There's no question that entrepreneurs need courage, drive, and initiative to be daring enough to seize an opportunity when it arises. Entrepreneurs require a mixture of self-belief and optimism to navigate their way through the tumultuous period of excitement and uncertainty that can often accompany the "launching" of a new business.
The phrase Carpe Diem, meaning seize the day, aptly describes sisters and entrepreneurs Lok Hui Ching (Hui Ching) and Lok Hui Ping (Xannelle). They demonstrate their ability to seize the opportunity in business as they dare to be different. Defying the odds and taking on new business ventures defines the lives of these two Singaporean sisters.
Defying the odds
Lok Hui Ching, who runs a marketing consulting business, also operates a co-living company in Singapore where tenants enjoy all-inclusive communal living. Her sister Xannelle, who is also in the marketing industry, is an online marketing coach under one hat and operates a Fire Protection company. The two sisters have always had a knack for business growing up.
"We grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. Since we were young, we were tasked with helping out in our parents' businesses whenever we were free, especially during the holidays. From sorting out business documents to mending the physical stall, all of these were to teach us how money was made."
Lok Hui Ching - Real Estate Mogul and Marketing Consultant
Hui Ching saw an opportunity in the real estate market in Singapore and decided to capitalize on it by creating co-living spaces. Co-living is a modern form of housing where residents share a living space and a set of interests, values, and intentions.
"I started this business right in the middle of the pandemic lockdown in Singapore in 2020. Everyone was panicking, and home rentals moved extremely slowly. I saw an opportunity in this and took a leap of faith to start this out of spontaneity. Most contractors and agents looked at me like I was crazy. Many had doubts about my capabilities because I started my first residential apartment unit alone, with zero support. My target audience is generally millennials who value flexibility, location freedom, and mobility."
The real estate magnate also touts the hat of a Marketing Consultant, helping sales professionals attract high-paying clients by finding out their niche and unique selling point. "Most of the clients that I work with are all elites and titans in their field with their unique philosophy and flavor of personality. What I do for them amplifies what they already are. If they suck, marketing will exacerbate their problems. If they're good, marketing will intensify their strength."
Lok Hui Ping (Xannelle) - Fire protection by day and marketing coach by night
Hui Ching's sister Xannelle also operates two businesses, a fire protection business by day and an Online Marketing Coach by night.
The family-owned fire protection business she operates has been around since 1984. The company services and supplies fire extinguishers and related protection equipment. "I'm most certainly proud to be a female in this industry. There are many instances that my industry peers gave me a doubtful look when I first appeared at the worksite. It gives me a sense of satisfaction as I observe their reactions while I was providing them with some advisory on the fire protection requirements and conducting the laborious servicing task."
Xannelle, a Marketing graduate, also works as an online marketing coach, a completely different area of expertise from fire protection. She came up with the idea of being a marketing coach when she was in negotiation with a few buyers for her wedding styling business, another business hat she previously wore. "I realized that they were all amazed at how systematic I was in my previous business, and they were curious about my marketing strategy, which got me partnerships with established companies and high paying clients despite being relatively new in the industry." From there, she decided to take a leap of faith and utilize the skills she learned in her degree.
Both Xannelle and Hui Ching exemplify what it means to break the proverbial "glass ceiling" by venturing into unknown territory. "I could say that I'm proud of being able to overcome adversity on my own. I dare to admit my mistakes regardless of how hard it is, say no, and quickly cut my losses. I'm also not afraid of starting over again."