Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Losing my virginity

Secrets of Richard Branson's success in his aptly-named autobiography:

1. This entrepreneur and billionaire believes in thinking big and taking calculated risks. "My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable, challenges and trying to rise above them."

2. Being less stressed than others by uncertainty.

3. Trying to prove people wrong.

4. Having the simple belief that "you can do it".

Random fact: He is not a fast talker or great public speaker, and admits that it often takes him time to answer a question properly. "I hope that people will trust a slow, hesitant response than a rapid, glib one." (this is something that resonates with me, that is why I dread "live" interviews)

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Let me try again"

When I am not writing, I conduct Pilates classes for private clients and companies. I am particularly struck by the focus and persistence of one of my tai-tai clients. At 62 years old, she definitely can't hold a candle to my younger and nimble students, but her willpower can easily stump all of them.

Whenever she can't do a certain move, she will try and try again until she succeeds. Even when she is sweating and red in the face, she will always say, "Let me try again." Then, closing her eyes to focus, she will give it another shot. Sometimes, I stop her as I don't want her to be worn out. It is no wonder she runs a company with turnover in the hundreds of millions.

Having persistence and never giving up is one of the key factors to attaining your goals. Often people give up at the first "no". That is why they fail. We all get rejected sometimes, and we have to learn to shake it off and keep our eyes glued on the goal. There will be other ways to getting it if we keep an open mind and stay optimistic and flexible.

Colonel Sanders (of KFC fame) was rejected 1,008 times before a restaurant bought his secret chicken recipe. If grandpa can do it, so can you!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The power of goal-setting

Jack Canfield, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, developed what he calls the "Rule of 5" to meet his goal of getting Chicken Soup for the Soul, to the top of the New York Times Best-Seller List.

Jack's "Rule of 5" requires that every day, Jack does five specific things to move his goal to completion.

Completing five things each day doesn't sound like much, but imagine this:
Five pages of writing a day equal seven 250 page books in a year.
Five new customers a day equal 1,825 customers in a year.
The list could go on forever.
By the way, Jack met his goal. Chicken Soup for the Soul, eventually sold over 8 million copies in 39 languages.
How did he do it?

He did five things a day.

Maybe it was five interviews or five press releases or giving away five review copies. Jack did whatever he could as long he did at least five specific things everyday to move closer to his goal.

The biggest problem is that most people read, study, think, dream, plan and then ...

Do nothing.

So, what am I going to do today to get closer to my goal?

So far I've already:
- Defined my goal for my projects.
- Started writing.

Here's what else I'm going to do today (and next week):
- Finish up my e-book sample for free downloads (fyi, I am working on a digital book with my sister which will be launched in September and I'm so excited!).
- Confirm remaining interviewees for my second book (ooooh...this one is going to be BIG).
- Continue promotional work for Boss of Me! (book and I may be on national TV soon...).
- Confirm new Pilates corporate job.
- Update Boss of Me! blog.
- Catch up on my online and off-line reading.
- Think and strategise to achieve my goals.
- Stop neglecting my hubby (work is my new lover).

I know, it's more than five things, but I'm addicted to creating lists and this is fun for me.

What are you going to do today?

Each of you is in your own spot so what you do will be different from what I am doing, but let me make a couple of suggestions for today.
- Set a goal.
- Take action on five specific things to move you towards your goal.
Try it. You will be amazed at the results.
Excerpt taken from Kenneth A MacArthur of jvAlert.com

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Randy Pausch died today of complications from pancreatic cancer at age 47. Randy recently became famous for his "Last Lecture" when he talked to his students at Carnegie-Mellon after he learned that he only had months to live. It's definitely worth your time to watch this video of what he said:

Makes you realize how short life is and Randy gives you a few ideas on how to make it worth living. Enjoy Randy's inspiration in memory of his amazing spirit and his desire to help YOU have an impact in your own life.
I'll leave you with this quote from Anna Eleanor Roosevelt: “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thank you for all your shout-outs!

Dear readers,

Thanks for sharing your kind words about Boss of Me!, for adding me on Facebook (especially Larry for advertising my book on your status to your 2000+ friends!) and for seeking my humble advice about writing a book. I hope I answered your queries in my posts below.

Keep them coming and my advice to all those who are thinking but not doing: If you wait until you have your entire plan figured out and buttoned up, the world will have moved on and passed you by. Sometimes, it's better to start then learn as you go along.

Case in point: Me. Ok, I am an exception as I develop tunnel vision when I have a goal and have a tendency to hurtle at breakneck speed towards it. But, if I had hesitated to weigh the odds, Boss of Me! may not have materialised.

So what if you failed? Every experience is a learning opportunity and I've had two major (and costly) setbacks before:

1. When I was 24. I founded a barter website called http://www.xchange141.com/ with a five-figure sum loaned from my dad. Timing was off and the dot com bubble burst. My investors pulled out and I lost my capital. Instead of moping around, I promptly got myself hired as a business development manager at CNET Asia, thanks in large to my eight months of start-up experience and valuable contacts gleaned from it. I was the youngest manager on board and my comfortable pay enabled me to pay my dad back (phew!). I regard this as my MBA crash course.

2. In my second year of teaching pilates, I was bored and had idle time, so decided to go into the financial services business. Very quickly, I learnt that I am not a sales person because I was not hungry enough. But, I stayed on for two years to learn all about investment and managing my own finances. When I left, I was adept enough to start and manage my own investment portfolio as well as my husband's.
Just do it!
* Please mention my book if you are adding me on Facebook as I usually ignore requests from strangers. Sorry if I have rejected you, please try again if you want :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Benefits of being an author

Why write?

Apart from the immense joy of seeing your words come to live and sitting pretty in major bookstores, being an author has the below benefits:

1. Authority - Notice how the word "author" is in Authority? That's right, being an author makes you look like an expert in the topic that you are writing about. People will look to you for answers and even quote you for related topics. Develop a name for yourself as an expert in your field. Over time, you will develop a reputation and may be sought out by others for your expertise.

2. Creative exchange - Share your creativity, opinions, talents and interests with people from all over the world. It’s wonderful to receive feedback from like-minded individuals who have connected with your words.

3. Satisfaction - It is incredibly gratifying to birth a book. From being impregnated with ideas to the end result of holding your "baby" in your hands, the journey may have ups and downs but is nothing short of exhilarating!

4. Passive income - The rewards extend to the monetary. You work hard for a while and get paid for the rest of your life. Your book royalty is like an annual bonus from a generous company...year after year.

5. Springboard - You are able to branch out to different avenues - you can organise seminars related to writing or your expert topic, be a consultant or sought-after speaker.

6. High esteem - You join the publishing industry and people hold this circle in high regard. Every year, publishers churn out thousands of books on a myriad of topics from relationships to business management which are lapped up by millions of people.

7. Build your literary reputation - Writing a well established and respected book, gives you the platform to develop a literary reputation for yourself. As your literary reputation develops, your chances of acquiring work as a freelance writer or selling your work will also improve.

8. Boost business - Link your book to your personal or business website where you sell your products or services. This will increase business and is an effective promotion of your services.

Friday, July 18, 2008

How do you publish a book?

This is one of the most common questions people ask me (after where can I buy your book and how much is your pay cheque?). It's great to know that there are many story-tellers amongst us and heartwarming when they share their book ideas with me.

The publishing industry needs more local writers and I will do my best to help aspiring authors. Below are my tips and resources:

1. Write a book synopsis. It should include:

- Theme of book
- Introduction
- Market research
- Benefits for the audience
- Your credentials
- Include a draft of your first chapter

2. Find a publisher

- Make sure you pick a suitable one who will be interested in your book theme. No point sending a non-fiction book summary to a publisher that does primarily children storybooks.

- You can check the National Book Development Council of Singapore (http://www..bookcouncil.sg/) for a comprehensive list of publishers.

- Do your research from their websites and check their book titles. Then find the contact email and send your synopsis. It's better to send to a few short-listed publishers.

3. You may want to go with a smaller outfit as they may respond faster and be more easy-going. Most importantly, you must feel comfortable with your publisher and see eye-to-eye on the book direction.

Good luck! Feel free to drop me an email if you need more advice.

Forever a student

I have an insatiable hunger for self-enrichment and random facts (any kind, from frivolous to studious), that is why my well-fed inbox is inundated with subscribed newsletters. One of my favourites and daily trawl from the www is:


Proffering advice from experts across all industries, it is a must-read for all business owners.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Living purposefully

The brilliant futurist, Buckminster Fuller said, "The purpose of our lives is to add value to the people of this generation and those that follow." In short, to leave this world a better place than it was when you arrived.

Although many people believe they have a purpose, they often have a difficult time discovering their own reason for living. Because purpose holds such a spiritual sense, people tend to believe their purpose will somehow be handed down from the heavens. They wait for a "booming voice" to tell them what to do. Ok, a few "tuned-in" people do receive some type of message; some unmistakable calling. But the answer for most of us is that we actually have to "choose" our purpose. We are the ones who decide how we are best suited to serve. Our choice, however, is not random. We each have unique abilities, inherent talents and strengths. We each have different interests and activities that bring us joy. We each have different experiences and issues from which we've learned, and we all have a different way in which we can best serve others. It is through these factors you "choose" your purpose.

Can your purpose change? Yes. More likely, however, is that your overall purpose remains the same, while the vehicle you use to provide your service may change on an ongoing basis. If your purpose is to teach, for example, you may teach your own children, teach in a school, become an author or a speaker or even be a consultant. Regardless of your vehicle, your dharma is to "teach". It takes courage to choose a purpose and even more courage to live your life based on it! Once you have purpose, you will have two essential elements for a truly happy life - money and meaning! In this way, you will become "rich" in every sense of the word.


List your unique abilities, talents, strengths, interests and joys. From here choose an overall purpose for your life. Clarify it by writing it down. Then choose an initial vehicle with which you can serve people that is in alignment with your purpose. Begin today to live your life based on purpose.
Excerpt taken from Kenneth A MacArthur of jvAlert.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunday Plus feature

Sunday Plus has interviewed me for their Bookends section. This is a column where they get people to dish about their favourite books. Mine are:

1. The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, which is a fascinating book about the endless adaptability of the human brain.

2. Leaving Microsoft To Change The World by John Wood, which chronicles how the charismatic founder of Room To Read left a cushy job to set up schools and libraries in developing countries. His approach combines the management style of General Electric’s ex-head honcho, Jack Welch with the compassion of Mother Theresa.

3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. The author condenses information from the best business management books, adds his own irreverent style and sets it on fire with an irrepressible energy that leaps out from the pages. It has the ability to kick you in the butt and cause inspired thinking. No wonder it comes with a warning that says, “Do not read this book unless you want to quit your job”! This book opened up a world of infinite options for me – from creating automated cash flows to taking “mini-retirements”.

Friday, July 11, 2008

How to be a Boss of Me

There are certain traits and characteristics that stand out for Boss of Me individuals:

1. Restlessness - Job hopping and a general discontentment about making money for someone else.

2. Business-minded - You like to read about entrepreneurs and how much money they are making; you automatically calculate how much business companies are doing.

3. Risk-taker - You dabble in the stock market and are open to taking calculated risks. You are always looking for ways to leverage your capital.

4. Self- help - When you read, you are drawn to biographies about successful entrepreneurs, motivational business books and finance. You think that reading fiction is waste of brain cells.

5. Rally - If possible, you like to surround yourself with rich and successful people. Talking about business all day with them is a pleasure.

6. Thinking big - You are known for your lofty ideas and day dreams. You regale your friends and partners with your exciting business strategies.

7. Planner - On your desk are your goals for the week, month, year and the next five years. You have your life planned to the minute.

8. Walk the talk - You get things done. Sometimes, you are known to be impatient.

9. Fired up - Optimism and enthusiasm define you. The word "no" does not exist in your vocabulary.

10. Confident - You are brimming with self-belief and have complete and utter faith in your own capabilities. Naysayers be damned!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dear readers

A big THANK YOU for your support and I hope this book gives you the inspiration to follow your passion!

Please feel free to drop me an email at pearlins@gmail.com to share your thoughts or tell me how the book inspired you. Let me know which stories touched you the most and why.

Bonus: Some of the entrepreneurs in Boss of Me! are open to mentorship, so tell me who you aspire to be and maybe, just maybe, he or she will take you under the wing...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My motivation


In the book, The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama, he says that the basic fact is that all sentient beings, particularly human beings, want happiness and do not want pain and suffering, and if we are lucky enough to be living a good life, we should recognize this gift and thank God for it by looking out for others who need our help in breaking out of the cycle of poverty.
If we give something away, we actually get something back in return: happiness.

Latest update from my publisher: Boss of Me! has sold out its first run and we are going for a reprint! It is being translated for India and will also be selling in Hong Kong! All this even before media publicity has kicked in. Wow!

I believe that once you find your calling in life, everything moves smoothly, enabling you to achieve your mission.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Boss of Me! has sold almost 1,000 copies in less than a week...and we only hit bookshelves last Friday! What a great start...

Friday, July 4, 2008

We're going on air!

Watch out for our interview on The Living Room on Radio938, Monday, 14th July at 10.30am.


1. Aldrin Quek
2. Chris Lee
3. Tjin Lee
4. and Yours truly

* Update: Main gist of my interview:

Q1. Why did you write Boss of Me!

A: BOM was born out of selfish reasons really. I've always been a big fan of biographies and realise that there are none on our local talents so I decided to round up 20 outstanding individuals in different fields and tell their amazing stories. I'm also a big believer of self-help. Some people may think of that as a dirty word but to me it simply means life long learning, and I want to write motivational books about business and philanthropy that will inspire people.

Q2. I notice that the word, "entrepreneur" has not been mentioned in your book. Is it because it is overused and why?

A: While most of my interviewees run their own businesses, there are a few that work for companies but in my view, they are still bosses of themselves as they are doing what they love and have emerged on top of their fields.

Q3. Was it difficult to shortlist 20 and how do you go about with your list?

A: It was difficult as there are many successful people I want to profile but due to time constraint, I went with 20. It was 18 at first but increased to 20 later. I wanted a wide variety of industries - from trendsetters to old school stalwarts and I just went for the first name that pops in my head when I think of the different industries.

Q4. Besides passion, what other traits do Boss of Me! individuals have?

A: I realised that successful people are very generous, not in the material sense but in terms of time and help. My interviewees willingly endorsed my book and referred their successful contacts to me, making it easier for me to approach them. They took time out of their busy schedules to meet up with me and share their life stories. Also, I learnt that luck is preparation combined with opportunity. Some people may think my interviewees lead blessed lives but not many of them are aware that beneath their success lies years of determination, hard work and grit.

Q5. What are your own secrets of success?

A: I follow the double T principle - have tunnel vision and a thick skin.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


- How do you transform your passion into something gratifying?

- What makes successful people tick?

- How do you overcome adversity and turn them into opportunities?

Find out all these answers and more in Boss of Me! Out now in all major bookstores and Amazon.com.