Can you tell us about your background?
I have 10 years of corporate experience in Talent Management Human Resource, and I started my first organic food business when I was 25. In the past 10 years of my corporate experience, I have had the opportunity to see and experience how many working professionals were struggling with their work and trying hard to get a right balance with their career, family, relationship. 80% of them actually did not enjoy their work. I also saw so many instances of people wanting to further develop themselves but due to the organization size, culture and other factors, year after year, they were just doing the same thing and not progressing as they wanted. They were getting bored but they were not bold enough to step out of their comfort zones.
After years in business, and having experienced lots of ups and downs, and failures myself, I am very happy to say that finally I discover my true purpose and calling in life. It’s like BOOM, I found the something I that I wanted to do in my life; something that will excite me and keep me pepped up. For the last 10 years, I have immersed myself in trainings, books, and I have worked with experts and gurus in self- education who have truly transformed my life. I would love to share these same experiences with other people all over the world and shorten their learning curve, and help make a difference and impact in their lives Education has always been the most powerful thing in the world, but sharing is the key. That is why I have dedicated my life to this training business. So I can share my value and touch more lives in the world.
In my book “New Rich By Design“, I emphasize that before you change your life, you have to change yourself from within first.
That is also how I position myself as a Business Coach, and Speaker to reach more lives and make an impact in the world.
So can you give some pieces of advice to entrepreneurs?
I am a huge believer in the Law of Attraction; what you believe is what you will become. If you want to accomplish something, first you must expect if from yourself. And you must believe that you can do and stick to it.
However, I have made a lot of mistakes in my business. Firstly, I believe that delegation and outsourcing is crucial for any business owner. When I first started my organic food business, I was trying to do everything by myself and I worked almost 12 hours each day, and I thought I would save a lot for the company. But actually I felt that I was dragged down by “everything” and the daily routines. I was burning myself out.
Secondly, focus on the value you provide to clients, not chasing money. When you understand exactly what it is your client wants and you provide a specific solution for them, your income will naturally come. Initially, my team and I kept thinking about how we could generate more income and what platforms there were to boost our revenue but we were not really looking at the “hot button”—solutions. That was why we failed in the organic food business.
When you provide value and provide a specific solution for your clients problem, your money machine will ‘auto run’.
Thirdly, the biggest lesson I learned is about how to position yourself. Why do people do business with you? How do you sell? It is all about how you position yourself and your business. At that time when I had my first business, we were trying to sell to everybody so we targeted every market segments, but in reality, when you are trying to sell to everybody, NOBODY is your actual customer.
Fourthly, before you make money, you have to invest in yourself first. Get yourself a mentor or coach, life and business, as their validation experience and insights will be of extreme value to you and this will save you from mistakes which are not necessary for you to make. It will also save you a lot of time to generate your best results. That is also the reason that after my first organic food business failed, I immersed into trainings, books, gurus and experts and so now I have 3 coaches to rely on.
Last but not least, network, network, network. NETWORK is your NET WORTH. Spend time nurturing your highest network, connect with them at least every month, say hello and “How are you doing?” because you will never know how amazing is your network. You never know when you might be stuck in a situation and vice versa but a phone call or a text could provide you with a solution. Also it is free! That is why I always strongly believe in the power of networking. Who you spend time with is who you will become.
So you’ve travelled, lived and worked in several countries. Can you tell us what you’ve learned from your time overseas?
Well, that is one of the most amazing things I love, thanks to the advance technology, you can work everywhere, as long as you have a laptop with internet connection or even on mobile, you can perform your job as usual, and talk to your client. And because of the nature of my business, most of the jobs we can get is done via Skype, teleconferencing and Facetiming our clients and teams. All of them are from different cities. It is absolutely amazing how powerful connecting with people from different cities in the world can be.
You will be amazed at how open and willing people are willing to share and connect in a deep manner or even share similar interests they have with you.
It is always exciting when I fly to other countries. To me it’s like a new journey in life to explore, to experience, and to know how other people are living in their part of the world with their different cultures, customs, and lifestyles – that is where I get my inspiration and enlightenment from as well.
And the best thing I love is, every travel is like opening my mind, broadening my world. Most times, I travel alone, and I see so many wonderful people in different countries. They like to show their kindness and hospitality to you even though they don’t know you. That is the reason why every city I went, I will make new friends there.
You know, I have been to many Asian and South East Asian countries, which might have lower standards of living than Singapore but the people living there are always happy and always have a smile on their faces. They are also diligently making their living, but they are happy, and the family is so united and loving.
To me, every trip to another city is like a refreshing my inner soul and it is deep reflection and thoughts about my next step in life and in business. (knock on wood), so far things are going well, and that is where I obtain inspiration from, as well as strengthening my instinct.
What tips do you have for living your dream lifestyle?
After reading the book “4 Hours Work Week” by Tim Ferriss, my life completely changed and that’s where I got the inspiration to start “New Rich Builder“. I truly believe that, firstly, you have to stay focused on your highest value to generate the most valuable things in your life or business and for the rest, you have to outsource what you are not good at.
For example, if your hourly value is $100.00, are you going to spend the one hour doing laundry which is worth $10.00 where you can easily to get someone to take care of it? No you will outsource it because you are saving yourself $10.00?
Secondly, it is all about what you want in your life. What is your purpose in life? What are the things you most want to serve? If you want to have more free time, more quality time with your family, more holiday trips, do you have to think and plan in that way?
By all means, think of what kind of resources and platform can support what you desired to achieve. In my book “New Rich By Design“, I share a lot of true stories about how other people in the world attain the “New Rich” and live their dream lifestyles.
Thirdly, leveraging the technology tool and resources. Nowadays, it is very crucial for you know how to use certain tools and apps, like Evernote, gotomyPC, no matter for personal planning or business data, you will be amazed how efficient you are and save you from the tons of papers.
What is New Rich Builder about and what is your hope with it?
Actually a lot of people have asked me this question before. They say “hey Elaine what is New Rich about?
So basically, lots of people think that if they want to be successful, have more free time and have financial independence, they have to wait until they are 50 or 60 years old with grey hair. Only this way can they be successful. They think that if they want to do something new, different or something that totally interests them (for example, start a business), they will have to sacrifice their family time, leisure time, holidays etc.
However, it is not about money and health; it is always about TIME. The concept of New Rich -what we are showing people– is you can do what you really love and fulfill your purpose while simultaneously generating massive results within the shortest time.
You do not need to wait until your hair is grey to be successful. You do not need to sacrifice your top values. Success is about fulfilling your life purpose, achieving your personal and business dreams. It is crucial to find out your PURPOSE in life.
For someone looking to get into a career like yours, what would you say to him/her?
“If you’ve ever blankly looked at your office desktop screen and thought ‘there has to be more to life’ or you found yourself thinking ‘what have I actually achieved?’ – it is the right time for you to pause, and to define what your purpose in life is and what desires you want to fulfill? Most of the people think they will start to do something when they are perfect or 100% ready, but there is no such thing as 100%; you just do whatever it takes. Peter Thiel says “If your new product launch is perfect, that means it is too late.”
Secondly, you have to be FOCUSED. In the business world, there are lots of opportunities but you need to realize that not every opportunity is for you no matter how attractive it may seem. Also you need to know what your strength is so you can develop it further.
Get yourself 2 to 3 mentors in your business, and they can be from different industries or professions. The benefit of this is that they will provide you with cutting-edge information and tips in your business as well as hold you accountable.
Being an entrepreneur is a journey to reflect, to discover your inner self, your personal growth and courageous action. I am a big believer that the journey you experience in entrepreneurship is the fastest way to grow yourself and apply your knowledge. It is also the fastest way to get from your idea to results.It’s a way for you to know what works and what does not work.
In order to achieve success and significance, one must persevere, be tenacious and have strong determination. I do not think capital is the biggest risk in business. Rather it is the emotional investment you make as every step in business, every decision you make, every person you approach, all involves emotional investments. How you manage your emotions will determine how you succeed.
How can one go about building his/her personal brand?
Personal branding is all about packaging and positioning. First of all, it is how you position yourself, Why should people do business with you? It is about what the message you want to tell your audience. What kind of image you want to deliver to the public. If you want to build your personal brand, you have to position yourself as an expert in your field, because only when you are an expert will people speak with you.
People will listen to you, people will take your words seriously. No matter what business you are in, whether you’re in giant business like Virgin, Apple, Google, or a small business, it is always about one person, the brand, and the impact of the brand is huge.
For example, people probably know more about Richard Branson than they know about Virgin but they know Richard Branson. They like him, his signature lion golden hair, his smile, his energy and this energy spreads to Virgin the brand so they are willing to take his flights and do business with him.
As far as resources are concerned, what are the best ones to use as an entrepreneur?
In this information technology century, lots of people will be getting lost in the daily influx of information and it becomes easy to waste time browsing through useless information. Knowledge is powerful, but if your knowledge is not in order, the more you get, the more you will get confused. So it is about where is your focus, what you want to know, what the area you want to enhance is and learn the required skills.
As for myself, I spend about 1 hour a day to browse through the business and financial sites, like entrepreneur.com, forbes.com and inc.com etc, in order to keep myself updated with the cutting edge information and what is going on in the world. And for those sites, they provide the latest information, as well as insightful articles about business, entrepreneurship, and life. You will be able to get tips from it.
But I always limit my time on the internet, as my desire is to spend quality time and enjoy a conversation on a people in person basis, rather than surfing on FB or other social platforms.
And I invest a lot of my time in books every week. That is where I keep increasing my knowledge and pick up my ideas from.
What is one way in which you connect with people when you travel?
Wow, I think as long as you are open-minded, kind, always smiling at people and having genuine conversations with people then they will respond the same way to you. Share with them your different life experiences.Talk about your own country, the city you are living in and people will show their interest too. That is why everywhere I go, I have new friends and that is a really great feeling.
Our mission statement is “use your difference to make a difference” and that is something we try to live by every day. What is one way you use your difference to make a difference?
As shared in my background, probably from my past 10 years of experience in Talent Management and Human Resources, I have witnessed so many instances where people are actually not happy with their lives. Corporate life for them is a clock-in and clock-out routine, with a paycheck only. Every time I ask people this question “what will make you happier?”, the most frequent answer I hear is “more money”.
However, I find that that the key to happiness is finding your purpose in life. That is why I am so lucky to find out my purpose in life which is to reach out to more people and help transform their lives and show them how to build a lifestyle business around their skills. I believe everybody is talented and everybody is unique, but people have to dig into themselves and find out the talent within them. If you want to change, you have to change from within. And a coach is the person who is capable to bring out your potential which you may not know exists within you. Coaches also hold you accountable.
What tech tools would you recommend to save time?
As mentioned earlier, I like Evernote and Gotomypc, I save everything I need in Evernote– my business cards, PDF files, and images whenever it necessary- I just key-in search and it will appear immediately. And I use Gotomypc because most of the time I am not in the office, so it easily enables me to access my laptop information, documents anytime and anywhere. I do not need to carry a laptop everywhere I go or to business meetings. That is why I really love it.
Another tool is Google doc, which I use often to share all the job task and documents with my team so everybody can access the information and keep all of us on the same page about what our next steps are.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Although I started when I was 25, I still think I started late. I believe the younger generation should start finding out about their passion and true purpose in life from a young age while simultaneously equipping themselves with knowledge that allows them to excel. That is the most incredible thing to do! If you want to live an extraordinary life, you have to invest in yourself first before you start making money – investing in a positive mindset, perspective, and financial insights. Also surround yourself with people who are already successful in their fields. Who you spend time with is who you become.
Give me an example of multicultural individuals working together in Singapore.
There is something typical and amazing about Singapore – it is the best example in the world where multicultural individuals can be successful. We are all from different backgrounds, different races, different religion, but we are living as one people, and we share our cultures and beliefs with other people. We are co-existing and learning from each other. More importantly, recent world trend shows the global workforce moving all around the world, and you can live everywhere you like, and you can work anywhere you want to. Also in Singapore even though we have become more transparent, we embrace our differences and still have fun.
Where can we find out more about you and what are you up to?
In the book, New Rich By Design, you can read more about my story- the personal and business aspects. You can also find things I have been really passionate about and what drives me to the next level as well as from where I enjoy my life very much. You can grab a copy from www.newrichbydesign.com or our official website.
I am really excited that I launched the Woman Entrepreneur Campaign 2015. The key reason why I launch the Woman Entrepreneur Campaign is because I got inspired by stories which female professionals and entrepreneurs shared about their experiences, perseverances, tenacity and strong determination to make them stand out. I love hearing about them talk about loving what they do as well as them giving back to their community.
My goal is to create an equal platform for women to share their insights, tips and provide opportunities for women to coach other women so that they can benefit, inspire, and pay it forward. More details are on: www.womanentrepreneurcampaign.com