Welcome to Charles Lau dot Com.

Charles Lau is a digital enabler, a web strategist, a web consultant, a social media evangelist and also a software developer. He is also a proud husband of Simin and a loving daddy of Faith, Zac and Dawn. Read more about him here.

Is your workload really possible to be managed by urgent/important principle?

office work

I find that the principle of marking tasks based on urgency/importance is not useful after all.

When the workload is manageable, it is most possible to prioritise based on importance and urgency.  However, people tend not to do that since it is already manageable.

On the other hand when the workload starts to get more than you can manage, it is even harder to label your tasks which are not considered urgent and important.

The worst thing for overloaded work to happen is to let certain tasks fail because of your prioritisation.  This is not acceptable either.  You have to look for another solution to tackle them so as to achieve win-win situation such as outsourcing and technology leverage.  Another simple way is to rework the timing so as to have ample time to achieve them all.

 

Image Credit: Martin Terber

What is your website for?

Website development

I have done quite a couple of websites for people.  It’s interesting to hear from them what they are constructing their websites for because they are either not realistic about it, or they are just too realistic about it.  What do I mean by that?

Unrealistic idea about website

They think that by doing up a website, they will be able to attract prospects for their business.  Well, it’s true when they have a matured website but not so at their initial stage.  In fact, some of them even bet most of their business on the free leads that the website is going to provide them when they are not intending to do anything right after the website is constructed!

Too realistic about their website

Their purpose of having a website is just to have web presence.  They have no intention to monetise their online presence at all, except to show their prospects and customers that they have a website.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this approach, but they are just a little wasteful of having such a website.  They do look at their email as part of their business communications.

What do I think about having a website

I like to look at websites as a means to something else.  It is not the end, but a tool to something greater.  And that greater thing is your web objective that you would like to achieve.  You have to work very hard on your website so that your website will work hard for you too!  There is no free lunch in this world!  You have to spend time and money to work on your website inside out.

Back in the past, I get to hear many people (even those working in the top management of big companies) telling me that business is not about the website solely.  That’s because I see that having a website is such a huge thing that it is going to be bigger if you are willing to work on it properly.  I can still remember this phrase “Charles, we are not Google so we don’t have to do such a huge digital marketing plan.”  Until 2012, things start to change drastically when everybody talks more often on social media.  More people are carrying smartphones today and surfing the websites more than ever.  Those same guys have a different opinion on me again…

It is really fun and super dynamic when I work on websites for many different industries over the years, such as legal firm, cake shop, electronic reseller, air-conditioner, restaurant, etc.  They all have different business models altogether that I have to understand before I can start working on their websites.  In fact, I try to outsource all the web design/development work because I am better at web strategy to achieve their business objectives.

Have you made your website work hard for you?

 

Image Credit: Jeremy Keith

When do you know that you need new headcount?

Headcount

Justifying for a new headcount is always the hardest thing to do in any company.  In fact, when a person resigns, they will start evaluating if it is necessary to have this headcount or not.

So when and how do you get a new headcount?

  • First and foremost, it has to be with the company profitability to make sure that they can afford to have any new headcount.
  • Secondly, when you start to see that you can only make some happy with your work while making others unhappy, it is a starting sign.
  • Thirdly, when your prioritisation based on urgency and importance is not working well, you have to take a step back and see if you are doing them right.
  • Fourthly, you start to notice that your temporary staff works like your permanent staff.
  • Fifthly, you sound out to your boss about all of the above.  (And it should end here if you have a good management.)
  • Lastly, if your boss or the management is not convinced, your resignation will start telling them that they really need a new headcount.

 

Image credit: Chris Potter

We need TRIP values to build a winning team

From my 7 years of entrepreneurship to my 7 years of employment, I have been enjoying my roller coaster ride throughout my career journey and am looking forward to more in future.

Be it as an entrepreneur in the past or as a digital marketing strategist today, I have learnt four uncompromisable TRIP values from my senior mentor* that I wish to share with all of you here. They are as follows:

  • TRUST,
  • RESPECT,
  • INTEGRITY &
  • PROFESSIONALISM

As entrepreneurs, we are always facing difficulty at the beginning stage, especially when ideas are new and not tested elsewhere. Hence when we wish to partner anybody, we must make sure that everyone has agreed to live by the TRIP values which govern and shape our conduct 24/7. If we can’t agree by the TRIP values, partnership should not be started at all in the first place. When our partners and ourselves agree to TRIP values, our written communications, actions and spoken words will be scrutinized-&-assessed based on the agreed values. That’s how simple it is to create a winning team.

These four values help us to Choose/Employ/JoinVenture/Ally/Work with the right individuals and decide what potential clients we wish to work with or walk away from.

We must internalise them, and live them 24/7 with no compromise, and it will TAKE A MIRACLE TO FAIL in our endeavours.

Any violation of TRIP in full or partially (or plainly ignoring TRIP) as our guidelines in picking who we collaborate with will bring about unhappy/unpleasant outcomes sequentially.

Human is the single most important asset of our businesses. Hence, everyone of us must share and live by TRIP values together in our spoken words, written communications and executed actions, regardless of how we are being compensated. This will be crucial in ensuring successful and satisfactory outcomes. If one of our team members violates TRIP, or worst still, if everyone ignore TRIP, then a failed outcome is guaranteed.

People may not remember exactly what we did or said, but they will always remember how we made them feel. Hence, be a righteous and good person always.

We must 100% demonstrate TRUST (building it, showing it); RESPECT (conveyed via our voice-tone, choice of words, body language); INTEGRITY (no falsifying; no wilful holding back of what ought to be shared or revealed; no lying; no cheating of expenses; no stealing of things, especially stealing of people’s credit), and PROFESSIONALISM (no b-s; from using correct grammar, doing spell-checks, to projecting visual perfection of every presentation made, every speech given, every email initiated, to one’s personal dressing, hygiene, and all physical, external things that others can see, smell and hear, and to being always on time, on cost and on quality of whatever promised by us and subsequently delivered)

Live by them, and it will take a miracle for us to fail in whatever tasks we undertake as a spouse; as a parent; as a child to our parents and parents-in-law; as an employer; as a business partner; as a staff-employee; as a provider; as a buyer, and in whatever other role we may assume from situation to situation. The same TRIP values shall apply and prevail.

*P/S: I wish to thank Mr Young for his guidance. I will never forget this. Through his own lifetime career, TRIP has been the essence distillation which has been refined and sharpened, honed to its simplest and purest level for many years. It has benefitted countless people that he had met (and still meeting, especially the younger ones who are mostly quite lost with what they ought to be pursuing) and provided frank sharing with.