Strong Sails


Hao Ming








You’ve got a tattoo of a smiley face on your hand—what does it mean to you?
It was an impromptu tattoo done in Seoul at the start of this year. It’s to remind myself to be happy, be true to myself, and to live life to the fullest with a candid smile. I wanted the smiley face to be free-hand-drawn because the most genuine smile is a candid and casual one. I decided to place it on my left hand since I’m left-handed, and I wanted it to be visible to people so that it can bring a smile to their faces. So far, it has not failed to do so whenever they find out it’s not drawn by a pen but is in fact a real tattoo!

Share with us something about yourself that many people might not know. 
I have ADHD and it wasn’t easy growing up. I’m an introvert so when I was young, I’d get the worst stage fright—I couldn’t even say “thank you” to anybody until I was 15 years old, simply because I was too shy and awkward. People won’t believe me when I saw this now because I appear to be the opposite: what I’m saying is you shouldn’t let flaws define you and as long as you don’t give up, even the most introverted person can pitch in front of a hall of people. If fear is constructed by you, then it can most certainly be deconstructed by you too.

Given the choice, would you choose to explore outer space or the deep sea?
Can I say both? I’m an explorer and I don’t think I would ever turn down a good adventure. There’s something about the unknown that draws me, and somehow I find calm even within the chaos of the water. I’ve always been intrigued with both space and the deep sea because I believe there’s more than meets the eye. If we can exist, then there must be a possibility there’s life out there right? I’ve always believed that if you never try, you’ll never know—I’d rather fail spectacularly than live a life of regrets filled with what if’s. I mean isn’t that the point of life? To live unapologetically?

When was the last time you felt inspired?
When I joined my new workplace, Huggs Coffee, earlier this year. I saw the immense potential and the impact it can bring to communities and people’s lives. For me, it’s more than just a F&B business—I see the smiles I can bring to people, the special moments people can have within our space and offering a product that can make or break someone’s day. I took a six-month break after I left the event industry at the end of last year and spent the first quarter of 2020 traveling to seven different countries to find my inspiration, and ultimately, myself again.

What’s been your favourite day of this year so far? 
Probably when I was in Hokkaido and went snowboarding for the first time! I loved the nature, the mountains, the serenity of the cold, and I fell in love with the sport. It’s all about learning to be in control while letting go, to find that balance within the chaos and to focus yet to enjoy at the same time. 

Something that you enjoy the most about your job is: 
The joy of mentoring my team and seeing them grow is my ever lasting motivation to be a better leader. I’m working with my childhood friend, so being able to work with him everyday is definitely a bonus. And of course I love coffee—what’s not to like about my job when I get to drink coffee all the time!

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