50% of the difference between people’s levels of happiness is due to genetics, only 10% is due to circumstance (eg: upbringing, relationships, socio-economic status etc).  This 10% reinforces that money can’t buy you happiness. Find out how to take some steps to make changes in your life…

What’s your story?
My business partner Sally Doherty and I share a sense of adventure and a desire for learning and growth.  We’ve both taken the leap from senior corporate positions, leaving the security of multi-national companies to take risks, move countries and back ourselves to set up new businesses.  In the work we both do (leadership and executive coaching) we have noticed more and more of our customers and friends expressing their desire for more out of life.  Often they talk of their aspirations to be doing something other than what they are currently doing.  Yet their perceived lack of time and often a lack of confidence prevent them from taking steps to make changes.  It was these observations that inspired us to collaborate and design the Outside The Lines series of programs.    
What excites you most about your industry?
Our industry is so rewarding for us and for our clients, in fact you could say it’s life changing!  We believe that we are all capable of designing, creating and living a life that we are excited to lead.  We want to help others to tap into what that looks like for them and then support them through well researched contemporary approaches to make it a reality.

What’s your connection to Asia?
We are both based in Asia, I’m in Bali and Sally is  in Singapore.  We both travel frequently but love returning to our respective parts of the world.  My work takes me back home to New Zealand, to my home for over 15 years in Australia and to interesting and exciting new frontiers across Asia.  I feel lucky to have the opportunity to work in a number of different countries and experience different cultures and languages.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore without a doubt!  It’s orderly and structured and there are plenty of opportunities.  Although I do love travelling to India for work, it’s so vibrant and some of my favourite clients are based there.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The advice was given to me a couple of years ago when I was thinking about setting up my own company and moving countries. The advice was from a good friend and she said – “It will be hard”.  This piece of advice inspired me to make it happen and make it easy.  I like to prove to myself that I can do things, I believe most of what prevents us from achieving our dreams is our own mindset.  
A quote I like to live by is: “ I’ve learnt that people will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”    
– Maya Angelou

Who inspires you?
I am inspired by the people I meet in all areas of life that have taken a different path, the ones that take full responsibility for their own happiness and success.  People that take risks and live a full life inspire me to have balance and to keep seeing life as an adventure to be experienced and learnt from.  

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Research by Sonja Lyubomirsky shows that 50% of the difference between people’s levels of happiness is due to genetics, only 10% is due to circumstance (eg: upbringing, relationships, socio-economic status etc).  That leaves 40% for us to influence depending on what we choose to think or do (intentional activities).  This feels right to me, but many people are surprised that only 10% is due to circumstance.  For me this reinforces that external things (money, cars, clothes) don’t buy you happiness and the importance of spending time doing the things and thinking the thoughts that do make you happy, and therefore more successful and healthier.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I don’t believe in having regrets and to be honest I wouldn’t do anything differently.  Life’s for living and learning and if I hadn’t had the chance to have all of the experiences I have had I wouldn’t be where I am now, and where I am is great!

How do you unwind?
I like to practice yoga or go to the gym for a physical workout.  Sometimes my way to unwind might be a glass of wine with close friends and maybe a movie.    Or if time allows scuba diving is a great way to completely relax.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, because it has so many things to offer, great food, great scenery, great shopping, great scuba diving.  Most importantly it has the friendliest people and the culture is still alive despite the enormous growth in tourism.

Everyone in business should read this book:
The How of Happiness – Sonja Lyubomirsky

Shameless plug for your business:
Our company  – Outside The Lines, is for people that want to expand their thinking on what’s possible, make a change to their life or career or do something they’ve always wanted to do – and ultimately live the life they aspire to – a life outside the lines.  

Sally, my business partner and I have over 30 years of leadership and development experience  and a real hunger to keep learning and sharing our knowledge.  The areas we work in (personal and professional coaching and development) helps others to realise their own aspirations.

Our three programmes are all focused on designing, creating and leading your best life, LEAP is a personal development retreat style programme, LEAD is about being the best leader you can be and PIVOT is for women looking for a new direction.

LEAP is next running in Bali on July 26-31 and in Singapore in October, and it’s a different take on the standard retreat offering.  We wanted to offer something different, something that really made a difference to people’s lives after they return home.  So we decided to combine the best of both options for our 5-day residential LEAP Program – the “time out” to plan and reflect that a retreat offers with well-researched and practical workshops that offer tools and knowledge to make sustainable change.

This experiential combination is all delivered in an eco resort that is just the right environment for expansive thinking and optimism, and the best part – it’s on the tropical island of Bali!

How can people connect with you?
Mandy Davies – [email protected]
Sally Doherty – [email protected]
FB https://www.facebook.com/outsidethelineslife?ref=hl
LI https://www.linkedin.com/company/outside-the-lines-life?trk=biz-companies-cym

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:


Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia.  He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries.  He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence.  A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

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