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RECENT MEDIA

Mystic Man

Sunday, July 1, 2012
Senses of Malaysia Magazine (V26)

Joey Yap, one of the youngest and most commercially successful feng shui practitioners in the region, speaks to sarah rees about how he can shape the future and why he swapped the swimming pool for the consulting room.

What started as a curiosity in the young Joey Yap has developed into a passion that fills his every minute, and Yap has defied stereotypes by setting himself up as a business- savvy, fresh- faced astrological consultant. He works furiously, publishing books, hosting seminars, and working with his highly- efficient team at the Joey Yap Consulting Group to offer services covering feng shui, bazi and auspicious date selection. Business is booming and nothing can shake Yap's deep- set fascination for his topic and his drive to succeed, but it has been a long journey for the local boy.

Senses of Malaysia: Can you tell our readers about your childhood?

Joey Yap: I was born in the States, but my parents are Malaysians and I grew up here. During my childhood, I was actually a national swimmer until the age of 13. At the time I didn't really like it, but it gave me the necessary discipline that I needed for the work I do today.

A lot of time people see me simply as a feng shui practitioner, but behind me it's still a business, and a business requires a drive, and that drive comes from discipline. I have been fortunate that I have been through that difficult process (of swimming training) and learnt that if you want do something, if you want to win, you've got to work hard to do it.

SOM: When did your interest in astrology begin?

JY: I had never even thought of feng shui or metaphysics or thought of having a business like this until my college days. I was very interested in metaphysic; I would go down to the bookstore and read all the books, and when I would see people practicing I would stand and watch. It intrigued me; how can someone know so much about another person without really knowing them, just from a chart? I wanted to know how they could do it, so that's where it all started. I just wanted to get the truth.

SOM: So how is it done?

JY: It looks magical but it's not. What we are really studying is earth science; how energy is brought into the environment. There are two parts to this: one is about the human being and how they behave, and therefore what their future will be like. The second part is how we fix it. We can fix it by looking at the environment that person is in. Your environment affects you; being in an advantageous environment can help you.

SOM: Why do you think you have been so successful in marketing this, here in Asia and in the West?

JY: Results. People wouldn't pay me if it didn't work! This is very important: in any service, marketing only opens up the channel; you still have to deliver the product. If it didn't work, I'd be the first to tell them to stop doing it, stop wasting their time.

SOM: Of all the things you do, what do you enjoy the most?

JY: I like doing the feng shui more because I am an outdoor person; I like to be in the space, looking at the karma, checking the water formations. To sit in one-on-one to talk to someone is a bit time consuming because it can take 2-3hours while I could be out there running around, and I love that!

SOM: What other interests do you have?

JY: Travelling is one thing; that and my work are my life and passion, and most of my friends are in the same circle. The only thing that I do that is not related to my work is snowboarding. I go all over; Japan, Europe, the States, Canada. It wasn't something I did when I was young, I just picked it up. Everyone was playing golf and I thought that was boring, so I just picked it up.

SOM: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in establishing yourself?

JY: My age. This field has always been dominated by the elders and they have their ways of doing things. With all respect to them, it is the old style and its very traditional. The other challenge was learning this information. When I started going to lots of different teachers, they were not happy with it. They said "because you are not loyal I will only teach you certain parts of the information, so you don't get the full picture," but I just thought, that's fine, just teach me the important parts, I can figure out the rest.

SOM: Is there one piece of advice you have always remembered?

JY: There are so many, it's hard to think of one! But there is one that I always remember from a very good friend of mine who is also a wealthy tycoon: "Always do what you need to do before what you want to do; need comes before want." If wants come before needs, you will likely fail; or you won't likely succeed. He told me this when I was 23, and by the time he was 24, he was already a millionaire.

SOM: Does this mean there is less space and time for pleasure?

JY: No. I think you must enjoy what you do, and then you will be happy. It's not conventional, what I do, and that's why I like it. If you are not happy, why are you still doing something you don't want to be doing? You only have one lifetime. I am extremely happy. I get to go everywhere I want to go, be with whoever I want to be with, and the most important thing is not having a lot of money to own all the things you want to, it's about having enough money to own your own time.

SOM: What is your personal philosophy?

JY: If you are not wealthy by 35, it's going to be much harder. This is my own, personal philosophy to push myself. If you are 35 and you don't make it, it becomes harder because there are those younger than you, who work harder than you, and have fewer commitments than you, and they are going to take your job.

SOM: Where do you want to be in 10 years' time?

JY: Now things are pretty stable here in Malaysia, I would like to branch out to the UK, and do more in the States. I have my foot in the States but it's not stable, so I would like to stabilize it. What I have in Malaysia and Singapore, I would like to establish in the States and the UK; that is the future, that's the new goal. But ask me again in ten years' time and it will have changed.

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