3 Stories, and 2 Lessons

Dec 24, 2009

First, let’s go back to 2007, before I even started blogging. I had been reading Seth Godin’s blog and was really inspired by his writings. I emailed him a couple of random thoughts (as a completely unknown 16 year old). And he replied, giving me encouragement and saying that my thoughts weren’t all bad. That encouragement was what spurred me on to this blog, and one of the reasons why I admire him so much.

When I first started blogging, I reached out to Chris Brogan, asking him for advice and suggestions on how to improve my blog. He not only replied and gave me good advice, he even made a post about my blog, giving me my first boost of subscribers. Since then, he’s continued to be really helpful in everything.

Just last week, I finally got a hold of Trey Lockerbie‘s EP. How did I get it? I emailed him asking him for it, basically saying that I wanted his EP, but it’s only available on the iTunes music store which is inaccessible from Singapore. Long story short, he left a copy of the CD at the hotel’s front desk last week when he stopped by Singapore for a show. I’ve always really loved Trey’s music since I first heard him a couple of years ago, but this brought my appreciation  (and fanhood) of him to a whole new level.

What am I getting at? Firstly, from an individual’s perspective. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Your heroes are not always really that out of reach. More often than not, they’re happy to hear from you. Even business owners have said that what matters most to them is “customers who appreciate what we do.” Reach out, ask for what you need, and you never know, you might just get it.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, for brands (both personal and corporate). How open are you to your customers? How approachable are you? Do you communicate with your customers, are you willing to help them when they reach out to you? Because you should. That little bit of approachability goes a long way.

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Protests in KL

Nov 12, 2007

Yesterday, tens of thousands of people gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to demand electoral reforms. The government had refused to grant a permit for the gathering, and as such, it was considered illegal. Tear gas was used by police to disperse the protesters. You can read more on the story here.

I found out about this from one of my friends, Lihsia (who I’ve mentioned here before). It’s really close to home for her, being a Malaysian herself, and here’s what she has to say about it:

“I like my country in this way- there’s some sort of courage I admire in these people that you’ll probably never see in Singapore. I like that there are Malaysians who care enough about their country to try and do something about it, even if it means risking arrest and their lives etc. I like that thousands of people stood there and demanded their right to a proper democracy, even when the police were firing water jets and chemicals at them. There’s something inspiring about all of this.”

There’s no way I could have written it any better, and there’s really nothing for me to add.

Just a thought for you guys. Would you have had that courage, and cared enough, to stand up against the powers that be if you were them?

NY Love Story

Nov 10, 2007

I came across that picture on the web a while ago. It’s basically a call from a web designer, Patrick Moberg, to the city of New York, to help him find the girl of his dreams. He saw this girl on a subway, and it was love at first sight for him. But he lost the girl in the crowd and didn’t get to talk to her. So he posted that picture up, in an attempt to get in touch with her.

And apparently, it worked. As much as I find it mildly freaky (and bordering on being stalker-like), I have to give Patrick full credit for being willing to try this. And I think we can learn a lot from this (his approach, more than the actual act).

He knew what he wanted and just went all out for it. He took a risk, thought out of the box and created his own opportunity. He made use of all the connections he could (you can’t really get more connected than the internet).

If you really want something, go out and get it. Use whatever is available to you. Be daring and don’t hold back. Who knows, you might just succeed.

What do you want today? And what can you do to achieve it?

Link via Peter Black’s Freedom to Differ: Is this romantic or just creepy?