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"I realized why I was put on this earth is to be a spark for other people. To be that visionary, to drive with my passion and to bring other people along with me." - Angela Shen
This week’s guest is Angela Shen. Angela is the Founder and CEO of Savor Seattle Food Tours.
Our paths crossed many years ago when we used to get together for these semi-regular brainstorming sessions with a half dozen or so CEOs of local tour companies. We would get together at a coffee shop or over breakfast every couple of months and talk through challenges that we might be having with our business and others would have input.
I was always in awe of how focused and directed Angela was (and she still is) in terms of her business. And after getting to know her much better through this conversation, I can see why she is so impressive. She has an academic background that’s played a part in her success but she’s also really creative and, perhaps more importantly, she’s got this passion for what she does and her life goal is to inspire others.
During our Seattle Culinary Tours, we take this fantastic walk through Pike Place Market with one of her guides from Savor Seattle. And these guides are always just so much fun and super knowledgeable. I now get that they are either infused with Angela energy or she has just the right radar to find people who are equally as passionate about food that she is.
In this conversation, you’ll hear about Angela’s background growing in up a tiny town in Minnesota with her entrepreneurial immigrant parents. She knew that being an entrepreneur was her path but she didn’t just dive right in. She was smart about it and figured out a way to gain as much knowledge as possible about business and branding before moving to Seattle and starting her own business.
But as she was growing this business, all while being a wife and mom to two kids, she had a health issue that pushed her over the edge and forced her to take a really honest look at her business and she started to question what it was that made her happy. Basically she realized that working 80 hours a week was not sustainable.
She took a good look at her life and then made some decisions (which includes solo travel) about what it was going to take to be happy. Ultimately she feels like 99% of people are going to look at some of those decisions and judge her for making them. In other words, they are quite unpopular for a mom with two kids.
What it comes down to is that she’s going against numerous stereotypes including what it means to be a woman (and a Chinese woman at that) and also a mother of two.
I really admire Angela for having the strength to make these decisions in order to be her best self. Because if she’s not showing up to be the best Angela that she can be, she’s doing a disservice to everyone—family, friends and colleagues. You’re gonna really like this conversation.
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Be Bold, Beth