Amy Helps Motivated Women Find Career Happiness
What’s your story?
In the late 80’s, in Vietnam, my father left our home to pursue his own path in Germany. I therefore grew up in a family where two women, my grandmother and mother, were the breadwinners, and who raised me and my sister. In this environment, I observed, first hand, women striving to juggle life and career. My grandmother was the owner of a convenience store and my mother worked two shifts while attending night classes. I often heard my grandmother wish that she could go to school, while my mother, who graduated summa cum laude, wished she had a job that she truly loved, not one that paid just enough to make ends meet.
I was greatly impacted by their wishes and desires which have been influencing how I lead my life, how I see the world, and the many ways I want to make the world a better place. As a girl, I worked hard to be recognized. As a woman, I constantly strive for excellence and, at the same time, seek out opportunities to empower and develop women, either through my job or through community involvement.
However, my personal story came alive when I had an epiphany a few years ago. I realized that I was everything my grandmother and my mother wished for themselves. I had a great education, a thriving career, and a proper, functional family, with healthy, beautiful children and a loving husband. One thing that was not present, though, was true happiness.
While I loved my job, I worked very long hours and was not recognized for my contributions. This was the awakening call for me to discover my own, so-called, Happiness Infinity Zone, and then to embrace it. My personal awakening inspired me to help others achieve their happiness. I created programs to inspire dreams and uplift lives, through my business, Happiness Infinity LLC.
Three years into my new career, I have been at the very center of a “zone” that encompasses my life purpose, personal values, passion and unique talents. My mission is to help women uncover and live in their “zone” by bringing more true happiness to organizations and teams, as I believe what science has proven, happiness leads to success.
What excites you most about your industry?
It’s the incredible impact of how coaching transforms lives! As our fundamental needs are met, we are naturally motivated to fulfil higher level needs, from love and belonging to self-esteem and self-actualization. Although there are many coaches, I personally believe more are needed as people become increasingly aware of the positive effects coaching has on one’s life.
For me, nothing can beat the feeling of happiness for the meaningful and purposeful work I do. When a woman comes out of my program more confident, more courageous and starts to actualize the best version of herself, it brings me tremendous joy. When a team leader shares how much her team has truly learnt and has been transformed with happiness, I know I have created a business that transforms lives.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and grew up in Vietnam. When I was 24, I went to Singapore to do my Master in Public Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. I started a family and had been living there for about 12 years before we relocated to America, about 3 years ago. Vietnam and Singapore are very close to my heart and, indeed, a number of my clients are from these two countries.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
This is the era of Asia and I do find that many cities in the region support small businesses. However, given my current knowledge and understanding, I find Singapore to be a great place for entrepreneurship, especially when one is a mom with young kids.
On the business side, the government really supports entrepreneurs by creating a favorable environment in which business owners can thrive. On top of this, Singapore is the hub of Asia so it’s very convenient for business travel if one’s coverage is across the region or the world.
On the family side, one can easily afford a domestic helper to assist with house chores so one could dedicate precious time to building a business, and still have time to spend with family.
And for your soul, outside of business, Singapore has a lot of gems to offer from Mount Faber to the Henderson Waves to the Botanic Garden to the Tiong Bahru shophouses.
Last, but not least, I find Singapore is similar to New York City in terms of having a dynamic environment, diverse talent and resources.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,” by Mark Twain. I read this line in the book, “The Giving Way to Happiness,” by one of my friends, author Jenny Santi. I used this book as a resource when I was searching for purpose in my life. When I found my purpose, my career and life switched into what I call, “happiness infinity” mode. I’d encourage anyone who wants to have sustainable success and true happiness to uncover and live their life’s purpose.
Who inspires you?
The women I work with! I see my own grandmother and mother in these women. As I watch them find themselves, I can relate to them, on many levels. They tell me I am their inspiration, but they actually inspire me. These women, who aspire to live their best lives, inspire me, each day, to make an impact, to learn, to grow, and to overcome challenges.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve learned, during this massive social experiment of the Coronavirus, that the disruption has revealed to people their deep desire to live their best life and to find true happiness. As the world slows down and people are impacted by employment shifts, they have given more serious thought to their careers and lives.
I have also seen leaders of companies and organizations stepping up and putting their employees first. These are positive shifts. The power of humans to embrace true happiness for themselves and for others, especially in times of crisis, is indeed infinite.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I believe I am among the few lucky people who have been able to navigate careers within their Zone. I also believe that everything that happened in my life prepared me to move nearer to the center of my Happiness Infinity Zone, to be who I am today, and paves the way to who I want to become. Since I have made the best of each opportunity that has come my way, I wouldn’t do anything differently.
How do you unwind?
When I feel overwhelmed with multiple family and work priorities, I clear everything on my calendar, and the next day, I explore New York City, especially its parks, cafes and bookstores. I make it my priority to have some down time so my brain can recharge. As a result, I often find myself calmer, happier, more creative and prepared for the work ahead.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Hanoi. It’s my home town and it is rich in culture and hidden charms. I particularly love the old quarter and its many lovely cafes.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Every solopreneur should read, “The Million-Dollar One-Person Business: How to Make Great Money as a Solopreneur,” by Elaine Pofeldt. It helps answer the question of whether a business can be truly profitable with a team of one, citing data, and many real life examples along with practical tips.
Shameless plug for your business:
Happiness leads to success, according to science. I have proven this using neuroscience and the scientific principles of happiness in my work as the Head of Employee Happiness, at the largest e-commerce unicorn in South East Asia. These principles continue to prove themselves in my work with myriad women of different nationalities, as well as teams and organizations.
Connect with me here and together we can explore how I can help you transform your career / performance / team engagement and work culture through the magic of brain-based happiness.
How can people connect with you?
Quarterly newsletter subscription: https://happinessinfinity.me/free-powerful-happiness-habits-guide/
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ 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 and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.