ENTREPRENEUR | INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER| BUSINESS SOCIAL MEDIA & BRANDING STRATEGIS
Suria is Ranked as #1 Public Figure - Social Media Influencer in Singapore reaching over 100 million viewers on Facebook and Voted Top 1% Most Influential Person Online.
She is a Celebrity Weight Loss Nutritionist with 30 TV Shows on MediaCorp TV . Moreover, with 5 x International Best Sellers, she is Co Author with Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Anthony Robbins and Jack Canfield.
She has been invited to closed door events with Sir Richard Branson and has spoken at TEDx events.
Meet Suria Sparks, One of Singapore’s Brand Minds
You were ranked as the Fastest Record Breaking Millionaire in Asia’s Wellness Industry. How did you came up with the business idea?
I have been in the wellness industry for 18 years and in 2013 I was offered a distributorship opportunity for a wellness company. I took up the offer and generated over 10 Million sales in 1 year using Facebook Marketing Strategies (with Zero Ad budget ).
Tell us the first three things you’ve done to put in on wheels.
- 1st Step : Set a Powerful Intention to Turn this Opportunity into a Social Entrepreneurship Mission so I can help more people while I was pursuing this opportunity. I focused on turning this opportunity into a social enterprise by enrolling those who are underserved in the community, the retrenched and single mums who could not get a job. I wanted to attract those who are hungry and committed to learn and develop entrepreneurship skills, in order to survive without a job.
- 2nd Step : Focus on Mindset Training. I trained these individuals as my agents with the most important push on entrepreneurship and sales. I focused on training them to have the MINDSET of an entrepreneur. To have a blank cheque with unlimited income potential, versus a Fixed Income mindset. This is the most challenging aspect because most are very used to being an employee and having a fixed income ceiling mindset.
"I used the Success Principles Curriculum inspired by Jack Canfield to train them to shift their mindset from employees to self employed and being their own boss."
- 3rd Step : Focus on the Most Important Entrepreneurship Skills : MARKETING. I conducted training in Facebook marketing strategies, personal branding, client attraction and client conversation strategies and constant mentorship to ensure they achieve the goals they set for themselves.
As a result of applying these 3 steps, the team generated over 10 million sales using facebook marketing strategies with Zero Ad budget.
Name one situation that made you want to quit.
Through my 18 years in running my own businesses ( Education, Training and Wellness ) there was once I lost half a million dollars due to my error in my judgement. I had invested all my money in another friend’s businesses and other businesses for which I didn't have any backgrounds.
I invested in a fashion boutique and Fitness Gym which I was unfamiliar with. I lost all my money in those investments and was at a minus half a million situation.
That was one moment I felt like a loser. I was also going through my divorce at that moment and was homeless by choice as a result of the divorce.
Broke and broken. I had nothing and even my health failed me. Every day I woke up wondering when will there be light at the end of the tunnel. I was totally down and could not see any possibilities ahead. It was a mental state of depression.
Name one situation that made you want to go forward.
“Ummi ( Mummy ) they say you didn’t love us”
“Ummi ( Mummy ) they say when you die, there will be a lot of money on your grave!”
These were the words from my children as I was in my pitholes.
Many had looked down on me and had used my children to pass those words to me. It hurt me really deep. I cried so much and that was when I found my strength. I decided to swim in my tears and not to drown in them.
I was so broke, I could not even afford a birthday cake for my daughter’s birthday. Plus, those words sliced me deep and lit up a new fire inside me to pull through and prove my worth and dignity.
I remembered my mother and how she raised me up as a single mum, when my dad died of a sudden heart attack. She was illiterate and had no educational background. She did what she could. She hustled! She cleaned toilets at the airport from midnight to 7 am. Then she cleaned condominiums 10am to 5pm, then cleaned restaurants 6pm to 11pm for 3 years. Non stop to raise the money to send me to University.
Looking back at her determination I realize she pulled through those years because she had a WHY – Her Why was me! She said:
“You need a WHY that makes you CRY and you will FIND a way to learn how to FLY.”
That was my motto in life, my kids and my dignity became my WHY and that was when I stood up again to make a comeback.
I packed my bag, went to the US and started attending 2 courses of Mindset and Marketing and that was when I was exposed to Facebook marketing. I was HUNGRY and success was to me like breathing. I hustled, I tested and measured, I applied everything I learnt and I turned my sinking Titanic around when I craked the code on Facebook Marketing.
What do you think are the most difficult challenges entrepreneurs have to face on asian market nowadays?
This is the age when anyone can plant a flag of success and claim their own success by their own terms. This is an era of social media where there is a chance for an Oprah in anyone.
In the era of High-Tech where more people crave for High Touch – Authenticity wins.
Being Authentic is about being real and raw about not just the highs in life but the lows as well. About sharing the struggles, documenting the journey, the pain, the hustles, the behind the scenes, not just the glamorous side of success.
Yet it is challenging for Asians to make it even though it’s an easy passport and that is because of the fear. "What will people think of me” syndrome.
Wanting only to show success – The I have arrived scenes. The fear of washing dirty linen in public is seen as a weakness. That is the challenge. To be transparent always.
"Many are not ready to come out of their cocoon for fear of social stigma."
Stepping up in a big way on social media means being seen in a big way and that will attract fare share of fans and haters.
Many are not ready to handle their emotions especially the public criticisms on social media. Handling emotions is the key and unfortunately it is not taught in schools.
Investment matters. If you would invest in something else but your actual brand. What would that be?
The best investment has always been investing in self-learning, self improvement and time investment to network with giants. That would be something I will constantly invest in. I also look out for great talents and invest my time in people, because I believe in the Build You to Build Others Philosophy.
Systems can be created. However human potential is the greatest asset that runs the system and it is human capital that creates a company’s culture.
If you could change something about Singapore’s Entrepreneurs Community to improve it in any way what would that be?
I would focus on changing the perception of using social media just as a tool for promoting the company. I will also focus on using social media to promote the people behind the company. To see more Singapore entrepreneurs using personal branding as a way to grow their business in a real and authentic way ( A way to put this - the Gary V way).
Meet Suria Sparks, The Woman
Name one good habit that helps you deal with your active life.
Having me-time – the quiet time to have self reflections, read books that matters and meditate. Journaling writing and documenting my personal journey with ups and downs on social media as if it is an open diary.
Name one bad habit you can’t quit.
Sleeping late. My brain overwork at times and I tend to sleep very little, that’s a bad habit. I wish to offer myself the 6 to 8 hours beauty sleep MORE often!
If you could be anything else but an entrepreneur what would you be?
I would still be in creative works such as a writing, being an author, a speaker and, possibly, acting.
You are voted as one of the Top 1% Most Influential People Online by FAST Company Magazine, what is the favourite movie of someone in your position?
I love movies that inspires the human soul such as ShawShank Redemption, Our Brand is Crisis, Wag the Dog (politics + marketing). Movies that makes me go into deep reflections and wonder of the power of influence, love and the human soul.
Tell us your favourite book. What’s the best thing you learned from it?
E-Myth by Micheal Gerber, Success Principles by Jack Canfiled, The Blue Ocean Strategy, A New Earth by Eckart Tolle.
These books inspired me to think in abundance, create leverage and possibilities, tap into inner power of the unlimited human potential. They inspired me to offer value while seeking deep fulfilment and happiness in pursuit of entrepreneurship.
Name the most important value of your Brand.
Value of my Brand is in the value I bring to my target audience. The inspiration, hope and transformation it brings to those who have been touched by my brand and brand story.
Name the most important value a leader should have.
A leader is someone who leads by doing, walking the talk, and cares for her/his people. Places deep value on the power of team work. Leadership is about giving first, and being the servant leader. The best leaders are those who creates other leaders to continue the human empowerment.
If you could compare your journey as an entrepreneur with a song what song would you choose?
"I love the song Titanium by Sia as it symbolizes a spirit of never giving up and being bullet proof no matter what the naysayers say, just stay focused on the power of intention."
Tell us the best experience you had while working to build your brand.
Best Experience is always when I wake up receiving messages from my tribe who has been inspired and whose life is better each day because of the value they receive from what I offered through my brand stories out.
It is when I have women such as Nabila - a single mom at 23, who came to me with a baby in her hand when her husband left her with $10k debts. She found me through my facebook postings and through that connection, she has been able to clear her debts in 2 months. Now she's living her life as a life coach inspiring other women. There are many such beautiful stories.
This is what keeps me going every day.
If you would give our readers one advice from your entrepreneurial experience, what would that advice be?
I will simplify it in 3 Ms: Marketing, Mentorship & Managing emotions.
Marketing: Master all skills in marketing from Social Medial marketing, brand Story-Telling, Copwriting.
Mentorship: Seek to invest time, energy, even money to attend events, to be with like-minded people and seek out to learn and be mentored by those who are already where you want to be.
What is your biggest expectation on Brand Minds ASIA event?
Brand Minds Asia is a powerful platform that brings out the BEST in branding of this era. The best Brand Minds, thought leaders that can inspire a positive change in how companies seek out to do business, by always giving value first.