Pas­sion for suc­cess

Speak­ers from dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries share their in­spir­ing sto­ries and achieve­ments at the re­cent TedxKL­women 2013 con­fer­ence.

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in­terna- like the right thing to do, but in my opin­ion, that’s prob­a­bly not the best ad­vice. I’ll re­late to you why.

“In 2010, I co-founded my tech start-up Ci­tyPock­ets Inc that helps peo­ple save money through daily deals. How­ever, the busi­ness started stag­nat­ing not long af­ter that and I felt the pas­sion for my com­pany wan­ing sim­ply be­cause I wasn’t suc­cess­ful.

“Hard as it was, I had to close down the en­tity to shift my strat­egy into gro­cery coupons busi­ness in­stead. It was ex­tremely pop­u­lar with peo­ple mak­ing re­demp­tions and the suc­cess that fol­lowed made me pas­sion­ate again.

“From my ex­pe­ri­ence, suc­cess is the ul­ti­mate re­ward to main­tain one’s sus­tained pas­sion,” says Yeoh, a re­cip­i­ent of the L’Oreal Top 10 Women in Dig­i­tal Award 2012. She was also named the Top 44 Fe­male Founders Ev­ery En­tre­pre­neur Should Know by Mash­able in 2012 and one of 10 Global Am­bas­sadors se­lected to climb Mt Kil­i­man­jaro for char­ity in March this year.

Yeoh, who is now based in San Fran­cisco, US, says suc­cess and sus­tained pas­sion work handin-hand. Peo­ple need to ob­serve what works and build their suc­cess on that rather than just blindly fol­low­ing their pas­sion.

“You need to ex­plore your skills and treat your en­trepreneur­ship de­ci­sions as your ex­per­i­ments. It’s fine if you don’t like the re­sults, as some­one once told me that you don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to know what you want to do as long as you know what you don’t want to do.

“My ‘ex­per­i­men­ta­tion’ has led me to be­come a techno­preneur. Iden­tify com­mu­nity needs within your own neigh­bour­hood or in­ter­est groups, and then fo­cus your ef­fort by putting in the right amount of hard work,” adds Yeoh. Her busi­ness ven­ture Re­clip.It was ac­quired by Wal­mart Labs in Sil­i­con Val­ley this year.

Hos­tel co-owner Rachel Koay says it is pos­si­ble for any­one to ful­fil their dreams if they only take the first step to mak­ing it hap­pen.

“You ac­tu­ally need lesser than you think to live your dream. We all have dreams, whether it is to travel the world or own a lux­ury car, but we need to wake up from the dream to start go­ing for it, one step at a time,” says the 27year-old Koay, who to­gether with her part­ner, has opened the first fe­male-friendly hos­tel in Pe­nang known as Queen’s Hos­tel.

The bud­get-friendly lodg­ing that is strictly meant for ladies is fit­ted with beauty es­sen­tials one would never find in ac­com­mo­da­tions else­where – they in­clude hair straight­en­ers and OPI nail lac­quers.

The fe­male tar­get mar­ket is a niche po­si­tion­ing in Ge­orge Town, which is al­ready teem­ing with back­packer stays. Just four months into Queen’s open­ing, the hos­tel has been ranked sec­ond on travel-re­view web­site TripAd­vi­sor with glow­ing re­views.

“It was im­por­tant that we find a niche or why else would guests choose our place over other avail­able ac­com­mo­da­tions?” says Koay, who also runs a pub­lic re­la­tions and ad­ver­tis­ing firm.

The hos­tel, she says, was fi­nanced through crowd­fund­ing, and they man­aged to source and raise the funds they needed in just two-and-half days.

“We should not spend our life wait­ing for re­sources to come (to us); just go and cre­ate your own,” says Koay. Achiev­ing fi­nan­cial free­dom has al­lowed the avid trav­eller to what she loves most, like com­mu­ni­cat­ing with her clients over a lap­top and hol­i­day­ing. The “free­dom” has also en­abled her to take up bar­tend­ing in Langkawi for a month.

“When we know how much we need, that’s when we’ll have fi­nan­cial free­dom,” she de­clares.

Other speak­ers of the night in­clude head­band de­sign­ers Sereni Linggi and Shen-Tel Lee who spoke about their whim­si­cal and head­turn­ing hand­made cre­ations, Tin­toy and TakeHuat who are creators of “Peperan­gan Bin­tang: Star Wars in Wayang Kulit” fu­sion project, food artist ex­traor­di­naire Sa­man­tha Lee who shared her skills of mak­ing food that look like art, as well as RED FM ra­dio an­nouncer and stand-up come­di­enne cum en­ter­tainer Joanne Kam.

Take the driver’s seat: melody Hos­saini’s part­ing words is that we should all not live

on au­topi­lot mode.

Queen’s Hos­tel coowner rachel Koay says peo­ple should take the first step to mak­ing their dreams hap­pen and not just dream with­out do­ing any­thing.

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