Made Easy

Everything you need to manage your work, sex life, relationships, health and more made easy.

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Everything you need to manage your work, sex life, relationships, health and more made easy.

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Life is full of risks, but that shouldn’t stop you from living it to the fullest and pursuing your goals. Veteran actress and executive movie producer Irene Ang took a big gamble on her feature film My Love Sinema, which took her five years to produce, and was released in September 2016. Here are her top tips on how to take risks.

1 Invest in Ideas with the Right Formula

When considering a new project, these factors are crucial for its success:

Mass appeal It should be something the majority of your target market can enjoy. For My Love Sinema, Irene picked a simple but nostalgic story about a boy who aspires to be a cinema projectionist as she felt the theme was also suitable for an international audience. “Everyone loves going to the movies,” she explains. “Whether you are young or old, a Singaporean or an expatriate, you will be able to relate to the plot.”

Gap in the market “It could be something with proven appeal, like a rooftop bar. What you need is to make the product or service more valuable by finding ways to refresh the concept.” At Fry Rooftop Bistro and Bar, the restaurant she fronts, Irene introduced local dishes to set it apart from other rooftop spots serving the usual Western fare.

The right place Irene and her team devoted time to looking for the perfect location for Fry. They found it on Club Street, where a constant flow of patrons from surrounding offices comes through every evening. “Survey the market and do your research. You need to grow your business in a hospitable environment that fits your demographic well.”

2 Develop Guanxi, or Good Relationships

Irene believes in paying it forward first. Start by helping those around you. When friends need help for events or marketing, Irene and her Fly Entertainment artistes pitch in.

“You need an ecosystem of friends and local business partners,” says Irene. Many of her best relationships were cultivated over decades.

Irene points out that it is not easy to start a business in Singapore and there are many risks, so local enterprises should support one another. Once you’ve cemented your relationships with other entrepreneurs, you can trust that they will come to your aid and minimise the impact of losses. When the time comes, do not be afraid to ask for help.

3 Learn from Your Mistakes

The prospect of failure is scary, but it is also unavoidable. “The key to dealing with risks is learning how to recover from disappointment,” Irene reflects.

“People are often the biggest risk,” she adds. “But you must learn not to let emotional hurt keep you from finding practical solutions to clean up the problem.”

Don’t take it personally. Take a step back and reflect on how you could have managed the situation better. Also, adjust your expectations in future. Did you demand a lot from this particular person in too short a time? Over time, you will learn how to gauge someone’s potential without limiting it. 

Photography Zaphs Zhang / Art Direction & Styling Ann Neo / Hair & Makeup Antonio Cheng / Outfit BCBG Max Azria.

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