More application goodness!

This is one of the lost post dated sometime in early september which i had recently fished out on my thumb drive but it has a few bit of useful information so i decided to publish it after all.

After getting my new MSI Wind from the Comex’08, I found couple of useful applications while browsing through Cnet. They are Desktop ICalender and Personal Finances; a planner and personal finance manager.

Desktop iCalender application will appear at the top right hand corner of the screen in three windows. The first window functions as a calendar which display the days in the month; dates with events would be highlighted. The second window functions as an event calendar, event entry with date, time and activities can be added. The third window is the to-do list; it allows you to input tasks that you might plan to do in future. Overall, the interface is quite sleek and the application is easy to master.

The personal finance is an excellent program to manage your personal finance. You can create account for expenses and income like a credit card account, a cash account or a bank account. After that, you can create categories to group your entries; like a bills account to group up your utility and phone bills. Entries are classified as, income, expenses or transfers. Overall, the interface is very pleasant and the application is surprisingly easy to master.

Both applications are really fantastic and good news is that the trial period is unlimited!

*UPDATE: MSI Wind is fantastic and totally changed my laptop experience compared to my previous acer laptop. Wind is lighter at 1.2kg, sleeker design, wireless and bluetooth connectivity is excellent and not to mention it can start pretty fast! Excellent for any salesman who does not have myopia!

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It is who that really matters, really matters.

This was the second time attending Mdm Goh Ai Yat’s seminar, the first one was money management. This time round she will be touching on networking- I would believe it’s a crucial soft skill especially in the sales line. I do understand a fair bit about networking as I am currently a real estate agent but I would like to understand the nature of networking from a person in another industry. That might perhaps shed some light on better methods which might benefit my business.

 

She started off by telling us, based on her corporate experiences that generic and technical skills are expected of a manager. However, as a manager is promoted into senior positions, they are actually remunerated based on their generic skills such as networking rather than technical skills. This made a lot of sense to me as Singapore churns out lots of technically-qualified graduates annually and the generic skills that one brings into the job will be their selling point. Rather, it will be their value perceived by the firm that sets them apart from the mediocrity.

 

Ai Yat also defined networking as an active and systematic process of building, managing and using relationship. It makes the most out of current connections, creates and facilitates new connections, building up social capital in the process. The basic key to do business or ask for a favour would be relationship, and it has to be done professionally

Now comes the big question, is networking an unethical activity then?

Personally, I think networking is a very beautiful thing if done professionally. It is of a symbiotic nature in which different individuals can pool their talents to assist each other. There is an implicit understanding that one who wants to tap on the network must have something to offer in the first place. I emphasize it has to be done professionally, show appreciation for the assistance rendered by offering a fee or treating the other party to a meal. Do not take advantage of the other party as it would be an insult to one’s intelligence if you think the party cannot see through the ruse. Know the rule of the game and play by it, you will then be respected and can make full use of the possibilities offered.

 

We were split into new groups courtesy of Ai Yat and encouraged to introduce ourselves and share with one another our opinions on networking among the new group. My pure male group consists of Alvin, Frank, Nguyen, Mario and Kelvin-we have 4 different nationalities and people from the real estate industry to retail industry with this very group! Later, there was a short game similar to bingo in which we had to find individuals with similar activities or preferences as indicate by the worksheet. I managed to complete the game and was given a gift for doing so, we were then given time to network with our groups.  After the break, Ai Yat then helpfully provided us the a system to start, maintain and utilize our unique network. It was pretty similar to the one I had worked out for my business but the crux was the discipline to maintain the system as crisis will strike when you least expected. That being said, I do not think it would be good if I reveal the specifics about this session.

 

Lastly, she offered us some golden tips on networking and resources for us to buff up our networking skills. Some of which are derived from the emotional bank concept by Stephen Covey, movie titled Pay it forward and more…

It was a very light-hearted session which allowed me to make new acquaintances, learn some new perspectives and reinforce my beliefs. On the whole, it was worth every single cent of my fee. You can go check out her available courses if you are interested in them.

MBTI Profiling

 

Today, I attended a student development program called “Know Yourself Better”. The facilitators of this program will use Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment to help us decipher our character and then how to make use of our strengths and avoid pitfalls. For the uninformed, the MBIT assessment is based on the typological theory of Carl Gustav Jung and further developed into a personality inventory by Katherine Briggs and her daughter.

 

Sarah, a psychologist, is the facilitator and she had an assistant to join her. The program begins with Sarah explaining the concept of forced choice for the personality test and the practicality of doing an MBTI test.

 

Subsequently, we did the 96 questions in the assessment (I think). The answer sheet is on a piece of paper backed upon a carbon copy. Upon completion, we would then refer to the carbon copy at the back which contained our scores. The tallied score would then lean in favor of a side within a pair. The 4 pairs are Introversion-Extraversion, Sensing-iNtuition, Thinking-Perceiving and Judging-Perceiving. MY personality is ISTJ; the inspector; the dominant function being Introverted Sensing (Si) with the auxiliary function being Extraverted Thinking (Te). i also have a little of INTJ characteristics

 

Sarah then went through different combination of personality types; and mind you it was pretty accurate when she illustrates daily happening in an ISTJ. Here’s what Wiki have to say about ISTJs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISTJ

ISTJs are people of their word, intent on preserving social and family values. At home and at work, Inspectors reliably examine the people and products that fall under their responsibility—unobtrusively ensuring uniform quality and demanding that certain standards of conduct are maintained.”

I find this description fighteningly accurate, if it is a coincident. Personally, I am pretty conservative on how I wish to raise my family: religion and lifestyle. I also have a compulsive habit to double check my project mates and my products to ensure if they are up to at least my personal standard.

“In both their professional and personal lives, individuals of this type are rather quiet and serious. ISTJs are extraordinarily persevering and dependable. The thought of dishonoring a contract would appall a person of this type. When they give their word, they give their honor. ISTJs can be counted on to conserve the resources of the institution they serve and bring to their work a practical point of view. They perform their duties without flourish or fanfare; therefore, the dedication they bring to their work can go unnoticed and unappreciated. They may take on the burden of trying to correct the perceived faults in the system themselves, resulting in overwork and burnout”

I also find this exceptionally true. I am generally more quiet and serious relative to my peers, prefering conversation in depth in area of my interests when I meet a common minded individual. I am also very dependable, I make it a point to complete a task when I commit myself to it. I am willing to burn the midnight oil and sacrifice my private time to fulfill my obligation; often leaving me with less than 4 hours of sleep during such periods.

“While not directly seeking leadership positions, ISTJs are often placed in such roles. They build a reputation for reliable, stable, and consistent performance that causes others to select them to lead. ISTJs use their past experience and their factual knowledge in their decision making.”

I try to avoid recently due to working commitments recently. However, when thing do not get done, I would naturally voice out and try to lead the group by throwing open ended question to introduce ideas and get volunteers to settle the issues; and I rely A LOT on past experiences.

“For the ISTJ, love means commitment, steadiness, and consistency. ISTJs expect themselves and their mates to be responsible, practical, and dependable. When in a relationship, they behave appropriately for what the situation or their role demands. For example, if the relationship is in the courting stage, the ISTJ will exhibit courting behaviors, such as giving boxes of candy, red roses and presents”

Again, love is about commitment, steadiness and ….consistency! I also expect my other half to commit equally to the family. This caused friction in some of my relationships when I felt let down by others due to their lack of commitment, when others caused unexpected situations or when things goes wrong due to an absense of plans. that being said, i have a little of INTF in me too:

“In forming relationships, INTJs tend to seek out others with similar character traits and ideologies. Agreement on theoretical concept is an important aspect of a relationship. By nature INTJs tend to be demanding in their expectations and approach relationships in a very rational manner. As a result, an INTJ may not always respond to a naturally occurring infatuation but wait for a mate who better fits his or her set criteria. He or she tends to withhold strong emotion and does not like to “waste” time with irrational social rituals. “

I realised this personality assessment would be a very huge asset to me if I research in depth about it. If I get filter people in their various personality types the instance I see or converse with them, I could instantly avoid potential conflicts and tune into their “frequency” which will facillitate building of trust. It would then be easier to get people to work with or for me. It could serve as a guide to find my future spouse too…J

Invest Fair 08

Since my last post, I have been busy with my assignment and project in school doing research and meeting deadlines. Now that I have completed the more pressing projects, I managed to get a few days off to rest my body.

 

Invest Fair is an annual event that I religiously attend due to the exposure to different kinds of investment instruments and the insights I can gain from the free informative seminars.

 

My agenda for when attending this Invest Fair’08 is to get exposure and greater understanding of warrants, technical analysis, the outlook of the next half of the year and alternate investments like premium liquids. I also want to activate an account to do trading in the US and Hong Kong market; and get some freebies too (yes, I am a Singaporean)

 

Knowing from my past experience that the place will be packed with many interesting booth and it will be challenging to enter a seminar at the last minute, I went to Invest Fair’08 website to procure the seminar schedule and promptly filter them down to those I am interested in. based on my objectives, I chose to visit CapitaLand to learn more about Singapore reits, CIMB-GK Securities to learn about 2H08 macro outlook, 2008 Market Focus to listen to the interesting views by the panels, E*Trading Financial for access to the US financial markets, Online Trading Academy for fundamental technical indicator analysis and T3B Holdings to learn about basic forex.

 

As anticipated, I arrived at the fair at around 1030am and started browsing different booths to check out for my objectives, freebies, offers and immersed myself in that atmosphere. The different seminars provided me with extensive insights about the direction of the market and leads to do my own due diligence. I managed to activate and open accounts to do trading in the US and Hong Kong financial markets and introduced me to more investing instruments. Land banking and premium liquid were nothing new, however there seem to be a large increase of warrant players in the market like Rabobank, Societe Generale, Philips and more…

 

It was a pretty fruitful day as I had learnt lots of new things. I will be going through all the brochures when I reach home tonight and be anticipating the financial reports which I placed order today.

Picking up momentum

 I took a few days break after tying the loose ends in the SOE. My aunt offered me a position at her company, this was just as well as I needed some cash to fund advertising fees when I am marketing properties for my clients; if I become an a formal property agent. I chose to work at her company as it was a good opportunity to learn how SMEs functions and the salary was above market rate.

 

Her company deals with distributing drugs and poisons to local clinics, polyclinics and hospitals. My job would be to process the daily orders, consolidate daily sales and pack the goods. The role of the data entry clerk was quite simple after I am familiar with the job description and the functions of my colleagues.

 

Besides my eight-to-five day job, I also took night classes concurrently; so as to become a real estate agent. I joined ERA and took the ESST and Diploma in Real Estate, as a result; my average day will end at 11pm. This period was very physically and mentally demanding but I had learnt a lot about pharmaceutical business and the property market during this one month.

 

Despite the hectic schedule, I found it very fulfilling as everything had gone according to plan; my next goal is to juggle my real estate commitments with my studies when school reopens and make 20k worth of commission monthly so as to be in line with my goal to become the best rookie and subsequently, the youngest millionaire in Singapore at 25.

 

 

P.S. I happen to have 3 quotes which inspired me greatly during this period, they are:

 

-See what others do not see, do what others do not do, sacrifice will no longer be a sacrifice

 

-The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary- May Smith

 

-Tough times do not last, only tough ppl do

 

Spirit Of Enterprise

After my exams were officially over, the next task that awaited me was the Spirit of Enterprise. The spirit of enterprise is meant to allow the republic to show appreciation for the various entrepreneurs whose role had contributed to the Singapore success story.

 

As a student interviewer, my role was to locate and interview theses entrepreneurs from various industries. Naturally, my initial choices came from previous pleasant encounters. I had thus chosen to nominate Ice3 café which sells tasty dessert (with accolades to it), Cambridge institute where I had picked up the Japanese language, Jill Lowe international who specialize in image creation and a couple more; but only Mr. Edwin Chan and Mr. Philip Wong graciously agree to participate in this process.

 

The entire interview process was very enjoyable as I got to interview with 2 successful entrepreneurs and listen to their struggles, personal philosophy, and their vision for the future.

 

The thing that I found in common with these individuals and previously interviewed entrepreneurs was that they were once at the brink of failure or had failed before, but they didn’t just stop there. What they had chose to do was to pick themselves up, learn from there mistakes and persevere instead. They usually had a difficult childhood or had experienced a significant event in their life which brought them out of their comfort zone; as a result, they also take failure or risk very positively.

 

Although I was remunerated financially for my service, I had gained an alternate form of intangible remuneration. I managed to see beyond the illusion most people aspire; having a stable job with a fixed pay. This is in fact so insecure due to influx of cheaper foreign talents, inflation and volatility of business cyclics. This had reinforced me on the path I want to take, to strike it big in the property market as a real estate agent and eventually develop my career in the financial industry so as to enjoy my financial freedom with my close ones.

Spirit Of Enterprise

Spirit Of Enterprise

 

 

“You’re Fired!”

I am finally back after one and a half month; many things happen during this period. Firstly, I managed to clear this semester exams although my grades were not exactly fantastic. Next would be my involvement in Spirit of Enterprise project in which I would have to interview entrepreneurs about their success stories. Last but not least, I commenced my real estate courses and formally enter the property market. I would elaborate about these interesting events later.

The few interesting things that happened to me, between my 8th April post and last paper on 9th May.

 

Part 3: The Apprentice

 

Meanwhile, I am addicted on the Apprentice; namely the first, fifth, sixth and seventh seasons.

 

What I really like about the Apprentice are the different colorful characters, clash in personalities between projects and the board with Mr Trump and Ivanka in it.

 

Season one apprentice Bill Ranric has very good business acumen, quick mental reflexes and often thinks out of the box. These qualities were expressed when forming a formidable team for the final showdown against Kwame, locating the lost advertisement when all hope seems lost and putting advertisements on the rickshaws for additional revenue. However, I would have to give credit to Omarossa as she left a deeper impression on me due to her devious nature and caustic personality.

 

Season five apprentice Sean is a ladies man and someone who had excellent EQ in additional to his great sense of fashion. However, Lee really impressed me because he had customized and employed marketing strategies which flustered their opponents and lead his team to victory in several episodes. He seemed like a master strategist and is the underdog, taking into account his young age.

 

Season six apprentice is really someone I would love to take EQ lessons from. Stefanie managed to win this game without being project manager or being invited to the board room. She is also capable of making very good presentation which I believed brought her team to victory more than once.

 

Celebrity Apprentice is extremely entertaining compared to its’ predecessors. From the Piers-Omarossa feud to the Piers-Steven vendetta, its entertainment value is immense; not to mention 13 full board room session of Ivanka.

 

After writing this blog a month after watching this show, I have the irresistible urge to go through it once again- that is if I can make the time. There are many thing that I had learnt from the various apprentices in this show like handling interpersonal conflicts, utilizing team mates forte, thinking creatively and perhaps use them in similar situations. The corporate world is indeed full of surprises and i cannot wait to make my mark there.