Why I Gave Up 34k Followers on Tik Tok China

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Last August I signed with an MCN (multi-channel network) in Beijing and became a Tik Tok (known as Douyin in China) influencer — teaching English to the Chinese audience. I invested in a vlog camera and studio lights and was posting 3–4 times a week.

Within two months I hit 10k followers. Then another 10k in the next two months. This February I reached 34k followers and was approached by business partners. I moved to a studio and thought I should monetize this thing.

In our MCN, a lot of the influencers from the same company were making 5 figures…


Plus, immigrating to the US alone presents a lesson itself

A signs that says “For Hire”
A signs that says “For Hire”
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I am about 6 months away from turning 30. In preparation ( celebration actually) for entering into a new decade, I’m sharing an inventory of the jobs I’ve had in my 20s with a lesson learned from each of them.

Of course, immigrating to the US by myself at the age of 22, with zero connection and two suitcases adding up to my bodyweight is a priceless lesson by itself. But that is going to be another story.

1. Consulting Intern for a Pharmaceutical Company

I was 20 and started looking for internships only because that was what everyone else was doing. I got this internship in…


Apply my successful 21-day acting challenge to writing & beyond

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Last summer I did a for acting, with Manuel Puro, a casting director based in UK. For 21 consecutive days, we were assigned new materials each day — we needed to learn it, tape it, upload it in the forum, and support each other’s work.

I saw tapes done in the car because the actor was running from job to job; I saw tapes done in the hospital because the actor was sick but didn’t want to miss a day.

It was touching and empowering simply to watch those tapes — not to mention how fun and…


It’s a good thing that people can’t pronounce your name

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Can you try to pronounce my name? Like really try? You can shoot for either “getting it perfect” or “not butcher it”. Is there any difference?

Well, let me put the pronunciation here first: Yee-Ching Jow.

If you know Mandarin, you will be able to get it from the spelling. If not, go with the phonetics I provided — you might make my name sound like a side dish in an Americanized Chinese restaurant, but I don’t mind.

Every time I meet someone new they either try hard or give up and just ask. And guess what? …


And how much is too much, exactly?

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At a random hour on a random day, as I was daydreaming and lost in my thoughts, I typed the question on Quora, looking to find interesting answers.

Someone says “You can’t want too much in life”; another says “Life has an interesting way of balancing things”. This answer caught my eye: “There is no such thing as wanting too much, but there is a line between greed and ambition.”

Both are goal-driven, and sometimes the line can be laser thin. But the key difference is: Ambition serves a purpose, while greed is self-serving.

Ambition drives you to have an…


Saying no is crucial to the success of your entrepreneurship.

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I bolstered up the courage to type down these words. Yep, that’s how I feel about freelance writing.

I made the first paycheck of my life with a little piece of essay when I was 7 years old. Every time I looked back on that moment I told myself maybe I was “supposed” to make a living with writing.

I looked into freelance writing courses and jobs but never applied. Then I sat down and had a good conversation with myself.

It’s not because I’m lazy or undisciplined, because I’m an entrepreneur and take tons of actions all the time.


Accept yourself and find your match.

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One of my best college friends once told me: “You are so hard to please. What kind of men can meet your standards?”

I don’t have an answer to that, because I don’t think I have any standards, except that I don’t date smokers or drug users.

Since I started online dating last year, I began to notice an interesting pattern: Men disappeared after the 3rd date, sometimes the 4th. Even if all those dates went great.

Of course, there was mutual interest; there was great chemistry; there were differences but also shared values.

Maybe something wasn’t quite right? Maybe…


Put “who” before “how”, and you’re off to a great start

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Most of my articles start with “How to”, because of what I noticed in myself: I’m always looking to find out “how” to do certain things, from recipes to writing to dog training.

We are living in an age of information overflow, but information doesn’t equal solutions.

What’s worse, information automatically turns our brains on, and if we are not careful, we are very likely to become overthinking machines.

That’s how all the stress and anxiety start. That’s why we feel we are being led by the nose. That’s why we feel suppressed, unhappy, and lost.

If you haven't already…


DOGS | PSYCHOLOGY | FOSTERING

Fostering is temporary, but there is an eternity in each moment

Meet Katy, my second foster dog, also my second pet in my life.

A beagle and hound mix, she is smart, affectionate, also very stubborn. She leads with her nose and can’t stop herself from chasing.

Yet she was extremely timid and fearful when she came to my place last week. She spent 5 days and nights hiding under my bed, only coming out for food and walks.

And during those 5 days, I lost 5 founds — averaging one pound a day. …


It’s very easy to react to chaos with negativity—but you can choose to instead see it as part of leading a lively, exciting life

Signs showing people walking in different directions
Signs showing people walking in different directions
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I had a “slightly turbulent” week. I booked an NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) workshop this weekend, along with an Airbnb for three nights. Then I got an audition from my agent and had to confirm I was available.

After my confirmation, my thoughts started churning:

“Oh gosh, why did I book the Airbnb? It’s non-refundable now.”

“This gig doesn’t pay much. If I got it I still have to do it for my agent.”

“When will I be able to do this workshop if I miss this one?”

I was already making up a juicy story when nothing had happened. For…

Yiqing Zhao

Would-be-doctor-turned Actor/Writer/Creative Life Coach. Foodie. Yogini. Foster Dog Mom. Write about life lessons, entrepreneurship.

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