Yao Xiang has many years of experience in physical and leadership training. He represented Singapore at numerous international competitions including the Asian Games.
What’s your story?
I was fortunate to find his passion for sports when my parents signed me up for swimming lessons in primary school. Since then, I went home to represent Singapore at 3 different sports, spanning a sporting career of 25 years. Most notably, 4 Sea Games Gold medals. Asian Games representation and other international overseas competitions
What excites you most about your industry?
The lives it can impact. Sports, fitness and wellness goes beyond the physical elements. It influences our mindset, attitude towards life, self-discovery and the social aspect plays a huge role in shaping our quality of life.
It’s not always about how much we can give to our clients but also what they give us back in return in terms of social interaction, expanding our horizons and of course the journey it takes us on both individually and as a collective group.
What’s your connection to Asia?
As a National athlete and now as an entrepreneur, I have been blessed to be able to travel to many parts of Asia. Through this journey, I have experienced many different cultures and this has helped shaped my values and ideas as I continue to apply them in my daily life.
Asia is an amazing part of the world with rich culture that many have yet to totally explore.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
For business, I would say Bangkok and Singapore. Both cities are hubs for people from all over the world to gather to build a strong and vibrant environment. People from all over the world not only brings new innovative ideas, they also thirst for new and meaningful activities to be brought into their cities.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Do not chase the money, let the money chase you.
My take on this advice is not to use money as the main motivation but to be true to what you believe, continue to work on your skills and hopefully reach a point where people seek your service as they start to believe in your work.
Who inspires you?
Interestingly, it is actually the closest people around. They might not do what you do, but the way they go about doing their jobs and responsibilities are often taken for granted.
E.g. our parents give 100% to their families. The emphasis they place on their family gives them the drive to strive for perfection instead during the tougher days.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
You have to be prepared to be wrong in order to be creative. This is counterintuitive to what has been ingrained in us!!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would not change anything that has happened to me because it has made me who I am today. What I would like to do differently, would probably be the way I dealt with certain events.
How do you unwind?
Just having “me” time, be it going for a workout, or even just chilling alone.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali. I love to be around water, I am not much of a shopper and so Bali has the perfect balance of retail, food, entertainment and of course the beach.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Subtle Art of not giving a F**k
Shameless plug for your business
You are missing out if you haven’t tried it
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’.