Monday, August 17, 2015 | By: VenWizard
Thursday, August 6, 2015 | By: VenWizard

That Other Part of Me

Well, in case you haven't noticed, I am actually a government official. Yes, a government official who dreams of owning a pub! Forget about the pub for the time being, though, since this post revolves around my life as a civil servant!

I guess this is probably the first time I open up about that part of my life here. As much as I love the creative side of me that running a pub will feed on, I am deeply rooted in the government background, having the bloodlines working as important people in the government. At one point in my life, I thought being a university lecturer with easy money and less pressure would be able to compensate for the career path down the government-ish lane. It took me about five years of dragging myself to classes every morning and sleeping past midnight because of the papers i had to grade before i was struck with the realisation that I couldn't take the easy way out. I just wasn't meant for that. I was born to be more. I guess people just at one point in their life have that so-called "calling", and yes, that was it! 

So here I am, working in the General Department of Immigration. Anyone in the right mind would be able to tell it is not easy for me to adapt to the politics of the system. The ass-wiping culture. The corruption. The stinky teamwork spirit. And the list goes on. The sensitive Vendy from three years ago wouldn't have lasted a month in the system, but with this inexhaustible positivity I have been having, I have managed to gain my momentum pretty quickly, and before I knew it, I have become almost everyone's favourite boss. Yes, boss! Technically, I am a Deputy, and it's a "shame" to admit I have powers over my subordinates. What sets me apart from the Head (the biggest boss) is my attitude at work. I don't just sit at the desk, ordering people to do works that they already know too well, pretending I know more than they do. I pretty much do almost everything I can without judging whether the tasks would be more fitting for this subordinate or that. I could proudly say I amount to the combined work force of three people. This culminates in some mental comparison between the biggest boss and me that they do, and obviously, they like someone who does the actual quality works and helps them out with their own tasks--me. 

You see, I am the youngest at work, the only single guy, and the most polite (I know it sounds so much like I'm sugarcoating everything). They, on the other hand, are in their 40s with children and diseases. They are lazy. They are sleepy. They are not motivated. And they mostly enjoy small talks, which center around sex. This could possibly sound like anybody's nightmare! But again, the positivity in my head shields me from being infected in this environment, and obviously reminds me of the sole reason why I am here in the first place. I WANT TO BE THE HEAD. 

Say hello to the ambitious Vendy! Yes, I have to admit that I am an ambitious person. Remember the story between the two foxes living inside the body of a human? The question is: which of the two wins, the bad or the good? The answer is: whichever fox you feed more will win. I guess what I am trying to say is over the past 5 years as a lecturer, that ambitious fox inside me is skinny and starved, while the  two foxes--one chasing after love and the other clinging onto friends--take over. I cared TOO much about love and friendship, and neglected the pursuit of my ambition. Now that I neither have love or friendship (I still have a few true, super awesome friends), I feed the ambitious fox. This explains the idea behind the pub, and this desire to be the head. 

Admittedly and shamefully, I have strong and great networks at work. I know some of you might cringe at this knowledge, but in my defence, i'm pretty sure people would do the same or worse if they were in my my shoes. Between the position that I desire and me stand two people who decide my fate, both of whom are related to me. Are you appalled right now? I know it sounds ridiculous, but here is the plot twist: I have no idea whether they would be willing to promote me despite my hard work and everything, for fear rumours about nepotism and about my age would spread around like wild fire. Now you probably understand why I have to win the hearts of those subordinates! I want them to feel that I deserve it, and I indeed have what it takes to be a greater leader despite my age!

I feel compelled to let everything out here because I wanna get rid of that fear of rejection in my head. I am planning to take the plunge after the 8th of August. And for those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you know I am such a believer of Fenghui, and according to the Fengshui, August is my lucky charm. I am going to pluck up my courage, lay it all out, and get it done. Whatever happens after that is totally out of my control. I am hoping for the very best, but also preparing for the worst. Wish me luck, peeps!
Monday, July 13, 2015 | By: VenWizard

A Dream on the Brink of Becoming a Reality

I cannot fall asleep again! Well, in fact, there is no need for me to complain here since i pretty much sleep only after 3AM! Anyways, I am not here to go on and on about my sleep patterns. I am here to talk about my pub!

I remember mentioning my interest in running a pub here, and well so far, though nothing has materialised yet, we pretty much are on the right track. We have managed to sort of decide on the favourable location. It's true that no leasing contract has been signed yet, but I've already talked to the potential owner of the small villa we wanted to rent and she seemed pretty understanding. Also, we finally reached the consensus about the concept of the pub. However, it is not wise to disclose the information about the concept of the pub here. The meetings we have had so far undoubtedly bear fruitful results. We are getting more confident each day now. The only big concern we are having now is the operation management of the pub since it's daunting. We have read quite a lot about the operation itself, and the truth is the more we read, the more we realise that there is much more to the management than meets the eyes! But I cannot thank people around me enough for their support and assistance. We are meeting up with the owner of Brewhouse this coming Friday to ask him about his management skills, thanks to Mina for her network. Then of course, we have Gech, who is willing to step forward and be our designer when she comes back from the UK, not to mention Nyta who will help out with designing the logo of the pub. And of course there are so many other friends who couldn't be any more helpful! 

The whole idea of running a pub was just a dream, and now look at how the dream is evolving! But yeah, if there is one thing I've learnt from this back-breaking process, it has to be the fact that we need a great amount of passion to be able to break down walls and move mountains. The more I am involved in it, the more I am inspired to make it happen. There is no doubt success is not guaranteed but for better or for worse, there are many valuable lessons that I've learnt from the whole process and that I will learn along the way.

I haven't told my family yet, though. I wanna get better prepared and wow them with my empirical research--i mean, at the end of the day, I would need investments from them too.

Wish me luck! I don't know when I am going to update this blog again. Who knows? Maybe the next time I write something here, I might already be an owner of a pub!
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 | By: VenWizard

Comfort Zone

Life has been good to me. At least, that's how I choose to see it! Every challenge that presents itself to me is seen as another milestone towards my goals. They say we all should step out of our comfort zone because nothing ever grows there. How about we keep on EXPANDING our comfort zone instead? Well, I think that's what I have been doing lately. As far as I'm concerned, nobody is thrown into this world with his comfort zone being the size of the combined continents. In fact, we probably trust very few people at first--our parents, but as we grow up, we trust more people: siblings, lovers, friends and the like. My point is the comfort zone isn't unchanging! It changes over time! The only difference is probably the rate of the change itself, which apparently varies among individuals. So, I think it is not so much about stepping IN and OUT of the comfort zone because this implies that the comfort zone stays the same, but about EXPANDING the zone instead. We eat things we don't like. We talk to people who are not the typical people we normally have a conversation with. We do things that we thought we wouldn't in a million years. I am positive we are going to be surprised at how comfortable we will become with a lot of things and people eventually. To me, that is how i define growth! I mean, obviously, it is so much more convenient to curl up on your soft mattress watching American Idol on weekends than joining an alumni party where you meet new faces by just telling yourself, "Nahhhh, maybe next time! It is not my thing!" For the first time, the latter might torture you but just remember that staying at home being comfortable in your own skin doesn't help you with your career advancement. Yes! You watch movies and you hear those inspirational speakers talk. And you probably learn the same thing from them: be comfortable in your own skin. But do not forget that we are living in this wicked sophisticated world where being who you are ALL THE TIME isn't enough! Having said all this, expanding my comfort zone is new to me too, but i understand how important it is to me personally, and professionally. I remember a saying that has been stuck with me that goes like this: "Stretch by 1% each day, and before you know it, you will have come a long way."
Thursday, February 5, 2015 | By: VenWizard


It is almost 4 AM in the morning, yet I am wide awake and … naked. Well, i guess the "naked" part is not so relevant (or is it?).

My sleep pattern has been screwed! I sleep at 5 AM almost every day now, and that sucks because when I wake up, I always feel like a zombie. And to keep myself awake, i drink loads and loads of coffee, and as a result, when the hustle and bustle of life dies down after 12 AM every night, my brain is just as hyperactive as it is during the daytime. 

Every time I shut my eyes, forcing myself to sleep, random images pop into my head. The damaged ruins of the TransAsia plane. The mummified monk in an awkward, supposedly "meditating" siting position. The Japanese man in the yellow prisoner outfit kneeling next to the terrorist dressed as the black ninja assassin.  

Nope, it has nothing to do with some sort of worries weighing heavily on me. I have been happy and hopeful with my life recently. I am filled with positivity to the brims, and therefore, there is no room for negativity. This probably explains why I haven't updated my blog for a while.

I guess the biggest problem I'm having right now is not the typical emotional thing. It is this freaking insomnia!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 | By: VenWizard


There is no doubt that I have been spending a lot of time on my own these days. Yes, I used to be all sad and rush into the whole I-hate-my-life self-pity. But as I aged, and as positivity stepped into my life, I realised that being alone deserves being credited for as much as being surrounded by good companies. It is just a matter of the angle from which you are seeing the situation, you see! Anyway, one of the good things is definitely the rare opportunity that you get to explore yourself even more. Usually, people we hang out with--whether you are aware of it or not, or whether you like it or not--influence you in many ways. The way you think is, therefore, affected, and a lot of good new fresh ideas that pop up in your head are usually compromised to serve the best interests of the entire clique. However, after some time of being literally detached yourself from the people you used to hold dear and near, you are able to sit down and spend a lot of time to get to know yourself even better: your likes and dislikes, your inspirations, your aspirations, and the list goes on. A lot of people take a look at me, and they get into the whole dramatic mood, expressing concern and sadness over my solitude, but the truth is that they have no idea how much freedom I am actually having, and that for the first time in a long time, I have known myself so well. 

The following are the aspirations that I have, and that I hope to fulfil--as a result of the journey of self-discovery:

-Publishing a book: I know that this has always been a dream, and I am just two stories away from having a complete compilation. Following the book publication, I would love to host a number of workshops on creative writing, aiming to give insights to university students who have the flair for novel writing so that they can be inspired and they too can take it to the next level and start publishing their own works. Of course, I am going to start from IFL, and I will see how well it will be received!

-Owning a pub: Yes, a pub! A pub born out of my creativity and passion and commitment! I have already talked about this in my previous post. 

-Owning a Wedding Planner Company/Agency: My passion for this dated back way way before my brother's wedding. Again, with this, I think I can pour out my creativity, and turn someone's wedding into a day even more memorable than it already is. The thing I have noticed over the years with the weddings is that they do not really go outside the box with all the preparations.

-Owning a boutique hotel: This has something to do with the hospitality field. And this project is going to be scheduled a bit further away than the rest mentioned here because first, I need enough money, and second, I need to learn more about the hospitality business before I can venture into this, and hopefully, my pub business can pave the way. Phnom Penh is not going to be the targeted place. 

-My government thing? Well i would like to keep it as a secret. 

Okay, I believe that people grow and evolve, and as I grow older and more experienced in the business field, I may probably wanna embark on other projects as well. I think people should dream. These dreams make waking up each day meaningful and keep you on the right track! 

What are yours?
Thursday, December 11, 2014 | By: VenWizard


Being in your 20s, especially your late 20s, after you have graduated from your college for 5 or 6 years, career-wise, you are still in the middle of nowhere. Even if you are unfortunate enough to land with the kind of job that you love at your dream workplace, it is likely that 5 or 6 years is enough to put you in a position where you feel that you have outgrown what you have been doing for the past 5 or 6 years.

Likewise, in my case, I am at a point in life where I feel I have passion for business. I know it might come across as "wildly random" for some people who have never got to know me well, but deep down I think I have the brain for business! The prospect of the high level of creativity it allows excites me! And i am the kind of person who loves to be one step ahead of others in terms of creativity, who thinks outside the box. 

And yes, because I have started my work as a government official for some time now, i start to realise how little room there is for creativity when it comes to dealing with "government tasks". Will I give it up? Nope, I won't! But I have to look for other means to sustain the creative side of mine.

This leads to my intention to open up a pub in town! Right! I have talked to a few friends of mine who share similar passion and interest, and we have brainstormed pretty much the basic concept of what we want our pub to be like. Despite the fact that pubs are mushrooming all over the city, there is nothing like ours (and yes, I can't disclose the key concept here). We want to set ours apart from the existing one. I mean, there is no point opening up a pub just to follow the trend. We open the pub and we set the trend!

Just thinking about the possibility of owning a pub where I could put my own effort and creativity psyches me! Of course, we do not wish to go big as a start-up! Also, we do not want to venture into this business without being much prepared. So, we would like to give ourselves 1 and a half to two years before anything materialises. I know that business is risky, but we would like to take this risk!

I hope everything will go well!