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RECENT MEDIA

With determination to succeed

Monday, April 7, 2003
New Straits Times
By: Anuja Ravendran
Joey Yap, is a man of grit and determination. He is also very passionate about the field that he dabbles in: feng shui. This 27-year-old took things one step further and came up with an online model to offer feng shui education to students all over the world.

Yap graduated from Curtin University in Australia with a degree in accounting in 1998. However, due to his deep interest in metaphysics, he decided to pursue knowledge in feng shui. “Even while I was in university, I was already doing feng shui consultation “, he says.

“I was intrigued with the mysteriousness that surrounds feng shui and how it seemed to involved a lot of “hocus-pocus”. As I began learning it, I discovered that it was not so much hocus-pocus, but based more on logic.”

Upon graduation, Yap toyed with the idea of starting a centre that teaches feng shui formally as he felt that there was no organization that was doing such thing.

And in order to ensure a wider reach and to enabled easier access for students, he decided to offer the course online.

Initially, the challenges were many.

“It was quite difficult to get support from my family and friends”, he says.

Yap says his friends and family thought that he was a wacko for doing feng shui and taking it online and then teaching it to the world. They were pretty cynical and some even laughed at the idea, he confesses.

“I must admit that taking 20 years of discipleship, which is how long it takes to learn feng shui from a teacher traditionally, and putting it online for people to learn is no easy task”, Yap says.

In the older days, students had to learn from observing their teachers.

And it’s not necessary for a good practitioner to be a good teacher, and vice versa. What Yap wanted to do was to solve this problem by compiling everything there is to know and put it online.

And in order to do this, he decided to have a good teaching facility, a structured learning programme and pair these with effective teaching methods.

Students will be able to learn feng shui in four simple modules, and the online community facilitated in terms of knowledge sharing among students, Yap says.

Apart from that, gathering of information was another tough part, he adds.

“I had to look for many teachers, and went as far as Hong Kong and Taiwan to learn from them”, he says, adding that the learning is continuous.

The online marketing part was a challenge too in the beginning. “We had no idea how it worked back then as it was still in its infancy”, Yap says.

He bought the related books, learned what he could, and designed an online marketing plan on how to reach clients, interact with them, etc.

He also came up with an e-zine called Masteryjounal (www.masteryjounal.com), which provides free information to enlighten people on differences of feng shui. By doing this, Yap believes that he is able to reach out to the global population much faster.

In terms of starting operations, Yap says it was through sheer hard work that he managed to pull off. There were sleepless nights during which he designed and wrote the Website by himself.

If one is dedicated and determined enough, one will be able to pull it off, he says with a smile.

One does not require lots of money to get the business started, he assures. And now he is at a point where he can hire people to do all these things for his company, he says.

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