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Catherine Colle, Founder of Glamour Nutrition & Vice President at Midway Labs USA

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My father has created an enormous business and an incredible brand, and I’m contributing to the business that he’s built every day at Midway Labs USA (one of the largest Sports Nutrition brands in the world). In the process I brought in my own concepts and feminine touches building and branching off Glamour Nutrition which is a brand of beauty dietary supplements that connects directly with woman, the true meaning of “ Beauty from Within “. I started working when I was 14 years old, learning from a very young age the meaning of hard work. I was free to make my own choices and had a lot of responsibility and trust put into me from the very first moment. There was a lot of pressure and stress involved, I was reading agreements and participating in board meetings while kids at my age were still doing their homework or hanging out with friends. My life was extremely different from everybody else as I ended up growing up so quickly, but in the end I really enjoyed all the experiences. Strangely enough I got the idea for Glamour Nutrition where I least expected it. When I got invited to be part of the agency Wunder Models in Los Angeles, I was a little skeptical because I couldn’t imagine myself just taking pictures for a living, but seeing that whole other side of the entertainment business gave me great insight about what woman truly want. I noticed majority of the models had bad skin and teeth and that surprised me. I was one of the few that didn’t need that much make up and mainly because I took supplements my whole life. I started to see an opportunity for a nice in the industry and looked at our own line of products to see how could we better communicate with woman. After one year modeling I decided to go back to my real passion and built my own brand: Glamour Nutrition.

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In your own words what do you do?

I oversee all the projects and deals at Midway Labs USA as well as marketing concepts. My day to day consists of making sure that all the areas of the company are in good health, from financial, legal, administrative matters to production and international deals. I’m very fortunate to have such a great team of professionals from each area working with me on a daily basis, so it’s very exciting to be involved in the process of such big and innovative projects!

What led you to your current business?

My father Wilton Colle was a natural born entrepreneur and founded Midway Labs the day I was born. My life in the business world started right there, as he has been taking me to meetings since I was 5 years old. Even tough I couldn’t understand much I know that my subconscious absorbed all that information and when I grew up the transition to business was inevitable.

Could you walk us through your process of developing your business?

I was fortunate enough to start working off an established company, but success it’s no coincidence. It takes real hours and energy to build up something out of nothing. Everybody in the team must be willing to put in the work and that includes doing what you don’t like, it’s not always going to be a sea of roses but when you truly care about your business, there’s no better feeling than accomplishing something together with the team. When the “project” is above anybody’s ego or agendas, that’s when the real magic happens.

Did you encounter any particular difficulties in the beginning?

In the beginning my biggest challenge was the fact that I was young and was the “daughter “ of the boss. I felt constantly pressured because I was aware that majority of people were going to judge me. There was many who refused to take me serious and I was getting very frustrated by it, but at the same time there was nothing I could do. I always knew that my own father would fire me if he had to, he wouldn’t put me where I was if he didn’t believe I was capable enough, but of course not everybody else was going to think the same way. So I put in the effort to show them why I was in the position I was, by working long hours, doing the work nobody else wanted to and targeting problem by problem. It eventually got to a point where people had to come up to me for all the answers and instead of judging me, now they saw me as an equally important piece for the entire company.
Meetings with outsiders was also an issue when I would meet with people that could be the age of my parents, It was awkward at first but eventually it becomes clear that I had knowledge and experience to conduct the deals I was sent out for.

What is your long term plan?

We ultimately want to bring the benefits of nutritional supplements to everybody, specially those who never tried before! It amazes me how little information people have about all these powerful ingredients that are at their disposal, little do they know that if they incorporate certain supplements into their daily routine, that could change their entire life for better! As a corporation we want to spread that knowledge through the growth of our brands internationally.

Could you share with us some industry insights?

Now a days with technology incorporated in our daily routine, the world is changing fast. Information is spread easily, everything is more dynamic and all the companies have to adjust themselves to this, specially when communicating with the customer. With the rise of all the social media and blogs, now it’s easier then ever to be close to your audience, we can know instantly if they like or dislike something and I believe companies should start taking more advantage of this.

What are some important lessons you’ve learnt about entrepreneurship?

One the most important lessons in my opinion is to never put business above your morality and personal values. Business is essentially a transaction of energy between people and if your energy is “dark” it’s never going to sustain itself in the long run. Your morals and values are the compass of your life and that’s what should be guiding you in every business decision. People that try to throw one another under the bus will eventually stagnate, the ones who do work hard, keep themselves out of the drama and truly care about the company will be the ones to rise. I have met and watched so many people that had every opportunity given to them, they could have been incredible but instead they decided to go against their morals and only focused on “immediate” gains instead of the long run, well I have not heard about these people ever again and I believe that’s proof that Karma exists in the business world as well.
Really think about the choices you make, it has to feel right and be fair.

Any tips for achieving success?

Trust yourself , you can’t win in life If you are loosing in your mind. “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on it’s wings.“ I love this analogy because if you trust in yourself then you shouldn’t be worried about anything else or anybody else.

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www.midwaylabsusa.com

www.glamournutrition.com

www.catcolle.com

Instagram: @catcolle

Callum Connects

Denise Morris Kipnis, Founder & Principal of ChangeFlow Consulting

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Denise Mossis Kipnis’ curiosity in people and the world, lead her to set up ChangeFlow Consulting.

What’s your story?
I’m driven by curiosity. Having been the only one in a room who looks like me for most of my life, I developed a curiosity about who stays, who leaves and who thrives in minority/majority situations including when and how connection and collaboration happen. I was a systems thinker long before I knew what that was, always asking why and so what; and seeing the pieces, the whole, and the places in between. So helping people and organisations move through the complexity of transformation feels natural to me.

What excites you most about your industry?
I see change and inclusion as two sides of the same thing; I don’t practice one without the other. Some people see change as death, as loss, as exhausting. And it can be. But I see in the work I do as an opportunity for something new or hidden to emerge. When an organisation understands that it is first a group of people, who themselves represent and belong to groups of people, and it begins to tackle what it would mean to understand and learn from all that talent, all that diversity, to have them all working for and not against the organisation, to truly unleash all that their people have to offer; that’s magic.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Change and inclusion are personal values as well as professional strengths. For me, living and working outside of the States was a bold experiment to see whether any of the stuff I’d learned about change and inclusion would work outside of the US. My husband and I targeted Asia specifically: it would be the greatest contrast, culturally speaking, for me; and a unique career springboard for him.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Although I’ve practiced in other cities, I am biased towards Singapore. In some ways it’s what Los Angeles is to the rest of the United States, a microcosm of sorts. The regional/global nature of it means that so many different nationalities and cultures are represented. As a result of this mix, you never know what you might get. In some situations, cultural dynamics are obvious, sometimes subdued. The variability is compelling.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Never ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.” Michael Rouan.

Who inspires you?
Often it’s a “what” not a “who.” I can get inspiration from a passage in a book or a situation in a movie, as well as a turn of a phrase or watching people interact. I often make the biggest connections between the various threads I’m working on when I’m sitting in someone else’s event.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’m honestly not blown away by much. Instead, I’m struck how circular things can be: ideas often come back around with a slightly different twist and I watch the way it shakes things loose for people. I recently sat through a workshop on Self as Instrument, and despite being thoroughly versed already, I learned something. In preparing for a panel on design thinking, I unearthed a new language to describe things.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
You’ve caught me at a good time. I’m sitting in appreciation and gratitude for all my experiences, because I wouldn’t be who I was today if all that has happened, didn’t. And yet one thing comes to mind: It wasn’t until I redesigned my website two years ago (shout out to Brew Creative!) that I realised I hadn’t made explicit agreements with my past clients as to what I could share publicly about our engagement, or whether I could use their logos in my promotional materials. In my business, confidentiality is so important, and yet I need to be able to talk about the work as reputation and experience leads to the next success, and so on. It turned out a lot of the contacts I had known had left the organisations where the work was done, so they couldn’t help at that point. So the practice I’m carrying forward is to get those agreements up front, and to make sure my relationships in client systems are broad as well as deep.

How do you unwind?
Science fiction, puzzles, wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Home. I don’t travel to relax, I travel to learn and explore.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Built to Change, by Ed Lawler and Chris Worley. To my knowledge, it’s the first pivot from advising organisations away from stability and toward dynamism, from strategic planning to strategizing as an action verb; to blow up the traditions and rigidity that impede organisations from developing change capability.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re taught that there are two kinds of people: those who see forests, and those who see trees. There is a third type, my type, and we see the ecosystem. Worms, climate, birds, the spaces in between. This is the perspective organisations need to be successful in solving complex problems and thriving in change.
ChangeFlow uniquely blends four disciplines (two of which are multi-disciplinary in themselves): organisation development, culture and inclusion, change management and project management.

How can people connect with you?
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChangeFlowConsulting/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dmorriskipnis/
LinkedIn Company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/4862954/
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.changeflowconsulting.com

Twitter handle?
@ChangeFlow

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

Agnes Yee, Legal & Compliance Recruiter of Space Executive

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Agnes Yee started Space Executive in Singapore, which is a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies.

What’s your story?
After graduation, I joined a design media company as a Business Development Executive, during the era when ‘reading a magazine online’ was unheard of. I believe that laid the foundation for being unfazed by rejections.

I fell into recruitment pre-GFC and rode the highs and lows in the early years. A decade later, I decided to set up my own recruitment company, partly because I could. I’m acutely aware of the face that being an Asian female in Singapore is sometimes a privilege, and that many women in the world are living a very different existence.
Thereafter, we joined Space Executive as part of a merger. I am currently the Partner of Space Executive, a recruitment company focused specialist disciplines, including Legal, Finance, Digital, Sales and Marketing and Change. We also run Space Ventures, a venture capital business, which invests in seed and pre-series A businesses.

What excites you most about your industry?
On a daily basis, we’re influencing how one spends a third of their day. It is interesting how the Internet has transformed the industry, and I’m excited to see how we can harness technology to bring us to the next phase of this business.

The VC is an extension of applying our skills and experience in reading people. We very much invest in the people as much as the idea. Being a native Singaporean, it’s been exhilarating watching Southeast Asia becoming a hotbed of ideas; and young entrepreneurs simply daring to dream.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m a born and bred Singaporean. I love that I speak both English and Mandarin, grew up playing with Indian friends and eating Malay food.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for the low barriers of entry to set up a business, but has to be China (and Hong Kong) for their hunger and constant innovation.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
青春不要留白 which translates to ‘Don’t waste your youth.’

Who inspires you?
Anyone who has gone against the grain.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It wasn’t recent but reading the article on https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/12/the-tail-end.html never fails to blow my mind how little time we have left. Charting our lives in weeks, and realising I only have enough time left to enjoy 60 Christmas turkeys, read 300 books (all if I’m lucky); and mostly, I’m left with the last 5% of the time that I spend in-person with my parents.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’m cognisant that every decision I made in life has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change one thing. But I’d really like to have had more time to travel.

How do you unwind?
Exercise and wine.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Trekking any mountain in Asia. It brings us back to the most basic. To overcome elements of nature and our own mind.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Start with Why, Simon Sinek

Shameless plug for your business:
Space Executive started in Singapore, a hub for businesses in some of the world’s fastest growing economies. We assist organisations in accessing a targeted and specialised, and often times transient talent pool.

Out of Singapore, we have recruited across 14 countries; and have embarked on our global expansion plans with offices in Hong Kong and London this year, and US, Japan and Europe in the following years.

Space Ventures provides funding, management and financial guidance to young businesses with original ideas. We have invested in peer to peer lending platforms, credit scoring, social media education, and other start-ups spanning diverse industries. We are always interested in hearing more about new ideas.

How can people connect with you?
https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnesyee/

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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