When June and I met over coffee and croissants, I knew I was in for a good morning. Her magnetic personality, amazing story and honest candor had me sucked in from the first question: tell me about yourself. From Singapore to NYC to LA, to calling off a wedding, to working in advertising for 15 years, and having an a-ha moment at a balloon store in Los Angeles. Her goal is to show you the answers you already have in yourself, and color me sold. Here’s how June Wee founded Life Coaching by June Wee.

June, tell me about yourself, your life in Singapore, how’d you get to New York?
I was born and raised in Singapore, but always knew in the back of my mind that I was going to leave and that I’d live in NYC. I didn’t know how or why, but it’s New York, and if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. So why not take up that challenge?

I’ve always loved adventure and traveling, I’ve always been curious of everyone and everything.

Growing up in a single parent family, there was tension. My dad left when I was born, I had two older brothers, and this unstable family and financial situation led my mom to start her own business and was out of the house a lot. I’d get bored and create adventures in my head. Enid Blyton was my favorite author, with enchanted forests and kids who live on islands alone.

By age 9, I had grown into a bit of a saleswoman at school. I learned about retail and wholesale and sold snacks to my friends with a small markup. I teamed up with a 12 year old who could cover the upper primary school and cut her a profit. I started to read books without breaking the spine to resell them to my friends.

No one in my family had ever been to University, so I felt that responsibility to go. I almost didn’t make it, as a teenager, I’d cut school all the time and nearly flunked out. But, I studied my ass off to pass the exams and majored in Japanese Studies and Sociology.

My fav mantra, no matter where life takes me.

That’s an incredible childhood. I know you’re a life coach but kind of sounds like you should be in Sales. But there’s still about 15 years to cover, how’d you get into corporate advertising?

Originally I wanted to get into the creative department within advertising, but I was told as a woman that I wouldn’t get very far. So, I became an account manager, and then 14 years went by both in Singapore and offices in NY. It went well until it didn’t because of 2008.

I got laid off and spent every cent I could to stay in New York. But I couldn’t even get an interview. I felt really rejected. I went back to Singapore to work for my old company. I did long distance for 1.5 years with my boyfriend, now husband, Andy. It took a long time to get over that period, I took it so personally. Everything I had done to get here had stopped, the music stopped.

Finally, I got into a rhythm at home and climbed the ladder again, but knowing that I wanted to go back to NYC.

Then about 8 months before my wedding, I was doing so well. Checked off all the boxes: great job, managing a team, driving a Mercedes Benz, a vineyard wedding in Cape Town. But I felt so out of it. I was following the path to success that people always said I should.

I went to see a life coach.

I broke up the wedding and focused on my job, I thought that would give me the security I desired. But I had got it all wrong. I was chasing the career and not the love and things that make me feel whole. Andy and I got back together, and I was done with advertising.

As that happened, he got offered a role in LA. For a year, I just lived.

I know it sounds corny, but I took up yoga, started hiking, I worked at a cute balloon store, and found joy in that. People filled with wonder and happiness over 1 balloon. I was much happier earning a fraction of what I had earned, it was my ah-ha moment, like I was in a movie.

I really loved LA, but then we moved to NYC for a job. Andy said, give it another shot, I won’t let you leave undefeated. So 3 years ago we came back. I started to do marketing at a tech startup, focusing on event planning. But it wasn’t enough.

1 year ago I realized I wanted to help people become their fullest self. I’d done it so many times myself, I didn’t want to play small and safe anymore, I wanted to go out on a limb and help people. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what people think of you, it’s what you think of yourself. You have to live with yourself 24/7.

Luxuriating in Yao Noi, Thailand.

How did you even begin, this path of becoming a life coach?
I was watching this Facebook video posted by a life coach: Are you ready to step into your calling of being a life coach and helping other people fulfill their dreams? I couldn’t stop thinking about that. I took a coach training certificate program to see if it was a crazy idea or actually something I really wanted to do.

So, you did it! What’s happening?
Over the last year, I’ve been building my own business. I feel so alive. I’m accountable now, no bad bosses to blame or uncooperative colleagues. I will live and die by every decision I do or do not make. That feels really satisfying.

It’s been funny. I made business cards with positive affirmations on the back, and people just started ordering packs of my business cards. They’re all around the world now. I even made a mirror with the phrase “Do Dope Shit” on it.

So, it’s confirmed… you really are a saleswoman. I’ve never heard of anyone buying someone else's business cards, though they are legit cool. How does it work, what’s the life of a life coach like?
It’s the greatest feeling to be doing what you love and people appreciated it. It’s not trying, it’s being me. I talk to people 3 times a month either for a 6 or 12 month period. I ask questions. I reflect what I hear and ask for confirmation. I try to get the person to come up with the next steps. The answers are within, I just act as a catalyst to think out loud, like a passenger GPS calling out the blind spots.

And I’m still learning too, I’m taking more courses, I meet with my own life coach. There’s always going to ways to improve.

View of Singapore from the infinity pool on the roof of the famed Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

You wrote in a message to me that life transitions are to be enjoyed. I imagine most people consider life transitions to be stressful or anxiety provoking, thoughts?
It’s more of a hindsight thing. Did any of that worrying affect the journey? You’d still do what you were doing - move, travel, quit, with or without the emotional stress. I could be here eating soup and worrying or enjoying it. None of it is real.

Do you think this type of work, life coach, mentorship, affirmations, is more normal nowadays?

In the past it was therapy or psychiatry. But now, it’s mainstream to seek happiness. People want to be happy, and there are more tools available now. For me, I’m not your mom, I don’t have an agenda for your life. I’m just a human version of your mirror coming from a place of love to help find the answers that are within. We’re at a time where meditation and mindfulness are available to everyone.

And do you think New York has something to do with it specifically?
Yes, the pace here is so fast. Everyone is rushing, in a competition. People come here to seek something better. Add in the pace and impatience, and it gets overwhelming and lonely. People are so busy transacting with no time to connect or unwind. Coaching makes people put aside an hour every week to focus on themselves. I’m like their gym trainer. Meet me and breathe.

What are some of your favorite resources, books, podcasts, that you enjoy and like to share?

  1. My favorite book at the moment is, The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer.
  2. I'm currently reading, Self Observation by Red Hawk.
  3. Ally Hamilton is my favorite yoga teacher and a wonderful author, check out her writing on Yogis Anonymous.
  4. Favorite meditation apps are Calm and Headspace.
  5. My go-to for inspirations are TED Talks.
  6. And, my favorite travel hack is the Scott's Cheap Flights newsletter, I've scored awesome savings on international flights through him.

Seafood Feast in England.

Do you think traveling and/or living in a few cities has helped you with life transitions? Is there overlap between travel/life coach advice?
I think the overlap comes in curious mindset.

Traveling means so many things - it could be geographical, in your mind, it’s all about different perspectives, experiences. From a conceptual point of view, there can be overlap.

A lot of people, when I ask them about their dreams, traveling comes up in their own ways. They talk about the beach, an escape, some form from their daily lives.

You’ve traveled all over - what has been your favorite or most surprising?
Hard to pick a favorite one because they’re all so gorgeous in their own way. For me, Italy was the most special because it’s where I got engaged.

But if not for that, Israel was surprising and feels special. We did a two week road trip. We were in Tel Aviv for a wedding, a group of 9 from Asia, South Africa, just traveling for 2 weeks. Tel Aviv is this amazing city with a beach scene, art scene, and clubbing scene, then to the Negev, where we stayed in Bedouin tents, to Masada, Haifa, the Dead Sea, and Jerusalem, that in it of itself has so many perspectives and stories. It was such a rich holiday.

Ask June Wee anything, or at least be positively affirmed that you are awesome on her Instagram and Facebook.

Striking a pose and enjoying the snow in Scotland.