Wednesday 29 October 2014

Evening with Pamela Chng from Bettr Barista

It's with 50 other persons at Young NTUC, Crossroads last night lah!

And I never say no to free dinner if you are wondering why.

2 takeaways from last night's talk I would like to share with you:

Learning again

From working in the corporate world (SPH) to co-founding her own boutique web consultancy, and to starting Bettr Barista, it has been a journey of small transformational changes and personal growth each step of the way.

There was no one single momentous mind flip moment or epiphany.

For those of you who have left school more than 5 years ago, have you learned anything new since leaving school?

Not learning a new word or discovering a new cafe has popped up in your neighbourhood kind. But something to add to your personal growth? 

How about those who have been trading/investing for more than 5 years now?

Yes. You know what I am after,

She looks better in real life

Mastery of a craft and self esteem

To transform underprivileged women and youth-a-risk into skilled baristas, the 12 weeks course would break the trainees physically and emotionally down before rebuilding their confidence and self-esteem back through mastery of this barista skill. (I personally would prefer the word craft)

Men who went through Basic Military Training would understand. They break us down as individuals and rebuild us up as a unit. Going in we swore and cursed. But at passing out parade, there's a bit of pride that we made it through, didn't we?

What I'm impressed with is Pamela shared 80% of the trainees pass this course. 

If something anyone and everyone can do, what's the point again?

It shows the training at Bettr Barista's Coffee Academy is vigorous.

For those who are not motivated with your day job, you may blame the pay, your boss, your back stabbing colleagues, big daddy, and god knows what!?

Do take a step back and reflect. 

Maybe all the unhappiness is due to lack of self-esteem or confidence?

Can it be due to the lack of mastery in your craft?

I noticed some readers are trapped by words. Can't seem to read beyond words. Mention the word craft they will have mental picture of workshops, yellow hard hats, etc. 

What lawyers and doctors do is also a "craft".
If we see what we do do as a craft, only then can we appreciate "Kaizen" - continuous improvement.

And the inner peace and happiness that comes from mastery of what we do.

Now you know why I say some invest/trade to escape; some invest/trade to achieve.


  1. We need to learn witchcraft to make easy money from the market.

    1. CW,

      The same people who looked down on us who buy Toto probably are the same people who spend less than 10 minutes a week on their trading or investing craft...

      And they call us gamblers?

    2. ToTo inflation. Now my $3 can only buy three rows. Will luck can be inflated?

    3. CW,

      The best businesses belong to the vices.

      Big daddy already monopolised 2 out of 3:

      Gambling, and

      Liquor (duty one of the highest in the world)

      The day prostitutes have to pay taxes (like in Netherlands), and patrons pay GST, that will be the day I'll clap and say:

      You win liao lor!

  2. Hi SMOL,

    Good sharing :)

    I think for pt 1, the greatest thing I did is to unlearn some of the things I did while schooling. Once you unlearned those, your mind is then opened to more and then you become whole again. But we open our minds, then unlearn or we unlearn first then open our minds? I can't make up my mind ;)

    For pt 2, mastery of craft indeed leads to a higher self esteem and more confidence. I've taught many students who are scarred by previous experience of failure in exams. Most of them need to experience small success in order to be able to imagine bigger ones. The easiest way is to make them master their craft (studying), and once they start getting their results, it'll lead to a tremendous improvement in their other subjects. I've seen its magic work on many students and that's enough to justify that it works.

    Even though I'm talking about studying, I'm quite sure it can apply to other domains too. It's just the same thing but applied to different things, including baristaring LOL

    1. LP,


      1) It's like spider monkeys holding on to the banana in the jar and refusing to let go....

      Like that lost new graduate we see so often in our workplace who refuses to "give up" his 4 years of accountancy training because it would be such a "waste".... But he already said you never liked accountancy in the first place and since!!! Evidently he has never heard of stop-loss ;)

      2) Too many have a silo thinking mindset. We can simply review in our own life a skill we are good at - better than the average populace - and how did we get there?

      Yet to some, when it comes to their own financial journey, they apply another standard - minimum input; maximum output.

      People are simply amazing!

  3. I first read about kaizen in the book the monk who sold his Ferrari. Interesting concept and extremely crucial to evolving with the market. Love this post, I believe more in the mental game than hard skills.

    1. Hi SMOL

      I learnt my kaizen in my toyota case... wonder if they are the same.

      It sounds like a really vigorous course. But think one that will work out well. Young people these days like to meditate to oneself and complaint out loud to the public. Have time to do this what about doing some of those?

    2. A big aloha to you ladykiller!

      It's always nice to have a pro in the house ;)

      Ever since I hired myself to trade for my nano hedge fund full time 2.5 years ago (I have imagination issues), I've to unlearn lots of things I thought I knew when I was trading part-time on the side....

      Method, Money, and Mind.

      That's why I don't put up charts nor talk about companies in specifics.

      I prefer to engage readers on the philosophical and mental aspects of the game where it is infinitely more intellectually stimulating :)


    3. B,

      It's the same Kaizen (改善). We talk about continuous improvement in Supply Chain until I want to vomit. Lean this; lean that. LOL!

      It's a good thing what Pamela is doing.

      She was sharing how in London there were people who were shocked there's a need for social enterprises in Singapore!?

      To them, Singapore is so rich, so super efficient, and clean, etc. Where got social issues?

      I think some fellow elite Singaporeans feel the same too.

      There are definitely Singaporeans who fall between the cracks.

      And there are Singaporeans who don't fit into the nice mainstream cookie-cutter .

      Some of my "provocative" cheer leading posts are for these brethren who are "different" ;)

  4. What is in the Mind can't be copied or stolen.

    1. 1) temperament,

      Quoting Einstein? Impressive ;)

      2) CW,

      Truth serum and hypnosis? Or maybe I've been watching too many spy movies? LOL!

  5. Hi SMOL,

    Getting dinner for free and commission again! Haha.

    Wow wow, getting late in my comments again, already 12!

    I learnt about the word “Kaizen” when one of my clients had a vessel named after it. It is a game-changer vessel to them.

    Graduating is just the beginning. You learnt more in working career dealing with people and real life (not just academic) problems.

    You learn about EQ. Oooh…… this is the difficult one for many…..Most successful people had it.

    My ex-boss love to say “It is all about exposure in life and not just your age”

    A taxi driver who had been driving for 30 years cannot drive like an F1 driver who had lesser years of experience driving.

    It’s about “Kaizen!” And….also understanding “Rolf Suey”


    1. Rolf,

      I wasn't commissioned to do this post. If it were, I would have added "advertorial" under "My interests" at the bottom of the post ;)

      The sweet girl that invited me had no strings attached - there's no obligation or wink wink agreement to do a write-up.

      She knows my "style" and that you can't herd cats ;)

      I am glad Singapore does not have a seniority (senpai) complex like in Korea or Japan - again back to meritocracy.

      But it's also this that there are some insecurity from more mature Singaporeans 50s and above... The skill sets they have mastered are fast becoming obsolete....

      Retraining? First you have to let go of what you have learnt....

    2. Hi SMOL,

      Just kidding on the commission part. My apologies! You do it for good cause not money!

      Agree on your reply and part on Retraining. Just to add on top of letting go what you have learnt! You also have to let go of "who you are (or were)!

      Egos, Age, Status etc etc can sometimes be a hindrance for further learning!


  6. By the way, anyway I can get free dinner to be invited for young NTUC??

    1. Rolf,

      The sweet girl found me when she stumbled onto my blog.

      She should be reading this comment in due time ;)

      Stay cool and look suave.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...