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Bonnie Chan, MGC 1994 Leaver

When I left MGC, I wasn't the type that knew exactly what I wanted to do. With a good degree, I blindly followed the 'fashion' at the time and entered investment banking in Hong Kong. It took me two years to realise that I could only be truly motivated if I was my own boss in a space that I could set my own agenda, take risks, be creative and experiment with new ways of doing things, so from there I decided to embark on a journey as an entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur is gruesome yet rewarding. Being my own boss means I have all the freedom to try new things, but with very limited resources and with full accountability for all consequences. The combination means that the chance of success is much slimmer than that of failure. But the most rewarding part is, through failures I learn to pivot and adapt to stay afloat, to continue in the game. I cherish the qualities that grow out of the experiences which only make me stronger: resilience, empathy and humility.

Starting from providing marketing services, I built up my company, Icicle Group, by developing creative production teams across media and geography one piece at a time. To fuel growth in the fast-changing media space, I listed the company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and now we are building and investing into media and entertainment assets, including TV shows and live events globally. With the phenomenal economic growth in China, we now advise and arrange strategic collaboration between Chinese brands and international platforms. Commercial consideration aside, these cross-cultural projects also build meaningful bridges, lasting international partnerships and foster mutual understanding between the East and the West.

With my identity as a woman entrepreneur, it is my natural calling to champion women leadership in my community, for which I received the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award in Hong Kong in 2018. This year, I am launching a new media outlet to drive awareness of gender gaps, provide support to other women entrepreneurs and drive useful dialogues and positive narratives around the subject. 

It has come to a point of my career that I realise how lucky I am to have checked so many boxes, and also how silly I was to have focussed on checking boxes in the earlier part of my adulthood. The way I give back for being the lucky person I am is to take more risks to do what's right for more people with bigger impact, not for personal success.

What does success look like?

Don't think about it. Just live and trust the process. 

What is your best piece of advice?

Stop making check list to live up to other's expectations of you. Listen to yourself to find your true calling. With that, you will have the motivation to give all of yourself all the time and be able to enjoy every up and down of the journey.