We actually engage a superb marketing agency externally that does the bulk of the awesome work for us; like those videos that y'all see and laugh at it? They are the folks that are actually responsible for the ideas and the execution. So before I set out to state my displeasure at them for making me do this, I should probably praise their hard work thus far, and pray to every superior being out there that they continue to do so for us at the current reasonable price that they are charging us.
So, the chief of the aforementioned marketing agency floated an idea to me a couple of weeks ago, and opined that it would be a fantastic idea to get ME to write these articles or stories once a week sort of thing. She reckons that it might be a good idea to share with our audiences what "The Supreme Leader" thinks and/or experiences in my daily life in Onyx. Naturally, I gave the humble thank-you-but-no-thanks speech that it is a terrible idea, and nobody would want to hear what I'll have to say.
But the chief convinced me in a slightly less than brutal manner that I was only the Supreme Leader and dictator of Onyx MMA within the walls of 600 West Coast Road, and that my jurisdiction holds no effect over what she decides what's best for Onyx's marketing. After receiving an ultimatum that our retainer prices might be raised, I of course express my utmost interest in writing a weekly banter.
So here it goes, hello, I am the said Supreme Leader of this humble establishment, and I'm here to tell y'all tales that I very willingly do so.
I gave it a few good thinking, mostly during my number twos, and eventually came to the conclusion that the most interesting things might be the ones that you guys do not get to see or hear or experience from us. It might meant revealing our internal processes a little, or exposing the backend administration a little, but if y'all know me, I don't really give a shit.
One of the many things that most of you do not get to see, is that actually, we have a lot of meetings that goes on during the day time. Largely, we'd like to spend our afternoons doing nothing, cleaning the gym, train ourselves a little, and maybe fool around a little with gossips about life, or other happenings within the MMA industry. But ever so often, my afternoons get filled up with meetings and people that I should meet. I am a little lucky, that the meetings usually initiates at the 3 Generals level, and they get to veto whether they require me to be in it. In the meetings that I do attend, I usually pick at least one of my three Generals to go with me, usually Chocolate or Audrey, largely because they are much more restrained than me, and because Yilong is just another vulgar ogre like me.
I want to rant about meetings, I really do. But i also realise that the meetings are not at fault here; it's the people that I get to meet. Some meetings i remember much more clearly than others, because of the sheer audacity that comes along with it. One such example: a company comes forth with a simple proposal of collaborating with Onyx on XXYYZZ project. The meetings usually starts off with pleasantries, which I would quickly dictate to be skipped, and we get into the thick of things that I hope is orgasmic to me, and then very quickly I arrive a junction that has two options:
1. "hmmm. that sounds interesting. Let's discuss more in detail."
2. Fuck off.
The latter is usually the case. It's not that we're arrogant or I'm deliberating bastardising myself over such proposals; it's just that some of these folks that swing by West Coast really makes my blood boil.
There was once, a company expressed keen interests in working with Onyx over a launch of their new product, and thought that having a prominent MMA player on board would aid greatly in the diversification of the product footprint and market share. The proposal was great, it showed a keen sense of direction on how both them, and us would be able to proceed and benefit; a win-win situation for Onyx and them.
I was ready to end off the meeting on a high note, and that we should talk deeper into the details of how exactly we should start off, and then I asked a relatively innocent question:
"Just out of curiosity, why did your company choose to work with Onyx?"
I was a little fishing for praises but what came was an absolute shocker.
"Oh, actually I've never heard of Onyx."
HOW DOES IT EVEN MAKE SENSE!?
Sometimes it's the numbskull-ness that gets to me, other times it's just the arrogance of it. Just a few weeks ago, I've had a meeting arranged by Chocolate to discuss a potential new vendor for a locally owned CRM software. The signs were good, the company and software won some local awards (best SME shit or something) and looked prestigious on paper. Chocolate reckons that it's a good idea for me to be in the meeting because she was pissed by the cold call, but thought that the proposed software might be good for us.
She then explicitly described to me that the cold caller from the company was arrogant and rude, but that could mean that either they are really strong-headed, or they are just numbskulls. Nevertheless, if my Generals decide that it's a good idea for me to be in the meeting, why not?
I awaited for the meeting, and to my surprise, it wasn't a typical salesman who came, but the Managing Director of the company! That's nice, because when decision makers speak to decision makers, we can go into what we want with no holds barred. So the meeting ensued and the usual fuckeries began. Naturally we were given a brief but succinct run down of the software, and it all sounded good. The deck that was prepared for Onyx looked great too.
Then it got to a slide where the company was trying to prove to us their credibility and track record by showing us the current clientele that they are servicing. It was a slide plastered and vandalised with logos of these companies. I saw a few familiar household brand logos, but a corner of my eye caught 2 other logos that represented two relatively new Muay Thai gyms in Singapore. I must admit that all orgasmic feelings I had up till that point went relatively limbed. But fair disposition must be given, so I pursued the issue.
Me: "Eh, you have other Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA gyms working with you?"
Him: "Yes, they were on board earlier."
Me: "Ahhhh. This is a little of an issue."
Him: "Why? And how so?"
I gave him a laundry list of my concerns, summarised below:
1. Our databases will be shared by his company (even if confidentiality is guaranteed)
2. We are not the first (at least for MMA industry wise)
3. How can I be assured that I will be well-serviced?
I don't think my concerns are overbearing, albeit a little selfish, but hey, we all want the best for our own companies right. So as I was waiting expectantly for a sweet and assuring answer to dismiss all my fears, I wasn't offered one. Instead, what came next was an answer of sheer audacity:
"oh, look at it this way. It is better to be with us on the same side, than to not be with us. Because I will help my clients, who are your competitors, get customers away from you."
WHOA. NO SHIT SHERLOCK.
We shook hands quickly, said our byes hastily and it was clear in my mind what I truly felt.