Sandra Will Help You Prepare For The Next Step In Your Career
What’s your story?
Against what many may think, I have always viewed my retrenchment at age 50 as a gift.
Why? It set my heart and mind in a new direction. It brought me back to my roots (and knees) to evaluate the significance of the things in life that matter.
Most importantly, I started a business based on what I do best – talk, and talk, and talk.
That was over four years ago and today, I am a certified trainer and coach in Singapore and have travelled the region training and speaking.
What excites you most about your industry?
I am in the training and coaching business. Just like gold which grows in value inversely with equity stocks, training grows in tandem when jobs slow down. In fact, it is boom time now for the education sector.
Governments all over are emphasising the importance of reskilling for a new future. When I was thinking through what to do when I was retrenched, I dived into the digital marketing specialty and focused on the key segments that require skills. My research has paid off, especially during this COVID19 period.
The industry has morphed into online delivery and everyone has had to adjust to new connectivity and connections. Connectivity, because every trainer had to learn video conferencing skills, background setups, and all the paraphernalia related to delivering a professional online course. Connections because everyone had to learn how to break the ice and connect with one another online. That is an art in itself.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I live in Singapore, the heart and hub of knowledge and digital skills. My breakthrough was when I had to travel to Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, and Yangon for training. Being Asian, it was easier to connect with other Asians. We understand the pulse and culture of Asians and the pace at which each country goes. More importantly, it was the sense of “Asians for Asia” that motivated me most during my travels.
Now that we are unable to travel, the challenge is to continue to conduct lessons for those abroad and connect with them even though I am not able to observe their body language. That is why being Asian is critical as I feel it gives me a competitive edge.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Yangon, because they are hungry for knowledge and hungry for personal development. It is not easy to conduct business there but as long as you are earnest and understand their style of working, you can win hearts and business there.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Retrenchment is but a redirection in life. Get up quickly and don’t give up on yourself. If all else fails, take a deep dive into entrepreneurship for the most exciting time of your life.
Who inspires you?
My late father, whose exemplary acts to the last and least in society, have led me to champion the underdogs in life. He adopted me and my five siblings out of the goodness of his heart. His heart was huge, even though finances at home were not. He started his own servicing and repair company at 70 years old and everyday he wears his smart, ironed shirt and pants to work, with dignity. I accompanied him a few times on service calls, and all of his clients greatly admired his skills and never-say-die mentality at his age. He truly inspires me.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The COVID19 situation presents us with numerous challenges. Everyone is talking about the new normal. But one thing that blew my mind was the understanding that the monetary systems in the world are failing badly burdened with high debt, and that the pandemic is “small” compared to the impending financial disasters.
When I was retrenched and feeling down about my finances, I had to quickly learn to optimise the management of my money. I was bent on not losing what I have gained so I am still researching how to better manage my finances for the future, to avoid personal financial crashes.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’d spend more time networking with business veterans and millennials to understand different spectrums and perspectives on business.
Otherwise, I would not change anything else because every step was a building block to my overall experiences in life.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy reading, watching Netflix, and jogging. I used to sing classical and gospel music pieces in church until the COVID19 situation.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Phuket. I have been there about 15 times. We have a membership programme in one of the hotels there, so it became like our “second home.” My children are so familiar with the island, now they are content to go there every year.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Expert Secrets,” by Russell Brunson.
Shameless plug for your business:
I have great compassion for job seekers and job switchers. At a time when jobs are hard to come by, one’s personal brand on social media is highly important. Most potential employers will hunt you down before the interview. I have been there and done that. I know I will be able to help you build personal and professional esteem and make you ready for your next employment opportunity.
How can people connect with you?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
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’.