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#WCW Sue S. Chan | Founder and CEO of Care of Chan

Here at LIVELY, we’re constantly surrounded by swoon-worthy women that are killin’ it in their businesses. We're launching #WomenCrushWednesday to celebrate the boss babes who provide us with a constant flow of inspiration, support, and endless girl-crushes.

Up next: Sue S. Chan, CEO/Founder of Care of Chan, a brand and talent management agency representing creative ideas in food and living.


Where are you from? What was it like growing up?

I was born in Taiwan and moved to the US when I was five to Lubbock, Texas. I grew up in SoCal, LA, Pasadena then mostly in San Diego. I went through a lot of change as a kid. I moved four times before college, so had to make new friends four times over. I think this is why I'm so social.



What advice would you give on finding healthy work-life balance?

I hate the phrase “work-life balance.” I don't think living and working should be mutually exclusive. I hope that everyone is able to find so much satisfaction from their work, whatever it is—whether it's making widgets or making food—that it gives them pleasure and makes them feel fulfilled. Of course I believe in taking care of yourself, making time for friends and family, and giving back to the community. But I try to insert all of those things into my daily routine, like riding a bike to work or working with friends or supporting the community as part of the work I do. I think the balance is found through creating purpose out of everything you do.



What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?

The world doesn't revolve around you. When I was a selfish youngster, I acted like I was the center of the universe. Once I had this revelation, it helped me not take things so personally and not take on so much of other people's negative energy. 99.9% of the time, it's not about you.

 

What does the most intense part of your day look like?

As the boss, one of your main jobs is to put out fires and the more you have—more clients, more projects, more employees—the more fires you have. And some days they seem to happen all at once.

 

When do you feel most empowered?

When I bring people together. Whether it's making a connection for a client, introducing friends who eventually get married (I'm two for two, for the record!), or bringing new friends together, there's no better feeling than opening the world for someone else.

 

Describe your personal aesthetic.

High and low. And outfits... I like full outfits because it's so much easier to get dressed when you know what top goes with what bottom. Oh and crop-tops. I'm really into crop-tops.

 

What’s the biggest myth of starting your own business?

That being a boss meant that you wouldn't have to answer to anyone. Everyone has someone to answer to. I answer not only to my clients and my customers but also to my team. If you have investors, you answer to them. When you're company is public, you answer to your shareholders. Everyone answers to someone.

 

When was a time you failed and how did you overcome it?

I fail constantly. And I overcome it by learning, pivoting and trying not to do it again. If you're not failing, then you're not trying enough new things nor are you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be like you?

Find something you love and do it as soon as you can and do it well.

 

What was a defining moment in your career?

The day that EunJean Song (Momofuku's former Director of Operations) replied to my email about being a chef assistant at Momofuku via a job posting on Craigslist. The rest was history after that.

 

How would you describe a life well lived?

Having standards and holding yourself and the people around you to them.

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