Jingjin Liu is the CEO & Founder at ZaZaZu, a B2B education platform for women that tackles topics that others shy away from.
To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My passion and calling has always been to build a business that helps women to establish intrinsic confidence.
In China, where I grew up, sexual education is close to zero. Back in the 90s, there was nowhere to “Google” or to ask sex-related questions. I grew up in deep insecurity about the mystery of sex.
I went to Germany when I was 16 and was fortunate to experience how school and society openly approached sex-related topics to young adults. In my twenties, as I gained more security in my sexuality, I gained the confidence to study and work in male-dominated industries.
With the conviction of building a positive-impact business, I moved to Singapore to pursue an EMBA at INSEAD in 2018. After one and a half years, I realised I did not want to build a business providing career advice and meditation workshops for women empowerment, where the market is already
saturated. Rather, I believe that if women are comfortable with their sexuality, and build confidence from within, then there is little need to practise power poses in presentation pitches or harness the power of attraction to tell the universe what you want. Sexuality informs identity: when you are
secure in your identity, that builds innate confidence, and confidence is what empowers women to ask for a salary raise, stop doubting yourself, pursue a male-dominated career and ultimately go out to change the world.
So today I am the founder and CEO of ZaZaZu, the first B2B education platform in Asia to help modern women navigate through their challenges both in the workplace and at home, we tackle topics that others shy away from:
- Microaggression & Sexism
- Building confidence in Competence
- Female Health
- and Relationships
What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I start my day with feeding my 2.5 months old daughter and writing a 5 minute journal at around 6am. I bring my 4.5 yrs old to school and pick up a cappuccino on the way. I don’t touch my phone until 9am to be fully focused on family time.
I start to work at 9:30 by tackling the most difficult tasks, most of the time it is workshop content design and review. Morning times are my peak times, so I don’t plan any calls with anyone until after 1pm.
In the afternoon I start meetings with my team and clients virtually or physically and I try to end my day by 6pm.
Evening time is family time until I read bedtime stories to my son until 8pm. I will have a glass of wine with my husband while watching a movie or reading a book to unwind.
What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work life balance for me is to not be able to schedule work and life on my own terms, not dictated by outside forces. Often we believe we don’t have a choice to design our lives freely and therefore live the priorities of others whom we say yes to.
I remind myself to make “No” my default answer to most of the inessential things, meaning things that don’t bring me learning, earning or joy.
In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I started not to schedule any calls in the morning, which gives me tremendous peace of mind to start the day on my own terms and to be able to focus on the essential tasks during peak time.
Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
My favourite book is still Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Steven Hanselmann. I am a big fan of stoicism, how we could become the best version of ourselves through ancient wisdom in today’s distracted world.
If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Nir Eyal, who wrote Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life or Tim Ferriss who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek.
Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Most of the things we do in life are inessential, if you note down how many time you spend on social media, on watching Netflix, on going to network events in which we don’t even like the people, etc. once you eliminate those things and focus solely on what really matters for you, you will reach the balance you desire in life.
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