Now to 28th April 2020. That means 6 weeks total of MCO.
As most people expected. While Malaysia has relatively fewer deaths and more success against Covid-19 when compared to developed countries, it’s too risky to lift the movement control order just when nationwide compliance hit a peak of 95-99%.
Whether the MCO will end for real this time remains to be seen. At this juncture, all bets are off.
So Movement Control Order (MCO) got extended to 14th April 2020.
But I am surprised that time seems to fly fast. Next thing I know, it’s been more than two weeks and coming to three. At this rate, in a few eye blinks it will be a full month since MCO was enforced in Malaysia.
Between working out and cooking almost all my meals at home, I’ve been working with the Musemancer team remotely.
You’d think that as a digital business, we’d have it easier. Yes, we have some advantages over most other types of business i.e. selling our digital products.
However I had put the launch life behind me more than 2 years ago – and I am not about to restart that, because it’s just no way to grow a business long term and sustainably.
And this is really a bad time to double down on live events, just when I was getting the hang of it! At the same time, agency work is a no-go – with most businesses closed and their own Customers staying home, there is no Facebook Ads to run for them.
This time I wish I was working solo from home like I did for several years before this; I’d sleep the whole MCO away like a holiday.
On the other hand, I am also thankful that the small size of my team is also an advantage; I can only imagine the stress and anxiety big business owners must be feeling now that not only their incomes have virtually come to a halt, they still have to pay their employees full salary. No unpaid leaves.
It’s scary how this crisis revealed most people and even businesses we think are doing well are really, literally 1 month paycheck from broke.
I have my doubts the MCO will be lifted as scheduled, and I’m prepared for the possibility it will be extended again. There is no cure to covid-19 found just yet, and with number of new cases springing up daily, most people aren’t going to take a chance.
And even if the MCO is lifted on time, I anticipate business will be slow not only in Malaysia but worldwide. As I am writing this, 2/5th of the countries in the world are in a state of lock down.
I have my team to rally and Mentorship students to motivate. Like it or not, everyone is thrusted into a “30 day challenge” of sorts.
2 solutions I can think of right now:
Ramp up on digital products i.e. online courses and webinars, or
Double down on E-commerce (something that I wasn’t that fond of initially, that I took the FB Ads skill to do agency and lead gen instead)
Well, my business had negotiated tough waters throughout the 15 years I’ve been here. And I’m not about to quit now.
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! ??