958500_JERI RYAN4

When I first started writing this post it was different. Then as I left it to simmer for a couple of weeks and as the year approached it’s end, it changed again. I guess that’s how writing goes! Nonetheless, the message is still the same. I feel it’s a little incomplete. But I have to let go. I hope you can relate…


I recently watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager and I found myself intrigued by the species called The Borg.

The Borg is a collective who exist purely to assimilate other species in order to conquer the universe.

Wikipedia explains a bit more…

The Borg rarely speak. Instead they send a collective audio message to their targets, stating that “resistance is futile”, generally followed by a declaration that the target in question will be assimilated and its “biological and technological distinctiveness” will be added to their own. Their usual declaration is: “We are Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.”



The character in this image is called, Seven-Of-Nine. The first face is the Borg – the drone. The second face is the human – the individual. She was captured as a young child by the Borg. Years later she was rescued – reluctantly – by Voyager and slowly regained her human side.

In many ways, I can relate to this character. The transformation she goes through as she becomes human again. It reminds me of when one leaves the corporate world to pursue a life of your own. A transformation in itself. Perhaps not so much on the surface, but in one’s thoughts and desires.


‘You must comply’

For most of us, our lives are lived out in working for someone else. In the corporate world you have rules, dress codes, terminology only you and the people in that building understand. You listen to everyone’s opinions of how to do your job and what you can and cannot say. Sometimes you doubt your own voice… until your voice disappears completely, and you only speak as the organisation. As a collective. This is what the BORG look like. This is how I looked like.  


‘Resistance is futile’

When I started freelancing, no one told me what, how or when to do work. There were no other voices in my head except my own. This was unfamiliar territory. I didn’t know how to function. I had to decide for myself what would be next.




They say we only have as much challenges as each of us are able to handle. Through all my challenges, I had and still have my own Captain Janeway – my mentor. Helping me transform from that drone to an individual. I’m learning life lessons the only way possible – by doing them. To embrace my individual thoughts and pursue the life I deserve. A life all individuals deserve.



My mentor encourages me to trust my own voice and to ignore the others. And although I may struggle with my individualism sometimes, I am fortunate to have this support. Without it, I’m not sure where I would be today.

I wasn’t taken from The BORG. I chose to leave. Soon enough we all do. But what lies beyond that world is up to you. How we live out our lives each day is much more valuable than where we end up.

These last two years in freelancing has opened new discoveries and forced me to take a closer look at myself, those around me, and the world I work within as well as beyond. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to pursue this.

As I write on the last day of 2014, my wish is this:

May we always seek to improve; May we value new discoveries; and May we be kind to ourselves – nurturing growth, failures and successes…




Goodbye 2013


I don’t know how you feel about the past year. Whether it was a happy, hard, easy or sad one. We all have it different.

What we feel. I mean really feel on the inside is somewhat more complex. Difficult to articulate or put in words. Always is for me!

But, I need to say a proper thank you and goodbye to 2013…

Thank you for the opportunity to have lived through a year of freelance. I’m still here… phew! I still have toilet paper money left🙂
Jokes aside, freelance IS for everyone. Anyone who believes and has the knowledge and perseverance to drive their passion. It’s not an elite group. It’s not for the rich… I digress. This is not what my post is about. It’s about being thankful. Nothing else. So thank you 2013 – I salute you! for the difficulties, lessons learnt, people I met, and the support I had to carry me through. It’s being quite a ride!

Goodbye. I find goodbyes awkward. Don’t you? Even with friends or family or just simply saying bye to my mom for the night. It’s not the act of saying goodbye that fills me with an uneasy feeling. It’s the worry of what happens next. Like when someone you love dies. Or when someone you love goes to another country or lover. It’s a selfish feeling. Hurt for not doing enough. Hurt for doing too much and feeling a fool for it. It’s the worry of what happens next that make goodbyes sad.

Yes, goodbyes are sad, but some are also happy. A relief. Or an accomplishment! Or an end to a story that begins another. Goodbyes are necessary. They end a period. To begin a new. A new beginning or new day. A new year…

So this new year these are my hopes…

  • don’t take the normal, boring days for granted
  • turn challenges into opportunities, but choose them well
  • work on work that matters – or create ones that do
  • don’t make the same resolutions or the same mistakes, and always learn from them
  • add value in a way only you can
  • collaborate with those who share a passion and respect for their work and yours
  • never stop learning.

A toast to 2014! from a quote by Sonia Ricotti …

Accept what is. Let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”

Goodbye 2013. Hello 2014!!!


Bohèmes au café. (1886) Jean-François Raffaelli

Bohèmes au café. (1886) Jean-François Raffaelli

When I think of this I get a tingly feeling. A feeling of excitement, disappointment and possibility. What does collaboration mean to you?

I also think of an Impressionist art movement. A collaboration of well-known artists who came together to make good art. Back then, they were just a couple of guys who met in a café every night to discuss their art and how they could promote their work. Poor and struggling, but with perseverance and faith in what they do. Mostly, they came together because of the love they have for their work, and to have a drink with friends who share the same passion.

Collaboration is a personal experience. The future of business today is built on collaboration. Always was I guess. Listening, understanding, respect, perseverance and adaptability are part of a collaboration. Openness and transparency too. You cannot say you in a collaboration if trust is not at the core of it.

This post is not about the how or why’s of collaboration because I’m no expert. In fact this post is one of my worse written ones. I say this not because I have little faith in my written thoughts, but only because it is what it is – not very good. Nonetheless, I feel the need to put this out there because it weighs deep and it’s something I still have a lot to learn about. Something I promised myself I would blog about – even if it’s unfinished (and my blog’s name is what it is…  RAW)  ;-)

It’s true what they say about human beings not built to live alone. Or work alone. Though a few have blossomed in this manner. But for the rest of us coming together with good skill, passion and a love and respect for what each person contributes to a collective – that is history in the making. Something of value to the future. We know the world needs more of that. So keep on believing and create and share with your tribe who share the same passion for work – improving and making things better for present and future generations!

True Value

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

I don’t know how many times I’ve written and rewritten this post. But every time I write it, it never seems good enough.  It never seems complete. I guess it’s not complete. Yet.

I’ve tried justifying why value has lost its value in this world, but honestly, I don’t know how to do that. There’s countless debates, blog posts, and talks on value. Maybe the proof of true value lies beneath the mask we all wear. A mask we put on to help us get through the hard days at work or when we still feel the need to prove ourselves to society.

To me, value is pure. Like the work of Leonardo da Vinci. What he left behind is valuable. He left a part of him behind. And it still lives and breathes, influences and inspires to this day!

Value is a part of you. True value comes from within and whomever is at the receiving end of that should be deserving. It’s not just a word or a business slogan. It’s alive! A living organism. And it’s kept alive by constantly feeding it. So it evolves as we evolve. And it grows or dies – whichever we decide to do or not to do.

Next time you use the word ‘value’ – take care in using it. Like you would a newborn baby. Nurturing it. Constantly feeding, teaching and learning.

Our value is the core of who we are – in life and in business. Find your value. The thing you can add to make a difference in the way only you can do. Not to promote yourself or make more money – just add more of YOU into what you do, and the rest (as they say) will fall into place.

What does it mean to be Successful?


Some say its your background – where you come from, the year you were born, your culture, your race or whether you rich or poor.

I always thought successful people were rich people. And if you were not rich, you were very smart and talented at something.

I just finished reading a book called, The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Its about the story of successful people – what makes people successful – the why, the what, and the who of these people labeled as ‘successful’. But I’m not going to go into the details of that book. Read it yourself.

What inspired me about this book is this… Those who are labeled as successful and those who are not, depends on 3 things:

1) what you imagine ‘success’ to be

2) opportunity

3) meaningful work

You can be as successful as you want to be through determination and hard work or just plain opportunity and luck! However you see ‘successful’ – whether its through meaningful work that pays little but makes a difference, or whether its through politics and the belief in a better country – its yours for the taking! No-one else.

It doesn’t matter if you rich or poor. It DOES matter where you come from – never forget that. But remember, you can be whoever you want to be. It’s up to you – not the world. So go on… fight for that right!



Everyone wants to be as productive as possible. Whether its in their work life or home life. The saying “killing two birds with one stone” is often the case so we can cheat time.

But no-one can cheat time. Nor, make more time available either.

Being more productive has nothing to do with time. If you think about it – its almost just a state-of-being.

Perhaps that doesn’t make sense. Let me tell you a story…

One day, I decided to take my daughter and her friend to the park where the art centre was running a children’s art workshop for 4 hours.

My initial thought was – “they would love that!” My second thought was “What could I do for those 4 hours while they in the workshop?!” I had two options. Drop them off and drive back home home – work a bit and then pick them up again. Or, stay in the park, have some breakfast, and finish reading that book.

The latter would definitely save me car fuel. But 4 hours!!! I could be doing so much more work if I went home instead.

I had a lot of work to get through that week, so the thought of ‘wasting’ 4 hours sitting in the gardens, weighed heavy on my mind.

And then I decided to trust my gut feel (and save the fuel!). I dropped off the girls and headed for a light breakfast and the park for the ‘dreaded’ 4 hours.

What do you think I achieved in that 4 hours by staying in the park? For one, it inspired me to write this blog post! And two, it gave me perspective. How different would that 4 hours be compared to going back home again? What would I have achieved then?

Human instinct tells us when we busy, to squeeze more into your day in order to get more done. It’s the natural reaction when you are feeling overwhelmed and busy. This reaction is not productive, nor good for you, especially if you doing this on a regular basis. What you need to do when you are busy and overwhelmed, is to slow down.

Do you think me sitting in the gardens for 4 hours was a waste of time?

You may think that, but that depends on your perspective of time. You see, when you slow down, you actually speed up. When you slow down, you get MORE done. This is often spoken about in road traffic research, and in agile methodologies in software development.

Panic, stress, overwhelming thoughts of not getting things done – is a sign that you need to take a break or a step back from the situation. The mind will tell you otherwise. It will bring on thoughts/feelings of guilt and that you are ‘wasting time’. Ironically, only over much time, can you change this condition to run around like a headless chicken.

To be alone with your thoughts is powerful. Sometimes your body and mind is trying to tell you something, but there’s too much noise for us to hear it. By the way, the deadlines I was chasing that week wasn’t as urgent as I thought. It never is – is it? Unless you a procrastinator, then I’d say stop putting off the inevitable, and get to it. Now.

Slowing down will focus you more, and it will combat all sense of time you thought you had control over.

Control is letting go of time and just B R E A T H E…