Blood Donation at LiveWIRE

LiveWIRE Held a Blood Donation Drive last Tuesday on the 14th of December 2010. There were a few people who donated blood, there were some who donated their blood for the first time. Most of the Donor came from nearby commercial units such as elite computers, infomars, KOPRI, Axtivo and don’t forget LiveWIRE staff themselves. I’d like to take the time to explain the steps for those who have never donated blood before.

  1. Registration. You may be filling more than one form, one is for the organizer keeping attendance.
    Filling Registration FormAnd the other is the blood donation form from the hospital. The form from the hospital will be asking a lot of questions about your health. This form has since been updated to a 4 page booklet. previously it was just one sheet. Among the important questions are: are you sick, taking medication, menstruating or pregnant (for women you can’t donate during this time), or have currently having any symptoms of being sick.
  2. Health Check. The health officer will look over your form and ask you questions on any suspecting issues. You have to be qualified to donate blood. You can think this as a free medical checkup 🙂 among the tests are:
    Weight (you have to be at least 50 kg to donate),
    Blood Haemoglobin level (you have to have enough blood),
    Blood Pressure (you need to have adequate pressure, or else you might faint).
  3. If you pass, you are handed the bag for the blood. You may also get goody bags or at least directed to the refreshments. Sometimes both 🙂
  4. Blood Donation Time! You will be seated in a Relax chair, the health officer will ask you to hold a piece of wood while he ties your upper arm up. they will then inject you with something to dull the pain as well as something (I guess) to stop blood clotting. This part is actually the only and most painful part.
    The health officer will then start to put a big needle (it seems big, maybe its the fear :p but you won’t feel a thing! ) into your arm and your blood will now flow into the bag. You may grip the wooden piece to stimulate the blood flow. (I’m not sure about this one, but it seems to work)
  5. After you have finish, that one bag will be filled up, but it may overflow into a secondary bag, but no fears, if you made it to this step, then you have nothing to worry about. The health officer will take out the big needle and bandage your arm. You may also help yourself to the refreshments again.

I would recommend eating mushrooms and beef in the following days to build up your iron. Personally, this is one of the perks of donating, you can use it as an excuse to eat more! :p (but I have to watch what I’m eating now, I’m not as young as I use to be 😦  )

Finally, I’d like to invite everyone to take the time to donate blood. Not only is it beneficial for the recipient, but it can also be beneficial for the Donor. Research has shown that it may reduce risks of Iron overload, Heart Disease Risk, and Cancer Risks. The blood donated by one person can benefit upto 3 people. The fear that stops you from donating is only temporary, but the benefits last longer. Blood Donations can also be held at any other time at the hospitals blood donation centre.

Secrets of Successful Project Management

Did some projects recently, this article at ST Training Solutions › Articles › Secrets of Successful Project Management, would have been helpful. The steps are here simplified:

  1. Know what are the objectives of the project. Know/assign those  who are responsible for the project.
  2. Plan activities to reach those objectives and account for obstacles.
  3. Act on the Plan, change the plan only if necessary and if it is still in line with the objectives.

Currently, I’m trying to understand using the Work Breakdown Structure within Project Management Software. The one’s I’m looking into are MS Project (propriety), and open source programs like OpenProj and Open Workbench and GanttProject. OpenProj has been said to be compatible with MS Project. So I’m looking into that. Anyone has any suggestions?

Learning about Branding at the Local Business Development Forum

I attended the Local Business Development Forum at the Grand Hall of Empire Hotel and Country Club on the 18th November 2010.

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The links to the slides were given to the participants, and since it was made available on the AsiaIncForum Website, I assumed it would be OK for me to upload it to scribd and embed it into SMEbrunei. Unfortunately, the presentation on Branding by Dr. Wilson Chew was not made available. I’ll go through my notes and share them.

Dr Wilson Chew’s presentation on how branding is not just applicable to big corporations, but can also be done by Micro and SME’s. Considering that all big corporations started from SME’s themselves. He further pointed out in rebuttal of a previous discussion on Public Private Partnership is not essential, it only matters that SME’s “Just Move”. His presentation on branding reminded me of a book entitled Origin of the Brand. His 10 Rules of Branding were:

  1. Perception is Reality – Brands are only in people’s minds, and often in terms of those brands logo. and most people remember brand logos very well.
  2. The power of being the first – People remember the first president, the first man on the moon, but rarely remember those that came after thme.
  3. Create a new category – So if you are not the first, you can become the first in a new category. People will remember Barack Obama as the first Black President (should I say coloured?)
  4. Narrow you Focus – Specialization by sacrificing vestigial or unnecessary products will help in focusing your main successful product. E.g. Nokia was originally in almost every electronic equipment, but they prospered when they focused on Mobile Phones.
  5. Differentiate your Brand- Make your Brand different from others out there. Show off what makes it unique or better than the competitors.
  6. Build your brand with PR – PR or Public Relations or Advertisers help SME’s profit by building awareness of the brand.
  7. The power of a great name – brand names should be short, unique, memorable, easy o pronounce and English sounding.
  8. Be absolutely Consistent – do not stray into other categories, as Mercedes had once ventured from luxury cars and into commercial transport (Busess, Trucks, etc) their reputation never really recovered.
  9. You need an Archenemy – Cocal Cola has Pepsi, Adidas Has Nike. Competition between the 1st and 2nd often create free publicity through discussion and debates.
  10. Sometimes you need a 2nd brand – if you are to venture into other categories, create another brand. Toyota tried and failed getting into the Luxury Car segment, but they succeeded when they created another brand in Lexus.

The Brunei Economy by Doctor Roger

MNCs or SMEs: Perspective from Singapore by Professor Tan Kim Song, Singapore Management University

Cashflow 101 on 3rd December 2010

Me and my partner organized a cashflow 101 game at livewire again. This time we pledge to give a book prize for the winner.

Either I was good in explaining the game, or they were fast learners. well 2 out of 4 anyway, the last 2 caught up later in the game. But in the end my partner won the game. The book prize was Kiyosaki‘s latest book – Conspiracy of the Rich.

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At the beginning, I shared the basic of the game, such as:

  • The basics of Financial Statement using a Job Card in the game.
  • The Objective of the game – to increase your passive income to be greater or equal to their expenses in the rat race, and to rich your dream or a higher cashflow in the fast track.
  • What the spaces on the board meant, such as paycheck, opportunities, doodads, Charity, Baby and Downsized meant.
  • During gameplay when the player gets card with a new twist, I explained the meaning of the card and how it would be used as well how it effected their financial statement.
  • Basic Strategy of the game such as buying assets, paying liabilities and using loans.

I skipped on the rules of bankruptcy and only resorted to that if only it happens. even then I would have to refer to the rule book as it really rarely happens. although it happened to me twice a long time ago. :p

The explanation was admittedly slow and long, but I believed with enough knowledge at the beginning, the players will not complain much or give excuses about not knowing about the rules that caused them to “lose”. Some players as usual used the strategy of paying of their liabilities, which I believe slowed them from progressing. Another factor was they had good opportunities (such as $1 or $5 stocks) but did not buy a lot of them. Some players were aware when they had a good deal (a rental property) when the experience players were fighting off to buy it from them, and eventually declined to sell and bought it for themselves instead.

The winner of the game received Kiyosaki’s Latest Book – Conspiracy of the Rich.

STEP Centre’s BEST Awards 2009/2010

On the 1st of December 2010, The Science, Technology and Environment Partnership (STEP) Centre between BSP and MOE held the Prize Presentation for the Brunei Environment, Science and Technology (BEST) Awards for 2009/2010 at Bridex.

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The projects are actually Research and Development in nature, but most of the project have some commercial value. The Secondary Schools and Tertiary Schools (Form 6 and Vocational/Technical). The schools consists of St. George, Chung Hwa, Chung Hua, Chung Ching, Sekolah Menengah Masin, STPRI, Sufri Bolkiah, SMSO, MD, MS and MTSSR. I found that in most cases, that these students were doing projects that were well beyond their syllabus. In a few there were students doing University Level projects. I would know, I took Chemistry in UBD. Of course these students had helped from MIPR, Agricultural Centre, MOH, BSP and UBD. But I was still impressed.

The judges consisted of officers and staff from  MIPR Agriculture Department, BSP, LiveWIRE and MOE.

The projects consisted of Research in Agriculture, uses of Natural Pesticides, Natural Fertilizer, Natural Fungicides, Solar Powered Fish Feeder, Coconut Battery, Hydro Electricity, Natural Medicinal Products, Fuelless Lawn Mower, and a more efficient farming techniques.

Hope to see some of them participating in future CIPTA Awards, Think Big Biz Plan Awards, or even the LiveWIRE Business Awards.

Rut to Riches – part 2

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Played rut to riches again. This time I didn’t “retire” in the game, but I still got a positive net worth. I still maintain that I don’t need to pay off the liabilities other than the high interest one’s like overdraft. But even to a self proclaimed experienced player (of cashflow 101 anyway), I saw some interesting strategies that was used by some beginner players. I saw that they were putting their cash in hand into their savings. At first glance, I was remembering how Kiyosaki‘s statement of how “savers are losers”, as that money could be more value in buying assets rather than just being stagnant in a bank. But then I saw it, in the rut to riches games, if you’re not retired and you are in the inner/mentor circle, you have a risk of being kicked out of it and losing half of your cash in hand. So if you were in that position, that would be an acceptable strategy.

I noticed I was upset in the beginning of the game, as an opportunity was blocked by another player, what made it worse was they actually used overdraft to get the deal, that would actually be my strategy if I didn’t have money, but what was bad was they didn’t took advantage of the opportunity to sell it when they could, and instead was left with the overdraft. I didn’t really tell them what to do, I told them their option, pros and cons, but they still chose to keep the property and the liability and the expenses that came with it. I was upset because the opportunity was taken from me, and even upset that the person didn’t make full use of the subsequent opportunities. At almost the end of the game I realized my frustration distracted me from focusing on winning the game.

Almost at the end of the game, one of the instructors/experts told 2 players at my table that the 4 unit commercial deal could be shared to be come 2 X2 units each,  that was new to me. I assumed it was an advanced (made up) rule but I let it go. In real life there are cases where a single deal can be shared by 2 players, simplest partnership are spouses. I planned to ask more about that after the game, but I forgot. So that night I opened up the pdf rule book I found online at http://www.rut2riches.com and found the rule to exist under the term syndication. So it was possible to use syndication, and according to the rule book it can be applied to almost any deal applicable to one player, including the $1 stock, Royalites, business partnerships and Real Estates. The only thing it did apply was the directway cards. In the game and in real life, the strategy applies to more than 2 players, the only problem is to get the person who got the deal in the first place to agree on the terms and conditions. And finally the deal can be sold off only with the agreement of all the players who syndicated the deal. I wonder if my wife would be open to syndication, we would be almost unstoppable!

So in summary, my lessons in this session was

  1. Savers are not necessary losers, It is a good idea to have some amount in the bank for safekeeping. Quoting from several books and workshops, you should have at least 3 t0 6 months of expenses in savings just in case something does go wrong. Good to save, but only to an amount, and then the rest can be used for investments.
  2. Focus on your goals, do not worry or be frustrated on what has passed and nothing can be done any longer
  3. Deals can be syndicated or shared, but the profits and risk must be shared as well.