When reading Leo’s interview I was struck by how similar our entrepreneurial paths have been. From similar businesses to a shared love of snowboarding. I look forward to watching his journey progress!
What’s your story?
Having returned to HK from the UK I set up an events and promotions company, initially catering for those within my immediate network, and built on gathering more contacts and clients.
What excites you most about your industry?
The opportunity to meet a wide range of people from a number of diverse backgrounds. You get to learn a lot about a range of different businesses, from small startups to large corporates, each with very different company cultures, target markets and approaches to marketing.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was brought up in Hong Kong and went to school here initially before continuing my education in the UK.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
It would have to be Hong Kong due to the fast paced approach to business, and its dense population in a relatively small area, which makes it easy to conduct a number of face to face meetings, and use the city as an incubator for new business ideas and gaining feedback and experience before launching worldwide.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Re-quoted by many, and probably for good reason; “If you’re the smartest person in the room then you’re in the wrong room!” I take this to mean that it’s important to work in a team with those who have capabilities beyond your own, and who bring other qualities to the table. You have to accept your own limitations and realise you can’t be the best at everything, so hire people who have the skills you lack.
Who inspires you?
Richard Branson – he’s charismatic and knows the value of showmanship, but also shows humility and maintains a cheeky boyish charm. You can tell that he’s having fun and enjoying what he does, and not just making money for the sake of it, but using it to achieve his other ambitions.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The number of decent, good hearted people there are in HK, who are keen to help out where possible and volunteer at events, particularly at our large scale festivals. We know we wouldn’t have come this far without the generosity of our community and so it’s important to ensure we return the favours.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
While it’s far better to learn from others’ mistakes than your own, every failure has taught me something new and provoked a number of far more interesting ideas. I don’t think I would do anything differently because failure is necessary and it’s important to have those experiences.
How do you unwind?
I play a lot of sports, and am generally very active. I like to play rugby, go running, head to the gym, and go snowboarding when my schedule permits!
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I’m not very good at relaxing, I like being on the move – I’m always thinking of new business ideas, and so the only way I find that helps me switch off is to do some sort of activity or sport. I’ve just been snowboarding in Japan and it’s been absolutely incredible with great powder conditions, friendly people, and relatively inexpensive when compared with European or North American destinations.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – you can read into it as deeply as you want and come out with many different theories for what it represents. It highlights that you can argue there is meaning in a situation that ultimately has none. In order to run a business you have to be comfortable with living in uncertainty, and not try to over-analyse everything. Keep things simple and enjoy what you’re doing!
Shameless plug for your business:
I run two companies and an associated brand, all events and promotion based within the public, private, and corporate sectors. Hushup (www.Hushup.hk) is an Arts & Music based company specialising in creatively themed events; of particular note is our annual Secret Island Party and our weekly rooftop & hot tub cinemas. More Chaos (www.morechaos.com) specialises in outdoor events and experiences, from Wakeboarding trips and boat parties to sports competitions. The More Card (www.themorecard.hk) is a benefits privilege card with access to a number of unique offers and opportunities.
How can people connect with you?
You can email [email protected] asking to be connected with me.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is the owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 11 countries and he is also the CEO of Entrevo Asia, a company that runs 40 week Growth Accelerator programs.
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