The importance of Showing Up: How ITE student Brenda Tan overcame the odds to become a speaker, author, and self-empowerment coach today.  artwork

The importance of Showing Up: How ITE student Brenda Tan overcame the odds to become a speaker, author, and self-empowerment coach today.

  • S1E5
  • 38:25
  • March 1st 2020

Hello! Welcome to the fifth episode #TRYEVERYTHING! In this episode we talk to Brenda Tan, a speaker, author, and self-empowerment coach. In many ways, Brenda is the epitome of the #TRYEVERYTHING spirit. While she did poorly in her studies, she explored different paths and most importantly, showed up when it mattered. This helped her beat the odds to eventually reach where she is today, and her story has even been mentioned by Prime Minister Lee during the National Day Rally speech in 2008!

Highlights of the episode include:

·        Brenda shares what she currently does as a self-empowerment coach, numerology expert, and more [1:04]

·        How she got into numerology in the first place, and what exactly it entails [2:40]

·        Brenda talks about her background in ITE, working in the supreme court, and how she started a corporate career in a bank as a telemarketer [5:00]

·        The crucial tipping point that led her to leave the corporate world, and the importance of “working to live” [6:39]

·        Brenda shares the importance of “showing up” and taking opportunities [8:18]

·        The difference between “hardship” and “heartship” [13:27]

·        Brenda opens up about her experience studying at ITE, taking advantage of learning programs, and how she found a niche while trying to “survive” in the school. [15:13]

·        Brenda shares how she currently “pays it forward” by volunteering at the ITE, even becoming an adjunct lecturer. [21:24]

·        How she discovered a love of learning and how it differs from learning for grades [22:27]

·        Brenda talks about her experience volunteering at a women’s prison, and how it opened her perspective on their condition [26:10]

·        How she uses numerology as an icebreaker to form connections with some of the female prisoners [29:44]

·        Brenda talks about the importance of exploring and trying but not ending up as a “jack of all trades, master of none” [32:12]

This episode’s guest:

Brenda Tan is a speaker, author, and self-empowerment coach.

Despite doing poorly at her O levels and ending up at ITE, Brenda rose through her challenges and by age 26 was already managing over 80 staff at a Multi-National Corporation. Since then she has moved on to become a speaker and a trainer, and volunteers her free time as a mentor and adjunct lecturer at ITE, as well as for the Singapore Women’s Prison.

Connect with us!

Host: Lauren Ong





Guest: Brenda Tan




If you would like to share your story on this show do reach out and send an e-mail to [email protected]


Are you feeling stuck in your life? Lost and unsure of what to do? What do you do when you career stalls, your graduation plans crumble, or when you are in a quarter-life crisis? Well, you #TRYEVERYTHING!

Hosted by Lauren Ong, #TRYEVERYTHING is a show that shares the stories of those who've tried, and what they've found on their journeys to success. Through their winding tales of hardships, struggles, and failures, expect to come away with invaluable life lessons, career tips, and advice from Singapore's hidden mentors.

Let us help you find your path, if only you are willing to try!