Become Financially Free in 5 Years or Less Part 1 By Adam Khoo


This video was published on 24 October 2016 on You Tube by Adam Khoo. I was unable to find the transcript anywhere and had to do it myself. I have posted the transcript here for the public’s learning purposes.

I am Adam Khoo and in this video, I am going to show you how you can be financially free in 5 years or less, even if are an average income earner. And yes, it can be done, I have helped thousands of people to achieve this in the last 12 years. I believed that if you are committed to make this happen, you can achieve the same thing.

So you want to be financially free, the first thing is to define what that really means. Financial freedom is when your passive income is able to exceed your expenses.That is when you are truly free. What is passive income? It is income that you earn without having to sell your time for money actively, which means getting a salary from a job. Passive income is income that you earn from positive cash flow assets, where you money make you money. Whether you wake up in the morning or you don’t, you are still making money. Assets are things like bonds, company stocks, real estate, fixed deposits. This is where you parked your money and income is generated every month, every year.

So, why is it important for you to be financially free? Because when your passive income can exceed your expenses, you are truly free. Every single day, you can choose to do what you love, whether you love dancing, you love fishing, you love teaching. You still work because if you stop working, you can only sit on the beach for so long. You can only go shopping for so long, trust me. You will get bored to death and eventually, you have to get back to work. But the difference now is you do what you love. You work in areas which you are passionate aout, where you make a difference. You don’t have to stress anymore: “I have to work to pay the bills. No, the bills are paid.You work because you are serving a greater purpose.

And the most important thing to me is that when you are financially free, you are truly secure. See, when you get a job and a salary, you do not own your income source. It is your boss that owns your income, and your boss can take it away anytime and replace you and replace me with someone younger, cheaper and faster. To me, that is no security at all. But when you have passive income, you have no more fear of losing your job; you have no more fear of cutting your pay (“Cut it, I don’t care”); and financially free. And that is the best part about it.

In the 20th century, seems so long ago, but it is less than15 to 20 years ago, in the old days, there was the concept of life long employment, the iron rice bowl, where you could get your company to look after you; the Government would look after you. In the old days, we were told by our parents: study hard, get good grades, find a good job in a good company, and you are settled for life. Do as you are told. Along the way, you are going to get promoted.Be loyal to your company, and they will take care of you for life and once you reach your 40s and your 50s, you can take it easy, you can slow down and eventually, you can retire with your pensions and live happily ever after.

That was true in the old days, but if you are expecting your Government or your  company to look after you for the rest of your life, I am sorry that it is not going to happen. You are going to be disappointed becausein today’s world even if you work for multi-national company; even if you work for a Government company, there is no more life long guaranteed employment. In fact, nowsaday, the longer you stay in the company, your value may not increase. The longer you stay, the more expensive to be kept because your salary goes up and eventually your boss is going to think, “Hey, I am not stupid. I can hire someone half your age, and half your pay, and do the same job and replace you with 3 more people.

To many people, it happens in their forties and their fifties.And, once they lose their job to someone younger and cheaper or they lose their income, guess what, they still have bills to pay. They have got debts to service. And that is when they get into financial straits or stress or even go bankrupt. And it is happening more and more regularly today because of the changing economy. Banks are slashing jobs every single day. Retailers are closing down. IT companies are slashing jobs. You know, a huge company, like Deutsche Bank, can see its value drop by more than half in a short period of time. Companies like CISCO or IBM can retrench thousands of people every single year.

It is not a question of whether it will happen to me; it is a question of when it is going to happen. So you got to prepare before it happens, so if it happens, you don’t care, you are already financially free and secure. Unfortunately, when this happens, most people who got hit would be those in their 40s and 50s and older. You have to start taking charge of your financial security. There is no point blaming the Government, blaming the economy, blaming the company because if we blame them, they are controlling our lives.But if we take responsibility and find our own way, I guarantee you that you can guarantee your own financial security and freedom and that is what I am going to show you how to do in this video. So, stay tuned.

Right now, I am going to show you the 3 steps you can take immediately to move to financial freedom in 5 years or less. The first step is to calculate what are your current expenses and hence how much passive income you would need to cover those expenses. So the first thing is to track your monthly expenses. Let us say for example that you are spending $5,000 a month. It could be $2,000. It could be $10,000. It could be $30,000 a month. Whatever it is, calculate your expenses a month. So, for example, for the purpose of this discussion, let us imagine that you are spending $5,000 a month. So that is $60,000 a year.So that means you have to generate passive income of $60,000 from some kind of assets that you Have.

So step 2 is to determine the assets required the income that you required. Now it all depends on the assets that you have. If you ask most financial advisors and most banks, they will tell you to go into conventional assets, for example at the most basic level, you have got time deposits or fixed deposits. Unfortunately, with interest rates at all time low, if you can get 2 percent a year, that is fanastic in most developed countries. Let’s imagine if in your country, the fixed deposit rate is 2 percent a year, how much do you need? Take $60,000, which is the income required, and you divide it by 2 percent and that gives you $3 million. So that tells you that if you have $3 million in cash, and you put it in a bank, at a 2 percent interest, that is $60,000 passive income a year. That is your expenses a year. You can stop working on what you don’t like and do just what you love, and live off that. Now, if you are like most people, you wont have 3 million dollars lying around in cash. So that is going to be challenging.

What else could we do? Well, we could put it into another asset called bonds, where you lend money to companies and they pay you interests on those loans, or you buy companies that pay dividends. Now, if you look at most bonds, the interest they pay and dividends on stocks, the best you can get would be about 5 percent a year. So if your money can now grow at 5 percent, you take the same income of $60,000, you divide it by 5 percent, it becomes 1.2 million. Well, you now need less assets to make the same passive income, but $1.2 million for most people is going to be pretty hard to save up in cash. Don’t forget that if you buy bonds of the wrong company, your bonds can go down in value. And when you buy stocks that gives you dividends, those stock prices can collapse. There is risks involved. It is not that every company is going to go on forever. So, for 5 percent with that kind of risk, may not be worth it. So what else is there? Check it out.

The next thing would be to invest in real estate or REITS (real estate investment trusts). So if you invest in real estae, you basically rent out the property and you collect rental income. So what is the rental return (yield) that you get from most properties. It depends on the country. Countries like Singapore, the rental yield is 2 to 3 percent. In Malaysia, it is like 5 to 6 percent.In the UK, it could go up to 7 to 8 percent. It depends on the country. Let take an average yield of 7 percent on terms of rental yield. So now, if you take $60,000, divide by 7 per cent, that is about $857,000; which means again, if you have got $857,000 worth of real estate and rent it out at 7 percent rental yield, that is $60,000 passive income a year. That is a bit better than what we saw so far, but still, you need to save up to about $1 million.

Step 1: Calculate Your Passive Income and Passive Income Needed

  • Expenses a month = $5,000.
  • Expenses a year = 12 x $5,000 = $60,000.
  • Passive income required = $60,000.

Step 2:Determine the Assets Required to Generate the Income Required

Option 1 :Investing in fixed deposits at 2 percent per annum.

  • $60,000 / 2 percent = $3,000,000.
  • $3,000,000 x 2 percent =$60,000 passive income a year.

Option 2: Investing in bonds/dividend stocks at 5 percent per annum.

  • $60,000 / 5 percent = $1,200,000
  • $1,200,000 x 5 percent =$60,000 passive income a year.

Option 3: Investing in Real Estate/REITs at 7 percent per annum.

  • $60,000 / 7 percent = $1,200,000
  • $857,142 x 7%=$60,000 passive Income a year

So, the question is: Is there a much better way? Is there a way that we can generate much higher income on lower capital, so that we can reach there in 5 years or less and not in 10 or 20 years? Most importantly, can it be done safely because we do not want to put out our retirement savings at a huge risk, where we can lose 15 percent or 20 percent because of a market crash due to a Brexit event or the wrong person get elected in the US for example? We want to be safe, no matter what, we are sure that we have our capital.

So, is there a way? The answer is Yes. So, what is the answer; what is the solution? Are you ready for it? The answer is professional online trading. Let me explain how you can use that to generate higher returns at very low risks. You see, when know how to trade professionally online in the right way, you can achieve conservatively an average of 5 percent on capital a month. How much return is that in a year? We take 5 percent times 12, it is 60 percent return a year. In reality, it is more than 60 percent because the 5 percent is compounded, which means, for example if you started with $100 and the next month, it is $105, 5 percent return. The following month, you are getting 5 percent return on the $105. So when we compound it, it is something like 72 percent return a year.

For simple maths, we just think 12 and we get 60 percent return a year on professional online trading. So, if you can get 60 percent a year conservatively, and I am serious about this, and I am going to show you how it works. If we take the $60,000 passion income that you require; you divide it by 60 percent, that is a $100,000 in capital. So now, all you need is $100,000 to be financially free. If you s[pend $10,000 a month and you need a $120,000 a year, then you need $200,000. Obviously, to be financially free faster, you want to spend less. If you spend more, you need to have more capital to generate more income. Make sense?

Professional online trading

  • Professional trading at 5 percent per month (or> 60 percent per annum).
  • $60,000 / 60% = $100,000
  • You need $100,000 in capital to generate $60,000 in annual income.
  • You need $200,000 in capital to generate $120,000 in annual income.
  • Returns are recession proof.

Most important, we have to find a way that is safe. Our retirement savings is not susceptible to a recession or the market collapsing. Well, the way that we are going to teach you is that our returns are going to be recession proof. We are going to get this kind of returns, regardless of what happens to the economy or the market. So, how do you become financially free in 5 years or less? Again, if you saved $20,000 a year and for mot people, if you got an avaerage income, an average household, you can save $20,000 a year. That is less than $2,000 a month that you set aside. Over 5 years, there is a $100,000. For $100,000, if you get 5 percent a month in professional trading, that is $5,000 passive income. So if that is your expenses, you financially free; you are done.

  • Save $20,000 a year x 5 years = $100,000
  • $100,000 x 5 per cent per month = $5,000 passive income per month.

You may say “What is the catch? Can’t be all that easy, right? If it is so easy, everyone would quit their job and everyone would do this. I am here to tell you that there is no free lunch and it is not easy. The first step is that you have to master  the professional trading strategies that would allow you to do that. You have to do that. So it takes time and efforts to master these trading skills.There is no free lunch in this world. There is no get rich quick, easy way because if there is, nobody would bother to work. Everyone would stay at home.

But here is the good news. I always say that when you first learn something, it seems difficult but once you learnt it, it becomes easy. First time I drive a car, I find it tough. But to me, driving was a life skill that I had to learn.Even though, I failed my driving test a couple of times, I never quit. And today, I can drive with these driving skills, I got the freedom. The same with trading skills and money management skills. I promise you that this skill, once you master it, is the only skill that can guarantee you an income for the rest of your life. See, if you spend all your time and money and you learn a skill called programming, or accounting or engineering, right? That cannot guarantee you a job in 5 years, because you can be replaced by a robot, an AI or another person. But when you learned how to trade the financial markets, no one can take away the skills from you. Anywhere in the world, as long as you have a lap-top, with internet connection, you can generate income and can be financially free.Understand that what I am going to teach you in the next few slides and learn how to trade professionally and profitably will go against everything you thought you know about stock trading, for example I am going to teach you to ignore the news. I am going to teach you not to listen to rumours and tips. And you are going to learn that trading ahs nothing to do with luck. Maybe in the short term it does, like a stock goes up or goes down, it isn’t dependent on luck to do it consistently, month after month, year after year, it has nothing to do with luck. It is a skill. It is a skill that you can learn.

Step 3:Master the Professional Trading Strategies


Start With a $10 Idea By Steve Harvey


This video was published on 27 April 2015 on You Tube by Steve Harvey. I was unable to find the transcript anywhere and had to do it myself. I have posted the transcript here for the public’s learning purposes.

Start With a $10 Idea By Steve Harvey

When people tries to figure out how to make a million dollars, they have no idea how darning that is. If you know to make a million dollars, you go make it tomorrow; but since you can’t figure out how to make a million dollars, you go somewhere and sit down. That is the wrong approach.

If you apply your gift, your God given gift that He gave you, you have millions already at your disposal. If you break down, inch by inch of anything said of the ten by ten theory, which is very simple, you don’t need a million idea; you need a $10 idea. You need something that your gifted God give you to make $10. That is all you got to be able. I don’t care if it is cutting hair, cutting somebody’s grass, washing somebody’s car, I don’t care if it is mowing somebody’s lawn. I don’t care if it driving people to a certain destination.I don’t care if it is baby sitting. I don’t care if it is baking cookies or pies.

You have something braiding somebody’s hair. You have something that you can do so well that someone will give you $10 for it. Write my paper for me.Do this for me. Somebody gives you $10 for it.

Once they give you $10, all you got to do is whatever you did to that $10, do ten more times. You now, my friend, have $100. You have $100 simply because you took a $10 idea and you did it ten times. Well, guess what, if take that $100 that you made since you done it ten times and you do it ten more times, I got news for you, my friend, you now have $1,000.

$1,000. Guess what you got to do? You got to multiply the effort again. Do whatever you did to get $1,000 do it ten more times. My friend, you now have $10,000. He got $10,000 now. Imagine that you were making an extra $10,000 a month. Just imagine that you were making an etra $10,000 a month; that is a $120,000 a year.

But I got news for you, my friend, whatever you did; whatever it took to make yourself $10,000, all you got to do is you got to do it 10 more times. 10 more times, my friend. You now have $100,000. I got news for you now. If you can make $100,000; you are just a step away from being a millionaire, man, because now you hire a few more people to help you out, to do portions of what you do, so that you can duplicate efforts. And one more time, just one more time, do it ten times. Man, that sounds hard. It is hard, but what else you got to do? You going to stop it at $100,000? All you got to do is to duplicate your efforts by 10.

You duplicate your efforts by 10. 10 times $100,000. Welcome to the club, my friend, you are now a millionaire. Congratulations. You became a millionaire with a $10 idea.

Stop bargaining yourself down, trying to make a million. Do what you can do to make $10; and then do the ten by ten theory; inch by inch. It is a sinch. Here is the joyful part. Along the way, when you were down here making $20,000, then all of a sudden you are making $30,000; now you are making $100,000 but on the way to duplicating that times ten, you may stop along here at $250,000. You can make a quarter of a million dollars a year. That is way better than the $20,000 that you have when you started. So there is joy in the process. Your life is a little richer at $250,000.

You will become more richer at half a million.It becomes richer than that at three quarter of a million; $750,000.

If you don’t make it to the million because you tripped because you made $900,000 a year, no, you are going to be happy. If you don’t the million, you only make $750,000 a year, you can’t find happiness in $750,000? Something is wrong with you, man. There is joy in the process. That’s how you make a million dollars.

Don’t Fear Failure, Unlock Your Inner Creativity, and Say Yes By Don Dodge

Don’t Fear Failure, Unlock Your Inner Creativity, and Say Yes By Don Dodge


This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.This video was published on 3 Dec 2014 on You Tube. I was unable to find the transcript anywhere and had to do it myself. I have posted the transcript here for the public’s learning purposes.

What would you try to do if failure had no negative consequence? Fear of failure suppresses our creativity. See how overcoming early failure lead to creative breakthrough success. Say Yes to every request and opportunity.

Don’t Fear Failure, Unlock Your Inner Creativity, and Say Yes By Don Dodge

Hello, my name is Don Dodge. I worked at Google. If you want to contact me, it’s dondodge@google or if you are a Twitter user, you can find me @DonDodge. So, Google is this amazing company, amazing people, creativity, where there are no limits. Anything is possible. I’ll talk more about how we do this kind of things a little later.

At Google, we call them moon shots, shooting for the moon. Alright. We want things that are 10 times better, not 10 percent better, 10 times better.And it takes a different way of thinking and a different way of approaching problems when you’re trying to do things that are 10 times better. The number one thing that gets in the way of doing great things is the fear of failure. Fear prevents us from doing the things we want to do, that we know that we should do, but we are afraid of failing. So I am going to talk a little bit about failure and how to handle that, and how to break through that fear of failure. How to unlock your inner creativity. We are all creative, but it is suppressed by fear of failure.So I want to talk about how to get around that.And lastly how to say yes to life.

So, before working at Google, I worked at Microsoft with some amazing people.And before that, let me go back in time, I worked at Altavista.That was 18 years ago, it’s hard to imagine now. Did any of you use Altavista? The first search engine. God bless you, thank you. At that time, we were the best search search engine in the world.We were number one. It was not without risk though. We took amazing risks to make that happen.

My group, the group that that I led, invented multimedia search. So to be able to search for photos and images, to be able to search for music or to be able to search for video. Nineteen years later, that seems very obvious. Of course, you can do that. BBut let me tell you, 19 years ago, it was impossible. You just couldn’t do it. There were a few failures along the way. It was a very difficult job to do.One of the things we found was….well, two things. Number one was pornography and number two was spam. And we were innoncent, we didn’t know that people would use this search engine to find porn. Or that they would create all of these pages that were spam.

Spam means that you put pages in there that say that they about something and they are not. They are about something completely different. So we had to invent algorithms and technology to beat them. To find the porn and filter it out.And to find spam and filter it out. This is very very difficult to do. We created these algorithms to try and find the porn,but they weren’t always always successful. We were always missing some. It was very very difficult to do. So we had to have human intervention. Technology couldn’t do it at that time. So we had interns who would come into Altavista, and they would spend all day looking at pages of porn. Interesting job. But we needed to identify if it was porn or not, and our algorithms could only go so far.

So we had these interns come in and they’re looking at porn everyday and they’re saying “Yep, that’s porn, that’s porn, that’s porn.” Okay, great! After a week or two, we started to get a little concerned about what would happen if they are going to look at porn all day everyday. This could be a problem. So we took the people who were looking at porn, and we put them over to the group that was looking at spam, and identifying spam, and we took the spam people and put them on the porn. And we kept moving them back and forth.

There probably would have been some excellent sociological experiments that we could have done, but we were too busy trying to create this technology, so we didn’t really do it. But it was an interesting time. It was one of the most creative and amazing times of my life. I’ve the good fortune to work with lots of interesting people and creative people.

Napster was another one. Immediately after Altavista, I went to Napster.An we changed the world. Literally changed the world. How people find music.How they appreciate music. How they appreciate music and they move on.We thought that we were going to be what iTunes is today. But we failed. We managed to change the world but we failed in our objective. iTunes could not have existed without Napster coming first. We paved the way so that iTunes could exist. And for that, I think, okay, it wasn’t a failure. It was fun.So how many of you used Napster back in the day. Just about everybody. Excellent, it was fun, wasn’t it? Too bad, it doesn’t exist anymore.

Winston Churchill is one of my favourite people and he has some amazing quotes, but this one I love: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It’s moving forward that counts.”

Having the courage to move forward that counts most. So in the case of the Altavista and Napster, and even of Google, we had tremendous success. But success is not final, it’s not guaranteed. You have to work hard every single day to maintain that success.No one is going to give you anything. So today, there are thousands of people all over the world, trying to do a better search, trying to do a better YouTube, trying to do a better Google maps. And everyday, there are thousands of people at Google, who are trying to do it better and running as fast as we can. That creates an amazing environment.

When I moved to Silicon Valley, one of the first thing that I realized was there is a force field of enery around Silicon Valley. It’s the highest concentration of type A personalities, creative people, brilliant scientists that I have ever seen in my life. And what it does, it drives you to more than what you ever thought possible. It pushes you that sense of competition, and that collaborative work environment, working with other people, pushes to excel and do things that you didn’t think you could do. It’s an amazing place.

Afte I was at Google for about six months, my friends at Microsoft and many other friends said, “Don, tell me about Google. It’s such a stunning company. How was it different, how do they do it?” And I coined this phrase, “At Google, achieving 60 percent of the impossible is better than 100 percent of the ordinary.”

And what we mean by that is those moon shots, that I talked about earlier, we want to do things ten times better, not ten percent better. And in the pursuit of doing something ten times better, a moon shot that seems impossible. If you only get 60 percent of the way there, that’s okay. That’s great. Because we would rather have that than have tiny incremental improvements of ten percent. So that’s the way we think about it. And I is fairly uncommon, most companies don’t think that way. So I’ll tell a little bit, oh… Let’s go back in time even further.

So, if you were to walk into any first grade class, and you ask them “Can you paint?”, every hand goes up. “Yes, yes. I can paint.” If you ask them, “ Can you sing?” Every hand goes up. “Yes, I can sing.” It’s amazing, they are creative and they are confident. Ten years later, this is what happens. Ten years later, you go ask the same students “Can you paint?” Not a single hand goes up. “Can you sing?” Maybe one or two. What happened, what happened, to these kids? Well, the problem is that we teach conformity. We don’t teach creativity. We teach our kids to conform, to paint within the lines, to do only what we tell them to do. And after a while, it takes a toll and that creativity get back smaller and smaller, and recessed back into your mind,back into your brain. We create these filters that don’t allow us to be creative. But it goes back even further.

This poor baby is totally overstimulated and overwhelmed. And the problem is babies don’t know. They don’t know how to filter. They react to everything. Everything is equally important. All all of these senses, after a while, it just overstimulates them and they can’t take it anymore and they cry. So if have a baby, you know, this happens. Babies’ first word that they learn, other than mom and dada, the first word they learn is “no.” “No, no I don’t want that.” That’s the first word they learn. That becomes a problem later on. It becomes a problem for parents, when you are trying to do things and they always say “no”. But I’ll show you later why that’s a big problem.

But adults do that too. Adults get into sensory overload. If you have ever been to Disney World. I’ll never forget the first time that  went to Disney World with my two sons. They were very small, and you are in a seas of thousands and thousands of people. And there’s music blaring. And there’s beautiful signts, and there’s kids yelling and screaming. And every kid is yelling “ Dad, dad, mom” and all ten thousand kids that are yelling dad, I think it’s mine. So, I am overstimulated. At the end of thd day, I was exhausted.I couldn’t take it anymore. I was overstimulated.So even adults, we create these filters. So we filter things out. Remember Julian’s presentation earlier today about sound and sensory and how we create filters to filter things out. Yeah, we do that. Aldults do that. Babies do that. And overtime, we get really good at it. So remember the baby that say no all the time, as adults, we do that too.

We sit home with our remote control in front of the TV and say “No, no, no, next, next, next.”We can say “no” 50 times in one minute. Fifty times. We are very good at saying “no.” But, we’re not very good at saying “yes.” So, I want to talk about how we overcome failure to do amazing things. How we unlock our creative inner self and how we say “yes” rather than “no.”

So the pattern matching, whenever you meet someone on the street, the first thing you do before they even approach you, you’re starting to do pattern matching. You’re looking up at their eyes, at the way they walk, you’re looking at if they are smiling or not. And you are deciding right away, within the first second, whether you’re going to interact with this person or not. On the breaks outside, when saw people, now we’re all friends here, right? We know each other, but when someone approaches you, immediately in your brain, you are doing pattern matching. And you are trying to figure out, should I interact with this person or not. We are very good at it. So, oh, I am behind, OK, here we go.

Failure is not an option. The first time that I heard this word is from NASA. The Apollo Space Misssion. And when they say that “failure is not an option,” what they meant was we will try everything, we’ll try a hundred times, until we get it right. Failure is not an option. That’s the way that we think at Google. We will not fail. We’ll keep trying until we got it right. I wrote a story about this, failure is not an option. An  I will never forget an executive of a very large European bank came up to me after a conference and said “Don, I read your story about failure is not an option, it was terrific!

But my CEO at my bank also says “failure is not an option.” I said, “That’s great. I love that.” He says “No Don, it’s not good. When he say that failure is not an option, what he means is if you failed, you are fired, you’re gone.” In that kind of environment, how do you think we’re going to get 10x improvements, and moon shots and amazing things? You’re not, because if you are afraid of failing, and you are going to be fired, what kinds of goals are you going to set? Achieveable ones, very small ones. And that’s just not to get you there. So that’s the big difference. So what I want to do is to help you think diffferently about failures.

So, anyone who know who this is? I’m from Boston. This is American Baseball. His name is Ted Williams. He was the greatest hitter of all time, the greatest. In one season, he achieves something that no one else ever did. He hit 406. It was stunning and no one has done it since. In case you don’t know baseball 406 means 40.6 percent. So he was able to successfully get a hit 40.6 percent of the time. But what that also means is he failed 59.4 percent of the time to get a hit. So even though he failed about 60 percent of the time, he was the greatest hitter of all time. So you need to accept a little failure along the way.

This is Thomas Edison, the greatest inventor of our time.He invented the light bulb, he invented the phonograph, he invented motion pictures. And he said “ I haven’t failed 100 times. I have successfully found 100 approaches that didn’t work and I am that much closer to my goal.”

Do you know what this product is? WD40 Do you what it means? WD means “water dispersant.” The 40 means, it was the 40th time, the 40th formulation. It took them 40 time to get it right. Angry Birds, everyone has played Angry Birds right? What you probably don’t know is that this was the 52nd game that the built. Rovio build 51 games before this, and you have never heard of them. But they had the courage to keep on doing something better.

Now this poor guy, he failed one too many times. And if you end up like this guy, you are going to bang your head against the wall, and bang you head against the wall, and eventually, you are going to die. So in order not to do that, what you need to do is don’t make the same mistake twice. Make a different mistake. So when you’re facing a fork on a road, don’t go the one you’ve already been. Go a different path.

I want to talk about dreams. Do you all dream at night, when you sleep? I think you do. Some dreams you remember because they’re so vivid and bizarre, but others you don’t. And what’s happening is all the people in those dreams and the dialogue  that happens between the characters and the places that they happen and all these amazing things, that was you. You created that in your brain. But you did it what you are sleeping. So what I want you to do is to take that creativity when you’re dreaming and dream during the day, dream when you are awake, dream big. You can do it, you have it inside of you, but you’ve suppressed it for so long that you don’t remember. Say “yes.”

“Yes” is the most amazing word. Remember “no” is the word that we learn first and we say the most, but “yes” is the most powerful word. So say “yes” to life, say “yes” to opportunity, say “yes” when someone ask you for help. Because by saying yes, you are going to open the door to other things, other creativity and other opportunities. So I hope that you can feel differently about the fear of failure and unlocking  your creativity and saying “yes”. Thank you very much.

Background Information About Speaker

The following information is provided by TEDx Talks. Don Dodge is a Developer Advocate at Google helping developers build new applications on Google platforms and technologies. Don is also an advisor to Google Ventures providing advice on venture capital investments. Prior to joining Google Don was a startup evangelist at Microsoft. Don is also a veteran of five start-ups including Forte Software, AltaVista, Napster, Bowstreet, and Groove Networks.
Don has been in the software business for more than 25 years. He started his software career with Digital Equipment, aka DEC, in the database group. He was part of the leadership team of five software start-ups. Forte Software was the first multiplatform object oriented development environment. AltaVista was the first search engine on the web. Napster was the first P2P file sharing network. Bowstreet was the first web services development environment. Groove Networks was the first secure P2P collaboration platform.

How to Make Money By Not Losing Money By Andrew Tan

How To Make Money On Qoo10, Lazada and Online Marketplaces… by Not Losing Money By Andrew Tan


This video is published by Andrew Tan, who run a paid course in Singapore on how to make money on Qoo10. The video was published on YouTube on 20 August 2015.I was unable to find the transcript anywhere and had to do it myself. I have posted the transcript here for the public’s learning purposes.

Hi, This is Andrew Tan. I am the online retail expert. This is the first video in a series of videos. In this first video, I want to set something right, right from the beginning.
The title of this video is how do you make money by not losing money. Nowadays, the business sentiments out there; a lot has changed already, from traditional retail, you see that it is not really working that well in traditional retail now because rental is high, staff salary is high. So we talk about doing business, a lot of times, people think that when we start business we need to think of a hot product and after that they will spend money on getting products, opening shop lots, or even renting office spaces and all that.

A lot of time, these people don’t really know how to make money and the question why I asked you is that when you start businesses nowadays, is there a way that you can guarantee you will not lose money or guarantee that you will make money. See, the thing is that a lot of people don’t know. Now, as far as online retail is concerned, my take is do not guess. Do not try to follow feelings where you feel like this product can sell well; you that this product is something the whole world would need; the whole world would want and then you start a business based on that product. Big mistake!

So here the thing, now in what I do is I do very much a calculation based business to ensure that you will not lose money. That is why the main thing I want to talk about  today is to ensure that you don’t lose money and therefore you confirm that you will make money.

First thing that you need to do is to research. Do in-depth research of what kinds of products you are looking at and the product got how much demand; how much does it sell in the marketplace and what is the market price out there; what would ensure that you are pricing correctly. If you overprice your product, you don’t get any customer base at all.

Now, also in terms of demand, we also need to look at different categories and we need to look at what platforms sell well. First and foremost, let me be just be clear with you – the platforms that we sell does not really matter. What really important is a system on how not to lose money. And in my 5 steps system, which is called the freedom maker system.

First and foremost, ensure that you do your research on what sells well, what does not sell well, what customers want to buy, what customers do not want to buy.Be clear with that. How much demand there is.

Then step number two would be to source for the products. Sourcing means to find the supplier that can give you that product at the lowest possible price. And you can negotiate to get the lowest price. You can go online to source. You can go offline sourcing. But the main thing is that you need to be able to find a supplier that can give you prices at wholesale. Ok, that is step number two.

In step number three which is to confirm that you can make money.See, the thing in the online world, you can calculate firsthand before you even spend any money to buy stocks at all, you can calculate your expenses, like what is your import tax, how much you need to pay for the costs of the products and so on. You can find out what are all your costs and what are all your income. You take your money in and minus your money out and confirm that you got a net profit and make sure that in every single transaction you definitely get that profit, then you spend the money to buy the product. Because when you take the product in, you know definitely that his product can sell, than you spend the money to buy the product.

Step number four would be to sell on the platform. What is good about selling on online platform, especially places like lazada, Qoo10, ebay. All these platforms already come with traffic, that means there are a lot of customers on these platforms waiting to look for products to buy; so it is a target market place, so you don’t have to spend a lot money to set up your websites. You don’t have to spend money to do hosting; autoresponders and all that. All you need is to sell on the market places. They already spent a lot of money every month just to bring people to their website. What you need to do is to able to sell to those people, to make things a lot, a lot easier.

When you reach to stage number four, and you are selling at market price, you will already see sales coming in because that is market price. People will buy at that price. You see, the thing is that as your sales increase, you may want to ask yourself a question “How do you make more money by spending lesser time?” and the main thing you must make sure is that you are able to outsource  operations because between business developments and operations, which is the one that makes you money? Business development! Operations are the things that you spend a lot of time on but it does not really increase sales. So, in terms of all these operations, I rather you outsource. You outsource to somebody to take care of your operations so that you can focus on business development. In that waay, you ensure that your business sustains for the long term.

So, in summary, how do you make money by not losing money:

First and foremost, do your research to know what products are in demand.

Second, getting a supplier that can you that product.

Third, confirm that you can make money first, then you spend the money to buy stocks.

Fourth, list on platforms. You can list on one platform; you can list on multiple platforms.

Fifth, ensure that you outsource your operations. When you do that, you ensure that you got a business that you can grow into a big money maker and yet you keep your operations small; you keep your ownership small and you are still able to work from home and yet have a freedom lifestyle.


The Secret of Life By David Tang


This talk was given at a TEDxHKUST using the TED conference format. It was published on 14 Sep 2015 by TEDx Talk. I was unable to find the transcript anywhere and had to do it myself. I have posted the transcript here for the public’s learning purposes.

The Secret of Life

By David Tang

I like the snake as it reminded me of the question of why Adam and Eve could not have been chinese and the answer is that we would have eaten the snake.I am going to tell you in 18 minutes because I had been told 15 times that I have only 18 minutes the secret of life. I will try to tell you the secret of life in 15 minutes, but before that I want to tell you my journey of life and because I by far the oldest of the speakers. I am 58. I really need more than 18 minutes. When 18 minutes come, I will have to stop, and you will have to invite me back to here to hear the other half.

My life in Hong Kong started really when my great grandfather as a refugee from Canton and he became very successful and he built a house on Golf Road which I went pass very regularly, of 7 storeys. And he was very smart. He had a wife and 5 concubines, so he placed them from first floor, second floor, third floor, fourth floor, fifth floor, sixth floor and on the penthouse, he lived on his own. He worked his way, Monday to Saturday, like Raise the Red Laterns, and he rested.

On the fourth floor was my great grandmother, who produced my grandfather, who was a great philanthropist here, because he donated most of my money to you, through Tang Shiu Kin Hospital, what have you. He was like 4,000 years of chinese husbands, wanting an heir. Although he wasn’t exactly Henry the Eighth, he married the first wife who didn’t produce an heir, a girl, so he dumped her; so he went from the second concubine, who turned out to be barren, so he dumped her, and then he met my beautiful grandmother, who produced an heir. And he was very happy, until my father got ill, about 2 months in, and the doctor came and told him that he was going to die.

And my grandfather was very very sad because for having waited so long for an heir, he couldn’t believed that father was going to die. And, my great grandmother, who wanted to comfort him, told him a lie. She said “Look, I had the Feng Shui man in the other day,and he told me that this son is no good for you anyway, and so we can try again. But my father recovered; but because my grandfather was so superstitious, he actually decided that the son was going to be bad for him. And he said to my grandmother, “ You are off. I don’t want you anymore. I don’t want our child anymore.” She was then pushed out and never saw him again for eighty years. And he gave her so little money that we hardly survived.

And eventually, my father was rather awkward because my grandfather was growing rather famous and didn’t want marrying this fourth concubine; to have somebody with slightly murky past. So he said to my father “ You better go off to England, with your wife and stay there. So my father and my mother were packed off; and I was left with my grandmother. We didn’t have any money. We rented a room in Junction Road, in Kowloon Tong. My brother and me, sleeping on the top, bunk bed; and my grandmother below. I remembered distinctively that there was no air-conditioning, whereas there was air-conditioning in our landlady’s bed-room. We only had a fan, and I would wake up and I would noticed that my grandmother would angled poised the fan towards my brother and me, so that we will be cooler.

And I remembered Christmas time, we got out for dinner and she will take us to Tai Ping Koon. And we loved prawns. The prawns were the most exxpensive; ten dollars each.My brother and I would have prawns, and I would noticed that she would only have pork, which was three dollars, because we did not have enough money for three prawns. So I became very conscious that there are extraordinary strong people in the world; my grandmother, who really sacrificed everything to bring us up.And I loved her, to the end of her life. And she never complained, not withstanding how my grandfather treated her.She never moaned about him.And I think there is a secret of life along the line which I am going to alert you afterwards.

But I was packed off to England, to join my parents, who has bonded there for two years and prepared ourselves. I remembered getting on a boat. We sailed to Athens and we went to Belgrade, Vienna and Paris by train. I remembered in Vienna, I saw a statue called Beethoven. I didn’t know who that was. I saw Mozart. I didn’t know who he was. I went to Paris. I went to the Louvre. I didn’t know what that was. But it was all going to come back. It is another aspect to the secret of life that I am going to tell you about.

When I got to England, my parents had prepared me for interview at a very famous school and I although went to La Salle, couldn’t  really speak English. My mother said “Look, let me do all the talking at the interview. All you have to say is ‘ My name is David Tang’.” So we arrived and the headmaster came in. He said “Right, had you had a good journey from Hong Kong?” So I said “My name is David Tang.” I didn’t get in, so that was that.

Eventually, we found a school and because I was about alright in mathematics. Thank God, your president would be pleased to hear that. The school took me on. I failed my English O level 6 times before I passed, although I got Latin, French and Russian because we all started on Form 3, I was able to start at the same time. But in English, I was not able to pass the written exam. I practically failed to get into university because in England, you have to get English to university. And I remembered that my English teacher, saying to me “Tang, you will never speak English fluently.” And so, that is another aspect to the secret of life that I am going to tell you about because I met that man about thirty years later. I told him that he was wrong and I used a word which I really can’t use in front of the president here, followed by the word “You”. I said that I am very good in Anglo-Saxon tongue.

Then I went to university, and I read initially mathematics and physics. That got every hard and I switched over to philosophy.And I loved philosophy because there is a formal logic part, which I enjoyed. And, I went on and tried to do a PHD. By this time, my grandfather realized that perhaps I wasn’t  too bad. And he said “You should become a lawyer.” Typical of Hong Kong parents. And I said “ What is in it for me?” because by that time, I got very commercial. He said “ If you went to law school, I will get you a flat in London.” I said “ If you give me a flat, I will do anything.”

So I stopped doing my PhD. I went over to the law college, bought a flat and then I cultivated a great sense of gambling. And I went….one day, I saw this amazing horse called Nijinsky won the (Kiplingcotes) Derby and it was last. I watched that film about 28 times and I saw him coming up the last three furlongs and then winning, like an arrow; est  typique de ce. I said I am going to put everything that I had on the next race that this horse is going to race. And it went to France, which was another huge race, which was called  Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. And I mortgaged my house, which was forty thousand pounds and I put it on the nose 11 to 8, and it lost by a nose.

So I lost the flat, and unfortunately, my grandfather, the following month, said “My lawyer, Mr Kwan Cho-Yiu is going to come to London to inspect the flat that I bought for you.” I was in a slight panic so I rang up a friend of mine, who has a slightly better flat, about sixty thousand pounds. And I said “Can you lend it to me for a day?” So I put all my photographs out. Mr Kwan came and said that he is very satisfied. And he said “Did you really buy this for forty thousand pounds?” I said “Yes.” He said “Listen, can you give me the name of the agent?” I sort of fugued a bit and told him that he died.

What happened is that I went to casino one night and I won back all the money. I bbought the flat. This is another aspect of the secret of life that I am going to come back to. Even more extraordinary, having won back the flat, I had a friend who lived in northern England. I went up and I went to the casino there, and I lost everything again for the second time in my life. And I met a chinese man who ran a chinese restaurant there. I went up and said “Look, listen, My grandfather is Tang Shiu Kin. Can you lend me five thousand pounds? I will pay you back over the week-end.” Stupidly, he did. I got the flat. Then I went to see him in Leeds, with a rather nice detached house and I said “ Tony, I can’t pay you back but what I will promise you is that when I become successful, which I shall, I am going to let you ask me a favor.”

To cut a long story short, I pay him back five thousand pounds in about a year and sixteen years later, I got a phone call from him. I said “Hello”. He said “ It’s Tony Kwan” I said “ My God, you are calling in for your favor” He said “Yes” I said “ Do you want to borrow some money?” He said “No, no, no” He said “ Do you remembered when you came and see me at my home, I had a child and she is now 21 and all she wants to do is to get a job from you at Shanghai Tang.” So I said, “ Is that all?” He said “That’s all” I took her on. She was fantastic. She worked for me for 7 years and it was fantastic. 5 years later, he rang me again. I said “ Look, Tony, you used up your one favor.” And he said “ Do you remember, there was a cot. There was a child baby? That was my son. He now wants to work for you.” I say “Well, God… Bring him along.” So, he started working for me. He was stupid.Can’t get him to do anything. That is another aspect of the secret of life that I want to tell you about.

After all these, I had decided that I had to do some work.At that time, energy was a big thing and I wanted to drill some oil wells; and go to work at a gold mine, because I was fascinated by that world. And at that time, China just opened up its off shore oil and I worked for an oil entrepreneur. I drilled ten wells. I went to Africa, South America, looking at gold mines. We didn’t find any oil. We didn’t find any gold. Absolutely nothing. But it gave me tremendous experience, afterwhich, I said to myself, I better go back to law, which is what my grandfather expected me to do. And I started as a lawyer in Hong Kong. I wanted to tell you another extraordinary story, which is another illustrations of what the secret of life is all about.

I was in a firm of solicitors, being instructed by a construction company who had placed an electric fence around a building site in Hong Kong. And a child got electrocuted and died. Now, usually you can’t, for those of you who do law, really prosecute a company for murder or manslaughter. But they actually prosecuted the foreman, and so we had to defend the foreman.And they was doing really badly. On the last day, after two weeks, I said to my barristor, “ Friend, it has been a really difficult week. Why don’t we go and have a proper lunch?” In those days, it was just up Hollywood Road.The only restaurant opened was an Indian restaurant, so we went in and started pulling up those Indian food, ten chapati and ten papadongs. At two o’clock sharp, I felt a real urge in the directions of the lavatory. So I dived in there, asking the judge to defer for fifteen minutes.I was in the loo when I heard 2 people come in. And they were having a pee. One of them said to the other “Look, you are the engineer, you tell us whether that system was safe or not and he said “ Well, I don’t think that it was safe.” I then realized that there were two jurors who was talking to each other, and one of the basic tenets of jury service is that you mustn’t consult with another. So, I got very excited. I held my breath. I held everything until they left. After due exertion, I went straight out to the barristor. I told him and we got a retrial. And thank God, the judge said that he would send them to jail. On the retrial, he got off. Again, this is an aspect of the secret of life which I am coming very near to to telling you.

And I think after that, I wanted to go and start something that had some cultural value, because I saw Hong Kong was going towards the west, like the way China is going with its rich ghettos of stupid western brand shops of Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and what have you. And nobody is doing anything about cultivating and improving and innovating our chinese heritage.

And I have become very interested in art.I remembered 1971 when I went to see Chan Kai Chin’s first exhibition at the City Hall.I fascinated by how this man transcended the traditional way of painting with black ink but using this turquoise green and wonderful colors and I passed by gallery at Hollywood Road, which is now owned by my great friend, Johnson Chan. I saw this fantastic painting by the man. I wanted it and I asked “How much?” and he said “Half a million dollars.” I couldn’t possibly afford that but then I remembered a film I saw of Glenn Miller, the great trumpeter. He did the same. He saw a great trumpet and he said “Look, I will pay by bits, so I am going to give you five dollars each month, and you are going to give me the instrument at the end.” I started, paying ten thousand dollars a month, twenty thousand a week, and I eventually I got that painting and from that painting, I started my collection and they were all bundled into the China Club.

Now, I am sure that 18 minutes is coming up, so halfway through my life, I want to tell you that the secret of life is you cannot start setting goals so far away and a lot of the time, it is providence and about whether you are at the right place at the right time, and how things worked out in your life. Without the Feng Shui man who told my grandfather that my father was bad for him, I would have never gone to England.If I gone to England, and I was told that I spoke good english and not having to show my english teacher that I was able and that I prove him wrong, I might not do as well as I am today.

Gambling losses and so forth meant also that we take huge risks in life and experienced huge failures. I don’t know whether any of you is a secret addicted gambler. That feeling and I am sure none of you would tell me as we used to be liars and that feeling of gambling beyond your means, you see, that is tremendous adrenaline.But you have to do it, and lose everything before you could feel it. And there, is another way of saying that you lose everything, but you make it back.And it doesn’t matter. That is another secret of life. Whatever happens to you, you have to decide for yourself to keep going.

I got so many young people, like you, coming to see me, asking me what they should do in life and they say that they want to be a doctor, they want to be a vet, or they want to build a zoo or whatever. There is a film about a family building a zoo. But the point is that you cannot set yourselves goals so far away and be so determined. The problem is that we have a lot of biographies.We heard so many stories about men who are succesful.

We said Richard Branson already have an acumen for business he started selling second hand bicycles when he was young, but imagine the hundreds and thousands of other students who did more or less the same or even more successful but did not become nearly as successful as Richard Branson. So we have the benefit of hindsight. A lot of time, we fit our facts into biographies. There is no other way of going about it. But I am just warning you that a lot of the times when we reflect back of how we ever came to a particular situation or success or failure, it is never something that we ever expect. I can tell you that.Life never, never happens that way you think it does.I used to be asked how do you make God laugh. Well, tell him your plans.Now, 18 minutes is up. I can tell you the rest of my life’s story which is not entirely uninteresting but it is all because of providence, fortune, luck and I don’t set myself huge goals. I take the day as it comes, but when you see something, you have to seize it and when you are presented with a risk, take it. Take it. It doesn’t matter. Don’t think of the consequences because if you do, you will never be a great man.

No human progress has ever happen because of what everybody does and what everybody thinks. The world goes round, spins around entirely on crazy ideas and unnecessities. And it is like people saying to you “Why do you want to do that? You don’t have to.” You don’t have to? That’s precisely why you do it. That’s what makes the difference.Boys and girls, I am going to say this, because I am so old. Thank you for having me. I am sorry that I am rambling on a little bit. I was asked to come to tell you about my life. I had a very varied life. I had experienced quite a lot. I hope all of you will have the same kind of varied life you have because what is the point for being just insular. I come from middle class. I had middle class values of just worrying about what your neighbours have or whatever it is; you got to do this, you got to do that.Break out. Come on. Do something, not deliberately crazy but let life come on to you and you can just occasionally take the risk and try something different because sometimes you might actually like it.Try to avoid happy valley.Thank you very much.

Stop Searching for Your Passion By Terri Trespicio


This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. It was published on 14 Sep 2015 by TEDx Talk. I was unable to find the transcript anywhere and had to do it myself. I have posted the transcript here for the public’s learning purposes.

Stop Searching for Your Passion

By Terri Trespicio

The day that I got laid off from my job at Martha Stewart, I was relieved. I loved the job, I really did. But the relationship was over and I didn’t know how to end it and then it broke up with me. Don’t you love it when that happens?

At the time, I have been also hosting a radio show for the Martha Stewart brand on Sirius XM. And then not long after that got cancelled,too. On the day of my last show, I got into the elevator at the 36th floor and as it started to drop, I started to cry. Every floor took me further and further from where I had been: a magazine editor, a radio host, the person with the cool job to talk about at parties, you know.

And honestly, I had no idea what I was going to do. And quite frankly, no one was looking for me. So, I did what anyone would do in that situation.I was making some phone calls: “Hey, what are you up to?  Did I mention that I am available?” I needed to get paid to do something, right. I lived in New York City. If you are not paid to do something,you are not going to be there very long.

But this idea that I had to know that what I suppose to do now, right. I am supposed to pursue this passion. It’s just bugged me. It always had. And that’s because it’s a dangerously limiting idea at the heart of everything that we believe about success and life in general. And it’s that you have one singular passion and your job is to find it and to pursue it to the exclusion of all else. And if you do that everything will fall into place and if you don’t you failed.

The pressure starts really young and it goes your whole life, but it’s perhaps most pronounced when you’re graduating from school, right. After this, “Wow, the world’s at your feet! What are you going to do now?” And it’s so intimidating, it’s like picking a major for life. You know, I had a hard enough time picking major for four years and I changed that once, if not twice. I mean it was like just intimidating, right? And this compelling. I mean this really, you know,forceful cultural imperative to choose your passion,it’s stressful to me, but it’s not just me, it’s everyone I talk to agrees with me.The woman who sold me this dress. I told her what I needed the dress for, what I was talking about and she said, “Oh, my gosh, I really need to hear this talk, because I just graduate from school. My friends and I; we don’t know what we’re passionate about, we don’t know what we supposed to do.”

I’m leery of passion for a few reasons. But one of them is that passion is not a plan, it’s a feeling. And feelings change.They do. You can be passionate about a person one day, a job, and not passionate the next. We know this and yet we continue to use passion as the yardstick to judge everything by,instead of seeing passion for what it really is: the fire that ignites when you start rubbing sticks together.

Anyway, I was such a mess when I was in my twenties, such a mess. I was anxious and depressed, and had no life to speak of, I was tempting to keep my options open, and I was sitting around at night in my underwear watching Seinfeld reruns. Actually I still do that, that’s not the worst thing in the world to do.It’s fine. But I called my mother every night crying and I was turning away perfectly good full-time jobs.

Why? Because I was afraid. I was sure that I would pick the wrong one and get on the wrong train and headed to the wrong future. My mother begged me, she said,” Please, take a job, any job. You’re not going to be stuck, you’re stuck now!You don’t create you live first, then live it. You create it by living it, not agonizing about it.” She’s right, she’s always right. And so I took a full-time job as an assistant at a management consulting firm, where I knew nothing about nothing. Okay. Zero. Except I knew I had a reason to get up in the morning to shower, get showered, leave the house, people who were waiting for me when I got there and I got a paycheck every two weeks. And that is as good a reason to take a job as any.

Did I know that I want to be an office administrator for the rest of my life? No! I have no idea! Truly! But this idea that everything you’re supposed to do should fit into this passion vertical is unrealistic. And I will say it – elitist. You show me someone who washes windows for a living and I will bet you a million dollars it is not because he has a passion for clean glass. On of my favourite columns is a piece by Dilbert creator Scott Adams. He wrote a piece in the Wall Streets Journal a few years ago, about how he failed his way to success. And one of his jobs was a commercial loan officer. And he was taught specifically: “Do not loan money to someone following their passion.” No, loan it to someone who wants to start a business, the more boring, the better. Adam says that in his life success fueled passion more than passion fueled success.

When I got my first job as a magazine editor, in publishing, I was thrilled. But I had to take a pretty big paycut, because at the time, I had been a catalogue copywriter at a wig company.Laugh, if you will, clearly you are and many, many people did. But wigs paid. So I had to figure out a way to make some money. A firnd of mine invited me to a jewellery party. I asked “What is a jewellery party?” She said, “It’s like Tupperware, but with bracelets.” I said “Okay, got it, got it” I went and I had the best time. I was there hanging out, trying jewellery, the salesperson having a great time and I was like “That’s a job. I could do that.” I meant, really, she is having a good time. Now, I have no background in sales, unless you count Girl Scouts,  and I was terrible.And I had no passion for jewellery. I mean, honestly, my earrings cost /////420, all of them combined. And yet I was like “I think I can sling silvery jewellery to suburban moms drinking daiquiris. Yes, I could do that.” And so I did, I signed up. I became a Silpada Designs rep.Listen to me, I was not setting a world on fire straightaway.Really. I was awkward and afraid of selling.And then, I got better, I got better. I started making some money. I started getting really passionate about it. Not just because of the money, but because what I realized was people wanted the stuff. People wanted the stuff. They were happy to pay for it. I sold so much jewellery that year. I won a free trip to Saint Thomas.It’s true. I eventually let my jewellery go, because my career path shifted. But I was so glad that I did that.Because it planted an entrepreneurial seed I did not know was there.And that bears fruit to this day.

Now as you know an entire cottage industry has sprung up around helping people find their passions, right.Books,coaching, webinars,whatever.And their hearts is in the right place, it’s great, I am all about self-discovery.Okay.But when you asked someone,or you are asked like, “What is your passion?” It’s triggering. It’s like “Oh my God, I have to come up with a good answer for this.” One of my friends in her mid forties and she is looking what is her life going to be now. And she is like “ I don’t know what I am passionate about.” And she is legitimately concerned about this. She is ready to hire a team of people. It is like, why are worrying about this? You know why, because she thinks something wrong with her.That when someone asks you at a party, on a date, at a job interview,” What are passionate about?”That you are not going to have this wow compelling answer.


I thought something was wrong with me in the seventh grade and everyone was really into like the rock-bands and their actors and they would carve the names of those bands in tables in a library.And I never carved anything, because I could not think of anything to carve.I mean I likes Bon Jovi as much as the next girl, but not enough to deface school property, you know. It is probably why I do not have any tattoos either. I am assuming that is why. I was really boring, I thought something was wrong with me. But that is the fear, isn’t it? And that means that you are not interesting, or ambitious, or that you have a singular obsession or scarly talent that you are hiding.And your life is not worth living.And it is not true.

Passion is not a job, a sport or a hobby.It is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever is right in front of you.And if you are so busy looking for this passion, you could miss opportunities that change your life.You could also miss out on a great love.Because that is what happens when you have tunnel vision,trying to find the One.

We all think we know the person we are and the kind of person we could love.But sometimes, we are wrong.Blissfully wrong.And sometimes, you don’t know what you are going to do next, right? I mean, I don’t. I love not knowing what I am going to be doing five years from now or I will be into.

And that is okay, okay not to know. You know why? Because the most fulfilling relationships, the most fulfilling careers are those that still have the power to surprise you. And as for the things you know you want to do. You want to write a book, you want to start a business, you want to change careers.

Great! But if you are sitting around waiting for passion to show up and take it, you are going to be waiting a long time. So don’t wait. Instead, spend your time and attention solving your favourite problems. Look for problems that need solving. Be useful, generous. People will thank you, and hug you and pay you for it and that is where passion is. Where your energy and effort meets someone’s else need. That is when you realize that passion lives, and realizing wht you have to contribute. Why do you think when we are asking people what they are passionate about, they say “Helping other people”? So, don’t wait. Listen to my mother. Just start doing. Because to live a life full of meaning and value, you don’t follow your passion, your passion follows you.

Signs of Boss Who is a Saboteur


You had been a good worker, then suddenly you found yourself being fired. You could have been sabotaged by your immediate boss.

Silent Rules of Good Employees

A lot of us are brought up, sold on the “ rules of being a good worker”:

  • We keep our boss informed when our staff or staff in other departments is causing trouble. We try to analyse to determine the cause of the trouble and suggest solutions.
  • We don’t talk about our job or our boss to our boss’ superior.
  • When the work tasks or processes give problems, we are the first to roll up our sleeves and fix them.
  • We make suggestions for problems brought up by our boss or our colleagues at meetings which our boss is present. We also to take the time to explain our solutions and share our experience.
  • When we see a problem coming (anticipate a problem); we inform the boss and discuss with him on how we should prepare for it.
  • We keep things to ourselves.
  • The best of us go the extra mile: we do more than we should have; and we regularly volunteer our help.

What We Expect From A Good Boss

We are our expectations of a good boss:

  • Able to bring his training and experience to bear on the job.
  • Take responsibility for his instructions.
  • Give credit to suggestions that proved to be successful in implementation.
  • Great listener.
  • Stands up for the staff if was not the staff’s fault.
  • Treat people as people. Does not get angry easily.

What Makes Up a Bad Boss?

A bad boss just guards his own job. He take credits for your good ideas and good work. We are the expendables.


  • He does not have the width and depth of experience to do the job. He will wait for what other said at a meeting; paraphase what was, draw his conclusion and make his decision. If you are working in the Human Resource Department, just check his resume.
  • He asked you whether you have the experience in firing staff. He tells you that he has a hire and fire management style. He treats people as things. He do not value that other people hold the job to make a livelihood.
  • He cannot do his own job so he delegates his job to other people. He wants the high pay but do not welcome hard work.
  • When the staff in his department gives trouble, he lacks patience; do not coach; do not counsel; and ask you to discipline or even fire his staff. When the staff retailates, he do not claim responsibility. Instead he hides and shift the blame to you.
  • Misplaced ego.
  • Salesman mouth. Work experience likely to be in mass communications. He flatters his bosses. First he does when he comes on the job is to have coffee with them.

Biggest Sign: He Avoids Accountability

The biggest sign is that your boss will seek all means to avoid accountability on his part.

Smoke Screens

Your boss can still throw smoke screens by seemingly praising you in front of other people; so that he appears to the “good guy”. Yet you lost your job because of him.

How Your Boss Can Sabotage You

Your boss can push all blame to you. He can make up stories to his bosses behind your back and you never know it. So you lose your job even though it is not your fault.

Because he is the boss, and has the official authority,

Our School System Have Conditioned Us

Probably the way that we are as good workers is similar to us being conditioned as good students.

The Lesson I Learnt from Others

The main lesson is to minimise work where it needs approval by the boss or the boss needs to be notified simply because the boss shuns accountability.

  • If in the course of our work, we discovered that something is broken, we don’t report it.
  • In meetings, unless we are asked, then we can decide whether to speak up. The rule is not to open our mouth. Also in that way, the meeting ends earlier and we get less work.
  • Do not bother to give suggestions or sound the bell when we anticipate something coming.
  • Don’t keep records or don’t manage records.

Why Management Jobs Are Useless


Supervisory work exists for centuries. It was lording over slaves and servants. That is completely different from management in companies.However, it was Peter Drucker that popularise the concept of management.

He never realized that one word could cause so much grieves to the human race.

In any organization that use levels of persons overlooking another persons, there is always opportunities for opporession and intimidation.

All That Glamour; It is A Lie

They call it the corporate ladder. The message companies sell you is: Work hard, be smart, adapt to the culture and you will be promoted to a higher level job. You have more authority (power and control) and more pay. You will have more people, who are doing smaller jobs, less well paid to do your bidding. This is the glamour that you are being sold and it is a lie. This send you studying, gaining work experience in order to apply for a manager’s job.

Pilots and Tuition Teachers Are Better Paid

Middle manager that are country managers are paid $6,000. Pilots and sometimes the really good tuition teachers are paid better, and they do not have to deal with all this shit.

What Does Managers Really Do?

Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell, in their book,  Principles of Management: An Analysis of Managerial Functions describes the functions of management:

Planning, organizing, staffing, directing, delegating and controlling. These concepts are far from the truth. These writers are just writing about functional behaviors that everyone else has and nothing special to people in management. They get paid for it but they did not tell you what kinds of things managers have to deal with.

The truth is managers either do nothing much or they do shit work.Do not imagine that the operations of a business to go on smoothly. The problems are mostly traceable to human behaviors.

For the harding working managers, here are some the trash they had to deal with:

Left behinds

Staff in the past encountered a problem, but they kept quiet about it either because they do not want additional work or they do not want to be responsible for it.

Projects in the past were not properly managed. Things went wrong, contractors buried the problem.

No policies or procedures.

The Shit Always Falls From the Top

Management shits comes from having too many layers of management.


Source: Unknown

Order the Change But Don’t Want to Be Accountable

In most organizations, proposals that managers submit goes through their bosses before reaching a committee or the senior management for evaluation and approval.

The bosses make the changes to the proposal but it is still in your name. If the proposal turns out well, they said that it was their ideas. If something went wrong, they are the first to run. Do not expect them to stand up for you. More likely they will push the blame to you.

Make Changes to Look Like Some Work Is Done

Top management today changes the structure often or buy equipment to show that things are done. Today they say that it is better is centralize. Tomorrow they say it is better to decentralize.

What a waste of money paying such people who does not know what the lowest level of the organization is doing.

It is Human Nature: Resistance to Change

As a managers, when you are tasked to make changes. However human nature is that they don’t like change because they also need to make changes themselves as they to adapt. So they put up resistance by questioning and by complaining.

Substandard Work Life

As you work longer in a profession, the more different work situations that you encounter, the more solutions that you have devised and tries over the years, the better should be your work.

However, if you are working for someone else that is not always true. Here are some situations:

You have learnt from a past situation. You then encountered a similar situation and gave both feedback and suggestions to your boss to avoid the situation; but he disagree and you get dragged into it.If it is a proposal, sometimes your boss changes your proposal.

Your management tired to save costs and un-wittedly buy a new system that is worst than the existing system. Then you have to go through the pain of using a system that gives you nightmares.

When you change your employer; you may land up requiring to fo fix the same problems that you encounter in your current job.

What Are The Lessons Learnt

For the person making a career choice, choose a vocation where you can first gain skills, later knowledge, to make or build something.

If you run a business, here are some thoughts:

  • Keep the organization levels to maximum 4. Better still have a flat adopting roles rather than positions.
  • Matrix is a lousy structure.
  • Have as few managers as possible. It is possible to have none.


Career Advice for a HR Professional


The advice that I give here bores out of my own experiences. The statements here reflects my personal opinions. Your experience, perceptions, expectations may different. Do not take these writings at their face value.


One of my best advice that I think that I could give to a Human Resource professional, especially for someone looking for a management role, is not to work in an organization where the management authority (approval and control) is in the hands of volunteers.

Examples of Organizations

Such organizations include religious organizations; associations; alumni clubs; societies and charitable organizations. It could be the church, temple, trade association, YWCA, university related alumni club, golfing country club.These are normally not for profit or non profit organizations.

Main Challenge

If you are in a management role, two of your major competencies are decision making and problem solving. The two main initiatives you normally implement are new initiatives or initiatives to fix something that is broken. Usually, you are required to develop or amend policies and procedures and also obtain resources (such as money, manpower, space) in order to carry out your initiatives.

If you should work for a non-profit or not for profit organization, under such a working environment, you may find yourself reporting to or supporting to one or more than one committees. There could be a hierarchy of committees in such an organizations.

Structure of Organizations

Unlike a commercial organization, even if there is an Operations Director, General Manager or Managing Director that is a employee, he or she will not have the power to approve the provisions of resources for you to do your work and he or she will not have the power or authority to approve the policy, procedure or initiative that you propose.

Usually, you will be required to write a proposal paper and he or she may deliberate such matters, including vetting and correcting your papers. This does not mean that you proposals will be successful when they are raised.

In fact, when you encounter a boss with a narcissistic personality, you may become a pawn in his or her game. Your boss may take the opportunity to change your proposal to suit the idea that he wants to put forward. If your boss is an incompetent, you may be over powered (simply because he is your boss) to put up an idea that you know from experience that spelt trouble. You may then arrange a meeting or circulate your proposal by email to your committee; but last minute he decides not to turn up. How are you going to explain or defend ideas that are his and not yours?

Your Boss

You will find such an Operations Director, General Manager or Managing Director sitting in so many committees. It may be so high sounding that he or she is sitting on such and such a board or committee, but the truth is that his or her energy and time is spread thin.

If you are reporting to such a boss, he or she will have little time or energy to deliberate on matters that you bring to his or her attention.

There are bosses who are great bosses and there are those the other extreme. The later will survive maybe 3 times just as long but you will also find that such an Operations Director, General Manager or Managing Director to have a big ego; to be incompetent; likely to suck up; likely to shift blame or shift potential problems to others; likely to push away difficult or sensitive human problems to others; likely to what people termed “a two headed snake”; likely to take credit for the accomplishment of other people.In another words, a narcissistic boss.

Instead of having face to face time with you, you will find that your boss will be on his email; his handphone; and his phone simply because he wants to be prompt of replying to the committee members that he reports to.

As you do not have the face to face time, you have no coaching on strategies and policies. As it is more likely that you have an incompetent boss, he or she would expect you to come up with the strategies, business plans, policies and so on. Even if you have the experience, you are only paid as a manager, should you over-step your functional area?

Sensitive Human Resource Issues

As a human resource professional, you are tasked to fire staff that reports to other department manager; you are tasked to discipline or counsel other department heads who are your peers simply because your boss do not want to do it.

When things backfire, he would either said that you are on your own or he would tag you as a trouble maker.

Waste of Your Hard Earned Experience and Qualifications

If you have a Master degree and is amply qualified, with plenty of work experience, you are better off working in the commercial sector, especially for a MNC. Here, in these organizations, they will just step all over you.

A Bureaucratic Machine

Where decision making is by majority, and there is so many committees, the organization is bureaucratic in nature. As such, decision making is ineffective.

It is more ineffective in non profit organizations than in not for profit organization.

In a not for profit organizations, the motto is “if is not broken or if broken but nobody cares about it, don’t do anything.”

In a non profit organization, the motto is “even if it is broken, don’t tell me. I don’t have time to look into it.” So, you can imagine, there are more operational problems with a non profit organization than a not for profit organization.

Behavior of Committee Members

 These groups of volunteers go by different names in different organizations, such as Committees and Councils. However, the behaviors as groups and individuals are the same.

Often these volunteers will be entrepreneurs, employees in other organizations, retirees. It is rare to find retirees who want to be volunteer, especially full time volunteers.

For volunteers who are entrepreneurs and who hold jobs, their time, energy will be spend in either their businesses or jobs. This is the reason why even they may be the chairperson of a committee, they frequently don’t turn up for higher level committee meetings that report into.

Volunteers do not get paid for holding roles. They join for the position that they may hold (prestige) such as chairman of such a committee. For entrepreneurs, it helps them become paid directors in the boards of other organizations. Others join because they can exercise a sense of control or power. In the non for profit organiztion, they may have a personal interest to join such a committee such is the case if they are paying members, such as in the case of a golfing country club. In the not for profit organization, like the church they may do it “just to be an extra pair of hands.”

The implications for such a structure are as follows:

(a) Volunteers are not likely to have experience in the area or committee they hold chairpersonship. Never the less that will not stop them from exerting their authority.

It means that even if you have more experience in your area, they will overwrite your proposals and decide on what they want to do. Your organizational function may become the test-bed of an idea they read something or an idea that they were rejected at the place they worked.

When non-experts are involved in decision making with regards to financial investments and capital expenditures, the results are often wrong decisions.

(b) Volunteers have no contractual obligations and they do not like to be held accountable for decisions that they make. This means you may find committee chairpersons not willing to look at your proposed policies and procedures because they just do not want to be held responsible for making decisions on them.

(c) Volunteers have no time to look at long proposals. They have time only to look at 1 or 2 page proposals, which are the the high level and have 2 or 3 items at most for approval. Do not expect them to read your proposals beforehand.

(d) Face is important to volunteers. Those join for status carry with them an ego. If they shall lose their posts or reputations because of you, they will abuse their power as a committee chairperson to get you out of the organization. It could be your boss who is doing this unknown to you; so giving feedback to your boss about how ineffective the committee is has its risks.

(e) Volunteers differ in their commitments.Some may hold posts but do not turn up for meetings.

(f) Meetings may be held quarterly or at best monthly. You will find that it is difficult to arrange ample time for discussions. If you have lots of things under your job function that are broken, you may find it challenging to get them resolved.

(g) Volunteers want their way. You are just a servant. If the organization hold a staff lunch, and the key committee members are invited, just know that they regard it as they have approved expenditure to organize a lunch for their servants.

A Private Club

In summary, all the volunteers behave like if they are part of a social group. They take everything personally. There are 2 faces people sitting in the same committee, that can be so agreeable with and backstabs another member on the same matter they agree to.

Where Do You Get These People?

Volunteers are acquired through network. They participate in church activities. Either they invite themselves or others invite them as volunteers. This is known as networking.

It is not easy to invite people and even harder to find people with the right expertise to serve.

Tapping for Revenues

Volunteers who joined are selective about which committees that they want to be in. If they are business men, they want to take up roles as the Chairperson of areas that relate to their business.In this way, they can be the first to know of any new services or products required by the organization and participate in the bid.

These businessman could be lawyers, architects, real estate valuers. For example, if the organiation is the head office of a group of churches and if the committee member is a lawyer entrusted with looking after the church’s properties. He may do some paperwork for free but he charges for other services. With the reputation that such a big group of churches is engaging his services as the church’s trustees, he is able to approach other organizations for businesses or they may approach him for help.

In another case, the businessman may use the reputation that he gained and find opportunities to be a paid director in the board of management in other organizations. He may realized that he can sit in many boards and get paid but in realities, he would not be swamped with meetings. It could be giving him a better income than his small business.

Ineffective Operational Management

Committees meet on a periodic basis. This can be on a quarterly basis. Personnel who are hire as staff of the organization are required to attend meetings held in the evenings or week-ends and take minutes of meetings.

Management staff are required to write reports or presentations for the Committee or for the office bearers.

At first it looks very orderly and proper especially when decisions and on going of meetings are recorded and filed. The truth is nobody bothers to earnestly follow up on the decisions. After a while, the records are stored away; sometimes they are lost; memories fads. When committee members leave or dies, nobody recall whether similar or the same problem has come up in the past, and who made what decisions and what were the outcomes.

However, valuable time is taken away from dealing with operational problems or carrying out action plans in order to write minute of meetings, reports and proposals. Staff cannot go home on meeting nights or weekend.

The Fakes

 The fakes are committee members that do not have the experience but pass comments or criticise because they want to give the false impressions that they are knowledgeable. However they will be the first to deny that ever said such and such a thing should there be somebody who is quick to point out that what is said is wrong.

No or Minimum Policies or Procedures

 Committee members may not be experts in their areas which they volunteer but they make the final decisions and have all the controls. This put the organization in trouble. Chief of this is that they will think that the approval of policies and procedures is operational work, which they are not interested in.They do not want to be held accountable on one hand and on the other hand if they make the decisions on such policies when they are not the experts, the organization’s operations will be in trouble.


Working in Non Profit Organization

It is A Social Group

When you work in a non profit organization or a not for profit organization where governance of the organization is based on volunteer help, you will face certain problems if you are working in the job of a department manager in such an organization.

These volunteers can be members of the organization, for example members in a golf country club or an alumini club or they could be members of a community such as members of a religious group.

Volunteers may join the governing committees for various reasons. In religious organization, one reason is to serve God. It could be for status, power (sense of control).

You may be doing your work. You may be hard-working. You may be very profession in your job. You may be devoted to the organization, in trying to fix what is broken and preventing problems that are appearing in the horizon.

However the Committee or Council that you are serving may not be seeing things that way. First, in concept that the Committee or Council members should have accountability, in real life that is not true. They will vary in their commitments, especially if this is not a job that pays them an income. So if you proposals that are time consuming such as policies and procedures, it is likely that you will get little help because they have no time to discuss and deliberate on them.

Second, a common issue is that members that joins a particular Committee or Council may not have the required or relevant experience or qualifications or at an in-depth level. So they cannot understand your operational problems or your proposals.

In such a case sometimes to save face, they may resought to abuse of power, to thumb you down so as to silent the enthusiastic you.

The other problem is these Committee or Council behave more like a social group than a professional team. At one extreme, they may behave as an informal group to protect their own interests rather than uphold justice, righteousness or fairness. The group members probably share common characteristics such as selfishness, self serving and lack of empathy.

In another situation, members may appear to agree with each other at meetings or behave cordially with each other when they meet but they secretly back-stab each other, even when they make a decision together but a member may not agree but had to agree just to save his reputation.

In a third situation, the members may take up a task together because they already agreed to meet regularly and they reluctantly allowed a task to fill their time. You may think you are doing work by taking initiative to raise problems and even provide the solutions to them. Your thought your hard working nature will help keep you in the job or even ensure that you get a pay raise. However, nothing can be further from the truth.During the meeting, you could find the Committee lash at you because they do not care about you as a person. You are treated like a servant. Even if you bring improvements, they just see these as your work that you are paid to do.

Herd Mentality and Ego

It is this herd mentality or ego that you are up against.If they are against you, it is a better approach that you appeal.

They Put the Blame on Staff

It is not their fault. If you are a staff, the fault is yours. They behaved like royalties; above the laws. They simply do not want to be held accountable.

False Notion

These members or your boss may try to sell to you to work for to make the organization great.

Your Boss

Your boss may have an egoistic personality. He maybe incompetent but holding all the power and wanted the status and money. He may hire experienced people so that he can push both work and accountability to them.

If he wins the favors of the Committee members, they will side him, especially those that hire him. So never attack your boss as a person. Should you do so, your job gets killed immediately.

Keeping Quiet and Sweeping Under the Carpet

The reason why such places experience decays over time is when staff realized that they are not rewarded or even recognized for their efforts, they lost all care and not care about doing anything to maintain the legacy, such as keeping records in order (proper documentations)

It is Worst Than Matrix Reporting

In matrix reporting, you report to 2 persons. Here, you report to 1 person on 1 hand and a committee on another hand.

You Are Just Another Face

The committee behaves like a social group and you are just a waiter serving them. If they do not like you, they will not hesitate to fire you.