Ryan Len – Co-Founder of The Workbench & Aaah House

Working on graphic design and illustration projects for clients around the world.

What’s your story?

I am a graphic designer by training, and have been working in the creative industry for the past 16 years freelancing or starting different ventures. My first stint into entrepreneurship started at 17 years old during the dot com boom, where I started a company offering web design and development services. It did not last long, but it was a good run. Along the way, I grew with the different ventures, learning from each one of them, and now I’ve been running my graphic design studio for the the last 7 years.

What excites you most about your industry?

I think in this time of pandemic, most people start to realise that work can be done without having to physically meet up. This meant that we are now able to take on more projects from the other side of the world. The industry is opening up to more global resources, but also means more competition and price wars – with many others who can do it faster, cheaper, and maybe even more effective than you.

aaah workbench

What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?

Myself. The best way to push beyond what other people consider normal is to ignore them and set your own bars and standards, and ignore naysayers. Nothing is too radical in this day of age anymore, and traditional mindsets don’t last. At the end of the day, the worst that can happen is you fail, BUT at least you’ve tried and learn from them than never starting at all.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

I think I’ve grown a lot in terms of interpersonal skills throughout the years running my own design studio – I learnt to better handle clients, conflicts and decision making.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Keep reinventing yourself – to never stop learning and become a better version of yourself, all the time.

Who inspires you?

My wife and family. They’ve been my pillars of strength since day 1. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

I recently learnt about Canoo, a Los Angeles based company that develops electric vehicles. I’m impressed by their fully modular multi purpose van that is customisable to your every need and business use.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

I would learn to have better work-life balance. To know when to take a break and when to sprint. The creative industry is a marathon where not the fastest wins.

How do you unwind?

Travelling and seeing the world, or basking in the great outdoors doing hikes, cycling, kayaking, and camping trips.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?

I’ve recently experienced a ‘burn out’, and it has really shifted my mindset to know when to say ‘no’ to projects, and also learn to have better work-life balance to prevent another burn out.

Everyone in business should read this book:

I really enjoyed the Do book series where they cover a different topic every book. The books are fairly easy to read and binge on over the weekends.

workbench

Shameless plug for your business:

The Workbench is a graphic design and illustration studio, working on a wide spectrum of projects from the outrageous & fun to the sleek & serious for clients anywhere around the world.

Aaah House is my latest venture – a design lovers’ club and lifestyle shop where pleasures carry no guilt and ideas aren’t talked down to.

How can people connect with you?

The Workbench

Website: www.theworkbench.sg
Email: matters@theworkbench.sg
Facebook: fb.com/theworkbenchsg
Instagram: @theworkbenchsg

Aaah House

Website: www.aaah.house
Email: hello@aaah.house
Facebook: fb.com/aaah.house
Instagram: @aaah.house

Social Media Links? :

The Workbench

Facebook: fb.com/theworkbenchsg
Instagram: @theworkbenchsg

Aaah House

Facebook: fb.com/aaah.house
Instagram: @aaah.house

Working on graphic design and illustration projects for clients around the world.

What’s your story?

I am a graphic designer by training, and have been working in the creative industry for the past 16 years freelancing or starting different ventures. My first stint into entrepreneurship started at 17 years old during the dot com boom, where I started a company offering web design and development services. It did not last long, but it was a good run. Along the way, I grew with the different ventures, learning from each one of them, and now I’ve been running my graphic design studio for the the last 7 years.

What excites you most about your industry?

I think in this time of pandemic, most people start to realise that work can be done without having to physically meet up. This meant that we are now able to take on more projects from the other side of the world. The industry is opening up to more global resources, but also means more competition and price wars – with many others who can do it faster, cheaper, and maybe even more effective than you.

aaah workbench

What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?

Myself. The best way to push beyond what other people consider normal is to ignore them and set your own bars and standards, and ignore naysayers. Nothing is too radical in this day of age anymore, and traditional mindsets don’t last. At the end of the day, the worst that can happen is you fail, BUT at least you’ve tried and learn from them than never starting at all.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

I think I’ve grown a lot in terms of interpersonal skills throughout the years running my own design studio – I learnt to better handle clients, conflicts and decision making.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Keep reinventing yourself – to never stop learning and become a better version of yourself, all the time.

Who inspires you?

My wife and family. They’ve been my pillars of strength since day 1. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

I recently learnt about Canoo, a Los Angeles based company that develops electric vehicles. I’m impressed by their fully modular multi purpose van that is customisable to your every need and business use.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

I would learn to have better work-life balance. To know when to take a break and when to sprint. The creative industry is a marathon where not the fastest wins.

How do you unwind?

Travelling and seeing the world, or basking in the great outdoors doing hikes, cycling, kayaking, and camping trips.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?

I’ve recently experienced a ‘burn out’, and it has really shifted my mindset to know when to say ‘no’ to projects, and also learn to have better work-life balance to prevent another burn out.

Everyone in business should read this book:

I really enjoyed the Do book series where they cover a different topic every book. The books are fairly easy to read and binge on over the weekends.

workbench

Shameless plug for your business:

The Workbench is a graphic design and illustration studio, working on a wide spectrum of projects from the outrageous & fun to the sleek & serious for clients anywhere around the world.

Aaah House is my latest venture – a design lovers’ club and lifestyle shop where pleasures carry no guilt and ideas aren’t talked down to.

How can people connect with you?

The Workbench

Website: www.theworkbench.sg
Email: matters@theworkbench.sg
Facebook: fb.com/theworkbenchsg
Instagram: @theworkbenchsg

Aaah House

Website: www.aaah.house
Email: hello@aaah.house
Facebook: fb.com/aaah.house
Instagram: @aaah.house

Social Media Links? :

The Workbench

Facebook: fb.com/theworkbenchsg
Instagram: @theworkbenchsg

Aaah House

Facebook: fb.com/aaah.house
Instagram: @aaah.house

About The EnterpriseZone Writing Team

The EnterpriseZone Writing Team
Shining A Light on the Small Business World and highlighting Entrepreneurial Investing Opportunities.