“This seminar was able to bring out the essence of my story so as to be impactful and personal to the audience,” said Junaina Binte Leman a SIM member who volunteered to help me demonstrate live how a digital story is created. Junaina was one of about 40 marketplace business people who attended a 90-minute [...]
“This seminar was able to bring out the essence of my story so as to be impactful and personal to the audience,” said Junaina Binte Leman a SIM member who volunteered to help me demonstrate live how a digital story is created.
Junaina was one of about 40 marketplace business people who attended a 90-minute workshop I presented on Friday, 8 June 2012. The talk was organised by the Singapore Institute of Management. Some people came forward to encourage me. They said I have a worthy cause. One man said I believe you will succeed. You have a very good business. He asked me not to give up.
Arthur a student from the business school asked me how I am able to turn “Storytelling” into a business. He asked the organiser who was there with us to invite me back again to talk about my journey as a social entrepreneur. He said he was so inspired by my passion to want to make a difference. I told him that besides successes, I’ve also had one failure after another. He said, “all the more we need to listen to you.”
One of my secret dreams is to help the less privileged become entrepreneurs. I’ve learned the painful way that doling out money does not empower them. I want to show those who are lacking that they can help themselves and that they have it in them to make valuable contributions to their communities.
I am a reluctant and accidental entrepreneur. I know my craft well but it takes more than being an artist to succeed in business. Arthur’s request for me to share my entrepreneurship journey is very special to me. I have a REAL business student who said he wants to learn from me. And he wants his fellow students to learn from me.
In August 2011, I was invited by a government department to discuss a potential collaboration with them. When they asked me, “How many staff do you have?” I said, “Two.” One civil servant gasped, “That will take forever!” The project was too big for little DSA to bite into regardless of how strategic our plans [...]
In August 2011, I was invited by a government department to discuss a potential collaboration with them. When they asked me, “How many staff do you have?” I said, “Two.”
One civil servant gasped, “That will take forever!” The project was too big for little DSA to bite into regardless of how strategic our plans might be. There was a long silence following that meeting. Then two months ago, they contacted me again. This time I was able to tell them that my team of two had grown to 12.
During those long months of silence, we continued marketing efforts. I also put strokes into training a team of facilitators in anticipation projects I aim to clinch. Mum’s word to me yesterday, “Feed my sheep” is timely. King Solomon said, “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.” I want my team to feel they have a “home” in DSA.
Investor / Author Milton Chang said, “The job of the CEO is not to invent things but to manage people and resources. The starting team is critical…” God has blessed me with a good team.
Creating and innovating is where I thrive. Necessity has pushed me into the role of CEO — that’s like using a fork to drink soup — not necessarily the best job fit. I welcome the opportunity to grow. I can learn from mentors how to steward DSA. Some mistakes are painful but nothing is ever fatal if I remain humble.
Looking after the welfare of my team will always be one of the cornerstones of DSA.
Patricia gave me this caterpillar 20 months ago in anticipation for all the changes that I would go through swtiching from one vocation to my current. While at the home of Esther on 29 May 2012, I told the group of friends I was with about all the changes that had taken place in me [...]
Patricia gave me this caterpillar 20 months ago in anticipation for all the changes that I would go through swtiching from one vocation to my current.
While at the home of Esther on 29 May 2012, I told the group of friends I was with about all the changes that had taken place in me since embarking on my journey as a social entrepreneur. On hearing my story, Esther quickly went to her room and presented me with a butterfly pendant as an “award” for having emerged as a butterfly. Esther didn’t know about the caterpillar that was given me 20 months earlier.
It’s been about 20 months since I started on my journey as a social entrepreneur. I remember asking my fellow lifelong learner awardee and entrepreneur friend what is one advice he had for me as I begin my journey. Cayden Chang said, “It’s passion that will keep you going.” How right he is! I’ve made [...]
It’s been about 20 months since I started on my journey as a social entrepreneur. I remember asking my fellow lifelong learner awardee and entrepreneur friend what is one advice he had for me as I begin my journey. Cayden Chang said, “It’s passion that will keep you going.” How right he is!
I’ve made more mistakes than I care to mention. Passion keeps us going but it’s humility that will pick us up when we fall and help us keep going.
Last Thursday 17 May 2012, I had the privilege to attend a talk by Milton Chang, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and author. With some hesitation, I bought his book mostly because I was afraid it might share the fate of my other books that end up collecting dust on my shelf.
I’m glad I bought the book.
Milton’s book is easy to read and makes a lot of sense — I know because I’ve made the painful mistakes he said could be avoided! I wish I had read it in 2010 when I plunged headlong into Digital Storytelling as a social enterprise.
In his section on “Adopt the Proper Attitude,” Milton says you can be successful in your own way so long as you…
- Work with people who can relate to to the way you work.
- Having the self-awareness to know your strengths and weaknesses.
- Pick the business you can succeed in.
- Have the humility and respect to hire and delegate responsibilities to people who complement your weaknesses.
- Avoid arrogance because it will distort how you view yourself, taint your judgement and discourage people from supporting you.
The path toward entrepreneurship is never straight. I wish I had power like the big headlights of a car to see far ahead of me. Most of the time, however, what I hold in my hand is a battery operated flashlight — sometimes barely bright enough to see one step in front of me.
Entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted or the proud. I’m at a stage where I am taking stock and what I call, “Recalibrating.” This time I hope I will do better with this guidebook in my hand.
Was up at about 5.30 am. Decided to take an early morning walk. There’s been so many starts and stops and re-start as I try to make exercising a part of my routine. I decided not to bring my techie handphone. No, no gadgets this morning. I set out on my usual track but at [...]
Was up at about 5.30 am. Decided to take an early morning walk. There’s been so many starts and stops and re-start as I try to make exercising a part of my routine.
I decided not to bring my techie handphone. No, no gadgets this morning. I set out on my usual track but at a crossroad decided to allow myself to drift instead of taking the familiar and calculated steps. It was refreshing to discover places of the estate that I had never explored. Can’t imagine that I’ve lived here for over two years and not seeing what I saw today.
Mostly private property that only about 20% of the population can afford. At 6 am, there was little activity in most of the homes. I wondered how the rich live. I saw a few small banana trees growing out of a small opening in the pavement outside one of the houses. You don’t find a lot of those in urban city Singapore. I didn’t expect to see that.
I saw two joggers and found myself half following them, half drifting into a big park with a running track. It was still dark. It hit me then that I didn’t know where I was and that if a robber were to stop me in my track, there’d be no one around to help me.
Lord, in 2010, I took a leap of faith and left the security of my 22+ year work to pioneer digital storytelling. I believe that Singapore needs storytelling. People need to listen to one another. People need to talk to one another. My friends tell me I was brave to do that. At 50.
Brave? I was, I am driven by a passion, a dream. Coupled with a whole lot of idealism. Naive I was. I thought many times long ago that I would one day go for broke for you to prove the limits of your faithfulness. Ha! I’m proving the limits of mine!
Lord, if I could have seen the future and known all that I would be going through today, the uncharted territories I would track, the so many new things I would have to learn, maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t have made the choices that I made. Lord, I have a team now. How can I lead a team when where I am taking them is where I have not been to myself?
Lord, this morning while it was still dark, I saw the bright moon and some stars. I kept walking when I was lost. The beauty that I’ve been missing out on these past two years captivated me. And then I found the streets signs. I know those names. I just hadn’t explored further and deeper. I saw buildings I never saw. I couldn’t see my way but I heard the familiar sounds of the highway nearby. And I knew I couldn’t have been too far lost.
Lord, I enjoyed my talk with you this morning.
I kept walking and found an unfamiliar bus stop… but I recognised the bus number. I knew I couldn’t be too far lost.
Lord, I discovered an exercise station this morning. It’s just around the corner from my block – almost at my door step! I’ve signed up for gym memberships in the past. I’ve given up those… too far and too expensive. I’ve been living here for two years. How come I never discovered this FREE exercise station with all the equipment that I fits all the kinds of exercise that I need and like to do?
Lord, I’ve allowed myself to drift in this plunge I took in digital storytelling. The path is unfamiliar and not easy. It’s ok Lord, you are with me and together we will do exploits and discover treasures along the way.
More ideas than life to live
DANCE as though no one is watching you...
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