Olivia Chiong is a small business aficionado. Having recently written a book, she hopes to share her successes and pitfalls with other entrepreneurs wanting to work smarter and be more productive.
What’s your story?
I’ve worked in small business nearly all my business life and in every company I have been in, my interest has been how to hack processes to make them more productive and efficient. When I started my first company, I obsessed over making sure I had templates for everything and I often used technology to make life easier for myself. Over the years, having dabbled in a number of small business ventures, I’ve found that working smart instead of working hard is the way to go. So when the time came for me to write a book, I knew I wanted to help other people hack their businesses as well. That is why I wrote my book “The UnBusy Entrepreneur: How to unlock your time and make more money.”
What excites you most about your industry?
In the current technology age where everything from emails to social media is competing for our time, it is so important to make time for the things that DO matter. This is why I decided to focus on productivity hacking. It has developed into a culture of its own where people come together to share their knowledge and expertise. I think what excites me the most is being able to share what I’ve learnt with others and in the process helping them to free up their time so they can spend it on the things they truly enjoy.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Japan to an Indonesian-Chinese mother and Taiwanese father. We moved to Singapore when I was two and other than a couple of years spent studying in Perth, Australia, I’ve lived in Singapore all my life. This is home for me.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Singapore. The government is hugely supportive of small businesses and is constantly rolling out new schemes and grants to help promote entrepreneurship. Having managed projects in a number of other countries in Southeast Asia, the efficiency of Singapore is hard to beat.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
It is actually one of the maxims from the Key Person of Influence programme – “Prolific Beats Perfect.” I’ve learnt to let go of my obsession with perfection and just push it out. Done is better than none. This piece of advice has helped me to overcome fear of failure and procrastination to simply getting stuff done.
Who inspires you?
Tim Ferriss, author of The 4 Hour Work Week. He was the reason why I decided to look for a better way to lead my life and no longer work 40 hour weeks. It was his book that inspired me to start multiple small businesses and move everything I do to be location agnostic. His philosophy of people working the hours they want, in the locations they want, is something I believe in and am working towards.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The latest thing I learnt is that playing video games can actually be used in a variety of lifehacks including playing Candycrush to lose weight or playing Tetris to prevent post traumatic stress disorder. This idea is called gamefulness and I discovered it after listening to a podcast in which Tim Ferriss interviews Jane McGonigal, who is leading the research on the benefits of playing video games (http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/07/28/jane-mcgonigal/). As someone who has been a gamer all her life, I’m super excited about this (and I have just downloaded Candy Crush on my phone again, just to test the theory out)!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I don’t believe in regrets. Instead, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Even the things that go wrong, they serve to shape who I am and what I do. So I would not do anything differently.
How do you unwind?
I like to have alone time with my family. I’m married to a wonderful and supportive wife. Together we have an adorable daughter. So I love chilling at home with them, watching a movie or reading together.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok. I love going there for the massages, shopping and the food. It’s easy to get around, everything is cheap compared to Singapore. It’s safe, the food is simply amazing and the massages make me feel so relaxed. I could go to Bangkok every month and wouldn’t get bored.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Without a doubt, it is Become a Key Person of Influence. The entire philosophy behind why you need to become a Key Person of Influence and why it will change how people do business with you makes so much sense. I wish I had known this when I first started out.
Shameless plug for your business:
Are you a small business owner who is bogged down by the nitty gritty details of running a business? Do you wish someone else could deal with all the boring administrative and operational tasks in your business? Would you like to make more money? I have a solution that helps small business owners become more productive by leveraging technology and outsourcing. You can find out more by reading my book. It can be bought here – www.unbusyentrepreneur.com/book. If you like what you read, book a call at www.unbusyentrepreneur.com/contact to find out how I can help you or you can also email me at [email protected].
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/>