Q&A with the Minister for Adventure – Evelyn Chew

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Running a business is hard. I would know cause I am doing it and it is hard. However, the silver lining in running your own business is you get to do what you love. Even if it doesn’t pay the bills. So struggling entrepreneurs always seem to find other struggling entrepreneurs. Evelyn is a fellow SMF climbing instructor that I met during a climbing program. Not many season old school climbers know who she is. But if you are new to climbing and just started out you would have come to know Evelyn.

Evelyn Chew is the founder of the Ministry of Adventure (MOA) if you don’t know what it is you can go to MOA website. MOA is a company that organizes adventure trips both local and overseas. Rock climbing is one of their main adventure programs. If you are new to rock climbing and keen to try it out then you should check out their climbing programs. MOA also have regular outdoor climbing trips for new climbers who would like to experience climbing outdoors.

Running a business is tiring, but running an outdoor adventure business is way more demanding. Bringing clients out climbing, trekking, kayaking, and diving can be both mentally and physically draining. But Evelyn is always energetic which I suspect she must be on medication. I’ll use this Q&A to know more about her and her business as well as an excuse to find out what she is taking and how to get some.

Evelyn Chew

Question 1

5C – As always, the very standard question first. How did you get into climbing?

Evelyn – I get to know about climbing when I was introduced by a friend who approached me to help to do marketing for a climbing event. In order to market the climbing event well, I realized it is important for me to experience it in order to share the experience. That’s how I got into climbing.

Question 2

5C – Your accent sounds like you are from Malaysia. Where are you from?

Evelyn – I am born in Malaysia, hometown is in Johor Bahru. I moved to Singapore to study when I was 16. Malaysia is always known for its unique delicious food at a very affordable rate and most of the places are more spacious than Singapore. If you are looking for nice Bak Kut Teh, wanton noodles, and a good massage at an affordable rate Johor Bahru is the place to go.

Question 3

5C – How did the name Ministry of Adventure come about?

Evelyn – The name Ministry of Adventure came about after 3 days of brainstorming sessions with my team. We were so stressed about finding a suitable name that we can all agree on. It finally came to be Ministry of Adventure after our team observed that the trend of the market has been going towards Ministry of xxx, to claim its authority in the industry e.g. Ministry of Food, Ministry of Friend, etc. After we are very sure that there are no other companies that had claimed the name Ministry of Adventure, we quickly register the name – Ministry of Adventure.

Question 4

5C – What are the most challenging things you face running MOA?

Evelyn – The most challenging things I face while running MOA is to have a balance between passion and business. Since starting MOA is based on my passion for adventure, on this entrepreneur journey, I also learnt that when comes to business what matters is still the dollars and cents. Having a passion for doing what we do is not enough, the business model must work to bring in revenue. Hence, I feel that as much as having a passion for doing what we do, ultimately my team and I still need to make a profit to put food on the table.

Question 5

5C – What are the current outdoor climbing destinations in MOA’s overseas climbing trips?

Evelyn – Our current climbing destinations are Batu Caves in KL, and the upcoming one that we are launching is Krabi in Thailand and Long Dong in Taiwan.

Question 6

5C – What is the weirdest client behavior that you had come across?

Evelyn – The weirdest client is this guy who expects me to reply his every message within minutes after he sends out. If there is no prompt response to his message he will keep spamming and call me despite me telling him I was not available for calls and would call him back once I am available… but to no avail.

Question 7

5C – Tricky question… think hard before you answer remember this is a climbing website. Climbing, trekking, diving, and kayaking which is my favorite and why?

Evelyn – I like all of them but climbing is my favorite, to the extent that I went to get the license to be a climbing instructor. I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment of completing climbing routes as well as teaching and helping others to complete their climbing projects. Climbing helps to develop my inner and physical self and I would like to share these benefits with more people too.

Question 8

5C – Which is your favorite climbing gym in Singapore? Why?

Evelyn – I enjoy climbing in Ground Up and The Rock School as both climbing gyms are not very crowded that I have to queue up and the entry prices are affordable. Both give me a very comfy and homey experience to climb with my climbing groups.

Question 9

5C – Any personal climbing related goals or objectives for 2019?

Evelyn – Yes definitely, will go climbing in Krabi and Long Dong this year. Would like to do more mass climbing events for corporate team building and school programs and bring awareness to more people that they don’t need a strong upper body and huge muscles to climb. Most importantly I am looking forward to bring a positive impact to more people through climbing this year.

Question 10

5C – You have been successful in creating and growing the MOA community. Give us 3 tips on building a climbing community?

Evelyn – Wahh thank you for that, I believe different people measure success differently. For me, the important elements in building the MOA climbing community are:

1- Be genuine
2- The community comes before self-interest
3- Provide value

Question 11

5C – What is your long-term plan for MOA?

Evelyn – My long term plan is to bring MOA overseas and be a global business, to be the leader in the industry, and people will think of the MOA brand when it comes to outdoor adventure sports.

Question 12

5C – Finally, you are running a business, conducting climbing courses, bringing clients on overseas adventure trips. So how do you maintain such a high energy level? Any special medication? Where can we get some?

Evelyn – Hahaha, there is no special medication. If there are, I will say the medicine is called happiness and fulfillment. I am fulfilled and happy when I see people transform to having a better quality of life, happier, and have more confidence in doing adventure sports. Sadly these are the things you can’t use money to buy.

MOA Climbing Trips

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