Night Owl Cinematics co-founder turned to YouTube to make people laugh
When she started out her career as an online media personality with her partner in 2012, Ms Sylvia Chan had no illusions of success.
But now, Ms Chan, 31, along with her YouTube channel and production company Night Owl Cinematics, have gained mainstream success, with 963,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel.
Ms Chan and her team have worked with clients, including brands such as AirAsia, McDonald's, Sephora and Disney, as well as organisations including the Central Provident Fund Board, DBS Bank and the National Environment Agency, just to name a few.
In 2016, Ms Chan and her husband and co-founder Ryan Tan were also named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list.
The annual list features 300 disruptors, innovators and entrepreneurs across Asia, under the age of 30, who are challenging conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation.
But success did not come easy.
Ms Chan told The New Paper that she had tried to open three different food and beverage businesses and had failed each time, even going bankrupt.
She found her YouTube career when she realised she wanted to make people laugh.
But she had to do a lot of work outside of the channel to make ends meet, like producing funeral videos for $3,000 each, just so her team could make YouTube videos in their spare time.
She said: "It was almost a year before we even saw a single dollar. When we got into it, there were no clients, no brand deals in the industry at all.
"But we set out to do what made us happy and what we hoped would make others happy."
She said that for today's generation, social media and careers in new media are no longer as difficult to break into because the infrastructure exists.
That is why she is saddened by the attitudes of some young people today.
She said: "When I ask them what they define as success, so many say it's money. That makes me feel sad, that young people who have so many opportunities now are feeling constrained by such traditional ideas of what success means."
Ms Chan added that despite going to the University of London (Singapore) to study economics and sociology, her bout with depression when she was younger made her realise the importance of being happy and enjoying what she did, even if it was not easy or conventional.
She said: "Many of my friends went on to be doctors. Could I have been one? Probably. But I wanted to do something that made me happy."