Claudia Chan: From Party Girl to Business Woman
Claudia Chan, an accomplished media entrepreneur and the former president of women’s entertainment company Shecky’s, has taken a big leap to launch a personal media venture – ClaudiaChan.com. In our interview with Claudia, she shared her past and recent experiences of starting a business. Like many other established entrepreneurs, Claudia found success through following her passion, working relentlessly hard, and challenging herself on how to be and do better.
Starting a Business and Building Three Brands
Growing up in New York City, Claudia started planning and promoting parties in high school which gave her the confidence to launch an event networking business iLounge just a few years out of college. She says “you have a level of fearlessness in your 20s because you don’t have much to lose and only everything to gain… you just need to take advantage of that fearlessness with a level of caution and humility.” One year into that business full time, she met the founder of Shecky’s who at that time had built a successful NY nightlife publishing business appealing to many women. She then merged her business into Shecky’s, became president, and together they turned the company into a national women’s entertainment brand evolving around a core event Girls Night Out that tours the country almost 80 event days a year.
“Immersed in the community of women and the business of women’s media for so many years, I started noticing how most women I knew or met could benefit from the advice and stories of successful women I had access to as an entrepreneur. Volunteering for more women’s related nonprofits and speaking at more women’s conferences, I dug deeper into startling gender statistics http://www.claudiachan.com/why-now/ and became increasingly frustrated.” So she felt a new calling and decided to step away from the day to day management of Shecky’s to focus on interviewing as many successful women as she could for women everywhere to benefit from. Coinciding with national women’s history month, ClaudiaChan.com launched last week as a new kind of media resource and voice for women featuring over 100 exclusive interviews with leaders across industries from fashion, finance to philanthropy. The brand’s mission is to ignite women to dream and do big, while creating positive change in the world – especially for other women.
Business Advice for Bloggers and Aspiring Media Mavens
Claudia emphasized being proficient in your industry and your business. “When starting a business, it is crucial to define the content void you want to fill and the kind of brand you want to be and develop a plan for how and to whom it will be delivered. Many just throw something up and think can just wing it without thinking through a long term strategy.” When Claudia was growing Shecky’s that meant understanding the media and marketing marketplace and how ad agencies, media companies, marketing agencies, blogger or content sites all related to each other from a monetization perspective.
Additionally, she shared how important it is to learn from others and to find valuable people that will advise or just be there to support you emotionally (from key team members, advisors, mentors to supportive friends). “Always think of yourself as a student, and never think you know it all.”
When asked about how she approaches challenges, Claudia also offered an optimistic perspective when encountering challenges, “Life is full of obstacles, but I like to see them as opportunities because they force you to learn more about yourself and make positive changes.” She shared the complications she faced earlier in her career. Fresh out of college, Claudia dove into launching her company head first. Claudia expended so much time and energy on the business, which resulted in a herniated disc in her late twenties. But to her point, this was an obstacle that forced her to physically slow down and incorporate more balance and self care into her working schedule.
Claudia enjoys the independence and freedom of owning a business but she says, “It’s the great impact that ClaudiaChan.com can make in the community for women today that is the most rewarding. Less than 20% of top jobs in America are held by women and if I can interview this group and spread their wisdom and life lessons in a genuine way on my platform, women everywhere can benefit.”
The Bright Future Ahead
Just as a platform like TED “spreads ideas” of the world’s visionaries, ClaudiaChan.com aims to spread the wisdom of remarkable women who have achieved rare success and are disrupting different industries for the betterment of the world in their own right. Claudia hopes that her new company will become a leading resource, community and voice for women to gain inspiration and ignition to live their best life and do social good.
For Claudia, creating a new model in the women’s content space that hasn’t really been done before “is a risk, but with that risk comes innovation and positive change.” She is grateful for what she has accomplished, to be on this new journey–and looks forward to making a difference in the lives of women. To learn more about Claudia, and her new brand, log on to www.claudiachan.com.
Great article Nova! Loved it.
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