5 Things I Learned from Randi Zuckerberg

Supermamapreneur Sighting

Randi Zuckerberg is the Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, Creator of Dot Complicated and Former Director of Market Development & Spokesperson of Facebook.

Randi was not at all how I imagined her to be when I met her.

I half expected a professional, hardened, power-talking persona, and maybe she would be a little cold and standoffish, but she was none of those things.

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She’s got to be one of my favourite Supermamapreneurs because she is so down-to-earth and warm. She’s smart and immensely funny, and she doesn’t possess that arrogance that some super successful people have.

Here’s 5 things that I’ve learnt from her:

Lesson 1: Don’t let your height get to your head, and negativity get to your heart

When Mark first started Facebook, he was just 18 years old and people were mean and called him the toddler CEO. Even though he does have a thick skin, (and I guess you would have to develop that if you’re him), sometimes it was hard to not let comments like this get to him. Someone passed some advice to Randi, which she shared with him – You’re never as bad as they say, and never as good as they say, so don’t let your height get to your head, and negativity get to your heart.

Lesson 2: Her Secret to being a Supermamapreneur — Work, Sleep, Fitness, Family, Friends – Pick 3 Only 

To juggle her life and make it work, she gives herself permission to not have to do everything all at once. Each day, just pick 3, and everyday can be different. See, this is actually the secret of being super – we don’t have to try to do everything at once, and I think we have to learn to stop pressuring ourselves to be everything to everyone too. It’s just not sustainable.

Lesson 3: It doesn’t matter if you get 4000 “Nos”. You just need 1 “YES!” 

In 2007,  she wanted to give Facebook some credibility by getting involved in the U.S. Presidential campaigns, and to show that Facebook is also a serious place for discourse. She called so many campaigns and got turned down many, many times. The only one who said “yes” from the start was the Obama campaign (and look how that turned out!).

Lesson 4: Don’t go into business with your best friend.

If you’re best friends, chances are you both are quite alike. Having differences is the only reason why she and Mark could work together so well for so long. They would work on different areas of the business and not step on each others toes. So in business, pick someone opposite of you for best results.

Lesson 5: Money just amplifies what’s already in you. 

When asked how money has changed her life, she says she still lives a very simple life, and lives the way she did before. In her experience, money doesn’t change people. It just amplifies what is already inside of you. So if you are insecure, money will make you crazy insecure. If you’re an asshole, money will make you a crazy asshole!

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Love her yet? 🙂

Supermamapreneur Sighting: Tjin Lee, Award Winning Mercury Group of Companies

Serial Entrepreneur, Wife & Mother.

So I met Tjin at Crib Society‘s Meet & Greet. I joined CRIB because I heard about it at Galboss Asia when Tjin was sharing on a panel. (I tell ya, Galboss Asia is like a gift that keeps on giving!)

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Us at Trehaus, a Co-Working space with child minding facilities in the heart of town. Yeah, one of Tjin’s businesses too.

She has 9 businesses, founded Audi Fashion Festival, Singapore Fashion Week and CRIB (amongst other things), and is married with 2 sons. She founded her first business in 2000 (Mercury Group of companies) and built it up to what it is today. Tjin is also the winner of the inaugural Singapore Tatler Young Achiever Leadership Award 2010.

I love that I’m constantly meeting all these great women, and particularly those that are supermamapreneurs in their own right. I have so much to learn!

Being an entrepreneur can be downright brutal at times. Or most times. And it’s really important to be surrounded by the best if I want to be the best. It’s not just about having the mindset of successful entrepreneurs, but also the support that is crucial to raising businesses. (And babies).

Women like Tjin show me that it is possible to have a vision, work your ass off for it and come out the other side, alive and thriving.

I’m really glad that there are more and more organisations and events that are about women empowering and supporting other women.

I’m excited to get to know all these very cool women better. And I’m even more excited by what is to come.

 

Supermamapreneur Sighting: Sabrina Tan, Skin Inc Global

Family, Business and Galboss Asia

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Sabrina Tan at Galboss Asia. She shared her experience with growing her local custom skin care company, Skin Inc, into a global brand. It is now in over 100 cities around the world through skin care and make up juggernaut, Sephora.

WOW.

I had heard about her success before meeting her through various business associates. And since I’m in the skin care industry too, I was very curious at how she did it.

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Kudos, by the way to the Galboss Asia people who scheduled her sharing right after lunch. That was a good way to keep people awake! I’m sure there was no one sleeping since it was such an interesting and inspiring sharing.

I was particularly fascinated with her story because when she was building her business, she was also raising her family. Her youngest kid was only 1 when she started. I can most certainly relate to that. It is somewhat comforting also to hear that she had many challenges too before this huge success.

Having met her and if I had to describe her in 2 words, I would use the colloquail term “chilli padi“.

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For my non-Singaporean readers, a chilli padi is a chili pepper otherwise known as Bird’s Eye chilli. It is small, but extremely potent and spicy. One small bite of this chilli will send an overwhelming explosion of flavour into your mouth, and it can be so spicy that it’ll make your ears hurt, I kid you not!

In that same thread, don’t be fooled by her petite frame. She is a force to be reckoned with.

These are the questions I asked her when I got the chance to chat with her:

  1. How did you juggle your business and your family?
  2. What were your biggest challenges in business and how did you overcome then?
  3. What was your inspiration for Galboss Asia?

Great insights, no?

I also asked her this one last question off-camera,”The skin care industry is so competitive. Weren’t you afraid?” She just looked at me with steely determination and shook her head as she said,”No. Don’t even think about that.”

 

3 Hacks To Maintain a Positive Mindset While Sleep Deprived 

Empire Building When Grumpy Is Not A Good Idea

Life is only beautiful when you’ve had enough sleep good quality sleep.

This is not just about not sleeping well or not sleeping enough. It’s about not sleeping enough because you have to look after your infant at night.

When I say “look after” it’s not just plugging the baby to a bottle of milk and being done with it. This is your baby, so you’d put her first before everything else i.e. making sure she’s sleeping in the correct position, checking on her when she fusses in her bed (which can be multiple times throughout the night), staying up with her for an hour or 2 when she tries to go back to sleep but can’t, etc.

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Sleeping babies are the cutest.

(By the way, the sound of a crying baby and sleep deprivation are proven torture techniques.)

The net effect is I probably only get 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Even if I do get another 2 or 3 hours of sleep in addition to that, it is usually peppered with a night feed, baby soothing and checking on her.

And because you’re not sleeping well, falling sick is inevitable.

I am the worst at handling situations like this.

Everything becomes more prickly to handle. I am less patient and could care less about being understanding. My previously positive mindset and world view is automatically coloured and terribly negative. And when my mindset is negative, even the smallest challenge in my day can seem like a monumental task to overcome.

Then because I’m not at the top of my game, things don’t move as quickly as I want them to. And then I get frustrated and then I feel like giving up. And then I feel like telling people who tell me to slow down and smell the roses,”I already know what roses smell like! Next!”

You get the picture. I’m a grouch in such situations. Empire building while grumpy is not a good idea.

But what’s the solution to such madness?

Hack #1: Be Flexible

I’m a big list maker and planner, and for me to feel like I’ve achieved something meaningful, I would need to have accomplished tasks on the list within the stipulated deadline.

But I’ve learnt not to force it along according to plan because the end result is always a bigger mess than it was previously, if my mind is not in the right place. I need to be flexible.

Having a 3 month old baby is not something I can just gloss over and delegate at night for now. The consequences of this are big factors I need to take into consideration in all my lists and plans.

For example, instead of writing on my laptop, which is to me is easier, I have now mastered writing on my phone while I put the baby to sleep in the baby carrier. It’s a real time saver and I do love multi-tasking effectively.

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Putting the baby to sleep whilst preparing material for this site. I love technology!

Hack #2: Be Kind

I tend to forget how much energy it takes to look after an infant at night. This means me giving of myself, my sleep, my energy and my time. And that also means I need time to recharge and be kind to myself.

That is a tall order for someone who generally imposes exacting standards on herself. I don’t think there’s anyone tougher on me than me.

I’ve learnt that I need to step away and do something restful or rejuvenating first. Meditation. Exercise. Sleep. Get a massage. Go play golf. Look at things I like. Do something I like.

I have also realised that this recharging and being kind to myself thing is something I need to schedule in. Otherwise I will never have the stamina to go the distance that I want to.

Hack #3: Be Guilt-Free

Then the final thing is (and this is the toughest thing for me) to learn to stop feeling bad about these pit stops.

For this simple reason: I deserve these breaks.

I’ve learnt that feeling guilty and not taking any breaks for myself is just bad for business. I’m not as creative, I’m tired, I’m grouchy and I resent…well everything.

The application of these hacks might not be easy, but they are necessary. Let me know how they work out for you 🙂