The New and Exciting Normal

Back in February, I had the privilege of attending a live session with one of UK’s leading Venture Capitalist professors from Oxford University.

He foretold a Black Swan event that was going to happen because of the pandemic, something we couldn’t imagine.

The world going into a lockdown? Severe shifts in consumer behavior? Toilet paper shortage? Surely this was doomsday talk.

Today, we’ve learnt that the unthinkable event of the world coming to a grinding halt is both painful and possible.

We have seen vast amounts of businesses closing down. According to Malaysia Retail Chain Association, 50,000 businesses went bankrupt since March, with a further 30,000 to follow within the next 5 months. Yikes!

Zooming into my company. I distribute premium German nutrition supplements.

When this started, I was concerned that our consumers would stop buying our products and start buying apples instead. Sentiment coupled with poor economic conditions were, and to an extent still are, affected by the numbers of infected we see daily.

Bad enough that we had a pandemic. The ringgit dropped against the euro causing our freight costs to soar. All this combined with the confusion of unclear and abrupt communication of who and how many can work from where, and we have a concoction that causes head spins.

What’s unbelievable is that 2020 is the best year in our company’s 17-year history.

As of November, our company is growing at a pace of 135% year on year.

I can put this down to the rising awareness of the importance of buffing our immune system, the need for a realiable second stream of income and plenty of proactive action since the lockdown started.

The good news is, we’re not alone! With the rise of social media and internet shopping, lots of businesses are thriving in the new and exciting normal.

Love to cook? Sell online!

Do you have a good sense of humor or offer interesting insights? Straight to YouTube you go. Love buying things overseas? Have you heard of drop shipping?

A people’s person with time on your hands? Have you considered direct selling?

Hold up. I know what you’re thinking. Direct Sales? Well, according to the 2020 DSAM report, there are 3 million users of Direct Selling products in Malaysia. This means that our market is very accepting toward Direct Selling products, and there is a further 30 million people in Malaysia yet to get in touch with Direct Sales in any way. If your expectations are to make an extra RM500 to RM1,000 per month, find a good company with solid products and get going.

I’m Paul, the CEO of PM International Malaysia, probably more well known for our range of products FitLine. I have been involved in the running of a multi-national direct selling company for 17 years.

I have worked in Germany and Singapore and started subsidiaries in Spain and the Philippines. I believe that every one of us has the potential to achieve way more than we believe we can. Every month, I will be sharing my insights on entrepreneurship and shed some light on what’s trending today.

I’m an economist from Warwick University, an angel investor and a nerd. I spent the numerous MCO’s finishing up executive education courses from Oxford University whilst learning to be a daddy to Adelia, my first born.

I am a true blue Subang Jaya boy, I studied in Tadika Ladybird all the way to Taylor’s College in SS15. I am so excited at this opportunity to pen my thoughts in SJ Echo and engage with you, the awesome Subang Jaya community.

Do something today that you will thank yourself for next year. Opportunities are all around us, and if you are in the position to help others, I would like to leave you with a quote, “When we are blessed with abundance and wealth, raise your standard of giving, not your standard of living”

Let’s all raise our standards of giving, support local businesses and open our minds to the new and exciting normal. Here’s wishing everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy (and safe) New Year!