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Shiangker Wong, Editor of Mirastars

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Shiangker Wong

Shiangker Wong helps people build the career they love.

What’s your story?
One read of the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” 15 years ago changed the way I thought about money, career and the future. Thanks to my early exposure to this book when I was a teenager I knew I wanted to run my own business in the future.
I worked with an investment bank when I first graduated. Prestigious company, good pay, supportive management, nothing much to complain about. But every time when I asked myself what kind of impact have I really made? No satisfying answer came to mind. I knew it was time to explore a different angle.
There’s so much to learn about being an entrepreneur! I started Mirastars project to interview entrepreneurs and learn and share their successful tips and to avoid their mistakes in the future. Besides learning a lot from the people I met, the project led me to opportunities that I wouldn’t have imagined. I now share my experience with others, to help people build a career they love.

What excites you most about your industry?
It is truly rewarding to see people unleashing their potential and building their dream careers; this kind of satisfaction is something money cannot buy. Sometimes just one event might change someone’s future forever (just like how the book changed me). It excites me to know that I might be the one event for someone.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I am Asian. I grew up in a very small town in Malaysia (Ipoh). I moved to Singapore 10 years ago for tertiary studies and have stayed here. Asia is a large continent with 48 countries. I love how rich Asian history is. My first adventure was a one-month backpacking trip in China. It was a great way to experience one of the oldest civilisations in the world. There is so much more to explore…

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, I love the safety and efficiency in this country. Although the local market is really small, this is a strategic place to venture into South East Asian countries, which is a very underserved market.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
There was a time I once sat down randomly with an old man in a very busy cafe in Vienna, he ended up showing me the city and sharing with me his life experience. This was exactly what he told me: Always say YES with life, look for what’s NEXT, and ENJOY it! Now I look back it was so true – because I said yes to sharing a table, the next thing that happened was an eventful afternoon, and I enjoyed a lot.

Who inspires you?
So many people. I believe everyone has something for me to learn, inspirations could come from anyone and anywhere. Let me just share the most recent one – Wonder Woman! I have learnt one crucial thing from her – ‘the power that we need is already within us.’

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Applying Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in business opportunities. In first world countries where people have already secured basic needs, they now look for self-actualization / esteem; businesses that help people to achieve that would grow in these countries. In other developing countries where food and water are still a problem, we need businesses that help to provide these for the people there.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would go back to my uni days, spend more time building more friendships and learning more skills. 4 years in uni was the best time to lay the bricks for the future.

How do you unwind?
Listen to music and workout. I am a big fitness freak and I do a lot of sports. Exercise naturally releases happy hormones (endorphins), when paired with my favourite music it just feels so good.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand! I know this must be one of most given answers, but my reason is very different from others. 5 years ago when I first visited Bangkok it wasn’t the shopping malls and yummy food that impressed me. It was the people – they dressed up uniquely regardless of the fashion trends. I find this place very liberating; everyone is just being themselves without having any concerns.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Such a classic and powerful book. It is a must-read for everyone, not just for those in business.

Shameless plug for your business:
I had my own career exploration and transformation, I know how it feels and how to help you achieve your dream career. If you have no idea what kind of things you really want to do or not sure how to make career transition, let’s have a chat!

How can people connect with you?
You are most welcome to connect with me on social media:
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/shiangker
Facebook: www.facebook.com/shiangker2
Website: www.shiangker.com (personal) ; www.mirastars.com (business)

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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