Sunday, January 11, 2009

Millionaire Sisters reach for the sky

Sarawak News, TheSundayPost - Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sisters Nor Akmar and Aida Nurlin Hanif are living the life many can only dream of. Though only 30 and 26 respectively, they each drive flashy cars, live in luxurious bungalows and constantly travel to exotic places.But contrary to what many may perceive the Hanif sisters to be at first glance, they were certainly not born with silver spoons in their mouths. The duo from Ipoh are able to afford their cushy lifestyle because of their strong desire to succeed. This brought them rewards and the first fruit of their success was a cool RM1 million they earned while still in their 20s.

“I always found myself admiring the success of other people and it has been my dream to become successful like them one day,” said Akmar who decided to take a different career path by going into finance — a new field this information system engineering graduate had to pick up from scratch.
“After graduating from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1999, I got myself a nine-to-five job in Kuala Lumpur. My salary was only RM1,710 then and before the end of the month, I would always end up broke,” she recalled.

Akmar knew she had to take matters into her own hands as she could not go on surviving solely on her salary.
After being introduced by a friend to the world of unit trusts, Akmar, then 22, immediately signed up to be a wealth advisor, despite having no background in the business whatsoever.
“It didn’t matter that I had no experience then as I always believe if you work hard and persevere, it will pay off sooner or later,” she stressed.

While facing rejection after rejection initially, the optimistic lass did not let the setbacks dampen her spirits but kept thinking positive … that she would soon make her first sales.
Akmar’s perseverance paid off when she started getting calls and more calls from people who had heard of her ability to help clients make returns through their investments.

This ‘never-give-up’ trait runs in the family as her younger sister Aida, fondly known as Elynn, soon got on the bandwagon.

Still studying at Universiti Teknologi Mara at the time, Elynn had to juggle between her studies and commitment to closing RM20,000 in sales each day.

“I remember packing an extra set of clothes everyday. At 8am, I would meet clients and by 10am, I had to rush to my classes. It was definitely tough but as they say, no pain, no gain,” she added.

Elynn soon found herself earning a five-digit income … like her sister who introduced her to the business.
Word of their success began spreading like wildfire, resulting in a national daily dubbing them the ‘Millionaire Sisters’ — a moniker which has become their brand name.

Today, the close-knit sisters are CEOs of Platinum Wealth Advisors which has a growing number of budding entrepreneurs — young graduates mostly — under its wings. Both are also much sought after by people interested joining the business and learning from them.

“We’re always on the lookout for young and dynamic people who dare challenge themselves to become entrepreneurs,” added Akmar, recently in Kuching with Elynn to scout for potential entrepreneurs.

“Of course, they need to be teachable and have an attitude of being ready to accept challenges,” Elynn chipped in.

She pointed out that although the business may seem complicated, anyone — whether from a finance background or otherwise — could achieve their dreams so long as they had the courage, passion and determination to succeed — a mantra both sisters strictly observe since venturing into the business.

They also see their success as a way to help others.

“Apart from helping our clients save money and increase their wealth, we also try to help improve the lives of others, especially young and unemployed graduates who can have a secure future if they are willing to make a commitment to learn and will not give up easily. It’s the process of learning that creates the attitude,” Akmar said, adding that one of her objectives was to train up more entrepreneurs nationwide within the next 10 years.

She also revealed pride in cooperation was what made the team at Platinum Wealth Advisors tick.

Their corporate culture is best described through the acronym PLATINUM, highlighting values such as positive vibrations and be energetic; learn and grow constantly; appreciate those who help you; team work and team support; invest in an amazing lifestyle; no excuses, no blame, no gossip; unlimited commitment and millionaire mindset.

However, to anyone interested in joining the business, Akmar forewarned they must be able to face challenges, particularly sales rejection, an obstacle she is most familiar with.

‘Maintain a positive attitude and keep trying’ is her advice for achieving success in the fast-paced business she calls a sunrise industry.

“As long as they can keep up with that, they will be able to enjoy their well-earned rewards … be it purchasing their dream car or going on their dream holiday,” Akmar assured.

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