Friday, 4 April 2014

Follow Through

My Uncool Experience With The Press

2 weeks ago, an embarrassing situation happened to me. I agreed to an interview with a journalist for a national newspaper on a topic close to my heart, health and wellness.  When the story was published, I was so embarrassed with the photograph they had published which depicted me in a Surya Namaskar position.  However, I did not look like a composed yoga practitioner in that photo, but more like a walrus waiting to be fed. What was worse was that the journalist was not on message and left out 99% of the content of my story to focus on my age, weight and weightloss goals.   I should have known better as a PR professional not to trust that the coverage would be aligned to my intent.  I should have followed through with questions to the journalist to ensure he understood the key messages I had expressed earlier to him.  So I blamed myself for how that story turned out. I should have followed through.

My “Un-Awesome” Experience At My Awesome Cafe

For a week now,  I had heard my team at work grumbling about one of Singapore’s hottest new cafes called My Awesome Café, that clearly did not deliver up to their promise of being awesome.   My first visit there a few weeks ago left me with a less than favorable impression of their service but an awesome impression of their desserts that came with awesome names like the rather orgasmic “Orgasm In A Cup”.  “Orgasm In A Cup” which was actually a rich chocolate pudding, could not possibly get past foreplay as it was a tiny timble-sized serving.  However, it tasted awesome.  In fact, it tasted more than awesome.   I enjoyed it so much that I went on to try the other desserts like the pineapple upside down cake.  Now, if that chocolate pudding was “Orgasm In A Cup”, the pineapple upside down cake was “Sex On A Plate”.  While I enjoyed the desserts, my “coitus interruptus” came in the form of their service.  It was painfully slow and peppered with orders that were mixed up to the chagrin of other customers that had been waiting for the last hour and a half.

Today, the team had decided to give My Awesome Café another chance and went there for lunch.  I was unfortunately bound to the stupid stationary bike at the gym, while my personal trainer brandished his whip.  I could not leave for my dose of orgasmic desserts at My Awesome Café.  So, the girls brought back a take-away box of the café’s signature Awesome salad which was supposed to come with roast chicken, duck rillette and smoked salmon on a bed of fresh greens.  I searched over and under the greens but no duck rillette could be found.  The guys at My Awesome Café must have forgotten the duck rillette and charged me the full price of $18 for that salad that was just slightly bigger than the size of a timble.  The girls also complained incessantly about the slow service and they swore never to visit the café again.

So what went wrong?

I blamed it on the lack of follow through.  The team at My Awesome Café had a great concept.  Fabulous food, gleaming smiles on the faces of the waiting staff, and a cosy rustic décor which could have been mistaken for my grandmother’s kitchen. I loved it.  However without following through on a great concept with the right number of waiting or kitchen staff that could cater to the busy lunchtime crowd in the heart of the Central Business District, I was not sure how long My Awesome Café can stay awesome.

Follow Through

The basic foundation of delivering to expectations was  really having the vision and drive to follow through.

I had a golf instructor some years back who often barked at me at the 15thhole of the golf course when I was exhausted, hot and bothered, “Follow through on your swing, Jo.  That was a lazy swing.”  I used to think that he was just annoying and gagging to get to the beers at the clubhouse but I understood  later that that was critical to my game.

My rugby coach used to holler from the sidelines, “Follow through with the ball! Use it or lose it!”  He became my husband years later and that allowed me to use the phrase back at him when he put his dirty clothes around the laundry basket instead of putting them in the laundry basket.  I would scream at him to follow through on his promise to keep the home tidy.  So I had grown to be quite fond of the phrase.

These days, I had been using the phrase quite a lot at work too. I used it when some brilliant idiot had thought of a supposedly creative idea but left it hanging in mid-air whilst expecting a fellow  colleague to telepathically pick up on his expectations to implement  his or her supposedly creative idea without a plan, resource or budget.  Needless to say, the idea was of course implemented with the fanfare of an egg and spoon race at a kindergarten.  That was when I would bark at my loudest, “Can someone with an IQ above 7 please follow through with this idea and turn it into a viable action plan in future?”

When I mentored my students at Tarot and Numerology, we often discussed case studies on the readings they had been doing.  When I noticed that one or two of the students had provided nothing else more than a very detailed and accurate interpretations of each Tarot card that had been picked for a spread, I would encourage them to follow through with the consultation by interpreting the cards to the clients’ situations and provide clear advice and options instead so that the clients could make informed decisions on how they should be managing their respective situations.  It was very important for me that my students learnt to follow through with the intent of turning a reading into an advice-centric consultation.

I found that in spite of all the fabulous ideas and vision that many people had when they started a business, many failed miserably when it came to the “follow through”.  I have had friends who started their businesses with beautifully designed business-cards, shiny offices that were renovated by award-winning interior designers, and well-developed websites that were search-optimized and came complete with CRM capabilities.  However, they ended up spending the next year wondering why their businesses stayed stagnant.  It was so telling that they had not followed through from their initial vision to create a practical business plan that was pegged against measurable KPIs.

Take Ownership

Instead of putting the blame on others or on the lack of help, support and resource for anything that did not go as planned, I would suggest that you take ownership for your own plans, ideas and vision by ensuring that you follow through at every stage to manage your own expectations for what a successful outcome may look like to you.

About the writer:

The writer of this blog post is a 44 year old mother of one, who spreads her time between her day job as a marketing professional at a financial institution, her hobby as a certified professional tarot reader and numerologist, and her family which includes a 20 year old son and 3 dogs with personality disorders.  She's married to a Scot who has been affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" and prays that he does not find out that the term when translated, has labeled him as a "Ginger Head".   Together, we create a home made up with more nuts than a fruitcake but filled with plenty of love.  Her other blog can be found at

So embarrassing.  I looked like a walrus waiting to be fed some fish....sighhh

Orgasmic food at My Awesome Cafe Singapore.  I hope they better their service soon or else I will have to look for my orgasm from alternative sources.  Photo credit: Chia Seow Wee


  1. You don't look like a walrus. You look happy and healthy and poised.

    1. Referencing that pic to "walrus" is so funny. But you look truly happy and at ease in that photo. Come to think about it, i think we sometimes do need to poke fun at ourselves....then we live happier.

    2. Lo! I was mortified when I saw the pic. I wished floor would open up and swallow me:)

  2. Yes I can definitely imagine that. However its normal that we are so critical of ourselves right? We see our flaws and imperfections (sigh...our insecurities)...we nit pick but I bet many who saw the pic probably didnt think much of it. They probably just assumed you are one who's at ease with herself, exuding poise and confidence :)