Last month (March 2019) was a really challenging period for me. I was in the midst of preparing for my very first Breakthrough Your Wealth (BYW) – REIT Investing Workshop for 20 of my close friends and readers, and it was not easy by any means.

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Let me explain why:

First of all, since the workshop was (and still is) a one-man show, I got to handle everything from syllabus design, agenda planning, communication, marketing, logistics (food & venue) and printing on my own. Besides that, I also had to spend time to practice what I got to say during the full-day (9am – 6pm) workshop.

To add on to the challenges, the progress in designing the workshop syllabus was also slower than my initial expectation, and they were for obvious reasons: Instead of pouring everything that I know out into the PowerPoint slides (like any classic university tutorial presentation), I have to approach this process from the participants’ point of view:

“If I say X, would they understand?” “Would they be confused if I use Y jargon during the workshop?”.

As a result, the initial workflow of getting my syllabus design done during the Chinese New Year week became a month-long project (obviously, I underestimated the process).

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Stress Piled Up as Time Went By

As March came by, the need to get everything perfectly prepared for the day (the workshop was going to happen on the 30th of March) was overwhelming. Every day, I can literally feel the urge to fulfill every participant’s expectation piling up on my shoulder, and it almost drove me to the verge of breaking down.*

In short, I was way out of my comfort zone and was pretty damn stressed up.

(*Everything happened while I was also juggling between my full-time trading activities and producing content on No Money Lah)

Luckily for me, with some personal hacks and methods, I managed to brace through the stressful month and the workshop ended up pretty good – according to the participants. In this article, I want to share the 5 practices that I used to keep myself from screwing up while I was on the verge of breaking down:

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My very first REIT Investing Workshop successfully held on 30th of March 2019 – along with 20 of my close friends & readers. 🙂


(1) Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take 3 long, deep breaths.

The earliest symptom that you are experiencing a panic attack or about to breakdown is the feeling of being overwhelmed with the work in hand. Hence, whenever I felt overwhelmed (or the tension on my shoulders), I will go for 3 long, deep breaths.

As common as this hack is, taking long, deep breaths are extremely useful. As such, taking mindful, deep breaths help in activating part of the brain to release neurohormones that inhibit stress-producing hormones, thus triggering a relaxation response throughout the body.

In other words, long, deep breaths help to calm your nerves.


(2) Whenever you feel stuck, plan & write things down.

In my work with syllabus design for the workshop, I was often met with times where I got clueless and stuck on how to proceed with some sections.

Whenever I felt like hitting a wall and not sure what to do, I will take out a piece of paper and start writing. I will always start with my end goal and start working backward.

eg. In my case, my end goal always starts with the question of “What do I want my participants to learn from a particular section?”. Then, I will derive an approach to achieve my end goal on paper.

Identifying your end goals and planning them recalibrate your mind back to the mission/project, while writing things down on paper gives your mind a clearer picture of what you should do.

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When in doubt, plan & write things down.


(3) Whenever you feel as if your mind is messy & overloaded, focus on one thing at a time.

There will be times when you may feel like there are too many things to be done. In this case, try method (2) by listing down the tasks that you have to do.

In addition, use the Eisengrade Box to grade those tasks with 4 different priorities:

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The Eisenhower Box, courtesy of jamesclear.com.

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Then, focus on doing the one thing that is the most urgent and important to you, then only proceed to other tasks after you are done with them.

Another tip is to stay away from social media while you are overloaded – you will only distract yourself and wasting your time while not getting productive in your work.


(4) Whenever you feel unorganized, commit to at least one health-related routine.

When you are overstressed and overworked, chances are your life will start to go upside down. If this happens, you will start breaking down sooner than you expect.

For me, no matter how stressful the day or month might be, I will always organize my life around a set of morning and night routine – so regardless of how chaos my day is, I will always start and end my day in a positive note.

So if you are feeling unorganized in your life, try to pick up and commit to ONE health-related routine (eg. Exercising, meditation, yoga)

Surprisingly, my daily meditation practice (morning & night) has kept my life from falling apart many times, especially during the workshop preparation.

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No matter how stressful your life is, commit to at least ONE health-related routine.


(5) Whenever you feel that you cannot do this alone, get help.

I remembered fondly at the night before the workshop, I had to get all the printed notes hole-punched and filed properly. At the same time, I have to rehearse what I am going to say the next day during the workshop.

At that moment, I got really tight in time and resources. Hence, I got 2 of my best buddy – Eddie and Victor to help me out with the files.

No matter how good you think you are, there will be instances where you cannot get everything done on your own. So, put down that stupid ego (or ‘Asian Paiseh-ness’) of yours and go get help!

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My 2 best buddies for life – Victor (left) & Eddie (middle)!


BONUS: At any moment of time, always remind yourself on your purpose and goals

In the toughness of time, always remind yourself of your purpose and goal.

Why do you do what you do?

Keeping your purpose and goal intact will help you endure even the most challenging moments in your work and life. Just like how petrol fuels our cars, having a solid vision and purpose fuel our actions and keep us going at the lowest point and the steepest hill in life.

If these practices saved me at the verge of a breakdown, I am pretty sure it will help you too! All the best!