In this special column called the “TLC x Fempreneurs Series”, we will be featuring inspiring Female Entrepreneurs (Fempreneurs) in short. You will be able to have a sneak peek at their mindsets and their daily habits.
Believe in the power of community. On some days when you feel big goals are impossible, or when you feel like giving up, you need to lean on your like-minded community. You can even “borrow” motivation, and in turn “return” with your own inspiring stories to pay it forward.
Meet Lynette Seow (Safe Space)
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your business/brand about?
I’m the Co-Founder and COO of Safe Space™. We’re a B2B2C digital mental health ecosystem that seeks to provide access to affordable quality mental healthcare through therapy, education, and research consultancy services. Safe Space™ offers comprehensive online and offline mental health solutions using therapy sessions and other resources. It aims to be the leading trusted digital mental health ecosystem partner, and endeavours to achieve this by driving value & positive outcomes through social impact and innovation. Safe Space’s system allows clients and therapists to connect quickly, and clients can access therapy from anywhere in the world. All its therapists are trained in mental healthcare and are licensed, verified, and highly experienced.
What got you started on your business?
Safe Space™ started from a personal need of our CEO, Antoinette Patterson. I was interested in the industry and mental health as a personal cause. We connected on LinkedIn and I worked on Safe Space™ as a volunteer for 6 months before going all in. I loved the purpose of the company and the team so it was an easy decision and transition.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
I was a technology consultant at an MNC, working on cross-industry digital transformation projects spanning enterprise systems, AI, and IoT.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
A huge reason for my personal interest in the mental health space was that I lost a friend to suicide in 2015. The aftermath of dealing with the grief from that was very tough personally and I struggled with that for a long time. What I did to overcome this was to focus on what I could control. If I can’t change the situation, I can only adjust my response to it. That meant speaking up about mental health issues, first informally to people within my network that I came into contact with, then eventually progressing to doing the work that I currently do at Safe Space™. Mental health challenges affect not only the individual, but also those who care about them, and I hope that through my work, more people will be willing to seek help, be able to get that help, and ultimately, suffer less. Having this goal gave me purpose and helped me move past the grief.
Who inspires you?
I love sports, so I take a lot of inspiration from athletes. I admire the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, superstars in the tennis world for their efforts to reduce racism and sexism in sports. I also admire Tony Adams, former captain of Arsenal football club, for speaking up about his struggles with alcoholism and depression. The commonality between these examples would be using the fame that they have to speak up about causes that are important to them, as well as starting organizations to further progress in those causes with tangible actions. And of course, I’m inspired by how good they are at their day job.
What is your vision / personal motto?
Live a life that you’ll not just be satisfied with but be PROUD of.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business/ starting to pursue their dream?
One question I ask myself as a check-in is “Is this a life I’ll be proud of (having lived)?” I think this question helps you realize what is important to you and what you’re willing to risk. And you have to answer this honestly for yourself. Does the thought of not attempting to pursue your dream make you uncomfortable such that you will not be satisfied with your life if you don’t? The outcome is irrelevant; again, it’s just about what is within your control: the actions that you take and the personal values/characteristics that you want to emulate. If you determine from this acid test that it is something you’d like to make an attempt to pursue, then start breaking it down into small concrete steps such as information gathering through desktop research or talking to relevant people, so that you reduce the risk of misinformation and make progressive steps towards achieving your goal.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
Here’s a thought: Authenticity reduces vulnerability. We’re vulnerable when we’re afraid of what others might think about us. That leads us to be inauthentic by pretending to be someone we’re not and then being fearful of being called out as a fraud. If we start from a position of authenticity, we’re taking back the power by not having to keep up a facade. It’s not an easy mindset shift because we’ve been conditioned to do otherwise, but it’s really worth it. That said, I’ll caveat this by saying this isn’t a license to have a “take it or leave it” mentality. It means acknowledging your flaws and working to improve on them while recognizing that it’s an ongoing process.
What have you learned recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
There’s been a lot of discussion for decades about whether women can “have it all”. Firstly, everyone struggles with this, including men. My main lesson from 2021 was about strategic trade-offs. You will have to balance limited resources (especially time) and that will mean prioritizing some things over others. Choosing what to say “no” to is as important as choosing what to say “yes” to. But make it a conscious choice and don’t beat yourself up over it.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
Being able to do something every day that’s meaningful, interesting, and challenging to me with a team that I love has a positive impact on the world.
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
I enjoy playing sports and exercising. I used to play tennis and football competitively, and I love the adrenaline rush from that. However, since COVID, I haven’t been able to do that so have been going for hikes and hitting the gym instead. It’s a more peaceful self-care activity; I have quiet time to myself to think/reflect or enjoy a good book while on an exercise bike!
Let us know more about what you do!
Using Safe Space, clients and therapists can connect quickly, and clients can access therapy from anywhere in the world. Booking appointments and taking courses of treatment is extremely convenient on both desktop and mobile app. Safe Space ultimately promotes a library of resources to help maintain mental wellness. The therapy webinars assist people in managing their mental well-being and for those who are especially vulnerable.
You may find us featured in The Business Times, TNP, e27, Galen Growth News, and Hive Life.
Connect with Safe Space!
Safe Space is giving away a 10% discount off therapy sessions for 3 months to the readers of The Ladies Cue!
Use Promo code <SS_2203_TheLadiesCue_10%>