• Ep 144: Going viral with 500k following as an Italian Chef | Gero DiMaria Mohammed Omar (Kucina)

    Gero DiMaria knows what it means to go truly viral.

    He's an Italian chef & owner of Kucina - Singapore's first authentic halal food restaurant.

    But he's also a bona fide Italian culinary superstar with over 500k followers on social media - 256k on Instagram & 252.6k on TikTok!

    He took the world by storm with his recent series of viral reels on choosing the best pasta/cheeses in grocery stores, and that had a real trickle down effect on his business.

    So we dig into all the juicy stuff, including:

    ❓ What does it mean to actually go ‘viral’?

    ❓ What kind of measurable impact has social media had on his business?

    ❓ What is his advice for leveraging social media for businesses?

    ❓ What have his toughest moments been?

    ❓ And who exactly is Gero?!

    The goal: To understand the role of social media today, what it really means to go viral & how one can leverage on that social media reach to build your own business.


    • 1:55 Italian childhood
    • 4:11 What do Italians eat every day?
    • 5:38 People in Asia aren’t taught to think?!
    • 10:58 Entering the food industry
    • 12:13 Work hard to earn your money
    • 13:33 Your first job sets the bar
    • 14:49 That English breakfast shift 
    • 16:52 Knowing that the F&B world was for him 
    • 17:33 How to cook the perfect pasta
    • 20:04 Moving from London to Singapore
    • 21:58 First job at Pasta Fresca
    • 23:19 What’s an authentic halal Italian restaurant?
    • 25:59 Chefs can only be chefs, they can’t run a business
    • 29:43 Going into marketing & the lost $3000
    • 31:22 The turning point
    • 32:39 Content strategy
    • 35:14 Going truly viral
    • 36:18 Acting debut
    • 37:58 Why accept collaborations?
    • 40:00 Separating his personal brand from his Kucina restaurant
    • 41:24 The content creation team
    • 42:48 Advice for entrepreneurs
    • 44:06 Do you feel like you’ve found your why?
    • 45:25 What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
    • 46:15 What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful person?

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/144 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E144 - 52m - Mar 31, 2024
  • Ep 143: Becoming Singapore’s 1st Professional Adventurer - You Never too Old to Take Risks! | Khoo Swee Chiow

    Would you die for your passion?

    Most wouldn’t but for 58-year-old Swee Chiow, Singapore’s first professional adventurer, it’s a question he must face every day.

    And it all began when he caught a glimpse of Mount Everest from a plane.

    He was working in IT (Singapore Airlines) then, but he decided from that one glimpse that he wanted to climb Mount Everest - a dream that took him a mere 10 years to achieve!

    The journey was hard.

    He knew nothing. So he read many books & even went on a 10-day mountaineering course at Mt Cook that he flunked because he wasn’t fit enough!

    In 1998, he joined Singapore’s first Mount Everest expedition. It was a disaster at first because:

    ❌ Their tent collapsed during a freak storm

    ❌ Their first attempt at the South Pole failed as they didn’t have enough rope - the Singapore media hounded them & issued headlines declaring that the expedition had failed

    But they didn’t give up.

    Their second attempt was a success!

    But an exhausting one. 

    In the midst of the media glory, Swee Chiow knew he had to take advantage of it so he immediately launched Singapore's first Antarctic expedition.

    Since then, he has:

    • Climbed Everest x3 and K2
    • 8,000km cycle from SG → Beijing (China) = 2003
    • Swam 40 km across Malacca Straits
    • Kayaked 3,000km across Philippines
    • Broke his first Guinness World Records for the longest scuba submergence (220 hours)
    • Rollerbladed 6,000km from Hanoi SG in 94 days (and broke the Guinness World Records in 2008)


    • 3:34 Why Why Why?!
    • 4:12 Fear of heights
    • 5:00 Computer science in Kansas
    • 6:11 Saw Mount Everest from a plane
    • 6:51 Not giving up after 10 years
    • 7:24 The mountain is magical & spiritual?!
    • 9:06 Lessons learned
    • 10:27 Altitude sickness / AMS
    • 12:04 Pulling Singapore’s first Everest expedition together
    • 13:25 You can’t fail!
    • 14:19 What should people know about Everest?
    • 16:45 Quitting his day job
    • 17:45 Antarctica
    • 19:38 Commercialising his adventure business
    • 20:32 Swee Chiow’s value proposition?
    • 22:02 How he builds trust with his clients
    • 24:11 Risks & death
    • 25:11 Any trick to staying calm?
    • 25:24 Drifting to Taiwan & near certain death
    • 27:37 Never let your ego take over
    • 29:28 Dealing with the media
    • 30:55 Never doing K2 again
    • 32:19 The ghosts at Tibet’s Xishapengma
    • 36:12 Adventurers hogging the limelight
    • 37:04 Collaborating with AirAsia X
    • 40:16 How Swee Chiow decides on his adventures
    • 41:43 Advice for those in their 30s
    • 45:28 What’s next?
    • 46:26 The second act of his career?
    • 47:36 Leadership principles to be an effective guide for his team
    • 49:15 What drives you to push yourself to the extreme each time?
    • 50:23 Do you feel like you’ve found your why?
    • 51:06 What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
    • 51:27 What are the most important qualities of a successful person?

    Special thanks to Limpeh Studios (Hepmil Media) for the studio!

    🙊 Like STIMY? Buy us a ☕️?: https://beacons.ai/sothisismywhy 

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/143  

    💌 STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E143 - 52m - Mar 24, 2024
  • Ep 142: I've Done Something Many Haven't Had the Opportunity to Do | Lucas Lu (Head of Zoom Asia)

    Meet Lucas Lu - Head of Zoom Asia.

    And also a fellow Sarawakian!

    Lucas has had an illustrious career going from GM of Systems Technology Group at IBM Malaysia where they closed large deals within the first 6 months, leading to Lucas winning ASEAN Rookie of the Year - his first big recognition.

    He ended up staying at IBM for 10 years and won 2 Global Golden Circle Award before moving on to become:

    • General Manager, Astro
    • GM (Tech Sales Malaysia), Oracle
    • Senior Director (APAC Enterprise Commercial Sales & Industry), Microsoft

    Prior to his current role heading the Asian arm of Zoom, covering ASEAN, South Korea, Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan.

    While at first glance, Lucas appears to have had a very varied career, he has also been very intentional about every career move he’s made. 

    And has had no zero regrets with how it has turned out.

    So we dive deep into this episode into all things career development:

    ❓ How has Lucas chosen the roles that he has? 

    ❓ What is his secret sauce to climbing the corporate ladder? 

    ❓ How should one find mentors/career sponsors? 

    ❓ How does he plan his career & life (he has a plan for everything, including for his family members!!)?

    Please do listen & leave a rating & review!


    • 1:50 My first 15 years
    • 2:27 Shell City
    • 4:22 No one leaves Shell, but I did…
    • 5:26 Getting the call from IBM
    • 6:05 Switching to tech
    • 6:59 Lucas’ unfair advantage over other people
    • 7:50 Lots of planning & reflections
    • 11:55 What should you do when you first take on a regional role?
    • 14:06 Career sponsors
    • 14:41 Secret to landing career sponsors
    • 15:22 The first time doors opened for Lucas?
    • 16:15 Moving on after 10 years
    • 17:14 Bringing a corporate mindset to the startup world?
    • 19:09 Measuring returns for media projects
    • 19:41 Moving to Oracle
    • 21:01 Kilimanjaro
    • 22:55 Element of luck
    • 24:16 Dealing with failure
    • 25:55 No regrets?
    • 27:37 Moving to Microsoft
    • 29:14 Takeaways from being fully immersed in a country 
    • 32:00 Did hiking change how he approaches sales and work?
    • 32:25 Why Zoom?
    • 33:43 Checklist for Lucas’ next career move (no compromise)
    • 34:24 How to determine if someone is the right person to work for?
    • 35:33 Most influential person in Lucas’ career
    • 37:28 Managing the strawberry generation
    • 39:15 What Lucas hopes to achieve at Zoom
    • 43:58 The second act in Lucas’ career
    • 46:45 What STIMY listeners can help Lucas with

    🙊 Like STIMY? Buy us a ☕️?: https://beacons.ai/sothisismywhy 

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/142 

    💌 STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E142 - 56m - Mar 17, 2024
  • ICYMI: The 6 Powerful Women in the Room - Jacqueline Novogratz, Lydia Fenet, Nicole Quinn, Pink Pencil Math etc

    This episode is a compilation of 6 of the most powerful women featured on the So This Is My Why podcast, discussing the milestones that led them on their journey to success

    Ep 124: Jacqueline Novogratz

    Jacqueline is the founder & CEO of Acumen - a non-profit global venture capital fund that aims to use entrepreneurial approaches to address global poverty. As the OG of impact investing, she shares her experience in Rwanda and learning that the most important thing is to build something where you leave no footprint behind.

    And how there is no such thing as black & white. Everyone has an angel and demon within them that comes out at different times.

    📍 Listen to Jacqueline's full episode: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/124

    Ep 115: Lydia Fenet

    Lydia is the former Executive Director of Christie's New York and for 10 years, she thought it was a privilege to be working at Christie's. She never asked for more.

    Until she realised that you are just a number in the P&L, and you have to fight for what your worth. In one conversation, she managed to x3 her salary, obtain an international director designation and start a new department on strategic partnerships.

    📍 Listen to Lydia's full episode: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/115

    Ep 125: Tanya Zakowich

    Tanya has worked at NASA, Boeing and Hyperloop and shares her journey in making big career pivots which led to the creation of Pink Pencil Math with 2 million TikTok followers, 507k Instagram Followers & 99k YouTube followers.

    📍 Listen to Tanya's full episode: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/125

    Ep 79: Nicole Quinn

    Nicole is a General Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. She's known as the celebrity whisperer who's worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Tom Brady, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba.

    📍 Listen to Nicole's full episode: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/79

    Ep 77: Lily Wu

    Lily is a two-time 7 figure business founder who shares how she got started on her entrepreneurial journey in Australia as a teenager

    📍 Listen to Lily's full episode: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/77

    Ep 56: Lauren Hom

    Lauren is a California-born designer, illustrator & hand lettering artist with a 250k strong following on Instagram. She is known for her use of bright colour palettes & playful letterings and has worked for clients such as Starbucks, YouTube, TIME Magazine, Google and AT&T. She has also been recognised by Communications Arts, the Art Directors Club, the One Club, the Type Directors Club and the Webby Awards

    She shares how she's built her enviable artistic career including with Daily Dishonesty.

    📍 Listen to Lauren's full episode: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/56


    🙊 Like STIMY? Buy me a ☕️?: https://beacons.ai/sothisismywhy

    🍿 YouTube: https://youtu.be/ncLfbdQ7XQA 

    🌍 Website: https://www.sothisismywhy.com

    💌 Sign up for the weekly STIMY newsletter: https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/ebf231f605

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E141 - 43m - Mar 13, 2024
  • Ep 141: Inheriting a 100-year-old family business | Fong (Co-Owner, Tong Heng)

    Sponsor: Descript - an AI-enabled software that makes it possible to edit weekly videos efficiently because it transcribes a 1.5 hour interview in 1 minute - and allows all editing to be done via the transcript! To find out more: https://www.descript.com/?lmref=sjT9JA


    It’s not every day that you get to inherit a 100-year-old family business, but that’s exactly what Fong Wai Kheng has done.

    Fong is the fourth generation of his family to run Tong Heng - Singapore’s top confectionary shop most known for its trademark 💎 diamond-shaped egg tarts. 

    Ask pretty much any Singaporean (I did), and it feels like 99% of them will have heard, eaten and love those egg tarts!

    So of course, I got curious. 

    And asked Fong if he’d be up for a STIMY interview!

    After all, family businesses are tricky.

    There is: 

    🍿 The legacy you’ve inherited & must now maintain 

    🍿 The relationships you need to navigate (you can’t split family/work) 

    🍿 The challenge of keeping your brand relevant (a huge issue for Tong Heng at one point until they went through a massive rebranding exercise) 

    🍿 All the ups and downs of keeping a business alive.

    A business that first came about because of Fong’s great-grandfather who fled China in 1901 (end of Qing Dynasty) to work as a coolie in Singapore.

    His great-grandfather eventually earned enough to start his own pushcart coffee business but… the local “gangs” came around for protection money.

    The great-grandfather had none, but promised to have the money ready next time. 

    Unfortunately, the gangsters won’t hear of it.

    And proceeded to beat him up.

    Or at least, they tried too.

    Because what they didn’t know was that Fong’s great-grandfather had been trained in martial arts by the soldiers in the Qing Court (+ he was also 1.87m tall!). 

    So Fong’s great-grandfather beat up those gangsters instead. 🤣

    News spread. 

    The community gathered and gifted him with a pistol before appointing him as its protector!!

    Want to know what happened thereafter? 😏

    You’ll just have to listen to this STIMY episode with Fong to find out. 


    • 2:54 Childhood 
    • 5:00 Expectations in joining the family business?
    • 6:32 Have you had enough fun?
    • 10:26 100-year-old confectionary shop - the origins of Tong Heng
    • 12:22 Tong Heng’s trademark egg tarts
    • 14:22 Gangs & protection money
    • 14:44 Martial arts
    • 16:50 After the war
    • 17:55 His two aunts
    • 20:24 Pulling a surprise
    • 25:06 A new shop
    • 27:38 Cracking thousands of eggs?!
    • 29:40 Massive rebranding exercise to appeal to the Gen Zs & Gen Alphas
    • 33:23 Tension in the family?
    • 34:41 Going viral
    • 35:00 Branding decisions behind Tong Heng’s trademark yellow packaging
    • 36:15 Tong Heng’s faithful customers - the grandmother & her grandson
    • 37:30 The future & staying in their own lane
    • 39:35 Advice for other family business owners?

    🌟 Special thanks to Limpeh Studios for making this recording possible! If you want to do any studio recordings while in Singapore, be sure to check out: https://www.hepmil.com/limpehstudios 

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/141 

    🍿 YouTube: https://youtu.be/kSXxRHrWWas 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E141 - 45m - Mar 10, 2024
  • Ep 140.2: The Secret to Picking F&B Winners & Winning Michelin Stars | Loh Lik Peng (Founder & CEO, Unlisted Collection)

    Hey STIMIES! 

    Welcome back to Part 2 of the So This Is My Why Podcast with Loh Lik Peng - CEO & Founder of Unlisted Collection.

    In Part 1, we covered Lik Peng’s journey from wanting to become a doctor (just like his parents) to becoming a commercial litigator and purchasing his first hotel property: Hotel 1929.

    The property that kickstarted his crazy career pivot. 

    But the F&B industry is a tough place to be. You need a good dose of hard work, luck and… a talent for spotting F&B talent (which Lik Peng has!).

    In this episode, we dive into the intricacies of his international hospitality business, tackling questions like:  

    • Why does he give equity to his chefs? 
    • How does he identify and convince culinary talents like Rishi Naleendra to come on board?
    • How does he work together with the chefs to ensure that they have everything they need to build a thriving business?
    • How attaining a Michelin star flipped a switch within the chefs he works with
    • What are his thoughts on brand building?
    • When is it time to pull the plug? (His most painful failure was with One Leicester Square in London)
    • His big passion with museums; and 
    • So much more

    If you haven’t heard Lik Peng’s origin story, listen to the previous STIMY Ep 140 Part 1 episode first. 

    And if you have, then stick around for Part 2!

    Are you ready?

    Let’s go.


    • 2:52 Lik Peng’s hands off approach
    • 4:20 Discovering Rishi Naleendra & being a good spotter of F&B talent
    • 5:51 Did Lik Peng conduct any due diligence on his potential talents?
    • 6:56 Building the infrastructure for an F&B business
    • 8:20 “I didn’t understand what P&L was before. If I knew, I would’ve never said yes.”
    • 9:06 Keep an eye on the numbers!
    • 10:12 Winning a Michelin star flipped a star switch…
    • 11:18 When are chefs ready to strike out on their own?
    • 12:05 Brand building
    • 13:30 Overcoming moments of blind panic
    • 14:46 When do you let go?
    • 15:33 Biggest failure 
    • 17:57 Passion for museums
    • 21:30 Do you still identify as a lawyer?
    • 21:43 Which pivot was the easiest and why?
    • 24:01 Finding your second & third act in your career
    • 25:14 What book are you reading now?
    • 25:14 Art of finding the right talent
    • 27:00 Any non-compete clause?
    • 27:38 Three key things that you’d attribute your success to
    • 30:14 One COVID casualty
    • 31:23 Luck

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/140 

    🍿 YouTube: https://youtu.be/w22CAJupO48 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E140 - 36m - Mar 5, 2024
  • Ep 140.1: The No-Nonsense 'Lucky' Hotelier?! | Loh Lik Peng (Founder, Unlisted Collection)

    Want to know how a lawyer became a successful hotelier with 40 hotels & 9 Michelin-starred restaurants in Singapore, London, Ireland, Shanghai & Sydney?!

    Look no further than today’s STIMY guest: Loh Lik Peng, the founder of Unlisted Collection.

    Lik Peng grew up expecting to be a doctor, like his parents. 

    But ended up practising as a commercial litigator for 3 years.

    During that time, the world was hit with the Asian Financial Crisis and a rundown property called Hotel 1929 came onto the Singapore property market.

    Hotel 1929 was located in Singapore’s red light district and Lik Peng saw potential in it, so he took a year off from law to develop the hotel with the full intention of going back to being a lawyer thereafter. 

    But life didn’t turn out that way.

    He ended up opening his first restaurant at Hotel 1929, then another hotel and restaurant, and another and…

    In fact, he bought so many properties in the area that his friend once remarked that the street should be renamed “Peng Road”! 🤣

    Lik Peng has now become one of Singapore’s most established hoteliers (he struggled with imposter syndrome for a long time when people called him a hotelier!) despite starting out by taking projects “by the seat of his pants”. 

    And his Michelin-starred restaurants include:

    ⭐️: Burnt Ends, Marguerite, Nouri

    ⭐️⭐️: Cloudstreet, Da Terre

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️: Zen

    So do you want to know how he did it?

    Let’s go!

    P/S: This is Part 1 out of 2 of Lik Peng’s episode (Part 2 is coming out this Weds).


    • 2:32 Dad as the Chief Glutton
    • 3:24 Boarding school were the best years of the life
    • 4:42 Being a lousy doctor
    • 5:32 Learning important lessons from the Asian Financial Crisis
    • 7:14 Hotel 1929
    • 8:24 The “Peng” Road?!
    • 9:15 Worried about being in the red light district?
    • 10:41 Family thought he was insane?!
    • 11:30 Turning the corner
    • 12:43 Being hit with SARS
    • 13:55 What crisis management looks like in a hotel
    • 14:52 Expanding to London
    • 17:54 Romanticism overruled my logic…
    • 20:57 The secret to getting things done
    • 22:35 Managing risks
    • 24:11 When Lik Peng thought he could call himself a “hotelier”
    • 25:43 The magic behind what he does (while being pragmatic?!)
    • 26:48 What properties interest him now
    • 30:24 Any regrets investing in Old Clare, Sydney?
    • 34:41 Navigating unsexy regulations & red tape
    • 35:46 Surprising things about the Australian hospitality market?
    • 36:45 Dr Stanley Quek
    • 40:37 Family friend to business partner?

    Special thanks to Limpeh Studios (Hepmil Media) for the studio!

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/140 

    🍿 YouTube: https://youtu.be/w22CAJupO48 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E122 - 44m - Mar 4, 2024
  • Ep 139: Sneak Peek - Singapore Subseries!

    It’s finally happening!

    The launch of STIMY’s special Singapore subseries.

    Where you’ll be hearing from a range of fascinating Singaporeans/Singapore-based tech leaders, entrepreneurs, and daredevil adventurers on how they’ve built their careers, their journey in finding their why and the legacy that they want to leave behind (if any!).

    We ran the whole gamut: the media broadcasting space, F&B (what it takes to build an empire of nine 1 - 3 Michelin Starred restaurants + inheriting a 100+ year confectionary brand), hospitality, tech and so much more.

    To whet your appetite, you’re getting snippets from some of the guests that you’ll be meeting over the next few weeks.

    Are you excited?

    I know I am! 😉


    Also a special shoutout to Karl Mak (STIMY Ep 55) & his team at Hepmil. 

    They’re the ones who made this subseries possible and generously allowed me to record all my interviews over a span of 4 days while in Singapore.

    I definitely couldn’t do it without them - thank you Hepmil!

    P/S: Let me know if you’re interested in doing a studio recording in Singapore! There’s plenty of space to do so at Hepmil’s Limpeh studios. 😉

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/139

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E139 - 20m - Feb 25, 2024
  • Ep 138: I Don't Believe in Prince & Princess Journalists - Steve Chao [x2 Emmy-nominated investigative journalist & Al-Jazeera Senior War Reporter]

    Steve Chao was just a kid from Toronto who loved reading encyclopaedias. Who later chose a career that would lead him to the middle of opium fields during harvest time surrounded by hundreds of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

    Just another “day in the life” of his career as a x2 Emmy-nominated and multiple award-winning investigative journalist and filmmaker who’s led programming for the likes of CNN, Al Jazeera, VICE, CTV (Canadian Television), CBC, ABC News, Tencent & Channel 4.

    Steve has also spent decades covering conflicts, including America’s longest war in Afghanistan, and produced programs and feature docs like HBO’s Traffickers, Netflix’s Midnight Asia, and Discovery Channels’ World’s Biggest Druglord.

    In STIMY Ep 138 - which was recorded in front of a live audience at KL Podfest last weekend! - we uncovered his journey as a war correspondent. Some things we talked about: 

    ✅ Going undercover to report on the Honduran drug cartel, human trafficking rings, selling of Nepali ancient artefacts & a Chinese spy

    ✅ Being nearly crushed in Egypt during the Arab Spring

    ✅ Uncovering the UNCHR “mafia” & notorious wildlife traffickers in Malaysia (his feet was stuck in a fire ant hill for 5 minutes!!)

    ✅ The sacrifices he’s made & friends he’s lost

    ✅ Why Steve doesn’t believe in Prince & Princess journalists

    ✅ Why journalism is dying & the impact of cancel culture

    ✅ How he wants to raise the next generation of journalists and the vision behind his new production house, Signal Flare

    It’s an exciting episode so get ready for a wild 1 hour ride with Steve Chao!


    • 2:10 Surrounded by Taliban fights in an Afghan opium field during harvesting season
    • 4:19 Suicide Alley
    • 8:49 Just a kid from Toronto
    • 10:33 His first big break uncovering a drug cartel from Honduras
    • 12:40 Gaining a global perspective
    • 14:56 Going undercover as a refugee trafficked by the Snakeheads in Vancouver
    • 15:55 You have to learn on the job
    • 18:03 The unsung heroes or ‘fixers’ like JoJo
    • 21:25 Broken trust
    • 23:24 PTSD
    • 25:13 How does Steve ensure he isn’t crippled by what he’s seen?
    • 26:44 Mentors like Ted Huang
    • 29:42 Has Steve ever regretted any sacrifices made to cover a story?
    • 32:29 Do these stories have an actual impact? The Chinese spy
    • 35:08 Malaysian reporting on the UNHCR Mafia & Anson Wong - the notorious wildlife poacher from Penang
    • 39:56 Identifying the stories he wants to work on
    • 42:11 The next step to crafting the story
    • 43:34 The keyword in reporter is ‘porter’
    • 44:26 The state of journalism today
    • 47:27 Cancel culture & its impact on Steve’s work
    • 50:11 What makes a great investigative journalist?
    • 51:48 Have you done enough?
    • 54:26 What does Steve need help with?
    • 55:35 Do you feel like you’ve found your why?
    • 56:15 What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
    • 57:11 What are the most important qualities of a successful person?

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/138 

    🍿 YouTube: https://youtu.be/KnoMe-pTbJc 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E123 - 59m - Feb 18, 2024
  • Ep 137: Stupid to call myself a coach! | Simon Alexander Ong (Bestselling Author, Coach, Keynote Speaker & Business Strategist)

    Simon Alexander Ong grew up often feeling like he didn’t fit in.

    Which is weird when you look at his CV: He graduated from LSE before going to work at Lehman Brothers (until it fell into administration) then a hedge fund as a junior trader.

    Along the way, he attended a 2-day coaching seminar that transformed the way he saw coaching and kickstarted his journey into becoming a bestselling author, international keynote speaker and business strategist. 

    His work has seen him invited onto Sky News and BBC to be interviewed, while he has been featured in the likes of Forbes and Harvard Business Review. He has also spoken at some of the planet's most successful organisations such as Barclays, Salesforces, Adobe, EY and Microsoft. And his debut book Energize, published by Penguin in 2022 became an instant bestseller, receiving endorsements from the likes of New York Times bestselling authors Simon Sinek, Marie Forleo and Marshall Goldsmith. In 2023, Energize was also awarded Book of the Year within the Wellness & Wellbeing category at The Business Book Awards! 

    But… how did it all begin?

    ❓ Why does Simon believe that the best leaders are great coaches?

    ❓ How did he get big names like Simon Sinek and Marie Forleo to endorse his debut book?

    ❓ How has he built his coaching business?

    ❓ What gave him the confidence to take The Leap? 

    ❓ What’s been the real game changer for his business?

    ❓ And why does he advise people to not wait because life has already begun?

    To find out, you’ll just have to listen to Simon’s episode on the So This Is My Why podcast. 😎

    And to all those celebrating - Happy Chinese New Year!


    • 4:47 Not fitting in
    • 6:40 What am I going to do with my life?!
    • 8:18 Impact of mum passing away
    • 9:46 The toxic environment at Lehman Brothers
    • 11:36 Not stick to the same path?
    • 12:38 The exploration journey
    • 16:47 2 days to 2 years?!
    • 18:07 Landing clients
    • 19:41 Where Simon found the courage & confidence to take the leap
    • 25:09 The game changer
    • 26:46 How to decide on the right mastermind to join
    • 28:34 The importance of building a personal brand
    • 29:52 Defining good content
    • 31:36 Saying yes to every interview?!
    • 33:35 It was stupid to introduce myself as a coach!
    • 38:28 Storytelling frameworks
    • 43:04 Being open but not to open - how do you find the line?!
    • 44:38 Google says that the best leaders are great coaches?!
    • 48:40 The first session
    • 51:11 How to decide on the right coach
    • 52:17 Energy is everything
    • 53:39 Multiplying energy
    • 55:32 What is something that Simon wishes made it into the final edition of his book but didn’t?!
    • 57:14 The last time Simon faced coach 
    • 58:46 The measured way to handle chaos
    • 1:00:26 The strategy behind launching his bestselling book, Energize
    • 1:03:03 How he convinced Simon Sinek & Marie Forleo to give him raving endorsements
    • 1:04:36 Has a Penguin published book opened doors for Simon?
    • 1:04:55 Do epic stuff that will make your Netflix documentary compulsive viewing

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/137 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E137 - 1h 11m - Feb 10, 2024
  • Ep 136: I don't want to hang out with famous influencers because… [Prestine Davekhaw, Founder of MalaysianPAYGAP & Disappearing Jobs]

    Prestine Davekhaw knows how much you earn.

    Thanks to a viral IG platform she launched called MalaysianPAYGAP, where she has Malaysians anonymously submit [payslip verified] details about their job, including:

    • Their salary + benefits (if any)
    • How they landed that job
    • The realities of doing their job
    • Advice for those wanting to do the same

    So you can see why people are obsessed with MPG. 😉

    But what about the person behind MPG?

    Well, Prestine grew up in a drug-infested home with her grandmother, who was her best friend.

    She was told that her father was a dangerous man and that it was good that he wasn’t in her life.

    When she moved to the US for studies, she found herself homeless for a period.

    She ended up doing all kinds of insane jobs to make ends meet, including grilling 100 chicken wings in the Chicago South Side where she was at risk of being shot at at any moment!

    She also spent her last $900 on a camera out of desperation - she only had 2.5 weeks to make rent!

    But as it turns out, it was the start of good things in her life.

    Clients came knocking & she was doing well but... something wasn’t quite right.

    In 2020, she had her first taste of going viral when she published an article sharing why she was unfollowing famous influencers on Instagram - many of her clients then were famous influencers and they were, as you can imagine, not happy.

    Prestine shares her life journey with remarkable candidness. Not just the highs but also the lows like how she bombed her Bvlgari campaign because she was “a cocky photographer”.

    And how MPG came to be.

    Want to learn more?


    • 3:13 Grandmother as her best friend
    • 8:42 Life is a work of art - Wilde
    • 12:24 I can only learn by asking questions
    • 14:36 Being homeless
    • 19:44 Spending $900 to buy a camera off Amazon
    • 21:57 9 hours of sense
    • 22:38 Photography came out of desperation
    • 24:15 Going back
    • 25:49 Quitting without a plan
    • 26:40 Landing international clients - including in Shanghai!
    • 27:19 Going viral in 2020 through an article, “Why I Unfollow Famous Influencers on Instagram”
    • 29:24 The Bvlgari campaign
    • 32:48 The genesis behind MPG
    • 35:10 The launch
    • 37:16 Surprising submissions
    • 41:31 Information is power
    • 42:25 Becoming jobless
    • 46:11 Community building lessons
    • 49:21 Helpful advice
    • 52:45 MPG Summit 2024
    • 54:28 Disappearing Jobs
    • 56:54 The controversy with the Side Hustlers IG page
    • 59:56 Hustling to meet the CEO of AirAsia
    • 1:01:33 Advice to others wanting to start side hustles

    P/S: Don’t forget to subscribe to the STIMY newsletter! 

    I share the behind-the-scenes of running STIMY, personal branding, storytelling marketing and news on a personal branding course that I’m building so that others can also their own brands on their own terms.

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/136 

    💌 Subscribe to STIMY Newsletter: https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E136 - 1h 6m - Jan 14, 2024
  • Ep 135: Final day of 2023?!

    It's the final day of 2023!

    So I'm doing a solo episode where I answer questions that you've sent in.

    I hope you enjoy this episode and find it helpful.

    Also, if you've been following STIMY and would like to support what's happening here, please do leave a rating and review.

    It truly makes a difference in spreading the word about this podcast!

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E135 - 24m - Dec 31, 2023
  • Ep 134: Build Your Why - STIMY Updates, Highlights & A Special Offer?!

    Welcome to STIMY Ep 134!

    Today, you have the pleasure of hanging out with me. 😉

    What we'll cover today:

    • What I've been up to in October (8 STIMY in-person interviews in Singapore), November (first conference panel & personal branding client wins) and December (6 STIMY interviews)

    I'm also in the midst of prepping for a new course!

    Tentatively titled "Build Your Why".

    It's based off my learnings from working with my existing 1:1 personal branding clients, where I noticed that people often struggle with:

    • People often think they're boring (when they're not)
    • They're too shy to share their story
    • They can't remember the interesting things that have happened to them (and don't know how to ask themselves the right questions to extract those stories from memory)
    • They don't know how to angle those interesting stories once they have them, so that they align with their goals - e.g. gain new clients, new job opportunities or offers to sit on non-profit boards.

    The course aims to help professionals build their unofficial collection of stories aka autobiography, so that you can pick and choose the stories to tell in whatever situation you're in.

    Apart from the course, I also highlight some of my favourite moments in recent STIMY episodes!

    • STIMY Ep 122: Peter Yong aka Mr Money - on launching a YouTube personal finance business, hiring and potentially publishing his revenue numbers on YouTube?!
    • STIMY Ep 129: Fabien Riggall, founder of Secret Cinema - on how he went from running a £5 underground skate park event to epic Disney collaborations to bring Star Wars to life
    • STIMY Ep 131: Charlie Todd, founder of Improv Everywhere - on what it takes to run a prank collective & the principle of asking for forgiveness rather than permission
    • STIMY 132: Terence Lee, Editor-in-Chief of Tech in Asia (just sold for $30 million) - on his takeaways from going through 2 layoffs
    • STIMY 133: Adlin Yusman (Managing Director, Endeavor Malaysia) - on rapid scaling & raising USD 500k in 2 days, the walk of shame and being open about sharing his failures, and why his investors don't regret a day of giving him money to work on his startup.

    To subscribe to the STIMY Newsletter: https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    P/S: I'll be doing a mini beta launch of the Build Your Why Course and the special offer will be available only to newsletter subscribers. So keep your eyes peeled!

    E134 - 53m - Nov 26, 2023
  • Ep 133: If It’s Easy, It Must Be A Scam + Hunting for 100 Cockroaches?! | Adlin Yusman (Managing Director, Endeavor Malaysia)

    Adlin Yusman, Managing Director of Endeavor Malaysia, will work for anyone he’s hired.

    A huge contrast to when he began his entrepreneurial journey with the mentality of, “I pay you a salary, you work for me and you do as I say.”

    Which, as you can imagine, created quite a lot of issues.

    That said, Adlin has had an eventful life. One that’s sprinkled with a generous serving of failures and spooky occurrences (e.g. receiving a 3am call from a female ghost?!).

    He’s founded several startups that failed, but managed to stay friends with his former employees and investors, who don’t regret a single day of giving money to him.

    And has held past positions as:

    So how did Adlin go from featuring a Maybach in the first edition of his luxury automobile publication to:

    ➡️ Making major hiring mistakes (e.g. hiring a wimp) 

    ➡️ Hunting for 100 cockroaches

    ➡️ Raising USD 500k in 2 days 

    ➡️ Working at Endeavor Malaysia, where he helps the likes of Bryan Loo of Loob Holdings in the startup ecosystem?!

    You’ll have to listen to the latest STIMY episode to find out!


    • 2:04 A 3am call from a female ghost?!
    • 4:59 What “real success” has Adlin even gotten to be featured in the media?! 🤣
    • 6:41 Studying economics
    • 8:14 A fork in the road
    • 11:48 Launching his first luxury automobile publication
    • 14:45 How Adlin sold himself
    • 21:01 Being a good leader means learning to follow
    • 22:51 The saddest moment of his life
    • 25:21 Terrible hiring decision - by hiring a wimp
    • 27:09 Why his startup collapsed
    • 27:49 Working at Groupon & 8am meetings
    • 31:07 Launching another startup
    • 33:46 If it’s easy, it must be a scam?!
    • 40:05 Hitting RM15k revenue & 1,800 requests in 2 weeks
    • 40:45 Finding 100 cockroaches
    • 44:45 Big mistake
    • 48:03 Deciding when to quit
    • 49:20 Failure isn’t a big thing, but…
    • 52:53 Do you still struggle with sharing your failures?
    • 53:43 Why Adlin’s investors don’t regret a single day of giving money to him
    • 56:53 The best way to handle mass resignations and retrenchments
    • 57:55 Endeavor’s Local Selection Panels (LSPs)
    • 1:00:18 What founders always fail at
    • 1:02:09 You need a Big Vision
    • 1:06:39 Helping Bryan Loo of Loob Holding (Tealive etc.)
    • 1:09:05 You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
    • 1:10:35 Advice for building your community
    • 1:14:02 Who would Adlin work for?
    • 1:15:42 Questions to ask to determine if someone has a shitty attitude!

    Fun Fact: Adlin has said that this interview contains quite a few stories that he’s never shared elsewhere before! 😏

    P/S: Does anyone know where I can find Adlin’s blog?! Please send help. 😫

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/133

    🍿 YouTube: https://youtu.be/MX3BTIhi1Xg 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E133 - 1h 26m - Nov 19, 2023
  • Ep 132: The Inside Scoop on Asia's $30 Million Media Empire | Terence Lee, Editor-In-Chief at Tech in Asia

    Who's got the juiciest gossip on startups these days?


    The journalists, of course!

    And today, we have Terence Lee - Editor-in-Chief at Tech in Asia - to share the inside scoop on their organisation (TIA just sold for a reported $30 Million to Singapore Press Holdings!).

    Fun Fact: Terence Lee really didn't want his position. He's an introvert & does not consider himself a natural leader.

    ❓So what changed?

    ❓How has he adapted to his leadership role & navigated through 2 brutal layoffs at Tech in Asia?

    ❓How does journalism work for them, e.g. determining the stories to cover, the verification process required and also balancing objective reporting with friendships with the people in the space?

    So are you ready?

    Let's go!


    • 2:38 Writing as a career?!
    • 5:14 Working at many different media publications
    • 6:58 Joining Tech in Asia in 2013 as its Managing Director
    • 8:26 Being pushed out of his comfort zone
    • 11:11 Relationship between Editor/Journalist v Startup Founders
    • 12:14 What people tend to not understand about what they're doing
    • 15:03 Perceived biases?
    • 16:11 The due diligence process
    • 18:05 Defamation law
    • 21:26 Monetisation tactics
    • 21:42 Going through TIA's first layoff
    • 25:19 Internal transparency in (almost) everything?!
    • 29:18 2nd round of layoffs & the best way to conduct retrenchment
    • 33:05 How did TIA rebuild the shattered morale of its staff & pivot to its subscription model?
    • 35:45 Big events in Indonesia
    • 37:25 The future
    • 39:02 Journalists are mini media empires?
    • 40:36 Peter Cowan - If you were to launch your own non-media startup, what would it be?

    📍Show notes: www.sothisismywhy.com/132

    🌟 Special discount for STIMY listeners to TIA: techin.asia/sothisismywhy 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter on the art of storytelling + building your personal brand (+snippets of STIMY behind-the-scenes): https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E132 - 45m - Nov 13, 2023
  • Ep 131. Becoming The Greatest Professional Prankster - Charlie Todd [Founder, Improv Everywhere]

    Meet Charlie Todd - a professional prankster & also the founder of Improv Everywhere (a New York City-based prank collective with a twist!).

    Rather than pranks that embarrass people, Improv Everywhere organises large-scale pranks that create chaos & lots of joy in public.

    The kind of thing that’d make you go, “You’ll never believe what just happened!”


     ✨ A bunch of strangers ride the subway - without pants! 

     ✨ 200 people freezing in place for 5 minutes in NYC’s Grand Central Terminal - with 37 million views on YouTube!

     ✨ A man going to work in his socially distanced office - located in the middle of the East River in NYC!

     ✨ Thousands of people putting on headphones and following the narrator’s every word: Walking backwards, freezing, slow dancing, wrapping themselves in toilet paper etc. 

     ✨ Turning the NYC subway into a spa, complete with complimentary water, sauna station, hot stone massage & a steam room misting station...

    You get the picture 🤣

    The key to these “pranks” is that there is no official ending to the performance. Once done, the performers just disappear.

    And leave everyone else behind, baffled!

    To date, these pranks have hit a collective view of 487+ million times on YouTube.

    So the obvious questions are:

    ❓ How did Charlie turn pranks into a career?

    ❓ How does he pull these crazy stunts off?

    ❓ What does it take to go viral?

    ❓ What's next?


    • 3:20 Family of pranksters
    • 5:26 Interest in theatre
    • 7:09 Building a new life in New York City
    • 8:59 Pretending to be a celebrity!
    • 19:20 Straddling the legal/illegal grey area for their pranks
    • 21:48 Pretending to be U2 the band & the police dropping by!
    • 29:03 Organising the MP3 Experiment for thousands of people
    • 34:03 Measuring impact
    • 37:54 The person behind the social media algorithms?!
    • 40:43 Identity crisis
    • 45:39 Tours + Monetising Pranks
    • 48:18 When Charlie realised he was ready to quit to go full-time in on Improv Everywhere
    • 51:11 Disney+'s Pixar in Real Life - being its executive producer & director
    • 55:50 Socially distanced office on the river
    • 57:27 The future?
    • 59:19 Going viral over a fake meme?!

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/131

    🍿 YouTube: https://youtu.be/hv7v_qIio78 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter that deconstructs how you build a portfolio career to prepare yourself for the future of work: https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E131 - 1h 10m - Oct 30, 2023
  • Ep 130: Breaking into Hollywood - coz Asians Take Sh*t Very Well?! | Alvin Wee (Grammy, CAS & Golden Horse Award-Winning Music Mixer, Encanto)

    Meet Alvin Wee: Grammy, CAS & Golden Horse Award winning music mixer from Kuching (now based in LA)!

    You might've heard some of his work:

    🔸 Disney's Encanto - it won the Grammy!

    🔸 "Loyal, Brave & True" - sung by Christina Aguilera in Mulan

    🔸 Top Gun: Maverick - with Hans Zimmer

    🔸 Kung Fu Panda 3

    🔸 Kingsman Series

    🔸 "Arena Cahaya" - sung by Zee Avi

    🔸 Video games like Final Fantasy XIII, Kingdom Hearts 2.5, Resident Evil XII, PUBG Mobile x Arcane Collaboration & Kena: Bridge of Spirits

    As you might have guessed it, all these achievements didn't come overnight.

    It took a lot of effort, grit and good luck to get to where Alvin now is.

    And we're diving deep into all of them.


    ❓ What kept him going as he studied music & waited for hours at the RTM studio for gigs to come?

    ❓ Was Berklee instrumental to his career?

    ❓ How did he "break" into Hollywood & get to collaborate with the likes of Han Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, Pharrell, Jay Chou & Yuna?

    ❓ What was it like performing (+ winning Best Original Song!) at the 53rd Annual Golden Horse Film Awards 2016?

    ❓ His advice for other Asians who want to "make it" in Hollywood?


    • 3:03 Wanting to be called Donald Duck?!
    • 6:19 Learning 7 instruments in high school
    • 11:41 The vision
    • 18:37 Was Berkeley instrumental to Alvin's career?
    • 20:53 IMDB
    • 22:06 Networking the right way
    • 27:10 Being nice in a cutthroat industry?!
    • 29:42 Harry Gregson-Williams wrote a letter supporting his US visa application!
    • 33:26 Landing his first gig - Final Fantasy 13
    • 35:43 Finding the next projects
    • 37:27 Working with Harry Gregson-Williams & Hans Zimmer
    • 43:19 What's the Hans Zimmer Camp?
    • 45:28 Disney's Encanto
    • 47:10 Do awards actually impact your career?
    • 48:22 Not being pigeon-holed
    • 49:56 It's a marathon, not a sprint
    • 51:06 Hollywood Writers' Strike
    • 53:05 Jared Lee: Is Hollywood really that glamorous?!

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/130

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter that deconstructs how you build a portfolio career to prepare yourself for the future of work: https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442

    E130 - 1h 0m - Oct 15, 2023
  • Ep 129: Bringing Moulin Rouge & Abandoned Warehouses to Life?! | Fabien Riggall (Founder, Secret Cinema)

    What does it take to bring a movie to life & have the general public participant as actual characters in said movie?!

    You need only ask Fabien Riggall - founder of Future Shots and Secret Cinema.

    Fabien has always loved films and began his career working as a runner before becoming an assistant producer of short films.

    In 2003, he set up Future Shorts: A series of mini pop-up film festivals that took off in 2003.

    That eventually evolved into the creation of a skate park under London Bridge, where around 400 strangers showed up to become part of the skating community & be part of the murder mystery story!

    Secret Cinema is premised on the idea that films can be turned into large-scale real life, cultural experiences in abandoned spaces.

    The location and details of each World are never reveled and the film title is often kept secret (the reason for this was that it was entirely by accident!).

    Secret Cinema grew into such a phenomenon that it eventually sold to TodayTix in 2022 for £89 million!

    And some of its most famous works include: The Great Gatsby, Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner and Moulin Rouge.

    If you're curious in learning what it takes to build a whole movement & transform the way people see and use abandoned spaces while bring film to life on an epic scale, then this is certainly the episode for you!


    • 4:31 Morocco
    • 6:41 Becoming a farmer and an actor?!
    • 7:43 I don't want permission!
    • 11:23 Running festivals
    • 12:13 Soul-destroying work
    • 15:45 Leveraging the internet
    • 16:57 Selling out a murder mystery event at a secret skate park under London Bridge
    • 19:47 Finding the right people
    • 23:45 Pushing the boundaries
    • 30:14 Building trust via newsletters?!
    • 32:59 A limit to provocation
    • 36:54 Maintaining your voice
    • 39:28 Biggest battles waged & won
    • 43:32 Stepping away from Secret Cinema?!
    • 47:01 Achieving everything that Fabien wanted?

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/129 

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter that deconstructs how you build a portfolio career to prepare yourself for the future of work: https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    E129 - 1h 10m - Sep 30, 2023
  • Ep 128: The Bamboo SWAT Team | Ewe Jin Low (Founder, TENTEN & Better Bamboo Buildings)

    Imagine spending 30 years working as an architect.

    Then deciding to uproot your entire life from the UK to move to Bali to work in a new field of architecture - bamboo!

    Because that's exactly what Ewe Jin Low.

    When he made the big move to Bali, he worked as Lead architect at IBUKU covering buildings like the Green School and in 2018, began his own bamboo journey by founding his own bamboo architecture firm TENTEN and Better Bamboo Buildings in 2020 - a platform that shares information and insights on bamboo design.

    Ewe Jin’s bamboo journey to date has included designing and  building more than 80 bamboo buildings in many different regions. 

    In 2022 he published a bamboo architecture book titled ‘Bamboo Ark 1’. He continues the journey to give talks, run courses and  workshops and to create more buildings and installations in bamboo. 

    So if you're like to learn more about this relatively new form of architecture, this is the episode for you!


    • 2:23 Bamboo groves
    • 4:24 Architectural practice
    • 7:15 The only Asian guy in the room
    • 8:41 Battles fought
    • 10:32 Prejudice against colour of skin
    • 12:01 Moving to Bali
    • 15:02 How bamboo has transformed his life & attitude
    • 16:31 Letting go of everything
    • 18:45 Assimilating into the real Bali culture
    • 22:20 Learning about bamboo as a material
    • 33:48 Common questions
    • 36:30 Maintenance
    • 43:36 Bamboo pioneers
    • 46:09 Green School Bali
    • 52:05 The SWAT Team of Bamboo Workers
    • 56:50 Is it actually green architecture?
    • 1:00:49 Is bamboo cheaper?
    • 1:05:00 Construction bamboo forests?

    📍Show notes: https://www.sothisismywhy.com/128

    💌 Weekly STIMY Newsletter that deconstructs how you build a portfolio career to prepare yourself for the future of work: https://sothisismywhy.ck.page/acd5bd1062

    ✍🏻 Leave a review on STIMY: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/so-this-is-my-why/id1521191442 

    E128 - 1h 15m - Sep 25, 2023
  • Hey STIMIES! Here's a special September check-in

    Whoops. We've been gone for the past few weeks.

    It's been hectic here at STIMY - securing new guests in Singapore while prepping for 2 exciting guests that we'll be recording in person this week.

    So rather than a new episode, I'm experimenting with this new, short solo episode where you'll get updates from me on what it's like running STIMY the podcast & STIMY the personal branding company, as well as takeaways from some conversations that take place off air.

    In today's mini episode, I provide 4 main learnings from my recent Singapore trip (+ 40 appointments altogether!). They include:

    1. Hard work
    2. Luck
    3. Importance of Reinvention
    4. Always stay Curious
    5. Don't view your relationships as replaceable.

    Two upcoming STIMY guests that we'll be recording with:

    • Prestine Davekhaw: Founder of MalaysianPAYGAP & Disappearing Jobs
    • Dominic Puthucheary: Founding member of Singapore's PAP turned lawyer who grew up as a family friend of Lee Kuan Yew's family before later being detained, shuffled between multiple prisons in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and ultimately banished from Singapore by... Lee Kuan Yew himself.

    If you'd like to submit your question for either Prestine or Dominic, or just want to drop a note to let me know what you think of this episode & whether you'd like me to continue doing them (+ topics to cover), just email me at sothisismywhy (at) gmail (dot) com.

    Have a great week!

    P/S: Dominic was the subject of my first viral LinkedIn post, which you can read here: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/lingyah_reflection-activity-6972349532596576256-pD-N

    E128 - 7m - Sep 10, 2023
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