Project New Experiences

To Learn & Grow

Day #1

I’ve decided I will make myself try at least one new thing everyday, for at least 1 year.

So from today, 12/12/2018, until just before the next shopping frenzy on 12/12/2019, my goal is to learn, grow and get to know myself a little better.

For today, I finally subscribed to the New York Times at $1/week because I followed a trail of salted dark chocolate cake crumbs on Facebook and became absolutely annoyed that I couldn’t learn more about other recipes unless I subscribed. That, and I kept using up my free article limit too quickly.

I also tried out today’s Crossword puzzle and swiftly had my ass kicked. And did you know there’s a timer that goes on and on, constantly reminding you that you’re taking way too long to solve it. Yes it took me 21 minutes and 14 seconds to put down 8 answers that might not even be right.

I think I’ll put a post-it on my screen to cover the timer so I don’t know how woefully long it took me to complete just.one.puzzle.

Capture - NYT

 

3 Business Tips I Learnt From My Kids

There’s a whole lot my kids have taught me, and it’s not just about being more patient, or not yelling or learning to put them first, by sacrificing the last bite of cheesecake (and a gazillion hours of sleep). I’ve found that if I pay enough attention, the lessons I learned are highly applicable to my professional life too.

Tip #1: Accept & Embrace The Mess 

As a working mother, I work my life around my family and try my best to do that sometimes insane juggling act that seriously, sets even the best of us up for failure. And what’s more, I have tried to keep my professional life separate from my family life and try to kinda live my life in separate blocks. This big yellow one is for work. The red one is for my husband. Blue one is for my son. Pink one for daughter #1 and purple one for daughter #2. And none of them touch.

While that works to a certain extent, it doesn’t account for the spillover effect. The Spillover Effect. Yeah, because Life Is Messy and the gods of all that is chaotic tend to like to conspire to make life more interesting.

Just.

For.

Kicks.

So instead of just getting frustrated that my day is not going according to schedule and getting upset that the kids are taking too long to [insert task here], I have decided to accept and embrace the mess instead of fighting it.

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My son loves his blue sneakers (in the photo above) and always wants to wear them. But he takes a really long time (by adult standards) to put them on, well, because he’s 5. Instead of telling him to hurry up and scolding him for his choice of footwear because he is making everyone late, and in the process upsetting him and myself and giving everyone an unpleasant start to the day, I have suggested that he start putting on his shoes 5 minutes before everyone else does.

Because it is in accepting and embracing the situation as is, that I can figure my way out with much better outcomes, with a less stressed out Mummy and a happier kid (because Mummy is not yelling in frustration).

I have found that whether at my job or any venture that I might explore, it is pointless to wish something were a certain way when it is not. Try as I might, I can’t change people, nor can I change some situations. The sooner I accept and embrace the reality, the easier it would be to make a plan and meander through it with the best results possible.

Tip #2: Lego Blocks Should Be Part of Every Job Interview 

If you want to find out the type of person you are hiring, get them to build something out of Lego blocks. The idea is not really in what they end up building, but to observe their thought processes and questions they ask.

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When my kids and I play with Lego, it’s always intriguing to me at how they express themselves with this platform. My son, the fixer, step-by-step doer and perfectionist, would look at the pictures on the Lego box or in the booklet (if there is one) to replicate what he so desires. He is to-the-point and systematic. If he doesn’t know how to fix it, he tries to troubleshoot but gives up sometimes too soon because the perfectionist in him does not like to attempt tasks he thinks he is not good at. He doesn’t like to ask for help.

Daughter #1 on the other hand, is the imaginative and creative one who colours within and outside the lines, sees what she wants to build in her mind and just starts building (because who cares about instructions?!). Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes she screams in frustration because something is not going her way or a Lego block won’t clutch the way she wants it to. But she asks for help and figures it out in the end.

Of course, what and how the interviewee builds may not be an all-conclusive measure of how this person may be a great fit or useful for a particular role in an organisation, but I think it would be a good overview.

Tip #3: Savour the Highs and Use Them To Power Through the Lows 

Life can be Tough. So can parenting, and work.

I love my kids to the moon and back, and being their Mum has brought me through Super Highs and Super Lows. When I watched my babies learn to roll over, or walk, or when they first said “Mama”, or when my two year old does her Happy Dance. It’s like sunshine on my face and warm soup in my tummy. It is heartwarming and nourishing.

Then there’s the yucky part of parenting, when I’m surviving on 2 hours of sleep because someone got sick, or the babies had to be fed in the middle of the night, or all the kids decide to start fighting and yelling when you’re trying to do something. Those are the times when parenting feels like another job that I have to take care of and it feels like absolute drudgery.

I used to think that when good things happen, I shouldn’t celebrate too much, because when bad things happen, then the fall will be so much harder. But I’ve realised that the good and bad are just part of Life, like they are part of work and business.

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The best way isn’t to not celebrate the highs, or to wish the lows away. But to celebrate these highs and remember them as much as possible, to build up a bank of confidence in my own abilities and a positive mindset so that I will be able to take on the lows with decisive action, drive and tenacity.

 

 

 

Hello, Act 2

In my most recent Spring Cleaning effort, before this year’s Chinese New Year, I unearthed this big humongous bag of clothes that I had stashed away after I had my first baby.

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These were clothes I had loved and spent good money on. These were clothes I wore to classes in Perth. They accompanied me in law school and through all the late nights I worked as a lawyer in Singapore. They traveled with me and were ever present when I fell in love with the excitement of New York and the quaintness of Hoi-An. They were with me when my husband asked me to marry him.

See you again soon, I thought, as I packed them away with the great hope that my body would return to its pre-baby state, soon.

Little did I realise then that I would be changed forever.

Nearly 6 years, 3 babies and career switches later, I realise it would have been impossible to stay the same. My experiences as a wife, mother, lawyer and entrepreneur have made me come face-to-face with myself –  my limitations, my strengths, what I want, and what I don’t want. These experiences weren’t all pleasant, or serene. For the most part, my biggest transformations occurred through the hottest fires. And just when I thought I won’t survive, I couldn’t hang on, I managed to muster up just enough strength to take that next step forward.

I’ve really realised and internalised the fact that life is too short and too precious to be wasted. Doing the same things will only bring the same results.

So, I am done, waiting for other people to see what I am worth. Because if I don’t realise my own worth, nobody else will.

I am done waiting for permission to be who I am, so I am embracing my own point of view.

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Sometimes, it has to be about just me.

I am done putting up with people who are a waste of my time, love and energy, so I’m keeping my inner circle tight.

I am done doing things that are meaningless to me, so whatever I do needs to make sense to me and what I want for my life.

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I said goodbye to this bag of clothes after taking out a few keepsakes as reminders of who I once was.

There wasn’t any point in keeping them, and trying to squeeze into moulds that no longer fit.

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Happy New Year, everyone!

Goodbye, Act 1. Hello, Act 2.

Millionaire Mentor: George Ross, Trump Organisation, The Apprentice Judge

How To Transition from Law To Business

So I had the pleasure of interviewing George Ross, Donald Trump’s Right Hand Man and Chief Legal Counsel of the Trump Organisation (for 42 years!).

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He was also a judge on The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice. Yeah, he’s the guy on the left.

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I can’t imagine how much experience he has, but I thought I’d take the chance to find out his thoughts on transitioning from law to business.

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To all my lawyer friends, don’t say don’t have!

To be honest, he doesn’t say anything groundbreaking, but it’s good to know you’re on the right track if you’re doing what he says you should since he’s done it before.

First steps to transitioning from law to business

Overcoming the fear or apprehension in transitioning from law to business

 

 

 

Just Mama & Bubba: Kaius

The Great, Enormous Melbourne Mash Up

I think I’ll make it tradition for each kid to travel with me and or the husband alone before going to primary 1. This time it’s me and Kaius, and our Great, Enormous, Melbourne Mash Up. 


(The kids have a book called “The Great, Enormous Hamburger”. And so now everything is “Great” and “Enormous”. Gotta love a kid’s perspective!)

2017

The Year of Change

 

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Being an entrepreneur is not just about what a person does for a living. It is a mindset and a way of thinking – an approach to life.

And sometimes, while you’re figuring things out, you have to make certain changes to fulfil existing responsibilities because life doesn’t stop.

So this year, I’ve decided to close the door on the health supplement and skin care business that I’ve been in for the past 6 years because a change is long overdue.

I’m getting a job while my entrepreneurial activities take a back seat – for now. The thing about being an entrepreneur is this: your mind never really switches off from it. There are always enterprising ideas and questions you ask yourself when you look at different businesses, like “Is this shop really making money selling just this? I wonder what their margins are? This bubble tea thing is not going away!”

I feel like the past 6 years of my life have been a kind of baptism in business by fire. As a lawyer, your knowledge about business is limited, even if you are a corporate lawyer. Your job is to protect your client’s interests, and to document, document and document.

As a business person, your job is profitability. It doesn’t look like a big word, but in many businesses, it can be illusive, even with huge revenues. You can come up with the most creative ideas, but if your numbers still say you’re in the red after your best perceived marketing efforts, then you have failed.

And yes, it can be extremely brutal.

But this is how you become resilient. And this resilience in business, somehow is transferrable to other areas of life.

While I am focusing on getting a job, I’m still doing the things I like to do like spending time with my family, my new Treaterrific! lifestyle hobby business, contributing to women’s empowerment and volunteering where I can (because everyone needs hobbies!).

I’m keeping my inner circle tight and kicking out the trash.

2017 for me, is about change.

Because how we change is how we succeed.

 

Mr. Lim Siong Guan, Former Group President of Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC)

Interview with an Industry Rockstar

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If you have ever Mr. Lim Siong Guan, you’d be staggered by his *amazing* CV. Click here for his wikipedia page. I got to interview this figurative giant of a man during one of our Intelligent Millionaire Network meetings and I have to say he didn’t disappoint.

It was great to hear insights from someone who used to work closely with the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and to see the world from his perspective, given his vast experience as the top man in verybigcorporations.

Here are 3 videos, enjoy!

Video 1: How To Manage Energy & Overcoming Biggest Challenges

 

Video 2: Quick Tips on How to 1) Establish Rapport with People 2) Quickly Gain Insights on Where an Organisation is and 3) Implement Changes

 

Video 3: Keys to Success for Business and Personal Development

My Allegra.*

Of all my children, Allegra is the most spunky. 

She walks with a spring in her step. She sings, dances, skips and hops all at once. 

When she smiles (and it is usually a cheeky smile), her big round eyes light up with eager anticipation. 

Even though she is confident and extroverted, don’t mistake this for an impenetrable shield. Her heart is fragile even though it loves those she deems worthy, fiercely and completely. 

This daughter of mine has such a creative personality – case in point these photos – she’s the girl who will choose to wear her cousin’s Adidas running shoes with her frilly girly socks, jewellery and party outfit. That’s how she rocks her outfits.
I love my children all the same. But she reminds me most of, well, me. 

I hope I live my life in a way that will be a great example for her to follow – as a girl, as a woman, and if she wants, as a wife and mother. 

Most of all I hope I show her that she doesn’t have to be anyone else but her most authentic and amazing self. 

Kids: Kaius & McDonald’s 

Me: OK kids, nap time! Go lie down and I’ll go get my book. 

Kaius: You mean your McDonald’s book? 

Me: (amused) How did you know it’s a McDonald’s book? 

Kaius: Because I saw the McDonald’s sign and I was reading it just now. 

Wow. My son is a lot more observant than I give him credit for and he’s growing up fast. 

How can I not fight to be a good example for him? 

Kaius with Grinding It Out. The Making of McDonald’s by American businessman Ray Kroc. He was responsible for making McDonald’s into the world’s most iconic fast-food brand.