Asking questions and listening to the answers are the skills Vivian Chong learned as a journalist which she now applies when developing marketing strategies for her clients.
What’s your story?
My family emigrated to the United States from Malaysia while I was a toddler. Being raise in the northeastern part of the US during my childhood, I gained an appreciation for communication and the power of language. Of course, the fairy tale takes a turn at some point and my household became a single mother household in my early teens. Since then, we moved to NYC where I spent a majority of my academic and social career. I’ve always been fascinated by my roots and story telling, which led me back to exploring Asia.
What excites you most about your industry?
My primary industry has evolved – starting from a desk journalist to becoming an editor in chief for international and regional titles. Through the years, I’ve developed a deep understanding for business, marketing, development and global connectivity. The basis of Slapsic Marketing evolved from the editorial desk to providing business and marketing solutions to clients who are often stung by a lack of talent pool or talent retention. What we offer are effective solutions that can increase performance and improve revenue, based on what their company needs rather than what their competitors or the market is doing.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
Saying ‘no’ is never kindly accepted; however, getting past the ‘no’ allows brands and companies to relook at their strategies to plan with a clear objective in mind. In my operation, I prefer transparency, honesty and integrity. These principles are a large part of what I believe to sustain and grow a business in the digital age of misinformation. Results speak louder than words and oftentimes, it’s just filtering out the noise.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
At the start of my career, I profiled a lot of successful movers and shakers; some of which have developed into long-term friendships and mentorships. In my honest opinion, I think the skills I’ve learned in my early career to be useful in reading comprehensive, coherent writing and listening.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Learn to dance, even with ghosts.” The world is so diverse, filled to the brim with many types of individuals with varying experiences and opinions. To be a successful entrepreneur, it is not only important to adopt good practices, but learn from those who have skeletons in their closets. Everyone’s life story adds value, if only you’re open to dancing with them.
Who inspires you?
My godfather, my mother and many, many authors.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
In a technical sense, using Keynote to create motion graphics. On a more human level, puppies lose their teeth before they reach 8 months of age.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Not a chance. Having what I have is one of the most important wisdoms I take with me..
How do you unwind?
Reading, Netflixing and listening to or creating music. A pour of whisky or Bordeaux makes for perfection.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
Slapsic Marketing is a consultancy company. It is vital for us to remember that we are not permanent members of the internal team and it’s best to be detached from our client’s internal strife, especially when it comes to their talent management. The eureka in detachment allows us to navigate without bias and keep us on a momentum that is performance and result driven.
Everyone in business should read this book:
On Writing by Stephen King
Shameless plug for your business:
There’s no need to oversell. Slapsic’s clientele have been carried over many years from different channels throughout my career. In general, we do not seek out clients, but rather are recommended by someone who has worked with us previously. It’s been a true blessing and we don’t plan to disappoint as we continue our venture.
How can people connect with you?
Anyone can send us a general enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Media Links?
Not applicable to the business we’re in and maintaining a page without a clear purpose or post calendar is counter-productive in our industry. We highly value the privacy of our clients and while our work can be seen at large, we do not have the practice of stamping our brand on them. Clients first.
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.