My First Podcast!

About a month ago I had the pleasure to join as a guest on my friend JJ’s podcast. JJ is a Singaporean local that I met at a networking event for a popular online influencer Nas Daily. JJ and I instantly clicked because we had similar interests, goals, and we even did the same exchange program in Beijing, China at Tsinghua University (not at the same time).

We talked about why I came to Singapore, working with The Gym Pod, some of my favorite books (I’m a slow reader, so my favorite books earlier this year are still my favorite books now lol), and my new business for sustainable shinguards, GreenGuards!

Check out the podcast below if you have some free time!

https://youtu.be/5t_yyrP2OdI

Where do I begin?

Seriously - how do people find the time to consistently blog? Seems I can’t even maintain monthly updates. I’ve got hundreds of photos to share but no time to do it all. Perhaps I’ll try to commit some time during the holidays in December to catch up on uploading.

Some major updates to share:

I’m finally ready (sort of) to launch my business, GreenGuards. GreenGuards are eco-friendly, sustainable shinguards that are made from 100% recycled plastic and rubber. The recycled plastic is sourced from Sri Lanka and the upcycled rubber is sourced from East Java, Indonesia. Additionally, the production of each pair of GreenGuards donates towards children’s education in Indonesia.

The online store will be going live very soon. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in purchasing a pair, please head to the online shop! Anyone reading this blog is entitled to 15% off using the promocode: GG15.

OK, what else?

Good news, The Gym Pod has decided to sponsor me for a proper Employment Pass! My current visa expires in November - I’ll be doing some traveling and maintenance for GreenGuards and then heading home for a couple weeks during the holiday period. Then I’ll be back to Singapore in January for the long-term!

I’ve probably got loads more to share, but I’ll leave it here for now. Will try to post more updates.

#werk

I’ve been a ghost lately when it comes to maintaining this blog. I keep telling myself that I will try to post more frequently but just can’t find the time for it. The past 2 months have been extremely busy and stressful but overall productive. I’m about 2.5 months into my gig at The Gym Pod and loving the challenges so far. 

Since the team is so small, we all do a little bit of everything when it comes to the developing product, marketing tactics, future growth strategy, etc. We only meet in-person once a week to check-in/set new goals/etc. The remaining 6 days of the week are basically up to us to get the job done as we please. I’m really loving the freedom I’ve been given to operate.

When I haven’t been working on Gym Pod objectives, I’ve been working on getting things setup for my own business venture. Trying to start my own business has taught me so many things already; but the one thing I recognize I really need to work on is my patience. Anyone who has worked with me in the past knows that I always want things to move at 100mph (or should I say 160kmh). When anything is delayed I tend to get frustrated. I constantly need to remind myself that 1) my priority is not always someone else’s, and 2) my focus should be on building for the long-term and not to rush through the process. 

Super busy next few weeks are ahead - will try to post as much as I can (but no promises).

Unlocking the Power of Sports

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You hear it all the time as you grow up. No matter what sport - coaches and athletes all around the world will claim that the "game is their teacher." It teaches them communication, leadership, resiliency, and hard-work. It also teaches them humility, how to lose with grace, and how to bounce back after experiencing the lowest of the lows. Sports have the ability to instill values within people that they can carry off the field and into the real world. So why not continue to use sports as a teacher, but expand the curriculum? Let's use sports to talk about climate change, clean renewable energy, and animal conservation. Let's use sports to talk about why single-use plastics are killing the planet, or why we need to rethink and reinvent our agricultural systems. Sports and sustainability is a partnership that has the potential to truly connect with a whole new population of humans across the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo has 179M followers on Instagram. Lionel Messi: 128M. Neymar: 124M. Lebron James: 51M [these numbers are constantly growing by the way: from my time of writing this ~3 months ago, those 4 athletes have collectively grown by over 35M followers]. The impact and influence that these athletes have on their communities is explosive. It's not uncommon for modern-day athletes to leverage their platform to promote their political or religious beliefs. Yet, when it comes to sustainable development, why are so many athletes silent?

How can we start creating a culture where athletes are eager to connect with their followers to educate them, and ultimately encourage them to take action? Recently in the footballing community, athletes such as Mesut Ozil and Hector Bellerin [both Arsenal players, mind you!] have used their platform to speak out against climate change. Let's continue to build off of that momentum to educate and encourage action. If Cristiano can get men and boys to buy luxury underwear and socks just off the mere fact that he is Cristiano, can't he get his fans to say no to single-use plastics or donate to projects for land or animal conservation?

At the organizational level, various NFL, MLB, NBA, and MLS teams have taken huge strides to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. This indicates that these teams have successfully implemented systems within their stadiums to: 1) save energy, 2) reduce water, and 3) reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Collectively, these teams have the power to reach over hundreds of millions of fans: but why have these successes gone under the radar? [I'm going to plug my beloved Arsenal once more: they have made huge strides to reduce their carbon footprint - I'm a proud fan]

Professional athletes, coaches, and organizations need to understand that they can help save the earth with the power of their platform. They should be relentlessly promoting sustainable practices within their communities: big or small. This should not only be a top-down approach either. If you are an athlete or coach, start talking about using reusable water bottles rather than plastics. Support brands such as Adidas that just released the first ever running shoe made from 100% recycled plastic. Make sure you don't leave any trash behind on the fields once the games or training sessions are over. And when you see a coach, teammate, or fan doing the right thing? Praise them for it! Let's start creating a positive and active appreciation for sustainability within the world of sports.

#RunForTheOceans

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Ever since my college soccer days came to an end, I have been at a personal war with cardio. I despise running. It’s one of the most boring things you can do in my opinion. That being said, from June 8-16 I forced myself to run again. Why? Adidas and Parley.tv collaborated on yet another great cause. These two brands recently just announced the first running shoe upcycled from 100% recycled plastic. This time, they organized #RunForTheOceans, a cause in which for every km run, Adidas would donate $1 to the Parley Ocean School. The Parley Ocean School is focused on environmental education and dedicated to inspiring the next generation of leaders. Find out more about Parley Ocean School here. I managed to log 51.77 km, which translates to $51 dollars donated! *Disclaimer: Adidas capped their donations at $1.5M, and this goal was obviously met rather quickly. Nonetheless, I continued to run throughout the week to: 1) hit my 50km goal and 2) continue to raise awareness.

Big thanks to my friends who also joined in on the cause as well.

I’ve been dedicating a lot of my time thinking of ways to use sports/health & fitness to educate more about sustainability, so it’s really awesome to see big brands like Adidas partner with organizations like Parley.tv.

Remy from Ratatouille

I know you’re in there, Remy.

I know you’re in there, Remy.

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Here’s a fun little story.

While I was in Langkawi, most of the restaurants were closed because of Ramadan. One of the best meals I ate multiple times was the spicy chicken nasi goreng (fried rice) at a popup tent right across from my hostel. The meal was always passionately cooked by a young man who always welcomed me each night I came to visit. One night I brought two of my friends along, and as we were waiting for our food we noticed that there were some BIG rats hiding in some crates just a few feet away from us. We weren’t able to snag any photos because they were so fast, but I’m not joking: these things might as well have been squirrels.

The irony of this story is that the chef decided to wear this particular hat that night. We all joked that Remy the Rat from Ratatouille was secretly under the hat cooking our meals. The beauty of southeast Asia, right? Kiss food safety goodbye. Find humor in the grime. Thanks for the nasi goreng, Remy!!!

How I got a job in Singapore without filling out an application

The Gym Pod located at Changi City Point!

The Gym Pod located at Changi City Point!

As I prepared to leave America, I spent my free time researching startups in Singapore. I surfed various blogs and forums and eventually stumbled upon The Gym Pod, a 24 hour smart gym built inside a shipping container. The concept of the gym immediately intrigued me; I studied their website from soup to nuts. Within a few minutes I decided that I had to apply, only to discover that there were no job openings available. I decided to go with a different approach.

The moment I got fully settled in Singapore, I immediately continued my research. I downloaded their mobile app to take notes of the user experience. I visited the Gym Pod locations to get an idea of the environment in and around the facilities. I asked strangers what they thought of the Pods. I even waited outside the Pods for people to finish their workout sessions so I could ask them how their experience was.

Using all of this information, I created a portfolio with my analysis and a series of recommendations for how to expand the business. I designed the portfolio to mimic The Gym Pod's exact website design and structure. [I can't take credit for this idea. Thanks @VanessaLau.co for the idea and inspiration. If you haven't heard of her, I highly recommend her content!]

On The Gym Pod's website, you'll see that they have three main selling points: privacy, convenience, and peace of mind. When I created my portfolio, I structured it into 3 reasons why they should hire me. I even made the portfolio password protected: hirepeterforsuccess. You can take a look at the portfolio here.

Once all of this was complete, I sent an email to the CEO to let him know I had some ideas to share and then crossed my fingers for a response. Fortunately, he responded - and after a couple meetings to exchange ideas, I'm happy to say that I have accepted an offer as Business Development Executive with The Gym Pod!

P.S. For those who are curious, I am still committed to building and developing GreenGuards. Busy times are ahead, but I'm excited for the challenge!

Join the discussion on LinkedIn!

Langkawi

What an incredible week spent in Langkawi, Malaysia to celebrate my 25th birthday. Thanks very much to everyone for the birthday wishes! 

When I arrived in Langkawi, I have to admit I was a little concerned that I was entering a ghost town. As I arrived to my hostel I couldn’t help but notice that everything was closed and there was literally nobody outside walking around the main strip. I forgot that it’s Ramadan, and most of the island actually shuts down during the entire holiday period. 

This was actually a blessing in disguise. I essentially was able to claim and explore the island completely to myself and a few other friends I made in the hostel. Waterfalls, private beaches, swimming holes - you name it. Everything was completely empty and it was an awesome experience to enjoy all of what the island had to offer without worrying about any crowds.

The best way to get around on Langkawi is by scooter, and so being able to cruise around and explore also reminded me of my awesome time in Lombok. I hit 100km/hr on my scooter this past week! Funnily enough, the poor scooter actually broke down on my last night there…good timing. Take a look at my photos to see some of what Langkawi has to offer (work in progress…does anyone know why Squarespace takes nearly 10 min to upload a single picture???).

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My body officially has no idea what time it is...

Just returned from my brief stint back in the states - I was only home for about a week. Although I wanted to stay longer and see some more familiar faces, I didn’t want to risk fully adapting to the US time zone and then readapting to SG time zone when I returned. That being said…I’m still exhausted. For whatever reason, I feel like my body gets hit with jet lag harder than most others. Regardless, it was great to to catch up with friends and family and of course witness 2 of my amazing friends get married (congrats Sally and Sergio!!). 

I got back to Singapore around midnight last night and I am now back in the airport again (it’s about 9am) awaiting my flight to go to Malaysia. I’ll be heading to the archipelago of Langkawi (99 islands) for a week to relax and celebrate my 25th! Langkawi is a bit of a quieter vibe but that’s typically what I prefer anyways. I’m getting way too old to go clubbing and what not. Ready to do some island hopping, hiking, and just bumming on the beach. 

I know I have been slacking on updating this site with pictures - hope to provide you guys with some cool shots from Langkawi!