Dare to Dream!

No more excuses to put off that kick-a** idea you have. To celebrate International Women's Day, read about Singapore's coolest go-getters here, who attained their goals before 35. So what are you waiting for?

Pat Law, early 30s, founder of social influence agency Goodstuph

Pat's aim when she started her branding agency in 2010: for the company to be in the black within three months. Turns out, it was never in the red to begin with. Sure, she saved on rent, thanks to a good pal who had kindly extended her office space in his own agency for free.

But Pat also ran the company singlehandedly for six months, doing everything from paperwork, making follow-up calls, networking, graphic design and writing copy for campaigns - no surprise that instant noodles became her best friend. Today, she has eight employees - all paid above market rate ("I refuse to run a sweatshop") - who dream up campaigns for big names like Sephora, United Overseas Bank, Ben & Jerry's and Nike.

PAT'S TIP: Need help? Ask! "I'm terrible at numbers, so I hired an accountant on an ad hoc basis. If you've never run your own business before, get advice from someone who has. If you're not a natural salesperson, then don't bother with the cold calls and stick with existing clients."

Siti Khalijah Zainal, 28, theatre actress

The former Institute of Technical Education (ITE) student never attended fancy arts schools or relied on rich parents to bankroll her dreams. Shy and self-conscious, she fell in love with acting after she pushed herself to take part in a school performance. Not wanting to burden her folks (her father was a machinist and her mother, a housewife), she applied for funding from the Marine Parade Community Development Council to pay for a year-long training programme by The Necessary Stage.

In between the countless auditions she went for, she performed in plays for primary and secondary schools. As soon as she got her first pay cheque, she not only helped pay for household bills, but also gave her parents money for their expenses. She finally struck it big when she played a domestic helper in Model Citizens in 2010 - the career-defining role won her the Best Actress Award at The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards in 2011.

SITI'S TIP: Be patient: "No matter how good you are, it takes awhile for people to notice, so wait it out and keep going."


To read the rest of this article, get a copy of the February 2014 issue of Her World, Singapore's No. 1 women's magazine. Her World, published by SPH Magazines is available at all newsstands now.

Ruby Tan, Tabitha Branson and Jeanne Tai are features writer with Her World magazine by SPH Magazines. Check out more stories at www.herworldplus.com.

Also, check out the March 2014 issue for these stories:

a) Power pastels for work. Pretty shades get serious when they come in metallic finishes or smart tailoring.

b) 275 beauty winners. We tried and tested more than 700 products - from pre-serums to hair oils to cleansing gadgets - and picked these must-buys. New this year: verdicts from five local bloggers.

c) Turn pasta and pizza into healthy snacks. No time to whip up dinner from scratch? Cheat by upgrading these five frozen foods into tasty, filling and nutritious meals.