January 18, 2016

Approaching the 3rd Decade

By Aldric

2016 is finally here. In under 10 months, I’ll be celebrating my 30th birthday.

Age is just a number. But it is also an accumulation of experience, knowledge, skills, and – above all – wisdom. The 20s has been a soul-searching decade for me. We’ve endured so many ups and downs. Each moment contributes to how I see the world around me.

Journey through my 20s

In my 20s, I’ve seen my interests change from politics to business. From power, to possibilities and freedom. Politics represented authority, control, and position to me. As a student, I was somewhat active in campus student politics: from being a member of the Jawatankuasa Perwakilan Kolej to a candidate for the Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar in UiTM Shah Alam and eventually, albeit in a short while, presiding over the Student Council of Fajar International College.

Photo taken for the 2008 Student Elections campaign materials.

Photo taken for the 2008 Student Elections campaign materials.

When I dropped out of Law School, UiTM Malaysia, I landed in the world of Copywriting, or advertisement writing. In 2008, I registered my first business, Aldric Tinker, with the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia. A home-based copywriting business. I was still based in KL then. After that, I proceeded to register two more businesses: CreateCopy and CreateChange. CreateChange was a business I registered after I attended a Certified NLP Practitioner course. Unfortunately for me, I was the struggling poor freelance copywriter.

Fast forward to the last couple of years.

In 2013, our family was hit by a terrible tragedy: my mother lost her battle against cancer. Her admission into the ICU before Christmas and when she breathed her last on January 8 marks a painful milestone in  my life. Between Advent, through New Year’s, and just after Epiphany, I will mostly be down. Besides that, also her birthday in May and our own birthdays. The silence from her passing is deafening. She left huge shoes to fill; a deep and dark void.

During Mom's wake at home, in January 2013.

During Mom’s wake at home, in January 2013.

2013-2015 has been a period of recovery. I thought I could move faster. I was proven wrong. Yet it is a period of learning and growing.

In 2013, I realised I needed to swallow my ego and learn how to actually sell. It’s crucial to my copywriting practice if I want to succeed.

So towards the end of the year, I joined Guardian Pharmacy while I wait for my unit trust consultant’s licence. After three months as a retailer, I realised I was in the wrong business model. Customers who walk in know exactly what they are looking for. As a copywriter, I needed to approach them.

When 2014 finally came, I started the year working as a Personal Assistant (Human Resource) for a young and successful Agency Manager in Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad. It was an interesting experience there. And I left in April 2014, after passing the unit trust consultant’s licencing exam, the Pre-Contract Examinations for Insurance Agents (PCEIA), and the Certified Examination in Investment-Linked Life Insurance (CEILI).

Joining the No. 1 unit trust fund house in Malaysia has taught me a lot. Using my UTC profession, I joined the Business Network International (BNI) Signature Core Group. In July 2014, we launched the chapter.

Taken during the April 2014 BNI Signature Chapter Visitor's Day at Pullman Hotel, Kuching.

Taken during the April 2014 BNI Signature Chapter Visitor’s Day at Pullman Hotel, Kuching.

It was a struggle to learn to pitch proposals and changes. BNI helped me grow my business and expand my network. Through BNI I was able to meet wonderful and inspiring entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals in Kuching, and beyond. November 2014, I went to Kuala Lumpur to attend the Director Consultant’s Training at the BNI Malaysia Headquarters.

Receiving my certificate from Robert French, BNI Malaysia National Director, in November 2014.

Receiving my certificate from Robert French, BNI Malaysia National Director, in November 2014.

In 8 October 2014, I started my own Private Limited Company, Converging Spheres Sdn Bhd. It’s been through a lot. I’m fighting to ensure it’s success. We’re in the process of getting the necessary registrations with the Malaysian and Sarawak authorities.

In early 2015, when we installed the plaque of Converging Spheres Sdn Bhd (CSSB).

In early 2015, when we installed the plaque of Converging Spheres Sdn Bhd (CSSB).

Moving towards the 30s in Early 2016

A period in one’s life is how he or she defines it. And I’m a late bloomer, I know. I learn through experience, not so much in the classroom.

As 2016 begins, I’m both excited and intimidated by the possibilities of the future. There’s a reason I named my company “Converging Spheres”. I’m starting to see the realisation of Brian Tracy’s “Law of Accelerated Acceleration”. After going through many learning steps, I’m starting to see many things come together:

    • Membership in Business Network International (BNI) allows me to tap into a network of over 191,000 businesses and professionals across 65 countries;
    • Collaboration with a professional video editor (Hugh, Learning Bulb Production) to improve outreach, content, and education marketing;
    • Office equipped with video recording hardware: Sony IC Recorder ICD-UX533F, Sony Cyber-Shot DSC WX50, Sony Sony HDR-AS200V (Action Cam with Wi-Fi & GPS);

  • Strong Internet connection at home and in the office, or “the Studio” as we dub it. We call it “the Studio” because we share the same space as Studio MOD Sdn Bhd;
  • In the process of completing the Certified Copywriting Specialist from the Business Training Institute (http://businesstraining.com/).

Goals and Expectations for my early 30s

Due to the length of this post, I’ve decided to list down my mid term goals and expectations up to the age of 35 years old (2017 to 2021).

  1. Successfully pay off my current car loan by December 2017; and then…
  2. Purchase a BMW 528i M Sport by 2020 with 40% down payment and 5-year loan;
  3. Purchase and move into an apartment in Kuching, ideally the Ryegates opposite the Kuching International Airport (KIA) or Saville Suites in Hup Kee;
  4. Pursue and complete my Bachelor of Laws (Hons) / LL.B. from SEGi University through their Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) programme for working adults;
  5. Found and grow my copywriting and communications boutique agency with a network of creative professionals across the BNI platform and generating up to RM1,500,000 per annum in profits by the end of the period;
  6. Together with my siblings and director, grow Converging Spheres Sdn Bhd (CSSB) into a CIDB G6 property development company with Bumiputera status and registered with UPK, TMB, SEB, MAHB, MOF, and CMS licences, and generating an annual profit of RM2,500,000 through private sustainable development projects and government tenders by the end of the period;
  7. Be promoted to Unit Trust Consultant-Career Manager (UTC-CM) with the current No. 1 Fund House in Malaysia;
  8. Accumulate, in my Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB), a total of RM200,000 in investments;
  9. Accumulate in my Amanah Saham Bumiputera 2 (ASB2), a total of RM200,000 in investments;
  10. Accumulate RM200,000 in my Employee’s Provident Fund;
  11. Accumulate RM200,000 in my private retirement scheme (PRS) account;
  12. Develop 5 online courses on Udemy (https://www.udemy.com/) on copywriting and generating RM600,000 per annum in total from all five courses;
  13. Grow The AdvertWriter Toolkit on my YouTube channel to having 500 3-5 minute videos on free copywriting content educating viewers on communications clarity;
  14. Grow Aldric Speaks on my YouTube channel sharing entrepreneurship and lifestyle content to at least 300 videos;
  15. Travel to a foreign country for vacation for at least ten (10) days once every 6 months;
  16. Perform a pilgrimage to Lambeth, Rome, and then Jerusalem;
  17. Support two (2) Malaysian charities through donation and communications services;
  18. Support the local entrepreneurs community through participation in BNI, Sarawak Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Dewan Usahawan Bumiputera Sarawak and other relevant organisations;
  19. Support five (5) BNI chapters, with Gold status (50+ members) across BNI Sarawak Region;
  20. And more available in my Bullet Journal.

10 Goals for 2016

Any endeavour requires focus to success. Taking a leaf out of Brian Tracy’s The Luck Factor, here are the top 10 goals which I will focus on for the next 12 months of 2016.

  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.

I’m not sure how 2016 will unravel itself. Without a direction, though, it will continue to be a struggle as I go around in circles.

As I shared earlier, many resources and factors are in place. Compare the two sets of medium and short term goals, I’ve forced myself to scale down towards something I can easily bite.

Here’s to an even more productive 2016!