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Making A Difference While Standing Out

With Asian Hustlers: Anita Chan, Mandy Yeung, and Joraine Costales


Balancing work and business is without doubt challenging. Today’s panel with Kimchi Chow are women in business who are rock stars at home and at work. Anita Chan, the owner oAnita B Spa, Mandy Yeung, the owner of Goboba Green, and Joraine Costales, a Bay Area realtor, talk about how their businesses are connecting people together and how they are all aimed for wellness. Tackling the challenges of managing different kinds of people, they elaborate how they each handle their struggles. Learn about their proudest moments and how they hustle in life amidst challenges on today’s show!

Asian Hustlers: Making A Difference While Standing Out with Anita Chan, Mandy Yeung and Joraine Costales

Kimchi: If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to the show and Asian Women Of Power YouTube channel. We believe that our messages and stories are worth to share so that you don’t feel that you are alone. This is my way to empowering you and the Asian community to speak up, stand up and show up powerfully and confidently. Let’s get started. Anita, tell us who you are and what leads you to do what you do.

Anita: Kimchi, I’m Anita Chan. I own Anita B Spa, which is a skincare spa in San Francisco. I started the business mainly to help myself and help others in realizing their own beauty. That’s what I do.

Kimchi: Thank you. Mandy?

Mandy: I’m Mandy and I’m a new mom. I’m also a Founder of a company called Boba Green. It’s an ecofriendly online bubble tea company. I was born in Hong Kong and when I was seven years old, my mom decided to append her life and move us over to New York for me to have a chance at a better education. I founded Boba Green because I wanted to share my love for bubble tea with the world and also raise awareness on what single use plastic pollution is doing to the environment.

Kimchi: Do you have something to share with us, Mandy? If you have it already, otherwise, it’s okay. You can run and show us the packaging. 

Mandy: I would love to show you what the box looks like.

Kimchi: Thank you. Joraine?

Joraine: Kimchi, how are you?

Kimchi: I’m good.

Joraine: My name is Joraine Costales, and I am a Bay Area realtor. I am one-half of a husband and wife team, but even as a solo agent ranked in the top half of 1% of all realtors in the United States out of 1.4 million realtors. I’m a mother of three and an active member in our church and our community. That’s what I do.

Kimchi: Anita, most of us, especially women, we love to get pampered for ourselves, to get massage, to have a skincare and beauty and things like that. As the owner, do you have that for yourself? Do you do that frequently for yourself?

Anita: Yes. Not only for personal well-being of course, but to research as well. I used to be a flight attendant for Cathay Pacific and that allowed me to travel around the world to check out all the different spas. Every culture treats beauty and wellness a little bit differently for obvious reasons, like a city which is tied to how we treat skin. To be able to see what’s out there and bring together all the different amazing treatments and products so that we can serve our clients in a much wider range because especially in the US, we are a melting pot of different ethnicities. It’s important to be able to have that knowledge for our clients. For women and men nowadays, society is stressful, so it’s important to have that balance. That’s a key thing that I stress for all of my clients, friends and family, is to have balance in life.

Kimchi: When people are talking about spas, do they talk about the whole complete care, like facial massage, the body massage, foot and nail and things like that? 

Anita: That’s the growing trend not only in spa industry but wellness has become a huge key term nowadays. Because to feel the mind and body not only for vanity, not only does my nails look good, my skin looks good, but that time that you get with your aesthetician or your hairstylist that you’ve built a relationship with. We are in such a digital society and how we communicate is all through technology. Part of the reason why I decided to be in the industry I’m in and stay in it is because that human to human touch is important, that human to human interaction, those conversations. Honestly, being in a room with somebody rather than communicating through the computer screen or the phone. It’s all wellness rather than vanity nowadays.

Kimchi: Is one day enough to get the whole body done?

Anita: I wish. I always say, “I wish I could be a miracle worker and one day, I can make somebody feel the best that they ever can.” We are working with the human body. As we know like working out, like anything else that we need to build, it takes time. It’s a lifestyle. It’s not something that you can go in one day and be a changed person. I work on developing that lifestyle with clients. I don’t want to add more stress into their life and making it like competition of what they see on the TV screen or on social media. Truly work with how their lifestyle is and how to fit wellness and beauty into their busy lifestyle as it is so that they can speak up, stand up and show up, be truly who they are and feel good about doing it.

Kimchi: What I meant was one day for spouse activity, is that enough or do I need to book two days or three days or the whole week to take care of me?

Anita: The beauty and wellness industry could be a little bit of a rabbit hole if you go into it. Hair can be a full day event. If we have the luxury to do everything in one day, I’m sure you can achieve great things. When I try to bridge together beauty and wellness, it can go from meditation in the morning to getting your hair done, to getting a massage, to a whole plethora of things. One day, yes, you can get probably what’s necessary, but there are spa retreats where people go to where they spend a whole week of doing all of these treatments. It’s up to what works for your lifestyle. If you can only fit it in for one day or if you have the luxury of taking one week off to do it, that’s even more amazing.

Kimchi: Why don’t you start it, Anita? Start a local retreat and let me know. 

Anita: It’s fascinating because when I go to countries like Asia and Europe, women, families, they bring their children. In Korea, they bring their children to spa and it’s a lifestyle that they start to incorporate at a young age. It’s something that is quite important. Unfortunately, here in the US, we see it as a luxury, as leisure and it’s not focused on as much. One of my priorities is to expose that to the US culture as well. Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of anything else that you need to take care of business, your children, friends, family. You’ve got to take care of yourself first.

Kimchi: Mandy, when we think about boba, we know that’s Asian stuff. Why boba?

Mandy: Boba is something that connects a lot of Asians. Over the years, it became integral to the Asian identity. Bubble tea or boba is a more fun version of tea, and tea has a long history in Asian culture. I first fell in love with bubble tea when I was a teenager during the first wave of the boba trend in the US. During the last couple of months of my pregnancy, my husband and I were trying to spend as much time together before our baby came and would disrupt our life. We rediscovered our love for boba because we started eating out a lot and it brought back a lot of great memories from our high school days. Nowadays, it’s great that bobas become a little bit more mainstream and it brought a lot of interest into our culture from other people. It’s a fantastic way of connecting people because it’s such a fun beverage and tasty and delicious and fun to experience. Boba is such a great way to connect people. People have memories of dating where boba plays a pivotal role. It’s a lot of fun to be able to bring people in that way.

Kimchi: Boba is okay for adult to consume but not safe for children because they might get choked.

Mandy: It definitely depends on the age. In general, it’s not recommended for children under the age of three. You definitely want to make sure for children that they’re supervised when they’re consuming boba because of the pearls. I do know that a lot of parents, especially my age like Millennials, are fond of boba. We’re excited to introduce that to our children. I can’t wait to pass on to my daughter when she’s above older than three years old.

Kimchi: The idea to support people who do not live in the Asian community to try a boba tea, that’s your intention. 

Mandy: It’s part of it.

Kimchi: What’s in your product?

Mandy: I make DIY bubble tea kits. Inside, there’s pre-made boba that you cook for 25 minutes and it gives you a nice texture and quality that you would find in the boba places that you would prefer. The texture of the boba is important to the drink. We have a packet of that and it makes eight servings of the drink each kit. We also have two types of loose-leaf tea. Something that I also care about is the quality of the boba. A lot of bubble tea shops are opening because it’s become popular, but some places offer three-in-one instant powder and that’s not what you want to be putting into your body. I also want to bring attention to the art of bubble tea. Bring it back to more of quality, loose-leaf tea. I have a recipe booklet that talks a little bit about the history of bubble tea so that people can learn a little bit more about what they’re drinking. A little bit about why it is and how it’s become the phenomenon that it’s become, along with the recipe and also two reusable stainless-steel straws. We want to promote the ecofriendly aspect of this product as well because the industry of boba does have an environmental impact.

Kimchi: I see that the standard size of straw is small size, but boba stores have big straws so that the boba can get through. Do you have a big size of stainless steel?

Mandy: Yes.

Kimchi: The sweetening and milk will depend on the user.

Mandy: That’s one of the perks of making it yourself. You can customize it to exactly your tastes. I was talking to a friend who used to love boba, but she went vegan and she couldn’t trust the ingredients in the boba stores anymore. She says that she misses it. I told her, “You could try my boba because it’s made of tapioca starch. Its gluten free and vegan. You can have control of what you’re putting in your body in addition to what type of milk do you want to add to it and how much sugar.”

Kimchi: I want to try it. Do you ship to France? 

Mandy: I do.

Kimchi: I will introduce that to my son who’s living in France. He used to love boba drink when he was living in United States. I’ll let him know. Joraine, you are the number one realtor in your organization. How did you do that?

Joraine: By learning a lot from other people’s mistakes, you could say. I’ve been in real estate since 2004 and this was pre-recession, pre-bubble bursting. I started as a receptionist on the backend when everyone was buying and investing in real estate back then and getting their license. A lot of people are not around now. A lot of things and a lot of people lost their homes to foreclosure. During that time, I was cautious. I didn’t get my license right away. I started as a receptionist. Quickly, I kept getting promoted and promoted. Every 90 days, I was getting a new job position within the company.

Women In Business: Bridge beauty and wellness together in order to achieve great things during the day.

Eventually, I worked my way up and I learned how to do many things up until the point where I was managing real estate offices all over the Bay Area and traveling and training agents and reviewing contracts. Learning a lot on the backend that I feel prepared me so that when it was time for me to get my license and be on a team or be an assistant to a top producing agent and eventually start my own team, I was well prepared and I had already been exposed to a lot of situations. I knew what to do, what not to do, the type of agent that I wanted to be and the model that I wanted to have for my business. Whereas a lot of people start something new and have no frame of reference and have no idea what to do. Definitely preparing myself and taking that time to prepare to the point where I couldn’t prepare anymore and I had to go out and do it helped launch me into getting great results and achieving success in a short amount of time.

Kimchi: The advantage of you starting slow from the bottom is that you see the whole picture of an operation, whereas most realtors out there they say, “I want to sell house. I want to get commission and take the tests and the license.” They have no idea how to communicate, how to serve a client from the beginning to the end. You’re half of a team of two. It’s you and your husband in a team. Your husband is somebody who joined later because you asked him to help you to support you to join later. You are the big boss. There must be a lot of challenges to be a boss in the business. Share with us what challenge it is and how do you manage that?

Joraine: We discovered early on that we had to make some adjustments in our business, or even in our relationship as a husband and wife if we were going to be able to be successful and work together. We had served together in church and we’re family-oriented, so we’re great on a personal level. When it came to business, there were definitely some lines that we crossed early on that we knew that if we were going to be successful, we couldn’t treat each other like husband and wife. We had to operate as business professionals and treat it like a business, which it is. Having that intimate relationship, and this could be with any family member that you’re working with, there’s a level of comfort and you can be honest, but sometimes too honest and that could easily offend someone.

One thing that we had to work on in the beginning was identifying our role so that we weren’t stepping on each other’s toes. I wasn’t undermining him and he wasn’t taking advantage of me as his boss and even treating each other with respect which sounds simple and basic. When you are working with someone who you are close with, I would get frustrated and speak to him a certain way, or he would get frustrated and speak to me a certain way. We said early on, “If I’m going to be your boss, you need to respect me as your boss. You need to speak to me as you would with any other manager and you can’t say some of those things to me because you would never say that to any other manager. You would be fired,” and vice versa. I would be training him and I would get frustrated and I said, “I would never get frustrated on assistant or another trainee this way.” I had to learn how to be patient and reel those things in so that it is said with love and with care and respect and at the appropriate time.

Kimchi: That’s why most of the time, a couple is better off not to work with each other, especially if the woman is the boss. It’s like the role reversed. At home, he feels that he’s in charge, but at work we are in charge. It’s hard to switch back and forth.

Joraine: With us, we work hard. We work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are awake at 3:00 AM, getting ready for our open houses and our appointments. We can be in bed at midnight talking about real estate. It’s also hard for us sometimes to identify when does the work has to come off and when are we a husband and wife again. That’s something we also had to navigate early on and that we find that the challenges stopping work at certain times and taking time for us as a husband and wife. Spending time with our kids and working out or cooking and doing some of those domestic duties that we don’t always have time to do.

Kimchi, you hit the nail on the head when you say it’s a challenge because I honor and respect my husband is the man of our house and as our leader and I want to serve him as his wife. When it comes to work, it’s like, “You got to listen to me. Stop taking advantage of me. I asked you to do something. Do it.” It’s hard to shift between those roles, but we work through it and we have lots of love and grace and patience for each other, which are an important thing as well.

Kimchi: Let’s get back to Anita. Anita, what were the biggest challenges that you had faced and overcome in your life?

Anita: I’m first generation, born in the US from immigrant parents. Part of why I chose to be in the beauty and wellness industry is that different cultures have different beliefs of what beauty is. I was born naturally tanner than what Asian culture believes as beautiful. My nickname was chocolate baby. Growing up in America, born and raised in America, especially in California, being tan is beautiful. I struggled between what is considered beautiful and is beauty something I should look towards somebody else or something else.

Growing up, being a shy girl and having probably low self-esteem, being brought up in two different cultures that was something that I had to work through and discovered the belief of my own beauty and how to create what I believe is beautiful for myself and then sharing that with other people. Besides that, the stereotypical Asian immigrant mom, which is the tiger mom, not believing that beauty is a career. That’s something that I fought through my entire life, and probably only up until now that I have my business.

I’ve been in the industry for years that she’s like, “She’s serious about this.” If it wasn’t accounting or being in medical field or lawyer, that’s not a profession, like, “Why would you want to get into something that’s considered a hobby?” I would say that was a hurdle in my choice, in my profession and career path. I’m glad I stuck with it and was blessed with realizing my passion at an early age and power through it.

Kimchi: Share with us that time that you had to create your own major from school.

Anita: I got into the beauty and wellness industry at the age fourteen. That sounds crazy young. As a summer job, I started working at Burger Central. When I decided to continue on in the industry that I was in, getting my aesthetics license wasn’t enough. My mom would never have allowed that for me to not continue on getting a degree in a university. As I sat down to look at the different majors out there, nothing spoke to me, nothing studied wellness, nothing studied beauty. I decided to create my own major. Luckily, San Francisco State University had a program it’s called the Special Major Program. You are able to put together a major that you believe in and write a thesis paper to show not only the chair of each department of the majors that you want to study, but the Dean of the university why you want to do something that’s not already written. I had to write the curriculum.

My major is called Fundamentals of Self-Image, which is a combination of Marketing, Speech Communication and Psychology. Having to show how do I pull all of those different studies to showcase what I want to learn and understand which is fundamentals of self-image. Why do we speak a certain way? Why do we present ourselves in a certain way? Why do we choose a certain style of fashion? Why do we choose a certain lifestyle? It took me a little bit longer than the average college career path. It was tough but I’m glad I did it. It helped me out in many different aspects of my life. I highly suggest it. When you go to the San Francisco State University curriculum, you can flip to the end of the book and find my major and whoever wants to study that, you can study it.

Kimchi: It is called Fundamentals of Self-Image?

Anita: Exactly. It’s a BA in Fundamentals of Self-Image.

Kimchi: If I have time, I probably want to take that major. 

Anita: It’s fun.

Kimchi: Do they offer it online? 

Anita: It’s been so long since I graduated. I don’t know. I didn’t look into that. At that time, studying online is still new. I don’t know if they implemented that yet. I’m sure they do now. What you do is you pull different courses from each different major and you have to show how they correlate with each other. For Psychology, for example, it was Health Psychology. For communication, it was nonverbal communication. How does that all play together? I’m sure you can.

Kimchi: Thank you. Mandy, what was your biggest challenge that you have faced and overcame in your life?

Mandy: This is a challenge that I am still overcoming. I would say it’s believing in myself and having a confidence to pursue what I want to. I’m a first-generation immigrant. I was born in Hong Kong and moved here. I followed the American Dream path. All my life, growing up, I wanted to make my mom proud and pay her back for everything that she’s done for me. To do that in my head is this narrow definition where you attend the best schools possible, study hard, and then you come out of school, graduate, going to corporate, climb up the ladder, retire at 65 or 72 or whatever it is. Get a chance to relax and enjoy life. That was the path that I grew up thinking I was supposed to follow.

Once I came out of college and started working, while I enjoyed it, I always felt I wanted to make the world better, have more of an impact with what I’m doing with my career. I wasn’t able to find it in the jobs that I was working at. It took me a long time to take this step into entrepreneurship. First of all, entrepreneurship is scary. It’s all about taking risks. There is no playbook. You don’t know whether you’re going to succeed or fail, it’s all on you, which are both the scary part and the fun part. It took me a while to get to this point where I could say, “I believe in myself enough to be able to do this and now I’m here working and achieving my own dreams.”

Kimchi: Entrepreneur is like riding a boat.

Women In Business: Make adjustments in your business or your relationships so you can work well together with your significant other.

Mandy: Like a rocket ship.

Kimchi: They go up and down.

Mandy: The roller coaster.

Kimchi: Sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down. Sometime it’s fun and sometimes it’s scary. You constantly doubt yourself when you see the rejection. The rejection can come every single minute. In the morning, I say, “I feel great about myself. I believe in my mission.” The next hour somebody says, “No.” “Am I doing the right thing? Why should I do this? It’s better to go back to work.”

Mandy: I’ve learned that failure is absolutely the best teaching experience. I was once afraid of failing, even for my school days, taking exams or getting into a certain school. In the school system, you’re taught to be scared to fail, unfortunately. What I’ve come to learn is that failure is more like a friend and a great teacher. I’m more excited to face my failures because I feel the only thing barring from success are failure. Let’s get on with it and we’ll learn and try and fail and do it again.

Kimchi: If you embrace the failure as your friend, then nothing can stop you. Confronting the fear is important. Not hiding, not running away, because when you’re hiding or running away, you don’t solve the problem. When you are confronting it and say, “I am scared of getting this product launched. I’m scared to be on this podcast to show my face.” Confronting it and recognize your limiting beliefs and work through it, that’s important. That’s a great milestone to achieve, Mandy.

Mandy: Thank you.

Kimchi: You’re welcome. Joraine, what were the biggest challenges that you have faced and overcame in your life?

Joraine: I probably have quite a few. Like Mandy had said, “Failure is a friend and a teaching lesson.” I always feel that looking back at the times that I was either afraid to pursue something new, it was always a risk at the time, but it always either taught me a lesson or I reaped big rewards. I am a first-generation immigrant as well. I was born in the Philippines and I moved to the United States when I was young. I was raised in the Bay Area my whole life.

My parents didn’t have a lot of money. Growing up, my work ethic was everything that I ever earned or had, it was something that I had to work for. I got married to my husband at eighteen and I became a mom at a young age. While a lot of people were going to college and partying and figuring out their path as young adults, I was already a mom and a wife. We weren’t living at home and we already had our own apartment and we’re working full-time job, my husband and I, at the time. From a young age, we had to circumvent or overcome a lot of obstacles that a lot of people don’t. Even learning how to be a mother and a wife and getting started into real estate at that time.

I was enlisted in the Air Force before 9/11. My ship off date was 9/11. I found out that I was pregnant with my first son and I ended up not going to the Air Force. A lot of different things in my life happening, but that all, eventually, builds up to our story of what makes us great and unique. It creates these opportunities for us in our life to be amazing. Another time that I remember big, I was on that path of thinking about whether I’m going to branch out on my own and start my own real estate team. I was on a team at the time.

I was in that space of fear and not having confidence in myself and having to rebrand as a new agent and forming my own team and everything was new and scary. That was the call that I received from my husband. I was at a real estate conference and he calls me that day and said, “I’ve got let go of my position.” I had zero real estate sales year-to-date that year and I said, “I had invested in this real estate opportunity. I was joining coaching.”

That was a turning moment for me because I could have easily went back to knowing what I knew and doing what I was used to out of fear, “We’re not going to have money.” I said, “No. I can do this. I’m going to move forward.” I haven’t looked back since. It’s been amazing. That was one of those defining moments that I remember that I said, “It’s either fight or flight.” I’m either going to go back and be mediocre and figure out how to get by or I’m going to do something different and stretch myself and believe in myself and achieve something awesome, which what we’ve done so far.

Kimchi: Congratulations.

Joraine: Thank you.

Kimchi: Anita, what do you know now that you wish you knew 5 or 10 years ago?

Anita: That it will all be okay. Going back to what Joraine and Mandy have been talking about, we are brought up to be against failure and seeing failure as something that is personal attack on ourselves. Every hurdle makes us stronger, even if it meant that we took the wrong path. That opens up the doors to other paths and for us to figuring out how to make it work. It’s hard to start your own business. It’s hard to change careers, everything is new. We can only read about it and model what other people do, but when you’re doing it yourself. Exactly what you were saying, Kimchi, riding that roller coaster of like, “I’m doing great.” At a drop of a dime, it’s like, “Everything I believed in is completely out the door.” We’re all brilliant people and we all make it work somehow. Whatever felt like was the end of the world, means that we survived it. We’ve survived every single upset, every single failure, every hiccup, every hurdle in our life and we’re still sitting here doing what we’re doing. It’ll be okay. At the end of the day, we will make it work.

Kimchi: That is soothing to hear. It will be okay. At the end of day, everything will be okay. Remember that. Pat on your shoulder.

Anita: That’s the aesthetician way of doing it, the touches. It will be okay.

Kimchi: Give yourself a hug.

Anita: Being kind to yourself is important. We forget that. We try hard to be kind to everybody else, but the most important person is yourself to be kind to.

Kimchi: Be kind to yourself. That’s a great reminder. Mandy?

Mandy: I agree with everything that Anita and Joraine have been saying. In terms of what I wish I knew or would tell myself 5 or 10 years ago, because I did spend most of my career in corporate world, I would say to remember to invest in myself. Even though I am lending my time and my mind to my employer, it’s important to have my own goals in mind and remember where I want to be in life. When you are working for someone else, it’s easy to get lost in that corporate grind, all the meetings that have to happen, all the projects, deadlines, everything that comes up, to not get lost in that and to be able to see the big picture for yourself. You have to be looking out for yourself because your company is not going to be doing that for you.

Kimchi: That’s a great reminder, Mandy. From the beginning of my career, I worked in computer science, the computer industry, the high-tech industry for several years. At the beginning, I did not focus in investing in myself. It was like, “Take more courses so that I can do better at my job,” but not like a technical skill that could save my life. Investing in yourself is good and be clear about your goals, your ultimate goals. Not looking as an engineer. The end result, the end goals is bigger than what we’re trying to do. Ultimately, the end goal is to be happy and fulfilled as a human being. Experience what we have given. How did you do that? You need to figure what you resonate with, what your value is and choose the career that align to that values and what you want.

Women In Business: Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks because there is no playbook.o you know.

Mandy: Time is our most precious resource. There’s no amount of money that could ever buy more time. It’s important to remember what you care about and for most of us it’s our family. Having a meaning to life and it’s important to not lose sight of that while you’re trying to work hard to provide for your family.

Kimchi: That’s critical. It’s important. That’s what I try to remind my clients and other people out there. All of you come from the hustle network, and I told myself, “I can no longer hustle.” I’m walking slowly. I do what I want to do. Hustling is too much stress for me. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Keep in mind, your top priority is your family, relationship and health. It’s not another house. It’s not another car. It’s not 6 or 7 digits of money in the bank.

Mandy: Understanding what your enough point is, is important and of course, gratitude for everything that you have. Being in the States, we already are more fortunate than so much of the other parts of the world.

Kimchi: Joraine, the question is what do you know now that you wish you knew 5 or 10 years ago?

Joraine: I am in agreement with everything that everyone else has said in terms of remembering our purpose, coming from a place of gratitude. I would probably say, at least for me, something that I’ve learned with the swings and the ups and downs of even real estate and being in a successful place is having balance. Anita touched on that earlier and Mandy said, “When is enough, enough?” The Bible says, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul?” What I found is that I was working so much and I wouldn’t even see my family, yet I was working for my family to provide for them, but I couldn’t spend time with them. For me, it would be balanced and all of those things that everyone already said.

I start my day, every day, journaling. I write ten things that I’m grateful for, ten goals that I want to achieve, what are some of my big goals that I want to accomplish that day. Even something as simple as scheduling date night with my husband or scheduling a massage, we try to incorporate that, and having family movie nights. We do work hard. We were awake at 3:00 AM, but we’re going to spend time with the kids later on at night. For us, it’s all of those things and achieving balance.

Kimchi: What’s your personal motto and why it is important to you, Anita?

Anita: My personal motto tie into everything that we talked about is to achieve success in anything that we do is to achieve balance. We can hustle. We can get the $10 million house. We can be the Olympic athlete. There are many measures of achievement. To me, success is more than just excelling in one aspect of our life, but it is being able to be a great business owner or be a great executive, whichever company you work for. At the same time being healthy and being able to have time for your loved ones and being able to enjoy life because we only have this one time, one shot. Be it that you want to start a family or not start a family, nowadays everybody has different goals, but being true to understanding what you want and achieving all of that.

$10 million seems amazing, but if you’re living in it by yourself and not having those around you to share that with or you don’t have the health to enjoy it, that’s not successful to me. To achieve success in anything, of course do our best and then try to create that balance so that we can live life and enjoy. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about so that we can enjoy this time we have here with people we love.

Kimchi: That’s a wonderful quote. Thank you. Mandy?

Mandy: The biggest risk is not taking one. I’d rather try and fail and then pick myself up and do it again than be on my deathbed full of regrets. That’s my motto. I’ve reached a point throughout my journey that I don’t want to always wonder. When I was sitting on the corporate side of the world and wondered, “What would it be like if I started my own business? What would it be like to do this and that and the other?” Take advantage of the time that I have now to do it instead of sitting on the sidelines and thinking about all the what-ifs.

Kimchi: What-ifs are endless. Joraine?

Joraine: A quote that I have written on my wall at the office is a quote by Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” That’s something I tell my team members all the time, I say, “Our standard is excellence.” If we’re going to be great at something, we’re going to be consistent and treat all our clients the same, whether they’re buying a $200,000 mobile home or a $2 million home in Palo Alto.

That’s something that I adopted for my business and my team, but it also goes into my personal life as well. Being a mom and a wife, it’s not something that you do one time and all of a sudden, you’re a great mom or a great wife. It’s something that you have to focus on and it’s those small habits that we do over a period of time that create who we are. That’s something that I live by and I try to remember because they say, “The small things are small things until you look back and realize that they were the big moment.”

Kimchi: The small thing is the small thing until you realize that’s a big moment. That could be your quote. 

Joraine: Yes. I’ll write that down now.

Kimchi: Put that down because I’m using that for your quote. What is your proudest moment, Anita?

Anita: My proudest moment would be my business and the team that I’ve cultivated and being grateful for the people that I have around me. I could not have done what I’m doing without the network and the family and the team members that I have. It’s difficult to do a one-man show. I wish not to do that. I’m grateful for the help that I got. Going back to what Joraine said, her quote was beautiful. At the moment when you are asking for a favor, which is hard for us women to do and to accept the help, when you look back you realize, “How did I get here?” It was by the boost of everybody’s hand. That one moment seems small, “Can you run to do this errand for me?” When you look back, it was a big moment because that’s what brought us to where we’re at. That’s what I’m most proud of is the family and the network that I have around me.

Kimchi: Mandy?

Mandy: My proudest moment was being able to put myself in a position where I was able to choose to forgo my maternity leave. When I reached a point at six months pregnant, I knew that I wouldn’t want to come back to work. Being pregnant was a life changing experience in many ways, but it got me to think a lot about my life and where I wanted to go and what mom I wanted to be and how much time I would be able to spend with my daughter. I’m proud of the fact that because I’m risk-averse from that first-generation immigrant mentality, I’ve always been frugal, investor and saver. I was able to question numbers and make it work so that I was able to choose to not stay at a job that I don’t see myself coming back to. Being able to say, “Twelve weeks or whatever, all that would have been great but my time would be better spent doing something else instead.”

Kimchi: How old is your baby, Mandy?

Mandy: She is eight months old.

Kimchi: I watched a documentary series, Babies. I highly recommend new moms, new parents to watch it. It blew my mind. 

Mandy: What was it about?

Women In Business: We try so hard to be kind to everybody else, but the most important person is yourself.

Kimchi: It’s about babies. It’s about how a baby learns and how they develop their personality and their own beliefs. As a coach, I learned that who we are and our belief system is adopted from our parents and our ancestor and the environment. In that documentary, I watched the second episode so far. There are 5 or 6 episodes. I’m going to watch it again because I love to learn how we become who we are. They learned that by observing the baby when the baby is born to one year old or something like that. It’s fascinating. I thought of that, “If I had this information before, I would not say a better mom, but I would treat my children better.” I know that there are certain things that I taught my kids from what I’ve learned in in our Asian culture. I don’t want to spoil my kids because I thought spoiling is not helpful. Anyway, that’s another podcast.

Mandy: Interesting topic on its own.

Kimchi: I’m going to create another podcast, solo podcast to reflect on my action and how I raised my children. There are quite a few lessons to be learned there. 

Mandy: We all have good intentions and unintended consequences that we may not have foreseen. I’ve already learned babies are smart. I’m impressed. I would definitely check out that documentary. Thank you.

Kimchi: Maybe later on, you’ll listen to my episode about babies. Joraine, what is your proudest moment?

Joraine: My proudest moment is not even real estate related. It’s something I’m experiencing is seeing my husband step into his role as being a realtor and coming into his own and being a team member. I feel like that also reflects on how well I’ve done in training him the past few years and seeing him do well. Having kids who are such great people and who are kind even though I’m overworked and don’t spend enough time with them. I look at my husband and my kids as such a big accomplishment because I must have done something right amidst all the hustling and all the mistakes.

Kimchi: This reveals a bad side of me. A long time ago, before I named this Asian Women Of Power, at the beginning, I had another idea and I named it How to Train Your Husband. I asked my siblings and my brother-in-law didn’t like it but he didn’t dare to say that’s a bad title. It startled other people, other men and I said, “That’s strong, How To Train Your Husband. They must think that Asian women are too strong, too manipulative or too controlling.” I shifted and said, “It’s not about training because they are not pets. They’re not dogs.” I saw it as how to influence them. The way you are, how you behave will have some influence, power. You influence your children to do certain things. You influence your spouse certain things. They might not listen, but they will observe, they see, they will do what you would do. They don’t do what you tell them to do. They don’t do what you say but they do what you do. 

Kudos to you. That’s your power of influence in your husband to turn him to become a better husband, the one who’s taking initiative, who’s open for ideas and option and new things to do. That’s the woman’s hidden power. Most of us don’t recognize that we have a lot of power. Influencing is the beauty, the gem, if you can find it. We touch everybody. We touch our children. It’s a mother relationship. We have a lot of power to influence our children. The spouse or husband, we do have a lot of power to influence him in a positive way. I’m talking about a positive way. I’m not talking about controlling them. 

Joraine: With me and my team, I want to build my team up to be the best that they can be in their own right, building them up to be great leaders or experts in their field. I mentioned about my humble beginnings and starting early on, I observed the type of agents that I wanted to be or I knew that I didn’t want to be, I said, “I want to be like them. I don’t want to be like them.” Every person that we interact with, even on a daily basis, for the five seconds or ten seconds or however long that we are interacting with them or they know us, they’re either observing, “I like that person. I want to be like them. I don’t like that person. I don’t want to be like them.”

Kimchi: What are three things that you suggest others do or begin if they want to follow your footsteps, Anita?

Anita: Before I answer that, I wanted to share a little bit that I wanted to publish an article that said, “Train your husband or significant other to remove your makeup at night time.” In skincare, removing your makeup is the foundation of good skincare. I was blessed to have many significant others and boyfriends to remove my makeup at nighttime when I fell asleep before I wanted to. That could have been a good title.

Three things to suggest if they want to get into what I want to get into. Education is number one. Getting your license obviously is a must do. I started off as front desk at a spa. I knew that if I wanted to be in an industry, I have to be around it. I have to hear it. I have to breathe it. I have to live it. Don’t care if you’re not in the treatment room. Being in the industry, starting from the bottom so that you know what that looks like and what that sounds like and getting that experience. People are always willing to share. When you’re around it, you learn it, the good and the bad. You can decide on which path you want to take and how you want to perfect your own specialty. That’s the number one thing. One of the things in the beginning, learning to have a team and managing, that was a whole different ballgame and learning curve for myself. Being open to how others do it and then you can create your own. That’s one thing that’s important.

Two is exactly what Mandy said, “Jump in.” There are many risks. It looks scary. You see other people doing it and you think, “How do they do that? Why can’t I do it?” You don’t know until you jump in and do it. You might think that this is your biggest dream that you’ve ever wanted, and the moment you take one step in, you realize, “It’s completely not what I want to do.” You won’t know until you jump in. That’s part of the process. Believe in the process. Believe in every step that you take. That’s number two.

Number three, love what you’re doing. Love what you’re doing, believe in others, support others, remind yourself of what your purpose is, why you started this to begin with. From there, influence is important. We can be the best of who we want to be, but without influencing others and supporting them in their growth, what does it all mean? That’s number three. To survive in the beauty industry and to start your own business, love it, hire good people for things that you’re not good at. That’s my one of my biggest things I had to learn and I’m grateful for that. What I’m not good at, just hire. That’s okay to do.

Kimchi: Mandy?

Mandy: I love everything that Anita said. Those are good tips. For me, similar to one of Anita’s points is believe in yourself and give yourself permission is the first step. If you want to pursue entrepreneurship and your own business, you can’t wait around for someone to be like, “You’re ready.” Like Anita said, “You don’t know what’s going to happen until you do it.” You have to be the person to trust yourself that you’ve got this, you know how to solve problems, you’ll figure out how to craft fire if you have to. That would be first thing.

Second thing for me, be risk-averse. I recommend everyone to get your finances in order before you try to quit your job and then do something completely different. You’re already taking on a lot of risk by trying to make a jump. I like to minimize and manage my risk. Being able to have a calculated runway for how long you’re going to be able to sustain yourself in case money’s not coming through the door anymore. Doing the math and crunching the numbers is important and highly recommended, because you’re already stressed out enough when you’re trying to start your own business. Try to take as much external stress away from what you’re already trying to manage.

Number three, I recommend for people to understand what they want from this life. Similar to what Anita said, “Have a purpose.” I like Jeff Bezos’ Regret Minimization Framework where he decided to pursue Amazon because he thought of himself as an 80-year-old on his deathbed and all the things that he would regret if he didn’t try. Thinking ahead and trying to see the big picture is important and working backwards to see what you want out of this life would be beneficial for everyone to do.

Kimchi: Joraine, what are three things that you suggest others to do to begin if people wanted to follow your footsteps?

Joraine: The first thing I would recommend is to get a mentor. Like Anita said, being immersed in the industry is definitely an eye opener for some people. Even after you get your license, a lot of agents go into real estate not knowing what to do, developing bad habits. The statistics are that 85% to 90% of newly licensed agents quit or fail within the first five years of getting their license. Getting a mentor or being on a team or having a team leader or a coach that can help you figure out what you need to do and hold you accountable.

Number two, I would say figure out your ‘why.’ Figuring out your purpose, knowing why you’re waking up every day, because every day is not going to be butterflies and roses. There are going to be hard times, failures, disappointments, especially with being an entrepreneur or if you’re growing your team, there will be failure. Like Anita said, hiring people and managing, there are many different aspects of it. Definitely figuring out your purpose and your why and holding on to that so that when it’s not easy, you can still get up every day and do what you need to do. The third thing I would say is to act it out and take action. Having a mentor and having a great mindset is wonderful, but unless you’re walking out what you said you would do or what you’ve committed to do, then you’re not going to see those results. Those are my three.

Kimchi: Combining all of your suggestions, that’s a multi-million-dollar lesson here. How can people reach each of you, Anita?

Anita: You can find me on my website, AnitaBSpa.com. Of course, social media, @AnitaBSpa or my personal, @AnitaBBeauty, feel free to reach out, DM. I’m more than happy to share and help even if it’s somebody from across the world and it’s a completely different business. It’s the network and the culture is important.

Kimchi: Thank you. Mandy?

Mandy: You can find me and Boba Green at GoBobaGreen.com and on Instagram, @GoBobaGreen. My personal Instagram, @MandyCYeung and I’m also on LinkedIn, Mandy Yeung. I will love to connect with anyone that’s going through a similar journey that would love to bounce ideas back.

Kimchi: Thank you. Joraine?

Joraine: I am on Instagram and Facebook, @JoraineSellsHomes. You can find me on there or you can google, Joraine Sells Homes or The Costales Team. You’ll see a bunch of our videos Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, everywhere.

Kimchi: Thank you so much for being here, Anita, Mandy and Joraine. That’s it for this interview. We hope that you enjoyed this. Please share with your friends and family members and also on social media, use #AsianWomenOfPower. Until next time, live life loud.

Links Mentioned:

Episode Quotes

"I discovered the belief of my own beauty."
"Entrepreneurship is scary and fun."
"Understand what your ‘enough’ point is."
"You got to where you are by the boost of everybody’s hands."
"Every hurdle makes us stronger."
"Failure is absolutely the best teaching experience."
"The biggest risk is not taking one."

About Mandy Yeung

Born in Hong Kong and raised in New York City, Mandy grew up wanting to understand how the world works. After 6 years in construction management, Mandy enrolled at Columbia Business School with a desire to do good through business. Upon graduation, Mandy initially returned to the workforce instead of following her North Star, because of the risk-averse mentality she held as a first-generation immigrant.

However, at six months pregnant, she realized that she needed to be a worthy role model to the child she was bringing into this world. Mandy started bobagreen to bring bubble tea online and help cut down the plastic used by the industry.

Find out more on http://gobobagreen.com or say hi on Instagram @gobobagreen.

About Anita Chan

Anita Chan is the owner of ANITA B SPA in San Francisco, California. After 16 years of working in luxury spas and medical spas, running a makeup college as a school director, and working part-time as a flight attendant for Cathay Pacific Airlines, in 2016, she opened ANITA B SPA.Anita discovered her passion for beauty, wellness, and health at a very young age of 14 during her first summer job at Bare Escentuals.

After attaining an AA degree in Image Consulting, she designed her own major at SFSU and graduated with a BA degree in Fundamentals of Self-Image (a cross-study between Marketing, Psychology, and Speech Communication), while going to classes in the evening to get her license as an Esthetician.




About Joraine Costales

My name is Joraine Costales and I’m full Filipino. Working in real estate ever since 2004, as a husband/wife Real Estate team called The Costales Team with Intero Real Estate in the Bay Area. A mother of 3 and highly active with our church. Born in the Philippines and what led me to become a REALTOR was being able to help others make a life-changing event of buying or selling a house.

All my social media is @JoraineSellsHomes or my website is www.jorainesellshomes.com

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