Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Officially 3 years since I escaped the corporate cage

How fast time flies.
It's April 2013. 3 years after I escaped from corporate cage.

Interesting how things have changed in terms of mindset, network, friendship, focus, business, personal growth, etc. It used to be money money money..but now, after getting the freedom, money isn't really the main focus.  I guess its scary when you achieve your ultimate goal, then there's chance that you will no longer be motivated to do anything else.

I notice since young, freedom has always been the thing I need most.  Escaping from the rigid controlled life in Boarding School after just 1 month there, to escaping from home to enjoy studies overseas, to ever looking forward for outstation work to escape being stuck in KL office, to escaping the corporate cage so I can have freedom to work anytime and anywhere I want.

Business side has seen many changes.  From doing online marketing for renovation contractor and managing 2 holiday rentals for my uni friend, then letting go of the 2 units and renovation business to just focus on my other holiday rentals and 1 luxury condo and starting my first workshop, and now at another cross road. Year 2012 saw the start of 2 brands - Thrift Workshop and Thrift Holidays.
Now, there's no more luxury condo to take care at the moment, so its time to focus more on Thrift Workshop.  However, a new biz opportunity has stem up for me to build up another brand - Thrift Stays.
This is the best thing about owning own business instead of franchise or being agent of other company.  I am free to change and experiment, so its something new all the time.

Staff has come and go. I will be getting an intern in May - Sept, and another 2 unpaid interns from France in May-June.  Looking forward to mentoring and providing them a good learning experience for them to apply their learnings from uni to real life.

Group meetings have also changed from 3 mastermind groups during my working, reducing to only 1 in year 2010. Totally stop in year 2011, and now resurrected again the Netbrads team.  We vow to use the materials available to learn and apply in our respective business, whilst pushing each other to commit to our goals.  A good way to motivate each other to succeed.

Voluntary work has grown to be more than expected. Joining JCI has opened many doors, many new experience and many free stuff.  Commonwealth opportunity has started opening its doors, its just I am too busy to maximise the potential this year. Next year perhaps.
It's funny how my ex-colleague used to tease me - I am so busy like Queen Elizabeth, and suddenly in March 2013, I got to meet the Queen.
Most would jump at this opportunity, it was funny to see my alliance member so over-excited at the prospect of taking photo with the Queen, and how ironic that when the Queen spoke with us, the official photographer had moved to another room. Thank God I didn't care bout it, or I would have been sorely disappointed like him.

People who I talk to about my life, often envy the exciting life I enjoy.
Which is true..everyday is a new adventure, especially juggling business and voluntary work.

The next focus - helping others to experience this same kind of exciting life. For them to build the courage and plans to escape from corporate cage.  Look out for the "How To Plan Your Escape From Corporate Cage" workshop in May.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Top 5% most viewed profile in LinkedIn

I just received a surprise email from LinkedIn few days ago.
Apparently my profile is in the top 5% most viewed profile amongst 200million members.

Wow..that's really unexpected since I hv not updated it for a long time, and rarely log in to the account.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Beware when cancelling your account with P1

I've been using P1 for many years.
They are very friendly in calling and getting you to sign up for new offers.
But if you try to cancel..beware..it's such a challenge..
very sad ;)

Recently tried to cancel my P1 wiggy coz have not used it for many months and its always a challenge to get clear signal.

So I called the careline around 19 or 20 Sept. the staff said the cancellation will be done within 24hours.

Then they sent email on  21 Sept:

Thanks for contacting Packet 1,your case has been registered. Please refer this Case ID: 1209A897076  for all your communications. 

Should you have any enquiries, please email us at careline@p1.com.my. For speedier transaction on your account status enquiries and to make payment, please log in now to your self care account at www.p1.com.my.

P1 Careline


Then on 24 sep, I emailed back to check:

pls advise whether my wiggy acount have been cancelled as requested.


On 25 Sept, one of their staff responded.

Thank you for contacting P1 4G Support.

Regarding your query, please be advised that your case details were already escalated to the relevant department for further assistance.

We seek for your patience and understanding while we are in the process of attending to resolve your wiggy add on termination request.

Please be inform that termination request will be process within 1-3 working days.

Please be assured that you would be contacted soon in regards to this matter. We are apologize with the inconveniences caused

Should you require further assistance, please respond to this email.

Alternatively, should you prefer to speak to us you may provide us with your contact number and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Your P1 4G Account Number: 101849768
Your Email Ticket ID: C-1648130

Thank you for choosing P1 4G .


Huda Salleh
Customer Care Consultant
P1 4G Support Tel: 1300 03 1300
Business Hours: 8am - 11pm (Daily)
Then on Sept 25, another email received:

Thanks for contacting Packet 1,your case has been registered. Please refer this Case ID: 1209A901025  for all your communications. 

Should you have any enquiries, please email us at careline@p1.com.my. For speedier transaction on your account status enquiries and to make payment, please log in now to your self care account at www.p1.com.my.


Only on Sept 29, they sent this email:

Warmest greetings from P1.
We regret that you have chosen to discontinue using P1's service. We thank you for supporting P1 and hope our service be valuable to you.
To complete your request to terminate the service, please follow the 3 easy steps below
i. Place the P1 modem and related accessories (e.g. cable, power adaptor, etc) in its original packaging.
ii. Return the full set of modem & accessories to any of P1 Authorized Service Providers (ASP) within 3 working days. Please click here to find the nearest ASP locations and the operating hours in your area. Or if you have made arrangement for modem collection, you will receive a confirmation in next 3 working days for modem pickup.
iii. Settle any outstanding amount in the last bill.
Account Number : 102471398

then on 4 oct, I got a bill that include the wiggy cost still. so i emailed them on 6 oct:

i have cancelled my wiggy..
why still charge to my acct?
7 oct, their staff responded:

Thank you for contacting P1 4G support.
Regarding your query, please be advised that adjustment for your supreme add-on will be given on your next cycle bill .
Should you require further assistance, please respond to this email. Alternatively, should you prefer to speak to us you may provide us with your contact number and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

We will be more than happy to assist you.

Your Email Ticket ID: C-1654233
Thank you for choosing P1.

Warmest Regards,

Ayuni Ismail
Customer Care Consultant
P1 Careline Tel: 1 300 03 1300
Business Hours: 8am - 11pm (Daily)

Then on 8 Oct, I called and the staff mentioned I am charged coz I only call on 29 Sep to make the cancellation.

That really pissed me off. Because of the staff inefficiencies, I am being punished.
The staff insisted that his manager say the charge stays, until I searched through email box and found all the email trail.

Thankfully I am trained to keep evidence from my days working as auditor.  Must remember, always better to have email records..Phone calls are not reliable as proof.
 Then the staff call back to say their Fulfillment department will call back and give this new case ID c-1682151


So let's see how the story goes.

P1 ...All i want is just for you to take out the RM30 from my bill. Why are you making my life so difficult?

I have been a good and loyal customer, auto pay every month, doing free promo for you..and now this is your "reward" to me???

If there are other cheaper and reliable packages from other providers..I would definitely cancel my plan immediately.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

So free? NOT really..

After weeks of busy with JCI CYEA, rushing to JCIM Academy, e-Awards and AGM report..suddenly so free now.
Time to re-focus on Thrift Holidays business.. and start developing the Corporate Cage Escapade course under Thrift Workshop
Time to make some money coz Sept - Dec will be filled with dinner/workshops/conferences to attend.
Just registered to attend BFM Enterprise Breakaway end of this month.
Also good time to clear up my room and go to gym/swim more often.
Also must remember to put to practise the things learnt in MMI..my workbook has not been touched for months.
Wow...suddenly I realise I can never be so free after all...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Graduates - do not buy your first property for own stay!

Dear new graduates / new employees..

Traditional mindset in Malaysia is to buy your first property for own stay!
NEVER ever make that stupid mistake!
Go and attend property seminars, that should be your first investment once you earn your income.
Then you will know your first, second, third property should be for investment.
Then only buy property for own stay.

Because if your first property is for own stay, it becomes a liability, not an asset.
Don't make the same mistake I did.
Coming back from Australia, parents say want to buy house for me, take joint loan with mum for family home worth RM400k.Monthly repayment [once a fortnight = RM1,700]
That time my salary is only RM1,800.
Although mum set aside money to pay the loan, in the banks eyes, I can no longer take new loan coz i hv exceeded the threshold.

By the time I shoft job to my last hated company, then transfer the full loan to company loan. and that time salary RM4k. Loan is now no longer in CCRIS system, but still appear in paycheck, showing loan deduction of RM2026 being more than 50% of take home pay. So no chance to invest again, til salary grow bigger..which by that time I was already dying to leave the hated company so much.

SO lesson learnt..
buy your first property, best to markup the S&P so you get 100%, then rent it out for positive cash flow.
 then it will not affect your ability to take next loan for another investment property.
then buy second property, again if possible markup the S&P price, so you can get 100% loan again, then rent out for positive cash flow.
then, only consider buy property for investment. And don't be stupid to buy 1 bedroom apartment for yourself. Get a 3 or 4 bedroom house, rent out the rooms..and stay in 1 for yourself.
You become boss!
So you basically get to stay at the house for almost free.
If I live alone..this is what I would do. I would have added more rooms downstairs..so can rent out 3 or 4 rooms in the house.
Unfortunately I'm stuck with parents..so no freedom to do that.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Is this a property scam?

I was just browsing through Mudah website few wks ago, stumbled upon a few good deals property rental for my KL holiday rentals business.
So emailed the advertiser for more info.

Below the reply..which sound dubious and dodgy..so if you are genuinely looking for property to rent. be cautious.

The property advert:

Apartment for long term rental. Great location where business and entertainment districts are within walking distance.
Besides,the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and shopping malls namely Suria KLCC Shopping Mall, Ampang Park, AMP Walk, City Square, and Great Eastern Mall are just few minutes driving away. Other amenities such as medical center, schools, restaurants, parks and so forth all are within the vicinity.
All public transport right at your door. The apartment has three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms are fully furnished.
Apartment facilities:
- Wi-Fi Internet
- Cable TV
- Telephone line
- Stereo / Radio System DVD-player
- Washer / Dryer
- Microwave
- Dishwasher
- Coffee maker, toaster, oven
- Pots and pans
- Central heating - Air Conditioning
- Double Beds
- Fully furnished
- Elevator
- Intercom
Enjoy the luxury of living in this apartment.
Address: Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50450, Kuala Lumpur

The owner's reply:
From: Particicia Sertil srtlatr@hotmail.com

         Sorry for the delayed response, but I'm in United Kingdom right now and I have been very busy. For introduction my name is Particicia Sertil and from the Internet add, you could see, the apartment is located at 222 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50450, Kuala Lumpur, and it has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 1 kitchen and 1 living room.
         I am a civil engineer, so my accommodation period in England will be about 4 years. I don't want to make a business or a profit with the apartment. Just want to find a good and trust person to take good care of the place because I really love it. I`m the owner of the apt and it's like in the pics.
   The rent for 1 month is RM1,500.00 (for the whole apartment) including all utilities (water, electricity, Internet, cable, 2 parking spots indoor, air conditioning, dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave, refrigerator, stove, laundry in-suite, washer and dryer). Everything in this apartment is functional because is recently renovated. If you need to do some reparations (the worst case that could happen) in the apartment, I will cover the reparations cost, or I will deduct those from monthly payment. You can move in the apartment in the same day when you receive the keys. The only problem is that I`m the only person who has the keys because it is a private property but I hope that we will find a compromise.
         If you have any other questions please contact me back by e-mail.
Thank you for your interest and awaiting your reply,
Particicia Sertil


haha..what a scam! be careful people

Friday, June 1, 2012

Is this a scam?

Got a reply from property owner, for a property i was looking up on Mudah.
Amazingly underpriced property in Idaman Residence.. see the advert below:

Monthly Rent: RM 1 600
Type: Apartments, For rent
Area: KL City
Bedrooms: 2
Bathroom: 2
Furnished: Fully furnished
Property Type:Apartment/ Flat
Facilities: Swimming pool, Gymnasium, Tennis court, Squash court, Mini market, Covered parking, Playground, Jogging track, 24 hour security, Balcony/Patio, Cable TV, Internet broadband

- Corner Unit
- City View
- Air conditioning
- Intercom
- Balcony
- Gymnasium room
- Launderette
- Multi-purpose hall
- 24 hours security
- Swimming pool
The apartment is fully furnished with all the necessary amenities (air conditioning, Internet, cable television, telephone, fridge, stove, dishwasher, a large double bed, couches, chairs, rich maple hardwood flooring, shag carpets, and stylish light fixtures and lamps).

Got the following reply from the advertiser:

Hi ,

    I confirm that the property located on ( 22 Jalan P.Ramlee,50250 KL City, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ) is available for lease for 1600RM p/m including all utilities (internet,electricity and water) for as long as you need. Amazing, newly renovated apartment available for rent, you will find a dishwasher,a refrigerator, a  freezer, a washing machine , a dryer,a niron ,a noven,a toaster ,a coffee maker ,vacuum cleaner , a big screen TV,cable TV with the basic access, ADSL internet and Wi-Fi access. Also the apartment is near the public transportation , a gym,and other facilities .
   There are no problems if you have any pets, as long as you cleanup after them . I am not interested to make a lot of money from the rental, I am interested to find a tenant that will take goof care of the property until my return ( Minimum lease period 3 months). The two months upfront payment is the total of 3200RM.The minimum period of time that you have to stay in  the apartment in 3 months. I'm not planing to come back to Malaysia due to health problems and my new job, until end of next year! Because i had to move to United Kingdom so soon I didn't had time to find a trust worthy agent,don't have any friends in the area to send the keys .I found an alternate solution in order to close the transaction safe for the both  of us , it is an international delivery solution called MoneyBookers

( https://www.moneybookers.com/app/help.pl?s=escrow&l=EN )

   The MoneyBookers Company is similar to FedEx or UPS, they will provide assistance in handling the payment and delivery of the Keys and Lease Agreement . With this procedure you will be able o check the apartment before I receive the payment . I have 2 more persons interested in  renting the apartment so please send me your full name and address ASAP if you are ready to rent my apartment. The first person that will send me the details for the lease agreement will be the new tenant .
  Thank you for your interest and I will wait news from you.
Mahmud Wahab kl0900@hotmail.com


sound dubious, wrote back to him..
"this sounds rather weird. who would rent condo long term without looking at it.
and since when moneybookers do lease signing and key delivery..
anyway, i'm actually looking for place to put my guest temporarily, so looking for owners who hv vacant units, who may want to earn some part time income."

no reply to date..haha
reported to mudah...advert removed!
so be careful bargain hunters..if it sounds too good to be true, it is not true.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Seeking positive energy

Today, I am thankful to encounter a blind man who gave me a good morale booster.
Had a chance to go swimming today at my club [thank God no rain]. On the way out, passed by this blind uncle trying to hitch a ride. I have seen him often in past years, but never dared to stop. Today, I just stop and ask where he want to go. He's heading to LRT KJ, and since I was heading for JCI office, I offered to drive him to the LRT station. Apparently he has worked as masseuse at my club since 1979.
During the journey, I found out that he bought his apt in Brickfields years ago at RM75k, rented it out til the loan fully paid and meanwhile rent a place behind YMCA. Now he can stay at the apt with his family with no loan burden.  A broker recently called him with buyer offer for RM400k.  
He also have bought another apartment in Cheras at RM150k, and rented it out.  Now the value is over RM350k.
How amazing! Being blind doesn't stop him from investing in property smartly.
I wish my parents had learn this tactic, so I now would not have to be burdened with house loan commitment since graduating, and could have more properties for investment.
Nevertheless...it's never too late.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Glad to escape the corporate cage

I just finished talking to a long time friend, and she was just telling of how her other friend is still stuck in my old company, feeling so depressed, but scared to escape the corporate cage due to financial bond.
Both of us used to work just next to each other's building, and occasionally we would catch up for lunch.
I remember though that at our lunch time, instead of spending the whole hour complaining about our work life...we only allow about 5-10minutes of bitching and spend the rest talking about investments and business opportunity.
Now both of us have happily escape the corporate cage.
Anyway...this got me thinking that there's so many people who would really benefit from my "Corporate Cage Escapade" course.
And if they could start implement the recommendations, they could start living a much happier life.

For more info on Corporate Cage Escapade course...look out for more updates soon.