On roads in Germany

It all started with a stop over in Frankfurt and we decided to extend the enjoy the autumn of souther Germany. On the recommendation of a good friend we were encouraged to rent a car and explore the Black Forest Area.

Upon arrival in Frankfurt, we headed straight for the Sixth Car Rental. The options they had (due to the Frankfurt Motor Show) was a bit limited so with the goal to test something Germany made we ended up with nothing less than the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet…that was a car! With is V8 biturbo engine it was like made for the German roads, no matter city, autobahn or mountain road.

With women in the car we did a compromise, first shopping and then nature. From Frankfurt we headed therefore straight to the Wertheim Village and its outlets. We arrived in the evening to our hotel and enjoyed a german dinner with dark beer. In the morning after breakfast we checked out and went for a visit to the city´s castle. Climbing up the stairs reaching the partly destroyed castle you are amazed by its beauty and the work to build it. After enjoying the views of the town below we headed along river towards the outlet village. The outlet was large, store after store it was a shoppers paradise. With outlet prices and additional discounts both Thiri and my mother went wild. We quickly found out that for many other brands there is another even bigger outlet a few hours south, so guess where we headed next…out on the highway down south bast Stuttgart. But this time with new Oakley sun glasses and beautiful weather.

The business of doing business

The last five years in Myanmar has been an amazing ride…both in terms of gaining experiences, good as well as bad, but also in the way of seeing things change, country as well as people. Doing business is one way to interact with corporates, governments and individuals.

With this and a few more blogposts I want to share some more indepth topics faced.

With the growth of social media, especially in Myanmar, everyone notice there is more open hate expressed – against both businesses and people…In Myanmar we saw Shangri-La being attacked due to a power cut that affected the chief region minister (like a powercut would be strange in Yanogn???)…and we are getting our share of hate comments such as after the latest car of the year award from disappointed chinese brands…. I have realised that interacting with them doesn’t help, it puts oil on the fire..and then today I was reading articles and stumbled upon these posts:

Benjamin Hardy mention it in his blogpost:

You will know your work has merit when someone cares enough to give unsolicited critique. If something is noteworthy, there will be haters. As Robin Sharma, author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, has said, “haters confirm greatness.” When you really start showing up, the haters will be intimidated by you. Rather than being a reflection of what they could do, you become a reflection of what they are not doing.

and shared by Entrepreneur.com

Haters are a natural part of the growth of your business. When you’re new there will be critics, when you’re good there will be haters, and when you’re excellent they will turn into admirers. The question is: Are you willing to be attacked and criticized as a person to grow your brand?

There is one way to avoid having haters. Sit on the sidelines, do nothing, don’t set goals, be average and no one will judge or hate you.

Criticism and hate are the price you pay for taking your business to the big time. So don’t let the sound of your haters overwhelm you, you only give them power if you listen to what they say. Ignore the noise and use your haters as fuel for the fire. They’re hating you because you’re on to something and are doing big things. In a way they are one of the greatest forms of feedback you can get.

I think the most important point here is to be able to take it, to accept being attacked and still push forward with what you think is the right thing. What probably makes it difficult for many is that it is usually the haters that are heard, the positive ones are normally not that active in expressing their support so they get drown out in the few noisy haters out there. So finding the few supports you have that validate you are on the right track can help a lot together with your own selfconfidence. For me, I absorb the energy and it fuels me, no matter if it is positive or negative. Haters even motivate me to work harder.

A weekend in the old capital

Mandalay is well known for literature and history. Being a resident of Yangon this weekend trip offered a good change of scenery.

It was primarily a business trip with a few extra days added for rest & recovery.

I stayed at the Mandalay Hill Hotel and both the hotel and the city gave me a pleasant welcome.

We took the care for a nine hour plus ride all the way from Yangon. I wouldn’t recommend it. It is a waste of time and unnecessary risk exposure in the monsoon rains, not to add that we departed at midnight to reach for the morning meeting. We did a few stops along the way including a nice tea break around 4 am at Shwe kayar Gyo.

Reaching Mandalay we did a breakfast stop to enjoy the famous motee of Mandalay. Two places are strongly recommended: Shwe Yaung Linn and Soe Soe.

Checking in at Mandalay hill hotel was the first time that I felt genuine service in Myanmar. The whole stay was warm and pleasant. I was luckily upgraded to the suit and could enjoy both a living room and a balcony with view of the Mandalay Hill.

Twice we were stunned by the staff’s willingness to support without hesitation, one evening we were late and desserts already taken away. Immediately the and arranged what they could. The following morning missing the breakfast and arriving 30 minutes late they still put together a breakfast for us.

The are of the hotel is like a resort repairs being in the city. From your too. You see both the golf course and the Mandalay Hill. The pool is large and good for laps. Thanks fact that it is nature around adds to the experience.

Evening time a good alternative is The Square BBQ restaurant not far away. The grilled meat is better than the other dishes and goes down well with cold beer while listening to the live music band.

Another lunch or dinner option is the Mingalarbar restaurant. It’s soya bean pork curry is nothing short of amazing.

Things that comes to mind spending a few days in Mandalay is that

– people seem to be much more friendly and relaxed

– traffic flows well and the convenience of motor cycles takes away the need of taxis and buses causing havoc on the streets as in Yangon

– Street food is on a different level compared to Yangon. Clean and good.

All in all, a nicer weekend destination that you might think, especially if you do short travel to the outskirts.

Swedish Christmas Food

For the first time in many many years the whole family got together to celebrate christmas in Sweden. It was also the first time my girlfriend visited Sweden and got to experience the dark and the cold…

It was a memorable and joyful time of good laughs and great food. And like Nikita knows, the best spot is in front of the open fire.

 

A new venture – Sarmal

Launched quietly in November, Sarmal is our first own app developed for Myanmar market and Myanmar users.

The purpose of Sarmal is to help people discover great restaurants around them. With our app and website you can find restaurants close by, curated collections, and see what other people are reviewing in a local feed.

Developing something is as always, it takes longer time than planned and costs more the budgeted.

Now we push forward and plan to create a unique app experience for Myanmar.

http://sarmal.com.mm/home

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sarmal.activity

A moment of peace

Since our office was finally ready, and the operations back to fairly normal, there has been a non-stop push forward. Weeks have passed with not a single days rest. If lucky, I have managed to squeeze in a hairwash a late evening before going back home..Weekends have been spent on the road visiting different cities or attending events or meetings. Worst part with the travel, it always start around 6am meaning you usually have to wake up at 4am. Trying to push myself away from the keyboard after midnight it means you start burning the candle from both ends.

This weekend the same, to bed at 1am, up at 3.45am to catch an early flight to Taung Gyi for a seminar at 10am. Being in Shan state with beautiful mountains and scenery we decided to give ourselves some luxury and booked the Monte Divino Lodge. A wonderful bungalow located overlooking the vineyard with sunset right in front of you. And what more do you need to unwind, a bottle of wine and a stunning view.

A change to education in Myanmar is coming

With our new office getting ready we are not only having the coolest work space in town but we are also ready to provide a modern and high quality class room environment. With our three business areas – media, consultancy and education – our office space is conveniently split into different areas to facilitate this.

We have just had our first classes and now ready to lead a wave of change in Myanmar’s education sector.

Decision fatigue

It’s amazing how many small decision there are to make every day. The concept of decision fatigue is a clear problem when running your own business, and even more so in Yangon where there are challenges such as overpriced contractors trying to screw you with every single part you want to buy. As if that is not enough, when you try to buy something today in any country, you face a smorgasbord of options making it seemingly impossible to know what to chose. I can’t understand the concept behind as it just makes me tired of it.

Today was time to buy a projector and of course, many different brands to chose from and in each brand so many different models with almost the same specifications. One his high lumens, another one higher resolution etc…Consider the Apple concept with a limited number of good products I so wish they also had one good and one very good projector to choose from.

Learn more about overcoming decision fatigue on lifehacker

 

projectors-benq

4 Years since launch

In October it was four years since myanmore.com launched. This means I have been here even longer..It has been an amazing adventure and experience. During these years we have since many things change. The country has had a change of government, internet access has become widely available with an unprecedented speed, the nightlife and dining scene has changed completely and keeps expanding with new places opening up faster than we can keep track.

This is what myanmore.com has evolved into, covering articles, events, promotions, a directory and cinema listings.

myanmore-web

And now this month we quietly launched our new site for Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar. Why? We have waited and waited and now hope that the changes we see in tourism and lifestyle will be enough for its own city portal.

myanmore-mandalay