In this special column called the “TLC x Fempreneurs Series”, we will be featuring inspiring Female Entrepreneurs (Fempreneurs) in short. You will be able to have a sneak peek at their mindsets and their daily habits.
Believe in the power of community. On some days when you feel big goals are impossible, or when you feel like giving up, you need to lean on your like-minded community. You can even “borrow” motivation, and in turn “return” with your own inspiring stories to pay it forward.
Meet Lily Chew (Lil’ but Mighty)
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a mother of 3 boys and also the founder of Lil’ but Mighty, an English learning centre. We are all about helping students discover English that makes them happy. This means building the students’ confidence by helping them to grow their strategies to tackle the examinations in fun and engaging ways. It also means growing students’ love for the language and helping them to see how English works in the real world.
What got you started on your business?
I have always loved teaching and thinking of creative ways to help students understand what they are learning better. When I met my husband, Lenard, we knew that we wanted to partner with each other not only at home but also at work. After the arrival of our first child, we felt that it was time for us to take the leap of faith and pursue our passion while still having an arrangement that allows us to be present for our children. Hence, Lil’ but Mighty was started!
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
I used to be a teacher at a primary school (:
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
One difficulty would be not living up to the academic standards expected of me during my teenage years. Having done well for my PSLE, I think naturally, I am expected to continue doing well. However, I fell short in my teenage years and it was hard for my parents to see how their daughter was not realising the potential which they saw.
At the same time, I struggled to see how my peers were moving ahead while I felt left behind. Eventually, things picked up when I was able to find what I was passionate about and recognize my strength. I studied English as my major in university and felt a renewed sense of motivation and purpose. To be honest, I believe God has His plan and every part of my experience contributed to who I am today. It has shaped my beliefs as a mother and an educator and allowed me to better relate to my children and students.
Who inspires you?
My husband’s aunt is a teacher. Even though she has been teaching for more than 30 years, she is always sharing with my new tools and the latest technology that can be applied in the classroom. It inspires me to see how passion can spur one to keep learning and growing. She also wears different hats as a teacher, a mother, and a daughter. There were times I know when she struggled and things can be overwhelming but she remains a fighter and always bounces back.
What excites you most about your industry?
That education is always relevant and how everyone in the industry will have opportunities to grow. Whether you are a student, a teacher, a parent or even providing support in administration, the industry never stops evolving and there is that excitement to learn, relearn and grow. I also like that it is an industry that builds a community. At Lil’ but Mighty, our community is not only with our immediate students and their parents but also online where we share tips with students all over the island and even with some who are abroad. That sense of community exemplifies how education should not be limited by physical boundaries and location and how anyone who is eager to learn, can learn.
What is your vision / personal motto?
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business/ starting to pursue their dream?
Know your strength and what drives you. It is important to enjoy what you do and be passionate about it. Find the right people to work alongside you and support you because we are not perfect. Having the right partnerships allows you to do what you are good at even better. It is fine to struggle because you are getting out of your comfort zone. When there are struggles, there will be growth.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
I think we can help by seizing every opportunity to highlight their strengths to them and give them recognition for the work they do. It makes a difference when we pay attention and recognise even the smallest of things, like how a staff member had helped a colleague or had put in the effort to dress up for an occasion.
What have you learned recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
Constantly take a step back to reflect and realign. Keep true to your vision and your values. If they matter, you should not waver.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
I am always grateful for the fact that I am able to work alongside my husband and that we are partners in more than one area of our lives.
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
I enjoy running and am trying to keep up with that. My self-care is also very much spending time with my loved ones – my husband, my boys, my family and meeting up with my close friends.
Let us know more about what you do!
Lil’ but Mighty is a boutique learning centre that specializes in English education. Through our own unique strategies and a step-by-step approach in teaching, we prepare children for assessment in school and for English usage in the real world. Join us to discover English that makes you happy.
You may also find us featured on Her World, Mamahood, TODAY, Gen Y Speaks, Straits Times, Money FM 893, CNA 938, and Business Times.
Connect with Lil’ but Mighty!
Are you a Fempreneur too?
Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at [email protected] or reach out to us via our social media.
Read TLC x Fempreneur Series:
- Margaret Wu, For Beloved One
- Nerissa Low, Liht Organics
- Pearline Foo, Spring Breeze Marketing
- Anna Milani, Sparkd
- Maddy Barber, Madly Gems
- Ezza Yusof, 2morrow Official (Malaysia)
- Julie Yim, Lilin+Co (Malaysia)
- Nadia, HelloBello (Malaysia)
- Zairin Azman, UMMA (Malaysia)
The rest of the Fempreneur interviews can be found here.