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Ethan Lin, Principal Trainer of Personality Central

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Ethan Lin

Ethan Lin’s many “ah-ha” moments researching personality types, led him to a corporate training business.

What’s your story?
I first learned about personality types on a boring day at work. Like many people who do these online personality tests, I found myself fascinated by how differently people thought and acted. For the next few days, my colleagues and I were talking about it non-stop and realised how much I enjoyed discussing this! It was then that I decided to find a way to make this passion a full-time business.
That led me to spend the next 3 years researching personality types. You can think of it as a course on Humans 101! I discovered so many “a-ha” moments again and again so I knew I was onto something powerful.

What excites you most about your industry?
The corporate training industry is evolving rapidly with technology. Nowadays with video, social media and software tools, practically everything about training is changing.
Today, I see other trainers who actively market themselves on Facebook and put out free content again and again. That’s something that you probably wouldn’t see just 5 years ago.
I’m always looking at new ways to present my training material more effectively with technology. In essence, it means less human work (lecturing and content delivery) and more automation – more time for practical application and facilitation work for me.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Singapore and have spent most of my life in Singapore, with the occasional travel to the Asian countries for holiday, humanitarian work and school trips. I’ve been to Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
I’ve been making regular trips to Myanmar. I’ve done humanitarian work at the orphanages and have been truly affected by the way they live their life even though they have so little. It reminded me to be thankful, but also a solemn call for me to do my business well so that I can help these children in a bigger way.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
My favourite city for business would be my own country. Every time I look around, I realize that Singapore has unparalleled infrastructure to help any start-up succeed. The laws here are in place to ensure that your property remains yours and your business idea can be protected.
Additionally, our government has so many grants for new businesses and there is venture capital just waiting for a good idea to emerge. I think if anyone wants to start a business, Singapore’s got to be a good place to start.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I think it has to be: “Be faithful,” from the Bible. Everyone wants to succeed, but not everyone wants to be faithful with what is given to them. There are so many people out there who look at the successful people with envy and try to ‘rush the process’ but it’s not sustainable.
Being faithful is simply to do your best with what is given to you. If we have clients that trust us with our training, then my job is simply to do my best for them – to keep on increasing the value I give to them.

Who inspires you?
I don’t exactly have a figure that inspires me. Ironically hearing stories like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma have no effect on me, because they are just too far disconnected from me.
The people that inspire me are those around me – Singaporeans who have found a way to beat the odds to become successful in whoever they are today. It is these people around me that remind me daily that whatever I set my heart to achieve is possible.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Recently, I attended a course by Marshall Thurber which was brought to Singapore by Melvin Soh. His business concepts are out of this world and applying them to my business means setting up my business for exponential growth.
He taught us to think with a new theory in the digital, networked economy. Besides that, he taught a few persuasion techniques that tremendously increased my sales – I think together, all the information he’s provided me truly blew me away.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have wanted to live my life with more purpose. I felt that for a large part of my life, I did not know what I wanted and therefore, was willing to accept second best in everything I did. Whether it was my job or business, I never gave my 100%.
I feel that I could have gotten far better results today – but I also believe that all of these are a learning process that everyone needs to go through – as we grow older, we grow wiser as well, so our actions become more intentional.

How do you unwind?
I’m a natural introvert, so I unwind alone at home, watching videos, reading non-fiction books related to my faith, on economics and quite a bit on business, sales and marketing.
On work days, I have to stand in front of people, be vocal and be engaged for 8 hours at a shot, hence, on my off days, being able to be alone is how I recharge.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I’m completely not a city person. Once, I went to Bangkok for 3 days and I spent practically the whole time in the hotel room, coming out only for food and (after much convincing) a massage.
If I had a choice, I would probably go to a beach. My idea of relaxation is simply just to laze all my time away, rather than go shopping.

Everyone in business should read this book:
This is a book recommended by Marshall Thurber – The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly. It talks about the 12 technological trends that will shape our future – If you want to start a business, you have got to know where the trends are. Grab a copy of this – it will excite you and help you see the possibilities for the future!

Shameless plug for your business:
I’ve developed the People Mastery System which empowers salespeople and entrepreneurs (and practically anybody) to profile their prospects’ Type in under 5 minutes. That’s right – in 5 minutes, you’ll be able to read your clients’ subconscious minds even without them knowing. You’ll be able to sell to the subconscious and tap on their hot buttons and of course, close the deal!

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How can people connect with you?
They can connect with me on Facebook via the People Mastery System page (https://www.facebook.com/peoplemasterysystem/), or add me on my personal account here (https://www.facebook.com/yihan.lin.2005). I’m always glad to make new connections and meet new friends!

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

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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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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