Welcome to our ‘Conversation Starter’ series, that aims to introduce you to more business owners around you, and to help get to know each other better.
Through these questions, we want to learn more about you. Not just your challenges and what you’ve experienced along your entrepreneurial journey, but the person that you are, beyond your business…about what makes you, you!
We realize that work does not always define us and things may not be what they seem. Often, we tend to work with people we know and trust. Most work partnerships fail because people hold back and don’t openly speak about what they want, and think.
As business owners, we have to show up and make ourselves known, if we want our business to grow. For some people, it is easy. For others, the idea of networking and social gatherings is not something they look forward to. In a world where people ask you right away, ‘What do you do’, what if it were more about who you are and what your story is?
How fun would it be to first encounter people without knowing what they do? Just meeting them and finding out what you may have in common and what you can learn from each other. Work and business opportunities could come second, naturally.
Here are a series of icebreaker questions answered by the people that inspire us. We believe the answers to these questions can help start conversations in a different way.
1. As business owners, we’re constantly networking and meeting new people. Let’s say you’ve just met someone for the first time. What’s the first thing you’d like to know about them?
Well this one is a bit tricky, the first thing I do not want to know about them is how long they’ve been in Singapore! I would rather like to know what their interests are, in the event, so I can adjust my small talk accordingly. If we are both attending the same event, we have, likely, some shared interests.
2. We know you’re super busy – as all business owners are, no doubt – but when you’ve had the time to squeeze in some TV-watching, what’s the last thing you watched? What made you choose that particular show?
All of my friends recommended Succession on Netflix. I totally binge-watched it.
3. Before you decided to go solo and be your own boss, you must’ve worked for someone else. What advice would you give your previous manager?
Groom your talents, share the successes and yes, money is important!
4. A koala bear jumps in through your window, and he’s looking at you. Why is he here? And what does he say to you?
If it is my office window, he will probably be here to remind me that I have a deadline and told me to stop procrastinating. He will also probably notice that the office is crowded because the last time he came, we were only three and now we are nine!
5. A resume can only tell you so much about someone. Often, the most interesting things about that person can’t be learned from those pages. What do you think is the most interesting thing about you, that your resume wouldn’t tell us?
I love to paint, DIY and I think I am addicted to podcasts.
6. What gets you out of bed every morning? What is it that excites you, or is meaningful to you?
Literally, my daughters get me out of bed, and therefore I am quite excited by a cup of coffee.
7. We’ve all got different talents and skills. It’s what makes us unique. What do you think you’re amazing at?
I manage multitasking pretty well and rarely forget something. And the things I’m not-quite-the-best at? Management. I tend to be quite straightforward in my feedback and sometimes it is not well received, although I strongly believe that we all tend to talk and sweeten speeches way too much.
8. Building a great team takes time. It’s not easy to find the right fit – like, the people who share the same work values, have the same vision for your business and have a sense of humor. If you were granted a wish to hire any 5 people – people you know, celebrities…anyone – whom would you bring into your team?
Tom Hanks (in Survivor because he’s been able to have a relationship with a volleyball “Willsonnnnnnnnnnnnn”) will help our team to face any difficulties.
Florence Foresti (French humourist) will bring the fun to our team.
Gordon Ramsey as a cook so we do not have to leave the office for lunch.
Ah and of course…Barack Obama.
9. If you woke up one morning and found yourself on a deserted island, which three things would you want to have with you? Why?
A great classic French book to keep me busy, goggles to go fishing and Tom Hanks (cf. question 8)
10. Inspiration can come from anywhere…a picture, a bike ride, the lyrics of a song, a pet, or even a gorgeous sunset. But people have the power to inspire us like none other! There is always someone we look up to, someone we admire. Who has inspired you in your life, and in what way?
Elisabeth Badinter and her husband have always been inspiring people…their fights, their commitments and how they take responsibility for their convictions. Such a strong couple!
11. What’s your spirit animal? If you haven’t ever given it a thought, the time is right now!
First of all, I must confess that I googled “How to find your spirit animal?”. It looks like I am a horse, which is actually the first animal that came to my mind.
12. What characteristics do you admire the most in a person?
Smart, fun and trustworthy.
13. Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid to try? What’s stopping you from doing it?
Given more free time (and no kids), I think I would like to paint more.
14. We’ve all been impressed by someone’s skills and wished we could have them too! If you could have a new skill at the snap of your fingers, what would it be?
Being perfectly bi or trilingual.
15. What’s your idea of a perfect day?
A day I will never forget.
About Bérengère Roig
I’m a Registered Foreign Lawyer and the founding partner of LPA Singapore. Bringing over 8 years’ experience to cross-border and domestic M&A, financings, commercial and restructuring transactions, and various corporate matters, I represent companies and individuals in their acquisitions, dispositions and joint ventures, in their investments and in their financing transactions and restructurings.
Now that you know a little more about Bérengère Roig online, you could make things more interesting by connecting offline!
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