I love connecting with women who have incredible drive, ambition and vision. Shirley and I spoke on the phone after connecting via Facebook and I knew right away I wanted to share her story!
This beautiful, feminine, graceful woman is not just a pretty face, she has an engineering degree from USC. Born in the Bay Area, Shirley lived in Taiwan from 2nd to 8th grade, moved back to the Bay Area for high school, then went to USC for undergrad, lived in LA where she worked for MySpace, then moved to New York for 6 years, essentially meeting her husband who is from Chicago, where she currently calls home.
[LS] How did it all start? What made you decide to pursue this path?
I decided to create Muses because I wanted an easy way for anyone who is building a brand to support one another: small business owners, bloggers, social media influencers, etc., better network and create collaborations, aside from brand partnerships.
Many influencer platforms are only focused on brand campaigns, we are missing out on fostering deeper connections and long-term partnerships. I am changing that with Muses, influencers can partner with influencers, brands can partner with other brands, or mix it up however makes sense.
[LS] What steps did you have to take to conquer your goal of being a business owner?
Redefine how I measure success. Instead of “I will be successful only if X goal is achieved”, emphasize on the process of achieving goals. “Did I do everything I can?”, “Am I utilizing all my resources?”, “How can I better serve my community?”
[LS] How do you manage envy, ego or jealousy from getting in the way of your dreams?
I’ve come to learn to celebrate the saying “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I strive to be happy for others and to help them celebrate their achievements. The Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote, “No one is satisfied with their own lot in life if they fix their attention on that of another”. It’s hard not to be affected by negativity when you see it, but I try hard not to notice, and remember that at the end of the day, my part is to do the best I can to focus on my own efforts.
[LS] What are some of the qualities you believe a person must have to build their own business/brand?
I think “perseverance” is one of the most important qualities, along with creativity, leadership, courage, and resourcefulness.
[LS] What do you love most about your profession?
Building Muses is essentially building a global community of creatives, brand marketers, and people who like to build their own brands. The best part is myself and the Muses team get to take part of their journeys, help make introductions along the way, inspire and get inspired everyday.
[LS] If you were to pinpoint a few tools for success, what would they be?
I once heard it’s not about how many resources you have, but how resourceful you are. Work with what you are given, make the best out of it while you build your network and new resources.
[LS] What advice would you give a young girl about getting out in the “real” world?
Always stay humble
[LS] Finding a mentor is key. Do you have a female mentor or idol growing up who has significantly impacted your life? How?
Too many to list!
[LS] What / who inspires YOU to get through each day & overcome every challenge?
The Muses Community inspires me everyday. I am in several group chats in the app with our members and everyone has a unique story, different dreams and goals we’re all chasing. It’s wonderful to be reminded that we are all creating something for ourselves and sometimes larger than ourselves, and we can share our stories and experiences with one another.
[LS] What is your definition of BEAUTIFUL?
Confidence and kindness
[LS} What is your favorite shade of Lipstick?
Darker Nude tones. Right now I’m loving “Kinda Sexy” from MAC J
[LS] Why do you think women organizations like Lipstick Sister are important?
I think organizations like Lipstick Sister are super important because we ALL need a little support and LTC sometimes. Knowing that you have a support network from other women trying to do their best helps you go on when times get tough. Also the opportunity to help and support others remind us of our humanity while we are heads-down buried in work.
[LS] Do you have a favorite quote that empowers you, if so, share it with us!
I’ve been practicing Stoicism for some time now, and many of their teachings and quote I try to live by. Here is a particular quote that I practice and would like to share:
“All you need are these: certainty of judgement in the present moment; action for the common good in the present moment; and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way.”