Finding work-life balance is so critical as a designer and entrepreneur. Yuling was recently interviewed by WE Rule, a site that features business owners and connects them with opportunities and investors, and shared some insights and encouragement for fellow entrepreneurs:
I don’t leave my house without… a notebook and pen
People would say that I am… always snapping photos of things that inspire me. Inspiration is everywhere.
The most important aspect of any business is… taking risks.
My favorite business book of all time is… “The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life” by Twyla Tharp
My favorite entrepreneurial organization is… Toklas Society Facebook Group. Through this online Facebook group, I’ve met up with and had coffee dates or Skype sessions with so many women in NYC in the food industry
Who/What inspires you?
Inspiration is everywhere. I am constantly snapping photos of things that inspire me from my travels, nature, architecture, vintage, typography, museums, and fashion. Whenever I feel uninspired or get in a design rut, I like to get out and explore– walk in the park, visit a new part of the City, go to an art museum, or meet someone new. Cross-pollinating ideas, colors, and textures from different design industries– fashion, art, interior design, architecture– and different mediums, have resulted in some of my favorite projects.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your life? How did it change the way you think about life?
Being an entrepreneur is no doubt one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding, things I’ve ever pursued. It requires fearlessness and immense discipline, from setting up a routine to setting boundaries. Not to mention you have to learn to be good at lots of different aspects of business, from networking and business development, to marketing, contract writing, and accounting.
Over the course of running my business, I have learned to take risks and change directions as needed. Don’t be afraid to step back and re-evaluate whether something is working or not. If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not growing.
Rather than trying to do everything, I’ve learned to sub out the portions of a project that are not my strength. In doing so, you not only build up other businesses around you, but you foster community.
Is there one “rookie mistake” that new entrepreneurs keep on making? What is it? Did it happen to you?
When I first started my business, I worked around the clock and it was unsustainable. I cannot stress the importance of setting up boundaries– stopping work at a certain hour, taking time off to replenish yourself, setting limits for your clients and outlining your expectations from them. You’re a better entrepreneur when you have work-life balance and take time off to take care of yourself.
Why do you think it is that women get less funding than men? What can we do to change that and close the gender gap?
I think part of the reason for the gender pay gap is because we as women are harder on ourselves. Often times we question our abilities and lack the confidence to ask for more. As women we should encourage and empower one another to speak up.