Sunday, January 31, 2010

Setting your priorities

Knowing your priorities keeps you focused on adjusting and managing your time and energy. Yesterday, I chatted with my parents about how stressed I was becoming from balancing my academic studies, club activities, and business activities all at the same time. I realized that I was spreading my time and energy too thinly into too many areas. Even though I want to accomplish many amazing things, I can't because my biggest hurdle that I have to get through is graduating from university (again...). I had to finish school even if I hated it because that's the only way for me to meet the requirements for the permanent resident application here (its complicated...). As my mom said, "you just need to get through this hurdle" so that I can be free to do whatever I want afterwards. In an instant, my priorities became clear and all the other activities I did seemed less urgent or important. I had to focus on one or two areas at a time. Right now, I'm that has to be on school and Book Hook. On the side, I will continue PPL part time. That's the plan. How I wish I can finish school sooner!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Internet is a treasure hunt

Ever since my last blog post, I've been spending a lot of time on the internet just constantly reading countless of articles and blogs about social media, online marketing, entrepreneurship, and blogging. If I found an interesting blog or site, I would follow the blogger on Twitter, subscribe to their site's RSS feed using Google Reader, and even bookmark their blog/site to revisit again later. It has been such a fun and amazing journey for me so far and I'm enjoying every moment of it. I feel like a treasure hunter scouring across the wilderness of information, searching and discovering valuable treasures to collect and share with others. Sounds cheesy I know! But that's how I feel when I dive into the information wilderness we call the Internet.

I have two main sources of information. The first is Alltop. It's like "an online magazine rack" that collects and compiles many of the best stories, blogs, and websites about any of your interested topics such as fashion, sports, blogging, marketing, and much more. Thank you Guy Kawasaki for making Alltop! Your site has changed my life by opening my mind to the vast information I've been missing out on all this time! FYI, as I'm writing this, he has over 209,500 followers on Twitter!

Now my second source of information is Twitter via TweetDeck. It's a Twitter client program that allows you to easily use, manage, and monitor your Twitter account without having to go to your Twitter website. I absolutely love it because I can easily track the Tweets of the people I'm following, track hashtags and keywords of topics I like, reply to Tweets, make Retweets, and follow new people all in one place! Plus, I can also track and update my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts through here too! Talk about multi-tasking! What's cool is that you receive instant updates that pop up on your screen every time someone posts a new Tweet or even Facebook status/news update. It's fantastic! TweetDeck gives me the ability to receive and find the latest topics about whatever I'm interested in! It's so much better than the reading or watching the traditional news!

Well, I'm very excited about blogging this week! I have a list of over 20 topics that I found interesting and inspiring to write about. Yey!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Twitter day

I just feel like talking about Twitter today. First, I added the Follow Me button today to add more flavor to my blog site. There were so many different options to choose from so I might change it again later this week just for the fun of it. Second, Bill Gates joined Twitter yesterday and I followed him when he had 40,000+ followers! As I'm writing this, he has over 196,000 followers already! Unbelievable! Third, I read an article yesterday, Twitter's Growth Slows Dramatically, that really caught my attention. According to the line chart, Twitter's growth peaked back on January 2009, but soon afterwards has been declining sharply. I wonder why... What's more interesting is that only 18% of Twitter users have more than 100 followers! Woah! If that's the case, then my guess is that Twitter isn't that appealing to the mass consumer market. I will definitely do more research and "Digg-ing" on this topic.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book fair learning experience

Yesterday we had a book fair for the club. It was a tiring but good learning experience. I really was thankful that Chris and Steve came to help because I thought it would just be Jerry and myself. I came to the realization that those who I expected to show up, didn't... and those who I didn't, did... At that moment I remembered the truth behind ACN's training about how "Those you think can, can't and vice versa. Those you think will, won't and vice versa."

As for the book fair, I was really impressed how we set up four "stations" - 1) sign up station 2) book wrap station 3) logo station and 4) books recommended station. Obviously, the first station was to have students sign their name and email and to introduce or assist them with our website and Facebook group. The second station was to wrap the any books with our plastic and sticker. The third station was a market survey for students to choose their favorite logo. Lastly, the fourth station was to display and view any other non-academic, informative books and some textbooks for sale.

For the next book fair, we really need to plan better. First, we have to do it during the first week of classes on either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Friday's are no good since most students don't have class or work. I would really like to see an actual fair with actual stacks of books. I'm not really sure how that will happen, but I think that's what students were looking for. Second, I have to promote the fair a week in advance on Facebook wall, mass message, blog, and word-of-mouth. Third, I should reserve the Student Centre Room 307 since it's bigger and more spacious.
I wonder what else do I need to consider...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Now that classes have finally caught up with me... I always wished that I was somewhere else more exciting. I'm sure my professors are great and nice people but I get boored so easily. I can barely pay attention for 15 minutes! In contrast, I can spend hours and hours surfing the internet, reading through the latest tech news, blog articles, and anything else that catches my attention. The only class that satisfies my curiosity this semester so far is Intro to Sociology... while the other upper year HR classes are just too boring. Too much research related mumbo jumbo. Too much theories. Too lame if you ask me. I guess I just have to do my best to get a decent grade on them.

In another note, today I will be continuing my market survey for the new logos from where I left off on Tuesday. So far... a lot of people, girls in particular, like the color blue! I wonder why...

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Discoveries

So I joined several new social networking and social media sites today. First, I joined LinkedIn and I'm in the process of finalizing my profile information and other administrative details. Soon I'll start exploring this amazing social networking site. Hopefully I'll be able to find a lot of other entrepreneurs such as myself there.

Second, I joined SurveyMonkey, its a free online survey site. I plan to use this service for asking students their opinions and ideas related to books exchange, classes, courses, and other academic related topics. I will check it out again soon.

Third, I created an account at HootSuite and I must say it is such a convenient service that allows me to control all my social networking sites: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn so far all in one website. It is neat and well organized too. So I'm really excited to play around with it some more.

Fourth, I found an excellent blog article by Louis Gray called 10 Pointers for Generating Traffic to Your Blog. Two of his points that stuck with me were: "Quality content is key" and "Be a two-way blogger". My ultimate goal for the Book Hook blog and even my own blog is to share informative, original and interesting topics that will attract people to come back for more. I also need to start commenting on other people's blogs and add valuable comments to the online communities and conversations on Twitter and other sites. What else can I do to become better?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Clean up

I did a lot of cleaning today, both physically and digitally.

It's such a great feeling to clean my room. It's that same good feeling I get after clicking the Refresh button on my browser. I've had too much paper, books, and clutter that needed to either be thrown out or sorted properly. Now I finally have more visible space on my tables while everything is neatly arranged. I guess it's because of my OCD personality.

I made something cool as well. I had a problem... I really needed a container to store all the business cards I collected from people over time. So I thought to myself... "What can I use?". As I searched in and around my room, I found the Kodak box of my camcorder... Then the idea hit me! Aha!. The box was perfect in size, about 8 x 6 x 4 inch, and I was able to fit all my cards, my extra spare change of coins, and other little accessories and medications all together into one place. I feel really proud of myself because not only did I remove all the clutter from my side table, but everything is all organized now! Yey!

Now as for digital cleaning, I added a new app called Symplaris Blogcast that links this blog to my Facebook profile. I also found a great site called Listorious and there I was able to find a whole list of entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter! Yey! From there I was able to find and make an account at PartnerUp and Startup School. I think they're great sites for entrepreneurs. I will look into those sites later. Right now, I'm in the process of adding Google Analytics to this blog. Searching and reading online now...

I also added and edited information on Youtube, and then linked my account to Facebook and Twitter now. However, I can't seem to add Blogger to the My Blog section for some reason. I'll have to try it again later.

I wonder what other great websites I can find today? Also, should I make an account on LinkedIn? It's tempting...

Friday, January 8, 2010


Although today was the last day of the Opening Week, it felt fantastic! We were able to collect over 100 names and emails. At the same time, I was very proud of Steve for being very helpful and learning to become more social and open to other people. Overall, I have a better idea of how to make the system work. One way of maximizing time and energy was just to simply sit down and wait for people to come up to the table. This technique I learned from Anas. At first, I thought that students would be less responsive, but surprisingly, they were just as much, if not even more attentive than when I was standing and talking to them as I did before. This was a very cool learning experience. I gotta keep it simple, stupid! Now, I'm looking forward to our online meeting this Sunday night as well as setting up BEMPs for next week. I wonder how we can coordinate it in such a way to maximize everyone's time and effort while actually being able to help students meet up? To be continued...


It's 12.35am Jan 8, 2010. I'm just burned out...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Another good yet tiring day promoting... I'm quite frustrated today though... I've sent the emails from the list we gathered, but one of the biggest problems is that more than 20 of them always bounce back! This is probably due to incorrect spelling or poor handwriting. Ugh... How can we overcome this problem?

One solution I thought of was to use the the Zoho form instead of the physical sign-up form. This way I will be sure the get their emails down correctly. However, problem with this is that students type slow and it can be a hassle with switching tabs in the browser. This is the most cost effective method I can think of so far.

Another solution would be to create another sign-up form with little boxes to write down a letter. This way we can see each letter of a person's name and email more legibly. Problem with this is that its time consuming to make this template and we need it tomorrow! Printing is easy but I want to save paper as much as possible. Sorry trees...

Aha! Why don't I just tell them to write clearly! Like duh! How could I be so stupid! I guess I just needed to clear my head for a while. But again this is just a temporary solution. I need to think of something that's better. But what?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Knowing a person's strengths and weaknesses

Today was another great day at Vari Hall. I was very satisfied with how everyone was working together with approaching students. One thing I learned is that each person is unique, including myself, with their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. To answer my question from yesterday, I believe that I should praise and build up my members' strengths while pointing out improvements for their weaknesses as well. I agree with Jerry that each person is good at something. Our role is to find out what that is and help each of our members excel in those areas. I wonder what else I could do?

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Long Day

Today was a long but exciting day. It was the first day of the opening week for Book Hook...and boy was it fun and tiring at the same time. It reminded me of my previous work back at Canada's Wonderland when I was promoting a credit card brand to amusement park guests. I felt that I was able to really make a difference in the lives of several hundred students today by sharing about our club. I also believe that I was able to help some of my team members to get out of their comfort zone and get over their fear of approaching strangers. It made appreciate their commitment and involvement. On another note, I also learned that's its not easy to manage many people all by yourself. I really need to start grouping people into teams and delegating a leader per group. This way I wouldn't have to attend to the needs of every single member as it is can become time consuming with all the action going on. Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to improve my methods of leadership. How can I further motivate my team?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Overcoming Failure

Today I came across a video of Steve Jobs' commencement talk at Stanford University about his life story. His words of wisdom were truly an inspiration for me because it is only through trials and failure that I can shine and become the best person I can be. I may not be able to see how decisions today will affect my future...but looking back at my own life, several years from now I can connect the dots of how my decisions in the past led to where I am today. Doing what I love... finding my passion in life... I agree and believe that that is the meaning of life. So I ask myself: What do I love to do? Right now, I can honestly say that I love Book Hook. I would do anything and everything to make this an amazing club...or even a company. What else? I also love learning about the internet, social media marketing, and any new technologies. I always want to be updated on the latest trends! One reason is because I find it so fascinating and amazing. The second is because I don't want to get left behind even when I am old. So what else am I passionate about?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My New Year's Resolution

It's now 2010 and what a great way to start the new year! Here are my resolutions:

1) Write my blog every day about what I've learned, thought or plan to do
2) Read a good, educational book for at least 15 minutes every day
3) Commit to doing two exposures a day for my PPL business (this is a tough one, but I must do it)
4) Commit to listening to Tony Robbins and doing the exercises in the audio tape every day
5) Play badminton or other sport for at least 2 hours or jog for at least 30 minutes a week
6) Make at least one new friend a week
7) Call Michael every last Sunday of the month
8) Stop eating junk food like chips and pop corn... period.

That's what I can think of for now.