Hiring Right

Many organisations out there have a “hiring season.” You know, the peak seasons where there is more work than manpower so they hire more at those seasons.

I choose to do things differently. Hiring, to me, is 24/7, regardless of season, regardless of workload. Hiring, and retaining talent is crucial in any organisation.

What other companies choose to do is that they over hire for a peak season, and once it is over, they will then find excuses to retrench their staff by making their working environment difficult.

To me, that is really unethical as it promises false hope to the employee that they finally get a job, only to be laid off after contributing and giving their all during the peak season.

“Business is about people. People, without business, is still business. Business, without people, is not a business,” Dato’ Sri Adrian Wee.

Business is by the people, for the people.

To me, the issue is never with over hiring. Over hiring only happens when you hire a person for a specific purpose and you compartmentalise them. Say for example you hire a person in your team to do a project, and once the project is done you have an extra staff laying around doing nothing.

Hiring staff on a contractual basis is also not a very viable solution because they are not loyal to your branding, neither do they know where your company and you are heading to. Having too many contractual staff is also problematic because by nature they wouldn’t know your company culture or procedure. Contractual staff is only here for a short period of time and they’ll leave, possibly bringing along company secrets and database.

To me, there is a better way of doing things – and that entails looking for different criteria when hiring. Talent aside, we look for additional criteria when looking for new hires. Being resilient, willing to learn and being adaptive in different environments are just basically the rules we set down for new hires before we take them on board.

Set the rules straight during interview can reduce unnecessary frictions down the road

They know upfront even as they are being hired for a specific role, they are not expected to stay stagnant for a long period of time. After they have mastered their task and create a system, we will upskill them and let them adapt to other roles instead.

To me, that is the way to retain talent. Talented people, by their nature, cannot sit and work doing the same thing over and over again. If they are not constantly trying to improve themselves, they wouldn’t have acquire their talent in the first place. There will come a time when they are bored, so new tasks are necessary to keep a talented employee constantly challenged and motivated.

Talent need stimulation – otherwise they will easily get bored!

When the talent is continuously learning and setting a higher limit, that is how the organisation as a whole grow too. As the company grows, every employee will reap the benefit too. That is the secret to keeping talent.

A Leader Worth Following

“To be a champion, you first have to win the heart of the people.” Chinese proverb.

I am always of the opinion that a leader must be absolutely ruthless. He doesn’t tolerate weakness and doesn’t take no for an answer. He is one who pursues results and doesn’t buy into excuses. But above all, he must first be ruthless to himself, before he earns the right to demand the same from others.

A true leader is like an eagle in the sky – he expect high standard not only from others, but also from himself.

Here in lies the difference. A fraudster will tell you what to do, but he will never do it. He is an absolute hypocrite. A leader, on the other hand, walks the talk and tells you where to go and what you should do.

His demand for a very high standard not only applies to his followers but equally to himself. He understands that is how things are done, and without a high standard many ideas will remain just an idea – without being materialised.

Many people these days call themselves a “leader.” Yet, it is equally as easy to see through them. They are not the one who is willing to sacrifice themselves. They run in the face of adversity and difficulty, never really mustering the courage to face challenges.

A true leader must always practice the theory of “pre-eminence” as propounded by Jay Abraham. He is willing to take the higher ground and make the necessary sacrifice whether in time, energy or money first before expecting others to do the same.

More importantly, a leader of the industry must have had made all the mistakes. If we think about it that is the only reason why he can be a leader, he has made those mistakes and he can tell you why what you think will work – won’t. He is there to provide a service, to tell you the pitfalls which you should be avoiding.

Like a snake – a fake leader is always hypocrite. He tells you what you should do – yet he never walks the talk, always unwilling to pay the price.

A true leader doesn’t care about your feelings. He said what needed to be said knowing full well it will piss off a lot of people. A hypocrite will feed you the lies you want to hear. Come morning when the hype is gone, people will realised the message that a hypocrite is giving doesn’t help them in one bit and they will leave once the façade is seen through.

A great leader is one who wakes up from bed every morning with the intention to help others. If you as a leader what is his drive, what is his motivation to work and he answers, “Oh! I am just here to work to pay the bills!” then my advice to you is to quit that idiot immediately!

Being a leader is never easy – but it is worth it!

Making money to pay the bills is a necessity – but where the heck is the inspiration in that? In entrepreneurship, making money is just a by-product of a far bigger, nobler goal. If his objective and mission are to help others, to inspire others to be the best that they can be – that then sparks inspiration. That is a leader worth following.

When You Should Buy Properties Using a Company?

When someone asks me if they should or can buy properties using company instead of their own name – I can easily read their intention. Long story short, if you don’t have a good financial record and you are thinking that you can get away with it using company name instead – let me save your time – you can’t. 

Using a company to purchase property has its own benefit thou, it works well as an instrument of control when it comes to bulk buying and arguably, some tax benefits. It also has additional benefits which we will dwell on later.

Now let me tell you why it is not possible to try and escape from your insufficient/bad financial situation using the company as a shell:-

Using company name to get housing loan might seems like a good choice… might…
  1. Over the limit DSR

Before we go even further – what exactly is DSR? Debt Servicing Ratio.

In layman term, DSR is a formula used by the bank to check if you have the ability to repay back your loan. When it comes to DSR, different banks can have different requirement before approving your loan application. The general rule is that your monthly commitment shouldn’t exceed 1/3 of your income.

To calculate your DSR, you have to gather all the information about your monthly commitment versus your gross income. Here is a brief example:-

  • Monthly income
  • Monthly commitments
  • Property rental yields
  • Personal loan installment
  • Car loan installment
  • Housing loan installment
  • Credit card installment

Here is a simple formula to calculate your DSR:-

Total Monthly Commitments / Total Monthly Income X 100% = DSR

So take an example of my good friend Genie (fictional character) who earns RM 7,000 from her salary. She has monthly commitments, car loan installment, rent and credit card installments that comes up to an average of RM 5,000 per month.

RM 5,000 / RM 7,000 x 100% = 71%

She wants to buy a house – but in all honesty, the bank will probably not approve her loan. Even if she thinks that she can bypass procedure by buying the house under a company name, the main problem is that even if the bank approves the loan under the company name (provided that the company account shows that it is capable of repaying the loan) it is YOU who is being the guarantor.

The banks will still have access to your personal assets should you fail to repay back the loan and the company winds up. Therefore, even if you are purchasing the property under the company’s name, the company’s eligibility to take up the loan is still based on your current DSR which basically makes your entire plan pointless.

I will write another article in the future about how to improve your DSR – but just take note that buying property using company name is not a solution to your busted DSR.

Using company as a shell when you are in bad financial position might seems smart, but trust me the banks have it covered. It is better to practice prudent financial planning instead.

2. Stretching Your LTV

This is the second most common reason why you might be looking to buy property using a company. It’s because you have purchased your first property under your own name, and you think that if you have a company you can purchase the second property with 90% LTV (Loan-to-Value).

Again, this is a misconception. If we are talking about residential property, you will only get 60% loan from the total property price. This is even lower than the 70% cap on your third property or more under your own personal name. So this option isn’t helpful at all. Now, it is true that you can get up to 85% LTV for property purchase using the company name, but it is only for commercial properties.

3. Limiting Exposure

When it comes to investing, limiting your risk/exposure is surely one of the key factors in your mind. However, as can be seen from the above example, when it comes to property investment, using a company as a vehicle doesn’t really help. You will still be the guarantor, and the bank can still come after you if the company fails or if you fail to repay your mortgage.

Property investment, as with any other kind of investment, requires prudent financial and risk management

As mentioned thou, using company as a tool in property investment has its own benefit, and that will be covered in the coming article.

Top 7 Things to Check For Before Moving Into Your Residential Unit

At some point in our lives, the vast majority of us will have to rent our own property or buy a new property (whether it is sub-con or newly built).

Anyway, most of us are still not sure about what to look out for before we give our thumbs up to the property that it is fit for inhabitation, and will not cause us further problems in the future.

So here is a quick guide on the top 8 things that you must check for – the minimal 8 things that you must make sure is satisfactory – before moving in.

  1. Structural Damage/Defect

If your property is just newly built by the developer, you must check the foundations, beams, columns, partition walls, ceilings, fences, roofing, etc – these are the few things that you need to check for before giving the green light that the building is okay.

Make sure that the walls have no cracks or cracking paint

Basically, the list is quite too long, we will advise you to engage with your own building professional to ensure that the structure is sound.

If you are renting a property, best to check for cracks on the wall and paint too. It is not a bad idea to take a picture of it before moving in – just so you know – if there’s any dispute in the future. Besides, it is not unreasonable to demand from the landlord to get it fixed before moving in.

2. Check the Drains

It might sound silly, but there’s supposed to be a backup between the house and sewer line. Don’t hesitate to fill up the tubs and sinks with water and see if the water flows away smoothly.

Also, if this is a new property don’t forget to turn on the pipe and see if the water on the bathroom floor flows towards the drainage. If the bathroom floor is not slanted properly, after showing the water will be contained and could case slip and fall.

While you are doing this, make sure the water faucets are working properly too. No leakage as it can cost a bomb, and you definitely don’t want to have a head and backache trying to repair the pipes.

3. Flush the Toilet

If you are a little superstitious, it is to flush away the bad energy (Feng Shui). But in more practical terms, you want to make sure that the flush works well before you use the toilet. Imagine taking a huge dump and realised – oh the flush doesn’t work. Not good at all, isn’t it?

Don’t be ashamed to check the toilet well. It is better to fix any problems before moving in

4. Pull back the curtains and carpet

To check for mould. You don’t want to be breathing in the toxic air produced by mould. Some of you are highly sensitive to the toxic and could cause health complications.

Speaking of mould, while you are at it, don’t forget to check the bottom of beds sofas and refrigerator. The previous tenant might take the easy way out and sweep their trash below the sofas, beds, and fridge. Better be safe than sorry.

5. Check Water Heater and Air Conditioner

The water heater is pretty straight forward. Just make sure that it does its job – heating up the water. As for the air conditioner? Turn it on for 10 minutes. See if the temperature drops. And take a deep breath. Make sure that it is not too dusty.

If the landlord or agent don’t allow you to switch on the air-con, at least open its casing. Just to make sure it is properly cleaned and not dusty.

6. Check the Electrical Panels

This one is self-explanatory, especially if you have small children with you. If you have wires dangling out of the ceiling, it is a big no-no. If there are live wires that are not connected to any lines, it might mean that there are live wires inside the wall.

7. The Windows and Doors too!

It is very expensive to repair it later if there are defects. If the windows are tinted, make sure the films are working well and really block the heat. The doors – can it lock? Does it have gaps? Are they supposed to have gaps?

Try to open, close and lock the door a few times to ensure that it is working well

Now that you have this checklist with you, at least you have the fundamentals covered the next time you shift to a new residential property! Remember to always check and re-check again. You can never be too cautious, or there will be problems in the future.

Contentment is the Greatest Happiness in Life

I was running in the park today. After a week-long event in Vietnam, this is the day which I have been waiting for. After the run, I took off my shoes and walked on the patch of grass beside the lake. It has been a while since my feet touched the earth. The feeling was amazing!

I remember when I was in one of my seminars in the countryside. The people in the village was very jealous of us – the people from the city – because we wear nice shoes and clothes. On the other hand, we are very jealous of the people in the village. They live a carefree life.

Life is funny, isn’t it? Those without shoes long for nice shoes, those with nice shoes long to walk without shoes. It reminds me of a story:-

Not too long ago, a beggar found a very old oil lamp and rubbed it. As with any oil lamp (and a good story), what happens when you rubbed the oil lamp? Of course, a genie will appear! And how many wishes will the genie give you? Of course THREE!

When you find an oil lamp in the middle of nowhere, you must always rub it, in case the genie staying in it will fulfill your wishes!

So the man made his first wish to the genie. “You know… I once went to the palace and saw the prince. He is such a handsome man… So strong… Surrounded by beautiful maidens…” “Say no more, my friend!”

There! A palace for your imagination. I would have taken a Chinese palace instead, but then I realised the Chinese will probably not have a genie in the oil lamp

“Puff!” just like that! The man turned into the prince. He was enjoying life. For a moment. Soon the beautiful music, the pretty girls, the delicious food… all become part of the routine. He was bored! And so he called out, “Genie! I need you!”

“Yes My Lord. What is your second wish?”

“I want to be… the sun! The sun is so high and mighty and…” Before he can finish his word (the genie is a busy genie, you see…), “puff!” The beggar turns into the sun! He is so happy. For a moment. From here, he can see the entire planet. He knows everything.

People pay respect to him. He gives life to everything on Earth. He is the Supreme Being. But being THE Supreme Being, he was all alone. No one to talk to. No one to complain to. No one to share his joy with. So he was bored, and who did he call upon? The genie of course!

“Genie… I want to be a mountain. Big and strong like the mountain.”

“Are you sure about that, mate? You only have one wish left and you wish to be a mountain? Not a very wise choice.”

“Yes, I want to be the biggest, tallest mountain there have ever been!”

And “Puff!” The man turned into the biggest mountain there is in the world. People climbed hard to reach his peak. His body gives life to all flora and fauna. Fresh air everywhere. He is so happy! Until one day, a fleet of trucks scaled up the mountain, and start to flatten it bit by bit.

That is when the beggar knows he has made the worst choice of his life. He called upon the genie, but since his three wishes are up, his prayers went unanswered. I guess I don’t need to tell you how the story end.

The tractor slowly kill the hill!

In life, we are always looking across the field and envy the greener grass on the other side. Perhaps what we need to do more often – is to be appreciative of what we have. Waking up healthy, being able to move your arms, legs, and head that in itself is the biggest blessing in disguise. Don’t take things for granted!

The grass might appear to be greener at the other side of the field, but it is not always true

How to Make Talent Stay With Your Company

The other day, I went to this Chinese restaurant to have dinner. My partner asked me, “The food here is good – but too bad – Chinese business owners always like to cut cost and hire foreigners. It is the Bangladeshi who is the chef in the kitchen, soon who will be inheriting this industry?”

What we were having the other night – some simple noodles

Actually, looking at it from another point of view, my partner grasped it wrongly. Cutting cost undeniably is a huge factor why business owners (F&B especially) likes to hire foreigners, but apart from that, there is another concern. If your chef suddenly opens up a restaurant or a hawker stall across the street – then you are in deep trouble!

You see, this is the main concern. They are afraid if they transfer the skill to their employee, the employee will take their skill away and open their own business. If that is the concern, then the problem is with management who doesn’t know how to manage talent.

Let me share with you one of the ways in which you can use to have the talent working hard for you – instead of against you. One of the most common ways is through property.

I bet most F&B owners are worried that if their staff know their secret ingredients, they will just open a hawker stall and compete with your business!

Say for example your manager or chef is very good at their job. Naturally, they will start to think, “What’s next for me? How do I grow?” You can open a branch at another location, and get them to manage the branch instead.

The key is here: Strike a deal with your employee. Within 3 -5 years, provided with good performance, he or she will have a share (say 20%) of the business or property. Meaning to say, with good performance, he will own 20% of the shop.

This shop may have a value of RM1mil or RM2mil, in 5 years time, it will become RM3mil. If the employee has 20% stake in this business, it means that he will get a big fat bonus at the end of it all. Then he won’t leave. He will think: “If I work here, or if I work for other shops outside, I make the same money. But at least I have a stake at the shop here, this place is mine.”

A shop located at city centre has huge upside potential and can possibly double up within the next 3-5 years.

From an employee standpoint, he knows if he goes out and tries to start a business from scratch, he will need to incur risk. Might as well he do it for you considering that you can back him up in case the business fail. He can leverage on your expertise and financial support too.

Most importantly, in his mind, starting a new business adventure or working for you, the reward will be the same. So might as well he works for you with limited risk.

When I mention this plan, many will oppose me and say, “Hey! I already know that!” But who said you need to be a rocket scientist to be a good business person? Most of the time, it is the basic plan that works the most miracle.

So there you have it – how investing in property is actually also a very good way to make your business grow.

3 Types of People Most Suited to Buy Properties

Time flies so quickly. Without notice, I have been in the education industry, teaching about property investment and entrepreneurship for 5 years.

In class, I have met people of all kinds. Some are very eager to learn and come prepared with various questions even before the class starts. Some people have no clue at all about property investment and would like to pick my brains as a stepping stone for their first property purchase. Others, they have bought several properties, but don’t understand why they bought them in the first place. Then there are some people who dragged their force or is dragged by their friend to buy properties they don’t want to in the first place.

Regardless of their motivation, I think some people don’t need to come to my class at all because….

because not everyone is suited to buy properties.

So, who actually is best suited to buy property? It is inevitable that different people will have differing opinions, but if you ask me, I will be classified into three kinds of people.

  1. The Workers

Robert Kiyosaki In his book “Rich Dad and Poor Dad,” mentioned that the source of income for employees is to earn through their time spent working for others. Nowadays, the thinking of the millennial generation has gradually changed. “We have no reason to work all our lives!” has become the motto of many young people. So they turned into freelancers – they limit their worker hours.

However, think about it rationally. The source of income for freelance workers is not fixed. In some months, a lot of money can be earned. In some months, there are not even a single cent earned. The banks do not like credit records like these. Compared with permanent workers, banks generally prefer these type of employees to apply for housing loans, and some banks even give professionals 10% more debts service.

We have no reason to work for all our life

Ponder on the caption in the picture above – “We have no reason to work all the time!”, this is what almost what every worker thinks. So how do you work less yet gain more? The answer is ‘investment’. When you get your salary every month, you have to save some of it. When the saving reaches a certain level, you can start investing to start making your passive income.

When you have both active and passive income working together, it is like a car with two sets of engines that can be driven faster and reach their destination earlier. Therefore, property investment is very suitable to help permanent workers get their ‘early retirement’, and even if they don’t work, they can ensure that their incomes are constant, and they can retire earlier.

2. Business Owners

Every entrepreneur is ambitious when they first start doing business

My goal has not changed since the beginning: I want to help more business owner of small and medium-sized enterprises to leave the business. I have this idea because I used to be like them. In the past, when I was doing business, I made money and put it back into the business. If I lose money, I would sell my own assets to fill up the gap. How long do you think this will last? Is it not a difficult life to be trapped in this vicious cycle with no escape plan?

Fortunately, there is a way out.

I believe all of you are no stranger to McDonald’s, right? Both adult and children should know McDonald’s. But do you know? McDonald’s biggest source of income is not hamburgers, but property. If McDonald’s is a person, the money earned by selling hamburgers is ‘active income’; the money earned by real estate is ‘passive income’. This is what we call the hidden business model.

Therefore, business owners are one of the most suitable groups for buying property. They have business backing, and with ample cash flow, when they choose real estate as an investment tool, the benefits will be more obvious. Just like a hunter who goes to the forest to hunt, and shoot two birds with one arrow, if property investment is done properly, it can give back a return of at least 10% annually.

3. Investors

The last category of people who is suitable for buying properties is, of course, an investor! Usually, professional investors don’t put all their eggs in the same basket. The diversified investment will definitely reduce investment risks and strengthen the quality of investment portfolios. In addition to being traditional and safe, investing in property is also the only investment tool known to the world that can leverage funds from banks. In Malaysia, you only need to pay for 10% of the property price and the rest can be borrowed from the mortgage loan.

Property investment is recognized as the safest investment tool in the world

There are several ways to earn passive income in investing in property. Here are three more common methods:

i. Flipping – Buy low, sell high. Making a profit when selling off the property at a higher rate.

ii. Rent collection – a fixed rent is charged to tenant each month.

iii. Air B&B – Daily rentals and homestays are the trends that have risen in recent years.

Are you the three people mentioned above? If you are interested in learning more about Dato’ Sri Adrian Wee’s course, please feel free to contact our team @ 010-2008828 or leave us a message in Facebook!

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The ONE Thing All Entrepreneurs Need To Do!

Xiao Liu is 25 years old and has just graduated from college. He has read many biographies and success stories of many entrepreneurs, and he has decided to be one of them.

After graduating, he borrowed money from his parents, found a variety of products, and began to advertise and sell online. He sells products such as cameras, sports equipment, shoes and kitchen utensils. At the beginning, everything went well and he made some money. So, he invited a group of workers to deal with customer service; he focused on acquiring more new products and even went as far as to contact with the suppliers directly. Unconsciously, he has more and more product in his online store. The strange thing is that despite that there are more types of products, sales are falling, and sometimes there are no orders for one day.

As the business began to run into deficits, in less than three months, Xiao Liu was forced to close down and give up everything that he has personally built.

Every starting point is full of surprises, because you don’t know what to expect at the end.

In the past 10 years, as the online world has become a major trend, more and more entrepreneurial stories have sprung up, affecting this generation of entrepreneurs, especially the millennial generation.

It is a pity that many entrepreneurs have dreams and ideas, but in the end they are not realistic. Soon, they will wake up to harsh reality and be defeated by the cruel world of entrepreneurship.

In actual fact, Xiao Liu does not need to close down his business. Instead, as long as he does this one thing, his business will definitely make a comeback!

The key is to focus!

When we were young I am sure all of us did this experiment at school. We take a piece of paper and put it under the sun, but it will only turn hot and yellow. But if we put a magnifying glass to refract the light, the sun’s rays will focus all the heat at one point of the paper and start a fire.

Similarly, people who do business must learn to ‘focus’. Put all your attention at one point and ignite sales with a laser-sharp focus.

Here are some of the things you need to do to ‘focus’:

  1. Product focus

We look back at Xiao Liu’s story. One of the major failures of his business is that he is not focusing on the products that he is trying to sell. He tries to sell everything but sold nothing at the end. Therefore, he should re-examine his product range. Pick the most profitable products and divide them into 3 levels – hot, good, and not good. When the product is classified, the sales strategy can be planned very clearly.

In addition, the quality of the product also plays a very important sales role. Usually, the customer will buy the first order with you without knowing it. If he finds that your product is of poor quality, you don’t expect him to come back. Therefore, you should focus on customer feedback to define superior and inferior product quality. Discarding inferior products and specializing in quality products.

2. Customer focus 

What does this means? Study your customer base carefully, your product may not be suitable for everyone, but there will always be a specific group of people who will be your potential customers. Here is an example for you:

Coca-Cola meets everyone’s needs. However, its competitor Pepsi is more focused on the customer base strategy – only targeting the consumer segment of the segment. Although Pepsi is facing a market giant like Coca-Cola, it is still able to open up its own market segmentation. Pepsi created the “Pepsi Challenge” which created a new formula for their drinks and there are a segment of people in the market who prefers the less carbonated, more citrus flavour of Pepsi. It is actually not easy, but they did it!

Two leaders in the soda market – Coca-Cola & Pepsi

If you don’t focus on the customer base, you can’t cater to the different requirements of each customer. If you do too much for a certain age group or ethnic group, the other person will be left out, complaining to you, and then head to the door of your competitors. Instead of selling it to everyone, think about it: Who is the group that brings you the most revenue? What do they like? Which sales methods do they accept? These are the homework you have to do.

3. Talent focus

Next, let’s talk about talent focus. ‘people’ is the biggest asset of a company; if it is not properly managed, talent will be lost. High turnover rate for a company is unhealthy.

We know that time is most expensive. Where time is spent the most, chances are we will find success there. However, ‘people’ is the biggest asset, so the leaders should spend most of their time on ‘people’ rather than spending time doing things.

Choose the right person to fight with you in your team and watch your business flourish!

In the past, Liu Bei went to Zhuge Liang’s hut to visit him in order to recruit Zhuge Liang as his own military adviser. After two visits, he was not successful. In the third visit, Zhuge Liang was finally moved by Liu Bei’s sincerity. Therefore, he complied with Liu Bei’s request.

When managing talent, we need to focus on their strategy, performance and competence. Different levels of talents should be deployed in different positions. For example, new employees, old employees and management have different customer groups to be responsible. New employees are only responsible for ordinary customers, old employees are responsible for high-spending customer groups, and management is only responsible for the highest 1% customer base.

In an interview, Andrew Carnegie was asked: If you want to summarize your success in one sentence, what is your biggest secret?

He said: I use my life’s hard work to do only one job.

When we are in business, it is like digging oil – we need to dig one meter wide, but 1,000 meters deep in order to get oil. Learning and self-improvement are things that you should focus on your entire life.

You must not miss the course of Dato’ Sri Adrian Wee’s course!

Feel free to contact our team @ 010-2008828 or Facebook PM us!

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