China marketing expert Ashley Galina Dudarenok shared her 6 top success tips at The Experience Series on self-development, success and thought leadership.
Not only is Ashley Galina Dudarenok a renowned China marketing expert, entrepreneur, bestselling author, professional speaker, and vlogger, but she’s also been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in Marketing in 2019 and chosen as an Asia-Pacific Top 25 Innovator by the Holmes Report. On top of that, she’s the founder of China-focused social media agency Alarice International and China insights and training company ChoZan. Regularly featured by Forbes, CNBC, Huffington Post, SCMP, Technode and Hong Kong Economic Times, Ashley took time out of her busy schedule to share her hard-earned insights at our monthly fireside chat event, The Experience Series, on March 5 at the Hive Sheung Wan.
Here are the 6 biggest success tips from our most recent edition of The Experience Series with Ashley Galina Dudarenok.
Find a mentor and accelerate your success
“We’re all smart people here – you can all learn how to write a book. You can all learn how to do China marketing. You can all learn, believe me, how to run a successful business. You can do it all – but it’s going to take you twenty years. Do you want to do it the hard way? Or do you want to pay somebody some money to show you how to do it in probably in just two to three years? My first book took three months because I paid somebody to walk me through the process so it was so much faster than it would have been otherwise. This also applies to mindsets and psychology. I hired my first success coach for a total of six sessions – and those six hours transformed my life. I paid her what was a lot of money for me at the time. But now, I would pay her ten times more because I know what it would lead to.”
Set boundaries to keep you on your path
“You need to protect yourself. If you have a negative family member and this person is literally in your space all the time, even if you are happy, they’re still going to get to you because you will feel it. So first, you need to distance yourself from them and limit your exposure. I had an experience with a very close member of my family and I had to literally discontinue that relationship for about a year and a half. And I said, ‘you know what, this is my boundary, and I choose to discontinue this relationship because every time we talk, it’s only negative stuff. And I know that this is the TV channel that you’re watching all the time, but I’m watching a different channel. I’m happy. I’m in a comedy-adventure kind of channel, but you’re watching that negative thriller and you like it. So let’s not watch the same channel.’”
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Don’t start with an idea. Start with the business
“I think the greatest advice that my father gave me back in the day – and it took me a while to understand what he meant – was that you need to start with the business, not with the idea. And at first I was like, ‘What does that mean? Don’t I have to have this huge idea, like how to change the world or how to preserve the ice caps somewhere in Antarctica?’ No! For example, I love baking apple pie. I make those pies and people come to me and say, ‘Ashley, this is so awesome. For my next birthday party, I want you to bake me a pie and I’m going to pay you.’ Then, your business has started. So, start your business by doing something. Improve on somebody’s service or product, but just start doing it. And later on, you can always venture and come up with an innovative idea.”
Don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t want to be in ten years
“The worst advice is advice from a person you don’t want to become in ten years. If you have a friend who has a shitty relationship and you go to that friend to ask, ‘what should I do with my boyfriend?’ I mean, you are going to get to where they are! If you go to a person for advice, make sure they represent where you want to be in ten years – in terms of thought leadership, success, or whatever it is. The worst advice will come from just asking around, and then trying to act on that unqualified direction.”
Don’t be the brightest bird in your flock. Learn, mentor and connect
“Surround yourself with the right people. Make sure that you have a phenomenal peer group, because this is literally, leadership-wise, something that makes or breaks you. If you’re the brightest bird in the flock, this is the wrong flock. Out of the ten people with whom you spend most of your time, at least three need to be ten times better than where you are right now. They need to be ten times wealthier, ten times smarter, ten times more important – or whatever it is you care about. And then three of them can be below you, somebody who you mentor, somebody you really love from your childhood, maybe somebody who has crazy life circumstances but you want to connect and stay with them. And then the rest of the people need to be your peers – people who are at the same level as you are right now.”
Energy is the micro-currency of success
“Understand the fact that energy is everything. Energy is your most important resource. A lot of people think that it’s ‘time’ or how smart you are or the kind of connections you foster that are important (which they are). But your biggest and most important resource is energy. The person with the highest energy in the room always wins. Always. You walk into a negotiation, you should have the highest energy. When you’re in front of an audience like this, if you are afraid or if your energy is somewhere else, nobody’s going to listen to you, right? So energy is important and it is up to you.”
Editor’s note: Quotes from The Experience Series event have been minimally altered for readability.
Photo Credits: Jenora Vaswani