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Stephanie Barros, Certified High Performance Coach, Facilitator and Speaker

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Stephanie Barros is playing a small part in helping others reach their full potential.

What’s your story?
For over 25 years I have been working in the corporate environment but recently I decided to leave and pursue my passion.

Over the course of my career I held various roles, in varying functions and multiple capacities. I was instrumental in helping individuals as well as small and large teams achieve high performance. I believe I am successful at this as the one thing that has remained constant, throughout my career and my life, is my love of helping others identify and ignite their potential. My greatest feeling of joy and sense of satisfaction comes from seeing others really go beyond even what they thought was possible. Knowing I played a small part in helping that happen is what keeps me going.

What excites you most about your industry?
As a coach, I believe the most exciting aspect is seeing other people grow and transform. Lou Holtz said, “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.” To have the privilege to assist in someone else’s growth is something I do not underestimate. Today, there are more and more people wanting more out of their lives, more than just the hustle, bump and grind. As a result, more and more people are turning to coaches to help them re-ignite their spark for life and really live. For me, being able to add value to others in this way using a data driven proven program is a gift.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Although I was born in Australia, both my parents were coincidentally born in the Philippines. And whilst my mother spent her formative years in the Philippines my father spent his in Hong Kong, before both their families migrated to Australia when they were in their mid-teens. Consequently, I have always felt somewhat connected to Asia, but it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to live in Singapore with my own family that I really was able to establish a deeper understanding and connection to my cultural heritage (particularly since I had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the region).

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I really loved living in Singapore and from a business perspective the Singaporean government is very pro-business. Tax rates are favourable, the ease with which you can setup and run a business combined with the overall living experience makes it an easy place to live and work.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
In the corporate world, “always try to make your role redundant.” It was great advice because it meant I was always looking for ways to continually improve the role I was doing which then almost always opened other doors and opportunities. In the entrepreneurial world, “don’t play small, you can always play a bigger game.” Which reminds me daily there is always something else I can do to add value.

Who inspires you?
Mother Teresa – her capacity for love and service was immeasurable. Something I try on an ongoing basis to emulate within my own context.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
“Above the senses is the mind. Above the mind is the intellect. Above the intellect is the ego. Above the ego is the unmanifested seed, the primal cause. And verily beyond the unmanifested seed is Brahman, the all-pervading spirit, the unconditioned, knowing whom one attains to freedom and achieves immortality.” (Katha Upanishad 2:3:7, 8)

Recently becoming aware of this hierarchy and learning about it has opened a much broader perspective for me. Particularly that the lesser levels can be controlled from the higher levels, thus saving a great deal of time and frustration.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Leave the corporate world much sooner. Whilst I don’t believe in regrets as I believe every choice, decision, action we take provides us with the lessons we need to learn. I underestimated the level of joy I would feel in being able to pursue my passion and contribute directly by adding value to other people’s lives.

How do you unwind?
I LOVE to read! Everything and anything, I have a very eclectic reading collection. But I also love to travel and spend time experiencing different cultures. Ideally reading whilst traveling and relaxing is my idea of unwinding heaven.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. I love the culture, the people, the food and the breathtaking countryside.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Team Code of Honor – The Secrets of Champions in Business and in Life by Blair Singer.

It’s the secret sauce for all high performing teams, whether it be your team at work, your team at home, your sports team or just your team of one; having a Code of Honor is what makes the team stick and perform at its best.

Shameless plug for your business:
I became a Certified High Performance Coach because I am passionate about Helping YOU Ignite Your SPARK.

The High Performance Coaching process is a process created to explore all the ways you can reach heightened and sustained levels of performance and potential in all areas of your life. As a Certified Coach, my role is to work with you in this process through 5 different areas: Clarity, Energy, Courage, Productivity, and Influence.

By developing mastery in these five areas, you’ll feel more purposeful and fulfilled. The data proves it. So, as a high performance coach, I typically explore how clear you feel about your overall life and goals; whether or not you have the physical energy and mental stamina to perform at your best; how confident and bold you are showing up in the world; what distractions or poor habits cause you to fall off course, and what routines can keep you on track; in addition to what you can do to better influence, lead and inspire your family and all those you serve.

I can’t wait to work with you through this process and see you discover new beliefs, habits and tools that will help you join the world’s most successful people!

How can people connect with you?
www.stephanie-barros.com
www.linkedin.com/in/stephaniebarros
sfbarros (Skype)
Stephanie Barros (WeChat)

Twitter handle?
Steph_barros

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

Jace Koh, Founder of U Ventures

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Jace Koh believes cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Understanding it will enhance your ability to run and manage your business.

What’s your story?
My name is Jace Koh and I am the Founder of U Ventures. I’ve always been inclined towards investment and entrepreneurship. I’ve played a hand in starting businesses across these industries – professional services, cloud integration, software and music. I believe that succeeding in business is tough, but that’s what makes the rewards even sweeter.

What excites you most about your industry?
Everything excites me. These are my beliefs:

  • Why is accounting important?
    The accounting department is the heart. Cash flow is like blood stream, it pumps blood to various parts of the body like cash flow is pumped to various departments and/or functions in a business. It is vital to the life and death of the business.
  • Is accounting boring?
    Accountants are artists too. They paint the numbers the way they want them to be.
  • What makes a good accountant?
    A good accountant can tell you a story about the business by looking at the numbers.
  • Why is budgeting and projection important?
    Accountants are like fortune tellers, they can predict the numbers and if you wish to understand your business and make informed decisions, feel free to speak to our friendly consultants to secure a meeting.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore, and here’s where I want to be.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is my favourite city. We have great legal systems in place, good security and people with integrity. Most importantly, we have a government that fosters a good environment for doing business. I recently went for a cultural exchange programme in Hong Kong to learn more about their startups. I found out that the Hong Kong government generally only supports local business owners in terms of grants. They’ve recently been more lenient and changed the eligibility to include all businesses that have at least 50% local shareholding. But comparing that to Singapore, the government only requires a 30% local shareholding to obtain government support. In the early days of starting a business, all the support you can get is precious. It’s great that we have a government that understands that.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best time ever to plant a tree was 10 years ago as the tree would have grown so big to provide you with shelter and all. When is the next best time to plant a tree? It is today. Because in 10 years time, the tree would have grown big enough to provide you shelter and all.

Who inspires you?
Jack Ma. His journey to success is one of the most inspiring as it proves that with determination and great foresight, even the poorest can turn their lives around. I personally relate to his story a lot, and this is my favourite quote from him, “If you don’t give up, you still have a chance. Giving up is the greatest failure.”

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve faced multiple rejections throughout my business journey, and recently came across a fact on Jack Ma about how he was once rejected for 32 different jobs. It resonated very deeply and taught me the importance of tenacity, especially during tough times.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I live a life with no regrets. Everything I do, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, happy or sad, and regardless of outcome, it’s a lesson with something to take away.

How do you unwind?
I love to pamper myself through retail therapy and going for spas. I also make a conscious effort to take time off work to have a break outside to unwind as well as to uncloud my mind. This moment of reflection from time to time helps me see more clearly on how I can improve myself.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan! Good food with no language barriers and the people are great!

Everyone in business should read this book:
I don’t really read books. Mostly, I learn from my daily life and interactions with hundreds of other business owners. To me, people tell the most interesting stories.

Shameless plug for your business:
We’re not just corporate secretaries, we’re “business doctors.”
U Ventures is a Xero certified advisory firm that goes beyond traditional accounting services to provide solutions for your business. You can reach us on our website: http://uventures.com.sg/

How can people connect with you?
Converse to connect. You can reach me via email at [email protected] or alternatively, on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacekoh/

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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Ray Ferguson, Founder of Caber Partners

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Ray Ferguson left the banking world and returned to Asia to explore exciting fintech opportunities.

What’s your story?
I am the Founder of Caber Partners, a Singapore based MAS Licensed Fund Manager and Financial Advisor investing and working with companies focused exclusively on the intersection of finance and technology. I work specifically in the areas of payments, insurance, wealth management, alternative lending and blockchain.

I am also Chairman of Singapore Life which was founded last year. It is the first new local life company in Singapore. Concurrently, I chair Youtap a business which is creating a cashless e-money processing backbone providing real-time interoperable settlements of all consumer e-money payments to the merchants, e-money providers, retail and FMCG distribution groups, and banks across emerging markets.

My 30 year journey as a banker had its main leg with Standard Chartered Bank, where I held multiple country chief executive and regional leadership roles across four continents. I spent 6 years as Regional CEO, South East Asia and Chief Executive, Singapore. After Standard Chartered, I moved to Bank ABC, Bahrain and assumed the role of Group Chief Banking Officer where I took care of the group’s banking businesses worldwide.
Last year, I decided to step down after 3 years from my role with Bank ABC to return to Asia to pursue interesting and exciting opportunities that fintech disruption was providing.

What excites you most about your industry?
The sheer pace of technological innovation in the financial sector, and how it is up-ending the traditional models and traditional players. There are huge implications and benefits for efficiency, transparency and importantly financial inclusion which will drive growth in emerging markets.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have lived in and worked in Asia for more than 30 years. I first came to Singapore in 1994 and today I am a proud Singapore citizen, and to me Singapore is home.

Its an invigorating environment. Asia is in the middle of an historic transformation. If it continues to follow its recent trajectory, by 2050 its per capita income could rise sixfold in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms to reach Europe’s levels today. It would make some 3 billion additional Asians affluent by current standards. By nearly doubling its share of global gross domestic product (GDP) to 52 percent by 2050, Asia would regain the dominant economic position it held some 300 years ago, before the industrial revolution. This is a big deal and I’m excited to be part of it!

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Singapore! Singapore is known for being a business-friendly country and it was crowned the best country in World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business List” and ranks as the top 3 in the World Economic Forum’s “Global Competitive Index.” Singapore is an attractive hub, for both businesses and has a great community to live in.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Listen intently and you will know what you don’t know.

Who inspires you?
Nelson Mandela

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That the global mobile wallet market was valued at approximately USD 594 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach approximately USD 3,100 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of around 32% between 2017 and 2022.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have learnt to code.

How do you unwind?
Exercise, golf and sailing large catamarans.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket. Easy to reach, Thai people and service, breadth of choice of locations/accomodation and great sailing weather.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Good to Great – Jim Collins. It’s about how companies transition from being good companies to great companies, and how and why most companies fail to make the transition.

Shameless plug for your business:
Caber Partners team is uniquely connected with our networks and experience in fintech markets, investing and banking and business growth solutions throughout Asia and across the emerging world.

How can people connect with you?
Come connect with me through my LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rayfergusonscb

Twitter handle?
Rayferguson888

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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