Sharon Solomon designs and runs schools that work for students. They are non-traditional and creative in their approach.
What’s your story?
As a child, I was frustrated and uninspired in school. While studying abroad, I discovered that education can be engaging and effective and I set out to create schools that work for the students, not the other way around. To date, I have launched 2 schools, for children 18 months and up. Both schools, I’m happy to say continue to do amazing things for children in Singapore. I design and run schools that have a non-traditional, disruptive and creative approach which allows us to tailor the experience to each child’s individual needs.
What excites you most about your industry?
The fact that education, which was once predictable, traditional and rudimentary has a future that is an enigma forcing change far quicker than ever before with so much uncertainty but in the same breath, positively challenging. That just adds fire to what I do.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Third generation Singaporean with roots as far as the Middle East and India. Ancient and complex.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Despite the proximity between the countries in the region, each one is unique in how business is conducted. Singapore however, is by far the best place to lay your roots. Government transparency, the demand and pressure to maintain a high standard of quality in all that you do, certainly places you light years ahead of other counterparts outside of Singapore. Singapore forces you to set the standard.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Never ever accept no for an answer. If you know that, what you want will make the world a better place.
Who inspires you?
The students in both my schools.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Children have an acute understanding of human nature. Life is much more interesting when seen through the eyes of a child.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’d rebel sooner and louder. Life is too short when you are on a fiery mission for good.
How do you unwind?
I walk home from work (100 minutes) with Sam Harris, Tim Ferriss and the occasional tune.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Any of the Aman resorts. They get what relaxation is all about.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The bible, religion aside, because it can be thought provoking. It has everything from good leadership, failed leadership, human relationships, cultural diversity and understanding the sexes along with all its complications. You learn so much from human folly, ignorance and the sins of others. Then you avoid making the same mistakes.
Shameless plug for your business:
The Winstedt School continues to maintain high standards of quality in education and with our recent EduTrust award, it’s testament to who we are and what we stand for.
How can people connect with you?
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.