I am Marcus Keong and This is How I Invest

I am Marcus Keong, I am…  

known as one of the Malaysian Finance Bloggers. While working as a full-time software engineer, I enjoy writing blog articles and creating Instagram content during my free time. Ever since I started investing in stocks in 2019, I find learning about the stock market, business and financial statements very intriguing. Hence I started my personal finance blog to talk about stock investing and personal finance. My goal is to help Malaysians learn how to start investing in stocks and eventually achieve financial independence.

1. What is your best investment and worst investment? 

When it comes to investment, I’m a stock guy more than a property guy. Learning how to invest in stocks is my best investment so far, since then, I gained a huge boost of confidence to manage my finances.

I spent some money buying books on stock investing and dedicated time to read and apply the theories in the real market. Investing in ourselves in terms of knowledge will never be a bad investment.

Before I invested in stocks, I was an avid gamer who spent lots of time and (luckily) a few bucks in various games. It took me 2 decades (until I’m 28) to realise that gaming is a waste of time. You may argue that some people could earn a living from playing games, but very few can do that.

Besides, it contributes nothing to the community except entertainment. I am not saying that gaming is entirely bad, in fact, it improves cognition and problem-solving skills. But in my case, the time spent on playing games is my worst investment so far.

2. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

My first ever investment is a stock that every Malaysian would know – AirAsia. We tend to buy the companies we are familiar with during the start of our stock investing journey.

I bought AirAsia at RM2.85 when it’s 2018 Q4 result was announced. Right after I bought it, my friend advised that airline stocks have high risk and I regretted it. With its profit loss result, the stock price swung between RM2.40 to RM2.70 and I couldn’t sell it for a profit. So I bought the stock again at RM2.64 to average out my share price. 

In July 2019, AirAsia announced a whooping 90 cents dividend per share. Right after that announcement, I managed to sell all of my shares at RM3 when the share price spikes. I am fortunate to unexpectedly earn a profit of RM1,600 from this transaction.

3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)  

Just like many beginners, I was attracted to stock tips and short term trading that promise quick profits. However after the long run, I paid for a lesson and I vowed not to touch any speculation derivatives such as options and warrants, no matter how attractive the returns are. In fact, they are not even an asset to invest in.

Apart from this, I also learn to distance myself from investment news and over-checking the stock price. When we look at the share price and news every day, we will get influenced easily. Lesson learned when I lost money through selling during the market crash, due to my emotions.

4. What are you investing for?

While doing my “research” on the Internet about stock investing, I happen to learn about financial independence. It is reaching a stage in life where we have the option of not working for money anymore as we are able to live off our passive income.

This is why I am so passionate about investing so I can achieve the goal of being financially independent. With more time on hand, I get to spend more time with my family and loved ones. I am sharing my journey through my blog, hoping that more Malaysians can be motivated to start investing as well.

5. Marcus’ investment philosophy and approach

Always Invest for the Long Term. Long Term, I mean at least 5 years. If you invest in a property, you would probably hold it for years. But why do stock investors always buy and sell stocks within months or weeks? We should treat stock investing like planting a tree and watch it grow over the years.

With this mindset, I always do a thorough study on a company that I wish to invest in. Once I invest my money, I will hold for at least 5 years or if possible, hold it forever. Of course, there are exceptions such as when the company changes sectors or management turns bad.

Another approach I like is to keep it simple. Don’t invest in too many asset classes or investment platforms just for the sake of diversification. When you diversify too much, you can hardly manage all of them and it becomes diworsification (diversify + worse). So just choose a few asset classes that you are comfortable with and stick to them. Don’t always chase for the highest returns.

Follow Marcus – Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

About “This is How I Invest” – This is the last episode of season 1. As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

If you are inspired to Buy Term & Invest the Rest, we have a 10% rebate just for you to get started. Key in “NEWSWAV10” to enjoy this promo for your first-year insurance premiums.

Learn more about Fi Life here
Original article here

LaLiga Santander Matchday 21 Preview

The 21st round of the 2020/21 season promises to be a special one, with a host of evenly matched fixtures to take place between Friday and Monday. The weekend begins with a very intriguing match between Real Valladolid and SD Huesca. Valladolid – the Pucelanos – have had 11 first-team squad members absent from their past two LaLiga Santander fixtures yet they still managed to achieve a couple of draws thanks to the performances of their backups. They still have many absences as they face bottom-of-the-table Huesca, but the team from Aragon have looked much improved under new coach Pacheta. It’s anyone’s guess what the result will be in this Friday night fixture.  

Saturday’s action begins with in-form Sevilla FC travelling north for a tough fixture away at SD Eibar. As much as the Andalusian side have been playing well in recent weeks, a trip to Ipurua is always daunting and Sevilla have only won on one of their past five visits there. What’s more, Eibar won 1-0 when these two teams met earlier in the season. The big cause for optimism for Sevilla, though, is the form of striker Youssef En-Nesyri. He has the joint-most goals in the division so far this season, with 12, and he has five goals in his previous four matches against Eibar. There is no other opponent who the Moroccan has scored against more frequently over his young career.  

Real Madrid vs Levante UD is the next game, taking place at 16:15 CET on Saturday. With the reigning champions having had a rare midweek of rest and having earned a big 4-1 win over Alaves last weekend, they’ll be raring to go against an opponent that scores a lot and that concedes a lot. 

Next up is a derby in the Valencian Community as Valencia CF host Elche CF. The newly promoted side haven’t won in any of their past 13 LaLiga Santander matches. However, their last victory was against this Valencia side, a 2-1 win back in October. They’ll be looking for further joy against their neighbours.  

The final one of Saturday’s LaLiga Santander fixtures is Villarreal CF vs Real Sociedad, a clash between two teams who like to have the ball and play attacking football. While Villarreal have several players missing for this game, Real Sociedad come into the match in poor form, with just one win in their previous 10 league matches. La Real were also knocked out of this season’s Copa del Rey in midweek, even if they’ve still got last season’s final to play. This, then, is another very difficult fixture to predict and it should be a lot of fun when the ball gets rolling on Saturday night.  

The first of Sunday’s fixtures sees José Bordalás take on his former club, as his Getafe CF side host D. Alavés. The visitors have a new coach in the dugout as they recently re-hired Abelardo, but his first three matches have all ended in defeat and the Basque side are desperate for points. Getafe, meanwhile, were thrashed 5-1 by Athletic Club in their last outing and will be looking to get back on track.  

The league leaders Atlético de Madrid are in action after that as they visit Cádiz CF, a team they thrashed 4-0 earlier in the season. However, Cádiz have delivered some big results in some of their biggest fixtures this season and this might be one of the trickier trips remaining for Atleti as they aim to win their first LaLiga Santander title since 2014. Furthermore, if second-placed Real Madrid win on Saturday then the pressure will really be on the league-leading Colchoneros in this one. 

Yet another evenly matched fixture follows as Granada CF welcome RC Celta to the Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes. There has been one win each and one draw in the three matches played between these sides since Granada’s 2019 promotion and they’re just four points apart in the table too. Celta are hoping that Iago Aspas can return from injury in this game and, if he does, then that’ll be a huge confidence boost for the Galician outfit.  

On Sunday night, Spanish football fans will be able to enjoy a rematch of the Spanish Super Cup final as FC Barcelona and Athletic Club face off again. This will be new Athletic coach Marcelino’s sixth match in charge of the team from Bilbao and third encounter against Barça. Already this January, these sides met in LaLiga Santander as Barça earned a 3-2 win at San Mamés and then they faced off in the Spanish Super Cup final in Seville where Athletic won 3-2 after extra time. It’s exciting that these two classic sides will meet again, with this also to be Lionel Messi’s first match back since he was sent off in their previous meeting.  

There’s even more football to come on Monday, as Real Betis and CA Osasuna round off the weekend. These are two teams whose form has improved a lot in recent weeks and they’ll aim to keep that up in this clash at the Benito Villamarín. That’s yet another evenly matched encounter, one of many to come this matchday. 

Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on beIN Sports (CH818Astro).

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Where art thou Maruah Melayu?

Muhyiddin: Abdul Hadi first MP to sign SD supporting me as PM | Malaysia |  Malay Mail

Hadi Awang’s latest Facebook off the rails rant shows how Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) is affected by the buffeting winds blowing from different directions. A media report on Hadi Awang’s claims that “minorities racing to vote for chance at political power, while Malays weakened by colonialist demons”, had red lights flashing. 

Hadi sounds like he is undergoing a great deal of stress – PAS is caught in a no man’s land, stay with Muafakat Nasional, or go for broke with Perikatan Nasional (PN), is their biggest dilemma. 

He is not the only one under a great of deal of political stress. Many ordinary folks are also feeling the same stress trying to make sense of the current political situation and the “State of emergency”.

The blame games

PAS playing bridesmaid to UMNO and Perikatan Nasional (PN) and habit of making incendiary statements is part of the cause and effect. PAS now finds its hard going and sliding fast down the slippery slope. 

Using a twisted mind, Hadi in a lengthy critique now blame ethnic minorities, suggesting that they are scheming for political power and that this is the underlying reason why they are keen to go to the ballots.

There is a general feeling among the rakyat that  PN is a “backdoor” government and holds no “legitimacy”. That stigma has not gone away. Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin himself has admitted that while the PN government is not necessarily the one that Malaysians voted for in May 2018. It’s only fair for the rakyat to request for an election to install a government of their choice.

Don’t blame the minorities for pushing for an election. By all accounts it is UMNO that is pushing for GE15. Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan made a call for a general election to be held by the first quarter (Q1) of 2021. Umno president  Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said the party wants the next general election to be held immediately, saying polls have been held in other countries during the pandemic.

Maslan could not understand why people are against holding a General Election during a pandemic. Those who are against the idea of holding an election during the pandemic has been criticised by Maslan who implied those who were educated at PhD level could understand the need for it. 

Mazlan is right, you need a PhD to understand manoeuvrings, outmanoeuvring, back-stabbing, frogging, Sheraton moves, sex scandals, the King’s role and powers and the Constitution, Maruah Melayu etc. A bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree is insufficient to understand the complexities and the intricacies of  Malaysian politics and why the Malays in control of the nation are fighting amongst themselves. 

Normal people would be  grateful if given plum positions and ministerial posts, but why are some politicians still unhappy?

Corruption invalidates Islamic governance 

Hadi is right up there with Trump Republican and QAnon on conspiracy theories. He claims the growing public disgust of politics is ultimately a result of a deep-seeded conspiracy by Western colonialists whose endgame is to sow suspicion towards “Islamic governance”. As a result, the Malays now lack “self-belief” and are even distrustful of their own faith, Hadi theorised.

The colonist left Malaysia about 58 years ago and there is no point of flogging a dead horse. The former colonist are also busy fighting pandemic on their own turf and have not time with Hadi brand of Islam and Islamic governance. Blaming western colonist is like blaming your mother for giving birth to you. She will ask you what have you done yourselves to make Malaysia a better place the last 58 years?

There is  no such thing as “Islamic governance” when our leaders are corrupt and you ask to forgive them for their criminal activity. Party president Hadi Awang in his opening speech at the Assembly of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) in June 2019 said, their members must  prioritise electing leaders who are Muslim over those with integrity.

“Integrity without Islam is not accepted by Allah, and a person with faith who has no integrity is still better than someone with integrity but no faith,” he told some 3,000 delegates and observers. In simple terms, Hadi espoused we must elect Muslim leaders even if they are corrupt as long as they are Muslims.

Nazri Aziz, a former federal minister leader, complained of selective court prosecution and “unequal” application of justice against Umno leaders. UMNO secretary-general Ahmad Maslan has also revealed one of UMNO’s key gripes with Perikatan Nasional is the latter’s decision to continue with court cases against the party and its leaders. Ahmad, said this outweighed the party’s dissatisfaction over positions in the government.

Sometimes a voice of reason speaks out. Umno MP Khairy Jamaluddin took to his Instagram and poured cold water over Maslan’s remarks. Khairy said, “Please don’t speak on behalf of the party when it comes to this. More like you and a few others want to see executive interference in the judicial process. Then we are no better than Tommy Thomas and Lim Guan Eng,” he said on his Instagram postings.

Malays lack of “self-belief” is their on making if they continue to support leaders who are corrupt and who have robbed the country dry at the expense of the rakyat. Religious people faith in god are always unwavering, but people would not put faith in politicians who sets the worse example for all and expect others to follow and like them.

The ethnic majority dominance of all aspects of Malaysian life has been severely weakened by bitter infighting and political struggles, all within their control. The pandemic situation affecting the economy has caused distress, leaving them worst off from where they started from. 

The ethnic minority don’t have to do anything to win any race – the ethnic majority did it to themselves and weakened their own race by their own selfishness and sense of self entitlement.

Where is the ownership and accountability for all the corrupt misdeeds? The first thing that can heal the nation is to admit that the Malay Muslim  leaders have failed and take steps to rectify their faults. No good blaming other races for the tainted meat scandal when your own JAKIM is the one issuing the “Halal” certificate.

Where is the Maruah Melayu now?

Let’s back track to the resolutions passed at the controversial Kongres Maruah Melayu (

Malay Dignity Congress) held in October 2019. Held with great fanfare and attended by thousands of Malays consisting of university students, academicians, leaders, and members of political parties, the congress was to restore dignity and pride of the Malay Muslim majority. That has gone up in smokes.

There were many resolutions passed at the congress. One of them was that main positions within the government should only be filled by Malay-Muslims. This has been done. Lim Guan Eng (former Finance Minister), Tommy Tomas (former Attorney General) and Richard Malajum (former Chief Justice) are no longer there. Then, why are the Malays Muslims are still squabbling among themselves now that they have all these positions to themselves? Hadi should not use the minority races as his own punching bag and reveal his own demons.

Making sense of a quagmire

Hadi has made some sense of his quagmire by saying, “We witness the hatred towards politics happening because they are influenced by demons wearing human masks, which is happening to the Muslims themselves who are used by their own puppet masters.” He has finally come to terms that the majority race is being manipulated by their own leaders and that are mere puppets on the strings. 

People are not tired of politics because they understand how our democratic systems works, but people are tired of dirty politics and dirty politicians.

Unfortunately, in Malaysia, we cannot separate religion from politics as our Malay leaders are also Muslims. Their activities and religious faith are exposed as they use ‘political Islam” to manipulate their constituents and keep themselves in power. The behaviour of the Malay politicians now becomes the reflection of their faith.

We should debunk Hadi’s theories and treatise, using Islam as a disguise for his political agenda, and his penchant for blaming others. Its time to accept some accountability and take responsibility for your mistakes. We wasted 2 years debating RUU355 when all the effort could have gone to “Make Malaysia Great again”.   

VIDEO: The very best of LaLiga Season 2020-21 so far

La Liga preview: How will each team fare in the 2020/21 season? | Barca  Universal

The first half of the LaLiga Santander season is now in the books and here’s a look back at all the best moments we’ve lived since August: the best performing sides, the top players, the most impressive youngsters, the best goals…

The 2020/21 LaLiga Santander season has reached the halfway stage, with the completion of Matchday 19 meaning that most clubs having now played 19 of their 38 fixtures. Even with the campaign only half-complete, so much drama has already been produced and so many stories have already been told.  

Here comes a look back over the best moments from the first 19 rounds of action, from the standout players to the most incredible goals.  

The best teams 

Given that Atlético de Madrid lead the way in the table, they have to be considered as one of the best teams so far this campaign. They’ve actually only played 17 of their first 19 matches, yet they already have 44 points. If they were to keep up this pace then they’d finish the year with an incredible 98 points. Having adopted a new back-three system, they’re flying high.  

Looking a little further down the table, Cádiz CF also stand out as one of the top units so far this season. They’ve been the best of the newly promoted sides and currently sit ninth, thanks in part to memorable victories over Real Madrid and Barcelona.  

Sevilla are having a quietly impressive campaign too and haven’t yet played all 19 of their fixtures from the first half of the season, while there are promising signs at Villarreal CF under Unai Emery. Granada CF, meanwhile, are currently in seventh. That’s where they finished last season and it’s credit to the work of Diego Martínez and his coaching staff that they’ve been able to remain competitive domestically at the same time as competing in Europe.  

The best players 

Luis Suárez has been one of the stars of the season so far, firing in the goals for his new club Atlético de Madrid. His 11 goals put him joint-top of the Pichichi charts alongside his friend and former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi.  

Youssef En-Nesyri is another forward who is having a brilliant season. The Sevilla man has really kicked on this year, scoring nine LaLiga Santander goals already. That matches his previous best for an entire season, so it’s fair to say that the Moroccan is in the form of his life.  

Spaniards Gerard Moreno and Iago Aspas are also having good seasons for Villarreal and RC Celta, respectively. They’re both near the top of the scoring charts too, but it’s more than just goals that they bring to their teams. They contribute to their sides’ overall play and that’s never more evident that when they’ve been out injured. They say you don’t always know what you have until it’s gone and these two teams’ rare moments of struggle have come without their star strikers.  

Looking at other positions, Luka Modrić is having one of his best ever seasons in the Real Madrid midfield. Even though he is now 35 years of age, the Croatian is just as impactful as he was when he won the Ballon d’Or in 2018. Mikel Merino and Dani Parejo have also stood out for Real Sociedad and for Villarreal as some of the league’s best midfielders, while Kieran Trippier has played brilliantly for Atlético de Madrid from his brand new right-wing-back position.  

Then, as has been the case for the past several years, the goalkeeping in LaLiga Santander has been excellent. Box office stars like Jan Oblak, Thibaut Courtois and Marc-André ter Stegen have been as decisive as always, while the likes of Bono, Marko Dmitrović – who scored against Atleti just this week – and Rui Silva have been brilliant too. 

The best youngsters 

Several young players have broken through this season and have really impressed. One of them is Ronald Araújo at Barcelona. The 21-year-old Uruguyan centre-back has had a lot of responsibility placed on his young shoulders due to the long-term injury suffered by Gerard Piqué, but he has responded so well and is proving himself to be one of the top defenders in the league.  

Another of Barça youngsters making a name for himself this season is Pedri. Signed from Las Palmas in the summer, the 18-year-old has been dribbling and passing his way through LaLiga Santander’s best defences, quickly winning the respect of Messi.  

There have also been several young wingers to emerge over the first 19 rounds of this season, such as Valencia’s 18-year-old Yunus Musah, Real Sociedad’s 19-year-old Ander Barrenetxea or Eibar’s 19-year-old Bryan Gil. Able to get past defenders, these players are proving so useful for their teams.  

20-year-old Unai Vencedor, meanwhile, has earned a place as a regular starter in Athletic Club’s central midfield. The Basque club’s Lezama Academy has produced several great midfielders over the years and it seems Vencedor is the latest one. 

The best goals 

Even with some matches still to be played from these first 19 matchdays, there have already been 451 goals scored in Spain’s top division and some of them have been truly outstanding. There have been classic thwacks from distance, such as Antoine Griezmann’s volley against Osasuna, Kike García’s top-corner curler against Real Madrid, Eden Hazard’s fizzing effort against Huesca, Facundo Roncaglia’s blast against Celta or Damián Suárez’s nutmeg and hit against the Galicians too.  

There have also been some subtler but just as beautiful goals, like Marcos Llorente’s finish from an impossible angle against Real Betis, Pedri and Messi’s combination away at Athletic Club or Shinji Okazaki’s first ever LaLiga Santander goal when he coolly chipped into an empty net against Granada.  

On Matchday 19, there was even a goal that went viral worldwide as Eibar goalkeeper Dmitrović took a penalty for the Basque side and converted it against Jan Oblak.  

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VIDEO: Jose Maria Gimenez and his love for Atletico de Madrid´s fans and the club

The Uruguayan centre-back is the leader of Diego Simeone’s fearsome defensive line and has played a huge part not only in the team’s stellar season so far but also the club’s recent history, including the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup wins in 2018.

Jose Maria Gimenez Interview

Gimenez recently reached the milestone of 200 appearances in the Atletico de Madrid shirt and tells his love for the fans in an exclusive interview with the club.

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Conan Ledesma from Cádiz CF “Our goal is to keep staying in the First Division”

Cádiz CF: Conan Ledesma, Zamora de la Liga: "Ahora la gente en Rosario  sigue al Cádiz" | Marca.com

The revelation of the 2020-21 LaLiga Santander season is undoubtedly Cadiz, a newly-promoted team that has also achieved excellent results against the big teams.

After securing their promotion from LaLiga Smartbank, Cadiz have become the league’s revelation team. LaLiga World interviewed the goalkeeper Jeremías Conan Ledesma, who arrived from CA Rosario last summer.

Cadiz keeper Conan Ledesma has had a good start to life in Spain as he tries to help his side achieve their objective of staying up this season. 

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小资女变内衣女王 – 姐姐的8个本色!

不必是富二代、不必是天才、不必有很多资金也可以创业?可能吗?

很多人总把创业想成很难的事,而且总会找很多借口来拖延创业计划;今天“企动人心”要分享的故事,告诉我们创业和成功都只需要两个字,就是:决心。

故事主人翁就是美国束身内衣第一品牌Spanx创始人莎拉·布蕾克莉(Sara Blakely),从一个普通的小资女成为内衣女王,她当初只用了5,000美元储蓄踏出第一步,而且在创业初期她并没有辞职,白天打工卖传真机,晚上又忙着“密谋”内衣事业。

她于1998年创业,2年后才辞掉正职,全面投入自己的公司,之后两周她上了奥普拉秀节目,2012年登上《福布斯》杂志封面人物,是榜上内最年轻的白手起家女富豪!

当初因为一个简单小创意,把无足裤袜变成亿万生意,这位“乘风破浪的姐姐”,有8个本色值得我们学习。

一、积极向上的姐姐

1971年 出生于美国佛罗里达州的Sara,从小就有经商头脑,比如万圣节在家里盖起一间鬼屋,邻里的小孩想进鬼屋就要付费买门票。
Sara的志愿是当一名律师,因为爸爸是一位法院律师。这位律师爸爸教育小孩的方式也很特别,受励志大师韦恩 戴尔(Wayne Dyer)影响,他从小就教会Sara,失败并不可怕,反而是一种力量。

父亲每天都会问Sara,今天有做错什么事吗?如果答案是没有,父亲反而会失望,因为那表示Sara没去尝试,自然就没有失败。这种逆向思维让Sara明白,失败并不可怕,没去尝试反而失去发掘自己潜能的机会,那才可怕!

当别的女孩在中学时期看着情情爱爱的书籍时,Sara在16岁的时候已经在看励志书籍。

19岁那年,Sara的生意头脑又动了起来,她在克利尔沃特海滩希尔顿(Hilton Clearwater )酒店设立媬姆业务,为来渡假的富人看顾小孩。可惜这次的创业因为经验不足而倒闭,草草结业。

大学毕业后,Sara原想继承父亲衣钵当律师,但她两度在法学院入学考试(LSAT)都铩羽而归,使她非常气馁,不断反问自己是否“进错摄影棚、演错电影”,后来也唯有放弃当律师的志愿。

由于急着找工,Sara在迪士尼游乐园找到一份无聊差事,穿着米老鼠头饰在炎炎夏日走来走去,目的就是吸引人流去迪士尼内的第二座主题公园爱波卡特中心(Epcot Center)。

这份差事没做多久,Sara就辞识了,后来在办公室用品公司Danka找到工作,就是推销传真机。

二、雷厉风行的姐姐

1993年,22岁的Sara加入Danka,在7年销售员的生涯里,她学会习惯面对别人对她说“ 不”。她打了无数的推销冷电话(Cold Call),学会如何应对顾客的拒绝,以及如何把不可能变成可能。

有一次为了说服一间蔬果店老板买传真机,她找来街角另一间店,问对方是否愿意拉电线给蔬果店,因为蔬果店老板拒绝买传真机的理由是没有电源插座。这样冲着去解决问题,蔬果店老板当然买了传真机,这也是Sara在Danka做成的第一单生意。

销售传真机的工作压力很大,因为每个月都要达到许多业绩目标,但这些磨练也让Sara领会到,销售是自己擅长的事。她也立下决心,未来一定要销售自己的产品,创造更美好的生活。这个理想会时刻记录在笔记本提醒自己,更不断寻找创业点子及商机。

勇于创新的姐姐

在Danka朝九晚五上班的日子里,Sara晚间还会去现场喜剧客串演出。1998年的某一天,她因为想穿一件奶油色的裤子,但却找不到合适的“无痕”内裤搭配,而突发其想把连裤袜剪掉袜子的部份,只留下从腰身到大腿的部份,作为搭配浅色裤子的内裤。

就这么一个生活上的简单小创新,从此改变这位小资女的命运!

一般的贴身内衣裤穿后很不适服,因为不透气,所以Sara动起脑筋设计一条“无袜连裤袜”、充当束身内衣裤的同时,最大卖点是“无痕”。

她花了一些时间做资料搜查,但却发现这样的束身内衣裤还没有人做过,于是她决定为自己的设计申请专利。

许多产品之所以大卖,都是因为产品的特点解决了消费者生活上的难题,Sara的束身内衣裤王国,也是从这里开始。

四、义无反顾的姐姐

执意要发展无痕束身内衣裤后,Sara的闯劲就来了,她白天继续上班卖传真机,放工后及周末的时间,她就精心仔细研究裤袜的原型设计及专利的事,甚至不惜牺牲睡眠时间。

当Sara去见律师要申请专利时,却发现自己根本不够资金支付费用,而且律师也觉得她的想法可笑。于是她唯有自己去专研及阅读关于申请专利的书,后来在艺术家妈妈的协助下,她完成了无痕束身内衣裤设计专利的初版,余下法律部分才请律师完成。

专利申请完后,Sara就开始寻找生产商,但同样是碰壁无数,她打了许多电话都没有人愿意生产她的设计。生产商总是问她三个问题:你是谁?哪家公司?谁提供资金?而她的回答都只有一个答案:Sara Blakely。

没有后台的Sara,无法令生产商信服,但对习惯被拒绝的她来说,这些挫折都是小事。直到有一天,一位曾经拒绝过Sara的生产商主动联络她,说愿意接单,原来这位老板把束身内衣裤样本给三个女儿看了以后,她们都很喜欢,所以令他改变主意。

此时,Sara也将束身内衣裤的品牌定为”Spanx”,与英文词“Spank”(打屁股)发音相似,而且带点调皮、玩味的意思,同时也与产品塑造完成身材作用的关联性很强。

五、乘胜追击的姐姐

获得生产商支持后,Sara接下来的行动就是打开销售通路。

于是她又再次使出她打推销冷电话的本色,打电话给许多零售商,其中包括美国专售奢侈品的百货公司尼曼马库斯(Neiman Marcus )。当她成功联络上曼马库斯的采购经理时,她告诉对方:“我发明了一样产品,它将从此改变你客户的穿着方式!”

对方告诉她,如果Sara真的从亚特兰大飞到曼马库斯位于达拉斯的总部,愿意给她10分钟的时间。 

从来不会放过任何机会的Sara,当然就飞了过去,见到对方后,她直接请那位采购经理随她到洗手间,亲自示范束身内衣裤的穿前与穿后的效果,结果马上打动对方,答应在7间分店销售Spanx。

尽管Spanx已经看到一些成绩,但是Sara依然在Danka上班,经常开车在自己亚特兰大的家和北卡罗莱纳之间来回往返。

直到2000年,Spanx成立2年后,29岁的Sara才正式辞去工作,全情投入自己创立的事业。

抛开了正职的顾忌以后,Sara当然是乘胜追击,在辞职两周后她就上了奥普拉秀(The Oprah Winfrey Show),这一招令Spanx的人气马上爆升!

但当时Spanx即不是什么大品牌,Sara也只是一位普通的创业者,为何会获得奥普拉邀请上节目?原来,这一切都是Sara提前埋下的伏笔……

早前,Sara拿到第一批束身衣样本后,就寄了一套给奥普拉的办公室作为礼品,奥普拉穿上后做节目时,显瘦了10磅,如此显著效果,试问哪位女士抵挡得住?奥普拉还把Spanx选作2000年的重点产品之一。

聪明伶俐的Sara,在没有花一分钱打广告情况下,善用公关营销技巧提高产品曝光率。此后她陆续上了许多电视节目,迅速窜红!

“魔法内衣”Spanx成为时尚达人的必需品,更是性感火辣女明星走红地毯时的必备武器,Spanx名气爆棚,销量飙升,曾试过在5分钟内卖了8,000套内衣裤。

在上奥普拉节目之前,Spanx连官方网站都没有,在节目结束两周半内,Sara就火速建好网站,还迅速增加产量来应付需求。

2005年,Sara再度乘胜追击,参加了理查德布兰森(Richard  Branson)的真人秀节目“富贵险中求”(Rebel Billionaire)。

尽管有公众演讲恐惧症,更不是天生的演说家,但是Sara还是强迫自己去克服;她有飞行恐惧症,但还是常常乘搭飞机出差办事,无论什么阻碍,都不会阻止她前进。

Spanx成立的第一年,Sara已经赚了400万美元,第2年销售收入更达到1,000万美元。

六、低调做人的姐姐

Sara边打工边创业的时候,除了当时的男友(即现在的丈夫Jesse Itzler)知道以外,其他人都不懂,家人也仅知道“Sara最近好像有些想法在忙着”,但也不了解详情。

公司大赚钱后,也没有改变Sara的低调生活方式,她在结婚前几周,才向未婚夫坦承,其实Spanx的年销售额已经是去到“数亿美元“的事。

尽管亿万身家,有很长一段时间,她还驾着同一辆白色丰田小货车。

对Sara来说,做人其中一个原则就是不要试图去获得别人认可,所以创业初期她都选择一个人孤单且专注地去完成所有产品设计、专利、生产、通路的事。

她说,当创业点子在发芽阶段时,是非常脆弱的,如果你抱着想要得到更多人的认同时,反而会消耗心思与时间去说服别人,当被人嘲笑或被劝别浪费时间时,分分钟会扼杀了心中的火苗。

七、高调做事的姐姐

虽然做人十分低调,但是Sara在推重公益方面却很高调。经过理查德布兰森的鼓励后,她在2006年以个人名义成立了基金会,希望协助妇女得到教育和发展商业的机会。

2007年,当Sara第二次上奥普拉秀节目时,当场捐了100万美元给奥普拉基金会,希望帮助更多南非妇女。当年寂寂无名的Sara因为奥普拉节目爆红,成名后Sara也回馈社会,捐助奥普拉基金会,两位女汉子的惺惺相惜,令人动容。

Sara也创立了一个叫“Leg Up”的项目,以帮助更多女性创业及发展事业。她曾说过,当她创业成功后,感到最开心的是终于可以自己付房租,成为一位经济独立又自主的女人。

在2013年,Sara也成为加入股神华伦巴菲特及美国钜富比尔盖茨发起的捐赠誓言的首位女性亿万富豪,她承诺将在有生之年捐出大多数的财富。

事实上,Sara在2002年就外聘高管担任Spanx的CEO,自己则退居二线。

八、乘风破浪的姐姐

从失败的媬姆到圆不了的律师梦,再从迪士尼乐园导览员到传真机推销员,Sara不是服装设计师也没有零售经验,凭着仅有的5,000美元存款,她一路披荆斩棘、乘风破浪,最后建立了估值10亿美元的内衣王国。

Spanx是100%私人拥有公司,没有融资过一分一毫,没有上市也没有大肆投放广告;公司估值是源自实实在在的盈利数字,而非由资本疯狂吹出来的数字。

2012年,Sara  第一次入选《福布斯》亿万富翁榜单,成为最年轻白手起家的女富豪,更成为杂志的封面人物。

这位雷厉风行的女子,把无足裤袜这样一个简单的创意,变成了内衣王国,奠定了Spanx在束身内衣界的龙头地位。该公司年营收4亿美元,净利润率约达20%,产品目录从最初的裤袜发展成200种产品,业务遍全球40个国家及逾万家压货公司,团队逾百人,极力将品牌国际化。

相信直觉  无惧失败

Sara执着于找出解决方法的个性,不断从失败及挫折中找机会。换了是一般人,找不到合适内衣裤衬奶油色长裤,通常就放弃不穿,然后就不再记得这件事。但是Sara却因此花了2年时间来制作更合适、甚至更好的内衣裤。

她的故事让我们领悟到,相信创意、相信直觉、不要害怕失败,还要坚定不移地去完成它,正视自己的恐惧感并努力去克服它;如果你也怀着同样的信念与精神,或许下一个Sara就是你!