#46 Audrey Weilai Fieser – Harnessing the sheer power of loving yourself for who you are
Audrey spent 1/3 of her life in China, 1/3 in the land of vampires, 1/3 in Manhattan and Sydney. She’s privileged with understanding of many cultural differences and similarities as a result of living on four continents. She believes humans are beautiful and amazing, and thus obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and a Bachelor’s degree in art and psychology. The Creative Director at an inspirational company, Audrey strongly believes in her company’s motto, which is “Dream it. Live it.” When she’s not working to help people realize their dreams, you can spot her performing in local comedy clubs, or tucked away in a tea house writing her books.
How often do we get to help other people realize their own dreams on a daily basis? It’s amazing!
How she got to China
“Air Canada,” she jokes, but in all reality is was curiosity that really brought Audrey to China. She knew she had a choice: she could either be a part of the rapid changing face of China, or just observe from a distance. She chose to play her part in this moment in history.
A typical day
“Is there a typical day?” she quips (I quickly see how Audrey would thrive on stage at a comedy club…) One thing she loves about the city is that there’s always something different that makes her feel so alive. As for daily routine, she starts her day with a powerful affirmation. When she wakes up she looks into the mirror, smiles and says to herself out loud “I love you, for who you are.” Then she gets ready for work and rides her bicycle to the office, instead of fighting rush hour crowd in the subway. A day at work is usually a mix of silly jokes in between super intense but exciting projects. After work, depending on the day, Audrey will go to a comedy club for open mic, or attend some dance class and “humiliate herself in front of everyone in class”, or find a corner seat at a tea house or bar to people watch and write.
Tips for switching companies
Audrey assures us that, “One thing that is great about Shanghai is that the expats here are very open, friendly and willing to connect people, help each other. It’s a beautiful thing. So start talking to people and asking around. You might just stumble into something you enjoy, something more than just a job.” So get out there and meet some new people in the industry you’re looking to tap into and be intentional about sharing your goals and aspirations. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be connected to the perfect situation like Audrey was!
When given a project, Audrey would basically freeze, sit on the project for days out of fear of failure, and delay her colleagues in the process. Jeff is a super transparent boss and he kept reminding Audrey to fail and fail quickly. For her, it made such a difference to have that green light to fail, striping the fear right out of failure.
Success in China
Opportunity for Audrey came through some serious hard work! Her first job in Shanghai was at an international company in the Food & Beverage industry where she started at the very bottom – greeting clients at the door. To make a long story short, she worked her way up and ended up working with the CEO to launch a sub company, a retail wine company with online and offline shops, modeled after the prestigious Sotheby’s wine. The coolest thing? At the time she knew nothing about wine but because she worked her tail off and showed promise, her boss gave her a chance, which she’ll be grateful for the rest of her life.
Lessons learned along the way
- Fail! And fail quickly! Just don’t make the same mistake again.
- Don’t take work-related criticism personally – it’s all just business.
- Every problem can be fixed. But they are much easier to fix when you’re open about the problem and communicate with your team ASAP.
- To quote Robin Sharma: “Be a rock star at work. You don’t need to have the biggest title to do the best job.”
- Figure out what you really want, need and feel before acting.