This fully licensed medical doctor by day, Dr. Deborah Wong, is also the Owner of Breathe Pilates, with 4 studios located across Singapore. Deborah is a certified STOTT PILATES®, Level One AntiGravity® Fitness, ZEN∙GA™, Total Barre™ Instructor, and has recently completed her training in Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy.
We learn what drives & inspires this lady, as well as her tips for healthy living!
"We have one life and I believe in making the most of what I have to contribute back to society."
What are you Busy with?
I have a full time job as a General Practitioner, while running Breathe Pilates and teaching as well! On top of that, I'm constantly upgrading my knowledge and skills as a fitness instructor & doctor - currently, I'm also studying for my advance Pilates certification and doing a post graduate diploma in Family Medicine.
What is your typical day like?
I wake up at 540am to go for CrossFit at 615 am - it's the only time I have for exercise! I listen to the bible while driving to CrossFit. I get in a quick breakfast & coffee where I catch up on my emails, news and plan my to do list before I get into the clinic at 830am. Always looking forward to lunch, which is a midday respite for me and then it's off to the studio after work to teach and to sort out any admin stuff. I try to head to bed by 1030pm!
Is being ‘Busy’ bad?
It is good to be organised, productive and to maximize the use of your day. But busy can be bad when you just keep moving forward without any thoughts or move just for the sake of moving. You could just be running on the spot or in circles!
Planning is important - I have a mindmap in my notebook regarding all my goals to allow myself to check in and make sure I'm still on the right course. It is also important to be a little flexible - that's where the magic happens!
Do you use any mobile / web-based apps to support your day-to-day routines?
I'm very old school! i like writing stuff down. I have 2 notebooks. One for my day to day task and one to just write down my ideas.
What drives you?
I have always been hyperactive and not doing anything is probably more challenging for me than doing things! However, over the years I have learnt the value of stillness, patience and waiting instead of just blindly charging ahead.
We have one life and I believe in making the most of what I have to contribute back to society. I believe the best way I can do, given my strengths and weaknesses, is by being a socially minded entrepreneur, a business with integrity that creates jobs, drives the economy and leave our customers better at the end of it, and in my case, via health and wellness.
What are some of the values you and/or your brand go by?
Our mission statement is to inspire wellness and support every individual on their journey to maximize movement potential.
The brand's mission and values inevitably are an extension of my own. We believe in having an equal workplace, where everyone is treated with respect and where we work as a team. We strive to maintain a high level of professionalism and quality in whatever we do, as well as openness to new ideas and to constantly innovate.
Most importantly, we believe that every individual matters and each interaction with the brand, should be one that leaves a positive impact on your day.
Who or what continues to inspire you?
Starbucks! Their socially inspired vision and mission is one that really inspires me. I'm Christian and religion has played a huge role in keeping me motivated & inspired as well.
Reading about other successful entrepreneurs is also very inspiring.
What are your tips for healthy living?
As life expectancy increases, it is even more important for us to focus on healthy living. Having said that, everything is about balance. Being overly obsessed in the pursuit of health will become unhealthy!
Healthy living is a journey. There is so much information out there. Try them but find one that fits your needs and learn to listen to your body as well.
Have you ever experienced gender-related challenges being a female business owner in the industry?
For Pilates - I'm lucky that is it a female dominated industry - so I would say that I have nto experienced much gender-related challenges.
For Medicine, there is always the opinion that women are not as tough, that we will quit medicine for family, for our kids and therefore cannot be trusted to be committed to medicine, especially for the surgical disciplines.
Do you think women support each other in Singapore (more or less than in the West)?
I would count myself lucky to be born in Singapore, where I have never been limited by my gender. I think with most places - women tend to compete with each other instead of supporting each other. It is not a local problem but more a global one. To have a mindset of abundance instead of scarcity.
What advice would you give aspiring wellness entrepreneurs looking to get their business off the ground?
Go for it. There will always be a million reasons why not. The inertia is also a lot worse than the actual process - so just jump right in and figure it out along the way. But don't go in without a plan as well! That's a sure-fire way to fail.
What is the biggest learning point that has impacted your life recently?
To be patient. That there is a time and place for everything. Sometimes, we need to consolidate & reflect and not just keep pushing forward. And while new ideas & experiences are always great, to achieve any progress, consistency and commitment are paramount.
Looking to kickstart & sustain your health journey and goals? To make healthy living easy & efficient for the Busy, we have launched Broc & Bells! The name is short for Broccoli & Dumbbells - this web app will allow you to discover* curated boutique fitness gyms, healthy eats cafes & wellness experiences "near me" + Find Your SweatBuddy.
To easily identify & support For Women businesses, we've included a 'For Women' badge for businesses that are majority Women-led, owned, and/or has specific programs tailored for ladies. Let's support fellow Women who are pursuing their passions and empowering others to live better!
*Discover currently available in Singapore; Find Your SweatBuddy available in Asia