Meet Christine Emilie Lim, a tech entrepreneur, author, and an accomplished founder of a technology marketing consultancy business. he is also the founder of Wingpact, an all female angel investment group. She’s going to give us the inside on what it is like being a woman in the valley, as well as her secrets and tips to success:
GG: You’ve had an interesting journey in Silicon Valley. How did you get your start in the tech world?
CL: In 2004, I moved to the San Francisco without knowing anyone here professionally after completing my undergrad studies at Indiana University. Many recruiters turned me away and told me that I could never work in Silicon Valley because no one would provide a work sponsorship to a non-engineer in an entry level role. That is still a common case up to this day. I learned the word “hustle” even before it was penned as a legitimate term in the startup world. I hustled and eventually landed a startup offer through a Craigslist job ad that I responded to.
GG: As a woman in this industry, what do you think women need to amp their game at?
CL: Working in the Valley, I’ve met many smart people so it is already competitive as it is. Women, especially, need to sell themselves better. Doing so takes time, maturity, and self-awareness in order to know what you’re really good at, and take each rejection as a learning experience. As a consultant and entrepreneur, I spend more than 50% of my time pitching to potential customers as well as investors. Overtime, I’ve learned to modify what I say and how I deliver it based on who I’m talking to and what they are interested in hearing most about.
GG: Being an entrepreneur, what does your morning routine look like?
CL: My mornings differ depending on what’s on my calendar. I usually take calls from overseas or the East Coast earlier in the morning while simultaneously eating breakfast. Then, I check my emails before mid-day strikes when I typically schedule face-to-face meetings in San Francisco.
GG: What is your personal mantra or business ethos?
CL: Do ordinary things extraordinarily well.
GG: How do you stay motivated?
CL: By traveling, I keep myself inspired and motivated. There are so many people in the world who did not get the same opportunities as I did and probably never will. Knowing that, I always seek for experiences that will challenge me both professionally and personally.
GG: I gather that you have combined your love for travel to a business. Tell us about how you developed the idea behind Dot & Pin.
CL: I’ve been blogging about my travel and food adventures since 2010 as a hobby. Over the years, my friends and colleagues would ask me randomly what are the latest IT places or new pop-up restaurants in San Francisco or other cities I’ve been to. I usually spend a good hour or so providing recommendations that cater to their needs, such as budget, time, food preferences, group size, and other. Hence, Dot & Pin was born in order to scale personalized and curated recommendations.
GG: How do you handle competition in this industry?
CL: Competition is a good thing. It keeps me non-complacent and constantly seeking for ways to improve my craft.
GG: What has been the biggest challenge of your career?
CL: Transitioning from a corporate career to an entrepreneur is the biggest challenge so far. Leaving a stable career and building a business from the ground up without a guarantee that it will succeed are daunting. It’s akin to jumping in a cenote, a sinkhole commonly found in Mexico, without knowing how frigid cold the water is or how deep it can be.
GG: What are some highlights you point out in your book?
CL: “Impact With Wings: Stories to Inspire and Mobilize Women Entrepreneurs and Investors” was written with the purpose of providing resources for women to understand how they can empower themselves by activating their financial resources and investing in companies that they believe in. Unlike men, women usually don’t talk about investments or wealth creation when in the company of other girlfriends. It is about time that women step up as investors. In fact according to the Boston Consulting Group, women control about 30% of the world’s wealth ― up from 25% held five years ago ― and women’s wealth is growing faster than men.
GG: How do you unwind?
CL: Pilates, sailing, eat, and sleep. Repeat.
GG: What would you do with one more extra hour in the day?
CL: Easy! I’ll spend it all by myself doing things that make me happy and healthier- exploring the great outdoors.
GG: Who do you admire?
CL: I admire many people – from politicians to great leaders past and present. My grandmother is the person who really had an impact on me while growing up. In fact, I wrote a chapter dedicated to her on the book I co-authored, “Impact With Wings.” She was a woman ahead of her times and fierce. She was the disciplinarian in the family – not my mom or dad.
GG: What do you love about living in San Francisco?
CL: You get spoiled living in San Francisco. I’ve lived in many countries over the years, but I keep coming back. No other city can beat the natural beauty and nonexistent extreme weather conditions that San Francisco offers. Being in the tech hub of the world can be both an advantage and disadvantage, but because of these technologies that are born in the city, daily living is more convenient ― most needs are on-demand. I love San Francisco’s mixed cultures because it attracts many non-Americans who end up living here.
GG: What are some tips to all the women out there who want to work in a startup or are aspiring entrepreneurs?
CL: Whether you’d like to work for a startup or want to build one yourself, don’t be blindsided by what you see in the news ― companies raising billions, product hype, or unbelievable success stories. Arm yourself with all the knowledge, which means doing your own due diligence and seeking advice from people who have gone through a similar journey. Keep in mind that success is a journey not a destination, so stay humble and give back to the community around you.