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By the time the pandemic hit and we went into lockdown in March 2020, we were exhausted (The Nusantara Story Part 3). And then we were shattered as we witnessed our years of work starting to unravel. The supply chain broke, new requirements for logistics, etc. In fact, the whole World outside changed. Our whole inner World changed too. And perhaps that saved us.

So what changed? There was nothing we could do about the world outside of us. We just had to ride the storm (Meditation in the Eye of the Storm). So we bracketed the outside and started looking inwards to find the way out.

On my part, I found that the only business I could help to develop further was since the offline world has been shut off. In fact, the only way to continue work on Nusantara was to set up systems to free up some of Shoi’s time since the two of us are now the only remaining members of the original Nusantara Team. So allow me to introduce Shoi and a brief history of our work together…

Shoi started dabbling in the internet world after the crash in 2000. Previous to that, she was my go-to person for design work when I was in construction. In 2002, she invited me to help her out in structuring her business model. So from 2002 to 2005, that’s what I essentially did. After 2005, I moved on into the world of chess and she carried on her online design services. During my time there we had few touchpoints — I did the business modeling and she did customer service and design so our interaction was limited. But that changed when we worked on Nusantara together. Nusantara had many moving parts and many touchpoints which needed both of our involvement.

To have an appreciation of our interaction, allow me to expand a little of our personalities and thinking styles. I’m a big picture person and I can talk business models till the cows come home; Shoi is a detailer. I’m totally non-visual; she is primarily visual. She’s spiritual and I’m the “realist”. Let me give an example…

We once attended a seminar together and after that I would say the speaker contradicted himself in points 1, 5 & 7. It doesn’t jive. And she would say, he sounded honest!

I think you can imagine the types of conversations we would have during the pandemic. And there was no escape for me — nobody to discuss business models with and the Karaokes were closed. But these were precisely the conversations we needed to have according to M Scott Peck.

So after finding a little equanimity we started to unpack all the things we had learned from our joint venture in Nusantara. And eventually, we arrived at 2 decisions that would be the anchor to all we did from that point onwards…

The 1st decision was we would not sacrifice our dreams for goals. A journey of self-discovery and not one chasing illusory numbers. Nusantara is to be a business we can wake up looking forward to each day. And the 2nd decision was our journey must be based on business realities with measurable results, from deeper understanding, but without going into either fight or flight. And that means we need to deeply understand where each was coming from and find ways to communicate that to each other. Phew!

And that was when we slowly rediscovered the gentle Nusantara Culture on the road less traveled. Easy does it — let go of previous wrong assumptions and accept realities from understanding and better communication. Meditation in the Eye of the Storm again.

This ends “The Nusantara Story” series. My next post will be “Thinking Guide to Life”. See you there.



Read “The Nusantara Story” Series