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Zhen Hoe Yong, Founder of Fulfilled

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“Flying in the face of adversity and pushing the boundaries” – Zhen Hoe shares his personal story about his business.

What’s your story?
I have always been active and have appreciated what a fit, healthy body could do for my life. However, after I tore my ligament in a soccer game, things changed. I became frustrated and depressed when my recovery took longer than expected and I ended up gaining a lot of weight.

I was mocked by friends for being ‘fat’ and lost a lot of confidence as I struggled to get my old fitness level back. It wasn’t easy.

Through this life event, a few things became clear to me. Getting back in shape can be a real challenge and having an encouraging coach and support system can make all the difference in your level of success. Secondly, it helped me develop greater compassion for the struggles many people face when unexpected things happen.  It is really important to have proper guidance to keep your spirits high and to make sure you’re on the right track as you make changes. This was my primary motivation in setting up my current venture – to help coaches be as effective as possible so they can impact more lives.

What excites you most about your industry?
I am always impressed when I see the impact that talented personal trainers and health coaches can have with their clients. If you’ve ever seen a dramatic personal transformation, you know how powerful it can be in changing just one person’s life.

This is why I am so driven to make an even bigger impact in engaging and helping trainers and coaches in their work with clients. Imagine how many more people we can help with something as simple as bringing their training online?

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore. I have lived here my whole life. My love of the city motivated me to start my own company to give back to the community that has given so much to me over the years.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore has always had a special place in my heart and now it is much more from a business perspective. It is widely recognized as a robust start up community and offers great resources, mentors and shared office space by like minded entrepreneurs.
It is also within close proximity to other major cities which is a great consideration for expansion plans down the road.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
It is easy, but also time consuming to stay in a place of analysis and never move forward at the pace a new business should. Sometimes you just have to step up and get the job done-whatever it is. There are always pros and cons to everything and 101 reasons for not doing something. Action and movement is far more effective than rationalizations and analysis.  

Who inspires you?
Working for yourself is never easy. It takes a certain personality, drive and ambition. So, I admire all of my fellow business owners who fly in the face of adversity and push the boundaries on what is possible. There is nothing more exciting than to watch someone take a vision or a dream and make it a reality.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The mind can be tricky and can hold you back or propel you forward with a simple belief that you can be or do anything. Many people know this, but it is mind boggling to realize you are truly your own worst enemy or you can be your greatest ally in achievement. The choice is yours.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Not too many people or programs teach young people what it means to be an entrepreneur. It is also seen as risky. Yet, I believe many people are meant for exactly the kind of environment it offers. If I had to do it all over again, I would have started this journey much sooner.  I would have also sought out some early mentors with proven success so I could have learned the principles and built upon this foundation.

How do you unwind?
I love to work out and enjoy time in the gym about 3 times a week. I have found it helps to clear my head and prepare me for work. It also helps reduce my stress levels by keeping me relaxed. It’s hard to be in a bad mood after a good sweat and workout.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
A personal favourite is Bali where I can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind. I find the beaches to be a very tranquil environment to slow everything down and appreciate what nature has to offer. Oh, and I also love a good spa!

Everyone in business should read this book:
One of my favourite all time books is Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. It is one thing to have great ideas, but yet another to be able to communicate your vision with a team, staff, employees and customers. It is also a great illustration on the importance in creating lasting impressions and engaging a loyal fan base. Successful businesses all have a winning idea and a message that ‘sticks’ with their target audience.

Shameless plug for your business:
We have built an online health and fitness coaching platform we call Fulfilled. We provide the technology and tools to help fitness coaches get better results with their clients. Trainers face a number of problems today that keep them from helping more people.

To begin with, they’re spending most of their time doing administration tasks. Secondly, they have limited access to offer customized nutrition plans and exercise programs for their clients. And last, but by no means least, they also lack the resources to properly track and monitor their clients’ progress. These things taken together mean that their clients become frustrated and eventually quit when they don’t see the results they were hoping for.

At Fulfilled, we have developed successful solutions for each of these issues not to mention some other added benefits. Our system allows great fitness coaches to get even better results with their clients. It provides the tools they need to encourage healthy habits, monitor daily progress and become a more active participant in achieving client goals. Through our technology, fitness coaches offer improved training services in a faster and more efficient manner through a system we call the A.C.T. or ‘ACT’ model.

How can people connect with you?
You can contact me at [email protected] or check out our websites at
getfulfilled.co (for consumers)
coach.getfulfilled.co (for coaches and trainers)

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnects

Callum 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

Brad Adams, Managing Director of Ocean Grown Abalone

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Ocean Grown Abalone’s, Brad Adams is revolutionising abalone production in a clean, green and sustainable way off the south west coast of Australia.

What’s your story?
I grew up in the remote town of Augusta in the very south west of Western Australia where the Southern Ocean meets the Indian Ocean.

My family have a long association with aquaculture and the fishing industry. I’m a 3rd generation fisherman and my father founded the commercial wild abalone diving industry in Flinders Bay in the 1960s.

I followed an aquaculture route, and after I completed my studies in Tasmania, I returned home to start the development of a new technique of growing abalone.

After close to 20 years researching, developing and inventing a new technology, OGA’s sea ranching technique was born and the ‘abitat’ was developed.

Sea ranching is an aquaculture technique where hatchery bred juvenile abalone are placed on OGA designed artificial reefs, ‘abitats’, which are placed in the ocean and left to nature to grow for 2-3 years until they reach a marketable size. They feed and survive in the wild.

The abalone produced from the sea ranch is identical to the highly sought after wild catch product, but has the competitive advantages that only aquaculture can provide. OGA can supply year round to meet market demands to whatever size or product specification the market requires.

Importantly, the sustainability of the abalone using the sea ranching technique is proven and monitored on an ongoing basis. Monitoring the ‘abitats’ and the sea ranching technology is paramount to OGA.

What excites you most about your industry?
That we can grow a premium seafood product which is highly revered in Asia, in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. The sea life we are seeing in Flinders Bay now that the reefs are down is incredible. We are seeing many different types of fish which were no longer in the bay as well as plenty of sea grass creating an underwater sustainable ecosystem.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I am born and bred in Augusta in WA. OGA exports premium greenlip abalone to Asian markets including Singapore, Hong Kong and China.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong. It has a strong seafood (especially abalone) culture developed with Australian exporters over many years. Also the buyers are great; relaxed people who enjoy having a good time showing you their amazing city.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
You only live once, so always follow your passions.

Who inspires you?
Andrew Forrest – his single minded purpose and determination, and how he uses his wealth to improve the lives of others.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Banging your head against a wall burns 150 calories per hour.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
There are many things I would do differently if I had today’s hindsight as foresight, however all my mistakes, successes and decisions have made me the person I am today. I am comfortable with that.

How do you unwind?
I am a keen surfer. Being at one with the ocean is important to me.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Lembongan, Indonesia. Great waves, great food, great people

Everyone in business should read this book:
Grit – Angela Duckworth
“Success is the result of passion and persistence, not talent and luck.”

Shameless plug for your business:
OGA have developed the world’s first commercial greenlip abalone sea ranching facility. We build our own artificial abalone reefs (called abitats) on our leases in the pristine waters of Flinders Bay. We place hatchery reared juvenile abalone on them – then let nature (with a little help from our divers) do the rest to produce this marine delicacy. A totally natural, ‘wild-harvest’ product. Because we have some control of the process we can harvest to market demand to whatever size the market requires. We call this aquaculture technique sea ranching.

This video explains the business in 7 minutes: https://vimeo.com/225797022

How can people connect with you?
Email: [email protected] or
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oceangrownabalone/

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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Lex Na, CEO of Bountie Pte Ltd

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Lex is the founder of a digital agency, a couple of e-commerce businesses and he has just started a gaming, tech, blockchain business, Bountie.io which is his main focus.

What’s your story?
I’m a workaholic, not because I’m forced to but I absolutely love the grind. I may be conditioned due to my previous gaming experience. We as gamers have to play long hours everyday to level up as the difficulty increases. Everything I do right now is a step towards the greater good.
I’m the founder of a boutique Digital Agency and a couple of e-Commerce businesses. I have been in tech for more than 10 years. Those businesses are currently automated to hand to my partners so I can solely focus on Bountie.io.

What excites you most about your industry?
Bountie is in the Gaming/eSports/Technology/Cryptocurrency/Blockchain industry. It’s a combination of all the things I love to do and have been doing since I was young. Right now it’s at the forefront of the world’s economy.
I love the crazy pace, the hype and the future of this industry and it’s drawing the best and the brightest, the upcoming generation that will be the leaders of our future.
Everyday there’s something new, different and revolutionary happening.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore. I have been to most parts of Asia and I have been learning and observing other cultures, languages and lifestyles. I have also been to Europe and America. I still love the diversity here.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore of course. It’s one of the many cities that’s truly efficient, meritocratic and frictionless. The only con is that it’s too small! Other than that, I love Singapore. We have great infrastructure and support. Low corporate taxes as well.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Live each day as if it’s my last. By Steve Jobs in his 2005 commencement speech in Stanford. Although I didn’t receive it personally, I took it to heart. I listened to that speech multiple times, sometimes putting it on repeat whilst I was working. I really believe in giving everything I have every single moment of my life. Because life is so fragile, you’ll never know when your last day is. So I live everyday without regrets.

Who inspires you?
As above, Steve Jobs. He has an amazing story. I read his biography, watched a keynote presentation by him, saw the movie about him. His ideology and way of life inspires me. His attention to detail and perfectionist mindset, resulting in a legacy that’s still impacting our lives until now.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
It was from someone whom I just knew for an hour. He told me that if I can find happiness in the same thing that makes me sad, that’s when I truly would be happy. I didn’t understand until he explained further.
An occurrence may result in a few reactions to a person. You can either look at the positive side or negative side, both are dependant on you personally. For example, a difficult boss may result in you becoming a more detailed employee, but you only think about how miserable your life is under him.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would do all this again, if not I wouldn’t be at the stage where I am at currently and where I will be in the future. I believe every single step of the way resulted in who and what I am presently. The tough times I have been through, regardless of how bad it was back then, made me stronger. If I could go back and change it, take the easy way out, I’ll be a softer person now.

How do you unwind?
I have been practicing yoga and meditation for about 3 years now. These two activities allow me to slow down and maintain a sane mind from my 14-16 hours of work, Monday to Sunday. I would strongly encourage anyone interested to try a “Calm” mobile app, it has free content for you to try before purchasing their premium content.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Langkawi Island in Malaysia. I unknowingly booked a flight there for my wife’s birthday about 2 years ago because it has a Starwood Hotel (I’m a platinum member). When I reached there I understood why it was one of the best islands to visit in Asia. The best experience I had was the island hopping on jet skis. We could ride fast and there weren’t caps like other touristy places and across huge distances with the guide. The waters were also clean and clear. A perfect getaway.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris. One of the many books of our time that would remain as a timeless classic for entrepreneurs and business owners. Great interview questions which reveal deep insights into the inner workings of each and every one of his guests. He also asks some similar questions to multiple guests, from there the reader is able to distinguish that there isn’t one fixed method that the successful people follow, but each of them have a different path. So follow the ones that resonate with you and you’ll still be able to reach the point of success.

Shameless plug for your business:
1. Advisors and Mentors – Industry experts who have been there and done that. We need your wisdom and guidance through this challenging path.
2. Investors – In order to achieve what we aim to in our projected timeline and pace, we need more money to give us the runway and fuel to do it.
3. Team members – We are expanding at breakneck speed, from 2 guys to now 24 people working to make Bountie a success. But in order to increase the speed of growth, we need more “A” players who share our vision and are willing to work hard together to make this happen.

How can people connect with you?
It’s usually the case if you want to reach out to people in a company, by emailing [email protected] So make a guess, drinks on me for the right answer.

Twitter handle?
Unfortunately I do not have Twitter nor Instagram. I do have Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/lexfromhotmail) and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexna/) if you wish to connect via social. From there we can connect and chat further!

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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