It's been three years and three months since my first blog post.
I started blogging in December 2012. This is considerably late given that blogging first exploded into the online scene in early 2000s.
My interest in writing (or rather blogging) started when I noticed numerous advertised articles on eating places and travels appearing on Facebook.
I started to study what blogging is all about and how some people are using blogging as a platform to make money through product endorsements, invitation to events, paid posts, free product samples and advertising banners on their blogs. These bloggers can even get free flight, travel and hotel accommodation if they are invited to write about these companies services.
Of course, there is also the issue of integrity where bloggers were paid by companies to write favourable reviews of their products or services.
The power of these bloggers are determined by the number of followers they have on their Facebook Page, searching ranking on Google and traffic to their blogs. One of the fastest and easiest way is to run contests to win vouchers and free dining for readers who like and share their Facebook posts. All these done to get more people to like the Facebook Pages of these bloggers. This is the power of social media.
And so I thought perhaps I could do this for a living. Imagine getting paid a few thousand dollars just for writing an article about a product.
After all, who doesn't like to eat good food, stays at nice hotels, go travelling, gets invited to exclusive events and receive free samples. More so when all these are FREE. It's like living the ultimate lifestyle that everyone wants but few actually do.
So should I be writing about food only? Should I be involved in all things that interest me like travel, fashion, etc?
Well, the food blogging scene seems to be getting crowded. But it's also the easiest. You'll never run out of topic to write as there's always a new restaurant or eating place opening up somewhere every other day. And people are looking for new places to eat every day. Don't believe it? Just look at how much time you spent deciding where to go for lunch or dinner every day.
You just need to have some pretty good photography skill and an ability to put into words the taste of food expressively, plus providing some information like pricing, location and promotions.
But then I realised taste is a very personal thing. What tastes good to you may taste bad for me. And due to the high failure rate of the F&B industry, many information become obsolete very quickly. And it takes more than just using words like melts in your mouth or divine to write an article.
And I had another problem. I couldn't afford to dine at expensive places every other day like there's no tomorrow. Some of those bloggers probably started part-time, paid for food from their own pockets and blogged about them until they've built up a large following and start getting invitation or paid assignments before quitting to go full time. To approach companies for opportunity to write reviews about their products or services with a blog that has zero followers is going to land me flat on my face.
And writing about a company that just gave something to you free of charge is going to skew my review. Will I be objective? If yes, will any other companies be willing to let me write about them? Or am I obligated to write something good about them? If yes, what about my followers who placed their trust in me?
The same issues kept surfacing for topics like travel, hotel, etc.
So what should I blog about?
I noticed that I'm interested in the marketing aspect of business and so decided to blog about marketing.
Thus, outrageous marketing was born.
As I blog about this topic, I soon realised that there are a lot of other stuff that are related to marketing. Branding, change, human behaviour, human potential, promotions, rules and regulations and weird things that happened.
So now I write about things that happened to me, my surroundings, friends, news that happened and what we can learn from them.
But people in the place that I live in are all very smart, smarter than me a thousand times. And I can't write. Why would people want to read what I blog?
It's been over three years that I've started blogging. Some days I get inspirations and blog a bit more. Sometimes, I just do not know what to share. I've since learned to just let it be. There's really no need to force myself to post something for the sake of posting.
There are only 248 followers on my Facebook Page (Outrageous marketing) and most of them are my friends. A good handful of them are Thai friends I've made on Facebook. I would think some of them do not understand what I'm writing about at all.
Sometimes my blog traffic got spike to a few thousand views. For the most part, it hovers around 100 plus.
I've yet to find out how to earn money from it.
Should I continue blogging? Is blogging for me? Am I doing something wrong? Should I be doing something else that I can be more successful at? These questions keep coming up from time to time.
But all these are no longer important, so I hoped.
It's something that I would do it for free.
Even if there is only one person who gets something out of it.
Does your product matter?
Does your service matter?
Does the problem you solve matter?
Do you matter?
An admin executive was ordered by her superior to look for a teaspoon missing from the pantry on the 28th floor. They occupy 10 floors in the building.
A senior manager spent one whole day rectifying a one cent discrepancy in a quotation.
A staff is employed by the library to go round every level to check that no one sleeps in the library and to issue warning notices for belongings left unattended again and again with no further action taken.
A telco company sent a letter informing a subscriber to collect a Free replacement SIM card or have it delivered to her free of charge after she lost her phone and got her replacement SIM. Letter was dated on day phone was lost but received one week later.
"You tell me, is this dark?"
"Have you worked as an office cleaner? Do you have experience cleaning office or not? Do you know what to do?"
"I am talking about today. Don't tell me about yesterday."
"Do you understand?"
"You tell, me, what is this?"
The cleaner answered, "Dark, dark."
"And if it's dark, why didn't you turn on the lights? How are you going to clean in the dark?"
"If you don't know anything, go ask Kumar. If you don't know whether to turn on the lights or not, go ask him. If you don't know if you need to wear name tag or not, go ask him. Don't everything also say I don't know and act blur."
"That room no need to turn on the light because it's bright enough. But this room is dark."
"You tell me, what is this? Is this dark?"
The cleaner murmured something.
"I'm talking about today. You answer me."
The lady kept on ranting in a raised voice at the new cleaner who apparently wasn't good in English as she could only murmured a few simple words.
This is the same lady who complained about the previous cleaner who has an attitude problem (click here).
20 minutes later, Kumar, the cleaning supervisor, was literally dragging himself into the the office.
A man was buying three mini chiffon cakes for his colleagues.
The seller asked, "Would you like to get four instead?"
The man asked, "Is it cheaper if I get four?"
The lady replied, "We can give you a box if you buy four."
The man was thinking to himself, "Huh?"
Do you think the lady was being helpful or trying to sell more?
The lady has just arrived at her office and soon was on her mobile phone with the cleaning supervisor.
"She has an attitude problem. Asked her to carry newspapers and she said she cannot carry heavy things.", she shouted on her phone.
"You better find someone to replace her quickly. She has an attitude problem you know.", She raised her voice further until the whole corridor was filled with her shouting. You could almost hear her 20 meters away.
"I don't care. You are the supervisor. You quickly go find someone. Please come down and talk to her. I don't want to talk to her.", she went on and on and on and on and on and on repeating whatever she has already said.
And so it goes again.
As usual, there was a queue waiting for lift at MRT train platform this morning to go one level up.
The distance between the lift door and the MRT door is probably less than 5 metres. People were queuing in a L-shaped form on both sides of the lift door so they do not block the MRT door when it opens.
There was a caucasian lady with a pram standing by the side of the queue because of space constraint.
The lift came and people moved in quickly from both sides. Soon it was full.
There were still six persons queuing in front of the lady who also couldn't get on the lift. Some had their earpieces on listening to music. Some too engrossed in their mobile phone. Some just stood there like a zombie. Everyone was in their own dreamland.
It seemed the lady was unable to get onto the lift for a while or rushing for time. People in the queue behind her were overtaking her when the lift came and blocking her way as she tried to manoeuvre her pram. She was so frustrated and was shaking her head. Her body language was saying "What the hell all these young people are here for?", "Can't they take the escalator or stairs instead of fighting for the lift with me?"
The train came and more people joined in the queue.
The lady spotted an elderly with a head full of shiny white hair and murmured something to her while gesturing to the elderly that she should go to the front.
I walked up to the lady and offered to help her carry her pram up the stairs. Just then, I remembered she could take the escalator though it's further down from the lift.
She thanked me while sighing in desperation.
The people in the queue turned to look at our direction as we walked away before turning back to whatever they were busy with.
And as usual, those in the queue are the able-bodied people. I may be wrong but none of them looked more than 45 year old unless they've just popped the magic pill this morning that made them looked 20 years younger. All looked perfectly complete unless they've the panic wand to conceal their disabilities. No one looked like they are sick or suffering from any critical illnesses.
Some may think that it's only right that the lady joins the queue if she wants to take the lift. Some may think that they are entitled to use the lift since they are users of public transport.
But do you really lose out in anyway if you let the lady get on the lift before you?
Okay, perhaps you lost that one or two minutes having to wait for the lift again causing you to reach your favorite stall late and noodle sold out.. Perhaps you'll be five minutes late for your meeting this morning. Perhaps that means you have to climb the stairs. Worst case, perhaps your client decides to give his $5 million contract to another company cos you're late.
Maybe you will kick yourself for being a good person.
The stranger you helped to carry the pram, the stranger you let him/her go before you in the queue because he/she is in a rush, the stranger that you paid for his/her drink because he/she has forgot to bring his/her wallet. High chance that you ail never meet him/her again.
What if that lady turns out to be your big boss's wife? Or the one who's going to interview you for your dream job? Or the one who's going to need your services for her own company?
Even if these do not happen, at least you feel better inside for having helped someone or having burned a few calories.
And don't be nice only to people who you know, people you think will be useful to you and people you think you will benefit from.
Interestingly, on the same day, there was a new about the breakdown of the lift at one of the MRT station. Over 10 persons were trapped in the lift for more than 25 minutes. A man who was trapped said the issue would have been solved earlier had there been a professional lift repairman stationed there.
He could have saved himself from getting trapped in a lift at all forever if he had chosen to use the escalator or stairs.
If only he decided not to squeeze into the lift with the other nine persons.
I was at a funeral wake when a group of Indonesians came and sat at the same table.
We smiled, nodded their heads and introduced ourselves.
One of the lady asked me what do I do.
I replied I am in marketing.
She asked, "What's your company's name?"
I answered, "bookmark."
"So you selling sporting products and shoes ya," she exclaimed.
I wondered why she associated his business with sports products.
I went on to explain what I do.
The lady chuckled a bit and said "Same name ya. Famous name so easy to remember… Puma Puma."
That's when I realised she has heard the company name wrongly.
Should I correct her?
In the end, I decided to leave thing as it was.
While I would want people to get my company name correct, but is it necessary? Is it important to her?
Correcting her would probably embarrassed her in front of the other guests.
Sometimes the urge to correct someone's mistake is high. Perhaps it's wiser not to do it at times.
The train moved into the station, stopped and the doors opened.
Passengers walked out and most of them took the escalator, some used the stairs and others waited for the lift.
Now, that's where it gets interesting.
The people waiting for the lift were actually queuing up instead of crowding around the door.
Looking at the queue, it would takes 2 to 3 rounds before the last person in the queue could get onto the lift. Of course, the queue is going to continue or even growing longer at this peak hour.
If you've taken the lift at the MRT station, you'll know how slow it can be.
Instead of walking to the nearest stairs or the escalators, these people choose to wait for the lift.
And mind you, these are the able-bodied youngsters and working adults. How often do you seen this group of people fighting with mom with baby pram, elderly and people in wheel chairs to get into the lift at MRT stations?
Are they too engrossed with the dramas or games on their mobile phone? Is it the most convenient or fastest way for them to reach the ground? Are they too lazy to even walk the few steps, taking the easy way out? Are they too tired from the late night parties yesterday? Or are they trying to conserve their energy for work?
Sometimes, this same group of people are the ones who complain they do not have time for exercise, who then go join gym and sign up for programs to force themselves to go for training at least once a week. Otherwise, they will not have the discipline to persist. The temptation is too much and finding excuses is as easy as ABC.
Remember what resolution did you make at the beginning of the year? To shed that extra 2kg or to be able to fit into your old clothes? To be healthier? To eat less meat?
You do not have to go out and sign up for that gym membership or tell yourself stop eating meat immediately..
Just use the stairs every day and at every opportunity you get. Eat one less piece of meat at every meal.
Reaching your goal is not about having big plans. It's about taking the small steps everyday consistently, even if you don't feel like doing it. Even if the temptation is too great.
Let's start the diet tomorrow?