Wow. It’s amazing how fast time flies. I have a ritual of writing a year end note on my Facebook notes section as a personal reflection of how my year went but I’ve yet to get to that. It feels like yesterday that I drafted my thank you note for 2016 for my blog. This entry is going to be a personal one that conveys a lot of my thought processes, my plans for the future and my gratitude towards everyone. There are so many thing I want to say and I’m struggling to pen it down as I draft this post, especially when I know the things I’m about to say probably has been mentioned already in past entries and people are probably sick of hearing the same thing over and over again. But alas, bear with me – this blog is a kind of like my outlet as well and these newer entries are for the benefit of the people who are visiting my website for the first time or just getting to know me.
Oh, and before I forget! Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2017 has been an amazing year for you. If you’re reading this and it’s your first time on this website, a very warm welcome to to you and I hope you enjoy your stay here and browsing through the articles I’ve written over the past few years. There’s definitely more to come, so don’t forget to subscribe to the blog if you wish to get occasional updates – it only send you an email once a week provided I write something new.
Before I start blabbering off my thoughts, as always, thank you everyone for your trust in me. Again, it has been an amazing journey, and I can’t believe another year passed just like that. When I look back at 2016 and 2017, I can’t believe how much this sideline of mine has grown and I really owe it to everyone. It would have never been possible without everyone’s support, kind testimonials, and trust. I really wish I had more time to write because I really enjoy it – my full time job and ongoing cases for my sideline takes up quite a large amount of my bandwidth, and blogging does eat into whatever’s left of my personal time. Thank you to those who reached out just to tell me you enjoy the posts, it does mean a lot to me!
My Thoughts For This Sideline Of Mine
I don’t think my mode of operation and the way I view this sideline of mine will ever change and it will be consistent throughout my life. I have no intention of making myself a celebrity and throwing myself in front of the media – not unless I get to dictate what is being said and communicated to the problem, which will never happen because fake news and what’s popular sell better than the boring stuff like history and philosophy. I enjoy the freedom I have for this sideline and that I don’t really have obligations to a corporation or media company, and neither do I need to worry about business overheads or having employees to pay, so I’ll probably be operating like this for good unless some enlightened media company boss decides to educate the public with the right information.
When I first kick started this sideline in 2014, the strategy and path I’ve laid out was very clear. My way of outreach will always be via this website of mine and I’ve always believed that those who are fated to find me will be able to find me. I could mimic some of the well known practitioners and spin this into personal development seminars (not get rich quick schemes) incorporating metaphysics which is pretty meaningful too, but not at this stage I guess. Plus, I don’t think I’ll enjoy it. I do hope to be able to start another kind of business that I am passionate about other than this metaphysics consulting sideline of mine, but till the day I get inspiration for that, much of my time and effort will be spent developing my expertise and contributing to the metaphysics field.
A lot of my clients who come to me have previously consulted other practitioners before, and we usually get into interesting discussions about the people in this field, what they are like and how they are doing. I’m definitely curious how other practitioners are like. I’ve never actually not went to any of them before, and I’m pretty sure those that have been around for a while now know of my existence because some of them did try to add me on LinkedIn. They are also probably thinking why someone who is new to this field is outranking them on Google. I know some of my entries – especially those refuting the use of feng shui items – feels like a jab at other practitioners. I just wish to clarify that’s not my intent. I’ve always just wanted people to ask more questions, if they can, conduct their own experiments. If people think feng shui items work, by all means it is their right to feel that way. It’s just not something I believe in because I’ve experimented with them before myself and I also happen to read up about history and culture know feng shui was never about items.
I know people ask “But the renowned feng shui masters are so wealthy and successful! Feng shui items must work!” This is a classic example of circular reasoning:
“The components of a circular argument are often logically valid because if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. Circular reasoning is not a formal logical fallacy but a pragmatic defect in an argument whereby the premises are just as much in need of proof or evidence as the conclusion, and as a consequence the argument fails to persuade.”
The number of people out there who are willing to fork out thousands for a feng shui item in hopes that it will turn their life around is huge. If people can fall so easily for scams and ponzi schemes, what more when you bring in deeply embedded cultural superstition?
Moving Forward And My Plans For The Future
I spend a lot of time thinking about how I will be able to conduct this business of mine better – making sure that clients get the best service possible and that they get a fruitful consultation. It helps that I am tech savvy and I try to streamline things. I still have to say though, that it has been an extremely tiring year. It’s a happy problem because it means my sideline has grown and I am grateful for that, but I wish to take the opportunity here to let everyone know that I am rather exhausted, so do forgive me if there are delays in my replies and lapse in service. I’m doing my best. I know everyone doesn’t know how many consultations I get in a month, but let’s assume that I get an average of one client a day – when 30 people pour their life issues on you and look to you for counsel, it does get a bit emotionally draining. Let’s not forget there is still the 7-day Q&A that I offer everyone because I want the consultation to be fruitful instead letting it feel like a touch-and-go. In most cases, the engagement is a very pleasant one, but once in a while I will get clients who just want a quick solution and have a seriously skewed, toxic view of what metaphysics is about and those are the consultations that really exhaust me. I understand that difficulties come with any job, so it’s fine.
I don’t intend to train someone and get that person to do the chart readings for me. Yes, it’s a way of scaling the business, but as someone in this field, I know for a fact that not everyone is cut out for this. If someone really has the talent for this, they don’t have to be under someone else’s pupillage, company or brand and I guess I am an example of that. All my clients know I self studied everything that I know by diving into the Chinese classics and source material.
The business model of training someone to read charts and collecting a fee for that doesn’t sit well with me because if anything goes wrong, I’ll feel like I’m the one who caused it and allowed it to happen. I’m definitely fine with teaching other people and passing on my knowledge and experience, but to use it as a way to scale the business is not something I’ll do. I’ve made it very clear to my students the lessons taken with me are really for their own self enrichment, and if they ever were to attempt a chart reading for someone, consider the impact on that person.
I would not exactly call what is being done by some practitioner’s “scaling”, but “outsourcing”, and there are some things that you just can’t outsource in my opinion. When you outsource, ideally you’re supposed to be outsourcing it to someone better and more efficient than you because it saves you time, gives you access to skills your company does not have access to and lets you focus on what you’re good at. If the reason for outsourcing is to cut cost and increase profits, it definitely comes with its own set of risks. It’s like a master craftsman getting an apprentice to do his job. Another way of looking at this is: If law firm A outsources their client cases to law firm B – then why do you need law firm A to exist in the first place? I do get help from freelancers for my website and other operational issues, but that’s about it.
The reason why I’m thinking about all these is because I’m at a stage where I’m thinking what’s going to be the next step for me. I’m at a point in my life where I still have a lot of energy and bandwidth to build and create something, so I wish to make use of that but I do want to make sure I’m going in the right direction too.
I want to be upfront about this: As this sideline of mine continues to grow, and my time starts to become limited, I will definitely be increasing my fees as a way of balancing my time spent on my work and my personal life, especially when the way I am conducting things is very hard to scale. On top of that, with each consultation that I do, I get better at what I do and the value I have to offer increases as well. Put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur or business owner, and I’m sure you’ll get what I mean. I won’t reveal too much what I have in store for now, but just note that I am always thinking of how to balance my work, my personal life as well as other aspects. My health did take a toll this year, so that’s something I make adjustments for and pay more attention to moving forward.
As Always – Thank You For Trusting Me
I know I keep saying this, and I probably will always keep saying this. This sideline of mine only took off and became successful thanks to everyone’s trust in me. I’m very honoured that my clients entrust their stories and extremely important life decisions to me even when I’m younger than most of my clients.
I have to apologize to the clients that I have scolded before – and yes, it happens. It’s not that I enjoy scolding people or being a nasty person, but I’ve always believed that sometimes you need that one person to tell you that one difficult hard truth in order for you to see things from a different perspective. I’ve always believed that if you can change your perspective, you can change your life. I know it’s cliché, but if you were in my position and you’ve spoken to a considerable number of people, you will know with as much conviction as I do that this statement is true. This is one of the core differences between someone who has a good chart and someone who has a bad chart. I will always try to put things across in a gentler manner, and will only resort to being extremely blunt when the situation calls for it, so don’t be mistaken that every consultation with me is a ‘scolding session’. The knowledge every practitioner holds will always be from the same source material, but I guess what makes us different is the way we convey things, so my style and the way I do things or say things is definitely because by my past – I don’t want people to mistaken me as being malicious or that I enjoy scolding people. I always mean well, and I truly believe there needs to be a balance in everything – there is a time to be gentle but there is a time to be firm as well. The concept of balance is at the core of metaphysics and the story that each chart paints is a reflection of this would. It would be weird of I don’t practice this.
I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Want To Change
This is me being extremely candid: You know, as someone with a website and running a business, you’re always very tempted to ‘show off’ how much business you have and create that impression of being highly valued for your services. I know every other practitioner does it when I visit their Facebook page, and to be honest I am super tempted to do that too and put up a gallery of all the houses I’ve audited and conversations I’ve had with my clients. I mean, let’s be honest, and I’ve also mentioned this in an older entry – we do this as a form of validation and also in hopes of getting more business because it generates a certain impression, but I think I’ll resist the temptation and not indulge in that (you can always just go to my testimonials), and do it in the way I’ve always done. I guess it’s normal because you want to control and influence how other’s perceive you and your business, but I’ve also been in the corporate world long enough to know sometimes this is not the best thing to do? Instead, here is a photo of me and my partner instead!
I don’t usually like posting photos of myself and those I’m close to for privacy reasons, but I guess the occasion calls for it!
Behind all my consultations is my partner’s constant reminder to be nicer, more empathetic and making sure I never lose my way. The hard work that I put into my career and my sideline would lose a lot of its meaning if not for her. So, if you felt like you had a good consultation with me, you have my partner to thank as well.
My blog is my way of connecting with my clients on a very, very personal level. If you have been to my personal Facebook’s Notes section you’ll know just how open and personal I can get. I don’t know about you, but I find it uncomfortable that people entrust me with so much personal details of their lives and yet they know nothing about me. Besides, I think this field can do with a bit more transparency. I’ve always had this struggle of doing what’s “good for business” and “what’s true to the core of my being”, and I think one of the things I will promise myself in 2018 and in all the years to come is that I will stay true to myself.
Anyway, there’s nothing useful about this post to be honest. It’s really just a very personal entry. Thank you for indulging me and reading this. Happy New Year! And may 2018 be awesome for you and your loved ones. Stay healthy and happy!