Friday, July 15, 2016

The Keropok-biz stories

Venue : Rock Café, Sunway

Today is Friday ... I m 'lost' as Monday or Friday ... or weekdays, no difference to me. I was an employee ... teaching in colleges for 20plus years ... I do understand the TGIF theme ... yeah, party time ... or off from office/work ... looking forward to weekends.

Monday-blues ... dragging ourselves, checking our watch as another long week to go.

I have not been working full-time for past 2 years (I quit my job 2 yrs ago ... to open tuition centers, instead). So ... slowly, I m used to it.

At the moment, KLCI taking lunch break ... and I m waiting for the installation of the projectors for my new center. Yeah ... kinda excited as this will be my second center!!

So ... with my laptop(and mobile broadband), I could sit here ... having a drink while doing what I like doing ---- blogging!!

Note : I was thinking of distributing pamphlets to students/lecturers here ... so, I m going to print my name-card and pamphlets .... and distributing them personally here next week.

"Come to our new tuition center ... attention Sunway College A-level students ... come here for extra coaching with our experienced lecturers"

Well ... our lecturers all are indeed one of the best around and very experienced in  teaching A-level (attached to Taylors' but taken VSS recently). We will be going to be 'freelancers' now ... and providing very good tutoring!!

I have few readers telling me that they like my 'keropok' stories ... I guess they must be new readers as I have written about my keropok-venture many times ... I wont mind repeating them and replay the stories for many more times!! Haha ...

Yes ... one may see it as inspiring ... how a full-time lecturer, without knowledge or capital ... naively started from ZERO a goring-keropok biz and failed badly!! Haha. I m still feeling stupid/silly ... but nevertheless, I told many ... why I needed the FIRST STEP into biz-world and ... the failures were needed. Seriously ...

Today, I m sitting here ... eating keropok, instead. I m watching the world past me by ... while excited to wait for my second center to open next week. Many things in mind ... and to recall back how I stupidly started the keropok-biz?

Hmm ... it was Raya-2005 ... I started with selling Kurma to my Inti-Sabah's colleagues. Then ... I added another product "Kismis" ... to sell to them. I have to go to my bor-in-law's factory to buy a box ... and sell. My colleagues were very happy to buy from me.

Goreng-keropok has never occurred in my mind ... but when my bro-in-law said that he started with gorneg-keropok some 20years ago when he was young (went to Sabah to stay) ... and started from there ... I was inspired!!

Be very careful what you tell others ... and tell them truth. Tell them how DIFFICULT it is ... and the PAINFUL journey you have endured to achieve your position(s) ... otherwise, a naïve lecturer like me(at age 38 then, mind u) will believe your stories .... and he get inspired to follow your footsteps, ok? Haha ... silly me, I whispered to myself.

They said ... be careful what you wish for!! Yes ... what we put inside our mind could determined our destiny ... and success/failures.

Anyway ... I still remember many silly things I done. The FIRST step ... the first time I wanted to approach a shop to sell my keropok!! That takes lots of COURAGE ... damn it, it is easier to approach a girl ... the fear of rejection and you don't even know how to begin or start!!

That is difficult ... from the first shop ... to the next ... and next ... I went to 20plus shops in 3-4 months time!! The profit too small to even cover items I was buying ... such as plastic sealers and containers. I was earning around 30cents per pack sold!! And by selling 100packs per day, I m earning about RM30 per day!! You wont believe that I was VERY happy back then ... I worked extremely hard for that RM30, ok? That is roughly about RM800 per month and I could feed my baby-boy ... he likes Sustagen (till today!!).

Yeah ... when we in struggling times, we will appreciate hardship much more ... we have to put our pride away ... we have to accept criticism from people surrounding us. In fact, many looked down on me ... but, I tried to lift my head up ... telling myself, OKAY ... I will be successful in biz.

That was 10 years plus ago ... my boy is 10years now.

Bit of bit of ... memories ... fading memories.

It is kinda un-believable to know that I was having a full-time teaching job (9am to 5pm) and doing it after office-hour. I do not have tuition classes back in 2005 ... but as I m 'improving' my financial-intelligence (still at IDIOT level in 2006 ... but progressing la) ... in 2006, I changed to Institute Sinaran ... shifted to rent a house near college to give tuition while goring-keropok at odd hours (such as 10pm to 12am).

It is still so un-real ... cant believe how I could tolerate such a tiring schedule ... and in 2007-2008, I was in KLSE ...

As much as I wanted to recall and write my keropok-biz stories ... I could not put everything in a nice big picture (due to my fading memories and busy current schedules). One day ... I know I will ... when I m so free ... financially, too.

But, I do remember those VERY down moments ... those times when I cried and down ... but not out. Each time I find my wife-son not having things they should ... I could only blame myself for being 'useless'. It is financially useless ... but I told my wife : Give me 5 years to prove myself.

Today, that chapter of mine is closed ... it has been 11 years ... and keropok-biz stories only lasted 3 years. My tuition stories started back in 2006 ... when I moved to KK and changed INTI to Sinaran.

Sinaran ... it gave me light. I was introduced by my ex-colleague(of Inti) to join him in Sinaran ... Mr Lee. He is another person who helped me indirectly ... by introducing me to Ins. Sinaran.

I will write more of my keropok-biz ... as that was my first step into entrepreneurship!! Believe it or not ... I failed so badly, being humiliated by many ... but I see it positively as a good experience.

Perhaps ... one day, I will travel to Kelantan or Trengganu to buy those raw-keropok ... and goreng for all my visitors?

Wanna try my keropok? I have 3 years of daily experiences of goreng them!! haha.

Note : thanks Tan for saying that you like my keropok-boz stories ... so, I will add in more spices.


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