Are you Inge, the Photographer?

photographer

This morning I received a call and she asked, “Are you Inge, the photographer?”

Since I have never considered myself as a photographer, I said no, thinking she might have mistaken me for someone else. Then she asked again whether I was the one who often took photos at Vihara Dhamma Sundara. It was not a mistake, so I said yes.
She asked whether I could take photos of her child’s engagement party. I told her that I was not a professional photographer, so I declined.

She was quite insistent. She said that I had good camera equipment and surely I could take a simple assignment like taking photos of engagement party at home. Once again, I felt that I was not good enough to be called a professional photographer, I declined for the second time.

Somehow she believed that I could do the job and kept asking me, explaining that it was a simple engagement and she only needed 30-40 photos printed for the occasion. For the third time, I declined because I did not good enough editing skills for post-production.
Finally, she took ‘no’ for an answer.

After saying ‘no’, I could not get this incident out of my head. I wonder why I declined this opportunity.
First, I feel that I am not good enough to be called a professional photographer. I have never been paid for my photos or services. Did I refuse because I was just too afraid? Did I refuse because I felt unworthy?

Second, I have expectations regarding the role of professional photographers. A real professional photographer has the ability of editing in post-production and will produce good results. I have no editing skill other than cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast.

Third, I consider whether this assignment is worth my time and effort. It may be an experience but I do want to be compensated for my effort. It is called professional service and not volunteering to help anymore.

Last, if I want to be a professional photographer of my choice, I want to be a travel photographer.

What do you think? Should I have said ‘yes’?

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Does Honesty Pay?

50000_rupiah_bill,_2016_series_(2016_date),_processed,_obverse+reverse

Does Honesty Pay?

Last night our family had dinner at Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant, Rimba, Jimbaran Bali. We went back to our hotel, Movenpick Resort & Spa, Jimbaran by Blue Bird Taxi. Our taxi cost Rp 50,000, so I took out my wallet and gave the money to the driver. When I was walking away from the car, the driver called and he returned Rp 50,000 to me because I gave him two notes of Rp 50,000. I thanked him for his honesty. Then I had an idea and I gave the note back to him and wished him a happy new year!

Honesty pays because he feels good and I feel good too.

#honesty #learnandgrow #lifelessons #virtue

 

What Can An Old Childhood Toy Teach Us?

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Yesterday while shifting stuff at family storage, I found this driving simulation toy from my childhood. I did not quite remember whether I got this for my 11th or 12th birthday, but I remembered the process before getting this toy.

The toy was displayed in a toy store just opposite our old house. I regularly came to the toy store just to see what was new and interesting. When I saw it, I really wanted to have it. In the 80s, something like this was already a very technologically advance toy. The screen on the right displayed the road and when you turned the steering wheel, the car moved from left to right. I could not remember whether the speed changed by shifting the gear. Anyway I was quite obsessed in getting this particular toy.

I told my parents that I wanted this toy for my birthday. They tried to persuade me not to buy it because it was quite expensive. I said I wanted it and I gave them several reasons why I wanted to get it. One of the reasons that I told them was that I could use it to practice my driving skill so I would be ready to drive by the time I reached the age of 17. When I think about it now, I realize how ridiculous the reasons and excuses that I gave to my parents. Yet they still bought me the toy.

I played with it for about a week or so, and I just got bored with it. I did not think that I would lose interest that fast, but it happened. It went to the storage and I just found it again after more than 20 years. I showed it to my 3 year old nephew and he was not even interested in it, the iPad certainly had more appeal to him than something like this.

What can we learn from this?

Sometimes we are still like little kids. We want something so bad and we start making up reasons why we need it. We build a strong case about why we need and have to buy it now. Even the most ridiculous reason seems reasonable and acceptable.

We can be so stubborn and do not want to hear other people’s advice or recommendation although they can see it more clearly than us. Sometimes they just keep quiet after a while because they can’t be bothered speaking to closed ears and mind. So if you still have friends who are honest with you about your silly purchases, be glad you have them around.

Remember that the excitement often occurs during the wait, and we simply lose interest after we have it. Why not just keep waiting to keep the excitement going on and on? Hahahaha In a few months, we will be enchanted by different or newer toys anyway. At the moment, I am excited thinking about getting a MacBook Pro in December…I’ve been waiting for more than two years…perhaps I will buy, perhaps I will wait for the next and more advanced MacBook Pro.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B Com, CFP®

Things You Need to Know When Going to Investment Seminars

investment seminar

Have you ever been to an investment seminar?

I like going to those free investment seminars and gatherings because I get to know many different products offered by various banks and financial institutions. If you are interested in learning more about financial products, you can come to these events with some cautions.

Although it is often called a seminar, more often it is more about selling investment products. Even if it is a financial institution’s consumer gathering about economic outlook, at the end, we are often told about some new product offerings.

Sometimes we get emotional when hearing the special offer available that day.

For example, for the first 7 people who open an investment account with a minimum balance of Rp 100,000,000 will get a cashback of Rp 300,000. You can use the money to trade, but you are not allowed to withdraw for the first three months. We feel like we are getting some free easy money, but when you really calculate it, it is not really worth it.

If you are loaded with lots of money, that amount may be a spare change for you and it does not matter where you put it. However if you are not, you need to think about the opportunity cost of putting that money there. You need to think whether there are better alternatives for you. 

What do you need to do if you come to these seminars?

  1. Come with a clear goal in mind – is it just to learn about an investment product? Then come to learn and do not buy anything.
  2. Ask a lot of questions. If you do not understand the product, do not invest in it.
  3. Get a second opinion from someone outside the seminar, preferably those with financial knowledge and unrelated to the financial institutions that are offering the products. If you have a trusted certified financial planner, you can ask him or her.ziggy second opinion
  4. Be skeptical, especially if they are offering something that is too good to be true because it often is. If they are saying that it is a no-risk, high return investment, then run away as fast as possible because nothing is without risk. The higher the return, the higher the risk.
  5. Do not get pressured by the account officers or sales people, especially if they say that if you do not take action now, you will miss out on the profit. Let it go! There will be other opportunities to make profit!

Just like reading books, financial blogs, going to investment seminars can help you to be more knowledgeable about financial products. Use the opportunity to learn and may what you learn take you closer to your financial goals.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B Com, CFP®

Interest – Part 1 Simple Interest

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When we talk about investment or borrowing money, we need to understand interest.

For most of us, we had learned how to calculate interest when we were at school, but we might not put much attention to it because we were too young to understand its implication. We only learn the mathematical aspect of it without understanding how important it will be when we grow up and start saving, investing or borrowing. 

Today we will learn about SIMPLE INTEREST. Interest is how much you pay for the use of money. If you borrow money, then you pay interest. If you lend or invest money, then you earn interest.

Example 1: If you invest Rp 1,000,000 and the interest rate is 12% a year. How much interest will you get in 3 year?

You will get an interest of = Rp 1,000,000 x 12% x 3 = Rp 360,000                            

The amount of money you will have after three years is

Rp 1,000,000+ Rp 360,000 = Rp 1,360,000.

 

Example 2: If you borrow Rp 5,000,000 and the interest rate is 10% a year. How much you will have to pay if you borrow for 3 years?

You will have to pay back  = Rp 5,000,000 + ( Rp 5,000,000 x 10% x 3)

                                         = Rp 5,000,000 + Rp 1,500,000

                                         = Rp 6,500,000

 

Tomorrow, we will learn about COMPOUND INTEREST.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B Com, CFP®

Be Prepared for “YES”

nc be prepared

When we have lived as frugally as possible, yet the income is still not enough to have a decent lifestyle, then we need to consider increasing our income. One of the ways to increase our income is to sell or to offer our services. Perhaps some of us join network marketing, real estate agency or insurance industry to supplement our income. Although the potential rewards from these industries are high, not many people can stand the work. Trust me…it is not as easy as they say in their business opportunity meetings!

When we are selling or offering our services, we are often met with many objections, rejections until we only expect people to say ‘no’. Sometimes we feel so afraid to make another phone call because we can’t stand to hear another ‘no’. If this happens to you, remember this:

No matter how good your product or service is, there are people who will not buy it; No matter how bad your product or service is, there are people who will buy it.

That’s why when we are moving from one rejection to another, from one objection to another; remember that those rejections and objections will only bring us closer to those people who will buy from us. The no’s are stepping stones instead of obstacles in our way to success. Celebrate and learn from the no’s and always be prepared for someone to say ‘YES’!

Wish you all the best in increasing your income!

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B Com, CFP®

In Crisis, We Learn Our True Nature

accident

My Nissan Juke after an accident this afternoon.

At 4.20PM I left the office to go to Vihara Dhamma Sundara for an interfaith tree planting ceremony. While I was waiting for the light to go green next to Centre Point, Purwosari, there were two motorcycles colliding with each other next to my car. I saw the collision and it seemed to be in slow motion until one of the motorcycles fell to left hitting the right side of my car. I did not dare to move because I might drag the motorcycle and injure the rider. I waited until people came out to help the two riders and told me to move to the side of the road.

After I parked on the side of the road, I went out to check the damage. I saw black streak on my right doors. One of the security guard that helped the rider came up to see the damage too. The black streak was just paint from the motorcycle and my car was not scratched nor dented. I sighed with relief.

The security guard asked me whether I wanted to pursue the case with the motorcycle riders. I told him that I wanted to get their details because I might need it for insurance. He persuaded me not to pursue the case, but I said I needed to do it.

I walked with the security guard to meet one of the riders, he was not injured physically, however his motor did have some damage. He was cooperative when I asked him about his detail and phone number. I told him that I might not pursue this matter because there was only superficial damage. 

The rider whose motorcycle fell on my car ran away. Perhaps he was afraid and he chose to run away, instead of taking responsibility for his action.

How did I feel? After the initial little shock, I was a bit worried about extent of damage to the car. After I saw that there was no real damage, I felt relief. Even if there was a real damage, the insurance would have covered it.

It was after I went back into the car and continued driving that I realized that I did not even ask whether the motorcycle rider was hurt from the accident. It did not even cross my mind to ask for his well- being. Suddenly I realized how I had put things above people. It was all business for me…no financial loss…no worries. I discovered something about myself today. I thought I had enough compassion towards people but when the real thing happened, it was evident that I did not really have it.

Lesson:

In crisis, we learn our true nature.

Anything that happens in our life can help us discover an aspect within ourselves. Either we like it or not, the simple acknowledgement that we have it inside of us hopefully helps us to learn, grow and be better human beings.

Learn and Grow

Inge Santoso, B. Com, CFP