Welcome to Episode 100!
Welcome to STIMY’s landmark 100th episode!!
In this episode, Red Hong Yi (former STIMY Ep 2 guest) is back as the guest HOST!
She brings the 🔥 & asks about my entire journey because since June 2020, STIMY has grown to:
- 12k+ followers
- 31k+ downloads
- 35+ countries;
- A book offer; and
- 1 STIMY physical hangout.
All in the span of 2+ years!!
If you’ve ever been curious as to who I am, why I started STIMY, lessons learned, my 200k novel and what’ll happen moving forward… then this is the episode for you.
Please leave a review/tag us if you listen to this! I’d love to hear from you.
Want to learn about more inspirational figures/initiatives to become the most interesting person in the room?
Don’t miss the next post by signing up for STIMY’s weekly newsletter below!
Who am I?
Who am I?
What’s my MBTI?
How did Red Hong Yi & I meet, and how did STIMY start?
And what is up with that travel blog of mine?!
- 4:04 Kathmandu & a pet podcast project
- 5:02 My MBTI
- 7:38 ISTP
- 10:01 How Red Hong Yi & I met
- 12:02 How serious was I about STIMY?
- 12:27 The milestone age of 30 & Daniel Pink
- 16:23 Juggling work & everything else
- 20:21 Podcast setup
- 21:28 Everything is figureoutable
- 23:22 Creating my 1st website at the age of 10
- 24:31 Being strategic about my travel blog (www.vidadeliya.com)
Running So This Is My Why
Storytelling has been a first love of mine for the longest time.
From when I was young, frolicking around writing forums, to writing a 200k novel and now as a podcaster and LinkedIn writer, helping others tell their stories in written and audio form.
- 25:81 My secret aim with every STIMY interview
- 28:57 Why do I enjoy stories so much?
- 30:17 The most emotional story – Notle
- 35:07 The dream of being a novelist
- 37:44 Going viral on LinkedIn
- 45:03 Keep going with no engagement
The BTS is never glamorous. It’s long hours, tedious & frustrating at times.
BUT it is also tremendously rewarding.
I’ve had the privilege of connecting with extraordinary people. Learn incredible things. Build something in public. And find a community.
That said, it’s a deeply personal journey so of course, we have to talk about… dating!
- 45:38 Gaining access to extraordinary people
- 46:16: Being intimidated?
- 53:07 The secret to success
- 55:51 Joe, Bumble & Dating
- 57:37 Web3, NFTs and Memebank
- 1:00:38 How I pick STIMY guests
- 1:01:22 Drag Queens
- 1:02:02 Faith & Davy Liu
A key word I’ve learned from STIMY is this: Serendipity.
Just put yourself out there, and doors will start to open.
But you’ve got to start.
P/S: I’m talking to YOU right now!
- 1:04:41 STIMY Hangouts in person
- 1:10:18 LinkedIn writing is like reading a personal diary
- 1:11:14 Writer’s block
- 1:14:47 What’s after STIMY’s 100th episode?
- 1:17:24 Street art & Lawyah
- 1:18:43 Has my why changed?
- 1:19:28 Getting a book offer
- 1:20:20 Serendipity & Cesar Kuriyama
- 1:24:12 Have you questioned your own why?
Some of the inspirational past STIMY guests we talked about:
- Red Hong Yi: Artist who paints without a paintbrush. She has worked with Jackie Chan, Google, Facebook & Nespresso. Her artwork was featured at the World Economic Forum & more recently on TIME Magazine’s 26 April special issue on climate change
- Davy Liu: Former Disney animator who’s worked on The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, Mulan, Atlantis & Star Wars
- Cesar Kuriyama: Founder of 1 Second Every Day – the app that Jon Favreau loved & included in his Hollywood movie Chef thanks to Cesar’s early morning Tweet
If you enjoyed this episode, you can:
Leave a Review
If you enjoy listening to the podcast, we’d love for you to leave a review on iTunes / Apple Podcasts. The link works even if you aren’t on an iPhone. 😉
If you’d like to support STIMY as a patron, you can visit STIMY’s Patreon page here.
Some of the things we talked about in this STIMY Episode can be found below:
- My travel blog
- Descript: The video/audio editing app I use & swear by [without this, I won’t be able to run STIMY]
- Subscribe to the STIMY Podcast for alerts on future episodes at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher & RadioPublic
- Leave a review on what you thought of this episode HERE or the comment section of this post below
- Want to be a part of our exclusive private Facebook group & chat with our previous STIMY episode guests? CLICK HERE.
STIMY Ep 100: So Is This MY Why?! | ft Red Hong Yi (guest host) x Ling Yah
Ling Yah: Hey everyone!
Welcome to episode 100 of the So this is My Why podcast. Gosh, what a milestone. I started STIMY back in June, 2020 and would've never dreamed of the journey this podcast would bring me on. It's allowed me to connect and become friends with some of the most inspiring people I know. Grown into community of over 12,000 people from 35 plus countries, and even the physical meet-up.
With a second STIMY hangout happening this December.
And also, I was featured multiple times on the Late Late Show with James Corden and even met his big boss and attended a live taping in London and got an offer to publish a book with one of the largest publishing houses in the world.
Surreal doesn't even begin to cover this journey, and since this is the 100th episode, I'm doing things a little different. This is the first physical interview I've done, so shout out to Peter NC from Mr. Money Studio for being so generous and letting me record this episode in their studio. And also a shout out to Zach for editing the video version of this podcast.
And last but not least, a dear friend of mine and former STIMY guest, Red Hong Yi of episode two, who's back on STIMY to interview me.
Yi has been on this journey with me from the very start when he was just an idea. And she was also the very first person I interviewed. Twice. She's heard all of my frustrations and challenges and who better to have on as a guest host than her.
In this episode, we talked about my journey.
For instance, how Yi and I met.
Why so this is my why. My secret goal when the interview someone imposter syndrome.
My street name.
Bumble Bros. The Late Late Show with James Corden and so much more.
I do hope you enjoy it.
Please do share and tag us. Let us know what you thought of this episode. There is also a YouTube version of this video.
That video is not edited, so if you want the raw, unfiltered version, just head to STIMY's YouTube channel. The links are in this episode description and also the show notes.
But most of all, thank you.
If you're listening to this, thank you for listening, for supporting and I hope this podcast has and will continue to inspire you in some way.
So, are you ready?
Red Hong Yi: Hello everybody!
Welcome to So this is my why.
This is the hundredth episode of this podcast. Oh my gosh. So my name is Red Hong Yi and I will be the host of the show today, and I will be interviewing your regular host Ling Yah.
Oh no. And, um, I'm worried.
I just wanna preface this by saying that we are great friends, so I just want this to be more conversational.
So if you're listening, if you're tuning in, please feel like you're the third person on this table kind of tuning into our conversation. Yep.
Ling Yah: I'll try not to reveal too many secrets about you.
Red Hong Yi: Likewise. Okay. It would be quite back and forth.
If you do that to me, I'll do that to you.
Your threats noted.
But today I wanted to cover things like your background.
I had a little bit of a sneak peek of your pre STIMY days. Oh, a little bit? Yeah. Like a couple of months of it. What it was like setting all that up and then just interviewing all these people.
Yeah. That viral post. Mm-hmm.
All the social media platforms you're on.
LinkedIn now. Yay. And also what it's like engaging with so many amazing people all over the world. Like you . Oh, thank you.
It started with you. You were the first person I ever interviewed, so It
is, Was I the first? Yeah. Oh, but I was not in the first podcast though.
Ling Yah: No, you weren't. Because I thought I should release someone really different for the first. Oh, but you were the first Cuz I was interviewing in Kathmandu remember? But we
had to scrap the whole thing. Yeah. Remember that?
Red Hong Yi: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I was gonna cover that actually. And I'm so proud of you. Oh, so background story for that was Ling Yah was stuck in Kathmandu for a little bit.
For 40 days
She told me about this idea of doing a podcast. She actually told me about that before when we had lunch and then she really jumped into it. I thought it'd be a pet project, just a really short one. And then she interviewed me. I thought, Okay, alright, sure.
Oh no, I'll be a part of this pet project.
Now I know, I don't know this.
And then, um, and then after, I think it was three hours long as well. It was something really, really long. And then a few days later she goes, can I interview you again? I think the whole, like the file was corrupted or something and I was like, okay, this person really wants to talk to me.
No, I did not know this. But look at where you are today. I know we have like this full setup. This is amazing. We have so many people behind
the scenes. Yeah, I know. I'm trying to ignore them actually.
Because I want this to be more kind of informal, more casual. I want it to start by going, Hey, Ling Yah, what's your M B T I?
What's your Myers Briggs personality? Oh, no, you have to ask that question. E or I, What do you think? I definitely, I, I do see a bit more E though. Really?
I think, so I feel like this like podcasting, meeting all sorts of people. Mm-hmm. has brought up the E in you possibly, but I do see the I too.
Ling Yah: I think so.
So this is the weirdest thing. I remember when I did the M B T I test growing up. I remember it was a 70, 80% I, and there was a period where I was really out and meeting people all the time. And when I did the test again, I remembered distinctly all my answers on the right, turned to the left, and it became a 70, 80% E.
I switched, I was a different person.
Red Hong Yi: Oh my gosh. I'm, I'm keen to know what you are right now. Like if you had to redo your test.
Ling Yah: Oh my gosh. I don't know. Might be an E now. I know I definitely reverted back to an I during covid when I was at lockdown. Cause I get comfortable with situations.
So it's like, oh, I used to be meeting people all the time. Yeah. And suddenly I'm at home and I'm really comfortable. Yeah. But then when I go out all the time, then I get energy from going out, which is really strange. But then I go home and I crash. Yeah. So I am still an I . So I'd be curious to know maybe after this episode.
Yeah. If you could work on your M B T I questionnaire. Let me know, let your viewers know on LinkedIn if your personality test result has changed after all this. Oh my God.
Red Hong Yi: And what are the others?
Ling Yah: I don't know if my answer would even be correct cuz I remember talking to a friend and I told her I never believed in MBTI.
Yeah. Because the answer never resonated with me. Yeah. Yeah. And then she said, I think you're an ISTP.
Remember I told you this.
Red Hong Yi: I remember this conversation. Okay. Okay. I take these personality tests with a pinch of salt as well cuz I don't wanna be boxed in. Yeah. But I remember you resonated so much with much.
Ling Yah: I resonated so much with it.
Everything they said was basically me. I would say 90%. The only reason I never considered me as ISTP and I never read the description is because at the very start they would always say, when you were a child, you loved to take things apart. You'd like, go to the car. I wanna see how everything comes together.
And I go, nope. I have zero interest in this. And I just tuned off and I would have a look at everything else. But then my friend then said ISTPs tend to misdiagnose themselves. They never get ISTP because they always think there's something else because they're always okay with any situation.
Mm. But then if you switch cars with, say, what I like to do, analyzing, tearing things apart and really going deep, then yeah. Like music, for instance, was the first one. Mm. And that really resonated with me. Mm.
Red Hong Yi: And I do see that about you with STIMY as well, right.
You really have this ability to just dive into something if you really, really want to commit to it. Yeah. And keep that consistency. Yeah. And you really do all your research. Do you see that personality? ISTP right? Resonating and complimenting what you do right now.
Ling Yah: I never thought of it in terms of ISTP. I always thought of it as just being me. Yeah. That's just how I deal with things. Yeah. So most of the time, 80%, I would say I'm in between.
When I say I don't have an opinion, I really do not have an opinion. Right. I really don't mind. But if I hate something, I really hate it. And if I love something, I really love it. And you will not push me off it.
So for me, it's almost like giving myself an excuse of, 80% of the time I am very, very flexible. But when I care about something, don't touch me.
Okay. Noted. That's good to know.
Thanks for sharing that. Of course. Okay, we're gonna do a little bit of a bio intro. So, I did a bit of research. This is my first time interviewing someone, by the way.
Yeah. So, um, I'm, and I'm excited about it.
I should also say, I have no idea what's coming up. You haven't shared the questions.
Red Hong Yi: Oh, no. I'll be a good friend.
Let's see how this goes. Let's see how this goes.
So, Ling Yah Wong, like me, you grew up in East Malaysia? Yes. I grew up in Sabah, Ling Yah in Sarawak, I think we kind of bonded over that.
Ling Yah: East Malaysians are better, right?
Red Hong Yi: We are.
We both left abroad after high school. You went to the UK. I went to Australia. I didn't study law. I did architecture. You studied law in the London School of Economics and then after that you worked as a lawyer for eight years, you came back and this included working as an IP lawyer.
Um, intellectual property litigator to get that right. At Baker & McKenzie for two and a half years. Yeah. And you are currently a legal associate for Y T L and you've been there for six years. Oh my gosh. So I got to know you in 2019, November. You're going there? 14, 15, 14. 14. 14. Okay. See we have our Friendversary.
Okay. Friendversary is 14. The day I got together with my boyfriend turned husband is 15. Yep. Deliberate, right. So it would not clash. Yeah. Okay. All right. I'm a little bit worried about how much personal stuff I should like sprinkle in here, but, um, I met
her if you, if you were sharing personal, I'm sharing you're
Okay. So let, let me tell everyone how we met and how I became her first interviewee.
We met in November 2019, when I was invited to speak at the company that she works at. And we had a pre-conference dinner, and I sat down and Ling Yah sat down beside me and we started chatting here and there.
I didn't really know everyone on the table, wasn't sure who's who. And then Ling Yah shows me this blog. She's like, oh, you know, I keep a travel blog. Um, you know, I really like these murals and Sarawak where I'm from.
Ling Yah: It's literally the only art thing I had.
So it's my only way of bonding with you.
Red Hong Yi: And I thought, wow, this girl is artsy. She's artsy. She knows her travel stuff. She keeps a blog. She's really cool.
After that she asked me out for lunch and I thought, Wow, she really wants to bond with me. And I think when we had lunch, we went to like a Lebanon.
Lebanon, yeah. And we bonded over that. Yes. Cause I was like, oh my gosh, I've been to Lebanon. You've been to Lebanon. Yeah. I don't know too many people who have exactly been there, like from here and who love Middle Eastern food. Yeah. We really loved it. So I think we just really clicked. Yeah. Like that. And then the other thing that we clicked over was, about this podcast you really liked by Guy Raz.
Yes. How I built this. Yeah.
And then that was when you told me that you had the idea to do this podcast. Yeah. What were you thinking at that time?
Ling Yah: That I was gonna invite you out to get you on my podcast.
Red Hong Yi: And then in my mind I thought, Oh, yep, okay. This is why this lunch is going to, alright.
Ling Yah: No, before that, before that. I have to be really honest. I Okay. Not too honest, right.
Okay. Go for it.
When I met you, I was surprised by how well we clicked. And there are certain people in my life when I meet and we are totally strangers, where I just feel like, oh, we could really hit off. Mm. So when I have moments like that, then I think, I'm just gonna make an effort to really get to know this person.
Red Hong Yi: Oh, that's, that's why, that's why I was like, Aw. I was surprised by how well we clicked. Yes. Ok. Anyway, I thought, Okay. Honestly, I thought, okay, this is like a corporate thing where you have to be nice to your clients.
Oh no. Um, so she's being really nice to me, but yeah. And, but we, we kept in touch after that. We kept in touch.
Ling Yah: Yeah. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: But how serious were you about running a podcast at that time?
Ling Yah: I was totally serious.
But the strange thing is I never thought in long terms. I never thought, when am I gonna end it? Mm. It was just, I'm just gonna do it. Full stop. Mm. I guess you could say, I don't really think long term sometimes.
When I have an idea that I want, I just go and just do it, right. And later on I just start thinking, well, where is this going?
Oh yeah, I should think about this. Oh yeah. Okay.
Red Hong Yi: But I think I also remember you telling me about Nepal at that time, and you were 29 at the time. It really made me reflect and think, it made me think of the author Daniel Pink. He has a book about timing and he said that people really think about timing very differently when they hit a nine, like a number nine in their age, like 19, 29 before they turn like the next decade, right? Yeah.
Was that why you did Nepal and why you did your podcast? Do you think that timing turning the next decade, the next year actually affected that at all?
Ling Yah: I really wish I could say yes, but that there is no,
Red Hong Yi: not even Nepal?
Ling Yah: Not at all. Okay.
Red Hong Yi: Not Nepal?
Ling Yah: So the reason for Nepal is when I was, I think 26, 27 for the first time in my life. Yeah. I went to Sabah.
For the first time in life, I climbed Mount Kinabalu because a friend asked me and I never once considered doing that. But then I thought, wait, it's a bucket list.
I should just say this cuz when else will I do it? So I did it. Yeah. And trust me when I say I never hiked, I really never, ever hiked in my life. I didn't even do a small hill, it just wasn't in my interest. Mm. But I really loved it so much. And I remember I had just crossed above the clouds. I looked around, it was like a perfect London summer weather. And I thought, Oh, I really love this. Mm-hmm.
I'm just gonna do Everest.
But I know me, if I don't set a deadline for myself, I will never do it.
Right. And it's because I was around 26, 27. The obvious milestone was 30 because I knew I, I wasn't gonna do it in 28. I might do in 29, but hey, 30 is the limit. And sure enough, the years passed by, I just didn't even bother trying to do anything. And then when I became almost 29, that's when I thought, Oh, hold on.
I'm 30 next year. I really need to haul ass and do something. And so that's when I pushed everything and did that.
Red Hong Yi: Right, Right.
I think that was what Daniel Pink meant. Ah, yeah. Before you hit the next decade. Like it, it's, you should have done something. It feels like you're entering the next decade, right? Yeah. So before that, like turn of that. Yeah.
Ling Yah: And it was kind of perfect too because the group that invited me to join them, they were hiking in March and I turned 30 in April.
Oh yeah. So it felt like we had to do this. Yeah. It felt like a sign. Everything aligned. This is your last chance. Just go for it. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: I remember that you had a lot of cakes in lockdown.
I did. There's so many. You had them in your freezer as well. Yes. For quite a few
And you sent one too. I was really touched.
You were all the way in Sabah. Yes. Yeah. Yeah, I was in lockdown. Oh my gosh. It feels like a universal way that like during that time, right? It wasn't that long ago. Mm-hmm.
And it wasn't that long ago that you began this whole journey.
It's really incredible. Like today, I think about this and I go, Wow, you've really done so much.
Like you've really, really done so much in just like a short period of time. So I looked at it. 28th of June 2020 was the first podcast that was released. That is amazing. And today you do not just dabble in your podcast. And you work as a lawyer full time.
At the same time you also manage two newsletters, a Discord community, and now you run like STIMY Hangouts in person.
That's really, really amazing. Do you think it's the interviews and the research - what is the most tiring or time consuming part about running STIMY? Mm. Right now?
Ling Yah: I think it's so many things because you have to write, sometimes the writing's fast. Sometimes it's slow. Mm-hmm. You have to do the research. Mm-hmm. It really depends.
My week is messed up if I have an interview because that day itself, it's gone just for my interview. The day before is gone, just for my interview. If this person has produced a lot of books, a lot of interviews, the day before is also gone. So, I mean, and, often enough, I dunno why, but sometimes when people agree to an interview, two, three people agreed to the same interview. So there was a period when I just started and I was a complete newbie at this. I ended up with three interviews a week that killed me. Oh my gosh. That really killed me. So I learned a way of arranging such that my calendar would not end up with three, but when I have two, which I still do sometimes, It's tough.
Red Hong Yi: Oh my goodness. Yeah. How do you juggle work? Working in a firm nine to five or nine to six? As a lawyer? Yeah. And then doing this at the same time?
Ling Yah: What's helpful is like, it does end at six I tend to be able to just say, Okay, I'm done with being a lawyer at six.
Yeah. And I can go home and just do my own thing. When you really think about it, by the time you get home, it's seven. Yeah. And by the time you sit down, and you're ready, it's probably half past seven or eight.
And then I tend to be on this thing until one. Oh wow. So that's really just a full day. And you've got your whole weekend as well.
Mm. So you really do have time for a second job. Technically. You're just tired.
Red Hong Yi: Oh, wow. I, I read somewhere that you, you wish you had 50 hours of the day.
Ling Yah: I know, I do. And there was so many people who reached out, who are founders, who said, I totally get you.
Red Hong Yi: I'm sure you do. So you run your thing. Yeah. Yeah.
I think it, like, it reminds me of that time where like, So I used to work as an architect in a firm, but I did my art on the side and I really enjoyed it. I did it after work, after six in the company that I was working for. So like lights were like dimmed and I was sitting there alone by myself.
Yeah. And dabbling on my own thing for a bit. And then the weekends were spent, you know, sourcing for materials and all that. But I think it was really precious that time as well. And I was very intentional about the way I use my time as well. Yeah.
Ling Yah: And didn't you feel. It didn't feel like work.
Red Hong Yi: You just wanted to do it. It didn't feel like work. It was really fun. I looked forward to it, although I was tired.
Ling Yah: Yes. It feels like, I think you feel exactly the same. Or rather, I feel exactly the same as you did at the time.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. But yeah, I, I totally respect what you're doing right now though and talking to so many people and doing research.
I think even before interviewing you, so I had a little bit of a taste of doing research and I went, Whoa, okay. Imagine if she has a book. This would be a little bit much.
So I remember, uh, that time when you interviewed me and that glitch happened and we had to do the whole interview again.
I think I also spoke to you around that. I think you also told me that the reason why you didn't get into podcasts earlier was because you were afraid of the tech side of things. Yeah.
But now I listen to your podcast and I go, Whoa, the quality has jumped so much from the start to now.
But even back then, it was still, I think I had this impression that you just jumped into it and you just went for it. And that was amazing. But what was the initial setup like for you as opposed to right now?
Okay, So the initial setup was really a very, very simple RM200 USB mic. That was it.
That was it. And Zoom. Oh wow. Yeah, it hasn't really changed. I just upgraded because of your husband.
But how did you know what, apps or what tools to use? You use Canva a lot now. I know you were, I did so much. You were tinkering around around with a lot of transcribing apps as well.
Ling Yah: Yeah. So I found Descript very, very quickly. Mm-hmm, and it is life transforming. Mm-hmm. Because now, I mean, it's upgraded and it's changed so much.
Now you can throw a video in and you would immediately transcribe the entire interview within minutes. So if you edit the transcript, you will have to transcript, right. It ultimately edits the corresponding audio and video. Right. So it's just perfect. I just have to look at the words and just edit that to get the final version that I want. Right, right. Yeah. But before that, I also had Auphonic. I tried a bunch of things, but I would say it stuck to pretty much the same setup as before.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. Does all that still intimidate you today?
Ling Yah: It exasperates me. Oh, really? It's not my thing at all. Yeah. Yeah. I wish I could just focus on the research and just the interview itself. That's the idea.
Red Hong Yi: I would say that's where Zach comes here. Hi, Zach. So Ling Yah told me a few, like two days ago that I've employed my first person to work at STIMY.
I was like, Oh, that's great. What does that mean? ? But, uh, Zach is a real person. He's in front of us right now. Um, so, and that's why we sound extra nice today. That's amazing.
How about your setup? Like, what was the last setup? Like the 99th? 90, sorry, 97th. It's the
Ling Yah: same, It's basically a really posh mic that Joe told me to buy.
It's basically it.
So what happened was you weren't around, but Joe was around and we were hanging out and he went oh, you've got an interview. Why don't you just do it in the house? Mm-hmm.
And so he set up everything, a really nice camera, he had all the mics. And he just went, try this mic. You will never go back.
And I tried it and the next day I went, Joe, I bought it.
Yeah. I just needed that push coz it sounded really good.
Red Hong Yi: That's amazing. Yeah. Do you have any advice for people out there who are interested, who want to probably start interviewing people do podcasts, but are afraid of like the complexity behind it?
Because for me, I think when I saw a lot of your episodes come out, I thought, Oh my gosh. It just looks like a lot. Like it's so complex, where do you start? But you seem to be able to get a hang of it and really, really, really turn it into something that's like flourishing right now. What's your advice to people?
Ling Yah: I think I always knew that everything's figureoutable. Google has the answer to everything. It's just that the answer is really general. So what you have to do is spend a lot of time just digging. So if you find page one answers, read it. They tend to refer to something else and just go deeper and deeper and deeper.
Eventually you find the really good sources and you find that everyone's saying the same thing. There are only so many options for uploading on the host. There are only so many options for editing. So many options for recording an interview. And it's really up to you to then go, which ones fits me best?
Right, Right. And just try. Yeah. Ultimately it's just doing, I would say. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
You can't really go wrong.
Red Hong Yi: Right. I have a question about that though. So about platforms, right?
So you upload your episodes on Spotify, on YouTube, on Stitcher. Yeah. Um, why do they have to be on so many different platforms?
Do other podcasters do that too?
Ling Yah: Yeah. Other podcasters do that too. Okay. So I have a podcast host, so I only have to upload on one place and it automatically sends it out to everyone else. Mm-hmm. . So the thing about podcasts is it operates by an RSS feed. So the moment you just link your RSS feed to everyone, it's on, say Amazon as well.
The moment it's updated, everyone gets it. So I actually never touched Spotify or Apple Podcast. The most I do is once every half year check to see the numbers. But I don't do anything. I just go to my main host, upload. Done.
Mm. Right. Yeah. How about social media then? Because all right, so how did it first start?
Red Hong Yi: So I, I know that you uploaded your podcast. Yep. And then you did upload them on social media. Yep. You started with Instagram and Facebook mm-hmm. Ing and then you went to Twitter. Yeah. So what was that experience like?
Ling Yah: I would say I started with Instagram because before I did the podcast I was already dabbling online.
Basically, I was curious and I realized that I had last started my website when I was 10. I dunno if I ever tell you this.
My first ever website was when I was 10. And it was with this site called homestead.com and I was super proud of it. I had hundreds of comments in my guest book. I was very proud.
I was determined to get a lot of comments and I stopped using this website only because Homestead went not free, it's paid. And then I just stopped cuz Geocities looks really terrible and I never touched it again. But somehow along the way I just thought, Oh, I want to start writing again.
And I met a friend who said, Oh, I can link you with someone who can help you start writing.
And for some reason I just thought, if I'm gonna be writing online, I need my own place. And so that means I need to start my own website. And I just went and just figured it out. So I started my own website. That's where I started to travel blog.
And then I thought, well if you're doing travel, you have to be on Instagram. I've never touched Instagram beyond posting one photo every two years. I guess I have to dig into it and figure out how Instagram works. And so that's when I set myself a goal. I'm gonna get a thousand followers in 30 days. I got it in 40 days.
after that, I was not interested in being an influencer, this is not my thing, but at least I know what works. And so, I guess you could say of all the different platforms, bringing back to your question, Instagram was my most familiar, cuz I already spent 40 days trying to hack everything imaginable to figure it out.
So, so fyi for everyone, that was the, I think that was the travel blog that she showed me when we first met. And I was very, um, very impressed. Oh, and then you showed me some of your other blogs that you wrote, I think when you were at Kathmandu, you like okay, I just finished another post and you showed me.
It was pretty long, I have to say because it's very, very detailed.
That's me. I was having a target. I'm not just running a travel blog. No. Every single post I post, I'm going, I wanna hit number one on page one. Oh.
I'm a goal-centric person.
Red Hong Yi: Right. Ok. It was very strategic. Yes. For me, I read it. I thought, oh, she really wants to tell me every single detail.
She's very, very, very detailed. I feel like you remember a lot of little details. Mm-hmm. You are very specific about a lot of things and that really shows up in your research. Mm-hmm.
Cause when, when you interviewed me. Yeah. You asked me a lot of questions that a lot of other interviewers do not ask.
It's like, just really obscure things in my mom's blog that she kept like, ah, yes. Eons ago. I was so pleased to find that gold mine. Wow. She is a pro digger.
You would call me sometimes after a few interviews with other people and they have given the same feedback.
There was another guy, he said he was really, really impressed by how much research you've done.
I think there was two Dr. Finian Tan?
Finian Tan, Yes. And another person as well. Just really impressed by the amount of research you've done and preparation that you've done.
So, yeah. She cannot remember because she's done a lot of research on people and that is the feedback that you get. Yay. Yeah.
Ling Yah: That is my secret aim, actually, every time I interview someone, I wanna do in such a way that they can't help but say, Wait, but how do you find that? You have done so much research, so I don't ever tell them.
Yeah. But if they do, it's kind of like a mental tick. . Yes. I got them to say it.
Red Hong Yi: But I also wanna ask you, you have this knack of, when you're interested in something, you would really go all in. Mm-hmm.
You would throw yourself in. Mm-hmm. I see that with different things really. You really keep consistent.
You really play the long game. Mm-hmm.
I feel like you're a marathon runner. Like, Okay. Ling Yah and I, we talk about oh, what are you interested? What kind of sports are you interested in? She loves hiking and I dread it because once you get into it, it's a. Long, like it's a long hour, a few hour long hike.
Whereas I want to do the short spurts. I'm like just muscle it, like climb and muscle and all that. It is. So . So I have a question. So you did your travel blog. Yeah. Um, your travel Instagram. Yeah. You hit a thousand followers in 40 days and then you stopped. Yeah. But with STIMY. Yeah. You decided to go on.
Was it a moment, like one episode that made you go, oh, I think this is going somewhere. Mm-hmm.
What keeps you going?
Ling Yah: So, I remember how I started without having an end goal in mind? Mm-hmm. , I just went on. There's never an end goal. It was just, I just really enjoyed and there wasn't a particular opposite, but there was a moment where I thought, I just really like this, and would I keep going? Yeah.
And it's never crossed my mind to ever stop. As far as I'm concerned, I would just do this for the rest of my life unless something truly untowards happens. There are hard days. But then when I think about it, what are the downsides? It's really just time.
But everything else is an upside. It's amazing. Amazing. Because it's a weekly podcast, that means I can guarantee every single week, since most are strangers, I'm meeting one new person every week. Mm-hmm. And because I always do the research, that means I'm always learning something new every day.
And that's really important to me.
That I'm always growing my circle so I'm not stuck in the little bubble. Mm-hmm. That I'm always growing intellectually and being aware what's out there. These are KPIs I would have wanted to maintain anyway. But with this podcast, it's a very public and also a very concrete way of ensuring I stick to it.
Mm. So, yeah, why not?
Red Hong Yi: Mm. And with traveling, it's not that way?
Ling Yah: So traveling, it wasn't so much that way. It was more, I just don't have the time. And secondly, the intention was never to be a travel blogger. Yeah. The intention was always because I wanna learn how to do a website. Because I wanna master SEO because I want to figure out IG and I could have written about any topic, and I knew as well, travel was the least lucrative. But travel was also, I knew for sure a topic I could talk about forever cuz I traveled so much. Mm. And I didn't want to have to spend time learning a new topic just to write about it. I just wanted something which I had endless topics to refer to.
And all I had to do is just learn how to master all the technical parts. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: One thing you told me about was also how you just really enjoy listening to stories by people. Yes, Yes. What is it about stories that you enjoy so much?
Ling Yah: I think it's because it's relatable.
Mm-hmm. And I suppose the easiest example could be how I built this, which she talked about. I will forever remember the first ever episode of a podcast I ever listened to was with Christina Tosi, and she runs this bakery in New York. I'm the last person in the world you were ever catch in a bakery.
Seriously. I will eat it. I will never, ever bake it. I would, but I really would not enjoy it. Milk bar, right? Milk bar. Exactly. And now I really wanna visit Milk Bar, even though the cake doesn't look interesting.
Ok. I've tried it before. It's really good. Like Oh, ok. It's great. I've actually bought it before for a friend's birthday.
Yeah. Yeah. It, it actually just feels nice to buy a milk bar cake. Yeah. Yeah. So I, I think they've got their branding very, very well as well. Okay. I can I stand correct it, I suppose. it. It was very sweet though, I have to say.
Oh, for me, what was amazing was when she told the story, I would've never expected to care about a Baker, but I cared about her cuz I heard her voice.
I heard her emotions, the ups and the downs. I felt like I knew her and I thought, wow, it's so powerful. Ones that are really technical, it just flows over my mind. But if there is a more narrative flow Yeah. Or if it's a topic I'm really interested in, then I really engage.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. Have there been any stories out of the 90 plus guest you've had that has really, made an impression on you? Yeah. Emotionally or even bring a tear to your eye?
Ling Yah: Oh, uh, I guess. I could talk about the episode I haven't released that I talked about earlier today. Oh wow. It's your first I'm hearing it.
Yeah. So it's with, a former secret society member from Singapore. He also ran his own-
Basically, when you're an excon convict, life's against you, society's against you. He managed to find a job as a tour guide in Singapore showing the dark side of China. And the only prerequisite for all these tour guys is you must be an excon.
So, Oh. It's basically their way of showing Singapore. But also just sharing their own personal life. Mm-hmm. and giving a warning.
And I asked him the question earlier today about how, if there were part, a particular moment that really impact him. And he said that, yeah, there was this one girl after his talk who basically came up and because he was also sharing about the fact that he once wanted to commit suicide as well after he came out of prison, cuz it was just a really difficult life.
He couldn't get into society.
And she said that I was really, really affected by what you said. And I was really touched and he was packing things up and he said, Oh, can you spare a couple moments to wait for me to pack up? I'll walk with you to this station, which is 10 minutes away.
And he said that she shared her story, which was that her parents were on the PR in Singapore from a third world country.
It was really, really difficult. During Covid, the parents sold her to Geyland and she was there for a really long time.
The police recently rescued her from that. Mm-hmm. And it was really affecting to see that there are things like this that's happening right now. Mm.
He was just crying.
He was really just crying. And this is the guy who ran a social escort business. Wow. And he was so, so, so upset. He goes, I'm so upset at the pimp for doing this, you know, know what's happening. And it was very real, I would say. And it's a side that you don't normally hear about.
I would say. I mean, so many people have opinions about prostitutes, you have so many opinions about gangs. Were they ever in one? It's always someone's third hand information, but he lived it. And so yeah, I would say that is most fresh in my mind cuz it just happened.
Red Hong Yi: Oh wow. Yeah. Wow. That's an intense story. Yeah. Yeah. I'm looking forward to listening to that. Me too. I saw, I saw his updates on your Instagram. Yeah, I'm more on Instagram by the way, but you are, you, you, you have introduced me to the world of LinkedIn, so I'm gonna tap into that bit. But yeah, I saw Notles updates and I thought, wow, this is such a gem of a find.
Ling Yah: I've got another one coming up. Oh wow. And he's even more intense cuz-
Red Hong Yi: would you like to tell us about it?
Ling Yah: Okay, so for Notle, he was only in the gangs for half a year and his story is because he joined a gang when he was a teenager cuz it was fun. We didn't know any better, we just wanted to be powerful cuz if you're in a gang and he was at level four, that meant everyone would report to you.
And so it's fun. Whereas for this other person, and I'm speaking to him next week, he was in gangs for decades. He was in and out, he was in drugs. Really, really heavy drugs. And that's really especially powerful because when I asked Notle today, how can we help ex-convicts? He said, that's a really different question because very frankly speaking, 80% you can never help cause they can't be helped cuz they're still stuck in the same mentality, quite honestly.
So I did ask him the question, how do you know who the 20% is? And he said, That's really easy. Just track them for three to six months after they're out of the halfway house. When they're independent. If they're still for them, the same bad habits. If they still have a victim mentality, you know, they haven't changed at all.
And he also said, he knows so many people in prisons as well.
They always have that victim mentality and they deliberately commit crimes just to go into prisons cuz free food, free accommodation, free medical care. Really? Yeah. And for them, they just can't see a future outside.
It's like, what's waiting for me out there? Nothing. So I'll just commit petty crimes. So I get sent back in.
He asked one guy who was already in there and released when he entered and came back again when he was still in there.
Notle asked him, why are you back? And he said, No choice. . There just isn't a possibility of them not being in there. So I think Alvin's story, will be really powerful. Because he was in gangs for decades. He was in and out prison many, many times. Mm. He was also heavily into drugs. Mm. And now he's totally transformed his life.
Oh, wow. And he also found God.
Red Hong Yi: Oh wow. That's amazing. Yeah. That's incredible. Yeah. Well, yeah, I definitely look forward to hearing that. I know. Yeah. I'm excited. Yeah. I, I think what I learned about you very, very recently that I think is quite, is very precious that I never knew about until my husband told me, he had a conversation with me,
Ah, yes. Was that you grew up, I think, really wanting to be a writer, novelist. Yeah. In particular. Yeah. I see that connection between your fascination for people's stories and wanting to be a novelist, wanting to tell a story as well. Can you tell us a little bit about that dream?
Ling Yah: I guess I always wanted to write when I was younger.
There were two main ways in which I communicated.
One was, Writing. Mm-hmm.
And another was just music. So music was something that felt like an extension of me. Felt like I could express things that words couldn't be sufficient for. So I guess it wasn't so much where it came from, it was just, I just wanna write. And so there was a period before I started to blog where for two years, I actually spent time writing a novel.
It went up to two. Oh, I didn't tell you this. No, I told Joe this.
What? Why are you telling Joe all these things ?
I am. I assumed your husband would tell you. He'll be like, see, I can get all these like deep info from people.
Your friends tell me their deepest, darkest
Red Hong Yi: secrets, but she's telling her podcast listeners now. Okay, and you.
Ling Yah: I spend it for, I'm writing 200,000 words.
Wow. Yeah. But then I stopped, because I mean, I still wanna write it. The characters are still really vivid but I didn't even realize they have fundamental flaws to it. And I needed to rewrite the whole thing. I just thought, God.
Red Hong Yi: Why do you think there are fundamental flaws?
Ling Yah: I think because when I start to, the world just grew big and bigger.
I'm not the kind of person who likes to write, say, this character is based in Arkansas. I don't care. I have never been there. Or this character is based in Singapore. I really don't wanna write about that. I wanna create an entire world. So I have, I suppose, full control of your culture, of your people, your dressing, everything.
I can be inspired, but I wanna have control over that environment and therefore the way the story unfolds. And I realized as I started that I was writing from too many characters perspectives. I ended up with twelve? That's way too much, way too much.
The world was unfolding in my mind as I was writing, but it just did not become tenable.
And there were things, the way that I've written about the world that these characters lived in that changed. I changed the fundamental laws of nature, for the world. And I thought, that means I have to rewrite everything. Yeah. So then I thought, let me take a little break and I'll come back.
And then I just got podcasts.
Red Hong Yi: Oh wow. Yeah. That's amazing. And I think, I think you should, you should tap into that. You should definitely look into that. Yeah. And probably interview novelists as well. Yeah, I do intend to. Yeah, it would be fun.
Yeah. I remember that, like, this was not too long ago, about two months ago, a month and a half ago, you texted me and you were like, HY in caps, HY! My post is going viral.
And I was like huh? And then I looked around on Instagram first and I was like, oh, yeah, I replied to that. It was more engagement than usual, but not, exactly viral. And you were like oh, it's going viral on LinkedIn then LinkedIn is this totally like foreign platform for me. I, I have an account, but I'm like never there.
You're never there. And then, uh, I went into it and there were a lot of likes there. You started to get a lot of like comments coming up and then, um, every few hours or so, I clicked it as well. Like I could go to it and there, there will be more and more. So tell us about that experience, that viral post, how you felt throughout the whole day and has that changed anything?
Ling Yah: I should explain what the post is about. Mm-hmm.
The post is about a meeting I had with a future STIMY guest, Dominic, and I really loved his story because he actually grew knowing Lee Kuan Yew's family. His family was very political, very, very intellectual. Basically he's lived Malaysia's history.
I studied sejarah. He lived it. He knew all these people. They were his friends, his family members. And so I was in my second week of writing seriously on LinkedIn because I thought, well, I really like writing and I think I should fix a platform that I'm focused on. Why don't I just choose LinkedIn? So it was me just basically experimenting and analyzing to see what other people had done.
And sometimes people would say, Hey, I just met this person. This is what happened. So I thought, well this is content. I just met this guy. We took a picture. Let me just write something about it. And so I wrote it and my first line was Malaysia's a mediocre country.
Red Hong Yi: Ok. I remember reading that like first thing I think in the morning before going to work.
And I was like, Whoa. She has like a strong opening line today. And I showed Joe immediately. I was like, Joe, look at this. She thinks Malaysia's a mediocre country. So that definitely caught my attention too and I started like chatting with him about it. Oh wow. And I didn't know about this. Yeah. Quite a, does he agree, does he agree?
No, he, he was not really. He looks at Malaysia with rose tin, took glasses, lense. Yeah. I. I mean, we've lived here, right? So we, we know the ins and outs of it. So he was like, No, Malaysia's beautiful. I mean, Malaysia is very beautiful from your lens, Joe. But of course, of course Ling Yah was trying to, you know, stir things and provoke.
So I think I left a comment.
Oh, did you? And then I think I did. I did. I don't think you did. I did. . Yeah, I definitely did. I said something like, uh, okay. It wasn't about that post. It was, I actually sat there with my accountant a week before or something that Oh, yes, I remember.
Ling Yah: No, that was on Instagram.
That wasn't on LinkedIn.
Red Hong Yi: Oh, Instagram only Instagram. I'm talking about Instagram. Oh, okay. You're on
Ling Yah: the wrong platform.
Red Hong Yi: It's different. No, so this is where it gets interesting though, because I think you were a little bit frustrated with the engagement on Instagram. Yeah. Yeah. And Instagram has always been a platform for me.
Mm. It has always been like my go to, it's my portfolio. Yes. Online. Yeah. Uh, basically, But it doesn't seem to be able to get that engagement that you Yeah. Want to need. And probably because it says it now. Yeah. Yeah. Until LinkedIn. And also when you started writing too. Yeah. Yeah. It's true. So I wanted you to talk about that post and how writing on LinkedIn changed everything for you.
Ling Yah: I think writing on LinkedIn, that post went viral. So you did ask what that day was like.
Red Hong Yi: Tell me what it was like at work. Cuz I feel like you wouldn't have been able to concentrate on work . This is why I'm sitting here going, Were you sitting in the toilet cubicle and refreshing the post?
Ling Yah: It was an amazing day. But there was like,
Red Hong Yi: you had a cat meme going like that .
Ling Yah: Yeah. That was my
Red Hong Yi: expression going and like she is not gonna be able to concentrate . It was just crazy. Yeah. You
Ling Yah: could see people just liking and just, debating full on debate. Honestly, I haven't gone back to the post to read the full debates cause it was so intellectual and I thought, wow
Red Hong Yi: I'm out of my depth.
Okay. I read all that. I was like, whoa, I would love to see Ling Yah reply to all this. Now you super, you're super clever, you're amazing and all that. But I like these guys are going, yeah, they're going deep into politics, man.
Ling Yah: It would be flaring up. But yeah, it was amazing. I just watched and I thought, wow. At first I thought maybe you would hit a thousand.
Oh, you hit a thousand. And some friends was saying it was gonna hit 2000. I thought, okay, 2000. And it went past 2000, it went 3000 and it went past 3000. I thought, Oh, this is really good.
Red Hong Yi: And you started to get a bit more of a following there.
Ling Yah: A lot more. I think from that particular post about 3000 follows.
Yeah, it was huge.
Red Hong Yi: For your Ling Yah page instead of, So this is my why though, right?
Ling Yah: Yes, for sure. Mm-hmm.
So on LinkedIn, what people really resonate with is the personal page. Not the company page, ever. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
So yes. So that was something I recently learned because before that I had been posting on LinkedIn, but it was very much snippets from the podcast itself.
Oh. Mostly with the company page and I'll repost on my personal, but sometimes I would use the personal and then the company page. But I didn't really care and I didn't really think about it cuz it just wasn't a platform that I cared about at the time. Mm-hmm.
Red Hong Yi: So this time you post it with your personal page?
Ling Yah: Yeah, because I was really intentional and I decided this was second week of me just posting something on LinkedIn that was more per, Yeah, more personal. So I'd never been personal before. It was just regurgitation on whatever people said. Right. But for the first time, for the past two weeks, I'd been written something that was more: This is what I think, this is what I've done.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. And I also feel, at least for me on Instagram, what resonated with me was a photo of you and the person that you were gonna be interviewing. I thought, Oh I can see what's going on. I can see that they're actually interacting. It's not like an online avatar thing going on.
Ling Yah: I actually didn't realize people would care.
Mm. I just thought, Oh, I am sitting with him. Let's take a photo and let's just put it up. I didn't realize people would care. Mm. But people do it.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. Yeah. And now you have how many followers?
Ling Yah: 5,300. That's amazing.
Red Hong Yi: From that one post?
Ling Yah: No, no, no. So it's grown every day since then cuz I've been posting as well and I've been doing a bunch of things on there. It's not as viral as it was then.
Yeah. So in one day I grew by three, which was a lot. Mm-hmm. And then after that it's tapered down, it's a lot more steady, but it still grows. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: Do you find it encourages you with doing, creating content for STIMY more than before that?
Ling Yah: Oh, definitely. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Before that I always wanted to continue, but there were moments where I just went, ugh, yeah, I'm really, really down.
But this feels like there is a community that's waiting for me to share. And they are people that you actually know. Cuz if they come in, you can just click through and see their entire cv, right. Yeah. And they're intentional with their comments and really thoughtful. Yeah. And I just like that. Oh wow.
I just like thoughtful comments. I dunno. I'm so happy to hear that. Oh, thank you.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. I, I, I understand that too. Sometimes when you post things up and no one kind of reacts to it. Yeah. it can feel like you're kind of, who's actually listening here. I put all this effort into it.
Ling Yah: Exactly.
And with a podcast as well, it's ultimately just me speaking to a wall. Mm. That's really it. And you just dunno who is listening. Cuz with a podcast, if you go to your host, you see the download rates, you have no idea who they are. You know which country they're from. But again, you dunno if they listen to a whole thing or not.
Just nothing. Nothing at all.
Red Hong Yi: But what kept you going though when you did not see that much engagement? Cuz that happened for a while, right?
Ling Yah: A long time.
Red Hong Yi: What kept you going?
Ling Yah: It just never crossed my mind to quit.
Red Hong Yi: Oh wow. Really?
Ling Yah: Yeah. The thought of me not doing just never crossed my mind. It's just unfathomable.
Red Hong Yi: Seriously, you'd think that if there was not much traction, That.
Ling Yah: Yeah.
I did wonder whether I was not talking on the right topic. Yeah. I was making it too long. So I thought of all these things, but to stop Stop?
Not really. Mm.
Red Hong Yi: It was just something that you enjoyed doing and just enjoyed putting out there.
And that's amazing.
Ling Yah: At the end of the day.
The kind of people I speak to are not people I can get access to ever until I have this platform. So for me, at the end of the day, when you really think about. If I wanna talk to a potential client, I can't just reach out to them and say, Hey, can I have an hour and a half? Yeah. To chat about your life.
Yeah. If I dig into your life on the personal level for an hour and a half, I like to think we've established a link and we could talk about it after that. It's just something different. When I go into any kind of meeting, people wanna talk about it cuz no one else is doing it. Yeah. I have more interesting things to share, even though it's a reshare of what someone else said, and it just brings me so much benefit, I guess.
Yeah. That it just never crossed my mind to stop. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: Have you ever been intimidated by any people that you were supposed to interview? Like, because at the start of the podcast Yeah. I, you would tell me, Oh, I'm interviewing so and so and so, I have no idea about this field at all.
Yes. And I thought, oh my gosh, this girl is brave. She is brave. And she's jumping into it and she did it so well. It made me even wonder, you know, are you afraid at all? Like do people intimidate you? Do you go through imposter syndrome?
Ling Yah: So two parts to that question. First part about the whole mm-hmm.
I dunno anything.
That was deliberate. And that's why STIMY is so varied. Mm-hmm.
Because I always knew from the start, every content creator would say the riches are in the niches. And I really thought about it. Should I niche down? Should I focus on just one category? Mm-hmm. But I thought the whole purpose was for me to learn.
And I also knew that I always have a blinkered view. Mm-hmm. In the world. Mm-hmm.
I don't know what I don't know. Mm. And I dunno that I have assumptions and biases until I'm challenged. Mm. So this interviewee has an interesting life. Mm. I'm scared because I don't know about the industry. All the more reason for me to do it then, because I know when I corner myself, then I have no choice but to dig down and do enough research to pass off an hour and a half worth of conversation with an expert in that field.
I will not walk away being an expert, but I know I can carry a conversation about it. And all I have to do is sort of like James Clear's Atomic Habits, 1%. Just grow a little every single day. If you grow a little, over time, you look back and you realize, actually I'm a lot better than where I was. Yeah, that's so true.
I know a lot more than I did before. Yeah. Now I can pull references from so many different fields that I would've never known, and I would be able to say, I spoke to this guy. Yeah. Who's an expert in that field and this is what he said. Yeah. And why. As opposed to me saying, I read it here. I read in the blog. I think someone said this which is a quote from someone else.
I can cut through all that and say, he told me. Yeah. And that just makes it more personal. So that was the first part.
In terms of the imposter syndrome I dunno if it's arrogant, mean No . Wow. No way. And I know lots of people ask me this question, like, do you have imposter syndrome? Yeah. It actually came from someone on your LinkedIn.
Yeah. Um, because I went through your LinkedIn first thought I took. Yeah, No, no, no, no. I, I've been, I, I have been going there a little bit more since that viral post cuz I'm like, Oh, there's a whole world of LinkedIn that like exists. People actually Yeah. What are they doing? Isn't it another like Facebook and all that , Um, with all these titles?
But no, I took a couple of questions by people and that was one of them. Yeah, that was one of the questions about imposter syndrome. If you don't, that's amazing.
I don't, because I'm just too busy, I guess. Mm-hmm.
I think what helps, again, the reason why I don't have imposter syndrome is stories as well, because I've interviewed so many different people, I've read so many stories.
Without exception, every single person who's successful will say, I suffer from imposter syndrome. Yeah. Even now. So if the most successful person in the world that I'm aiming to be has imposter syndrome Yeah. And I have it, that means it's normal. Who cares? Move on. Mm. So I definitely do have moments where I go, Oh, maybe this isn't as good.
Well, I did my best anyway. I'll just move on. Yeah. And so long as I know I tried my best. Yeah. Then that's okay. Yeah. Because I know I will get better. Yeah.
So you don't get to hung up over say, mistakes or maybe days where you go, Oh, I could have done better.
Yeah, I mean, I suppose that's a pro and a con. So the pro is, I can just move on.
The con is I don't think too much.
Red Hong Yi: That's amazing.
So I used to get quite hung up over things like that actually. Yeah. I used to get quite bound by that and then, um, but I move on a little bit more now. Yeah. I do ruminate about it quite a bit. I dunno, it,
it's so good though.
I think you need to be in between and I'm not really in between. I think maybe
we more, we need to look for a middle ground somewhere. Okay. So I guess that leads me to a question from Alya. Aha. Aha. Oh yeah. Yeah. Okay. So she goes, on days when you don't feel like doing anything, yeah. What's the one thing or practice or thought that energizes you?
Have there been days where you go, Oh my gosh, I just wanna take a break from doing this.
Ling Yah: Yeah. Like tomorrow I just wanna sleep. Oh. But I can't cuz it's the day to release a new
Red Hong Yi: When you release a new episode, why is it so much work? No, because it's okay. I can imagine. I
Ling Yah: Cause when you release a new episode, you have to edit everything.
Then you have to draft the intro and outro, you have to record it and edit, put it together, put the sound together. Then you upload it. But you have to draft a copy plus the title. You have to submit it, you have to create the copy. And also the website itself. You also create the social media. You have to put it up.
Red Hong Yi: Okay. That's a lot. But I didn't know that that happens on the same day.
Ling Yah: So I tend not to be able to do it on the same day. So that's why you don't see it released on the same day. Cause I just can't keep up.
Red Hong Yi: Oh yeah. Wow. That's
hats off to you. Yup.
That's a lot.
So I find the social media side of things, I love it.
I do enjoy marketing and branding and all that quite a bit. You're really good. But it takes so much time. It really takes time away from my actual art. Yes. And I do find that I need help, but I find that when I get help, that voice kind of disappears a little bit. Like I have to be the person to post about it at the same time.
So I don't know if you're gonna find that about what you do, cuz you're gonna be the person who's hosting, doing research, and then if you have a team around you. Yeah. Maybe for me, maybe it's a micromanaging thing. I don't know for me.
Ling Yah: I have no idea. I haven't got a 10 person team.
I won't know. I'm not there, but I would say certain things I would always keep mm-hmm. for instance. And there are certain things I'm not too precious about. So design is not my thing. Seriously.
But yeah, I think you've done a really good job though. Oh, thank you. Thanks Canva.
Red Hong Yi: have a nice logo by a friend. Thanks Joanne. That's amazing. Do you wanna talk a little bit about that logo?
Ling Yah: Oh yeah.
That logo is tied to the very beginning. It's tied to the me bothering and exasperating everyone cuz I didn't know what to call the name and I was stuck for the longest time and I thought it would be called, This is my why. And I checked on Instagram and someone had, this is my why and I was really upset and I thought, oh, what should I call it?
And someone said, Why don't you just add a So ?
And then I thought, oh my gosh, I need to come with a logo. I dunno what it is. And I met Joanne at the same time as I met you and she was so kind and she said, Yeah, yeah, I'll do it. She runs a full design agency and she said, I'll do it for you as a friend for free.
And she came up with so many iterations and I kept going back going, I don't like it. I don't like it, Don't like it.
I remember that.
Oh my goodness. For weeks and I bought her this
whiskey. Whiskey whiskey. Was she It's still in my, it's in my closet. It's in my cabinet.
Yeah, it's, yeah. Yeah. I dunno why it's still with
Yeah. I, I dunno as well. But maybe we should give a plug to Joanne. This is why. Thank you Joanne of Ideology and Fairmont.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. Okay. I think, um, the other question that I had. So you have interviewed Forbes billionaires.
Oh, yes. Olympians, Michelin star chefs. Yeah. Entrepreneurs, VC people. Mm-hmm.
Viral tickers. And your podcast is about uncovering their successes. Yeah.
Why do you think they have achieved success? What do you think is the secret sauce?
Ling Yah: Yeah. So my thesis has changed.
When I started, and hence the name, why mm-hmm.
I thought. People found their why. That was it. And it was just a question of how do I uncover my why and how do I make it reality? And I realized that actually what tied many of them, because so many said, I don't care about my why. My why changes. They were so ambivalent about the why question, and what really tied everyone was the fact that they were really curious about something.
They didn't care about it. They just really dug deep into it. Even though there was no career, there was no clear path beyond the mere curiosity. They really spent time. They became an expert. Then doors started opening. Serendipity happens and they end up where they are and that was just it. It was just curiosity, hard work, and serendipity.
Mm. And that's what led them.
And the fact that they didn't care about what other people said.
Red Hong Yi: Mm. So do you find that as a common thread?
Ling Yah: For sure. I would say, I mean, even with myself, I wouldn't say I'm successful or anything, but because I put myself out there, because I do things, serendipitous things have happened.
Yeah. Which I would've never dreamt or expected. Yeah. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: What are some of them? Can you give some, some examples?
Ling Yah: Appear in James Corden's show?
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. That was so amazing. Yeah. Oh my gosh.
Ling Yah: And meeting James Corden's boss for breakfast in London and going to a taping, the live taping of their London show as a friend of the production staff. Yeah. And meeting James Corden's parents. Yeah, it was really cool.
Red Hong Yi: That is amazing. What was it like having breakfast? Was it breakfast?
Ling Yah: It was breakfast. Cuz the whole production team was staying at a hotel, so he said, come over for breakfast.
He was so nice.
He just wanted to meet in person to catch up.
No, actually I wanted meet.
I was the cheeky one cause I was following all the monologues and I went, Hi Nick. So I realised you're in London. I happen to be in London the same time. Do you wanna meet up? And he's like, Yes. Cause I'm the kind of person who would just ask, right?
You don't ask, you don't get. So yeah.
That's something I've learned from you for sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And so I met up with him and guess what we spent so much of our time talking about. I've never told you. Web3.
Red Hong Yi: I was educating him. Wait, what? You never told me this.
Ling Yah: No, I never told you this.
Red Hong Yi: I thought you guys were talking about his work.
Ling Yah: So we did. We did. We did.
We did. And he told me about the realities of behind the scenes and all that, right? But after awhile, I started talking about the kind of people I was interviewing. I was in the middle of Web three and for some reason we ended up talking about Web three and I just went, this is everything I know.
Yeah. I should have talked about something.
Red Hong Yi: And you sounded like a pro. I'm pretty sure. Ok. Let's talk about web3 then. Let's talk about web3, just a little bit. Not much. Oh God.
Okay, let me tell you like background. Okay. Again, we have Joe. Joe needs to be somewhere here. Okay. It's okay. So Joe, my husband, um, Ling Yah was there, by the way when I first met Joe on Bumble. So she saw me swiping on Joe's profile.
Do you remember?
I showed you
Ling Yah: yeah. Do you remember after you came back from your first meeting? And then. Should I reveal?
Red Hong Yi: Okay. I can guess. I was like, do you want this person?
Ling Yah: Have you ever told Joe this?
Red Hong Yi: Um, I think I may have. Actually I think I have.
So okay. Before we go into web3, cuz this is gonna lead into the web three.
Let's talk about dating. Fine. Let's talk about it.
Okay. So I was at the tail end of this other relationship.
We're good friends now, but when I moved over to KL, we were both single and I was like, Okay, like I'm ready to meet people.
So I was on the apps. Ling Yah was very chilled with Ling Yah was chilled about this thing with a Bumble bro advising you. Oh yeah. Yeah. We have a mutual friend who is a Bumble bro pro. Like he met his, Yeah. Okay. Yeah, it sounds a little bit seedy but he met his now wife on TikTok. No, it's not TikTok.
Sorry. Bumble. Oh, no, Tinder. Oh, I, I can't remember he giving, He was giving us advice. Yeah. So I was on this thing swiping, swiping. I think you were on it as well.
So we were, No, I wasn't until you succeeded and I thought, what is this thing? Oh, really?
Okay. But yeah, we bonded over, all these, um, I guess profiles and I showed Ling Yah and, um, she saw this other person that I went out with as well.
uh, Strange, but eventually I met Joe who is a crypto guy. Yeah. So I went for a couple of dates with him, came back to Ling Yah and said, he's this guy who's into Bitcoin. Sounds so scammy. And, um, we Googled. Yeah. We both Googled, like, we were like, Who is this person? Like what is Bitcoin? All that kind of thing.
So that was our- yeah, that was our intro into crypto and then before I knew it, we had
no idea why.
Ling Yah: Before I knew it you did Memebank and I went, what is going on? Why is this girl doing NFTs? She's really into this thing.
Okay, so So I blame you for pushing me over the ledge. I was still on the fence going okay, it's an interesting thing everyone's talking about it and then you went into it full on and I thought maybe it's time.
Red Hong Yi: But you set Joe down for a couple of sessions and really like drilled him and asked him, he was so tired. Tell you all about web three and I'm so proud, you know so much about it.
You really dug deep into it and you bought your first NFT.
Ling Yah: Caveat. I know how to talk like I know about web3. I'm very good at that, I think.
I've interviewed enough people to know how to sound like I know what I'm talking about. But if you really know your space and you dig deeper, you realize I have nothing left.
Red Hong Yi: Okay. But you've been to a couple of, web3 events here though, right?
Ling Yah: Oh, one actually with Joe.
Red Hong Yi: Only one? You've been to a few.
Ling Yah: Have I?
Red Hong Yi: I thought you-
Ling Yah: what other events have I?
Red Hong Yi: I think I Okay. I think you have been okay. I think because you are in like some of the NFT Asia chat groups and like some Oh.
Ling Yah: I just watch it.
Okay. Right. I just don't go.
Red Hong Yi: Oh, okay. I've never, Cause I was gonna ask you, what do you think of the community here? Oh, um, and I dunno that because cuz I think they are trying to build a community here. Right?
Ling Yah: I know some of them, I suppose some of them I have met because of you guys. Oh, Joe . Oh wow. It's all through, You guys. Different, They're different.
They have a mind of their own. They're independent, They're doing on their own thing.
Red Hong Yi: And how do you feel about the whole space? Cause you've interviewed quite a few of them as well.
Ling Yah: It's not going to be my career.
I guess because everyone keeps on talking about the fact that it's new tech.
New tech. The space is evolving so fast. I'm not a tech person. I can't fully appreciate the tech, so that means whatever, I say will always be superficial. Mm-hmm. I can't truly appreciate the advancements. So whatever I do is what all these other marketing person is, which feels so snake oil salesman like. It just doesn't feel genuine. It doesn't feel I'm really pushing the fodder.
But I mean if you put it another way, it's a way of selling memberships and then it could allow you to create community, then Yeah. I mean, in a way you could, but I wouldn't do NFTs for the sake of NFTs.
Yeah. I wouldn't enter web three just because it's web three. That's good. That's, I mean, recently I spoke to a former guest who was on the podcast. He was deep in Web three, and I was asking him things that I always ask, for instance, who else could I interview and what other content and what kind of pivot should I be doing?
And he was so full on into crypto crypto crypto. And the whole time I was going, I don't don't wanna know and I'm tired of this. And you could see the devastation on his face, he literally had no other suggestion for me beyond crypto. Cause clearly this guy's been in this space for the longest time, still doing it.
He loves crypto and I can see the passion. That ain't me.
I would talk about it, but I'm not crazy about it.
Red Hong Yi: But how do you choose your next guest though? I remember there's a few times I told you about, Oh, so and so, you know, um, Jeff Ranjo, the Disney Pixar person who created Olaf. And you, you just like, I still want him.
Immediately just like, I can see that you want him and you'd come to me one day. I think this was like last year or something. I really want like a drag person on my show. Yes. I was like, wow. Like, it's so varied. Do you pick based on what you are interested at the time?
Ling Yah: I just pick people that interest me. Mm. When I hear a story, sometimes it's just one line and I go, I want him.
Red Hong Yi: What interests you about that person though? Is it more the story?
Ling Yah: It's a gut feeling. That's just something that I feel is gonna be an interesting story. Drag queen. I've never had drag queen before. Retired 4 Star General. Yeah. I want him, of course.
Red Hong Yi: What if it's a drag queen with no story?
Ling Yah: Is it possible? I don't think so. I mean, how many people would be willing to be a drag queen?
Firstly, you must be gay. That's already gonna be difficult. That's gonna be tons of conflict. Your family's probably gonna be against you, and you have to find yourself. You have to find your journey becoming drag queen, finding your name, going out there. Mm. That is so foreign to me. Yeah. Yeah. And there's certain personality that drag queens, which is really incredible.
Their confidence is through the roof. And I wish I had their confidence, but I don't. Yeah. It's just so different that I feel it's really hard to find someone who's not interested. Right. How can you succeed on stage if you don't have a presence? I find that really hard.
Mm. So it does really, in the end, come down to the story of it, right.
I guess it comes down to the story.
Red Hong Yi: Do you think there is a spiritual element that kind of, grabs your attention to about these stories?
Ling Yah: I would not come out and say, This is a Christian podcast. I never want to ever say that. Yeah. It's very similar to another guest. I have. He's the Disney animator who did the animation for the Lion King. Aladdin. Mm-hmm. Beauty and the Beast, and General Shang was drawn based on his face.
Basically he is also Christian and he left Disney because he wanted to start his own thing. And he said that his own thing is very much him sort of taking Bible stories, but retelling it from the perspective of an animal in animation form, because he learned from Disney.
Firstly kids, people learn from animals, and it's so non divisive. Yeah. And secondly, it was just a way of telling these stories without it being labeled Christian. Yeah. And he said once that there was this girl who came up and said, I am so surprised that your books are non Christian like, and he said that was the biggest compliment he ever received and I feel kind of similar to that.
Mm-hmm. I would say that I am a Christian and the values are very important to me. So I would say values are important, but I would never wanna go around and say, this is a Christian podcast. Yeah. I will definitely be interested if you have a faith story. Yeah. And I would hope that when people listen because they've listened to all these other different episodes, then they would go, I trust in the quality of the work.
I trust that I will learn something from it. Therefore, even though I see that he has a faith story, I wouldn't be automatically turned away from it. Yeah. The way I would if a Christian podcast came out and said, we have a Christian faith story of him turning to Christ. That is kind of a turn off. Yeah. But for me, I would want to showcase that that is a very integral part of his journey.
Yeah. But you know, he's all these other things that you can also learn from if you don't happen to believe in that faith story. Yeah. But at the same time, I'm hoping if you hear it, something might resonate with you. Yeah. And if that's the path that might be open to you, then I really hope that, you know, that's what happens.
But if not, that's okay as well. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: I really appreciate that. You're very open about being a Christian. But at the same time, you're so open about hearing from other people from all different perspectives and backgrounds to, to drag queens to I will to cover Buddhist- Convicts.
love to have
Buddhist monks. I think that is so incredible.
And I think that's really what we need as content creators as just people, especially living during this time. We don't need more polarization, we don't need more boxing.
We need different perspectives and, to be able to still say, Hey, I'm proud to be this religion, this race, this background. This is my diversity card but I wanna hear your story as well. Yeah, yeah. And I find that from, so this is my why. Yay. Yeah. Really love it.
And I feel like your followers would really resonate with that too.
Ling Yah: I hope so.
Red Hong Yi: Which brings me to the STIMY Hangout. Oh wow. Cause you got to meet them in person. I did. For the very first time Yeah. Can you give us for those listening, if they do not know about what STIMY Hangout does. Can you give a little bit of a background for it?
Ling Yah: So, about a month ago, because I was already on LinkedIn, I thought on a whim because so many people have been saying you should do a physical thing.
And I never did it because it is so much work and I just didn't have the time. But I thought it's been two and a half years, let's just try. So on LinkedIn, I basically wrote a post and I said, anyone want to meet someone new and interesting? And that post went viral. I was shocked that the sheer number of people who were interested.
So we created an telegram group.
60 strangers joined, and then 30 people paid to appear and I thought, oh my gosh. Like 30 strangers. 30 strangers who were really excited to come. Yeah. And I had so many other people who messaged me personally, who said, I really wish I could come, but I can't, but I wanna go for the second one. So many. So I did that one and it was really, really amazing.
I was really worried and I kind of said, Let's do it from 12 after to two. But by the time two o'clock hit, it felt like the event had just started. And so many people also said that.
Oh my gosh. Yeah. It was amazing. It was show, we were there
for four hours.
Pretty much everyone was there for four hours.
Red Hong Yi: Wow. So it went like way beyond?
Ling Yah: It went way beyond. I mean, everyone seemed to really connect. There were so many people I asked them, w ould you like to do a second STIMY hangout? And so many people would say, I'd be really sad if you didn't do a second one. We near a STIMY conference, we near a conference.
And I thought, well that's a really big step up.
Are you thinking about that though? To give that? To
do that I would love. Cause I have, That's how we met at the conference. Yeah. I was in the committee. I've been in the committees for conferences for seven years. So I do know what it takes. I do know what it takes.
Yeah. I really need a big team. Seriously. So it's a big step. But I would love to, cuz I feel as though the kind of conference I would wanna do is fun and it's different and I've been to so many, it's dry, it's boring. It's about networking. But I feel that you can do networking in a fun and different way and still meet new and interesting people.
Red Hong Yi: I look forward to STIMY better conferences. Yeah, so I wasn't there at the Hangout because I had something going on back home, but I really, really wanna make it for the next one. I don't wanna miss out. I have a little bit FOMO going on right now. I shifted the date just for you.
Oh. Oh, thank you. Okay. Okay. I will try to like block out that date right now.
So can you tell us a little bit about what happened that day at the Hangouts? Cuz you had a lot of really cool ideas that were very unconventional compared to Oh, I think the other hangouts or like get togethers that I've been to web3 ones.
A cookie entrance ticket thing.
Ling Yah: So I basically said that entrance fee is bring a small bag of your favorite cookies and there were 30 of them. And so basically everyone brings it and I said, at the end, we are all gonna taste all the cookies and we are gonna vote on the one with the best and so the person with the best cookie got a RM100 Starbucks gift card.
I thought it was just something different because who would go and say, Bring your favorite cookies, right? And then who would have the opportunities go to an event and try 30 different types of cookies from all over it. It was just something that I wanted people to remember and go, Oh, WAS a little bit different?
But another part that was really important to me was the fact that I wanted people to intentionally meet other people. There are 30 people. The chances of you going to an event meeting 30 is very low, you probably meet three, four. So I wanna make sure there was intentionality such that you really want to make an effort to talk to other people and you can keep track of it and you can bring something home from it.
So I got a mounting board for every single person. Also, I got colorful sticker tapes and I basically just said, Go around, talk to everyone.
After your conversation, just write something nice about them and go to their mounting board and put it there so at the end you can bring your mounting board back.
And it's just this board full of really nice things that people say because words of affirmation, I think it's really important. And why wouldn't you wanna keep something like that? And hopefully when you look at the stickers, you go, Oh yeah, I do remember talking to this person. Yeah, yeah. I really connected with him.
Red Hong Yi: Oh, that's very encouraging. Yeah. Yeah. that's very beautiful to hear. Yeah. Yeah. I like that. What was some memorable conversations that you had with people there?
Ling Yah: I heard so many memorable conversations. I think what touched me was two people who came up. One girl came out and she said, I'm always the first person to leave events, but she was one of the last.
Oh wow. I was almost no one there because she really enjoyed it. There was another person told me twice I was really, really scared to come. I apparently he stood out there for a while. But he was also one of the last ones to leave and he said, I just really, really enjoyed it and I'm really glad I came.
Yeah. So it was just nice to have this kind of feedback. Yeah. Cuz it was also important for me as well. I didn't know how I was gonna do it, that it wasn't just the extroverts who thrived and enjoyed it. Yeah. But the introverts felt like there was a place for them as well and they were seen. Yeah. So it sounds like they were. I hope so.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. And I feel like your content draws a certain type of crowd as well that
resonates with it. That was a thing that surprised me. And the thing that still puzzled me all the way up to the event I was like, why on earth would a bunch of strangers wanna hang out?
Why would you wanna come to an event I'm doing,
That's my question for you.
Yeah. Why do you think they were there?
Ling Yah: So I have a friend, who I asked this question to, and he basically said I would wanna come, I just can't come because of conflict, but I would wanna come and I think all these people wanna come because of STIMY. Because that is the deciding factor. Mm. If you like that podcast, I would probably like hanging out with you because it is a very serious podcast.
It is very long form. Not many people are gonna enjoy. It's not gonna go viral. I don't think so. But if you like it, chances are I will like everyone else. Mm-hmm. Who likes that kind of serious intellectual content.
Red Hong Yi: So, yeah. Yeah. I think it's not just the podcast, but I think some of them probably found you through your LinkedIn writings though.
I think so. Yeah. Yeah. There were few people who said that and they resonated
Ling Yah: with that, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Surprisingly, yeah. It's basically
reading a personal diary.
Red Hong Yi: Tell, tell me about it. Cuz like, I, I check it a little bit more and every now and then I go, Oh wow. She has content every single day. And she talks about like some of them are really lighthearted funny and it usually starts with bam sentence at the start. And I know what you're doing. You're trying to get their attention.
But do I get it ? I think you do. I think you do, for sure. Yeah. But, um, what is it like writing every day and how do you kind come up with new content to it?
Ling Yah: I just enjoy it. I think sometimes I'm sitting in the car, I'm walking.
Sometimes a line would just pass me by and I'll just immediately open my phone and just write it. Sometimes if I have a little more time, the whole post will write itself. I can't explain it. It just writes itself and I'll just write the whole thing and go, Yay. I have one content.
Red Hong Yi: Do you experience any writer's block?
Ling Yah: I remember being asked this question once. No. Wow. Really? So I have block in the sense that I know exactly when I write. Yeah. But I can't find that opening line that I want. Oh. And I can get stuck for hours and hours and it really frustrates me, but not really.
Mm. I think it's also because when I was. Okay. I didn't tell you this either.
When I was really, really, really young, I was a teenager and I really loved this fiction. It was a f, I think it's 14 books long. Mm-hmm. . And so I found online there's this writing book you did tell me this. Yeah. Yeah. So there's this writing forum where you can basically be a part of the community by writing a bio of a character.
You make it up, there are some limitations, and then you go through and you rise through the ranks, through writing. You have to go through a certain class, you have to do a certain event. And so you write from your character's perspective and then you wait for the other person to write from their character perspective.
I wrote, gosh, thousands of words every single week. I was so engaged in it cuz there were certain writers who wrote the most amazing prose I had ever seen in my life. And I wanted to write with them how special it is to write with these special people. And I see their character, responding to me with the most beautiful writing ever.
And my writing really grew. In that short few years, I would say I used to write with the most bombastic words, I would always use thesaurus. I would always use the biggest, most florid language in the world. Yeah. My paragraphs were so thick and long. Yeah. And it reached a point for some reason, where something in me switched and I just went, just keep it simple, man.
Yeah. And I remember there was one person who said, your writing really improved.
Wow. And for some reason that phrase really stuck with me. And I thought, yeah. I kind of always knew to keep it simple and I just somehow never did. But now that I have, it's just stuck with me, I would say.
Yeah. I totally resonate with that because my mom told me that as well when I was high school. Yeah. About writing. So my mom, I think my mom writes pretty well, she actually studied literature. Yes, she does. It's very engaging. Yeah. She, she writes really well. And starts fires. Yeah. Yeah. Chompmom.
Okay. That's my mom. She, she, yeah. She has a bit of a following on Instagram over about huge following.
She advises you on your instagram? Yeah, she does. She does. She's like you need to be more specific about taste and all that kind of thing. But she did tell me that when she was right, like I think her feedback from her lecturer was the same thing as well.
Try to avoid cliches, try to avoid big, seemingly complex, impressive words as well. And um, and that occurred to her when she read Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club. And she, she was a big fan of Amy Tan and she said, read her book. And I read her book and she was like, she doesn't use complex words, right? It's very, very simple words, but it really draws you in. Yes. Yeah.
You found appeal in fiction and you're doing non-fiction now.
I know. It's strange. I would never thought that.
Red Hong Yi: How do you feel about that? Do you miss fiction?
Ling Yah: I definitely do. Yeah. I wish I had 50 hours in a day so I can do both.
The thing about fiction is that it's a purely solitary exercise. When you write, you just blurb everything up for the first draft and then you redo the draft over and over, around. Hopefully someone wants to pick it up and sell it.
So it's a purely solitary thing. Whereas with this, it's public accountability. Yeah. You see people reacting. You can build something, it just grows. It's a very, very different thing. And yeah, the community aspect just really drew me and the fact that I kind of got into startups and I was like, I really wanna grow my own thing.
But if I had more time, I would love to. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think I should carve up more time. Yeah. But then I should also carve up more time for my music. It's just endless.
Red Hong Yi: What's gonna happen after the 100th episode? Do you wanna, don't intend to stop. I love to write more. I love to work with more people. It would be really nice to start doing physicals. Yeah. I would say it does make a difference. Yeah. It's really nice. Yeah.
And definitely doing more LinkedIn writing. I'm working for a number of people as so, and it's really nice cuz it's different. I've always told my own story. I've told other people's story through interviews, but what I'm doing with writing for other people is basically them telling their story and me writing on their behalf.
and it's really interesting, a lot of people would say, I'm just really shy to share my own story and they also, I suppose would say writing's not their thing. Mm. But I just love writing. So for me, it just seems like a really easy fit for me to step in.
And it's just storytelling in a different form. Mm. So I would say just growing more of that as well. Yeah.
Yeah. Is there specific direction you're gonna take after the 100th episode? Are you gonna take a breather to think about it, or are you gonna continue with the same format?
Ling Yah: I don't intend to take a breath.
There was one guest who worked, and I haven't released the episode either. She worked at Christie's, she also worked at Playboy, New York Head of Marketing. She was so fantastic after our interview. She gave me half an hour free advice on how I should do my branding. And one of the big concerns I had the whole time, and we had so many conversations about this too, right?
Yeah. It was just, am I too broad? Am I too broad? I niche down. Yeah. But then I really loved the variety. That's why I niche down on just web three cuz I thought maybe this is my thing and everyone's on fire and every story money
Red Hong Yi: and I don't know. I felt like you were not super, super, super interested.
Ling Yah: Actually it was more like tapping into that kind. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: But you, but you did a lot of research, which is amazing. That's your strength to be able to dig into something that you're not familiar with. That's not necessarily like your field but you were able to do that.
Ling Yah: I know how to make it sound like I know what I'm talking about, because I'm actually not really talking. I'm just asking the question and just letting you take the stage. You know how to ask the question. I know how ask the question and I've done the research. I think it's easy for anyone to have a one hour conversation.
Really easy. You don't even need to prep. But if I really prep, gosh, I can go on forever.
Red Hong Yi: I don't think it's easy.
Ling Yah: Oh, tell me how your experience has been used.
Red Hong Yi: Like what, what's obvious to you or me is like not obvious to you or me. Sometimes I'm like, um, what? Why what? Writing? You can just like go like that.
I'm like, oh my gosh, I have to plan so much. I have to like, you know, you were really stress. Go to the gym first or something. It's just like a big block for me. So I think what's like easy for you might not necessarily easy to blindingly obvious to people too.
Ling Yah: Well, I've seen the way you do your art and I gotta tell you, when I watch you, I just go there ain't no way I will ever do what you do.
I have absolute zero interest in this. Oh no. I respect it so much and I will promote you, but I just am not gonna do this. It's not mine.
Red Hong Yi: It's okay. But at least you entertained me by going with my what? The street, Street art bros. To go like painting the streets and all that. Illegally. Mm-hmm.
Okay. Illegally. But then we found out it was with permission.
So Ling Yah was very not property. Yeah. She was very, very unimpressed by that. Yeah, I know.
I was even more unimpressed when they painted over it, huh? Yeah. Remember I would, like I say,
yeah. Yeah. Our big
bros, our big bros went over and just painted Oh, right, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So they burned our art. That street.
Yeah, they got rid of it. They thought It was not that great.
Ling Yah: It's only time you could have seen Lawyah in action.
Red Hong Yi: That's her street name, by the way. L a w y a h.
Ling Yah: Yep. You heard it here first.
Red Hong Yi: Okay. I have a couple of questions from your followers.
We're gonna wrap the end of this interview with you're doing well wise.
Really? Yeah. Okay. No, it feel like we're like chatting, right? We're just chit chatting, catching up. Um, but we're gonna go with our whys, so are you ready? Okay. Okay. This is question from Tyler Chin. Has your why changed over the years? And if so, how has it changed? If not, were there times where you faced doubts about the whys.
Ling Yah: The honest to goodness truth is the whole reason I started this podcast.
Why is because I have no freaking clue what my why is, and I'm still looking for it. So I wish I had an answer, but I would say it's still a journey and I've come to realize that it's okay to be on that journey, even though I wish I had an answer, but I really don't. Because like we mentioned earlier, ultimately what binds everyone who's quote and quote successful who appear on the podcast is not so much the why but the fact that they found the curiosity, dug into it, became really good and all these opportunities came up.
So I would say just going with what I'm interested in and who knows what will happen. I mean, I got an offer for a book.
Red Hong Yi: That's amazing. That's so amazing. I'm so excited about that. Yeah. We chatted about this book thing yesterday.
I just completed my final draft for mine as well.
Thank you. Thank you. And I did have like, I was approached a while ago for something else as well. So I understand the thoughts that are going on behind Yes.
So Ling Yah, I don't think you've come to a conclusion whether to do it yet, but we can chat about it.
Ling Yah: I definitely wanted to, but eventually ask the question of when
Red Hong Yi: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Eventually. And I, I would be super excited. Oh, thank you for that. You are gonna write the foreword.
I have. Watch it on. I would be, I would be very, very honored. Thank you. I would be very, very honored. Um, okay. We have a question from Craig d Davis that I think is a great question. Mm-hmm.
Can you share some examples from the podcast of how the guests you've have interviewed have influence or change of view about life?
Ling Yah: Well, again, I would say the serendipity, but it's more examples. Mm. So we're gonna talk. Your friend Caesar Kuriyama.
Red Hong Yi: Aw Cesar. Yeah.
Ling Yah: Cesar is so fantastic, so creative and just really brave to do crazy things. Yeah. The story that I always tell people that I always remember is how the movie, right?
Yes. The movie. Yeah. So basically he was a big Marvel fan. He watched Ironman one, he watched Ironman two, and then he's so Ironman three, and he saw that Jon Favreau, who plays happy, the driver, he was the director for Ironman one and two. He wasn't the director for number three, he was just the driver.
So Cesar knows the Hollywood industry, and he said John really didn't have to be there at all, and I am shocked that no one gave him more credit for it.
So he basically sat that whole night trying to drop a short Tweet to kind of like say, Hey John, this was amazing. Why is no one giving you that kind of credit?
Mm. And he kind of a drafted and drafted and redrafted and he thought, who's gonna see? What should I write? And he fell asleep on the couch.
And he said that he woke up in the middle of the night and he switched on his phone and he realized, Oh, the draft is still there. And he thought, It's so early, no one's gonna see.
I'm just gonna click press and just send it. He sent, went back to sleep, and didn't think about it.
And a couple weeks later he got call from the production house who said, we want to feature your app. At the time he did a viral TED talk. He already had app that he raised funds for called one second every day.
The short story is John saw that tweet went his profile so that he a viral Ted talk, saw that he had an actual app, used the app, loved it so much that he got his production house to reach out and say, Can we feature your app in my Hollywood movie. Amazing movies. Isn't that crazy?
That's crazy. You just never know, right? You send one tweet and you can get your product into a Hollywood movie that's advertising you cannot ever imagine getting for free. That's so, it's just things like that that changed my mind, made me go, anything is really possible. And the only thing that's stopping you is you.
So you just gotta do it. You just gotta put yourself out there cuz you never know. You just need one person to see your thing and it could change your life. Yeah, yeah. And it has happened to so many people before. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. That's so true. Yeah, Just taking that step too. Yeah. So to show your work and to show who you are really.
Ling Yah: Yeah. So that's why I'm kind of more bullish right now on LinkedIn cuz it's more professional and people that are serious and care about what they write and it's linked to your career. Mm-hmm.
It's one thing to say I'm Marketing Director of Decentraland. It's another thing to show and tell every single day and have people connect with your story.
Yeah. And really understand that you know your stuff. Yeah. As opposed to me reading three lines of your particular position. Yeah, it's very, very different, I would say.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. Okay. You've given me a, um, unity. I should go then.
You need a ghostwriter.
Oh my gosh. It's just another platform. Oh my. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
It's, it's cool to see that. I did think about that, but, uh, oh my gosh. Another platform. But, I think it also depends on what platform works for you, right? Yes.
Ling Yah: Yes. You have to know what your purpose is. You can't just be on everything just for the sake of it. If your clients are not there, then you don't need it.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah. You really don't.
Ling Yah: Yeah, this was what I gathered at a conference that I was at like in Europe recently. Oh yeah. And it was, Yeah. And it was THU. Yeah, Thu. And it was, Things might change really quickly too, right? Like that might be another platform cuz we were talking about.
Topic of social media. Mm. You know, the next platform for artists, cuz it's Instagram now for artists, might be something else. So, Oh, be prepared for that change and be fluid in how, what was the advice?
I think it was that, right now it's on Instagram. Put all your stuff there because it's a portfolio for us.
Make sure it looks good, people are getting hired there. But it might not always be Instagram. Next thing might be something else. And it might happen really quickly too, so don't be afraid of change. Yeah. And be flexible about it and don't go, Oh, okay. It's a drag to have to like switch to the next platform.
Yeah. Like it might help you, so just be open to it. Yeah. So that was the advice. Oh wow. Yeah. It's true.
Red Hong Yi: Okay, another question, from someone from the crowd as.
Have you ever questioned your own why? And, um, Well, we're both laughing. We're
both laughing cuz this is a question that we do talk about.
What do you think is your why now? Why are you doing this podcast?
Ling Yah: Oh, someone please give me the answer.
I dunno. I just feel like it's something that in me, that compels me, I just really enjoy it.
And it never has felt like work. I'm feel exhausted all the time, but it really is non-work at all.
I look forward to weekends because I have more time.
It gives me a lot of personal satisfaction, I would say, to grow something. To connect with people. Yeah. And to see that people resonate with that as well.
There are so many comments I'm getting personally who are saying, I will always support you.
I will always be there for you. Yeah. Anything for you.
That's really touching. And so many would say that's because we have seen all the hard work that you have put in that's beautiful, and we really acknowledge that and we really wanna support you.
And that's really nice cuz I always, for the longest time, for years, thought that I was talking to a wall and no one cared. No one saw. But I just did it cuz there was a lot personal satisfaction. Yeah. But now it's slightly different cuz it feels like I'm not alone. Yeah. And also what we talked about the whole time, serendipity and just going on that journey.
I love it. There's no negatives apart from time. Let's just do it and see where it goes, I guess. Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Red Hong Yi: Yeah, I think that's a great answer. I sometimes really think that it doesn't have to be a complex answer for, I hope, you know, you're a big why. I don't think so. I think it can be as simple as that.
And it can be as simple as, I just want it to do it, and that's it. Yeah. And that really is the thread that joins everyone in your podcast, I believe too.
So yeah, thank you so much for this time and congratulations again for your 100th episode.
No worries. I am so proud of you as a friend, as a past interviewee, and as a listener.
Ling Yah: Wow. And I'm so proud of you for doing a fantastic job for your first ever interviewer position. How does she do? Amazing.
And that was the end of episode 100.
The show notes and transcript can be found at www.sothisismywhy.com/100
we talked about quite a few former guests in this episode. Like Red Hong Yi Yourself, episode two, Cesar Kuriyama, episode 20. And Notle the ex-convict who will be featured in episode 102 in two weeks time.
You can find the links to all the episodes in the show as well.
And before I tell you who's coming on for episode 101, if you've enjoyed this podcast, please do subscribe to the YouTube channel. More in person interviews are coming and it'll be fantastic to grow STIMY's presence on YouTube.
And do stick around for episode 101 because we will be meeting one of the biggest legal celebrities in Asia.
He's colloquially known as the King of Singapore and is the current president of Singapore's Law Society. A multiple best selling book author, cancer survivor, and LinkedIn writer extraordinaire.
If you'd like to learn more about how this legal celebrity became who he is today, do stick around and see you next Sunday.