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Own Your Story #30 with Zoe Chew: The biggest risk one can take is not taking enough risks

When I met Zoe in a book sharing session, I shared a book called ‘The Surrender Experiment’ while she shared Elon Musk’s biography.

It sparked an interesting conversation when she said that Elon Musk will never surrender in anything he does.

As I got to know Zoe better, I came to appreciate our different approach in life — I am all about guts feeling while she is strategic, just like Elon Musk.

1| Consistency in reading 40 books a year

Inspired by Elon’s Musk ferocious reading routine, Zoe started an interesting project to read 40 books a year in 2017. From someone who struggled to finish even just a book a year, this is a big leap that takes a lot of commitment.

When asked about the secret to complete this ambitious goal, Zoe’s response was exceptionally simple — read one hour a day consistently. From this project, Zoe learned that consistency is the key to turn small effort into big milestone.

2| Not taking enough risks is the biggest risk

Zoe’s way of approaching work and life is very much influenced by great entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. She sees tremendous values in understanding their lives and emulates their decision-making process.

I was slightly bewildered when Zoe said, ‘the biggest risk is not taking enough risk.’

This explains her endeavor in entrepreneurship, blogging and music production. She learned from her role models to take risk and act on the things that she believes in.

3| ‘Know thyself’ is an important asset

As a creator and entrepreneur, Zoe has an interesting view in term of what she is proud of. Instead of falling back to creation, she feels a sense of pride for having a clear direction in knowing what to do next.

To her, being self-aware is the greatest asset one could have.

4| Start a day with an end goal in mind

Besides being the co-founder of a digital marketing company, Zoe also blogs about productivity and creates a music production platform on Product Hunt.

To Zoe, getting things done is about creating a process and tracking tool to make productivity an inevitable outcome. She has a mantra to start every day with an end goal in mind, making the process so streamlined that she can always accomplish what she sets out to do.

5| Foster connection

Zoe’s role model, Elon Musk, has a famous mental model called First Principle, where he boils things down to the fundamental elements and reasons up.

In Zoe’s case, her First Principle In life is fostering connection. Beyond the general perception of connection with external factors such as people and the environment, it encapsulates the connection with oneself, a sense of purpose, and a person’s gift.

This is also the guiding principle in Zoe’s work to create things that bring people together and experience meaning in life.

Embrace diversity

At the end of the conversation with Zoe, we were both mesmerized by how we do things differently and yet we share the same values — to create something that has a bigger impact in the world beyond ourselves.

I learned a lot from her strategic and systematic way of managing life in our noisy and chaotic world.

No matter what our destination is and how we strive towards that direction, I believe that all of us will make the world a better place when we come alive doing what we are best at.


Own Your Story Podcast features interesting guests with fascinating stories and unique perspectives on life, taking viewers on a journey through the lives of others and ultimately inspire them to embark on an adventure of their own.

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