Secret File #031: What Growing Up in Singapore Taught Me About Business

What Growing Up in Singapore Have Taught Me About Business

“Just have fun, you gotta have fun” — Melanie Johnsson

When you’re running a creative design business, you tend to get lost in the numbers and the billable hours. After all, you want to get paid. But, what happens when you tweak your business towards your values and faith in yourself? Listen to this episode as Melanie shares her experience!


In this episode, you'll hear about 4 things that I learnt about running businesses in Singapore:

  1. Perfection isn’t everything

  2. Take fast actions

  3. Understand your target buyers

  4. Meritocracy in our business


Listen to the Episode below:

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Thank you so much for listening!



Happy National Day to all our Singapore listeners! Today is 9th of August, and it’s the birthday of Singapore! For all my Fempreneurs out there, people in Singapore celebrate our Nation’s Birthday wearing the national colours red and white. We either spend time with the family at home or go out to witness the magnificent fireworks display in the evening.

In this special episode, I want to pay homage to the lessons I’ve learnt in Singapore about Business. There’s going to be lots of storytelling in this episode, but they’ll be worth your time!

[Music Plays]: We are Singapore, Singaporeans!

Paying homage to Singapore, here are 3 things I’ve learnt growing up in Singapore about businesses.

#1: Perfection isn’t everything

When I was 8 years old, my father taught me the importance of getting your floorplan done right. You see, my father was a contractor, and he allowed me to colour his clients’ floorplans with him. It was our bonding activity at that time. So, he taught me that perfection isn’t everything and that the steps taken is what matters the most. The road to success is a long, long road, but if you follow the right steps, you’ll get there — as did the Singapore government in building Singapore into a metropolitan city in under 50 years.

#2: Take fast actions

In 2013, the government of Singapore imposed discretionary policies to help struggling businesses innovate. Lots of people took advantage of that grant and got their office “sponsored” by the government. From the computers to the websites — all were covered under this grant. But, it didn’t last for long and when I wanted to setup my business in 2014, the requirements became much stricter. My partner and I didn’t meet the requirements and weren’t able to tap on this government grant. It’s okay for us but now, that grant no longer exist.

The lesson learnt here is: fast action helps your business grow! So, take fast yet calculated actions to see fast results.

#3: Understand Your Target Buyers

Singapore has one of the lowest corporate and income tax rates in the world. With this, Singapore has opened doors to foreign investments and attracted foreign talent to work here. While we don’t talk about other political feedback in this podcast, we want to examine this as a “business strategy” instead. The reason why this policy is so successful is because Singapore truly understands their target buyers which are the foreign businesses. The government has placed themselves in the so called shoes of these foreign businesses, understanding what they would want to have in an optimal business environment. In that sense, they’d probably have done a lot of research on what these target audience, target buyers would want in their business. So, when you understand your target buyer, they will come to you and as a result your business can grow optimally as well.

I’m adding in a bonus for this episode, so here’s

#4: Meritocracy in Our Business

We are a melting pot of cultures. It is a really diverse city to be in. And living in this country has helped me realise the importance of treating everyone equally based on their merits. Singapore believes in meritocracy, and likewise, our business should be run with that idea. The more we put effort into our business equals to the more merits we have into running our businesses, the more successful we can be. And when we treat other people – the people that we work with, the staff that we hire, the partners that we work with – the more we treat them with respect and the more we care about them, the more we will get a better future for ourselves. So likewise, the more we value our target audience or buyers, our potential customers and clients, the more they will come back to us because they believe in what we have to say and they believe in what we have to share.

So those are the lessons that I’ve learnt growing up in Singapore. And I want to make this episode short, so I can spend time with my family so we can watch the fireworks!

What are the lessons you’ve learnt growing up in your country, related to business? I’d love to know! Share them as voice messages by going over to There is a link there to ask questions. It will be fun if you could record your voice so we can play them during the episode.

If you love this episode, be sure to leave a review on apple podcast. It will help me know what type of content we produce for you. Also, if you have any questions that you would like me to answer in our podcasts, go on over to to drop those questions.

Keep learning and keep believing in yourself because the one and inspiration and just like you, and I'll see you in the next episode of Fempreneur Secrets.


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Till the next episode, This is Huda — Empowering Women Through Business.