Elaine Zhou, Co-Founder of China Women Equipping

Elaine Zhou, Co-Founder of China Women Equipping

CNEW Women Equipping Center is a brand under CNEW (Beijing) Consulting Ltd that incorporated in March 2018 in Beijing. CNEW is an international company providing leadership and personal development solutions. It was established in 2009 in Singapore. Taking advantage of 40+ years of proven leadership curriculum with the #1 Leadership Mentor John C. Maxwell, and the material are famously used by Fortune 500 companies in the world. We are equipped with the very best leadership skills, tools and resources to make our clients more successful in life and in business. Globally, we are a community of over 14,000 Team Members from every age group, every stage of life, and from every industry and over 140 countries.

Tell us about yourself?

I had a wonderful childhood, with no major traumas, and along with two older sisters, I was born to kind and loving parents. In the small village, we were the only girls who had the chance to go to college. I had so much influence from my parents. The top things I learned from my parents are LOVE, a Never-Give-Up Spirit, hard work and, Can-Do Attitude. These are the qualities that I am embracing in my daily life.

I am very proud of where I came from in as much as I am grateful for where I am living and working today. Singapore is my adopted home and it is my aim to continually contribute and serve this country and its people. When I discover my calling and purpose in this journey to transform lives, I am very grateful and thankful for the fact that it has brought me to where I am today. It is not because of how many things I have accomplished in my life, or how many lives I have touched and transformed. It was all about the setbacks, obstacles, challenges and knock-downs.

I know that it will continue to exist, it transformed me from a little country girl to a woman with a dream, living her values boldly together with the beliefs that transformed her life and helped others to do the same. I have become a new person, I am transformed. If I can do it, every one of you who is reading this article can do it too.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

As a woman myself, I am proud of what I am and who I am, but I also like many other women out there who went through the journey with self-doubt, low confidence, lost and confused. However, I was fortunate enough to find my mentors to guide me and raise me up, who hold me accountable for my growth and transformation and become solidly comfortable with who I am and live out my values and beliefs in my daily life.

I have been trained and equipped thousands of leaders in the last five years, and 80% of them are female leaders, which I discovered that the top challenges for women are self-love and self-confidence. If they just learn to love self more, everything around them will become easier.

Two years we started to establish business clients in China (Beijing and Shanghai), and I have seen the tremendous challenges facing by Chinese women, especially for working professionals in the urban cities. From the very fast moving economic growth, talent competition and family pressure, they were getting lost, uneasy, confused, even a large number of female fall into depression, but they are eager to learn and seek for a new way to resolve it. And the right guidance is extremely important from value system and character, as well as self-awareness and personal mastery. That is why I determined to come to Beijing and set up the local team for the mission of women empowering in China.

I believe that investment in women is not only helping them achieve a happier and more fulfilled life but also it is a multiplier of social development and business growth.

Elaine Zhou

How much potential market share can you achieve in next 3 years?

In the first 3-6 months we will focus the market development in Beijing, and then we will branch out the 1st tier and 2nd tier cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin. China has 1.3 billion population and the female takes up almost 50%, and there is 72% females are labor force, that is the targeted group we want to empower them, and our goal is to equip 3 million female leaders in three years with CNEW Women Equipping Center.

What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I have been read this book many times and still in my bag every day. It is a book always reminds me of living in the NOW, focus on the present and do one thing at a time. Whenever I make a shift from the daily hectic schedules and interactions with people, to being live in the now, it keeps me focused and clear mind, my energy and creativity just flow through me. In fact, that is my secret how to keep my energy high and sharpen my mind.

What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?

Best purchase is investing with John Maxwell team, that is the best decision I have ever made in my life, and that decision transformed me which I am living on my purpose now.

Worst purchase was before I didn’t know who I am, what I want in my life, I spent a lot of money to invest in seminars, training, trying to find a right mentor etc. But it didn’t work. When I look back, I didn’t see that as the worst things I did or spent money unwisely, I deemed as a journey of seeking and discovery, we all are seeking. When we are ready, at the right time, it comes. But from the experience I gained, I become more conscious who I learn from and what I put into my mind.

What takes up too much of your time?

Apart from 100% effort in building CNEW Women Equipping Center in China. We have very intensive team building training weekly and 1:1 mentorship with me twice a month, it takes me about 20% of my time per week, at the same time, there are about 12 mentees under my 1:1 mentorship every week who are the people go through a strict selection process which I want to develop them as future leader. The rest of my time will be training, coaching and speaking at various seminars and conference. That is my job and my purpose, I enjoy doing that.

What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?

We just discussed this question last week at Lean In Beijing mentorship workshop, a young lady who asked me the exact question and my answers are:

A: the first question we have to ask ourselves “Am I willing to make a sacrifice?”

Entrepreneurship is a calling, it is also a choice. If we are willing to make a sacrifice, we are not able to go far and will be easily knock down by the noises around you.

B: the second question we have to ask ourselves “Am I able to manage my emotions?”

I always share this with entrepreneurs, most of us think the biggest challenges in business is lacking capital. We are not lacking of capital, we are lacking of the business model which can work, if your business in working, people will come to you with money. However in the process of striving and making it work with extra effort and hard work every day, the most important is how we manage our emotions, as there are a lot of unperceived or unprepared problems or challenges in dealing with people, team and business, when things goes wrong, you have to stay ahead of the business and the team to lead it to win. That is a top challenge for a lot of entrepreneurs.

C: the third question Am I committed to my personal growth?”

Entrepreneurship is a skill to learn, how we build relationship, how we present ourselves professionally and effectively, how we cast our vision/idea clearly, how we connect people, how we ask help. If our lid of personal mastery and effectiveness is 6 (from 1 to 10), our business and team will never go up 6, they will be always below 6; as an entrepreneur, we are the lid of the business; If I grow my lid to 8, the business will up to 7. And it is a constant and consistent process in daily.

Elaine Zhou, Co-Founder of China Women Equipping

Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?

Recently attended a women business leaders conference was organized by China Entrepreneur Club (The club championed by Jack Ma). There were top 10 influential female entrepreneurs in China presented on the stage, that really made my deep thoughts and reflection.

Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.

My greatest challenge is to keep raising my lid of myself, both spiritual development and personal development. Something I am proud of that I could consciously make the effort and protect my time and energy for my own growth every day.

What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?

Developing the Leaders within You by John C.Maxwell (my mentor). That is the book and the teaching to discover my own potential in leadership and I used the book help a lot of other leaders too.

How should people connect with you?

I always like to connect with people on my Linkedin profile, to stay connected and get inspired by one another.


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