2013 In Review

2013 has been quite an interesting, roller-coaster sort of year, with much ups and much downs, but generally progressive and forward. I've summed them into roughly 5 items at this point in time:

1) Urbanrehab (www.urban-rehab.org)

Overall, our company at Urbanrehab grew their staffing, services and revenue, on top of starting an additional branch. Our team is a little bigger now (and apparently bigger teams and gatherings make me happy) and I'm happy with more people on board as well as more value we can provide to our clients.

We lost our first full time "real" staff, who working with us full time for 9 months, and at that time, losing her wasn't easy to me. She had said that my team was too small and that she "can't waste anymore time" (waiting for me to build my team).

That, at that time, felt painful to me as I felt that I had let her down to a certain extent...until I realized that she had already gotten her new shiny work permit that has been approved by the Ministry of Manpower, so she can already start at the new workplace. Plus, her next workplace seem to consist only of UK-trained foreigners. Hmm.

Oh well.

It was fun while it lasted, and I learnt a little more about human beings and in this instance, how therapists are different from each other.

What's more interesting to note is that after she left, four different therapists approached me from different disciplines that would make a very nice, diversified and specialized team that will add significant value to our patients and to each other.

Ah, another thing I'm starting and trying to practice more of - to wait and see. I find that harnessing patience and observing patiently for more information often shows me how I can do things better than just going knee jerk reaction.

To build resilience in Urbanrehab, I have restructured our hiring packages for individuals who are interested in working with us, and I do believe this is one of the key strategic moves that will move Urbanrehab in the correct, progressive direction for 2014 and beyond.

We had our first company wide gathering, with around 14-15 turn ups, and I was really very happy to see everyone having fun together, talking, eating and just being around.

This year has also been a difficult year for hiring as Singapore's Ministry of Manpower tighten their grip on employment matters in Singapore, due to the recent feedback by Singaporeans.

2) Acquiring 4 mini-businesses

Due to privacy and confidentiality reasons, I am not able to share with you as of now the businesses that I recently acquired.

I realized that as we grow bigger and more stable, with a little more reserves, we can start to diversify our portfolio and income.

Well, I think the main reason is not simply for the sake of diversifying income - I think I'm just curious to see how businesses work, and I like to tinker around with businesses and challenges to see how I can make them work better, and better profit from them.

3) I started making more money online

MAKING MORE MONEY

It's not much, around USD 300 at this point in time for 2013, but it's definitely better than the year before. I'm experimenting a little more with online marketing and e-commerce too.

4) NigelChua.com - Focusing on Entrepreneurship and Business

I had finally decided to focus on entrepreneurship and business for NigelChua.com. Previously I had been struggling between personal development and entrepreneurship, but after a couple years of being stuck, I realized that all I write, all I speak and all I do, is about entrepreneurship and business.

...therefore, my values and core preferences should be entrepreneurship and business. Readers can expect more business and entrepreneurship related content here. Do let me know if there's anything specific you'd like to have more of.

5) We traveled to Hong Kong with the in-laws

This was particularly close to heart as we have been holding tightly to our finances since we started Urbanrehab together in 2008, as we wanted to ensure that there always be sufficient funds in the company. Because of that, we hadn't even gone for our honeymoon (we got married back in 2009, bless Louise who has been patient with us and me).

Taking the trip was a good try in a way that we test how our business can run without us, as well as how we are comfortable with the idea of spending money on top of not making money during the travel period. Results? Business and life went on as normal, we didn't make that much, but it was okay and we had fun.

That caused a shift in my mindset and attitude, as I started thinking how we should and can travel a little more - in 2014, we have a few places lined up to go already =D

Moving Forward For 2014 And Beyond

Looking back, 2013 has been very eventful and interesting, in terms of business growth, life experiences and lessons learnt along the way. I learnt to breathe a little, let things go a little. I learnt to trust God more. I learnt that people are different, and the diversity is good. I learnt that we deliver lots of value to our clients.

I learnt that business and entrepreneurship is fun. I learnt that I love my life. I learnt that life is not easy, but overcoming things are what defines us and makes us really happy. I learnt that having gatherings and lots of people around makes me really happy.

I am really looking forward to 2014 - I sincerely and whole-heartedly believe that 2014 will be our best year yet!

Here's to wishing you the best for 2014!

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