Secret {W} Business http://www.secretwbusiness.com The only community connecting women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. Sun, 03 Jan 2016 00:52:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.11 8 Tips for Women Leaders to Become A Successful Mentor http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2016/01/03/8-tips-for-women-leaders-to-become-a-successful-mentor/ http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2016/01/03/8-tips-for-women-leaders-to-become-a-successful-mentor/#comments Sun, 03 Jan 2016 00:52:08 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1256   You can, for sure, become a successful leader but it is not the same thing as being a successful mentor. Not everyone has what it takes to become a mentor. Mentoring is, without a doubt, a wonderful way to return what you have learned through several years of experience. If you wish to become […]

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8 tips for being a great mentor

 

You can, for sure, become a successful leader but it is not the same thing as being a successful mentor. Not everyone has what it takes to become a mentor. Mentoring is, without a doubt, a wonderful way to return what you have learned through several years of experience. If you wish to become an ideal mentor for others and what you can do to become an example for others, then take a look at the following 8 tips that would help you get started:

1.     Take Small Steps Towards Mentoring

Before anything else, you should be sure of what you wish to contribute and where you think you can make a significant difference in the lives of others. Once you narrow down on how you can contribute and what you are interested in, you will get a lot of ideas where you can bring about a revolution.

 

2.     Be Very Passionate

Being a woman and an aspiring mentor, the first and most essential thing is to have an ability of showing others that you are passionate and coachable. Be committed to whatever you are working on so that others may take inspiration from your passion.

 

3.     Acting As A Network

Learn to be a modern and active mentor by not having all answers for every single thing. Instead of giving advice or sharing knowledge, the mentor should focus on open questions, deep listening and acting as a network or resource. Remember, it is all about making the mentees see the possibilities.

 

4.     An Informal Role

The majority of people are interested in mentoring because they wish to return what they have achieved throughout the years. But mentors should also prepare to learn as much as the mentee and hence, benefit from this relationship. The role of a mentor should not be considered as a formal or a stodgy role. Even if you are sitting with the mentee as a mentor, you should always be flexible enough to learn something in mentoring conversation and think of yourself being mentored.

 

5.     Stepping Out The Comfort Zone

Take a step to try new things and prefer new thoughts, since thinking out of the box plays an important part in your professional and personal growth. Prove others wrong who think that there are certain things that women can’t do.Remember, that you can never achieve the impossible if you are a lady who is afraid of trying something that you have never tried before.

 

6.     Active Listening

Mentees who are listening to you actively will never simply sit back quietly. They will take notes while sitting up straight and will ask questions to make sure they have understood properly. Mentors should be active listeners showing proper eye contact and nodding, indicating that you are following what the mentee is saying. Active listening is therefore, a very important and crucial part of both the parties.

 

7.     Gender Should Not Come In The Way

Gender should certainly not matter in the way that you mentor. Since women are more open to sharing, gender does not matter in mentoring relationships as well. However, there are some gender-specific issues that most women wish to discuss in mentoring. A female mentee might be in a situation where she feels that she is being neglected and she wishes to share and explore that with you; her mentor.

 

8.     Mentoring Conversation

Mentoring should not be taken as an official meeting that needs a lot of time. However, it should be only taken as special conversation that can be easily completed in 10 minutes. Your intent should only be to help someone.

Mentoring skills can be developed and nurtured over time. A successful mentor is always the one who is willing to work and is open to the concepts.

 

 

Author Bio:

Rachelle Scott is a finance consultant at a educational firm dissertation corp in UK. She also has a keen interest in blogging mainly tackling subject matters that talk about women at workplace as a entrepreneur, leader, or investor.

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Online Tools which Optimize Work Results http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2015/08/23/online-tools-which-optimize-work-results/ Sun, 23 Aug 2015 11:12:53 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1252 One of the biggest technological advancements made in history is the growth in digital space in the twenty-first century. With super fast connection keeping us all together, the world has indeed grown much smaller than before. We can talk to our friends, families and colleagues quickly and efficiently, no matter how far away we live […]

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One of the biggest technological advancements made in history is the growth in digital space in the twenty-first century. With super fast connection keeping us all together, the world has indeed grown much smaller than before. We can talk to our friends, families and colleagues quickly and efficiently, no matter how far away we live from each other. The world of Internet has indeed made our professional engagements that much more convenient, where we can multi-task effectively without losing time or quality.

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There are several tools or software online which help in optimizing the work output without causing any delays or speed bumps along the way. Do you need to connect with your team members who are currently living in another country because of work? Do you want to reach your clients immediately and be at their beck and call so as to successfully secure a permanent deal with them? If you want solid achievements and fast paced progress, you have to use technology to gain your point of advantage. There are several online software which will help you to connect effectively with your team and clients over long distances whenever you want.

Dropbox: This is an amazing software that engages with cloud computing so as to store data in a secured space. This way, if your files on your device get deleted, you can still keep these datas on cloud via Dropbox. This software is also quite helpful because it allows people to share documents and images with others, and gives them the option of either making their data public or private. You can choose the people you want to share your work documents with, and this way every team member can simultaneously update information on the cloud even if they are working together while being miles apart.

LockedOn: This is an online tool that was developed for real estate business but over time its applications have proven to be quite helpful in other fields as well. Critics note this as an accomplishment because of its advanced dashboard that gives total control to the user so as to engage in several activities all at once. From this dashboard you can look at the meetings you have scheduled and also keep an eye on your ever growing database of clients’ contact information which will prove useful to you. With this tool you can send MMS, SMS and even emails to more than hundreds of clients at a time. You can even get detailed reviews on the clients who check your mail, thus helping you to target your audience better.

Evernote: This is one of the best tools for writers and designers. You can clip web articles and even take pictures via screenshots etc and put them on your account so that you can check them out later whenever you need to. It is a very easy platform which presents all your collected data together without the risk of loss of information.

Skype: This tool is one of the most popular software out there which helps in increasing work performance for the better. No matter where you are, you can connect with your clients and team members immediately via the internet connection. Skype keeps upgrading its services so that the quality of the videos calls are superior to anything else. Also, with Skype you can call up any person’s phone number and talk to them even if they are not on Skype. This tool is very helpful for professionals.

Trello: Whether you work at a Company or are a freelancer, Trello is a definite must- have. This software presents a single interface where you can create ‘cards’ to list all your ‘to-do’ projects. Once the tasks are completed, you can move them to the “Accomplished’ section where they shall be marked so as to show you your progress. The best aspect of this online tool is that you can invite your clients or team members to join in as well and use your board to mark their goals as well. This is a great tool that helps in successful online collaboration.

All of these tools are perfect for use from anywhere in the world. You can finally organize your work files and archive them for future use. You can work with your team and keep your goals in perspective. These online tools are special because they help you to micromanage your work affairs like you have never been able to do before!

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Are you living the best version of your-self? http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2015/08/01/are-you-living-the-best-version-of-your-self/ Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:04:19 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1248 How NLP helps you reach your goals faster I feel very grateful to have had opportunity to take a course with Anita Kozlowski M.Sc., the founder of Live with Power NLP Seminars and Structural Psychology training institute in Canada. I personally witnessed her courses bring intense transformations in participants lives. Anita Kozlowski likes to think […]

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How NLP helps you reach your goals faster

I feel very grateful to have had opportunity to take a course with Anita Kozlowski M.Sc., the founder of Live with Power NLP Seminars and Structural Psychology training institute in Canada. I personally witnessed her courses bring intense transformations in participants lives.

Anita Kozlowski likes to think of herself as mind scientist, she is internationally licensed NLP trainer, master of Ericksonian Hypnosis, Human Designer Engineering and a coach.

Gekko Retreats: Anita, tell us what is neuro-linguistic programing and why is it so successful in creating fast changes in personal growth?

Anita: True Neurolinguistic Programming is a powerful methodology in Applied Psychology. It focuses on how you create your experience in your mind. You cannot change the past but you can change the way you relate to it

We are a product of how we communicate with ourselves.

Fear of success is a good example. It doesn’t happen by itself. If you feel blocked, stuck to pursue your goals, you are doing something internally to get to that state. Most likely you imagine something, create a picture of something (which happens fast) and give yourself a signal to feel a certain feeling.

How you create that internal process before you feel blocked or stuck is a function of your beliefs about “reality” and how you see yourself in the movie of your mind.

These beliefs are typically formulated early in life and exist at the level of your other than conscious mind. They are the drivers of your emotions, your expectations and your current results.

With True NLP we can easily dismantle this system, identify the underlying beliefs, and make changes at a deep, other than conscious level. NLP gives a model to become masters of our own emotions and become accountable for our results.

What I find amazing is the client often needs only one or two sessions and is free of their issue. Phobias can be cured in less than 20 minutes one hundred percent of the time.

Gekko Retreats: 70 percent of your clients are women. What are the main reasons women are interested in learning true NLP, in your opinion?

Anita: Women are naturally inclined towards self-development and inherently interested in creating and maintaining relationships. I believe it is our biological function.

The majority of women attending my trainings are coaches or therapists, managers or CEOs, sales professionals and entrepreneurs. Many take the trainings for gaining self- esteem and improving the relationship with the self, gaining personal power in interpersonal relationships, management, becoming powerful communicators and problem solvers.

In the fast shifting economy where women take over leadership roles, we must become flexible, redesign our career if necessary, and roll with pressure to stay on top.

Gekko Retreats: What specific skills learned at your seminar or during coaching were considered to be most beneficial to women in business?

Anita: I have coached many women in business. One in particular stands out – Barbara Steel.  She was a therapist heading a large organization consisting of many therapists working for her. After she took NLP trainings, she expanded her services to people with serious health issues.

As a result she created a franchise for therapy and coaching specializing in treating these problems. These are the cases where people were told they would die within two years. I think this is amazing.

I also remember a realtor who grew her business from 100K a year to 2 million dollars per year in eight months after she redefined who she was deep inside. When she shifted her self-worth from 100K a year professional to 2 million dollars a year entrepreneur changing people’s lives, her financial success became extraordinary. This was the most dramatic change I have ever seen in a short time.

We must know our value, our purpose, to be able to set and accomplish our goals.

For more info about the upcoming NLP trainings on Bali go to www.gekkoretreats.com

 

Written by Iva Tarle

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Guest post written by Iva Tarle is a Croatian entrepreneur that left a well-paid job in diplomacy and moved to Bali. She is a founder of Gekko Retreats, online booking platform for vacations for mind, body and soul offering support for gifted coaches, trainers and yoga teachers to build their own retreat on Bali. You can find out more about the exclusive vacations and services www.gekkoretreats.com

 

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SABRINA MUSTOPO OF KAKOA CHOCOLATE http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2015/07/20/sabrina-mustopo-of-kakoa-chocolate/ Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:51:33 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1238 At 30, Sabrina Mustopo is the CEO and co-founder of Kakoa Chocolate, a 100% Indonesian bean-to-bar chocolate brand which sources cocoa beans from smallholder farmers in Sumatra.  Kakoa’s two-fold mission is to create a world-class chocolate from Indonesia that can compete in the global market while improving the livelihoods of Indonesian cocoa farmers. Agriculture, according to Sabrina, holds the answer to sustainable […]

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At 30, Sabrina Mustopo is the CEO and co-founder of Kakoa Chocolate, a 100% Indonesian bean-to-bar chocolate brand which sources cocoa beans from smallholder farmers in Sumatra.  Kakoa’s two-fold mission is to create a world-class chocolate from Indonesia that can compete in the global market while improving the livelihoods of Indonesian cocoa farmers.

Agriculture, according to Sabrina, holds the answer to sustainable economic development.

With a major international agricultural and rural development from Cornell University, she went on to work as consultant for McKinsey & Company focusing on agriculture and economic development. Her work took her to agricultural projects worldwide, including Tanzania, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea.

 

She co-founded Kakoa with a McKinsey colleague Simon Wright in 2014, leaving her job as a consultant to join the bean-to-bar movement. When she discovered that Indonesia is touted as the third largest producer of cocoa in the world but the beans are perceived to be of low quality and cocoa farmers are struggling to maintain their livelihoods, Sabrina saw the potential of turning the Indonesian cocoa sector around.

“Being a farmer is a noble profession. Farmers have been long under-appreciated, do some of the hardest work and have the least opportunity available to them. They should be given the opportunity to empower themselves,” said Sabrina, who works with a small team of 10 in Lampung and Jakarta.

Since 2014, over 60 farmers have undergone an 8-week training program by Kakoa facilitators to improve the quality of their beans, learn farm management and how to maintain a healthy farming ecosystem. Farmers who work with Kakoa are also paid higher than market price for their beans.

Kakoa collaborates with the World Wildlife Fund to support smallholder cocoa farmers in conservation areas such as the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Sumatra, where some of the last remaining Sumatran rhinos, tigers and elephants live.

In Jan 2015, Kakoa received investment funding from LGT Venture Philanthropy Foundation, a global impact investor supporting social impact organizations.

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“I believe the work we do is important on both the macro and personal level. There is a huge disconnect between people and food. Who are the people who make and grow your food?” said Sabrina. “We want our consumers to get to know the farmers who grow their food, and know that they are making a real and substantial difference in their lives.

 

Written by Titania Veda

Follow Kakoa on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

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11 Essential Steps on the Road to Startup Success http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2015/04/19/11-essential-steps-on-the-road-to-startup-success/ Sun, 19 Apr 2015 06:06:13 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1226 Starting your own business can be intimidating, with seemingly countless areas to cover in a set budget and timeframe. Arguably the most important stage of starting a new business is the beginning, when it’s possible to plan ahead for most scenarios while prioritizing the truly most important areas. Good planning in the early stages can […]

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Starting your own business can be intimidating, with seemingly countless areas to cover in a set budget and timeframe. Arguably the most important stage of starting a new business is the beginning, when it’s possible to plan ahead for most scenarios while prioritizing the truly most important areas. Good planning in the early stages can prevent countless mishaps from occurring later on; prudent planning builds a solid foundation for any motivated and committed business.
So once you have a business idea that you’re confident enough about to set in motion, where should you start?
1. Recognize the Process as a Definitive Career Change

Before anything, it’s important for any prospective business owner to verify their goal in starting a new business is to advance their career. A strong drive for career advancement and general enthusiasm for their prospective business’ niche are typically two characteristics of all successful business owners. As a result, it’s important to recognize this career move as your new primary priority, as long as it’s with the aforementioned intentions in mind.
2. Confirm Your Passion for the Topic

It’s essential to scope out the industry into which your prospective business fits. Then, get a hold of any resources you can find that are relevant to your industry. This includes reaching out to those experienced and knowledgeable in the field. If possible, ask to shadow a business owner in the respective industry for a day or at least a few hours.
If that’s not possible, scour the web, your local library, or any relevant industry associations (try the directory here) to learn all you can; if you’re still interested in the industry after extensive research, it’s likely a good fit.
3. Consider the Competition

At least at first, consider your competitors a learning resource, not a rival/enemy. Aspects like pricing, specials, services and predominant demographics vary from town to town and state to state. By analyzing the most popular businesses within a niche, you will likely discover what works (and what doesn’t) from a business perspective in that specific locale.
4. Envision the Worst-Case Scenario

Let’s face it: The majority of businesses fail. Still, with the proper planning and commitment, your business could absolutely succeed. It helps to gauge your own commitment by envisioning the worst-case scenario. In that sense, never invest all your funds into a business. Always have money in the bank and ready to spend in case of an emergency, as all new businesses experience a hiccup here and there that result in an unexpected expense. If you are unable to pay those, your business could go under.

5. Set a Budget with Your Finances in Mind

If you can’t start a new business without emptying your bank account, then it’s not a good time to begin this process. Instead, be patient and keep growing your finances until you have enough to build your business comfortably with a decent enough emergency fund, which will be used at some point in most cases. Or, look into other options such as investors and loans to see what’s reasonable for you. To figure this out, you’ll need to start a business budget. Figuring out your finances has to come before making money, or else you’ll never succeed.
6. Go Over Every Area of Finance

In order to attract investors and interest in general, it’s essential for business owners to be highly aware of their financial situation. While some businesses do fine without initial investors, it’s important enough nonetheless to examine your finances and compare them to projected business expense. Also look into whether you’ll need a small business loan or need to account for any legal fees by operating/opening the business.
7. Separate from the Pack

At this point, you should be well aware of your competitors — who they are, how successful they are and their strengths and weaknesses as perceived by customers. Now, it’s time to form a strategy as to how you can stand out among the competition.
Consider how you can somehow replicate their strengths but in an original way that makes it even better. When examining competitors’ weaknesses, ask yourself what occurred for that area to become a weakness in the first place and strive to avoid that with your own business.
8. Choose the Right Name

A great name can either come to you naturally or it may take months or even years to deliberate on. Either way, it’s important to aim for a name that’s easy to pronounce and remember, in addition to one that hopefully highlights the business’ niche in a clever way. While a business doesn’t have to tout a catchy or wonderfully creative name in order to be successful — there are plenty of businesses with boring names — it certainly helps one stand out from competitors.
9. Cut Corners Wisely

When assembling your business budget, consider cutting areas you can do yourself. For example, if you took a few marketing classes in college and are adept at sending out emails and generating press, it may make more sense to do PR and marketing in-house as opposed to hiring a pricey firm. Try to stay in-house whenever it makes sense, but also be sure not to put too much on your plate; your main priority is running the business, after all.
10. Assemble the Legal Structure

Before your business’ doors are open for business, it’s exceedingly important to have the business’ legal details sorted out. Namely, paperwork should clearly identify the business owner as well as specifying the role of any investors. There are many other areas to consider too, like personal liability, business tax information, and ownership structures (partnership, LLC, proprietorship, S Corporation, etc.). This area varies from business to business, so it’s recommended to consult a lawyer to confirm your new business’ legal standing is sound.
11. Get Prepared for 7-Day Work Weeks and Long Hours

Being the owner of a new business will be extremely time-consuming, especially at first. Don’t be surprised if a new business takes up the wide majority of your time to begin; your leadership will be essential as employees and customers alike become familiar with the business’ inner-workings and presence. It will be difficult and time-consuming at first but with prudence and dedication, starting a new business will be well worth it in the end.

 

Guest post written by Sarah Landrum.

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping women navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers. You can find her dishing out wisdom on all things career related online on Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

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How to Easily Build a Retreat on Bali http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2015/03/15/how-to-easily-build-a-retreat-on-bali/ http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2015/03/15/how-to-easily-build-a-retreat-on-bali/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 06:00:14 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1229 Wellness is a major new trend in tourism with impressive growth rate all over the world, taking up a sizeable chunk 14 % of all domestic and international tourism market (more than 439$ billion). Its estimated growth is 50% higher than global tourism! Wellness is taking over! Wellbeing is becoming an essential part of lifestyle […]

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Wellness is a major new trend in tourism with impressive growth rate all over the world, taking up a sizeable chunk 14 % of all domestic and international tourism market (more than 439$ billion). Its estimated growth is 50% higher than global tourism! Wellness is taking over!

Wellbeing is becoming an essential part of lifestyle and most people understand that to sustain longevity and happiness it is essential to dedicate some time to health, sport and other wellness activities.

“So many 21st century forces are fueling it, including the rise of chronic diseases and the unprecedented stress of modern life.” said Jean-Claude Baumgarten, former World Travel & Tourism Council president at the first Global Wellness Tourism Congress held in India in 2013.

Retreats are a popular form of wellness tourism, usually lasting for a week or so and targeted for smaller groups up to 20 people. Retreat packages include accommodation; group trainings in holistic practices and healthy food. And retreats are equal to fun, sharing and personal transformation. Depending on the group and the budget, pricing for one person varies from 1500 – 4500 US $, and the profit one makes could amount to 30.000 US $.

Retreat is Actually an Event

Retreat is an event (short term project) happening in a certain place at a certain time, with several basic elements coming together.

In order for an event to come to life, the name, program, budget, date and target audience need to be defined prior to it.

As you can guess the venue is identified bearing in mind the budget, requirements of the program and the preference of the clients. Golden rule – it is surrounded by nature, its cozy and secluded. With more than 70,000 hotel rooms on Bali, it is easy to find the venue of preference.

Legalities of Running a Retreat on Bali

Rules of Indonesian immigrant and labor law stipulate that foreigner simply needs a working permit to work on Bali. Since a retreat is a short-term venture and it takes a long time and couple of thousand of US dollars to process the working permit, the immigration officials on Bali though up of a simpler way to allow foreigners to legally perform trainings on retreats.
It is familiarly called the workshop visa, and it entails a permit from the immigration to train in a registered hotel or a resort within the duration of one month. Visa agents can process such a permit for you for approximately 250 US in one day.
Selling Itself – are You a Coach or Therapist and Have Your Tribe?

Depending upon motivation, life-stage, and interests clients will select the retreat that fits their needs and as you know this could be physical with a focus on fitness and yoga; mental or psychological with a focus on the hygiene of the mind; relaxing and pampering. How do you get them to pick your retreat?

If you consider the diversified offer, as a rookie retreat maker it is natural you will face hardships selling retreat spots. It entails investing in marketing on various platforms online, building a hype on social media, lectures…advertising 4 to 5 months in advance…

However, if you have your own tribe tailoring a retreat to their needs could be a wonderful idea…
To schedule a free 30 minute session on nitty-gritty details of retreat building with me click here.

 

Guest post written by Iva Tarle is a Croatian entrepreneur that left a well-paid job in diplomacy and moved to Bali. She is a founder of Gekko Retreats, online booking platform for vacations for mind, body and soul offering support for gifted coaches, trainers and yoga teachers to build their own retreat on Bali. You can find out more about the exclusive vacations and services  www.gekkoretreats.com

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Interview with Andrea Loubier (Mailbird) http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2015/02/17/interview-andrea-loubier-mailbird/ Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:07:24 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1214 France born, Filipino-American Andrea Loubier, @loubier, is the CEO of MailBird 1. How would you describe yourself? (first thing people would think about when they meet you!) I am like the friendliest person ever. I laugh and smile a lot and enjoy making people happy! When it comes to business or getting things done, I am […]

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France born, Filipino-American Andrea Loubier, @loubier, is the CEO of MailBird

1. How would you describe yourself? (first thing people would think about when they meet you!)

I am like the friendliest person ever. I laugh and smile a lot and enjoy making people happy! When it comes to business or getting things done, I am also very structured, direct and action oriented. I am someone who is a networker by heart, I also love to travel given my multi-cultural background and upbringing. I love taking on a spicy food challenge. Chocolate is my weakness. I am 200% dedicated to leading by example, empowering more women to take on executive roles and to do something they love. I am someone who believes in what I do, who is humble and open to learning. I am passionate about exploring means of better productivity and online communication solution for the modern work force we see evolving today. I believe it hard work, but I’m also not afraid to dance and have fun either! It’s important.

2. What made you get into running your own startup?
Well I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and to start a business from nothing. I love creating something amazing out of nothing and to watch it evolve with every decision I make as an executive on the team. Also I still feel we have a long way to go with seeing more women in executive roles, especially in tech companies. So I have always wanted to solve the problem with email – simply because I’ve had my share, much like the rest of the world – of mismanagement of email that would negatively affect my productivity at work as well as my level of sanity at work. So I’ve been determined to research, test and execute different strategies to help people with the many shared problems we have with email – not to replace it but to make it more effective, faster, easier, smarter and more beautiful. To innovate our relationship with email and make it dedicated to people on Windows – which is a very much underserved market for email tools, yet still the #1 operating system used worldwide. I was introduced to my co-founders who had passed experiences and successes with tech startups and we shared a lot of common ground and decided to assemble the team and let it take off. We’ve been working at it for 3 years now, with an amazing amount of development and progress with the business – and are soon launching the latest big update to our software called Mailbird 2.0 – you’ll have to try it if you are on Windows to see what I’m talking about 😉 In fact you can sign up to be the first to be notified when its live here .

3. As a sole-founder, it’s sometimes hard to stay motivated, what keeps you motivated? Any secrets you can share?

I am actually a co-founder with two ridiculously creative yet structured Danish guys. One of my strengths as an entrepreneur is being able to stay motivated. I am easily motivated by honest feedback, and even more so when that feedback is positive and reinforces a decision I made for the business. You make so many decisions as a CEO of a company, like A LOT of decisions to the point it can be very exhausting, but its what comes with the role and you get better and better at it with time. Another thing that motivates me is when I get to work with a brilliant team who respects each other and the hard work we put in everyday into Mailbird. Finally, I am most motivated when I interact and engage with Mailbird customers who are so keen on sharing feedback both positive and negative. The negative feedback is motivating because it tells me that we have some great opportunity for improvement and to make our users happy – the ultimate end goal. The positive feedback is perfect to share with the team, because it goes to show how all our hard work pays off and to keep going, to keep fighting our way against competitors, those who say we cant do it or won’t succeed, those who don’t trust our team is the one to get the job done etc. It’s a roller coaster being the CEO of a startup, a female entrepreneur in Asia (we are few and far between), leading an international team, being non technical, while also dealing with the challenges of living with Diabetes – a full time job on its own. But you learn as you go, and I love what Richard Branson says which is like a big shout out to all the ladies out there….”If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”

4. Tell us more about your startup

Mailbird is a productivity powerhouse packed into an email client made for Windows users. We decided to focus on Windows due to the lack of innovation and well designed email management software that is available on this OS. The best part of all is that its adapted for modern work flow, while continuing to innovate with technology. We observed a simple email client for Mac called Sparrow that was acquired by Google in 2012. They were nothing more than a simple, well designed email client to manage Gmail accounts for those who despised the web experience for email management. So we decided to make a “Sparrow for Windows” as named in the TechCrunch and Lifehacker articles that accompanied our public launch of Mailbird in April 2013. Only that Mailbird was going to be way better than Sparrow in that it wouldn’t only serve Gmail email accounts, but all IMAP and POP3 email accounts from Outlook.com to Yahoo and so forth. Mailbird would be your one productivity hub for ALL your email accounts, with one beautifully synced UX that allows a user to customize their email experience. As mentioned before, we are not own our way to launching the biggest design overhaul, called Mailbird 2.0. We are currently on a TV show called StartUp by Channel News Asia and running a crowdfunding campaign as one of our challenges! We need as much support as we can get to win this, with a lot of stake given that there are 15+ million viewers following this. Also, it would be a dream to see Mailbird – a female founded tech startup – WIN and to be an inspiration to many women in Asia :) Also once we pass our $10k SGD funding goal – all extra funds we raise will be donated to http://www.idf.org/lifeforachild – something close to heart since I have lived with the disease all my life. Again its all in the name of launching Mailbird 2.0 – delivering a fast, secure and innovative email solution for the whole world of Windows users.

5. What has been your greatest challenge so far in running your business?

It would have to be facilitating work with distributed teams, and working with cultural differences. But we’ve been doing for 3 years now and have almost nailed it all down to a science. Otherwise, the challenges with budding entrepreneurs as myself include following dedicated time management, prioritisation and decision making – all things I feel you get better with over time and with experience :)

6. What is your greatest achievement so far in life?

Launching a new business from scratch and building a tech startup team! Then having BBC come to Bali to interview me about startup life in Bali. You can read it here in their article titled “Forget Silicon Valley, meet Silicon Bali” that article opened up many doors for me and for Mailbird as a business.

7. You travel a lot, how do you get into a routine and stay on top of your work when travelling?

It was something that I learned from an awesome startup/entrepreneurial community in Bali called Livit. Before I moved to Bali from Cincinnati, Ohio – I worked a typical 9-5 job, didn’t give myself much time for working out and essentially being healthy while enjoying work. So when I quit and moved to Bali to join my co-founders and start and lead a new business idea, the community at Livit was awesome at teaching me about the importance of work-life balance. Here I set up a routine of working out 4-5 times per week, while being able to dedicate focused time to building and developing Mailbird into an epic global business. So once I established these routines, finding ways to implement them into my daily life even when travelling became natural and easy. It also helps to be around other people when travelling that are also somewhat structured and like-minded in maintaining their own routines that impact their life in a positive way. Pretty cool. Internet and 3G/4G data connections on mobile phones are essential for travel in being able to maintain work no matter where you are, another awesome thing with technology and how the modern work flow has evolved.

8. One book you recommend everyone reading?

Because I just read it and was rather inspired by it, and appreciated the fact that Ben Horrowitz referred to the audience (CEO’s) as a “she” – the book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” particularly a good read for new entrepreneurs and for me it hit home as even after 3 years I could relate to the experiences shared in the book. It’s all about planning, what to consider, having some grit and getting over it even when all things fail – persistence, intelligence and never giving up keeps you afloat through the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship – and it is awesome! Quite an inspiring book – and makes you reconsider and think things through a lot more strategically when planning for your businesses growth.

9. Finish this sentence 

There is no difference between __a__female entrepreneur_ and_a male entrepreneur, both have to work hard, play hard and deliver. No one cares about how you feel, but about what you get done and how you lead.

10. Your advice to anyone woman starting their own business?

Be insanely persistent, build relationships that can help move your business forward, learn from failures and move on and finally realize that it is NEVER too early to start engaging with your potential business customers so you get the feedback early on and can adapt – a la “lean startup” methodology.

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How To Hire The Right Talent http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2015/02/17/hire-right-talent-2/ Tue, 17 Feb 2015 01:14:08 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1210 How To Hire The Right Talent For The Job Hiring can be tricky. It’s not particularly rare that you’ll bring someone on who sounded great in the interview, only to find that they’re a terrible fit a few days or weeks down the line. Even worse, you’ll bring on someone who’s lukewarm; good enough that […]

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How To Hire The Right Talent For The Job

Hiring can be tricky. It’s not particularly rare that you’ll bring someone on who sounded great in the interview, only to find that they’re a terrible fit a few days or weeks down the line. Even worse, you’ll bring on someone who’s lukewarm; good enough that you won’t replace them, but not productive enough to help you to take your business to the next level. The longer this goes on, the more people you have that need to be constantly motivated and trained for relatively little return. So what is there that can you do to make sure that you’re bringing on the right people in the first place?

Gather Great Options Yourself

The most important rule for finding great employees is to make sure that those potentially great employees are actually applying for the job. With a recovering economy, many of the people answering your craigslist ads will be coming from the bottom of the barrel (though that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some gems among those). To give yourself a little bit more control of the process, you’ll want to send the word out among your existing employees and make use of their personal networks. Additionally it’s also a great idea to go out on the hunt on LinkedIn or another internet job portal. The internet is taking over from traditional job search methods, and it’s important to use those resources if you want to reach a large audience. Many qualified people also won’t be actively looking for a job because they might have other work, or because they’re discouraged.

Know What To Look For In A Leader

Hiring the right leaders is imperative for keeping the rest of your company healthy. A single bad manager can not only break your business’ efficient workflow, they can undermine your company culture and wreck morale. Because of this it’s important both to know what attributes make good managers in general, and what the needs of your employees and your company are specifically. For example; all good leaders need great communication skills, but if your business has telecommuting options then those leaders will need an extra level of skill for monitoring and motivating employees remotely without either micromanaging, or under-managing them. Learn what the special needs for your business are, and make sure that your managers are a good fit for them.

Think Of The Big Picture

Your team won’t work together well if you don’t deliberately hire employees who you know will work well together. This is especially important in smaller businesses, because there aren’t as many people, and they aren’t as fungible, so moving someone to another team might not be an option. Because of this it’s important to bring someone from the team that the employee would be working with into the interview process. Let them watch the interview, and perhaps send them to grab some coffee in the break room along with a candidate that you feel fairly good about. Then ask them if you think the candidate would get along with the other team members.

The point of the entire process is to bring on someone who will fit into your team and be motivated to give their best effort to help your company be successful. Fixing those hiring issues is all about bringing in the best candidates, knowing what you’re looking for, and ensuring that your team will work together on a day-to-day basis.

Image Cover: Thanks to Stock Up

Bio PicGuest post written by Samantha Stauf: Samantha Stauf works in the marketing department of a start-up. She has spent a large chunk of time training the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ talent. She has hope that one day the pool of new employees will be more ‘right’ than ‘wrong.’

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Interview with Entrepreneur Natalie Ip http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2014/08/04/interview-entrepreneur-natalie-ip/ http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2014/08/04/interview-entrepreneur-natalie-ip/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 01:03:57 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1137 Natalie Ip is a just-do-it go-getter. She truly believes that entrepreneurship is about getting down to doing something rather than perfecting for nothing. Born and half-raised in Hong Kong, she carries the Hong-Konger’s pace of talking, walking and eating (read: live life on the fast lane). With the other half-raised in New Zealand, she also adopts […]

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natalie ipNatalie Ip is a just-do-it go-getter. She truly believes that entrepreneurship is about getting down to doing something rather than perfecting for nothing. 

Born and half-raised in Hong Kong, she carries the Hong-Konger’s pace of talking, walking and eating (read: live life on the fast lane). With the other half-raised in New Zealand, she also adopts the attitude of ‘she’ll be right’ – there is no ‘the worst’ but ‘worse’. Paradoxical as it may be, an optimistic pessimist’s mind keeps her resilient and persistent in her startup journey. 

With a background in Marketing and Operations Management, she is grateful to be one of the few who practises what she preaches. Starting off in the digital advertising industry in New Zealand and Indonesia, she forged invaluable connections in Southeast Asia, which led to the serendipitous meeting of the right mentors. Leveraging on the rise of instant gratification in our society, she started a logistics startup in Singapore. 
 
This Hong(Kong) kiwi is getting ready to shake up the delivery and logistics space. Join her at dilivr.it.  

 

1. How did you get started?

Previously I was working in Jakarta and I really hated the wait time there. Waiting for a taxi to come (because you can hardly commute on foot), waiting in the congested traffic, waiting for cashier to check out, waiting in queues for taxi.. and then back to waiting in the congested traffic… just to get that one thing with so much hassles! Now I look back the real reason of starting is truly solving ones’ needs.

2. How do you think Dilivr.it is going to change the courier service industry in Singapore?

More FTP!

Flexibility – there won’t be any more cut-off time to book to pick up or deliver; anything (legal) can be delivered on-demand given anyone (vetted) can now be a courier and this provides the capacity for flexible delivery to happen with the commuting individuals as a non-stop supply.

Transparency – user and courier will know exactly know where their delivery is, rather than always going through an agent acting as the interfering medium/bottleneck. Yay no more waiting around for both parties.

Productivity – individuals no longer need to wait around for couriers or for jobs or even for filling in commute time; so they can better spend their time.

3. How do you see innovation in Singapore?

Getting there. Being in a well-organised country it could be a blessing or a curse. A blessing for always having a safety net to go back to even taking up risk like entrepreneurship and everything seems less problematic compared to the other developing countries, on the other end a curse could really be solving marginal problems that are only applicable to similar developed countries/ cities where not reaching the scale to change world’s difference. Solution? Take a trip and go out have a walk to see and get inspired.

4. What is your vision for Dilivr.it – where do you see it in 3 – 5 years?

On-demand logistics service for individuals: logistics made easy, move for people. Any corporation, company, SME shop are made up of individuals. We want to be the first and only brand they think of when any individual think of getting rid of hassles in organising the logistics of any delivery.In 3 to 5 year time, we will be taking logistics hassles away for individuals in Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

5. What’s been the most difficult thing in launching your product? What road-bumps have you faced thus far?

Marketplace issue – Chicken and Egg; grabbing the balance of couriers and users; can’t have too many couriers and not enough jobs in the system while when there are too many demands from users there aren’t any engaged couriers to take on jobs. So it’s like a vicious cycle.All-time road-bumps are really getting the hang of the cycle. Still learning!One day we will make a win-win-win situation for everyone. Win for users to get economical scale of delivery pricing, so even it’s a pack of chicken rice it’s still worth using dilivrit; win for couriers to make the most of their trip by optimising their delivery schedule and vehicle capacity and pushing through more jobs to the same courier; win for us is to have our system being fully utilised (and maybe passive income haha).

6. Everyone love productivity tips, how do you manage your time? Any key tips or tools you use?

Been trying to keep disciplined for the whole time, tried a dozen of tools and now back to basic – Google calendar to block in hours and plan the day the night before or right in the morning; and Trello to just keep the to-do list simple. Recently I also downloaded Streak a Google app that helps track progress like fundraising and sales, they also help spy if your email recipients have read your emails!

7. What one person has been a driving force in your life and why?

Probably my mom (if I can’t say myself). She’s been very supportive of my startup journey, my life at Masters degree, and most importantly she’s been demonstrating what a real superwoman is like: saving her kids from a car accident in the river, raising her kids in New Zealand while hardly knew English!

8. One thing you can’t live without and why?

Love for oneself. A self-loving person will be able to love others and know the real purpose of their life and understand why people do what they do. I still believe love makes the world go round!

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Should I quit my job? Why we suggest you don’t. http://www.secretwbusiness.com/2014/07/28/quit-job-suggest-dont/ Mon, 28 Jul 2014 02:27:04 +0000 http://www.secretwbusiness.com/?p=1121 Your boss might be a tyrant, your pay rise might fall through or your colleague might excel in warming the seat and taking credit for your work. There are many reasons to leave your workplace, regardless of how long you’ve been there – and many are already doing so in Hong Kong, where job stability […]

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Your boss might be a tyrant, your pay rise might fall through or your colleague might excel in warming the seat and taking credit for your work. There are many reasons to leave your workplace, regardless of how long you’ve been there – and many are already doing so in Hong Kong, where job stability is not valued because of high employment rates, and job changes are seen as a norm, according to a report referenced on HR Magazine.

Job-hopping is more common than ever, and many in the marketing, digital and creative industries are leaving without clearly understanding their reasons – be it running away from a nightmarish client or being enticed by a slightly bigger pay cheque. Whilst leaving a stressful and unenjoyable role may seem the only possible option at the time, making the quick leap after a short stint can be a bad career decision in the long run. Think about what this job switch will say about you on your CV. What do you do when the going gets tough? Are you a loyal employee worth investing in?

Here are some considerations for everyone before calling it quits.

You leave your projects hanging

Be it PR, advertising, design or another role in the creative industry, campaigns you’re involved in often take several months – even years – to come to fruition, as you work through the planning, execution and results analysis phases.

We all know there’s never really a “good time to quit” – everyone has ongoing projects and responsibilities – but when you leave before entire campaigns are rolled out, you miss out on seeing the value of your good work and its contribution to the bigger brand picture. You won’t be there for learning opportunities in different stages of the campaign, such as making sense of results and tweaking future campaigns, or planning larger brand refreshes post-campaigns.

You slow your professional growth

Leaving before you have mastered a new skill or completed a projected will deprive you of future career growth, which could result in a much bigger promotion or pay increase next time around.

Remember we often pick up valuable skills working in tough working environments, as horrible as the experience might seem at the time. Your attitude going into each challenge plays an important role in determining the outcomes. Think of the experience as “paid learning”. In difficult or even boring roles, you could pick up soft skills such as the ability to work with unhelpful teammates or rude bosses, building your leadership and negotiation skills, which you can carry into future roles.

You are less marketable

A resume showing many short stints in roles, otherwise known as job-hopping, is an instant red flag to recruiters and hiring managers. Each one of your professional roles count. Recruiters and hiring managers pay attention to those who can’t stay in positions for a dedicated period of time. In comparison to an equally qualified candidate who has stayed in their job for a respectable tenure, you’ll find yourself at a greater disadvantage – it indicates you’re not willing to go the distance for an organisation. It takes time, money and energy to train a new staff member, and if a hiring manager thinks you are just going to leave if you have a bad day, they are unlikely to want to invest in you.

There are many reasons to leave your workplace in search for greener pastures, but impulsive decisions might end up harming your career in the long run. Have a long hard think about what’s on the line, and see what you can rectify in your current position before you send off resumes barely a few months into your job – make the most of your time wherever you might be!

Image cover source: Dumb Little Man

Jacqui-BarrattGuest post written by Jacqui Barratt: A 20-year veteran of HR and talent management, Jacqui is an advisor and solution provider who believes the best recipe for a company’s success is the talent they hire and retain. She is the director of font, a regional recruitment company specialising in the marketing, digital and creative industries, with offices in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand. Jacqui also serves as a Fellow and a Board Director for the Recruitment Consulting Services Association in Australia and New Zealand, a Trans-Tasman industry body representing an $18 billion dollar industry.

 

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