Friday, August 8, 2014

The busy past few months... and some lessons I learned

Past few months were crazy. First up was the HDB renovation. For a 5-room flat, I managed to finish the complete the renovation within a budget of $40k inclusive of furnishings. Guess I was pretty lucky to chance upon IKEA's sale and save a few hundred dollars on furniture. A 55" TV, LED lighting, built-in wardrobe, big dining table. My $40k isn't used up yet I guess, didn't really count, but there are still some portions of the house which need building, but it's pretty much done. :) And typing this blog post as I sit in my study room, of which furnishings come entirely from IKEA.

Next was my wedding in the early part of June. Photoshoots, actual day videos and bridal packages set me back nearly $27k. Ouch. But overall, it was pretty manageable in terms of finances. This excludes all the misc, i.e. lunch buffet at church, wedding banquet, etc. But if I include everything in, $60k was probably the costs. Still less than the $100k incurred by the couple on newspaper who went into debt just to get married.

While the government is encouraging couples to marry younger, I realised that at 30, with our combined finances, house renovations and wedding was pretty comfortable on the financial side. No stress and no need for any sacrifice for things we wanted. Certainly no need for any debt. The next big expenditure would probably be kids.

Next up for the month of July, I conducted olympiad trainings for 4 different schools. That was pretty crazy for the month because this is on top of my usual tuition workload. I also involved myself in a startup on indoor positioning systems. Basically, in the near future, you might probably see the fruits of our labour involving you somehow in some parts of your daily life :)

Finally, I have been studying more about businesses past few months, watching shows like Millionaire Intern on BBC Knowledge. What I see is that many businesses struggle because there was minimal sales. Even though their products or services may be very very good, as long as the sales are dismal, the business will not grow or may eventually go obsolete. The goal of marketing is to generate leads, and eventually conversion of leads to purchasers.

And in show Millionaire Intern, it seems that everything boils down to knowing marketing well. Personally, I have been studying more on copywriting, as well as experimenting different forms of marketing, on FB, Google, etc. I now have an idea of why some of the previous experiments failed, and probably will be adding my fix to it. Many many things learned, which boils down to even more application. Till then...