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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

Elizabeth Wu, Co-founder & COO of Trehaus

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Elizabeth Wu is making work-life integration a reality for working parents in her new family friendly coworking space.

What’s your story?
I co-founded a coworking space in Singapore that comes complete with a child-friendly facility. We’re the first of our kind here and we’ve been making work-life integration a reality for working parents since we opened.

What excites you most about your industry?
We are the first of our kind, and there’s no other coworking space like us. Sure, there are plenty of coworking spaces in Singapore, but we are the pioneers of championing ‘BYO-kid’ to work by creating a conducive workspace and enriching kids play, all under one roof.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I’m a local through and through.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, of course! It’s safe, well-regulated and has a diverse community. Barriers to entry for starting up a business is low, and generally there is good support for small to medium enterprises and startups, which is great.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Life is short. Do stuff that matters.” I think I decided to do “stuff that matters” a long time ago and that’s why I became an educator. When motherhood beckoned, I decided again, to do “stuff that matters” by staying home to be with my kids. Then, I began to desire a meaningful career while raising my kids. So, I decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, because I am governed by wanting to “do stuff that matters!”

Who inspires you?
So many people inspire me. My members at Trehaus inspire me with the things they do and the changes they make. But if I have to pick someone, it would be Elim Chew, founder of 77th Street; who is a seasoned entrepreneur. She started from humble beginnings, went through setbacks and never said never to new journeys in entrepreneurship. I love that she always looks for ways to give back to society and mentor the next generation with her wealth of wisdom and experiences.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I learned the 5-by-5 rule recently: That is, ‘if it’s not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset by it.’ This helps me puts things in perspective, and I try to remember this every time the urge comes to dwell, to brood, to beat myself up or to sweat the small stuff.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would definitely be more careful with the people I hired to build the team. I’ve learned that it is important to find and build an entrepreneurial team that will plough and work hard alongside the founders. Like Jack Ma once said, “Don’t hire the most qualified candidate. Hire the craziest.” I should have done that right from the start. It would save us so much time and heartache.

How do you unwind?
I take long walks to clear my or I go for a fruitful session of self care, like yoga or a massage.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I really enjoy getting out of Singapore to the outskirts of Bangkok to live amongst the locals. My family of 5 used to do that each December; just taking off to live amongst the locals where street food is aplenty and warmth and hospitality is everywhere. I enjoy their slow pace of life and how simple things can be.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz

Shameless plug for your business:
Trehaus is Singapore’s first ever family-friendly coworking space that lets you build a career while prioritising family. If it takes a village to raise a child, then Trehaus is the modern village where you will find a robust community and supportive ecosystem that lets you be an involved parent – never missing a single milestone in your child’s early years – and at the same time do efficient and productive work. We’ve made magic happen in what we’ve created!

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

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

Mark Winterton, General Manager of InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay

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Mark Winterton has dedicated his life to achieving unparalleled and extraordinary guest experiences in the hospitality industry.

What’s your story?
I’m a seasoned hospitality professional with over twenty years international experience launching luxury brands, repositioning existing brands and driving innovation for some of the world’s most successful hotels.

As General Manager of InterContinental® Singapore Robertson Quay, I’m responsible for the strategic positioning of the property as the next generation of the InterContinental hotel brand and have been spearheading the hotel since its opening in October 2017, with the goal of achieving a unique and unrivalled market positioning as Singapore’s most luxurious residential hotel.

I started my career with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) in 1995 and have since been dedicating myself towards achieving perfection. I find immense fulfillment in leading my team towards achieving extraordinary and unparalleled guest experiences.

What excites you most about your industry?
The hospitality industry boasts an extremely dynamic landscape, and we are always seeing new hotels opening alongside the entry of burgeoning brands. This growth has, over time developed positive competition and generated positive driving forces that have elevated the overall standard of the industry in Singapore. The industry has a dynamic landscape. There are many opportunities to bring the right people together and create amazing teams to launch or reposition hotels. The process of creating teams, inspiring individuals and then working together to bring a project to life is where I find the excitement lies.

What’s your connection to Asia?
The lure of Asia has always been very strong for foreign economies and companies, with great accessibility to new opportunities, customers, consumers and clients. My first foray into Asia was back in 2007, when I launched Crowne Plaza Changi Airport in Singapore. Following that, I was also based in Bangkok for a couple of years for the rebranding of Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park. Over my years in Asia, I have had the opportunity to truly immerse myself in new cultures, establish new connections with key counterparts and friends; and these have further solidified my interest in and strengthened my connection to Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Singapore. Commonly known as the gateway to Asia, we’ve been blessed with a stable government, a sound political economy and a comprehensive infrastructure for reliable business operations. With tremendous efforts put in by the Singapore Tourism Board towards elevating the city as an attractive venue for visitors, the growth of Singapore as a key MICE destination, coupled with a cosmopolitan pool of talent, Singapore remains my favourite city in Asia for business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“You can never be 100% ready for a new role.” I believe that there will always be room for growth and learning on the job. As long as a person is 80% ready for a new role, the opportunity should be extended. I am a strong believer in the development of people and the grooming of talent, and this piece of advice has allowed me to take more chances on people I’ve worked with and developed over the years.

Who inspires you?
Simon Sinek, a speaker with TED Talk.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I don’t think I can pinpoint just one lesson learnt recently, as learning is an ongoing process. No matter how small a piece of knowledge may seem, it should be valued. Everyday is a journey of learning and development.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing at all. I don’t believe in regrets and everything that has happened thus far, has had a part to play in who I am and where I stand today.

How do you unwind?
Spending time with friends over relaxed conversations and wine or working my green fingers in my balcony garden.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. It’s one destination where I’ve always returned to, simply because it offers me the same level of comfort and familiarity each time I return. It’s where I can feel most relaxed, yet still be able to enjoy the vibrant dining scene.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott.

Shameless plug for your business:
Officially opened on 12 October 2017, InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay is the first international luxury hotel brand situated at Robertson Quay. Set amidst a dynamic, sophisticated neighbourhood along the Singapore River, known for its dining options and arts houses, the luxury residential-inspired hotel has been carefully curated by world-­class designers, architects and culinary purveyors. Located minutes away from the CBD, the hotel still maintains a stylish but laid back, relaxed feel in the leafy, upscale neighbourhood of Robertson Quay. The hotel offers 225 luxurious studios and suites, including an expansive Penthouse, which has unparalleled views of both the Singapore River and vibrant city via floor-­to-­ceiling windows.

The residential-­inspired property combines elements from Robertson Quay’s industrial and intriguing past with sleek contemporary finishes whilst seamlessly blending into the residential surrounds. Light-­filled room interiors have been designed to magnify the familiar comforts of home where guests may enjoy bespoke amenities such as a specially designed in-­room cocktail kit.

Established as part of a holistic dining and lifestyle destination, the hotel boasts a wide range of restaurant and bar concepts. Flagship restaurant Publico, representing the central core of Italian culture, is a multi-­concept dining destination comprising a variety of Italian experiences under one roof – a neighbourhood deli and bar and a ristorante with adjoining terrazzo by the river. Other highlights throughout the hotel include New York institution Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, and a bar and dining concept from the team behind Izy Sushi. Over 40 other dining options await at the hotel doorstep, in The Quayside precinct.

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markwinterton1/

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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