Friday, July 31, 2009
I bet more than half of you will guess: "what are your strengths?"
and the other half of you will guess: "what are your weaknesses?"
Have you ever wonder, why is it so important for them to know your weakness and your strength? Or maybe I ask this question back to you, why do you think it is important for YOU to know your own strength and weakness?
Traditionally, in the business world, it was told that in order to excel in our work, we need to know what areas we are weak in so that we can plan a necessary training and development programme to overcome those weaknesses. That's why most people in general, after they listed down all their strengths and weaknesses, they will leave their strength alone and focus on improving their weaknesses.
For example, if you are very good with technical stuff but you always scared of doing public speaking or presentation, so you do your best to improve your weakness by attending some public speaking courses. Do you think you are doing the correct thing?
Should we focus on our strength and forget about our weakness? or should we do something to eliminate our weakness? the answer is: depends.
For me, no matter what is the situation, I will always focus most of my energy and attention on my strengths. And whether I should do something about my weakness or not, that depends on whether the weakness is an obstacle for getting me where I want to be or not.
For example: When I first started my first career in sales, one of my weakness is my language. I can't speak mandarin, on which in the country that I live in (Singapore), most people are very comfortable talking in mandarin. But instead of focusing on my weakness and trying to take courses to learn mandarin (which I think it will take at least 1 year before I can start communicate fluently), I choose to focus on my strength. For me at that time, not able to speak mandarin wasn't really an obstacle for me to achieve my success because I can still make sales by approaching all the English-speaking people. And the number of people who can speak English is definitely more than enough to bring me a lot of sales. Therefore instead of spending extra hours learning mandarin, I used that extra hours to approach more people.
Another example: If you are a great computer programmer and wanted to be the best in the industry, does it really make sense for you to take a public speaking class instead of using that time to keep up with ever-changing technology?
Of course big exception is when your weakness is getting in the way of your goals.
When I know that my weakness is getting in the way of my goals, I will have to eliminate it, either by learning about it myself, or hire some expertise who can do it for me :)
For example: When I first started my own organization, I don't have any experience in managing people, create a system, etc. But I can't just ignore that, because that is essential for me to be able to grow in my career. Therefore I then learn how to lead others, how to motivate my team, managing them, etc.
I hope by now you all should get the picture on what you should do with your strengths and weaknesses. And I hope what I just shared with you will help you in your life.
So in summary few things that you need to do:
1. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Determine the strengths and weaknesses that can affect your path to success.
3. Focus and leverage on your strengths
4. Eliminate the weaknesses that stop you from getting what you want.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Now, I'll share with you about my Education Account.
I'm a firm believer in life-long learning. I believe my life is a journey of learning more about myself and about the world around me.
I also believe that the our capacity of success depends on the level of our skills and knowledge.
To achieve more success, I must be a more skillful and a more knowledgeable person.
Thus, every month, I set aside 5% of my income for my Education Account.
I use the money in this account to buy books, buy audio CDs, attend seminars, etc.
I believe these are not 'expenses', but 'investment'.
When I educate myself, I am basically investing in myself.
And just like my businesses and my rental properties, I believe when I invest in myself, I'll be able to generate even more money as the outcome.
When was the last time you invest in yourself? :)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Initially it took me a long time to figure it out, but after some practice it only took me a few seconds for me to see the hidden image (not bad, huh?). After a while, it became very addictive for me, once I managed to solved one picture, I keep wanted to solve more and more.
Well, I actually took a few picture of few pages from the book to show it to you guys.
If you think I'm bluffing you, I'm not.
There is actually really a 3D image hidden inside.
1. You must get one eye to look at the point in the image, while the other eye looks at the same point in the next pattern.
2. You must hold your eyes in that position long enough for the marvelous structures in your brain to decode the 3D info.
You can follow this method:
Hold the image right up to your nose. (Ignore those people who might be tempted to make comments about you) It should be blurry. Let your eyes relax and focus as though you are looking through the image into the distance. Very slowly move the image away from your face, perhaps an inch every 2 or 3 seconds. Keep looking through the page. Stop and comfortable reading distance and keep staring. Soon you'll see the hidden image magically appear. Once you perceive the hidden image and depth, you can look around the entire 3D image. The longer you look, the clearer the illusion becomes. The farther away you hold the page, the deeper it becomes.
Here I upload a few more photo that I took from the book for you to practice. If you manage to see 'something' do drop me a message or leave a comment and tell me what did you see.
I'll give you the correct answer by end of this week. That means, you have 3 days to solve it
When I feel like I need energy, I need inspiration, or I need to feel positive, one of the easiest way for me to achieve that is by listening to good songs.
This time, I would like to share with you 1 song that I discovered few weeks back and I love it so much. The lyrics is great, the tune is very easy to catch, and most importantly I find it very meaningful. It's the new song by Miley Cyrus called: "The Climb"
Attached is the lyrics
I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head
saying"You'll never reach it"
Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking
But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going
And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on'
Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting
on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!
Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, babyIt's all about,
it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa
Hope you guys like it :)
Monday, July 27, 2009
There is another key element that comes into play, an element that each and every one of the 'positive thinking' books has in common: The first step in all of them is to write down your goal.
You probably heard her name, Suze Orman, financial wizard, author of the number one New York Times bestseller, The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, and a frequent guest on Oprah Winfrey Show, tells how she started out.
She got a job at Merrill Lynch and was terrified she would not be able to meet her sales quota.
The most she had ever made up until then was $400 a month as a waitress.
She said, 'I created what I wanted for myself first on paper. Every morning before I went to work, I would write over and over again: I am young, powerful, and successful, producing at least $10,000 a month.'
And guess what ?? it came true. And writing down her new truth helped make it materialize. Even after surpassing that target figure, she continued to carry the saying around with her.
My own inspiration came from my husband, who came to me one day with anamused expression and a piece of paper in his hand.
He said, 'I found this list from years ago when I was cleaning our room. I don't know how, but everything on this list came true, and I forgot Iwrote it.'
Among other things, he had studied Mandarin in China (both my husband & I were in Beijing for 3 months in 2002), established his own business (our current business in the Financial Services industry), got married with me :) and become a millionaire (we achieved this together in 2006) - all without being conscious of checking off items on the forgotten list.
My husband's experience made me think. I noticed the same phenomenon happening in my own life. Have you had similar experience too? :)
Sunday, July 26, 2009
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Yes! You know you mustn't quit, but sometimes when your life isn't easy right now or nothing seems to be going according to what you want, you might be wondering and ask yourself whether am I doing the right thing in my life? am I in the right path? and how do I know whether I am in the right path?
I might not have the exact answer for you, but I can give you my opinion.
As yourself this question: "How many right path do you think is available out there?"
Well, my question probably make you think for a while. Why?
Simply because a lot of people normally have the assumption that there is only one 'right' path to walk. And if we believe there is only one 'right' path, then we are also assuming that there are many 'wrong' path too. Given these odds, there is more likely that most people are on one of those 'wrong' path, including us. Seems like bad news isn't it??
Well, Fortunately, that is not right. The truth is everything in your life is unfolding in perfect order. Or in another word, everything is on schedule. Any 'wrongness' you see in your current path doesn't make the path intrinsically wrong. It's so-called wrongness only comes from your expectations about what 'should' be happening or unfolding on your path instead of what actually IS happening.
Even the 'right' road-to-happiness has it's obstacles.
So, believe me when I said that where you are now is perfect. Because this is where you are supposed to be. You are on your path now. Whatever bad situation that is happening to you right now, don't see it as troubled. Just let it go and let go of the attachment to how things 'should' be. As you become more trusting of life, you relax into it more and resist it less.
Stop demanding that things go a certain way and have them be the way they are. Things will work out. In fact, things are working out now. To help you feel better, always believe that things are happening FOR us rather than TO us. This means that no matter how painful or uncomfortable things may be, it is all there for our growth and edification.
If not because of the financial crisis and unstable political situation back in Jakarta in 1998, I wouldn't be in Singapore
If I came from a very well to do family, I woudn't have so BIG drive and motivation to achieve the current success that I achieved today.
If 'X' company never reject my scholarship application back then in my 2nd year in University, I would never start my entrepreneurship journey (because I have to served bond working few years in that 'X' company, and probably by now I will still be a normal employee)
If I didn't loss almost all my savings in the stock market, I wouldn't even try to go to sales and make my first million from there.
There were many unfortunate things happened to my life. But I know that everything happen for a reason and those things happened FOR me.
Sometimes the road gets rough, but don't give up. You've got to keep on moving. Ask yourself: "What can I learn and discover from this situation", and ask "how can I move forward in the most positive way."
I would like to end this by writing the remaining poem that I shared with you earlier
Life is queer with it's twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worse, That you must not quit.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I usually allocate around 20% of my income into my Income Generator Account.
I use the money in this account ot build Income Generators for me.
For those of you who are not really familiar with the concept of Income Generator, you can read my book 'A Gift From A Friend'. My book is available at all the major bookstores in Singapore, Indonesia & Malaysia.
Basically, Income Generator is something that generates recurrent income for me, even though I may not be doing anything much to actually work for it.
Let me give you a good example of an Income Generator.
I have a couple of properties that I rent out to tenants. One of it is being rented out at $2500 per month.
After paying all the expenses (i.e. installment, maintenance, etc), I still earn $1000 left every month from that rental property.
I don't need to even think about it, and I will still get $1000 nett from this particular property every single month, without fail. :)
This is what I called an Income Generator.
So, I use the money in that I gather in my Income Generator Account to create even more Income Generators in my life.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
One guy told me that he has been considering to go into sales for many years and he knew and believed that he can do well and achieve his success by doing it, but people perception about salesman is not very good, therefore until now he still hesitate to do it.
Another lady emailed me and shared with me that she only have 'O' Level (= Secondary School) Certificate and she has this big dream that one day she will be a very successful businesswomen, but sometimes she also feel very inferior and no confidence because she felt that if people know that she only has 'O' level certificate, they will look down on her.
Sadly, in life sometimes we made certain decision not really based on what we believe in, but based on what other people think. And today I would like to share with you this interesting story:
A couple bought a donkey from the market. On the way home, a boy commented, ‘Very stupid. Why neither of them ride on the donkey? ‘Upon hearing that, the husband let the wife ride on the donkey. He walked besides them.
Later, an old man saw it and commented, ‘The husband is the head of family. How can the wife ride on the donkey while the husband is on foot?’ Hearing this, the wife quickly got down and let the husband ride on the donkey.
Further on the way home, they met an old Lady. She commented, ‘How can the man ride on the donkey but let the wife walk. He is no gentleman.’ The husband thus quickly asked the wife to join him on the donkey.
Then, they met a young man. He commented, ‘Poor donkey, how can you hold up the weight of two persons. They are cruel to you.’ Hearing that, the husband and wife immediately climbed down from the donkey and carried it on their shoulders. It seems to be the only choice left.
Later, on a narrow bridge, the donkey was frightened and struggled. They lost their balance and fell into the river.
You can never have everyone praise you, nor will everyone condemn you. Never in the past, not at present, and never will be in the future.
Thus, do not be too bothered by others words if our conscience is clear..
When I first started my entrepreneurship journey 7 years ago, some of my close friends thought that I was crazy and too brave.
When I first do sales in the beginning of my career, a lot of people thought that I wouldn't be able to make it
When I want to write my own book "A Gift From A Friend" in 2006, some people laughed and said that nobody will want to buy that kind of book.
Well, If I decided to follow what other people said, I would not be able to be a successful entrepreneur, achieve my 1st million before age 26 and become a best-selling author.
If I was too bothered by what others think, I would not be able to be where I am today.
I'm glad I know what I want and go for it.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Similar to my Necessity Account, I also put around 30% of my income into my Business Development Account.
The money that I have in my Business Development Account is used to fund my existing businesses: to pay office rental, to pay staff salary, and to fund other business expenses.
The reason why most % of my income goes back into my businesses is because these existing businesses are the main income sources for me.
At this moment, I have profitable businesses in the Financial Services industry and Training & Consultancy industry.
When you spend money to make more money, it's not really called an 'expense'.
It's actually called an 'investment'.
So, my Business Development Account is actually my investment account, where I invest in my own businesses to make them even more profitable. :)
For those of you who are in the corporate world, you can have a Career Advancement Account instead of Business Development Account.
Monday, July 20, 2009
The different accounts that I have are: Necessity Account, Business Development Account, Income Generator Account, Education Account, Fun Account, and Giving Account.
For those of you who are curious to know more about it, Here it is ...
Today, I'll share with you about my Necessity Account.
I'll share about the rest of the accounts in my future blog entries.
I usually put around 30% of my income into my Necessity Account.
The money in my Necessity Account is for my monthly expenses.
It includes my condo expenses (i.e. installment, property tax, maintenance, utility bills, etc), my car expenses (i.e. maintenance, petrol, car insurance, road tax, cash card, car park coupons, etc), and my personal expenses (i.e. HP bills, insurance, income tax, groceries, F & B, movies, manicure-pedicure, haircare, spa, etc).
Each and every one of us has this Necessity Account.
The difference is that, there are some of us who control & manage this Necessity Account well, and there are some of us who spend 100% of our income for this.
How many % of your total income goes to pay for your Necessity Account? :)
If you don't have an answer for that, I encourage you to start tracking, because only when you are aware of your current financial situation then you can start doing something about it.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
(Yup..!! I will be one of the singer for the Concert)
Date : Saturday, 1st August 2009
Time : 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm
Place : Church of St Mary Of The Angels
5 Bukit Batok East Ave 2
Cost : FREE !!
Friday, July 17, 2009
I wake up this morning, and as usual, first thing that I always do every time I woke up is to turn on my TV to Channel News Asia. To my surprise, I heard a breaking news saying that Jakarta is bombed ! At first I thought I was dreaming or I must heard wrongly because it has been quite a while since there were bombs in Jakarta, but unfortunately what I heard is true.
The first suicide bomb happened in J.W Marriot Hotel at 7.48am local time.
I held my wedding banquet exactly at that hotel back in 2004. It was 1 year after the Marriott bombing incident in 2003. At that time I thought that was the safest hotel because even if there was bombing incident again, the person who did it definitely won't target the same place for the 2nd time.
Now they prove me wrong. Never in my imagination that the same incident can happen again at the same location, 6 year later. This time, not only they attacked J.W Marriott, but they also attacked nearby hotel, Ritz Carlton. Only heartless and insane people dare to do this non-human things.
Here actually the video taken from the CCTV (Surveillance Camera) at the hotel, just before the bombing happened.
There was one guy wearing full black jacket and hat (cannot really see his face) with a big suitcase went to the restaurant, and few seconds after that the restaurant exploded.
If you watch the video closely, you should feel that there was oddness in the video.
The big question is: Why the CCTV is following that guy ever since he walked from the hotel corridor to the hotel lobby to the restaurant? Did they already suspect the guy?
I also have no answer for that.
My deepest sympathies go out to the victims and their families of this tragic incident.
I really hope that this thing will never happen again.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
That’s right everybody!, I’m back in Jakarta since yesterday, so if I haven’t update my blog since then it is because I wasn’t that accessible to internet as compared to Singapore.
I’m so excited, not only because I am able to enjoy my weekend with my family here in Jakarta, but also because on Wednesday I will be the main speaker for the great event, organized by one very big and prominent company in Indonesia, Oriflame. If you want to catch me live on stage, you can take note this following detail
Date : Wednesday, 15th July 2009
Venue : Plaza Bapindo
Assembly Hall 10
Jln Jend. Sudirman kav 54-55
In the mean time, I’m enjoying my time here in Jakarta with my family. Having dinner with my mom & dad, spending time with my in-law and of course nonstop playing with my cute little angel, Alvernia
(of course the glasses is fake one, just for taking photo purposes)
Isn't she adorable ? :)
Saturday, July 11, 2009
6. Was there ever a moment where you wanted to quit the work you were doing and go on to something which wasn’t as aggressive? What kept you going?
No. I enjoy my business. I love the people in my Organization, MRO (Merry Riana Organization), who are outstanding young individuals who believed in my vision and have been working together with me to achieve our dreams together ever since.
I started my entrepreneurship journey with a dream to be successful while I'm still young so that I can share my successes with my parents.
Now, my motivation comes not only from the desire to provide a better life for my parents, but also from my desire to help other young people to be able to do the same, to provide a better life for themselves, their parents, and their families.
My vision is to raise up a new generation of successful young people who take charge of their lives, live their dreams, and eventually contribute back to society.
7. What are your views on the perceptions which people have and the barriers of entry which these perceptions have created for careers which are considered “women’s jobs” or “men’s jobs”?
I always remind myself that these so-called 'barriers' are created by people's perceptions, which means they are not real, they are only perceptions in people's minds.
8. How do you balance your professional and personal life (with regards to being wife, woman, mother and boss)?
I believe in a balanced lifestyle. I enjoy spending quality time with people that I love and very close to me; my husband, my 8 months daughter,my family back in Jakarta as well as people whom I work closely together with in my organization.
Eventually, you want to reach success because you want to be able to share it with your loved ones and to be able to enjoy it long-term optimally by having good health.
Remember, money in itself is just a medium of exchange. However, money, if used wisely, is able to enhance the more important things in life like relationships and health.
So, at the end of the day, we want to be successful not only with overflowing wealth, but also with outstanding time-tested relationships and abundant health. One of my mentors once said that happiness consists of 3 things: love, health and wealth.
And I could not agree more with that.
9. What do you feel about maternity and having children? Do you think such discrimination exists and if there’s a way around the issue?
We're fortunate to be living in Singapore, a country where there are many rules and guidelines that favor women during their pregnancy period, the few months just before and after they deliver their babies, and the next few years when they are raising their children.
Unlike other countries, which may even implement a policy that you can only have 1 child, Singapore government has always been encouraging us to start a family and have children, if possible the more children the merrier.
10. Do you believe that a woman can have both a successful career and a great family? What’s your secret?
My life revolves around my family and my close friends.
As I have mentioned so many times before, the reason why I want to be successful while I'm still young is so that I can share my successes with my parents. My parents played a very important role in my early days of entrepreneurship; they were my main driving force.
Currently, I live with my husband and my baby girl. I enjoy building this great Organization together with my husband, my 2 brothers and my close friends.
So, this is what my life is all about.
There is no meaning to life if you do not have love. In fact, that's what life is all about. To love and be loved.
Look closely to those people in your life who are close to your heart. They are not immortals. There will be time when you will not have them around anymore. Treasure them now, while you still can.
11. What do you feel about women’s rights in Singapore as opposed to Indonesia?
In this modern times, I guess women's rights both in Singapore and Indonesia are very similar, at least on paper.
However, in its real implementation on daily lives, I believe Singapore has definitely reached a much higher level of achievement in terms of championing women's rights compared to Indonesia, or any other countries in the region.
12. What do you think an ideal environment could be to promote equality and productivity among people in the workplace?
I believe that success is not a solo project - it needs to be shared. And success is not a competition. There is plenty of it to go around. You have to work with a team that shares the same dreams and objectives. A team will give you leverage. It makes success quicker and easier. It's all about synergy - the concept of adding 1 plus 1 and getting 11 - not 2.
People working together can accomplish far more that they can separately. Incredible power can be released when people work together. Associating with like-minded, success-oriented, joyful individuals - a Dream Team - is one of the most amazing success tools that exists. Anyone who achieves great success - anyone - must have a Dream Team.
Instant solutions exist in Dream-Teaming. This process helps you to take your ideas and expand them into greatness.
What characteristics should a Dream Team possess? A successful Dream Team consists of a group of people with a common purpose, where both hearts and heads are constantly in harmony with one another. There should be a spirit of joy and contribution within the group. Only a dedicated, committed, and joyful Dream Team can achieve great successes.
13. What do you think about lifestyle choices of youth today? (Promiscuity, etc)
I believe there is a period of time in our lives when we are trying to find our true self, our true identity.
This is the time when we are experimenting with ourselves, e.g. trying out different hairstyles, trying out different outfits and accessories, trying out different activities, different environments, and different experiences.
As long as you know how to control yourself in not crossing the 'healthy' boundaries in your pursuit of getting new experiences, then I guess it's okay for you to experiment and explore more possibilities.
14. Do you see any big issues with youths these days?
There are many young people I know, who know exactly what they really want and are committed to working very hard day and night to achieve their dreams. The sad thing is sometimes they do not have proper guidance which eventually causes them to make silly mistakes, that are not only wasting their time and money in the process, but worse, it may even discourage them to the point that they give up their dreams and return to those
normal 9-to-5 jobs.
I was fortunate to have learnt from many entrepreneurs and business gurus through their personal sharing, seminars, and books. But how fortunate are those who really have a personal mentor that is willing to invest time and money in their growth.
Such personal mentors are made in heaven and are a very rare breed indeed.
Remember, there is no synergy on your own. It takes at least two. Almost all successful people have mentors. They recognize the need to have a mentor.
Actually, there are few more questions, but if you want to know more ... I guess the best way is to wait for the issue to be out. After that you can read everything from there!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Everyone was very motivated and inspired.
I believe some time in your life you've experienced this kind of motivation also, being it through seminar, retreat, book, etc
But, my questions is how long does your motivation last? Are you excited for the moment but feel down or back to normal the next day? Can your motivation endure for a long time?
I actually ended my goal setting session by leaving them with one final message:
Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going.
And today I want to elaborate more on that.
I believe that successful people are NOT necessarily a more talented group of people compared to the others who are less successful. I also believe that successful people are NOT necessarily a more hard-working group of people either. Successful people achieve success merely because they have better habits compared to others.
Here is a simple example. :)
Some of us have better dental health compared to others.
It means some of us succeed in having healthier teeth.
But, does it mean that those of us with healthier teeth are more talented or hard-working?
Have you ever felt that you're talented in brushing your teeth?
Does it feel like hard work to brush your teeth every day? :)
Of course, not.
It feels natural, right?
The reason why some of us 'succeed' in having healthier teeth is because we have better habits (i.e. brush our teeth twice a day, visit the dentist twice a year, etc).
When certain activities become a habit to us, we don't need any talent to do it again and again, and we also don't feel like its hard work.
When you want to model a particular successful people to also achieve what she has achieved previously, you can just simply get to know more of her Success Habits. Then, make it your own.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Since the past 2 days I was so busy with the Goal Setting, therefore only today I finally got the time to answer it. Here are some of the questions (and my answers of course !)
1. It seems that from the beginning, with engineering, you chose to enter a mainly male dominant industry. Why was that so? What was your initial experience like?
I studied Electrical & Electronics Engineering (EEE) in NTU. I guess the reason why I chose to major in engineering had a lot to do with my background. My father is an engineer. And so are my uncles, aunties, and relatives. Having the opportunity to see how my father worked probably influenced my decision too. And since I was a small kid, when people asked me what I want to be when I grow up, my most natural answer will be, "I want to be like my father. I want to be an engineer." So, I guess being brought up in such a family influenced me when I was choosing which major to take.
Having said all that, I was never really interested in the engineering field. I took the subject because of the very simple reason that, having a background like mine, engineering seemed to be the most natural choice I should take. Having studied engineering for 4-years has helped me to think more logically and to be a more systematic person.
2. Why did you leave engineering and move on to finance?
I knew that being a fresh graduate, I would probably be earning around$2,500 per month. Minus off the mandatory 20% contribution to the CPF, it would leave me with only $2,000. Minus off another $1,000 for my living expenses (food, accommodation, transportation, hand phone bills, etc) what is left with me is only $1,000. I had the intention to send at least $500back to support my parents, so that would leave me with the remaining of$500.Assuming that I would set aside $500 every month to pay for my outstanding study loans, I calculated that I would only be able to pay off the entire loan of $40,000 (plus interest of 4% p.a.) in a period of 10 years.
By that time I will be 32 years old with no savings at all, no car, no house.Nothing! So, at that time I knew that I could never achieve my goal to be successful while I'm young if I choose this path of a normal 9-to-5 job.
I chose to keep my dreams intact and change my career path after graduation, from doing a normal engineering job to something that could allow me to attain my goals in a shorter time-frame.
3. What setbacks did you encounter while trying to enter the finance industry, especially as a woman? Did you experience gender discrimination?
In the finance industry, I'm required to meet many new people who are potential customers. A few of these potential customers are my own friends, some of them are referrals from my friends or existing clients,and the rest of them are strangers, people whom I've never known or met before.
As a woman, one of the setbacks that I encountered while trying to enter the finance industry is the difficulty to be taken seriously as a professional by a certain type of potential customers, especially those who didn't know me personally.A couple of them are only interested in getting to know me better, to become friends, or just to chit-chat. They may have no interest with the financial services or products that I'm promoting at all. Of course, I don't mind to be friends with my clients. In fact, most of my clients are my friends now. However, I always build my business professionally, and I make sure that all my potential customers know this.
4. How does it feel to be a woman in finance world? How different do you think it is from any other industry?
Personally, I never thought much of how will it feel differently whether I'm a woman or a man in the finance world.Fortunately, Singapore is an advanced first world country, where gender discrimination is almost non-existent, compared to other developing countries.
I guess most of the industries in Singapore, especially finance, will allows your results to speak about your qualities as a professional businessperson.I believe most of my clients, business partners, colleagues and staff,look up to me because of my achievements and track records, rather than my gender.
5. There’s this perception of men being aggressive in the finance world. How did you handle your superiors/colleagues acting like that? Did you have to change yourself because of such an environment?
I believe both men or women can be aggressive. Again, I guess it depends on the individual more rather than his/her gender.When others display their 'aggressiveness' still within a healthy context, I will view it as a good opportunity for me to be more competitive. I'm a strong believer that a healthy competition will improve productivity.
However, if others are being aggressive in ways that are beyond the healthy boundary (i.e. in ways that are no longer legal, moral or ethical), then I choose not to be involved with such people.It is definitely easier to achieve success within the boundaries of morals, laws and ethics rather than to risk ending up in jail, or worse,facing your conscience. When we work hard towards our dreams every day, we want to be able to go home and have a good night's sleep. We do not want to be haunted by our own conscience for doing something against that small little soft voice inside us.
Well guys..., that's not all !! think still got another 7 - 8 questions more that I have to answer ;)
After I answer it, I'll upload the reminding questions and answers in my next post
Take Care all ! :)
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I've been doing this since I established MRO, and we do this twice a year.
So far ,I can say that this is the BEST Goal Setting that I've ever conducted.
I personally feel very satisfied and happy with everything.
My aim for this goal setting is for everybody to feel good and recharge. A lot of time we normally use more of our brain to think about our goal, plan a strategy, etc. Nothing wrong with that. In fact that is definitely an important thing to do. But one thing that is also extremely important is that you must not forget to attach a good feeling towards it. So, that's why this Goal Setting I planned to keep it short, sharp to the point and yet inspirational. I focused more to attach a positive and fantastic good feeling to everyone.
I'm also feel very happy, because this is the first time I finally have my very own "The Merry Riana Show".
To be able to have my own talk show has always been one of my passion. It is actually one of the thing that I put in my Dream Book that I hope to achieve. I hope those who were there this afternoon enjoyed the sessions. Thank you for my 3 special guests, Joanne, Dwi and Gaius and of course thank you for all of you who were there supporting !
Today, I realised once again on how blessed my life is. One person asked me during my talk show:
"After making such a big achievement in your life, at this moment, what do you value most?"
and my answer to that is RELATIONSHIP.
My relationship with people that I love; my lovely daughter, my husband, my family and the member of my organization, especially those who have shared this entrepreneurship journey with me since many years ago.
Thank you so much for being a part of my life.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Today I'm going to share with you tips on how you can manage your finances successfully.
First of all, It is very important for you to know where all your money goes to.
Most people usually never keep track of their income and expenses.
I created a few accounts (these accounts may or may not be real savings accounts in the bank) where my income goes to.
For me, I have: Necessity Account, Business Development Account, Financial Freedom Account, Education Account, Fun Account & Giving Account.
Every time I earn my income, it goes to these accounts with the following proportion:
- Necessity Account (30%)
- Business Development Account (30%)
- Income Generator Account (20%)
- Education Account (5%)
- Fun Account (5%)
- Giving Account (10%)
I'll share with you in more details about each of these accounts in my future blog entries. :)
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I decided to take a break for a while and write my blog instead :)
Let me ask you this question.
How many of us had set a goal or new year's resolution back in January this year?
I bet 8 out of 10 people reading my blog will say yes.
Either is to get more money, be smarter, look prettier, lose weight, get company's award, have boyfriend/girlfriend, travel to exotic countries, read more books, etc. We always do the same thing every year, which is set our goal.
But how many of us have diligently follow our goal closely? or even worse, how many of us still remember what our goals are?
It's July, we're halfway through the year, and this is the perfect time to reassess our goals.
I know it might sound tedious and boring, but if you are really serious about achieving your goals, this is definitely an important step.
To me, goal setting can be very exciting :)
I have so many things that I can share with you on how to make the process of goal setting more fun and more effective. The most important of all is:
Write down your goal
This is a MUST !! If you fail to do this one very simple thing you will fail to achieve your goals. writing your goal is important because by doing so it forces you to visualize your goals. On top of that by externalizing it and put it down on paper it creates a commitment on your part.
To make it more fun, create a DREAM BOOK. I had mine since year 2000, and I'm still updating it even until today.
If you are curious to see how does Merry Riana's Dream Book look like?
well.. here it is....
It's just a simple sketch book, but inside are full of pictures of things that I wanted to have in life, things that I wanted to achieve in life, and many more. On top of that I also write down verses or quotes that means a lot to me through out my journey in pursuing my dream. Every time I open and look at the picture or read what I wrote there, I ALWAYS feel energized and motivated.
That's exactly the purpose of this DREAM BOOK, to give you energy and excite you every time you see it.
Here's another page of my dream book
I pasted that cute little baby picture in year 2007. And I pasted Tom Cruise's daughter Suri because I wanted to have a cute baby :) And you know what? Amazingly, I year after that, I got pregnant and have a little angel in my life, her name is Alvernia.
So you see how powerful it is !!
If you don’t already have one, I strongly encourage you to go out and buy the best, brightest and most appealing sketch book you can find. This dream book can become your planning space, your anchor, your bright ideas holder, your dream catcher, your source of inspiration and your celebration place. Do update it regularly and read it often.
In my next few post, I will give you more tips about how to do your goal setting in more fun and effective ways.
In the mean time, have fun with your dream book ! ;)
Friday, July 3, 2009
Unfortunately 2 years after graduation, she moved back to Indonesia for good.
She is happily married and currently stay in Bali. It has been almost 5 years since I saw her, so I was very excited to know that she is in Singapore now.
We had a good lunch together, talked about old days. It was very fun ! Wish we can even spend more time together... there's just so much things to catch up with each other :)
Here's a photo of us after lunch.
Who was your best friend in school? Do you still remember him/her?
Well, here's a quote about friendship
“Good friends must not always be together;
It is the feeling of oneness when distant That proves a lasting friendship.”
Thursday, July 2, 2009
B. Prawn :)
This is my favorite one even until today. Available at Bubba Gump. Best shrimp I ever taste. I first knew it during my trip to Hawaii in 2006. The shrimp steamed in beer to tender perfection and served with aromatic Bubba Gump’s garlic spice. Excellent !! I really missed it a lot, but too bad still didn't manage to have it again because most of the Bubba Gump Restaurants are located in US. The nearest one to Singapore is in Bali. Maybe this year I will make a trip there :)
2. Cereal Prawn
My favorite cereal prawn is the one sold at one of the seafood restaurant at Paris Ris Pond. (I can't remember the name of the place, my secretary recommended it to me few years back)
Wow!! I just had this today for dinner. I was eating at No Sign Board, my all time favorite seafood restaurant. The prawn is just so fresh !
4. Cold Water Prawn @ Ikea
It is fresh and sweet (and sour, if you squeeze the lemon on top of it). You must eat it while it is still cold, fresh from the fridge. Every time I go to Ikea, I surely MUST have this meal.
5. Prawn Satay @ Lau Pa Sat
Although it cost $2 per stick, but I just can't stop eating it. My favorite stall is the satay stall no 3 & 4.
6. Salted egg prawn @ Crystal Jade
Super delicious. The coating its actually the yolk of the salted egg. So yummy !!
Haha.. writing this post make me feel so hungry :) I guess I better go to sleep right now. In the mean time, if you know some good eating place that sell super yummy shrimp / prawn dishes, do let me know, okie :)
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Like what I shared with you 2 days ago, I'm going to revamp my current website, www.MerryRiana.com.sg :)
The new website, with the same name, will be up latest by September.
The reason it may take a bit of time to develop is because I plan to make it a totally interactive website. It means, not only will it have a 'static' information about me, my businesses, etc, but it will also have 'dynamic' information that will be updated every single day!
Since I have been writing my blog every single day, I told my designer to include Blog section in my new website also (which means you can just visit my website directly and read my blog, no need to visit this blogspot anymore).
I will probably also include a Forum, where each and every one of you can communicate with each other. So, you will be able to share and learn, not just with me, but also with other young individuals who aspire to reach their personal dreams too!
And many other features, which I believe is best to be personally experienced by you once the new website is up.
So, let's countdown together ... 2.5 more months! :)
At the same time, you can always provide me with suggestions if you have good ideas on my new website. :)
As usual, you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply post your comment to this blog entry.