Table of contents
Summary: Empowered Women Empower Others
Empowered women empower others. That's Genecia Alluora's big why. Listen to this mind-blowing interview with Genecia Alluora, the leader of the largest women's entrepreneurial network, Soul Rich Woman.
It's not every day you get tips from a serial entrepreneur and multi-millionaire - tons of treasures for current and aspiring women business owners.
Words of Wisdom
My big why is I can help women to shortcut their success and help them because empowered women empower others. — Genecia Alluora, Entrepreneur
Transcript: Empowered Women Empower Others: Genecia Alluora
Hello and welcome to the Women Conquer Business podcast. I'm your host Jen McFarland. When Genecia Alluora's people reached out to me and said, "Would you like to have her on the show?" I looked this woman up, and I was like, "Whoa. Holy Cow. Of course, I do." So she has so much experience and so many treasures in this podcast episode. Oh, and by the way, she's a former Miss Singapore and leads the largest women's entrepreneurial network in Southeast Asia. Oh, yeah. This is a sweet interview. All that and more here on Women Conquer Business.
[music] Hello and welcome to the Women Conquer Business podcast featuring discussions with your host, Jen McFarland. Every week I discuss a different aspect of building a business while balancing it with an incredibly busy life. I share experiences, successes, and failures, and answer question submitted by you the listener. Thanks for tuning in. Let's get started. [music]
Meet Genecia Alluora
I am constantly amazed and humbled by the people who find the Women Conquer Business podcast and who want to be on the show. Take today's guest, for example.
Genecia Alluora is a former Miss Singapore and Southeast Asia Woman of Excellence in 2010. She is the founder of Soul Rich Woman, the number one female entrepreneur network in Southeast Asia that connects more than 12,000 women across the region, with presence in seven countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The Soul Rich Woman network helps women build their brand and online reputation for more customers, confidence, and credibility while making a positive impact in the world. Prior to this she was an owner of a cafe retail chain with a presence in three countries and successfully exited to a publicly listed company.
Profiled in CNBC and China Daily, Genecia is also an expert public speaker and has spoken in recent major events, including the RISE Conference in Hong Kong, Success Conference and Expo Asia 2018 in Hanoi, and National Achievers’ Congress in Manila.
Heck, yeah, I want this person on my show so please welcome Genecia Alluora to the Women Conquer Business podcast.
Hey, welcome to the show. Can you tell us about your personal journey as an entrepreneur?
Oh, great. So when I was starting out when I was really, really young, in fact, when I was 14 years old, my family financially we were not sound.
So when I got onto my journey, my mother kind of got me and I had to learn and become an instructor to teach yoga, aerobics, line dancing to support myself through school. So over the years I've been working and helping myself to kind of become my entrepreneur that I am today. Because during that time when I was 14 years old I learned the value of money because I had to pay for school fees, I had to put food on the table, and support my family and then a younger brother as well.
So it's really, really not easy to get started.
Imagine waking up 5:00 AM in the morning to go to school and then finishing school at 1:00 PM, and then doing project work and instruct curricular activities till 5:00 PM. And then resting for a while, rushing off to my classes, my classes where I teach yoga or aerobics depending on the schedule, and then my whole day has not ended yet until about 11:00 PM at night. And I still have not completed my homework.
And that went on for many years. And as a result, my health was affected and I look really terrible. But over the years, I keep reminding myself I should not be a victim [inaudible] my own circumstances, even though I was angry and I did a lot of-- I did a lot of things to work on my mindset, eventually, in 2006, I won Miss Singapore and that opened my doors because I won Miss Singapore Universe runner-up, and then, later on, I went on to compete again in Miss Singapore International. So winning these two competitions kind of opened up my doors, and then the rest is history.
I save enough money as well to become an image consultant, and then I started my own academy on the exact same year in 2006 because I had already built more than 5 years, 10 years of experience to build my own strength and skill as an instructor and speaker. So that went on, and, eventually, I became where I am today.
That's such a fantastic story. And I think that what I appreciate about it the most is that you didn't give up. A lot of people would have those early experiences through school and teaching and maybe sleeping for five hours a night. And they might want to give up. What kept you going?
I think my mind just kind of let it go. It's like, "I cannot fail. The only way is [through?]--" So I'm built for kind of pressure. And I'm built to overcome stuff. Of course, they'll be days when you'll feel that-- when your girlfriends or your friends around you have to go-- they can go shopping. They can go movie dates. And you are there. You have to work.
Right? So it's all about balancing that mindset, letting go of the victim mindset, step out of the comfort zone and go towards the dreams that you truly dream about. So that is the main thing.
Wow, that's fantastic. So I think you've talked about it a little bit. But what is your big why? What drives you to empower women to go after what they want?
So a little bit more on my journey to add onto this piece because after that I started to look into my time.
I just wanted to stop trading time for money because, being image consultant, running a consultancy for a couple of years, I found that I didn't want just being paid. And, when I work, I get paid. When I work, I get paid. When I work, I get paid. When I don't work, I don't get paid.
So it came to a point where I wanted to go online. So I went online. And that was when, during the same period, I started a cafe retail chain with some of my business partners.
And we grew to a retail chain in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. So it was also during the same period that I felt that offline retail chain was not really something I wanted to do.
But it was more like a business, like, "Okay. I just want to try to build a cafe retail chain. Let's see how that goes." And [inaudible] because, when I was based in Indonesia handling the franchise and franchisees over there, I wasn't able to travel as frequent. So I was asking myself, "How can I go online?" So I had a webcam. I bought a mic. I had internet. I had a computer. I said, "Hey, can I do something outside of my time?" when I was handling the cafe business. So what I did was I switched it on. I said, "Okay. Let's do webinars."
So I learned how to do webinars, and that's how I got started. So you asked what was my big-- why I do what I do? After doing so many things in my life, I feel that my calling and my purpose is to help women because I have gone through shit since I was 14. I mean tough times and going through stuff and gone into debts, almost bankrupt and then doing offline business, now, online, cross my first million and then cross my 10 million.
And when I asked myself, "How can I help women to shortcut their success?"
So my big why is I can help women to shortcut their success and help them because empowered women empower others.
So why Southeast Asia? Because I mean that's closer to home. I mean because my businesses have always been in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, so why not just do it across Southeast Asia And having done that, you know started Soul Rich Woman in 2015, travel Southeast Asia. I find that really women are still pretty much in the kitchen or putting themself last.
A lot of the women are still holding back or citing reasons of fear of failure. They don't have tools or not sure how to go about to go online to build their social media to get more leads to build their credibility while making a positive impact in the world. So we created this platform to help women to have resources to have a like-minded community so that we can support each other. You must remember when a woman changes her life, her entire community benefits, her family, her husband, the kids, friends around her will all benefit because her life is changed.
Absolutely. And I love what you said about empowered women empower others. I think I that's so true.
So how do you encourage women to dream big especially when those dreams can seem scary or you are working in the kitchen and you don't know where to go next? How do you help women find their way out to their dreams?
So what we do is we have started-- remember I shared with you I started online because we wanted to reach 1 million women to help them to get their dreams online, whether it is to start a e-commerce business, whether they want to build their social media presence so they get recognized, they get more customers and then they were making a positive impact in the world.
I always ask them, how much time do you have? Many women do have different answers. Sometimes they say I only have two hours a day because I need to care for my kids at four hours a day because I need to do certain things.
How about if I have six hours a day, what do you do? So we doing this time period often encourage my women to do baby steps. I think that's really important because when you do baby steps and you have courage and support, it can really ignite the power of your own influence. Because when there's sisters who is supporting each other, when there is like-minded women within the same community, you just need each other to discuss the same things.
Sometimes your spouse or your family may not be the right people to discuss things with, your dreams with because they be saying, "Oh, why can't you just take care of the kids? Why can't you just quit your job and do what you are supposed to do?" Right? But then again, when we have our sisterhood, that's when the women can come together and say, "Hey, let's step out of our comfort zone, take a baby step, and go to what's the dreams that we always dream about." Sometimes, even letting go of our victim mindset, sometimes even knowing that there is a place where they can pick up skillsets and tools where a platform can actually guide them and support them.
I think it's great, and and you've built such a large network. I know that it's working. And I really love the idea of having women in community supporting each other because I think that really helps women get over their fears a little bit.
Sometimes I joke with them. I say, "Keep running until your bank account look like your phone number [laughter]."
Perfect [laughter]. That sounds like a good t-shirt [laughter]. You should make that into a shirt.
Yeah, that's right [laughter].
So how did you build Soul Rich Woman? It's one of the leading women's support groups in southeast Asia.
Well, we are the leading female entrepreneur platform.
We're helping women to go online. And what we do is mainly digital marketing. And we work a lot on social media, work a lot on branding, how do they get themselves out there being visible.
The question about how do I build Soul Rich Woman, I mean I really thank God for the Bangkok Internet and being showing up every single day. That's really very important.
Because when I first started Soul Rich Woman, I mean I was doing webinars every day and every week. In fact, it was every week first, for almost for a year, for 53 episodes. And it was about an hour and a half long. So I just share just be one chapter ahead of everybody, right? One chapter ahead. So because I started my e-commerce business and everything else I had the skillset and knowledge. So I was teaching a know-how online. Then from there, I had-- when I first started, I had zero people following me.
Zero [laughter]. So I started from zero, right? You're like, "Oh, my God. Nobody watching my webinar. How do you get people to come, right?"
And of course, thankfully, because as Miss Singapore, I naturally had already a group of people, but they were not really into business. They were mainly what you call fans who were already following me. So that transition period was not easy as well because people are confused. Like, "Oh, no. They're talking now more about business and not so much about image."
So that messaging took a while for people to get used to it. And that's why showing up consistently is very important. So from zero, it became one. From 1 became 10. And 10 it became first 100 women who came into the group. And then from 100 to 150, and then the rest is history. Today we're connecting almost 200,000 women across the region.
And showing up every day. So the question would be, how do I show up? So I show up in webinars. Previously, I was doing Periscopes as well. Then I moved to Facebook Lives. And basically, I was doing Facebook Live every single day to reach out to women. And really being online. Why so much women focuses so much on only online because I find it only online is the gateway to really reaching out to one million women. That's what we want to do. To help them to go from offline to online and improve their dreams online. So showing up and being consistent are two key things that I've done to build Soul Rich Woman.
That's a really interesting thing that you mentioned how also that when you changed direction, it was like starting over with your followers. You had all of these fans who were following you as Miss Singapore or because of your image consulting, and then it is hard sometimes to start over with a new direction. And you are starting over. But I appreciate that you're admitting the starting over part and then also the consistency for what it took to build it.
Yeah. It's tough because when because in Singapore I was already on TV. I was on radio. I was in magazine covers. I was in centre spreads. Can you imagine that limelight I was already enjoying? And the people who already know me in the way that I was, to switch over, to decide to do business and go online and focus on this part of the next phase of my life is really-- like they say, transition is not easy. And I do always ask myself, "Oh my God. Am I on the right track?" So I do through my own self-doubt, right? Like, "Oh, no. Am I doing this correctly? There's nobody on my webinar today. Nobody watching. How are we going to do?" So it's all about-- I thank God for a very good mentor that got me out of this whole mindset. Crazy, self-doubt kind of thing. And a mentor really guides my mind. He taught me how to structure and chart out how to build another company. Build a great company. So that was really important.
Oh, yeah. On earlier episodes, we've talked about how important it is to have a mentor, and I appreciate you mentioning that. I think also what you're doing is creating mentorship then also to the women who are members of your community.
And in fact, there are two ways to find a mentor very quickly I just want to bring up for your listeners today.
First, is to find someone whom you respect because a lot of us have a lot of ego and pride in the things that we do. And especially women who are strong and a little bit more opinionated in South East Asia sometimes we are not very welcomed. So it is very important when we find a mentor we need to know and understand that we must be coachable. So that is very important. And be willing to listen.
Second part is to look for a mentor whom you have seen the results. That means you are looking for a direct result or an indirect result. Say, for example, I'm really good in building a brand online and building social media campaigns for [women-like?] businesses. So let's say you want my direct skill set and you know that I have built a company to more than $10 million.
Then, of course, you look for the direct result. You look for a mentor, right? Then, you say, how about indirect results? Let's say you are in your own country, and you want to come into Southeast Asia, so you come to a rich women because of indirect results that I've built the platform over the years, right? So you look for the indirect results. So these are two ways that you can kind of qualify yourself when looking for a mentor.
I think that's great. And then how do you approach a mentor? A potential mentor?
Just ask [laughter].
Yeah. I mean, I guess you don't know the answer unless you ask, right?
Yeah. I mean, what's the worst that can happen? Of course, for us, we are more used to asking. So just, "Oh, would you like to be my mentor?" And then the person will be probably saying yes or no to you or maybe, right? Yeah. So just ask. I mean, no harm asking. Just pluck up your courage and just ask, right?
I think that's great. So you are a very successful woman. And I'm curious, how do you set your goals and then work toward achieving them? Doing them?
Sometimes a little bit greedy because when a goal post is just maybe five meters away and you're thinking, "Maybe I could do better," I will shift the goal post a little bit further again [laughter]. But for me, so I think goals are just a way of life. And I think the way to achieve it is to-- I don't really achieve all my goals I must clarify this point. But it's more of getting alignment I believe alignment is super important in life because your heart and your mind must be aligned, okay?
That's why [inaudible] soul rich woman, right? So you need to have alignment in your business and your own life because if are not [inaudible] when you move forward, [you're always a split?] personality. So stay aligned is important, one. Two, I have a routine that I always do, which is similar to an affirmation. I always like to do visualization. I think our mind is a very powerful tool. So I set my mind before I sleep. And then when I wake up in the morning, I have my own routine where I look at the things I need to do and I visualize what I want to achieve on a daily basis and a weekly basis. Last but not least, build a team. Right now, I have a team of 21 virtual assistants who are in Philippines, Malaysia, Ireland, Dublin, etc. So that really is important because we can never go alone. We must have a team so that we can do what we do best [in our zone of genius?].
Oh, man. I love that. I love that. That is so great. And it's so cool to hear that you have a team all around the world.
Yeah. I'm really truly living the life where I have a team versus back then when I [inaudible]. I also had about-- no. I had about 60 or 70 staff, but they are all physical. They're all in the shops. And that really was a really different world altogether. So I experienced both, and I still love the power of online.
Absolutely. And I think that's what you mean about alignment in some ways. You've seen two different ways of doing it and you feel more aligned doing it online. So you're focusing all of your energy on that.
Yeah. And you'd be surprised to know that my entire team is women.
I'm not surprised. I think it's fantastic [laughter].
Yeah. So is good.
Because we can do anything.
And providing opportunities for women to be remote and still be able to earn an income is really important.
Absolutely. So I have a question for you. It's a bonus question because we went over the questions before we got started, but I read on your website that blue is your favorite color.
Is that right?
Yes. That's right. Blue is my favorite color.
Okay. So when did you realize it was your favorite color? And what right now is favorite thing that's blue?
My headphones are blue [laughter]. My headphones are blue.
Yeah. When I realized I like blue? When I realized that pink was no longer my thing anymore [laughter]. Hey, I mean--
No. I think that's cool.
I mean, I still like pink to a certain extent, but I love blue more. So pink is more for branding purposes. My cases are pink. My logo is pink. My [phones?] are pink. My pen is pink. That is more like a branding thing. But personally, in my own life, my [hair?] is blue. My headphones are blue. My nails, when I paint them, I love blue. These are little things that I show [up?]. Yeah.
Yeah. No. I think it's cool. And I'm glad you mentioned your hair because I saw that on your website and I was like, "Man, I got to think about getting some color in my hair. Just a little more sassy." I love it.
Yeah. My friends thought I was crazy. My whole hair was blue. They are like, "You crazy woman." Because I have very long hair. My hair is up to my waist. And then I had to bleach my hair twice to set the color blue in. So a lot of people say it's not so good for the scalp, but luckily, my hair is quite healthy. It was the first time I'm dying my hair, coloring my hair, so it was not an issue at all.
That's good. I mean, I think it looks beautiful. I saw it on your website. Thank you so much for answering that question. My favorite color is green, and I look good in green. When I saw my image consultant, I was so happy to see green in my color palette.
Oh, that's [good?].
Yeah. It's really great. So my eyes are green. And then when I wear certain tones of green, it looks really great. So it was a blessing when I realized my favorite color is also something I can wear.
Wow. Like olive green? Emerald green?
Yeah. Actually, either. And kind of teal. A little bit of teal looks really nice too. So like more a blue green.
Wow. I love that your eyes are green. I wish I could have that. I have to wear color contact lens to get them [laughter].
Well, that's why they make them [laughter].
Yeah. But here no. Here in Singapore, if you wear green, you're so weird.
Oh, really? Oh, wow.
Yeah. Especially [when doing?] business and we're out there. Sometimes we're talking to people. So I usually wear [inaudible] [gray?] contact lens or brown contact lens.
Wow, that's really interesting. It's amazing how colors matter in culture. It's so fascinating.
You should come to Singapore one day. [I'll host you?].
Oh, really? I've always wanted to go. I did a report when I was in fourth grade about Singapore, and I've always thought it was an amazing country.
Well, if you come alone, I have extra room. You're always welcome to stay with me.
Cool. Thank you.
Yeah. You're welcome.
Also, how can we get in touch with you?
Well, you can find me on my website www.soulrichwoman.com. S-O-U-L-R-I-C-H-W-O-M-A-N dot com. So it's not E-N. Because a lot of people spell women, W-O-M-E-N. So it's S-O-U-L-R-I-C-H-W-O-M-A-N. We do have some free downloads [inaudible] books where I teach you how to delegate 80% of your to-do list, how do you get your assistant to help you to make money. Yeah. So these are the two books that are available on my website.
That's fantastic. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Yeah. And of course, [if you'd?] like to reach out to me on social media, you can find me at Genecia Alluora. That's my handle.
And you have a lot of followers.
Oh, yeah. But it's not by one day, right? We build over time.
That's right. Thanks again for being on the show.
[music] Thank you for listening to the Women Conquer Business Podcast. You can find us online at www.womenconquerbiz.com/podcast. You can also connect with Jen on social media at Jen S. McFarland on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. The show is produced in Portland, Oregon by Jen McFarland Consulting. Women Conquer Business is available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and many other podcast apps. [music]