So This Is My Why | Issue 21

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Hey STIMYers!

It’s been awhile!​

I’ve been taking some time out to recaliberate & plot out where STIMY is heading, particularly as we head in STIMY Ep 60+ territory (how time flies).

When I first started STIMY, the goal was simple: I wanted to talk to interesting people about how they built their lives, and figure out how I could do the same, if I were so inclined.

And while the advice for any creator is to niche down, I kept the range broad because well, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. If a potential guest made me “uncomfortable” because their industry was so foreign, then all the more reason for me to say yes. Also, I began during the global pandemic so running a weekly podcast meant I was “meeting” at least one new person a week.

Suffice to say, I think I’ve hit my humble goals! And in a strange way, I’ve never felt more “connected” to people around the world.

But having done this for a year, there’s a part of me that really wants to do deep dives into particular topics. And this is something that I haven’t had a chance to do so: when you only have 1.5 hours to explore a person’s entire life, you sacrifice depth on certain subject matters. And I’ve realised that some of my favourite episodes have been when people just riff on what they really know for a good hour or so.

​So moving forward, I’m going to try mixing it up: exploring the life’s of interesting people, but also sometimes honing in on just certain topics for an entire episode.

​That said, I’d love to hear what YOU have to say about STIMY, and the kind of guests/topics you’d like to see covered.

So if you have a spare moment or two, would you mind please filling out this feedback form?

Now onto STIMY’s latest episode!


STIMY Ep 60: David Grief

David Grief - Senior Clerk & Head of Administration (Essex Court Chambers), CEO, David Grief International Consultancy Pte Singapore

David has one of the most quintessentially English careers you’ll find. And if you aren’t familiar with the UK legal system, it’s easy to assume that a “Clerk” is a “lowly” administrative role.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

David is one of the most respected Senior Clerks around, and I was really excited to do this interview with him to unravel the “mystery” surrounding his industry:

How does one become a clerk?

What do clerks really do?

And how do lawyers become QCs & judges? This question was of particular interest to me because with David, some of his charges have gone on to the Supreme Court, ICC and ECHR in Strasbourg (including the former Chief Justice of England & Wales)!

We explored all that & more in this episode:

  • 9:45 Clerking before the age of the Internet
  • 11:46 What a barristers’ clerk actually does
  • 17:19 Knowing the breaking points of a barrister
  • 19:40 Collection of fees
  • 22:49 1974 UK Miners’ Strike & 3-Day Work Week
  • 24:47 Building relationships with instructing solicitors
  • 30:02 Being the only clerk with a license to fly
  • 38:53 Managing situations when a barrister cops out
  • 43:09 Identifying barristers with star quality & when they’re ready to take the silk
  • 48:17 People who have most influenced David’s career
  • 50:47 Joining Essex Court Chambers
  • 57:05 Why David moved to Singapore
  • 1:01:32 Challenges in establishing Singapore’s first pure chambers practice
  • 1:04:41 Innovations that David anticipates happening in the legal sector
  • 1:06:26 “Don’t ask, don’t get”

​Other places to listen to: Website, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Listen Notes

Looking for past STIMY guests? Check out:

  • Nicky Gumbel: Former English barrister turned Anglican priest & Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, London
  • Kendrick Nguyen: Former Wall Street lawyer & General Counsel of AngelList, turned co-founder of Republic – one of the top US equity crowdfunding platforms
  • Dato’ Thomas Lee: Son of Tun HS Lee (Malaysia’s 1st Finance Minister) & Founding Partner of LHAG (one of Malaysia’s most prominent law firms)

STIMY Episode 43 features Nicky Gumbel – Anglican priest & vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton. Of how he went from being a successful barrister to pioneering Alpha: a course that has reached over 25 million people looking to discover the meaning to life!

Favourite Finds of the Week

Article: No Two Are Alike

What’s it about?

A lovely article by a behavioral geneticist at the University of Texas about how no 2 persons are alike, which includes siblings.​

In a scientific study that covered over 2,500 twins and multiples, it was shown that “siblings are as alike in personality as two people randomly picked out of the population—which is to say, not at all!

Article: Offensive Language on TV & Radio

What’s it about?

Ofcom (UK’s communications regulator) recently released a guide on what constitutes “offensive language” on TV & radio. And how many of those surveyed found it hard to judge just how offensive a word was outside its context.​

Ultimately, the acceptability of a word was determined by the following 3 questions:

  • What was the broadcast?
  • How was it broadcast?
  • Why was it broadcast?

Ofcom then grouped the words into MILD, MODERATE & STRONG.​

I have to say, there were quite a few words I found that I’d never heard of!

Article: How Discord (accidentally) invented the future of the Internet

If you’ve been following the NFT space, then you’ll know that Discord channels are really heating up.

But even before the NFT boom, Discord has been a really popular channel of communication, and it all began… because its founders wanted to find a way to talk to their gamer friends back in 2015.

Why read?

The article gives a great snapshot into how Discord began, with its tagline of “it’s time to ditch Skype and TeamSpeak“, where gamers wanted a way to talk to their other gaming friends. Private servers bloomed, as did public servers for people looking for new gamer buds. And now, it has over 100 million monthly active years covering everything from study groups to gardening.

Additional Reading

Discord founder, Jason Citron, recently published a post on Discord’s approach to racial equity here.

Podcast: Creator Upload

I’m a big fan of all things Creator Economy, which makes the Creator Upload podcast one of my favourite finds.​

They release 20-40 minute episodes covering the latest in the creator economy, and also feature interviews with the likes of Nas Daily (on raising $5 million for Nas Academy).

Very bingeworthy and insightful, particularly as one of the hosts used to work in Facebook & has a deep understanding of the creator ecosystem.

Upcoming STIMY Guests

  • Daniel Flynn – co-founder of Thank You, one of Australia’s most successful & creative social enterprises
  • Esther Wojcicki – journalist, eductor & mother to 3 highly successful daughters (including Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube)
  • Lauren Hom – one of the most talent artists/illustrationists I’ve come across with an impressive entrepreneurial streak

Also, do you know anyone with an interesting/inspiring story? Or someone whose backstory you’d love to hear?

Feel free to hit me up @ sothisismywhy(at) 😊

Until next week!

Ling Yah

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