My life and the way I see it

Surprise at the end! 😂 – with Pujiananurul

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Ya Allah nak, gak berasa udah setaun aja sejak kamu brojol ke dunia ini. Koq cepet banget ya kamu tumbuhnya. Dari tadinya cuma bisa nangis minta nenen dan bikin ayah sama bunda kurang tidur, sampe sekarang udah ngerti berbagai hal, nunjukin macem-macem ekspresi, udah bisa naik tangga sendiri dari lantai bawah ke lantai atas, ngoceh ga jelas kaya ngajak ngobrol, segala dijilat dan dimasukin ke mulut, dan yang pasti selalu bisa bikin ayah & bunda senyum-senyum sendiri liat kelakuan kamu dan merasa beruntung memiliki kamu, nak. Yang pasti kamu adalah amanah dan investasi terbesar kami di dunia dan akhirat. Happy 1 year old, Muhammad Hamdi Fathonah. We will always try to give our best for you. We will always there for you. We will always love you. 👪 – with Pujiananurul

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7 Life Changing Things (and more) I Learned in 2013

September 2013.

Pada bulan ini maka  Stereo Desserts sudah menginjak ke umur 19 bulan.

Dua bulan setelah bertambahnya gelar di belakang nama saya, Muhammad Ilham, S.IP, MBA.

Lebih dari tujuh poin yang telah mengubah hidup saya di tahun 2013 ini yang akan saya rangkum dalam tulisan ini.

Luar biasa karunia yang diberikan Allah. Semoga quantum acceleration saya dapat segera terlaksana! Amin!:)

1. The Worldview

Saat membaca buku Seth Godin yang “All Marketers are Liars”, saya mendapatkan insight bahwa setiap orang memiliki worldview atau cara pandang mereka masing-masing yang tidak dapat dirubah karena setiap orang memiliki latar belakang budaya yang beragam serta pengalaman hidup yang berbeda. Sebagai marketers, yang harus kita lakukan adalah bukan dengan memaksakan konsumen untuk mengikuti “jalan cerita” kita, namun kita yang membuat cerita mengikuti “jalan cerita” konsumen atau dengan kata lain storytelling. Sebagai contoh, Stereo Desserts telah terbranding sebagai brand yang hipster, well as the owner I have to become hipster myself to get to know my customers, seeing the world  with their worldview.

2.The 20s

I saw a great TED video, which every 20s people needs to see this, about the importance of 20s age. It the phase that really important that we have to choose wisely about your life. Your 20s defines who will you become in your life. When you get to 30, maybe it’s too late to change your life.

Check this video:

3.The Media

Being covered by the media maybe not always a good thing, because sometimes the media also using you for their advantage. I had my lesson when got interviewed by a tabloid, they sabotage your recipe to their advertisement because you didn’t give the real recipe, and in the end, lowering the quality of the product. But on the other side, Me & Stereo Desserts get our best coverage yet from NET12 of NET TV!😀

4.The Competition

I became a finalist of The Marketeers’s Youth Startup Icon Bandung 2013, where I have to give my elevator pitch about Stereo Desserts for only 3 minutes. FYI, this is the definition of elevator speech from

An elevator pitchelevator speech, or elevator statement is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a person, profession, product, service, organization or event and its value proposition.[1]

I think I nailed it, even if tomorrow morning after the event, I’m having my thesis presentation. In the end I didn’t won, it’s okay. The winner is Maicih of Bob Merdeka.

But later, I got some facts from Kang Jaya Setiabudi (@JayaYEA) that he gave Stereo Desserts the biggest score among the other finalists and he said that I should be the one that won and became the representative for Bandung city. It’s a big compliment from a person like him, whom I think have become one of the entrepreneur’s icon in Indonesia right now. And somehow this saddens me, but maybe I don’t deserved to be a winner.

Last week, when I invited to became one of speakers for new students of MBA ITB at Dapur Iga, together with Kang Eka Satiadharma as Marketing/PR from The Marketeers and Kang Avip Firmansyah from HIPMI Jabar, Kang Eka told me the same thing, that I should be the winner, he even debated with his Boss all night long, because I have the biggest score among all finalists. But still, the winner is Maicih, because their distribution channels has gone national.. So in the end, it’s not about youth or start up business, it’s about networking and coverage of a brand. Kang Eka said that Bob claimed that his business was 2 years and 11 months old, but the reality it has been running more than 3 years (this competition is for business that running from 1-3 years, that why it’s called start up). Well, not my fortune for sure.

5.The Connection (Power of Giving)

Give what people need before saying what you want. It’s all about giving. Give, and then get.

6.The Graduation

Finally I graduated from MBA ITB. It’s been two years after I started to study about business and pushed my luck into practice. Shifting from a business to a business until I founded Stereo Desserts. Tiba saatnya untuk benar-benar mandiri. Keluarga menyarankan saya untuk apply pekerjaan, disamping keinginan saya untuk menjadi seorang asisten dosen yang memiliki waktu yang fleksibel, sehingga bisa sekaligus me-manage bisnis saya. Namun, demi mewujudkan visi dari Stereo Desserts, sebenarnya bekerja dan mempelajari system dari sebuah perusahaan national atau internasional yang sudah established, serta membangun network, merupakan hal yang sangat penting. I have applied to some companies with strategic positions that I believe would benefited Stereo Desserts in the future, also I have applied to become a lecturer. We’ll see where God will put me for my destiny.

7. The Internship

Hal satu ini adalah hal yang paling menantang untuk saya.  Membuka internship untuk anak kuliahan adalah salah satu implementation plan yang saya tulis dalam thesis saya. Mengapa? Karena pada akhirnya untuk mengembangkan suatu bisnis diperlukan sumber daya manusia yang kompeten, dan sebagai pemilik bisnis saya dituntut menjadi seorang leader yang baik. Well, this is a new thing for me.  Saya harus belajar bagaimana menjadi seorang pemimpin. I have to delegate if I want to grow my business, and it’s not easy, but it has to be done. There’s so much I learned on how to manage people and become a leader, still long way to go, I guess. I have to learn a lot about strategic management as a business owner. In 4 days, I got 110 applicants that want to have internship in Stereo Desserts from Bandung & Jabodetabek! :O In the end they’re only 4 applicants that accepted to this 1st batch of internship. I’m blessed to have interns that are passionate, talented, hardworking and also want to learn about new things.:)

8. The Trip

Because of the Stereo Desserts promotion on made me have 1881 pieces, I have to let go of my backpacking plan and my own plane tickets that me and my friend have arranged since May. The lesson was: don’t take the promotion offer when the time is not certain.😦

9. The Events

On this September, Stereo Desserts participated on two events, Lookats Market and Locafore, also creating a photo contest. Actually this photo contest is one of my implementation plan that I wrote in my thesis. This is where the part of delegating is essential, where me and the interns  focused to concept, produce & sell products at Lookats & Locafore, and Stereo Desserts Marketing Manager, Reza, on making the concept of the photo contest and running it with the interns, on the same day. Alhamdulillah, both events went well!😀

That’s all I wanna share, hope it will give you some insight!:)

The Gestalt Prayer

I found something interesting when I read a psychology book. A “prayer” that used for therapy, Gestalt Prayer.

The “Gestalt prayer” is a 56-word statement by psychotherapist Fritz Perls that is taken as a classic expression of Gestalt therapy as way of life model of which Dr. Perls was a founder.

Text of “prayer”:

I do my thing and you do your thing.

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.

If not, it can’t be helped.

(Fritz Perls, “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim”, 1969)

The key idea of the statement is the focus on living in response to one’s own needs, without projecting onto or taking introjects from others. It also expresses the idea that it is by fulfilling their own needs that people can help others do the same and create space for genuine contact; that is, when they “find each other, it’s beautiful.”


25 Things I’ve Learned About Life: Lessons from an entrepreneur

Here are 25 things that a young entrepreneur named Derrick Fung has learned about life.


When I turned 25 a few months ago, I wrote down some of the things I’ve learned over my short time on earth. The last year has been a crazy roller-coaster ride which has enabled me to see certain things like never before. Last year during this time, I was working at what I would consider my “dream job” – well, before I discovered my current “job” (I don’t think I can even call it a job). Over the last year, I’ve tried to learn from people who have “made it” in life – entrepreneurs, figureheads, lawyers, bankers and even politicians. I’ve realized that there is no formula to success in life, but there are definitely lessons that can be learned to help along the journey. I came up with the following list which I hope to someday come back to – but for now, I think it’s a pretty accurate depiction of how I think😉 So without further adieu:

  1. Take risks when you’re young. The older you become, the harder it gets. But they should always be calculated.
  2. The most important thing you learn in school is how to learn. Once you master that, nothing will stand in your way. Never stop learning.
  3. I would rather say that I tried and failed than live a life of regret. You miss every shot you don’t take.
  4. Dream big. Life is too short to only be mediocre.
  5. Music is the cheapest and simplest cure to life’s problems. Queue up your favourite play list, put on some headphones, and take a walk. You’ll instantly feel better.
  6. Drink beer. Lots of it. It makes you think more creatively. Oh, and wine too.
  7. Join clubs and put yourself in as many different social settings as possible. It will help you understand people and make you a better communicator.
  8. Start your own business as young as possible. Even if it’s a lemonade stand, it will teach you business lessons you’ll use for the rest of your life.
  9. If you’re going to fail, fail fast and make it public. Don’t drag it on. Then pick yourself back up. Knowing that others watched you fail will encourage you to prove them wrong.
  10. Meet lots of different people. Life is serendipitous in many ways and you never know what can happen.
  11. When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade. Then pour it for all your friends. Be optimistic. It spreads like wild fire.
  12. Success does not lead to happiness. You need to be happy first before you can become successful. Find what makes you happy. Don’t stop until you find it.
  13. Many people don’t want to start businesses because they are scared. Successful entrepreneurs got to where they are because they were willing to tread where others wouldn’t. If you’re too scared to leave your 9-5 job, entrepreneurship is not meant for you.
  14. Surround yourself with people way smarter than you. That is the only way you will be challenged to grow.
  15. Only those who are with you during the struggles deserve to be with you when you celebrate the successes.
  16. Pick and choose your battles carefully. There are only 24 hours in a day. If something isn’t worth your time, just say no…or outsource it to India😉 (thank you 4 Hour Workweek)
  17. The most important asset to invest in is yourself. Take classes to make yourself a better person and never stop learning. Buy books. Lots of them.
  18. True friends will never question why you disappeared off the face of the earth. They will be there for you unconditionally.
  19. The more comfortable you are with a job you don’t want to be doing, the harder it will become to leave it and chase your dreams. Learn what you can, then go change the world.
  20. A dream job does not exist. You have to create it.
  21. Travel as much as you can. You will come back with a wider perspective of the world and more ideas on how to change it.
  22. “Thank You” – the most powerful two words in the English dictionary.
  23. God gave us all a purpose. Don’t settle until you find yours. I didn’t think mine was to sit in front of computer screens and trade foreign exchange, so I kept looking.
  24. The world may seem big and scary. But the older you get, the more you realize that everything is man-made. Nothing is set in stone. Don’t stick with the status quo.
  25. Life is not easy. But having the right support group with you during your journey goes a long, long way.
Do you have any more to add to this list?

Reblog from

What Must Be Done in 2013

I have THREE MAIN CONCERNS for 2013:

First one is THESIS:

Tesis adalah penelitian mendalam,  yang sungguh-sungguh dilakukan dengan proses  yang berasal dari berbagai informasi dan data yang dikumpulkan.  Tesis berangkat dari suatu masalah dan bagaimana kita menyelesaikan suatu masalah tersebut dengan menggunakan pandangan dan analisis mendalam  kita  berdasarkan ilmu, teori, puluhan jurnal yang kita pahami dan berbagai data yang kita miliki. 

Ngebacanya aja dah berat, kalau ngejalaninnya… Harus dibawa fun biar semangat! Paling bener kalau ada yang nyemangatin sih..  Hahaha. We’ll see, pokoknya 2013 harus kelar! Amin!

Second one is EXPANSION:

Ek, perluasan peredaran uang ke dalam sirkulasi.

Gw harus menetap di suatu daerah beberapa saat, dimana gw bakal melakukan ekspansi untuk mengetes dan melakukan riset terhadap pasar di kota-kota besar. Karena target tahun ini adalah Stereo Desserts Go National. This should be fun, traveling+networking+opening distribution channel at the same time! Semoga lancar, amin!

Third one is LIVING HEALTHY:

Pola hidup sehat mempunyai 3 pondasi utama yaitu nutrisi yang tepat, olahraga yang teratur, serta manajemen stress yang optimal. Dengan menjalankan ketiga pondasi hidup sehat, kesehatan Anda akan lebih terjaga kini dan nanti. Niscaya, berbagai penyakit seperti gangguan jantung, stroke, diabetes, hipertensi, kanker, ataupun jenis penyakit yang lain dapat dihindari.

Harus sudah mulai sadar umur, being twenty something means taking a really good care of your own body, if you want to live longer, period. Gw sudah harus mulai memperhatikan apa yang gw makan, seberapa besar kalorinya, dan dengan kata lain, harus sudah mulai makan makanan-makanan yang rasanya hambar (kalori rendah) buat hidup sehat dan menjadikannya sebagai sebuah habit.

Selamat tinggal wisata kuliner.. Eh, sekali-sekali sih gapapa lah, sekalian buat nyari inspirasi baru..😀

These are my Resolutions in 2013. What is yours? Please kindly share your resolution here.:)

Art of Marketing = Art of Brand Building

  “The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.

Then price is everything and the low-cost producer is the only winner.” – Philip Kotler

Kali ini saya ingin membahas tentang brand building, kenapa?

imageDalam buku 60 Minute Brand Strategist oleh Idris Moote disebutkan:

To plan for one year, grow sales.

To plan for three years, grow channel.

To plan for decades, grow a brand. 

Sama seperti layaknya manusia, sebuah brand memiliki nama, personalitas, karakter dan reputasi.

Dan layaknya terhadap manusia, kita bisa memberikan respek, bahkan mencintai sebuah brand.

Kita bisa menganggapnya sebagai sahabat, atau hanya sekedar kenal.

Kita bisa melihatnya sebagai sesuatu yang bisa kita andalkan atau remehkan; yang berprinsip atau oportunis; yang peduli atau yang masa bodoh.

Sama seperti saat kita berada diantara orang-orang tertentu atau orang lain, begitu pula apakah kita menyukai beberapa brand dan bukan brand-brand yang lain.

Serta layaknya manusia, sebuah brand akan tumbuh matang dan merubah produknya seiring waktu. Namun karakter dan keyakinan intinya (core belief) jangan sampai berubah. Begitupula kepribadian fundamental dan pandangannya terhadap hidup.

Setiap orang memiliki karakternya masing-masing, hal itu juga berlaku untuk para brand.

Karakter seseorang mengalir dari integritasnya: kemampuan untuk  menghasilkan sesuatu di bawah tekanan, kemauan untuk melakukan hal yang benar daripada yang bijaksana.

Kita menilai karakter seseorang dari kinerja masa lalunya dan bagaimana dia berpikir dan beraksi, baik dalam keadaan yang baik terutama dalam keadaan yang buruk.

Hal yang sama juga berlaku pada brand.

Sebuah brand merupakan aset tak berwujud yang berada di hati dan pikiran masyarakat.

Hal ini didefinisikan oleh harapan orang tentang manfaat tangible dan intangible yang dikembangkan dari waktu ke waktu oleh komunikasi dan, yang lebih penting lagi, dengan tindakan!

Untuk membangun Brand yang sukses berarti melakukan empat hal berikut:

1. Membuat Janji. (Brand Promise)

2. Mengkomunikasikan Janji tersebut.

3. Menjaga Janji.

4. Menguatkan Janji tersebut.

Aspek nyata dari brand Anda adalah Janji.

Apa yang terbaik yang dapat Anda lakukan?

Apa imbalannya?

Apa yang bisa konsumen Anda andalkan ?

Janji ini menjadi bagian intrinsik dari pesan pemasaran Anda.

Agar  Anda untuk memiliki janji ini, Anda harus berkomunikasi strategis dan kreatif di berbagai jenis Media yang luas.

Kedua pihak Anda, baik internal maupun eksternal harus menjadi pemercaya sejati dari janji tersebut.

Dan satu-satunya cara untuk membuat mereka benar-benar percaya adalah dengan menepati janji tersebut.

Hubungan berbasis kepercayaan dan memberikan nilai lebih yang disebut brand adalah bukti bahwa perusahaan secara organisasional selaras untuk mengulangi proses dan mempertahankan nilai-nilai.

Cari dan bangun niche Anda. Perjelas kemampuan Anda yang berbeda untuk membuat dampak.
Tentukan hubungan yang diinginkan antara pelanggan / calon pelanggan dan produk Anda.
Ciptakan ikatan emosional melalui setiap interaksi dengan pelanggan.
Layaknya manusia, merek memerlukan nama, kepribadian, karakter, dan reputasi.

Brand Management adalah elemen penting dari strategi perusahaan, bukan semata-mata fungsi pemasaran. Ini membantu perusahaan dalam menciptakan nilai bagi para pemegang saham. Strategi merek adalah ekspresi yang berjalan terus-menerus dari strategi bisnis.

imageBranding sering disalahartikan dengan kampanye iklan atau identitas perusahaan. Perusahaan masih beralih ke brand sebagai obat mujarab. Di tangan pemula, branding menjadi cara untuk mengaburkan kesamaan relatif atau membuat janji yang tidak dapat dipenuhi, bukannya mengkomunikasikan keunikan yang relevan dan membangun kepercayaan serta kredibilitas.

Ada tiga kunci persyaratan untuk membangun brand yang kuat:

1. Kepercayaan antara brand dan konsumen

2. Identitas umum antara brand dan konsumen

3. Titik perbedaan antara berbagai brand dalam satu set

Satu hal yang pasti dari branding adalah efeknya yang tidak bisa dilihat atau diukur langsung setelah kita melakukan brand activation, karena membuat sebuah brand yang kuat membutuh waktu yang lama dan proses yang terus menerus hingga perspektif yang kita inginkan menancap dibenak konsumen.

Yap, sekian blog post saya kali ini, selamat melakukan brand building dan brand management bagi diri, bisnis, maupun perusahaan Anda!😀


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