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[Podcast] After-thoughts on enthusiasm, hustling, and "no" from my ‘Awkward Turtle at Work’ episode

Emery Fung and I had a chinwag on The Awkward Turtle at Work Podcast about how creativity, disability, and gender intersect with entrepreneurship.

I like to do these little takeaway blog posts when I do podcast episodes because audio content isn’t always accessible, so here are some little takeaways from our conversation.

Getting good at something isn’t about having talent, but enthusiasm

That being said, with the overwhelming amount of free online resources to enthusiastically go about learning new things — whether that be cooking, front-end development, or the oboe — you end up freezing up and not pursuing anything. (Clickbait time). Check out the podcast to find out my tip for actually honing in on and getting good at something when the choices of paths to take seem formidable.

The obsession with quantitative markers makes starting passion projects harder

Emery and I are both Hong Kongers who grew up steeped in a culture that focuses on certificates, grades, and qualifications. The lack of promotions and metrics when it comes to starting out as an entrepreneur, especially an artsy one, put me off originally. With a passion project, you don’t get promoted, you don’t get the winter bonus, you don’t get an Employee of the Month award. And when your estimations of yourself are based on benchmarks like that, you end up feeling a lot of self-doubt and failure when you’re getting a passion project off the ground. I talk more in the episode about how I got over that.

Being your own boss means being your own advocate — but what does that mean?

Emery asked me what it’s like being my own boss so I told a fun story about College Sophomore Edition™ me not being able to do my university newspaper job properly because I was so scared of saying “no.”

Make like a turtle and slow your roll

Hong Kong maintains its culture of rushing and hustling. If you’re not on the go, you’re moving backwards — all that malarky. I told Emery about something my mum and I say a lot which is, “heads not hands.” If your hands are doing more work that you’re head, you’re probably being inefficient, not strategic. I’m naturally an excited, enthusiastic person and have to force myself to stop and take stock when I’m getting carried away. I think with anything — starting projects, announcing news, agreeing to commitments — it’s important to emulate a slow turtle and let things breathe before jumping into action.


We talk about these issues and more in detail on the episode. Emery’s a great host and we got to bantering and lol-ing throughout so, in a similar vein to how Kumon used to be advertised, it’s fun and educational. If you like my episode, definitely check out the others, and leave The Awkward Turtle at Work a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts.


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