Musemancer Kicks Off Officially!

At long last, Musemancer got the official kickstart I’ve been waiting for! 1st October marked the first time ever Musemancer is operated by a physical, permanent team quite unlike the previous practice of operating solo with the aid of freelancers.

While we still count on freelancers to accomplish many tasks, in due time as the team matures and grows we will be more self-sustained.

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Ask me just a few months ago and I would have not imagined starting a formal team with an office premise to go. I feel a little bad writing this because for many years I have been advocating the work-from-home Internet lifestyle and culture.

So to forego most of its benefits such as flexible working hours, working from home and keeping a low-cost operation, it took a lot of convincing and finally I made the courageous decision to go all out.

That brings us to the here and now.

The moment I rented the office premise, I was in for many unpleasant surprises. Even for a bootstrapping attempt, there were many hidden costs. I went without a permanent workforce for two months because I was using poor, ineffective methods to try to recruit talents for Musemancer.

Every time I kept asking myself if it was really worthwhile, and wondered if I should have just stayed home after all these trouble. But what am I to do if I just carried on life the way I did for the last 9 years? It would be good, but it will never be great.

If starting my online business on a 56k modem back in 2005 was founded on the idea of achieving financial freedom and providing better for my family and self, then starting Musemancer in the new direction is founded on the idea of going big and sharing the revolution.

A new idea that people should strive for results instead of routine; freedom instead of survival; thinking big instead of giving in.

Even at the start of it all 3 months ago, my vision for Musemancer was very cloudy. I thought it would be a good idea to pursue all 6 directions I had in mind!

Ultimately I narrowed it down to this: Musemancer is an Internet Marketing consulting and digital publishing company. And that is what we will do best.

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To see this manifest in front of me gives me a surreal feeling. To think that Musemancer was just a company on paper all these years. And in years from now when I look back, this will be the photo of humble beginnings.

Don’t be quick to congratulate, we are just starting! You will hear more of us in the months to come.

New Office? (Part 2)

Selamat Hari Raya!

Taking a few days off now. FI had been at my new office to and fro for the last 3 weeks, overseeing the renovation and moving in of furnitures and everything else to get started.

I realized how NOT EASY it is to go brick-and-mortar. Even though I am bootstrapping and my office is very simple for starters – it took me a week longer than I expected and so much for keeping in with the budget. I ended up spending an additional RM12,000+ on top of my original budget due to underestimation and making some mistakes here and there.

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However I still count myself a thrifty spender already if compared to other businesses that require high 5 or minimum 6 figure RM just to begin.

The 1,054 square feet office is an open work space area with a common area and balcony outside, overseeing Paradigm Mall and the LDP highway.
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I’d like to think of my new office space as a throwback to how MindValley originally started at KL Sentral in 2006 – with some improvements of course.

I am not big about splashing money on all the secondary and tertiary concerns at the moment. Those matter, but only at a later stage. And it’s up to me to grow the business to that level that warrants all the fancy playing.

So… no official logo right now. No fancy carpet (there’s a rug at the common area). No big plasma TV. No huge glass door.

Just going to focus on getting sales first on a company level and hiring a team.

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While the trips to the office and other places to buy essentials took place in the day, I spent many of the nights going to events, gatherings and seminars for networking opportunities to build my connections and also understand the B2B game – to be precise, how the world outside Internet Marketing works.

And then figure how I can introduce my online marketing expertise that I have accumulated over the last 9 years to the tables of my new clients.
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My brain feels muddled and fried now, and I admit to having little idea as to what to exactly do next, other than knowing I have several options, newly built connections and some rough ideas. Yes, this surprised my business associates who know me for a long time as a detailed planner and thinker.

It’s because I am spoilt with choices now that I don’t know which ideas bring the best, optimal results.

Since my office at present is 95% complete – just the installation of the pantry’s cabinets to go – I’ve decided to just continue hustling after the Raya holidays is over. I trust that clarity will get better over time, as it had always been in the past. Certainly beats sitting around doing nothing.

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It so happens that Jeremy Wong (Singapore) and Fukuda Koichi (Japan) happen to be in town so I welcomed my first guests to the office last Saturday. We bounced off some business ideas and got their insights as well.

All in all, exciting times ahead!

PHOTOS: Majlis Iftar PUIM

Thanks Gero Azrul for inviting me as a VIP guest to your event last week in Putrajaya! Truly exceeded expectations as I thought the short notice invitation to be not beyond catching up with other local Internet marketers and having dinner after fasting.

Your presentation on grants to help local online entrepreneurs and a compelling presentation on properties by your guest speaker Ahyat Ishak were amazing! The evening went by too fast.

New Office?

Didn’t think I’d do this… I’ve just signed on and got the keys to my first and new office space in Kelana Jaya!

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I’ve been working as an online solopreneur for the last 9 years. Money and freedom was good, now it’s way due time to bring on the heat!

I had been scouting for a suitable base for the last 3 days. The units at Kelana Square weren’t suitable and I didn’t feel good about them. Then I checked out Plaza Kelana Taragon and after viewing a few more units, I locked in on one of them with the best view from the tower.

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The office space is vacant and unfurnished, however I’m moving in the essentials within the next 1 to 3 weeks to get the show on the road first. That is my main priority.

Right now I’m feeling both excited and anxious.

Excited because there’s HELLUVA lots of opportunities in Internet Marketing just waiting to be seized, and I know I cannot do this alone.

Anxious because this is my first time ever. In fact, for a very long time I resented having a ‘formal’ office.

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Fortunately unlike just a few short years ago, today I’ve got mentors to turn to for advice and there’s an abundance of connections I’ve made in the past months to pull me through the initial stages.

So where will this new venture lead to? Time will tell.

IM Rooftop Gathering

Lots of brain fusion and exchange of grand ideas throughout the evening, coupled with good food in great company!

Thanks Alvin Huang for organizing the second IM Rooftop Gathering at your superbly luxurious house! Truly worth the one-night trip to Singapore.

And oh yeah, thanks Lester Lim for spotting me SGD50 since I didn’t come across any ATMs lol