Blast From The Past (2001-2003)

I was clearing up boxes at home when I came across a stack of old CDs. It took me effort to find a laptop with CD drive just so I can open a treasure trove of old files and photos from the past.

(Can’t believe I am saying that, I mean, it’s hard to accept that CDs are obsolete now, just as floppy disks and cassettes before it!)

I took very few photos of myself before the age of smart phones. I don’t think I even took a single video back then! Which makes the few photos like these all the more precious to me.

I won’t show them all though; more than half a lifetime later and some are still embarrassing reminders, hahaha!

40 Minute Bus Ride To An Internet Cafe?

It’s Chinese New Year here in Malaysia, and I came across a relic from the past that’s still standing at the Larkin bus station in Johor Bahru.


This is an Internet cafe, of course it’s not there anymore but the only proof of its past existence is the signboard which is still here after all these years, surprisingly.


The story I tell everyone about my Internet Marketing origins is that I started in 2005 on a 56k dial up modem.


Not only was it a different time, my understanding of business was of course immature (18 years old, 0 prior experience) so I spent more time and energy trashing around in the dark.


And because Internet wasn’t always reliable, sometimes I would take a 40 minute bus ride to town to try the ‘nearest’ Internet cafe – which is here.


Crazy right? Nowadays who even takes a 5 minute ride out, and I’m not sure if cyber cafes are still a thing today.


This might seem like a far-fetched story now, because most people today are ‘conditioned’ for success in 30 days. It’s “I must make money in 30 days or I give up”.


Weird, eh? They spend most of their lives working for others, picking up bad habits unchecked, haven’t trained a muscle on entrepreneurship, but demand success within an unrealistic time frame.


Now I’m not going to pretend my will was made of iron. Many times I wanted to give up too. I wasn’t seeing any money coming in. I didn’t know anyone that could teach and guide me. And maybe because my energy as a person sucked, I guess that’s why people preferred not to have anything to do with me.


Hey giving up was an easy choice to make. But you know what drove me? I wanted a better life.


I was sick and tired of being broke and poor.


I was sick and tired of always having to count my coins to see if I have enough to get by the day.


I was sick and tired of seeing everyone else my age going to college and uni studying, finding bf/gf, having the time of their lives, while I dropped out to be the ‘man of the house’ sooner than others.


I was sick and tired of following orders and advise that I knew in my heart of hearts doesn’t make sense – but not given a chance to prove it just because of my station in life.


I was sick and tired of going around asking for help desperately and try to borrow money, only to hear “sorry about your family problems, but nothing I can do”.


Well I mean, fucking hell, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.


And I was in a situation where there’s no second prize. It’s either this whole “Internet Business thingy gotta work” or … seriously, I still don’t want to think what might have happened otherwise.


Then comes the next part that should be familiar to most by now: I made my first $97 sale online. Then another. Then another. Then another.


And on it goes… by the time my peers graduated from Uni, I made my first RM1 Million sales. This was in 2008, just before my 23rd birthday.


I share this not to brag – and there will always be greater heights to achieve – but I want you to know what’s possible when you do whatever it takes instead of trying your best, which is what most people are doing right now.


For me, CNY isn’t about visiting relatives strangely, but thanking my past for giving me the life I get to enjoy today.


And some day, your future self will thank YOU for the efforts and commitment you make today.


Happy Chinese New Year, and may abundance, wealth and health be with you! ??

Good Men Go (R.I.P. Jayshe Han)

One of my Airsoft friends, Jayshe Han, had contracted cancer and been fighting it for around a year. We received a message passed onto us that he was in critical condition and he didn’t have long to live.

I detoured from the gym and head over to his residence in Cheras. The atmosphere was heavy and the once cheerful, fit and larger-than-life man was now reduced to nearly skeleton.

I was at a loss for words and even though I said to “stay strong” I knew it was false assurance. I wanted to hug him but he was too frail and weak, and in the company of his wife, family and close friends holding onto every part of him, we could only be careful. As he laid suffering on the recliner chair, it was the day even the toughest of men cried.

To give an insight into what kind of man he was: when I was new to the team 4 years ago Jay was one of the first people to talk to me and welcomed me with open arms; I was pretty much a loner then.

His looks might had been intimidating but he always had the best of intentions. Although without children, he had been a father figure to his nieces and nephews and stayed loyal to his loving wife up to his final day; his get well cards were gold testaments to his character and how he lived his life.

Alas, it is with great sadness that our friend, brother and comrade passed away 7:25 this morning. It was just two weeks ago that celebrated his 49th birthday.

Jay, it must had been a tough 3 weeks but you’re now free at last. We already miss your cheerful presence and great sense of humor and friendship. Rest in peace Jay.

Not only were you a great brother to me and others, you also touched lives when you were not wearing the uniform. I am truly and forever honored to have fought by your side for the last 4 years!

 

Rest In Peace Brother, Comrade, Amazing Friend, General.

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