A talkative, bubbly little girl, Niney Chong grew up in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. She's thoroughly a Sabahan, even after moving to Damansara Perdana after her marriage with her beloved husband, Carliff.
Niney is one of Malaysian's most successful entrepreneurs. She is the founder of Ministry of Marketing.Asia and co-founder of Mompreneur Asia. She is known for her inspiring talks and dazzling positive thoughts where she delivers them at a conference.
Niney, who is a 40-year-old inspiring woman, might appear as someone in her 20s as she has a bright and bubbly personality, but age is just a number and it doesn’t stop her from doing what she loves -- to inspire others.
When Niney was young, she had a wonderful and awesome childhood, yet she was very competitive. Niney was an “all-rounder” during her younger days. Her full of energy and excitement had put her into a very active person in school. She was a prefect, a school dancer, a school speaker, and she was into sports like basketball and baseball too. She has never once not hold any position at school. Even though her parents were strict but that’s for her greater good and they were always so supportive towards her.
Her dad inspired her to be hardworking because while she was growing up, she remembered how hardworking her dad was because her parents were not well-off. That’s where she arrived at the conclusion that "if you want to make it big in life, you need to work hard”. Despite having strict parents, she had a very good childhood, that has made her who she is today.
The younger Niney wanted to be a singer when as a kid. She has always loved being on stage since she was young and even to this day, she would conquer the stage with her energy that kept her going as a conference speaker.
Her ultimate dream job is to have an autopilot business where she could travel the world with her family. She aspires to be talking at international levels, where her children could experience a different culture in different countries. On a side note, Niney said during rainy days she would spend time with her children or snuggle them to sleep.
Like any other person, Niney has her role models too. One of her role models is Oprah Winfrey. She admires how Oprah carries herself and talks gracefully on her show. In fact, one of her goals is to have her own talk show someday.
In her bygone days, Niney too had her greatest regret. “It’s always been my teenage years,” she said. Niney was a rebellious teenager who ran away from home a few times to the point where her dad had to hire a bodyguard for her. “I’ve caused heartache to my parents that I regretted”. If and only if she was more serious and didn’t play around so much, she could’ve scored better in her studies.
Despite having the greatest regret, Niney also shares her greatest learning in life. According to Niney, every human being has their world and the way they think is very different. “Being where I am now as a 40-year old, I think I’m doing well in life and one thing for me, there is no need to put another person down," she said.
As gracious as her soul, Niney said kindness is one of the biggest things. She emphasized how important it is to be kind to people. Be kind in your intention towards people because everyone might face different challenges in life and that’s why being kind is the biggest thing to her.
Even though Niney has a busy schedule, she manages to juggle her time for one of her hobbies, reading. Apart from reading, she also enjoys spending time with her friends from various different circles.
As Niney shares her stories, she said her favourite memories as a child were the times she spends with her family. She treasured those moments as it is very meaningful to her.
When asked if she could change one thing from the past, Niney hoped she had managed her finances better because she has a habit of splurging her money on anything. She has come to her senses that if she started saving up sooner, it could be a good habit by now.
Her major turning points in life is when she went to a personal development programmed at 24. She had always thought that she “had it all”, where she got the full package. Instead, she was a grumpy person. She didn’t know she was an angry person until she went to the personal development programme where she graduated and got to be a trainer.
One of her earliest memories with her dad that is still very clear in her mind is when she moved into a new house that didn’t even have a door. Her dad had to nail plywood onto the door opening as the “door”. It is not always sunshine and rainbows, her saddest memory was when her dad cried to her when she ran away from home. That has given her a huge impact on herself because of what she did. Despite all that, she remembers her happiest memory was when she gave birth to her son, and being married was her clearest memory.
Even though Niney always appears as a positive person, there is 1 significant fact about her that many don’t see. She may have a long face at times but she is very approachable. When asked to describe herself as a child, Niney sees herself as being fun, rebellious, and confident.
“Life has ups and downs, during downtime, the only way that is available is up again, have faith when you are at the bottom that the only way to be at the bottom is to go up.”
-- Niney's advice to her younger self
Nevertheless, Niney depends on her beloved husband for practical advice. Besides, Niney has a different mentor for her different elements in life. She is a very type-A person, to which, she went to seek therapy to help her understand that it’s okay for her to calm down, and to not take herself seriously at all times. Her different element in life has led her to have a different mentor in business and community world. Jeevan Sahadevan is the perfect fit to be her mentor in business and Datin Jeanette Tambakau is her mentor in the community world.
Also, Niney would always go to her therapist for emotional support because sometimes emotions cloud our mind for making objective decisions. Therapy helped to spread it out and reframed it similar to canvases. For moral support, she leans on her dearest husband because he is the closest person to her. He has given her moral support since Day 1.
Niney’s major turning points in adulthood was when she was involved in the community. When she did that, she finally found her purpose in life because she has always loved working with people. She feels it’s aligned with the professional development that she went to.
Not many people know this, but Niney is a street-smart kind of person. Her strong beliefs in certain things make her an optimistic and extroverted person.
Like any other human being, Niney too has her flaws. Her biggest flaw is she tends to procrastinate a lot. On the other hand, she has the biggest strength -- that she’s very resourceful and it is manifests through the way she thinks. Niney also is very good at negotiations.
Following her biggest fear, she said she wouldn’t want to get sick beyond control. According to her, everything in life can be handled except for being sick. “Once you’re sick, you can’t do anything,” she says.
Despite all her stories, Niney’s biggest accomplishment is knowing her purpose in life by getting into the community world through NGOs. Through those credentials, it will translate to her credibility as a business owner.
Niney shared her wisdom “Power comes with a lot of responsibilities and the intention behind the power is important”. Through this, Niney said that “ambition is evolving from time to time depending on our experiences and I think that there is always a way for us to get what we want in life as long as we are clear of what are the prices to pay” when asked how she would approach ambition.
Niney’s loving character has taught her few strong principles that she held on to; that love is kind, love is so much of forgiveness to give and love is taking care of herself.
Niney sure has a strong moral compass as an individual. When asked whether she is willing to compromise her morals, she said doing the right thing is important as it has so many consequences. She has been thought to do so since she was little.
Her children motivate her to be better and they taught her how to be a mother. She surely wants to be the best for them and wants to be her children's inspiration.
Niney, who although is always seen as a laid-back and outgoing person, many may not know her personally. Yet, she has so many things that has happened in life and she managed to come out strong and overcmthe obstacles she faced during her younger days.