As I am building my business, I am also finding that it can be quite a lonely ride! – Paige Tan

Paige Tan is a high school teacher turned life coach and meditation teacher. She is on a mission to empower and inspire educators to live a more mindful and purposeful life.

Through her 1-1 coaching programs and online meditation classes, Paige weaves in the power of meditation and strengths-based coaching to help teachers unlock their strengths and work out how to best use these practically in their lives, both personally and professionally. Paige firmly believes that every teacher and educator in this world has the potential to truly live out a life of purpose when they allow themselves to live in The Eudaimonia Way.

Photo of Paige Tan with The Corporate Escapists logo
Paige Tan

Hey there, I’m Paige! I was born and bred in Singapore, and I moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2012 to pursue further studies, and now call this beautiful city home!

I remember knowing that I wanted to become a teacher from a pretty young age. I loved it when I got to correct my own work with the good ol’ trusty red pen. My desire to become a teacher was further cemented when I had some inspirational teachers to look up to in my own schooling years.

I have 8 years of experience as a high school mathematics teacher. In those 8 years, I also spent 5 of those years in leadership roles in the student wellbeing space, which was truly where my heart belonged. Student wellbeing is a hot topic of conversation within the education space, however teacher wellbeing is a conversation that is not being had too often.

Having experienced burnout 5 years into my career, my perspective shifted and I started to see wellbeing from a slightly different lens. Burnout was and still is rife in the industry. Witnessing so many other teachers around me also suffering burnout led me to the work that I do today!

I completed my life coaching certification in 2020, and decided to marry my personal experience of burnout with my coaching skills to now support educators with their personal wellbeing. After all, flourishing teachers lead to flourishing students. It’s a win-win for us all!

Oprah once quoted ‘Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher’. How important is it to you to surround yourself with the right people?

So important! If you asked me this question five years ago, I probably would have told you a very different story. Having grown up in a very competitive society, for the most part of my life, I’ve viewed life as a big competition, and I stuck to my running my own race for a long time.

Through my experience burning out just five years into my career, AND throw in the two years of relentless lockdowns, I have come to realise how important it is to have the right people around you to support you. I remember my initial teaching days being quite a lonely journey – always wanting to do the right thing, not wanting to make mistakes, and pretty much wearing burnout as a badge of honour.

It wasn’t until I decided to make the conscious decision to invest in myself by working with coaches who helped me discover myself, and truly helped me to identify what it was in my life that I valued.

As I am building my business, I am also finding that it can be quite a lonely ride! It is so easy for our inner critics to take over in this journey, so surrounding yourself with others who are riding this business ride with you is also so crucial.

Nelson Mandela once quoted – ‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’

What has been one fear you have overcome?

One fear that I have consciously been working through is the fear of being seen, which really stems from the fear of rejection and judgment. As someone who identifies as an introvert, and as someone who has always had an employee mindset, having to show up and build my community hasn’t been easy, but it’s certainly been a learning curve.

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway has been my motto, and keeping my vision and mission right at the forefront of what I do helps me to overcome this fear too. I don’t think it’s something that will ever go away, but being mindful that it’s there and not allowing it to take full control of me is something that I strive to do every day.

Tell us what the word “empowerment” means to you?

Empowerment, to me, means to equip one’s self with the tools to embrace all that they are. Not just embracing the good, but also the not so good. It is about living unapologetically through your personal values and strengths, and having the courage to hold space for yourself and others to truly flourish in this one life that we’re gifted.

What has been one of the biggest business ideas you have had and how did you have the courage to implement it?

I am currently working on the biggest business idea that I’ve had thus far in my very short business life. This program (both in a 1-1 capacity and a group environment) that is brewing is going to combine three modalities that have brought so many benefits to my own personal life – coaching, meditation, and strengths-based psychology.

All the fears and limiting beliefs of not being good enough, and not providing any value, comes naturally with the process of creating something new. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every day is a good day and none of those fears come up, because that’s going to be an absolute lie.

What I can tell you though, is that the power of meditation and staying present in the moment, as well as the ability to visualise what it is that I want to bring forth into this world to serve teachers, is what keeps me going.

In this context, courage to me means taking steps every day, no matter how small they are, to get closer to the birth of this program. It is exciting days, and I am looking forward to sharing this very very soon!

Running your own business can be scary.  Success requires moments of courage to push through to the next level, please tell us one of the moments you have had to push through to take your business to the next level?

I think every moment in business requires some form of courage! Taking your business to the next level does not just happen overnight, and I don’t think it’s one single moment that takes it to that next level too. Inching closer to success, whatever that may look like to you, requires you to continuously make difficult decisions, and it requires you to show up courageously.

Being a big believer in meditation and the importance of being in the moment, I also try not to subscribe to the hustle culture and the idea that we constantly have to be working really hard at the expense of ourselves to get to where we want to be. I believe that we all have the answers within ourselves, and by focusing our attention inward, we can then serve others with our businesses.

Tell us what attributes you feel make a good leader in business today?

A good leader to me is someone who is self-aware deeply listens to others, shows compassion to themselves and to the people around them, and is willing to be vulnerable. The ability to be vulnerable is a huge strength, in my opinion, and is something that I feel all good leaders are able to do.

What is your favourite quote about empowerment?

“Know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”

– Oprah Winfrey

This quote is so apt in so many ways, and such a good reminder to come back to ourselves first, and discover our strengths that we can bring forth into the world to light it up!

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

My number one piece of advice would be to be prepared to do the mindset work. It all begins with our mindset, even before the product or service is put out into the world.

There are always going to be the people that will question your choices. There are always going to be the ones who tell you that you’re nuts. By working on your mindset, and knowing your true values and strengths, that’s what’s going to help you create sustainability within your business.

What would be one (1) question you would you ask the person who most inspires you? Also share with us about this person and why they inspire you?

Oof this is a big one! There are so many inspiring people, but if I had to pick one, I’d love to ask Donald Clifton (the developer of CliftonStrengths – the strengths tool that I use in my work) what his greatest strengths are.

Being someone who is a supporter of positive psychology and the importance of focusing on the concept of eudaimonia (human flourishing), I love to deep dive into the topic of strengths. I love hearing how people view their strengths and how they bring them to life.

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