How to Start a Band

Let’s say you’ve been dying to pursue your music career and have been wanting to start a band for some time now but have no idea where to start. Well, this article might be of some help for you. Being in a band is a wonderful thing. Not only do you get to play music with other people, you also get to share musical ideas with fellow enthusiasts.

Here are a few steps to starting a band:

1. Know your skill
This is very important when it comes to starting a band. You have to admit to yourself how good you are. Finding members to join your band is usually proportional to how skilled you are. The more skilled you are, the easier it will be for you to find new members.

2. Cover band or Original compositions
Decide whether you want to be a cover band or actually make original compositions. Knowing whether to focus on skill or on originality is very important as this will help determine the actual direction of your band.

3. Longevity
Being honest about how long you see yourself with a band is something you must admit to yourself. Do you see yourself in a band for the long run? Do you see yourself in a band even after about five years? What about ten?

4. Milestone
Instead of just setting goals, set up milestones. Pinpoint certain things you want to achieve. Whether it be to release ten original compositions, to be able to play in various concerts, or maybe even to rake in a certain amount of money. Make sure you are very specific about what you want. The more specific the better.

5. Members
Finding members might be a bit hard but don’t fret, the perfect members come around later on. Don’t rush your decision to include anyone as a member if you aren’t 100% sold out. Never allow yourself to be half convinced about a certain possible member, you should be sure. Well, sometimes you have to take risks, but that’s entirely up to you to see which members you should actually include.

6. Strategy
Now that you have it all, you should develop a solid strategy to reach your milestones. Building your strategy might be a bit hard as you’d have to factor in everything from the biggest to the smallest detail. Taking into consideration your practice hours, budget, and everything else is very important. Don’t let anything skip planning. Make sure your plan is as solid as it can be.

Starting up a band can be really hard at first especially if you are starting a new band. These few steps are only there to guide you but the rest is up to you. Good luck!

Are You a Hoarder?

As one of the economic hubs in Asia, it’s natural to find some of the best shopping spots in Singapore. Who doesn’t love shopping? It’s a therapeutic activity after a stressful week of working. But do you find yourself buying more than you actually need? Is your closet filled with items that you don’t use but can’t throw away because you might need them someday?

What is hoarding?
There is nothing wrong with collecting items. Collectors feel proud in displaying their possessions and even engage in money-making through trading and auction. Collectors organize their items and keep them clean and in pristine condition so they can be sold later or passed on to the next generation. Hoarding on the other hand can be embarrassing for the affected person. They don’t display the items and feel uncomfortable when other people see the clutter. Collectors budget their money and plan their next purchase, while hoarders acquire new items at the expense of other basic needs.

Why are they hoarding?
Hoarding is no longer collecting because the nature of the items could be anything from paper, household supplies, clothing old containers, and others which can’t be displayed like a collection of toys, shoes, and artwork. Hoarders keep items because they think those can be used in the future. Other also feel that the items have sentimental value which will remind them of people, pets, events and other happy memories. They feel safe around their items and it sort of forms a barrier.

What are the symptoms?
You might be a hoarder if you have the following symptoms:
1. Feeling of anxiousness when asked to throw away items.
2. You’re unable to throw away items even if you feel you have to.
3. You cannot organize the items you have collected.
4. Feeling of embarrassment for having such items, often hiding them from visitors.
5. You fear that you will run out of items.
6. You suspect someone of trying to steal the items when they touch or look at them.
7. Feeling of accidentally discarding items that might be useful in the future.
8. Your growing collection has taken so much of your time and effort.
9. Your family and friends are affected by your obsession because of lack of interaction.
10. Your home is full of items. There is not enough space to function normally.

How is it cured?
If these symptoms have greatly impaired your life and has affected you and your family, you could be suffering from a disorder such as depression, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder. Hoarding is just a symptom of any of such disorders and other more serious ailments such as dementia or psychosis. If you suspect that you are or someone you know is a hoarder, visit a psychiatrist to determine the best treatment program. Treatment could be in the form of psychotherapy and/or medications. The doctor will also ask the help of members of the family for home remedies.

How to Cope With Disappointment

Life is not all rainbows and flowers. Disappointment is part of growing up and getting better, but dealing with it is not easy for some people. Here are ways on how you can cope with it.

Let it All Out
Let the feeling of disappointment wash over you. Sometimes there is no other way to deal with the pain but to let it overflow. Take a time out. If you think you cannot function properly in the next several days, there is nothing wrong with taking a breather. Cry or scream or eat ice cream if it’s going to help you feel better. Don’t take it out on other people by becoming violent or throwing tantrums, however.

Manage Your Emotions
Acknowledge the pain. Everyone experiences defeat and hardship. You also have to accept that at this moment, you’re not capable of making important decisions. Deciding based on your current mood will only make you more miserable later when you realize you’ve made the wrong choice. Don’t hide your feelings, but stay calm so you don’t get into arguments that you don’t need at this time. Don’t blame others or yourself for failing. Even the most successful people in the world deal with disappointments.

Question Your Expectations
It’s not wrong to dream big, but maybe your expectations were too unrealistic. Maybe you have overlooked some factors in decision-making that you didn’t know were going to affect the result. This is the right time to review your expectations and file them later when you are more emotionally capable of making decisions. Perhaps you need to adjust your plans later so that you can still strive for your goals with realistic expectations.

A Different Perspective
This is also the perfect time to reflect, not only about why you failed but what your strengths are. Learn from your mistakes and turn this experience into a motivating factor to try again next time. Talking to people will also help you look at this experience from a different perspective. Take a step back and listen. You might discover something about yourself and other people that you haven’t seen before.

Learn to Accept
Disappointment teaches humility. Everyone fails, even the best of us. Blame no one for it even yourself. It won’t be the last time you’ll feel disappointed too. Your favorite team might lose in the championship or you might not get the scholarship you wanted or maybe you’ll find out you’re not qualified to apply for the company where your dream job is. You will be disappointed and you will disappoint other people.

Try and Try
Disappointments will teach us to grow. Learn to accept that disappointment is part of life as much as victory and success. How you manage that feeling will define you and the path you will take. If you let the feeling defeat you, then expect more disappointments. Look at alternatives and never stop trying to be happy.

What Can a Creative Agency Do for You?

You might wonder why a marketing staff from other companies would contact a creative agency in Singapore to help promote their business and what creativity has to do with advertising. After all, the term creative design services is somewhat vague, leading many people to ask whether the company is comprised primarily of artists.

Functions of a Creative Agency
That definition of a creative design company is only partly correct because creative design services isn’t just about art and design; it also combines strategies related to digital services, marketing, and even advertising. The goal of a creative agency is to help companies market their products and/or services by creating content that will address concerns of the customer, clients, and employees. So, are they an advertising company?

Not exclusively, but most creative design services focus on product and/or service promotion and brand awareness. However, the creative design company like in Singapore will also assist entrepreneurs in other aspects of marketing such as planning, placement, design, and production. After all, advertising is a marketing strategy. However, not all companies in Singapore have the resources and manpower to create a team that will focus on promoting the brand alone. For this, the creative design agency is an ideal business partner.

To identify the right creative agency for you, you need to look for the following:
• Types of services offered by the creative design agency
• Experience with both traditional and digital advertising
• Type of full-service agencies (whether it’s an in-house creative agency or a modular agency)
• Fee model and fee structure
• Connections or contacts with media outlets for advertisement placing
• Agency structure and options for working with an existing in-house team in your company (if any)
• References, reviews, and samples

Services of a Creative Agency
How do you know if your company is in need of help from a creative agency in Singapore? Most small-scale companies will not consider hiring a third-party agency to help them with advertising and marketing, but medium-to-large-scale businesses and corporations will have to spend time and resources to set up a team of marketing staff.

The most practical solution is to outsource these services instead, as this removes the need to train new personnel or to provide them with the resources to set up a creative design department. Before hiring a creative agency, however, you need to know which services you will require from them, such as the following:

• What areas of advertising or marketing are the most valuable for your company?
• Will you consider traditional and digital advertising?
• Will your creative team work with the creative agency?
• Were your previous marketing plans unsuccessful? Does your company need a new strategy for advertising?
• Is your company lacking communication options when it comes to interacting with clients or customers?
• Is your company’s growth stagnant?
• What are your company’s goals and objectives?

If you can answer those questions, then it is easier to determine the type of services you will need from the creative design agency in Singapore. Some services include the following:

• Coming up with an advertising strategy and marketing plan
• Graphic design and website customization
• Website management (includes design, publishing, tracking and maintenance)
• Product or service campaign and analysis
• Advertisement placement and media purchase

Advantages of Hiring a Creative Agency
What makes a partnership with a creative design agency in Singapore a good business move is that outsourcing the technology, resources, and know-how can help you keep up with your competitors. Creative design services include access to the latest technology, knowledge of the marketing and advertising techniques, better public relations strategy, access to the best resources for promoting a brand, and a better communication strategy.

Although the creative design agency focuses on various interrelated areas at a time, they have a team of experts who can provide you with the best solutions in any field of marketing and advertising. The experts usually include designers, artists, software and frontend engineers, consultants, and art directors.

Some of the advantages you will enjoy from partnering with a creative design agency in Singapore include the following:
• Access to the best software and technology
• Commitment of the creative team
• A pool of talented and skillful personnel
• Honesty and ethics in business practices
• Focus on the company’s growth and profitability
• Socially-responsible projects
• Innovativeness and creativity
• Adaptability and excellent quality service
• Negotiations with media outlets for placement of advertisements
• Cheaper and better ad placements
• Better brand development, especially if the company is new
• No need to develop an advertising campaign by hiring staff
• Better response to changes and responses of customers
• A committed creative design team can work faster

Your company will be able to focus on other areas of improvement if you can free up your team from the hassles of marketing and advertising. Companies with an existing team of creative designers can also partner with the creative design company to improve on existing strategies and projects. Small companies can also benefit from working with a creative design agency, because product placement is important if you want your company to grow. Besides relying on traditional means of attracting more customers, the creative agency can help you establish your brand by strategically placing advertisements that will actually work.

You should also consider some of the cons of hiring a creative agency in Singapore such as the following: more expensive than an in-house team; possibility of leaks in marketing; failure to understand your company’s goals and vision; and the risk of hiring a team not passionate enough. The disadvantages, however, are clearly outweighed by the pros of working with a creative design company when it comes to creating more opportunities for growth and revenue.

Beyond the Magic: Life Lessons from the Harry Potter Series

On June 26 2017, the renowned Harry Potter series celebrated its 20th anniversary since its first publication in 1997. The books paved way for an eight movie franchise not much later in 2001. The cinematic adaptation of the adventures of young Harry together with his friends Ron and Hermione only increased the number of the wizarding franchise’s avid fans.

Fans across the globe commemorated the magic that the series brought upon into our lives. The books and the movies may be long over — but the life lessons we’ve gained from Harry Potter will live on forever. The characters and their respective journeys continue to encourage and inspire us despite it being merely a fictional story. For one,

1. It teaches us to be brave
Bravery comes in a lot of different forms. Courage isn’t merely all about proving you’re willing to physically fight with the enemy until your last breath, no. There are also other manifestations of silent bravery like the resilience that happens inside a person’s mindset.

Harry, for one, never failed to be brave in defeating the common enemy (Voldemort). Even if there were people who told him he might lose his life in the process, that didn’t hinder him even a little.

2. Stand up for what you believe
Initially, there weren’t a lot of people who believed the Dark Lord was alive. Harry continuously told them Voldemort is out there, but people grew more skeptical of him and thus dubbed him as “the boy who lies”. Regardless, he never cowered away from his beliefs. He remained firm and steadfast even when the majority doubted him.

3. It’s alright to ask for help
Even if you live in the wizarding world, magic can only do so much. Even Harry, who singlehandedly defeated the powerful dark lord, cannot always do things on his own. It was revealed how much the wizard hated the idea of seeking help from others but he realized there are battles he cannot fight on his own. Such was evidently portrayed during the Triwizard Tournament where he was greatly helped by his friend, Neville, who was considered an underdog.

4. We all have to face our fears
We cannot always live in the comfort of our own bubble. There are moments in life when we will be required to face our fears head-on. In so doing, we will be able to proceed with our journey and sooner or later get what we want in life.

Ron had to deal with his phobia of spiders just so to find the cure for Hermione’s petrified state, while Harry had to constantly deal with dementors he was so afraid of to battle Voldemort in the end. These challenges were difficult but they helped the characters find out what they were made of.

5. True friends help you survive everything
Throughout the series, Harry’s best friends Ron and Hermione were with him every step of the way as he took on the journey of defeating the dark lord for good. Even if there were times they had to put their lives at risk, they remained by Harry until the end. They never left his side and with their support, Harry grew strong as he faced the villain.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Southeast Asian Trip

Southeast Asia has been a popular route for tourist backpackers for many years now. The accessible region is endowed with rich natural resources and stunning views, which makes it a perfect choice for travel and vacation. You can expect to see lots of forests, volcanoes, beaches and coral reefs in the many countries in SEA.

Since Singapore is among the territories in Southeast Asia, citizens can enjoy a no-visa requirement upon visiting neighboring countries of Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, save for Timor-Leste, which issues a visa upon arrival which is good for also 30 days.

Getting the most out of your SEA backpacking experience doesn’t have to be difficult. This article will provide some practical advices for you to create wonderful memories during your trip to last a lifetime.

Try the local, street food
Southeast Asia is the home of the world’s tasty yet cheap cuisines. This makes it ideal for backpackers who are travelling on a tight budget. You can expect to see stalls in the streets selling inexpensive menu items without sacrificing the taste and quality of the food. Popular in Indonesia and Malaysia is the Satay — which is a seasoned, skewered meat served along a peanut-based sauce. The Philippines has Kwek-kwek, deep fried hard-boiled eggs coated in orange batter.

Visit temples
Temples are among the region’s esteemed tourist attractions. Myriad temple complexes present a beautiful and intricate form of architecture, such as that of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Picturesque monuments also abode countries such as Indonesia and Myanmar.

Learn from the locals
Countries in Southeast Asia have a rich cultural heritage. With that, learning about the culture of different tribes is a guaranteed highlight of any visit amongst less-explored places. Approachable communities such as the Torajan people of Sulawesi, Indonesia can tour you around their elaborate architecture and ghastly burial rituals. Ethnic villages in Hsipaw, Myanmar is also a good choice if you want to immerse yourself with local culture.

Go to the beach
Southeast Asia boasts of some of the finest beaches in the world — and it is definitely one place you must enjoy over the duration of your backpacking trip. Fine beaches abound Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, complete with white-sand coasts and azure waters which ceaselessly captures a perfect summer day. Don’t forget to pack your sun screen!

Take the local transport
Local transport in some countries in SEA can often become one memorable highlight of your trip. It is a unique experience in a sense that you get to fraternize with the locals and other travelers, as well as get a glimpse of the country’s cultural heritage. For instance, you can ride a Kalesa, which is a horse-drawn calash, in some parts of Northern Philippines. This mode of transportation is now mostly practiced for tourism, but it was first introduced by the country’s Spanish colonizers in the 18th century.

4 Tips to Save Money on Your Home Renovation

Now that you finally have the keys to your brand new home after a long time of investment, it’s time to finally make the adjustments needed to make the place truly your own. Here are a few tips you can follow to do so without having to break the bank even more:

1. Set your budget
Set aside this certain amount by planning exactly how you want your place to look like, down to the last detail, and stick to this plan as much as possible. However, remember to leave an extra twenty percent in case of any unforeseen contingencies, which can make you go over your planned budget.

2. Think about how you will use that space in the next few years
One of the most common issues with home or HDB owners in Singapore is the issue of storage space, which can run out easily. Some areas of effect that you can consider other than the budget include your current and future lifestyle – having a lot of furniture now might seem nice, but can easily take up a good amount of space in your home.

3. Do it yourself
While it can be much easier to simply hire a renovating service to renovate your place for you, you may not always have enough budget leftover for that kind of expense. Doing the renovation yourself or with the help of a friend or two might take you a while, but can be quite fulfilling at the end of the day.

The same could be said for furniture. If you have to, you can always build it yourself. The good news is that most store-bought ones have their own instruction manuals, which should be easy enough for you to follow.
However, be warned – don’t expect to have to do everything yourself. Certain problems, such as connecting gas pipes and fixing leaky plumbing, should best be left to professionals.

4. Think minimal
The design of your home plays a large role in the renovation costs. This makes a home with a minimalist theme much cheaper and easier to renovate in the future if you decide to switch things around. However, there are other things that, while you don’t usually pay attention to them, should really be done away with.

For instance, it might not be a good idea to spend on carpeting if you have children or pets. Another thing you can do away with is wallpaper – while it looks pretty, Singapore’s humid climate can discolor it pretty quickly – and you can opt for painting your walls yourself.

With that said, you don’t have to compromise your style entirely and settle just for whatever is cheapest.

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