Thursday, 27 June 2013

b.Passion business I - Red Sorghum Wine

The last part is here:   Passion business I - My first Humble Step

Today a group of kind Taiwanese treated me to their version of red sorghum. It was marked 58% alcohol. It was sweet scented and very fiery to the stomach. They talked enthusiastically about my winery license and operation. Red Sorghum made its way to Taiwan after the fall of Kuomintang in 1949 where thousands of soldiers left their mainland china homes to flee to Taiwan. The Taiwanese then defiantly stuck to Kinmen Kaoliang, their version of the red sorghum wine, while the ancient Red Sorghum remained deeply rooted in China as their better version.

Among them, a confidante of Kinmen Kaoliang then mentioned plans about moving that recipe to white land. I just smiled.

Maybe I have real fun after all.

Project Update:
(2)   The authority wants a copy of my business plan, so cleaning its odds and ends up before submission. The infrastructure build-up cost is high. Not a good sign.

b.Land - Church - The graveyard

The last part is here:   Land - Church - a worked example

One blood, one closed-kaki and one friend have endorsed the idea of me buying a tall, tall church. The only hurdle left is my partner-in-crime. I need his blessing.

The white agent today just buzzed me again to test my resolve in buying the church. She said the owner has agreed to throw in a 1000-grave graveyard if I buy the church. I asked her what the hack I need to have so many graves. She said I'll soon be a Father to my flock of sheep and will have many responsibilities both alive and dead. I replied huh? I felt like a lamb put to the slaughter house by my agent. I thought don't I need a license and a degree in biblical study. Can make money this way? She said I can convert it to another religion if I want to later, if things don't finally work out. I said ohhh, like this, also can meh? She is so sweet and accommodating. As I was talking to her, some one on the street just gave me a book of Mormons - a cult - a religion that practises multiple sex partnerships. How coincidental. My dream comes true. I like. Indeed this is my true calling. I must listen to God liao. Quick-hand, quick-leg, man. LOL.

Based on my personal analysis, this church does contribute to my grander of plan. So here I am, standing up to be counted. I hope history would be kind to me when my future generations start to judge. I thought I am strange, the truth stranger.

Meanwhile, I need luck to close this case fast, once my kind partner-in-crime agrees.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

b.Capital - Generations Game

You asked:   How did you get capital?

You know you have asked a rather difficult question or rather a sensitive question. If you ever find a straight answer from the internet, it is not going to be useful to you. Ordinarily, I would have just brushed the question off by saying it was all hot air from a lunatic old guy. I was just talking cock. Nothing was real. But, you have helped others and you do have a tender heart to help those who are weak around you, you have therefore accumulated good karma points. Hence, it would be extremely bad of me to brush you straight off. But, at the same time, I can't tell you things that are not meant for the leaky internet.

Maybe I tell you something fundamental, so that you can get an idea on how does it all begin?

Generations Game

Immigration always starts from the fact that the immigrant is unhappy with his/her home country for whatever the reason. He then tries for fairer shores. There are two possible ways. One is he is a young and strong 20yo, but penniless lad. Or two, he is an old guy in his 30-60s with a family.

First case:   The young lad being young and penniless (I am not discussing the young and strong, with a good family background; immigration for them tends to be a matter of choice.) Like my father, he came to his fairer shores in his 20s alone. Being penniless and uneducated, he worked at all things, but after about 30 years of trying and learning, he will found things that he likes to do. He will grow his little wealth. I classified him as a true 1st generation. His 2nd generation, born local, will have adequate education and contacts from young to merge with the locals and be counted as one of them. Very seldomly, this 2nd generation will want to be a musician or doctor. He tends to be more practical, as he has experienced great hardship when he was younger. He can't ask for toys that other locals play. He is a young lad of little means. He will grow up humbly and knowing the value of money from a very tender age. He will work hard and take his time to perfect his hunting skill. Indeed he has all the time in the world. He will grow beyond what his 1st generation can achieve. He will then raise his 3rd generation with ease. The 3rd generation and all his subsequent generations will enjoy the comfort of abundant contacts, blood support and wealth. By the 4th-5th generations, he will sire his first doctor or musician. The reason is simple:   The next generation felt so secure that he will want to achieve the finer things in life, like a doctoring degree or learning music at the age of 3 to soothe his soul.

Second case:    The older guy with the burden of the family, even with money, tends to do very badly initially. He will bring along bad habits he acquired back from his ex-home country. If he is rich, bad, bad, bad news. The first thing he dabbles would be starting a business in the new home country. He will burn bad. I classify him as a zeroth (or 0.5th) generation. After the initial failures, he will grow humble and a little ex-home country missing. He will start to do odd jobs to pay bills. He has a whole family to feed. I have seen too many examples. His off-springs are classified as 1.5th generation. Why? He is not without support, his entire family is here with him. Being younger, he will merge quite well into the environment. His hard-work and education also win him some admirers. He will frequently top his class. He will try his best to win respect and recognition because he knows he needs that break. Luck is not allowed here. He too, by the 4th-5th generations, will sire his first doctor or musician.

A common example:   Once upon a time, there was this fucken old guy, he was either the 3rd or 4th or 5th generation, people called him a Baba. He can't even speak a word of Chinese. He was well-educated due to his father's connections and worked hard to marry into the hongchos of the day. Of course, with money, he enjoyed meteorically rise in power. We can't compare with him, he is many generations ahead in the Generations Game. We are immigrants from another previous place, we are the rolling stones that gathered no moss.

Of course, there will be exceptions to every case I quoted. But, these exceptions are rather few and far apart. The majority do fall in place. 

Speeding Up
Naturally your question is meant to ask if you could speed up this process. The problem is most people don't think hard enough. They wait for people around them to teach and guide them. There is not a chance in the world that you would be spoon-fed. Any spoon-feeding is bad for you. It is like trying to learn riding a bicycle with helper wheels. You can't really ride properly. Learn to let go the clutches. You will grow fastest.

If you think hard enough and search your inner soul, you can even harness the air around you to do your bidding. You just have to think really hard. In fact, there are enough things here already to tell you the proper way to think. These essays are meant for my next generations to read when I finally passed on. There is no falsehood if you are my heir; pure falsehood if you are not my heir. But, like in all public key systems, you are only holder of the public key, you still need the private key to open the lock. This private key I will leave it to my heir(s).

Way Ahead
Maybe you can start by thinking about what are the things you can do when 8 out of 10 chaps out there can't do? Use this starting point as your cash flow. Then invest your earnings into things that your heir(s) can inherit to smoothen their entry into this world. Be that unmoving rock, you will start to gather moss. Don't be too quick to spend that money you make in luxuries. 

The choice of immigration location is important. It is frequently perceived to be young, fresh and afford great opportunities for those who are weak. 

Don't punch above your weight. I want you to understand relatively where you are now and work from there. There is no shame in being behind. You have to just wait for your turn. It is after all the great Generations Game. When you finally make it, pay it forward, don't be that fucken old guy. It is not worth burning any good karma points you have accumulated thus far.

I wish you well ... in metta ...

Monday, 24 June 2013

b.Land - Church - a worked example

The last part is here:   Land - In Perpetuity (Part 4 of 4)

Today, a white agent called me. She said she has a cheap church for sale. I swallowed hard. How on earth do I want such an asset? The building is tempting. The location is tempting (as in all churches). The price of course is wonderful.

I recalled long time ago, an interesting friend and I were drinking and talking cock. He said he has always wanted to start a cult. I found that idea tempting really. It was one of those childish thoughts. When it really comes to head, the decision making is vile.

I had always enjoyed walking into the compound of a church. Nothing holy for me. I just enjoy the peace and quietness that it affords me every time I feel depressed. Never will I think that I can indeed own a real church. How about the current members? Should I ask them to stay or leave.

Anyway, this was only a proposal to purchase, nothing yet has happened. There is no rush.

A great man once said:   It is better to lose opportunity than capital. I have to search my thoughts on whether if this asset type will fit into my grander intention.

b.Philosophy - The highest form of Thinking

The last part is here:   Philosophy of Business

Today, I meet an interesting guy, a taxi driver. He told me that he came from black land to white land 5 years ago. He is happy to be in white land. He puts his two daughters to college. So I tested him. What was his profession before he came over. He replied he was a senior partner in a law firm. I said since you are doing so well back in black land, why do you need to come to white land? He said it was indeed a mistake. He was conned by the glitter of the white land. If he has stayed back in black land, he would be extremely comfortable. But, he may not be able to afford the great education that the two daughters are now having. Win some, lose some. There are at least millions of lawyers in black land and he was deadly competitive at the very least. His wife influenced him and here he arrived. Then I asked again why don't he try to get back to his former profession. He told me that he can't. The re-education profession program costs too much and takes at least 5-7 years. The family needs to eat in the mean while. I see. So what must you do then? He said he has no choice but to become a taxi driver. At least it starts to pay bills. Slowly his bitterness showed. He said that he shouldn't have moved. This endless cycle of driving taxi is emotionally draining. This town is boring after 5pm. There is no night life and there are no friends. His best friend might be the wild rabbit we met. His daughters have expressed that they wanted to return to black land once their education is complete. Returning to black land will have a cost to pay:   His daughters' education is again useless in black land. Essentially, he felt fuckened.

This was not the first case I knew. There were many before him. I penned this down so that you can learn from this. I have met a carpenter, a construction worker, a social service provider, a refugee, an officer and etc. They were all ceos and major partners in their ex-home countries. They were powerful and iconic. White land really knows how to demoralize Asian / African folks and play their asses.

He then turned his attention to me. He asked me what am I doing? I said I am farmer. He asked did I do farming before. I replied in negation. He was perplexed. I then explained my direction to him. He said he could also follow my direction too as driving seems dead-ended. I smiled. I felt like a messiah. I then suggested that why not? We should cooperate and hunt in packs since we are all Asians. He said no. In his culture, even brothers cannot be trusted. So he can only cooperate with those whom he can at least trust. So fast already want to bite the hand that feeds him cute ideas and be a turncoat. I smiled and replied that the capital is excitingly extreme. He said he will try to pull all his resources together and see if he can do it. I smiled again. Such naivety. How can I be foolish enough to lay my battle plan in broad daylight for him on a silver platter, a complete stranger of 1/2-hour grace. If the battle plan is so simple, then he would have thought of it long long time ago, before I arrived. The fact that he didn't, speaks volume of his intellectual ability. His philosophy of life is weak, hence, his philosophy of business cannot be strong. I don't look down on others as I am also not too keen to compare nor compete. Such greed, due from poverty pants, clouds one's judgement. If a person's direction can be so easily swayed after 1/2-hour of chit-chat, how can he hope to survive white land.

Philosophy - The highest form of Thinking

When an immigrant first lands, he/she will be extremely lost. He will first try to get a full-time job. That job will not come. He has to do time such as volunteer or menial tasks. After a year or so, he will get a bit more contacts and that is when he can move a little more freely. Immigration is a slow and painful process. During this time, he will look for familiarity, he will find none, except for a few ex-countrymen who are also not too friendly and easy-going. He missed his ex-country food most. He will start to think if he could start an eatery to do ex-countrymen's business. He asks his wife if she can cook ex-country food. She not willing to disappoint him, reluctantly claims her greatness in cooking. They then start an ex-country food joint. But, the white land government-of-the-day is a clever government. They ensure that like the fucken old guy from that fucken little island, no ethnic groups other than the white folks can dominate the white land. Business is going to be bad due to the small market size. Frankly, who wants to eat chicken rice when they can have cheap beef steaks to eat. By the way, the extremely cheap and varying chinaman food is always a threat. It is also not helped by the poor food quality and freshness. In less than 2 years, all monies burnt and gone for good. They are now damn lost. Many gone home after that.

Philosophy is very important here. When you contemplate to start an eatery. You must first ask the question why? Not how, when, where, who or what. Why do you think you should start an eatery? Isn't there other business types? Before you answer the question, you should ask why do business in food industry? Before you answer the question, you should ask why do business as a retailer? Before you answer the question, you should ask why do business in service instead of products? Before you answer the question, you should ask why do business and not work for people? Before you answer the question, you should ask why are you in white land? Before you answer the question, you should ask why are you living in white land and not at that fucken little island?

Noticed you really need to start from the origin. It is at its origin that you can find your soul. The soul of life. The soul of living. Answer this fundamental question, you will finally be home.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

b.Channels - Where Money moves

You can have the best good or service in the world, but as long you have no channels. You are doomed.

When I was younger, I tried to build the best product I can ever dream off. The result of a 10-year hard work did not pay off. I can have the most perfect product, as long as I have no channels, I can hardly even sell, let alone trying to make a living. This was one of those occasions that even a 10-full-year gestation simply don't pay off. Hard work alone is not enough. You need a good thinking.

That's the reason why retail stores are so nasty to their suppliers. They think that without them, the suppliers are doomed. In a way, yes. They are proud people. They put on uniform, open everyday, supply the air-con and pay the landlord. Indeed, they have a very, very hard life. So let them be proud. They owned the channels. Some of the bigger retail chains not only take a huge cut over your product, they even charge you rental for putting your products on their selves. They not only make money from selling your products. Just in case, you products don't sell very well, they still hold you by your balls through their rental of their shelf space to you. What a dumber, these suppliers!

If you look around you, notice that not many retailers survive. In fact, most retailers open and shut within 5 years. So better don't try to be heroic and start a retail store. That's the fastest way to doom. Right now, I noticed quite a large number of empty stores in huge super shopping centres. What that implies is general business is not healthy. It is important to stay real clear from retailing. I have not seen a simple positiveness. Opening eateries is also another dumber, so don't do it. Lots of immigrants came and decided that there were no eateries that catered to ex-countrymen like themselves, they started an ex-home-country eatery thinking that that was god-sent. Sorry. It would be the fastest way to return your original country penniless.

Many super retail chains are always now you see them, now you don't. Sad cases all the time.

So the moment you start your product development, you also start your sourcing of channels. The channels need not be great, but, they must be reliable. Since you are dependent on their grace and mercy. You have to eat a little humble pie. One way is to give more of your margin. No worries about it, one day you will get it back, once your products are in demand.

As mentioned before, if your product is bad, don't worry about it too much. Keep improving and smile always. You will hit holy grail in 10-year flat.

Every single passion business, I have discussed already have existing demand and clientele. So I am not dealing with producing goods with no takers. I need that cashflow.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

b.Passion business II - The Birth place of Ginseng

The last part is here:   b.Passion business II - How to grow Ginseng

Today, I really felt emotional. My heart is tender.

I didn't realize that I am at the exact birth place of ginseng, which I now owned. Exactly 297 years ago, at almost this very same spot, a French Jesuit priest discovered the american ginseng, growing wildly in the hills and plains. The climate is an exact replica of the plains and hills in Manchuria.

I can now die happy. I have been to the very seat of learning. I felt happy then. I felt like the top of the world, I thought I could achieve anything in this world. I was wrong! I achieve nothing but sadness. Fortunately, my father gave me another chance. Nothing can compare to the happiness now. I now finally owned a dream.

As of now, I will command 2% of the output. Within the next year, with the expanded assets, I will yield a total of 5%, a significant share in the output.

It is not likely that I will expand further in this path. I have too much fun to be stuck in just one game plan.

How far will my dream take me ... I don't know but at least I know I need not live my life in vain. I sincerely hope that all my loved ones will understand what I have gone through and come to terms that indeed I am home.

Once upon a time, I walked out of hell.
When I passed the gates of hell, the songs I sang were:
(1)   What a wonderful world - LOUIS ARMSTRONG 
(2)   Morning Has Broken - Cat Stevens
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world.

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dew-fall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the One light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day.

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world.

The bitterness over my lost youth was indescribable. I have lived through that now. I have no more regrets. People who needed to leave me, left. People who stayed with me, stayed. Do I still need to prove myself to anyone? Maybe. Maybe I still have a huge hole to fill. Or maybe not. Each long walk refreshes me. Sometimes, even a wild rabbit startles me.

Friday, 21 June 2013

b.Passion business II - How to grow Ginseng

The last part is here:   The Passion business-II - 冬虫草

Some learning from the web (Wikihow):
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) is still found with some effort throughout most of the Eastern United States, but improper harvesting, urban and suburban sprawl, along with expanded agriculture and the resultant loss of habitat has caused wild ginseng to be completely extirpated, rare or threatened in many of its erstwhile places. Used in herbal medicine for thousands of years, high quality ginseng roots still fetch hundreds of dollars per pound, and patient growers can harvest considerably larger quantities using the "wild-simulated" growing method (known in its most stringent form as the "virtually wild" method). This article teaches you the basics of growing ginseng using this organic method (other methods are available but generally produce ginseng which is far less valuable). 

Obtain any necessary permits or licenses to grow and sell ginseng. State regulations on growing ginseng vary, but you will often need special permits or licenses, especially if you are growing for commercial harvest. Research regulations for your area, and contact your local extension service or state agriculture or commerce departments to find out what you need to do to legally grow. You should also look into organic certification well before planting your seeds. The "wild-simulated" method as described here is organic.

Get land in the right place. If you want to grow ginseng using the "wild-simulated" method, you'll need to have land within the plant's natural range. In the U.S. ginseng grows in nearly every state east of or bordering the Mississippi River as well as in Oregon and Washington. Ginseng is not heat-tolerant, so in southern states it is usually found only in mountainous areas.

Select a suitable site. Ginseng grows best in well-shaded sites (especially north- or east-facing slopes) of moist hardwood forests, especially where tulip poplar, maple, beech, hickory, walnut, and, sometimes, oak trees are present. The more mature the forest (with large hardwood trees and a full canopy that shades out most shrubs, briars, etc.), the better, as a thick under story of smaller plants will over shade or out compete ginseng.
  • Probably the best way to determine if a site is appropriate is to look for wild ginseng growing there.
  • Since wild ginseng is so rare, you can also get some idea of suitability if "companion plants" such as trillium (Trillium s.p.p.), cohosh (Caulophyllum thalactroides-blue, Cimicifuga racemosa-black), jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema atrorubens), wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), and Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum) are present.
  • In addition, be aware that ginseng poachers are a serious problem: be sure to choose a spot that is hidden from public view and not near a hiking trail or roadway.
Get soil tests. The soil should be loamy, without excessive clay, and should be well-drained. When you have a site in mind, take several soil samples of equal quantity from around the site and mix them together in a plastic bucket. Bring the bucket to your local extension service office, land grant university or other testing site (contact these offices for more details on sampling) to have a soil analysis performed. While ginseng can grow in a variety of soil chemical compositions, (and there is some dispute over what conditions are necessary) the ideal pH for ginseng is about 4.5 to 5.5 (somewhat acid soil), and calcium levels should be about 4,000 pounds per acre. Phosphorus should be present in concentrations of at least 95 pounds per acre to encourage larger roots.

Fertilize if necessary. If you find a site that is perfect except for its soil chemistry, you may wish to amend the soil in the plot to adjust the pH or increase the quantities of phosphorus or calcium. The "wild-simulated" growing method demands no tilling be done to the soil, so simply apply the fertilizer to the surface of the soil. The soil pH may be raised by adding lime (calcium carbonate), and calcium level can be increased--without altering pH--by the addition of gypsum (calcium sulfate). If you’re trying to grow your plants organically, make sure whatever fertilizer options you choose are consistent with organic growing practices. The best option is not to fertilize at all, and the wide plant spacing recommended in this article may make soil amendments unnecessary even with less than ideal soil chemistry.

Order and pay for stratified ginseng seeds. When a ginseng plant produces seeds in the wild, the seeds do not sprout the following year. Instead, they require a year of stratification, a process in which the seeds lose the flesh of the berries that encase them and gain enough energy to sprout. Most ginseng seeds that you can purchase are stratified already, but "green" seeds are also available, often at half the price. Buy the stratified seeds—you won’t have to wait a year after planting for them to sprout—from a reputable grower, if possible one from your area.

Sow the seeds in the fall, after the leaves have fallen from the trees. Ginseng seeds must be sown in late fall or early winter, and planting should occur when the ground is moist, such as after a rain or snow. Space the seeds at least 14-18 inches (35-45 cm) apart. To plant, clear leaf debris and use a knife blade to verify that there are at least 2 inches (5 cm) of soil before you hit any layer of rock. Dig a small hole about 1/4 inch (6 mm) deep, drop a seed in the hole, and then close the hole, firmly press the soil down, and cover with up to 3 inches (15 cm) of the leaf debris.

Mark the plot discreetly or locate it using a GPS device. You’re not going to need to visit the site much, and the look of the forest can change a great deal over the 7+ years until your plants reach maturity, so make sure you can find them again. The best way to do this is to use a GPS device to determine the exact coordinates of the plot. This way you don’t leave any visible mark that might invite poachers. If you must mark the plot, make sure your markers don’t readily draw attention. 

Wait. You'll need to wait about 7-10 years for your plants to mature, but with the right site and a little luck, growing ginseng with the wild-simulated method requires a lot of patience, but almost no maintenance. Periodically check the crop for pest or fungus problems, and have a soil analysis performed every year or two, particularly if you needed to amend the soil to begin with. Other than that, just let the plants grow as they would in nature. They will compete with other plants, and many will probably die, but the hardships that the "wild" plants endure are what give them their unique character and a price 10 or 20 times higher than cultivated ginseng.

Harvest mature plants. Given how long it takes ginseng to reach maturity, you’ll probably want to harvest your plants as soon as you can, but if you’re not in any hurry you can leave them in the ground for 10, 20, or 100 years and they can continue to grow.
  • Dig carefully so as not to damage the root.
    Dig carefully so as not to damage the root. Use a pitchfork or needle-nose spade to dig under the plant, and leave plenty of space (about 6 inches or 15 cm) between the plant and where you push the pitchfork or spade into the ground. That said, be respectful of nearby plants and disturb them as little as possible. If the plant is close to immature ginseng plants, use a smaller implement such as a stout flat blade screwdriver about 8 or 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) long, and work with extra care. If there is any risk of damaging the roots of adjacent immature ginseng plants, do not attempt to harvest the plant.
  • Wash and dry the root(s). Briefly soak the roots in a bucket of cool water to remove excess soil. Then place the roots in a single layer on a wood tray (do not touch ginseng with metal) and wash them under a sink faucet or with a hose. Do not scrub them or wash them too vigorously—some of the medicinal chemicals are concentrated in the root hairs, and removal of these hairs will decrease the usefulness and value of the root. Make sure the roots are not touching and let them dry on a wooden rack in a well-ventilated room.
  • Once your plants begin to produce fruit, they will naturally reseed the plot each year, so you will have a truly sustainable crop. If you want to ensure a continuous crop, however, you can add seed in the first and second years, when your plants will not likely produce fruit.
  • It’s hard waiting 7 years for any return on your investment, so after the first couple years, consider harvesting some of the leaves to make ginseng green tea, which is fetching increasingly high prices in natural foods stores. You can also collect and sell some of the seeds, either stratifying them yourself or selling them "green".
  • Order and pay for seeds in the summer to be delivered in the fall. If you wait until fall, quantities will be limited, and you’ll be getting the dregs.
  • Proper spacing helps prevent fungus and disease problems. Although you may lose some plants to disease, you won’t likely lose them all as you might if they’re too close together. Companion plants such as goldenseal may also reduce pest and disease problems. If fungus gets out of hand, contact your local extension office for advice before breaking out the fungicide.
  • The only pests you’ll have to worry about are deer and digging mammals, such as voles. Normal populations of deer likely won’t significantly damage your crop, but if overpopulation of deer is a problem in your area, consider using guard dogs. Because of the wide spacing in this method, digging mammals generally won’t be much of a problem either, but consider using traps (not poisons) and other organic deterrents if necessary.
  • If ginseng seeds are allowed to dry out, they’ll die and be useless. You can verify the viability of a seed by dropping it in a dish of water. If it floats, it’s dry and dead.
  • Some farmers completely replace the top soil when planting a new crop. They even don't let the tractor tires contaminate new soil with traces of old soil, so they clean them.
  • To ensure survival of the species (and to avoid being fined or imprisoned), always follow your state’s laws regarding the growth and sale of wild-simulated ginseng.
  • Growing ginseng has in the past been a good way to save for retirement: you can plant a crop cheaply, and after a decade reap a rich harvest. As long as the price of ginseng stays high (and there is little reason to believe that it won't), growing the plant can still be a viable investment option. However, given the risks inherent with growing any crop, the chance of poaching, and the uncertainty of the market, make sure you have a backup plan.
  • Beware cheap seeds. The collection and stratification of seeds is an intensive process that requires extra care. Reputable suppliers will do it right, and you’ll be charged accordingly.
  • Exercise caution to prevent poaching. The best defense against poachers is secrecy. Make sure your crop is on your private property, well-hidden and unlikely to be disturbed. Don’t talk about it any more than necessary, and only deal with reputable suppliers and buyers. As plants approach maturity, be especially watchful. Should you catch poachers, try to deter them and have them apprehended by law enforcement officers.
  • Be careful when confronting potential poachers, and avoid using force or violence to repel them.
The commercial harvesting of American ginseng began in Canada in 1716 after a Jesuit priest, working among the Iroquois, heard of the root so valued by the Chinese. Reasoning that the environment of French Canada closely resembled that of Manchuria, he began searching for examples of this wondrous herb growing in the Canadian hardwood forests and after three months of searching he discovered American ginseng growing near Montreal. Thus began a vigorous export of ginseng from Canada to China where American ginseng quickly became much in demand. Before long ginseng was discovered growing in the wild in New England, New York , Massachusetts and Vermont and many an American fortune was made on the ginseng trade.
By the end of the nineteenth century, however, the wild root was near extinction in North America due to over-harvesting and the destruction of its natural habitat. At this point, farmers began cultivating the sensitive plant and after numerous failed attempts the first harvests of cultivated ginseng reached the market. From 1880 to1960 the ginseng trade experienced many ups and downs for reasons as diverse as blight and world wars but since the 1960s the trade in American ginseng has grown steadily.
Project Update:
(2)   Land is fully allotted for the "wild-simulated" growing method of ginseng. Due to the large size of the land requirement of this method. This may burn 5 years of my time running the first part. Therefore, I have to acquire more assets by end of this year for deer velvet/mink portion. Unfortunately for now, they might be mutually exclusive. A split of this passion business into its respective portions is imminent.

A beautiful day breaks.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

b.Contract - The fairness of the Whites

The last part is here:   Contract - The Colours of People

Whenever I needed services or contracts, the most natural thing to do was to contact all my kakis and asked them for their best recommendations.

How wrong! These kakis to their best of intention always recommend me their best contacts and services (usually ex-countrymen). But, the rates were deadly bad.

Now I understand why this is so: These contacts are usually already quite successful in their fields. So any recommendations that come through the grape-vines are just additional business to them. It is just icing on their cake. it is not bread-and-butter survival issue for them. Since I am not their friend or anything close, they always try their luck by quoting higher than market. If successful, nice hit, otherwise, tough love. No hit sustained. I am no friend to them anyway. They simply refused to be a hard-working cow.

After understanding this, I have since moved away from contact recommendations. The internet is now my best friend. Advertisements in the internet are usually almost free. Due to this, the goods/services are normally marked lowest possible. Hence, in the internet, I can find the best deals. If I don't like it, I moved on. Else, I will just take the listed services/goods for trying, after all it is always almost competitively priced. There is no further need in getting frustrated doing friendship tests.

That being said, I also now prefer to deal with the whites. They are extremely fair. One recent case, I pressed the panic button when I realized I have to pay a certain fee, without my knowledge, prior to engagement. But, the white said since I was not informed of the fee before hand, the fee was waived. it was that simple. This was not the only case, I have several previous experiences too. It was not because my fees were waived and hence, I found angmo tio kee. It was their attitude towards trying to be fair at all costs impressed me. They had motivated me to be as fair as possible myself.

Indeed, this is a good thing. I have also learned to pay what's due to Caesar.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

b.Passion business III - Swiftlets' Needs

The last part is here:   b.Passion businesses III - Bird's Nest (as a)

Some learnings from the web:
All I need is to pull as many birds into the entrance hole and pull them to the back rooms (VIP rooms).
Once they entered I need to provide them with everything that I know that will force them to stay.
1) They love to stay on those internal sound tweeters.  I provide them at least 300 tweeters a floor.
2) They love to build their nest on those fake nests.  I have a couple of hundred waiting to receive them.
3) The love to stay in dark places.  The partition prepared block direct sunlight from entering the VIP room.  The top floor is with not only VIP room but also VVIP room.
4) They love internal sound that have lots of baby sounds plus mating calls.  This is where I have specially prepared a mating combined with those baby sounds.
5) They love to feel at home with those rotting bird shit on the floor.  I have more than 15 bags of fresh bird shit specially brought in from Gambang Pahang.
6) They love to be inside a cool and wet room.  The BH was specially installed with Bubble sheet heat shield product plus a number of mist makers.  There are two wet floors created plus a water fall.
7) They might love to eat some  small insects.  I am sure it will be provided.
What more can be added to make them love this BH more than their own home beside this new BH?
I have something new that I wanted to try.
What I love to try inside this BH is some steel bars that I recently ordered from a machine shop about 5 units away.
I remember visiting a BH in Setiawan Perak that mesmerized me.
During one of my visit inside this BH I realized something strange on the way a line of bird shit spots on the floor.
There was not a single tweeter or fake nests installed above every bird shit spot.
What attracted those birds were those steel angle used to anchor the nesting planks with the cement ceiling.
The steel angles looks old and covered with oxide.
The oxide layer or the cold metal surfaces must have attracted those swiftlet to erect their nests on these angle bars.
So for this particular BH I planned to install about 160 pieces of this special steel bar with a layer of oxide on the surface.
The oxide layer shall be from the reaction with salt water. 

There is nothing wrong if you wanted to learn on how to inspect a sick BH.
You can learn the basic and improve along the way.
My method is simple to apply.
All you need are some sharp eyes and a mind with the list of possible reasons why these sick BHs are not doing well.
Check the outside before entering inside.
Look at the floor and after that ceiling.
Check the sound system for any poor setting on the amplifiers used.
Check both the internal and external sounds used. When was the last time the sounds were installed?  Are the sound still relevant or attractive?
Check the volume played.
Once you are inside the BH try to start the inspection from the top most floor.  Get your self to the main entrance hole area.
Look at the direction of the main opening.  It is facing the east or other direction.
Look at the number of tweeters installed and how do they orientate each of them.
Are there any hexagonal tweeters?
Do the tweeters arranged in a proper sequence to pull those wild birds into the nesting rooms.
How bright is the light at the entrance hole area plus the rest of the room?
What about the nesting planks arrangements? Any wide gaps with the ceiling?
The number of internal tweeters installed.
Are there any fake nests installed?
Are there any signs of predators like owl, rats, ants, cockroaches, tokek and others inside?
Do some checking for any bird shit spots on the floor.
Are those bird shit fresh or old?
Are there any markings on the nesting planks?
What about the water spray system? Are there any?  Are they working properly?
What about owner's log book?  If yes try to vet the pages.
Once you have all the answers try to come out with the best reasons why this BH is not doing well.
You can come out with the various recommendations that will help to reactivate the BH.
All that you need is to be as precise as you can to help the owner with his problems.
If he is smart enough he might be able to repair the BH by himself.

Swiftlet farmers cry foul 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

b.Philosophy of Business

The last part is here:   b.Philosophy of Life.

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. In more casual speech, by extension, "philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group".
The word "philosophy" comes from the Ancient Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom". The introduction of the terms "philosopher" and "philosophy" has been ascribed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras. A "philosopher" was understood as a word which contrasted with "sophist". Traveling sophists or "wise men" were important in Classical Greece, often earning money as teachers, whereas philosophers are "lovers of wisdom" and were therefore not in it primarily for the money.

I never actually know how to write this essay properly. The topic is simply too big to be handled at one go.

Should one go for business or employment? I see great examples in people doing well in business, I also see examples in people doing just as superb if not better than those in business. So what's the defining moment?

Ultimately, I realized that I can only speak for myself. I can't speak for anyone else. To me, going into business is a long, long road to success. It takes a lot of effort and pain to arrive at a particular point. I think it is no less easy for the master employees. What excites me into business is the lure of creativity. In business, I am free to create anything of my choice, whereas in employment, I can only do someone else's calling. It may not be bad, but necessarily limiting. That being said, I also met many people who hit mid-career crises and deeply needed a way out of their current "boring" jobs. They felt that the job is so repetitive that they just wanted to change their environment. It is not because they are not good at what they are doing, in fact, they usually out-perform their current capacity. But, limiting them to go further are usually the artificial glass ceilings and limited coporate sizes.

In the end, I felt that moving along the business path is more fun for me.

In the business settings, I set targets that are not only 5 years from now, but 10 years from now and even 50 years from now. I may or may not be able to see the objectives so far ahead, but the chosen business types must reflect that thoroughness in the philosophy of things to come. Anything less exotic are removed or not considered to be taken up.

Take for example, wine making as a passion business. This project easily will last a lifetime of trial and error, simply because wine making is still essentially an art rather than a science. Because wine making itself is extremely sexy, no heir will reject its inheritance, unlike a chow-kueh-teow store. Given time, it is no surprise that it will fruit beyond its wildest dream.

Another bigger example, land acquisition and development, it also easily last more than 5 decades to a century to see some of the more decent infrastructures being built. Again, no heir will reject the ownership of land.

Farming is also another very interesting passion business. But, I will reserve its comments in another essay.

Anyway, I didn't do justice to this topic. Deep down, I know I have to think further than anyone else if I want my heir(s) to take over me. Deep down, I know I have to understand the issues of business beyond the current circumstance, otherwise, if the business ever change, my heir(s) will have to deal with greater unknowns.

The return to basics like the land investments is an important philosophy to take. 

Sometimes I wonder how often people take long walks to ponder over the meaning of life? If you don't even stop and ponder what is life and what is living, then why bother to live in the first place?

Each philosophical thought may not add up to much. With practice, you will find it a lot easier to contemplate life's greatest mysteries, i.e., why you can beat the rest in wealth creation?

Well, some said life is not just about wealth-creation. I agreed. But, the finer things in life can only be experienced using wealth, such as flying in an aircraft to an exotic location like the Himalayas for a 3-month vacation or watch an important opening concert in London or laze around in a yacht or waste valuable time writing a blog. Of course, it costs you money and opportunity, but it also costs you time away from your job, which is a truer test of your actual wealth.

It is only through suitable wealth-creation that you can now play with your grand children with the peace of mind knowing that the stewardship of your enterprises are in safe and steady hands of your heir(s).

Take time off for long contemplation and seek the council of the strong. With long contemplation, you will become more philosophical. When you become more philosophical, you will make less mistakes.

My partner-in-crime always tell me, which I agreed, there is always a need to keep record of our ideas. Revisit them frequently. The germination will start soon enough. 

b.Happiness - 0.0001492194674+1 (0.00%) 18 Jun 2013

The last part is here:   b.Happiness - 1.032375+3 (0.093852%) 30 May 2013 and b.Bank Lelong (Auction).

he he he ... I had grown again. This time although not very much but had loads of fun.

The bank lelong was beautifully executed with no competitive bidders. Previously, we were swamped by 5-10 bidders, making final bid prices almost double that of the starting bids. Naturally, we played them by bidding at prices just slightly beyond our comfort zone, but, due to pride, they out-bidded us by a strange mile. The results were bad, they could easily have bought them cheaper from the open market without having to bid well beyond what they were actually worth. The auctioneers were smiling at us when the final bids were made. They have earned bigger commissions overall.

To sum:   This is a good starting point for us. There is nothing new to learn except to practise more frequently whenever needs arise.

The next target is to play in the more difficult field - Agricultural Land. This is to deal with the b.Passion business III.

Project Update:
(1)   Housed property secured.

Monday, 17 June 2013

b.Land - In Perpetuity (Part 4 of 4)

Time to discuss the fourth part of the Land essay. The third part is located at Land - The Future (Part 3 of 4). The second part is located at Land - The Present (Part 2 of 4). The first part is located at Land - The Past (Part 1 of 4).

In Perpetuity

Although the land may hold the title as estate-in-perpetuity, there is no sure thing. Two things can happen:   (1)   Government-of-the-day may want the land for their roads, bridges or simply their cronies.   (2)   The original owner of the land has passed on.

(1)   Government-of-the-day.   It is of no surprise that the government-of-the-day wants the land for their own use. You can't fight them. No matter how hard you try to fight, you will end up losing it. So make the best use of the trade, sell the land at its best value and try to buy in exchange an equivalent or bigger piece of freehold land else where. There is no shame. However, no matter how little or much money, plough everything back into the purchase of a new land. Never ever use a single cent you receive for own pleasure. That way, its monetary value of the land is optimized and retained. This is blood money.

(2)   The original owner of the land has passed on.

"Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
   —   Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789

Although estate duty may or may not be implemented in the country, somehow the government-of-the-day will find a way to eat.

Take for example, the land was bought by the original owner at $100. After 30-50 years, it would easily have appreciated to 15-25 times of the original price, i.e., $1,500-$2,500. Let's say, $1,500. Based on common law, the appreciation would have been $1,400 (=$1,500-$100). It is usual that 50% of this amount is taxable, i.e., $700 is taxable (=$1,400/2). it is also usual that 35% of this amount is tax, i.e., $245 (=$700x35%). Based on the appreciated and latest current value of $1,500 at the point of death, the tax is $245, i.e., 16.3% (=$245/$1,500 x100%), approximately 17%.

It is usual that we would usually ignore the initial paid price for the land, i.e., we don't consider $100, the initial purchase price. So the tax amount is $263.50 (=35% of $1,500/2), i.e., 17.5% of current value (=$262.50/$1,500 x 100%).

Two ways out:

(1)   As soon as your heir is 21 years old, put his/her name into the land title as joint-tenant. That way when you pass on, the heir will automatically become the sole owner and kick this taxation problem to a much later date. When his next heir comes of age, he/she can do the same thing. The tax payable at each time is minimized and made manageable.

(2)   The 17.5% tax can be saved from rental income of about 3-5 years. Make sure you save this amount just before you pass on by collecting and not spending the rental income on luxury. Rental income is approximately 3%-5% of the current value per year, i.e., it takes 3-5 years to accumulate enough funds for taxation purposes.

Caveat Emptor

If you don't prepare to pay this amount of tax, you will lose all land due to forced sale by the government-of-the-day. If under forced sale, the discount could be easily from 20%-75% of current value. Under such circumstance, it is going to be a very sad day.

This is not yet a well-thought-through essay but it is good enough till I have more solid inputs as I aged.

One more Part

There is however one last and final part to this:   Land - Passing On. This is a very important part, but I have no idea on how to proceed. If I split the land ownership equally, I will have small but fair parcels for each heir. This will affect the economy of scale of land ownership. If I give the largest share to one heir, this will give the maximum economy of scale of land ownership, but it may not be too fair to the other heirs.

Friday, 14 June 2013

p.Leaving the good shore in search of a better life

The last part is here:   p.Darkness 2012

When I found a fellow blogger under attack by his fellow ex-countrymen about his foreign citizenship and blog, I felt really sad. Human nature is stinky, i.e., when they find it is impossible for them to emulate the good job of the blogger, instead of learning humbly from his ways. They chose to attack him as a quitter:

"Can you don't politicize every thing that went wrong in your life? Get a grip! You made the decision to give up your pink IC, so be a man and don't whine. Be responsible for your actions. If you are truly happy foreign citizen, why you keep harping about Singapore's system? An axe to grind? Sore loser? What's your motive?" ...

扑你个街 ... These 冇屎忽畜类 really 衰到贴地. 偷呃拐骗, 生安白造 ... everything also can do.

屌你老母 ... How often can you find an Oxonian or a Catabrigian addressing you for free and giving you the heads up for a better future? Zero. Absolutely zero.

This blogger has a heart of gold. He has been there, done that. There is no further need for him to prove anything further. But, yet he chose to blog about how he did it and gave his time to document this process. He is being very patient and extremely kind. In other times, he would have been called a messiah.

Of course, all things said. Emigrating is not for the faint-hearted. There are so many things that can go wrong. One simply has to grit that damn teeth and move along. Some are even without support of loved ones, that feeling I can tell you is not funny.

Proud? You bet. When an immigrant finally made it, I can bet to my last dollar, that guy will be the happiest lark on earth. Let him prize that moment. Let him chew on his good fortune. Let him feel that all his previous shits are worth every cent of it. Let us all rejoice in his happiness.

I don't yet know what those 躝癱s want to achieve in degrading his decades-long good work. Maybe their dog-master wants them to do it to rein the dissidents in or prevent further degradation of their fragile rule.

To emigrate, I repeat, is not for the faint-hearted. What we want is not your respect but your fucking silence! If you think by staying back in that fucken little island is doing you and future generations good, be my guest. You have spoken and you have chosen. May I wish you all the best in your doing your master's bidding and crumps gathering. Don't try to derail those frail lion-hearts. They are working their little magic one step at a time. If you can't contribute to their well-being. Just shut the fuck up! If you are doing your duty as an internet B, then may I wish you and all your future generations be 世世代代男为盗女为娼.

I just heard a fellow ex-countryman just got serious eye infection from working as construction worker in his 60s. He has been in white land for more than a decade. Life is not easy in white land. We don't need your pity, we just need your silence and time to work our magic.

I am a believer of debate. One can get stronger by the council of the strong. If you debate correctly by providing your view of things, I can respect that. If your views are not the same as mine, by all means, I can agree that all of us have a choice. But, if you use half-truths and shaft them down my throat, I can also agree as I am way too strong for you. But, if you try your luck on the weaker ones, be sure, I will shaft the fuck out of you. You don't deserve living on cute earth. I will extinguish your light.

May the blogger stays strong and be among his fervent fans ... 


助紂為者, 其后人男的代代为奴,女的世世为娼生仔無屎忽!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

b.Passion business II - 冬虫草

b.Passion business II - Ginseng / Deer velvet (as a)
Recap: 人参、 鹿茸、燕窝、魚翅、花膠(肚)、灵芝、冬虫草、中黄、羚羊角、珍珠、鲍鱼、海参、各种中药材 (in order of importance). 冬虫草 (cordyceps) is number 7 baby. youtube:   interesting cordyceps fungi

魚翅、花膠(肚) are hard to come by as they can only be fished. Soon they would also be out-fished. So I have no access to these sources.

I don't yet know if I can plant such an animal at my place. I will have to explore further.

Cordyceps is a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in the high mountain regions of China. Supplement makers are able to get enough of the product to sell because cordyceps will reproduce in the laboratory. Cordyceps is used to treat coughs, chronic bronchitis, respiratory disorders, kidney disorders, nighttime urination, male sexual problems, anemia, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, liver disorders, dizziness, weakness, ringing in the ears, unwanted weight loss, and opiumaddiction. It is also used for strengthening the immune system, improving athletic performance, reducing the effects of aging, promoting longer life, and improving liver function in people with hepatitis B. Some people use cordyceps as a stimulant, a tonic, and an “adaptogen,” which is used to increase energy, enhance stamina, and reduce fatigue.

But life is currently treating me well. As I was busy playing with the winery license, contacts came fast and furious. Contacts beget contacts. They now knew that I am trying my luck on a winery license. They immediately started to invite me into their homes for dinners and drinks. Great authentic food from their original home countries.

One of the dinners entailed this contact who claimed that he is currently planting lots of cordyceps in the highlands of Himalayas (first recorded as yartsa gunbu in Tibet in the 15th century and known as yarsha gumba in Nepalese and "caterpillar fungus" in English). Wow ... I now have a solid source.

He is travelling back to his Himalayas home to conduct the price and quality check for me some time later in July this year.

I am not keen to be just a trader, but I only got 2 hands. So some of the items have to be traded first.
Yes. You guess it right. The firsts of the baby boomers (1946-1965) are retiring. They have fucking huge sums of monies to spray. They need wellness, i.e., they scare to die. They want to extend their lives. So ... they will pay loads to get their act together, especially those who have been drinking toilet water for god knows how long.

Supply the rich uncles' demand.

b.Contract - The colours of People

The previous parts are here:   b.Contract - Mister 20% and p.A Joke in Emigration.

This is a very interesting part of life. When I first arrived in a white land, I thought my best friends must come from my ex-countrymen or same-same colours. How foolishly wrong!

(1)   Talk to a 45yo Vietcon for a professional service. She quoted $X. I asked why so expensive. She replied it is a complicated matter. I swallowed my saliva and said I got no money. I later decided that I have no choice but to open up the task to more quotes. I asked a white from a very famous place. He said it is too simple a matter. He suggested to bill me $Y, a fucking 27% of $X. 屌你老母 ...

(2)   I asked for a rental for a small place when I first arrived. I was introduced to a 55yo ex-countryman from another ex-countryman. We started off very well. We talked about NS and fucked that fucken little island till kingdom comes. When we finally come down to price, he quoted $X, claiming that his wife will cook nasi-lemak now and then for me. I replied that is a little above market. He claimed that is not the case, in fact, he has already given me a 33.3% discount from what he charged the whites. I said I got no money. Later, I just read the newspapers and book a place from a white. He only charged me 50% of $X in a superior location. 屌你老母 ...

(3)   I went to another place again for rental in another city. This time a chinaman discussed with me on the rental, she quoted $X. I said that is about 25% more than the usual price. She said I got no choice if I don't wish to rent. I just read the internet and went to a very nice white couple for exactly market price. Later, they reduced my rental by another 50%. 屌你老母 ...


Don't need too many examples ...

It is so obvious that these jokers haven't make it in white land, since they can't sponge the whites, they act like lao chiaos and try to sponge off the newbies. How foolish! They should have grouped together and fight in a foreign land. I have coined a new word "auto-racism", auto means self in Greek, to suggest the racism I am facing. So what a beautiful day, I now run away fastest whenever I happen to hear that fucken accent from that fucken little island. Help them? Lol ...

That being said, there are also many nice chinamen that helped me along the way (non-monetary). The whites don't usually helped me but they are very fair. They don't quote above market, although they try their best not to deal with the likes of me.

Given time, each and every one would have survived, the government of the day would ensure that. They wanted more bodies to do up their economies.

Racism exists everywhere, sadly auto-racism is the hardest to swallow. Sometimes I feel the whites may be more genuine in dealing with the likes of me, after all, they still need to feed, but in nicer ways.

I am feeling stronger by the day ... principally, out of every 10 deals, I succeed in just 1. But, usually a very good one. The rest of the 9 losers, I just minimize my bets and take my time. I don't show-hand at all. The best is that the few successful deals paid me more than 10 times each. It is good to be patient. Lol ...

Monday, 10 June 2013

b.xox - The Beginning of Farming

Must get this thought process out of my poor brain. ("xox" means no good to try)

This is fucking difficult. If you look at China, every fucker gets out of the padi fields and come to town. You look at the white lands, all agricultural states have reducing populations year after year. They have to pack up their population through immigration. But, even those Burmese and fucker Vietcons are running away from their adopted host agricultural provinces after 25 years of trying. Nearer town, chinamen from Malaysia are all heading towards that fucken little island for cosy office jobs. Farming is a joke to one and all.

Farming is no joke. You cut short your useful life by smoking weed. Why? Because it is so fucking hard work and there is no fun. No woman folks will want to stay in a farm. Given a choice they would rather do prostitution in town.  男盗女娼 ... 杀人放火金腰带,修桥补路无尸骸 ... They can't live a day of the hard life.

The value produced by the farm crops  are actually very high, i.e., they feed the populace. But, their technology is very low, i.e., the barrier of entry is very low. Once you have 10 out of 10 people claim that they can do farming, you are screwed. So, fucken leaders such as the kings, queens and knights like to downplay their contributions. They grant them low wages and keep them under leash. (I have always suggested doing only what-2-out-of-10-people-can-do businesses, the work stress is greatly reduced.)

Farm produces are generics. I am totally against generics. There is no product differentiation. Hence, you will be damn stupid to plant wheat and corn and hope like hell you will make it. You wouldn't. The weather will break you. Also, their final sale prices are absolutely controlled by the middlemen and they fuck you up good.

But, I am different. I am willing to work hard. I will not back out, one lor. Maybe. I admired that spirit of yours. Cows always work very hard, but they ended up you know where. Question: Why do you need to bang your head against that immense wall. Millions, if not, billions before you have tried and failed. Learn lessons from history, my partner-in-crime once taught me.

But, there must be a way out, you bet!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

b.Contract - Mister 20%

Just completed a course on how to keep bees. It is coincidental that asingaporeanson also talks about keeping bees.

Originally I wanted to file it as a follow-up to g.That straight narrow path (part 1) and not b.Contract - The Art of Bargaining (part 1).

But, the context seems to be more of a contractual issue rather than a business idea issue.

When I stepped into the course, almost all attendees ignored me. I was the only yellow-skin in the course. Over the course, I have asked several questions and were totally ignored by the speakers and attendees.

I have indeed intruded into their space. They prefer not to teach me anything and expect me to find out all by myself. Racism again? Possibly. They felt that the yellows have intruded into their comfort zone. What they are sharing with fellow whites are not meant for yellow's ears.

When I finally completed the full course, the cashier enthusiastically asked me if I wish to continue with their intermediate course, which is scheduled in a month's time and shortly followed by the advanced course. I declined politely.

Throughout this encounter and a reflection of all my previous other encounters, I realized one very significant characteristics:   Even whites need to eat. Aha! This is the solution to racism!

I realized that it is extremely difficult to get discounts from the whites. But, if I am willing to pay a little more, say 20%, doors begin to open one-by-one.

Say, for land deals, I have consistently received more than 10% due to my negotiation technique. But, when it comes to business dealings, I don't perform as well. Simply because the deals are much smaller and the whites can afford to lose my business. Hence, if I can offer 20% above what they can get from the market, I will have very "friendly" deals from them. So far, I have consistently paid above market so that I can consistently open doors.

No choice, although I have to learn to play like a local, my skin color always give me away. So instead of fighting over the pennies. I overpay to get results. Call me Mister 20%.
Finally something positive from the course. Bees are not hard to keep. Even queen-less hives can survive and re-build their queens after winter. The bees are very hardy and can survive winters with a little help from humans. Other than that, the bees are very much on their own in honey-producing within a 5 km radius.

The investment is tiny compared to many other types of investment. The foot print is absolutely tiny. Every farmer love the service of a bee-keeper. Without support of the bees, these farmers will shit bricks over their crops.

It is the fucking Asians who try to mystify bee-keeping. That is why the whites are so wary of me in the course. They simply don't wish to let out their secret recipe that have served them well for centuries.

Bee-keeping is profitable, but it is not a main-stream income generator. In many way, swiftlets behave like bees. They both have a system to follow. The value-adding obtained from swiftlets is very much higher than that of the bees. From my current position, I may not bother to keep any bees but I will be purchasing huge amount of honey for my own needs.

If you cough, drink honey. If you are sick, drink honey. If you hurt yourself, apply honey over the wounds. If you are sleepy over long drives, drink honey with pollen. If you drink honey everyday, you are young everyday. If you are dirty, use beeswax. If you want good complexion, use beeswax. If your male organ needs to be strong, use mead.

Friday, 7 June 2013

b.Passion Business III - Bird's nest (as a)

I must confess that this is only at the inception stage. It is not even on the drawing table. But, it should not be too far off from commencement of drawer plan.

燕窝 is the third item on the chinese wellness minds. Woman folks have been howling me for daily fixes. Not good. So I must have it.

I have already made a trip this past spring to survey the potential of buying a small land in Borneo and start this cute project.

According to the people there, the best bird's nests come from the wild (well, I am farming it, so no choice ...) and from Indonesia.

From reading:
Edible bird's nest is the nest made purely of swiftlet's saliva secretion. This nest is usually found in caves near shoreline cliffs or under eaves of house and is hand-collected. Hairs and filth are then removed from the nest before manufacturing. The Swiftlet bird is not the same as the common Swallow bird. Swiftlet birds live in flocks along tropical seaside and consume wild insects. The average body length of a Swiftlet is 9 centimeters, about half the size of a Swallow. Swiftlet lay 2 egg every 90 days and they can live up to 13-15 years meaning each pair nest 30 times. Swiftlet are homely animal and they will keep nesting at the same place over and over again if it not threaten. Its age influences the quality of its nest. In general, the older the bird is, the more simmer-tolerant the nest is.

From one comment:
How Do I Start A Swiftlet Farm? Do I need Lots of Money?
This question and remark had been ask many time by newbies and investors. One word say it all, it all depend on your budget. If you have only less then RM 10k ... yupp you can build a swiftlet farm. Some of the photo here are swiftlet farm that i had constructed and very successful so far till date. It is not that size that matter, it is the techniques and also some special aroma and of course, music. Like in any coffee shop, if you put rock song , only teenager will come and Jazz , hmmmm ... sentimental couple will come. So the answer still up to you. When i first started i use only RM 3,000 and now my swiftlet farm after 9 years worth RM 670,000.00. No other business can grow like this. Trust me, it's worth it.

Modifying own unwanted house which save cost and one invested less then RM 10,000.00 for all equipment and renovation.

How much are you willing to invest in it? Minimum RM 15,000 to RM 1,000,000?  It all depends on your budget, for instance if you got only RM 15,000 then just rent a small a shop which is populated with swiftlet but always remember one thing....the owner will terminate the tenancy anytime evenhough contract been binded when you have success after a year. This happen in 2007 where the owner terminate the investor after 5 years renting the premises to operate as swiftlet farm. So be sure to rent the shop that belongs to your own relative or good friends but bear in mind, relative sometime can betray us too. 

Over a decade ago, when people built swiftet farm in Malaysia, there is no such thing as test locations!!!, people preceptions are as long there are river, mountains and near cave, you can built. Suprisingly almost 80% success, why? Easy, that time we only have few thousand swiftlet house and millions of swiftlets. Now, in Malaysia alone wehad more then 200,000 swiftlet farm. So changes of success being cut till a quater quater.  Take a look at all small towns and people who have swiftlet farms way before us. For example, go to nearest town, say setiawan, perak. Cowboy town we call it, almost 95% close their shop for swiftlets. Meaning everyone knew about bird nest long before us. Long enough before i am graduate from college. Just go in any shop and ask, Sir or mdm, do you have bird nest for sale, instantly kilo's of unprocessed bird nest appear right in front of you. You don't have to chinese medicine shops, even car workshop, this is what happen to me. My car tyres need repair and i just wonder does this owner have bird house. So, we chat for a while and then within minutes, bird nest. So next time remember to bring your Atm cards.

Swiftlet farms are modified buildings or specially build structures for the purpose of providing breeding places for swiftlets. These can be houses, shops, warehouses or factories. You will be happy to know that the Malaysian government allows swiftlet farming to be carried out inside a commercial property or on a piece of agriculture land. So it is a perfectly legal business.  

Most swiftlet farmers in Malaysia become millionaires by either selling their bird's nests or letting go of their successful farm for a handsome price. Some successful swiftlet farmers are combining both types of income.

To illustrate the point, a typical successful swiftlet farm (based on a standard 2-storey shop lot) can produce 8,400 bird's nests a year, giving a return of RM350,000 annually. This is the fabulous yearly cashflow.

Further, to add icing on the cake, a successful swiftlet farm within a property will lead to immediate capital appreciation of the property. So much so that after just two years in operation, a successful farm can have its price appreciating by 200 percent or more!
So you have both cashflow and capital gain, making it a super investment.

The added bonus is that the cost of buying the properties is relatively cheap. This is because when we invest in buildings for swiftlet farming, we do not buy expensive and popular properties in hot locations; instead we will be investing in cheap and unpopular properties; yet have the full potential to become the next mega successful farm. 

Therefore, my choice of the piece of land must be on high ground, near sea and full of insects. Better do a trial duress call for the swiftlets though!

I hope to get slightly larger land size so that I am not disturbed by my neighbours or vice versa. Nearing the sea location is still my preferred choice.

Any way, still too early an investment for me. Need to conduct more research and talk to more strong people.

Project Update
(1)   Keep in view (KIV).

b.Passion Business II - Ginseng / Deer velvet (as a)

Visit any chinese medical shops around the world, the first things you noticed is that all their names are amazingly similar - <company name> 参茸燕窝翅肚海味药堂.

Their most popular products are: 人参、 鹿茸、燕窝、魚翅、花膠(肚)、灵芝、冬虫草、中黄、羚羊角、珍珠、鲍鱼、海参、各种中药材 (in order of importance).

I will concentrate on the top few. The rest got time then think.

人参 (ginseng) is good for guys and gals. It promotes blood circulation. Ginseng is grown in rather cold places. Ginseng seems extremely easy to grow. I will learn how to soon enough.
Whenever it is suitable for ginseng, deers are not far away. 鹿茸 (deer velvet) is good for guys (strong cocks). Deer farming is an excellent business type. But, it is more intense than ginseng growing.

Other high-valued by-products include 鹿鞭,鹿睾丸,鹿血,鹿茸,鹿心,鹿尾巴等.

If I start on the deer farm, I will also start on the 貂 farm. 貂皮 (mink coats) is good for gals (showing off). Mink farm is small in land requirement. Easy to keep too.

It is good to log in this business type and reviewed later on its progress.

The third item on the medical hall's list is  燕窝 (bird's nest). This is discussed in b.Passion businesses III - Bird's nest (as a)

Project Update
(1)   An offer to the land has already been made.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

b.Pricing / Promotion

Caveat emptor -   If you are producing generic products or commodities, you will close shop in approximately 3 years. Your products need to be differentiated through value-adding, i.e., the higher the better. Otherwise, you can't even price. You will always be at the mercy of market buyers who are never your friends. So please don't waste time in producing generics. This will be your dead-est meat on the table. 

Price -   (Credit goes to my partner-in-crime) He once said that the price of the product must include all costs, profit-margins and research&development, otherwise hell knows no fury than a man's slow bleed. His reason is very simple:   As long as the product is not priced correctly with all the relevant components, there is no margin to talk about. If there is no margin to talk about, then the business will never survive. How true! 

Value vs price ratio -   Every product has a value vs price ratio. If the value is perceived to be lower than the price it asked, the number of customers would be greatly reduced. If the perceived value is higher than the quoted price, customers will think that it is worth every single penny he/she pays, the product will fly off the shelves. 

Poor start -   Yes. Every new product to market will have a poor start. The greatest mistake is to start it off with a big-bang promotion and marketing. At the initial stages, you really want to conserve all capital to battle out the product's entry into the market. There is no such thing as a new product to the market. Every newly conceived product, no matter how innovative, is merely a reinstatement of an old idea or an improvement to existing products. There is no exception. If from the start, the product is priced correctly with all its components, the price is not going to be good versus its perceived value. Further the consumers don't even trust this new entrant. It is going to be hellish. However, one must never lower price. One needs to keep improving its value by innovations and improvements. The product needs time to enter and win trust. This will be your bitter initial 10 years. 

Product consumption -   New products at the gate will always have 57% consumers trying it. Otherwise, the new cell phone entrant, Samsung, would never have make it to the top. This is good news. If the new product also has a known brand, then it will increase the market penetration by another 25%. In a way, this is like honeymoon period for the new product. Use this valuable gap to improve tremendously its value. Once the honeymoon is over, consumers will get bored with the "old" product and unless the value exists in excess with the asking price, consumption will fall like a rock.The honeymoon period is approximately 1.5 years.

Discount -   Promotions simply means discount. By giving discount, the product is now cheaper and hence, it will improve sale. How misguided! If given a chance, never ever give promotion discount. It doesn't work that way. If you notice, established brands such as Chanel, Hennessy and Ikea never give discount. If they do, they do it sparingly to attract visitors and in desperate market conditions.

Say, the product is priced at $100. During promotion, say, a 20% discount is given ($80). Not considering increased cost percentage (the cost is fixed but its cost percentage is now higher since selling at lower price), this reduction in price would require a 25% increase in consumption (customers) to ONLY get the same sale amount back ($80 x 125%).

Since the discount by the retail stores is frequently poorly advertised. Customers only know about the discount only when they reach the retail outlet. With or without the discount, these customers would have purchased the product anyway. If there is any increase, it is marginal. If the increase is merely 10% more, then the business will hit shit, i.e., the sale amount goes down and now has to bear the increase in cost percentage, leaving less to share among the other components. Your overall sale has dropped!

Advertisement - Of course, when you complain to the retail outlet, they would reply that dear bosses, since the problem is in awareness in the promotion and not in its discount (giving discount improves sale), the best way is to advertise in their in-house magazine and promote awareness. Being green horns, of course, this sound so logical. You will go for that full page spread. After the advertisement, you count the sale volume. It is increased further, but after deducting the expensive advertisement cost, you shitted your pants. You realized that you are even worse off than before.

Long-term brand building -   Again you confront your cute retailer for explanation, she just smile sweetly (innocently of course) and say that one can never got the full value from the advertisements one, part or most of it goes towards long-term brand building! 屌你老 ... 

True market value -   So to sum:   Never do promotions and give discounts as much as possible, unless kana force big-time by the retailers. Only then you give in a little. The true market must come from the product value and nothing else. 

Time on station -   Give yourself a break. Rome was never built in a day. Let the product find its footage in the market place. Grit that fucking teeth and bear it through. Light in the tunnel will come approximately 10 years from start. 

Retail stores -   In order to capture consumers to visit their stores, retailers frequently resort to steep promotions. Who do they choose to cut their meat? Of course, the suppliers. Do not therefore fall into their game plan. If one is forced to give promotions, only choose those products that are very slow and obsoleting. Provide the fresh ones only with a lot of terms and conditions to the retailers, such as MOQ (minimum order quantity). Channels are critical to a product's success. This will be discuss under b.Channels 101.

Reminder Advertisements -    Do this only after 10 years of hard work and the product has succeeded.