Yeo Minghui Phebe
Yeo Minghui Phebe is a Music Professor turned Senior Financial Consultant who is passionate about people.
She tells us that, “I have recognized the importance of financial literacy for women from all walks of life. After all, financial security is the key to creative freedom.
I decided to pursue my passion for professionals, entrepreneurs, business owners and corporate insurance, as I find joy in connecting and journeying with them through different life stages. I guide them to take charge of their financial goals with ease and confidence. My strengths include keeping clients stay abreast of the times in this ever-changing world. The concepts used in my presentations for client meetings, Instagram Live, and webinars can turn unfamiliar subject matters into digestible and useful information.
Through my dedication and hard work, I have achieved an MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table) and AFinsa Award (Asia Pacific Financial Services Association) within my first full year.
I believe that everyone can take charge of their financial goals through financial literacy, making their dream into realization.”
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
I will say that I am blessed that I have a supportive family that allowed me to pursue my passion at that point – music. I was in the USA for 8 years doing my bachelors and masters in music. That allowed me to travel to different countries performing. Although it all seems so fun and exciting, something was missing for me. I had a void in me that I have not found my real purpose. Music was one of them but not the main purpose. ( I don’t know if that makes sense? Hahaah). I did not do much about the void until my ex-husband asked me for a divorce when I was pregnant with my 2nd kid.
As a mother, my mind began to think differently. My life was not just for me but also how it impacts the people around me. I decided to move back to Singapore as all my support is there. There is a quote “ It takes a village to raise a kid” – it is evident in my kids’ lives. I am thankful that my family, my friends step up with me in raising the kids instead of mocking or judging me.
In Singapore, I wanted a job where I am able to spend more time with my two young kids. I am all that I have. If anything happens to me, who will take care of them? There is no daddy now, Mummy aka me have to step up to be mummy and daddy in the kids life. Therefore, I needed a job that gives me 1. Flexibility of Time 2. More money 3. Learning opportunities 4. Able to go up the ranks and lastly 5. Purpose.
When this job was offered to me, I went for it by faith as I have no knowledge of finance. You are talking about a musician/ music professor turned a financial consultant. That was when my financial journey started and I never regretted it.
Tell us something about your current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
I specialize in Business Insurance for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs, Corporate Insurance, Protection for Critical Illness, and Life Insurance.
I protect the companies from losing money and also making sure that their employees are taken care off if they meet with an accident or had to go to the hospital. I protect the companies from lawsuits in terms of finances.
I encourage my clients to stay abreast of the times in this ever-changing world. The concepts used in my presentations for client meetings, Instagram Live, and webinars can turn unfamiliar subject matters into digestible and useful information.
Most of my clients are women as they share the same sentiments and ideology that financial literacy is important. I believe that women need to know how to deal with their own finances since the world is changing and more women are working.
Even if their husband is dealing with the finances, we as women need to know what our husbands have prepared or not prepared for us as we are able to take care of ourselves. Husband and wife retirement dreams may be different, so what makes you think that the husband plans the retirements as what the other spouse wants? In a marriage, I always advise them to do it together, listen to one another and work to the same goal; having a blessed and fulfilling retirement together.
As a single mum and breadwinner of the family, I have learned that I need to prepare more for my future, making sure that the kids have enough for their education and their future as well.
Everyone has their own set of challenges while switching career. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?
DEAL WITH ABUSED MARRIAGE
In 2013, I thought I had married a guy who was supposed to protect and to provide for me. However, it was a total nightmare. A guy who was treating me like an object instead of a partner. He was condescending and wanting a partner who abides by his every request which turned out really badly. It started with emotional abuse, then verbal abuse. Fortunately I didn’t have any physical abuse.
I felt like I was like a bird in a cage trying to get out. Did you ever feel that way?
My coping mechanism: FAITH & PRAYER
I chose not to tell my family about my situation because my dad was having cancer. If I had told him, I knew he would be worried and may die faster ( as he was suffering from cancer at that point).
I chose to pray. I told myself that everyday will be a better day and I will still do my best in the marriage. God can see and you will reap what you sow; no matter good or bad.
DEAL WITH DAD’S DEATH
In 2013, as I was dealing with my marriage, I got a call from Singapore. I will never forget that call. “ I have something to tell you. I GOT IT.” I was confused when my dad said that. “ I GOT CANCER”. Those three words made me stand for a while. All I wanted to do was to be with my dad. I was a daddy girl, meaning that I was close with my dad. In 2016, he passed away 2 hours before I landed back in Singapore. (I was in the United States at that time) and therefore lost the chance to say goodbye. What will you do when you are not able to see or have closure with the person you love? And NEVER get that chance ever again.
My Coping Mechanism: Treasuring my memories with him
I got to spend a few months with my dad before he passed on. I was proud of myself spending those times with him and making more good memories with him. He may not be here physically but his memories and legacy still lives on in the once that he had impacted.
DEAL WITH DIVORCE
I was 31 weeks pregnant with my second child when my husband asked me for a divorce. This happened just months after my dad passed on. I wasn’t able to grieve for my dad passing away and had to deal with the divorce, however I did not agree with the divorce because I still believe marriage is sacred and I want to do the best for my marriage.
Therefore, we tried to find ways to save the marriage, however it didn’t work as he was adamant that the marriage had to be a certain way. I came back to Singapore with my kids and had to fight for custody for my kids under the USA law for 4 long years. It was emotionally and mentally draining.
DEAL WITH BEING A SINGLE MUM AND THE BREADWINNER
When I got back to Singapore, I knew things were going to change. There were only 2 choices- Either go down the “rabbit hole” and play a victim role as to how bad life is or get up and get my hands dirty and start a new beginning.
My Coping Mechanism: Have a strong support team and move forward with no regrets.
There is a saying “ make mistakes, don’t regret it but learn from it”. It takes two hands to make a marriage work so it is bullshit if one party blames everything to the other. I do admit I do have faults in it. There is no point regretting it but learning from it. It is a hard lesson but I learned from it.
It takes a village to raise a kid. I have my church and family support to help me with my kids when I go out to find a job. I was a music professor before I became a financial consultant. I love music and still do, but I was looking for a job that gives me the flexibility of time and the earning power. I am thankful that this job allows me to do that.
While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?
Personal: Working at home with the kids at home was challenging.
When Covid happened, Singapore was at a stand-still. All of us were not allowed to meet other people and were strongly encouraged to stay home to work. It was very challenging, especially when you have two young kids that needed my attention and as well as helping them to do “ school online”. Having to juggle both tasks wasn’t easy.
Boundaries and time allocation were very important to make the day more effective and fruitful.
Professional: Not having physical meetings, but rather doing via zoom.
I was just in the financial industry for a few months before Covid happened. All I was taught was to meet people physically and we could only sign policies through physical meetings. With the restrictions, sales will be down unless something changes. Fortunately, my company Prudential stepped up and revamped how meetings can be done. We did via zoom and was able to e-sign through that. It was a learning curve but it had made meetings more time effective, fruitful and even till now, some of my meetings are still done on zooms.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
Accomplishment: I was able to be top FC within my 1st year MDRT
Achievement: Able to support my kids as the breadwinner
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs and working professionals the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
Opportunity is everywhere – it is how we perceive it
Do NOT let culture detect what you can do. You are more than what you think you are
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?
My faith is very important to me, there is this verse
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25
A woman who knows her value and believes in herself. She is then able to share her blessing and impact others around her. It is like a ripple effect.
The problem is we always think we are just a “tiny dot”, we don’t make a difference. It only takes one action to start a ripple effect.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?
Having female leaders in positions of influence to serve as role models is not only critical to the career advancement of women, but stands to generate broader societal impacts on pay equity, changing workplace policies in ways that benefit both men and women, and attracting a more diverse workforce.
10 Tips for Emerging Female Leaders
Practice resilience. …
Have humility. …
Play to your strengths (not your weaknesses) …
Be of service to others. …
Take risks. …
Find mentors. …
Don’t compare yourself to others. …
Demonstrate strength with grace and kindness.
Offer Support instead of criticism
Take Care of yourself
2 things that contribute to being a female leader: Confidence & Connections.
- You have to love yourself before you can lead others. You lead by example. Confidence is important about having faith in yourself. Do you believe in yourself? What is your motivation to lead?
- I believe that connections and people who influence you are very important. It forms your views and perspectives. Confucius said this: “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room” I totally believe that because you won’t be inspired to be more. I like to hang out with people who are way smarter than me and I get to be humble and learn from the “ big boys”.