That “something” that nobody knows about

That “something” that nobody knows about

 

Chinese New Year has come and gone and in the blink of an eye, it is already coming to the end of the 1st quarter of 2019! Just some 2-3 months ago, our team was still churning out results to meet their 2018 individual targets and personal goals.

#teamJCO kicked off 2019 with a bang with Mr David Lim from Prudential Corporation Asia and Mr Lok Chong Hong, an NLP trainer I knew while attending a business convention in Malaysia.

During one of the sessions, we were asked to list down “something” that nobody knows about ourselves. I actually thought quite hard about it because I guess most, if not everyone may look upon me as an adventurous person and a high achiever. But beneath all that, I am actually an Extroverted Introvert – someone sensitive and observant of the surroundings.

I still remember when I first started out in my career some twenty years ago (oh gosh!), I was very much struggling to carve out a niche for myself and succeed. I believe in this career, you have to be adaptable. Up to today, I am still adapting to changes in the industry, constantly un-learning and re-learning.

I’m An Extroverted Introvert

 

I’m an Extroverted Introvert

Everyone looks up to individuals in leadership positions as superheroes with superhuman powers who never fail to save the day. I know I am my little ones’ superhero(mum). But I didn’t just become a superhero(mum) overnight. I had my own mother to draw experience from. At work, I may be the super leader, but I also had a great mentor to learn from. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for me during my beginning years but I am thankful and that it’s with the depths of pain that expands the breath of my compassion. Gathering those stumbling blocks that helps build someone else’s bridge. Recalling what was it like to be lost in the darkness so someday I can be that someone else’s much needed light.

There are many times when I am switched “on”, I will be like the Duracell rabbit, full of energy, always out there on the move, doing what needs to be done. But when I get “off”, I just want to hurry home to recharge in solitude. I swear by having my ME time – it does wonders for both your mental and emotional health. It is also during this time that I learn and this allows me keep going.

3 Golden Rules I have that keeps me going in my Business:

  • “Learning never exhausts the mind.” Leonardo da Vinci.

The development of a true expert depends upon the struggling and sacrificing journey. Successful people invest their time wisely by engaging themselves with learning.

People who become exceptional in their performance keep engaging themselves in practice to perfection so as to acquire the necessary skills to navigate themselves in this ever-changing environment.

  • “Don’t chase people. Be yourself. Do your own thing and work hard. The Right people – the ones who really belong in your life, will come to you. And stay.” – Will Smith

If you’re just like everyone else in your profession, then the only differentiator will be price. The one going to discount the most runs into a mindless race to the bottom, finding themselves being commoditized.

 Have the courage to stand out and be different. Always take inventory of your unique abilities, credentials and life experiences that have shaped who you are and how you work. Own it, embrace it, leverage it in your own professional space. Your value will begin to soar when you are separated from the herd.  

  • “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose wisely!” – Jim Rohn

Surround yourself with the right company changes everything. Who you spend time with influences the person you eventually become. Who you are with can elevate you as much as it can bring you down.

Life is already hard enough – we don’t always win, and there will always be many obstacles and challenges surfaced. Naysayers will come along our path to success. During those times, nothing feels better than having someone you can share your fears and doubts with: friends and mentors who not only listen but also cheer you on to be the best version of yourself.

“Get back in there and do better! You can do it!” They give you energy and help you propel forward. There is no finish line when it comes to knowing who you are and what makes you happy. Start to identify your core circle that matches who you want to be in future. However always go back to the basics to strengthen the foundation.

Come April, I will be joining my rookies to Bangkok for their first incentive trip – Fastrack 2019. Every year, I look forward to learning and drawing new energy from many of these millennials. Likewise, I hope they draw from the experience of their leaders and achieve greater success

6 Ways to Succeed as a Financial Consultant in Singapore

6 Ways to Succeed as a Financial Consultant in Singapore

(Note: The following are personal thoughts, views and opinions of Eunice Yuen)

For the last almost two decades, I have met and coached many successful consultants. I believe that everyone is capable of huge success. But the question is: Are you willing to do the work?

It doesn’t matter if you are new to this profession or a seasoned financial consultant. The rules are simple. Are you constantly sharpening your knowledge and working hard to achieve your goals? Are you learning from others and getting out of your comfort zone? Successful financial consultants are willing to do the things that average consultants don’t.

I was fortunate to meet a great mentor during my early days in my financial career. This was extremely important especially for someone like me who had no financial background. With a business plan and intensive training to understand the various products, I then put my skills into practice to strengthen my abilities and my relationships with my clients. I earned my first pot of gold before I reached 30 and these factors contributed to my financial freedom today.

Unfortunately many financial planners may not have the mentors they need. So here, I would like to share some of my personal tips that helped me succeed as a financial consultant. I hope these can help you find your niche and achieve the success you desire too.

1. Manage it Like Your Own Business

When you’re a financial consultant, you are managing your own business. Your success is dependent on yourself. You’ve the freedom to manage your work but never take this flexibility for granted. Organise your time to make calls, meet and follow up with prospective and existing clients. When you plan your work week, you’re in charge. If you let the problems of the day plan your life, you are “reacting” and not proactively managing it. You’re your own boss and you’ve to be in control!

2. Choose Your Target Market

Be strategic in the clients you choose to serve. You can select up to 3 target clients based on your preference. By attempting to serve everyone, you’re really serving no one. The benefit of defining specific clientele will help you get a picture of who you’re serving. Are you a consultant for the high net worth? Or perhaps your forte is in planning for professionals? When you can define the demography of your ideal clients, people will recognise you for who you work best with.

3. Be an Expert and Share Knowledge

Create a reputation that’s known for an area of expertise within your target clients. By doing so, you can market yourself more easily as clients always want a consultant who is perceived as knowledgeable and capable of solving their problems. You may even have the opportunity to speak, write, or comment about topics, new products and trends within your niche. You’ll stand out from the rest and be noticed!

4. Invest in Yourself

As a financial consultant, your duty is to help others invest in the right products, but are you also investing in yourself? What are you doing during the weeknights and weekends? Are you wasting time that could be used to invest in acquiring knowledge, not only in your industry but also areas that could make you a well-rounded person? What are you doing to ensure that you’re operating at your best? Are you starting to exercise? Invest in your knowledge, skills and energy now!

Succeed

5. Meet New People

I often meet consultants who are too caught up with the daily tasks of running the business. They have appointments, paperwork, phone calls to make, emails to answer, and seemingly endless other things to complete. But is your business moving? Perhaps it’s time to meet new contacts! Schedule meetings with prospective clients and attend networking events. New business is not going to suddenly knock on your door if you’re at your desk with your head down immersed in paperwork.

6. Build a Team

You may be surprised but you’ll actually have more freedom in a team. You can’t do everything without giving up something. Some consultants may be reluctant to give up control or concern that hiring an assistant will be too costly. But creating a team allows you to concentrate on areas you do best, while giving you time to network and meet clients. You can even start building a brand in line with your vision and mission to grow your business!

Putting in the Heart Work

Over the years, I have built a solid and closely-knitted team of leaders and consultants who are passionate high-achievers. We work hard and play hard together. We share success stories and stand by each other to overcome challenges. Ultimately I believe that if you put yourself in the shoes of others, to understand the situation they are in, you will be sincere in helping them and this builds trust and stronger relationships. This applies to both your colleagues and your clients.

Ms Eunice Yuen is an avid entrepreneur, currently managing a group of over 100 financial consultants and a team of 10 agency leaders. To find out more about Ms Eunice Yuen, please visit her Facebook Page or email eunice@jcorganisation.sg

6 Career Tips You Have to Know Before Starting Your First Job

Career First Job

6 Career Tips You Have to Know Before Starting Your First Job

Congratulations to all graduates! Are you excited about what’s next? What are your plans? Applying for your dream job? Starting out on your own?

Well, I can still remember my first job interview after graduation. I was excited and nervous. Though I was prepared, I just couldn’t help feeling the butterflies in my stomach. I couldn’t really recall what I said during the interview but I successfully landed myself a role in the company.

I think most people will be like me, ending up having an “ok” job. You will go to work, do what you have to do from 9 to 6, then return home or hang out with friends, and do it all over again the next day.

Taking Steps to be Different

Frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. But for me, I didn’t want to drag myself out of bed every Monday. I didn’t want to keep myself busy with meaningless tasks at work. I asked myself, how did others do it differently to reach management positions by their early 30s or even achieve financial freedom, while everyone else was still trying to “work their way up”?

I made that decision to leave my comfort zone, switching to something entirely different. That was the time I began jumping out of bed every morning, excited about the day ahead. I also understood that I could impact others through my work and get rewarded for helping others. I started to have more control over my life.

So before you start your first job, I would like to share my tips and experiences with you, hoping that these will help you jumpstart your career to achieve your goals in life. Here goes!

1. Manage Your Job like You’re the Business Owner.

Nowadays, you can’t keep waiting for the boss to tell you what to do. If you want to grow your career, you’ve to think and act like a business owner. You need to “own” your job, own your roles and responsibilities by putting yourself in the shoes of a business owner, and react as any owner would do. Be truly passionate in what you do. This will actually push you to learn faster and go the extra mile to get things done.

2. Don’t Take the Normal Path.

Face it. You won’t be noticed if you take the same approach everyone else takes. Merely submitting an online resume and expecting to land yourself in your dream job, which hundreds of people are competing for, is not going to work. You have to give people what they want before they ask from you. Show that you can bring value even before you get the job by studying the company and providing feasible suggestions to fill the gaps. That’s how you stand out.

3. Choose the Boss You Want to Work with.

Your boss won’t only be shaping your experience in a company, but may also become the mentor who directs your entire career. He or she will provide you with the opportunities and tools you need for personal development and growth. They may even guide you away from mistakes that can cost you years of wasted time and effort. Besides, being around successful people in your field will also get you into their “inner circle” if you can prove your capabilities. Surrounding yourself with the right people can lead to more opportunities than any company can ever give you.

People Skills

4. You’ll Need the People Skills.

In the beginning of your career, your technical skills may be what you need to land yourself in your dream job. But as time goes by, those technical skills start to matter less, and how you interact with people starts to matter a lot more. Most people think that if they simply get good enough at their craft, everything will be fine. Yes, it does, but you need to be much more than that. You need to figure out how to add value outside of your role and what your company needs, and give it to them even if they don’t tell you what it is.

5. Stay Hungry for Knowledge.

Are you really “done with studying” the moment you leave school? In reality, almost everything you’ve learned in class can’t be applied in the real world. Successful people read books, attend conferences and talk to others who are doing big things. That’s how they “connect the dots” between seemingly unrelated subjects, and use that insight to create more opportunities. Believing that you can get to almost wherever you want to be, having discipline, and having insecurity about where you are, can secure you a successful and impactful career.

6. Plan for Retirement.

Yes, you are starting your first job but it’s always good to have the end goal in mind. It’ll save you from wasting a lot of time and effort. Many often delay this step, feeling they don’t have sufficient income to make a significant contribution. But they’ll end up starting too late to retire comfortably. It’s okay to start small, and once you establish the habit of contributing money, you can gradually expand your contributions over time. By starting young, you can accumulate through a steady long term wealth building process, and ultimately choose your “job” without worrying about finances.

Ms Eunice Yuen is an avid entrepreneur, currently managing a group of over 100 financial consultants and a team of 10 agency leaders. To find out more about Ms Eunice Yuen, please visit her Facebook Page or email eunice@jcorganisation.sg

Career & Family – How I Discover the Way to Find that Balance

Career & Family – How I Discover the Way to Find that Balance

Are you a working mother? Are you enduring a constant “tug-of-war” between needing to work for a living against wanting to stay at home to take care of your little ones?

Well, you’re not alone…

According to JobStreet.com’s Women in the Workplace Study, a startling 75% of the working mothers surveyed in Singapore spent less than 10 hours with their children during a workweek, which equates to less than two hours per day. Majority of them were worried that they were deprived of their families’ daily lives, with 70% citing that they would quit their jobs if they had the financial means to do so.

Unsurprisingly, work-life (family) balance was ranked as the top challenge faced by working mothers, as cited by 57% of the respondents. The other obstacles were having children while building a career (19%), lack of prospects for career advancement (12%), maternity issues (4%), and gender salary gap (3%).

Hmm, do I face these challenges too? Yes of course! This was especially so at the initial stage when I started building my business. Time was never enough and it sometimes involved long hours of work, urgent meetings throughout the day etc.

How My Career as a Financial Consultant makes me a Better Mum

But, did you know that being a financial consultant actually helps working mothers like us overcome these issues? That was what I found out…

Career Balance

1. I’ve more control over my time.
One of the best things about being a financial consultant is having control over our time schedules. Many people misunderstand the “flexible” hours being a financial consultant. When we can plan and schedule our time well, we can have complete control over how effective we want our day to be.

To me, I always begin with an end in mind. Everyone wants to have work-life balance but to achieve that, we have to work first and then find the balance along the way. So, I will always apply priority management before time management. Everyone has 24 hours each day. Instead of complaining that time is not enough, why not review on what is important and manage the time you need to do each priority?

2. I become more financially conscious.
Like it or not, many families break down due to lack of financial planning in the event of an emergency. Being in the financial industry, we become more self-conscious and seek to manage our own household finances effectively.

I am a planner at heart and I enjoy helping people to think through their short and long-term goals and work out how to achieve them. Obviously, that also translates into my own personal finances, whether it is about managing our family budget or planning for the kids.

3. It allows me to stay relevant.
Some women sacrifice their careers for their children in their growing-up years and when their children start to have their own friends and social lives, these mothers feel empty or even experience “communication breakdowns” with their kids. Leaving the workforce for too long may make it difficult for us to impart life skills or practical experiences that are relevant in this fast-changing society to our kids.

As a financial consultant, our work is about communication and it is our way of life. The people we meet and the experiences we gain are practical life skills we can share with our children.

4. This career is retrenchment-proof.
Financial consultants are like entrepreneurs as we have almost full control over how we manage our business. We may work long hours, but we can decide how we want to work. It’s like driving a car. We can choose to be on “high gear” while at the start-up phase but once we built a solid foundation, we can go on a “cruising” mode to take things slow. We choose when to retire and will never be retrenched!

Time is Never Enough – Focus on Quality
Everybody has the same amount of time every day. So invest in quality over quantity. There are going to be days you focus more on work, and days when you focus more on being a mother. There is no routine. The important thing is spending quality time with them, understanding their needs and interests, and engaging in activities that build family bonds.

In addition, if you work, you will cherish the time you have with your kids and appreciate it more. Make a point to be there for the important things. For me, I block out important dates and times which I will give my full attention to my loved ones, like wedding anniversary, my daughters’ birthdays or school graduations. I also choose to communicate and share my work with them, so they can understand, complement and help when I need to be at work.

Pursuing Your Passions

Despite the challenges faced, I would still encourage fellow mothers to pursue your passions. Balancing work and family life will never be the easiest thing in the world. Even today, it is still challenging for me to be my best at work and the best mother at home. But I try to manage and balance myself both physically and mentally by focusing on my priority at that moment and having the discipline to always spend quality time together.

At work, I build a community where like-minded working mums can share our challenges and provide support for each other. It is always assuring and comforting when you know that you’re not facing this problem alone as others may have similar issues like yours. This pushes us to become extraordinary mothers.

Most importantly, I still get a lot of satisfaction from what I do which makes this balancing act all worthwhile! I hope you’ll find yours too!

Ms Eunice Yuen is an avid entrepreneur, currently managing a group of over 100 financial consultants and a team of 10 agency leaders. To find out more about Ms Eunice Yuen, please visit her Facebook Page or email eunice@jcorganisation.sg

How Solo Travelling Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

solo traveller

How Solo Travelling Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

Oh we are mid-way through 2018 already! Are you graduating and planning for a well-deserved graduation trip? Or are you a working adult pondering on taking a break from work to recharge?

Wait! If you still have not found the right buddy or travel mates, why not try something different this time by considering a solo trip to explore the uncharted terrain? I believe you’d have heard many stories about how travelling solo can be a life-changing experience. The fear to make that move is always there, especially as we Singaporeans are always so “overprotected”. I understand because I’ve been in that situation before.

That is why in 2013, I finally mustered the courage to make that bold move of travelling alone to South America for two weeks covering Argentina, Peru, and Brazil. Many discouraged me to go solo especially when it was only me, a lady travelling to such a far place like South America. But I took some calculated risk after doing some research and went ahead!

A Trip Full of Learning Experiences

Besides admiring the awe-inspiring natural sceneries like the Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil, and the Colca Valley in Peru, I had to be wary because of the high crime rates there. It was a trip where I was on my own, in a foreign place with practically no safety net. It was just me, my backpack and a dusty trail. (Isn’t an entrepreneurial journey the same where it’s just you, your ideas and how you turn them into reality?)

It was a trip about constant learning and finding a path within the uncertainty of changing conditions. It was during the trip that I discovered and learned valuable lessons that helped me become better at what I do.

Regardless of whether you’re a fresh graduate or a working adult, if the thought of starting out on your own has been lingering in your mind for a while, I hope these lessons can encourage you to make that bold move like how I did.

1. Having an open mind.

I did not know what to expect but yet was excited to experience what was ahead. Immersing in a culture I was unfamiliar with gave me the freedom to go in with an open mind and experience everything as it came my way. Just like entrepreneurship, the courage to go out solo and do our own things is inside us. All we need is to look deep within and find it. We won’t plunge into something with a perception that we’ll fail if it was something we truly believe in and have done enough research on it.

2. Getting out of my comfort zone and rediscovering myself.

As a solo traveller, we are constantly being placed outside our comfort zone. I used to be very fearful of loneliness. This unique experience taught me to love myself more and strengthen myself from inside out. Just like starting our own business, it requires us to always be out of our comfort zone. We have to tackle new things all the time and we cannot let stress and anxiety affect our thoughts and decision making.

3. Ability to adapt to changes.

Being in an unfamiliar environment alone somehow taught me to become adaptable to the surroundings, the people and the food. Similar to managing our own business, we need to constantly try new things and ways to work. Things go wrong at times, but there’s no time to be upset as we’re still exploring an amazing journey. We accept things, seek solutions and make the best out of it. It pushes me to be a problem solver to conquer new challenges and become more independent.

My Greatest Achievement from the Trip?

I’d believe that hiking up the Machu Picchu in Peru was indeed a wonderful experience for me. This UNESCO world-historic site is located on a mountain ridge at an altitude of 2,430 metres above sea level. Getting up there came with a risk of getting altitude sickness, and to reduce that risk, I spent extra time at each level, to allow my body to acclimate to a new altitude.

Sometimes during our entrepreneurial journey, we do need to pause and rethink our strategies forward at certain stages to achieve the best possible outcomes. And the result?

Well, I managed to reach the site and experienced the most amazing serenity and embraced solitude. I was surprised by how my tiny body could actually brave through the tough challenges to conquer the quest. This hike brought great improvement to my mental well-being. Ultimately, it was all in the mind!

Safety Tips for Female Solo Travellers

We do face some challenges when we leave the comfort zone of home. This is especially so for us as women as we are bound to face more problems than men when we travel. But with careful planning and applying some street smarts can minimise the risks that we may face.

Always ask for help when in need but always trust your instinct. If a deal is too good to be true, or when you meet someone overly nice, they usually have other motives. Stay away.

Ensure that you’ve travel insurance. It always comes in handy in the event of an emergency. Lastly, stay sober at all times and if possible, learn some basic self-defence tactics.

In actual fact, a truly solo trip doesn’t exist. You’ll meet and interact with new people. You’ll learn about them, their culture, their lives, and gradually make new friends along the way. This is truly opening yourself up to new things and the true value of a solo trip.

Ms Eunice Yuen is an avid entrepreneur, currently managing a group of over 100 financial consultants and a team of 10 agency leaders. To find out more about Ms Eunice Yuen, please visit her Facebook Page or email eunice@jcorganisation.sg

How to Hit Your Money Milestones in Your 30s

milestones

How to Hit Your Money Milestones in Your 30s

Are you hitting your big 3 soon? Or are you already midway through your 30s? Well somehow, there’s something about being in our 30s that feels more adult, agree?
In our 30s, we’re at a life stage where we can invest in quality things that last. It can be a wardrobe of good nice clothes, quality furnishing for the home, a club or gym membership to keep us fit or go on good holidays that help us recharge.
That was also the time when I became financially independent from my parents and began contributing towards taking care of them for what they’ve done in raising me all these years.

Have you Started Planning?

Sounds too idealistic? I know, being in our 30s doesn’t mean we’ve everything worked out, be it in finances or life. And that’s okay. However the earlier we keep in mind our overall financial state, the better prepared we would be to reach later goals across different ages.
You may have heard a lot about the money milestones you should be hitting by the time you reach your 30s. However, are you wondering how you can unlock these milestones to achieve the financial success or freedom you desire?
Depending on how much you earn and your expenses, these shorter-term goals can mean different things. There is no one path that fits all, but hopefully by sharing these milestones and how to achieve them can help guide you to success as you get older. Good luck!

1. Stable Stream of Income

In our 30s, we should’ve already established a strong career with a relatively stable income, either as a specialist in a professional field of work or a leader/management role to lead and impact the lives of others.

Achieving it …
It may take a succession of jobs before we land one that gives us the opportunity for future advancement. Sometimes it may be a matter of seeking a career outside of our field of study. Whatever route you take to that desired role and income, finding one is truly a milestone and keep searching if you have not found your true passion.

2. At least Six Months’ worth of Expenses for Emergency Fund

Depending on your financial commitments, setting aside money from your income with discipline is very important. An emergency fund for rainy days (at least 6 months of essential expenses) allows us to always have something to fall back on when we need it.

Achieving it …
Always maintain a healthy financial state by keeping healthy savings and expenses in check. In our 30s, we shouldn’t be controlled by impulsive purchases. Be clear of things that are really necessary over things that are of luxury. We should only be using credit cards for the convenience and ensure that we pay our bills on time in full (banks will hate me! Ha) and use the right cards for the perks.
By setting money aside, we are also getting ready for any big purchase items like property that may come along the way.

3. Adequate Insurance Coverage

Life is unpredictable. You don’t want to be caught off-guard. Having adequate insurance coverage and keeping a balanced portfolio in insurance and savings is a big form of responsibility, acting like a financial safety net and certainly a milestone to hit in your adulthood.

Achieving it …
Start by considering what your priorities are. Are you looking to secure higher hospitalisation coverage? Are you an adventure seeker who needs extra assurance? Or are you preparing for your child’s education needs? Your answers will guide you on the type of insurance you need.

4. Planning for a Family

Starting out a family requires financial planning as a couple. It means setting aside money for a wedding, a home, and having children etc. As having a family is part of settling down, it marks a major life (and financial) milestone for us.
Achieving it…
Finding a method that works best for both keeps a healthy and happy relationship! Make sure that both of you are on the same page when it comes to financial planning and goals, as that will minimise the money squabbles that may happen.

5. Starting to Build Your Net Worth and Planning for Retirement

The race goes to the swift. The earlier you kickstart your retirement plan, the higher the success rate that plan will be. And simply taking that first step is one of the greatest financial milestones in life.

Achieving it …
Retirement may seem too far away to be envisioned but it can also be an early option with planning. Many often delay this step, feeling they don’t have sufficient income to make a significant contribution. But when it comes to investing, especially long-term investing, getting started is more essential than how much you begin with.
It’s okay to start small, and once you establish the habit of contributing money, you can gradually expand your contributions over time. It’s always good to start young so you can accumulate through a steady long-term wealth building process.

Have You Achieved these Milestones?

It’s always good to start making a conscious effort in financial planning. It can be just building that discipline in setting aside for savings. This step alone will build up and go a long way for you.
It’s never too late to start. The important thing is to start now.

Ms Eunice Yuen is an avid entrepreneur, currently managing a group of over 100 financial consultants and a team of 10 agency leaders. To find out more about Ms Eunice Yuen, please visit her Facebook Page or email eunice@jcorganisation.sg.

7 Habits I Started in my 20s that Prepare me to Retire at Age 45

Retire

7 Habits I Started in my 20s that Prepare me to Retire at Age 45

Is it really possible to retire at 45 in Singapore? How can it be done? At 45, it seems like it’s not an option with the complicated financial responsibilities and debts, not to mention the little ones who need you to keep on working…

However, retirement to me is to be debt-free and I don’t have to keep working to pay off loans. Work is an option and I can lead the lifestyle I want. I’ll have assets that give me regular income through growing my insurance business, investments and properties. I gave myself a 20-year goal when I first joined the financial industry. And the results? I am almost there…

Financial Freedom is Achievable

I did not come from a rich family. My father was a civil servant in a support administration role, and my mother, a housewife. However, they were the ones who first taught me about money. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not investment experts, but they always told us to save our pocket money for rainy days and not to seek instant results. Staying disciplined and prudent with money was instilled in me since young.

When I switched to the financial industry from an engineering job, it was then when I realised that achieving financial freedom did not seem like a “Mission Impossible”. I discovered that through money planning and financial aptitude, it is absolutely possible.

Don’t roll your eyes yet though I know this is the umpteenth time you hear this. Granted, some things are simply easier said than done, so that’s why getting into good habits while you’re young is so imperative. Here, I’ll be sharing 7 life hacks I learned in my 20s that prepare me to retire at an early age. I hope they can land you on a better path to achieving financial freedom. If I managed to do it, so can you!

1. Disciplined Savings

Saving even a small amount in your 20s will set you up for a lifetime of financial success. I learned that it is important to have a disciplined saving plan from our income. Many people choose to spend first then save the rest, I chose the opposite approach. Living below our means and keeping to a budget enables me to put my money aside to good use.

2. Spend Money Wisely

Cash flow is one of the most important things to be aware of, especially in your 20s. You need to know where your money is going. Make sure that you don’t spend money on depreciating liabilities but rather spend it on appreciating assets. These assets may be savings insurance, stocks, properties or even a side business, which enable you to build multiple streams of income.

3. Taking Risks

When we’re in our 20s, don’t be afraid to try new things and dare to dream… and dream big! We‘ve nothing much to lose anyway. Having an open and curious mind is vital to accelerate our learning curve. You’ve to challenge the status quo to gain the freedom to grow. The reality is, if you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’re just trying to do it faster or cheaper. If I had not stepped out of my comfort zone to start exploring options, I wouldn’t have learned so much. It’s the calculated risks that creates wealth to realise one’s dream.

4. Do Things You’re Passionate about and Persevere

I believe that passion, perseverance and a positive attitude set successful people apart from the rest. A successful person has to love what he or she does. You may be an employee or an entrepreneur, passion is the key that keeps the business and company going. And with passion, you’ll most probably persevere to achieve the goals you set.

5. Plan & Move

To fail to plan is to plan to fail. In what is one of the most commonly imparted adages of this era, we are constantly reminded of the importance of having a plan in order to succeed. But it’s true, we have to plan and execute it conscientiously. We learn and make changes to improve along the way. You’ve to be always on the move, ever ready to take action.

6. Kill the Thief of Time – Procrastination

To be honest, everybody procrastinates. And it is always the biggest hurdle as it’s always easier to say “let’s do it tomorrow”. This slows us down and makes us lose momentum. Overcome it by always planning ahead, set realistic goals daily and check those tasks at the end of the day. Make every day count. Why? Because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

7. Make a lot of Mistakes

Regardless of what society would’ve you believe, our 20s are the best years to make mistakes. We should not be afraid to make mistakes because every mistake is a learning experience. With fewer responsibilities, it’s always easier for us to start over. Failures are often crucial in finding what really works for us, so fret not.

What will I do after “Retirement” at 45?

A lot of people asked me this question. Simply put, I want to do what I love to do. I hope to work with young people and aspiring entrepreneurs to develop them to become as successful, if not more successful than myself. I would love to spend some quality time exploring the world with my family and 2 daughters, while teaching them the right values and skills. I would also want to participate in missionary work to help the less fortunate children. I believe that learning and sharing is a lifelong journey and I’ll continue to acquire knowledge that enables me to grow.

Contributed by Ms Eunice Yuen

Ms Eunice Yuen is a Group Agency Manager, currently leading a group of over 100 financial consultants and a team of 10 agency leaders.

What I Discovered About the Millennials Can Make Them Great Entrepreneurs

Millennials

What I Discovered About the Millennials Can Make Them Great Entrepreneurs

(The following are personal thoughts, views and opinions of Eunice Yuen)

During the course of my work, I have had the opportunity to meet many millennials. They may be my clients who seek my advice on wealth management and financial independence, or colleagues who provide professional financial advice to others. They are mainly in their mid-20s to early 30s.

Over the last two decades, I noticed that the financial industry is changing. It is fostering a completely new environment and a new breed of advisors (made up of the millennials!). In the past, financial consultants’ job was simply to sell products to their clients to meet sales targets. However, things are no longer the same now.

What financial consultants really do

Now, we are not only salespeople but can be seen as experts in our field of specialisation. Our job is to understand the needs of our clients, and tap on our knowledge and experience to provide advice and recommendations that can guide them to achieve their financial objectives.

We are in turn rewarded by our clients for our services, rather than the products we sell. We act like doctors or lawyers who are typically seen as advisory-based.

Think like an entrepreneur

This change is partly fuelled by the ease of access to information on the internet. People are now more educated and aware than ever before, resulting in this evolution of the financial industry. However, this new environment acts as a perfect platform for those who think like entrepreneurs, and this new breed of entrepreneurial financial consultants have to operate with a different mindset.

Instead of perceiving our careers as based on sales or meeting quotas, we will act like entrepreneurs, concentrating on being consultants who can create value for our clients rather than focusing on sales or fitting into a broader financial workplace. This gives us more flexibility and “room to play” when partnering our clients to impact their lives. Reaching sales goals are secondary in helping our clients make the best decisions for their future.

What makes millennials great entrepreneurs?

They are often labelled as individuals who are self-entitled, lazy or too liberal, but my interaction with this unique generation actually surprises me. I have had the chance to clear my misconceptions about them and understand them deeper.

And guess what? I actually discovered some qualities that make them great entrepreneurs or even great entrepreneurial financial consultants!

1. Keen sense of purpose
Millennials are not simply looking for a respected title in an organisation, but also how he or she can contribute in a bigger way to society. If they find that the work they are doing is not satisfying their needs of their career development, it will be difficult for them to find a reason to stay. As an entrepreneurial financial consultant, their mission is to help clients facing financial difficulties or help them achieve their financial objectives. The desire to create a purposeful product or service marries well with millennials’ need to find meaning in the things they do.

2. Working smart
Some may say that millennials are lazy but I feel that they somehow just manage to find ways to accomplish their goals with the least amount of effort and time. They will think out of the box to diligently find ways to do things that can create impact and deliver results. They will take the shortest path and use as much leverage as possible to work smart, and sometimes hard, to efficiently achieve the goals they set.

3. Driven and willing to learn
Contrary to what people believe, millennials are not afraid of criticism. They actually want feedback. They are looking for personal development, and seek the opportunity to learn and grow. They reject status quo and push themselves to become better. They are never comfortable settling with what they have, instead they constantly question themselves on what can be improved. This enables them to respond well to changes, ensuring that they stay relevant and knowledgeable.

4. Social and tech-savvy
Many millennials are digital natives and savvy in social media. They understand that influence is currency, and know how to tap on the channels where this new currency is most valuable. Using social media is second nature to them. They can easily use social platforms to build both business and personal branding, which is an essential skill for success in today’s world.

Why become an entrepreneurial financial consultant?

Personally, I feel that there has never been a better time in the history of business for financial consultants. The beauty of being an entrepreneurial consultant is the flexibility. You choose the target market you want to serve and manage your own branding. What we provide is the platform that gives you the training to handle the target market of your choice. You no longer need to fit into someone else’s “box” to succeed in the financial world. It is all about your clients.

You will be free to serve as a true consultant, and not simply advising on which financial product they should buy. When you focus on advice and guidance, you can really learn how to become an expert on people. You can slowly craft your skills and gradually, you will find that sales come naturally, while you are busy helping your clients become happier, more fulfilled individuals.

You may soon find yourself advising clients on new nutrition to try, books to read or ways to improve concentration training. How great does that sound?

Our business is about making you successful.

Contributed by Ms Eunice Yuen

Eunice is a Group Agency Manager with Prudential, leading a group of over 100 financial consultants and a team of 10 agency leaders. She recently clinched the Top Group Agency of the Year Award and she remains committed to bring out the best in you and help you achieve your financial success.

Life Skills I Want My Daughters to Learn Early that Will Benefit them for Life

Supermum

Life Skills I Want My Daughters to Learn Early that Will Benefit them for Life

I have two young and beautiful daughters. As parents, I believe we all want our kids to have the best. We want them to be happy, healthy, and successful in life. Sometimes, I wonder how I can best prepare them for their future. And perhaps, one of the best ways I can do is to impart the right values and educate them about financial literacy from an early age.

Personally, I feel that this is one lesson that they will unlikely learn in school and they should not only learn it as adults in the school of hard knocks. During the course of my work, I have seen many families struggling with their finances. Although we can prepare our children financially by planning for them or setting money aside for them, what is better than to equip them with financial knowledge and skills that will benefit them for life? And by teaching my children the value of money, it helps to instill a sense of responsibility about money — and not take it for granted.

Cultivating good financial habits and helping them understand the value of money from a young age can make a huge difference when they grow up. Therefore, explaining how to save, budget, invest and plan for the future is one of the most important skills we can impart to them.

So when should we start?

We can introduce the concept of money to them when they are toddlers. It should not be a taboo subject and one of the things I will do to get them money savvy is to shop with them and let them learn how to handle money. For instance, when my elder girl requests for some toys, I will try to explain if that is within our budget. It is teaching her delayed gratification. She knows she has to wait for her birthday or Christmas to get some of the toys she wants – and that is if she behaves.

According to a research, children are developmentally capable of saving when they are as young as five or six, and their developmental gains at this age may give them the economic knowledge and behaviours they require as adults. I see this as a pivotal time. So by then, you can also talk to them about savings and how interest works. Encourage your children to start the habit of putting money away for the future early (maybe to get their favourite toys).

Teaching them the concept of investment

Yes, teaching kids about investment can start really young. Though this concept may seem “too big for young kids to swallow”, we can always relate it to something tangible and easier for them. You can praise them when they finish a piece of art work by saying, “Wow, you invested time and effort in this and it looks amazing.”

Another way to introduce this concept is through an activity like planting seeds. You can help your child plant some seeds in a flowerpot. Talk about the time the plant needs to grow and the water you need to “invest” in it to get a pretty sunflower or a tomato at the end in “return”.

Actions can speak louder than words

Try to lead by example when it comes to kids and money. They inherit many of your financial beliefs subconsciously. When you visit a shop with your kids and they see dollar notes leave your wallet, they visualise it and gain a better understanding. So spend money wisely in front of your kids.

Though money is a tool, it is related to many things in life. You want them to be spending on things that can create value when they grow up, rather than worrying about how they are going to pay off their debts. If your kids simply expect pocket money at the end of every week, you may not be doing it right. Instead, emphasise that the amount they receive will be based on the scope of their labour, for instance helping out with the household chores or helping someone in need.

Imparting the Right Values

I feel that the good thing about teaching our kids about financial literacy is that we can also nurture other life values along the way.

Through money management, children can learn about setting goals and making responsible and informed decisions. They will plan more consciously when they want to buy the things they want, and cultivate patience when they experience delayed gratification. This is all part of their character-building process that will benefit them for a lifetime.

And most importantly, these activities promote family bonding as we all learn and share thoughts together!

Not paper-chasing

I believe that the acquisition of knowledge and skills goes beyond paper qualifications. I will not encourage my children to chase for good grades in school simply to secure a good paying job in the future.

Like Jack Ma once told his son, “you don’t need to be in the top three in your class, being in the middle is fine, so as long as your grades aren’t too bad. Only this kind of person has enough free time to learn other skills.”

I feel that although academic achievements are important, it should not be the main priority in life. Learning is a lifelong journey and the important thing is to make this journey interesting and exciting for my children, so that they can be equipped with the right values and the practical life skills and mindset to overcome any challenges in life.

Ultimately, watching our kids grow happily and healthily is what all mothers hope for, don’t you agree?

Eunice