Tag: Commitment

Meet my Virtual Friend – Mr. Nelson Wong


Mr. Nelson Wong and I connected on Ecademy, around the year 2004.  We haven’t yet spoken to each other or virtually or physically shaken hands.  We still consider each other as respected friends whose views we like to read and understand.  Ecademy was a great platform where I learnt “ Connections first – Business Later” and I later added – Business may or may not happen ever but we shall acquire a friend. And Indeed, Ecademy had a campaign called a Friend in Every City which was very popular.

When I requested, Nelson about my sort of inactive blog since 2004 which I had re-activated without any SEO or HTML, CSS knowledge and it was going to touch 100,000 views and I wish to interview and share 20 of my friends, colleagues, mentees, Mentors, Seniors – he readily agreed.

He also helped me with the editing of the interview as this is the first time I am doing these and I am grateful for his help for helping with this edition of the said interview.

 

So who is Mr. Nelson Wong?

Nelson wong.jpg

Mr. Nelson Wong was born in Singapore. He is married. By way of education, he did his BS in Computer Science & in Business Administration, both at the University at Albany, New York.  By profession he is a trade & data analyst in international trade & finance. He is also an e-Business owner of a start-up – www.jnellyns.com.

He has almost four decades of working experience in IT in the soft commodities, precious metals, oil & gas, accounting & forestry products sectors. He was also an external consultant & international trade analyst with the UNECE/FAO, Geneva, Switzerland, for 9 years.

His critique of current politics in USA is incisive, precise and very authentic.  I enjoy reading his posts on Facebook.

 

 

  1. What motivated you to become what you ARE today?

 

  1. Family background. Growing up in a lower income family motivated me to break out of that poverty cycle. A poverty cycle can become a self-feeding vicious cycle, if you don’t break out of it.
  2. This gave me the tools that I needed to move forward & ahead.
  3. They gave me the encouragement to become what I dare to be today.

 

  1. What is the greatest joy you get from what you do?

 

  1. Seeing what I do accomplished its purpose. Having a purpose in what I do is important to me. Otherwise, it’ll drain me instead of driving me.
  2. In almost everything that I do, I learned something new. This gives me joy too.
  3. The ability to share with others about what I’ve learned. Sometimes, knowledge is very much like manure. Keep it in one place & it benefits nobody. Spread it around & everybody gets a slice of the action.

 

  1. What do your fans mean to you?

 

  1. Not much. My focus has always been on the task at hand.
  2. While I’ve no problems working as a member of a team, I’ve always enjoyed working alone.
  3. While I appreciate having friends who will encourage me in what I do, I’m not too much into building a fan base. I don’t have a celebrity mindset.

 

  1. What are you working on next?

 

This is provided that I can actually call it a day anytime soon. I’ve always wanted to design a system in bringing water into dry or arid regions or areas undergoing droughts. Believe me, it’s a matter of time before some countries go to war over fresh drinking water. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” We’ve also seen the horrific effects of droughts around the world over the last few years due to climate change. The recent fires in California is a stark reminder that we need water & we need it fast. Climate change is real & it’s becoming deadly.

 

  1. Who are your favourite authors?

 

This is a very good question. I actually don’t have any favorite authors apart from JRR Tolkien. I’ve a collection of about 2,000 books in both hardcopy & softcopy versions. Many of them were written by a mixed bag of authors. I normally read what I need to read & learn something, from data science to programming & from photography to playing the bass guitar.

 

  1. Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

One of the first was “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling. I was a cub scout then & we were encouraged to read this book to understand the birth of the Boy Scouts movement. I’ve always loved animals & nature, so this story made me appreciate them even more.

  1. How do you discover the authors you read?

Usually through research & also through recommendations in technical papers & reviews, as well as in trade magazines. As I’ve said before, I’m skewed more towards subject matters than towards the authors themselves.

  1. What are your five favourite books, and why?

 

  1. The R Book by Michael J. Crawley – This is a favorite reference book of mine in R language programming. It’s almost like a Bible to me as I’ve been programming in R for only 2 years.
  2. Financial Risk Modelling & Portfolio Optimization with R by Bernhard Pfaff – This is a favorite reference book of mine in understanding financial data science from an R programmer’s prospective.
  3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien – I can hardly think of anyone whose writings that could challenge & stretch the human imagination just as much as JRR Tolkien’s.
  4. Music Theory for the Bass Player by Ariane Cap – A very helpful & enlightening book in merging music theory with fingering (finger aerobics) in a very logical & progressive fashion, for bass guitar players.
  5. Various books on photography & travels by the National Geographic Society. These books helped to broaden my mind & enlarge my vision. Very hard to read these books without their amazing photographs embedding themselves inside my mind, for almost a lifetime.

 

  1. What do you read for pleasure?

 

Reading & browsing through books on travels, nature, animals, photography & music.

 

  1. What is your e-reading device of choice?

 

It has to be my iPad mini. I’ve up to 100 of my favorite books in my iPad & at my age, it’s also much easier to read the news from my iPad than from my cell phone.

 

  1. What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

 

I think of it more as an ingrown self-discipline than an inspiration. I used to get up at 5:30am in the morning while growing up in SE Asia. Now that I’m working from home, I still get up at between 5:45am to 6:15am in the morning, even on weekends.

 

  1. When you’re not working, how do you spend your time?

 

Spending time with the family to create memories, listening to music, playing the bass guitar, going for nature walks, nature photography & catching up with friends in church on weekends. Apart from a good movie & watching the news, I’d avoid watching any TV at all. And of course, I still take my wife to the movies, romantic dinners & shopping every now & then.

 

  1. Do you have some work and rest related non-negotiable rules?

 

I spend up to 12 hours a day working on my eBusiness & my consultancy business. I’ll take a catnap after lunch if I can spare the time. Other than that, no work is to be done after 10pm & weekends. Weekends are for the wife. I take over the things she would have to do otherwise on weekends.

 

  1. Do you remember the first assignment you ever did?

 

Well, as a fresh computer science graduate, one of my first assignments was in data entry at an infamous investment bank in New York City in the early 80’s. I say “infamous” because this bank was liquidated & shut down later. And some of the bosses went to prison. No prizes for guessing here.

 

  1. What is your working process?

 

I tend to spend a lot of time on planning. I want to know if the task before me can be done within the time & with the resources I have in hand. I want to know what am I supposed to deliver. If there are constraints, I like to know where or what are the compromises that I’ve to make. I want to know what is the objective or purpose behind the task. I want to know who are all the stake-holders involved. So my working process is a bit like creating a mind map or running an ERP system inside my head.

 

  1. What is your unique Work Style?

 

  1. Always under promise & over deliver.
  2. Always document everything.
  3. Remember a good income is important but a good outcome is much more important.

 

  1. What is your approach and how do you Plan the Finishing touches to the work?

 

From the very onset, I’d try to visualize & imagine what the final deliverables would be like. From there, I’ll try to work backwards in streamlining the processes in factoring in the finishing touches. In working with any clients, I’d query them on their expectations & on what kind of deliverables or end results would they expect to see. If your clients cannot verbalize their expectations, you’ll end up working with a moving goal post.

 

  1. Please describe your desk.

 

A very respectable & decent organized mess, seriously.

 

  1. Where did you grow up, and did this influence your business, If Yes – How?

 

No. I grew up in SE Asia in the 70’s. In those days, I doubt anyone knew what a computer was, unless they were working in a bank or a major organization. To be fair, neither eBusiness nor big data existed anywhere back then. It was a girlfriend of a good friend of mine who introduced me to the world of computer science. She was doing her first year in computer science at Monash University then.

 

  1. When did you first started what you do?

 

Shortly after I got married in the mid-80’s. I realized that there was little financial security in working for somebody else. Worse, if I was working for a family business, which I did a few times. The lack of financial security & an absence of a career path in these companies awakened a deep desire within me to start my own business & put my nose to the grindstone. In striking out on my own as an entrepreneur in the early days were fraught with disappointments. There were many challenges. At one point, I decided that it was best to get a full-time job & worked on my business in the evenings & weekends, until I was really ready. Since then, I’ve been on my own for the last 10 years. It was quite a journey. I learned a lot.

 

Thank you, Mr. Nelson Wong.

Random Phrases, My Day and Creativity


  1. Knuckle Down Meaning: Getting sincere about something; applying oneself seriously to a job.  Two impromptu Ice-breaker speeches – moving towards Goal 1. Did not win prize, got a participation certificate but the pleasure was in audience individuals – rank strangers coming back not just complimenting but quoting me ‘VERBATIM’ and saying, they loved it, they would like to keep in touch, some even said we would like to learn a few things from you. I was humbled. 
  2. Dropping Like Flies Meaning: To fall down ill or to die in large numbers. I wish it does not happen to humans, pests and insects, viruses and diseases is another matter. What I noticed today is the best Evaluators club of Toastmasters had difficulty in filling the hall with audience and participants for the Marathons the Area Directors are planning to hold across city.  One actually said about ATTRITION of members? That was sad.  It said a lot about the lack of leadership and the Pull and Push of the managing committees.  
  3. Man of Few Words Meaning: A person who does not speak a great deal; someone who talks with as few words as possible.  Met an interesting person. He was my speech evaluator. His speciality is being brief and as an extempore impromptu ice breaker speaker who was pushed to speak – I had failed by exceeding the time limit.  He said he will mail his evaluation ! That’s it.  🙂 
  4. Poke Fun At Meaning: Making fun of something or someone; ridicule.  Had this experience. At the end of a dominant communicator speech the speaker did actually did not want any questions. When asked – he asked me to repeat thrice and explain 4 time and I was about to say – “Let’s take this off line as I did not ask this to challenge you but to support your views, just clarifying a point”.  Some Speakers are on their High HOrse ! They feel, they are the only one who can challenge! Anyone asking a question is a lowly minion, dimwit and brainless.  My Professorial hat tells me to answer them – Questions are never stupid – answers are – like mine 🙂 🙂 .  
  5. Hear, Hear Meaning: A shout of agreement, or to draw attention to a speaker. I asked the speaker that when a friend is faced with problems – should I make an appreciative enquiry and find what solutions he has in his mind, as he knows the problems best. Second, is my friend looking for an Affirmation that the solution he has found has my tacit support so that he can try it out with heart? I was taken round and round in derogatory circles with a menacing look on the face by a socalled Guinness Award winner and World Speech champion and I felt very sad for him.  What did I do to hurt his Ego? 
  6. On the Same Page Meaning: Thinking alike or understanding something in a similar way with others.  Sometimes, in a gathering when you wish to say that you are in the same boat, same page, thinking alike – it is best to use non-verbal communication like nodding your head to convey Yes, I agree.  
  7. Swinging For the Fences Meaning: Giving something your all.  One more article coming up in a new club Newsletter which was launched today. Felt great.  Meeting new Chamber of commerce and meeting some very interesting and interested people ( atleast on the face of it) I felt great and felt genuinely that there are things I can do to assist and help.  The new Chairman was receptive and said wants to have a one on one Strategy/ vision statement session.  He said he is a Visual thinker like me, that was pleasing. 
  8. Up In Arms Meaning: Angry; being roused to the point that you are ready to fight.  But I gave up. I saw on Whatsapp the pictures of a poor girl being honored by a sport shoes company and giving them her name as she could not afford them. i felt sad for someone whose dream was ignited, latent wishes brought to fore in my mentoring but had given up on them with diffidence.  I was angry inside but let go. 
  9. Quick and Dirty Meaning: Things that are fixed with great speed, but as a result, it’s probably not going to work very well. Hmmm… it was a busy day, I could have gone and got my Suits overhauled now that I have lost so much weight and bought a new pair of formal shoes as the formal meetings are moving up but I just changed jackets for two occasions – Reminder to self – GO FIX THIS ASAP. 
  10. Mountain Out of a Molehill Meaning: One who escalates small things and turns them into big problems.  I found a senior evaluator indulging in overstatements, exaggerations, over praise, excessive acting skills show and was bit turned off.  Then I met him one on one for about 7 minutes, got his life story out and realised that even at our late age – the need to RECOGNITION is so high that NAME AUR FAME KE LIYE KUCHH BHI KAREGA i.e. I’ll do any thing to get name and fame. I quietly agreed to disagreed and moved on to another person by saying “Sorry, Sir, I do not wish to monopolise you, others also need your kind attention”. Thank you.

Random Phrases, Creativity, My Day !


  1. Like Father Like Son Meaning: Resembling one’s parents in terms of appearance or behavior.  Yes. The receding hairline on my forehead and rear part of head do make me resemble like my father but he was dark brown, I am pale brown in skin – may be because my mom was fair skinned. 
  2. Back To the Drawing Board Meaning: Starting over again on a new design from a previously failed attempt. To work on the three goals Speaking, Writing, Learning is he only focus. No more mentoring. No more Freebies or free advice to anyone.  
  3. Playing For Keeps Meaning: Said when things are about to get serious.  The feedback slips which many of Toastmasters handed me after my icebreaker speech really make me believe that “It all starts with a speech”.  I am enjoying my Udemy speech and body language lessons and practicing to make videos to self correct as far as possible. 
  4. A Piece of Cake Meaning: A task that is simple to accomplish.  I thought making and watching my own video of speech would be easy – It is scary. I find my voice and face manners unacceptable to myself.  
  5. Give a Man a Fish Meaning: It’s better to teach a person how to do something than to do that something for them.  I facilitate many mentees with Equipments as gifts for improving their skills, helping them practice and books to further augment their sharpening of skills.  I truly believe in this phrase. 
  6. Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed Meaning: Someone who isn’t witty or sharp, but rather, they are ignorant, unintelligent, or senseless. I sometimes behave this way. My friend read my article and said Mirthful – I had to look up Google and then I realised it is pronounced MOUTHFUL and is associated with fun and my friend was actually pr  aising me. What a dimwit I am but I learnt new word. 
  7. Fight Fire With Fire Meaning: To retaliate with an attack that is similar to the attack used against you. I am a challenger, and I am not under any attack so I think this is a good phrase but not relevant to me and hope it never comes true. 
  8. Love Birds Meaning: A pair of people who have a shared love for each other.  The number of poems I read on WordPress gives me a sincerely a heart break feeling that we have more lovelorn love lost poets here than love birtds. Would be interesting to know if love birds share poetry with social media?
  9. Drawing a Blank Meaning: Failing to recall a memory. Unable to remember something. That’s usually happening with me especially with names, things. Forgetting to wear a watch, taking keys while going out – small things. Some medication is helping or perhaps not. 
  10. Fish Out Of Water Meaning: Someone being in a situation that they are unfamiliar or unsuited for. That is the sinking feeling I used to get dealing with TAble topics at Toastmasters. Slowiy my fish is finding water and depth 🙂 . 

Wise Coach – Naive Coach


I was reading this commercial from Tony Robbins’ Newsletter ”

When someone asks you for help, how do you respond?

The naive coach tends to “over-commit.”

They feel this heartfelt pressure to help the person, so the say, “Yes! Let me share my solutions with you. I’m committed to your change. Let’s make it happen!”

Why is this naive? Because if you rush in too much as a coach, you might scare the client away!

Or worse yet, you are seen as a “nagging” friend giving them unwanted advice. Ever experience that?

The wise coach knows better. They say, “Great. I’d love to help you.”

Then the wise coach thinks to themselves, “Let’s figure out what kind of client this is.”

You see, there are four different client types. The four types have different goals. They work at different speeds.

And they have completely different expectations for their coach.

When the naive coach “rushes in” to help, they miss out on the client’s type.

They miss what’s really going on.

The wise coach first understands the client’s type, and proceeds accordingly.

Which coach do you think is more effective?

If you ever find yourself giving advice to someone who doesn’t seem to benefit… I have something for you.

Today we will be sharing one of our top strategies for bringing faster, more profound change to coaching clients.

It will also work on anyone in your life who needs your help.”

I come into the later category of coaches – the Naive Coach! I tend to commit fast, stay committed for long and rarely have I failed.

I believe that Flirting Mentor is an Oxymoron just as a term like Naive Coach is, IMHO.   A TRUE coach or mentor is neither naive nor a Flirt ! Serious coaches are Committed people and whether they commit early or later is a matter of their mind’s processes and early or late decision making capabilities/ habits – nothing else!

 

Thursday Mentor – Free Verse by Jay Parkhe


Greed 2.0

Free verse by jay

Because I could not lead with Greed,
it did kindly lead for me.
Greed, Greed, every where,
Yet not a Rupee to lead.

I cannot help but stop and look at the Alchoholic’s selfishness.
Does the selfishness make you shiver?
does it?

Pay attention to the stupid,
stupidity is the most brilliant fault of all.
Stupidity is glorious. stupidity are bright,
stupids are smart as a whip, however.

Pay attention to the egotists,
egotists are the most zany vanity of all.
Do egotists make you shiver?
do they?

Random Phrases today with Creativity boosters for the day.


Great Sunday.  5th meeting of Toastmasters in 3rd Club of Bangalore. Young, vibrant crowd mixed with some bearded oldies and middle aged Techies.

  1. Love Birds Meaning: A pair of people who have a shared love for each other. No. did not happen. Day of course, began different. 
  2. Jaws of Death Meaning: Being in a dangerous or very deadly situation.  No. Not really. Saw a Premier movie for a while but did not experience it 🙂 
  3. Two Down, One to Go Meaning: Two things have been completed, but there is one more that has yet to be finished. Yes. Today’s short walk left the Udemy course study unfinished for the day .
  4. No Ifs, Ands, or Buts Meaning: Finishing a task without making any excuses. Experienced this later in the day with two Excuse Masters cleverly negotiating with each other. 
  5. Right Off the Bat Meaning: Immediately, done in a hurry; without delay. Yes. without any inhibition responded emails and gave guidance to even a mail marked FYI 🙂 🙂 . Lessons repeated in Communications. 
  6. Break The Ice Meaning: Breaking down a social stiffness.  Great speeches by two youngsters and one International Humorist champs at Toastmasters. The breaking the ice speech was literally great. 
  7. A Chip on Your Shoulder Meaning: Being angry about something that happened in the past. Yes. I still carry one anger chip on my shoulder. 
  8. Shot In the Dark Meaning: An attempt that has little chance for success.  no like hope taking shot in the dark is not part of my strategy. 
  9. Let Her Rip Meaning: Permission to start, or it could mean ‘go faster!’  If the brainfog is gone and wiser sense prevails – you don’t need any permission. 
  10. Wake Up Call Meaning: An occurance of sorts that brings a problem to somebody’s attention and they realize it needs fixing.  Hmmm… will wait and watch though. 
  11. Keep Your Shirt On Meaning: Keeping calm. Usually said by someone who is trying to avoid making others upset.  Yes. even while in an angry tone, try not to rant. 🙂
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