Sodo Feng Shui Center Pte Ltd – Ms Terelyn Sodo
When people think about a practitioner of art of Feng Shui or Geomancy, the image of an older gentleman with a giant compass in one hand and an old Chinese manuscript in the other tend to come to mind.
If that’s what you were expecting when you step into Sodo Feng Shui center located in a large space on the fourth floor of Golden Mile Complex, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Sodo Feng Shui Center, originally founded as Institute of Sodo Feng Shui in 2012, is helmed by the young Ms Terelyn Sodo. High energy and always exuding a good vibe, she is the founder and sole director of the modern and forward thinking establishment.
Apart from the usual services like Feng Shui audits, Life audits (Annual and ad hoc) and related merchandise sales, Sodo Feng Shui Center is one of the foremost education centers in Feng Shui studies.
Sodo Feng Shui Center runs courses to cater to anyone with an interest in the subject from certified five day classes, one day seminars to three hour workshops. Anyone who is interested to learn and apply Feng Shui concepts into their lives can be sure to find a course that caters to their needs.
We are very fortunate to be able to spend some time with Ms Terelyn to talk about Sodo Feng Shui Center, her visions and her advice for young entrepreneurs.
Q: Hi Ms Terelyn, Shall we start off by speaking a bit on the beginnings of the company?
A: I hold a degree in Human Capital Development and I come from a business family background. My family has been successful for many generations and part of that success has been our reliance on Feng Shui concepts.
Q: So, what prompted you to switch from a business background to step into the Feng Shui Industry?
A: That is a very good question. One that many of my close friends have been asking. Frankly speaking, my family did not have to worry very much in terms of financial sufficiency, though we all work very hard and we’ve been successful for many generations. We are an entire family of business people and it is natural that I follow in the family tradition and became a business woman myself.
Nevertheless, I saw how Feng Shui can affect and change lives. Despite being foreign educated and exposed to a myriad of western cultures and beliefs, I do not see any contradictions or conflicts between modern scientific ideas and the ancient art of Feng Shui. In fact, it became very obvious to me that Feng Shui is extremely scientific in nature and I would like to share what I discovered with the modern society in a modern scientific manner separated from the religious and superstitious baggage that the art has carried with it as far back as one can remember.
Somehow, it just feels so natural that I would end up here doing what I do now.
A friend asked me the same question two years after I started the center and it was the first time I thought about it, it just seemed natural that the time was right and I wanted to teach. I didn’t set out to offer Feng Shui audit services, I just wanted to share with people how their quality of life can be changed by utilizing Feng Shui concepts and theories.
Q: What are some of the main challenges in running this business?
A: Maybe I can say staffing is a challenge. Most people would definitely prefer to work for bigger companies or more established businesses. Even if they don’t mind working for a SME like ours, they would have second thoughts working for a Feng Shui School. Having said that, I wouldn’t say that there are nobody who wants to join us, in fact, we do have people lining up who wants to contribute or work with us, but, we are selective in adding people to our team. In Feng Shui, you do need to have a certain natural deposition or characteristic to be able to stay in the industry.
If someone is only interested in the monetary aspect of the business, they would never be able to last long. You must have a certain level of passion. First and foremost, you cannot have a negative perception of Feng Shui, you cannot come in with a negative mentality to begin with. You can say that the perception challenge and the staffing challenge are actually interlinked to each other. It is not easy to find the right people with the right attitude and talent to do Feng Shui in this times.
Q: How does Sodo Feng Shui Center differentiate itself in the market?
A: What we offer here is not your traditional Feng Shui services and classes. I would call it ‘Pop’ Feng Shui. To illustrate how different we are, you will notice that we do not even need to use a ‘Luo Pan’ to conduct Feng Shui audits.
The entire secret of the ‘Luo Pan’ lies in the compass. You only need a compass to do a Feng Shui audit. The markings and rings on the ‘Luo Pan’ are just the tabulations and summaries for the compass on what needs to be done. In modern times, we have computers and software for tabulations and calculations, all I need is just a compass as a guide and the rest can be done more efficiently with a computer. We are also non-religious and work from a scientific basis rather than one based on superstitions. Feng Shui is a science and should be practiced as such without any religious or superstitious baggage.
Of course we also run classes for all who are interested and we tailor our courses to suit individual needs. We have five-day classes that can be completed within a week or stretched over a month for working individuals. We run full day seminars for those who just want to have a basic grasp of the art and we also have three-hour workshops for those who are just interested to find out more. Our students can walk out of the classes and implement the concepts immediately if they choose to, it’s all scientific.
Q: As an entrepreneur, what are some of the biggest sacrifices you have had to make?
A: It’s definitely time with my family. My parents have been calling me every week to go back and have a family dinner with them. They’re very happy even if I make it back for just one dinner. My father is 80 years old now, of course I am worried and wish I have more time to spend with him.
Apart from that, I don’t consider anything else as a sacrifice. In fact, I have gained a lot from this company. Chief of which is the happiness I have found here, more half of the time spent here are spent laughing and giggling with all the wonderful colleagues. There is so much happiness in what we do here, we talk about happy things, we do happy things, we meet happy people.
Q: What is your vision for the company in the next three to five years?
A: We will be a company that many Singaporeans, especially the working professionals will want to come to, to learn about modern Feng Shui. We will be a company that goes into the basic core of needs of the Singaporean lifestyle. People will be curious and will want to come to us to learn Feng Shui because they have heard of someone who have benefited from attending one of our courses.
We will be a school that reach out to many households and teach them the truth of Feng Shui, that Feng Shui is not superstition, that it is not difficult, that everyone can do Feng Shui and use it to better their own lives. In five years’ time, we will be a Feng Shui school that is widely accepted by the population because we are not religion based, we are not superstition based and our methods are easy to pick up and implement.
Q: Your drive and passion are palpable, what inspires or motivates you?
A: I learn from various teachers, and they all say the same thing. You want to do Feng Shui, you want to help people or you want to do anything in life, you must have the happiness in you, without happiness and grace, you would not be able to go far.
That has been at the core of everything I do. When we wanted to start Sodo Feng Shui Center, we did not think or plan very far. We just went ahead and do it with the happiness in our hearts and things just fell into place one after another and we progressed steadily over the years.
We just do what we do happily and radiate our happiness to everyone that comes to us. If you asked our students or just walk into one of our classes and ask anyone there, they will tell you that they feel a sense of happiness just by coming here.
We instill a lot of happiness in our lives and radiate it to everyone, and that’s why we don’t ‘work’ a single day at all. What we do here is not ‘work’, it’s just a natural part of our lives now. It’s like an endless feedback loop of happiness between us and our students, we radiate happiness to them and they radiate happiness back to us, that’s the fuel and motivation for us to keep going.
Q: What are some of the principles you hold on to?
A: We always tell our students and constantly remind ourselves, we are not perfect, but we try to be the best versions of ourselves. Keep improving and enjoy the process of progress.
Q: What are some of the fears or worries you have in running this business?
A: Hiccups and obstacles are part and parcel of running any business, you just deal with them. Let me put it this way, we are like children. Children are fearless, they do not understand the concept of fear.We are just three years old as a company. That is exactly the childhood stage. We are curious and will try out anything, we basically don’t even have time to feel fear for anything.
Q: How would you define success?
A: Success would mean that I feel happiness in every moment. People who work with me feel happiness. People who interact with me feel happiness. As long as majority of the people that have come into contact with me feel happiness, I think I’m good. Happiness is an attraction factor, it marks the difference between you running after business and business running after you. That’s the secret of success.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?
A: I get to work on my own terms and enjoy every single day I come into the center. There is not a single day where I find myself dragging myself into the office.
But, if one day we decide that the company would like to go for a holiday, we’ll just shut the office for a month and go on a company trip. I enjoy being around the extremely good company of people we have here, we have a very good vibration and good energy in the atmosphere, there is just such a great sense of casual happiness all around.
Q: Finally, what advice would you give to a young aspiring entrepreneur?
A: Just do it. It doesn’t matter if you succeed or not, learn from the experience. Learn as much as you can from all kinds of sources, you’ll never know what will be relevant and applicable to your business. I was from a pure science class in school and now I realize just how directly relevant the study of physics is to the study of Feng Shui.
Do not over analyze things, just do. Do not fear failure. Failure itself is an ingredient for success, failure is necessary to achieve success. Life is a procession of failures, there’s no shame or misery in failure. So, you failed, learn from it and move on.
Do not fear. Just do.
Sodo Feng Shui Center.
5001 golden mile complex #04-15/15A