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One in a Billion

“One In A Billion” is a podcast about China, through the voices of Chinese millennials in America. They have personal ties or deep roots in China. They also have big dreams and high hopes in America. “One In A Billion” is a platform for this rising generation of entrepreneurs, artists and other creative types. Hosted by Mable Chan, “One in a Billion” listens to China, one person at a time.
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Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 25, 2016

I spent most of my 20s pretending that I had no fears. Fears are messy. They mess up my optimism, my can-do spirit, they hold me back. I turned a blind eye to them so they wouldn’t slow me down. I realized that I had chosen a career, television news, that is relentlessly fast-paced and fiercely competitive especially in America’s top media town - New York. I was laser-focused on learning everything I could about the nature of the industry, the demands of my job, and the dynamics of my colleagues and supervisors. I tried to make friends with everyone, I did my best to deliver results as asked, and sometimes I even pushed myself to exceed expectations. I thought I had everything right and well and I would surely get that promotion I was eyeing next. I was dead wrong.

One day, I found myself lying on the floor, having collapsed from hyperventilating over the loss of the promotion to another colleague. I was a mess, crying uncontrollably over the blatant bias in favor of a co-worker whom I thought was lazy, manipulative and frequently flirtatious. “Where’s justice in the world!?” I still remember yelling out inside myself even as I was being wheeled out on a stretcher to the hospital emergency room. I couldn’t contain my emotional outburst. I had a nervous breakdown. I was 24.

That incident scared me about myself. I lost my nerves! Wow, I could handle breaking news stories from 4 alarm fire to bloody shooting in Chinatown, but I couldn’t handle my own emotion. It also taught me that I had been investing so much energy and even attachment to a promotion. I wanted to be recognized for my work, and I thought I deserved it. But when I was in the ER, a kind colleague came to visit me and reminded me that even if I was right and my boss was wrong, I was not in charge. This promotion isn’t about me, it’s about the boss and what he saw was the right fit not just for the job, but also for the workplace. It dawned on me then that I was probably working for the wrong person at the wrong place and the wrong time.

I share this story because among other things like office politics or implicit bias in the outside world, it exposes deep pride and fears in my inner world that I never quite explored until I had a breakdown.

In my interview with Alison Chen and Franklin Chen (no relation to Alison), they opened up their struggle in their journey to find a job after graduation and to find acceptance and recognition in American workplace. What struck me about our conversation, is their candor and acceptance about what scares them. As I listen and think back on what was lost on me in my 20s, I learn that fear will pass if we let it come to us, let it stay and show its nature, and also let it go away.

Listen to “One in a Billion” “Face Our Fears.”

We want to include you in this conversation.

To send us your comments or stories, just go to our Facebook page, or our website at ChinaPersonified.com under “Pitch a Story.” Share your thoughts? Pitch me a story?

 “One in a Billion” is listening to #China, one person at a time.

 

 Music Used:

David O'Brien's Busy Bees, 1648/5 (Album) Audio Network

MMFFF’s Rebirth of the Golden Sun, The Dance of the Sky (Album)
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/MMFFF/The_Dance_of_the_Sky/Rebirth_of_the_Golden_Sun

Julie Maxwell’s Redefining, Piano Soul (Album)
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Julie_Maxwells_Piano_Music/Piano_Soul/Julie_Maxwells_piano_music_-_Piano_Soul_-_19_Redefining

Julie Maxwell’s Hide and Come Find, Piano Soul (Album)
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Julie_Maxwells_Piano_Music/Piano_Soul/Julie_Maxwells_piano_music_-_Piano_Soul_-_26_Hide_and_Come_Find

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 4, 2016

Before I launched my media startup in 2012, I never imagined that one day, I would form a company to create a digital platform for young people from China and America to share personal stories and to build a network community.

That was a quantum leap from my job for decades as a TV journalist writing and producing for American network news in New York.

But over the years, I knew I was also getting restless and curious about what else I could do with my background as a producer and storyteller.  I had served as a volunteer in different roles and contexts, including being a mentor to young Asian journalists, and a “Big Sister” to a “Little Sister” born to Chinese parents from Fujian province struggling to adjust to new immigrant life in America. These were highly rewarding work. But I was never ready to quit my job to pursue that type of work full time.   I let my restlessness and curiosity sit for one year after another. I did nothing to tend to them. I enjoyed the stable income, a stimulating work environment and exciting lifestyle in New York. In essence, I lacked motivation to jump ship.

 But one day, something pushed me over the edge.

My job at ABC News was on the line. The network was about to restructure the news division; thousands of jobs including mine could be cut. I faced a fork in the road that offered two choices – I could accept a buyout that gives me the cash and freedom to pursue something else, or I could sit tight and let the axe fall where they may once my contract expires in a year. Although there was no imminent threat that I would be laid off, somehow, the idea of taking the money to pursue something else was highly liberating.

 I had already invested more than twenty years of my life working in American network news, I felt I had maximized the opportunities available to me. When I talked to my close friends and advisors, I was encouraged to hear that they thought I had always been an entrepreneurial problem-solver. Their optimism boosted my optimism. Once I decided to take a leap, a net appears.

Like Q, founder of 2RedBeans, I dared not quit my job before I felt I had some resources and time to take risk. How do you think about risk?  

In our two previous episodes with Q, she shared her incredible search for husband in “Finding Love in America: Reality Bites and Are You The One?”

In this episode “Is Entrepreneurship Right For You?” we listen to the back story of Q’s journey as an entrepreneur. We have included your voices in this conversation – including this question “is it every too early to become an entrepreneur?” I have also interviewed Tim Rowe, founder of CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center) who began his entrepreneurial life when he was a kid in middle school!  

Listen to “One in a Billion” “Is Entrepreneurship Right for You?” 

In our next episode, “Face Our Fears” I’ll talk with two young Chinese who recently graduated from Harvard and Boston University about unpredictable challenges they face in trying to land their dream job in America.

What is holding you back from getting your foot in the door?  What scares you? How do you manage your anxiety?

We want to include you in this conversation.

To send us your stories, just go to our Facebook page, or our website at

ChinaPersonified.com under “Pitch a Story. “ 

 Share your thoughts? Pitch me a story?

One in a Billion” is listening to #China, one person at a time.

Music Used:

David O'Brien's Busy Bees, 1648/5 (Album) Audio Network

Jahzzar's Good Night, Sele (Album)
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jahzzar/Sele/good_night_f

Andy G. Cohen's Land Legs, MUL/DIV (Album)
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Andy_G_Cohen/MUL__DIV_1198/Andy_G_Cohen_-_MULDIV_-_02_-_Land_Legs

Lee Rosevere's Puzzle Pieces, Music for Podcasts 2 (Album)
freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rose…_Puzzle_Pieces

TGR Banks' The Silver Bus, Dreamland (Album)
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/TRG_Banks/Dreamland/The_silver_bus

 

 

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