A marketer by training, Linda has always been a fitness fanatic. She took the plunge and started her own business, a barre studio. Barre brings together ballet technique, yoga, pilates and strength training in an invigorating workout.
What’s your story?
I’m an Australian born Chinese, residing in Singapore over the last 9 years. I’m a lover of life, stopping to smell the roses and living with no regrets. I was in brand management for most of my working life, before taking the plunge and risking it all in my own start-up. It was the biggest risk I’ve taken in my life, but by far, the most rewarding. Now being the co-founder of WeBarre – Asia’s leading barre studio, I am blessed with the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, every single day, supporting them on their journeys to live a fit and empowered lifestyle!
What excites you most about your industry?
The fitness and wellness industry is ever changing. We’re always learning on how we can eat better, stay fitter and do it all more efficiently. The limitless opportunities excite me and the impact that we make in people’s lives moves me. It’s amazing how feeling good about yourself, can take a person so far in life, not just physically but in their mindset of how they tackle any challenge that comes their way.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I’m Chinese by heritage but have always grown up in Melbourne, Australia. However, someone once described me as a person with a Western mind and an Asian heart and that connection has always made me feel right at home in Singapore.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore for sure. It’s fast-paced, the country is always evolving, everything is so efficient and we get to do it all amongst greens and oceans.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Allow, don’t seek. This world has so much wonder and opportunity. Seize what comes your way, but also allow the journey to take you to where makes most sense. Your instinct will guide you in the right direction, and a little bit of research and data can always help convince those rationale ones! But what you’ll realise is that the energy of how you take on your day shifts immensely, you’ll take on each challenge with a sense of calmness and confidence, knowing you’ve got this!
Who inspires you?
My business partner Anabel. She’s the epitome of #thehustle and she’s got the best mindset to match it. Nothing is too big or small for her to get her hands dirty with and she’s always right there behind me through everything I do in life. I’m still inspired on a daily basis on how well we work together and how she makes the most of everything in life.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That growing can also be painful. Sometimes when we’re encountered with difficult situations, those are the moments that are the real tests of character. We can either look deep and reflect on how to handle things or hide and run away from the confrontation. It’s in these moments that we really grow, become more resilient and come out 10x stronger.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I am a firm believer of everything in life happening for a reason, and regardless how amazing or tragic a situation may be, there’s always something to learn from it. You just have to take a step back and see the beauty or blessing in that. Just don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over!
How do you unwind?
A glass of Australian red, a facial mask on and just hanging on the couch with my two toy poodles. That or taking them out to a dog run to run free. Something about being with nature that instantly calms and grounds me.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali hands down. You have the jungle, the beach, the cliffs – whatever you fancy it’s at your fingertips, just a hop away from Singapore. The food is delicious (with so many gluten-free and dairy-free options), the yoga classes are zen and the beach bars are so much fun. I’ve always said I could totally live in Bali!
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Lean Startup. Great read teaching you the importance of being agile, reactive and constantly innovating, especially in a start-up
Shameless plug for your business:
If you want to try something new, check out WeBarre! Its low-impact, graceful, great for your posture and you walk out feeling taller, stronger like a ballerina! We have 4 convenient locations around this little dot and over 150 classes/week for you to choose from! Look me up on the schedule, I’ll take good care of you and have you hooked to that barre burn in no time!
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’.