Stephen Covey’s Season 4 – Episode 2: The Economics of Trust

Here we go, people.  Here’s a simple formula that will enable you to take trust from a variable.  Trust affects two outcomes — speed and cost.  When trust goes down, speed will also go down and costs will go up.

When trust goes up, speed will also go up and costs will go down.

Stephen Covey talked about the historic situation that happened on September 11th, 2001.  His trust in flying in America had gone down significantly.  When he would travel before the attacks, it was very easy for him to get through airport security and home in the quick airport routine.  Now there are procedures that take a lot longer at airports.  In recent years, FAA and airport security had come under fire because apparently they were sexually molesting a lot of passengers, including children.  Since then, the reports have plummeted, but you guys get the drift.  His trust went down, speed also went down and the cost went up. 

He also had flown out of a high-risk area in the Middle East.  His trust was super low in this area and had to arrive at the airport four hours before his flight, significantly reducing the speed.  He had to go through several screenings, and his bag was unpacked and searched multiple times by multiple people.  I also saw this when a passenger flying from Dubai to New York (on the flight that apparently 100 people were sick) had the same exact problem.

Clearly, extra security measures were necessary, and in this instant I was grateful for them, but the point remains the same: Because trust was low, speed went down and cost went up.

So, how can I relate this to my life? Well, when I had first flown Southwest Airlines in August of 2006 to Arizona, I flew alongside my friend Ty.  When we took off, I was terrified and tears were running down my face because of the September 11th events. I no longer trusted Americans, flights, airports or anything after that happened.  However, as time went on, I got maybe a fraction better — but still didn’t trust them.

Fast-forwarding it to present day, I live in a hot zone where planes crash quite often (Indonesia).  My students always tell me, “Nok Air and Air Asia are cheap!”  I would say, “I don’t have a cheap life.”  Air Asia, with two inexperienced pilots, got slammed four years ago when a flight going from Jakarta to Singapore fell into the ocean.  The pilots tried climbing elevation too fast and they fell out of the sky.  Human error.

A week and a half ago, Thai Lion Air, which is based at the airport I hate just north of Bangkok, also crashed leaving Jakarta airport.  Jakarta is known for having the worst crash-safety (Russia and north Africa, too), in the world and that scared the hell out of me.

Will I ever fly Air Asia or Thai Lion Air if I go to any part of Indonesia? Absolutely NOT.

I flew Singapore Airlines 2 years ago. Why? Trust is extremely high with them and the speed is fast — however — the cost is high, too.

When the Bali bombings happened in 2003, I asked a colleague (should I go to Bali)? I was terrified of going to Bali after bombings, such as that, had happened.  I then realized my trust in Bali was low because of one event.  If that’s the case, I can NEVER go to New York!

See how silly that is?

So I went, and it was the best trip of my life.

Anytime I travel now, I take the best airlines.  Travel to HK? Cathay Pacific.  Back to America? Singapore Airlines.  As of this year, I told myself I’ll never fly Air Asia again.  The flight attendants are stupendously unprofessional and don’t care about anyone.  The last time I flew with them it was a shaking rollercoaster and a tube with F1 Race car seats inside. I can’t do it anymore.

When I fly now, I fly out of the main airport.  I don’t go to the old airport anymore in the north. Why? I don’t trust the security, check-in, staff, food, or ANYTHING there.  Sure, the speed is high and the cost is low, but without trust, I just can’t do it.

 

Podcast

Traveling Pod: Episode 9 – Singapore for The 6th!

Here we go! The 6th country of the year.  Boy, what the hell is going on.  To be honest, I’m in a transition phase right now with work, and have been seen the dawn of the New Year.

Because this phrase has been ongoing, it requires me to leave the country often because of visa complications.  However, now that I have a reputable agency working on my visa and documents, when I come back that following week, I’ll be getting my one year visa and I won’t have to travel for the rest of the year (I think 6 times is enough).

So, why Singapore again, Arsenio? My happy ass got excited with jumping over a pond to Hong Kong and ended up having the most FORGETTABLE trip of my life.  Hong Kong is everything I didn’t WANT it to be, from the stereotypical immigration officers, to a wack ass hotel.  Sure, I met a nice individual there, but it was still….BLAH.

Should I go to Cambodia? Terrified.

Singapore is a safe trip and allows me to go to the main airport in Bangkok, (versus the dog house called Don Meung).  The main airport is connected with transportation that goes all the way to my condominium. I like my chances.

Singapore is going to be a trip of ME! Last time I went there I saw one of my ex-students, and now that she has grown up and forgot about her teacher (happens with youngsters, lol), I’ll go there to enjoy time by MYSELF and Vlog at the amazing Marina Bay Sands, a hotel I’ve always dreamed of seeing.

Now with having the ability to get outside the hotel and the area I’m living in, this could be a much more enjoyable trip compared to the last one.

Stay tuned for a variety of vlogs, instagram videos and other things that will be making their way here! Oh, and of course, a Ramble of Positivity!

The Disruption of Industries Are Coming (longread) Part I

By Content Writer Jiun Ting Yong

We are living in the 21st century and it is the post-Internet and Information Age. Now we are living in an age of exponential growth where disruptions are the normal thing to happen. It is hard to predict how many disruptions can happen in the next 5 years! We are living in an age of uncertainty due to exponential growth and technological advancement that can bring us so much.  So prepare yourself for the next decade of disruption where your job can be eliminated  by automation and artificial intelligence. An Oxford University research showed that about 47% of jobs will disappear for the next 25 years!

According to my research on the internet where you can easily dig into a handful of information at your own discretion, the next decades will be tough times for mankind as many people will be put out of jobs as long as your job is a high one with operational cost and higher salary cost.  However, all these disruptions are nothing new as if you look back into the history of technology that goes back to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Industrial Revolutions; disruptions happened, especially in the 3rd Industrial Revolution since the desktop publishing that started the personal computing mania after the 1st Macintosh was put on the market in 1984! It had disrupted the traditional job market that was once dominated by men! Furthermore, since the internet boomed back in the 1990s, it allowed giant firms to outsource firms to the developing world like Apple Inc to China for assembling their iPhones and iPads; as well as IBM outsourced their IT work to India with just the clicks of a mouse!

Since the recession in 2008, Silicon Valley started a technological boom, it allowed startup companies to be very innovative like Airbnb and Uber, which allowed their services to be productised which then led them to start a revolution known as the sharing economy that has been a frenzy till now. This is the beginning of the age of exponential where it disrupted the hotel industry and the traditional taxi drivers by Airbnb and Uber.

Now these disruptions are only the beginning and it happened at a fast pace due to technological innovation  and advancement. Here is a list of industries that are about to face disruption sooner than you might think.

Travel websites such as Expedia and Kayak have eliminated the need for human travel agents to book travel packages.

Tax software such as mobile applications like Wave Business where it allows users to automate their tax filing, can eliminate tens of thousands of jobs for tax accountants.

Newspapers, magazines and books have seen their circulative numbers decline steadily and traditional bookstores already shrank in size, having been replaced by online media or digital publishing companies. Blogs and digital subscriptions like Amazon Prime and Zinio Magazines also allow customers to subscribe with an affordable price. Self – publishing like Wattpads, Google Playbooks and Amazon Kindle allow indie bloggers and writers to publish and sell their materials. In addition to that, computer software and the latest technology like machine learning and AI are writing news stories, especially local news and sporting event results.

Just within the last couple of years, Borders bookstore in America (or barnes and Noble) had gone out of business and shut their doors (not sure if it’s all).  Magazine subscriptions have plummeted significantly; meanwhile, websites like LasVegasSun.com are charging users to a monthly subscription to read news that’s actually given FREE. – Arsenio Buck

Language translation is becoming more and more accurate, with simple software which the same thing it goes for dictation and proof-reading. It has allowed the automation of translators and interpreters by installing software.

Financial professionals such as stock brokers, wealth planners and advisors will lose their business to online trading websites like eTrade and M4 Traders. Also, robo-advisors like Smartly and Robinhood. Robinhood is a free online brokerage service that was eating the market share of traditional human stockbrokers and wealth planners by automating tasks like selling and buying. Many banks are offering customers mobile apps or ATMs to make it more convenient for customers to make payments, bank transfers or deposit checks. Also, the boom of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has allowed some financial technology to adopt and expand the technology which would disrupt the traditional banking industry because the world populations aren’t still unbanked and relying on a higher cost of money transfer. Moreover, the financial technology companies like Transferwise, which offered cheaper transfer fees, would disrupt the market share of banks.

Payment systems like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Payonner and PayPal — physical cash will become obsolete. Other forms of payment like credit and debit cards as well as traveller cheques, although these channels are old school, have started the disruption of traditional payment systems.

I had my content writer write a blog in terms of this because I do believe that very interesting times are lying ahead of us.

Stay tuned for more disruptions in the next blog!

 

How To Book Flights & Save Money

My friend, who is now a flight attendant for Spirit Airlines, first introduced me to travelocity.com 7 years ago.

My first 2-3 flights on there I booked directly through the 3rd party site.  Sites like these are good to find general flights, but don’t book directly through them because you can lose between 200-400 USD in doing so.  I’m going to show you some tips and provide guidance in regards to booking flights.

Now, is this for budget friendly people? It could be….and so I’ll give two perspectives for a backpacking traveler and a traveler who travels based on safety first (lol).

The Example

All right, my next big trip this year will be Nadi, Fiji coming up August 3rd-9th.

The first thing I did was look on travelocity and see what they had….

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So, on Travelocity, this is $1,216 USD.  Remember, I live in Bangkok now and this flight indicates flying into Sydney first, then go to Nadi, Fiji from there.  Personally, I believe that there was a shorter route because flying from Bangkok to Sydney (almost 9 hours) and then another 4 hours to Fiji is a bit too extensive.  Maybe there was a more direct route?  Also, who wants to hang out in an airport for almost 5 and a half hours? Let alone Sydney Airport (which doesn’t have much of anything).  So, I said….hmmm, well, Singapore is the biggest hub in Southeast Asia.  Perhaps I can fly out of there?

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Boom! Price at $866, I found a flight from Singapore to Fiji with a layover in Hong Kong.  I get to fly Cathay Pacific (five star airline) then Fiji Airways (to get the Fijian experience) while going there.  However, flying about 4 hours to HK and then a 12 hour trip to Fiji is just too much for my liking.  Although it might not be good for me in terms of layovers, I found cheap flights from Bangkok to Singapore in case it worked for anyone else.

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For $138 USD, you can fly from Don Meung (just a little bit north of Bangkok and a ten minute bus ride from my condominium) to Singapore and the total price of the ticket would be just shy over $1,000 bucks.  So, you’re already saving $200 dollars just by checking out different ways of flying there.  If you’re not keen on flying from the smaller airport, fly out of the main airport for an additional 30$ dollars (minimum on TigerAsia).

Last but not least, I decided to go on Fiji Airways website (remember, the goals is to not book on third part websites, but rather find the flights before going on the main website to book) and this is what I found.

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From Singapore, I can fly for as low as 991 Singapore dollars if I plus or minus the dates, but if it’s on August 3rd, I have 1079 to pay.  What’s that in USD?

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$771 usd! That’s if I fly directly from Singapore to Nadi which would be essential and just a 8.5 hour flight.

That means if I do decide to fly Air Asia to Singapore for $138 dollars, my entire trip would cost $909 dollars – a $300 dollar difference from the original!

This is how important it is to know how to shop.  Let’s go through the steps thoroughly.

  • Shop on travelocity or some other third party flight to see what airlines go through your destination.
  • Look at different airports to fly out from.  Example, flying from LAX was cheaper than flying from SFO (San Francisco) to come back to Thailand.
  • Look at connecting flights if applicable.  Buying a cheap flight and biting the bullet is often a better way….just fly the big airline for the long-haul.
  • ALWAYS book directly through the Airlines main website.  I saw that Cathay Pacific is outrageously expensive on Travelocity, but if you book on their website, you can get RT tickets from BKK to HK (Hong Kong) for $300 dollars versus $1000 dollars on travelocity.

If you have any questions, ask away!