Why Sarah Lian is Super Good at Her Job

Actress, host, emcee and entrepreneur, this superwoman is the epitome of talent and a source of inspiration to many.
Friday 10 May 2019
Sarah Lian on success, Suppagood and confidence. Photo: Suppagood PR

After an acting stint in North America, Sarah Lian returned to her homeland of Malaysia to pursue a career in the local entertainment industry and founded the companies Suppagood Talent and Suppagood PR, which handle talent management and Public Relations for clients respectively. Most recently, Sarah developed Supparetreat, a program consisting of workshops for women in a safe environment held in various locations around Malaysia.

Designed to offer participants a space to develop their skills and discover themselves, the retreats are a favourite, which has encouraged Sarah to do more. Her fourth retreat was recently held in Pangkor Laut and featured child and family development specialist Racheal Kwacz, women’s relationship coach Hannah Lo and yoga instructor Dian Lee as speakers.

How do you see the Suppagood brand evolving?

The Suppagood brand has always been about standing in your truth, whether it is Suppagood PR finding a voice for our clients in among the crowd of other brands or Suppagood Talent artistes being celebrated in their most authentic version of themselves, this brand has evolved by being real, creating possibilities and helping people/clients/participants/customers celebrate their own voice.

What motivates you to do what you do?

I love seeing people recognize their own power. If it means that I have to light that spark for them, I will, because I can’t wait to see that small spark turn into a huge fire. Being able to play a part in this transformation motivates me to do what I do with my artists and the women who attend Supparetreat.

With the support of women with events like the Supparetreat and the rise of the #MeToo movement, where does that leave men?

I think with the emergence of these movements, men are learning that women are starting to balance the weight of responsibility, duty and earning power through merit. Accountability and the fluidity of roles allow men to reexamine how they want to define their relationships because they no longer have to fit into the role of toxic masculinity.

How can men and women support each other?

Men and women can continue supporting each other by being honest, communicating and witnessing each other’s growth. It’s so often that we try to fix each other, when all the other person wants/needs is to be seen and heard. Through Hannah Lo’s workshops I’ve learnt the importance of empathy and compassion – it is the root of all communication. Once you’ve mastered that, conflict becomes less important.

What is the secret to success in business and relationships?

Gratitude and communication. I’m so confrontational and even when its something small, I try to address issues even if it’s tiny so that it doesn’t escalate to something bigger.

How would you define success personally, and do you think you’ve made it?

Success to me is defined as the achievement of your goals, while I think I have achieved some goals, I’ve got such a long way to go to feel like I’ve made it. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface.

SARAHLIAN_02 - Sarah Lian
How does Sarah deal with life’s challenges? By taking it one step
at a time. Photo: Suppagood PR

You’ve done so many things – acted, hosted, modelled and now a speaker. Which role do you feel most comfortable in and why?

I have been blessed with having the opportunity to wear many different hats, try new things and its always scary trying something new. I probably feel most at ease in front of a camera because there’s always an edit process. But when you’re a speaker, you’re doing things in real time, you’re connecting with your audience and you’re leaving your heart on the stage. It is the scariest but it’s something that I want to keep improving.

What would be the most memorable experience that you’ve had?

Every Angel Walk that I participate in is always the most memorable experience I encounter because of the culmination of energy from giving and receiving. Having 30 women who were strangers just two days ago, participate in a beautiful ritual of energy is simply electric.

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It’s so easy to go through life and make all these excuses to not face your own reality, whether it is work, family or some meeting you need to do or don’t care about. If you weren’t at @supparetreat this weekend, you were missed. This past weekend, these women chose themselves. Each of them carrying their own stories, their own pain, their own struggles and doing the bravest act of sitting with it and letting every feeling permeate through their bodies. We shared, we cried, we laughed and we grew stronger because of it. We learnt what it meant to find ourselves and how to see it in others. Are you ready to join us at the next retreat? #supparetreat #bettertogether #ytlhotels #womensupportingwomen #womensretreat #wellnessretreat

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How do you stay confident on the days when you feel down?

Confidence is a challenge every day, even on good days let alone bad days. But I try to remember what I am valued for, what value I can offer. I stay away from social media and try to avoid the negative talk that will only catch me on a downward spiral.

How do you balance your working schedule with personal time and your relationships?

I’ve gone through life making my work so central to who I am that sometimes its so difficult to stop. But when I’m having dinner, I’ll put my phone away or winding down in bed, I make it a point to do something mindless, play a game, watch a video. I try my best to not try to do too many things at one time, especially when I’m spending time with someone. I want to honour the time I have with them.

Are you a morning or a night person?

Definitely a night person!

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Your favourite way to relax?

I love watching reality TV.

A hidden talent you have that not many people know about?

My photoshop skills are level 1000x. I’ve been using the software for over 20 years.

Can you cook? What is your favourite dish to make?

I can cook but I have been told I’m a messy chef. I make a turkey every year for Thanksgiving.

Favourite holiday destination?

So far Copenhagen for all the food and exercise I managed to do in a few days.

Best advice you have ever been given?

Be nice to people you meet.

How do you deal with life’s challenges?

Take things one step at a time. If you look at a challenge in its entirety, it will be overwhelming, but if you get started with one small step, you’ll realise that every subsequent step will take you further than you imagined.

What’s next for you?

I want to keep seeing where Supparetreat can grow. I see the way it transforms women and I’m so excited to see where this can go. We are just early days and I’m just trying to trust my gut and let that lead me.

Word association:

Super – Power

Beach – Party

Challenge – Strength

Power – Woman

Business – Money

Style – Class

Beauty – Immortal

Motivation – Spirit

Love – Transcends


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