Thursday, 27 January 2011

I am back!

I got a little distracted after running the business for close to a decade. Last year, I sorta took a sabbatical year to explore other opportunities, leaving my staff to handle most of the day to day activities at work.

It was an eventful year filled with excitement. For the first time in my life, I was dealing with preschool kids and avid gardeners. One thing led to another, kids knew me as Ms Greenfingers. I made my appearance at school carnivals, bazaars and garden shows. I even found time to volunteer at a school garden.

As the year came to a close, I found myself at the crossroads. While the new business was fun, it wasn't very profitable. Instead of mucking around, why don't I put my passion back into my core business, the one that has been keeping us alive and well all these years.

When I started the business ten years ago, it was my life, my everything. I stayed up all night emailing customers in USA and dreamed of shipping containers in my sleep. The sight of a brand new container would make my heart beat faster. I traveled across the world to meet customers and attend trade shows.

Then as life got comfortable, complacency set in. I wasn't quite as earnest anymore. The industry became more competitive as new players surfaced. Then there was the financial crisis which brought the maritime industry to its knees. That was when I began looking elsewhere. The grass is always greener on the other side.

This year, I decided to put my energy back into the container business again. I should harness my sound reputation and strength to grow the company instead of exploring the unknown.

Instead of sitting in the comforts of my office, there will be more travels to visit customers and vendors near and far. The timing is quite right as the kids are more independent now.

I'll be flying to Penang tomorrow to visit a client. It has been 15 years since my last trip to Penang Island, also known as "Pearl of the Orient". While I'm eager to meet my customer, I'm just as keen to see how much the island has changed over the years. And of course, I can't wait to eat all the famous Penang specialties - char kway teow, prawn mee soup, rojak, chendol, hokkien mee....

10 comments:

Malar said...

You are very strong woman. Good luck in your business!
Happy Chinese New Year to you!

Amel said...

Sounds like a GREAT plan, Ting! :-D Take care on your trips and it's true what you said that now you can travel more 'coz the kids are more independent. :-D

JY said...

Good Luck Blur and have at it! The timing is right, as you said!

auntielucia said...

Mustn't overlook Gurney Plaza, which I believe is (still?) S'pore (Capitaland) owned. It's got the microcosm of Penang all in one place!

ckl said...

I think it's always nice to take a break, sounds like you are now recharged!

My SINFONIA said...

Hope the year has given you new ideas for your business! Best of luck!

petunialee said...

When you first told me that you ran a transnational container business, I was impressed. I still am.

Wen-ai said...

Yup, I think it's amazing that you are running a business AND a single mother of 2. Total kudos...

The Real Mother Hen said...

Oh have a great trip and give Penang a hug for me please.

Open Kitchen Concept said...

You are one impressive woman, Ting! You can do everything!