In the marketing field, women entrepreneurs typically deal with doubt about themselves, not knowing how to let their inner diamond shine. This is where inspirational coaching plays a role, which two-time Miss Singapore title holder Genecia Alluora took on as her personal mission. She joins Jen Du Plessis to share how she found her own fulfillment in helping women grow and scale their businesses through her company, Soul Rich Woman, by using her learnings as an occupational therapist. She goes deep on the importance of finding their drive to go forward – their own “F-Word” – as well as her current advocacies in helping educational institutions and youth-at-risk.
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Empowering Women Entrepreneurs With Genecia Alluora
Welcome, Genecia. I am excited to have you here with us.
Thank you for having me on your show.
I’m excited to meet another powerful woman. What I love about this is that you’re from a different country. While I do interview a lot of people from different countries, it seems like I’m only interviewing men. This is cool to have us interviewing another powerful woman. Congratulations to you for everything that you’ve done. I’m excited to explore that and share with our audience, everything that you’re doing to empower women and make them successful in a couple of fun areas. Let’s get started with you. Tell us a bit about where you started, where those roots are, and how it formed into what you are now.
My name is Genecia Alluora. I’m from Singapore and I love traveling the world. How I got started? When I was fourteen years old, I had to support myself through school. My mom pawned her gold and sent me for three instructor certifications: yoga, aerobics, and country line dancing. During school days, I was teaching after school as an instructor to put food on the table and pay for my school fees. Life was not easy because I was often bullied in school. I remember clearly there were a couple of incidents that happened in my life that made me want to live my life even more. This entire journey progressed and I became an occupational therapist. I graduated as an Occupational Therapist. In 2003, I went through the SARS period, which was also another pandemic in our sense. I decided that there is something more in my life that I wanted to pursue my dreams and out of the 9:00 to 5:00. That was how I move on to become an image consultant and then later on joining a beauty pageant.
Why an image consultant? Did you find that as a physical therapist that’s part of it? People are coming in and that’s the health side of things. Do people have image issues that you started saying, “I can help somebody do this. I can help change someone’s image,” or was it more that you were interested in the fashion side of things as going into a pageant as well?
The key thing here was that I wanted to work on myself because I had low self-esteem and I didn’t know how to bring up my confidence. Joining a beauty pageant was not because I wanted to. It was because of the group of friends who encouraged me to participate in the beauty pageant. They said, “You have the potential, we see the diamond inside you.” I’m like, “I can’t see it myself. How do I even know that it even exists within me?” I felt that if we unleash the power within for people to help them to see the personal branding is such an amazing path for them, that they could be confident, beautiful and fabulous at the same time, presenting themselves well, both professionally and personally, that would be key.True value lies when you can internalize the gifts that you're given. Click To Tweet
You had to go through breakthroughs, there was no question. I’ve been in a similar situation where I didn’t have a lot of confidence. Ironically, I didn’t know this about you because I hadn’t read your bio before introducing you. I was in a beauty contest too. I had the tendency to think, “I’m not worthy of doing this.” It was the breakthrough that I had to go through, “I’m not worthy of being presented in any way.” For me, it was the talent piece. It wasn’t about the beauty contest. I thought, “I’m not talented enough. There’s no way.” Imagine you went through these breakthroughs. Did you have one breakthrough or was it over a long period of time? Going to the beauty pageant, did that help or hurt?
Going through that beauty pageant has opened a lot of doors and that gave me a lot of confidence for one. The other one was even before the beauty pageants started, I didn’t have money for the clothes, the shoes and the heels that you needed to use for those events. I needed to knock on doors. Even before I came to Singapore, I went out there to ask for sponsorships. There was this lady who came and answered my sponsorship call, and she said, “I’m going to sponsor you with the grooming, public speaking, all in one.” She gave me all her DVDs, CDs and all her notes possible and she put it on a table. She said, “Genecia, pass me a wallet.” Being young back then, I handed her over my purse and my wallet. She unzips it and she poured all the money.
I’m like, “Rebecca, why did you do that? Why did you take all my money?” There was about $60 back in those days. That’s all I have for the entire month. She said, “Genecia, I want to share with you the power of value exchange.” Whatever that you have, these notes, CDs and DVDs are worth thousands of dollars but with $60, you will treasure it and understand how valuable it is. True enough, me being young, I was like, “You took all my money and I’m going to work my ass off for it.” I went through all the notes, the videos and practiced as hell. As luck would have it and hard work has paid off, I won Miss Universe Singapore in 2006 as a first runner up and then later on representing Singapore in Miss Singapore International.
That’s what it’s all about too. That’s where the value lies is when you can internalize the gifts that you’re given. This is part of what your entire company is about, Soul Rich Woman, is pulling all that in, recalibrating and pushing it back out to the world in a powerful way. I love that you’re doing all of those things. You went on to do the image consulting and then being in the pageant. How long ago was that?
I left the image consultancy scene in 2012. I went online in 2013 because I didn’t want to trade time for money. I work, I get paid. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. That was when I explored the online world and moved into the online space. That in itself transformed another perspective where I hired a mentor to look at how I could bring the business online, doing coaching, mentoring, and then looking into developing products for people to helping people to set up their businesses online. I made $1 million in 2013 alone, which I’ve never thought was possible. Making money was easy but making money online, to me, was difficult because I had the ceiling in my mind that it was not possible. I’m an occupational therapist. I have no business experience. I was Miss Singapore, I know little about going online, but I was willing to learn. I never give up, willing to get out of the comfort zone, explore something that is not in my field or my area, and then getting a mentor to see my blind spot. How can I grow? Shortcut my success and model after what works.
It’s important for people to know this. You have to have mentors. Mentors have mentors. Tony Robbins, who’s the biggest in the world and somebody I know, he has mentors and coaches. It is that way because you have to have someone to see the blind spots. I want to ask you a bit about what’s happening during COVID for you because a lot of people are thinking about that transition or they’re thinking about, “I’m starting to do this or I’m in the middle of it and I’m struggling. Is this worth it? I don’t know.” There are people like you that have been through and said, “It’s possible.” What advice are you looking to give people at this particular time during COVID when they have that sense of quiet so that they understand, they’re hearing the universe and saying, “I don’t want to go back to that job. I want to explore something else,” but they’re a little afraid to do it. What advice do you have for them?
The first thing you need to do is to start learning, get out of the comfort zone and learn a skill that can help you to move your business online, or even start that side hustle. A lot of times people are afraid, “What if I learn about this course, another program or skill, and then it doesn’t pay the bills?” If you think about it, if this skill is a supplementary or add-on to your entire portfolio or as a human being, it would naturally stack on for you as a human being, eventually being able to flourish because all skillsets take time to be nurtured. You need to first be able to get out there to learn something on an online platform, get some courses and get going. Secondly is to join a community. Get into Facebook groups, whatever groups that may be out there that encourage a side hustle or to have a mindset where you could get out of that job that you hated or even thinking about quitting that 9:00 to 5:00. Look into having the support and shift your mindset. Look at what they’re thinking and how to move that.
Last but not least, work on your health. Health is wealth. That sounds cliche but it’s true and real. We can’t do stuff if we don’t manage it accurately and properly. Plenty of water, exercise and if you sit long hours in front of the computer as I do because we do online business, Zoom calls and there are many things. Even before COVID, I make sure that I have my daily morning routines and my in-between routines. Twice a week, I will do different stuff like visualization or yoga, whatever that keeps my body going. Don’t think that COVID is just about moving and making the money. Money is not everything. It’s important and it’s a vehicle but it’s not the end product. We need a healthy body to keep us going through during this entire season.Money is a vehicle, it's not the end product. Click To Tweet
It’s a mental and money movement. We’re moving for mental and physical health, and we’re also moving to make money if that’s what the definition of success is for people. People have different definitions. I love that you say that about health. It’s been a priority for me. I’ve always been healthy. I’m a dancer. For me, it’s been a challenge during COVID because I’m more sedentary than I’ve ever been. I have to gamify everything. I can’t even come into my office until I’ve done something like pushups or jumping jacks. If I want to get here on time to have a meeting with you, I have to do all those things. That’s powerful, everything you said, getting the skillset that you need, joining a community and not being an island, especially during COVID because that makes you even more of an island, and then looking out for your health. I want to transition into what you do. I know that you do a lot of online businesses. Are you doing network marketing as well or is it just your online business?
My clients are doing network marketing but not me.
I was curious if you did that. I know that you work specifically with women. That’s something that you have in your heart a place for. When we were in the green room, you were talking about the F-word for Women. Let’s explore how you help women. If they come to you and they say, “I am exploring some opportunity. I don’t know what I want to do.” How do you use the F-word to help them?
First, let me put it up front. Soul Rich Woman means that we want you to align your mind, body and soul, so that you can be rich in your soul and be rich in your wealth, whatever that may be and however it looks for you. For women who love the F-word equals the Soul Rich Woman, being fabulous, having freedom, financial independence and a happy family. To a woman, we don’t define for them what it looks like for their success. They have to define for themselves exactly what is that F-word for them. Based on this, then they will come to us for various parts of the pillars. For example, if it’s fabulous, they’ll come in and they’ll work on presenting themselves online. How do they get personal branding online to be seen as a leader? Maybe along the way, making some money.
We have women coming to us, if they’re looking at financial independence, they’re looking at how to put in the systems and processes, the business structures, how to delegate, how to hire people so that they can grow their teams to make money online. If you’re looking into, for example, a happy family, then the confidence of how they can earn more, could be earning more money or being even more confident of who they are in the online world to eventually getting that space aligned in terms of the mind, body and soul for their family as well.
These are how we help our women in our ways. Specifically, we have a studio business owner, full-time entrepreneur, but she was not full-time before that. She started as a 9:00 to 5:00 employee. She was a senior management accountant in a shipping company, and then she got to know Soul Rich Woman. During the time, she learned how to build her studio business to three locations of seven studios even during COVID, and still growing outlets when everyone was still suffering and closing down. There was some strategy involved in place. From there, we got her to how do you get yourself known in online space? People keep coming. We helped her to structure her business that she doesn’t downfall during COVID. Instead, she turned around and continued to grow her business.
She was able to do it as a side gig for a while.
Side gig for a while then later on becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
That demonstrates what you’re able to do for people in a short period of time. Online is all over the world but where are your clients at? Are they all over the world?
In building a sustainable business model and being online, there must be ways for you to duplicate yourself. I’m a firm believer of that. My business model, one part of it with a $12 a month membership. We have about 200,000 paying customers. We have also a one-to-one mentorship program as well. My clienteles are based all around the world. They do short-term mentorship and long full year mentorship programs as well. Also, we have embarked on a Singapore government project where the Singapore government gives out a training grant to the Singaporeans, all of them at $500 to $1,000. They can use the $500 to $1,000 to attend all our programs. From October to December 2020, we have about 1,500 students who sign up from our programs. We teach podcasting, how to use social media and how to do live streaming. They use their $500 to attend these programs.
To build a skill.
I’m a firm believer of skillset because for me, being where I’m at now, running an entirely remote team of 21, plus being based on wherever I wish I could be at, and still be able to run a business was not because I decided waking up one morning and say, “I want to be a business mentor or I wanted to be coaching someone.” No, it was because I ran a café retail chain. We built it to three countries. We have eighteen franchisees and licensees, and then we exited to the public as a company. I was an image consultant. I have experience in coaching and helping business leaders being seen in the online space. I’m also an occupational therapist. All the health knowledge I’ve had was through that year that I was in. I was an instructor in aerobics, yoga and country line dancing. These gave me the ability to be able to teach even without our certificate per se. All these skills are coming from a space where it’s nourishing yourself during the season. We all have a diamond that is within us and we deserve to shine. Make it happen for yourself. Go from stuck to unstoppable without changing who you are even if no one believes in you or stand by you because alone, you are strong, together we are unstoppable.Even if nobody stands by you or believes in you, love yourself first and then move from there. Click To Tweet
As you’re talking about that, your voice inflection changes and you talk faster when you’re talking about that. Obviously, that’s a passion for you. Where does your real passion lie these days? When you went through Ms. Singapore, there’s always a platform that you’re supporting and whatnot. What platform was that? What are you supporting these days as a passion project?
My passion has always been a youth at risk. I’ve always got this big thing with youth at risk and with children. I have been a volunteer for this organization in Singapore, it’s called Children-At-Risk Empowerment because I was a youth at risk as well. It was my mom who saved me. She was waiting for me at home, waiting for me when I come back from school, making sure I go to school, and I don’t play truant. I don’t do all that nonsense stuff. To me, if I could share my experience and my story that encourage and motivate the youth, one seed at a time, that will blossom and flourish for them when it touches their heart.
Another piece is with the children. We built schools in Indonesia for these children living in slums. We worked with this organization and we help them to move these children into this education system into this school in subsidized costs, so that they can have study and can progress throughout the years with proper education. I believe that education is important for the next generation and everyone, especially the kids. Imagine what will the world become if there was no education. Needless to say, even more so financial education. That is something that I feel strongly about as well.
Literacy is big. This gets back to the skillset because that is education. No matter how you look at it, everything is about education. If there’s a woman who’s reading and she’s saying, “I feel there’s a hole some place. I’m trying to get them all freedom, family or whatever.” What advice would you give to her to get her first step going? I know you’re going to say, “Call me out, I can help you.” What could she do? What would be the first step she needs to take in order to go in a direction that might lead right to you?
Do the first thing, which is to love yourself first. This is a piece of the mindset that a lot of people oversee, especially when you’re depressed, suicidal or the negativity things that’s going on. Self-love is key to the things that we are doing. Number two, from that space of loving yourself that you decide that you want to change, you want to close the gap, then join a community. Don’t be alone because when you’re alone, there’s a lot of noise between the two ears. It is important to find like-minded people, not just your family members. I have been there. I’ve been in a six-figure debt, bullied and going through business failures. There is something that always will make us down and feel sad that nobody loves us and nobody believes in us. Make it happen. Go from stuck to unstoppable, love yourself. Even if nobody stands by you or nobody believes in you, love yourself first and then move it from there. Go read a book, go listen to Louise Hay. Start from that space. Even though she has been dead but her legacy lives on and you can tap into the energy, vibration, and keep going forward.
One of the things that I’ve learned from a relationship and forgiveness coach is co-mingling. “This is work and this is family,” When you try to tell your family about the things you want to do in your life, they’re the naysayers. Surround yourself with people that are going to be positive influences to you. That’s not to say that your family isn’t always, sometimes you have someone like your mom who is powerful and instrumental, but my mom was the naysayer. I won’t be telling her about it. I’ll tell everybody else about what I want to do and get the support that I need. Find the right support and join the right community that gives you the positive influence that you need to be able to move forward.
My dad was a naysayer. My family had no entrepreneurs. When I became an entrepreneur, my dad was like, “Can’t you just stay in your job, get married, have kids, and do the stuff that women should do?” I’m like, “Bye.”
“I love you but thank you for that insight.”
“I love you, dad, but no thank you.”We all have a diamond within us, and we deserve to shine. Click To Tweet
I know that feeling. The last question I want to ask you is, what is going to happen with you moving forward? What’s on the docket for you in 2021?
The key thing would be to continue to grow my forefoot niche. Sustainability in business is the key to success. I’m looking to retire in a few years. How does retirement look like? It means that I don’t need to work, but all the things are taken care of, the business itself running without me being involved. Everything else is automated. The team runs it. I can disconnect completely. I’m still on top of my business as the founder of the business together with my business partner. We are still on it and we’re building that up. In a few years, that is what I want to see and work towards. To get there, I have to start. When? Now.
I’ve done that. I transitioned from one career into another. I retired from a career but not retired fully. It does take work. You have to have a game plan to make that transition and build that bridge to whatever other piece is. I was talking to a colleague of mine and I love this saying. He said, “Toes in the sand, phone in the hand.” I’m like, “I got my phone in my hands so if anybody needs me, you can reach me but I have my toes in the sand.” That’s the business I want. I don’t have my computer. Some people are like, “I want to work from my laptop.” I don’t want that. I don’t want to have my laptop. I want to say, “Toes in the sand, phone in hand.” You need me, you can call me, you can text me, we can talk if we need to, and then back to toes in the sand.
The funny thing is I’ve already done that when I was traveling before COVID. I traveled to Southeast Asia because that’s where our community is at. I’m based out of Singapore for three weeks and I’m back for a week. I experienced the lifestyle and understand what it truly means to have a computer with you, a phone, toes in your sand, be there, and be able to do your business completely. I love that so much, that would be awesome. Going to the next level will be completely everything else that can be done without me even though my toes are in the sand.
My husband and I traveled to Europe for a month, and I didn’t talk to anyone in my office.
That is key. That is beautiful.
It’s like, “I can’t believe this. This is my life.” I have to build it.
A lot of people can’t even see it. They can’t let go. One of the beliefs that I always come across, especially when we see the women, they come to me, they said that they have this subconscious belief of, “I need to work hard to get paid.” It is ingrained in them from childhood. We are raising a generation of women where they could break the ceiling and rise to the significance of the F-word.
As long as they have clarity about it and get a mentor for it. It’s been wonderful talking with you and sharing all this inspiration. It’s positive. Thank you. You’re beautiful. I’m glad that you had the opportunity to experience something that would elevate you from where you were at and that trajectory you may have had. It may not have been what you have now. It’s wonderful that you’re making a significant impact in the world. On behalf of everyone who’s reading, we thank you for the work that you’re doing especially with the children as well. That’s good. To whom much is given, much is expected. That says a lot about your character when you’re not just coveting your success, but you’re giving it away to other people and helping them explore as well. Thank you again for joining us.
Everybody, please give us a great rating. Write us a great review. We want to hear what you’re thinking about and what you’d like to read. We hope that you’re exploring this opportunity as well of moving yourself from everything, from success to the significance of the impact that you want to make in the world. Go out and make it a great day. We’ll catch you next time.
- Genecia Alluora
- Soul Rich Woman
- Children-At-Risk Empowerment
- @GeneciaAlluora – Instagram
- @SoulRichWomanAsia – Instagram
- @GeneciaAlluora – Twitter
About Genecia Alluora
Genecia Alluora is a former Miss Singapore, Cafe Retail Chain Owner and Southeast Asia Woman of Excellence 2010, International Progressive Women 2019. She is a Business Coach and awarded as Mentor of the Year in Powerhouse Global Ltd., the Founder of Soul Rich Woman, the #1 female entrepreneur network in Southeast Asia that connects more than 200,000 women across the region in the ‘Soul F’ membership program.
For the past 17 years, Genecia coached celebrities, CEOs and politicians to be seen as a leader on stage. Today, with the Soul Rich Woman Blueprint and SRW academy, she mentors thousands of women to bring their business and leadership brand online. Her vision is to support 1 million women to own and love the F-Word. Before establishing Soul Rich Woman, Genecia was an owner of a cafe retail chain with a presence in 3 countries with 18 franchisees and licensees that successfully exited to a public listed company after 4 years. She is the winner of 2 awards in 2014, The ‘Franchisee and Franchisor of The Year – Runner Up’ by Franchise and Licensing Association (Singapore).
For women who love the F-word: Being Fabulous, Having Freedom, Financial Independence and Family. Genecia is a podcast host and producer since 2019 for her 3 podcasts “For Women Who Love The F Word” with listeners in 131 countries; a daily 10 minutes marketing podcasts “Soul Why? Secrets of The Soul Rich Woman Blueprint” with 1000+ downloads every month and “Make It Happen”: Secrets To Go From Stuck To Unstoppable Without Changing Who You Are Even if No One Believes In You Or Stand By. She is also the author of “Personal Branding Secrets” and her new book “Make It Happen: Secrets to go from Stuck To Unstoppable Without Changing Who You Are. Even If No One Believes In You Or Stands By You.” From as young as 14 years of age, Genecia had to support herself through school. Through working in a 9-5 job as an occupational therapist and later became a serial entrepreneur, Genecia had gone through the highs and lows of being a business owner. Her epic journey from being in a six-figure debt to becoming a millionaire in 2013, fuelled her passion to support women to do the same – to own the F-word! Profiled in CNBC, Forbes and China Daily, Genecia is a thought leader and leading women’s empowerment expert. She is regularly invited to speak on TV and Radio as well as at conferences.
She has shared the stage with great minds like Gary Vaynerchuk, Mary Buffett, Kim Kiyosaki and Neil Patel.
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