Timothy Helps People Make Better Financial Decisions

What’s your story?
My partners and I started DollarsAndSense right after university in October 2012. When we first created the website, we all had day jobs so this was a part-time project. While we were insanely passionate about financial education and building the site, it was early in 2015 when we felt the website was financially sustainable and could make it our full-time job.

What excites you most about your industry?
Personal finance and the digital media industry are areas that I am passionate about. I am both a media student and a finance student. So I absolutely love everything that we do at DollarsAndSense. Yes, even the clients!

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Singapore and have lived in Singapore my entire life.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I can’t say I travel a lot so I am just going to stick with Singapore. My country is a good country in which to build a business. Though it is costly, we can find lots of talented people here.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Build a sustainable business from day one, if you are able to, because having to constantly fundraise isn’t fun.

Who inspires you?
I am not going to cite a name here because I don’t think he wants the attention. But I learned a lot from my manager in my first (and only) full-time job after graduation. I believe working under him prepared me to manage a business. 

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The COVID-19 outbreak has made me realise just how important it is for startups to build sustainability as quickly as possible. Too often, we see that many startups build their enterprise based on the premise that they can continue fundraising at higher valuation up to the time they IPO. That’s a great plan for those who succeed. But right now, it’s starting to become clearer which companies are built on firm foundations and which are just companies that are designed to appeal to VC.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would be more patient. I think it’s my biggest weakness as a leader.

How do you unwind?
I play with my kids and work out. That’s all I really need.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali.

Everyone in business should read this book:
“Dollars And Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter” by Dan Ariely & Jeff Kreisler. Though it’s a finance book, not a business book.

Shameless plug for your business:
If you have a personal finance question or topic that you want to know more about, and you are based in Singapore, DollarsAndSense is definitely the site you want to be reading. We have informative, insightful articles, written by experts, to help people make better financial decisions.

How can people connect with you?
LinkedIn please!

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews

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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’.

Connect with Callum on Twitter and LinkedIn
Download free copies of his books at www.callumlaing.com