Archive for March, 2009

Success in the Present Economy

During my talks or consultations, there is one question that stands out the most. And it is, “WHAT should I invest in now that times are challenging and so unpredictable? Is it properties, bonds, or equities? What will still give me the best returns?”

My knee-jerk reaction is to ask in return, “How much of a return would you be happy with? 10%? Or 20%? Or more?” But let’s be honest… I think most of us should be gladly thanking our lucky stars if we’re getting even a 10% return in this economy!

When we think ‘investment,’ especially in an economic climate like the current one, we need to think different. And if you really think about it, there is ONE singular investment you can make that could bring you not 10% or 20%, 100% or hey, even way past 1000% in returns if you invest it well. In fact, investing in this could give you returns that could reap dividends for a lifetime. What’s that, you ask?

The answer is simple: INVEST IN YOURSELF.

Think about it. What is truly your most valuable asset? What’s truly recession-proof?

If you think it’s your car, or your home, or your stocks and bonds, you’re wrong. Your most valuable asset is YOURSELF. Your knowledge and your skills are your intellectual assets – and it literally knows no price. Its value cannot be measured through dollars and cents – but it can be measured by the success of your life. Your knowledge makes YOU an asset (or a liability to others when there’s lack of it.)

When you’re mired in turbulent times, and the external economic situation is so uncertain, what’s left to rely on but yourself? Consider your other options:

  • Property prices are unstable
  • The share market presents itself as one long gloomy tunnel with no light at the end of it
  • Doing the tried-and-tested thing of ‘saving’ your money can yield losses when interest rates are lower than the inflation rate!

From what I’ve observed, one of the main reasons why many people get trapped when a recession takes place and end up stalling in place or worse, regressing backward instead of moving forward and succeeding, is because they’ve got their priorities wrong. In other words, they’ve failed to focus on the ESSENTIAL.

They focus instead on the trivial things in life. They tend to concentrate on unimportant things that bring short-term benefits or short-lived happiness without paying attention to the more significant matters that will actually make a substantial difference in their lives.

What do I mean by this? Well, when I say ‘things’ I literally mean ‘things!’ We all know people who wouldn’t blink an eye spending hard-earned money (even in critical economic times like this) on the latest gadget like a smart phone or the iPod Touch, a game console, a new LV or Gucci bag and designer silk curtains and drapes for their apartment, luxury dress watches, the new car, and… the list goes on.

But these same people would very well think twice… or ten times, before deciding to invest in themselves through education, training, and personal development! Funny isn’t it? Maybe because the latest LV bag is a tangible thing that they can hold, and feel, and show off to everyone else… while the results of self-investment are intangible, and take time to bear fruit.

You know, we would never forget to feed our bodies several times a day (or more) but sometimes…. we literally fail to feed our minds just as often! We are all aware that failing to feed our bodies will cause our physical selves to suffer as our bodies starve or suffer from malnutrition. But truly successful individuals also know that feeding the mind works in much the same way as they feed their bodies! We all have to keep our minds healthy by giving it sustenance – be it through books, classes, seminars, and self-development courses. If not… we might very well have a healthy body… but only with a mind that is weak and fast-becoming obsolete. And how can an underfed mind keep up with the challenges of our present economy?

Well… don’t you think that you owe it to yourself to invest in your most valuable asset?

You are your own best ally in times of adversity.

It makes sense then that this is the year that you go all out to cultivate yourself. And you can do this by increasing your KNOWLEDGE. Think about it: knowledge gained is converted to abilities and skills that when put to proper use is converted to wealth. For yourself! And the best part of self-investment? No one can take your knowledge away from you! It is always yours, to be further improved and polished for perpetual returns.

Your ability and strengths in your job, career, and business have a lot to do with what you have learned in the past. Most people these days don’t think twice about sending their kids to university or pursuing a tertiary education because it’s an investment for their future.

All the skills that you picked up during your years at school and university have become indispensable for the life you have right now. But hey … what got you this far may not get you further due to this present economy! In the current economy, it won’t be just about what you already know, but how much MORE you can offer! A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle urged people to battle the recession by “considering investigating or training for a new career.” But the advice should be considered in a broader context – whether you’re looking for a new career or staying in your present one, building on your skillset and diversifying it is the way forward.

Your time is your capital.

Or maybe you say, hey I don’t have the capital to start my own business, or the money to quit my current job and find my ultimate dream job. To which I’d say …. But you do have 24 hours a day – the same 24 hours a day that any other super-successful person, like Bill Gates, or Richard Branson, or Oprah Winfrey has. What do you do with YOUR 24 hours a day? Work, eat, watch TV and sleep? Time is the fertile soil for wealth and success, and it must be cultivated! Invest in your time to gain new skills and knowledge TODAY. This is not the year to spend your time complaining about how bad things are. The time has come to ACT and do something.

Stephen R. Covey, one my favourite authors, and author of the worldwide bestselling The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and other leadership and personal management books describes it thus: “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” When you think of it that way, two of the biggest investments you can make are in yourself, and in your time. You don’t need a single cent for that!

Act wisely. Gather new knowledge to weather the storm.

Let’s not mince words about getting ahead in uncertain times – you’ll have to work harder, and you’ll definitely have to work smarter. Professional experts and pundits all agree that diversifying your skills and learning new things puts you on the fast track towards career advancement, and solidly cushions your job from being outsourced – and protects you from being made redundant. The Financial Post puts it best in this article when it says, “Inoculate yourself against having your work outsourced by hybridizing, combining skills that make you both a generalist and a specialist at once, such as management and technology, or law and bioethics.”

In other words, go all out. As CNN Money puts it here, “get your skills up to date.” This could be anything from learning how to develop and design websites, to learning a new language, or taking up part-time courses that train you in a secondary job field that is unrelated to your day job – be it real estate, internet businesses, or even stock trading. The opportunity to gain wealth presents itself in numerous opportunities; and likewise, the chances to gain knowledge and skills in whatever interests you are endless if you’re interested enough to go for it. Even if you’re unable to diversify your skillset, you can choose to deepen and solidify your existing range of abilities and knowledge so that you become, as suggested by the Financial Post earlier, both a “generalist and specialist at once.”

And of course, there are also other options.

The one option that I firmly believe in is knowledge and skill in Feng Shui and BaZi (Astrology). Because BaZi Astrology helps you understand and master your destiny and Feng Shui – the tools to help you change your life for the better.

In Feng Shui and BaZi the only ‘start-up capital’ is yourself, and your living environment. That’s all it takes to USE these two sets of knowledge. Also, there’s no time limit on the applicability of Feng Shui and BaZi principles. People have used Feng Shui and BaZi since the ancient times of Imperial China up until today. You can use it for as long as you live to improve the quality of your life as well as the lives of people around you.

As an additional set of skills, you can offer you services and time for immediate financial returns. AND you can offer this service for as long as you wish, whenever and wherever you are in the world. With the advent growth of the internet, your can offer BaZi consultations even over Skype or MSN. (There’s no limit to its applicability and the room for financial returns.)

It’s for this reason that I would like to invite you to take that first step towards valuable self-investment by attending two of my new events this year:

• The Feng Shui Master Practitioner Program (April 25 – 28)
• The BaZi Master Practitioner Program (May 1 – May 4)

Skills in Feng Shui and BaZi are recession-resilient and have the added benefit of offering perpetual returns… for years to come. Think about this: Feng Shui and BaZi are two time-honoured practices that have survived ALL periods of recession and will continue to do so. In good times, the rich consult Feng Shui and BaZi to preserve their wealth. In bad times, they turn to these arts for alternative solutions. As far as “industries” go, Feng Shui and BaZi have been around for thousands of years. The practice of Astrology itself has been around since ancient times.

Consider the following compelling reasons:

  • BaZi can help you to design your life according to YOUR goals and desires. It enables you to understand who you really are, and maximise your hidden talents and abilities. Success is your birthright, but you need to understand yourself truly to know what you’re capable of, and how to work on that path to success. It can provide you with the path of least resistance to financial success based on your own life capacity.
  • Feng Shui helps you empower your living environment – to improve your life and achieve your goals. It provides EASY, realistic, practical solutions for your wealth, career, health, relationships, and personal development concerns. If BaZi is the ‘diagnosis,’ Feng Shui is the ‘prescription.’
  • Ancient emperors to modern-day business tycoons – they’ve all used it! What do most of the rich and powerful Asian tycoons and businessman have in common? Do you know? It’s careful and sustained application of good Feng Shui! The wealthiest, most successful individuals are also the most discerning – and will not be willing to invest in something unless they know it will bring results. For this reason, they have turned to the tried-and-tested principles of Feng Shui and BaZi, over and over again. It is no secret that top Asian business stars USE Feng Shui. Why not you? A consult is too expensive? Don’t know who to consult? Then learn the skills yourself and use Feng Shui in your life immediately.

In my Feng Shui and BaZi consulting work over the years with my team, I’ve used and applied it for myself, the people I care about, and my clients, and have SEEN the results. Each and every time. Whenever it’s applied correctly – the results are always amazing.

I’ve started my career with absolutely NO prior business knowledge or experience. This is my first and only ‘job.’ To start from zero and to build it to a multi-million dollar business in 12 years was not an easy task. I strive to be a living example of my own work and I have used BaZi and Feng Shui every step of the way. I can share with you the tried and tested methods, such as, when a formula WILL work, and how to avoid the pitfalls (meaning – when those formulas will NOT work and how not to get screwed over).

I am sure by now most of you already know about some of my top clientele of whom are reported in international magazines or Bloomberg TV. You can take a look at my website for the details. I’ve come a long way in the practice of Feng Shui and BaZi Astrology. So I do know a little bit when it comes to what works and what doesn’t. I have dealt with clients from all walks of life from all over the world. And I’m going to share with you some of these important experiences I’ve obtained over the last 12 years. I truly believe that the knowledge you would gain can help you pull through if not excel even in a critical economy.

It’s for this reason that I invite you to participate in my Feng Shui and BaZi Master Practitioner Program.

Some of you may have attended my previous programs (or by my instructors) – the Feng Shui and BaZi Mastery Modules 1 and 2. I’ve haven’t been personally conducting those classes since 4 years ago. It has been a while. And for this NEW PROGRAM… I’ve thoroughly updated my modules 1 and 2!! This new program is a culmination of updates from the last four years, and I’ve redesigned the syllabus to focus more on a more practical application and results-oriented approach. I’ve also have included a BONUS segment on Wealth Building Feng Shui Strategies and Wealth Building BaZi Profiles to thrive in times of change.
You won’t just get a whole bunch of classical formulas… you’ll get practical, usable solutions. Let me show you the WAY to use the formulas SUCCESSFULLY. For real results in real lives – like yours.

In 2009… your commitment is to yourself.

When the situation around you is changing, you need to adapt yourself to the changes. Don’t you owe it to yourself to continue to evolve regardless of your external circumstances? Lots of people around you are probably succumbing to depression, anger, frustration, and helplessness because they feel they lack the control to steer their lives in the right direction. Don’t let this happen to you. Take the necessary actions to keep your life moving forward, and find meaning in the work that you do.

As the recession starts to fully take hold in many countries this year, people and businesses will start to get defensive and self-protective. But bear in mind the words of John F. Kennedy, who once said, “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” So take notice of the opportunities that will crop up – because there are vast opportunities to tap into even in challenging times. In the current economic climate, learning a new skill and upgrading your knowledge are the opportunities to move forward, and ensures that YOU HAVE THE COMPETITIVE EDGE.

I’ve built my life on the principles of Feng Shui and BaZi, and it is with this firm commitment that I tell you – give it a try. The results will surprise you.

“Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have the courage to conquer today’s challenges. And take control right NOW! So if you’re ready to invest in yourself and learn the strategies that will help you achieve your goals in 2009, take a step forward and join me for:

• The Feng Shui Master Practitioner Program (April 25 – 28)
• The BaZi Master Practitioner Program (May 1 – 4)

Both events will be conducted in Kuala Lumpur. You can get details on the Feng Shui course here and the BaZi course at this website, and register online for both courses here!

So gear up and get ready to master your destiny and change your life in 2009!

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Walk the Dragons with me on Astro Wah Lai Toi!

After 7 long months of production, folks, I’m thrilled to announce that the ‘Walking the Dragons with Joey Yap’ TV show is finally premiering on Astro’s Wah Lai Toi (Channel 311) this Sunday on March 8th! It has been an extensive labour of love for all involved and it’s great to finally see our hard work come to fruition.

I’m happy to finally be able to present to the world the immense richness of Yin Feng Shui. I think it will be a point of interest to many that this is done through the tales of the Emperors of the Qing Dynasty, because the historical elements are fascinating. At the same time, I was also keen to demystify this aspect of Feng Shui that many have probably thought of as morbid or too morose.

It’s the world’s first ever program devoted solely to Yin Feng Shui, and also MY first Cantonese show! (Not to worry, though… there’ll be English subtitles for those of you who don’t understand the language.) It was filmed in China, primarily in Beijing and Shen Yang, and you’ll get to see some interesting sights and landscapes.

So remember, don’t miss it… every Sunday at 9 PM primetime on one of the biggest and most popular channels in Malaysia, Wah Lai Toi! You can follow the program and learn all about Yin Feng Shui by downloading useful notes from our new Walking the Dragons website here.

Here’s a little preview, and hope you enjoy the show! (Or view the Cantonese version.)

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Copyright © 2008 by Joey Yap. All rights reserved worldwide.