“How did you make managing director at UBS investment bank?” is a question I get asked quite often during Q&A session of my live streaming lectures. Another question that I get asked often is “How did you gain 2 million followers on LinkedIn?”.
To help my readers and students, I then traced back to see what I had done right that got me to where I am. Is it because I wake up at 5:30am every day? Or is it because I read many books? Waking up at 5:30am works wonderfully for me but I adopted this habit only after making MD, so this not the cause but the effect. I love buying books but only read about 6 to 8 books a year, so it cannot be the reason for my achievement either.
I tried recalling further back into the past. After graduating from the National University of Singapore with an engineering degree, I wanted to do something non-engineering, a job that can help me strengthen my presentation and selling skills. Although I have little knowledge of the banking industry, I sent an unsolicited letter to DBS Bank, indicating my interests to apply for a job in sales and marketing.
Two weeks later, I got a call for an interview. I did some research about the setup of banks and went for the interview. I got the job offer! And that was how I started my banking career. If I didn’t take the SMALL ACTION of writing that unsolicited letter to try my luck, I wouldn’t be in banking today because all other banks I applied to at that time turned me down. An unsolicited application letter made me stand out among the many applicants in eyes of HR.
Recalling how I reached 2 million followers was much easier as it was quite recent. In the spring of 2015, based in HK, I was not traveling back to my Singapore home for Chinese New Year like previous years. Having nothing to do during this long holiday period when the entire HK was closed for business to celebrate the most important festival of the year, I then thought of starting a blog. But there was one tiny little problem – I had no clue what WordPress was. I turned to LinkedIn instead. It took me three days to write my very first LinkedIn article, two days to rewrite and one day to muster all the courage to click the ‘publish’ button.
The article did okay but knowing that strangers, albeit only a few, liked my article, gave me the encouragement to publish my next article the following month. Gradually, I gained more and more followers. Taking the SMALL ACTION of publishing that first LinkedIn article triggered a chain of other actions that saw me reached 2 million followers. That first article boosted my confidence in writing and helped me build relationships with my followers.
Many people underestimate the significance of small actions. If you look at your achievements and try to trace back to what resulted in you achieving your success, you are likely to find that you took a small action.
I flew quite a bit before the pandemic – on average six flights a month. I know the cut off time for check-in at Beijing Capital Airport is 60 minutes before departure but once, I arrived 5 minutes after the cut-off. The only check-in counter staff was about to leave the counter and refused to help me check in. I missed my flight! Had I left my hotel one second earlier, would I have caught my flight? “Of course not!”, you said. How about two seconds earlier? “Extremely unlikely”, you would think. If I keep repeating the scenario of leaving my hotel earlier and earlier, each time by one more second, I would eventually reach the scenario that I am able to catch my flight. That SMALL ACTION of leaving one second earlier would have changed my fate from missing the flight to catching the flight.
In this monthly newsletter, I will be sharing some small actions that you can take, and subtle mindset changes you can adopt to create big success in your career and in your life. For example,
- how to tweak your LinkedIn profile to build a strong personal brand
- how to write Linkedin articles that add values to readers
- how to adopt a selling mindset when managing your career
- how to become a better presenter and negotiator
- how to expand your network with high quality connections
- how to cope with challenges
- why it pays to take risk
- what new skills to learn
- how to practise extreme time management to increase productivity
- how to have more money, find meaning and increase happiness
- how to demonstrate thought leadership
Please subscribe to get more tips and advice to help you attract more job opportunities and advance your career.
回想起我是如何达到200万粉丝就容易多了，因为这是相对近期的事情。 2015年春节的时候，我还在香港办公，因此并没有像往年一样回到新加坡在家里过年。我在香港没有亲戚，也不必拜年，无所事事之时，我想不如搞个博客什么的。但是有一个小问题 — 我不懂怎样使用WordPress，也不知道微博是什么，因此我转而使用领英。我用了三天的时间写了我的第一篇领英文章，两天重写，一天的时间鼓起勇气按下“发表”键。读者的反馈一般，但是平台上陌生用户给予我文章的点赞，尽管只有极少数，还是带给了我很大的鼓舞并让我有动力继续写作。渐渐地，关注我的人越来越多。发表第一篇文章，这一小小的举动引发了之后一系列的行动，关注者人数慢慢达到200万。第一篇文章增强了我写作的信心，并帮助我与读者建立了很深的羁绊。
如果我早一秒钟离开酒店，我能赶上飞机吗？ 你会说 “当然不会！”。如果我提前两秒钟会怎么？你也会认为这“绝对不可能”对吧。如果我不断重复这样的场景，每次提前一秒钟，那么我最终肯定能够赶上飞机。 提前一秒钟离开这个小小的举动可能会使我的命运从错过飞机变成赶上飞机。
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