Yvonne Yua is an Elite Mompreneur Member based out of Burnaby, BC, and is a successful Financial Professional and Brokerage Owner with World Financial Group, where she is dedicated to helping others find financial freedom. We’re thrilled to share Yvonne’s Success Story!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I was inspired to become an entrepreneur when I repeatedly witnessed my corporate job colleagues invest in higher education in hopes of gunning for a better position and compensation, only to discover that they had unknowingly turned themselves into a liability to the company. As a triple minority (female, Chinese-Malaysian, young millennial), I had to work three times as hard to move up. I eventually hit the glass ceiling when I got promoted to manager. The only way to move up was for me to invest 15+ years into the company, obtain an MBA degree, wait for a position to open up, and compete with my colleagues for the job. At the end of it all, I would have only helped build something that could never be mine to own or to pass on. Despite all the right reasons, I lacked the courage to leave what was comfortable and somewhat stable.
Things changed when I became a mom. When my daughter was three months old, I was given the opportunity to begin my journey in learning about financial services and eventually owning my own financial brokerage. Being a mom gave me the courage and inspiration to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part about owning my own business is the freedom to call my own shots around priorities, time management, and income potential. I love that no two days are exactly the same. I wake up inspired and excited to create solutions to make tomorrow happier and more beautiful for individuals and families. I go to bed knowing I have made a difference and my investment in my business has compounded another day.
Can you describe a typical day?
No two days are exactly the same for me, which I love! On most days I wake up very well rested. From home, I check my email and messages then touch base with my assistant. If I’m not working from home you will find me at a breakfast or lunch meeting with a friend, a prospect, a networking group, or a product partner. Then I get to my office for an early afternoon client appointment or hiring interview. After lunch, I pick up my daughter from school, escort her to an after school activity, or help her with homework. I will hold a few more client meetings either before or after dinner. After my daughter goes to bed, I tackle the dishes while listening to podcasts or audio books or take care of the laundry while watching Netflix. Late evenings are when my creative juices flow because there’s no interruption. That’s when I write speaking or marketing content and create client solutions. I end my day with 30 minutes of reading before retiring to bed.
Who do you count on for help? Do you have a network of family that answer the call?
When you’re running a business while juggling family and community commitments, you have to learn to ask for help and show a ton of gratitude! One of the best and most profitable decisions I’ve ever made was hiring an assistant for my business as it freed me up to do what only I can do and what I do best. My lovely husband ensures our family, our team and our clients feel loved through his cooking! I call on my out of town parents and in-laws to help with babysitting when my husband and I have to attend conferences. The biggest thanks will have to go to my daughter who has been so understanding and patient when attending long meetings and client appointments with me since she was baby!
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
During the start-up years, most of my time and finances were allocated to the development of the business; volunteer commitments had to be limited and home improvements had to be put on the back-burner. Now as my daughter gets busier with school work and entering her pre-teen years, I’ve reduced my evening and weekend meetings to make time for her.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
A day off is when I am vacationing without my phone and knowing that my awesome team of advisors and assistants are taking care of business back home.
Are you active in your community? What does supporting local mean to you?
I am quite active in my church community, especially with the women’s group. I facilitate bible studies and help mentor other women. I also volunteer my time and expertise weekly to teach financial literacy to men and women in addiction recovery. To me, supporting local means being invested in people and organizations that share similar values. Local doesn’t necessarily mean nearness in a geographical sense. I care about many different causes and have supported organizations that do good work in elevating the overlooked and voiceless in China, Laos, Uganda, Mexico, and Canada. I am also very passionate about the mission project in Ethiopia where I get to work with widowed mothers who are receiving micro business loans to be empowered with financial literacy and entrepreneurial tools.
Name another entrepreneur who inspires you.
I admire and am inspired by a fellow Canadian entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson, one of the investors who appeared on Dragons’ Den, CEO of Venture Communications, and a published author. Arlene is a self-made multi-millionaire who possesses business savvy and a big heart. I met Arlene a few years ago at a company convention in Las Vegas. She struck me as a woman of strength and accolade, yet she carries herself with such gentleness and humility. I aspire to be that role model and inspiration to other women, especially to my daughter.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
Almost everyone I encounter can benefit from tax-saving strategies and improving their financial status. I am honoured to be an active participant in this movement of empowering and elevating financial literacy among middle income families, women, and children. It is my dream that one day everyone will understand how money works as we understand how teeth-brushing works. It is when you understand money (beyond just learning about it) that you truly feel empowered to make sound decisions about where and how it flows. I like to encourage everyone to know your worth and protect it. Dream of your future net worth then design and implement an action plan to achieve it!
Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?
- Find a mentor.
- Identify your gifts and strengths and build on them.
- Know when to say “No.” Don’t hesitate to delegate or ask for help.
- Ignore the naysayers. Use them to fuel you!
- Be passionate and tell your face when it doesn’t show.
- Take calculated risks and don’t be afraid to fail forward.
- Read and apply “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, and “The E Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber.
- There is no such thing as work-life balance and be okay with it. There will be seasons when one might be a priority over the other.
- Be disciplined with your resources (time, finances, health, etc.).
- Focus on important priorities; not just the urgent ones
A version of Yvonne’s Success Story was previously published in December 2016.