Moreover, high quality documentaries e.g. by National Geographic,
incorporate artistic cinematography,
e.g. the use of bokeh, framing techniques,
which are pleasurable to the eyes.

Inspirations:
1. water is critical. Civilizations such as Egypt and Khmer Empire relies on Nile and Mekong River respectively.

2. Western restoration methods do not always work for Eastern architecture like Angkor Wat. Similarly, Western ways of doing business may not always work in the East.

3. Angkor Wat is like a gigantic ship floating on the ocean, thanks to the gigantic moat surrounding the temple. However, this ship is made of stones including the magic stone laterite, that can be shaped yet highly durable (for almost 1 millennium) after it hardens.

4. Over-engineering is not good, as it partly contributes to the decline of the Khmer civilization. How do we know if we are over-engineering?
This is a subset / an example of question for a big question from the serenity prayer:
"God grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
"

5. The priests of the ancient time are not only spiritually knowledgeable, they also serve as engineers.
It reminds me on the Renaissance men.
Are we living in over-specialized age?
We need human talent who have broad knowledge as well as deep knowledge for a field of specialization.

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Written by blueroselady

March 26, 2013 at 4:46 am

Posted in travel

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The Credo of a Business Knight

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"I believe that global business has the money & the power to make a significant difference in today’s troubled world, & that by making that difference it can help itself as well as others.
I envision business raising its sights above the bottom line.
I envisage business becoming a vocation, like the higher professions.
To make this possible I believe that business must add a moral dimension, becoming more service- & value-oriented & largely elimination the assumed natural distinction between private enterprise & public institutions.
I envisage business taking responsibility for the world in which it operates & from which it creates its wealth.
And I envisage myself becoming one of those business leaders who are "servant leaders" — leaders who serve not just stockholders, colleagues, employees, products, & customers, but leaders who also serve the community, the planet, humanity, the future, & life itself."

Authors: Danah Zohar, Ian Marshall

Written by blueroselady

December 10, 2012 at 9:52 am

How to sell? How not to accept NO for an answer?

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Firstly, what to sell?
The best things to sell are those that I want to buy, products / services that I believe in.
There are things that are useful but not worthy.
For example, while I find insurance is useful, insurance agents tend to sell insurance products that can earn them high commission but provide lower values for the customers for a given cost. There are other insurance products that can provide better coverage, at the same cost, but insurance agents will not sell them because they cannot earn a living from selling them.
Therefore, at this moment, I am not going to consider to be an insurance salesperson, though admitting that they are among those salespeople with the great perseverance (sometimes annoying irritation) and excellent selling skills whom I have ever encountered.

What do customers want?
Arouse desire / want for gain
Arouse fear of loss
Express honest appreciation, praise to make others feel important (it will better to praise the non-obvious things)

Use YOU in my words, sentences.
Be a great listener, do not talk too much. Letthe advice of Benjamin Franklin, “speak not but what may benefits others, avoid trifling / trivial / petty conversation
Smile. The secret to a genuine smile is to think of many things that I am grateful of.
To gain confidence of customers, use witnesses / testimonials / existing clients. Learn from how lawyers operate.

SALES SPEECH
Write out my sales speech, word for word.
Read it for multiple times.
Rehearse

When customers say “I cannot afford it”, it means he really wants it.
I have to show him how to pay, speaking in their interest.

In the face of objections, ask questions
Why?
Why not?
What else?
Do not argue

see Bettger50_Frank_selling

Related:
What are people emotionally hungry for?

How to play the game of life?
Thick face, black heart
Why must we close the deal fast?

How to say No?

Written by blueroselady

October 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

How to deal with con artists?

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A mentor of mine CNC admitted that she has met many con men and women in her life.

I am using the law of repulsion, which is the opposite of the law of attraction. I pray that I am having Divine Protection whenever and wherever I am. Though there are bad people in the world, please do not allow me to be in the same time and place as they are. If I have to be in the same time and place as they are, please let them do not have any malicious intention towards me.

Besides using the law of repulsion , here are useful tips on how to deal with con artists.

What are the characteristics of con artists?
1. CREATIVE in both designing their schemes and carrying the cons.
2. DISCIPLINED. They systematically work toward their objective.
3. PERSISTENT. They never think about giving up.
4. ENTHUSIASTIC. They do not lie in bed and feel sorry for themselves. They are trying to get absolutely everything out of life that they can.
5. POSITIVE. They do not doubt that their plan will work.
6. OPPORTUNISTIC. They seize the moment.
7. HARD WORKERS. They are always "ON".
8. COOL under pressure. If you ask a con artist, "Are you conning me?" he or she will look you in the eyes and say, "How could you think that after all we have been through together?"
9. SYMPATHETIC. It is comforting to know that someone in the world "really understand you"
10. EMPATHETIC. They seem to take on your problems as their own.

Many of the characteristics are also shared by good friends, acquaintances, colleagues, mentors, and admirable role models. It is not easy to really know what is inside the heart of a person.

Who are con artists prey on? People with the following …
1. eternal optimism. People with open eyes, but do not see anything negative — or potentially negative — in anyone. Do not be too trusting, this makes you vulnerable. A simple guide is to use the 70:30 trusting ratio that MR told me.
2. greed. People who want to get something for nothing. There is no free lunch! Do not expect something for nothing. No one can con us if we want nothing from him / her.
3. insecurity. Please release the need to have others’ approval. Con artists are happy to butter up and tell insecure people how wonderful they are. Beware of those who praise / compliment us too much.
4. neediness (in emotional comfort). Con artists are sympathetic and empathetic. Is the person sympathetic and empathetic by nature, or only when s/he has something to gain from you?
5. power. Be careful when you have accomplishment. The higher we climb, the stronger the wind that blows us.
6. hunger for advancement. Con artists may take advantage of your ambition.

How to protect yourself from con artists?
1. self-understanding: understand our characters and circumstances. Do we have eternal optimism, greed, insecurity, neediness, power, or hunger for advancement?
2. use both LOGIC + GUT FEELINGS.
3. exhaust the con artist. Let them sing, dance, and give their entire bag of tricks, but we must be more persistent than they are. Do not give in.
4. avoid / stay away.

It is always good to be careful and the good news is many people are honest and good.

More: The art of war for Women

Written by blueroselady

October 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm