She is the Founder of Soul Rich Woman, the #1 female entrepreneur network in Southeast Asia that connects more than 12,000 women across the region, with presence in 7 countries including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
Prior to this, she was an owner of a cafe retail chain with presence in 3 countries and successfully exited to a public listed company.
Profiled in CNBC and China Daily, Genecia is also an expert public speaker and has spoken in recent major events, including the RISE Conference in Hong Kong, Success Conference and Expo Asia 2018 in Hanoi, and National Achievers’ Congress in Manila.
Denis O’Brien [0:37]
Welcome to Episode 190. Soul Rich Woman. Hey money clan, a very warm welcome to the chain of wealth podcast. I’m your host Denis O’Brien. And I’m Katie Welsh. Katie. I absolutely love this conversation all about women entrepreneurs literally conquering out there in Southeast Asia. What an incredible story.
Katie Welsh [1:0]
I love this because I feel like there’s such a movement going on about women really speaking up and feeling empowered, and just doing what they do.
Denis O’Brien [1:13]
Kate, what I love most about this conversation is it doesn’t make a difference what background you’re from, you can make a plan and you can start a business and make millions of dollars. And anyone can do it. You know, if you try hard enough, you can do it.
Katie Welsh [1:29]
Denis O’Brien [1:30]
Awesome. So before we dive into our episode, if you guys haven’t already, we’d love if you join our Facebook community, head on over to chainofwealth.com/group. Come and say hi, and let us know what you’re busy working on. Alright Kate, are you ready to dive right in to todays show?
Katie Welsh [1:46]
Denis O’Brien [1:47]
Fantastic. Let’s do it.
Voice Over [1:49]
Welcome to chain of wealth. here’s your host, Denis inspiring you to begin your journey of financial freedom.
Denis O’Brien [1:57]
Genecia Alluora is a former Miss Singapore and Southeast Asia woman of excellence 2010. She’s the founder of Soul Rich Woman, the number one female entrepreneur network in Southeast Asia that connects more than 12,000 women across the region with presence in seven countries including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. Prior to this, she was a owner of a cafe retail chain with presence in three countries and successfully exited to a public listed company. Profiled in CNBC and China Daily. Genecia is also an expert public speaker and has risen in recent major events, including the Rise Conference in Hong Kong, National Success and Expo Asia, in 2018. in Hanoi, and National Achievers Congress in Manila. Welcome
Katie Welsh [2:58]
Hey, how are you?
Genecia Alluora [3:0]
Hey, Denis and Katie. Welcome. Thank you for having me on your show.
Katie Welsh [3:4]
We’re so excited. We have a lot of questions for you, especially in the female entrepreneurial space. But before we get to that, what got you to where you are today? Like, where was your starting from?
Genecia Alluora [3:19]
Well, to where I was before, Soul Rich Woman.
Katie Welsh [3:22]
Genecia Alluora [3:23]
Okay. So before Soul Rich Woman, I was a cafe retail chain owner started, then because before that, I was an image consultant. And then I was basically trading time for money because it was like, if I work, I get paid, I work, I get paid, I work, I get paid, I don’t work, I don’t get paid. So in 2012, I decided to go online because I couldn’t see myself just doing offline business, I decided to go into e commerce. And that was when I make my first pot of gold. I crossed my first million. And then I invested my money into a partnership, which is the cafe retail chain. And I started with my partners, we grew from one outlet to three, seven outlets in across three countries selling franchise and licensing. And during this time, even though I was doing retail offline, to ask me why I was doing offline and retail even though thinking about online, but it was a very good business experience. But during that time, I was based in Indonesia. And that time in Indonesia was handling a cafe business. And you know, I have extra pockets of time. And I was asking myself, How else could I you know, reach out to more people and my heart was always still with women because of where my background was how my background was like, then during that time, I had a webcam and I internet. So I said okay, why not? Let’s do this. During my pockets of free time, I turn on an internet and I shared my online experience. I started running webinars every single Wednesday, for an entire year. It was like watching a series of shows or movies. every single Wednesday at 9pm sharp, I’ll be online sharing my you know, how do you do online? How do you start an e commerce? How do you do your Facebook ads and stuff like that? And when I first started it was zero viewers, right? Zero followers zero viewers. And, you know, it was like, how do I get people to come to my uncertain room of a webinar, right. So there was when I started to progress and build up on social media, finding my voice online on social media. And with that, it started from zero to 10 to the first hundred, the first 500 it was called Your Possible Academy initially. But as the community grew, the women in the community felt that Academy was so much in sync with them as a community. So I rebranded in 2015 and call us Soul Rich Woman spelled s s o u l r i c h w o m a n. So then the community grew from not just Singapore, it was to Malaysia to to Indonesia, to Philippines to Vietnam. And that’s how you grew into Southeast Asia. So now we are connecting about 12,000 members, that means people who are in a small group, but we actually connecting in our database of 200 thousand female entrepreneurs right now in Southeast Asia.
Katie Welsh [6:23]
Wow, that is incredible
Denis O’Brien [6:25]
That is insane.
Katie Welsh [6:26]
Oh my goodness. So did you always, even as a child have this entrepreneurial spark or just something that you felt like burning within you?
Genecia Alluora [6:36]
In when I was 14 years old, I was kind of forced to go out to work because my family financially met up with crisis. So I had to my mom pawn her gold and raise some money for me to take up some certifications to become an instructor in yoga, aerobics and line dancing. During this time, when I was doing this, I was supporting myself through school paying for my book fees and paying my school fees and putting food on the table. And I learned a little bit of entrepreneurship because it was tough, right? I mean, when I work I get paied after a while I said, Can I multiply my income when I was in school? So can I say, Okay, if Can I go get some corporate jobs or when someone hire me for events? Can I supply instructors during this period of time. So for every one hour, I do a job, say for example, I will have maybe two to three more instructors out there doing their jobs as well. So I would multiply my income. So that was when I kind of tasted the spirit of entrepreneurship, not just earning my own income, but being able to multiply my income.
Denis O’Brien [7:46]
That’s absolutely crazy. So, you know, having built up this big network of female entrepreneurs, I’m sure that you’ve seen a ton of different stories and a ton of different journeys. So what would you say is one of the biggest hurdles that you see specifically female entrepreneurs struggling with and I’m talking specifically about the initial stage, the startup phase,
Genecia Alluora [8:7]
A lot of female entrepreneurs, when they first started, they always ask permission from their husband ask their permission for the boyfriend. So is there’s this thing about asking permission from other people seeking, seeking, like, what do you call it like permission advice from other people who are not in the area or realm of entrepreneurship? So a tendency to be hold back because of this? Oh, seeking permission? Look, if you’re a female entrepreneur, yo, you know, you want to pursue your dreams, hey, don’t there’s no need to ask for permission from other people, you know, step out of the comfort zone and hang out with like minded female entrepreneurs and find a mentor and get yourself cracking. Because you are the plan. There’s no other plan, you are the plan. There’s no plan B,
Katie Welsh [8:55]
I am sure at least the one girl out there listening is needed to hear you say that, that you don’t need to ask for permission, that if that’s what you want to do, you have the right and you are capable of completely doing whatever it is you want to start. So I first want to thank you for that. And I know you said earlier, Soul Rich Women is really big in Asian countries and everything. But do you have any sort of influence in America? Or do you ever work with people who are in America, because that’s mostly where our listeners are coming from?
Genecia Alluora [9:31]
Right now, the way that we are building our network is mainly in Southeast Asia, because we are serving women in this region, because we have the cultural differences. And of course, we are at a face we are building up women in this region. So for America, I mean, because of the podcast and sharing of interviews like this, it allows our stories to be heard as well, you know, because for for entrepreneurs on your side of the world, who want to come into Southeast Asia, we are a great network to be a part of. So that’s how we are serving not just Southeast Asia and extending our influence across the world.
Katie Welsh [10:12]
Yeah, well in the world. I feel like every passing year gets a little bit smaller.
Genecia Alluora [10:20]
Yeah, especially with the internet. Yeah
Katie Welsh [10:51]
Yes. And I feel like every time I go on social media, I have friends. It’s like nobody is ever in a America anymore. Everybody is always in Europe and Africa and Asia and going to all different types of places. So I feel like the world is getting much smaller.
Genecia Alluora [11:7]
So So next time if you come to Singapore, if you ever travel to this part of the world, you’re always welcome to I’m staying at my place. Extra room available.
Katie Welsh [10:51]
We talked about it often. So for Soul Rich Women, what in their support network of so many people you talked to earlier that you had the webinars and everything, what kind of forums or trainings do you offer now?
Genecia Alluora [11:7]
So in Soul Rich Woman, basically what we do here is we help women to go from offline to online, where we help them to look into their branding, you know, finding their voice, a message, attracting more clients, and then you know, while making a positive impact in the world. On the other side, I also run a digital marketing agency see where we focus on women led businesses, so our clientele are like doctors, dentists, we have wellness companies and crossing $1 million, 1 million to 3 million women who are you know, less than 1 million in revenue and businesses less than 1 million, we usually do the mentoring and coaching aspect. And for other women who are you know, who are not able to be present, usually they will do the digital products, or e courses and usually that’s about our two signature programs, we have two in fact, one is called woman of influence. The other one is called the template library for busy entrepreneurs. So what we do is we have a lot of resources and support focusing for female entrepreneurs in Asia because you know, to help them to overcome the fear of failure, overcome their limiting belief and giving them the resources to go online.
Denis O’Brien [12:30]
I really like that. So talking about female entrepreneurs like I asked a little bit earlier, what’s a struggle that people face the beginning, now I’m going to sort of pivot and asked you okay, but what about the successful people? What makes them successful? And, you know, like, having seen so many woman and spoken to so many women and coached them, would you say that there’s a overriding sort of trend or certain traits that successful women tend to have?
Genecia Alluora [12:57]
Yes, in fact, one of our patrons for Soul Rich Woman is, you know, Grant Cardone. Yep. I don’t know if you’re good. Okay, Grant Cardone wife, Elena Cardone so because Soul Rich Woman is a Southeast Asian network. So we work with like, Kim Kiyosaki, Grant Cardone, Elena Cardone. So you know, I’ve seen all these successful women, and when I speak with them and hang out with them, it’s very interesting, because the common thread that I see is that they have an attitude of adaptability. And the openness of knowing a relationship is never a power struggle, but a partnership. So in their marriages, and in their, in their relationship and their work, they always look at partnership, how can you work together collaborate, And then how can you you know, through your failures and your own downfalls. How do you turn this around into your own message, your mess become your message, so they’re very strong in this area, they’re always looking for collaboration coming together, and really having a great attitude, knowing that change is the constant.
Katie Welsh [14:6]
I can appreciate that. Because, in fact, at work today, I was in a yearend training, because I’m a teacher, and we were talking about how we need to continue teaching children how to fail successfully. And just because you make a mistake, and something doesn’t go the right way that you planned on it. It’s not permission to just shut down and have a meltdown. And that’s it. You have to you know, get up and dust yourself off and stay really versatile. And it’s, it can be a really hard trade to learn.
Genecia Alluora [14:41]
Yeah, because you are not what you have done. Right? You are what you have overcome.
Katie Welsh [14:45]
Exactly. Well, now I’m curious, I want to hear one of your failures that you learned about that you learned a lot about from,
Genecia Alluora [14:58]
Wow, I have many failures in life, before I arrived, where I am. One of my biggest failures was, I would say, not knowing how to, you know, go into a partnership, because when we first started our business many, many, many, many years ago, I started my business in 2006, I went to a partnership with several friends, you know, and we didn’t have a contract, and we didn’t have any thing, you know, other than setting up a proper company. But there was no real like agreement or not really understanding how the percentage work and how whose role was that, you know, and it was based on trust, so called a trust, but you see is when you see your friends, your friends, but when you go into business is a whole different animal. And because of that, you know, we just put money in and we just run the business. And sometimes they don’t really care what happened, or, you know, I we all didn’t know really what to do. And because of all this, we didn’t know. And we didn’t really succeed in the business and therefore, you know, we failed right out, we went into a six figure debt, it was so difficult, you know, and for me, because I was the main shareholder, mean, director, it was so tough. And you know, the, it was very hard to clear this shit, because everybody is like, okay, there’s no black and white, you know, like at the beginning. So what we learned and what I learned from this whole entire experience of starting a company is so easy to start a company, you pay a little small fee to get an accountant to your to your book, so to set up a company with the government, but the actual running of the business, understanding what real partnership is, is that really, don’t just don’t jump into a partnership, if you don’t understand what’s going to go ahead of you find a mentor, and find someone who has experience to get you guys through this journey. And that’s why I will say, That’s why I was able to have a successful partnership in the cafe retail chain, we have five different partners. And we all do different aspects of the business, we were clear of what we were going to do, we had contracts written exactly who does what and who is going to do what. And then you know, I was doing PR and marketing for the cafe retail chain. While my partner was doing operations, the other one was doing franchise and licensing, the other ones doing accounts and the other ones doing something else, right. So each of us put our strength together, I was able to turn my mess into my message. And before we were all masters, we’re all masters of disasters. And all throughout all this experience, you know, we access as fully exited to a public listed company just recently. So I really believe that whatever failure you have, at this moment, don’t give up. And really, whatever you do, find a mentor, find a mentor and find a mentor.
Katie Welsh [17:55]
That is excellent. And we’ve talked to other entrepreneurs before where they say that your partner is the most important part because ultimately, it is easier to end, like a marriage between like you and your spouse than it is to end a business partnership. So when you’re going into a business partnership with somebody, you really need to be committed. And you know, it’s tough. And I like how, when you did this cafe, everybody had their own job. So everybody is essentially staying in their lane. And all you have to do is focus on what your responsibility is.
Genecia Alluora [18:40]
I mean, we do fight, and we do quarrel, and we do argue over the issues, but we know that we each of us have our own role, and we are doing something bigger than ourselves, you know, trying to say it’s not like it’s for our own. Yes, we are, we want profits, and we want to exited the business. But it’s more like coming together and knowing that there’s a bigger purpose and a bigger vision of what we want to do for the business.
Denis O’Brien [19:5]
I think as well as sort of going off your point that, you know, like you’re trying to set up this company with your friends, and it ended up failing. And like, I think the overriding reason is that there was no plan. And very often you hear the words, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. And I think that you know, having that crystal clear vision of where you’re going is so critically important aswell.
Genecia Alluora [19:30]
That’s why finding a mentor is important. And knowing someone learning from someone who has been there done that is super important as well. That’s why even till now, even though we have exited the cafe retail chain business, we still have people coming to us, looking for us as consultants in the business as well.
Katie Welsh [19:47]
So I know, if you were to give a young entrepreneur advice, you would say take find a mentor. But what other important advice do you think is critical for especially a female entrepreneur, to start out with?
Genecia Alluora [20:3]
To start out with is to just get started, because a lot of female entrepreneurs we’ve seen, even though you say find a mentor and things like that, if you never get started, you never will. And we tend to overthink, we over plan. And you know, in entrepreneurship world, there’s nothing is a straight line, you know, you could plan like, okay, one year down the road, you going to do this, you know, this month, you going to do this, you know, have little goalpost. So what we do is we have like a one year plan, a three year plan. But we do have little goal posts that we move along the way. Sometimes the plan doesn’t really work, we just shift the goalposts a little bit and we’ll just keep moving month to month, month to month. So always do that. And secondly is don’t do everything yourself. I know you are startup, you’re you’re doing stuff on your own you have all the time in the world. But hey, you know 80% is always sales and marketing 20% is on operations. So if you do like manicure pedicure or if you go to the salon, you you like to do hair treatments, you’d like to go for spas, Hey, could you save some money like no, don’t go for the spa session or don’t go for the manicure pedicure, and take a five hours to hire a virtual assistant to help you to alleviate the five hours so that you can do what is in your zone of genius, for business to grow is not to look at all the operational work is is to focus on sales and marketing, especially if you’re a startup and if especially you are new and you are going you want to grow from places to places
Denis O’Brien [21:34]
Absolutely love that money clan we are gonna take a quick break and say a very big thanks to our sponsor. This episode is sponsored by savvi financial. Why does good financial advice have to be so hard to get so complicated, so expensive. With savvi it doesn’t. Simply smart advice can be yours at no cost. And you can be the financial action hero and take control of your financial future in minutes. Savvi helps you organize all your financial accounts and make sense of your overall spending habits. Then it gives you actionable advice on your financial goals. Built by a team of MIT trained data scientists Savvi offers world class financial advice on retirement refinancing student debts, life insurance, and so so much more. The best part, the basic subscription is free, so you can gain access to all of this information, the advice that you’re going to get, it’s personalized and independent. Savvi puts your best interests first and it’s independent of everyone else. If you’d like to claim a free offer, head on over to chainofwealth.com/savvi. That’s chainofwealth.com/savvi. S A V V I
Katie Welsh [22:54]
Okay, so I am curious to know what your retirement plan looks like. We ask everybody who comes on the show because a lot of millennials specifically know they should be saving their money and planning for retirement but not quite sure what they should be doing. So what are you doing?
Genecia Alluora [23:16]
For me, we invest in properties around Southeast Asia and we get our recurring income, our quarterly passive income through these properties because for us, property investments is one of the great ways to grow our money. So that’s what we have been doing.
Denis O’Brien [23:35]
Fantastic. And do you have a favorite book that you currently into?
Genecia Alluora [23:40]
Well, I’ve got many different books that I love to read, but I will recommend you to explore Rich Woman by Kim Kiyosaki.
Katie Welsh [23:49]
Okay, and what about a favorite quote you try to live by
Genecia Alluora [23:54]
The sky’s the limit and there’s no storm you cannot conquer. Alone you are strong, together we are unstoppable.
Denis O’Brien [24:3]
I love that. Genecia we’ve really had a lot of fun hanging out today. Do you have another last parting piece of advice for our listeners. And then we’ll say goodbye.
Genecia Alluora [24:12]
Well, for you, for women who love the F word. Being fabulous having freedom and financial independence. Keep going. Keep running until your bank account look like your phone number.