On a quest to empower women

Photo courtesy of WINGS

ASK Ms Dolly Yeo 10 years ago if she would still be working at the age of 61 and she would have said no. She had planned to retire at 50. But today, as a life coach and trainer at the Society for WINGS, she has found what is, in her own words, her ‘value in life’ which is to bring people together, connect them and help them take action for a better future. And she hopes to keep doing this for as long as possible.

Getting here though has not been easy. After completing her ‘O’ levels, she decided to help her father with his furniture business. Eager to learn more, she attended seminars conducted by life coach Anthony Robbins, joined a Toastmaster’s club for 12 years and got certified as a life coach. They changed her perspective on life. Her father’s death from cancer when she was 44 led her to give up the furniture business and further made her rethink her priorities. Until then, she had no clue what ‘personal growth’ or ‘living according to one’s values’ meant.

Getting divorced dealt her another blow. But instead of falling into depression, she challenged herself by going to work as part of the operations crew at the Singapore Flyer. She thought if she could survive the shift and team work, she could survive anywhere. By now, she had been freelancing as a life coach for about 10 years. She had also heard about the WINGS Action Group (WAG) programme that teaches women how to be more mindful of their own health, happiness and financial matters. She signed up to be a trainer for the course. As she learnt how to conduct it, Dolly also picked up useful tips such as how to be more aware of oneself.

But the biggest benefit Dolly feels, comes from the opportunities the course offers for women to interact and bond. It is when they feel safe to open up, ask questions and share ideas that they can be empowered to take action. Says Dolly: “My role is to empathise and connect with them so they feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and given my experience, I feel I have developed more compassion to enable me to do the work I do. In helping them to connect, I have also learnt how to be a better coach. This is not just a job at WINGS, it is a two-way process.”

She makes bags out of paper to earn a small income. Are micro-jobs like these an option for some seniors in future?

Click here to find out.

Article published on: 26/1/2016