Eric Sim Managing Director UBS Investment Banker, son of Singapore prawn noodle shop

Questions from the Audience with Eric Sim (former Managing Director, UBS & LinkedIn Influencer)

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Welcome to a Special Questions from the Audience episode with Eric Sim!

All week, we’ve heard from Eric Sim.

In Part 1, we learned about his journey from working at his father’s prawn noodle hawker stall to becoming the Managing Director at UBS Investment Bank.

In Part 2, Eric explains why he left it all behind, the importance of building a portfolio career, why LinkedIn & his secret to building a 2.9 million following on LinkedIn!

In today’s special episode, we asked Eric questions that came from YOU, the STIMY listeners!


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    So This Is My Why podcast

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    YOUR Questions to Eric

    • 1:10 Framework to evaluate opportunities [Lily Wu]
    • 4:10 What is Eric Sim’s life purpose? [Sam Huen]
    • 5:12 What does the creator economy look like in 3 years & what’s 1 action that people can take to best position themselves for it? [Lester Chng]
    • 8:36 Lessons learned after writing his book, Small Actions Leading Your Career to Big Success [Craig Davis]
    Eric Sim Managing Director UBS Investment Banker, son of Singapore prawn noodle shop

    External Links

    Some of the things we talked about in this STIMY Episode can be found below:

    Questions from the Audience with Eric Sim

    Ling Yah: Hi everyone.

    Gosh, this has been a really intense week, right? Because you're getting three episodes on STIMY with Eric Sim. Today's is Short and Sweet. It's a Questions from the audience episode with Eric Sim, and it is exactly what the name says.

    It's questions from you, the listeners. Now you've heard Eric's story. If you haven't, go back to part one, part two.

    Eric, in gist, is the son of a prawn noodle hawker store owner who became the Managing Director of UBS, grew his LinkedIn account to 2.9 million followers and is a strong advocate for everyone to have a second career and built their personal brand. But all those questions that you heard in part one, part two, they came from me and I don't want it to be the case.

    I want you to also have the chance to ask STIMY guests some questions too, which is why this episode is here. Some of you submitted voice notes with your questions, Eric has answered, so to those who participated, thank you.

    Now are you ready?

    Let's hear Eric's answer.

    So I had four people who actually came and I am going to play their question for you so that you can answer.

    The first is from someone you know, Lily Wu. Mm.

    Lily Wu: Hi Eric, this is Lily.

    I'm the startup partner leader at Stripe. I've always been a great admirer of your unconventional journey and career choices.

    So my question for you today is that at each inflection point when evaluating the opportunities in front of you that require your time and energy, what kind of decision making framework or factors did you have to consider when making that choice and has that changed over time?

    Eric Sim: Yeah. I always think about the impact. I always imagine this little thing that I do.

    If I go on this podcast, what's the repercussion? Was the report effect? So I would do event for cfa Nigeria and East Africa. Cause I feel that the impact is going to be big, right? Can be big.

    So there are certain things that I like to think of as maybe 50% of the time nothing's gonna happen after I take the action, but the other 50% is going to be so huge. Then I like to take those action.

    Also, I like to take action that adds new experiences for me. It's something that pays well, but it's something that I've really been doing. In fact, one university want me to teach a course like 20 times. I say, no, I cannot teach the same course 20 times.

    I know you're gonna pay me, but I can't. But I can record it. You know, you just pay a few times. So this is what I like. Most important, is to be able to add variety to your life.

    Ling Yah: I suppose I have to jump in and say, why did you agree to do this podcast? What do you see were the potential repercussions?

    Eric Sim: No, I thought you were sincere. You know, because last year when you invited me, I say, maybe we just put it on hold and then we do it this year.

    So usually this is what I do where people invite me. The time I give them is like six months. If six months later they are still around, you know, the podcast survive, then I do it. Yeah. That's one.

    Number two, you, you seems to be doing a lot of homework from the way you approach. That means you are not expecting just come here and have a chat and hope that things will appear. It's not like that.

    When we do a podcast, we need to consider the time that the listener out there are going to use and we want to make sure that it is of value to them, and you make sure that. So I thought it would be good to come.

    Plus, thirdly, you are in Malaysia. I want to come to Malaysia to do my book events. I've got a lot of followers in Malaysia as well. I wanna come and eat some Malaysian food too.

    Ling Yah: You should definitely come. Happy to host you. I can do the next hangout , since I'm already doing it.

    Yeah, and it will make sense because I do it because people follow the podcast and now I can say, Hey, a former guest is here and he also got his book.

    Eric Sim: Yeah. I plan to visit Kinokuniya in KLCC.

    Ling Yah: Amazing.

    Eric Sim: So we going to arrange a gathering and also maybe around event.

    Ling Yah: Amazing. So next question also from someone you know, also from UBS. Managing director there right now. Sure.

    Hi Eric. This is Sam Huen from UBS. My question to you is, what drives you, basically, what is your life purpose? Thank you.

    Eric Sim: Hey, Sam. Good to hear from you. My life purpose is to be a better version of myself so that I can contribute to others. So partly is to overcome that inferiority complex. So that is one of the motivation.

    The other part is I have already been so fortunate to be able to experience a wide range of life. You know, I can talk to the Hawker, I can talk to professor, I can talk to bankers who's spending a lot of money, or I can talk to people who doesn't have so much money, but also live a very meaningful life.

    So that means I can share and I feel that if I share people benefit, there is a life worth living.

    Ling Yah: And this is the third from Lester.

    Hi Ling.

    Eric, this is Lester here. I currently work in cyber security for a bank in Toronto, Canada. One question is, what does the next three years look like for the creator economy and one action that people can take to best position themselves for it.

    Thank you.

    Eric Sim: So what is it like for the next three years for the creators economy. You need to help me with the second question. Couldn't hear clearly about answer this one first.

    Creators economy. Right? I think content and real community is important and that is going to get more real because sometimes you see big followers, big engagement, but sometimes the conversion is not there.

    It means the followers may not be so sticky or they trust you because sometimes when you want to get new followers, you keep using the content that works. Some viral posts, you repeat them.

    It will work with new followers but your old followers will go away because you know they are listening to a broken record. Then if they haven't been following you for a long period of time, is difficult to build that community.

    Then it's difficult to, if you wanna sell something, if you wanna deliver a message, it's always somebody new who's been following you for a month, then they're don't gonna do much. So that's one.

    Number two is I think people will realize that this also don't mean so, so much. . You got a big following on social media even you got big engagement. What does it mean? Do you impact people? That's the most important, right? So I think that is what's going to happen. Slowly. You have to add value. That's the creator's economy. I think it's going to evolve to that.

    Currently is more of a personal satisfaction that you can tell people or how many followers I have, how much engagement I have. But does it help other people? Yeah. Maybe not.

    What's the second question?

    Ling Yah: Basically, one action that people can take to best position themselves for this.

    Eric Sim: One best action would be to serve a small group of people first. Think of the small group. Say for example, you want to service or you want to be of help to students.

    Start with those. And there's no need to always rely on online. You can organize networking, you can volunteer to teach, to share and combine online and offline.

    Once you build a core, they will spread your message. You know, they will do your book review, they will share your articles, they will post about you.

    Ling Yah: And that's the thing with your community, right? There's constant book reviews of your book on LinkedIn, which is amazing.

    Eric Sim: Yeah. This is what I find very satisfying.

    And also I'm glad the book is of value to people because I think it is not easy to write a book review.

    On LinkedIn, you're exposing yourself. This is not New York Times bestseller.

    Ling Yah: It could be.

    Eric Sim: Yeah. Hopefully one day. So I really appreciate those people who wrote the book review and the listener out there if you are thinking of writing one please tag me so I can engage with your posts.

    Ling Yah: And they should also tag Institute of Life, hashtag 66 More actions.

    Eric Sim: Yeah, hashtag 66 More action. So it's easier for me to search for your post.

    Ling Yah: So, fourth and final question.

    My name is Craig Davis, and I help add value to content creators on LinkedIn by leaving value-driven comments.

    My question is for Eric Sim. When you created the book, small Actions Leading Your Career to Big Success, what were the lessons you learned after it was finished?

    Eric Sim: One thing about publishing a book, you really have to think for the reader. So why people are writing the book review, you make it very easy to read. 66 chapter, right?

    Most people are busy, those people who follow me. You can spend 10 minutes to read one chapter, then you can reflect this one.

    Number two is you don't have to write a hundred percent new things. If your book is a hundred percent new ideas, totally new, in fact, the book will not sell.

    It's very difficult to understand what it is. So it's okay to have something that has already been written, but you write it in your own way with your own personal story. So part of it can be old. That's one.

    Another lesson is writing the book and publishing, printing it. It's only half the job.

    The other half the job is to promote it and to get it to the right audience. And the promotion of the book is constant. You know, it doesn't stop.

    A friend of mine who wrote a book. He say, Eric, I've done the heavy lifting. Can you help me promote the book? I say, promoting the book is actually the more important part.

    And then if you write the book without thinking of how to promote the book, you have not written a good book because you must think how to make it easy for people to read. That's part of the promotion.

    The table of content lists down the 66 chapter, so I make it easy reference.

    You read the book, you want to go back to one particular chapter, maybe after a couple of months. The table of content is there. Initially there was a suggestion to just list out the 11 parts because most books have 10 to 20 chapters. You list out the 10 to 20 chapters. I say, no.

    This is going to be a reference book. So I want it to be as detailed as possible at the table of content.

    Ling Yah: And that was the end of our very special questions from the audience session with Eric Sim.

    The show notes and transcript can be found at If you want to have a chance to submit your question for future STIMY guests, and by the way, we've got a former US Congressman who was co-lead sponsor of the Greatest Wall Street reform in history, then you should really sign up for STIMY Weekly newsletter.

    The links are on the show notes. Every week we uncover the tools and frameworks that successful people use to build their lives, learn how to prepare ourselves for the future of work, personal branding, and so much in the newsletter.

    So if you wanna subscribe, just head over to the show notes.

    The link is in the description of this podcast.

    And see you this Sunday!

    Where we are gonna be talking and learning all about community growth from the founder of Asian Hustle Network, which has now over 200,000 followers.

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