#21 Debbie Beck – Supporting spouse with a splash of bold self-reinvention
Debbie has spent over 28 years across Asia Pacific within people service companies, being an Efficiency Expert – which means taking the pain out of implementing projects on time & within budgets set by management. She thrives on making hard tasks happen and sorting out the headache of “change” management so that companies & individuals can get on with “doing what they do best”. She has been in China for 9 years as a supporting spouse and doing a bit of contract work but most recently has recently launched her own entrepreneurial endeavor, Asia Life Images, which is a creative photography business. Now her aim is to help her clients evoke great memories and bring a smile to their faces.
Don’t just sit back and wait for your China posting to be over – you’ll miss out on a lot!
How she got to China
Debbie actually was the one to find her husband a 6-month posting in China while they were still in Sydney. After that time, he was offered a full time role and that’s when she quit her job to follow him.
Lessons & wisdom learned over the course of 9 years
- Everything is always changing. You’ll never get bored. Nothing ever stays the same.
- You have to have a large grain of salt and take it as it comes.
- Laugh don’t cry. Tomorrow is a new day and it can go better.
- Never give up on anything. There’s always a way to get what you need.
- Use Google Translate
- Figure out how to navigate Taobao (use Google Translate!)
- Think outside the box when you have a challenge and embrace it. Be determined to get what you want.
- Come prepared. Take photos, examples, translations, etc whenever you go out to get something you need.
- Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Make sure your home is your sanctuary.
- Use the resources that are here.
- Don’t sit at home, sad and in your bubble.
Setting up her business with the quality products that she wants is a multi-faceted victory. It was super challenging working with suppliers who don’t speak English and couldn’t grasp the level of quality that she required.
It’s hard! She tells a great story of how Philip went off in a boat to have a meeting while on holiday and that was enough. Tune in to hear her rules for how to actually get a vacation in.
Reinvention: Asia Life Images
Because Debbie hadn’t ever been able to find bright, bold greeting cards, she decided to create her own range of everyday words and phrases for us ‘laowai’ to send back home. That was her first product, but she has expanded into amazingly creative pieces. Listen in to figure out how she can help you with all of those photos you’ve not done anything with in years!
Debbie’s Tips & Tricks
Brings from home