TYL #21: Defining Success for Yourself and Asking for What You Want with Mimi Zheng
Written by Tracy on 28 Jun 2016
Can you imagine being an immigrant to a foreign nation?
Perhaps some of you know exactly what this feels like.
You leave your home-- everything that is comfortable and familiar-- and you travel thousands of miles to a completely new place. Everything is different. The sites. The sounds. The food. The people. The routines. The schools. The homes. The culture.
Most especially, the culture.
Everything that was once held dear is now questioned.
Perhaps you came from the kind of place that values family above all else and moved to a place that places the individual on a pedestal. Or maybe you were raised to live with your family until you were married, but now everyone around you is living in apartments alone or cohabitating with significant others. Or what if your clothing was an expression of your reverence to your family and you go to a school where everyone is wearing tube tops...
I'm not even going to TOUCH religious or political differences.
Millions of Americans endure this type of out-of-country-out-of-body-out-of-mind experience everyday in the hopes that they will bring themselves and their families a better life in the United States.
Our guest today, Mimi Zheng, is one of those first-generation immigrants.
Having moved from China to the United States at age 12, Mimi was witness to every one of these discrepancies. She was able to view the differences between her Chinese heritage and American culture not only through her own eyes, but the eyes of her parents and family as well. Today, she uses those varying experiences and expressions to continuously redefine success on her own terms and live a life that is truly authentic to her unique culture-- both Asian and American.
This episode is great for you if you've ever struggled to live up to the expectations of your culture or family, wondered if there was "more to life than this," or wanted to find a career that allowed you to give your greatest gifts back to the world in a unique and authentic way. Mimi is such and inspiration and I hope her ability and willingness to say "yes" to life and continuously ask for what she wants will help you get to your next step.
Play by play:
3:04 Welcome to Mimi Zheng!
3:20 Mimi’s childhood as a first-generation Chinese American immigrant
4:40 Dealing with the major differences between home and immigrant culture
7:00 The difference between independence and chaining yourself to the “system”
8:30 How to learn to be outgoing when it doesn’t come naturally to you
9:40 A major transformative moment that led to Mimi’s future business
11:45 Mimi’s favorite tactics for building leadership skills and trying new things
13:10 The most meaningful mentor in Mimi’s life
15:30 How Mimi’s intuition (and a little research) led to her seeking out mentorship
17:30 How Mimi learned to define success for herself based on her family’s tough experiences
20:10 The magic number of income that maxes out your “money means happiness” mindset
23:30 How to adjust your mindset if it doesn’t match up with your parents’
25:30 How a single tweet landed Mimi a job in Silicon Valley
29:15 Mimi’s ensuing career in tech
30:30 Mimi’s awesome process of discernment in her career
32:00 How Mimi realized the importance of “mission” in her career
32:50 Two of the best things you can ask yourself to determine your career path
35:00 How Mimi finally learned to free herself from the expectations and limited beliefs of others
37:30 How diversity in your experiences can lead to greater amounts of adaptability in your career
40:30 My crazy definition of success and how Mimi made it even better
41:30 How a simple card from a friend changed Mimi’s outlook on life and success
42:30 How Mimi went from thinking about her dreams to living her dreams
44:30 How to become more aware of your own happiness by acknowledging your unknown future
45:30 What to do when you start to wonder, “Is this really all there is?”
47:50 Mimi’s favorite motivator for taking action in life
49:20 How to break a huge life step down into smaller steps
50:30 Mimi’s amazing gift and how she wasn’t even aware she had it
51:55 Mimi’s #1 piece of advice for each of you
53:30 Check out Mimi at mimizheng.com
54:00 Give me a shout @thetracytimm