In a few days, the year 2008 will be over. I have mixed feelings about 2008, I mean it's the one year of my life that I felt so much has happened. This entry is to remember what I did in 2008.
1. Gave a speech in January at the National Entrepreneurs Convention in PWTC to a crowd of 500 young aspiring entrepreneurs.
It was the first time I had spoken to such a big crowd but the crowd was if anything really really accommodating. I didn't think I did a good job but after the speech a number of people came up to me to tell me that they enjoyed my speech and they found the story of Nuffnang some sort inspiring.
I'm glad I was able to inspire a few people here and there to do bigger things than I have managed to do myself.
2. Bought a RM1,000 bottle of water for charity.
I had never spent so much money on a bottle of water before. The funny thing though is that once I got the bottle I immediately opened it to take a drink. In fact I was so thirsty I gulped half the bottle down.
The people around me gave me the biggest GASP like I had just killed a chicken or something and that I should be drinking it like you drink a RM1,000 bottle of wine. Here's the real joke, after drinking half the bottle away, I accidentally left it somewhere and went home so I totally lost this RM1,000 bottle of water.
3. Scratched my cornea on more than one occasion.
If you're asking for the most pain I've experienced in 2008, it's got to be from my scratched cornea. Talk about sharp and sudden pain, then couple it with the fact that you can't open both your eyes for a 4-5 days until your cornea heals again.
I considered putting on a helmet when I sleep to prevent me from rubbing my eyes in the middle of the night.
But I later realized that I was actually suffering from a Recurrent Corneal Erosion where because my healed cornea was weak and because morning dryness would cause my eyelid to stick to my cornea, when morning comes and I open my eyes it rips off my cornea with it.
Went for an operation the same year where the doctor lasered my eyes and I had to be awake to see the whole thing. The operation seems to have cured it so far *Fingers crossed*.
4. Celebrated the Nuffnang 1st Anniversary along with 300 Nuffnangers at the Nuffnang Chipster Pajama Party.
Probably one of the best parties I had ever been to in my life!
I remember standing in the crowd by the side of the stage looking at the big crowd and smiling at the Nuffnang community of bloggers having fun and going wild.
5. Signed the weirdest autograph I ever had to sign: On Adrian's tit.
6. Watched Chelsea play Malaysia at Shah Alam Stadium.
Actually found myself supporting the Malaysian team for the first time eventhough everybody knew that chances are we would lose.
Still.. I thought the Malaysian team fought hard!
7. Traveled to Bangkok, Vancouver, Manila, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau.
Some for leisure.
and some for work.
8. Gave a speech at the Malaysian Media Conference about Nuffnang.
I gave many speeches during the year but this was probably the most stressful of all for me because the audience were all industry leaders, CEOs of listed companies and very very important people in the media industry.
9. Moved the Nuffnang KL team into a new office.
Always conscious about costs, we took the longest time ever to actually move out of our old tiny office in the same building until we were totally sure that we can support the rent that costs multiples more.
10. Appeared in a number of magazines and newspapers.
11. Expanded Nuffnang to the Philippines.
One of my favourite moments of 2008 is having the opportunity to expand Nuffnang beyond Malaysia and Singapore to the Philippines.
I feel so blessed having met our partners for Nuffnang PH: Eric and Jay and even more blessed to have such a capable team of Nuffies there to run the show.
12. Put up the first Nuffnang Outdoor Ad in Manila.
I never got to see our ad on the giant LED board but one of the Nuffies there were nice enough to send me a video of it.
13. Expanded Nuffnang to Australia
While I was busy with Nuffnang Philippines, Ming led the expansion in Nuffnang Australia with the opening of our Melbourne Office.
As of December 2008, the Nuffnang Community in just these four countries consist over 70,000 bloggers.
14. Embarrassed myself on TV 3 times.
Once for the National Entrepreneurs Convention on "Hello On Two", once on NTV 7 Prime Time News and once on the NTV 7 Breakfast Show for Maxis Wild Live Blogging.
15. Then went on to embarrass myself on Radio at BFM (I never learn).
16. Grew the Nuffnang Team that I see every day and have begun to see as my extended family.
Looking back, 2008 was quite a year for me having gone through so much both in my personal life and in Nuffnang. When people look forward to 2009, they list down a list of things that they want to achieve in the year and sometimes even a thing or two about themselves that they want to change (ie New Year Resolutions).
The one thing I hope for in 2009 is that I will learn more as an entrepreneur. Something my father has taught me is that when doing business at such a young age, the main priority should be to learn and to experience, not necessarily to make big money.
In fact my father believes that I shouldn't make too much money while I'm too young, he fears that will make me too comfortable to achieve my full potential when I reach the later years of my life.
When I read the biographies of many billionaires today I see that I have merely learned 1% of whatever there is to learn in order to be a successful entrepreneur.
2008 was a year of rapid growth and expansion for Nuffnang and with that I have learned how to keep up with growth and what a growing company demands ie certain procedures, check & balances and the likes.
I have for example not yet learned how to manage a company through a bad economic recession.
As my father always tells me
"It is only through severe adversity will you be able to differentiate the boys from the men".
This is something I think 2009 will teach me for it is the year that will see Nuffnang go through the worst economic recession the world has seen in decades. We've made preparations and we've built large cash reserves, now it's time to sail through the storm.
I can't wait to see what I will learn and how the experiences and challenges I face next year will mould me to being a better entrepreneur.
Popcorn and drink in hand....
Here I come 2009!!!