Saturday, June 22, 2013

In these hazy days...

The flats, about 0.6 km away, lost in the haze

Woray ! Woray !
Da haze is back!
Woray ! Woray !
I yamback, yamback,
Yamback to rob and planda
In da kaver of da haze.
-Extract from the Songs of a Bandit
In these hazy days, I try to look for that sliver of light in our economy to cheer me up but this is what I see: a Myanmar teenager working as an apprentice mechanic in a motorbike shop; a young man from India selling newspapers in my neighborhood; Indonesian and Nepalese men and women manning foodstalls or working as waiters in coffee shops and restaurants; Bangladeshis peddling imitation branded clothing in Chinatown. For the last 30 years, our government has been doing the same thing, bringing in cheap unskilled labor from neighboring countries. Can these immigrants help propel our country towards Vision 2020 which is only seven years away? But then again, the man who hatched this vision doesn't even believe in it anymore. So, what does it matter? Just hatch a new vision and give ourselves another twenty years!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Have a Dream...

This "great" idea about starting an English speaking course has been brewing in my coconut for over three months.What's so great about starting an English speaking course? Well, I think it's amazing because I believe it'll enable learners to speak fluently and confidently in English in 15 to 20 lessons - something the majority of Malaysian students aren't able to do even after 12 years of schooling!

Now, why am I telling you all this?

I've been through what Michael E.Gerber calls the first dimension of the entrepreneurial personality: The Dreamer. In this Dreamer's dimension, I was inspired and aroused by the idea that I was going to realize my dream. But "when and how?" This question brings me to the next dimension: The Thinker. To quote Michael Gerber, "The Thinker asks the questions essential to formulating the business model-the form the dream will take visually, emotionally, functionally, and financially-as well as the impact the Dream will have on its customers, its investors, its employees, its suppliers, and its strategic partners".

Although I haven't thought out the business model in detail, I do have an idea what it takes to execute the idea. I have started to work on the curriculum and the lessons.

The entrepreneur would also have to be a Storyteller. This is the third dimension where the Storyteller is the "one who evokes excitement when the Dream is conveyed to other people". I believe that I have a compelling story to tell that will resonate with my target audience.

Having gone through the dream, the thinking, and the storytelling, now comes the most difficult part: the Dream needs a Leader who can move the Dream forward in the right direction. "The Leader possesses the five essential skills of concentration, organization, innovation, and communication, through which all great things are made real in the world".

Do I have what it takes to push my idea forward and take it to where I want it to go? Well, time will tell. For now, I'm working on the lessons, and once they are finished I'll have to get into the Leader mode.

You can read more about How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies in Michael Gerber's "Awakening the Entrepreneur Within".