Costs that make or break your hostel business!

3 storey hostel

Once you have your hostel all set up and running. Its time to sit down, assess and document down your costs. This is when you identify your Fixed Costs, Variable Costs and any other hidden costs that you might have missed.

Identifying your Hostels Fixed Cost and Variable Cost

Total cost of an operation is divided into 2 types.
Fixed Cost : Compulsory Commitments regardless of any fluctuation of sales. No significant changes to costs when sales increase or decrease.

Examples of Fixed costs are:

  • Staff wages
  • Land/ Building taxes
  • Building Maintenance fees
  • Premise Rental (This should be negotiated prior to any renovation. The fixed rental should be stated in the term lease)
  • Permits
  • Yearly auditing fees
  • Accounting fees
  • Company Secretary Fees
  • Outsourced services – i.e Security, Food and Beverage, Laundry
  • Fixed internet and phone bill (This does not include cases, when your internet quota is exceeded, and there is a need to top up credit to restore internet and phone services)
  • Fixed TV cable entertainment fees
  • Monthly/ Yearly Subscriptions
  • Other fixed costs

Variable Cost: Variable costs are clearly related to hotel occupancy and business volume. As business volume or occupancy increases, variable costs will increase; as hotel occupancy decreases, variable costs should decrease as well.

Examples of variable costs are:

  • OTA (Online Travel Agent) booking fees. i.e, Agoda, Hostel world Fees (Comparing OTA effectiveness and commissions)
  • Government levies on services. **Recently the Malaysian Government imposed additional tourist tax**
    The cost will be set at a fixed rate and will depend on the level of accommodation.
    Tourists staying in non-rated accommodation will be charged an extra RM2.50 ($0.80) per room per night; tourists booking stays in one, two and three star hotels will have to pay an extra RM5 ($1.55) per room per night; four star hotel guests will be charged RM10 ($3.10) and those booking five-star accommodation will have to pay an extra RM20 ($6.20) per room per night.
    This is on top of a 6 per cent GST.
    Read more on (Tourists to pay more for accommodation in Malaysia with new tourism tax). It is advisable to double check and stay updated with the country’s tax and regulations. Also beware that Local State or Provincial Tax might defer from National Tax.
  • Fuel expenses to run generators for remote locations
  • Maintenance of machinery
  • Guest room amenities and consumables
  • Breakfast costs
  • Any beverage or snacks at the common area
  • Stationary used in front desk
  • Washing liquids/ Softeners and misc for laundry
  •  Petrol and subsidies for staff
  • Telephone usage
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Flowers and decorations

Both types of costs will contribute to the total cost of the operation. Reducing any costs without affecting the quality of the service or rooms will be your ultimate challenge. Generally before doing any purchasing, or signing any contract with a supply company, it is best to do a market survey to compare prices, quality and reliability of the company. With this comparison chart, you can compare and make a decision. Bear in mind, that the final decision will not only be based on costs, but the overall rating.

Take note: Non operating expenses include loan payments, depreciation, and income taxes. (Read: Should i pay personal tax or company tax)

Here is a real case scenario from a hostel owner

James owns a hostel in a busy and strategic beach front location. His survey around the vicinity found that his competition was providing similar quality rooms for  a much lower price during the low season.
At this junction, he has a few options. Among the most likely would be

  1. Lower the rates to compete with his competition
  2. Figure out how to increase value to differentiate  his hostel from competition. One of the ways was to include quality breakfast into the room as the rest of the hostels were either not providing breakfast or just providing the normal breakfast.

When you have stayed in enough hostels and managed NOT to get a hangover from partying the night before and take advantage of the Free Breakfast, you will start to notice that most hostels that offers dorms/rooms inclusive of breakfast  will offer a very similar breakfast menu. Toasts with a selection of jam/margarine (real butter is expensive) and eggs. 3 in 1 coffee or tea and if they are generous, a selection of locally available fruits.

A survey recently conducted by Online Travel Agents found that customers voiced out the 3 main factors to giving a good rating online are

  1. Room cleanliness
  2. Toilet cleanliness
  3. Quality of Breakfast

Highlighting the importance of a Hearty Breakfast, we will discuss this in detail.
You would want to be able to provide quality breakfast, fast and hot to the customer with the least hassle. What Breakfast To Serve?

(Cover photo is from FB COVERSDIRECT.COM)

What businesses to start NOW in Malaysia?

It is already June. Today marks the half point of 2017, and for most of us, this means we should at least be in the middle of completing our New Year’s Resolution. For those of you, who are still struggling on your future plans and looking for business ideas, this article is for you.
This year has been a challenging year for all Malaysians. The Malaysian economy is hit by higher inflation, volatile capital flows and lingering uncertainties in the global economic and financial environment. It is common nowadays to hear people saying “Business isn’t as good as it used to be”, ” We do not see substantial tourists coming nowadays” and the usual “Prices of everything especially household essentials are going up!”
If you are one of them, what are you going to do about it?
I would like to share this statement that has profound meaning to me. “The quickest way to become rich is to change your realities faster“. ” Most people would rather live within their means, than to expand their means“.

Does this sound familiar? How often do you hear people telling you, “As long as i live within my means, i will be ok“. This is an over simplification of someone convincing us that, if i earn RM 1200, and i can spend and live within this money, i will be well and ok. (Its ok that i dont have any insurance, because i am still young now and i can use the money for insurance on other better things now. I will worry about it when i am old).
This is common, because to expand and to think of how to earn more than RM 1200 requires additional effort, and hard work. Hard work which not many people are willing to sacrifice for. Read; Richest Man in Asia advice’s on how to spend to be rich.

“Malaysia should further diversify away from traditional export sectors towards higher value-added segments to support economic growth,” 

What are the best small business investment opportunities in Malaysia? Are you interested in starting a business in Malaysia but you are short of business ideas? Then I advice you read on as we explore the best business opportunities in Malaysia.

Top 5 Business Investment Opportunities in Malaysia for 2017

1.Observe and take advantage of the situation

Election Paraphernalia
 There is talk that the 14th General Elections for Malaysia is coming around the corner. After attending a talk organized by, the presenter revealed that the hottest selling items were T-Shirts during elections!

bersih shirts
(Picture used is for illustration purposes, as I couldn’t find a picture that could represent the election. This does not in any way represent the ideologies of the writer)

The message to learn here was to observe the trends. In Malaysia we are a land of many seasons. Rainy Season, Flooding Season, Hot Season and now Haze Season. Should you already know when the Rainy Seasons are, you would be selling umbrellas and any other device that could help flood prone areas. For Haze, you could be selling N95 masks online. The message we are trying to get through to you, is to be observant and notice what does people need or anything that can make their lives easier. If you fulfill this criteria, your product will sell.

2. Tourism Related 

The chart below shows the domination of Budget Airlines flying through Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Travelers that use budget airlines, need not necessarily represent the lower income group. Most of the time, the travelers are often just realigning their budget, saving on flights and giving them more spending power on other things like hotels and experience.

air asia

Business Oriented Services
Malaysia is strategically sandwiched between service and technologically inclined economy of Singapore, consumer hungry Indonesia and the growing markets to the north, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia.
As a business hub, many people travel through Malaysia. This amounts to huge opportunities for travel agencies and businesses that cater to travelers directly or indirectly. Among the ideas that are feasible would be

Travel Agency
Questions to ask are

  • Think of how can you service people who already have flights and hotel bookings. Is there a gap that you can fill? We are now in an APP dominant society ,and with, Agoda, Skyscanner, UBER and Tripadvisor to name a few different apps out there that enables business people to self book. How can we compliment these services to make their trip more complete and fulfilling?
  • What do business people need? Find out what their needs are, so you can find out what to provide in return.
  • What are the popular businesses within your area? You will need to drill deeper into specifics to identify the differences in each business.

Holiday Tourist Oriented Services
Malaysia is blessed with beautiful beaches, diverse culture and abundant flora and fauna. Any service related business that caters to tourists does have this opportunity.
Read: Step by Step on how to start your own beach resort
Read how to start your own Hostel

Medical Tourism Oriented Services

  1. “Medical tourism expected to hit RM1.3bil in revenue this year”
    Chief executive officer Sherene Azli said the industry was experiencing a 30% growth year-on-year.
  2. “Malaysia has the ecosystem and infrastructure to provide quality end-to-end healthcare system and services that are globally competitive,” she told reporters after the launch of ShareMyLove campaign here.
  3. The top five treatments sought by medical travellers were cardiology, oncology, orthopaedics, IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation), dental and cosmetics. The travellers came from the Asean region, with China and India not far behind.
    (quoted from the Star 14 February 2017)

The challenge again is to set up a business idea or an application to help people come to Malaysia for Medical Treatment.
An idea that i used to have way before UBER and GRAB car came into play. This was probably 3 years back. I noticed that patients coming to Malaysia were usually accompanied by a few family members. When the patients were getting treatment, family members did not know what to do and were lingering around in the hospital or around the hotel. There fore, if we could set up tour vans that could shuttle the families to do some sightseeing and then back to the hospital, it would be AWESOME.

Read: How this medical APP became a hit

3. Logistics

With more people setting up businesses online. There is a greater need for reliable logistics. People are coming up with Food Delivery Services like FoodPanda,  Wedapao and Delivereat

As you already know, there is a great disparity between the North of Malaysia and South of Malaysia. To send goods over, people used to rely on the KTM Trains (Keretapi Tanah Melayu), Flights or Slow Trucks/Lorry. Lorries were owned by companies or private owners and it was hard to get their contact or even get a proper price comparison or quotation. Addressing this disconnect is another company called which provides a selection of various lorry’s for rent.
There is still gaps that you can fill up in terms of logistics that you can fill.

4. Fashion/Online

Malaysians, like every other people, love fashion. They show great concern for what they wear and what they look like. Though there are many fashion outlets spread all over the country, there is enough room for new investors to make money. If you’d like to start a fashion business in Malaysia, keep in mind that local fashion sells best. So, you will need to learn about this if you are not a native of Malaysia.
One company that has done great online is FashionValet

5. Food and Beverage

Malaysians LOVE and are passionate about their food. The basic greeting when you see some one is “Sudah Makan Belum” which means “Have you eaten” in Malay. Their enthusiasm can be seen when the food comes, and they take pictures of the food first, and then start sharing comments about the food even before they try it.
The food and beverage scene in Malaysia is unique. There are the Malaysians who are attracted to FOOD TRENDS and those that will patronize as long as it is good food and not forgetting those who eat just because its cheap!

Because Malaysians are blessed with abundant choices of food. You might notice a few gimmicks to attract customers that come up like:

Big Bowl Noodles at Captain M Bistro de Cafe Miri
(Credit to: Big Bowl Noodles at Captain M Bistro de Cafe Miri- Miri Food Sharing)

Not forgetting Boat Noodles
(Credit : Burpple)

Depending on the F&B business you have in mind, you will need to look back at your core business plan and ask these questions:

  1. Does the service cater to the public in that area?
  2. Will you be employing gimmicks to gain traction?
  3. Revisit your costings

Food Truck Business
One of the businesses that has been gaining some attention are the Food Truck Business. We should not confuse the term Food Truck with traditional Road Side vendors. There are different rules and regulations for each different state in Malaysia. Selangor however was the first state to launch and support Food Truck Initiatives.

Read: Why you should own a Food Truck Business
The state of Selangor is the first state in Malaysia to come up with a official standard guidelines for owning a Food Truck Business. See video below. 

smart trak

This is a SMART Trak bay that is reserved for Food Trucks. Read: Food Trucks in Selangor
I would like to end this article with a sentence from the Rich Dad Poor Dad series, ” The World Has Abundant Money, we need to change our reality in order to make more money“.

We would like to hear your thoughts and business ideas so we could share them.

How do you effectively listen!

Active listening is a skill that can be acquired and developed with practice. However, active listening can be difficult to master and will, therefore, take time and patience to develop.

Active listening‘ means, as its name suggests, actively listening. That is fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker.


Active listening involves listening with all senses.  As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening – otherwise the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.

Interest can be conveyed to the speaker by using both verbal and non-verbal messages such as maintaining eye contact, nodding your head and smiling, agreeing by saying ‘Yes’ or simply ‘Mmm hmm’ to encourage them to continue.  By providing this ‘feedback’ the person speaking will usually feel more at ease and therefore communicate more easily, openly and honestly.

Listening is the most fundamental component of interpersonal communication skills.

Listening is not something that just happens (that is hearing), listening is an active process in which a conscious decision is made to listen to and understand the messages of the speaker.

Listeners should remain neutral and non-judgmental, this means trying not to take sides or form opinions, especially early in the conversation.  Active listening is also about patience – pauses and short periods of silence should be accepted.

Listeners should not be tempted to jump in with questions or comments every time there are a few seconds of silence. Active listening involves giving the other person time to explore their thoughts and feelings, they should, therefore, be given adequate time for that.

Active listening not only means focusing fully on the speaker but also actively showing verbal and non-verbal signs of listening.

Generally speakers want listeners to demonstrate ‘active listening’ by responding appropriately to what they are saying. Appropriate responses to listening can be both verbal and non-verbal, examples of which are listed below:

Signs of Active Listening

Non-Verbal Signs of Attentive or Active Listening

This is a generic list of non-verbal signs of listening, in other words people who are listening are more likely to display at least some of these signs.  However these signs may not be appropriate in all situations and across all cultures.


Small smiles can be used to show that the listener is paying attention to what is being said or as a way of agreeing or being happy about the messages being received.  Combined with nods of the head, smiles can be powerful in affirming that messages are being listened to and understood.

Eye Contact

It is normal and usually encouraging for the listener to look at the speaker. Eye contact can however be intimidating, especially for more shy speakers – gauge how much eye contact is appropriate for any given situation.  Combine eye contact with smiles and other non-verbal messages to encourage the speaker.


Posture can tell a lot about the sender and receiver in interpersonal interactions.  The attentive listener tends to lean slightly forward or sideways whilst sitting.  Other signs of active listening may include a slight slant of the head or resting the head on one hand.


Automatic reflection/mirroring of any facial expressions used by the speaker can be a sign of attentive listening.  These reflective expressions can help to show sympathy and empathy in more emotional situations.  Attempting to consciously mimic facial expressions (i.e. not automatic reflection of expressions) can be a sign of inattention.


The active listener will not be distracted and therefore will refrain from fidgeting, looking at a clock or watch, doodling, playing with their hair or picking their fingernails.

Verbal Signs of Attentive or Active Listening

Positive Reinforcement

Although a strong signal of attentiveness, caution should be used when using positive verbal reinforcement.

Although some positive words of encouragement may be beneficial to the speaker the listener should use them sparingly so as not to distract from what is being said or place unnecessary emphasis on parts of the message.

Casual and frequent use of words and phrases, such as: ‘very good’, ‘yes’ or ‘indeed’ can become irritating to the speaker.   It is usually better to elaborate and explain why you are agreeing with a certain point.


The human mind is notoriously bad at remembering details, especially for any length of time.

However, remembering a few key points, or even the name of the speaker, can help to reinforce that the messages sent have been received and understood – i.e. listening has been successful.  Remembering details, ideas and concepts from previous conversations proves that attention was kept and is likely to encourage the speaker to continue.  During longer exchanges it may be appropriate to make very brief notes to act as a memory jog when questioning or clarifying later.


The listener can demonstrate that they have been paying attention by asking relevant questions and/or making statements that build or help to clarify what the speaker has said.  By asking relevant questions the listener also helps to reinforce that they have an interest in what the speaker has been saying.


Reflecting is closely repeating or paraphrasing what the speaker has said in order to show comprehension.  Reflection is a powerful skill that can reinforce the message of the speaker and demonstrate understanding.


Clarifying involves asking questions of the speaker to ensure that the correct message has been received.  Clarification usually involves the use of open questions which enables the speaker to expand on certain points as necessary.


Repeating a summary of what has been said back to the speaker is a technique used by the listener to repeat what has been said in their own words. Summarising involves taking the main points of the received message and reiterating them in a logical and clear way, giving the speaker chance to correct if necessary.

What properties can you buy in South East Asia as an Expat?

10 Laos


No one can own land in Laos, but land-use rights are possible (up to 75 years, or 50 years for companies). A Lao citizen with land-use rights may lease the land to a foreign-invested company for up to 30 years. There is a vague law that allows for these land-use rights by foreigners only if investing at least USD $500,000 into the government. And while it’s possible to own a structure upon leased land, when the lease expires, the structure reverts to the government without compensation.

9 Myanmar 

Foreign investment is extremely regulated and restricted, and foreigners cannot own land. It’s possible to lease for up to 30 years, but with rampant corruption, there is no security. Alternatives include making a contribution to a joint venture with the government, or to lease land from the government and then enter into an agreement called a build, operate and transfer (BOT), which allows the investor to own the project.

8 Vietnam

Nobody can own land in Vietnam. One estate agency, Chesterton, markets 50-year leases to foreigners buying apartments, which provides for many of the same rights as ownership. Alternatively, foreigners can form a company or form a build, operate and transfer (BOT) company.

UPDATE: Vietnam will allow foreigners to buy houses for the first time with one simple requirement, they must enter Vietnam legally.

They will be able to own the property for a maximum of 50 years and enjoy the same rights to lease, transfer or sell the property as Vietnamese citizens.

The new law will extend the rules that currently apply to apartments, according to the amended Housing Law which will take effect on July 1, 2015.

The law passed with 77.46 percent approval in the National Assembly during a Tuesday session.

Foreign entities who have invested in housing projects in Vietnam, foreign-invested enterprises; branch and representative offices of foreign companies in Vietnam, foreign investment funds; and foreign bank branches will all be entitled to purchase real estate under the law.

According to the amended law, foreign individuals and entities will only be allowed to buy, receive, or inherit apartments and houses in commercial projects and not in areas that limit or ban foreigners.

They are able to buy a maximum of 30 percent of apartments in a block and 250 houses in a given ward.

Individual foreigners may extend their home ownership after 50 years, according to their need. The government provide further details about the extension process in the future.

They may lease their property for any “purposes that is not banned by law” but must also inform the provincial house management agency before leasing the property.

Foreign property owners will also be subject to the nation’s property taxes.

Foreign entities can already buy property to house their employees, but they are not able to lease or use it toward any other purpose.

7 Brunei

All land transfers, freehold or leasehold, are subject to the approval of the King, and foreigners cannot own land without approval. Foreigners who legally reside in Brunei can hold properties under strata titles, and residents as well as locally registered companies can hold long-term leaseholds of up to 60 years. Banks, however, will not grant mortgages to foreigners, not even foreign residents.

6 Indonesia

Foreigners can own condos through strata titles, but the property developer holds the title. Land ownership is also out of bounds but land-use rights are possible for up to 25 years. However, if a local buys the land on behalf of the foreigner, the foreigner may have either permanent land-use rights or full power of attorney over the land. Another option is to form a company called a Penanaman Model Asing (PMA), which can be wholly foreign owned.

5 Cambodia


Foreigners cannot own land but can lease land, or purchase it though a local company (51% Cambodian owned). Another alternative – having a local buy the property on a foreigner’s behalf and then leasing it to the foreigner – is illegal and discouraged. In general, corruption and greed mean that for any foreign investment, extreme due diligence is required by the buyer.

4 Philippines

Foreigners cannot own land but apartments and condos are possible, as long as locals own 60% or more of the units in any development. Leases are available on land for up to 50 years. It is possible for a foreigner to form a commercial partnership with some locals to buy land, but even then, the maximum for residential properties is 1,000 square metres or one hectare in a rural setting.

3 Thailand 


(Modern minimalist home in Thailand: Baan Moom)

Foreigners cannot own land but can own apartments or condos (as long as 60% of the building’s units are owned by locals or the foreigner buys the whole building). Foreigners can lease land, but with few rights. Investing THB 40 million (USD $1.2 million) into a project may get you up to 1,600 square metres of land. Many foreigners form a Thai company, at least 51% Thai owned, or marry a Thai citizen (but in in the event of death or divorce, the land still does not belong to the foreigner).
How i bought my first Vacation Home Abroad 

2 Singapore


Without approval, foreigners cannot buy restricted properties, such as a vacant lot, residential land, landed property, unapproved condo development or a Singaporean Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat. Foreigners can purchase an apartment,  condo, and a leasehold estate in an otherwise restricted property (for up to seven years). Approval is considered for permanent residents or those who prove to be of significant economic or professional benefit to the country. There is also a scheme that allows purchase of landed properties by foreigners on Sentosa Cove.
How i rented and turned it into a Money Making Hostel

1 Malaysia

Old Street, George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Malaysia is the only country in South-East Asia that allows full foreign ownership of property and land. Foreigners can purchase any type of property if spending a minimum of RM250,000 (USD $78,456)*. This allows for up to two condos in a development with no more than 50% foreign ownership, or one condo plus a two-plus storied terraced house, or one condo plus land, bungalow or semi-detached house. Foreigners can also get a renewable 10-year visa through the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H). For more information, visit

*Except in the state of Penang, where minimum investment must be RM 2 million on the island, or RM 1 million on the mainland for landed properties, or RM 1 million on the island or mainland for stratified properties. Sale of property in Penang is only allowed three years following purchase. 

**Picture Credit : Andy Yeung , Blazepress


EPIC HOMES, Building a better world through collaborations

More than 12,000 Orang Asli families are in need of housing aid in Peninsular Malaysia. That’s a lot of people who don’t have a safe place to live in, to grow in and to learn in. But we believe that we can change this with your help.


MERSING: A group of orang asli women were about to start cooking when a group of 100-odd enforcement officers moved in to tear down eight wooden homes in the Gunung Arong forest reserve in Kampung Batu 10 on Tuesday, leaving 50 Jakun homeless.
The seven families are now living in makeshift tents by the roadside after their homes were torn down.
“Here, I can do some farming and the forest is accessible. The government gave part of the forest reserve to loggers and miners, but why can’t they let us stay?” Awang, who used to live in Kota Tinggi in Johor and Rompin, asked.
(Article from the Star)

EPIC ( Extraordinary People Impacting Community)

Is a social enterprise that aims to inspire, mobilize and empower people to make positive impact in their communities. EPIC designs and creates collaborative platforms that allow you to do this in a fun and easy way.

It’s flagship project, EPIC Homes is an initiative that aims to build relationships through the act of building homes for underprivileged Malaysian communities. An EPIC Home can be built within 3 days with a team of ordinary people. Under the Builder Training Program, participants are equipped with the skills and knowledge to lead, manage and build homes.

To date they have built over 18 homes with over 400 people from around the world, and have grown into a community with over 4400 people. They have also built with corporations such as PEMANDU, Media Prime Berhad, GE Malaysia, AirAsia Berhad, Taylors Education Group & Sinclair Knight-Merz. This year EPIC intends to build 100 homes whilst transforming this initiative into a nationwide movement.

How it all started
EPIC started as a conversation over the dinner table in 2010, where four friends were discussing the possibility of solving local issues through community work. When the conversation ended, we realized they had done a whole lot of talking, but no work.

And so, we began to search through friends and families for small projects that could bring like minded people together with the intention to bring about positive impact and to drive change in their community. A man from a nearby village in Batang Kali told us of a potential house-painting project and took us to recce the site.

When we arrived, a little boy in the group asked, “Where is the toilet?” It turns out that the village toilets weren’t completed, and thus the settlement didn’t have any. And that “toilet-building and painting project” (that really was the title of the project) was the first ever EPIC event.

We thought that we’d only be able to gather a tiny group of people for the project, but after blasting our call for volunteers through social media we were hit with 64 committed individuals who were ready for action. These guys ranged from ages 13-60 and they hailed from different countries around the world. When these strangers met for the first time at the project, we immediately knew that we had something special. We had never experienced such authenticity before. Each person that was present had one goal in mind: they were there to do whatever they could to help another person. This inspired us and showed us that by doing little with many, we could produce impact of epic proportions.

What EPIC Homes does
EPIC Homes aims to build relationships between the urban and rural divide through the activity of building homes for underprivileged Malaysian communities, currently focusing on the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia, the Orang Asli.

We believe that the presence of relationships is what truly differentiates a ‘Home’ from a House’. When an EPIC Home is built, a family does not just get a new house, they become connected to a larger community who genuinely cares for them, a community that seeks to understand their challenges, and who seeks to solve it together with them.

Without people and relationships a house is nothing but a shell. This shell may protect a family from physical elements, but it is through people that they will be inspired and motivated to improve and move forward.

Since encountering our first dilapidated house in 2010, we have built 17 homes mostly in Selangor and Perak, connecting Orang Asli families with over 300 people from around the world. We have built alongside Malaysians and have also had builders from Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Japan, Holland, New Zealand, India, Sweden, Korea, Turkey, UK, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Africa, USA, Iraq and Venezuela.

-To connect all 834 villages to the city through relationships built between urban and rural people.
-To have active participation from government, corporations and the general public who will be driving the initiative

According to the Pelan Strategik Kemajuan Orang Asli 2011, 82% of Orang Asli are in need of housing aid; that’s approximately 12,322 families who live in unsafe housing in Peninsular Malaysia.



We believe that building homes is an effective and powerful activity that opens the door to relationship building. We also believe that homes are of utmost importance – a home leads to much more than four walls and a roof. It can affect livelihood, physical and personal health and the educational development of an individual.


For more information
Contact Person: John-son Oei
Email Address:
Phone Number: +603 5613 5683
Founded: 2010
Address: No 15, Jalan PJS 11/18 Bandar Sunway, 46150, Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

Creating a Kick Ass Business Plan

Here is why we create business plans

To start any business, you will need a Business plan that acts as a map leading you to your GOAL.Close your eyes and imagine the entire business idea, step by step starting with the initial process and then slowly create a flow chart of all its possible alternative results. Each possibility should have a set of positive and negative results. Then for each result, try to map out how you are going to fix it, and what is the next step forward. Remember that once you have prepared it, it isn’t cast in stone. Make sure you have the map printed out on a big sheet of paper and stick it next to your life GOALS. Some motivational gurus, will tell you to read it out loud in the morning to achieve a mental winning setting. Positive Mental Setting. Always keep the plan fluid, so that you can rapidly react and adapt, should something go wrong.
One of the steps to creating a business plan is to conduct a SWOT analysis. To give you a better example, lets look at this case study. SWOT CASE STUDY


Your business plan is essentially your road map of possibilities to a comprehensive list of questions. The first and most important question is this: where do you want your business to go? and what should you do when things go wrong?

You should be asking yourself questions like

  1. The problem that your business will be solving
  2. Is it a NEED or a WANT
  3. What type of business are you planning to run?
  4. How do you imagine/want your business to look like in 2,5,10 years or more?
  5. The expected costs and revenues of the business. Make sure the numbers are supported by realistic and detailed assumptions and projections.
  6. Exit strategy for investors, partners and yourself.
  7. Are you going to expand within the same business or branch out to other supporting businesses? 

Try to set achievable goals to give you a gauge on how you are progressing. Not only does it alert you if you are deviating from the master plan, but by celebrating these short term achievements,  it provides you with the positive motivation to strive on.


This living document generally projects 2-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.

Executive Summary
Your executive summary is usually a 1 page summary  of your business plan as a whole and touches on your company profile and goals. You have 30 seconds to attract the interest of the reader/ investor. The first 30 seconds will usually determine how impressive your plan is. Whether the investor will continue listening or set up a mental block.   

Below are the main criteria’s  you need to include

Company/Business Description
Provide concise information on what your company does.
Is your business unique in its services and offerings?
If yes, then how so?
How big should your hostel be?

Market Analysis
Before launching your business, it is essential for you to research your business industry, market and competitors. What are the travelers needs?
If this is a new hostel concept or category

  • Find out how many customers will be interested in this concept
  • Potential of this number growing over time
  • What is the Potential pricing for the rooms/dorm. This will help you work out your costings later on. 

Identify all your competition within the area. This covers all hostels, AirBnb lodgings, budget hotels, and hotels. It is better to identify all the competitors than have the investors discover them afterwards. 
Find out what they are offering, and how can you use this to your advantage?
How to make a Concise Search

Organization & Management

This depends on the size of your hostel. Basically the more rooms you have, the more staff you will need. You might be able to survive with a skeleton crew and maintain a minimal front staff, but you will need to increase your housekeeping team.

  • Would you be managing the place or will you be hiring a manager to do the work?
  • Would you setup different departments to run the hostel?
  • A bigger hostel, also means, more space to cover.Additional security cameras for security?
  • Additional inventory, i.e bedsheet, breakfast items, toiletries?
    SOPs and monitoring sheets you need

Service or Product Line
The thing that most people over look is, Ancillary Income. How does it benefit your customers? What is the product lifecycle? Get tips on how to tell the story about your product or service.Ancillary Income Earns 30% of Revenue

Marketing & Sales
How do you plan to market your business? What is your sales strategy? Read more about how to include this information in your plan.How will your reach your target customers? What promotional tactics and marketing channels will you use? How will you price your products and/or services? What brand positioning do you desire for each?
Is Guerilla Marketing for you?

Funding the project
Are you self funded, or do you need external funding? If you are seeking funding for your business, find out about the necessary information you should include in your plan. If you plan to raise money, you need to interest VCs (Venture Capital) or angel investors with the elevator speech ( capture attention within 30 seconds) and PowerPoint presentation, but you only close on the money after the investor reviews, questions, and buys in to your entire business plan. So you must spend a significant amount of time drafting a coherent and persuasive executive summary or business plan that sets forth, among other things.

Financial Projections
Preparing your financials and making sure they are in order, is essential to track your company’s

  1. Profit and Loss
  2. Cash flow
  3. Encourage transparency which is important for declaring tax and when you sell the business. 

Why you should forget Profit and focus on Cash Flow?
Quick guide to know if it is a profitable business

You want others to read and/or fund your business, your plan has to read well and be formatted properly. But it’s the content in the business plan, your strategy and reasons why you’ll succeed, that will prompt others to invest or otherwise join you in your conquest to build a thriving business!


An appendix is optional, but a useful place to include information such as resumes, permits and leases. Find additional information you should include in your appendix.

Good luck and All the Best in Captivating your readers.

5 Things your team needs from you as a Leader

Leadership is a lot more simple than we think. Don’t over complicate it.

Leadership is, of course, subjective. But its foundation stems from one thing: the ability of an individual to establish a following among other individuals or teams.

Every leader has his or her own style and strategy. While it can be difficult to become a great leader and to achieve great things, practicing great leadership, is actually quite easy. There is a tendency to over complicate or overthink what leadership is, but actually, leadership can be very simple.  I have worked with teams all over the world, from dozens of cultures, and from different generations, Baby Boomers to Millennials, and I have found that if you provide these four simple things your team will appreciate you, follow you, and achieve great results.

1. Clear direction

This is the leader’s number one job. If you don’t do anything else, you absolutely must give clear direction to your team. Let them know what the goals and objectives are. Too often there is a lack of clarity, which can lead to confusion, misalignment, frustration, and disengagement.

Clarity, confidence and courage “A leader is someone who has the clarity to know the right things to do, the confidence to know when she’s wrong, and the courage to do the right things even when they’re hard.” – Darcy Eikenberg, founder,

2. Support

“Leadership is serving the people that work for you by giving them the tools they need to succeed”. When you set a team up to be successful, most of them will grab the opportunity with both hands and become successful. Leadership is about serving your team, not about being served by them. This doesn’t mean doing the job for them; it means providing the right environment, and then being there to help, if needed.
Your workers should be looking forward to the customer and not backwards, over their shoulders, at you. It also means genuine praise for what goes well and leading by taking responsibility early and immediately if things go bad.

3. Solving problems

Being the solution to problems “Leadership is the ability to see a problem and be the solution. So many people are willing to talk about problems or can even empathize, but not many can see the problem or challenge and rise to it. It takes a leader to truly see a problem as a challenge and want to drive toward it.” – Andrea Walker-Leidy, owner, Walker Publicity Consulting

4. Space

Give the team the space to get on with the work. Provide support, but don’t micromanage them. Micromanagement is not only frustrating and demotivating, but it can also lead to mistakes, as it can put your team under unnecessary stress. Micromanagement is not good for your team, and it’s not good for you, either, because no one wants to work for a micromanager. If that becomes your reputation, then the best staff will look to work elsewhere, and it will give you both recruitment and retention issues. It’s OK to check up on the team, to see how they are doing and what you can do to help, but it has to be within reason.

5. Praise

Positive feedback, in my experience, is key to building a great team that achieves amazing things. I am always surprised by how resistant many managers and leaders are to giving praise, You need to create a culture of recognition, and it starts by recognizing effort. No one is successful immediately, so you should look to give people positive feedback for trying, for being willing to give things a go. What gets recognized gets repeated, and we want people to repeat the effort, because that is what it is going to lead them to success. If you wait for your team to achieve success before you praise them, then you could be waiting a long time.

If you want to become a better leader, or you want your team to achieve better results, providing these four simple ingredients will go a long way toward motivating and inspiring your team and boosting their efforts.

Leadership is a lot more simple than we think. Don’t over complicate it.

Credit picture: Muhammad Zameer

Unleashing the Power of a Positive Mind with these 5 habits!

I was 35 and at the lowest point in my life. Adopting these positive habits helped to turn my life around

Positive thoughts build a strong positive mind. Your mind is powerful, when it is positive, it is able to generate good vibrations to your entire body, and thus creating positive actions. Positive actions will then create positive results!

It Pays to Be Positive! Always remember this.
It was about a year ago, I was at the lowest point in my life. I was 35 years then. I was working on an offshore rig, which i have been working for the past 10 years. It was the year 2016, when oil industry was hit with mass retrenchment. I knew within the next few months, it would be my turn. I was desperately trying to get my future plans in order. The stress level was mounting on me.

On my supposedly last hitch to work (July 2016), i was at the peak of my life. I  had all the business plans in place and i wasnt too worried if i got retrenched as i knew i was going to take the jump. I readied my self for what was to happen. Then when i got back from work, (I work 1 month away from home and get 1 month time off at home). I found that my wife had left me for another person.

My life took a drastic dip. I felt like killing my self. In 2 days time, it would be my 35th birthday. I was convincing my self, that she would turn up that very morning on my birthday to give me a surprise to say that this was a joke. It would have been the best birthday present ever!

On the day of my birthday, no such surprise came. I was struggling with life.
I was distancing my self from my friends and family and i felt so alone. I was listening to self help talks and motivation online.
I wanted to destroy all my businesses as i felt that i didnt have any purpose in life anymore. I felt bad for most of my staff, because i couldnt think of how to carry on some of the business. Then somehow, i was shown kindness and positivity. This was the time, when i knew who were my best friends. I am grateful i have them.  I prayed hard everyday and thanked god for helping me.
At my lowest point, i was convinced this had to be mid life crisis every one was talking about. I told my self, as this is the lowest point, it can only get better!
I decided to turn things around.

Here are five habits that I’ve used that will attract more positivity into your life.

There’s a direct correlation between a positive attitude and better relationships, superior health, and greater success.


A positive attitude can boost your energy, heighten your inner strength, inspire others, and garner the fortitude to meet difficult challenges. According to research from the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking can increase your life span, decrease depression, reduce levels of distress, provide greater resistance to the common cold, offer better psychological and physical well-being, reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and enable you to cope better during hardships and times of stress.

Here are the 5 habits that can help alleviate your positivity

  1. All things will pass. Nothing is permanent

    Keep reminding yourself, that nothing is permanent. When you are sad or no matter how bad things may have gone, always reflect that nothing is ever permanent. These sad or bad feelings, thoughts and situations will eventually be over. Look into the mirror and tell yourself “Everything is going to be alright” and “Things are going to be better”.
    It is the same with happy thoughts, conditions. We need to remind our self that these happy situations will also end, and that we need to take the time to stop and appreciate it. Appreciate the positive and happy moments. Appreciate the people we have that are with us now.
    Be kind to your self. Try to overlook the negative things and amplify all the positive actions or thoughts that you have done in the past. You are a good person!

  2. Surround yourself with positive people.

    Spend time with people who are positive, supportive, and who energize you. You will notice that after hanging out with positive people, your perception of life will also be slowly influenced by them to become positive as well.
    Imagine hanging out with a sad person when you are feeling depressed. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation.

  3. Thoughts become flesh

    Your mind is powerful. What you think and believe, you will achieve. If you don’t want to be surrounded by negative people, what makes you think others do? Learn to master your own thoughts.

    For example: When you visualize a goal, it makes you more likely to take the actions necessary to reach it. Visualize yourself winning the race, getting the promotion, accepting the award, or landing the new account.

    Control your negative thinking. This can be accomplished in the following ways:

    • See the glass as half full rather than half empty.

    • Anticipate the best outcome.

    • Stay the middle ground. Don’t view everything in extremes — as either fantastic or a catastrophe. This will help you reduce your highs and lows.

    • Mistakes happen. Negative people blame themselves for every bad occurrence whether it was their fault or not. Don’t let this be you.

  4. See failures as opportunities.

    Successful people are not afraid of failures. They anticipate failures in life and plan their best for it. They learn to see it as a opportunity to learn and improve. Instead of letting challenges overwhelm you, turn them into opportunities. (Rather than hitting the wall, climb over it or go around.)
    These times when you are feeling down and out. Don’t let negativity take over. I keep telling myself, if you have reached the very bottom of the pit. You can no longer go down and the only direction is UP!

  5. Count your blessings.

    Be grateful and give thanks for what you have in your life rather than taking them for granted. If you want to achieve happiness, better health, stronger relationships, and continued success, you may not have to look any further than the mirror. “The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.”* Do you see the glass half full or half empty? True happiness may depend on how you view the world and who you look to for inspiration.

    Credit picture to

    We hope that with these positive habits, you are able to change your perception of life and everything will be better with time.

    We would love to hear your stories in life. Please write to us below.

6 Habits of Successful People To Overcome Failure


Have you ever noticed that most successful people have a common trait? They managed to overcome their failures. They are not afraid of failures. In fact, they anticipate failure and use it as a learning opportunity to perform better. In Robert T Kiyosaki (Author of Rich Dad,Poor Dad), one of his book series, he mentioned that successful people strive to achieve financial freedom. Financial freedom = sufficient passive income to cover all your daily expenses (in simple terms). Financial freedom, is the ability to have time to do what you always wanted to do without worrying about bills, and other costs. Money is a tool that enables us achieve that lifestyle.

What sets successful people apart is their ability to maintain positive habits, so they can maximize their time (even when hardship hits). This skill of turning failure into success is key, and although it may seem like these successful people are superhuman, they are not.

Successful people anticipate failure, and always learn to overcome it. Like you and me, they make mistakes. Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but this doesn’t stop them from achieving their potential. They don’t overcome this with money, power, or fame. They don’t have a secret you don’t. But they do have a set of positive habits that sets them apart, and with a little tweaking, so can you.

Let’s have a look at the 6 habits that successful people use to overcome their failures

1. They cultivate a positive mentality

The most powerful tool we have is our mind. The thoughts, dreams and reality that we form in our mind, will determine and influence the outcome of our lives. One big difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is they always say ” It is a minor hiccup in my plan,  i will find a way to solve this ” as opposed to “Its too hard, i think i cant do it”. Your words do become flesh.
There for, you yourself are responsible for setting your self up for success.

If you think it is a small problem, then it is a small problem.
If you think there is no problem, then there is no problem.
It is up to you, how you change your reality.

2. They take time to ‘reflect’ each day

Successful people take time out of their day (every day) to reflect on their life. Reflect on:

  1. What’s working, and what isnt?
  2. What is important to me now?
  3. Am i doing the right thing and is there anything i can do to make it better?
  4. Time is precious, Don’t waste it. Appreciate it!

The art of meditation is a growing culture. It is a upcoming trend among high performing athletes, entrepreneurs and celebrities, to help them relax, and refocus on their life.  This is one positive habit anyone can do, and all it takes is 5-10 minutes each day.

3. They start the day early! 

Nearly 50 percent of the self-made millionaires got out of bed at least three hours before their workday actually started. Many of them use the free time to tackle personal projects, plan their day, or make time for exercise.

You won’t meet many successful people who sleep beyond 7am. If you listen to motivational speeches and talks, you will

No matter if you are a morning person or not, there is huge value in waking up early (even if you spend this time reflecting, instead of working).

“Life is too short,” she panicked, “I want more.” He nodded slowly, “Wake up earlier.”- Dr. SunWolf

Planning your day ahead will enable you to create a mental system that is systematic of which is priority and what you need to do during your day. This decreases your stress levels because everything is planned out. Imagine your productivity levels, if you begin your day stress free, happy and goal orientated?

4. They focus on the work they need to do

There is always a thousand things that you will need to do. Successful people focus on the priorities and clear the tasks one by one. They focus on getting the job done.
Do not procrastinate! Do it, and get it done with. People usually tend to set aside or put off any hard jobs or things that they do not like to a later time. Does the phrase “It’s ok, ill do it later” sound familiar with you?

Believe me, once you get it done with, when you look back, you will realize that it wasn’t so bad. Success lies in focus, and getting what you need to do done (as in, right now)!

5. They spend time with people who inspire them

‘We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with” Jim Rohn (Motivational Speaker).

“You are only as successful as those you frequently associate with” 

If you don’t have highly-motivated people in your personal network yet, fear not. Self-made millionaires volunteer, which is a great way to meet other positive, motivated individuals. When you volunteer your time, skills and knowledge, you are sharing. This cultivates and promotes positive attitude and energy. Positive people will attract other positive people.

Choose who you spend your time with. Time is a limited resource. Successful people make a point to limit their association with negative people.

When you are staring failure in the face, consult your positive friends and associates and with their input it makes the problem or failure smaller. Always remember, if you think it is a small problem, then it will be a small problem. It is all in the mind. You yourself have the ability to change your own reality.

6. They do not fear mistakes or failure

As human beings, we all share something in common: we make mistakes, and we sometimes fail.

Successful people are no different to you and me, but they do approach failure different to most. They prepare for failure and do not fear it. They do not let failure hold them back. They ensure that it leads them to greatness.

failure 1

This is how successful people think. This is how they approach each day. They appreciate failure may occur today, but they do not allow this to stand in their way

The only time you do fail is when you allow this fear or failure to take control of you.
It is a constant battle to be successful, but these 6 successful habits will ensure that you stay on top of your game and will be able to handle failure in a positive way.  Whenever you see the success of successful people, whether world class athletes or successful business entrepreneurs, always remember the “THE REAL WORK IS BEHIND THE SCENES’


What habits are you going to implement into your life today? We would love to hear from you!

What Malaysians are saying to increasing retirement age from 60 to 65

Are Malaysians ok to work till 65?


(Featured Image Credit from Asian Development Bank and P interest)

Why would the Government want us to keep on working?
First of all, Malaysians are living longer so many experts are justifying that we should be working longer too. With higher standards of living and health benefits and infrastructure, the “Nationally Announced” life expectancy of Malaysians are an average 74.7 years in 2016 compared to 72.2 years in 2000.  (Sources: MalayMailOnline)

Many critics have warned that these estimates can be misleading due to the inconsistencies between age brackets, gender, income levels and different ethnicity.

Secondly, increasing the retirement age could help the country save some big bucks. We all know that the government is struggling to balance their massive checkbook right now. If they were to increase the retirement age, not only would more workers pay into EPF and SOCSO for longer, but the country won’t have to spend as much money caring for retired seniors. (Read: How to retire early)

Below is the population projections for Malaysia. (Department of Statistics Malaysia)


A recent poll conducted by The Star Online found that 66% of the 3,780 participants voted “no” to increasing the retirement age.

It was also found that the majority of poll participants (1,556) chose 55 as the “ideal retirement age”, and a  mere 7% voted for 70.

It was found that the general sentiment of those who voted against increasing the retirement age was to give the younger generation an opportunity to take over the workforce.

Here are what some Malaysians have to say about this:
  1.  “After the age of 55, we need to spend time for ourselves. We should allow the younger generation to take over with ideas which are more innovative and creative.”
  2. “We notice that (work) performance decreases with increasing age. Some get paid for doing less work. Just give the younger generation a chance instead.”
  3. “It is to provide even more new jobs for the young ones. It is also to stop burdening senior citizens to comply with the latest technology.”

Others cited medical reasons for voting against the increase of retirement age.

  1. ” Senior citizens should be at the age of enjoying life and not going to work as it would affect their health.

On Sunday, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim clarified that the Government was not planning to increase the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 65.

Rohani refuted media reports saying that the Government was planning to raise the retirement age.

“Extensive research needs to be carried out because the mandatory retirement age was only just increased to 60 in July 2013,” she said.

Do write to us. We would love to hear from you on your thoughts.

Does life really begin at 40? Thing’s i realized when i was 39 years old..

Does life really begin at 40? What do i have to do, to get what i want?

There’s a famous saying “Life begins at 40”. Some people believe that this is the middle point in life where you really should have explored life to the maximum. Others will tell you that the last 39 years before was just “research”. I am sure plenty of people have their own bucket lists to fulfill before turning 40.

I googled out the items to do online and this is what i found

  1. Shower naked in a water fall – Im pretty sure i have done it at somepoint when i was still a little boy.
  2. Backpack around the world with my partner – Immerse in the unspeakable intimacy that forms from traveling with just one person you love. Embrace it, and seize the adventure, uncertainty, and excitement of everything to come.
  3. Starting something that lasts – Weather its a business, nonprofit, community or product. It should be something that could hold your legacy even after you leave. Something people would remember you when you are not around.
  4. Finding someone to mentor – Having someone look up to is an incredible feeling. Someone you can pass your wisdom to.
  5. Visit a different religious culture – We are blessed to be in a multicultural country. But probably this statement means to explore other different religious around the world. Probably visiting the tribes of South America ?
  6. Write a letter to your future self – Give it some thought of what you would want to tell your future self?

These are all great things that one should experience, and i am sure there are many more. We only have one life, hence go out and live it to the fullest.


(Photo Credit : DialAflight)|

Sitting down on a wooden swing surrounded by strawberry bushes in the quiet mountains of Chiang Mai, Thailand. I begin to contemplate on my own life.

I discovered that trying to pause in life is much harder than trying to be busy.

  1. What i thought was important , was not that important
  2. Life is happening now. If opportunity doesn’t knock on your door, build your own door! “Life happens when you are busy making plans for it”. You should embrace what life has to offer in the present and not wait for the future before we start to ‘LIVE’
  3. Expanding and exploring our talent
    Ignoring or under utilizing your talent is a waste. I learnt learnt many lessons during my time of unemployment and one of the greatest one is to never limit my talent to the job description or other people say you can do or can’t do. There are limitless opportunities waiting for you, so take a bold step and venture out of your comfort zone.
  4. You always have a choice
    How many times have you heard people giving the excuse ” I didn’t have a choice” ?
    “I am already married with children. I have a responsibility and cannot afford to take the risks”. The question is not whether we have a choice, but whether we are willing to grab the opportunities that life has presented to us. We need to train our minds to distinguish between positive and negative information, and hopefully the right choice will get the better of us.
    One of the key factors for me personally, that contribute to the choices i make is finances. When i changed my perception that money was a tool and not my end goal in life, my eyes opened to many more opportunities in life.
  5. Going out of your comfort zone

    Credit: Alphacoders

    This was an extremely difficult decision for me as I value comfort. I don’t think I’m alone in this. People like to be comfortable. They enjoy the familiar. Even when the familiar is far from optimal (even horrible), people still resist change.
    Seeking comfort, however natural it is, will never enable growth. How would you feel if you were able to merge what you love with your work and make it your lifestyle? Just think of how great and fulfilling that would be.

  6. Doing what you are passionate about
    “If you have an idea that might work in an area that you’re not passionate about, instead think about ways that you could apply it to a sector that does excite you,” he says “Look at your idea from a different perspective, and you might be surprised by the results.” Richard Branson.
  7. Remember nothing is permanent
    Everything is impermanent. “Bad times will come but they are not here to stay. Things will get better”. Always remember that no matter what you do, you are not stuck. Keep things in perspective. Mistakes are only learning experiences. Everything serves to teach you something. Whatever choice you make will be the right choice for that moment.
  8. Opportunities are waiting

Stephen C Hogan advised “most people miss great opportunities because of the misperception of time. Don’t wait! The time will never be just right.”  We think we have all the time in the world to do the things we would love to do, so we put them off until the perfect time.  Opportunities are waiting right now, and if you package your passion, you will be able to embrace them sooner rather than later. You may think you do not have the time or resources to embrace these new opportunities – not true. The problem is a lack of priorities – not focusing on the things we want the most in life and making them part of our daily goals and tasks.

“Decide what you want, and then act as if it were impossible to fail.” – Brian Tracy

Now that I have crossed the great threshold of forty, my perception on life begins at forty has changed.  I realize there is no perfect age to accomplish any goal. If I had the chance to advise my younger self, I would tell her to discover and explore the potency of her passion on a daily basis.

I will encourage her to maximise every opportunity that comes her way.  I will also teach her how to be aware of the dominant components of her passion, so she matches them to the right opportunities when they appear. Life is right now, right here – make the most of it.