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Zai Miztiq, CEO of Miztiq International

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Zai Miztiq is an aspiring young woman. Having faced a terrible downturn in her life, she is using her experience and approach to life to motivate other women.

What’s your story?
I am a 2X Amazon best selling author of ‘Turn Your Passion into Profit’ and ‘5 Things I Love About Being A Woman’, an international speaker and the CEO of Miztiq International Pte Ltd. However, it did not begin this way.

I started on an entrepreneurial journey in my schooling days. When my friends were busy spending their parents’ money, I would create art and craft stuff and sell them to my schoolmates.

In my college days, I was the President of the Make Up Artiste Club. I later introduced henna art to the school and people knew me for the temporary tattoo artistry I was very passionate about.
I started my modelling career at 17, and was doing makeup and henna tattooing as a part time income while still at school.

In 2001, I brought henna art to Japan. What was supposed to be a 2 week trip, became a 6 month stay. I was interviewed by various Japanese media, Tokyo FM, AMI Magazine. I was doing henna art at international parties, at cultural events and started teaching the basic and professional henna art course to the Japanese. It was soo much fun.

Moving forward, one of my most difficult challenges in life was when I met with a tragic accident in 2005. I could have died or suffered a paralysis. My doctors even gave me a letter of permanent disability which meant I would never be able to gain employment. For a whole year, I was managing the pain, learning how to walk again and almost a year into the accident, I decided that I had to step up.

My strength is my empathy and positivity. I realized this when one day, I received a chat request from a stranger on Facebook. She wanted to speak to me and after our 10-minute chat, she thanked me and said, “Zai, thank you for speaking to me. I was just thinking of committing suicide but you made me feel better.” That was when I started writing books, giving motivational talks and now coaching women in my ‘Sisterhood Mentorship Programme’ to gain confidence and clarity and turn their dreams into reality.

What excites you most about your industry?
In every obstacle there is an opportunity. I now help people turn their misery into motivation and take massive actions to live a purposeful life through my books, motivational talks and training programmes.

What excites me most, is that women, youth entrepreneurship and empowerment is on the rise and I am receiving a lot of invitations to visit other parts of the world to speak and to train women and youth. I love travelling so this is an excellent opportunity to travel purposefully.

My biggest achievement was being invited to speak on the international stage in East Malaysia for a ‘Young Achiever’s Summit’ and the ‘Rise & Thrive Conference’ in Morocco followed by a TV production in the UK to feature my work on a program called the ‘Sister Hours.’

What’s your connection to Asia?
Born and raised in Singapore, I have travelled to many parts of the world to spread my motivational talks and henna art therapy. I look forward to building my Miztiq Academy and to implement a licensing or franchise system to spread my knowledge, systems and tools to empower, educate and enrich the world in my presence and absence. This is the legacy I wish to leave behind.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
JAPAN. I love the politeness of the people and the food.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Do not let your kindness, be an inconvenience to others.” Literally it means, MYOB – Mind Your Own Business. This is an excellent piece of advice for those of us who always say, “It doesn’t pay to be kind.” The mantra above would save you lots of heartache and headaches and help you stay focused in what you are truly mean to do.

Who inspires you?
Oprah Winfrey and Mother Theresa. I am inspired by women who are an advocate of what I stand for and strive to be better each day at; that is to be strong, soulful and successful. Without each element, it feels incomplete.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I used to fear rejection a lot and it has cost me a lot of time. However, I have recently learnt that, “rejection is God’s way of crystallising the clarity of my path.” Having attained this revelation and mastering it has helped me in many ways.

I also learned that people come into our lives for a reason and most are not here to stay forever. I appreciate human relationships, but I have also come to the terms that having faith and tying the rope of hope in God is the most powerful and permanent source of strength.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have had coaches and business mentors from a young age and never have attended a secular school. I would have saved my parents a lot of time and money!

How do you unwind?
Chamomile lavender tea. Hanging out with my mum. Swimming. Dance.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
The Maldives for the super gorgeous sea, amazing snorkeling, diving sites and great service.

Everyone in business should read this book:
‘Turn Your Passion into Profit’ by Zai Miztiq

Shameless plug for your business:
‘Oprah Winfrey of Asia’

I have successfully helped my clients gain confidence and clarity and make massive transformational shifts in many areas of their lives and I am super thankful to God for this opportunity.

How can people connect with you?
www.zaimiztiq.com
Zai Miztiq on Facebook | Instagram | Youtube| LinkedIn | Twitter

Twitter handle?
Zai Miztiq

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

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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