Currently viewing the category: "BE RICH"

Blrrgghh only 7km! Arghhh my body ached after the run mainly due to my long absence in the home gym and running track.

I normally can run 6km at 55 minutes, slow and steady. I did the Buddy Run at only less than an hour but my buddy, Shiao Chin measured with smartphone apps – it was only 5.5km to be exact.

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HL with Shiao Chin at start/finish point

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HL was all ready... get set!

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The start of the Buddy Run 2nd August 2015

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Two kereta kuda there by DBKL

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Young and old (err.. not that old) cycling for the Car Free Day

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Saw a few friends from Dual Blessing

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DBKL band played a few Hari Raya songs

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Ukelele players spotted

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Ukelele players walked, sang and strumming away!

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Festive mood - dancers dancing to the tune of Hari Raya songs

Hosts of events happening on DBKL  Car Free Day – OCBC Cycle, Buddy Run, Raya Breakfast by DBKL and the whole Dataran Merdeka was in festive mood!

However, I noticed less crowd and despite a carnival, not many booths were there. I didn’t stay long. After the run, I had sample of Nestle cereal, had 2 cups of Milo from the Milo van and left. The celebration was yet to begin at that time.

Many young people these days can’t do without a “decent” car which normally is at par or better than their peers, a good smartphone, looking good, having food outside all the time and sometimes some branded stuffs to adore. There’s nothing wrong though, is sometimes good to pamper ourselves.

As soon as employment begins, it is also tempting to have your own home. In fact, is also good because attempting savings for your own home is better than those who spend all their salaries away without some savings.

Yet, once you get a home, a car and perhaps some luxuries of which a middle income person would think is a normal life, you are STUCK! What? Stuck? I have 2 precious assets now! I still need a roof above my head and transport!

Assets or liabilities

Well, you carry a 7-year hire purchase loan with another 30-year home loan, both of which will force you to work to pay the installments. Stop working, no money, no repayment, assets not yours anymore.

Call them assets but they are actually liabilities because in the rich-men-world, whatever that takes money out of their pockets is called liabilities. I don’t care whether is a property, a premise, a car – as long as money flows OUT, it is a liability.

So, what’s assets? Something that puts money into your pockets. Say, a property you rent out where the rental pays for the installments and all other expenses, even comes with some surplus (positive cashflow) monthly. Then is an asset.

Wait a minute but you just said a property is a liability. If you are staying in your own home, still paying your home loan every month, it is a liability because it takes money out of your pockets. But turn that property into income generating “machine” by collecting rental, that’s an asset – the surplus puts money into your pockets.

Knowing this very early helped me a lot. In fact, I can’t spend each and every cent that goes through my hands or bank account without having them invested in some kind of assets. I attempted to only spend money that comes from positive cashflow of my investments. But frankly, I’m in the spender category too.

So I rented a modest home and bought an old Iswara which carries only 4-year loan. I fully paid the car within 3 years and still drive until now.

Cut short all commitments

What basic needs do we need for a decent living, let’s see.

Income
Job
Investment
Rental income

Expenses
Accommodation
Transport
Food
Bills – water, electricity, phone
Entertainment
Others

I remember sharing a room with a friend at only RM200 per month. Then, we moved to a bigger place which rents at RM450 per month. Then I stay with my Dad at RM650 rental and now at a better home at RM850 per month.

The increment in rental already dug in to my nerves because to me, if I saved RM200 per month from rental, that’s RM2,400 annually for investments. Imagine if the investment grows 10% per annum, that’s extra RM240 annually.

Remember, if I stop working, I must have at least RM850 per month just for a roof over my head. How about car/petrol, food and bills? That’s a commitment!

Look, in the income list, there can be only that few but our expenses list can be infinite. Thus is very important to cut short all commitments including perhaps, having a partner in life!

Liberate yourself as soon as possible

Many people think of retirement as age – at 55 or 60. It took me a while to shift my paradigm after reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book. It says that as long as your passive income (income that comes in without working) exceeds your monthly expenses, you are retired.

With my very low commitments and sharing rental with my Dad, my monthly expenses was between RM1,000 to RM2,500. Rental incomes surplus and my other investments gave me RM1,000 monthly at that time when I decided to quit from a daily job. I began taking emcee jobs seriously (which I did part time for many years) which pays higher per hour, more flexibility and I had much free time for myself.

I quit my job in 2009 at the age of 30. It gave me freedom and much time to think and plan for myself. I have more time to spend on new opportunities, new ventures, looking for more investments and getting things done.

In year 2010, I wrote a book and launched it to promote organ donation. In 2011, I kayaked in a 300km expedition from Mukah to Kuching also to promote organ donation. 2012 I was approached to be a Parliament candidate in the general elections and I started a “Spread Love, Save Lives” organ donation campaign which signed over 1,000 pledges. 2013 was general elections and I stood as a Parliament candidate. This year is my spiritual journey. I’m participating in the nun novitiate program, going for 2 meditation retreats and a youth camp.

All these expereiences helped me grow as a better person than I was years ago. If I didn’t have the time freedom and flexibility (after quitting my day job), I will not be doing so much exciting and experience such adventures.

So whenever I heard a friend or family member says she is buying a new home with a 30-year home loan, renovating their homes at high costs (of which can be invested to grow) or getting a new RM150,000 car, I sometimes do not know if I should congratulate them or feel sorry for them having to work for at least another 10-30 years plus the money they earn must pay all these luxuries instead of being invested in growing their portfolio.

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Of course, I’d understand everyone has different needs and for the route they chose, I wish them all the best.

Yes, I may not have luxuries of a new renovated big home or an expensive car which I felt could lock me in a job for many years to come. However, I have 3 rental generating properties which give me a net worth of RM600,000 (if I sell all the properties, the new big home and luxury car is affordable), a passive income of RM1,000-RM2,000 per month which support my simple life now and no job to tie down my time and freedom.

With the time and money I now have, I can find more investments and continue to grow and one day I will have both the luxuries (if I want to but I doubt I will want them) AND the passive income. Looking at most people retiring at 55, I quit my job at 30. I have just bought myself 25 years of freedom. To me the 25 years of freedom is worth much more than the luxuries that may make me stuck for another decade or so.

All the best in your journey of liberation!

A million ringgit Malaysia today is not a dream. In fact, typical homes only cost at most RM500,000 merely 30 years ago. Now, homes can be 10 to 100 times over. One may wonder, where do these millions come from? How do people afford these?

For young people, starting to make money, unless their parents help them, it is quite impossible for them to purchase their own properties now.

A few years, possible?

In just 2008, a property which was RM120,000 then, rise to about RM350,000 now. That’s just 6 years ago, a 200% appreciation.

If I have only 4 such properties in 2008, it is very possible I am now already a millionaire. So being a millionaire in just 6 years, or perhaps to add on a few more years for you to save some money for the downpayment of the 4 properties and add on some time for you to learn about properties and source for good investments – under 10 years – it is still very possible.

I had 2 such properties and another which I bought quite recently. That already make me a millionaire in net worth. What I am about to share will be some regrets and what would I do if I were to be back in 2008.

Education and start saving EARLY, live frugally, delay gratifications

At that time, after reading many books, attended many seminars and learning about investments, I started saving a lot of money when I first had a job. My first job only paid me RM2,500 but I saved at least RM1,000 every month to invest either in shares or mutual funds. At the end of a year, I cashed out all my shares and funds (with profits of course!) to put a downpayment for the first investment property. I did the same the second year.

DON’T ask me how I lived on only RM1,500 per month. The fact that there are people earning much lesser and could survive with only a little, I tell myself I can, too! I didn’t buy a car until I figured that the time spent on waiting for irregular public transport and the savings did not match. Yet, I only “indulged” in a second hand Iswara which I still drive.

I would always attend any invited events especially if they provide food and drinks, savings to my pockets! I learned something new, met more people and had free fillings for my tummy!

Spend in Education

The only thing I wouldn’t be stingy of, was education – books and seminars.

I was clever in asking “sponsorships” from friends, family members and employers! Employers are busy but they know they too want to make money but no time to learn. So they pay my course fees and I share them workbooks, generous notes I took in classes and materials I got. Win-win situation!

It takes discipline (yawn!)

I now regret for slacking and not doing the same (saving RM1,000 per month and investing) the 3rd, 4th, 5th year. Otherwise my journey towards being a millionaire will be on an express lane rather than now on a slower lane.

I spent most of my money and having a habit of a spender, it took me more than 3 missed opportunities before I recollected myself and started anew in my financial management and planning.

There were 4 properties auctioned at only RM72,000 each. The market value of the properties were RM120,000 each. I didn’t have the money to buy. The big spender (me!) spent and didn’t saved. Now the properties are easily worth RM300,000 each!

Then there was a period of market crash. Shares went so cheap, DiGi was less than RM2.50 (now over RM5), Tenaga was less than RM5 (now over RM12) and Maybank was less than RM4 (now over RM9) Ah, you know lah, the spender spent all…

Yes, it takes discipline and consistency in managing your DAILY finance and investments. Yes, routine work can be very boring but it will be worth all the efforts.

Have a goal and plan

I was a “if I think I can, I can” person but I didn’t stick to my plan. I had a goal of RM16 million. If you think RM16 millions is way too big a figure and too greedy, think again. Try putting this figure or even bigger figure as your goal. The bigger the better as the figure helps you to expand your mind!

Also list as many things you really wanted to do as if your goal of RM xxx million is in hand. Feel how it feels when you reach the goal. For me at that time I wanted to do thing only when I want to vs *having* to work for a living. I wanted to have so much free time to attend seminars, learn new things, spend time with family and read as many books as I want. I wanted to be able to spend time and money without thinking too much of my finance.

Goals have special effects on the body and mind. While I have not reached RM16 million, I have already reached my goals of doing what I wanted to. I’m not working at the moment, supported by rental incomes and consultancy/ emceeing jobs. I loved my work and choose to work only when I want to. I have attended over 4 courses this year and plan to read more books. I have taken a course in writing, something I really wanted to do for a long time.

I’ve signed up for a diploma in Buddhism and on a spiritual path. All these will not happen if I had not had a goal of RM16 million and imagine what I can do with those money I have. Yet, while the numeric goal is not here yet, my goals all worked and I am very elated to share this experience – the RM xxx million goal helps to expand your mind and reach your desired lifestyle faster. Is not so much about the money – it is what you can do with the money that counts. In the end, you need not that much but you have gained the desired lifestyle.

While many are still working and have to work till 55. I have stopped “having to” work at 33. I have bought myself 22 years of freedom. I’m not sure what will 22 years mean to you but I really didn’t want having to work till 55. Therefore I started early, continue learning and continue investing.

So, is definitely possible. Even if the journey takes longer, it will still be well worth it! In fact the journey to become a millionaire is the same as the journey to be a better human. Look, consistency and discipline help in work and life. Having a goal, target settings and plans are all helpful in being a better human.

No wonder Lee Ka Shing said “before doing business, be a human first”

My next big thing

My ultimate goal now is still to have RM16 million of which I will do the below:
1. RM3 million to build a home on a minimum 5 acres of land for plantation of crops for the needy. Crops will be distributed to nearby homes and monasteries, excess to be sold and proceeds to be reinvested in planting more crops.
2. RM3 million to set up a Buddhist centre which will be meant for meditation retreats, Dhamma talks and various holistic personal growth activities -**UPDATE 1/12/2014** and a nun training centre for Malaysia
3. RM10 million to set up an investment arm, aiming for at least 10% annual returns. The annual returns will be used as our family funds – monthly allowances for those over 55 years old in the Chew family, subsidize our annual family trip, family insurance, emergency and medical funds as well as to maintain and sustain dream 1 and 2.

I hope your journey to being a millionaire is as wonderful and more exciting than mine.

A lot of us always think that the rich MUST help the poor generously and when we see that they don’t, we accuse them with all sorts – greedy businessmen, stingy rich men, he will surely be cursed soon…

Well, I understand, I had had such thoughts too. When I was poor or stuck at the middle income group, I always envy the rich and start saying they MUST help the poor, should be generous and must spare their money to the society. Such thought was because I thought life is fated and the rich is fated to be rich so that’s why they surely must do more charity. But I didn’t accept my “fate” though – of which I thought I must work all the time so money comes. I fought, I worked hard, I re-educated myself about money topics, attended a lot of seminars, read hundreds of books with an open mind to change my financial mindset and eventually saved a lot to invest in a few properties which now gave me comfortable rental incomes as well as gaining in appreciation of the properties values.

When we see a rich family member thinking we are safe whenever we need money, that very family member says no when you need some fish from him. I too understand them. They have worked so hard to fish and they too faced enough difficulties many many years to reach the rich level. They would like their family members to be rich too so they share their knowledge, books they read and seminars they attended. But family members who are stuck at the poor or middle income levels often think differently – they thought “Ah.. these rich fellas always say different things..”

IS TRUE, the rich and the middle income is only separated by what’s in between our ears – their mindset! So, seeing his family members unwilling to learn to change their mindsets and learn how to fish, how would the rich who strived so hard to reach the rich level (trust me, is never easy!), be willing to hand over the fish to another? The rich, especially those who worked their way up are often very generous with knowledge and will tell you how they got there, but call them stingy, they do not mind. They think if they too can make it, the people around them should be able to. They think that giving a handout will destroy rather than helping. They think each cent and dollar was from their blood and sweat and therefore their finance management tells them to keep and grow further, not giving out or lending them just like that.

I have also heard from the ultra rich that they have helped a few of their friends and family members to be millionaires, but in the end a few of them tuened their backs against him. Stories like these sadden me.

When I was semi retired, and had some money in hand from my many years of savings, I tried to find ways to invest for at least 10% annual returns. There were friends and family members getting loans from me. Thinking that the rich should help others so I gave them. I still live frugally, driving an old Iswara and dine at home or cheap restaurants. Indulgence in luxury restaurants was only available if I was with my mom, who can be considered rich. Sometimes, I thought I’d change the loans I gave them as gifts. But looking at those who borrowed from me dine better than me, drove better cars than me, not frugal in their spending, and even angrier was when they refuse to attend seminars I offered to fully pay for them (of which could change their financial mindset and management), I began to think if giving money is the right way.

After a few cases, and experiences from my mom who was previously a money lender, I began to stop giving out money. I recalled a few loans. Call me stingy but if you do not change your financial mindset, no one else will.

I always recommend people to attend the 3 full days of Millionaire Mind Intensive (MMI) seminar. The course is still affordable even with a VIP ticket and was my turning point in topica about money. I even offered my tickets to friends and forced a few to attend. Now they know why I forced them and they appreciate how it has changed them too.

Is very frustrating to ask one person if they want to attend and towards the last minute – just a few days before the seminar they turned down your offer. I have wasted a few VIP tickets also. Well, those who cannot make decisions are not good in their finance management too, is true.

So, either you change your financial mindset and understand why the rich are stingy – they are often the most hardworking and worked longer hours than most of his employees OR carry on your lifestyle and stop calling them stingy.

Over the years I have tried many methods in helping me manage my money. Being able to jot all incomes and expenses everyday is already a success! If you do this daily, I’d like to congratulate you!

As we grow older, with more sophisticated assets and liabilities, we need a more reliable money management system. I have tried budgeting, using excel files, spent hours at the beginning and end of the month but eventually those methods never last. I tend to abandon them easily, then went on a few months not managing my money and then back to square one restarting a new system.

Finally, at the Millionaire Mind Intensive seminar, T Harv Eker taught a street smart and easy method to manage using the 6-jar system.

SIX JAR SYSTEM

Basically we divide all incomes into 6 portions. The 6 are
1. NECC 55% – Necessities (for all necessary expenses like food, lodging, rental and bills),
2. FFA 10% – Financial Freedom Account (money saved which will NEVER EVER be spent unless is to grow or invest)
3. EDU 10% – Education (to spend on books, seminars, education programs which will help us learn)
4. LTSS 10% – Long Term Savings for Spending (savings to spend on things we like ie. Gadgets, Car, House, Yatch)
5. PLAY 10% – all work and no play makes us dull so this is to spend on sports, relaxation like a massage or spa
6. GIVE 5% – to give for charity

The % percentage given are mere suggested proportion for each jar. Say if your income is RM1000 per month, then 55% or RM550 goes into NECC, 10% or RM100 goes into PLAY, EDU, LTSS and FFA each, and the remainder 5% or RM50 goes into the GIVE jar.

The jars are adjustable. You may have debts to settle of which you want to create an extra jar called FREEDOM jar which takes 5%-10% off your NECC to pay off debts. If your NECC jar is not enough to support your lifestyle, you will need to rethink your expenses. For a whole month, try collect every single bills and receipts that eats into your wallet. Yes, every single bill and receipt even at the char kuey teow stall! Try to relook at the pile end of the month to see what you can cut, say for example
1. Downgrade your home? Getting a smaller home or a lower loan rate. A home is a roof over your head so as long as it serves the purpose, why not a smaller home which means you could spare more to invest now for the future?

If you think the size or luxury of your home is a show of wealth, think again. Even Warren Buffet stays at the same house most of his adult life! Read here
2. Cutting bills. Recently, I have cut one of my handphone lines as well. Am now using only 1 phone line and even contemplating cutting the home broadband or downgrade it because the current package seems to be quite a lot! Phone is a mean of communication so if one line is enough, why two or three?
3. A less expensive car? Or walk to your nearest groceries, saving petrol
4. Cut on expensive gourmet coffees
5. Off electricity and tap when not in use. The little little things could save a pile!
6. Buy just enough food so you don’t throw expired food often
7. Clean your own home so you cut on maids
8. Eat at home – learn easy simple recipes instead of eating out. Pack lunch to work or school – a healthier choice too!
9. Cut down on alcohol and smoking
10. Reuse or restyle your clothes so you don’t need so much for new clothes
11. Cut on monthly pay TV or downgrade the package. Free TV has enough movies and dramas for you to waste your time on

Many people now complain that their income is never suffice with their lifestyle. In fact, people determine the insufficient income by looking at their expanded expenses. Yet, very few will determine their expenses and lifestyle by the income they bring home.

The 6-jar system allows us to relook at our budget and live according to what our income allows. Look at our parents or grandparents’ time. They too became frugal and adjust their lifestyle or worked extra hours to make ends meet. My parents did.

APPLICATIONS AND SOFTWARE

Harv suggested having 6 bank accounts for each jar. When your salary comes in monthly, write a cheque to divide the portion into each bank account. When the credit card bills come, check each item if it is NECC, EDU, PLAY or GIVE. Let’s say a RM300 credit card bill consists of RM200 of NECC, RM50 EDU, RM30 PLAY and RM20 GIVE, he suggested to write 4 different cheques from your 4 different bank accounts respectively to pay the bill.

For me I use a simpler method by using an application (Financisto) on my phone.

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I use one Maybank account to keep my EDU, GIVE, NECC and PLAY. I may need a little more time to sum up all figures in my apps to tally with the total I have in my bank when I do monthly review of my finance. I have another CIMB account for FFA and LTSS. My tenants bank in rental to Maybank so I reserve a FFA slot in this Maybank account which will be transfered to my CIMB at month end.

The 6-jar system helps a lot for people with irregular income like me. Sometimes I get rental, sometimes payment for consultation and my services come more in a month or two, or none at times. Sometimes I even spend for a project and often without income first. So each time any income comes, I divide them into 6 portions accordingly after business expenses and costs.

MANAGING EXPENSES

Often, applications can also help to categorise expenses, so my expenses are categorised also using the 6 categories so I know monthly where does my money go.

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Even managing my credit card bills is easier. I merely have one more account in the apps as MBB Visa and everytime I spend, I categorise the expenses. The report from the apps can detailed out credit card expenses for each category and I merely pay from the respective jars I have.

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I keep my expenses very low as you can see. Income can sometimes be positive or negative depending on the months I operate my business.

I hope the 6-jar system could help you get started in managing your expenses well.

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All of us know the impprtance of money yet part of our sub conscious tells us many opposites like
1. Don’t be greedy
2. Money is not everything
3. Other people need more – is okay to have just enough
4. If I make more money, other people will have not enough
5. Money is the root of all evil

Well, let’s think about it. The moment you are born, even when you are conceived, money starts flowing. My pregnant cousin told of her preparation and needed RM20,000 just to prepare for hospital charges.

From then on, milk powder, baby clothes, toiletries, baby toys, cradle, chairs, trolley, every other thing need money.

As you grow up – education – God knows how much! Medical bills can be a bomb even for basic medications. Health and well being all need money.

Even if you become a monk or a nun and renounce the world, you still need food and lodging – both at the expense of devotees or yourself – still MONEY.

So those who say money is not the most important thing, don’t be greedy, just have enough and that money is root of all evil – let me help you.

First, since everything is money, why must I be considered greedy when I only think of getting money for survival? If money is the root of all evil, think again. Actually, NOT having enough money IS the root of all evil.

Think about it, when petrol price increases, people who have not enough money to spend start to complain. People who have enough care less and focus on making MORE because they know the truth is complaining will never help but making more money can prepare the future.

Money Game

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It was "raining money" time!

I had a money game session yesterday at Personal Growth Centre. Our teacher, Helen told us to write the amount of money we desired, what are we going to do with the money and how will we feel if we reach these goals. It is important to know how you will feel if you reach the goals. Begin with the end in mind – if you don’t even know how much you want or what you want to do with the money you have, how could the universe trust you with a pile of money?

The teacher puts a pile of money on the floor in the middle of the class and asked 2-3 people at a time at the pile to pick one at a time, pick as much as they want.

The first 2 people helping themselves with the pile, the rest watched and noted our feelings. At that very time, most of us felt inside “Hey, don’t finish taking all the money! Leave some for us!” The relationship – money is rare and if I take more than my fair share, it will not be enough to go around for the needy. Wrong! In fact, although the pile looks so thinly spread on the floor, after all of us took our share, there was plenty left. In the real world, yes is real. The world has ABUNDANCE and enough for everyone and more! It doesn’t matter if you are greedy and take more of your “fair share”, the world will still have more!

Trust me, you will never ever amass too much that there is not enough to go around. Let’s live in the world of abundance. Whenever any resources in the world is found lacking, human always find new resources to replace the old. When someone amasses a lot of wealth, in time he will also leave the world and the money behind.

If you allow yourself to live in a world of “lack”, you will suffer and always think is never enough even for you. Discard that belief and start thinking abundance!

One participant yesterday shared that if she wants or when she gets more money, she seems to need to work harder or do something to justify that amount of money. I wouldn’t ask you to sit and think abundance and money just drop from the sky but that thought of being afraid money comes because I need to work harder is actually stopping more money coming to you. Let’s think about it this way – the universe wants to pass you some money to do good. So when money reaches you, the universe trusts you to spend it wisely – for nurturing yourself, your family members and even for charity.

One participant was asked to take a piece of his banknote, smell it, love it and say “I love you” to it. He said, “money is very dirty, how can I do that?” There you go! If you think money is dirty, how would you even want more money? Your mind is just denying yourself of money and deter having “dirty” things in your life. I always interact with my money, talk to them, see the designs, smell them so I know well the smell and I respect them by arranging them well in my wallet all the time. In fact, I feel gratitude everyday of the money I have now and I made sure I spent them wisely.

Some of you who think others should have more may have a problem with your self dignity. In fact we had a participant who only think of others. The teacher asked us to help her. We told her “I love you, Siti” (not real name) and she had to repeat the same word to herself. The first time, she said “I love all of you too” She really puts others above self! But teacher said no, she had to follow and repeat the exact words. She cried. She took her time to finally say, I love you, Siti! And we repeated several times.

How many of you tell yourself you love yourself? How many of you really spend time for yourself and take care of yourself well? Try take a moment to say, “I love, xxx (your name)”. Repeat it aloud a few times!

Think of yourself as value and worthy of receiving. If you think, I’m not worthy of receiving so much or others need more than me, you are depriving your self values. YOU are worth MUCH MORE than you think you are!

Thanks to the Money Game session, I have identified what blocked me recently which stopped me from growing my wealth even further. Learning never stops with the amount of money that you have.

Since entering politics, I always do not like showing my wealth. Wealth when in politics always make others think of dirty money and money that politicians have are from corrupted source. Yet, my money never came from politics. Every single cent came from my hard work and sweat I blogged about. All money from the election funds was spent back to the PJ Utara community where I served. So why must I be afraid to show my wealth when it is blood and sweat! In fact now I blog about being rich because my success inspires and helps others to be successful as well!

I hope you will renew your relationship with yourself and money. I summarize:
1. Have a goal and feel how is it like to reach your goals. I suggest doing this everyday for a few minutes
2.Think ABUNDANCE. The world have enough and much more for everyone!
3. Paradigm shift – I dentify what’s blocking you having the amount you really desire and discard that belief to replace with a new supportive one
4. Interact and play with your money. Believe me is FUN, smells really good and is entertaining
5. Value yourself – you are worth millions and even billions, why would you deprieve yourself your self worth? Say I love you to yourself daily

Let’s start having a good relationship with money!

In 2009, I decided to restart new year resolutions. Before that I seldom achieve what I resolve to do every year so what’s the point of having resolutions?

So I started with small resolutions which I can achieve small successes daily. Simple thing like drink a glass of water every morning as soon as I wake up (I was always dehydrated and sore throat leads to fever and flu every 3 months). Another resolution could be saving RM1 everyday. Small, simple, achieveable everyDAY! That keeps me going daily till I achieve my resolutions for the year!

I also resolved to do one big thing every year. Something new, something out of mind, something in my bucket list, something out of comfort zone. One a year should suffice. 2009 – I donated part of my liver to a stranger. 2010 – I published a book on my liver donation journey. 2011 – I kayaked 300km from Mukah to Kuching to promote organ donation. 2012 – I decided to stand for elections. 2013 – GE13, New Movement – a group of radical aggressive MCA members calling for MCA Change which Joe started and I start shooting as a sport – not one but THREE big things last year!

I kept having my “big thing” calling almost every November or December but this year, I was struggling. What’s my next BIG thing?

I spoke to a few friends. I told them what I do now – I trade/invest in stocks and still learning and polishing the skills while attending courses which I invested over RM10k. I invest in properties, I teach emceeing and I maintain a number of blogs to inspire giving, organ donation and share emceeing skills. One of my friends said, “Those are not big enough? You are semi retired and living a flexible life many people would desire at age 33. That’s BIG!”
I now realised that doing only ONE big thing a year coild expand so much in my both mind and body, and within a few years the things I am now doing became so small. Things achieveable daily became so small that I never considered them big.

Yet, I still want my big thing this year. 2014 – I will be having a 6 pack abs! Big for me!

So, what’s your next BIG thing?

PS: My small things this year?
1. Be more polite everyday, speak softer
2. Be very focused with time, more productive and waste no time
3. Don’t waste food AT ALL – buy fresh, buy just enough everytime, keep the refrigerator/ food at home just enough (not stuffed/ overstocked), order just enough (or lesser) food

Take actions!

Take actions!

About 8 years ago, I was already equipped with a lot of knowledge in property investments and how to invest in properties for rental returns. I was having tea with a friend who just graduated and with his father’s support, started an internet cafe business. We were discussing ways to make money, a topic I favoured, although only a student about to graduate at that time.

I discussed with him about property investment. I took a piece of paper and wrote a lot of notes, wrote the numbers and calculation on how property investment could make money. My friend was amazed with what I knew and the more questions he asked, I could also handle them. And then, there came a few more questions I couldn’t answer.

Then he threw me a question which woke me up. “Why are you not DOING it?” 

“I don’t know…,” I lifted my shoulders a bit. Questions played in my mind too, “Not enough money? Ain’t Robert Kiyosaki said you do not need money to make money?”.. then, it occurred to me, really, I knew a lot but I did not START DOING what I knew. I studied many book about investment and property. My book cabinet was previously filled with self-help books by Napoleon Hills, John Maxwell, Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy, Clement Stone, Billi Lim and a huge pile of Buddhism books. Then property investment and business books by Robert Kiyosaki, Dolf de Roos, Azizi Ali, Milan Doshi, Peter Yee, Renesial Leong, Alan Woon and Ho Kai Soon took over the space.

I invested in seminars and courses, learning diligently until I find myself a serial seminar attendee. I realised I have not START ACTING all because I thought I was not ready. As soon as I started working, I made sure I managed my finances well and within a year, bought my first investment property. True enough, those questions which I could not answer with scores of studies, I can now answer them because I DID IT! I learned more through that first investment and the process, as compared to the 4 years of studies and attending seminars.

Life is hands-on! Start ACTION today!

 

I have previously blogged about The Secret and how law of attraction worked in my life to attract the people I want to meet and opportunities I wanted.

My friend who read the last blog, was curious how “I attracted to me free tickets of seminars I really really wanted to attend and learn.”

The answer was… The Secret. I may not be able to tell you step by step how to attract things in life, but I could share you my experience, particularly on how I attracted the tickets to Napoleon Hills Convention.

Yes, The Secret and Law of Attraction did worked in my life. Somehow, Napoleon Hills seems to be always shining my life. First, I read “Dare to Fail” by Billi Lim. I didn’t really like the title but a friend brought the book to a camp and I started reading the book at night and fell in love. In the book, Billi mentioned he read the book “Think and Grow Rich”, so obsessed by it that he even attended a “Think and Grow Rich” course.

I searched and searched for it. I also heard the book being banned in Malaysia, of what reasons I am not sure. Yet one day as I was having lunch at a coffee shop, something made me walked towards a small little bookstore just two doors away. I walked in, browsed for books and eyed upon THINK AND GROW RICH! I was only a student at that time.  I read the book and love the philosophy taught by Napoleon Hills. I became a great fan of Napoleon Hills.

Then, there was a Napoleon Hills International Convention advertised in the newspapers. The course fees were four figures and as a fresh graduate and just started working at that time, I could not afford that figure. I remember in one of Robert Kiyosaki’s books and audiobooks, Robert warned against saying “I can’t afford it”. He said that instead of saying “I can’t afford it”, change it to “How can I afford it?”

I thought, why not put it to test. Almost everyday for 2 full weeks, I kept asking myself, “How can I go to Napoleon Hills Convention?” As I woke up in the morning, as I was having breakfast, as I drove, I kept thinking of that same question. It was already 2 days away from the convention and yet I have no idea how I can attend the convention I so wanted to. I told myself, there will be miracle and kept thinking how to go.

While I was driving, the phone rang. I put on a earphone and answered the call. A friend, Edward, called. He said, “There is an event this weekend and I have some free tickets. Would you like to attend Napoleon Hills International Convention?” My eyes almost popped out listening to his question, I answered with an immediate, “YES!! I was thinking about it all week! YES I want to attend!!”

A few years after the first convention, I was taking a course to be a certified Napoleon Hills trainer. The year when the convention was held at Kuching, Sarawak, I was serving as the youngest moderator at that convention. Till today, I still read a few paragraphs of Think and Grow Rich everyday. Every time I read it, different thoughts and experience come alive.

THANK YOU, Napoleon Hills for writing books that inspired hundred of millions of people and for sure billions of people who have yet to read.

Being rich is sometimes about forcing yourself to do something – a WILL to do it. Most people will create excuses NOT to do something and that’s the main reason why people do not jump into the risky zone and do something different. I grew up in a family where we do not manage our finances. Well, we have not much to manage anyway. My parents divorced due to financial problems and as I grew up with my aunt, she always advised that I study hard, get good grades and get a good paying job. In school, I was asked NOT to hold the position of a treasurer because refrain from money means refrain from managing it. I was told money does not grow on trees and of course, money is the root of all evil! Sounds familiar? Way back before year 2000, my “financial blueprint” was a map to the poor and middle income group. Very often, I always said these:

  • I must work hard for money
  • Money doesn’t come easily
  • Money was the culprit for my parents divorce so money is evil
  • Having a lot of money means greed
  • Business is for the greedy people
  • Investments are risky
  • A steady, well paying job is enough to survive
  • If I save enough, I will be well off till retirement
  • My EPF savings will sustain the rest of my life
  • If I don’t invest, I won’t lose money to risky investments
  • Fixed deposit is the safest guaranteed investment
  • Mutual fund is the second
  • People always lose in the stock market
  • Since I won’t do business or involve in money, I don’t like reading books on these subjects

Twist of fate landed “Rich Dad Poor Dad” on my hands in 2003 and the list of books I read changed. From 2003 onwards, I read so many books about finance, business, investments and managing money that I can start sharing my knowledge “theoretically”. I realised that it is my THOUGHTS that determined my FEELINGS towards the subjects of money. It led me to ACTIONS avoiding these books and the RESULTS was poor financial knowledge. I need to start from the THOUGHT process. Not only do I read, I researched and listened to audiobooks. It was sometimes difficult to understand Americans when they speak, and my hearing wasn’t good. I was born with hearing defect on the left. Yet, when my friends are busy listening to radio on the way to work, listening to the latest music and songs, I listened to audiobooks. I’d asked my employers to sponsor my seminars like property investment courses and seminars on stocks and options. I even sent sms-es to family and friends asking for “sponsorship” to attend these courses. At times, believe it or not, I attracted to me free tickets of seminars I really really wanted to attend and learn. I changed my thought process.

  • I must work hard for money – or should money also work hard for me too?
  • Money doesn’t come easily  – how do I attract it to come easier? 
  • Money was the culprit for my parents divorce so money is evil – come to think about it, it is really the “lack of money” that’s the culprit. If I’d avoid finance problem, I should first face it, make it, manage it!
  • Having a lot of money means greed – If I can’t be rich and successful, how can I inspire others to be rich and successful as well? Why must money means greed? Money is a necessity for all people, so is everyone on Earth as greedy?
  • Business is for the greedy people – I later realised, if there is no bread business, I will need to knead dough and bake a bread everyday. If there’s no food business, then I will need to cook all my meals. Business is an exchange of money for services and products that we need, in turn generating cashflow. That’s economy. So if I choose to be in business, I must ask myself, what goods and services should I provide to add values to people’s lives? Business is not that bad after all, eh?
  • Investments are risky – Even walking across the street can be risky, but I do know how to watch for cars or cross with the pedestrian bridge to reduce risks. So, how do I minimise risks if I were to invest? 
  • A steady, well paying job is enough to survive – It doesn’t take more than a calculator to prove this wrong
  • If I save enough, I will be well off till retirement – If I want to retire early, I will need to do more, make more and put my money to work harder too
  • My EPF savings will sustain the rest of my life – will it really?
  • If I don’t invest, I won’t lose money to risky investments – If I don’t start managing risks, I will end up risking more in a job, “secured” investment and EPF
  • Fixed deposit is the safest guaranteed investment – but not a buffer for inflation. If I want to beat inflation, there must be a better way. If I need to retire early, there must be a even better way!
  • Mutual fund is the second – If high risk high return, why don’t I take some risks, educate myself by attending more seminars and courses to learn how to manage risks? 
  • People always lose in the stock market – People lose and make money in stocks, people also lose and make money in business. I have also seen people lose and make money in properties, as well as made money in a job to end up losing all in expenses. Do I stop doing everything? 

My “financial blueprint” is now very different and that should be the starting point of all riches. I’d recommend everyone to attend the Millionaire Mind Intensive, an intensive 3-full-day (may start as early as 9am to 10pm EVERYDAY!) to change your financial blueprint. I’ve done that, attended more than 3 times and even changed my political blueprint there too.

(Yes, I know many typical minded people will say, “But I heard the trainer will sell you courses there.” I am more concern of what I will LEARN than what the trainer will sell. I always believe I can learn in every situation. Even when the trainer was selling his courses, I was quick to realised that they actually had a template and the same selling method could be used in my daily life. I always identify if I am being sold or whether I really wanted to buy the products/seminars.)

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