Hey everyone! Just a quick update on a few administrative matters. I’m starting to have to deal with things that I foresaw coming, just that I wasn’t expecting it to happen so soon. I guess these are part and parcel of any growing ‘business’ (I’m still rather uncomfortable calling this sideline a business), so I thought I’d drop an update before things get out of hand.

First of all, I’ve noticed that there’s more than just one person copying the content on my website. It’s fine – nothing I can do about that really and it’s not like sending a cease and desist letter is going to make anything better. It’s neither about me losing business or whatever. I’m just a bit peeved by how lazy people can get. My blog ranks rather high for searches related to Chinese metaphysics, so I guess it’s easy for people who are new entrants to take reference from it.

The other thing I wish to mention is about partnerships and people whom I work with because this seems to be the recent theme lately.

I wish to make clarify one thing: If I were to officially partner with another organization or person and have my name involved, I will make make it known explicitly on blog and Facebook page. So if my name appears somewhere that I’ve not spoken of, it was probably done without me knowing. As of now, I’ve only worked with other people in the form of guest blogging – nothing else. There has been a cases of blog owners and media publications reaching out in hopes of working on something together but I’m not exactly interested at this stage for a few reasons:

The platform contains content that I am against
To quote a very recent example: There was a newly set up blog acting like a directory for practitioners of sorts. The blog owner reached out and asked if I would like to list my services and name on it. I’ve indicated that I’m not interested but did not go too much into why I’m not and it seems like the blog owner didn’t take the rejection so well. The reason is because a lot of the content on that blog are on things that I am against- feng shui items being one of them and everyone knows how much I’m against this – so I really do not wish to have my name appear on a blog like that. I would like to think my words hold some weight in this field because of the experience I’ve gathered, so where my name appears does matter to me. Some other platforms who have approached me also seem to either trivialise this field or or are seen as a platform for with too much controversial content which makes it uncomfortable as well.

I’m sure everyone would agree with me they wouldn’t want their names to be seen as endorsing something they are against, and I never thought I would find myself in a position to think about such stuff and what I might be conveying to the public. I often turn to my close friends in publishing and public relations to ask for advice and feedback, and they have urged me to stick to my current path and what I believe in instead of throwing myself at every media opportunity without thinking through the implications – not just for myself, but for people looking to eventually get some guidance on metaphysics as well.

I rather have my own voice heard instead of someone speaking for me
If there’s anything I wish to convey about Chinese metaphysics, BaZi or feng shui, I rather it come from myself directly. I really don’t need someone else to do the talking for me. There is a reason why I chose to set up a blog instead of just letting it be a static website. Yes, it does bring business and it’s part of my strategy, but more importantly (and I mentioned this a lot of times), it’s the medium where everyone gets a chance to know me before they engage me and I feel that’s important because of the nature of this field. If there’s anything lacking in this field it’s an open discussion and education, which is a gap I hope to bridge with my blog.

I always believed that those who are fated to find me, will eventually find me, and I don’t have to throw myself in front of the media to achieve that. My aim at the end of the day is not to become famous. If it comes as a by-product of my work, then I guess it’s fine, but I’ve never operated from an angle whereby I feel I need to get famous in order to grow this sideline. Yes, I do still want it to grow, but by my own terms.

I am extremely picky on who I work with
I don’t want people to think that I’m putting myself on a pedestal – it’s not about that. I think it’s one of those common sense things if you’ve  been in the corporate world for some time. I have the fortune to be working in a really great company where the opportunities to learn and grow are immense. Companies don’t just partner up with just anyone and for good reason. I’d like to think this applies to people working as individuals too. There are so many important things to think of. Through this sideline of mine, I got a chance to understand what my colleagues at work go through too, and it has helped a lot with my working relationship with them instead of just thinking about my own KPIs.

If you’ve read through my blog, I think you’ll know that I hold some pretty different and strong views, and because this is my own name and reputation at stake, I am very particular about who I work with. If their views are different from mine, the answer will be clear even before the question needs to be asked. It’s not about me wanting to be right or wanting to win an argument. Perhaps they really do feel items and amulets work and they know something I don’t, but for now, as long as we have such differing views, I would rather stay away, just do my own thing and pursue my own path. If you haven’t read my blog post about zodiac forecasts, please make sure you do so and you’ll get an idea of just how different my views are.

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I perfectly understand that in a digital age like this, internet traffic and pages views are a must for survival for any business. Having all these partnerships and having your name appearing all over the place is one of the fastest ways to reach out to the masses. This benefits businesses of course, but my opinion is that it dilutes the quality of the content out there for the sake of pushing sales and revenues, especially for a field like Chinese metaphysics.

This is also reason why websites on fake news are so prevalent – because there’s a lot of potential to earn money from monetizing the website. Put in controversial title with low quality content, and just earn from views and clicks on advertisements. Trust me, as a digital marketer for my own sideline, I know what I’m talking about. It can be an addictive thing because you can literally earn while you do nothing as long as you can get internet traffic, even when the content is garbage.

Partnerships are not something new that I’m dealing with. It’s been a while for around now:

Not trying to boast here, but I do get requests and have received opportunities to be on media and to build my name and the above are just a few of them – various event companies representing organisations like banks, government bodies, and companies like Lazada, The Smart Local and Rice Media have all reached out before. These aren’t exactly ‘opportunities’ that I jump on the moment they present themselves. Yes, I can try to craft my image as one of a young and popular practitioner, but at what cost? First or all, by appearing on any of these proposed events would be selling myself out and going against everything I said and believe in. It’s not even just about a slippery slope anymore – I would have effective sold my soul to the devil. You can see from the emails some of the companies are requesting for thinks like forecasts and pushing products by zodiacs even. There has never been a company, and probably never will, a company that will invite me for an event and allow me to speak what I really feel. It’s all about the hype and content that only further propagates the myths and misconceptions of Chinese metaphysics.

Yes, from a very pragmatic point of view, these opportunities, if I were to jump onto them, helps me build up an image of credibility and popularity and it would likely bring me more business, but I would think any critical thinker out there will know this is a bad way of measuring things. Quite frankly, I would really prefer these critical thinkers as my clients. I want people to engage me because they trust me and believe in me, not because I appear to be popular or appear on media a lot. This is the reason why you may never, ever see me on media.

This brings me back to the question I often get asked: Why don’t I do this full-time? This is one of the reasons: My stand is clear and I do not create moral hazards for myself. Whatever I say is true to myself and I don’t have to be a part of something I don’t believe in because I’m worried about my livelihood. You’ll see some practitioners throw themselves in front of media without thinking twice or have any consideration on how their words might end up harming someone. It’s something that I’ll never do. The only time I appeared on media was a few years ago on Her World because the editor is a really close friend of mine and she really wanted to do a story on me and how I got into this field – nothing to do with forecasting, lucky colours or whatever nonsense you usually see.

As of now, the only company that I officially have a partnership with with 99.co because I have a personal relationship with the people there and they allow me to have my real voice heard. I don’t have to write about things I don’t believe in or what’s popular – I write about what I feel will truly benefit people. I have something in the works with them, and when it’s ready I’ll let everyone know what it’s about via my blog and perhaps share how everything started. If the nature of my working relationship with them ever changes due to a differing ideologies, I’ll be sure to let everyone know via my blog too.

Anyway, my birthday just passed! I’m still flooded with tons of requests and I’m really trying to find time to blog more. I think it’s about my I blogged about why I don’t wish to do this full-time, so expect that to come in the next few entries.

Cheers,
Sean

 

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