maverick

Co-Founder of KICKSTART by night, Talent Development Consultant, organising workshops and conferences by day, and full-time single dad in between, Maverick is pretty much a renegade. An ex-monk who's always first to ask "why not?", Mav enjoys hacking the way things are done, and pretty much happy with the success rate of 50% (coz sometimes mom is right after all...). When it comes to business, give him a million bucks and he'll most probably get a new set of gadgets, drive home an Audi R8 and reload his Starbucks card. But give him little to nothing, and see how he starts switching on the little brain-matter between his ears. Challenge ACCEPTED!

43 questions to check if you can be a lifestyle entrepreneur or digital nomad

See that photo up there? It’s BS by the way. Tried and tested, and it only got my eyes freaking tired, with sand into laptop while my ass heats up to cook my balls.

When people know about our travels (Debbie and I try to do 90 days of travel a year, minimum 60), they always envy our lifestyle, and ask us how we did it.

Frankly, the how-we-did-it question is not even close to the real question they should be asking, which is:

What are you getting into?

And truth be told, there’s nothing much to envy about, which is why we hardly share our check-ins and travels on social media. Unless it’s something too stupidly funny. 🙂

Inspired by a post by Marcus Teoh, Debbie and I decided to compile a list of questions that should help you decide if being a lifestyle entrepreneur or digital nomad is something you really should strive for.

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Our shit and the day we don’t pick it up anymore

A lot of times we look at politicians who created problems but don’t pick up the mess. I mean, you don’t have to look so far, Malaysia’s political scene totally deserves a channel on it’s own at Astro. Like a bad script for an action movie, the flow is usually:

  1. Shit happens
  2. Appoint scape goat(s)
  3. Misdirection
  4. Bury said shit
  5. Look elsewhere
  6. Post credit scene: Launch new campaign for next impending shit
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But we’re having an affair

I was at this cozy cafe, working as usual. The sun just set, a dark shade of crimson tangerine outlined the horizon. A cool breeze visited the patio of the cafe once in a while, the snuggly, cozy kind.

Yeap, a great setting to snuggle, and true to my word, at the corner of my eye, I saw an elderly couple walking in, holding each other tightly. They appeared to be in their early sixties, physically. The uncle is wearing a handsome polo shirt, smartly tugged into his slacks with a darker tone belt, that went down to his shiny, polished Hush Puppies. The aunty, wore simple khaki pants, floral blouse and an Egyptian silk scarf around her long, slender neck. Both of them wore specs, but what the glass failed to hide, was the adoration in their eyes.

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Is your NLP trainer a convicted pedophile?

This is a true story.

*The names had been changed, but definitely not to protect their identities or the crime.

The training and personal development industry in Malaysia is small, so when there’s a new player or program in town, it’s natural for us to be curious. Like the new kids in school, we would Google their names, try to find out a little about their background, and if she’s cute, whether she’s single.

So when a trainer, *Lee, got his/her NLP trainer certification from a master trainer, *Palov, that I’ve not heard before, I just naturally got curious.

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How to Battle the Green Monster of Entrepreneurship

There are only a couple of green monsters out there. It’s not the Hulk, or how your private parts looked like after being stung by an exotically fatal jungle hornet*.

No, I’m talking about the one inside you (again, dude, not the one in your pants).

Yeah, let’s talk about jealousy.

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Screw that reunion meetup lar

Let me get it right first.

In no way am I referring to those reunion dinners that involves relatives, family members and loved ones. Those you can either rent a boyfriend, girlfriend or give-your-grandma-a-scare gayfriend, or sit there silently and be screwed instead lar. Remember, the aunties are just caring for your well being. 🙂

No, I’m referring to those with your classmates. Yeap, those who you’d copied homework from all your school days, those you ponteng class with, those you had a secret crush on for years, those who first populate your Friendster account (yeah, I’m that old). And because everyone is back in your hometown for CNY, it makes a good sense to meet up, kan?

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The hardest talk I had with my 7-year-old son

Sorry guys, as much as you may think it’s the “where I came from” or “what’s that man doing with that rubber glove”, the truth is the talk I had with William, my 7-year-old, was more about the reality of life. (Sure, some would argue having too many unprotected sex is the key to jump starting a life, but I’ll probably let his school give him that moment of enlightenment).

“We talk about death before, and while we all try to live as long as we want, sometimes accidents do happen. One day, I won’t be around anymore, and I need you to know this: don’t expect your mother to care and support you as I did.”

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My fall into debt and the journey out of it

A few months back (April 2016), on the way to school, I had a heart to heart talk with William, my 7-year old.

“Will, if it’s okay with you, for the next few weeks or even months, we will need to limit our spending a bit, because daddy’s in debt, and it’s so bad that I had to borrow money from your aunt last night.”

He kinda understood the concept of debts, but still, in his innocence, he asked how I got myself into debt.

And here’s the story.

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The Return of the Buywards

This has happened to me twice already, and I thought it would be good to share the experience.

Marketers who are good in psychology will tell you of the triple A to a human’s heart. Attention, Affirmation, Acknowledgement. That’s one of the reason why awards are so appealing. People would add it to their name card, decorate it on their social media profiles, shelved it on their personal wall of fame.

A couple of years back in a previous business, we were nominated for a prestigious brand award. Of course, as naive as we were, we didn’t know we had to buy a table at the award ceremony to officiate it. Naively too, we asked if they can just mail us the award, which they said no. Well, at least we tried.

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The Making of Desperate Entrepreneurs

Bet you’ve seen or worse, worked with one. These special breed of entrepreneurs, or for the lucky ones, is just a temporary phase, usually portray one or more of the symptoms below:

  • Change company direction every 3 days
  • Change team member’s and staff’s roles every 3.5 days
  • Quote Sir Richard Branson and his 500+ companies
  • Use the term pivot too often
  • Do the “pivot” lagi more often
  • Jack of all trades but master of none
  • 5 years later at the school reunion, he’s still working on that idea/startup with no apparent growth (his mom secretly texts you to help “advice” his son)

If entrepreneurship is a mix bag of many skills, traits and mojo, then the equation for desperate entrepreneurs are:

Desperate Entrepreneurs = Balls of Fire + Balls on Fire + Tons of Unpaid Bills + That One I Also Can Ao + Slap-Worthy Ego - FOCUS

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