by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 28, 2005 Posted: 6:04:54 PM EDT
'Problems call forth our courage and wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of our problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. When we desire to encourage the growth of the human spirit, we challenge and encourage the human capacity to solve problems.'
~ M Scott Peck
Image source unknown. Tq la..
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 28, 2005 Posted: 2:45:38 PM EDT
Last night, James Pala and Rhys Morton, our client, treated us to a pizza dinner at Sure Pizza, Hartamas Shopping Complex.
Flo and I are pizza fans. Let me rephrase. XiMnet is a huge fan of pizza. Everyone here loves pizza. We have, collectively eaten lots of pizza, so I think we know a thing or two about good pizza.
The pizza we had last night at Sure Pizza was the best I had ever makan. Better than Dominoes, better than Pizza Hut, better than Pizza Uno, Pizza Italia, better! James said it's authentic stuff. Yep. Really, truly, truly good, truly fresh and flavourful. And satisfying without that cloying after-pizza 'hangover' you usually get from 'cheesy joints'.
The setting and ambiance of the restaurant was great. A clean, well-lighted place with Gypsy Kings' vigorous guitar work and passionate vocals playing in the background. And I saw the price list. Definitely very reasonable.
I am thinking of taking my family there next weekend to celebrate Saoda's birthday. Good excuse ;-)
Image courtesy of NST Online
Oh, before we went home, we had brandy with 7-up on the rocks. After which, as we were leaving, I saw this little Vespa parked outside the restaurant. It looked so very pretty. James told me he rode the Vespa for 8 hours from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Kangsar in a convoy, along with other Mat-Vespas.
Now I am not so sure all I saw and heard after that drinks were right. James, did you really ride that small 're-cond' Paggio Vespa for 8 hours from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Kangsar? Either the brandy got me last night or you are really an Englishman after all...
Read an online review here.
Authentic pizzas at reasonable prices by Meena Sreenivasan Meena.
Go try it!
Sure Pizza is located at P37, Plaza Ground Floor, Hartamas Shopping Centre.
For reservations, call 03-2694-3741.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 26, 2005 Posted: 5:13:06 PM EDT
'You're either the best at what you do or you don't do it for very long'
We take a lot of things for granted.
We want life to dish out its best offers to us in a platter. It would be best if we can have that served without moving our fingers. But the truth is, life's not about to serve you a free lunch.
And not especially if you are in the business of being a service-provider. You have to outdo your customers' expectation, every time, to stand a fair chance of being in the game, tomorrow.
It's a tough attitude we have to pick up.
Jack Welch, the illustrious former CEO if GE calls it 'reality-facing'. He learnt that from his mom, I was told.
M. Scott Peck calls it 'dedication to reality'. Peck says it is the foundation to a healthy, functional human mind. You need it to stand any chance at all in having a decent, productive existence on this earth. I am sure he figured that out from having to listen to the mindless ramblings of his many patients on his black leather couch.
And as they say that it in the movie business, you are as good as your last performance. People remember your last interaction with them, most. This is true in the line of business we are in too. Let me see, I think it is true to any business.
Will you go back to the same restaurant, clinic, theatre, book-store, workshop etc, after a nasty experience?
Come on, be the best of the best. Learn to outrun your competitors any day, every day and at every opportunity. Be customer-pleasing fanatics! And always create memorable buying experience, everytime.
That's a lot to ask?
But think about it, would you be so forgiving if your dinner date was ruined by a careless and inconsiderate waiter/waitress? Will you dare to step into the clinic whose doctor prescribed you with the wrong medications?
We need to put ourselves in our customers' shoes.
Would you ask for any less, when you are the paying customer?
Yes, it takes focus, dedication and the zeal to push beyond your comfort zone. It takes pain to move beyond what you are accustomed to.
It may take all you have and more.
And yet, it takes nothing to be a loser.
Pit-Stops and Taking Stocks
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 23, 2005 Posted: 8:41:29 AM EDT
Here's an email from a friend. He had recently quit his job as an editor for a local paper.
...In the past month, I've been just living at home, eating simple food and not spending any money at all except to pay bills and give my mother money to buy groceries. It's the least I've spent since I started working. And it's an eye-opening experience. It showed me that one does not have to spend money to be 'comfortable'...the fact that I did not have expensive food to eat (I just ate whatever was in the fridge) and could not go out and enjoy life didn't bother me.
That experience made me realize that I really, really want the simple life.
[After work]...when I get home, I shower, eat whatever my mother has prepared for me and basically relax. Just that ability to relax at the end of the day is something I've not had for years.
Now, I can and I'm relishing it...
8 Reasons Why I Blog
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 22, 2005 Posted: 5:34:09 PM EDT
XiMnet was featured in Star In.Tech yesterday, under the title 'Blogs Go Corporate'. I want to thank Brigitte Rozario for the spotlight on the XiMnet Team.
Here's a bit of history on the origin of the idea to blog for our team.
We started considering 'blogging' as part of our interactive marketing and online branding efforts sometime late 2004. We talked and evaluated it for a couple of months. I discussed it quite a bit with Lydia. Lydia was especially keen on the idea from the stand-point of Search Engine Optimization and online marketing. I was keen on the branding.
We had started out wanting to blog collectively as a team. For a start, Flo and Andrew would blog about their area of work. And I would blog about mine.
After we've decided to adopt the blog-plan, we built a 'web-log' or blogging application in-house to cater for our specific needs.
When I was evaluating the feasibility of blogging on behalf of XiMnet, I was initially a little concerned about the time needed to keep it going. I was also exploring the need for a standpoint or a voice that truly reflects who we are.
It wasn't easy. I must say it is still a work in progress.
And Flo and Andrew have yet to join me on this blogging business. I am waiting, fellas...
To recap, here are the reasons why I am blogging for XiMnet. And I think you should too.
- To differentiate - to paint with broad strokes the character of our team, at work and at play.
- To give voice to our values and to share our insights using using the informal story-telling format. Also to give voice to our hopes and dreams.
- To demonstrate 'Authenticity' - as people who are passionate about our work.
- To share our experiences as a group of people to encourage to others in similar setups.
- To attract similar minded people as our customers and partners/friends and future team-members.
- Myth-making: To frame the story of our journey in a way the team can understand, for inspiration, pacing and motivation.
- To enhance our Search Engine Marketing positioning and lead generation strategy.
- To close the communication gaps in the negotiation process through inference of values from the blog entries.
Read the feature article here:
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 20, 2005 Posted: 6:33:12 PM EDT
Take what you do seriously but take yourself lightly.
~ Ken Blanchard & Terry Waghorn
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life and get pats on your back as you pass, but your final reward will be heartaches and tears if you've cheated the man in the mirror.
~ Dale Wimbrow
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 19, 2005 Posted: 8:41:24 PM EDT
Tak ingin hidup, terlepas dalam kekosongan...
Tak ingin terlepas, tak kesampaian
~ M Nasir
A close friend called me last night. We went to the same university and we stayed in the same 'rumah bujang' for a while.
He said he can't think of what he can do to go on living his life and pretend it's OK. It's not OK. He's not getting any results, whatever. And he's sick of it. Sick of waking up in the morning.
He said there's nothing to wake up for. And he wants to give it all up.
I was listening to him over my HP as I was driving home from work.
'Chin, macam itu jugak, dah jemu dah. Apa lagi yang boleh nak buat? Buku motivation semua puh dah baca, seminar pun dah attend.'
'Dah cuba macam-macam, tak jadi-jadi jugak. Apa lagi?'
So I asked; 'Nak dapat apa tu, bro?'
'Nak dapat business, nak dapat semangat untuk terus berjuang, nak rasa bangga, nak dapat jiwa yang tenteram...'
'Aku rasa macam aku ni sesat jalan, aku rasa aku ni macam jauh ketinggalan...'
'Engkau ada rumah cantik, ada Nissan Sentral, tak banyak hutang bank, dah cukup bagus la tu...cuma takde isteri saja. Itu saja yang kekurangan, tak?'
'Ah... yang itu bukan ubat! Tapi aku cakap betul Chin, aku rasa hidup ini sia-sia saja... macam ada yang tak kena.'
'Hidup aku rasa macam tak kesampaian...'
Mengapa sinar neon dan gedung indah
Kotaraya yang menjanjikan sejuta rasa
Kini menjadi penjara jiwa
Ku yang merindukan ketenangan
~ M Nasir, Bonda
Yes, my friend, I know what you mean.
Keep walking...keep searching...
Making Something Out of Nothing...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 19, 2005 Posted: 5:40:45 PM EDT
Some people take tremendous amount of resources to produce just a little something.
Some others are effective and execute well enough.
And there are those who consume without producing anything.
I have great respect for those who could make something out of nothing, those who can produce inspiring results with the barest minimal of resources available.
It takes imagination and resourcefulness to do that.
It takes a person with a vision to imagine and build within spartan settings.
It takes character to build an oasis of fulfilment in a desert.
I hope my journey can sharpen that gift to create. I also hope to develop that within my team members. And I hope to recruit and work with those who have that magical 'mindset'.
To create. To criticise. To build. To destroy.
To create something out of nothing, that's the heart of the matter.
Control Your Destiny...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 12, 2005 Posted: 7:24:35 PM EDT
I am currently reading this book...said to be the 'unofficial GE Leadership handbook', written by the much respected 'leadership expert', Noel Tichy ( I think he was in Malaysia recently, speaking on the same topic) and Stratford Sherman. The first edition was out in 1993.
It's a book about how to out-compete your competitors. To put it simply, you either make your competitors irrelevant or they will make you a history.
Control Your Destiny Or Someone Else Will.
The Six Rules Jack Welch Lives By:
- Control your destiny or someone else will.
- Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it were.
- Be candid with everyone.
- Don't manage, lead.
- Change before you have to.
- If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete.
It's been a great read so far. I am midway through. I got mine from MPH, Subang Parade.
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 11, 2005 Posted: 6:58:03 PM EDT
We're all in this together...alone.
Have you heard of the phrase 'over-compensating'?
OK, let me try to illustrate this behavior we often adopt, consciously or unconsciously, to attain a sense of well-being in our lives when we are challenged physically, emotionally or spiritually.
I used to be pretty crazy about soccer when I was in school. So crazy that...
OK, take my word for it...I was crazy!
And here's the context.
At my time of soccer-mania some years ago, there was an illustrious, awe-inspiring Brazilian football team captained by Socrates.
Yes, the one and only Socrates!
Socrates, Brazilian Captain, 1982.
And among some all time greats like Zico, Falcão, Junior in that team, there was this player called Eder. He was one great ball bender. He could bend a ball better than Beckham could bend his knees. Yeah, Glenn Hoddle of England was good too but Eder was the best!
And I was a great fan of Eder.
Eder, Brazil's Left-footed Forward, 1982
I remember spending hours and hours in the field trying to bend the ball into the corner of the goal-post from all angles, with my Adidas Laplata boots. Why is the pair of boots worth mentioning? Because during my time, the Adidas Laplata had the softest hide among football boots and you could get a good feel of the ball when it comes in contact with your feet. So you get better control over the flight of the ball, you see?
Back to the ball-bending mania.
There I was ditching my Add-maths, Physics and Chemistry classes and spending long, long hours under the sun practising. Between the ball, the goal-post and I, there was an unyielding desire to see the ball float into the corner of the goal-post. If it'd grazed the top bar a little and sent the ball into an unexpected flight into the net, it would have kept me awake for many days, in a kind of sustained euphoria. School books and classes was immensely dull and I wasn't lighting any sparks in class, so I invented my new obsession to compensate my lack of visibility. And I went all out to do that, to compensate.
One boy, curving shots after shots of an inflated leather ball, into, across, outside and beyond the goal-post, over and over again.
Day in day out.
And needless to say, I became quite good at my 'curving art' and was given many opportunities to display my 'black-magic' during inter-school games and other competitions. I was Wiley 'Banana Kick' Chin. I was as famous as I hoped to be and sometimes, that was good enough to dull the pain and shame of being lousy in my studies. So with that endorsement, I went on curving balls in the field and swapping my boots for my books.
One day, during a big match with a rival school in our very own school field, I was given the opportunity to take the 12 yards. It was coming to the end of the game and the score was 0-0. It was a crucial match. And the team figured I would convert the goal and move along.
I stepped up to the penalty spot, and in a moment of madness, inspired by self-grandiosity and/or unacknowledged nervousness, I curved the ball over the right-side of the post. Yep, from the very field I had been practising so often that I almost knew the texture of the grass at various patches of the field.
I curved the ball over the bar.
I could have slammed the ball into the net simply. But I had to curve the ball because I was becoming the guy who curve all balls.
I couldn't kick a ball straight anymore.
OK, what's this curve-ball thing about?
It's about balancing your skills. It's about adding a more complete repertoire into your skill-sets, in whatever you are doing. It's about the journey towards completeness, and taking the pain to grow. Like we know, a strength can be a weakness, a weakness can be a strength. Sometimes we have strength that is so over-developed comparatively, we start to depend on it singularly to take us through life.
Do you have the gift-of-the-gab?
If so, do you often try to out-talk people to get the things you want only to have your loved ones or team-members accuse you of verbal manipulation?
Are you a doer who speak rarely?
If so, do you often find yourself alone when it comes to getting things done while others seem demotivated, unfocused and suspicious of you? And you become more adamant to push your way through...?
As we move along in our pathway to achieving sustainable victory in our lives and career, we need to acquire deeper self-knowledge, especially in knowing what our strengths are and also where are our weaknesses. And we need to deal with them, simply.
Not only must we have a reliable and hard-hitting forehand in the game of tennis, we must be able to hit an offensive backhand too to be a worthy opponent in the court. O yeah, I've a great forehand spin in tennis. Erm... let's save that story for another day.
For now, I have 3 quotations for you to chew on.
“Ninety percent of the world’s woes come from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves. “
~ Sydney J. Harris
“Know yourself and your enemies and you will win a thousand wars!”
Sun Tzu ~ The Art Of War
”Knowing others is Wisdom, KNOWING YOURSELF IS Enlightenment.”
~ Lao Tze.
So, do you curve the ball when all you need to do is to kick it straight?
Don't hide it. You are only human, you are not perfect.
Fix it when you can. It'll make your ride more pleasurable.
It took me a lot of pain to unglue myself from some of those bad habits...and it is taking just as much effort to help my team-members get unstuck...
Back from Pangkor
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 11, 2005 Posted: 2:28:24 PM EDT
Just got back from Pulau Pangkor. We all had fun. The sea was really really great at Pangkor Island Beach Resort.
Great beach, great waves and what a great resort.
Yeah, that's Deborah. She's having fun, no? She was swept by a huge wave and I caught her with that ecstatic smile seconds after.
That's Hui Sheng doing Taichi with the waves.
And Lydia, what was she doing?
I'll post more photos later.
A HIGH-5* moment in our journey!
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 7, 2005 Posted: 5:13:26 PM EDT
Swirl-interactive Marketing Suite
= Online Branding + Permission-Marketing + ROI-Results-Tracking. >>>See Details>>>
Packing For Pangkor
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 7, 2005 Posted: 10:28:18 AM EDT
I must go down to the seas again,
for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
that may not be denied;
~ Excerpt from Sea Fever, John Masefield
We are ready.
We've been putting the final pieces of work so that we can make a trip to Pangkor without any guilt or frantic calls from customers.
I've been hammering some slides together for the trip. It's mostly to review what we have done since we put into words some of our hopes and dreams for 2005.
We made a trip to Langkawi (Make the Leap) early January 2005. Take a look at some photos from the trip.
In that trip, we spelt out what we intend to achieve for 2005. We are mid-way through so this is a good time to review our progress and do some action-planning to ensure we are on course.
Andrew against the sea, Pangkor 2004.
A room with a view
We will be launching SWIRL-iMS, our interactive marketing suite today. We will be putting up the flash billboard plus product page on XiMnet's company website later this evening. I am working with Andrew on this. Yeah, we've been delaying our comporate site revamp for a while because we are putting all our resources on clients' work. Anyhow, we will get back to it sooooooon. ;-)
Woo hoo! This is certainly a major milestone for us.
Otherwise, this trip will be about pure relaxation. Deborah suggested we go fishing in the sea. Let's see if we could get a boat and do some fishing at night. That would be fun. Oh, we are taking our new team-member, Hui Sheng with us. Lucky fella, we slogged for 6 months to earn this trip, he comes in for a week and take a holiday! ;-)
We will travel from PJ at 9.00am tomorrow. I will post up some photos after the trip.
Wish us luck!
Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 6, 2005 Posted: 11:40:02 AM EDT
Dylan Thomas ©Jeff Towns/DBC
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953). Read more about Dylan Thomas at Wikipedia.
Lance Armstrong's Story
At age 25, Lance Armstrong was one of the world's best cyclists. He proved it by winning the World Championships, the Tour Du Pont and multiple Tour de France stages. Lance Armstrong seemed invincible and his future was bright.
Then they told him he had cancer.
Read Lance Armstrong's story and find out more about Livestrong.Org.
Fish without water
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - July 1, 2005 Posted: 7:58:15 PM EDT
Our router died on us this morning!
And we were like fishes out of water until about 25 minutes ago. Man, how do you live and work without a consistent Internet connection?
But come to think about it, I didn't need it for my work only a couple of years ago...