Melody Cheng // Ep 67 // Honest Conversations With an Asian Boss Girl
Welcome to Episode 67 of the Asian Hustle Network Podcast! We are very excited to have Melody Cheng on this week's episode.
We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
Check us out on Anchor, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Spotify and more. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave us a positive 5-star review. This is our opportunity to use the voices of the Asian community and share these incredible stories with the world. We release a new episode every Wednesday, so stay tuned!
Melody Cheng is the co-host & co-founder of the podcast, AsianBossGirl, a podcast for the modern day Asian American woman. Her passion lies in storytelling and connecting with people through digital media, especially within the API community.
Prior to working at AsianBossGirl, Melody found her career in digital media by acting as a talent manager/ producer for Asian American digital creators, working corporate in social media marketing and studio production for fast fashion, and leading community & social media growth at Jubilee Media.
When she’s not working on the podcast, you can find her binge-watching Korean dramas or, as a self-proclaimed “Comfort Cook,” in the kitchen trying out her mom’s recipes.
Please check out our Patreon at @asianhustlenetwork. We want AHN to continue to be meaningful and give back to the Asian community. If you enjoy our podcast and would like to contribute to our future, we hope you’ll consider becoming a patron.
Descript is a groundbreaking new media tool that allows creators to edit audio and video like a text document, and create a realistic clone of their own voice for seamless edits.
#MadeWithDescript #DescriptPro @Descript
Sign up for Descript here: https://descript.com?lmref=AKo2mg
Intro: (00:00:00) Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, My name is Bryan.
And my name is Maggie
And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals.
We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
Maggie: (00:00:23) Hi, everyone, welcome to the Asian Hustle Network podcast. Today we have a very special guest with us. Her name is melody Chang. Melody is the co-host and co-founder of the podcast, Asian boss girl, a podcast for the modern day, Asian American woman. Her passion lies in storytelling and connecting with people through digital media, especially within the API community. Prior to working at Asian boss, girl melody found her career in digital media by acting as a talent manager. Producer for Asian-American digital creators work in corporate in social media, marketing and studio production for fast fashion and leading community and social media growth at Jubilee media. When she’s not working on the podcast, you can find her binge watching Korean dramas or as a self-proclaimed comfort cook in the kitchen, trying out her mom’s recipes. Melody. Welcome to the show.
Melody: (00:01:15) Thank you so much for having me. Um, Dan, you just got that. That’s me in a nutshell. Really?
Maggie: (00:01:22) Yes. That is you.
Bryan: (00:01:23) Yeah. We’re super excited to have in the show today and we really want to learn more about your melody. Like where’d you grow up? What was your upbringing like?
Melody: (00:01:32) Yeah, so, um, I was raised by a very proud Taiwanese, uh, mother who immigrated to actually Hawaii at the age of 14. So I think, you know, being, I was actually analyzing or kind of looking back at my, my. My upbringing, like, why am I so proud to be Asian? I think I really just she’s actually this probably the core reason, or there, there are the initial reason why I think my mom being my mom immigrating to Hawaii at such young age, like she was never really discriminated against for her race. Cause I think Hawaii has a lot of, you know, API people there and. Never felt any sense of like, Oh, you’re Asian, that’s gross. She was like, Oh yeah, but she embraced her identity. And I think by the time she had my brother and I know she moved to the Bay area and, you know, she would literally just will be on the street. She’ll be speaking Mandarin. She just didn’t care. Um, so I think her being so shamelessly Asian, I think my brother and I just very proud to be Asian American. And, um, I was really fortunate enough to be taken back to my mother’s. To my mom’s motherland, I’m Taiwan a lot at a young age. So I think going back and being exposed to your culture, you’re like, Oh, this is so amazing. This is so sick. Like, this is so different from the us. And I think, um, just being, having that upbringing has really helped shape my identity. And, you know, I think Maggie, you said that you also grew up in the Bay area. Like the Bay area is extremely diverse, like in my height. Yeah. In my high school, like the minorities were the Caucasian people and I was surrounded by like, A lot of Asians and in my high school specifically at James Logan high and union city, we had a lot of more like Filipino Americans and even amuse Americans. Um, so yeah, I just like had a very proud Asian, I guess, like childhood. And then, um, I think when I went to college, I was kind of looking for something more specific in terms of my own Taiwanese American identity. And I found it with like, um, like my top, my Taiwanese American org on campus. And I got like really into it. Like I was that person that’s like, yeah, I would leave my house and my roommate’s like, Oh, where are you going? I’m like, I’m celebrating Taiwan’s birthday. Like, they’re like, you’re a little weird. I’m like, yeah, I’m doing it. Um, but I think just, you know, obviously in college, I think a lot of people are trying to like find their careers and find like what they’re wanting to do afterwards. And. Um, I was on like the job portal sign. I was like, okay, I guess I like marketing whatever. And I stumbled upon this internship at the San Diego Asian film festival. And I was like, Oh, this kind of seems related to what I, what I do at school. Maybe I could be good at this and didn’t expect much out of the internship because a friend was like, Oh, that’s so easy, man. Just do it. Like I took it before and it’s like, whatever. So it didn’t have much expectations going into that internship. And it turned out, I just fell in love with it because. I was exposed to like Asian American, independent films for the first time. I didn’t even know it existed. I was like, yeah. I was like, I was like, Oh, like I know Lucy Lu from Charlie’s angels. Like that’s a movie, right. Like we don’t know about like these indie films and, um, just like fell in love with the messaging of the organization. And, um, of course also growing up in the digital era, like YouTube was a huge thing for all of us, you know? So I grew up. Watching Wong Fu productions. And I think at one of my last years interning at the festival, I, um, there are guests for that year and they’re like, well, do you mind being their liaison? I’m like, I don’t mind at all. Like, please, please let me take it on. And, um, I think just everything seems really aligned and I ended up, um, Meaning Wong Fu and I, my internship ended, I moved back home, had this like quarter life crisis, like, what am I doing with my job? And then, um, my mom was like, you better get a full-time job, everyone, your friends are working at Facebook and like they have, they have all their shit together. And what are you doing? I’m like, I’m pulling two jobs. And then at that moment, once we released an internship and I was like, Oh, I really want to do this. But like my mom’s telling me to get a job. But anyways, I applied, I ended up getting it. I moved out to LA and that’s just how it, I started working with Wong and they exposed me to like the whole digital world of Asian Americans in media. And I just feel like everything just started like, you know, falling into place, but, um, uh, Unfortunately, that internship also ended because, you know, at the time they weren’t looking to bring anyone full time. And I started freelance producing in digital and managing digital artists such as like Jason Chen, David choy, and like June Korean and went on tour with them and definitely was a whirlwind experience because I think when you see people going on tour, you’re like, Oh my gosh, you’re traveling. You’re living the life. Yeah. You see me traveling, but I have not making that much income and I can’t afford my rent. Um, so. I know, like literally hustling. Um, and I made a decision to, you know, like as much as I loved being exposed to that world, I knew it was time for me to find a full-time job, which led me to my corporate experience working at, um, uh, I worked for a fast fashion company called textile, and then I did like production and work there. And then, um, Like social media management skills, social media management work. But at the time, I just feel like, I don’t know if you guys felt this about their daytime jobs. You’re like, this is great. I just feel like something was really missing though. Like, like, yeah. Right. You’re like, this is great. Yeah. I love the paycheck, the health insurance, but just something inside me just doesn’t feel like it clicks. And I think at that time I met Helen and Janet, or we just started hanging out more and I know Helen and Janet because, um, Helen. I met through my internship at WAMU food. Cause I went out one night and then Phil was like, Oh, it’s my girlfriend. I’m like, Oh, I have a girlfriend and all your girlfriend. And then I, and then Helen, I just really clicked as friends because we both liked to like go out and she’s very social. And then Janet, I met just to like mutual gatherings because she went to college with Phil and was at D. And so just by default, all of us started hanging out and I think just proximity, we all live around downtown LA Culver city area. We’d go out and just party. It’s complain, complain about our jobs and be like, Oh my God. Talk about this one Asian guy, or he’s so hot. Or like, just pretty much like the life of like a 20 to 30, you know, Asian-American person living in like a metropolitan city. And Phil was like, y’all should record this. Like why this is like normal talk that we have over dinner. He was like, you guys should talk about the corporate experience. Like not, no one’s talking about this. And so we kind of just like, you’re right, like. And then we start thinking it’s totally okay. Then we start Asian boss, girl. Yeah. And, um, we started Asian Bosco as we were working our full-time jobs. I think similar to how you guys both started, you know, Asian health, whatever you’re balancing both. And, um, it was great. You know, I was also doing Jubilee media at the time too, which Julie’s is a great company founded by Jason Wiley and. It, I think for me, it was like an interesting place to juggling two digital media companies. And I got to a point with ABG where it’s like, Hey, like things are kind of picking up. Maybe I should just like, take that leap of faith and just. Go pursue this full-time so we went full time last year. Um, thank you. Uh, UT also for going full time. That’s amazing. I’m totally rambling at this point.
Bryan: (00:08:33) It just shows like your journey and your passion and everything, you know, and kind of, kind of curious too. I know you and James Logan, were you part of the speech and debate team?
Melody: (00:08:42) No, but I hope I know our forensics team is incredible and also our color guard and van was world like world we’re down. I was actually just in choir and leadership. So with not in forensics or like the debate, wait, well, you’re in debate
Bryan: (00:08:56) because you’re so good at articulating I’m like James Logan. Huh? All right. And she’s beating the bank cause now, you know,
Melody: (00:09:03) y’all just flattering me now. It’s so funny. Cause like I. I never thought it’d be a podcast or like hearing me talk. I’m just like, you know what, that phone, that part, when you hear yourself on the voicemail, you’re like, Oh yeah.
Maggie: (00:09:14) I think everyone just naturally doesn’t like their own voice,
Bryan: (00:09:18) but my voice, like not deep enough, it’s like, hi
Melody: (00:09:23) Brian, like a Asian rapper type of voice and anything I hear, I hear, I hear rappers with that same tone. yeah. And you don’t have a voice to speak really? Like, you’ll be like. Twist out, like, just see how the shit I want, you know?
Maggie: (00:09:38) Yeah. Maybe you should look into that. So
Bryan: (00:09:39) I think, cause I know melody is a podcast or two, so I tried to like speak in a very low tone of voice sound cooler, but typically she’s like, hi baby.
Melody: (00:09:50) Maggie likes it. You’re fine.
Bryan: (00:09:53) Yeah. I mean, yeah. I mean to go back. Yeah. I was a part of the speech and debate team in arts. Our cheese calls are always number two and three in the nation. Oh, wow. Yeah. So that was pretty funny. Um, but yeah, I mean, it’s really cool hearing that, you know, you went to LA how you had this organic connections where people and the hardest part is like taking action, right? Yeah. How you overcome your mental hurdle and be like, okay. I’m working a corporate job. I have this passion and then I’m working with other two people who also have corporate jealous. How do you find the balance between three people in order to,
Maggie: (00:10:29) yeah. And I know you guys all kind of quit your jobs at the same time. I know it. Wasn’t right. Planned, but I don’t work on miraculously. It was like, kind of at the same time. And just kind of talking about experience, how you guys like had that communication.
Bryan: (00:10:43) Yeah. It was like, yo, I’m quitting, quitting Thursday. I’m quitting. Now.
Melody: (00:10:48) I still do like, there’s like. Is it called like divine intervention or whatever, but, um, for us at that time, so I was really happy at Julibee I’m like, why would I want to leave?Like I’m working in like a digital media space where I’ve always wanted, my team is so young and fun. Like they’re, they’re killing it. Um, but at that time it was back in, I think, February or March of last year, like literally right before the pandemic and. Janet actually already left her job a few months ago because she just wasn’t happy with this, with the, her, uh, her company. And it wasn’t a good fit. And Helen actually was thinking about leaving for a while because she’s been working her financial for 10 years. And I think at that point she was like, you know, I think I need something new. Like. I’ve been there for so long. And for me, no, like I was like, I’m good. Like whatever, but I think, I think by just the nature of my role at Jubilee, it started to evolve. And I was kind of just, even though I had really, I had a real conversation with Jason about this and we’re like, Hey, he was like, Mel, are you actually happy doing this type of work? He was like, I know you love the team, but do you love this work? I’m not like, you know, I really, I could see myself doing it. He was like, okay, but do you enjoy it? I was like, Hm. Yeah, you’re right. Like my job as Julie at the time was, you know, managing community and social media, but I found myself resonating more with the social media management work. And I think at that time, It just made me, Oh, maybe this is not what I want to do. You know? And so we had a real conversation, Jason, I, in a meeting, like I literally walked in to present something and I walked out leaving my job and it was like not planned. And I think it’s nice to have like a boss, like Jason, who’s like, he’s a friend. And he was like, you know, ma I, I know how it’s like, and now I was scary and daunting to want to start your own thing. I’ve I’ve been there. Would you believe, but where you guys are at like. You’ve you, you made the leap of faith before to like, you know, pursue media right off the bat from college, you could do it it again. And you know, I’m here to support you. And like, I didn’t want you to know that you are going to be supported by people. And so I think after that conversation, I walked out and I called Helen and I was like, kind of crying, but I wasn’t like. Let me go. I’m so sad. I lost my job as more like financially I’m fucked. Like I was just like, I’m like, what am I doing here financially? And like, and then she was like, you know, Mel, I know you’re crying right now, but you don’t have that sad. I think, I think you’re excited. And I was like, damn, I think you’re right. Like something about me. It’s like, what is maybe ABG is something I really want to do? Like, I just, in some ways I used to tell people like, Um, in my past jobs, you know, working with Asian American creators, I’ve always been the backend of like, Oh, I will be your talent manager. I’ll make sure you are like taken care of. And let me just handle your like your day to day and stuff like that. And I’ve always helped supported someone else’s brand and never had time to really focus on my own. And so with ABG, I just felt like maybe this is a time I could just focus on my own brand. And we took a leap of faith and there was. It was crazy. Um, and then pandemic hit and we’re like, Oh, great. And pandemic hit just when we’d wanted to go full time. Um, and I think this kind of relates to like, Brian, you asked about like, how was like navigating work-life balance and everything it’s it definitely was, um, Something, we all had to go through all three of us because, you know, naturally we’re like best friends. So we know each other on a friendship level and kinda like a part-time work level. Like when we’re doing ABG, part-time like, you would message on Facebook, like in between like bathroom breaks, like, Oh, did you check on that? Okay, cool. But now when you’re doing it, full-time, we’re like, wow, I really see how you work. And I see how I work and we’re very different. And my background is in creative. Is in finance and it’s like a blend of both. So it’s like, how do you mix these three different moving diff very different people together to make a, to create a business. Right. And so, um, luckily we do have the years of friendship and I think naturally by the pot on the podcast, we get really vulnerable. So I kind of get to know them really quicker. Right. And there’s a lot of times where like, Hey, like, do you mind if we talk about this. Like we’re. I always say we’re in a relationship because I think I’m like married to them. Cause it’s just, we’re married. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. And to be honest, like everyone, you know, D she said, Oh, I’m not an open type of relation person. So I’m used to just dealing with myself for once. I’m just like, how do I deal with all these people? Um, but it really is just, I think I always tell them, are we tell each other as like, at the end of the day, like, we’re our relationship and friendship has comes first, but yeah. I see them really as family. And so for us to navigate these, like, Hey, um, what’s you work better this way? I work better this way. How can we come together and meet in the middle? So we’re both like feeling fulfilled in our job. So just for us, it’s like really open communication. Luckily I don’t think you can do this in a corporate setting because it’s kind of inappropriate, but for us to get bit, Hey, are you okay? Like, did I bother you? Like talking things through like very. Open as of like, kinda like, as friends in the business setting that has benefited us in terms of like, uh, making sure we’re like the process is streamlined or we’re on the same page. Right.
Bryan: (00:15:39) That’s extremely difficult, you know, and I guess from the outside world, when we’re look at you guys like, Oh, you guys have great chemistry or synergy, you probably never get into arguments at all, but that’s not true. I mean, even with me and Maggie working too, it’s like, All right. We’re in a relationship first. Well, and,
Maggie: (00:16:00) and in your case, three different people coming from totally different worlds, you know, three different people. And so you’re bound to have, you know, disagreements and arguments and stuff like that, especially when you’re passionate about something. And I, I really love how, you know, you kinda told us your story because we just had a podcast with Jason, Y Lee, last thing. And he was just talking about the culture and the values of Jubilee media. He is such a cool guy. And I love how he just kind of like, you know, use your meeting time to talk about like your passion and like what you’re actually passionate about. I think like if that meeting was geared towards a different topic, you wouldn’t have quit so, so fast or early, right?
Melody: (00:16:37) Yeah, no, for sure. And I think I learned so much for being a part of Jubilee. Like, uh, whenever I talked to Jason, I’m just like, Oh, like I was getting a little like small. Well dose of emotional illness, because I’m just like, man, you like, Juilbee is all about empathy. So imagine our team meetings, everyone go around and share. It’s like feelings all the time. And I’m a big deal. I’m like, yeah, let’s do it. My feeling let’s go first. It’s the other people are just like, Oh, okay. Like he really cares about people. And I think that really translated well. And I think for me learning how he navigates and also Jason in general, he’s incredibly intelligent. So like he knows how to like. He just, I used to tell people he’s one of the best bosses I’ve ever had because Jason is so level-headed too. Like, he doesn’t like, he’s not, he doesn’t like, um, make decisions based on emotion. He knows how to give you like good feedback and criticism, constructive criticism, because you’re not like, Oh, everything’s fine and dandy, but I just, you learn a lot about how to, how to communicate to someone with, by working with Jason. So I think I learned how to kind of be very open with. How to like open a communication from my Jubilee team. And I bring that into ABG as much as I can.
Bryan: (00:17:46) Yeah. I really liked that a lot too. And you know, when you look back on your work experience, you know, it’s crazy how, as an entrepreneur, now you draw on every single experience that you’ve ever had in your life to make decisions. You know, that’s pretty crazy. It’s, it’s, it’s insane. Yeah, absolutely.
Maggie: (00:18:05) So, you know, just talking about Asian boss girl, and, you know, you know, getting that podcast running, how did you kind of determine who your target audience was like? And like, how did you get the word out for the podcast?
Bryan: (00:18:16) We’re going to talk about ourselves.
Melody: (00:18:23) Yeah. I think at that time we were talking about why do we want to do a podcast? Is, you know, naturally working corporate jobs. We’re really asking ourselves, like we would share podcasts. Oh, have you listened to how I built this? Or, Oh, have you listened to Oprah? We just started sharing like podcast episodes with each other. And then we realized like, Oh, podcasting. The podcasting world is actually very popular for working nine corporate people. Because I can’t be like, like typing away on my lap. I’m watching this. Like, I mean, I could watch YouTube videos. Cause that was my job. But like before I couldn’t like watch like bunch of videos or like consume other types of like media, because it was, it’s not, it’s not, you can’t do that work. It’s it’s, it’s not right. Or it’s inappropriate and it’s frowned upon. So I’m realizing, Oh yeah, maybe the. As working women, I think podcasting space makes sense for us because everyone can see our friends and our peers consume this. So it just made, it just made like the, it was like the perfect platform for us. I think also knowing the fact that we, we are a target audience or like, we like the fact that, you know, Hey, we did notice that there’s not a lot of people working or even on YouTube or on the podcast these days talking about what is it like working nine to five. Yeah. How, how do you balance that life? Cause like, I love YouTube. I watch a lot of beauty influencers and like, um, like, uh, other people on the, on the, on YouTube. I’m like, Oh, but their life is very different than mine. So that relate-ability was always kind of missing for me. And so for the podcast, we’re really intentional. Like, let’s just share our story. Like, you know, we’re a nine to five working women let’s see who could relate to that. And so, um, I think by default, we just kind of like just shared our personal stories as Helen, Mel, and Janet, like navigating, dating, working, and like family, um, in our twenties and thirties. And I think we just found a lot of reception, like, Oh, everyone’s like, Oh, I that’s like me. I relate to that. Or like, Oh, I think we really found our community in our, in our, in our niche. So I think it was just like a very organic thing because, um, I also feel it’s nice. I mean, for me too, it’s just like, it’s nice to speak on something. It feels so like. Like, like, it just feels very natural to talk about this. Cause I think working in social media, like one thing I learned is that when you’re managing a brand, you have to speak in that brand’s voice. And sometimes that brand’s voice isn’t really authentic to who you are. Like I used to work at this, like for fast fashion. I had to like social, uh, social media, his shoes, when I’m writing copy, I had to be like, yo like step it up. Or like, uh, say things like. Are you catching the Superbowl this weekend? And I know I’m not gonna lie. I was like, my manager, Andrew was like, Oh my God, that’s so creative. I’m like, I was like, yeah, it is. But it just feels kind of like authentic to kind of who you are. So having ABG felt refreshing and be like, I could just literally truly speak as. Like in my, like, as Mel, as an Asian American woman, um, in terms of branding and marketing, um, I mean, I did work in social media marketing, so definitely helped in my background to like figure out okay, what’s our branding. Um, um, how do I want our social media feed to look? And I think what also helped us in the beginning is that, you know, obviously we’re all connected with Phil, from Wong Fu and he like helped us edit the first season and taught us how to edit the following seasons. And he does have a strong influence in the community and like, you know, being a creator in here. For so long. And he did like spread the word and then we shared, we share the pockets with our friends, which ended up share. They started sharing with their friends and we just got a lot of good support in the beginning. Yeah. And I think for us, in terms of marketing, like I, we always told ourselves to. Is that okay. We have really great friends that could spread the word for us, but it’s our job to make sure this content is great because people could come to our page. But if the content sucks, they’re gonna leave. How do you, how do you retain your audience? Right. So we put on ourselves to like, what are topics where you feel excited to talk about? Are they, are they a variety of topics? I don’t want to just talk about like, Love for three fucking episodes. And it has to talk about like careers and like, how can we even go deeper and be like, how, what are the real struggles people are not addressing so out the topics and the variety of it kind of helps us with like marketing the topics and the, and the content and, um, Social social. Just fun for me. It’s like, okay, let’s do photos like photos dynamic, just figuring out what works for your feed. Um, it was something we kind of like looked into and we chose Instagram intentionally because at the time when I was like, kind of researching, which platform makes sense for us, um, I really look at engagement as my like metric of success for audience. And so at that time, Instagram had the highest engaged. Yeah, engagement and for our audience versus like a Facebook or Twitter. So it’s like, okay, let’s use Instagram to market. So it was kind of, it was definitely intentional with marketing and branding in the beginning for us.
Bryan: (00:22:58) Yeah. I really liked that. Strategic thinking at the very beginning and just really getting the word out, building the foundation, building confidence, gaining more momentum. See you guys get where you are, is where you guys are announced. Absolutely amazing. Congratulate. Yeah. Thank you.
Maggie: (00:23:14) I think a big part of it also, like you touched on melody is like you are, you three are so true to herself. Just talking about. Topics that we don’t normally talk about outfield, best friends, right? Sex relationships, like stuff that we want to like learn more about and like try to find YouTube videos about, but so much out there that like, it’s hard to kind of pinpoint on what you want to find your shooting was.
Bryan: (00:24:00) like on Instagram, like people would share reshare your podcast episodes and be like, Oh, my God, this one was so relatable, right? Like, especially girls, just talking about things that they can only talk about, like in person or out loud, or they don’t know who to talk to about it. Right. And so just like listening to your podcast and hearing you three talk about those topics is just so comforting.
Bryan: (00:24:22) Right? Asian, Asian boss, boy parked cars.
Melody: (00:24:26) I know someone asked about that too. I mean, so let’s just start it, you know? No, but I, I agree. Like, I think even for myself, like I would be looking for this content and like, There’s there’s so many, like different, like one topic has so many different ranges, right? Like for example, stuff like the things that I’m looking for, it’s either like, kind of like shied, like brushed over because people are like, just like not comfortable. It’s taboo in our community too. Or they go like, hell into it. I’m just like, yeah. Like Johnny didn’t know that. So it’s like, how can I find like, What, what’s my comfort level with talking about sex. It’s probably in between. So like, I think just sharing that it’s like, okay. And you know what it is. Do I feel like when you’re on Instagram or like in media, you see everything so polished, like, Oh, sex is going to look so sex or in love with me, this beautiful. It’s like, girl, it’s messy is awkward. It’s like all these other things that we need a shared, because I think I was a kid growing up. Like I was like, Oh, I had certain visions of things and what I saw a screen or what I read in books. I’m like, this is not true, dude. This is not reality. Yeah, sharing the reality of things, you know, is what we try to do. But through our experiences, our awkward experiences,
Bryan: (00:25:32) I love, I love how honest you guys are to your audience too. I’m kind of curious too. I mean, like now that you’re doing this well, this your mom’s opinion, I was going to ask last year, getting corporate job. What happened?
Melody: (00:25:49) Yeah. I mean, I think all of us can relate to the fact of wanting to make our parents proud and making sure like. Um, you know, they, they immigrated here hoping to, you know, have us, you know, are their children to be stable. And my mom and I overall have a really great relationship, but the only time you had a sense of tension and was literally when I told her, I was like, yeah, I’m gonna, I’m gonna move to LA to do this Wong Fu internship. She was like, what are you doing? Like what? She was like, my mom’s like the most like. She gets excited when she gets things out Ross on sale. Like she loves penny pinching. That’s her thing. Right. Mom, my mama just gave her like, guess how much this cost, like, that’s her.
Maggie: (00:26:27) just like, that’s how much this costs.
Melody: (00:26:30) I know. I’m just like, okay, I’m done $10, no five. I’m like, all right. So I think my mom comes from a place where she likes like finance being financially conservative. It’s I guess, falls under. The category my mom is. And I think the fact that I didn’t get a full-time job right away, she was like, Ugh. Like I hate that my daughter like is not, you know, and she also kind of wants to like humblebrag, you know, like, Oh my friend’s kids are doing this. I’m like, great. I don’t want to work at Facebook even though have great food. Um, and all this stuff. Right. Have really good food. Um, but I think for me, like, It was really hard the couple of years when I was like navigating, like working in the creative field. Cause she saw how much I made. She was like, Oh, it’s not a lot. And like, I would cry a lot and it just learning. And I think at that time, the thing I learned the most is like how to communicate with my Asian mother what’s going on without offending or hurting her feelings. So that’s something I learned without experience, but I think eventually I told her, I said, Hey, like I understand your concern and I get it. But like, you do understand that like leading up to like 22, I’ve never in quote unquote failed you. And you’ve been really proud of me ever since. And you have to know that I, I know how to make the right decisions for me. Like ever since I was a child, I, I, I go with my gut and my gut has never stirred me and said wrong, wrong way. And so I was like, trust me on this. And I gave her a timeline saying, let me do this for one year. That way, you also understand on your end that this is not like long-term and by default, the one-year turn into other more years, because I started getting like corporate jobs. I got paid more. And even now, like with ABG, it’s funny, you asked, like, how did your mom take it? Cause I was, um, we went full, we all three of us internally, like, okay, we’re going to do this now. And I was like, Oh, I have to tell my mom, like my mom heard about the podcasts. I, how she had her on the episode, but she didn’t know, like, she was like, Oh, that’s a fun project you’re doing. That’s great. That’s all she thought it was. Yeah. And I called her just to catch up and just by default, I don’t know how it just like very natural in the conversation. My mom was kind of going off about how like, Saying, because I have like, you know, extended family that has definitely come from really great background. They have a good they’re set for life. And mom was saying like, you know, I know like I don’t have that for you and your brother. Like, I don’t have this like inherited company. I don’t have this bunch of money to get passed down to you and your brother, but you know, I’m so proud. At least my kids are very self-made and they’re making on their own. I’m really proud of proud of that as a mom. And I was like, Oh, that’s really nice, mom. It’s funny. You mentioned that. Um, um, this really awkward for me to fake. Um, but we decided to go full-time with the podcast and she was like, Oh, and then she’s like, she’s like, I believe in you, I trust you. And I think, and I think you’re going to do great. And she’s like, you know, um, let me know if you need anything help, any help. I’ll be here if like, financially, like whatever, like just, and I was like very moved by that. Cause I’m just like, damn like my mom literally was like, okay, with me pursuing a creative career when she didn’t was like, kind of against in the beginning. And you know, she’s like so supportive. She literally went to our meetups and like what take photos and like help set up balloons and stuff for us. And she would even like, yeah, Like, even when I released a video on YouTube should be the first one, our family chat to be like, Oh, Melanie has a new video. And I just felt kind of like, like, it makes me so proud. I’m making her really proud. She’ll always ask me, how’s ABD doing? Like, are you guys doing okay? And I feel like, I feel like I got to a point where like, I feel really like I did it as a daughter. Like I made her proud. I obviously, there’s more things I definitely want to do, like, you know, pay for a plane ticket somewhere. But I think having her support means so much to me. And it’s something I definitely want to. Acknowledged because I know that’s something that not a lot of people have, but their parents. And so I feel very fortunate that I have my mom who was very, very supportive of what I’m doing.
Maggie: (00:30:17) Yeah. I’m tearing up
Bryan: (00:30:22) Russian motions where. Yeah. And it was like a slight tense in a cool breeze. I don’t know if that makes sense or not.
Maggie: (00:30:30) I think usually like Asian parents, they just like, try not to talk about all the time, like how they just want the best for us and want us to be happy. Right. But the only thing that they know is like, Just like, you know, those viable careers that are at the top of their mind, like, you know, you have to have a stable job and benefits, but they don’t. I think because they come from a different generation, they don’t see how, like, you know, we can make money being in the media or like content creation. So it’s just hard for them to understand. No, that’s okay. I think that, you know, when we actually make that decision and they can see that, that we grew up into the person that we are today, Like, they are able to kind of understand us from our point of view and, and trust us. Right. Because they grew up and, you know, we’re no longer like little kids anymore, so I just want
Bryan: (00:31:16) to see his happy. Yeah.
Melody: (00:31:18) Yeah. It’s no, for sure. I mean, it’s something it’s like, it’s hard because I also think being Asian-American like, we grew up in a sense of like, you feel guilt, like not like doing what they want to do, because guilt is like the biggest way of punishment, I think. But, um, yeah, we just feel, I just felt, we just feel bad. Like we want to it’s like, how do we, can we juggle this? Like we want to make you happy. We also want to be happy and like, There’s a sense of like feeling selfish of wanting to pursue what you want to do, because you know, that’s kind of upsets them, but Maggie, I think you’re right. It’s because, um, they come from a different generation and their values are a little bit different. Um, but yeah. Are your parents like, uh, supportive of what you guys are doing?
Bryan: (00:31:54) So my dad, I left my job twice, right. I listened the first time to start a real estate company and I remember eating dinner and he just stopped eating. He stand up and walked out to a different room. Because I left my high paying engineering job. I used to be assaulted. Right. He’s like, Oh my God, I can’t believe you did this. Um, but through real estate company, I showed that I could be successful. And then I decided to get some points near job gearing. Cause I want to keep my parents happy. I left that again for ease hostel network. But second time around, he was a lot more supportive. He was like, you know what, you’re still young. You can do this. I got it. And I remember like using this phone for like GPS, right. And then looking through his character, his apps by accident, I saw like he was like Googling and every single time I was like, at least like. 18 and 19,000 Asian lots and nowhere, he saved every single article. We were on the LA times or Bloomberg Merck or something. And all our YouTube channels and Facebook page is always a constant refresh. And every time we hit a milestone, he’s the first person that texted me. And he’s like, congratulations on 70 K likes on group or page or whatever. And he’s like, now that you’re on clubhouse, it’s like, we seen how you’re growing really fast, too. Like. He’s just a lot more supportive than I thought, you know, because I had kind of a tiger dad in some ways where he’s like, , you know,
Melody: (00:33:17) I can only imagine also at different to navigate like a father, father, son relationship versus a mother daughter it’s different to you. There’s like a little, I think maybe the stereotype is like, you know, emotions, it’s hard to even show even support or love it’s it’s yeah. Hard to translate, you know, in that type of dynamic, but that’s, that’s, that’s amazing.
Bryan: (00:33:33) Is it relatable or your story too? Because you know, my parents sent me down and they were like, well, we’re not that rich. Yeah, no, you had fend for yourself. And you know, when you told a story, I was like, yeah, I’m like, you’re really tug the heartstrings in my heart because it’s like, you know, my mom, my parents did admit to me, I love weak. There’s nothing to inherit. All we can give you is our values, right?
Melody: (00:33:56) Yeah. Well, how about you Maggie?
Maggie: (00:34:00)Yeah, so my parents, so I was actually working in tech before quitting my job to work on Asian also about one full time. So I had the no benefits, you know, I had a stable income and so my mom would always be telling me like, don’t quit your job. You know, you have a good job. You have a good benefits, like know, just stay at your job. And. And be safe. Right? So, yeah, when I actually quit my job, I didn’t even tell my parents. I told my sisters. And so I told my sisters not to tell my parents because I didn’t want them to worry. I got that. My mom has Facebook and see everything. And so Brian actually posted on Asian hustle network group that I quit my job. She’s actually in the Facebook group. And so she saw and found out through Facebook. But they didn’t even reach out to me and say like, you quit your job. I think they knew that I didn’t want them to worry and kind of like if she wanted to tell us, like, she would tell us when she’s ready and stuff like that, like they would bring it up sometimes and they’d be like, Hey, you’re still paying for the bills for our house. Like. Do you want us to take over the bills? I’m like, no, no, no. I just don’t want them to worry.
Melody: (00:35:07) You got that balance there, right? Yeah. There’s definitely something there. I think there’s like this. Um, I guess I could kind of relate about like how your mom, like. She probably she knows, but she also wants to respect your boundary of like, she’ll tell me when she’s comfortable. Uh, but there’s always like this like quiet support too in some ways. Right. I think it’s really, really, um, It’s really within the Asian American community. You see that a lot too. So,
Maggie: (00:35:34) but I like resonate with you too, because my parents couldn’t understand like how I would possibly make money is they’re just like, how would you make money from Asian hustle network? But at the same time, they like started to trust me more, you know, like they just check in on me to see if I’m like working too hard, you know, make sure I take a break as we start, I’m looking out for my mental health. And they’re saying like, if you need help, like. Let us know, but like, I don’t want to, I think also in the Asian culture, like, I don’t want to burden them with like asking for money and stuff like that. Obviously I’m not making as much as I am when at corporate, but I do want to make them proud, you know? And so, you know, just kinda like putting it out there on like Facebook, they like see everything that happens on Facebook. And my mom’s always like, do you want me to join this Facebook group? Like I saw this notification, like,
Melody: (00:36:15) isn’t that so cute. Yeah. Like, I think it’s really, I think it’s so be her parents are finding ways within our like, like platforms, like Facebook, Instagram to support. Like they’re like, cause I think for them it’s like, Oh, if I joined that one membership will be sweet and stuff like that would do so much. My mom had this thing where, so. My mom has been teaching my great aunts. Like my grandpa’s sisters had to go on Instagram or whatever. And my mom’s like, Oh, do you want me to teach you this uncle? He could give you a, like, I was like, okay, I appreciate thought, but it’s okay. But I think it’s very endearing to see how our parents are trying to like insert themselves into our life, to support us in ways that are very foreign to them. You know?
Bryan: (00:37:02) I definitely, I mean, I love these stories too, but I definitely want to hear more about like your, your entrepreneurial journey to like winter standard, that the Austrian journey commute very hard, difficult. And you look at the end day, you have to look deep into yourself. Like, do you want, because you’re constantly being tested. Every every, every day, like there’s a fire every day, you know, can you talk a little bit, like, a little bit about your highs and lows and like really look yourself deep in married life, melody, what are you doing?
Melody: (00:37:36) It’s it’s hard. Cause like I remember this night when I was, it was literally two months before we went full time and I was in SF and grabbing drinks literally. For some reason, all my friends at the time was like three dudes. Uh, no, I was not dating anymore. Um, and, uh, there’s three guys and all of them were entrepreneurs. And I didn’t even realize that I was like, Oh shit. Like one was like a culinary chef. He was like, its own chef. One is a photographer. And one was also started on video production company in the Bay. And I’m like, and we’re talking, they’re like, Mel, when are you? You know, there’s going to be a time. We’re gonna have to pull that trigger and make that leap. And I was like, what are you talking about? I was like, no, I could do this. Like, I still love my job. Like why? Like, there’s gotta be a time where you’re going to have to make that jump. And you have to like, be like ready for it and you can do it. I’m like, okay. Like kind of like, I kind of like, yeah, I get it. Um, and then fast forward to like, I’m quitting Jubilee. I’m just like, what is going on? Like what is happening here? And to be honest, I think there’s a, like, uh, it was a weird feeling even to this day. I find it really weird to call myself an entrepreneur because I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean, I guess I am one, I just waited, like I am an entrepreneur, it just feels like a title. That’s kind of like, kind of a daunting. So it just feels like there’s so many things to like live up to as an entrepreneur. Right. Um, so I was like, Oh, I’m a podcast host through phone. Like I just, like, I feel like I kind of go that route more, but I think it’s learning how to really embrace being an entrepreneur. And it’s something I think for me, it’s a working relationship because, um, I don’t know. I think like, even like with an ABG, I’m like, okay, do I see myself as a CEO? Do I see myself as like a marketing director? Like within this role, what do I see myself as you know? So I think the term entrepreneur is something I’m still trying to like grapple and really embrace in terms of like, I guess like ups and downs. It’s been it’s a lot. I think we didn’t expect. I mean, we didn’t have to go full-time and all that stuff, but I think for me, It was, there was a time, I think it kind of talked about that earlier today, but like, um, when COVID happened, obviously Helen Janet and myself had to like figure out how to work together in this space. And there was a moment where I think all three of us are going through things personally, because everyone’s trying to like. Kind of processed COVID and it’s affected everyone differently. And for me, I just felt in a really weird place and effected my work and I felt kind of like not motivated. And I think all three of us felt moments of it. And we had to talk, we had to talk about and be like, yo, what’s going on? Like, what is happening with all of us? Like, are we happy with the speed of work or doing, why are you not happy? What, like what, what is missing for all three of us that needs to like freaking ignite this engine in us. Right. And. I learned during that conversation is like, I was like, you guys, like, I think for me, I really need to understand why are we doing this again?We just kind of like leaped into ABD. Full-time like, we’re doing it. And they made a pivot and it felt like for me, we’re just doing things like we just have like next episode, next thing. And whatever it was. Yeah. I’m someone that I really want to cherish a moment of like, we’re doing this, this is incredible. This is so much fun. And that, those few months of last year I thought I lost that. And I was like, okay. I was like, what is my why? Like, why am I doing this? Like, why am I doing this? Full time. And I had to ask them, like, why aren’t you guys, can you guys list out to me? Why are you pursuing ABD? Full-time what does this fulfill for you? Because I’m someone that I’m driven by. Y if you tell me what, and what are we doing that isn’t for me, that doesn’t translate. So I had to be like, why, why does, what does ABG mean to me? Why am I doing this? Why is this significant? I had to answer these questions and I had asked them to, can you please answer them as well? Because I want us on the same page. And after that, after that conversation, We also like talk through like, okay, what is our working styles? Or would you want it? Yeah. You want to turn up a little bit? Can you, and then we also check on each other, like, can you mentally handle this? Can you turn off? Can you turn off the engine? Can you, can you speed it up? Okay. We can let’s speed it up a little bit. And ever since that conversation of that, Y I, and knowing like our like bandwidth and our mental health capacity, I guess, with the work, it’s been like a constant, like, we just like ruined it up, you know, like I remember, I would always say, like, I feel like a car and. I always like to describe us as a car. Cause I think all three of us have different strengths. And for me, it’s for me to remember this because you know, on the day-to-day things, get things, get tough. You’re like, like you might get like, Oh, this annoyed me. Or like, whatever, but like remembering like our strengths in our team, like for me, I always say like Helen, Helen to me is like the gas pedal. She knows how to like, she’s so good at getting shit done. Like she’s smart too. Like, she’s just she’s good. She was like, Oh, it’s like, she could, she could steer as well. For me. I always think of as being the why I’m like the map. I want to know a direction we’re heading to, because I want to feel like I have a purpose in this. And Janet she’s like our guests. Like, she, we need that. She’s like, literally like so supportive. She’s like, uh, like so good at everything too, that we need her to continue along this path. And I think all three of us are needed to like drive this car are also going to be just sitting there. Like, where are we going? So I think. Whenever we have moments of like tough times of like, Oh man, like this is like, some days are longer than others. You guys probably know. Like there are days when I might be working till 10:00 PM or 11, because a call is coming in or something last minute happened. And that’s something I need to like understand that is kind of the nature of being an entrepreneur. Like the hours are not. Nine to five anymore. And I try to just stay true and remember, like, what’s my, why what’s our strengths and what are we doing? Why are we doing this? Um, I think another thing that’s really difficult for me personally, that I, I go through maybe separately than those two to my two co-hosts is that. I love a very, I used to love nine to five because like, cool, five don’t talk to me. I’m done. I get to like, do my own thing and I get to like lounge and vege out. But now being an entrepreneur, you have to be ready to go. It’s the one taps you’re like, wait, what is it? What do you need? And you have a team now you’re like, does your team, like your team needs you for support, but I’m like, man, like, I mean, I’m so used to turning off. How do you create this mental balance for yourself? You’re like, okay, I’m my default. My job is I’m always on my phone, but. That will affect me, like mentally, right? So it’s accepting that like, okay. My job as an a, a little bit more out of me, it’s not the typical eight hours a day. What is my threshold that I could feel comfortable working? Okay. Maybe nine hours today. Maybe I’ll take a nap. You know, I’ll take a nap. I get to take a nap during the day to help me last longer and, um, understanding what works for me. I think that the last thing I learned during the tough times, As an entrepreneur is that like, I’m no longer an employee. I am like a CEO now and no, one’s going to advocate for myself. Besides my, besides me, before you to tell your manager, I’m having a hard time balancing this. Do you mind taking this off my plate or do you, how can I better manage my time with these projects? Now that you’re your own boss and you’re the CEO in some as like the biggest, I guess like the highest you can on the totem pole. No, one’s going to advocate for yourself, but you, so you have to know your boundaries and be like, Hey, Hey guys, I’m having to like, today’s contest. I’m going to be, I mean, I’m being, I’m going to log off all day tomorrow, things like that. So that confidence, it’s kind of difficult to be like, Hey, like, I’m sorry, you got to take time off, like learning how to be confident saying, Hey, I’m going to take a few hours off tomorrow. I’m doing this because you know how much work you put in previously? So how do you advocate for yourself? That’s the thing I’m, I’m still learning how to do as an entrepreneur, as a CEO or founder. But I think these are things that I’m like. Are really important for me that to have longevity in this, like in this journey.
Bryan: (00:45:14) Cause you know, like there’s always so much work to do something always like, Oh, that’s a gradient. Oh, that’s, that’s a gradient. And before you know your bandwidth so full, but then you are. The beating heart of the organization. If you burn out is done to take care of yourself first, to carry your co-founders to
Maggie: (00:34:33) zoomed out and gave that car analogy like that helps me understand how you three are and how you guys work together too. And it’s so true. Like we’re always like in the weeds as an entrepreneur, just like doing the day-to-day tasks, easy to forget, like, why are we doing this? Like, what is the reason, right. Yeah. Zoom out and think about that from time to time is so important to keep going,
Bryan: (00:45:55) especially in the Asian culture to overwork because this one’s Gloria. Yeah.
Melody: (00:46:01) Yeah, for sure. And it’s like also hard to even like mental health. Like, we don’t talk about this in our community, but like, I think it’s extremely important because. I think it’s also in our, in our nature to like Doug to not want to disappoint. Like, that’s why I think advocating for yourself, whether you’re an entrepreneur or whether you’re just working full time. It’s hard because you’re like, I don’t want to, I’m a people pleaser. I don’t wanna disappoint you. I want to make sure I’m just doing the best job I can. And sometimes doing the best job you can. You overexert yourself, but how can you be like, Hey, this is a little too much for me. And I think a lot of young people have difficult. Is doing that because they’re so new to the game of corporate corporate careers, like outside of my intern. And I could tell she was a little like hesitant, hesitant to like share how many hours she’s been working at our other team. I’m just like, you have to tell them how much time you’re working on certain projects because they’re, and they’re, they’re not, it’s not that they’re being careless about you. They’re thinking about their own like work. So it’s your job to be like, Hey blank, this project took me two hours versus 30 minutes. Do you expect it? So I need to like move things around, but it’s hard. It’s hard to talk about this stuff.
Bryan: (00:46:59) Yeah, definitely. I thank you for touching upon that too. I mean, I appreciate you being so vulnerable and authentic in our conversations. I know those two words are often thrown around a lot, but in this age it’s like, it’s yeah, we need to hear this because you know, when we look at Asian Oscars, it’s like, wow, you guys have to have your shit together. And every day must’ve fallen into place and divine intervention, all that with the name, Asian, Moscow,
Melody: (00:47:27) um, it was, um, it was supposed to be a wine in a bottle. So Doug, um, because okay. When we first started, we’re like, Oh, we could just like, go on the mic and just drink a bunch of wine and just talk about our life and. And we’re like, okay, one a bottle, if we’re just joking around about it. And then we heard the first episode and feels like y’all you guys sounded way too drunk. And we’re like, no, we don’t because we’re in. And then we heard it. We’re like, Oh shit. Yeah, we sound really bad. And so we realized for us, cause we have three people. I dunno, YouTube, like having three people on the mic is like, how do you. How do you coordinate? Like, Oh, and you’re like, Oh, you go like this, uh, there’s kind of weird game. And then you go and then you go on tangents and then one of us will be like, what was the question again? What was it like? It’s like, you lose focus on the topic. And so. Like after a couple of tries, we were like, all right. I don’t think free, like, let’s nix the wine. That’s not going to work. So we started outlining our podcasts and Asian Bosco came up. Cause we were like, what can describe who we are. I mean, we’re Asian-American woman like. We’re working on a five. What is it? And then we, we talked about the acronym, like ABG, cause like I definitely use it for term ABG in college and like, you know, when you go clothing, it’s like, do I look an ABG tonight? Like, are my lashes too? Okay. It’s whatever. But there’s definitely like a negative connotation to like Asian baby girl. And, um, I think it came from the 1990s, like the term ABG, but, um, For like, you know, there’s definitely an ABG agent, maybe girl in all of us, like all, a lot of the Asian American women. But right now it’s a little bit more, we’re more involved now. We’re Asian boss, woman, Asian boss girls, because now we’re working, you know, maybe we might show a little skin here from time to time. Right. But it’s okay. And like, it’s okay. How has it, how do we embrace that? Like Asian, maybe girls side of us that’d be worse, but now we’re evolved as Asian American, like Asian boss girl. So it’s finding that like, I think for us Asian Bosco was that term of like, we are constantly evolving as Asian American women. And that’s fine. It’s okay to be a little bit sexy. It’s okay. To be a little bit more vocal, but that is part of who we are. Yeah. At the end, that’s a photo for us. Asian boss would just sound like a perfect fit.
Maggie: (00:49:33) Yeah. I love it. All of the names. So Melanie, we have one last question for you and that is what one advice could you give to an Asian boss girl or an Asian boss boy for that matter?
Melody: (00:49:48) Okay. Um, Dang. That’s hard, man. There’s so much, there’s so many gold nuggets I learned from like my other friends who were like, Jason gives me really good advice. Um, I think for me personally, that worked is always stay true to your why and know your why know your mission, because again, you can get lost in the weeds of the, what you’re doing. Like the day-to-day tasks that. If it doesn’t serve your, why it’s not going to contribute to your long-term success. So I think knowing your why and like, yeah, knowing your why, like, why are you going into this project or your business? And yeah, I think that has really helped me stay grounded with ABG and anything that I do. Um, but yeah, I think that’s my advice.
Bryan: (00:50:28) That’s that’s very deep, really on our podcast episode. H Y Y.
Maggie: (00:50:39) Awesome. So where can our listeners find out more about you and Asian boss girl online?
Melody: (00:50:43) Yeah, so you can find me on my, I guess my Instagram at melody see Chang and for Asian boss, we can find this at all the podcasting platforms on Spotify, Apple podcasts at Asian boss, girl, and our Instagram is at Asian boss girl. Or you can also find us on our website at Asian boss, girl.com.
Bryan: (00:50:58) Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on today’s podcast, melody, Kayla.
Maggie: (00:51:04) It was amazing hearing your story. Thank you so much for being on.
Melody: (00:51:07) Thank you for inviting me.
Outro: [00:51:09] Hey guys, we hope you enjoy this episode. Please subscribe to the show.
We would like to get to the top 10 on iTunes so be sure to leave us a five-star review. We release an episode every single Wednesday. So, stay tuned.
Thank you, guys, so much.