My 2016 Journey.

In about 31 days, we will say goodbye to 2016. On the 32nd day, we greet 2017 with great jubilation. I am amazed by how far I’ve come as a person since this time last year. There were ups and there were downs. I never expected to be where I am today; and I am grateful for all the opportunities that came my way.

Recap of 2016

As I write this entry, I’m also looking at the post I published earlier this year: Approaching the 3rd Decade. Some of the goals are still relevant; others no longer serve their purpose because of what I’ve learnt, did, and did not do in the past 11 months.

Briefly, here are what happened since January 1st, 2016:

New Career

I joined a new company which provides Data Analytics-as-a-Service in February 2016 where I am responsible for project delivery and business development. The first 7 months with this company was spent learning the operations, understanding the process, and appreciating data. From September, I slowly entered the realm of business development. The journey has taken me to Jakarta (October 2016) and Kota Kinabalu (November 2016). Never did I imagine that I would be working in this amazing environment and being able to play a part in the bigger scheme of things.

Hectic November

This month, I had a whirlwind of a week: Malaysian Media Conference 2016 (November 14th), a briefing in Kota Kinabalu (November 16), and my annual vacation to Krabi (November 17th to 21st) followed by a meeting upon landing in KL.

Flying Business First Time

The trip to and from Kota Kinabalu also saw me do something cheeky: I upgraded my ticket from Economy Class to Business Class. I debated the decision and proceeded to fund my upgrade. You see, during my trip to Jakarta in October, I stayed at the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski with my colleague. It was unlike any experience I had. The hotel blew me away. The overall experience reawaken that part of me which ‘likes nice things’; more importantly, the belief that having and enjoying nice things is possible and within reach.

I can truly say that I have mostly healed from the terrible loss and blow suffered in 2013. However that void will never be filled.

Coming back to the Business Class experience, this was also an opportunity to try something I’ve never had the privilege of doing before. Although it’s a short flight, about 2 hours 30 minutes, it was quite cheap on Malindo. Cheaper than Malaysia Airlines’ Economy seat. During the flight, as usual, I challenged my thinking and perception of the world. Jakarta made me realise that I can accomplish what I have only been dreaming about. Kota Kinabalu reinforced the belief. There was a paradigm shift of sorts.

First Visit to Indonesia

Jakarta Analytics Leaders Summit 2016

Despite growing up in Miri, I never crossed the border to Indonesia. Although the trip was a short one in October 18th to 21st, 2016, it was my first time to our southern neighbour. Just a few days after I booked that flight to Krabi – which is why I went quite late this year. 

Growing up, I had the privilege of travelling to the United States (1991, 1997, and 2004) and the UK & France (July 2013). I find it embarrassing that I have not explored Southeast Asia. Hence my promise to myself in 2013 to travel at least once a year. Until I can pay for the distant ones again, I’d like to explore Southeast Asia first.

สวัสดี ครับ กระบี่

As I mentioned, I was in Krabi (กระบี่) between November 17 & 21. I wanted to return to Aonang this year because I needed to make more suits for my role. Last year, I went to Andy the Tailor and ordered my first custom made suit (Navy blue cashmere cotton). I was satisfied with it and thought I wanted to do more. And I did. 🙂

Well, I did more:

  • One 3-piece suit (Black): jacket, pants, & vest;
  • Two 2-piece suit (Brown & Grey): jacket & pants;
  • 2 pieces of shirts (Black & Sky Blue);
  • 1 piece of tuxedo shirt (White); and
  • One black tuxedo.

In total I had to pay about THB31,500, or MYR3942.86. Yeah, I could not believe I spent that much as well on clothes. Then again, I cannot be wearing the same navy blue to every conference.

This year, I stayed in Aonang instead of the Nopparat Thara side. And, for the first time, I traveled overseas with a non-relative: Vincent.

This year we went for the ‘island’ oriented tour. Specifically the James Bond Island Longtail Boat Tour which I booked on KrabiShuttle.com. Just like last year, I also booked the taxi from and to the airport through this website.

On our last day, we managed to visit the Tiger Cave Temple. Yeah, I went there last year. Instead of using the tour, we took a tuk tuk. Another first for me. While Vincent went up to the summit, I explored the base since I could not do that last year. I was also able make 6 Thai amulets, but here are 5:-

If I am not mistaken, the 6 amulets were for:

  • Monday
  • Success
  • Protection
  • Business
  • Wisdom
  • Health

There are a lot more that happened in 2016, which included an amicable break-up from a 3-year relationship. We tried our best to be the partner each other needs. But the more we bent, the more we broke. Yes, I still think about us. But I want you to be part of my life, though not romantically, because you mean a lot to me. You were there when I went through a lot. Unfortunately, I could not be there when you needed me the most – towards the end of our relationship. That is completely my fault. I want to cherish the good times we had. Those times we made each other smile, and laugh, and forget our pain and our sorrows. The time you wiped away my tears; and I tried to allay your fears.

Also we said goodbye to an uncle of ours in August 2016. A shocking loss for us. I did not get to see him, but merely stood by his final resting place.

This is also the year we saw my brother finally graduating with his Bachelor of Quanity Surveying (Hons), First Class, from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) with the Best Student Award from the Faculty. Also joining the 2016 convocation are my cousins in India (Medicine) and Huddersfield (Automotive Engineering).

In Milton Keynes, my cousin got hitched to my former classmate’s brother. What are the odds? They’ve been together for a about 8 or 9 years! Through thick and thin. My regret is not being able to attend the akad nikah and reception. Other than that, I am very excited and happy for Rina & Dennis!

2016 Goals 

Here is a recap of the goals I set for 2016.

I started the year with these goals:

  1. Raising CSSB account to a surplus of RM60,000 through copywriting projects before moving copywriting and communications operations to a limited liability partnership registered under the LLP Act;
  2. I make RM200,000 in all of 2016 for myself through my companies, businesses, and investments;
  3. I handle high level copywriting projects like white papers, business and development proposal writing, company profiles, and annual reports;
  4. I clear my car loan (RM17,300 as of January 2016), renew its road tax, and car insurance;
  5. Move into my own home complete with home office+study+library;
  6. Complete the Certified Copywriting Specialist certification from the Business Training Institute;
  7. Set aside RM30,000 in my AmBank TruSavers account for emergency purposes;
  8. Attend the BNI Malaysia 2016 National Conference;
  9. Produce 50 videos on Copywriting through the AdvertWriter Toolkit; and
  10. Build my virtual infrastructure with virtual assistants & freelancers to help me scale and grow my copywriting business.

In March ( Link ), I updated them to these:

  1. Raising CSSB account to a surplus of RM60,000 through copywriting projects before moving copywriting and communications operations to a limited liability partnership registered under the LLP Act;
  2. I make RM200,000 in all of 2016 for myself through my companies, businesses, and investments;
  3. I handle high level copywriting projects like white papers, business and development proposal writing, company profiles, and annual reports;
  4. I clear my car loan (RM17,300 as of January 2016), renew its road tax, and car insurance;
  5. Complete the Certified Copywriting Specialist certification from the Business Training Institute;
  6. Set aside RM30,000 in my AmBank TruSavers account for emergency purposes;
  7. Attend the BNI Malaysia 2016 National Conference;
  8. Produce 50 videos on Copywriting through the AdvertWriter Toolkit; and
  9. Build my virtual infrastructure with virtual assistants & freelancers to help me scale and grow my copywriting business;
  10. Open a Private Retirement Scheme (PRS) account, investing in an approved Growth Fund, with RM5,500 (Ringgit Malaysia Three Thousand Only) to also enjoy the Individual Income Tax Relief for next Financial Year 2016 and insurance coverage.

When I was offered the new position, I moved into my own place. I cannot say that I have accomplished anything more besides clearing my car loan in October 2016.

It’s true that once you get drawn into the day-to-day problems and escapes, you may forget the bigger picture. At least for me.

Or, if I may put it, these goals are interlinked, but no longer relevant to where I am heading to. Thus, it makes sense to change them altogether. Furthermore, I need to manage my own expectations that I have myself. Yeah, I figured that out after speaking to a sales coach last week. 🙂

Moving Forward

2017 is going to be an awesome year, but one cannot be too jolly as we were warned to prepare for another loss. At the same time, one cannot be too sad that one stops everything. The loss in 2017 will be painful. All will be revealed in due time.

For 2017 goals, I need to sit down and reconsider my direction and the blueprint which I produced some time back. I need to audit and correct myself. At the same time, my role continues to grow. As does my duties.

Scared? Hell yeah!

Excited? Definitely!

Grateful? Ever more!

About Aldric 109 Articles
Copywriter. Emersed in conversations about politics, economics, business, personal finance, theology, and entrepreneurship. Starting golf. Enjoy travelling and experiencing the many things in life.

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