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Ainsley Chong, Professional Emcee

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Ainsley Chong is an entertainer and emcee.

What’s your story?
I was captivated by magic at a very young age and ever since then; I have wanted to be a performer to make a difference in events while captivating my audience’s attention. I picked up magic then and hosting naturally found its way to me, as I had to constantly think fast enough for a good comeback while performing.
I had my fair share of corporate world experience but I felt that it wasn’t the best version of myself and I wanted to be better, I wanted to take pride in what I do. And so, I pursued my journey to be an entertainer!

What excites you most about your industry?
What I love most about what I do is that I am in direct contact with the audience – I get to interact with people and talk to so many people. This is when organisers place their trust in me to run their event well for them. It is my job to make sure that every person in the audience is captivated from the start to the end.
To some, an emcee is a glamorous job. To me, an emcee is the glue that binds all the glitter together to ensure the event runs smoothly.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I would like to learn the nuances of every other country and understand what makes them laugh, what keeps them engaged. Only then will I come to realise that what I have in Singapore is not that portable – I can’t possibly tell our local jokes overseas, it wouldn’t go as well. It is my dream to know my market well, starting from the ASEAN market before moving into North Asia.

IMG_7780 IMG_8671

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore will always be my number one choice because of its proper infrastructure, full connectivity and its ease of access to information.
Plus it is easier to do business in Singapore; it only takes you 1-2 days to incorporate a business in Singapore. What that means are more opportunities stemming from new business incorporations and start-ups, which means more business for emcees. Singapore is very vibrant and people thrive on that energy; and I am just a conduit to channel that energy.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Guiding light, path, time and tide waits for no man, so I need to make sure that I capitalise on every minute of everyday to be the best that I can be. Knowing well in life there are no free lunches, I strive to become the best that I can be.

Who inspires you?
My biggest inspiration in life is my mother; she is my number one fan that comments on all my pictures and my most encouraging champion. I came from humble beginnings and growing up, I always knew how hard was it to earn money. Mummy always had to work 2 jobs just to make sure we had a comfortable life.
Most importantly, I knew how hard it was for my mother and I just wanted her to be proud of me.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The world we live in today is very different from the world we once knew. It’s hard to find good news in the local papers. When you pick up the news, you read of atrocities that happen all around us. I’ve come to realise the difference I make to a person’s day.
If can get the audience to set aside their worldly cares, if only for a little while and make them laugh with me. That would have been a good day. If I can make someone’s day a little better, I have done my job.
Smile and the world smiles with you.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Someone wise once said, that happiness is not a destination but it is a journey. If I wound back the clock, I would have tried to enjoy that journey a little more and paid more attention during mandarin lessons. Life itself is that journey and looking back, I would have taken it head on, been less afraid and have a little bit more faith in myself.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with that rewind button and every mistake I made growing up and every little success I celebrated has became a part of me and made me who I am today.
Not flawless, not without scratches but a stronger individual knowing that I can make a difference.

How do you unwind?
There are a few ways and a nice cold beer is one of the best antidotes. But seriously at the end of everyday, I look back at what I did and see how I could have done things better. I look back at how I could have improved my show quality. I am also constantly thinking of new ideas and jokes that I can use on stage.
I believe in being able to laugh at myself and not let any mistakes ruin my day. Tomorrow is another day as I put myself in the shoes of my customer and wonder if I would be satisfied.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I am probably torn between Bali and Bangkok. One gets you a relaxing holiday by the beach while the latter makes you just want to seize every moment to shop and eat.
When I do get a couple of days off, I usually prefer to just take a drive up to Kuala Lumpur or even as far as Penang for a short getaway.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. This is a great book with lots to think about. It’s like a book with many case studies that can be applied to life. He also introduces us to particular personality types and analyzes fashion trends, children’s television and direct mail for example.

Shameless plug for your business:
Emcee Ainsley Chong has over 8 years of entertaining audiences of different nationalities. His versatility has won the hearts of audiences around the world. From large-scale national events to intimate corporate dinners, Emcee Ainsley Chong definitely injects life into every event he takes on.

How can people connect with you?
For any corporate enquiries, please request me through your friendly event company or visit my website at www.ainsleychong.com or drop me an email at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
I have stopped using Twitter but please do follow me through Instagram at www.instagram.com/ainsleychong or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ainsley.chong

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia.  He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries.  He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence.  A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

Callum Connects

Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor

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Jasmine saves her clients time and effort when doing kitchen fit outs with her biz Stone Amperor.

What’s your story?
I started working in the industry in 2003. I was in a marble and granite supplier company for 5 years. Even though I left the company, I still had customers calling me for my services. I referred them back to my previous company but they refused to because they loved the fast response service that I offered. I realised that customers do look at prices, however most of them prefer quality over quantity. Thus I have decided to establish a sole proprietor company also known as 78 Degrees which later rebranded as Stone Amperor in 2014.

What excites you most about your industry?
The kitchen countertop industry is a very confusing market. There are many brands, materials and prices to choose from. What excites me the most is my ability to help clients choose the best materials and brands within their budgets, whilst saving them time and effort.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have been in Asia all my life and I love Asia. No matter where you go there is no place like home.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Singapore. This is because Singapore has always been a stable country and it is great for doing business. However as it is a small country, it can be really competitive. I believe that if just do your best and give your best to your customers, you can overcome this.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Take actions. Learn and improve continuously. An idea without action is just a dream.” This was really good advice that I received from my partner.

Who inspires you?
A very down to earth billionaire from Malaysia, Robert Kuok

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Property is the foundation of every business.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Own instead of renting property for my business.

How do you unwind?
I enjoy going shopping, watching movies and hanging out with friends. I am quite a simple being.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love going to Taiwan as I love the culture there. Everyone is so polite and the weather is great.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Sun Tzu, Art of war

Shameless plug for your business:
Perfect top, Perfect price, Perfect life from Stone Amperor

How can people connect with you?
Email me at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@StoneAmperor

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy

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Dextre Teh is a consultant and marketing guru, helping F&B businesses to tighten their operations and grow their businesses.

What’s your story?
I help frustrated F&B business owners stuck in day to day operation transform from a glorified operator into a real business owner. I’m a 27 year old Singaporean second generation restaurant owner and a F&B business consultant. Entering the industry at 13 years old, I have always been obsessed with operations and systemisation. At the age of 25, I joined the insurance industry and earned a six figure yearly income. However, I left the high pay behind because it was not my passion and returned to the F&B industry. Now I help other F&B companies to tighten operations and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services.

What excites you most about your industry?
The food. I’m a big lover of food and even have a YouTube show on food in development. But that aside, it is really about impacting people through food. Creating moments and memories for people, be it a dating couple or families or friends. Providing that refuge from the daily grind of life. So in educating my consulting clients and training their staff to provide a better experience for their customers, I aim to shift the industry in the direction of creating memories instead of just selling food.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I love the culture, the food and travelling in Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore hands down. The environment here is built for businesses to thrive. The government is pro business and the infrastructure is built around supporting business growth. Not to mention the numerous amount of grants available in helping people start and even grow business. If I’m not mistaken, the Singaporean government is the only government in the world that offers grants to home grown businesses for overseas expansion.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Learning to do things you do not intend to master is a BIG mistake in business. Focus on what you are good at and pay others to do the rest.

Many business owners including myself are so overwhelmed by the 10,000 things that they feel they need to do everyday. We try to do everything ourselves because we think it saves us money. The only thing that, that does for us is overload our schedules and give us mediocre results. Instead we should focus on what we do best and bring in support for the rest.

Who inspires you?
Christopher M Duncan.

At 29, Chris has built multiple 7 figure businesses. He opened me to the possibility of building a business on the thing that I loved and gave me a blueprint of how to do it. He also showed me that being young doesn’t mean you cannot do great things.

Imran Mohammad and Fazil Musa
They are my mentors and inspire me every single day to pursue my dreams, to focus on celebrating life and enjoying the process of getting to where I want to be.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Time is always more expensive than money. Money, you can earn over and over again but time, once you spend it, will never come back.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am a firm believer that your experiences shape who you are. I am grateful for every single moment of my life be it the highs or the lows, the successes and the failures because all these experiences have led me to become the person I am and brought me to the place that I’m at so I will probably do things the same way as everything was perfect in its time.

How do you unwind?
Chilling out in a live music bar with a drink in hand, listening to my favourite live band, 53A. Other than that I’m big on retail therapy, buying cool and geeky stuff.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok. It feels like a home away from home where the cost of living is relatively low, the food is good and the people are friendly.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Everything you know about business is wrong by Alastair Dryburgh. It is a book that challenges commonly accepted business “truths” and inspires you to go against the grain, think different, take risks and stand your ground in the face of the challenges that will come your way as a business owner.

Shameless plug for your business:
I’m the creator of the world’s first Chilli Crab Challenge. It gained viral celebrity earlier this year with 3 major newspaper features and more than a dozen blog and online publications featuring it in the span of two weeks. In the span of the two weeks, the campaign reached well over a million people in exposure without a single cent spent in ads.

Now I help F&B companies to tighten operations, increase profits and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services. Chilli Crab Challenge (https://www.chillicrab.com/nationalday)

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/djtehkh) or visit www.rebirthacademy.sg for more information or book a 10 minute call with me @ www.tinyurl.com/dexclar

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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