Name: Remus Zhong
Company/Industry: I have 2 brands essentially – The Introvert Teacher – dedicated to introversion and education, and Loupin Jewels – dedicated to gemstones, gem hunting and gem education.
Years of Working Experience: If we count only my years as an educator, 10 years.
What did you want to be when you were young? It was a toss up between a scientist and a cook/chef.
Why do you do what you do?
As an educator, I love to witness the look of ‘Oh, I see…’ on the faces of my audience / learners. It affirms me that I am doing what I am meant to be doing.
Because so much of my education experience has been in the life sciences (which was what I studied for my Polytechnic Diploma), I feel that I have, in a way, fulfilled at least a part of my ambition to be a scientist. Also, as I have delved into the social sciences and gemmology, I can safely say that I am within the scientific community.
Though I’m not a professional chef, I do cook and experiment quite a bit when I have the time. As cooking is as much a science as it is an art, once again, it satisfies my scientific mind.
Why did you choose to take up Entrepreneurship instead of a Full-Time job
Having been in a couple of full-time jobs in the past, the thing that irked me the most was having to while the time away during non-busy periods. I’ve always felt that if I have time to fritter away, it should be on my own terms, doing what I want, instead of having no choice but to stay in a pre-arranged location or, worse, pretending to be busy when there is nothing useful to be busy with. Not only did this feel like a burden on my inclinations, I felt it be a burden on the employer as well.
I decided to venture into the world of entrepreneurship because I believe in being in control of my time and decisions, as well as doing something that I enjoy. As I saw no obvious path to doing these things as an employee, the only logical step (and also that of least resistance) is to be an entrepreneur.
What led you here? How did you discover your passion?
After graduating with a Diploma in Biotechnology, I was unsure about whether to pursue a university degree. Even if I had wanted to, I didn’t know what to study. So, I decided to put studying on hold and earn my way through a degree in the future should I decide to pick it up again.
Once I was out of the army, I looked for a job. I wasn’t sure what to look for or even what options I actually had. All I knew was that I didn’t want to work in a laboratory or go into sales – fairly common paths for my other course mates.
While going through job advertisements on an online job portal, one post caught my attention: ‘Life Science Trainer Wanted’. Never having heard of such a job, I thought it was worth a shot, so I applied for it. Long story short, I aced the interview and got the position.
It was in this position that I realised the fulfilment of being an educator. No doubt it was tiring, but I found that I looked forward to starting class and interacting with my students. I’m glad to say that, not only am I still in contact with my pioneer batches of students, one of them has gone on to become my colleague in the same education company.
How did you realise this work you do is something you are good at and that the market will benefit from your product/service?
After my first year of teaching, I found that I had somehow learned to hold the attention of my students. Though there are, as always, some who don’t really care, there are many more who look forward to coming to my lessons. I built a great rapport with a number of them and they made teaching a joy.
I’ve always said that, if you want to learn to be a good teacher, you have to teach in schools. If you can hold the attention of 40 15-year-olds for 2 hours, you can hold anybody’s attention.
I found that the key to being a good educator is not just to know your subject inside out, but to make it interesting for your learners. Because I believe that education is the key to future success, I wanted to help new trainers, especially those who are introverts and who may feel that they are not cut out to be educators. So, I decided to pen down what I’ve learned about being a good educator in my book: The Introvert Teacher.
In the midst of writing, I realise that education is not restricted to the classroom. It is an integral part of life. As we pass information along, we are educating others and they will have any number of different takeaways from what we’ve shared.
Although information today is so readily available, not all of it is presented in a way that is easily absorbed or understood. That’s where good message crafting and management comes in. That’s where being a good teacher becomes especially important. The most followed thought leaders aren’t there just because they have good thoughts. They are there because they know how to share those thoughts with us. They know how to teach their followers.
Would you say this job is something you pursue as a part of your passion?
Certainly. I wouldn’t do it otherwise.
Nevertheless, I do want to move into corporate training and speaking at events rather than only training in classrooms.
What do you love most about your job?
As mentioned above, I love to witness the look of ‘Oh, I see…’ on the faces of my audience / learners.
Apart from that, I find joy in educating eager learners. They remind me a bit of myself when it comes to topics that interest me.
Not being an employee, I also enjoy the freedom I have in spending my non-busy times the way I want to.
What motivates you?
Making an impact on the lives of others and seeing them better themselves.
Being able to provide for my family without worry and anxiety.
Have you identified your ‘life purpose’? If yes, how did you do so?
Yes. It is to teach.
Essentially, I tried something out and found that I was good at it. It certainly helped that other people thought so too.
I hardly think it happened by chance and I believe that all of my experiences prior to finding out what I’m meant to do occurred to confirm that this is it. I believe that God gifts each and every person with certain traits and certain propensities toward certain things. These, in combination with circumstance, opportunity and action, culminate into a purpose.
There is an element of chance in it – but only so far as how long it takes before the person realises it. Some people find it early and some people find it really late.
What is an ideal lifestyle that you want to live? Describe it
One where I need not worry about resources and means to do God’s work, to support the causes that I believe in, and also to pursue my passions in education and gemmology.
A life of abundance but not excess, accountable to others and to God.
To explore the less-travelled places of the world, photograph them, record and write about them, share them with others.
What is the next big milestone for you in your life?
Working towards becoming an international speaker and consultant for companies looking to make their work environments conducive for introverts.