This article was originally published here: Zhi Ying Chai – Commercial Director & Founding Member of YouAdMe
Zhi Ying Chai had so much faith in her product she moved country to prove it worked.
What’s your story?
Before YouAdMe, I was providing creative services to businesses to drive user engagement through innovative content. However, I quickly realized businesses struggle to keep up with the behaviours of consumers who are well-connected online. Consumers today rely more on their social network to search for credibility of products or services.
In late 2018, my fellow co-founders and I decided to transform our company into a platform to empower loyal customers and turn them into affiliates to help their favourite businesses grow sales in return for incentives. I even moved to Cambodia to pilot the concept, and the rest is history.
What excites you most about your industry?
Technology industry. A lot of people may think that building and working in a tech company is only burning money. First, technology was built to help solve people’s problems or enhance our lives. Solving first class problems is our priority. Once we have solved a problem, we will always see some form of return.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
Beyond my pay cheque, I have seen my journey in business as a journey to build my self-esteem and to work on my confidence in what I do. Rebuilding my self-confidence and self-esteem has been a priceless journey for me, as I learn from my peers, from experimentation and collaboration.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Pushing beyond my limits made me improve my self-worth. Pushing myself beyond my comfort zone and grabbing new opportunities has been the best thing that I have done in my journey. Without it, I would never have realized that I actually have the strength and ability to move ahead of every challenge. Adopting this mindset has put me through many new doors, and this will never stop, whether in my business or in life. This is because every challenge or even failure is only a stepping stone towards success.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
The CEO of YouAdMe Bernard Teo, whom I work closely with, once shared with me – “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence”. I have also held this close to my heart, and have made sure that at every opportunity I can, I make a difference for someone, no matter the magnitude of that act.
Who inspires you?
Over time, I have a pool of great mentors and friends that consistently inspire me to do better and be better. One who has really helped in my experience includes my CEO, who has always supported and believed in me and the team.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
Money does not go to the businesses with the best products or services. Money flows to the business with the best leaders who can really make a difference – tangible or not.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would focus on building my people (a team) first before the product so that we can better pool our resources and work together to solve more problems.
How do you unwind?
I’m a fan of painting and Zumba. They really are the best stress relievers that release endorphins to help me feel good and refreshed.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
My first ‘ah ha’ moment was during the first month of our app’s beta launch in Cambodia, when we received more than 10,000 sign-ups without any marketing. It was purely by word of mouth from our 500 social media followers, proving the effectiveness of word-of-mouth sharing. Another breakthrough was when 50% of our users, approved for their innovative content by the brands, received their first cash earning. Then, there was no integrated payment gateway and our users queued up in our office to receive their payout. Being able to benefit consumers made me feel more determined to keep going.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Shameless plug for your business:
YouAdMe turns your customers into great affiliates that maximize your brand exposure and drive sales. With our platform, we provide leads and sales tracking records with analytics tools to help your businesses too. Our platform can also help you engage your customers more effectively according to their behaviour, and incentivizes your fans and brand advocates. In another way, we top up your incentives to your affiliate for every sale made. You’ll want customers to transition into affiliates as soon as possible, so YouAdMe makes it easy for you.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.