The king of comedy, sports, and more, Emery Fung shares his secrets to a successful podcast. Tune in to the story behind Awkward Turtle At Work.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Emery Fung gets it done like a boss.
How I get it done: Emery Fung
How and why did you decide to launch your business?
Having worked in corporate recruitment for over six years, I saw firsthand the wide gap of diversity in the workplace. So I dedicated myself to raising awareness and driving change. The first season of my podcast, ‘Awkward Turtle’, had a stand up comedy vibe, which enabled me to tackle difficult conversations with a lighter spin. Now in season 2, ‘Awkward Turtle At Work’, I’ve adapted an interview style to focus on people who pursue a passion career rather than a conventional job. The aim is to use these stories to celebrate differences and diversity in the workplace.
Part of the job as a recruiter is to hear why people leave their jobs all day. This inspired me to really dig deep on the “Why?!” We spend one-third of our life working away and some of us see our co-workers more than our family at times. If that last sentence is depressing to you, then the ‘Awkward Turtle At Work’ podcast is the remedy for you.
Every week, I talk to people who see work as part of their lifestyle because it’s part of being human! After all, work is how we spend a large part of our lives, so imagine if you love your job, how cool would that be?
On the podcast, we talk about what got them to where they are, their relationship and their identity with work, and what it means to have a career as your passion. If you ever had a dream job, this podcast might inspire you to take that leap of faith!
What’s the secret to your success?
Not measuring my success with numbers. I never have been money-driven, so this is easy for me to say. Also, overnight success has never been my goal. Throughout my life, I have always worked twice as hard as those around me. So I think being patient enough to see your hard work pay off over time is the key to starting anything new!
What does the Launchpad community mean to you?
It’s all about being each others’ cheerleaders. To lift one another up, to provide encouragement and support. Your family and friends may not always understand what you are trying to achieve in business and career. So it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people. The community is also a resource for brainstorming and problem solving. Connecting with people is all I want to do and I’m excited to meet more amazing people and learn their stories so that I can help to spread their ideas! Being part of a community is what it’s all about for me and I can’t wait to join others to really inspire the world (no dream is too big!).
What’s the one thing you cannot live without?
My tea, hot shower, friends, and Netflix time! All these things help me relax and stay level headed. Also, I am very passionate about sports as it has helped me find community and a strong sense of belonging. Playing sports from an early age helped me understand the power of teamwork. As a transgender man, sport was and is a safe space for me to be in touch with my masculine side and fully express myself; sport is a place where everyone has a level playing field.
How I get it done: Lightning round
On a typical morning: I usually try to stretch for at least five minutes when I get up just to wake my body up. A cuppa tea (love me some PG Tips) is a must, followed by a bowl of bran flakes to start the day! If (a BIG if) I manage to get up earlier, I will squeeze in a chapter of the book I am reading. Then I will start my day by clearing messages and emails, and then writing my day plan. Without a day plan I am useless!
On dealing with self-doubt and criticism: This is something I have been battling with for a long time and still struggle with.
I always feel great when I am creating content (whether it be on LinkedIn, Instagram, or my podcast), but when it’s time to release it online, I become super self-conscious and will often go over everything again that I have written or produced. Anxiety and self-doubt kick in.
I have tried all sorts of way to overcome this – i.e. throw my phone away, turn my phone to airplane mode, hide under my duvet, etc. But it just makes it worse. Now, I may have found a way that suits me. I tell myself, “Yes, people care what I post, but not THAT much! Just post it and see what happens.” I also remind myself that people are going to judge the content, not me as a person – this mind-shift is easier said than done, but it really does help.
On the hardest part about the job: Getting things done with no real consequences! For podcasting, it’s my own show and, essentially, I have no one to answer to. So I can easily just skip a week or two, or post less promotional material if I want. I have no review or appraisals period, so it’s all about motivating myself and learning to become disciplined!
On keeping stress levels low: Exercise, a cuppa tea, a walk, or a five-minute Youtube video. Whatever it is that helps take my mind off things. It’s natural to keep working when you are stressed because you are overwhelmed and you just want to get the work done. However, I have realised that taking a small break to get a breather helps my productivity for the next few hours.
I mainly focus on giving myself time and space to reset and plan my approach to my next task, so that I am working logically not just keeping myself busy.
On staying motivated and energised: You need to find whatever it is that works for you. At the very beginning, I would schedule 1,000 things for one day and end up annoyed with myself because I couldn’t get it all done in a day! The tasks spill over to the next day and the stress level remains high. Now I have learned that you have to space it all out and make time for you to relax. There is a difference between being lazy and taking rest to make sure you have the energy.
On winding down in the evening: This is my favourite part of the day. I live alone so I really do have the luxury to do my own routine. I typically start cooking dinner at around 7pm and have the kitchen cleaned by 8.30pm. Then I would give myself an hour to watch whatever makes me smile, catch up on my social media (after all I am still a millennial!), and aim to be in bed by 10pm (the latest!). It does take me a long time to fall asleep and relax, so I try my best to start winding down as early as I can.
On the advice you’d give your younger self: First, don’t care too much about what other people think. Second, don’t be a people pleaser and say yes to everything. Third, putting yourself first is not being selfish.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. Launching (teehee) in January 2022, the platform offers almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers.