100 Episodes of Womenpreneur Asia

I had a nice surprise today when Mr Ong of Buletin Mutiara texted me and said the feature they did on me was already published on their website.

It was a really comprehensive write-up, excellently expressed. As a writer and communicator myself, I am particularly appreciative of well-written articles.

The article summed up what I relayed to Mr Ong and Joanne who sat me down last week for two hours at Winterwarmers. I had fun retelling my story because every time I do so, I reflect on what I did well and what I should do better. It’s a therapeutic process with a lot of advantages. When you are working on your project, you never really lift your head up and look back at how far you’ve come or the milestones you’ve passed.

But in an interview, the reflection, thoughts and ideas spring forth.

And that’s what I truly enjoy the most. The process of reflecting is as crucial as the outcome and results. And many a time, the results are just a by-product.

I have always been someone who would do something just for the heck of it. Try it once. See if I like it. If I do, I continue doing it. If I don’t, it’s OK, I tried and I learned.

So the podcast was an experiment on many fronts.

I love a good challenge. I love learning and the process of learning. I also wanted to be the guinea pig for our clients. After all, how could I talk about growing visibility, credibility and authority if I didn’t prove it could be done first? We’ve done it with websites (for our clients and ourselves) and so this was a full-on fun challenge.

One thing that I can say for my podcast, having my website dedicated to the podcast and only the podcast, helped establish credibility like no other. And this is what Nic and I advise our clients all the time. You must have a website because it gives you control but it also gives you immense credibility!

I remember talking to a Canadian woman who was with a Canadian foundation. She was in Penang with her colleagues – a discovery trip to find out more about women’s entrepreneurship and she said that she found my website when she googled the keyword! She had seen and heard my podcast before she even met me!

But that aside, what I wanted to convey is this: I never had an idea of getting to 100 episodes. I just wanted to start because I wanted to connect with Asian women entrepreneurs in Asia and feature the stories they’ve never quite told anyone.

Something deep and resonant.

Something particularly poignant.

Something that binds us to our humanity.

Something that says, hey, we’re all the same.

I wanted to demystify female entrepreneurship and I wanted to be the platform for these (sometimes) unknown women to share openly and without fear. Many of my guests have done so and for their honesty, I am truly indebted.

In part, I have persistently created episode after episode because I have a mission.

I inspired a Vietnamese friend to start her podcast. Three cheers for that.

I brought guests together, guests across the Asian region who would have never met.

I am often inspired by the ideas, intelligence and strategies of my guests – and that feeds into curiosity and learning which is a virtuous cycle.

And I am always me – real, unabashed, open – on the podcast. I don’t pretend to be what I am not. I am not trying to be someone else. I am me with all my flaws and finesse.

And once guests know that I don’t have any ulterior motive, that I am NOT doing this for commercial purposes, that I don’t ask for a fee to feature them although it costs me to pay for the podcast server, website etc., it’s refreshing because in a sea of commercial interests, not having ANY is refreshing.

(And that is why Redbox Studio, my company, is the sponsor for every episode. Because it is Redbox Studio’s money that pays for the software that I use to record the episodes, the software that I use to transcribe and edit my audio, the server fees that power the server that hosts my episodes, the domain fees, website hosting, etc. Yes, and that’s not even my time cost!)

So why am I doing this?

Why spend all that money?

Too many people are shortsighted and only focus on the short-term returns. If you can play the long game and focus on a bigger idea, a bigger mission, a bigger why (yes, very Simon Sinek), you will never be short of opportunities.

I have guests sharing with me that I should do something with the diverse network that I have. They’re very sweet because they egg me to make money off the podcast – creating masterminds, workshops, retreats, etc. And because of all the nudging, I am producing an ebook on podcasting thanks to friends who kept asking me how to start their own!

I am also collaborating with guests who have become firm friends on some regional projects. And I’ve been asked to speak and get involved in other initiatives as well.

I believe if I have something good to offer the world, the opportunities and abundance are endless.

Just a few days ago, I was having tea with a new friend. She is half my age. She wanted to ask me to coach her about getting ahead in her career and how to play into all the multiple passions and interests that she has. She was intensely curious and highly ambitious. I love women like this. They remind me of me. LOL.

“Bring a 3D personality to your work,” I said.

Give yourself permission to be as well-rounded as an individual as you can be and demonstrate your abilities at work and play with a common theme. I play in multiple sandboxes but they share a common theme – entrepreneurship, strategy, marketing and communications.

I also know what I want and what I am great at. I want to create a platform and a brand in Womenpreneur Asia. I want to be a community builder and connector.

Most of all I know I have the skills to make this happen. Of course, this didn’t happen overnight.

That’s why explorations, experimentation, volunteering, veering off the standard path, meeting all kinds of people of all ages and backgrounds, putting oneself out there, being proactive and enthusiastic, never letting selfishness get in the way of doing a much bigger thing – all these help.

Find people of your age, get mentors older than you, younger than you. Get mentors from different fields. Sometimes the mentors may not even know they’re mentoring you. Just be incredibly helpful without a need to get anything in return.

So here’s a side story about the journalist Mr Ong. He had interviewed me a few years ago and at the end of that interview, I said something that he felt was unusual. Because of that, he remembered me and what I said.

“Most people – when they get featured in the media – they just want to keep the limelight for themselves. But you were different. You told me that if I ever needed interesting people to interview, you would be happy to introduce them to me,” he remarked.

I had forgotten I said that.

But I meant every word I said. He said through my network, he had interviewed a couple of women in business and featured their stories too.

The rising tide lifts all boats. And abundance isn’t like cookies. No one needs to bake them. They don’t grow on trees either.

Abundance is a mindset. The more you give, the more you will receive. And always remember who helped you get to where you are today. Be grateful, say thank you often and the world of abundance opens up!