Becky Yeung (Spanish and Chinese Studies, 2010) has established a thriving career as Regional Head of Brand Partnerships, Warner Music Asia in Hong Kong alongside setting up her own activewear brand, B.Y.O Active. She shares how she achieves a balanced lifestyle and how you can pursue both your professional and personal interests.
Words: Faye Haslam (History, 2012)
How did you start a business alongside your career?
“I’ve always wanted something of my own. I’ve worked in big corporates for a long time and as far as you continue up the ladder, you’re still a small pawn in a large corporation. My family are business owners so I think I always had that drive in me, and a little bit of frustration with work helped. That was what started the journey and the ideas really came quickly because I based it on my passion for fitness.
“It wasn’t a magical minute and my business was there. It was a step-by-step process over time, I started going to talks and meet-ups to learn how to start a business, and I didn’t put any pressure on myself. At a similar time, my role at Warner came into my life and I had to think if I wanted to pursue something completely new in my career or focus on a business which I didn’t know had any legs or not. I realised it didn’t have to be one or the other so I decided to take on both.”
How do you balance between the two?
“One drives the other, sometimes I have more energy for Warner because I’m learning something new about the industry and then there might be new aspects on the business side that leads me to focus more on B.Y.O Active. For me, it was the right thing to choose fitness as it was something that was already integrated into my life so my career and business dovetail. Even if you don’t have that crossover, having different focuses can help spark fresh ideas and stop you feeling burnout, even though you’re balancing two things.”
How do you stay motivated?
“I’m very competitive so that naturally drives me! I think it comes down to how you gain your energy. I’m someone who likes to do a lot of things and be on the go all the time. That works for me, the busier I am the more productive I tend to be. I gain energy from people, and their feedback drives me and keeps me going. But if you’re somebody that gains energy from being on your own, then you need to carve out time to do that. I think it’s about finding out what works for you and your style and adapting to it.”
How would you empower others to pursue their passions?
“Find one person, or other people, that will keep you accountable. When you’re being questioned on why you’re slacking, you can get annoyed, but there’s no reason for it. You’re stalling because you think, what if I fail? The biggest obstacle is imposter syndrome, but everyone goes through the same thing. You might get 90% of the way but if someone isn’t there to give you that extra push, you can end up not taking that final step. Having someone you can rely on to keep you accountable is the most empowering thing.”
How do you bring your strengths to both your career and business?
“You don’t have to have everything figured out. When you start a business, you don’t have to feel like you need to launch straight into it. It takes a while. I launched about a year and a half ago, but I probably had the idea three years ago and sat on it for a long time and slowly began learning bit by bit. It’s about learning about different ways that you can adapt your skills and bring your strengths into each part of your life that you’re pursuing.”
Becky shares more advice to help you progress your career, along with fellow alumni leaders, in our Questions for Leaders series. Find out more >