What’s your story?
Chiropractic helped my dad, who suffered from severe debilitating back pain that left him flat on his back unable to move. I had recurring knee and ankle injuries while representing Australia in Badminton. It was during that time decided that I wanted to be in healthcare to help others. I was accepted to study Medicine at Monash University, however I opted for Chiropractic instead. Since then, I’ve seen the huge positive impact chiropractic has, not only in terms of pain relief and injury recovery, but also peak performance. In 2013, my clinic, ChiroWorks was born specialising in peak performance for athletes, corporates and executives.
What excites you most about your industry?
Society is starting to move away from the traditional healthcare paradigm that focuses on sickness and disease. Less people are becoming cautious about continuing to suppress symptoms artificially with drugs. The health and wellness paradigm, focusing on being and staying well, is gaining momentum. Chiropractors are at the forefront. We look past the pain and tight muscles to find and correct the problems and compensation patterns. We help the body perform as it should. More people are looking to a new approach that can unleash their potential to perform better and enjoy quality life.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My move to Singapore was a huge surprise to me, and my family. My parents migrated to Australia from Malaysia, with one purpose: To move out of Asia and provide their children the best opportunity for a better life. And we had every opportunity. When a friend of mine was moving to Singapore for work, I thought it was a great opportunity; Work, travel, then move on. So I flew to Singapore on a 1 way ticket, though my parents weren’t impressed. 7 years later I’ve visited 8 asian countries, started my own business and family in Singapore, and volunteer in Cambodia at the Kampong Trabek Provincial Hospital, providing chiropractic care every year.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I’ve spent most of my time in Singapore, so I’d say Singapore would be the best place for business. Singapore has allowed me to start a business from scratch, not knowing a single person here. It is also perfect as it’s a high stress and high performance city, and I’m the guy to make sure your body doesn’t fall apart, and keep you performing at your best.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
There have been many, though right now, one sticks out from the rest: “Proliferation beats perfection,” a mantra found in Daniel Priestley’s book Key Person of Influence. I have ideas after ideas. There’s so much I want to do and accomplish, but they are all works in progress. There’s a lot going on right now and I’m super excited about the future. However, right now I need to work at getting things done and completed, one at a time.
Who inspires you?
There are many people around me, who inspire me. One person is my wife, Seven. She has emerged after being at rock bottom mentally and physically, to develop her core values of accountability, persistence, graciousness, gratitude and foresight in the big picture. I’ve taken a variety of courses to learn what she already knows and lives. I’m also amazed at how influential she has been in changing the lives of many children and parents through music, over the past 10 years. Every day there’s always something I can learn from her.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Leadership is more than being authoritative, being the boss or being in charge. It’s really about being the right person. That means being someone with good character and good values. Character is made by courage, consistency and decisiveness. So you need to get clear on the objective, then have the courage to make the right decisions based on your core values and consistently take action. Then people will follow.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
One thing I’d definitely do, is not be as strict on making everything perfect. For example, just getting the website done quickly – making it simple and professional. Also exploring partnerships earlier on, and being open to expanding with partners or investors. I have previously objected to taking loans or seeking investors for my business, which would change the business dynamics and introduce new possibilities in business.
How do you unwind?
Playing with my daughter. Even just the usual daily routine with her is a great mental escape that brings a huge smile across my face. Other than that, it’s music and running. Going for a run, at any time of day (or night), is a great way for me to clear my mind and transform all the bound up tension, stress and energy into fuel to burn. Singing, listening to or playing music is another way to leave the world behind. An hour on the guitar or ukulele can end up being 2.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, without a doubt. I can do everything there. Diving, free diving, yoga, meditation, surfing, and the usual shopping, dining, massages and lazing around. Two weeks there provides the the ultimate thrill, joy, entertainment, peace and alone time I need to recharge.
Everyone in business should read this book:
I believe StrengthsFinder is a book everyone should read. It comes with an online personality test and provides your results. It categorises your strengths in particular areas and offers ideas on how to build on our strength. In this society, people tend to build on their weaknesses and deficiencies. But I think otherwise. By building on our weaknesses, it only makes us “normal”. When we build on our strengths, it becomes even more powerful. We stand out. It’s better to command your best strengths than hold mediocracy in your weaknesses.
Shameless plug for your business:
I’m in the business of getting people feeling their best and living their best. My clients are world champion athletes, executives and busy people. Injuries and pain aren’t normal and do not have to dictate what you can or can’t do. Everyone’s busy with work, training, family, relationships and more work. But you can’t do all that with reoccurring headaches and a bad back. So call me if you want to get rid of your pain, perform at your best, and enjoy a life without limitations. You can also pick up my new book, ‘The Pain Free Desk Warrior – No More aches and pains’ which is available mid-2015.
How can people connect with you?
Linkedin: Gary Tho
You can also book online at garytho.youcanbook.me
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>
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Gary Tho, Owner & Founder of Chiro Works Family & Sports Clinic
What’s your story?