From corporate HR high roller, Nadia’s invested in herself and is busy bringing baby planning to Asia. She demonstrates how 40 Weeks of proper preparation can empower women to embrace the changes that motherhood and childbirth present.
What’s your story?
I’ve always been a corporate career type of lady from day one when I got out of NTU’s Business School. Then in 2008 I joined my husband in an exciting new tech startup. I got pregnant in 2010 and left our company to go back to a more “stable” corporate job after having a child. But I just did not fit in anymore in the corporate world. I did cherish my skills in Project Management though. The geeky side of me kinda loved it. But it was the pregnancy that led me back to the corporate life that also later led me out of it, and back into entrepreneurship. I remember being anxious, worried, spending hours doing research, posting questions on forums – there was SO MUCH to learn and prepare for when having a baby. So I started 40 Weeks, combining the desire to solve this problem for other expecting parents with the project and client management skills I had from the corporate world.
What excites you most about your industry?
The fact that I’m actually touching lives directly. The lack of that bothered me in my corporate job as an implementer of HR ERP systems. Was I really helping anyone? Who was I kidding? I yearned to do something that made a proper difference to someone’s life – made it better.
On top of that, I’m also excited about baby planning itself because it’s really at a very young stage in Asia right now. I have a clean slate to start with. I’m the first in Singapore, and possibly amongst the first in Asia. I get the chance to set the parameters for myself, and quite possibly the baby planning scene in Asia. How exciting is that!
What’s your connection to Asia?
Born, raised and educated here till my mid-20s. Then I lived and worked in Europe for 10 years. And something in Asia called me back home, so I moved back in 2012, equipped with full entrepreneurial spirit from our business in Europe. I wanted to “change the world” here as well!
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
When I was in Europe, I worked in over ten cities. But back home in Asia, I must say I didn’t have experience working anywhere else but Singapore. So far it’s been absolutely encouraging in terms of business environment. There’s an abundance of networking opportunities, I signed on a bunch of new partners within 3 months of setting up, and I’m spoilt for choice in terms of marketing opportunities. The pond here is very full of fish indeed.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Very simple: Be true to yourself.
Sounds simple, but really hard to put in practise.
It was only when I stopped trying to do what I thought others wanted me to do, and started doing what resonated best with my true self, that I began to see results.
Who inspires you?
There’s no one particular person. But in general any woman (yes I say woman with a reason) that has broken through barriers to achieve success, from having nothing to start with, is a source of inspiration for me.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That you can achieve wonders if you just invest in yourself (and that needs to start with feeling worthy of your own investment).
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I have no regrets in life. I would like to continue that way. In business, I have no regrets either. But if I were to start a new business again, my learning would be: listen to your gut and don’t try to sell to everyone.
How do you unwind?
I work out at least three times per week. I spend dedicated time with my amazing daughter every single day, she makes me younger each time, I swear. I must get my nails & facial done once a month. And see a friend for lunch or dinner once a week!
And let’s be real, sometimes I just unwind on the couch at the end of the day, watching “Ghostly Encounters” on the Crime Investigation channel. That’s right.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love Lombok and hope to move there one day. It’s gorgeous, close to home and there’s something REAL about it (compared to Bali, that is).
Everyone in business should read this book:
Can’t say I read many business books, except the ones related to pregnancy (my industry). But I do get inspiration from some of my favourite business blogs such as:
- Natalie MacNeil (She takes on the World)
- Social Media Examiner
Shameless plug for your business:
40 Weeks is a baby planning service that helps expecting parents to be ready for their baby and achieve confidence as a new parent.
We do this by helping parents to navigate and coordinate when planning their pregnancy, sourcing for products & services, learning & education, as well as stress & emotional support when getting into the right mindset to prepare them for their baby.
If you are in the maternity industry, I am always on the lookout for great products & services to recommend to my clients. And if you are currently pregnant and wonder how ready you are for your baby, get on my website at www.40weeks.com.sg and do the Pregnancy Readinesss Quiz!
How can people connect with you?
[email protected] or +65 85717680
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.
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