Jumat, 06 Juli 2012

Aulia Ollie Halimatussadiah: Making dreams work


Writer and technopreneur Aulia Halimatussadiah has the formula to make dreams work.

That formula has enabled the 28-year-old to achieve her dreams of becoming a writer, a successful online entrepreneur and soon, a fashion designer.
JP/Ika KrismantariJP/Ika Krismantari
Twenty published books, among them some bestsellers, four online businesses and an upcoming fashion line are solid proof of the formula’s success.

However, prepare to be disappointed because the formula is no big secret.

The girl, who is fondly known as Ollie, reveals that she intersperses good planning with an organized schedule to create the recipe for her success.

With a plan and a schedule, Ollie says she can finish all her work smoothly, including writing a book in five days.

Ollie’s formula has even helped the chairwoman of the 2011 national blogger party ON-OFF to accomplish other things in life, including managing the biggest gathering of Indonesian bloggers, but mostly making her dreams come true.

The most recent dream — Ollie’s teenage goal of becoming a fashion designer — was realized early this year.

Believe it or not, Ollie was once an ordinary hijab-wearing girl who was far from fashionable, wearing only jeans, t-shirts and flats every day. But now, she has evolved into a super stylish woman who covers her head with a voguish headscarf and dons matching high heels.

Apart from being a dowdy girl, Ollie also confessed she used to be shy, always walking with her head down.

This timid girl was clueless about her life at first until she discovered the literary world.

“I went to a book publishing event and found out that being a writer was cool. The event was attended by artists and journalists. So I figured why don’t I become one?” Ollie said about a turning point in her life.

Ollie followed up on the ambition, applying to a writing school in Jakarta where she honed her skills among experts.

She was soon transformed from an insecure figure to a confident writer who knew what she wanted in life.

Ollie remembered when her teacher asked students in her writing class about their dreams as writers. Without hesitation, Ollie raised her hand and said she wanted to become a well-known writer that published not only novels but also computer and business books. She wanted everyone to ask for her autograph and picture.

The entire class laughed when they heard Ollie’s remark.

But now the joke is on them, as Ollie has walked the walk.

“It’s important to know what you want and then act to try to create it. What do you want to do? What are your dreams and passions? The success formula is already there,” Ollie told the The Jakarta Post in a recent interview.

“When you find it, just do it,” she added.

“A lot of writers don’t go anywhere because they think their scripts are not finished and not yet perfect. They keep delaying,” said Ollie, who believes that perfection is a journey.

“Just do it, just try to experiment, it’s okay to fail [but] just do better next time,” said the woman who, because of such a philosophy, claims to be an “imperfectionist”.

She also suggested that people “swallow the frog” in the effort to beat procrastination.

“After that everything will go smoothly,” she assures.

Hearing Ollie’s wise words on making dreams work is truly fascinating because they come from a girl whose biggest ambition once was working for a company after graduating.

It never crossed Ollie’s mind to set up an online business and become an entrepreneur.

Like her civil servant parents, Ollie, an IT graduate from Gunadharma University, was happy enough to become a common office worker with a steady income and fixed work hours.

But her reading hobby and knowledge of IT led her to establish an online bookstore, kutukutubuku.com, in 2006 in response to the problems that people encountered when shopping for books on the web.

Kutukukubuku.com soon became everyone’s favorite, forcing Ollie to resign from her job and dedicate all her time to the website, which is currently listed as one of the biggest online bookstores in Indonesia with more than 50,000 members.

And, one good thing leads to another.

After the success of kutukutubuku.com, Ollie and her partners set up tukusolution.com, a web consulting company that offers services for website construction. The company was established because many people asked Ollie how to create a good website like kutukutubuku.com.

Ollie then went on to initiate Tempa Labs, which focused on gaming, and after that nulisbuku.com, the first self-publisher in Indonesia.

As if that was not enough, Ollie is also busy networking with her expertise in IT, holding events for Indonesian startups, business owners, investors and enthusiasts under the name #startuplokal. She also initiated Project Eden, an investment company designed to support Indonesia’s local startups.

Commenting on all the achievements and successes in her life, Ollie believes that it has all come from hard work.

“I’ve created my own luck,” she said confidently.

Amidst her hectic business schedule, it’s amazing that Ollie still has the time for a personal life. With what she terms energy management, she starts her day at 4 a.m. and still manages to travel, update five blogs, design clothes and, of course, realize her other dreams.

Ollie may even realize her dream of going to Paris this year.

And even an ambition to create a city of books may not look as impossible as it sounds when Ollie explains the concept.

Ollie, who is an avid reader, told the Post that her next dream was to create a place in Indonesia that would become a destination for tourists sharing the same passion for literature.

With her experience, expertise and formula, who would dare doubt her?

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