Saturday, December 20, 2008, 11:40pm… Just to take short break for now. A little bit exhausted after 3 days in a row working for my latest project – A Proposal for Ministry of Youth and Sports. This is my first long write up after I had done it for 20,000 words dissertation in a few years back.
Writing a proposal to a ministry is not the same as we write a dissertation or book. A lot of home works need to be done. The scope of proposal is so broad we should know which one is relevant and not. There is not fixed rules. This time I under-took this project in a group. We divide our scope into three sections. I take on a technical section.
The government departments received thousand of proposal every year. If you have a brilliant ideas, you proposal has a great chances to be accepted and implemented. If not, don’t waste of you resources working on it. Now, I’m asking myself, am I doing the right things?
There is nothing more important than to keep ourselves close to our customers. I always take my best effort to know them in person. I enjoy most when asking about their experiences using our services. I pay full attention to their answers. Recently, I had the opportunity to be with them. They were from Institut Perguruan Perlis, Politeknik Kuching and Universiti Malaysia Pahang.
Communicate with customers is one of our prime tasks as an entrepreneur. The more we know, the more we will understand them. The more we understand them, the more we can take care of them. If we take care enough of them, they will come back to us again and again. This is equally means more business.
This morning I had a break first with a few friends. As usual, we had a casual talk until I opened my mouth that I’m a new blogger in town now. None of them pay serious attention to the blog sphere although they follow a fews popular blogs for news. I told them what make me jumped into the bandwagon. I told them the power of blogging. Blog is not only for your activities during free time but it a part of your works as an entrepreneur.
One of them asked me, why only now do I started blogging? He suggested, I should started way back in 2004. To me, it is very simple, I would rather late then never. Although I heard about the blogging since before 2004, I had no strong reason start. But reading David Meerman Scott – The New Rules of Marketing & PR really shifted my paradigm.
We went deeper and discussed why do I chose to write about entrepreneur. And who is my icon in the entrepreneur world? I answered both, but for this time, I prefer to talk about who am I admire most in Entrepreneurship.
1. Sir Richard Branson
He is not as rich as Bill Gates or Warrant Buffett. His wealth is only USD 4.4 billion compared to Gates USD 59.0 billion. I do not measure their wealth but I’m comparing them in person. Both of them started their business at very early age – Branson at age 16. Both of them did not have any universities qualification before they ventured into the entrepreneurial world.
However I admire Branson more because, he is one of the man on earth who have such an extra-ordinary endurance and persistence. He never take no as an answer and fail as a total failure. This make who he is today. He builds “Virgin” from zero. Today he has over 360 companies and 245th richest man in the world.
2. Dato’ Tony Fernandes
The founder of Air-Asia. With the tag line “Now everyone can fly” he changed the way of airways business specifically in Asia. He came out from no where and now he is in the position to lead the industry. Not only he managed to turn the millions dollar debt company to profitable but now he is ready to compete and win over many players in this region. Surprisingly including national carriers. I believe within a few years, his name will be on the top list of the ten richest man in Malaysia.
This afternoon, I went to Kinokuniya, KLCC one of the largest book store in Malaysia. My mission was to get a few books in IT for my projects. I think if you had been visiting Kino, you would agree that the book store is not only one of the best book store in town but the best library available in Kuala Lumpur. It is the best place where you can find almost any subjects & knowledge in the world.
I went straight to IT section. For the first time, I wanted to know how much source of knowledge about IT in the store. I started counting the subject title on the rack – Multimedia, Application, Certification, Networking, Programming and Operating System. There were together 14 racks and each rack estimated about 500 books/rack. Therefore all together, I estimated about 7,000 books. Then, it proofed to me what I said earlier, Kino is one of the best places to source your knowledge.
My first question was, why Kino can be one of the best book stores not only in Malaysia but in the world? I found my books here, which I could not find in any stores in KL. What does it really mean? Is Kino knows exactly what the clients want?
I have a few favorite bookstores in town to get my books. But what really make me stick to Kino is the way they understand me, understand my needs and wants. They never disappointed me. That is why, I cannot keep myself away from Kino especially when others say no to my needs. And I believe, this is not only happen to me but to all of their loyal customers.
So, can I say, if we want to be great – we must always be great to our customers.
Have you ever tried to answer the above simple question? It is a shot and simple question but the answer is not so straight forward. I know, you heard the same question over and over in your life – in business world or in your class room. We found so many answers in so many perspectives by so many people so call experts.
I personally very keen to know what is the best answer for the above question might be. Therefore I decided to do a research on Entrepreneur in my for my MSc Project Management dissertation.
What I had found that the definition of entrepreneur alone was so broad and had gone through so many evolutions. From very early defined by Richard Cantilon in 1725 to the latest definition by Harvard’s Business School. The definition was sometime so confusing and not easy to understand. To cut the story short, I don’t think it worth to discuss further in this blog.
Right here, I’m not interested to listen to those “experts” who most of them were never do the real entrepreneurial works in their entire life – purely in lab! I really want to listen from all of you who are really genuine entrepreneurs.
If you think you are an entrepreneur, tell us who you really are? It can be in simple and plain answers but we know you are the real entrepreneurs!
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