In this episode, Yvonne Yua, a professional financial planner and all-around Mompreneur, tells us:
- Her entrepreneurial journey, from shy introvert to thought leader with 80% of her clients coming from referrals
- Her 3 habits for success
- The 3 things any woman in business must do
Yvonne Yua is a wife and mother of a 9-year-old girl. She is a proud Canadian immigrant from Malaysia. Being a triple minority, Yvonne worked hard to climb the corporate ladder. She is now a senior director of a financial literacy firm specializing in using words people don’t need to Wikipedia afterwards.
Where to find Yvonne:
Welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table, where we talk about the business of real life. If you're a working mom or a mompreneurs, this is where you want to be. This is where we share tips right off Elaine's kitchen table about business and parenting. Being a mom of three and wearing multiple hats from CEO of the award winning company Easy Daysies limited to speaker and educator. Elaine knows how valuable your time is, so this podcast is gonna be short and sweet, whether you're tuning in while driving to a meeting, washing dishes or sitting in the school parking lot waiting to pick up the kids. You're gonna learn the tips and secrets of successful and incredible people. Elaine wants you to be inspired, challenged and motivated to be that successful person you're capable of being and that person you want your kids to grow up to be. This is real talk for real life.
Hi, welcome to Elaine's Kitchen Table. I am just so honored that you're here with us today where we talk about the business of real life right here off our kitchen table, and today our guest is right here in front of me and I'm so excited to have her. She is a problem solver and people connector and just an incredible blessing to know, and I'm very excited to introduce her.
So our guest today she is a wife, a mother of a beautiful nine year old girl. She's a proud Canadian immigrant from Malaysia. So being a triple minority, our guest has worked hard to climb that corporate ladder. She is now a senior director of a financial literacy firm specializing in using words people don't need Wikipedia after. I love that and I want to say welcome Yvonne Yua. Thank you. Such an honor to be here Elaine, I love that you're here, so we have to prove this by toasting our tea. Ding! Thank you.
Okay, so I'm gonna jump right into this. Is there anything Yvonne that I have missed out when I introduced you that you want to just like fill in those blanks for me? Maybe I can add that my husband is Jamaican Chinese, so that adds a lot of spice and our marriage literally. He likes spicy food and me being from Malaysia like you, I love spicy food. So there's a lot of spice in our in our cuisine. Okay, I'm getting hungry. I I've only had the honor of eating with your family once, and I think we've got to do that again. Yes. I love how foodie your family is, it's all about food connects people. Yes, And I know I love that you are a problems solver and people connector. So why do you call yourself those things?
I've always had an eye for problems, I identify problems. But you can be really a chronic problem identifier, and that's not a good thing. So I've learned to come to, you know, come up with solutions for problems that I identify. And people come to me when they when they have a problem. And I love finding solutions for people that way. We should call you a solution finder or solution creator. Sure. I love that. But you're right. You're right. You don't want to be the person who just sees all the problems, but actually be that solver. That's where you are. I love that. Now you know how people think. OK, well, when you are in business for yourself that you are this incredibly successful woman, and I'm just an incredible friend and and so thank you for that. Thank you, it's an honour. So it's funny. And I'm sure you've had this where people think, Oh, gosh, life is easy for you because you have your own business, so everything's just easy for you. But we know that is not the case when you're an entrepreneur and I would love to know, was there ever a challenge that you've had in your business at a low point that you could share with us like something that, just was not the best thing that ever happened in your business life, that you could share with this so that other people can say, Oh, my gosh, I'm going through that and I can relate. And what you learned from it and how you got out of it?
Yeah, maybe to give you a little background, so I did an online personality test, you know? We see that all the time on Facebook. And so I did one, and it showed me that I'm an intelligent introvert. So what does that mean is in what I do, 80% of what I do relates to, you know, talking to people, engaging people. Being an introvert, that's a very difficult thing. So when I started in this business, this was my biggest hurdle. Having to talk to people and engage people and connect with people, and the intelligent part of me has a tendency to over-analyze things. So I get into this paralysis by analysis. So I would stop doing, I would over analyze a social situation how bad it might go. And I would avoid saying yes to different things. I would avoid going even before he went. Yeah, I would analyze it. You know, I could spill the wine. I could say the wrong things. I could insult people and all these different scenarios I would play in my head. And so so then I would I would not pick up the phone because the phone would weigh a ton to me and being in, you know, networking like that's a difficult thing for me to overcome. And I mean, when I go to networking events, I would be the fly on the wall. Yeah, I would not talk to anyone if there's something if there was food, I would take my plate of food. I would sit down. I would eat. I would not engage anybody until someone would take the initiative to come and say hello to me and talk to me. Then I would open up one on one.
And then one day I went to a training seminar and the speakers said that if I wanted a different tomorrow, I have to take a different action today. More importantly, I would have to give myself permission to change. So it hadn't occurred to me until then that I was actually stereotyping myself and limiting my own potential by not giving myself permission to break out of character, so to speak. And, you know, thinking that I'm an intelligent introvert, I'm always gonna be analyzing things. I'm always gonna be the shy person, and I'm not gonna break out of character because that's not me. But after realizing that I changed my fixed mindset to a growth mindset on and gave myself permission to grow into this different person and I began saying yes to get together, trying new things. And I even got on Facebook, told me a long time to get on Facebook. So that was my biggest hurdle. It might not seem like much for people who are natural extroverts, but for me, that was a big challenge.
I think that anyone knows you, they would be like, What? Introvert is not part of your vocabulary or description, Not at all. And you said so many great points. I love how you said that you were stereotyping yourself. I mean, I don't know if that's a danger and in doing those personality tests, but I mean, obviously there's the reasons for personality tests. But I think you did exactly the right thing for a personality test is it allows you to say, OK, this is what this test is showing me. And these were things that I can work on or move forward with, but without making it a limiting belief. And I love how you said that you had to move from a fixed mindset to a growing mindset. I love I love that. I also love the quote that said that you heard someone say that if you want a different tomorrow, you have to do something different today. Please take a different action. I love those things. And I say this probably too often, those should be all on a T-shirt or something, you can go market that. Awesome. And I love that. I think those were all great nuggets.
Anyone who's listening that they could say Okay, yeah, I have to jump out of my own limiting beliefs and my own fixed stereotype and make that change right now so that tomorrow will be different. Exactly. I love it, high five. You know, that was awesome. Now I want to ask why are you in this? Like, why did you choose to be this entrepreneur that you are, what led you to be a financial advisor?
I was a graphic designer and yeah, What? I was a graphic designer and I worked really hard for this corporation. I came out of school and I got a job immediately because I did a coop term with this company. And so I grew with this company, and eventually they promoted me to manager because I was putting in 14 hours a day and, um and I started seeing people around me, colleagues around me started going for high education, their MBA's and, in hopes of getting a better position, better compensation. But unknowingly, what they were doing to themselves they created, they became liabilities to the company because they now have this education and the company can no longer afford to hire them. And so, one by one, the ones who acquire their MBA's would leave the company. And so I saw that. I said, You know, that's not a future for me. I remember having a conversation with my boss at that time, and now I was already a manager and I thought to myself, You know, my pace will look the same. You know, I end up paying more taxes. I put in more hours, and yet I don't get to claim overtime because I was a salary employee, and so I had a conversation with him. I asked him, You know, what do I need to do to get to the next level of the company? And he basically said, I need to put in 15 years or more with the company. I need to get my MBA. I needed to wait for the position to open. And if I if there was a position, I need to have enough money to purchase shares from the shareholder and essentially was telling me there's no future for me there.
And so I became Really, you know, my morale. Yeah, unmotivated to go to work, But I was afraid to leave because I had a mortgage, I had a family to feed so um, when my daughter was born, that gave me the courage to just become an entrepreneur because it wasn't about me anymore. It was about her and about her future. And so that actually gave me the courage to say yes, let's try something new. And I was already a client of this financial firm. And they offer a training program, and I took advantage of it. Good for you. Yeah. I love that when your daughter was born, that made that great leap into I mean priorities have changed. Yes. It's amazing what what mothers can do. And what struck me and what you just shared was how you shared that furthering that education, which is great for people, was also a liability. Yes. Wow. Yes, it's uh, that's a whole different podcast is talking about that. It's, disheartening because I'm a huge advocate for education. Yes, and but learning something new every day, it doesn't have to come from a degree. Just keep learning right to keep. Keep learning. Thank you for sharing that.
So what would you say then is the top three qualities or characteristics you needed or a entrepreneur or someone who wants to be an entrepreneur would need if they're trekking along going I can't do this, and we need to be reminded of those qualities that we have within us. What would you say are those top three qualities characteristics?
I think people who are disciplined with their resources, be it time, your finances or your health. I remember when I became an entrepreneur, full time entrepreneur. At that time people around me, my family thought that I had a lot of time on my hands. And so they would get me to run errands, pick up people from the airport and do this and do that. You have to be so disciplined with your time. You have to be. I mean, you are your own boss and your own employee and you have to be the most giving employee to the most stingy boss. You are giving and giving and you likely won't get paid initially. So you have to remember that that you have to log those hours just like a regular employee.
And with your finances to you gotta remember to not just give. I know a lot of entrepreneurs they like to promote themselves by giving a lot of free stuff away. But you have to remember to also save and, you know, share when when you think it's suitable. It's the right time and the right audience, but spend money when you feel like it's time to invest in the either the right equipment, the right people, the right courses. So do have those in mind.
And regarding your health, you need to get your sleep. You need to make sure that you eat well. You need to make sure that you have put in your exercise time because you gotta take care of you. Without you your business not gonna run. So that's That's the first one.
Number two is take calculated risk. Don't be afraid to fail forward and you will fail. And it's okay to fail if you can learn from it. So it's okay to do that.
The 3rd one is there is no such thing as a work life balance when you an entrepreneur and be okay with it. There will be seasons when one might be a priority over another. And it's OK, don't feel guilty about that. You have to be able to sleep at night knowing that you put in a good day's work or a good quality time with your family, whatever it may be. Don't feel guilty because their both your babies. Your family is your baby, your business is your baby. And, yeah, there's no such thing as a work life balance. I don't believe.
I totally agree with you. It's always a matter of priorities. Your choices are your priorities. And so if you ended up, if your children or your priority and you ended up having to work later, or miss certain things because you were the field trip parent, you did what your priority was. So don't feel guilty or bad about it. Exactly.
But I want to touch on your 2nd one which is taking calculated risk. What do you mean by that? Calculated risk? Being in business is a risky business. I mean, we both understand that most businesses don't succeed. In fact, most businesses fail in the first 3 years of operation. And so, being in business, you're putting all your eggs into that one basket. It is very risky. And so to let to hedge that risk and to mitigate that risk is by getting something that's, uh, like insurance to protect you. In case anything happens, put your savings aside for emergency in case something happens. Don't leverage too much. I know, loans or cheap. You know, it's it's okay to have that, but at the same time, you want to be growing something on the side that in case there's a rainy day, you have those funds that you can access. So you gotta you gotta have your business. That's really risky. But make sure that you manage that risk by having proper protection.
Good points, good points. In your journey, I would love to know if you had a Eureka moment that you can share with us. So a huge lesson that you learned whether it was from a mentor or something, that just that you learned in your journey, what would that Eureka moment be Yvonne? I used to stay awake at night worrying about everything - about my business, about my family, about my finances, and I wasn't being effective. I couldn't be creative. I felt growchy and anxious all the time, and people felt that, my family felt it. And then one day me and my husband we went to, we were invited to a leadership retreat with one of the founders of our company, and we had to share our strengths and our weaknesses, and we all had to come up in front and share all those things. And my weakness, I said, I worry too much and the encouragement and he gave me was, he said, don't worry like worry is the most wasted emotion. Why worry twice when you can just worry a deal with it when it actually happens? If it actually happens, just deal with it one time. So when you were you actually worrying about it twice thinking about it twice. And so that was my eureka moment. And I now manage what's what, within my control and leave the rest up to God because I can't control it.
My late grandmother used to say to me, She said, sleep when you're young and busy because when you get old, your body won't allow you to sleep despite all the time at your disposal. So now I love my sleep. I love my sleep. I sleep very well, except during allergy season now sneezing and blow my nose all the time. But otherwise I love my sleep and I sleep very well. Wise words from your grandmother. Totally. Who knew? Because I have been thinking the other way. Which is I'm gonna sleep later when I'm not working anymore, but, huh okay, I've just filed those words into my brain. Good point. See, we learn something new every day. I love that. I love learning new things, but I'm like now a little concerned that I can't sleep later. I've been saving that sleeper for much, much later, but I love what you shared about learning about not worrying twice. Instead of worrying about something that won't that might not even happen, instead of worrying just to deal with it when and if it happens. Exactly. Deal with it and not over-analyze before or wonder wonder wonder and put that energy into something more productive. Exactly. I really appreciate you sharing that. Thank you.
Now, being the Easy Daysies lady, I'm all about establishing good habits, and teaching our children good life habits. Now, in your success journey of being a woman entrepreneur, you must have had some habits. And I'd be so happy if you could share one or two or three habits that you have in your day. That you do that helps you to focus and be successful. I think you alluded to that that you should be learning all the time. And I'm a big advocate for learning. I would say, be a good student and a good observer. Read good books, I read every day, I listen to podcasts. And travel, enjoy different sites and cuisines, meet new people. There's a lesson in everything, and I love engaging in conversation with people who are least likely for me to be engaged with. And I love learning from them. There's always a lesson about business, about life, about money, and yeah, I encourage people to just go and explore and live and learn.
Another habit that I have, um, always be making genuine and meaningful relationships like what I have with you. I love that, both on a personal side and on a professional side. You wanna be adding value and elevating people whenever possible. I recently looked at my list of clients and I have a lot. 80% were referral business, 80% were referrals. And so it goes to show that when you do a good job, but at the same time, when you connect with people in a meaningful way, people trust you and they like you and they want to refer business to you because you've done great things for them. And they want their good friends to experience the same thing.
Third one, I think you kind of talked about that is don't be a chronic problem identifier and be a problem solver who will find solutions whenever you can, and try to connect people that can benefit from finding a solution. So we've connected people where they got married, connected people to great restaurants, to great places to, you were in Atlanta, you went to Busy Bee's. Yeah! So we love doing that for people because it doesn't cost you anything. But yet the trust is built, that good will is there. Of course, you don't want to expect anything back, but guess what? You know it comes back multiple folds in return.
Absolutely, absolutely. And it's true. It is adding value into people's lives. And I think that's the footprint we all hope to leave and and making it so genuine. And I love that you kept track of, like by looking at your clientele that 80% were from referrals and how could it not be? And seriously, business is about people, about relating to people and, I mean, there would be no business with that. So that's excellent. Well shared. And I like that you said that there's a lesson in everything and what you shared that really was interesting to me was how you worded it of making a point to make conversation with people that you normally wouldn't not engage with. How interesting and cool is that and I love it, it's just who you are and and, uh, it's just funny. I just got off the airplane like, just a few hours ago. And the lovely lady beside me, she was seeing a middle seat and her husband was sitting like rows behind and and she didn't want me to change seats or anything because it was just nice to have a break from that. But she was so cute like every time he'd walk by she was like, Oh, this is my new best friend Elaine! And it's just like, so sweet and I mean someone I've never met and she lives on Galiano Island. And just lovely. And, um, it's always fun to meet new and interesting people, I really agree. Just learning new things.
And I want to ask you if you were to oh, I know what I want to ask you first. Being a financial advisor, I have to ask you to, give some type of nugget here. What would you say are the three money must-do's for a woman in business? So here we are, ladies, listen and gentlemen, I know there's gentlemen listening to what are three money must use for a person in business? A woman in business. For anyone for that matter, I would say for kids too. I don't know about your husband Ron, by my husband, Justin watches Sesame Streets still. He finds lessons in Sesame Street, and in fact, you can actually go on Sesame Street like the website right now. And you find a ton of lessons for kids, but they're applicable to adults too. Love it. And so, you know, this lesson is about money and so in Sesame Street, they said, you know, you should have three jars. This is for kids, but I would say for adults too. Three jars. You have your saving jar, your spending jar, and you're sharing jars. So three of them, it should happen. And you should have that with your budgeting. At any given time, you need to be saving money like I alluded to before. A lot of entrepreneurs, especially mompreneurs, they love to give. They love to promote themselves by giving away free things, so sharing is good, but you need to also remember to save for yourself for the future and spend when you see the opportunity. When you see it's a good investment, so you need to be okay to spend, to write that check to swipe that card for your business. So, having those three things will give you that balance for your business. So it's simple, it's from Sesame Street not from me. Yvonne, I would say you're the first on my podcast to ever quote from Sesame Street. Yay! Go for it. Okay. I love it.
So those are the three must-dos? You gotta have those three things. I love it. Now, if you could go back and tell your 18 year-old self any piece of advice would would it be? Oh, I would say seize opportunities to turn up the volume of your life. I lived as an introvert, a shy person. I didn't want to draw attention to myself. But then I remembered I'm here for a purpose. I need to lead a life that counts. So if I were to go back to tell my 18 year-old self I would say don't be afraid to try new things as long as it adds to the betterment of others and it sharpens you along the way. And if the position, product or service doesn't exist yet create it, that's what I say to myself.
Love, love, love, love did hear that everybody who's 18 out there? I love that, seize the opportunity to turn up the volume of your life. Yes. Wow. I love that. Okay. You should make it into one of those word swags. Excellent quote. Yvonne, thank you so much for joining us today. And just for sharing your wisdom, and it's just always so lovely to be with you. So thank you. Thank you for the honour. I respect you. I love you, Elaine. So thank you for this opportunity. You're gonna make me cry.
So we're going to say bye. And I want to thank our listeners as well. I hope that you got some awesome nuggets, and I'm sure you did. Whether it was from her sesame share, Sesame Street share, or just like any of those great nuggets that were just shared by Yvonne Yua. And Yvonne if people wanted to find you, where would they go? You can visit my website at Yvonneyua.com. I will have all of your links, actually, in our show notes. Excellent. So you can go there. And I am love learning from our listeners too. So please do find me on Twitter @chatwithelain or on Facebook, Elaine's Kitchen Table. And I'd be so honoured and so grateful if you could go on iTunes and leave a rating for this show. And that does take some effort. So I'm really grateful for that. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you. Have an awesome day and we'll talk to you all soon. Bye for now. Bye.
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