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3 Things I learned at 30

Time flies. Now I am 30 years old ?. Just want to jot down some ideas I learned along the way, so I could come back and read them.

If you stumbled upon this blog post, hopefully my random thoughts benefit you.

1. If you want to start receiving, you need to start giving

My passion is to give back to people as much as I can. Then I found that giving back is one of the best ways to receive.

I use this same principle to start my website Designil 10 years ago. At first, the website was all about me sharing useful resources. Then I started compiling what I learned into articles.

It works. More and more people visit the website and Facebook page.

I didn’t make any money for the first few years. It is just me spending time writing articles and engaging with Designil’s followers. There was a time when I could not pay for website hosting and asked in the Facebook page for donations. I received free hosting from a kindhearted hosting company for a few years after that.

Then I started getting contacted for freelance works from people who read my articles. The works ranged from frontend development (PSD -> HTML/CSS/PHP) to website development (WordPress). It’s not a lot of money. But it’s enough to help me pay for website domain & hosting.

Fast forward to now, Designil is one of the websites you will always find when Googling any web design-related keywords.

It is also continuously attracting leads for our web design and development services. We never have to go promoting our services to get clients. In my opinion, this is an excellent way to organically growing a business.

Disclaimer: Since last year, Designil is taken over by my lovely wife. She is doing an amazing job growing it. Cheers, Nat.

2. Life is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you’re gonna get

This one is the quote from “Forrest Gump”. I remembered it well because I felt that my life is exactly like a box of chocolate.

Make yourself as ready as possible to grab the opportunities when they come. Some opportunities will come and go very quickly.

Let me give you some examples in my life:

Coming to Australia

I was preparing to take a Master’s degree in the UK. However, in 2016, I found that UK does not provide a working visa after graduation (I believe they do now). There was a big risk that all the money spent for the degree might not lead to a job.

In the end, I pivoted to Australia where there is a 2-year working visa after graduation. I ended up staying in Australia for 5 years and counting.

Permanent Resident Visa

For my permanent resident visa in Australia, I was preparing for 189 Skilled Independent visa which is now becoming extremely competitive. I have spent a considerable amount of money and several years of time to invest in getting this visa.

In the end, my partner learned about a new immigration pathway called GTI (Global Talent Independence visa). We submitted the application with the my thesis from Monash university and the extracurricular activities such as hosting workshops and conferences in data science I have done over the years. I received the PR visa in less than two months after submitting the application.

I wouldn’t be able to predict Australian government will announce GTI visa program, but I have done activities that support me to be ready when the opportunity arise.

3. You are doing disservice to your customer, if you are not putting effort into selling to your customer

One thing I spent a lot of time doing is watching videos about digital business development. One video that sticks with me the most is a talk from a great entrepreneur who sold millions of his book. He said:

“We are doing disservice to customers if we don’t convince them to buy the products we put effort in”

I produced at least one content a week in video or blog article, which I put a lot of effort in producing each one of them.

I used to think it’s okay not to put too much effort into selling the contents I built. Because

  1. I felt that I already put a lot of effort in building it. Other people should appreciate my effort and buy it.
  2. I don’t want to come out as being too sale-sy

What I heard from that video completely turned around my mindset that it’s okay to talk about my hard work, and it’s a disservice to people if I don’t do that.

Since then, I have been practicing the selling and marketing skills on the side. I might not be able to become the world’s top salesperson, but I am able to improve these skills and made myself a bit of extra income every month.

The same principle goes for the free contents. To get people knowing about it, we need to put it in the place where there are people e.g. Facebook page.

I am still learning on how to better promote video contents. That might be in my next article “3.5 things I learn at 35”.

Until then, have a great day.







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