Keeping it real
The conversation started with a simple question, “Since when is there an xxx international?” The statement took me aback a bit. Not so much because I cared, but more of “How does this bother me?”
I replied without filter, “Don’t know, don’t care?” I wasn’t trying to be rude, I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. I continued asking because I wanted to understand why this should bother me. She said, “It’s like an association with us, and they are bigger.” This intrigued me.
The thing about “association” is that it works both ways. If one denies the other, there’s no association. That said, I’m not in the position or interest to deny anyone because this wasn’t what GirlBoss.Asia was based on.
I’m not particularly keen to do yacht parties, as I don’t see how that would benefit the community. I’m not opposed to it either, cause I’m sure some people enjoy it. I wouldn’t likely be the one that suggested it.
So what is GirlBoss.Asia based on?
Truth be told, when it started, it was because I joined girlboss.com. Then, they only opened up to ladies living in the United States, and you needed a US phone number to authenticate for access. I lived in the US for a short stint and kept my number and contacts from then, so I managed to gain access to the community and was ecstatic about it.
I loved how diverse the community was. People were freely sharing ideas and concepts. Perhaps it’s the culture upon which it was built; as far as I could read, people were open-minded and generous, something I felt that was much lacking in where I stood at that very moment.
I’m sure not every community is as such, and my personal experiences gave me this impression. However, the communities I’m in, in Asia, were different. People tend to want something but are not as willing to give. I remember I saw a post asking for help. I offered my assistance and was told to sign an NDA first. I wasn’t opposed to it, but even after agreeing to an NDA, they wanted my complete profile, etc., and that’s when I dropped out. I was trying to be helpful. It no longer made sense.
It was the COVID lockdown, and I wanted something social. The only problem with girlboss.com was the timezone. My bio clock might be slightly off, but it’s still Asia-based. Keeping up with the timezone difference was a little challenging. Hence, it hit me, Why not start an Asian version?
Reading the terms and conditions, I saw no breach. I don’t deny there are parts of what I liked about girlboss.com that I incorporated into this new product I was trying to build. So to some extent, I’m replicating, somewhat localising, and innovating.
So if Sophia or the new girlboss.com reads this one day, I hope you stay true to what you stand for and pardon me.
The intention is not to compete. I want to help and collaborate.
In my journey of entrepreneurship, there are some lessons I learned. The path is challenging and mostly lonely. I hit walls constantly and sometimes get depressed – not overly; I bounce back fast.
I want to help and share my experience, the good and the bad, and the practices I’ve learned and come up with to help women in Asia to grow in their businesses, advance their professional careers, or their personal development.
Culturally, it’s different from region to region. While I’d incorporate some practices I’ve learned abroad, I’d have to localise them for this region.
So many Asian women struggle to achieve something in their businesses and careers. At the same time, some are just trying to impose a perceived lifestyle.
There’s no right or wrong in how a person wants to live. It just isn’t the audience I’m overly interested in. I instead focus on the ones that want to make a difference for themselves.
“Bigger” or smaller doesn’t matter. Ultimately, sustainability and growth are the most important. Vanity might make people envy, but vanity doesn’t pay the bills or help businesses succeed.
If you think I make sense and feel this is the platform for you, I urge you to join us at www.girlboss.asia.