Dr Deborah Wong is a mother, general practitioner, entrepreneur and fitness guru. Shortly after graduating from medical school, she took over a pilates studio (Breathe Pilates), turned it around and expanded it into a successful and highly profitable chain with 4 locations across Singapore. Breathe Pilates is unique in offering training programmes for pilates instructors in addition to standard pilates classes. Deborah maintains a professional interest in lifestyle medicine, and she has personally experimented with multiple training programmes, diets and supplements.
3 THINGS I LEARNED
Raising capital: If you intend to venture into business, you need money. Many people have business ideas in their heads, and the only thing that hinders them is capital. Don’t be afraid to ask your family to chip in if they are capable of stepping in. You don’t lose anything by trying.
In entrepreneurship, you need to keep evolving and be innovative to remain in business, especially during pandemics. COVID has taught us things can change in a fortnight, and if you want your business to survive, you need to be strategic.
When building your business, it is essential to ensure that you have structures and processes that don’t need you always to be there to make it successful. Build a business that can run without requiring your presence all the time.TOPICS WE COVERED
How Deborah acquired the business and turned it aroundDeborah’s transition from doctor to entrepreneurHow Deborah learned what she needed to know about running the businessHow Deborah runs the pilates studio in terms of prioritising and making decisionsStrategies that Deborah and her partner adopted to deal with the challenges that came with Covid Why Deborah has hired a data scientistThe importance of having the right location in businessWhy Deborah decided to start training pilates instructorsGetting back into medicine after taking a break for a yearHow Deborah ended up practising medicine in ShanghaiBalancing full-time employment and running a business at the same timeThe benefits of autonomy and flexibility that being a business owner brings