From CMO to motivational speaker, writer, and producer
When Krystal was stuck in her deeply unfulfilling marketing job, Societies equation for happiness, ‘Money + Success + Recognition’ was fatally flawed for her. No two Escapes are the same, but her essence of braving the uncertain, going into the ‘hella big ass unknown!’, in search of that thing that would make her fulfilled, and being ready to experiment, is what makes the reality of creating a better life, within reach.
I’m Chinese, Jamaican, Canadian, Irish, English, Portuguese. Lol yes – A legitimate mutt! When I was little, I dreamed of a creative career, but my parents quickly reassured me, quite frighteningly, of just how bad of an idea that was lol. “Doctor, Lawyer, Business Person” we’re the undefined, yet very defined boundaries of social acceptance I felt – even from my own parents, whos unconditional love I don’t doubt.
So! I spent the first 26 years of my life accumulating all the things I thought I needed to be happy/to be loved/to be accepted: a good education, financial security, relative success in a ‘respectable’ career. And then – at a point, mid-accumulation – A realization really shook me to my core … I was deeply, inherently and desperately empty. And more of this ‘stuff’ would never fill that void I felt.
I wasn’t clear on what I should do. But one thing was very very clear to me – I could not keep doing what I was doing. Societies equation for happiness, ‘Money + Success + Recognition’ was fatally flawed for me. And so the seed for a new path was planted! And the search began in my mind.
After much internal turmoil, deliberating back and forth but staying in the same spot, one quote finally pushed me to take the leap towards a purpose filled life. It was on a random, rainy, Sunday afternoon. Lost in a philosophy book, out of nowhere, these words changed my life:
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
And it’s funny because, once you see the truth – you can’t un-see it. I knew, I had felt it destroying me. And I knew I was ready to do what it took to bring it forth. After all – what could be worst than an empty life … filled with regret?
Then… bored at work one day and scrolling through Instagram, one final meme really sealed the nail on the coffin for me. It said “Join the hilarious adventure of a lifetime! Make money, spend money, die!” And when I saw that I was like NOOOOO!!! No No No!!!! Hahahah! And I became emphatically determined for that NOT to be the story of my life.
So! I resigned and nose-dive-style face-planted into the hella big ass unknown, in search of that thing that would make me fulfilled. That thing that I couldn’t wait to wake up to do! That thing that I would come alive doing! That thing that I was meant to do. And …. that journey was … fun… insanely scary…. and absolutely MAGICAL!
Prior to joining the Founding Members program, I was the Chief Marketing Officer for my family’s company, which we took public a few years into my career. Shareholders had invested on the basis of perceived value of longevity in the second generation management of the company. Because of this, I felt, even more responsibility and pressure to stay.
But it’s hilarious and, at the same time, a little heartbreaking looking back now, at how I used to derive so much self-importance from that title and position. Self-importance which was never really real – An artificial ego boost temporarily propping me up – so I wouldn’t notice the growing depth of the gaping void inside. But! All’s well that ends well! Right?! 😉
Now, I have just launched my book! “What The Hell Am I Supposed To Do With My Life?!” – A fun and friendly guide to finding your magic, your purpose and yo’ self! It’s a true story, about my journey from depression and anxiety in corporate life, towards meaningful work. Within the story is interwoven teachings from old and new spiritual teachers. And at the end of each Chapter there’s clear cut action steps, for all my fellow Hooray-Type-A’s out there!
So I’m an author apparently! Lol – It was very strange the first time someone called me that! I also have a media company, KrystalChong.com – my life’s mission is to produce educational media that’s entertaining and empowering – stuff that’s fun and empowers people to live happier more fulfilling lives.
So in short – I’m a motivational writer, speaker, and producer – who is incapable of summarizing – or as my brother puts it – who has “Exponential Explanation Disorder” lol.
Wow. Gosh. Golly oh gosh. The program changes you as a person, and your life, in ways you can’t describe in words. So I’ll attempt to give some examples here, but they won’t ever be able to do it justice. It’s something you will only understand if you experience it for yourself. My top 3 takeaways from the program are:
What initially drew me to Escape’s Founding Members program in NYC, was that I lived in a world of corporate people. All my friends and family we’re on a traditional business path. So understandably, they just didn’t get what I was experiencing or what I was trying to do. They dismissed my dreams as flighty and unrealistic. But – I knew in the depths of my soul that that thing calling me inside was a call I could not leave unanswered. But even with that knowledge, it became difficult to feel motivated or to build momentum when you’re surrounded by an environment of people who genuinely feel you CAN’T do it. When you’re surrounded by that, you can’t help but start to doubt yourself. And then hello major internal deflation! Lol.
Being surrounded by the community in Escape’s Founding Members program created a new reality for me – one where you’re not a slave to society’s rules, but one where your imagination is your only limit. Where you see people actually doing work they love, that’s impactful, and powerful and profitable. And you start to believe what you already knew – that you can too.
B. Building Momentum
For some reason, we as humans, want something – and we know we want it – but we create all these mental blocks and situations that hold us back. All likely rooted in fear; fear of the unknown? Fear of failure? Fear of judgement? We can really be our own worst enemies.
The program is packed with practical exercises that force you to push, outside of those fears, and take steps you wouldn’t otherwise take. And when you do this, you realize how much whatever you were afraid of isn’t that scary at all – and it makes it easier to take more and more steps! Creating this giant snowball momentum! So that then, all you have to do is keep up!
C. Practical Stuff
The program gave me not just emotional support (which is probably 75% of the battle) but it also gave me a lot of tactical support too.
For instance, fellow FM, Ashley Bearden helped me with producing my promotional videos. Ashley’s coaching through that process was critical in helping me prepare for the live media interviews that followed after my book launch. Another FM, Clare Cusack helped me with professional photos that helped to define my company’s visual style. Both fellow FM’s, and all of which they used as experience and materials for their portfolio. It’s like bringing like-minded synergies together, it becomes a big delicious creative stew – one you can’t make with just one ingredient (yourself – in this strange analogy lol.)
Another great example is within the curriculum itself. I volunteered to host an ‘un-conference’ conference and they also asked me to speak at an Escape Monday’s event. Beforehand I was petrified, but afterwards, it gave me so much confidence for public speaking in the personal development domain – and some much needed experience for my resume, which led to other speaking engagements!
So in short, it’s good for practice and experience, yes, but it also allows you to do things you wouldn’t have had the financial ability or experience to do otherwise. And it builds your portfolio and credibility which is hard to do as a newbie starting out.
My superpowers are:
– Conquering my own mind. I had struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life, but it had gotten really bad before embarking on my journey. It could have really held me back – but I was determined not to let it take control of my life – and my journey healed those issues and taught me how to live peacefully with these challenges. But most of all it taught me how to take back control of my own mind – and how to use it for my greater good and not for my demise. ”Free yourself from mental slavery, none but yourself can free your mind.” – Bob Marley.
– Changing people’s minds through communication. I really enjoy the power of communication – a simple thought communicated well – can change a person’s mind about something, which can then change their entire life – which can then lead to changing the entire world. It blows my mind every time I think about it and it’s why I love what I do. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer.
My mission in life is the same as ETC’s. Free yourself to live that awesome fulfilling life that your soul craves. I highly recommend Escape programs for this. But, for people who aren’t quite ready to take that step, but who want to know more before they do, my book is really a good place to start. It’s good for people who need more information before jumping. It gives you a bird’s eye view into what that jump might look like – the good, the bad and the very ugly. It also gives you some practical action steps of things you can start doing now to get yourself ready. What I hear most often from readers is, “This book makes me feel not alone, it makes me feel braver and much more inspired.” I want everyone possible to have those feelings!
I would love to collaborate with any other Escapees on projects of impact. From writing projects, to films, to workshops etc (anything that involves communication that has the ability to transform someone’s life from transforming their perspective).
Media peeps – my book is fresh off the press (and getting great reviews ;))! So if anyone’s interested in featuring it, holla at yo’ girl!! XO
And now… drumroll!!!! That’s it from me! (For now 🙂 ).
I’d just like to say – I am so very very excited for your journey and for the magic that you’re destined to experience, and for that special thing that you’re meant to bring into this world. I’m gonna leave you with a quote that’s very special to me.
“What if I fall? Oh but my darling… What if you FLY!?” – Erin Hansen.
Big huge massive hugs!!
Krystal escaped her Chief Marketing Officer role to become an motivational speaker, author, and producer. Her book “What The Hell Am I Supposed To Do With My Life?!” – A fun and friendly guide to finding your magic, your purpose and yo’ self! is out now. Find out more on krystalchong.com
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