Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How I tripled traffic to my blog in 1 month

Tired of spamming your friends? Here are some alternatives to increasing traffic to your website:

1.Contribute articles to content providers with a link back to your website. My favourites include Articlesphere.com and EzineArticles.com.

2.Make comments on relevant websites and blogs. One of my business tips got picked up by Ladieswholaunch.com, an entrepreneurial website for women, and circulated on their newsletter.

3. Subscribe to Help A Reporter Out (HARO) which is a PR email listing down media enquiries around the world. This is my best-kept secret and through it, I have contributed to many blogs and even had my book, Boss of Me! picked up for review by an Australian magazine.

4. Leave a signature in your email with your website address and link. This makes every email a PR exercise.

5. Offer to write for relevant newsletters. Don’t discount off-line links. Email links are equally important when it comes to marketing. I have offered to write for the email newsletters of Singapore Business and Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (ASME) starting from October – giving me 14,800 new eyeballs.

The best part? All the above strategies are FREE!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Life lessons learnt from F1

After a heady weekend of fast cars and parties, I'm exhausted and walk away with newfound respect for the Formula One drivers. Here are some life lessons we can learn from them:

1. Always be prepared

"You have to be ready for something that is coming but you don't know when or where," says Heikki Kovalainen. Just like them, we should always be three-steps ahead and anticipate all the twists and turns that life sometimes throws us.

2. Being mentally strong

The most important job for an F1 driver is to drive their pants off in the car. They have to be switched on 110%, as they need a good memory and awareness to communicate to the mechanics and engineers what the car is doing. Keeping our brain alert and sharp is crucial to stay ahead of competition and retain and delight our customers.

3. Physically fit

Formula One drivers need a unique combination of power, aerobic fitness and mental strength to handle speeds of more than 200mph and forces of more than 5G for 90 minutes at a time. They train like marathoners and are one of the fittest athletes around. Being physically fit keeps our brains active for the "marathon" of running our own business. Keeping well will also let you enjoy your fruits of labour better.

4. Being commited

These drivers race on average one-and-a-half days a week throughout the year, but the rest of their time is spent preparing for that. As I always like to say, opportunity is good luck combined with preparation...and lots of it! When you have done your homework and am on top of your game, you will be better equipped to make the most out of life's opportunities.

5. Never giving up

My heart went out to Felipe Massa who had an unfortunate pit-lane accident that robbed him of his potential victory. Despite being incorrectly given the green light, this guy with the big heart refused to blame anyone for the incident and instead vowed to give his best shot in overturning the gap between himself and Hamilton. If we could only learn one lesson from F1, this would be it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How to prosper during the recession

If you're prepared for difficult economic times and have the right tools, there is no reason to worry about your financial future. History has shown it is possible not only to survive but to prosper in these times.

During the great depression, huge fortunes were made by many. The Kennedy, Rothschild and Rockefeller families all dramatically increased their fortunes throughout the depression. But it wasn't just the rich who got richer - many ordinary citizens found a way to not only survive but thrive during a poor economy.

What I am doing to recession-proof myself:

1. Create various sources of income. I currently have 6 sources –

Active income:
- Pilates
- Freelance writing

Passive income:
- My three books (Boss of Me!, Sleep & Get Rich!, The Essential Post-pregnancy Weight Loss Guide)
- Pilates DVD (upcoming)

2. Selecting recession-proof industries like healthcare and motivational books.

3. Be open to opportunities (I am currently exploring another business venture).

4. Staying positive.

Want to know how to create passive income for yourself?

Look out for my second book, Sleep & Get Rich! where top 10 passive income earners show you the way.

I'd like to leave you with this quote: "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Inspiring people

I am so thankful that my work gives me the opportunity to meet fascinating people.

From philanthropic millionaires to shrewd businessmen (or both!), my sessions with them are always a lively discourse of shared ideas. I walk away emboldened, invigorated and validated every time.

Most recently, I met up with Dr Ting Choon Meng. Google his name and you will see that he is an inventor disguised as a GP. Gregarious and endearingly clumsy, he made headlines for turning down a $420 million offer to buy over one of his companies (to find out his reason, you'll have to wait for my book, Sleep & Get Rich! - out next year).

The money doesn’t matter to him as he is already wealthy beyond reason in his heart and mind. We talked about “mining our oil fields”, how China and India are becoming behemoths in the financial industry and JK Rowling. I am joining him at the next gathering for his association of inventors, called the Fellowship of Inventors, and may even give a talk there (Dr Ting insists that I am an inventor…duh!). I am also nurturing some invention ideas in my head. Would be fun to create a product…

I have also been roped in to help my friend’s efforts at Youth Challenge. Run by Landy Eng, a well-known angel investor, the charity’s focus is on a halfway house in Laos set up for girls and women rescued from human trafficking. Looks like a trip to Laos is in order...

Who knows, maybe inventor and philanthropist will soon be added to my multi-hyphenate…and I am feeling extremely blessed to have the time and resources to explore all these varied and exciting opportunities!

Friday, September 19, 2008

This boring headline is written for Google

If you are a business owner building your website or a PR executive, pay special attention:

Google (and other search engines) are forcing newspapers to change their approach to writing news headlines.

In newspapers and magazines, for example, section titles and headlines are distilled nuggets of human brainwork, tapping context and culture. “Part of the craft of journalism for more than a century has been to think up clever titles and headlines, and Google comes along and says, ‘The heck with that,’ ” observed Ed Canale, vice president for strategy and new media at The Sacramento Bee.

It’s not just traditional news media either. Bloggers also have to sacrifice creativity in order to have a greater chance of being found in news search engines.

It’s not just news media though. Web designers have no choice but to change the way they create websites. For years, they’ve been told not to use Flash or to limit JavaScript, otherwise the search engines will ignore them.
As a result, we’re losing all sense of creativity on the web.

In other words, if you are looking to sell leather handmade bags online, you should have a static (boring) website with the key words (do your Google keyword search) – Leather handmade bags in your header, and NOT some pretty website with flash and something creative (but ambiguous) like, This is even better than sex…

Get the point? Do you want money or do you want to look good?

You choose.

excerpt taken from www.marketingpilgrim.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

21 reasons why starting your own business is similar to prostitution

I'll probably get flak for this post...but what the heck.

Here are the reasons:

1. You are both after money.
2. The more clients you have, the more money you’ll make.
3. You have to look good.
4. It is tiring work.
5. You have to be careful who you deal with.
6. There are good days and there are bad days.
7. Competition is stiff.
8.The better you are, the more business you’ll get.
9. Looks are not everything, service is more important.
10. You don’t need a degree.
11. Experience is not required.
12. Relatively low cost to start.
13. You have to work weekends and all through the night.
14. You lose touch with friends and family.
15. Marketing aka “pimping” is important.
16. It’s lucrative.
17. You don’t need a business plan.
18. Self-improvement is key to survival.
19. You can stand to lose everything.
20. It helps to have “connections”.
21. More assets = more value.

Gives a whole new meaning to "whoring yourself out".

Monday, September 15, 2008

I am as happy as a frolicking puppy in a park as my “babies” have just arrived from Amazon.
Books and I have been engaged in a torrid love affair for years, and how I feel for them is similar to how some girls feel about shoes or bags. I don’t enjoy shopping and display the mannerisms of a man when I am in a store with my girlfriends (disinterest and a tendency to wander off). That explains my pathetic wardrobe which my girlfriend remarks is like a six-year-old boy’s (he’ll probably have more shoes than me).

My bookshelf is a different ballgame altogether...It is very likely that I have to buy ANOTHER shelf to contain my books. When no one is looking, I fondle the pages of my books lovingly.
I may have a fetish.

Workaholic Anonymous

I'm going to try not to think about work today. Reason being I've just spent the last few months doing stuff non-stop, think I need a brief respite to refresh myself. So, I'm going to read and go for a long walk/run later at Mt Faber. Looking forward to that!

Here are more reasons why we should slow down:

1. Haste leads to waste. "Taking a moment to slow down can actually help your productivity," says Dr. Kirk Byron Jones, author of Addicted to Hurry. So, take a breather and cleanse your mind to make room for new ideas. Many workaholics often make the mistake of coming up with mediocre work just so they could finish as many tasks as possible. Sadly, their efforts are in vain, as the work's substandard state doesn't make the grade.

2. All work and no play make you dull. Being serious is great--but it's not advisable to be "too serious." The folks at Slow Down Now, a site that injects humor into the lives of workaholics, certainly think that injecting humor will contribute to one's creativity.

3. Keeping it simple is sensational. In Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How to Create a More Peaceful, Simpler Life From the Inside Out, authors Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey assert that workaholics risk losing their capacity to feel childlike joy over "little triumphs." Workaholics, for example, wouldn't feel proud about getting through a meeting. They'll only be happy when they feel that they've trumped everyone else's efforts.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

10 things you DON'T need to start your own business

1. A degree

2. Experience

3. Lots of capital

4. An office (see my solopreneur note below)

5. A business plan

6. A website

7. Hire staff

8. A blackberry

9. A business partner

10. An investor

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hard drive

I'm mid-way through Hard Drive which is about Bill Gates and the making of the Microsoft empire, and already I am in awe of this incredible man. No wonder he became the world's richest man. His vision, persistence and focus is unparelleled!

Some highlights:

- Everything is a competition to this man, even a friendly poker game and he will not rest till he has won.

- He is known for clocking 36 hour days, only to collapse in a heap under his desk, blanket over his head. He is revived easily with a cup of coffee.

- Super-cerebal, he can take on lawyers, programmers and bosses of big companies, even at 21. His photographic memory allows him to read, understand and remember tedious business books which he devoured in Harvard while other students read Playboy.

- A visionary, he saw the future of personal computers and how we would do away with paper and pen and just communicate via our PCs...this was back in the 70s when computers cost millions and only big companies had them. He also told everyone that he would be a millionaire at 25.

- Looks can be deceiving. Bill Gates looks much younger than his 21 years, especially with his floppy hair, acne and sloppy dressing. His non-threatening looks belie an astute business mind and he is often underestimated by deal-makers and competitors.

- He is known for his tantrums, tendency to speed, arrogance (he has a penchant for calling people" stupid" or "idiots") and habit of rocking to and fro when he is in a meeting (it is common to walk into a sale meeting at Microsoft and find him and his group of managers rocking in tandem).

I find him fascinating.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What are you waiting for?

The Internet, especially today's interactive Web 2.o, has paved the way for ordinary folks to make millions. Thousands of netpreneurs are springing up everyday and there are gazillions of success stories.

I am not talking about big boys like Google or Facebook. But solopreneurs, which represent a big majority of people in the online world who work from home (I am a solopreneur who works out of my sofa). One great example is blogger, John Chow (http://www.johnchow.com/) , a Canadian, "dot com mogul" who makes money from telling people how much money he makes, literally (if you really want to know, he makes $30,000 per month!).

Blogging is big business these days and you can make serious money from it, and John shares his wisdom and tips generously on his blog. Best part? You don't even have to a techie to be a success. According to John, you need to blog about unique content, cultivate good relations with similar websites so that they will link to your site (remember, the Google spider loves links, so more links = higher rankings on the search engine) and tweak, tweak tweak constantly.

Bloggers like him make money from a wide variety of ways, from Google Adsense ads to paid reviews. As long as you command high traffic, money will find you.

I find it truly inspiring and the next time you are feeling the Monday blues or having a bad day at work, I suggest you go to http://www.johnchow.com/ to find out how you can escape the rat race...

My strange problem-solving ritual

I'm going to share a secret...

Whenever I come across a challenge and can't think of a solution, I'll take out a piece of paper and write this:

1. Challenge - list out the issue as clearly as you can.
2. Action 1 - leave blank
3. Action 2 - leave blank
4. Action 3 - leave blank
5. Timeline - usually a week

Then I will tuck the paper away and trust my mind to give me some ideas by the dateline stipulated. Letting my unconscious mind (before sleeping) run with the problem usually gives me pretty good ideas and somehow, even though the paper is hidden, my mind remains totally alert to it - drawing people, circumstances and events to provide solutions.

You'll be surprised at what you can come up with. Sure beats the other alternative of banging head repeatedly against the wall.

Ok, enough hocus pocus for now.

* Update: I have received requests for examples, here goes: My own case study.

Challenge: Sell truckloads of Boss of Me!

The solutions I came up with:

Action 1: Contribute to newsletters of business associations which goes out to 14,000 corporate eyeballs.

Action 2: Organise a Boss of Me! event to sell books in bulk.

Action 3: Book review in Think Big, an Australian magazine distributed in 2,500 news stands across Sydney.

Action 4: Guest blog on one of the highest ranking blogs in the world, http://www.johnchow.com/, http://www.problogger.net/ or http://www.shoemoney.com

Persistence is the Mother of all good luck...I didn't sit around and wait for the answers to fall on me. Instead, I researched online and one thing just led to another...of course having the thick skin to write to relevant sources helps.

I am very grateful and if all goes well, I am on my way to achieving my desired GOAL!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Do you have G-cred?

G cred (n.): Google credibility. What someone sees when they Google your name, business, product, organization or whatever. It’s an increasingly important measure of legitimacy and how seriously someone will take you.

As Google and the Web continue to mature, online visibility will equate to credibility on every level. It does now in this Web 2.0 world, through blogs and a myriad of social media sites that have become a respected, easily accessible and exponentially expanding source of cred. In short, word of mouth on steroids.

Respected marketing gurus like Tom Peters and Seth Godin have been preaching the value of building one’s “personal brand” for years. In The Brand You, Peters explains how career survival is not about blending in but about standing out:

“Regardless of age, position or the business we happen to be in, we need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

If you do a Google search on yourself and little comes up, or it’s dated, well that’s not good. If you happen to be someone in the marketing communications business and that happens, you’d better hope it’s not a potential client or customer doing the searching.
For more information on building your G-cred, check out John Follis' blog: http://thefollisreport.com/

I am building my G-cred via article contributions to:

Habla blog (www.wardspeaking.com/blog)
Gurupak books
Ladies Who Launch partnership directory (http://www.ladieswholaunch.com/)
www.Articlesphere.com…and many more.

Exciting update: Think Big, an Australian magazine, would like to review Boss of Me!

About Think Big:

Think Big Magazine is published by Mindset Media Pty Ltd. Think Big has been developed to capture and reflect the values and tools of leaders, inspirational people, entrepreneurs and every day wisdom. We are interested in stories that inspire and motivate people. Think Big writers and contributors are leaders in their fields and include Chris Howard, John Demartini and Justin Herald plus many more. Think Big is published every two months and is the only magazine in its class that features a full online version. Think Big is distributed through 2,500 Australian newsagents and is available through paid subscription. Back copies are distributed through Universal and Chris Howard events and other events. Think Big also has a VIP subscriber list of over 1,000.

(Many thanks to Peter Shankman!)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Die standing

I died standing today. Not literally but figuratively, of course.

I had a meeting with a top trainer and events organiser for entrepreneuralism to explore ways to promote my book, Boss of Me! I was ill-prepared, inexperienced (in the events department) and sorely lacking sleep. The result: I asked all the wrong questions (even asking the same question 3 x!) and had no concrete proposal.

Luckily, he was a very nice guy and offered advice. The amazing thing is, he still wants to work with me! So, we are jointly organising a Boss of Me! event. This will be a great branding and sales platform for my book.

Despite my terrible show, I walked away with valuable lessons from our short one hour discussion. Events is a totally new direction for me and I am part excited, part filled with trepidation. But, what the hell! I'll rather die standing than live the rest of my life on my knees!

Wish me luck :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

AWE5OME profile

Thanks to the crew at AWE5OME:


(p.s. my surname is spelt wrongly on the link, haha)