Brunei Darussalam

Hey folks! Today I’d like to feature a local startup which provides “context-based coaching” geared specially for youth who would like to overcome their fear of public speaking and also increase their employability through the creation of CV’s and presentations that stand out. The man behind this venture is Edwin Lim, a former colleague and a good friend of mine. I managed to sit down with him amid his busy schedule to find out more about Soapboxer Company.

Hi Ed, tell me a bit about yourself. Your journey up to this point.

My career has been an interesting and adventurous one. Graduated with a Master’s degree in Software Engineering, my career began as a software developer for Royal Brunei Airlines, to becoming one of 3 RBA’s first Flight Simulator engineer and subsequently become RBA’s first Bruneian Project Leader.

After RBA, I became the Connectivity Delivery Lead for Ministry of Finance’s TAFIS Project under Accenture, becoming the first Bruneian Unit Lead for Accenture Brunei.

I went on to be an Assistant Chief Executive for E-Government Technical Authority Body (EGTAB), a technical think-tank for His Majesty’s e-Government initiatives.

My last professional career was with TelBru where I project managed MoF’s e-Payment Gateway and program managed TelBru’s FTTH initiatives. My last post with TelBru was General Manager for Access Network Department.

Having accumulated over 20 years of experiences as an IT consultant, running several large scale projects and heading technical operations, I felt it’s time to change my career direction from Services Delivery to Providing Services … I chose to become a Coach! I created SOAPBOXER COMPANY.

Why the name Soapboxer?

Ed with one of his trainees

Soapboxer came from Soapbox – a platform for public speaking whereby someone literally stands on a box as their stage giving a speech to audiences who both agree and disagree with their views. At the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th centuries, these were common sights and practices which often resulted in a scuffle.

Hence, my flagship program SOAPBOX that coaches those with speech anxiety overcome their fear of public speaking. Soapbox’s mantra “A Soapboxer is one who has overcome their fear of public speaking”.

Why the switch to training and motivational consultancy?

I have two wonderful children who were very introverted to a point of being painfully shy. To ready them for their future and for the unforgiving business world, I need my children to stand out and have an edge. Having good grades are simply not enough – you are one of many. IQ alone just does not cut it anymore. Personally, I weigh in heavy on EQ. I have hired and seen individual with high EQ outperform those with high IQ.

Being vocal, heard and seen are the edge that I believe they desperately need. Not long after the birth of my eldest child, I felt I need to do something to make these happened. Over the course of my career, I was fortunate to see  the challenges, gaps and expectations in today workforce. So I started to develop my own coaching program for my children. They have come a long way. No longer afraid of speaking in public but still much we can work on to improve (like effectiveness). Next, I took my program and implemented it at work. The results were awesome and encouraging. It dawned on me that there are many more I can help and benefit from my program.

After TelBru, I realised it was time to put a name and brand on my program hence SOAPBOX was born.

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