“Flying in the face of adversity and pushing the boundaries” – Zhen Hoe shares his personal story about his business.
What’s your story?
I have always been active and have appreciated what a fit, healthy body could do for my life. However, after I tore my ligament in a soccer game, things changed. I became frustrated and depressed when my recovery took longer than expected and I ended up gaining a lot of weight.
I was mocked by friends for being ‘fat’ and lost a lot of confidence as I struggled to get my old fitness level back. It wasn’t easy.
Through this life event, a few things became clear to me. Getting back in shape can be a real challenge and having an encouraging coach and support system can make all the difference in your level of success. Secondly, it helped me develop greater compassion for the struggles many people face when unexpected things happen. It is really important to have proper guidance to keep your spirits high and to make sure you’re on the right track as you make changes. This was my primary motivation in setting up my current venture – to help coaches be as effective as possible so they can impact more lives.
What excites you most about your industry?
I am always impressed when I see the impact that talented personal trainers and health coaches can have with their clients. If you’ve ever seen a dramatic personal transformation, you know how powerful it can be in changing just one person’s life.
This is why I am so driven to make an even bigger impact in engaging and helping trainers and coaches in their work with clients. Imagine how many more people we can help with something as simple as bringing their training online?
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore. I have lived here my whole life. My love of the city motivated me to start my own company to give back to the community that has given so much to me over the years.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore has always had a special place in my heart and now it is much more from a business perspective. It is widely recognized as a robust start up community and offers great resources, mentors and shared office space by like minded entrepreneurs.
It is also within close proximity to other major cities which is a great consideration for expansion plans down the road.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
It is easy, but also time consuming to stay in a place of analysis and never move forward at the pace a new business should. Sometimes you just have to step up and get the job done-whatever it is. There are always pros and cons to everything and 101 reasons for not doing something. Action and movement is far more effective than rationalizations and analysis.
Who inspires you?
Working for yourself is never easy. It takes a certain personality, drive and ambition. So, I admire all of my fellow business owners who fly in the face of adversity and push the boundaries on what is possible. There is nothing more exciting than to watch someone take a vision or a dream and make it a reality.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The mind can be tricky and can hold you back or propel you forward with a simple belief that you can be or do anything. Many people know this, but it is mind boggling to realize you are truly your own worst enemy or you can be your greatest ally in achievement. The choice is yours.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Not too many people or programs teach young people what it means to be an entrepreneur. It is also seen as risky. Yet, I believe many people are meant for exactly the kind of environment it offers. If I had to do it all over again, I would have started this journey much sooner. I would have also sought out some early mentors with proven success so I could have learned the principles and built upon this foundation.
How do you unwind?
I love to work out and enjoy time in the gym about 3 times a week. I have found it helps to clear my head and prepare me for work. It also helps reduce my stress levels by keeping me relaxed. It’s hard to be in a bad mood after a good sweat and workout.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
A personal favourite is Bali where I can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind. I find the beaches to be a very tranquil environment to slow everything down and appreciate what nature has to offer. Oh, and I also love a good spa!
Everyone in business should read this book:
One of my favourite all time books is Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. It is one thing to have great ideas, but yet another to be able to communicate your vision with a team, staff, employees and customers. It is also a great illustration on the importance in creating lasting impressions and engaging a loyal fan base. Successful businesses all have a winning idea and a message that ‘sticks’ with their target audience.
Shameless plug for your business:
We have built an online health and fitness coaching platform we call Fulfilled. We provide the technology and tools to help fitness coaches get better results with their clients. Trainers face a number of problems today that keep them from helping more people.
To begin with, they’re spending most of their time doing administration tasks. Secondly, they have limited access to offer customized nutrition plans and exercise programs for their clients. And last, but by no means least, they also lack the resources to properly track and monitor their clients’ progress. These things taken together mean that their clients become frustrated and eventually quit when they don’t see the results they were hoping for.
At Fulfilled, we have developed successful solutions for each of these issues not to mention some other added benefits. Our system allows great fitness coaches to get even better results with their clients. It provides the tools they need to encourage healthy habits, monitor daily progress and become a more active participant in achieving client goals. Through our technology, fitness coaches offer improved training services in a faster and more efficient manner through a system we call the A.C.T. or ‘ACT’ model.
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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