Lenny Sim: Student, Entrepreneur, Muay Thai fighter
JOSIAH LEE sits down with Lenny Sim to find out how he manages his studies, his business and his competitive Muay Thai hobby all at once.
Hype Issue #57
May 17, 2023
For some, juggling studies while managing a clothing brand, and being a competitive Muay Thai fighter might seem impossible. 19-year-old Lenny Sim is doing all of that effortlessly.
I remember my first meeting with Lenny at a Secondary 3 bonding camp. We talked about our common interests and it was clear, to me then, that he would be the class jester for the next two years. Fast forward four years, and he’s a final year Business Studies student with a clear roadmap of his future. Sitting down with him, I asked him how he had changed so much.
Lenny first got into Muay Thai in 2019, after watching Muay Thai legend Buakaw Banchamek fight on YouTube. This casual interest has now evolved into a passion, with Lenny winning his first Muay Thai fight on Mar 25, 2023, despite only learning about the fight six hours beforehand.
Lenny mentally preparing himself for his second fight at the Singapore Amateur Muaythai Championships Series 2 on 29 April 2023. Photo by: Josiah Lee.
Lenny’s determination was something that 45-year-old founder and head coach of Lefit Muay Thai, Maarkus Ong noticed.
“He always makes it a point to come to training, especially when a fight is nearing,” said Coach Maarkus.
In preparation for his second fight, student-entrepreneur-fighter Lenny (left) trained rigorously at Lefit Muay Thai gym. Photo by: Josiah Lee.
Lenny faced multiple challenges as he not only had to lose 2kg of weight in a night, but also suffered injuries to his left wrist and his right shin. Lenny attributed his courage to take up the fight to him being an “action” person, an attribute that has aided him through his battles.
“Most of the time, it isn’t when you’re doing something you like that you begin to change. It’s the hardships you go through which bring you improvement” he said.
Lenny battled viciously using the experience gained from his first fight and guidance from his coaches. Video by: Josiah Lee.
Lenny’s mindset of being an “action” person closely aligns to Nike’s famous slogan, “Just Do It”. He explained being an “action” person means making decisions without contemplation and taking immediate action. With that mindset, Lenny decided to push himself by starting a clothing brand. The experience of building his brand, which is going through a series of changes, has encouraged Lenny to experiment with different ways of running a business. This quality has also shaped him into the person he is today.
Together with his friends, Lenny started the brand with the mindset of having multiple safety nets to rely on, including the allowance he gets from his parents, which gives him the freedom to take greater financial risks. He added that because he is still young, he can take more risks as he does not have any family or job commitments.
Elyse Toh, a 19-year-old Business Studies student and Lenny’s classmate, expressed her admiration for Lenny’s grit and resilience, a sentiment also shared by two of Lenny’s other classmates, Chow Siu Loong, 20, and Chan Ming Chee, 22.
“I’ve seen him go through personal struggles in the past few months, but never once did he give up on himself,” Elyse added.
Lenny (second from left) and his group mates after a project presentation for his Business Studies course. Photo Courtesy of Lenny Sim.
In addition to his studies, training, and entrepreneurial endeavours, Lenny is also a member of the marketing team for the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Business Studies Digital Track.
Lenny shared that the reason he is able to manage so many commitments at once is not because of his good time management, but rather his willingness to sacrifice several aspects of his life, such as sleep, social media usage and time spent with friends.
With that said, if you’re thinking of following in Lenny’s footsteps, it’s best to think twice. Lenny doesn’t recommend this lifestyle to everyone. Instead, he said that it’s best to focus on one thing and to be good at it.
“Seek purpose, and seek fulfilment instead of clubbing and having fun (all the time),” Lenny said.