Archive for the ‘business’ Category

I met up with Shu Ling that day, she always tells me stuff that makes me think and help to straighten up jumbled thoughts in structured order. I took away some stuff she shared and told me. One of which was how to decide easier. I asked her how does she do it? She chose between a good paying job and a job which interest her more but paid a lot less. (more then 20% less). How do you decide? I asked her, because I m also always stricken by what is practical and what makes sense vs. what I feel.

she shared with me that the good paying job would have been what she wanted 2 years ago, but not anymore. It would be something she would be working hard towards to actually get that sort of job. she grown out of the job or what she use to want. & now she would like to do something related to society and give back to society or for social good. So any decisions she make for jobs would go back to that as a basis which will make it easier for her to make decisions.

For life, she said that she would do things to meet the belief of her being happier this year then last, and better then the last. So anything she does goes back to this.

I thought it would be applicable to me to know what is my life philosophy, what I deem impt generally so it would be easy for me to decide on things – business, life, etc. It would be a much more efficient way then to keep rethinking on decisions. So this two weeks I have been pondering on it. I feel that it would also help me shape what I want my life to be and how I would live my life in the next 5 years.

This is in lieu of me turning 30. A number isn’t a big deal but being intentional is what I want to be. Not just float through the years like the first 3 years after graduating not knowing what I like, what I want, what I need to pursue.

In Business, Life, Relationships, Personal Growth, Giving back to society.

I did share with her that I might then seem rather superficial because what I want is only to be comfortable and that largely will come from being financially well to do. I feel generally everything I do, is to be comfortable in living my life. I would love to advice pp – I.e giving back to Society but I feel that I’m not quite ready and apt for it right now because I have not reached a certain level of “success”.

She told me that everyone has different wants and different things that will satisfy them, If it is what I want or think what I want, by all means go all the way and do whatever I can and everything I can to reach there, and then see if it’s really what satisfies and makes me fulfilled/ feel achieved. And no one can say it’s wrong or bad, because it’s very individual.

and if I can’t decide or pinpoint yet how I want to do things – all the above, then try the “world’s way” means everyone elses ways and see if I am comfortable with it, eventually I will come to form my own opinion and own way to do things (live my life, business etc.) that I find resonates / peaceful with myself.

Does everyone have a life philosophy as well?

Some of my friends have – be kind to others whenever they can. Some are travel as much as they can. (one wanted to travel to 50 countries or cities Before 30, and he’s done it) Some just worry as much as they can- just kidding! Some wants to date as much as they can (haha) maybe not anymore as we are at the age of wanting to just concentrate on one partner. Some are having family – many kids. Some are to make a difference in the world.

The point of this post is also that I want to be intentional in living my life. I think I have been rather this year, and i know that my life will be more intentional next year if I plan for it to do and achieve what I want. Life passes too fast, there’s no number (age) of doing something but this quote striked me because it reinforces that life is precious and you can live it wild (not sleep around) but beyond your imagination and fears.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.



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I’m back here, to update what I been up to for… the last 10 days! Alvin and i took a trip to Korea – Seoul & Jeju. Jeju really surprised me because I really liked Jeju. Although I was feeling super tired and sick during the days in Jeju, I felt like it was such a serene place with lots of land and greens and sea. And i actually enjoyed the sightseeing – HA HA HA. NEW FOR ME RIGHT?


I am the omg i don’t want to walk type of person, but recent 1 year I think I have changed a little. After doing Dragon back Trail in HK, I felt like I start to enjoy scenery and hiking related more. It tend to tell me that even though the journey is long and far, during the journey it teaches me how to be patient and take one step at a time, and the end result – the view is worth it. But i really appreciate and learn more of the journey itself,i  feel like it shapes my character in a weird way, and i relate that back to me and my business.

So we took a nearly 10 day trip to Korea. 3 days spent in Jeju which was not enough for me. I actually on the impulse asked the host if she had space for 1 more night for us because i really loved her place – it looked out to the sea. but she was really full, so we just went back to Seoul as planned. I would recommend anyone who is going to Jeju to stay at her place, she provides korean breakfast and she speaks english. Its hard to communicate in Korea if they don’t know english and chinese. All the circles and the squares make my head fuzzy too.

Let me ramble on before I start on the Korea stuff proper maybe on the next post. So this trip, is something both of us really needed. Our last trip was August 2015, alvin been working hard at his job and he’s also achieved completion of his ACTA – Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment. He studied part time at night classes for around 6 months before completing it in June. And also, he has decided to embark on his Masters that will start in August, so it was a good break for him :’)

For me, I been stressed over my business, wondering what next and how do I do certain things better. Also, what is important for me in the business and as a person – this will affect how I treat and grow my business; sort of like my values. I remember my previous work place manager, he always told me that if one’s mission is to earn 1mil bucks, 2 mil bucks, then you will be lost after achieving it. It should be more like, how meaningful your job/what you are doing, does it help the society, do you give back? I struggled abit also because a retail business is based on “wants” and not “needs”. I think “needs” are like food business like hawkers, fruit sellers, econ mini-mart where they sell bread and stuff. Things you need to live. I honestly got lost somewhere and just sit back and wondered what value am i providing to people? Why are they buying from me? Why I am selling stuff to them? As well as got caught up thinking of growing the expanding the business, and was afraid that it would just be all about numbers/money.

This trip – Jeju especially opened my eyes and heart about a few things. A general gist was that, we stayed in Airbnb studio owned by Isabel (The host) and her husband. We hired a taxi driver Mr Lee who was in the hotel industry before he drove taxi and take tours. Both of them inspired me pretty much more then average. I always loved to chat with locals when we go to any cities (the last i enjoyed so much was chatting with Maureen, our host at San Fran) because it gave us their perspective in life, in their job, in the place they are in and the situation they have.

This is what our accoms in Jeju looked like. the seaview is REAL.
Sign up via my referral link to get SG$30 travel credits : www.airbnb.com.sg/c/stang18
Isabel house Airbnb link : https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/7331339


What i took away was that – If you can make yourself or your service of Value, I.e. it brings value to people, your business will flourish.

Isabel was a teacher before being a host, her husband designed and built the 3 storey house and also had the foresight that people will like this place because it had a scenic sea view. I am also curious (friends would affectionately say I am kaypo) because I always wanted to know what inspire people and what led them to making the choices and decisions. The location of their house was purely coincidental. They were going nearby to view a land as they wanted to buy, and they didnt like it so much so they drove further and around. They just drove pass the current land that the house was in and there was a big rock on it. Her husband immediately said the land is good, but she couldn’t see it. Then he decided to buy it, removed the rock and built a building there. She couldn’t give two hoots , and didnt even visit the place until after it was done. She said she didn’t fancy or cared much of the process because she loved her job as a teacher. She just saw the rock and then the building, and i thought that was pretty hilarious and amazing. And other people around the neighbourhood was so worried for them and wondered why this couple person bought such a small piece of land with a rock on it! I feel that her husband has great foresight and also had in mind that travellers would like to stay in their house. He designed such that the windows faced the sea, the staircases are outside (like a flat style) not a bungalow style and the rooms are studio like.

2 points here I want to highlight is firstly, she loved her job. This is something i found in the Jeju locals that they are so proud of what they do and they put their heart into it. I have hardly ever heard anyone saying that they love their job in Sg. 2nd point was that sometimes things happen for a reason, a coincidence, just happened and its somehow God’s plan. I mean what are the odds that you chance upon a great piece of land when you were actually disappointed in the one you initially wanted to view. (I am not sure if they Christians, but she left a review on my page that included “God bless you ” so maybe they are. I read other reviews she left for other people that stayed at her place but she never did write God bless to others.) But anyway, my point, you get it.

She told me – I am not sure why people would want to stay here. i said the view is awesome and you serve breakfast and speak english. She said ohh ok, I guess the sea and breakfast right! I said yes. And this also led me to my 3rd point – that if you give something more then others, even if others may be doing the same thing as you. If you go an extra mile, just a small one, people will come to you. When I was searching for places to stay in Jeju, there was many to choose from, including sea view and even pool. I was so inclined to stay at her place because there was korean breakfast provided and her pictures looked so yummy and it felt like her hosting was very warm. And of course, it was convenient too to eat before heading out for sightseeing, thats what i thought and it proved to be a great decision and met her. I am always grateful to our airbnb hosts who are open to chat with us and share with us about their lives and their stories.

Me having korean breakfast prepared by Isabel’s helper


And to the third point, when I was chatting with her, I asked if she knew what the other building used their rooms for. There was one or two other building just a few meters away and they could be doing airbnb as well but I am not sure. i was wondering if it was competitive to rent our the airbnb at her area because of the seaview and others did the same. She said to me simply, I don’t know and I don’t bother, I just do my own things. This taught me one thing is that, doesn’t matter what people are doing, even if they are doing well, better then you or not and if they are your competitors or not, you should just focus on what you do and do it well. It was quite a rude shock to me because I am always kaypo and curious to know what others are doing and how i can do better then them – if I am her, I would want to know if they have “better business” then me on airbnb. Then i learnt my 3rd point is – don’t look at what others are doing, just concentrate on your own thing. This called me back to the short meeting I had with Farah, a lady who on and off check how I am doing (sort of like a mentor/guide), she and another lady whom i just met told me that I will go down (fail) if i keep looking at others/other business and wanting to follow their style/ direction/what they do. So this really hit home for me.

Our taxi driver, Mr Lee had really good command of English (for a Korean). We chatted so much and he shared with us his life so much. And the best is, he knows so much about Singapore, and how things work here I almost had to ask him – did you live in Singapore?? How did you know so much about it! His customers are 90% Singaporeans based on referrals. And so I will refer anyone to him that wants to go to Jeju and need a driver. I highly recommend because Jeju is huge and public transport/bus are not very frequent. The travel from one place to another is 20mins – 1 hour.

Here’s our very kind and friendly taxi driver, Mr Lee Hong Min. (he speaks English)
To book him Watsapp: +82 10-9396-4498 / email:


He has been doing this for 2-3 years, his father in law owns the taxi company. But what striked me hard was that he loves what he does, he isnt “sian” of bringing us around like its just his job or  a chore. I can’t imagine how excited you have to be doing the same time day in and out for 3 years. He works 23-26 days a month. You know like how some people in Sg (customer service sector) give you a sian look when they are serving you. Mr Lee was so patient, so punctual. We said 10am, and he comes at 920. Like omg we haven’t even started our breakfast! And the best thing is, he’s not just a driver. He parks his taxi, and brings us into the sightsee, walks with us and explains to us whats the history, what happened, how it came about. He will also take pictures for us, tell us the best place to stand and also take scenery pictures while we read the sign boards and stuff. I mean, which “taxi driver” will do all that, he was literally a tour guide and even got us discount one of the sight see entrance fee. This brings me to iterate 1. people in jeju really love their job. 2. they give more value then just the service they offer

And he was always chatting, smiling and always ready to bring us here and there where we want to go. On the first day, i was so tired and i didn’t say I wanted to go back to the accoms, but he said you look really tired why don’t we go back and rest for today and continue tomorrow. At that point, we had just reached the sight see entrance and even got down the taxi. If I was the driver, I would not bother because i drove all the way here! I said ok and we headed back.

It also dawned onto me and i was quite amazed that they could make a business out of just hosting people and driving people. It looked to me that there was a need in the industry and you can always make a business out of it as long as you provide value / something that someone needs. For them, it comes out of the tourism and people need the service their provide.

So although I felt real tired and sick during Jeju trip, I liked it a whole lot more then Seoul. Maybe less people, more fresh air and the seaview from our room. Also what I took away and learnt from the short 3 Days.. helped me to see that providing VALUE in whatever I do will lead me to the right path.

Sunset in Jeju looks like this, so picturesque – i took this outside Isabel’s place.


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I love it when people think of great ideas that solves a need, and most importantly they execute it and turn it into something useful. I have a thing for start ups because they come up with the cleverest ideas to solve problems which is real. Here’s two travel related start ups which is super for avid travelers like us :) I just thought I have to share. Unfortunately, we can’t use it everywhere yet, but its just to look out for it if you are at any of the locations.

1. TravelersBox
Site : http://www.travelersbox.com/
For loose change after a trip

2016-01-18 22_14_16-Convert your leftover foreign change _ TravelersBox

This start-up came up with the idea when one of the founders Tomer Zussman found that everytime he came back from travel, he would have a bunch of coins in his pocket that actually amount to US10-15. Say hi to those who also have this problem! I have a bunch of coins in different currencies now which i don’t even segregate them and just dump them in a coin pouch which i have to dig out when i travel to whichever country again. Plus during our trip to HK, i found that they don’t accept certain coins at restaurant. We were quite annoyed and insisted to pay with it, I mean its money right? This is what happens when coins are kept for too long.

So, the idea is that you can deposit your left over coins into TravelersBox located at some airports which looks like an ATM/AXS machine and convert the coins into digital value and credit it into your paypal acccount, or into giftcards/credits like Starbucks/ etc.

TravelersBox’s machine is currently installed at airports in Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir, and Ankara), Georgia (Tbilisi), Italy (Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate), and Philippines (Manila). I hope they go into London, Paris, US of course.

2. Hello Roaming
Get a sim card before your trip
2016-01-18 22_13_47-Hello Roaming

This start up wants to help travelers get sim card for the place they are traveling to before they get there, cheaper and faster without hassle. They are based in Malaysia and only currently allows this service if you are located there. They now have sim cards for five countries (Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong) and hold inventory for all the telcos in all of those countries. You just have to go to their site and choose where you are going, duration of your stay and your sim card options. They register for you and send you a sim card. The price is much lower then if you purchase one there and also skip all the hassle registration and confusion on having to google and search for cheapest plan. hah.

Hope they will extend their service to Singapore soon, I am sure we will all use it! Nobody can live without internet these days.






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I always wanted to write about some entrepreneur books that are helpful to me, currently I just picked up Big Magic by the same author who wrote Eat Pray Love. I forgot if I ever read it and even if I did, I forgot the contents. I actually wrote Play instead of Pray initially (you can see what I have been thinking about) 

The author is Elizabeth Gilbert, and I am on just the first few chapter. It affirms that we can be creative ourselves.. and we can find things that bring us joy in doing, something which resonates with us. She wrote that we don’t have to quit our job, move across the world to do that. And also in the current chapter I am reading, she affirms that we don’t need a degree to be “legit” in the field we want to be, as long as we work at our craft everyday diligently, we are already for real. I think a lot of us feel that when we want to embark on something new, we always pull ourselves back and say but I don’t have experience or i have no degree / cert to prove. Maybe maybe just perhaps we may not even need that. 

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I guess Jack Ma is quite right, treaties made by businesses because businesses are never biased or closed minded. As long as there is “good”, needs and wants, it doesn’t matter what obstacles there is, it can always be resolved. Read Jack Ma’s Spec summit notes here : https://www.techinasia.com/best-quotes-jack-ma-apec-summit-2015-manila/

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Ever since I went full time into Just Tangy, I hardly interact much with other people because I don’t have colleagues or bosses. So the only people I really talk to, top number 1 is the courier guys, the cai fan aunties, and some shop owners/merchandisers but not often.

Yesterday one of the courier guys came to pick up parcels and he always like to chat and share random things with me. He told me he used to be in the fashion industry and also went out to open two shops selling ladies dresses / fashion before the blogshop wave hit. After which sales was very bad for him in his shops when online blogshops started so he had to close down his shops and worked in a shipyard company as he needed money to get married as well. Then after which he went into several other business, and he’s now only 33, to me that’s still pretty young.

The thought hit me that what if my husband was like that, or I was like that? He seemed rather happy but also tired from running around collecting parcels. It does seem like not such a glam job. It hit me that what would I think of myself in this situation, doing this and that but never really made a big break or staying in a stable job would give you a stable income and by 33 you be earning a good salary. But then again, I don’t think they are grads and the inertia for grads to go out there and do your own things is actually pretty daunty because you can command a higher salary and what you give up is much more then someone who did not study a lot.

A lot of times, we see the cost benefit this way, we see what we WILL potentially lose out for sure compared to what we MAYBE can get. But we don’t see it other way around. And then again, I hope that I won’t end up being like this, doing this and that but nothing really and regret compared to staying in a job when I look back in life later where I focus and be the best in working whatever I was doing. When I look back later in life, I definitely want to say that it was the best decision I made, that changed something or everything in terms of career, but I would never know.. maybe till it’s too late?

And last night Alvin & I had this convo about him taking his masters and he told me that he asked around for opinions from his seniors if it was worth it. Most of them said its good to have but they are not thinking of it personally because they already have some other accreditation, and most of them have kids and lack of time to commit to doing a masters. In the end I realized from this is that we often seek to do things only because it’s “worth it” meaning it’s the means to the end – we have to get something out of it to classify as “worth it”. I think it’s a very Singaporean thing to only do things that give you tangible benefits and if there isn’t then we don’t do it because it doesn’t make sense. If you gone ahead and do it, people may judge but that’s just because we are Singaporean. There are other intangible benefits to things we do that we often don’t know until we do it, but we end up not doing it in the end. So anyway, we agreed that whether or not its “worth it” he should take it if the opportunity rises next year and I definitely think it’s a great thing for him as well. There isn’t a need to get something back but it sure would open eyes to something more and new.

My point is, if you want to do something, even though it has no value on the surface what so ever, I think it’s still okay to do it. You never know what comes out of it, it could be even someone you met that give you your next job. It could be the people you meet, the things you learn, personal growth is something we cannot put a value or tangible-ness to it. I am hoping as I learn and grow to be more open minded, I won’t have the Singaporean too safe and too scared mentality and I would be able to live life to the fullest.

For awhile now I thought I was being kind of lame to have taken French the first level and then not follow through with the second, why take in the first place? Then I realized that it is perfectly fine to have some self growth and personal learning, not everything has to end up with something I am very good in. It is just one of those things that I wanted to do at that point and i am happy to say that I know a little French. I stopped “beating” myself over it. More recently, I found that others were doing the same, Vivien shared with me that she was going to take up a short app development course when she’s back in UK this month, just to know and learn something new. There’s no outright tangible benefits since she’s not going to do be a developer and do coding business, but it dawned to me that it could just be in us to just want to learn and know more things. The “jack of all trades and master to none” is no longer very relevant today for our generation. Plus things like that are not cheap.

Honestly, sometimes it’s not easy to think horizontally /  laterally because we have been ingrained by our education and conformed into society to be a certain way and tick certain check boxes, if not we will be judged. I spent a good amount of time moving away from what I think I should be based on comparison to my peers etc, and hopefully I am threading on the path I want to be on, or at least the right one to end up on..

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I went to “passion unleashed” session (their fb page) with Vivien a few weeks back and also caught up abit on what’s been going on with her. I take heart that we have each other to talk to and she would look for me when she needs someone to talk to as well. Although we run different types business, the fundamentals are the same – values, doubts, relationships, fear, some really bad days where we need encouragement, some good days where we feel like we can take on the world, people, etc.

There was so many take away-s from the sessions especially by Claire Chiang – founder of Banyan Tree and Chatri – Founder of Evolve MMA.

I am going to summarize them into pointers, and break them up into two parts. Here’s the first 5, part I.


1. Passion won’t suffice, but passion with work and commitment. As long as you don’t give up and have an unwavering commitment to what you are doing, success will come. Look around and all the successful people didn’t do it overnight but over years and years, ten years the very least, for most. It is something I am still learning – to be patient. Because we were always thought to be quick, fast, instant and impatient.

2. Doing something different, stepping out & taking the risk. Both shared that it doesn’t matter whether u reach the end and whether u succeed. As long as you done something different, try different from your usual routine. I sometimes feel that this is very hard to achieve, first taking the risk and not knowing the outcome, and being ok if we fail, honestly no one is ever ok having being failed, there were many disappointments along the way but I learnt how to get over them and get over them quicker now.

3. Anything that fails doesn’t end there but it opens up other opportunities. What you can do is live through it well, and learn through experimentation and trials. Being on my own isn’t easy because all the decisions I make, I have to sit through them and take it even if it was not the best choice. But I take heart that there will always be open doors when one closes. And everything is a learning experience.

4. Have moments to take time to pause and think, to redesign and think what is your life about. There is always time to scale your business, but remember to take time to reflect as there is a momentarily moment that is life changing.

5. Everyone has good n bad days. The defining moments are when you are getting crushed by the world, but don’t listen to your fears doubts and insecurities.

Last but not least, Claire shared that life is daily wins and daily losses. Hope that this helps you even if you are not a business owner, it is relevent for our work/jobs/career and also on our life.

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