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The Feng Shui Way To Riches

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Let’s get this fact right: there is no quick-fix to Feng Shui, regardless of whether it is applied for wealth or relationship purposes. The obsession with getting rich fast and falling in love quickly, however, has turned Feng Shui into a means to sell people all kinds of items and trinkets, in the name of helping them acquire more of one and find the other.

That is why this article seeks to clarify what ‘wealth’ truly means in classical Feng Shui, and what is the rationale behind certain common practices that have become associated with ‘wealth enhancement’. By understanding these basic fundamentals and appreciating the philosophy of Feng Shui, one should be able to understand how to respond when they are faced with a ‘Feng Shui’ wealth-enhancing claim, or offered a magic ‘Wealth’ formula.

Think Vibrant Qi, not Wealth

The word ‘Wealth’ has sort of crept into the technical vocabulary of Feng Shui today as most Feng Shui practitioners use it as a short-form to explain the outcome of using certain energies or sectors in a property. Rather than getting all technical, they cut to the chase of explaining the technical descriptions of these meanings and came up with the concept of ‘Wealth Sector’. This is because the study of Classical Feng Shui doesn’t actually speak directly of ‘Wealth’ or ‘Money’. So if you happen upon a Feng Shui magic money-making formula, it is something that should definitely make you question the validity of this so-called formula rather than reach for your wallet.

 

The descriptive meaning of Wealth or Prosperity comes from the study of the classics like Di Li Bian Zheng (Earth Study Discern Truth) where they spoke of ‘Prosperous Qi’ (or Wang Qi) and teaches the means of identifying where Prosperous Qi resides. This classics teaches the techniques and methods for gathering the Qi, and avoiding or transforming negative Sha Qi.

Another classical text is The Book of Burial (one of the oldest classics on Feng Shui), by Kuo Pu, which explores the central tenets of Feng Shui. Kuo Pu writes that Qi gathers at the boundaries of water and is dispersed by wind. But, it does not say that money will appear if you set up an aquarium. It also does not say that if you put 8 goldfish into the aquarium, you will inherit a thousand to millions of Ringgit. It does not say anything about placing ships of gold where possible or having a dozen paw-waving kitty cats above and around cash registers and building a fountain in your backyard.

Getting the Vibrant Qi

Feng Shui, like many Chinese Metaphysical sciences, is one of those practices in which complexity and simplicity interrelate with each other. In order to appreciate and reap the beneficial aspects of Feng Shui, one should understand the basics of the complex formulas instead of just mixing them together and reciting everything by heart without knowing how, why and what really works for you. That is why formula books are not the answer to successfully applying Feng Shui, because without an understanding of the fundamentals, the formula is just a bunch of numbers.

When it comes to using Feng Shui to enhance Wealth opportunities, we need to understand the type of Qi that can promote Wealth opportunities. In Feng Shui, that means locating the ‘Prosperous Qi’. To the average lay person, this is usually called ‘Yang Qi’. However, Feng Shui practitioners refer to it by its more technical name – ‘Prosperous Qi’ or ‘Wang Qi'(in Chinese) because Qi can be classified into 5 types of Qi, according to its timeliness,  therefore, it is important to know exactly what type of Qi and at what stage of timeliness it is at.

Finding the Prosperous Qi 

The rumor that ‘Prosperous Qi’ can be somehow ‘created’ is nothing more than just an old wife’s tale as one simply cannot produce a ‘Prosperous Qi’ place by literally lighting up the ‘Yang’ energy of a certain area. Remember that in Feng Shui, everything has to have its own natural placing and that the environment is real and not manmade or artificial. Even, the Qi present has to have the Prosperous quality in the first place, based on the time period. In any case, you cannot simply decide that you want your Front Door to be where the Prosperous Qi is located and try to force the situation. One cannot merely wished it to be where they want it to be nor can they force it to be there as the location is not dictated by convenience, but by the Qi map and based from the calculations. The gist of Feng Shui is all about showing you how to work with what you have, without having to make costly and needless aesthetic changes to your house that make it obvious that you are trying to ‘Feng Shui’ the place.

Calculating the Location of the Prosperous Qi

The location of the Prosperous Qi is determined through two methods: One by calculating the direction of the property using the Eight Mansions or Xuan Kong Flying Stars technique (Calculation based) and the other by evaluating the natural environmental features (Environmental based). Usually, one will use the calculation-based methods for Interior Feng Shui and use the environmental features observation method known as Forms to determine the External Feng Shui.

For example: We want to locate the Prosperous Qi in a house that is facing the South 2 direction. The Prosperous Qi of the house is located where the Facing Star #8 position is, as you can see from the chart below. Each house of course will have its own Prosperous Qi location and the role of the practitioner is to locate this Prosperous Qi area.

 

Because the location of the Prosperous Qi differs based on the Qi map of the property, it is a foolish for anyone to assume that there is a universal standard ‘Wealth Direction’ for everyone. It all depends on your own house direction. Take a look at your neighbors living on the same row as you and you will notice that only houses facing the same direction are equally rich and wealthy. While the external forms still have to be taken into consideration when determining a ‘Prosperous Qi’, there is also the Destiny context , whereby a person living in a house with a direction that is personalised to his/her Destiny will definitely have an edge over a person’s with a house that is less in-tune with his/her BaZi.

Once the location of the Prosperous Qi has been pinpointed, the Qi must be activated. Usually one would assign an activity room (such as the television room or living room) in this sector as one way of stimulating the Prosperous Qi in a location. Placing a Main Door in the Prosperous Qi location is also a form of activating the Prosperous Qi in a suitable area. Sometimes, for the purposes of activating the Qi, Feng Shui consultants recommend clients place Water feature in certain locations purely to activate the Qi. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Water feature itself or fish in the aquarium, but the Yang quality of the Water instead.

When you have the right type of Qi available, you need to collect that Qi. There’s no point in having the Wealth Stars in the right location on the Flying Star chart or locating the sector of Prosperous Qi, if the Qi cannot be collected. This is where the landform of the environment and the internal forms of the property, make all the difference. One should also know that an extremely important aspect of Qi collection is having a good Bright Hall or Ming Tang as it is known in Classical Feng Shui.

Do not mistake a Bright Hall for just a hallway with a lot of lights. If this is what a Bright Hall is, all the shops selling lights would be prosperous by now. In actuality, a Bright Hall is a broad spacious and open area that enables Qi to settle and collect. Ideally, it should be located in front of the main entrance of your property and not obstructed in any way, shape or form. Ideally, a property should have three Bright Halls, in tandem with the principle of Three Divide and Three Harmony (the San Fen and San He formation).

Having it, making it and keeping it

Earning more money and having more wealth opportunities is not just a case of fixing your Feng Shui. It also depends on your personal Destiny Code because Feng Shui cannot fix or give you what you do not have (in your Destiny) in the first place. So, you may need to re-align your goals, adjust your perspective, change your attitude, and see how Feng Shui can help you, within the path that Destiny has been laid out for you. Sometimes that means having realistic expectations and preparing yourself to face hardships and be willing to take on certain challenges.

That being said, there is never a quick-rich scheme that can help you amass great wealth. The presence of a Prosperity Qi only means that you have the capacity to make money, and keep it long enough to enjoy it. And even when one has the capacity and destiny for great wealth, it does not mean that they will actually become rich, or fulfil their destiny ultimately.

In the end, it all boils to an individual’s Destiny chart as it may show a tremendous capacity for a person to attain wealth or the opportunity for wealth, but if you are unwilling to achieve your destiny, then it will only just be numbers and calculations on a piece of paper. BaZi tells you that you can be rich, but it does not always also say that it will come easy.

Destiny is but one part of the equation. Being willing to take the chance, make the sacrifice and face the challenges – that is the other component. Some people have a Destiny that demands hardship, great personal sacrifice, even going through bankruptcy, divorce, bad relationships and bitter family ties, before they can emerge to see the pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow. That is their Destiny and it is one that they must follow in order to live their lives as prosperously as they hoped for in the end.

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Callum Connects

Benjamin Kwan, Co-Founder of TravelClef

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Making music to create a life for his family, Benjamin Kwan, started an online tuition portal and his music business grew from there.

What’s your story?
I am Benjamin and I’m the Co-Founder of TravelClef Group Pte Ltd, a travelling music school that conducts music classes in companies as well as team building with music programmes. We also run an online educational platform which matches private students to freelance music teachers. We also manufacture our own instruments. I started this company in 2011 when I was still a freshman at NUS, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

I was born to a lower income family, my father drove a taxi and was the sole breadwinner to a family of 7. I have always dreamed of becoming rich so that I could lessen the burden placed on my father and give my family a good life.

After working really hard in my first semester at NUS, my results didn’t reflect the hard work and effort I put in. At the same time, I was left with just $42 in my bank account and it suddenly dawned on me that if I were to graduate with mediocre results, I would probably end up with a mediocre salary as well. I knew I had to do something to gain control of my future.

During that summer break, I read a book “Internet Riches” by Scott Fox and I knew that the only way I could ever start my own business with my last $42 would be to start an online business. That was how our online tuition portal started and after taking 4 days to learn Photoshop and website building on my own, I started the business.

What excites you most about your industry?
Music itself is a constant form of excitement to me as I have always been an avid lover of music. As one of the world’s first travelling music schools, we are always very eager and excited to find innovative ways to a very traditional business model of a music teaching.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore and I love the fact that despite our diversity in culture, there’s always a common language that we share, music.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hands down, SINGAPORE! Although we are currently in talks to expand to other regions within Asia, Singapore is the best place for business. I have had friends asking me if they should consider venturing into entrepreneurship in Singapore, my answer is always a big fat YES! There’s a low barrier of entry, and most importantly, the government is very supportive of entrepreneurship.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have been blessed by many people and mentors who constantly give me great advice but right now, I would say the best piece of advice that I received would be from Dr Patrick Liew who said, “Work on the business, not in it.” This advice is constantly ringing in my head as I work towards scaling the business.

Who inspires you?
My dad. My dad has always been my inspiration in life, for the amount of sacrifices that he has made for the family and the love he has for us. He was the umbrella for all the storms that my family faced and we were always safe in his shelter. Although my dad passed away after a brief fight with colorectal cancer, the lessons that he imparted to me were very valuable as I build my own family and business.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
You can not buy time, but you can spend money to save time! With this realisation, I was willing to allow myself to spend some money, in order to save more time. Like taking Grab/Uber to shuttle around instead of spending time travelling on public transport. While I spend more money on travelling, I save a lot more time! This doesn’t mean that I spend lavishly and extravagantly, I am still generally prudent with my money.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken more time to spend with my family and especially my father. While it is important to focus our time to build our businesses, we should always try our best to allocate family time. Because as an entrepreneur, there is no such thing as “after I finish my work,” because our work is never finished. If our work finishes, the business is also finished. But our time with our family is always limited and no matter how much money and how many successes we achieve, we can never use it to trade back the time we have with our family.

How do you unwind?
I am a very simple man. I enjoy TV time with my wife and a simple dinner with my family and friends.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Batam, it’s close to Singapore and there’s really nothing much to do except for massages and a relaxing resort life. If I travel to other countries for shopping or sightseeing, I am constantly thinking of business and how I can possibly expand to the country I am visiting. But while relaxing at the beach or at a massage, I tend to allow myself to drift into emptiness and just clear my mind of any thoughts.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Work The System, by Sam Carpenter. This book teaches entrepreneurs the importance of creating systems and how to leverage on systems to improve productivity and create more time.

Shameless plug for your business:
If you are looking for a team building programme that your colleagues will enjoy and your bosses will be happy with, you have to consider our programmes at TravelClef! While our programmes are guaranteed fun and engaging, it is also equipped with many team building deliverables and organizational skills.

How can people connect with you?
My email is [email protected] and I am very active on Facebook as well!
https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.christian.kwan

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Entrepreneurship

Before you enter a Startup or before you choose your founding team or new hires read, “Entering Startupland” by Jeff Bussgang

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Before you enter a Startup or before you choose your founding team or new hires read “Entering Startupland” by Jeff Bussgang.

Jeff knows how to spot and groom good culture, as the book session was held in Zestfinance a company he invested in and now, “The Best Workplaces for Women” and for “The Best Workplaces for Tech”, by Fortune.

These are the questions during the Book Launch.

How to know if a hire including the founder is Startup material?
Jeff says to watch for these qualities.

First, do the hires think like an owner?
Second, do the hires test the limits, to see how things can it be done better?
Are they problem solvers and are biased toward action?
Do they like managing uncertainty and being comfortable with uncertainty? And comfortable with rapid decision-making?
Are they comfortable with flexible enough to take in a series of undefined roles and task?

How do we know if we are simply too corporate to be startup?

Corporate mindsets more interested in going deep into a particular functional area? These corporate beings are more comfortable with clear and distinct lines of responsibility, control, and communication? They are more hesitant or unable to put in the extra effort because “it’s not my job”.

If you do still want to enter a startup despite the very small gains at the onset, Jeff offers a few key considerations on how to pick a right one.

He suggests you pick a city as each city has a different ecosystems stakeholders and funding sources and market strengths. You have to invest in the ecosystem and this is your due diligence. Understand it so you can find the best match when it arises.
Next, to pick a domain, research and solidify your understanding with every informational interview and discussion you begin. Then, pick a stage you are willing to enter at. They are usually 1)in the Jungle, 2) the Dirt Road or 3) the Highway. The Jungle has 1-50 staff and no clear path with distractions everywhere and very tough conditions. The Dirt Road gets clearer but is definitely bumpy and windy. Well the Highway speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Finally Please – Pick a winner!

Ask people on the inside – the Venture Capitalists, the lawyers, the recruiters and evaluate the team quality like any venture capitalists would. Would you want to work for the team again and again? And is the startup working in a massive market? Is there a clear recurring business model?

After you have picked a winning team and product, how would you get in through the door?

You need to know that warm introductions have to be done. That’s the way to get their attention. Startups value relationships and people as they need social capital to grow. If you have little experience or seemingly irrelevant experience, go bearing a gift. Jeff shared a story of a young ambitious and bright candidate with no tech experience who went and did a thorough customer survey of the users of the startup she intended to work with. She came with point-of-view and presented her findings, and they found in her, what they needed at that stage. She became their Director of Growth. Go in with the philosophy of adding value-add you can get any job you want.

And as any true advisor would do, Jeff did not mince his words, when he reminded the audience that, “If you can’t get introduced you may not be resourceful enough to be in startup.”

Startupland is not a Traditional Career or Learning Cycles

Remember to see your career stage as a runs of 5 years, 8 or 10 – it is not a life long career. In Startup land consider each startup as a single career for you.

Douglas Merrill, founder of Zestfinance added from his hard-earned experience that retention is a challenge. Startup Leaders to keep your people, do help them with the quick learning cycles. Essentially from Jungle to Dirt road, the transition can be rapid and so each communication model that starts and exists, gets changed quickly. Every twelve months, the communication model will have no choice but to break down and you have to reinvent the communication model. Be ready as a founder and be ready as a member of the startup.

Another suggestion was to have no titles for first two years. So that everyone was hands-on and also able to move as one entity.

Effective Startupland Leaders paint a Vision of the Future yet unseen.

What I really enjoyed and resonated with as a coach and psychologist was how Douglas at the 10th hire thought very carefully what he was promising each of his new team member. He was reminded that startups die at their 10th and their 100th hires. He took some mindful down time and reflected. He then wrote a story for each person in his own team and literally wrote out what the company would look like and their individual part in it. In He writing each of the team members’ stories into his vision and giving each person this story, it was a powerful communication piece. He definitely increased the touch points and communication here is the effective startup’s leverage.

Douglas and Jeff both suggested transparency from the onset.

If you think like an owner and if you think of your founding team as problem solvers. Then getting transparent about financials with your team is probably a good idea. As a member of a startup, you should insist on knowing these things
Such skills and domain knowledge will be valuable. There is now historical evidence of people leaving startups and being a successful founder themselves because they were in the financial trenches in their initial startup. Think Paypal and Facebook Mafia.

What drives people to enter a startup?

The whole nature of work is changing. Many are ready to pay to learn. Daniel Pink’s book Drive showed how people are motivated by certain qualities like Mastery, Autonomy and Where your work fits into big picture. Startups do that naturally. There is a huge amount of passion and the quality of team today and as it grows then the quality of company changes.

The Progress principle is in place, why people love their startup jobs is not money rather are my contributions being valued? Do I see a path of progress and do I have autonomy over work and am I treated well?

Find out more about StartupLand on Amazon

And learn from Zestfinance

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