Things I love about BRS and easyconsult


Working as an intern at BRS & easyconsult has been one of the best experiences I have had so far. It was an exciting learning journey that I really enjoyed from the beginning to the end. I can’t help sharing this terrific experience with you because I know I am one of only a few interns out there who are 200% happy about their experience.

So, what makes me such a big fan of this company?

I love being part of a small team with only less than 10 people ( but the work it delivers is enormous). I was not overwhelmed when walking into the office. I didn’t struggle to remember names of each individual, and didn’t feel like I’m a little fish in a big pond. And more importantly, thanks to the small size, we got to know each other better, our strategy was better communicated and support was provided in a timely fashion.

I love talking and having a good laugh even when we were working. Instead of focusing too much on our own tasks, keeping silent and forgetting about what’s happening around us, I realized that it was better to spend time communicating with the team, telling jokes and breaking the ice in the office. This was something I was not familiar with initially due to my culture and previous experience. Straining our eyes in front of computer screens continuously without talking or laughing is very stressful. Chatting with others during office hours not only energizes us but also inspires us with more ideas and solutions to our problems. Now I really miss hearing Kym’s big laughs from the distance, listening to Erin talking about her dog, Kim telling about the movie she watched over the weekend, seeing Nicole describing how her son wanted a penguin pet, Jodie getting excited about her trip to Italy, and Sarah explaining the benefits of going vegans, and Louise showing pictures of her lovely daughters…

I love the proactivity of everyone in the team, from which I have learned so much. “It is better to ask for forgiveness than permission”, Kym, the manager, told me in one of our meetings. Being proactive means taking conscious control of situations instead of passively reacting to unexpected events. At BRS and easyconsult, everyone shows their proactivity by addressing problems and finding solutions before they are told what to do. Without the pressure to conform to expectations, everyone knows their own goals and be a leader in themselves, all working towards a common goal. Over the internship, I grew from an “obedient child” to a person who is more proactive in my choices, willing to take risks and I dare to make mistakes rather than asking for permission for fear of doing the wrong things.

I love being surrounded by positive people in the office. When being screwed up, we know that things will get better down the track, and look to deal with the situation rather than worrying too much. BRS has won so many awards such as Telstra Business Award, BRW Fast Starters, and startup smart awards. What’s the secret of a business that not only survived the economic downturn but also doubled their revenue? I would say it is the power of positivity, which results in positive outcomes.

I love the sheets of plans and goals on the walls as a reminder for the team to focus on our mission.

I love being challenged when someone asked me why I did this, why I did that, and what I could do to make it better.

I love it when someone asked me ” Do you need any help at all?”

I love it when someone returned from her lunch with a pack of chocolates and shared with everyone else.

I love it when we all cheered and clapped for getting more members into easyconsult coaching program.

There are so many other things I love about this wonderful place that I can’t fit them all to this blog space.

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The team was well rewarded for their efforts

After all, I was so proud being part of this fantastic team, being part of easyconsult, a world-class coaching program that will go places in the future. And I believe that everyone in the team would be proud too. The power of having a great culture is huge, when the team becomes a family, when common goals become personal goals, when common success is everyone’s success.

I never knew that there exists such a great business culture until I worked here 🙂

More than words…


This entry is dedicated…

To all the well-respected speakers and the organizing committee of the 4th University Scholars Leadership Symposium.

To all of delegates at the symposium who have contributed to its success.

To all of my friends who have walked into my life in the most graceful way I could ever imagine, and will stay in my heart for the years to come.

To myself, who have learned the lessons that can’t be taught anywhere else.

And to you, whoever is reading this, because you have made the right decision to know more about one of the best international events about humanitarian issues in the world.

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The symposium means so much to me as the way it does to many other people. It has brought me…

FRIENDSHIP. LOVE.

With more than 700 delegates from 45 countries in the world, this symposium brought together the nicest and friendliest people who care about alleviating world poverty. Though it was impossible to meet and talk to everyone in the symposium, I managed to make so many new friends and remember their names as much as I could (it was hard to be honest, but remembering someone’s name is one of the sweetest things we can do).

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The symposium has connected me with the people that have become my soul mates. Even though we just met for a few days, I feel as if we have been friends for years and we can share everything together without hesitation.

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We learned, we ate, we sang, we played, we laughed and we cried together. We were so happy together, sharing moments, sharing life…

Love is sometimes that simple. We love each other unconditionally, and I’m grateful that we found each other in the crowd.

 KNOWLEDGE.

All too often we pursue the knowledge that helps us get a better job and we forget about the kind of knowledge that helps us live a better life. The symposium has provided us the latter. We had the chance to listen to and learn from the people who have devoted their entire life for a better world and give them our warmest hugs.

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Thank you, Bam Aquino, Peter Baines, Pushpa Basnet, Geraldine Cox, Ibu Robin Lim, Tony Meloto, Simerjeet Singh, Pamela Wigglesworth, Lloyd Luna and Francis Kong for sharing your experiences and giving us so much inspiration to make ourselves better people and the world a better place.

“ A day well spent brings a happy sleep at night. A life well spent brings a happy death” ( Simerjeet Singh)

Remember to respect the soul of other people” (Robin Lim)

You have to believe in your dreams before everyone else does” (Pushpa Basnet)

Problems are always there, but we can choose the only problems that relate to what we care” (Miguel Bermundo)

The purpose of going to university is to have the capability to learn” ( Francis Kong)

We can’t change what happened, but we can change what happens next” (Peter Baines)

Start young. Start early.” (Pamela Wigglesworth)

REALIZATION.

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Since the very first day I came to Manila, I have seen so many homeless people and poor children on the street. They sleep alongside the bay, on the pavement, in their tricycles and in doggy tents. Street children who are just from 3 to 10 years old will run around you, with their hands open asking for food and money. Looking at these people keeps me aware of what we take for granted. We are so lucky to be able to afford good accommodation, good food and even travel around the world while so many other people have to live on the streets, eat anything they have and have never stepped out of their own city. Poverty is just a “global issue” when you read about it in newspapers, but it becomes a pain when we really witness it with our own eyes.

I have learned how to treasure what I have right now, and I feel blessed that I was not born in poverty like those children. We cannot choose how we are born. We cannot choose how other people are born either. God does. However, he doesn’t do so for free I believe. We have to give as much as we receive. We don’t know when we will be in the situation that needs help from other people, so why not open our heart and share what we have with those in need?

HAPPINESS.

For every single day of the symposium, I was always happy. I was happy to meet new friends, to learn from the speakers, to hang out with my buddies, to give a hand to building schools for children. We smiled, we talked, we laughed all the time. The happiness I felt was so huge and deep that it is still resonating in my heart right now.

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There are little things that could make me feel like I was the happiest person in the world. How happy I was when my friends told me that they loved me so much. How happy I was when I saw people around me laughing and talking cheerfully. How happy I was when the children at Quezon ran to me, called my name and hugged me so tight. How happy I was when I played a game with these little kids and they liked it! How happy I was when I received some little gifts from my friends even though we had just known each other for a few days. How happy I was when I knew that I became a special friend to them.

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This is a life changing experience to me and many other people I believe.

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Dear my friends who have shared this time with me: Stay passionate. Stay positive. Stay focused. Keep your fire burning. I have faith that we can together make a lot of differences in the world.

Dear others, I strongly recommend that you attend this symposium next year. It will definitely be something that you will never be able to forget. Life is short; we had better spend it well. Time is finite; we had better spend it wisely.

Experience it, try it, and feel it in your own way.

With LOVE

Michelle Tran

10 August 2013

The simple secret behind a successful entrepreneur and an inspirational leader


Kym Williams

Kym Williams, Founder and Managing Director of BRS and easyconsult

BRS is an advisory firm passionate about culture, leadership, commercial and high performance. Their vision is to be the leading niche management advisory firm in Australia for the government, infrastructure and resources industries.

Their services include leadership, team and culture, commercial and procurement, organisation and process improvement, project governance and collaborative contracting.

easyconsult (www.easyconsult.com.au) has been designed to take the pain out of setting up, systemising and managing your business allowing you to spend more time with clients and on projects.

Previous experience:

General Manager of South Australia and Western Australia for an international engineering and environmental firm involved in significant projects across Australia

Senior management roles in local government, across two large metropolitan councils in Adelaide in a range of commercial and governance portfolios

Working in a Big Four accounting firm and State Government as a financial auditor.

Honors & Awards

In-Business Fast Movers Competition

(BRS was awarded the fastest growing company in South Australia in 2012 averaging over 205% annual growth for the last three years.)

Start up Smart Awards (2011 and 2013)

(BRS finished in the top 25 fastest growing companies in Australia for 2011 and 2013)

Telstra Business Awards (2012 and 2013)

(Finalist in the Telstra Business Awards – Small Business category for South Australia)

Top 40 under 40 CPA Business Leaders 2013 ( for 2011 and 2012)

(Kym was judged for the second consecutive year as one of the top 40 under 40 business leaders for CPA Australia’s In the Black magazine.)

BRW Fast Starters

(BRS has been nominated as a finalist in the 2013 BRW fast starters awards.)

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I’m not an employee of BRS or easyconsult or any other businesses of Kym. I’m not a journalist either. I’ve just met him once and have talk to him three times, twice of which were over the phone. However, that gives me enough motivation to write something about him, so that I will never forget. Another reason is that, to whoever is reading this, this person will be a source of inspiration for you I hope.

As the owner of the fastest – growing business in South Australia, a loving dad to three lovely kids, husband to a great wife, Kym seems to be the role model that everyone wants to become. He is very friendly, likable and approachable with a great big smile. What I admire most about this man is neither his businesses nor his social status, but his fantastic leadership skills and his genuine interest in people development.

Prior to meeting Kym, I had the chance to read his blog on the company websites (http://www.brsresults.com and http://easyconsult.com.au/). I was very impressed by these blogs because it was written by all the employees in the company. Everyone has a say. Through what Kym wrote, and his team members wrote, it was obvious that there is a very well-defined culture in the company with a focus on people development and job satisfaction. It seems that everyone in the team is truly enjoying what they do. An employee also stated that she chose BRS instead of other big firms because of its culture, its fabulous team and Kym’s coaching. However, the blog is still very well structured and absolutely a wealth of knowledge for small and medium businesses, as well as for leaders generally. Kym, particularly, shows his thorough understanding of business management and his winning leadership style. For me, this would be an ideal company for people who are growth-oriented, willing to learn, and highly value job satisfaction in their career.

I was lucky to have a meeting with Kym and had the chance to understand more about him, his points of view on life and his business. He has a positive can-do attitude, which has empowered him to overcome many challenges when he first started his business. In terms of recruitment, Kym favours young people who don’t need to have much experience because he believes that young employees are energetic, open-minded and eager to learn. It is much easier to instil a new positive way of thinking and attitude to the youth. Kym stresses the importance of attitude, which is a driver of success. With his employees, Kym always gives useful feedback and it is a common practice at his company that everyone has the opportunity to have a one on one with their boss. “Every person loves to be listened to, coached effectively and assisted to learn, grow and develop.”, Kym writes in his blog.

When I asked how he will maintain this engagement with his employees when BRS expands in the future, Kym gave me a surprising answer. He said it will not be changed, because he won’t employ a huge number of people. How big a company is doesn’t depend on how many employees it has. Thanks to technology, the business can expand by going online without the need to employ many people. However, even if Kym had a hundred people under his wings, I have the belief that he would still be able to maintain a good culture and engagement with his employees through many other ways.

To Kym, corporate culture is very important, reflecting his great focus on people. And I think this is the simple secret that has led him to today and future success. ” If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” (John Adams). I find it interesting to see the difference between management and leadership( hopefully Kym can blog about this some day). If managers are those who do things right, leaders are those who do the right things. What most companies are having today are managers who tell others what to do, but not many leaders who can actually inspire others to work. Kym is one of very few examples of great leaders that I have known.

About BRS culture and Kym’s leadership, it is not sufficient to talk about within the scope of this blog. If you want to become a great leader and want to learn about how a business can succeed, I strongly recommend visiting their blogs at http://thebrsblog.com/ and http://www.easyconsult.com.au/blog/.

I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Kym Williams and also his wife Nicole Williams, who built the business with him. They have the kind of professional and family life that I would like to pursue in the future. Thanks to them, I have been inspired to try more and achieve more.

I hope you are inspired too 🙂

Grocery Musical Store – ImprovEverywhere


A very enjoyable and terrific video to watch, to feel good and to make you smile.

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ImprovEverywhere is a group in the USA whose members go to great lengths to bring happiness to everyone. I wish there could be more groups like this in the world. Everytime I watch their videos, I always feel good and positive about the life.
This is only one of many great videos that have been recorded from their activities. If you want to cheer yourself up and feel better, watching ImprovEverywhere ( or even following suit) will be the greatest thing to do 🙂

Have been so busy with exams these days…Will write more when everything has been finished…

Have fun, and be positive 🙂

Ngô Thanh Hoà – a person who inspires me with some life lessons to learn


This entry is dedicated to Ngô Thanh Hoà, my favourite candidate in MasterChef Vietnam competition this year.

I have been following MasterChef Vietnam since episode 4 or maybe 5 I can’t remember, when all the candidates had been chosen. From time to time, I finally “shortlisted” some of the best participants for me that I like, I love, I admire. However, for the one to win MasterChef Vietnam this year, there must be only one person, and I hope that person will be Mr. Thanh Hoa. He is the ideal candidate for the MasterChef position.

Reasoning for this, I have a lot to say. What I see in this man, and I think lots of other people can see, is his unbeatable power. He has demonstrated his passion, his magnificent ability to cook in every single round with a very stable, always-in-the-top level. Everyone in the contest considers him to be a very big competitor, the judges continually give him compliments. However, do we like someone just because they are really talented? I don’t think so. Simply being in the final Top 6 is not a sufficient reason for my favour over this incredible man.

What actually convinced me is his leadership as well as the spirit of a team player. He looks very likeable by appearance, and what he has shown through his work in the team confirms that he is the exact ideal person that any team will want to possess. Watching how he allocates tasks within a team, how he communicates with other fellows, how he responds to others’ comments, I can tell for sure anyone who knows him will describe him as a “reliable, responsible, experienced, trustworthy, determined, confident, patient, persistent” person ( Do I miss any adjective there? 🙂

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Talent, commitment and good personality – overly perfect for the MasterChef position, we may say. I would take it for granted that he has been performing excellently like that from the beginning. Not until yesterday did my friend tell me about his initial failure in round 1, and I was totally taken aback.”What? He failed????” Unbelievable huh.

Just because I didn’t watch MC from the beginning, I was not aware of that. How come such a talented person wasn’t chosen right from the start? And how did he make his way through to Top 6 now?

Another lesson is there for us to learn.

I decided to search for the very first episodes to find our what happened. And here it is: (This tells us fully about what happened with uncut scenes)

I won’t comment about his ability, which is already obvious. Everyone bangs on about his talent. What I want to stress is how he convinced the judges, and how he believed in himself.

If he were like any other, he would give up desperately, blaming for the bad luck or the bad taste of the judges, then come home to go on with his life, maybe waiting for next year competition. But what makes him different from other people is that he didn’t give up, he didn’t surrender. He was in control of the situation, rather than under the situation’s control. In rules, there’s always some exceptions. And Hoa is one of the most exceptional exceptions I’ve ever known. Lots of other people will envy him because they didn’t have a second chance, but how many are confident that they can turn that chance into gold? Only a few, I reckon.

We often say that we want something badly and we try our best to get hold of it, that we believe we have the ability, but all too often we give up too soon. Desperately looking for a job and can’t find one, do you keep trying or just get bored and blame the recruiters for not realizing your potentials? Getting cheated on by your boyfriend, do you go find your true half or just sitting still and asking why life treats you so bad? Want to get a scholarship to study abroad, do you give up after several times being turned down on or keep searching until you succeed? Do you think of what you want every night before you sleep? Do you reasonably believe that you have the capability to get what you want, and it just hasn’t happened YET but someday it will?

It is undeniable that some people are luckier than others, and you may blame for just being unlucky. But I believe everything happens for a reason. Research has shown that unlucky people often fail to follow their intuition when making a decision, they always follow the routine and are reluctant to break the rules, and they see things as the worst of the worsts. I believe that Thanh Hoa is somehow lucky, but what or who, if not himself, makes him so lucky ? He was lucky because he dared to stand up for recognition, he dared to take a different path and he dared to believe in a second chance. He was lucky FOR SOME REASONS. What seemed bad now turns out terrific. We ourselves can change the way we think and the way we behave to be lucky and happy like that. In other words, let’s put ourselves out of our comfort zone and enjoy the luck streaming in.

Behind the cooking talent, there’s so much to learn from this talented and humble man.

P/S: Again, thank you, Thanh Hoa, for coming to MasterChef and inspiring so many people including me. I was brought to tears when you got two Yeses from the judges, and I hope you can make us cry one more time in the Final round with the trophy in your hands. All the best for you and your family!