Count Your Blessings Day #8

Assalamualaikum everyone, how are you?

For today’s Count Your Blessings story, I would like to share a bit about my team. I am truly blessed and grateful to Allah for granting me such wonderful teammates whom I can rely on. For today’s story, I would like focus on the Business Development and the Growth & Marketing team.

If you follow my stories, I actually came from the Engineering background, and dived into the IT sector in 2009. I really enjoy doing Marketing and Business Development activities. These are the 2 teams that I work closely with on daily basis.

I am grateful to have such a strong and closely knit team – From left: Haslan, Nisa, Pak Ngah (En Johari), Aliff, Ayah(Ir Aziz Ismail), Ezwan Zulkiflee, Amir, Anisa. In the front: Athilah, Alif Najmi Bahari.

My teammates work very hard, and have very good teamwork. Each one of us came from various different backgrounds – from Accountancy, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Ecommerce, Economics, Mathematics, Advertising, Electronics and Business Admin. None of us actually had any formal education in Marketing, but that does not stop us from doing the things we need to do to grow the company together. No excuses.

We learn together, we try and error together – and most important of all, we consistently improve our approach and knowledge together so that we can grow together to greater heights. In short, we do and experience almost everything together. I am proud to say that I learned a lot from each and every one of them. And I absolutely love to watch them grow.

For your info, one of my team members is differently abled, but instead of seeing it as a weakness, we see it as a strength – he can craft marketing materials very well and have very good eyes in coordinating colors and designs. Everyone falls in love with his designs. Here, we believe that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, which we work together to capitalize on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses.

Alhamdulillah, I am so happy to be blessed with such wonderful teammates. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to work with each and every one of them.

Thank you, Allah.

Count Your Blessings Day #7

Assalamualaikum wbt everyone!

In today’s Count Your Blessings story, I would like to share about the blessings of believing in the path that Allah has laid for us.

When I was young, I always used to feel “I have worked so hard for this, why didn’t I get it?”. It became very stressful. I believe most of us were that way especially when we were younger. Alhamdulillah, as I grow, I started to always believe in the path that Allah has laid for me.

Let’s reminisce the old times..

When I was in Form 3, I prayed for so many times to Allah to join Sekolah Seri Puteri in Form 4. At that time my brother was in Sekolah Alam Shah, and I thought SSP is near to SAS, so my parents can visit us both in the same day instead of having to alternate weeks (Jealous daughter here haha). I received offer to go to SM Sains Selangor instead. I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy that I got to join an SBP, but sad because it’s not SSP. But then, I realized, Allah answered my doa. I didn’t get what I want but I got what I need – SMSS is right next to SAS. So, I actually achieved my objective of getting our parents to visit us both on the same day. I am truly blessed to have joined SMSS, which I will share in another story.

This actually happened again and again throughout my life.Early in my career, I usually become stressed out when any of the team members are leaving us. The sadness sometimes became unbearable. However, Allah always send someone else to join us with the right skills and right attitude, at the right time. I am blessed that Allah grant me such wonderful teammates.

Again and again, sometimes I don’t get what I want, but Allah always give me what I need.

I am truly blessed. Once I started to truly believe in the path that Allah has chosen for me – I enjoy my life more, I become less stressed out, and become happier in everything I do.

If you feel stressed out with your life, if you feel sad, if you feel you didn’t get what you want even after you worked so hard for it, try to look back and see all the hikmah in everything that you have gone through. Allah loves us, and we need to always believe that He always give us the best.

Count Your Blessings Day #4

Assalamualaikum everyone!

It’s the first Friday of Ramadhan this year and I hope all of you are doing great.

I have been blessed with many wonderful people in my life. And right now, I am blessed with the best teammates ever.

Due to the length of this story, I will make this story into a few parts. Let me start with Part 1 today.

I joined Venture back in 2009, right after I graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology. I am from Electrical Engineering background, but dived into the IT Sector instead. I started out as Digital Marketer and also Programmer.

The year I joined Venture, was a challenging year for Venture. When I came in, a lot of people were actually leaving at that time. The first 2 years were quite hazy for me due to the fast turnover of people. I don’t even remember what I did for that first 2 years.

In 2011, Venture started to have some stability. The backbone of the company at that time depended on these 6 people – En Aziz (my dad), Mr Jabbar, Zul, Fauzul, Haslan and I. Aisya would join and help us out during summers. During this time, I learned a lot of new things – programming, managing projects, accounting, finance, human resources, sales, marketing and a whole vast of different areas.

My dad often told me that in order to be a good leader, you have to start from the bottom. And that is what I did. I am blessed to have wonderful people as my teammates, who supported me and helped me in my career. There are a lot of things that we learned and experimented together.

Even though it was very hard at that time, I am grateful to Allah for this experience as I am able to increase a lot of knowledge and skills within short period of time, which may not be the case if I enter Ventures during “cosy” years.

From these 7 people, I am very grateful that 5 of us are still here growing Venture together. Mr Jabbar and Fauzul have moved to their next adventures in life, but they will surely always be missed.

And yes, now in 2021, Ventures backbone has grown to have many more people, whom I love and cherish. We have a great team now – which I will share in another story.

I hope you have wonderful teammates too =)

#authenticventure #teammates #growth #love #countyourblessings

Count Your Blessings Day #3 – Fencing

Assalamualaikum all!

Today, I would like to share one of the big blessings in my life that play a huge part in making me into who I am today.

It’s fencing. And my beloved coach, Linda Vollkommer-Lynch. Oh, I miss her so much.

I was born with a heart condition which I have had surgery when I was 4 to solve it. Due to this, I had the mindset that I should not strain myself too much, thus I did not really join sports back in the schooldays.

However, I believe Allah wanted to show me something. I am absolutely grateful for this.

During my freshman year in Stevens, my best friend Latifah signed up both of us to join Fencing PE Class.

During the first session, we realized that we actually accidentally signed up to join the Fencing Varsity Team. Both of us, who did not even know what fencing is, and totally not sports people.

It was totally hilarious. But we decided, why not?

The first practice lasted for 3 hours. It was the first ever longest run and cardio in my life. Both of us vomited that day. And we couldn’t even walk the next day. Hahaha.

However, I pushed through. I had a wonderful Coach, and also an awesome team. I received a lot of support and learned a lot about fencing and weight lifting. My stamina and strength improved by leaps and bounds!

I started out as the backup fencer during my freshman year, moved up along the years and finally as Captain of the Foil team when I was in my Senior year. Alhamdulillah we won many tournaments, and finally in 2009, I competed in the NCAA regionals.

Fencing taught me that if I put my mindset to do something, I can actually do it! Even if it is something that I have never done before or don’t have any confidence in. This shapes my life – through fencing, I believe that I can do anything I want in my life. I just need the right mindset and must be willing to do what it takes.

Thank you Allah for this priceless experience – I will never trade this for anything in the world.

And thank you to my Coach, Linda, who is a huge part of my life when I was in Stevens. And thank you to all my teammates for the wonderful memories =)

#fencing #stevensinstituteoftechnology #countyourblessings #wonderfulmemories

Always Believe That You Can Do It!

Always believe that you can do it!!

Mungkin tak ramai yang mengetahui, semasa saya kecil saya merupakan seorang pesakit jantung. Jantung saya berlubang sejak lahir dan saya telah menjalani pembedahan pada umur saya 4 tahun. Saya masih ingat sewaktu saya kena berpuasa selama beberapa jam sebelum pembedahan, saya meminta-minta “Mama, nak milo”. Tapi tak boleh sebab perlu berpuasa.

Sebelum menjalani pembedahan tersebut, ibu saya ada mengatakan bahawa saya sangat banyak berpeluh dan mudah jatuh sakit. Alhamdulillah banyak improvement selepas pembedahan tersebut berjaya dilakukan.

Semasa saya sekolah rendah, saya ada mewakili sekolah dalam bola jaring. Tetapi stamina saya tidak kuat berbanding kawan-kawan saya yang lain. Saya menyalahkan sakit jantung sebagai punyebabnya (walhal sudah bedah dan baik sepenuhnya). Hingga saya ke sekolah menengah, saya mengelak dari melakukan aktiviti-aktiviti lasak seperi lumba lari (Minta Maaf Kapten Huda Chan sebab tak nak join lumba lari. Saya masih ingat lagi saya berusaha meminta kepadanya untuk tidak mahu join lumba lari semasa hari sukan SMSS. Haha)

Anyway, jadinya Allah nak buktikan kepada saya bahawa sekiranya saya push diri saya lebih dari saya fikir, saya sebenarnya berkebolehan untuk melakukan apa sahaja, termasuklah sukan.

Pada tahun pertama saya di Stevens Institute of Technology, saya dan sahabat baik saya Latifah Sarah, telah sign up untuk join kelas PE Fencing. Fencing merupakan lawan pedang. Apabila kami pergi ke “kelas” yang pertama, rupa-rupanya, kami ter-signup untuk masuk pasukan Fencing varsity, yang mewakili universiti untuk lawan dengan universiti-universiti yang lain.

Coach saya adalah Coach Linda Vollkommer-Lynch yang sangat baik dan juga tegas. Bermula dari situ saya memaksa diri saya berlari (kami mempunyai sekurang-kurangnya 5 latihan seminggu, setiap satu latihan adalah selama 3 jam dan sekurang-kurangnya sejam pada setiap sesi latihan digunakan untuk meningkatkan stamina seperti berlari, push up, sit up dan sebagainya). Jikalau kami lambat lari, kami akan dikenakan panelti (perlu lari dengan lebih lama). Oleh itu, saya berjaya mengatasi “masalah mental” yang saya hadapi sebelum ini yang mengatakan saya tidak boleh bersukan. Saya sebenarnya boleh, cuma perlu push diri sendiri lebih untuk keluar dari “Comfort Zone”.

Selain berlari, kami juga perlu bina badan dengan perlu pergi ke Weight-Room sekurang-kurang 1 kali seminggu bersama team dan beberapa kali atas inisiatif sendiri. Pada zaman tersebut, saya boleh mengangkat berat badan saya sendiri. (Berapa ye berat badan saya? Rahsia. Haha)

Dalam satu team fencing, ada 3 jenis pedang iaitu Foil, Epee dan Sabre. Saya merupakan pemain Foil. Setiap pedang memerlukan 3 starter dan 1 simpanan.

Pada tahun pertama saya telah terpilih menjadi “Simpanan”. Sejurus saya masuk tahun kedua, saya telah mula menjadi “Starter” dan berlawan dengan universiti-universiti lain yang mempunyai fencer yang lebih experienced. Ada antara mereka yang telah mula bermain fencing sejak sekolah rendah lagi.

Alhamdulillah saya telah memenangi banyak awards sepanjang saya bergelar seorang fencer dan saya juga telah berjaya menjejakkan kaki ke NCAA (walaupun hanya sekadar pusingan pertama) semasa saya final year di universiti.

Sepanjang saya di Stevens Institute of Technology, Allah telah banyak buktikan kepada saya sebenarnya saya boleh buat dan dapatkan sesuatu achievement dengan bekerja keras dan tidak membuat sebarang alasan. Saya yakin ilmu dan pengalaman yang ditimba ini sesuai digunakan pada bila-bila masa sahaja, sama ada sewaktu belajar dan juga semasa menerajui sebuah perniagaan.

Sekiranya saya boleh, anda juga boleh!!! Kita hanya perlu mempunyai mindset yang betul dan usaha kuat untuk mencapai cita-cita kita, Insya Allah!

Membangunkan sebuah perniagaan

Pada usia 28 tahun kini mungkin tidak dikira muda utk menerajui sesebuah syarikat. Namun, ini adalah satu tanggungjawab yang besar untuk saya dan amanah yang telah diberikan semenjak 5 tahun yang lepas. Mungkin ada antara tuan/puan tidak sangka saya adalah 28 tahun. (mungkin nampak macam umur 40 tahun, haha)

Sejurus selepas saya grad universiti Stevens Institute of Technology, saya memikul amanah dari bapa saya, Ir Aziz Ismail, untuk membangunkan Authentic Venture Sdn Bhd ke langkah seterusnya. Tanggungjawab tersebut amatlah besar. Saya tidak yakin saya dapat lakukannya.

Banyak drama yang berlaku dan dengan titisan air mata darah saya berhempas pulas untuk membantu ayah saya menaikkan syarikat ini ke mata dunia (terlebih dahulu ke mata Malaysia). Saya pernah merasakan bertahun-tahun tidak dapat gaji yang mana kawan-kawan saya yang lain semuanya bercerita ke mana destinasi percutian seterusnya. Jeles, memang benar. Tapi semua itu saya perlu lupakan dan telanlah kepahitan bangun jatuh sesebuah perniagaan.

Dalam keadaan susah payah, Allah telah memurahkan rezeki saya dari segi memberikan ahli keluarga yang baik dan bertanggungjawab, dan kami dikurniakan 3 orang anak yang comel, Adam, Ameena dan Azmi. Alhamdulillah, sesusah mana pun kami, masih cukup makan dan pakai untuk anak-anak kami ini.

Kini saya mendapat bantuan adik-adik Zul Purr Miaw dan Aisya Aziz yang turut sama mengambil langkah yang mungkin jarang diambil orang lain untuk menerajui dan membangunkan sebuah syarikat di empayar dunia. Adik-adik saya sangat hebat dan dapat interview dengan Google dan Amazon di US namun ditolak beliau semata-mata ingin turutsama memikul tanggungjawab ini.

Tidak banyak jasa yang telah saya semaikan jika dibandingkan dengan ayah saya, @Ir Aziz Ismail, usahawan yang cemerlang. Namun, saya harap Allah berikan kami kudrat untuk terus menempuh cabaran untuk menaikkan syarikat ini ke mata dunia dan murahkan rezeki kami dan usahawan-usahawan Malaysia.

Doakan kami berjaya, Amin.