4 Life Lessons for My 40 Years

With an eye’s blink, I turn 40 this year. Wait, some of you may not believe it. Well, you’re right because my current birth date was distorted a couple of times. First, my father made it in 1982 for him to remember it easily. Second, our academic or local authorities recognized it as only 1981, so they could accept my junior high school registration! After all, I don’t think age would matter much to me, as long as I remain alive, valuable and, of course, happy! If you look at my 2019 memoir, you’ll find my takeaway on a non-linear life. I still find this true even for years to come. But it causes us no harm taking some retrospective into 4 decades of my existence, doesn’t it? And I’ve come to prioritize these values above all, in many stages of my life.

Posing at age of 2 with my big sister and parents in Royal Palace

1- Respect Takes Equal Treatment

My young age was marked by my top scores in class, out of an uncle’s motivation and my guilt of losing. Somehow, along the line, I gained some respect this way. Later in “volunteer” years, I realized that my recognition of other people’s strengths would earn more “lasting” respect. If I treat anyone any less than me, that would imply some self-insult. Why? Because I have fallen into this mental trap many times and learned to see people in question the other way around.

Image may contain: 22 people, including Arunreasey Sann, Virak Fantastic, Chea Vannaroth, Velika Pich, Kimhorng Chhay and Choun Keochindara, people standing and outdoor
Group picture on our way to FilmCamp Trip 2014 to Koh Rong

2- Trust Rhymes with Mutual Faith

Subconsciously infected with “high performance attitude”, I would doubt my colleagues’ ability to solve problems of my size. Many a time, I tended to micro-manage their progress, as a double-edged knife. Insecure ones may feel intimidated and scared away to work with me. Confident ones may stick with me, hopefully to share “our” vision. Through some hard realization, I’ve learned to set aside those doubts as to give myself more inner peace and other people more freedom to go their way. After all, they will come back to me if they’re meant to!

If you trust me, trust these brands (and more)!

3- Loyalty Requires Single-Minded Commitment

As you can see so far, my sense of insecurity keeps growing so stronger that it even affected my relationship. I once questioned the loyalty of my significant one, out of jealousy. Actually, looking back, we were both to blame. It was just that I took a step back and let her back into my life. Reason? It was just my evil judgment over her casual comment. Oddly enough, this has manifested in my business life a few times since 2015. The latest one happened last year, which I prudently tolerated, as an ultimatum. Some lines should be drawn or I would end up victimized again and again!

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Shopping in Bangkok after 2 years of our marriage

4- Self-Worth Beats Insecurity

2015 probably signaled my lowest turning point, affecting both my financial and marital cores. That was the year I bit more than I could chew, expecting my team “mates” to support me. Yet, this sense of social comparison hit me so hard that my spirit kept me off track for a few years. Those years, I called my “humblest” as I needed to relearn some old way of life. Meanwhile, I kept my chin up for better days. In late 2019, “guided meditation” has re-aligned my “ego” from relying on people around me to “mastering my own mind” instead.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Sum Sithen, people standing and outdoor
Pondering during an ARRI training in Battambang

After all those active years, I came to conclude that the base of every healthy relationship is friendship because itโ€™s been built on reciprocated respect, trust and loyalty.ย I’ve thus called myself lucky to retain some partners, friends, customers, family members that way. Now I don’t need that many “unnecessary” opinions to prove my worth, because, up to this mid-life, I somehow know I am enough ๐Ÿ™‚ And it’s been just “my way” like in this favorite song of mine!

PS: Hit me up at Contact if you feel like catching up and growing our next stages of life… together!

Down Time – Best Marketing Time!

If you read my previous blog on personal productivity hacks during the current down time, you feel more inclined to follow the current post. Yet, this one addresses professional habits so you can keep your business afloat. Of course, I am the living proof with my two incomes sources from Ahkara and DancingRains!

1- Talk to five leads everyday

We all agreed that leads/customers are shrunk in number, since their businesses have been hit with this coronavirus effects. If you already felt complacent with your existing clientele back then, now is the best time time to enlarge your pool of prospects. Besides emailing out Ahkara‘s special offers to 100 contacts every week, I’ve made a daily habit to reach out to five connections on LinkedIn. The image below proves that they got interested in my profile and eventually, went on to ask me more about my services.

2- Produce more value-added content

This may challenge you a bit if all you do for your marketing has been to promote your products and services. The tougher our customers’ moments, the better value they search your message for. A value here can designate both “necessities” and “useful information”. In our last Ahkara e-newsletter, we have purposely shared with our readers how to lead an essential life, especially across the current crisis.

3- Video market your brand

If a picture tells a thousand words, imagine what effects a potential your video make to your leads! If your organization is still looking to uplift your cause, I’d recommend you to our SFA production team. The team is made of both experienced and first-time filmmakers. If your companies wish to carry your brands to your customer, across this turbulent time, you may consider DancingRains. The crew comprehends professionals familiar with commercial and promotional concepts and efficiency.

4- Offer more benefits to current customers

Although this tip feels similar to added values, the difference lies in its practicality or instantaneity. Of course, some customers rather needs immediate benefits like discounts or side income. And we have instilled these in our ads since early April. As a result, we have turned some leads into our customers. For example, a local video production has subscribed to our transcription services after receiving our promotional email a few weeks ago.

5- Study your existing industries deeper

In case you are too introvert to take up any challenge, the least you could do, I reckon, is to read about your industry further. Feed yourself with online knowledge and education relevant with your craft or business. Once you find pertinent tips, apply them to promote your endeavors. Eventually, those tips are likely to increase your sales volume or scale up your impact.

All in all, some action doesn’t bear direct results. But our mind will will attract what is ripe for us, thus with indirect results from residual efforts. And by the time this COVID-19 fades away, comes your biggest time: sales!

PS: If you hesitate to practice any tip, feel free to hit me up or meet up over a coffee ๐Ÿ™‚

PPS: My next blog post will be about our surreal SFA‘s mid-year trip to Koh Kong.

Five Meaningful Interactions While in iSolation

Leadership guru, Simon Sinek, once said: “Virtual doesn’t have to be impersonal“. I find it legitimate when I interact with right people in the right moments. So how do I do this? Join me to see if these interaction tips work for your isolation.

1- Play Games with Your Family

I’d recommend this to those of you who are sure that your relatives are safe from the virus. Ultimately, we spend most of our days with them. So why not come up with creative activities to have fun with them, beyond our e-devices? Family5 is my favorite app so far for that purpose. Otherwise, just recall your childhood games and play some with your loved ones. Home quarantine should create meaningful memories this way, shouldn’t it?

2- Say Hi to Your “Old” Friends

Mastermind Club is not just old, but long! Here we were Zooming!

Should I “advise” you to do this? No, let’s call this a gentle reminder. More often than not, we’ve been so overwhelmed with current situations that we forgot those we endeared in the past. When I said “dear”, that means those who added positive value to our lives at one point of time. Therefore, why not rekindle this long-time friendship? Truth is, they are just a text or a phone call away!

3- Talk to Your Leads/Customers

Oh yeah! Home quarantine should not mark the end of your business or jobs. Take some time of your day to say hi to your leads or customers. Check on them in light of their health and safety. Financially, a considerate discount for their next jobs would relief their burden, should they need your services. And when I published this poster about our translation promotion on our Page, I have received sizable inquiries!

Ahkara promotional poster for this month- of course, with terms and conditions!

4- Share Realistic Vibes

I must say, before this pandemic hit us this hard, I was an optimist. As it has uncontrollably evolved, I have adopted realistic approach as to keep both myself and surrounding people safe. In that sense, instead of rushing to share all unreliable and panicking updates, I filter them out with my own judgment and some fact check websites like The Poynter Institute or Health Analytics Asia. The former has been proven reliable by Facebook while the latter was recommended by our funding agent of Let’s Document Cambodia. The point is, precaution is undoubtedly realistic. Yet, irresponsible acts of spreading fake news could cause us more harm faster, especially on emotional and spiritual levels.

5- Surrender to Universe

Latest quote from RajaYoga Education Centre (Cambodia Facebook Page)

Why would this surrender be considered “interaction”? After immersing myself in RajaYoga, I realize I may have one single spirit, but many minds. Then, if I fail to calm my negative mind, my spirit might be affected. So the Higher Spirit or Universe (“God”, for some) always reserves a plan – if not effect – for our action. The idea is not to accept what befalls us, but to embrace the reality and move on with a “better tomorrow”. After all, life is too short to think things won’t change over time!

In a nutshell, this is not about keeping yourself aimlessly busy, but about keeping your days sanely productive, despite the harsh reality we are now facing. You’ll never know what might happen to or around you the next day. So today is the best chance for you to expand your meaningful self across, dark times.

PS: Surprisingly, since April 09th, the Cambodian government has asked us, especially factory workers, to resume work, even during Khmer New Year, to avoid possible community outbreaks. Wherever you are or travel, have a safe Khmer New Year!