Archive for March 2009

Make your business a Starfish

I should be reading more books to improve myself. But the only thing I read lately are things that are online. OK, I know this is bad habit. I should go back to reading more books again. Got several books on the shelf waiting for me to read.

Anyway, one of my favorite book is “Rich Dad’s Before You Quit Your Job” by Robert Kiyosaki. And yes, I read that book before I quit my previous job. It is a very good read and I would suggest it to everybody, even if you don’t have the intention to quit your current job and start your own business.

One of the most important thing that I’ve learn from that book is the The Cashflow Quadrant. Basically, there are 4 groups of people:

E: Employee — Working for someone else.
S: Small business owner — Where a person owns his own job and is his own boss.
B: Business owner — Where a person owns a “system” of making money, rather than a job to make money.
I: Investor — Spending money in order to receive a larger payout in.

I will not say too much about the 4 groups here. You should read Robert Kiyosaki’s book to learn more about it. (There is another book called “Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom” which I also highly recommend) But in summary, the gold mine is at the ‘B’ and the ‘I’. That is where you should aim if you want to get rich and retire early.

Here is the problem: most Singapore entrepreneur, including myself, belongs to the ‘S’ group instead of the ‘B’ group where we should strive to be. We own our job. We are our business. Remove ourselves from the company and it can’t operate.

There is a need for startup to change. It’s hard for a startup to move from ‘S’ to ‘B’. But it is a step that all entrepreneur must try or risk closing down. A company shouldn’t be too dependent on a single person. It should be able to operate with or without the person. If the person is not there, another person should be able to take up the role with ease and operate as per normal. Just like Starbucks, where you can change the barista anytime and the coffee still taste the same. (Or at least almost the same)

Make your business a Starfish. A company which you can cut off the arm and it will regenerate and function like normal.

Giveaway of the Day – PDF Converter

I remembered that I needed to convert a PDF file to word document sometime back but couldn’t because there isn’t any freeware out there. All the applications that does that cost money.

Saw this PDF Converter on Giveaway of the Day, seems not bad. Tested it with couple of PDF files, results quite good. Most importantly, it’s free for today. Download it and keep on your PC. You never know when you’ll need to convert a PDF file to Word.

Oh, there is only 12 hours left. Cut off time is 3 March, 4pm Singapore time.
After that, you’ll need to pay $59.95.

NOTE: You need to install the application on your PC before the cutoff time. The installation software will check the time with the Giveaway of the day server before allowing you to install.

Take attendance also can take wrongly

Duties taken seriously
I REFER to Miss Rhea Tan’s letter on Wednesday, ‘Why so many empty seats at Budget Debate?’
I would like to assure Miss Tan that PAP MPs take Parliament sittings seriously. They have to seek the Speaker’s permission in writing to be absent from a sitting. They also have to inform the Government Whip if they are unable to attend Parliament on time or have to leave early.

For the Budget Debate, Parliament sits from noon to 7pm. This year’s Budget Debate was attended by 90 elected and Nominated MPs on Feb 3; 86 MPs on Feb4; and there was full attendance of 93 MPs on Feb 5.

While PAP MPs are expected to be in Parliament, they are not able to stay in the Chamber for the whole seven hours. They need to leave the Chamber from time to time for lunch and breaks, to do research and revise their speeches in the library as the debate progresses, and to attend urgent calls and meetings which they are unable to reschedule. The Government Whip ensures there is sufficient quorum in the House at all times.

So even if MPs are not in the Chamber, it does not mean they are not in Parliament or not carrying out their duties as MPs. The effectiveness of PAP MPs should not be judged by the hours they remain seated in the Chamber but by their participation in debates, the contents of their speeches and how well they serve their constituents.

Lim Swee Say
Government Whip

How could it be possible that there is full attendance of 93 MPs on Feb 5? Mr Seng Han Thong back to work already meh? Cannot be right?

Sigh. Take attendance also can take wrongly. Got attendance sheet publish big big also can see wrongly.

Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng (Jalan Besar).
Mr Seng Han Thong (Yio Chu Kang).
Ms Jessica Tan Soon Neo (East Coast).
Prof. Thio Li-ann (Nominated Member).

Even if we minus away Mr Seng Han Thong, still got another 3 absent. Don’t tell me they not present physically but their heart is in the parliament. Or they using Skype?

OK, to be fair, I believe this letter wasn’t written by Lim Swee Say himself. Most likely the personal assistant wrote this and he just sign over it. Oh well.