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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

How to be a Financial Freedom snake oil






This ultra spiritual guy does satires, pokes, and parodies so much better than me!

I give him my Stephen Chow's 2 thumbs up!


He is hilarious!

But behind the laughter, don't just watch and believe. Talk to "bei kambings" who have paid ridiculous sum of money to snake oils and you'll find a common thread:

It all started with "Free".


The same sales tactics is used by time-sharing companies, weight-loss spas, hair-loss centres; etc.

And if you observant, by some "religious" organisations too.


People with holes in their hearts make the best "target".




Monday, 20 June 2016

I got a 75% pay raise last year



Shit.

Before I can share my observations on the retail scene live from the selling floor (thank you hyom hyom), I need to update my current weekend work situation to provide the proper context and perspective.

Some readers may remember during November last year, I did a 2 weeks radio silence act?

Well, I moved to a new weekend gig, that's why.

I've been in general merchandise and home furnishings retailing; but I've never worked with electrical and home appliance retailing before.

2 weeks of focused and intensive on-line learning on my new product category and I picked it up readily.

Hey! Selling is selling!

Product different; people the same.


I am now a weekend promoter for a foreign brand of home appliance maker, and they stationed me at one of those big electrical and home appliance retailer at some super ulu location.

How ulu? Well, I passed by an army camp on my way to work. That's how ulu... LOL!


Previously, I was working for Howard Storage World at Plaza Singapura. If you were served by a super handsome bald uncle, that's me!

There were some funny moments when some readers recognised me!


Now to the real reason you're here - my 75% pay raise. 

My click-bait of a post heading is a poke to those who love to count in percentages.

After 1.5 years of "sabbatical from work", I needed to work weekends to rest my "mind and soul".

After looking around, I found Howard Storage World's employees were mostly around my young-at-heart age group - so I applied!

Never mind the near minimum wage hourly rate they were paying.

No way I'm working with young kids and have them call me "uncle" this, "uncle" that! 

Instead of seeing how "low" I'm paid, I was bemused I was getting paid to "rest".

(I was sipping coffee at Ya Kun at Harbour Front and there's a life-sized photo cut-out of one of the shop managers smiling and asking applicants to join them - that Howard Storage Store is now closed and replaced by Mothercare. Yes, this info is relevant to my next post)


If so good why I left?

Ah!  

If you look at my checkered work history at "My Story", I am what you call a "rolling stone".

I've never stayed in a single job position more than 4 years.

Yup, if you are applying for a job and I am the one doing the interview, working at the same job position for more than 5 years is a negative to me. Bite me. Just blame your bad luck for meeting me!

I do get bored easy. I like trying different things.

Hence every other week for the past 2 years, when free, I would just surf one of the more popular job recruitment website. Look see, look see, to get a feel of what's happening out there for non-graduate positions.

Quite interesting. Sometimes you'll see the same company keep on advertising for staff month after month. Its an easy tell either that company is miserly paying below the market rate, or the company's working environment is nasty. 

If that's a listed company... Shameful right? I don't think of money every waking hour, but I do keep myself abreast of investment opportunities all the time :(

Then there are some employers that are proudly advertising they are paying above market rate. Some turned out to be "fake" and you'll see the online community give them flak. Some are genuine as they are willing to pay for performance - which means stress for those who can't hit their KPIs, if you joined. Got free lunch meh?

Well, I was intrigued to find one such company who was willing to pay above market rate for a mature and experienced retail sales.

Even though I have zero sales experience with home appliances, and I don't cook (instant mee cooking don't count), I was hired last November. Wow! It's 6 months into my new weekend gig already!


The take-outs

What works for me is planned job obsolescence on my part - how's that for marketing bullshit for job hopping? (See? Having a wider vocabulary helps)

A moving target is harder to hit. No way I'm staying still and make myself an easy target - 10 years experience but its the same 1st year job experience times 10. Ouch!

You improve the chances of Lady Luck finding you by making it easier for her. I was surfing the job recruitment website for 2 years... How would my luck odds improve if I had just "work hard" at Howard Storage World?

I focus on what I can control and influence. What's happening in the economy and globally I can't control. If everything in our lives is out of our control, tell me - what's your definition of slavery?

Earn more is my way to achieve escape velocity. Of course I got save more. But if I had relied just on save more... By the way, why are you investing or trading? That's not save more, is it? Gotcha!

We are who we are. Even though I don't need the extra weekend pay increase, its already my career modus operandi. It's in my blood. That's the reason why you find billionaires acting miserly - before they got rich, they were miserly. Duh.

So don't read too much into all these talks about needs or wants. If you are born a spendthrift, you are a spendthrift. If you are born frugal, you will be frugal. Your net worth got nothing to do with anything.  

If you believe you can change, all the power to you! Just don't mention reversion to mean in your investment thesis. Wink.


  

Friday, 17 June 2016

What comes before goals and plans?



Watch the below video from Jack Ma from Alibaba first. Don't worry. Got English subtitles.
 




1.  Before we go on, Singapore is where it is today not because we have goals and plans. You mean other governments and countries have no annual budgets and 5 year plans?


2.  Do you keep thinking of money every waking hours? Is it healthy? Is this the reason you are here on Earth? You are very practical and a realist - no money; no talk. And you wonder why others are happier than you...


3.  Have you realised where you are today is the sum of all decisions you have made or not made? No choice? Was it really "no choice", or the truth is you capitulated and took the easy way out? 

By the way, during one of my Buddhist seminars, one business owner from a neighbouring country asked Ajahn Brahm, "Where I come from, nothing gets done without giving bribes. But I'm a devout Buddhist!"

Without being a Buddhist yourself, you would know how Ajahn Brahm would have replied. Or would you tell the business owner its OK to tell little lies to himself? No choice what?


4.  Would you sell combs to monks?  Is this why insurance agents are not really held in high esteem by the general public? To be fair, every industry got their share of bad apples. 

My fellow sales and marketing brethren, have we ever sold combs to monks?

No choice again right? We got sales targets to hit, KPIs to achieve...

Who is the master, who is the tool?

In corporate life chained by goals and objectives; in our own private lives we continue to use the same very tethers to seek our financial freedom? 

Brilliant!


  
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