Malaysia is facing a tremendous financial turmoil. Its political and economic instability has brought the people living in fear. Some of us have car loans, housing loans, insurance premiums where any of these lapse means, the facility(s) will be withdrawn.
For those who are high income earners might not feel the difficulties. For a middle income earners, the 20 sen hike of petrol affect us tremendously. The rising price of necessary items and the newly imposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) at that time have brought low our net income. Our savings get less and less. Many small and medium scale companies have no other options than to close down their operations.
My income relies mostly in arts and this industry has the least importance in people expenditure. Lucky me, in my leisure time, I also an Open Water Scuba Instructor with PADI. I joined Instructors Development Course in Dec 2015 and completed the examination in January 2016 in Phuket. My income generated from teaching people scuba diving will mainly channeled to my diving trips and upgrade my scuba equipment as well as adding my scuba gear.
Towards the middle of 2016, with hard work and determination, I almost qualify myself to apply for Master Scuba Diver Trainer and since then, I start to aim for it. I started to apply for Specialty courses and now I am a qualified Enriched Air, Sidemount Specialty Instructor as well as three other adventure specialty courses.
I know my savings are getting less and less. My company needs financial injection in order to sustain in the business. I start to flip through my list of prospects and schedule my scuba diving classes. I know that Tioman Island will be closed for monsoon season and I will be jobless if I don’t work hard and have enough savings during the off-season. I know I can’t rely on my usual business fully. I travelled to Tioman almost every weekend for open-water sessions and during weekdays, I conduct confined water classes at pool and knowledge reviews near my house.
Customised class session
PADI has given me freedom to conduct my classes as long as I follow their standards. I have transformed my home office as scuba diving classes for my lectures. They watch PADI teaching videos in my house and serve my students with local food like food nasi lemak or I even made French fries. Their knowledge reviews are conducted at my dining room with cookies. Without realising, they have spent three hours for every theory sessions in my house.
As for my confined water classes, students are able to choose either to have it in a public pool or a private pool base on their affordability.
For open water sessions, my students are given options to do at any islands they prefer; whether Perhentian or Tioman. They even have the chance to complete their course in Weh Island (Indonesia). That is the beauty of a freelance instructor like me as I have to compete with any other Open Water Instructors.
I am very fortunate that scuba diving has saved me and my company to survive in difficult economy situation like this. I still can continue with my leisure and doing business at the same time. I t has definitely controlled my stress level and free from debts.