It feels good to be able to blog again whilst my sister is visiting Southeast Asia. I have over 3 weeks off and it feels strange that I have so much time to enjoy the little things. I’ve spent 1.2 weeks in Manila and I enjoyed the local food and spa! Nothing beats a body massage that comes with a fresh honey ginger tea after. I feel rejuvenated. I didn’t organize any meetup dates with friends because I want to have time for myself and of course, to have quality time with my sister before we celebrate her birthday in Singapore. She literally had a birth month, haha! 😊
Some of you are wondering how come I can manage to have holidays every month whilst operating startups (you are soooo kapo, ah! 🙂. Let me share my unfiltered advice on how to have a relaxing lifestyle whilst you run a business. Nope, you don’t have to be crabby and overworked to have your #moneybag!
First of all, many people say to be an entrepreneur is a lot of stress that once you become an entrepreneur your life will be very difficult because of the hard-driving work culture that mandates long hours and offers minimal personal time. This is true because I’ve been there when I was operating a cosmetic business with both online and traditional store operation in Singapore. I work literally from Monday to Sunday and my only day off was Monday afternoon to take a nap! I remember being overweight, crabby and unhappy. I promise myself to pay more attention to a work-life balance before it is too late. I am no longer that woman.
Here are my tricks and tips.
- Schedule your life, not just work.
We all know that many expats and professional foreign workers come to Singapore to hustle – you have the big goals in mind to have 5x higher salary than what you can earn from your home country. You have the financial goals to achieve in 3-4 years. However, this doesn’t mean you should just work all week and remit all your hard-earned money home! It is important to reserve set times for yourself to have activities that you can enjoy to allow you to recharge such as coffee with friends, movie dates, spa, shopping, cooking, outdoor workout or anything that will be relaxing. Remind yourself that you are human that it is okay to indulge and be happy!
To be productive doesn’t mean you should work non-stop. If you are exhausted with no good energy it will affect your mood and as well as your relationship with people.
- Set some boundaries.
I used to be the startup founder who work until 2:00 am to write all my plan ahead of competitors. The truth is I didn’t get anything done correctly because I was too tired to think and analyze any strategy. As a result, I failed in one year in running a business.
When I learned to calm down it allows me to pause and rethink what can be done effectively at work. How I make decisions in my business today are more valuable and effective than 3 years ago.
I learned to set working hours on weekdays and lots of afternoon nap on the weekend. Once I am awake and rejuvenated, I am excited to go out for dinner, I have time to dress up and I feel great!
- You can’t do everything at once. Learn to trust other people to do it for you!
I used to be the woman who is the jack of all trades and master of some. I tried to do everything at work by myself because I believe I am a highly-skilled professional and the way I work can achieve better results than my partners. It turns out this a wrong approach in business because I was not building a team. I was doing a one-man show!
I learned to divide the responsibilities with our group and to allow myself to receive feedback. It helps a lot when you work with a team. Not only it saves time but you can build a positive relationship with your business partners.
- Nurture personal relationships.
When your business is small with no enough employees to help you, it is impossible to let go of work because of so many tasks to do. I’ve been there when I was running a traditional store at Vivocity where I only have 4 full-time sales ladies but when the mall gets busy during the weekend, it is hard to leave the store. I had late lunch and sometimes I missed having dinner.
I learned that no matter how busy you are, make a conscious effort to create space for quality time with your loved ones. If your friends are celebrating birthdays, send them small gifts or give them a personalized greeting card. To maintain positive relationships with people are important.
- Unplug when you are not working.
I used to be the woman who updates my Facebook every hour whether I am cooking, I am at the store having a selfie situation, or even when I was just bored. My personal Facebook account is not very interesting and not inspiring. Haha! I realized that I am sooooo connected with social media that I forget to unplug when I am not working. I didn’t allow myself to enjoy my personal space without updating everyone online. It became a bad habit.
When I learned to unplug it relaxes my body and mind that allow it to de-stress, improving focus and enabling good thinking. I learned to limit myself to update my loved ones and random friends on Facebook and Instagram. I am now using Hootsuite.com that schedules all my posts at real-time. This way my social media accounts are updated when in fact I am actually at a bar in Phuket having a glass of Piña colada alone! 😊
6. Always choose your friends.
When you have limited time, it is important to choose a good company of friends. To be selective doesn’t mean one is snob it means you are after quality over quantity. Recently I had a coffee meeting with my business partner, TK. He’s the head treasury of RHB and he has over 20 years of professional experience in banking and finance. He advises me that as I get busier in the startup, it is important to be very selective in my friends because bad company ruins good morals.
Good friends strengthen your thinking and thought pattern. If you are with a good company of friends who have common values and morals, it will give you a positive influence.
When I was younger I vibe with random people it was probably because I didn’t know my real value and I was a pleaser. In short, I don’t want to argue with anyone and I was afraid if I say no to someone, I might end up in a catfight. As I get older, wiser and fiercer I learned to say NO to every bad situation and I stop communicating with friends who have no common values or goals with me. I learned not to waste my time and only focused on my well-being.
I used to tolerate women who are freeloaders, means women who are beautiful but lazy. They look for men to financially support them. When I was younger, I didn’t really care what my friends do for a living for as long as they are nice to me then it’s all good. But in my late twenties, I learned to be very selective to my friends and to only connect with women who are financially independent, and who have morals and values. I learned good women are genuinely interested in your personal growth. Good friendship helps you evolve as a better person by making a positive impact on your personality and life making decisions. Hence don’t underestimate the importance of finding good friends.
Why “me” time is important?
My kind of “me” time may not be applicable in your lifestyle because we have a different approach but how having “me” time can benefit you are;
- It makes you more productive.
- It gives you the clarity to think.
- You will have better results.
- Improves memory and clarity.
- It boosts your energy.
- You will be inspired to do more.
- You will be confident.
Here’s how I enjoy my “me” time.
At night, my sister and I watch movies and tv series on #Netflix. Recently, we watched Sex and The City over dumplings and dried mangoes! It was fun.
On some days, my sister makes nice meals. One night she made Korean bbq with asparagus whilst watching her favourite K-drama tv series. hahaha!
I bought jumpsuit at H&M. I’m always on a look for affordable clothes this jumpsuit is only $20. I wear it when I have a date with my sister at Marina Bay Sands. I partner it with simple sandals. I feel great wearing comfy jumpsuit and sandals.
My sister and I went to LV Island store at Marina Bay Sands with an intent to have photo situation and also, to look for a beautiful monogram bag. I got my boo a gift and I can’t wait to give it to him!
I enjoy buying small stuff for myself and as well as spoiling my loved ones.
My hair is very dry lately due to daily blow dry and curling iron. I bought a hydrating shampoo and conditioner to moisturize my hair. I bought quality coconut milk shampoo and conditioner from Essano with plant-based formula. My hair is smooth, smells good and shiny but not oily and free of dandruff.
I’m particular in skincare but I’m also open to the possibility of trying different brands. I bought a raspberry body scrub and strawberry body wash. I like the ingredients, scent and packaging. It’s just beautiful!
My swimsuit situation at home.
One of the reasons why I live in Singapore is I love the weather and the tropical vibe. The lifestyle here is great where you can be yourself whether that means you have an extra lifestyle as an expat, you are a beach bum girl or you are just a workaholic chic. Singaporeans are known for living with a quality of life. We balance business, work, travel and outdoor activities.
Recently I downloaded “Adobe Lightroom” app on my phone and I played with different filters. I used my old S8 mobile to have a selfie and I played with two filters. I had fun!
My sister and I had facial spa at Paragon in Orchard. I feel rejuvenated as my skin feels flawless and clean without any filter. After the spa we head to Tiger Sugar and tried the popular milk tea. It was amazing!
I look forward to hugging my boo soon! The tanning situation at the pool may help to give me extra diva look when I wear my new dress and shoes. I really enjoy my life recently and I am working hard to build my happiness around my loved ones. I just hope I can keep it up and be consistent to share with them my positive energy.
Thank you for reading my blog, it’s been such a joy to connect with you here.