Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Know Where You are Going - The Value of Preparation Outweighs Your Lack Thereof

As an Artiste Training Coach, I do receive a lot of meeting proposals.All my students I advised to be prepared before they embark on anything. Preparation is key to success. Of course, one must always be professional when entertaining requests, given my past "bad" experience". A lot of people doesn't realise how much preparation one has to go through even before the meeting. Like casting sessions and auditions, it's the same preparation method I apply for business meetings. For first-time readers, you can access to all the tips here.

A good Communications Strategy Coach will do you even more good like preparing you for (sample tips here):
How to Excel in Reality TV Shows,
* How to Make Your Casting Enjoyable
How to Handle Rude Casting Agent
* Exude Your Inner Star Quality.
Points to Consider before you strive for Fame
The Art of Networking
How to Handle the Media
What to do during Pre-Production
What to do during Production
How Should an Artiste Travel for Work

No Last Minute, Please
For one, identifying the location is utmost important. I've never talked about this point, but if you don't know where you are going, how are you going to even start? For this meeting I'm supposed to attend tomorrow, by today already I have to make the effort to find the location of the office. Of course, you must find the time. I dislike doing things in a hurry, or last minute, because it actually makes you look unprofessional and waste energy.

Prep Yourself for Adventure
For me, I try to make my search for the location a form of adventure. For this meeting, the location is at Pudu. It's a whole new "world" to me, for I've been there before during an assignment where I followed a chap to his sales pitch. I noticed a lot of Chinese-operated shops and plenty of food stalls available. The whole cacophony of shops and roads turn this "adventure" even more exciting.

Save Your Time and Money
I took my sweet time, which is a luxury and important for me, since I hate doing things in a hurry. Besides, when I prepare early to identify the location of the office, then I wouldn't have to waste my energy searching for the place on the day of the meeting itself! Plus, I also save on taxi cab fare, and ask the driver to find the way for me. No need! If you're unfortunate, you might get a dishonest cab-driver who will take you a big turn-around just to get his meter running at its max capacity, causing you to shell a few ringgits more, sometimes even more than that!

Expect to "Get Lost"
So be smart and prepare early. I also get to enjoy the bustling side of Pudu. Now, I usually call the office first to enquire the location. Sometimes I masquerade as an outsider and ask for the direction. For this one, the admin officer lady told me to walk straight ahead after I departed from the LRT station and turn left until I find an oil station. I did exactly what she told me, but I couldn't spot the oil station! But along the way, I saw a lot of street peddlers, like a marketplace, I cannot call it a "pasar malam" (night market) since it was daytime when I set out. Most of the stuff they were selling are gadgets and cheap electronic stuffs and shoes.

What is an adventure without some challenges?
Then the rain came. This actually makes the search harder, for how am I going to look for the sign when I am holding the umbrella? Yes I can, but it's actually make the search more challenging for me. I tried to ask a few pedestrians about the petrol station, but it was a different brand from what I was told on the phone by the admin officer. So you need to be able to handle the dilemma of misdirection sometimes, and find ways to endure the punishing weather as well. What's my solution? As you know, Pudu is a place full of shops - I simply went into a bakery and bought some puffs. I took the opportunity to enquire at the counter, but no one seems to be able to help me spot the elusive location.

Treat Yourself
The rain was pouring in heavier as the minutes went by. My sneakers are now soaking in the water. So each step, I tried to avoid puddles of water, but not easy. I crossed the road and sat at a Chicken Rice stall. I've passed over this stall a few times before, and took this chance to try out the dish, I love that they serve chopped ginger, which is my favourite! Ginger is very good for your health, and especially if you have flu, it helps to clear your nostrils and bloodstream. The only thing I disliked about the food is the price, which does not commensurate with the portion of chicken served. But I love the copious amounts of ginger. Yummy...

The tinge of white light at the tunnel's end
After gaining some energy, (I didn't finish the chicken rice) I stood up and continued my search. My internal compass told me that the road is along that way, and the centre must be along that stretch. It's a centre for students, so it cannot be too far away from the food shops and convenience stores. I notice a lot of photocopy and stationery shops, so I suspect I must be near. Right before the moment I discovered the office, I enquired from a man walking by, and he was very kind to show me the road. I can feel he knows what he's talking about because he has none of the air of uncertainty. I felt very good to have encountered him, and right when I turned into an alley, right there is the office! Mission accomplished.

Allow my emotions lead me astray
As I head back to the train station, I reminded myself again of the direction and which turns to go into. I kinda visualise the whole place, and at the same time snapped some pictures for my perusal later. I noticed that I took the long road and went through a huge circle, where else the actual location is just a few metres away from the point of exit from the station. I guess I must have allow my emotions to lead me astray. Or perhaps the adventure side in me prompted me to give a longer chase in the search. But then again, how else am I going to be aware of my emotions when this is just a straightforward search for a location? No matter how focus one can be, emotions tend to creep in at the most unexpected moment...

Below are the links to my past SUCCESS stories in helping shape my students of all diverse backgrounds and industries:
Full Attendance
Fashion Students Showcase
Bigger Class
Taking Students on Roadshows
International Students
Student on Magazine Cover
Student Casting Session for Real Jobs
Students Photo Shoot
Students Performing for Event

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