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Before you all proceed with my post….please take a few minutes to read Cirnelle‘s post onΒ  “Counting Hours“.

Done? Ok, that’s all I want to say.

LOL. Ok, just trying to be funny. πŸ˜›

Let’s get straight to the point (i’m actually rushing my work now). Do you agree that if one works late or long hours, it means that one is a good employee? I’m pretty sure most of you will not agree….but how many of you is actually doing something like that or have a boss who thinks like that? I’m sure most of you will say “Yea, I do work late, so i think i’m a good employee” or “I have a boss who only rewards those who work late” or “My colleagues always say that I never do my work because I go home earlier”.Β 

Oh please….we’re no longer in ‘that era’. This is the knowledge worker era. What matters most is your work performance, your knowledge and of course the overall results. If i were to start my own business, i will of course set a timeline for all the employees to complete a certain task…….and to do some proper quality check on the end result. I wouldn’t even bother whether they come to work or not. As long as they are there when there’s a scheduled meeting/appointment…..then i’m fine. Come to work late, go back early or work from home, I don’t mind at all. Why? Because working late or long hours DO NOT mean you’re a good employee.

Let’s see….if you work late…maybe it’s because you have unreasonable deadline…….or, you wasted too much time during the actual working hours? Either way, you are neglecting your private life (family life…friends..etc) when you start to work late. I actually know some people who spend most of their time in office chatting, reading newspaper/online news, surfing, checking shares (ok, i do this, but not that often since the site I used only update once every 1 – 2 hours), watching youtube (that’s why it’s famous), etc (you should know as well as i do πŸ˜›). In the end, they are forced to work late in order to finish their assignments.

There you go…work late doesn’t mean you’re a good employee. Good end result + good work attitude + work delivered on time = good performance = good employee.

So, start doing yourself a favor…….don’t treat yourself like a machine which works 9-5 (OK machine) or 9-7 (GOOD machine) or 9am – 12am (candidate for employee of the year)…..because you’re a human and not a machine. Fully utilize your working hours, and go back home earlier….regardless of what your boss/your colleagues think of you. A boss will always reward those with good performance, not those who works late but lousy performance.

Again, feel free to post any comments here πŸ˜‰

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Some of my friends have been working in small companies for few years. You might say that some people prefer to work in smaller companies. True. But these friends of mine always have this mentality that big companies or so-called Multi-national companies (MNC) are actually better in terms of prospects and rewards. They like to say “Alvin, your salary so high la…jealous leh” and I’ll say “Nope, my salary actually quite low” and then they’ll say “Don’t bluff la, MNC sure high pay 1”.

Then it struck me….and I’ve asked few of them “If MNC is so nice to you…why don’t you join MNC?”. And well, you should be able to guess what is the answer they gave me – “Don’t want lah…MNC a lot of politics”. 😐

SOOoooo, the question is…. does it mean working in a big company will expose you to more office politics? Answer is YES. Why? Because the possibility of being involved in office politics is higher, when there are more people in the company. Human beings are the cause of politics in office. So with more people in a company, the possibility of having some screwed up individuals will be of course, higher.

However, one should not be afraid to join a big company if one really likes the company and what it is doing. You can always try to change team (or company) if you are being dragged into something you do not want to be involved in. πŸ˜‰ In big companies, you can at least try to change project team…or division or department. If you work in a small company with office politics……..well, where else can you escape?

In the end, it all boils down to one thing – luck. πŸ™‚ Just do what you like …if you wish to try your luck in a MNC, do it. Don’t be afraid of politics because if you are unlucky…..you’ll be involved in the politics even if you don’t work in a MNC. πŸ™‚

I’ve been debating with my inner self for months now……..whether to have my own domain and host it somewhere……or to stick to this default WordPress. I love WordPress, so I believe i’ll use their tools even if I do get my own domain and hosting.

Now…the million dollar question is… (no, you don’t get the million dollar if you help me answer this question)…. is it better for me to start my own domain?

I’m asking this because most of my friends who own a blog (or few blogs) do have their own domain and hosting…..and well, I’m from IT background…so i’m supposed to be more adventurous than just stick to my default WordPress thingy. So, for those who already own their personal domains………do give me some pointers ya?

Pros

  • I can have my own domain name…www.alvinlim.name? er…www.alvinlim.com has been taken. =_= so much for having a ‘famous’ name……too many Alvin Lims around.
  • I will be able to avoid all my previous articles from being washed away……..just in case WordPress starts to hate me.
  • I can put some advertising stuff to earn…maybe RM 10 per month? Currently, WordPress doesn’t allow any form of advertising.
  • I get to prove that i AM indeed IT savvy……
  • I will be able to add some ‘cool stuff’…erm, like the one Jamy has in her blog…the top commentator thingy?

Cons

  • I will have to restart my Google ranking…….
  • I will have to use my own stats counter.……
  • I will have to find a good hosting service….get a domain name….which will cost me around RM 100-300 startup fees.
  • I have no idea how the visitors can use their existing wordpress login account to post comments….and not having to register themselves again.
  • I have to go through the entire installation process for WordPress, which I believe is not THAT hard…erm..right?

Let’s see…I believe most of the cons are coming from my Laziness. πŸ˜› So, people, please advise. I know as a blogger……having your own domain name and your own SPACE (and not WordPress‘ space) is the first and most important thing to do. Well…if someone can just provide me with a proper instruction manual…? Just kidding, I can Google for it easily (but if anyone of you have such manuals…I don’t mind you know). Just let me know what are the nice tools, if there’s any. πŸ™‚

Do feel free to teach this ‘blog noob’…or as Jamy would say, ‘dinosaur’ anything…especially things related to blogging πŸ˜›

p/s ….hope my bosses won’t see this….malu la, IT people ler.

p/s ….this posting proves something……..i’m a victim of our ‘spoon feeding’ education system πŸ˜›

Turnover has been on the rise nowadays. I’m not sure how applicable is this for other companies…but I do know that it’s quite high for the few companies that I know. And I also know that having a high turnover rate will not help any organization/company and it will give more workloads for the Human Resource people.

And then people start to ask…..why don’t these organizations or companies have a proper employee retention policy to lower the turnover rate? Good question. To be honest, most organizations/companies in Malaysia do not have a proper employee retention policy. They feel that it’s too troublesome or costly. Well, I must give credits to those who do have……but as far as I know, most do not have or are doing a very bad job with whatever retention policies they trying to implement. And for those who do not have any at all…..maybe they think retraining their employee is a cheaper way?

No idea.

After asking bout retention policy……..people will ask WHY? Why so and so want to leave? Why this? Why that? Some people will just say “oh well, it’s a stupid company” or “the company management sux”. I do agree that some companies have very inexperienced and sucky management team…….but I also believe that they are not the main reason someone wants to leave the company. Most of the time, I realized it is the direct supervisor who is forcing people out of the company.

The supervisor is the one who will manage the employees. The person who is closest to the employees or the front line men. He is the one who will look after them and also the one who they will complain or voice their opinions to. Whatever the top management does, the employees will not know or will not see that clearly. In the end, it is the things the supervisor does that will involve them.

When someone leaves a company…….the person might say “Stupid boss la. That’s why i left!”. But the actual boss of the company has nothing to do with the guy leaving the company…well, most of the time anyway. If it’s a small company, the boss is most likely the supervisor. If it’s a big company……do you seriously think the CEO or the Managing Director will actually force someone who is 3 levels below in the organization chart to leave the company? He most probably won’t even notice the guy that much! And well, how much do you actually know your CEO if you are a lower level executive?

In the end….it’s not really the top management that is responsible for the employee retention policy. Everyone is, especially the leaders……any leaders. You might be a team leader, a division lead, a practice lead, a senior manager, project manager, anyone…….but as long as you have subordinates under you……you are responsible for them, their welfare, their career path..their future. If they choose to resign…well, it’s either they found a better opportunity….plan to change their field….or, well, they’re just pissed by you. πŸ™‚

Anyway, the above is purely based on my personal opinion. Do feel free to post up your comments. πŸ˜€

Here’s a good article that my senior forwarded to me. It’s about leadership…how to differentiate yourself as a leader.

http://www.cio.com/article/110350/How_to_Differentiate_Yourself_as_a_Leader

I fully agree with this line…. “Most people do not leave their companiesβ€”they leave their leaders”. πŸ™‚Β  I’ll write something on this next time.

For now, hope you’ll enjoy the article as much as I do.

Let’s admit it, most of us do not like to face the ‘cruel-looking‘ customers or the ‘ridiculously unreasonable‘ client. But if you are in a business or profession where customer-facing is a must……there’s no escape no matter how much you hate or dislike it. This is sales to you. It can be very rewarding…but it’s never easy and it’s most probably one of the most challenging jobs in the universe.

Recently, i’ve just finished reading the famous book “Rich Dad Poor Dad“. In this book, Robert Kiyosaki talked about the importance of sales and marketing. How the ability to sell will impact our daily life.

To be honest, I used to hate all these sales things. I don’t like to go out and sell stuff…or maybe even to the extent of ‘begging’ someone to buy something from you. I don’t like this idea at all.

However, i’ve come to realize one important thing……i can never escape from doing sales, from selling things (services/products or anything) especially if i plan to start my own business. True, some of you might argue with me that you can find the right people to do sales while you concentrate on the company’s operation.

Valid point. I’ve had the same idea before this. But i soon realized how wrong it was to think that way when I witnessed something which happened to 1 of my previous employers. The CEO and other board of directors were concentrating too much on the operation of the company and they left the entire sales department to a lady staff. She did very well for the company….but she found a better opportunity after that. She left. The CEO and the board of directors were stuck…they have no proper knowledge in terms of sales…..they did not know how to sell for their own company! Well, as expected…the company went downhill after that and I left. πŸ˜›

If you are thinking to start your own business…..then always remember that you should be your own salesman. Maybe not the best salesman, but you should at least be able to sell your stuff. You’ll need the skill to sell it to the customers, the potential investors, business partners, etc.

If you still think otherwise, then feel free to post up your comments here. πŸ™‚

The line “The sky is falling!” sure sounds familiar especially to the Chicken Little fans out there. Well, it’s his fav phrase after all.

In the Chicken Little story, the character likes to run around the neighborhood shouting and alerting the neighbors that the sky is falling….but fact is, the sky is not falling.In our daily life, we are surrounded by at least one Chicken Little. Not the cute cartoon character….but the true, living Chicken Little. The person who likes to think negative and keep demotivating himself (and the people around him). The doomsayers.

They will come out with all sorts of things, just to demotivate you and made you feel bad about what you are doing or planning to do.

When you buy a property..they will say that the property is a waste of money and you should put your money in Fixed Deposit (and they don’t even know anything bout property investment). When you said you want to start a new business, they would say you are too young and immature (when inside their heart, they might feel regret for not starting their own business when they were still young) . Everything you say, they will try disagree and go on to explain why you are wrong and they are right. Fact is…most Chicken Littles do not know what they are talking about. They are being negative because they are afraid….or they’re jealous. Why? Because you are doing things that they do not dare to do.

Chicken Littles are everywhere. You can’t escape from them.

The only thing you can do is….follow your gut feelings. Do what you like, with proper research n studies of course. If you are not sure and need some advice…go seek the advice of professionals or experienced individuals. Need to know investment? Go ask the real investors…people who have been investing their money in stocks/bonds/funds, etc. Need to know about starting a business? Go ask the right people.

Never ever ask the wrong guy……and if you really did (accidentally maybe) ask the wrong guy…the Chicken Little guy, then please don’t get demotivated by the person. πŸ™‚

I often hear people saying “Stop daydreaming, Alvin!”, “Please concentrate in my class!” or things like “…*PIAK*”…the story of the flying chalk……

..ah well, those were the days…of me sleeping and daydreaming in the class.

Most adults would tell their children to stop daydreaming and face the real world. I do agree, AND disagree. One should always be brave enough to dream…..but make sure you don’t just DREAM, you should also take the necessary steps in making your dream a reality.

Recently, I’ve entered the 2007 Animax Award.Β  It’s an anime story writing competition. Actually, I really like this kind of competition because it promotes creativity and innovation among the younger generation. I’ve submitted one story for the Asia Pacific region (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia) and someone called me that I’ve won the competition. *grin grin* Hmm, quite a big surprise for me since I feel my story was quite crappy. πŸ˜› Anyway, I haven’t obtain any proof (besides the e-mail and phone call)….so, we’ll wait then. πŸ™‚

To be honest, I really enjoy doing creative stuff. To dream…to imagine…….to fantasize (in a good and positive way), is always good. You can think of the impossible, think of the unimaginable (to some people), to think of anything. Your imagination is the biggest free world you can ever get. Use it.

Leonardo Da Vinci daydreamed and imagined a lot……he imagined things like helicopter during his time. If you were to think like him during that period of time…..and went on to tell people the things you imagined, people will think you’re a madman. He’s not a madman. He’s a genius. πŸ™‚

So, don’t be afraid to dream and to imagine. Without dreams and imaginations, we human are just an empty vessel.Β 

First of all, I must apologize for being away for so long from this blog. Been pretty busy with work….and i’m still busy actually. πŸ™‚ Just taking a break.

So here i am again…throwing this question to all of you who want to start your own business.

Let’s face it. Most people, especially in Asia, want to start their own business. But why? What’s the reason of you, wanting to start your own business? Is it for fame? To build an icon like Microsoft or Google? To pursue your dreams and ambitions? To work for yourselves rather than relying on someone else? Or is it you just want to be rich and become financially independent?

I’ve asked this question to a lot of people…..not just you. Most of the answers I’ve received, well…it’s quite disappointing. Most people gave me answers such as “I just want to be my own boss” or “I want to be rich”. And none of them actually say something like “pursue my dreams/ambitions”.

If you seriously want to start your own business….have you heard of people saying that 9 out of 10 startups will fail in the first 5 years? The 1 will actually survive the first 5 years….but after that, 9 out of 10 surviving companies will struggle and perish. The survival rate is actually 5-10%….and that’s only for the first 10 years…and jst to survive.

If your main objective is to get rich quick or be financially independent, then don’t start your own business. You can do that by using your money wisely – investing in the right place, generating money from money….etc. You don’t need to start your own business to be rich. You can use other people’s business to be rich. And also…even if you start your own business, there’s a very high possibility that you won’t get rich.

For myself, I still insist that i want to start my own business. Not to get rich from it….but more like to pursue my dreams and do what I want AND, be successful with it. πŸ™‚

What bout you? πŸ˜€ Ask yourself….and answer the question honestly. πŸ™‚ Hopefully, you’ll find the answer you seek. Β 

First of all, sorry folks…i’ll be rather busy for the next few weeks. I’m currently rushing for a project (design documents for now….implementation later). I won’t be posting that much….BUT…since blogging and sharing are part of me nowadays, I’ll still post something up here…maybe just not that much.

Hope you folks won’t mind. Sincere apologies. πŸ™‚

Till then, have a nice day and check out this interesting article from Entrepreneur.com

The Perfect Presentation: Materials.