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Catherine Molloy, Director of Auspac Business Advantage

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Catherine Molloy has enjoyed adapting to the Asian culture and way of life and is well and truly grounded across Asia with her businesses.

What’s your story?
We grow businesses and create courage and confidence through communication and our leadership programs. When I started my training company in 2010 I made a pledge to donate 10% of my earnings to worthy causes. Since 2012 I have been fundraising for orphans in Uganda and every 2 years we have been able to go over to Uganda and assist in the construction of their houses. I am a mother to 3 young adults and 2 dogs as well as being a wife, a daughter, a sister, friend, business owner, philanthropist, speaker, author and trainer.

What excites you most about your industry?
I am a learner so being in the field of training and education is the best job in the world. Every day I get paid to research and develop programs and facilitate the delivery. I love to take these tools to the wider audience so as to help clients increase sales, service and leadership with the overarching tool being communication. I get to meet 1000s of people globally and am able to see the differences and similarities of cultures and all human behaviour. I am blessed to be able to make friends worldwide whilst making a difference to their income, happiness and purpose.

What’s your connection to Asia?
My father read me beautifully illustrated books from China from a young age and one of my favourites was Tikki Tikki Tembo which I still have today. From the age of eighteen and onwards, I travelled to a lot of Asian countries loving the food, learning to communicate non verbally and loving the people I met. Four years ago I started working internationally. I am on the education task force for our council and I was asked to speak in China and from there, I have been invited back each year since to speak and train. I also worked in India last year and have been invited back again this year. I have worked in Singapore and Hong Kong this year with the main focus being to partner in Singapore and Shanghai to establish a soft skills training company. I also assist new Australian exporters research their product in different Asian countries with the view of exporting their products.

 

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
China was the first Asian country I was contracted to deliver speaking and workshops to. I love their food, their kindness, their humility and forgiving ways. Even though I am emotionally intelligent and train in this area I’m sure there are still a lot of customs I don’t know. I love working in Xiamen as it is near the beach and when I get a break I always head there for a rest under a tree. I have forged friendships with a number of people there and enjoy their food banquets and hospitality. I absolutely love eating with chopsticks much better than a knife and fork and love my soup breakfasts. I really enjoy working with simultaneous translators and have had awesome results at conferences because of these wonderful people. I am always inspired greatly by the people I meet and how much the Asians love to learn. My field of soft skills are now regarded as an important priority for people to get a job; stay happy and work effectively in teams. Working in countries where English is a second language means I am pushed to communicate in many different ways. Every time I have been to China (where I love the people), Hong Kong (I love the nightlife), India (I love the dancing) and Singapore (I love the business connections), I have successfully sealed a deal, so my communication skills are at a master level now!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Believe in yourself, your business and your ideas. I truly believe each person on this planet is enough. I am enough and you are enough, and each and every day we can make a difference … Even if it is only smiling at a stranger.

Who inspires you?
I love Richard Branson for his simple methods of building teams. My parents for unconditional love and belief in me even though I lost them at a young age. My children for their love and support. My husband for his behind the scenes help in setting up events, training rooms and looking after the home when I am travelling and working in different countries. My team – all legends in their own right. All people who give from their heart. Eckhart Tolle, the author, for his inspiration and genius in understanding the human conditions which map my discoveries.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That so many of us are polymaths (someone of wide knowledge or learning). I love this word and I didn’t know I was one.
That all minds are Maya and eventually everyone will not be happy for some reason and that all the skills I have learnt and teach make a real difference to leading a better life and creating a bigger picture of happiness.
That everyone can achieve operational excellence and when put into place will encourage self-leadership and create performance at a higher level.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Believed in myself at a younger age. Commenced my soft skills training company earlier instead of running and owning a registered training company that was governed by government funding. Developing, researching, training and education is my great passion and I discovered at the age of 10 how much I loved teaching and learning and should have completed my bachelor in my teenage years. I have loved every experience I have had and the things I have been able to learn in each job.

How do you unwind?
Wherever I am or whatever country I am in, if I can get to the beach and put my feet in the sand – that is an awesome feeling and something which soothes my soul.
I also enjoy being absorbed in a good book, dancing, walking and swimming. Last time I was in China I climbed a 3000 ft mountain.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
There are too many to pick just one. I like the places with great food, culture, beach and surf. I have just spent 10 days relaxing and surfing in Bali, as well as visiting a few schools there. I truly can relax anywhere and I also make sure when I’m working, that I take a few days after to see the sights and become part of the country, mix with the people and eat the food, and if I get to dance well that’s just a bonus!

Everyone in business should read this book:
A NEW EARTH. Awakening to your life’s purpose….by Eckhart Tolle it was released in 2005 and The Million Dollar Handshake – How to powerfully connect in Business and Life by Catherine Molloy being released in March 2018! Both are self-help books.

Shameless plug for your business:
This year we have have won international awards for training and leadership around positive growth for business through sales and leadership. We also won an Asia Pacific award for the development and implementation of our conscious connection framework where we get to make a difference in the way we self lead and communicate to ourselves and others. ‘The Million Dollar Handshake, how to powerfully connect in business and life’ has been delivered this year in Australia, New Zealand, China, Singapore and India. The book is now having the finishing touches applied for release for the new business year in 2018. It’s all about learning how to make yourself and others feel a million dollars by creating a level playing field for win-win results. It’s about making and keeping great connections as well as sealing deals and working internationally for successful business growth. It is aimed at the corporate world and universities to use for their students as they step out into the business world. It is a soft skill book working with proven tools for hard core business results. Also a plug for B1G1 as you create a better business, you will find the need to give is strong. When you give, so too shall you receive. We encourage people to have fun in their business to laugh and play, as business should be a little like kindergarten was when you were young, a place where you have fun and create the outcomes you would like to see in the world. These simple tools, skills and mindset lead to better business practices and a better and happier work place for all. Contact us if you would like an education framework tailored for your business with your people and outcomes in mind. Enjoy better results, play a bigger game and get ready for business growth. See our website for testimonials.

How can people connect with you?
Website: www.catherinemolloy.com.au
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherinemolloy/
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/catherinemolloykeynotespeaker/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catherinemolloyspeaker/
Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc07VCr2KtVOCtxM2m4gjlg

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

Benjamin Kwan, Co-Founder of TravelClef

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Making music to create a life for his family, Benjamin Kwan, started an online tuition portal and his music business grew from there.

What’s your story?
I am Benjamin and I’m the Co-Founder of TravelClef Group Pte Ltd, a travelling music school that conducts music classes in companies as well as team building with music programmes. We also run an online educational platform which matches private students to freelance music teachers. We also manufacture our own instruments. I started this company in 2011 when I was still a freshman at NUS, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

I was born to a lower income family, my father drove a taxi and was the sole breadwinner to a family of 7. I have always dreamed of becoming rich so that I could lessen the burden placed on my father and give my family a good life.

After working really hard in my first semester at NUS, my results didn’t reflect the hard work and effort I put in. At the same time, I was left with just $42 in my bank account and it suddenly dawned on me that if I were to graduate with mediocre results, I would probably end up with a mediocre salary as well. I knew I had to do something to gain control of my future.

During that summer break, I read a book “Internet Riches” by Scott Fox and I knew that the only way I could ever start my own business with my last $42 would be to start an online business. That was how our online tuition portal started and after taking 4 days to learn Photoshop and website building on my own, I started the business.

What excites you most about your industry?
Music itself is a constant form of excitement to me as I have always been an avid lover of music. As one of the world’s first travelling music schools, we are always very eager and excited to find innovative ways to a very traditional business model of a music teaching.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore and I love the fact that despite our diversity in culture, there’s always a common language that we share, music.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hands down, SINGAPORE! Although we are currently in talks to expand to other regions within Asia, Singapore is the best place for business. I have had friends asking me if they should consider venturing into entrepreneurship in Singapore, my answer is always a big fat YES! There’s a low barrier of entry, and most importantly, the government is very supportive of entrepreneurship.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have been blessed by many people and mentors who constantly give me great advice but right now, I would say the best piece of advice that I received would be from Dr Patrick Liew who said, “Work on the business, not in it.” This advice is constantly ringing in my head as I work towards scaling the business.

Who inspires you?
My dad. My dad has always been my inspiration in life, for the amount of sacrifices that he has made for the family and the love he has for us. He was the umbrella for all the storms that my family faced and we were always safe in his shelter. Although my dad passed away after a brief fight with colorectal cancer, the lessons that he imparted to me were very valuable as I build my own family and business.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
You can not buy time, but you can spend money to save time! With this realisation, I was willing to allow myself to spend some money, in order to save more time. Like taking Grab/Uber to shuttle around instead of spending time travelling on public transport. While I spend more money on travelling, I save a lot more time! This doesn’t mean that I spend lavishly and extravagantly, I am still generally prudent with my money.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken more time to spend with my family and especially my father. While it is important to focus our time to build our businesses, we should always try our best to allocate family time. Because as an entrepreneur, there is no such thing as “after I finish my work,” because our work is never finished. If our work finishes, the business is also finished. But our time with our family is always limited and no matter how much money and how many successes we achieve, we can never use it to trade back the time we have with our family.

How do you unwind?
I am a very simple man. I enjoy TV time with my wife and a simple dinner with my family and friends.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Batam, it’s close to Singapore and there’s really nothing much to do except for massages and a relaxing resort life. If I travel to other countries for shopping or sightseeing, I am constantly thinking of business and how I can possibly expand to the country I am visiting. But while relaxing at the beach or at a massage, I tend to allow myself to drift into emptiness and just clear my mind of any thoughts.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Work The System, by Sam Carpenter. This book teaches entrepreneurs the importance of creating systems and how to leverage on systems to improve productivity and create more time.

Shameless plug for your business:
If you are looking for a team building programme that your colleagues will enjoy and your bosses will be happy with, you have to consider our programmes at TravelClef! While our programmes are guaranteed fun and engaging, it is also equipped with many team building deliverables and organizational skills.

How can people connect with you?
My email is [email protected] and I am very active on Facebook as well!
https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.christian.kwan

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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Nadia Al Sheikh, Founder & CEO of Flenco & Deal’n

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Nadia Al Sheikh has created a business module which incorporates philanthropy and business to empower others, and herself, she’s called her business Deal’n.

What’s your story?
My story is mirrored in my work. Flenco and our Singaporean eco skin care brand, “Flen” combines Dead Sea minerals from the lowest point of earth with Chinese medicine, which represents the wisdom and mystics of the east and these things represent my journey. I’m a single mother rediscovering my identity at a low point in life. Throughout my journey, determination, flexibility and assertiveness are the pillars of innovation. Thus Deal’n was born after years of groundwork in volunteering with various NGO’s and pursuing my masters degree. Transforming a vision, into a module that incorporates philanthropy and business, with tools to empower others and empower myself!

What excites you most about your industry?
The endless opportunities for improvement, innovation, creativity, free thinking which is mastered through interaction with other players in the market and customers creating a virtual place for brainstorming and the exchange of ideas. An evolving industry that challenges each and every person to use their skills, talents, expertise and utilise all their abilities to claim a slice of the pie.

What’s your connection to Asia?
Asia and specifically Singapore are my second home. It’s my spiritual and business safe haven that provides fair opportunities for everyone to succeed. If I was back in the Middle East as a single mother, I’m pretty sure my struggle would have been much longer and more difficult, however, it wouldn’t have stopped me from achieving my dreams. Singapore specifically empowered me professionally and Asia spiritually in redefining who I am as a person and understanding myself better.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore, although it’s a very tough and competitive market for entrepreneurs to start a business, it provides them with support and motivation through grants, competitions and subsidising the cost of exhibiting or promotional events to promote their business.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Success is measured by achieving your own personal goals and dreams and not what others think you should achieve.

Who inspires you?
Those who go unnoticed. From senior citizens, cleaning tables at food courts regardless of their wealth of knowledge and experience to single mothers, who are fighting everyday to overcome the social stigma and manage taking care of their children while earning an income. The amazing people who give their lives to start an NGO to empower others asking for nothing in return except the success of their beneficiaries, the humble members of our community that work in silence changing lives not for the spotlight but for their belief in making the world a better place.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
To step onto the balcony! In order to evaluate situations and understand people’s motivations from different perspectives and even to understand ourselves better we all need to step onto the balcony and become observers rather than participants. It gives you the power to see life through a variety of lenses.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’d be wiser with my decisions, evaluate situations from different perspectives and believe in myself and my capabilities. That all came with experience and the ups and downs throughout my journey so I guess, to be who I am today I would have accepted the rough times and embraced them because they were my best teachers. So I wouldn’t undo the past but I am changing my future.

How do you unwind?
Meditation, exercising, listening to music, reading a book and a walk in the botanical gardens.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Maldives, I love the peace and harmony in the simplicity of what it offers; beautiful beaches and wonderful people.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The Wisdom Of Crowds by James Surowiecki

Shameless plug for your business:
Deal’n provides opportunities for all members of the community to utilize their skills, talents, expertise, capabilities and abilities in various ways, aiming at empowering all users to become productive members of their community. Using the services of other users for all to grow and benefit, interact with each other through the Deal’n community, thus enhancing their self esteem, level of confidence and as a result, a more empathetic and happier community!

How can people connect with you?
Through my FB page Nadousheh, my email [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@nadiaalsheikh

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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