First off, Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the start of the Fire Monkey year and today is the 6th day of the Chinese New Year.
This post is for you, Wei Vern. Yes, you prompted me to return to my blog and write something. I must say I have been embarrassingly busy (I know I shouldn’t use that word; it means I have taken on way too much for my own damn good) but I have been that and I have been a lazy gal. (If you are new to this blog, you can start off with the Start Here page with a selection of my fave posts.)
Yes, I must call a spade a spade. I have been putting a lot of effort on our web design business last year.
Nic and I wrote a book last year (which will be printed by this year, by March if all goes to plan) because we get so frustrated when we see how badly websites are used for marketing small businesses and SMEs. In Malaysia, most websites are pure brochures and are never actively used for marketing! What a waste of resources. I always say, if only more entrepreneurs knew how amazing websites could be.
After thinking it through, we decided to write a book.
And when it rains, it rains.
Besides this book of ours, I’m involved in another book slated to be out by August this year. I remembered telling Emi that we should have a book chronicling the stories of Penang women as inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. That was in November 2014. She took me up on the idea and we pitched it to the powers-that-be and that’s how I got myself into this book project.
As co-editor, the journey has been incredibly uplifting. I’ve interviewed quite a few notable women – Dato’ Maimunah, the President of Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai, for one. I’ve spoken to corporate women and I’ve also spoken to women who consider themselves virtual unknowns such as Christine, an ultra marathoner. Regular people run 42km marathons, but this petite woman runs 100km marathons! I truly salute her mental strength!
So that’s 2 books in the works for this year. I made a little promise to myself that I would love to leave a legacy in the form of more books, writing about things I know – either from my years as a communicator in the written and spoken format to entrepreneurial things, things I’ve learnt as a marketer. Or even not-so-simple things like running an association and managing interns, staff and more.
This year, I also got off the grid so to speak for the duration that I was back in Banting for Chinese New Year. I didn’t want to go online or check Facebook or update my status during the time I was at home. I try to engage my 12 year old nephew and 10 year old niece in conversation – they spend too much time playing Minecraft and watching Youtube videos. This time too Vinnie taught me how to make rainbow loom wristlets and I got quite hooked, pardon the pun.
I believe it’s a lot healthier for me since I spend too much time online, for business. (I also ended up helping my mum clean the house because I couldn’t stand the dirt and grime. I also knew that if I didn’t engage in physical cleaning, I’d be too restless for words. After all, I have not lived at home since the age of 20. While my parents are there, Banting is a mere pit-stop for me before I come back to Penang where I consider my true home to be.)
And when I met with my best pal for a quick breakfast back in Banting, she seemed surprised that I felt more at home in Penang. She was contented to be in Banting – while I am happy for her, I knew I couldn’t last more than a week in that town. I grew up in Banting but I grew up wanting to get away from that provincial town. It reeked (and still reeks) of all that beleaguered me when I was a gangly, bespectacled teen. Mindset-wise, I’ve outgrown the place. I only go home because my parents and sister and nephew and niece live there. And of course, for my nasi lemak Kak Leha and Teluk Bunut bak kut teh and Banting satay.
I try to go home more often but I stay away from discussing my life and business. It’s hard for them to understand – my mum still can’t fathom why I don’t need to go to the “office” although I have one. I tried showing her the websites we’ve done for clients and the results but I think all these are meaningless for someone who thinks smartphones are for the young ones!
In many ways, I am glad to be writing again – and writing for me. One of my resolutions is to stop writing (website content) for clients who commission us to create their custom websites. I’ve had enough of doing that. It’s time for me to move up and move on in the value chain. I have more aspirations than I have time.
So I’ll be training junior writers to do what I do. Perhaps even offer a website copywriting programme. (Speaking of which, my sister who is a fan girl of Joey Yap read my BaZi when I was back in Selangor. She says this year is a great year for me to indulge in intellectual pursuits like learning and studying. I asked her, how about teaching? LOL. I doubt I’ll be doing my PhD. I had enough of studying when I did my Master’s.)
As I grow more experienced, I become more aware of what I should be doing instead of what I have been doing all the time.
So yes, I am back – the hiatus from my blog was good for me. I return to my blog with a sense of clarity and purpose.
Sometimes, we all gotta disappear for a while and re-evaluate ourselves. I did that and I am back.
And in the spirit of the mischievous monkey, I wish you quick-wittedness, agility and smarts. And of course, to be bigger, bolder and badder in all ways!
p/s: I read once that you can’t reach 40 without knowing you who are as a person. I’m turning 42 this year and I realise that ageing isn’t so terrible. At least now I have the chutzpah (or is it impatience?) to do what I believe is good for me. I don’t give a monkey’s ass about a lot of stuff these days. LOL.