Create your pathway to success using a motivational book offering tools and insight
According to a new book, we can create a pathway to success by using certain tools and analyzing situations and making business decisions in a specific way.
PO-LING POWER is authored by Po-Ling and Betty Ng- two Chinese/American businesswomen who share the belief that ‘anything is possible’ and that adversity can strengthen and liberate.
With a focus on collaboration, community and what matters most, this mother/daughter collaboration also inspires and empowers by telling their life story.
It also charts their unique pathway to success.
Here, tech entrepreneur, public speaker and the founder of Inspiring Diversity Betty tells Nativa World how entrepreneurs can benefit from reading her motivational book
Betty, how did you come to write PO-LING Power? ?
In November of 2015, in the process of writing my acceptance speech for being honored as a Corporate Trailblazer, I thought hard about who I am and how I got to where I am. All roads led back to my mom, Po-Ling, my most important role model. In 1975, in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown, my mother was widowed at the age of 32 and left with four young children to raise on a social worker’s salary. Instead of giving up, my mother earned two master’s degrees and devoted her life to the community, helping everyone from young children to senior citizens. Fast forward four decades and well over 50 awards later (she’s lost count!), we can’t even imagine all the lives she’s impacted for the better.
As I looked at her name, Po-Ling, words just jumped out at me from the page and I realized that my mom’s name represents a succinct framework for success and impact. At that point, I became obsessed with wanting to write a book with my mother to share our life journeys and this amazing framework, which we wanted to share with the world to inspire and empower others to achieve more than they ever thought was possible.
What structure does the book take?
The book first lays the foundation in terms of the genesis of the PO-LING POWER framework, what it is, how it works, and its application to both individuals as well as organizations. We then dive into telling our life journeys, toggling between my and my mom’s life stories – sometimes sharing our respective perspectives on the same life experiences. At the end of each chapter, we do a retrospective analysis of how PO-LING POWER applied to that particular phase of our life. We then close the book by providing our readers with practical resources, including an app, which will help them to understand and build their own PO-LING POWER to propel themselves, their communities and organizations to success.
What’s the core message of the book?
The core message is that “Anything is possible, regardless of your background, as long as we help each other to succeed.” PO-LING POWER can propel us all to reach our potential. The PO-LING POWER framework brings together, in an easy-to-use matrix, key considerations every person and organization should focus on to be successful: Priorities, Others, Lead, Inspire, Network, Grow, Obligations, Worthwhile activities, Energy, and Resources. It is an integrated framework that reinforces how individual, community and organizational success go hand-in-hand, and how we should always be thinking not only about our individual success, but also the success of others around us.It is a practical and powerful decision, evaluation, and measurement tool for how well you are propelling yourself and others to success, while managing what matters. As demonstrated in numerous inspirational videos of people from many different backgrounds at inspiringdiversity.com, this framework applies not just to me and my mom, but also to the lives of other extremely successful individuals of different demographics, professions, and so on.
How can female entrepreneurs benefit from reading your book?
While our book can benefit people of all professions, female entrepreneurs can be sure to benefit from reading it. In fact, the integrated PO-LING POWER framework was the epiphany I reached from reflecting on how happy I was as the founder and CEO of Inspiring Diversity (iD). I am now liberated and empowered with an incredibly simple yet powerful visual tool that I use in my day-to-day decisions as an entrepreneur and working mother. With each decision, I gauge how effective I am in propelling myself and others, while managing what matters in life and for my company based on the PO-LING POWER matrix, which keeps me and my company focused on key considerations which truly matter.
Female entrepreneurs can benefit from not only a practical framework they can apply to their businesses and lives, but they can relate to and learn from my entrepreneurial journey, which includes building iD from the ground up. Further, the book outlines how to understand as well as build your PO-LING POWER and empowers readers with the PO-LING POWER app, a practical tool to build their PO-LING POWER and to collaborate with allies to achieve goals that matter. Personally, I have developed a plan on the app for building iD, which includes 10 goals and 36 subgoals!
What’s your background?
I am Chinese American, born and raised into a financially poor yet motivated family in New York City’s Chinatown. My family had the odds stacked against us, particularly after my father passed away. With the support of a strong family unit and our community, we beat the odds. Having rarely traveled outside of New York as a child, I ventured to California and graduated Stanford University with a BA in Economics. As an employee of Arthur Andersen, I continued my journey west to China where I found my roots, helped to build a great business, became fluent in Chinese, and had the opportunity to travel extensively to appreciate many different cultures and perspectives. After graduating Harvard Business School, I wrote a vision letter to my older self about becoming a “Successful Social Entrepreneur.” I wound up putting my vision aside for about 15 years, pursuing an intellectually stimulating and exciting business career in financial services at American Express, Citigroup, and Moody’s – primarily focused on strategy and executing M&A deals around the world. Those experiences have positioned me well to found and lead Inspiring Diversity – to realize my personal vision developed so many years earlier!
What’s ‘Inspiring Diversity’ / i.D?
Inspiring Diversity is an impactful company, which has developed a practical solution to building inclusive, collaborative and high-performing organizations and communities. To achieve this, we created a multi-media solution, which includes the PO-LING POWER app (both peer-to-peer and enterprise platforms), book, videos, consulting, training, and coaching. We work with organizations to drive profitability and sustainability by increasing employee inclusion, engagement, and performance. We are also a collaborative community which inspires, empowers, and elevates people of all backgrounds to achieve goals.
Who inspires you in business and what have they taught you?
I have been fortunate to have had a wide breadth of incredible sponsors, mentors, and role models who have inspired me in my career.
My top three lessons from these incredible professionals include:
- Don’t build a bridge the day you need it – start establishing and nurturing relationships before you need them.
- Adopt a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity, where everyone can expand the pie together rather than view things as a zero-sum game.
- Life and business are about trade-offs, so you better understand and focus on your priorities.
Interestingly, these lessons from others who have inspired me, align perfectly with the “Network,” “Others,” and “Priorities” in PO-LING POWER.
What challenges have you faced as a businesswoman?
As a Chinese American businesswoman, I have oftentimes experienced both the benefits as well as challenges of being “split down the middle” in terms of being both Chinese and American. While I have been able to leverage my background and experience tied to China to differentiate myself professionally, I’ve also been challenged as a result. The traditional Chinese values and expectations of deferring to your elders had for many years translated to deferring to my superiors in meetings. As a result, I would oftentimes not be very vocal in meetings, particularly where I was not the assigned leader. I have found though that, to be successful in corporate America, it is important to be vocal as a way to demonstrate your value and what you bring to the table. I have tackled this challenge with a mindset of genuine confidence in the valuable perspectives I offer. This is particularly critical now as I lead Inspiring Diversity and must be very vocal in all aspects of the work we do.
What’s next for you?
Now that iD has built out our practical multimedia solution, we’re focused on getting more exposure to and deepening adoption by more organizations and communities. Ultimately, it’s about ensuring that iD is a sustainable company that has the resources to continue to help both organizations and individuals achieve their goals. I look forward to: doing more speaking engagements and building relationships at organizations which care about being more inclusive, collaborative and high-performing; building out my team to further develop and execute on our business strategy; and continuing to develop outstanding and practical resources to help our clients. As PO-LING POWER is truly applicable not just in a business context but also to life more broadly, we are also working on other books and resources to help younger audiences understand and build their own PO-LING POWER. In fact, I’ve been helping my children and their cousin with their illustrated kids book. So, stay tuned!
Photography courtesy of Betty and Po-Ling Ng