Sarah Vee, founder of online platform Women of Hong Kong, has spent ten successful years building her name in Hong Kong’s digital marketing industry. Throughout this time, the mother of one has struggled with perfectionism and personal image. Sarah speaks to the team at Hive Life about the important growth that comes from personal failures, the breakthroughs that helped to shape her career and how to grow both – personally and professionally.
“Being vulnerable is an important trait to have”
Perfectionism is a welcome trait for those starting out in their professional careers, well received by employers and generally resulting in good performance. However, a fixation on the little details rather than the big picture can often be more harmful than beneficial. Sarah shares, “I learned that every single minute I spend being a perfectionist I lose out on opportunities. The most successful people are the ones who aren’t afraid to fail.” Every single failure is a learning experience, and still an important and special part of your life. “Exercising authenticity and being vulnerable in front of people is really important”
Be your authentic self
Networking, and the importance of your influence go hand in hand. When it comes to establishing and maintaining an important business network. It’s easy to develop a persona for yourself that is expected from a given position, but it is even more difficult to create a balance between expectations and job requirements, and staying true to yourself. “Don’t get lost in the validation,” Sarah advises. “Take care of [your network], speak to [them], get in touch, collaborate, it really opens doors for various opportunities.” Without presenting as your authentic self, it is difficult to establish these connections and relationships. And this is important and applicable in not only our professional, but personal lives as well.
Create an impact
Sarah founded Women of Hong Kong as a unique social network connecting women and sharing women-focused resources. Her group is now an important part of women’s health and wellbeing in the city – creating a lasting and significant impact on the local community. Sarah shares, “Ultimately it comes down to me to change some of these women’s lives because there’s so many resources and it’s just absolutely beautiful.” The group hosts thousands of women, providing both a tight-knit community and sharing platform for wellbeing tips, events, female-led business guides, and more empowering content. Sarah’s project has blossomed into a strong and supportive community and will be launching an official website later this year.
Achieving the work-life balance
When asked what is the best way to balance work and home life, Sarah swears by Google Calendar. As a single mother, especially during the early years of her career, whether scheduling extracurriculars for her son, lessons, or activities at a local farm, every minute counts for Sarah. This is applicable both in work life as well, in order to balance and make the most of your time, and to create an efficient work day for yourself, it is best to schedule and manage time appropriately. A work-life balance is fundamental for leading a healthy and productive life. By working hard to make the most of her time with her son, Sarah was able to establish herself in the industry achieving her notoriety whilst also being able to spend and “pencil in” more time with her son.
“Constantly show up no matter what”
Sarah’s final piece of advice is simple yet fundamental. The single most important lesson she has learned from all of her experiences and failures is to “always show up”. No matter how difficult your situation, whether you get fired, suffer a breakup, have trouble at home, these are all valuable life experiences we can learn from. Regardless of the event or adversity, whether or not you face it head on, life still goes on for the people around you. Those pressing deadlines, meetings, gatherings, or family events will still happen. It’s important to not miss out on the experiences you might regret losing out on, and this is applicable in both personal and professional life. Not attending that interview or networking event you were invited to may result in a missed opportunity. Don’t avoid responsibility and always stay accountable for your actions. Sarah advises considering how you would look back later in life at all of those missed opportunities.
“Just stay resilient. Regardless of what happens, just be present and show up. Don’t live in the past. Don’t live too far in the future where you’re forgetting to enjoy the moments, even the moments of failure or the moments of pain.”
Watch the interview for the full story of Sarah’s powerful journey!