I had been rather quiet on my blog since the beginning of the year. The reason is that I’ve been putting my full focus on a project to start a monthly magazine on homes in Brunei.
The first publication was launched last week (download your free copy at http://www.ButraHome.com), against all the skepticism I faced in the last 6 months (many of them between my right brain and my left).
We finally shipped!
It had been both a fascinating ride and an uphill battle, as I was thrown into an industry that is entirely foreign to me, to start a project with very little to draw reference from.
In spite of the differences, what I realized in hindsight was that, regardless of your background, the common principles in life applies; In order to win trust, you must first give trust. In order to acquire respect, you must first be respectful. In order to be accepted, you must first be open and honest.
Against my lack of exposure in the home building industry, the project was warmly embraced by the home building community, many of whom, know far greater than what I have to write about their specialized field.
One of the reasons for this, I guess, was because I laid my card on the table, with every person I approached: I’m first a marketing person with publishing background, then, a guy trying to start a magazine about home. With this declaration out of the way, I respectfully invited the collaboration of the community’s wisdom and advise, to produce something that benefits the home community.
I was feeling slightly embarrassed, and a little confused, when I started receiving congratulatory notes from friends and supporters about the launch. Truth is, there’s plenty of room for improvement for the first issue, and it is way too early to pat ourselves on the shoulder. True congratulation shall only come when we published our 5th year edition, like what my role model Wan Zainal, did with his BIG Magazine on 22nd July 2011.
I found myself in total agreement, when Mr. Reggie See, the veteran publisher of Brunei Press shared with us that launching something easy in Brunei, sustaining it is the main challenge. Although reaching to the launch alone almost exhausted the entire Catalyst team, I know exactly what he was trying to warn us against.
A magazine, or any worthwhile project for this matter, will never be accomplished with the effort of one person alone. This shall be a place where we acknowledge our supporters who’s taken the leap of faith for BHC’s vision, and dived head in with us.Those whose kind words and reassurance (however insignificant they may think), helped to sustain this project. Those whose belief and passion for this project far beyond my own. Those kind enough to spare this stranger a few minutes during my cold call for support. Thank you!
To God Almighty, for humility and strength.
To my wife, my mischievous daughter and my family – my pillar, my sustanence.
To Mr. Stuart Lee & Butra HeidelbergCement, for the vision, leadership and the opportunity!
To each and everyone of the advertisers for your faith and support.
To Sebastian and team, for believing!
To Azlan, MixedMediaWorx, Mint and Magic, this is your baby!
To Mrs. Deb Maxwell for the passion, the contribution and the belief.
To Rachael & Mrs. Helen Yeo for the labour of love.
To John Lee, for patience and grace.
To Liayana, for pioneering this project.
To Mei Law, for opening the door for us, to everyone we need to know for this magazine.
To Mr. Stephen Ong, for your wisdom, direction and support.
To Mr. Paul McNamara, for teaching me everything I know today about publishing.
To Mr. Simon Soo, Mr. Ferial Ferrari and the Mint team for the wonderful website http://www.ButraHome.com almost over night.
To Mr & Mrs Walker for being one of the first homeowners to let us feature their home, without question.
To all the homeowners for your warm hospitality, your stories and a reminder for the meaning of this project (names withheld, as promised).
To Mr. Stuart Kemp, for the adult supervision and all the free mentoring sessions.
To Mr. Reggie See, Ms. Hazizah and Mr. Jason Lam for the wonderful printing job!
To Mrs. Patricia Siva and Ms. Poh Yee for sharing the excitement and network.
To Olivia & Jack, for being the first…
To George Hoon, whose passion reminds me of….me.
To Mr. EK Lim, those gracious email responses – they go a long way. Thank you.
To Mr. Wan Zainal, for being a personal inspiration and a role model.
To Ms. Sarah Ong, who stepped in just in time to make the launch a success, there’s plenty more we need from you!
To Ms. Angelina Hoon, Ms.Lily, Ms. Anastacia Kim, Mr. Eddie Foo, Mrs. Violette Tan, Mr. James Chua, Mr. Stephen Officer, Mr. Julian Fung, Ms. Lily Yong, Mr. Ting See Hung, Mr. EK Lim, Hj Zakaria, Mr. David Ting, Ms. Shavon Hon, Mr. Vincent Wong, Mr. Ninan Chacko, Mr. Ben & Vernon Wang, Hj Mahmud, Mr. Goh De No, Mr. Eric Pui, Ms. Celestina Leong, Mr. Keeran Janin, Ms. Abbey Foo, Joyce Chen, Dale. Ms. Angeline Yip, and the team at Brunei Hotel.
To the doubters, whose objections allow us to reflect and improve.
To the readers of this blog, please support the BHC magazine.
To anyone whom we have inadvertently omitted, you know this will not be possible without your help!