personal

Updates and Hiatus Announcement

3:00 AM

Hey there!

It's been pretty long since my last update. Rest assured that I'm NOT abandoning this blog. I'm just occupied with a lot of interesting things and reading up on business etc. Internship is coming soon too so I will be pretty occupied at the mo but I'm really pumped for all these exciting new opportunities!

Updates:

1. Finals were brutal. Nuff said.
2. Moved into our new unit yeay! Can't wait to enjoy life outside KTSN 🙊
3. Celebrating birthday at home was one of the best things ever 😍 Was really touched when Eximians gave me a surprise celebration too aww thx guys! ❤️
4. Went to faculty to settle research stuff and it was so fulfilling. It was tough yes but it challenged me and I felt so happy that day! The rain and chilly weather helped too haha. 
5. Bought books on business and career for 2 weekends and I couldn't be happier consuming all these knowledge and continuously learning!
6. Get updates on my lettering progress on Instagram at @lilyart.ig ! I've bought Pentel Aquash as well as a Koi colouring brush pen to practice and so far it's been a cool journey! Ps just realised I keep picking new hobbies during the sem break but I reallyyyyy love learning new stuff and challenging myself 😂😍 Perks/cons of being a multipotentialite haha (more on that in a separate blog post hopefully sometime soon!).

That's all for now! Thanks for supporting me all these while, heart you guys ❤️


tips

Live A Life of Passion

12:15 AM

passion


It has been a long time since I last blogged.

Not gonna lie, writing this means I am stealing a few minutes away from completing my lit rev. 

But I am still gonna do it.

Why?

Because all through this week, I had been thoroughly burnt out by the sheer amount of workload and stress.

The only thing that can invigorate and recharge my soul is immersing in my passion: writing. 

Without this, I am essentially a machine, spewing out completed work day in and day out. I shudder to think if this would be my future, and determined not to have this happen to me for the rest of my life.

I am just gonna make it real short and simple (work's waiting), but this is just a reminder to me and all who need it: remember your passions and immerse in them once in a while.

Yes you will spend time with them even if you do not have much to spare, but trust me, the time spent will be rewarded multiple folds. Ps scrolling on social media mindlessly is just a form of distraction from stress etc that will ultimately build up because the main cause is not addressed properly. ;)

tips

Don't Give Up On Love!

5:44 PM

don't give up on love


How To Love-A Dummies Survival Guide 

1. Prepare to have your heart broken, again and again.

2. Wait for the scar to form.

3. Repeat.

Why?

Because love is worth it, cheesy as it sounds.

Because I wrote this poem and realised I didn't mean a single thing I wrote, even if I believe there is a hint of truth to it.

O, foolish dreamers who love!
Wake up,
Said me to me. 
The dream is over,
Illusion is shattered.
Life is survival,
And love is only a commodity. 

Because I believe if love is powerfully destructive, then it could only be equally powerful to sustain us all.

Because I believe that no matter how bad, selfish, or self-centered a person is, there is still a shred of conscience and kindness in him.

And mostly, because I chose to believe in Him. And all He asked of us was to love and take care of each other.

Deciding to love may be silly to some, but in truth it remains the most rational answer to life's complex questions.

I implore us all to find the strength to love, whether it's just some TLC for yourself on a particularly tough day, or finding the courage to love again after having bad relationships on several occasions.

For truly, we are nothing without love.

PS If you are in an abusive/toxic relationship, by all means leave. Love should never harm or hurt.

tips

Perfectionism vs Massive Imperfect Action

4:16 PM

Perfectionism

Perfectionism has always been some sort of personal weakness for me (arguably can be repackaged as a strength in interviews).

Recently though, with increasing workload in addition to passion projects, I felt almost paralyzed with fear as I worked on them one by one. 

Then I learnt an important lesson: 

Yes, perfectionism may be good but only to a certain extent.

I learnt this timely concept from online entrepreneur Mario Brown. He said that you just got to go out there and do it. Make as many imperfect actions and trial and error from there, or what he emphasized as "Massive Imperfect Action". Many people watched videos after videos, read extensively on the net and spent a ton of time trying to make everything perfect. It is not wrong to make sure everything is right from the get-go, but truth is in the long run, they will burn out. And then wonder why they failed, labelling affiliate marketing as a scam. 

It is okay to start out imperfectly; the most important thing is to keep going, keep trying, and keep improving. 

As Dory always say,

Just keep swimming.

To fellow perfectionists: have faith and just do it! Don't let perfectionism stop you from achieving your true potential. :)


entrepreneurship

The Ultimate Guide to Make Money Online For Students (Malaysia Edition)

8:53 PM


Over the months of researching for and testing out business ideas, I've learnt quite a bit throughout this journey. However, I am now at a crossroad. I have too many ideas and I do not know which to choose to be further developed. Thus, to clear my mind, organize my thoughts and also to help others who may need it considering the downturn of the economy, this is my ultimate guide to make money online for students in Malaysia. 

Assumptions about the condition of students:
1. Limited funding.
2. Limited time.
3. Limited space (for uni students in dorms).

1. Operate An Online Business

Pros: 
  • Easy to set up.
  • Work from anywhere you like (no location limitations).
  • Customers can be local, national or even international.
  • Be your own boss=freedom.

Things to consider: 
  • Finding stocks that will appeal to your market.
  • Need to find good and consistent supplier for stocks.
  • Need to be able to receive the stocks (PO Box etc for those in dorms).
  • Need to spend a lot of time and money in posting online and marketing. For multi-channel selling, this effort needs to be multiplied.
  • Need a certain amount of space to store stocks.
  • Need money to buy stocks.
  • Need a good camera/phone to take pictures of the stocks/models, consider background, aesthetics, skills etc as well.
  • If social media account is blocked (various reasons in which this can occur), the whole business needs to be transferred to another account.
  • Tracking down orders (and keeping up with everything really) can be a hassle especially when your business starts to grow. I tried EasyStore and it is realllly handy! Link here.
  • The benefits of EasyStore:
  1. EasyStore is an easy-to-use tool for sellers to create store and sell products online.
  2. EasyStore provides free SSL certificate to any domain name that pointed to EasyStore.
  3. EasyStore provides a complimentary MOLPay & iPay88 account upon subscription.
  4. EasyStore integrated 44 apps and they help in marketing, sales, customer service, shipping, analytic, and more!
  5. EasyStore allows you to sync to multi marketplaces such as Lelong, Lazada, 11street, etc.
In short, as a lot of people out there say, online business may seem easy, but it is as time and effort-consuming as a physical business. With proper planning and execution, many have found success in online business as well.

2. Be A Dropship Agent

A fairly popular alternative, one that many students choose nowadays especially in Malaysia, with the hashtags #dropshipdiperlukan #dropshipmalaysia #dropshipagentneeded etc in Instagram business accounts. In my experience, this is a model with obvious advantages but with a fatal flaw. 

To those who don't know what a dropship agent does, basically the dropship agent will post the pictures of products under the name of their own business. Customers will pay them and the dropship agent will pay the supplier. The supplier will then send the product straight to the customer with the dropship agent's name/company name. 

Pros:
  • Major pro for students: No stocks needed! If you noticed, a big chunk of online businesses is based on stock handling. With this business model, this large chunk is (mostly) taken care of.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Work from anywhere you like (no location limitations).
  • Set your own profit margin.
Things to consider:

  • Major con: many others are competing to sell the exact same stuff as you do. Marketing game needs to be strong.
  • The stock is not with you and you will not check the item before it is given to the customer. Thus the reputation of suppliers needs to be scrutinised before agreeing to be the dropship agent. A good way to check this is to pretend to be the customer and buy a product from them. 
  • Check the supplier's speed of delivery post-purchase, whether pre-order stocks will be cancelled last minute (had to refund my customer because of this, thank goodness she understood), the refund policies etc. 
  • You are the head of your own business, but technically you are not the boss. This is because the supplier is in charge of your stocks in terms of finding and receiving/producing the stocks, quality control, dispatch etc. 
  • Usually the price by the supplier is already quite high as they factor in their own cost into the price, thus the profit margin cannot be too high as well.
3. Create A Blog

It is fairly easy to blog especially if you love writing; the hard part is to find a suitable niche, design your blog, produce tip-top content and to attract people to your blog. An alternative for content production is to find freelance writers to write your content from Favser, Fiverr etc. When you have built up a following, monetize with AdSense, Nuffnang or be a product reviewer to receive free products. More ideas for monetization here. However, be reminded that people are not going to your blog just to see ads scattered all around it. A good inspirational writer that I found online is Jeff Goins. Read his blog to gain inspiration to write pronto! 

4. Freelance at Favser, Fiverr etc

You can freelance by listing your skills on these platforms for free! Favser is more focused on the Malaysia market, while Fiverr targets the international market. 
Pros:
  • Freelance websites like these is akin to a job agency: many recruiters will look for freelancers through these websites, thus exposure is high.

Things to consider: 
  • Competition. There may be more people that are qualified than you but offering the same price, and if you are putting the price too low, it is not worth your effort.
  • Because of the competition, there may be no customers at all for your services. 
In short, you need to be really skilled with the particular skill you are offering or write irresistible copies for marketing to be highly sought after. 

5. Affiliate Programs

Google "affiliate programs" and tons of articles etc will appear. "Affiliate" is a buzzword especially for bloggers to monetize their blog. Basically, it means putting your special affiliate link of the particular site to direct readers of your blog to that link, thus when a person clicks that link and buys due to your referral, you get a certain percentage of the money they spent. This process differs for different websites, but the most popular ones are Amazon Affiliate ProgramClickBank and Wealthy Affiliate. Do research properly on their pros and cons before going into them, especially ClickBank (read this article here). In Malaysia there are local ones too eg Lazada Affiliate Program, Uber Affiliate Program, Zalora Affiliate Program , etc. However, you do need a certain amount of visitors to your blog before you can be an affiliate for certain programs.

UPDATE 25/4/2017: I found lots of IM products to be promoted on Muncheye and JV Notify Pro. The commission is quite high too. I have read success stories but personally, promoting lots of IM products is not my cup of tea. Besides, the competition is really stiff as top affiliates dominate the market with their bonuses if people buy from their affiliate link (not 1 or 2, but 20-30!). A good example of a top affiliate is Brett Rutecky. I really love his approach due to his no-nonsense reviews. Apparently lots of other Internet marketers love his honesty too and as a result bought through him, thus making him a successful affiliate. I would recommend doing this full time if you want to earn some serious bucks out of it.  

The main trick to find success in affiliate programmes is large volumes of traffic to your website/post!

6. Develop an app

Technical skills are required for this one, but one can always learn. If your app is widely used, it can generate a large income through ads (AdMob for eg). If you want to start faster, you can buy the source code from Chupamobile, The fastest would be by using platforms such as Appypie to generate apps but the price could be quite high for the paid versions. (Side note: for entertainment purposes feel free to play around with their free app builder!)

7. Be a Youtuber

If you watch videos from Youtube frequently, why not do some videos of your own instead? There is no limit to the type of videos that can be produced eg vlogs, tutorials, performances, short films. Make it viral or at least attract a substantial number of people, then watch the money roll in!

8. Fill In Surveys

This was one of the first that I tried. Let me tell you upfront: it is a total waste of time especially if you are not the target group that the companies want to survey. The money given is not much too in return for all that hassle. However, if you want to try it out, feel free to explore it online.

9. Be a Uber/Grab Driver

If you have a driving license and have what it takes to be a Uber/Grab driver, why not? Meet new people on the go and build relationships as well. My mum's friend got a job because he picked up the boss of the company!

10. Forex, Trading etc

I am not really sure about the legality of this one but many have apparently gained some form of monetary reward from it. Tread with caution for this one though, you may lose more than you earned.

Lastly, remember to research extensively and do not make hasty decisions. Learn something from each experience, be it failure or success. Most importantly, consistent effort will always pay off. All the best fellow students in making some additional cash to support ourselves financially in addition to taking our first steps to be an entrepreneur!