Unleashing financial freedom for young women

Updated: Jun 12, 2024 chinadaily.com.cn Print
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Chen Xue's podcast "Rich-Minded Girl" aims to empower young women to pursue financial independence, encouraging a mindset of exploration and action.

Living in an era brimming with opportunities and challenges, an increasing number of young individuals are striving for financial independence through their own efforts.

Last year, a podcast named "Rich-Minded Girl" emerged as a true "electronic energy boost" for many of these youths. Over the course of about a year, this show, featuring interviews with around 60 young women, garnered a following of over 600,000 subscribers online, including more than 230,000 followers on the Chinese podcast platform Xiaoyuzhou.

Among the two hosts of the podcast is Chen Xue, a "rich-minded girl" herself and the driving force behind the podcast's inspiration. At 30 years old, she not only diligently pursues financial success herself, but also shares stories of hardworking women and unveils wealth-building strategies that ordinary people can learn from.

Originally from a modest county in Lu'an, East China's Anhui province, Chen began her wealth-building journey during her university days in Shijiazhuang, the capital of North China's Hebei province.

She made her first significant earnings by leveraging information gaps in her work as a purchasing agent. Progressing to organizing campus events, she transitioned from a mere executor to a team leader, gradually gaining expertise and income through collaborative efforts.

Upon graduation, Chen joined a prestigious advertising firm as a staff member. However, the monotonous routine left her feeling lost without a clear sense of purpose in life. So, in 2019, she bravely resigned from her job without a backup plan. Since then, she has explored various avenues of generating income, including roles as a sneaker vendor, community manager, and provider of paid online courses.

After three years of freelancing, Chen earned her first million yuan.

At the invitation of her friend Xiaohui, she recorded a podcast episode to share her wealth-building stories, which deeply resonated with the audience. In March 2023, the two decided to evolve "Rich-Minded Girl" into a stand-alone podcast.

Reflecting on the podcast's Chinese title, which translates to "moneymaking girls", Chen said that the term "moneymaking" once carried a stigma and was considered tacky. People preferred expressions like entrepreneurship, business models, and financing. However, as she pointed out, with growing societal acceptance, people have begun to understand that making money isn't pejorative.

"It's about taking actions, not just the outcome, which gives it power," she said.

But why the focus on women? Over the past decade, Chen has witnessed the increasing influence of women, observing them carve out spaces in various fields. Drawing from the motivation she received from watching women's talk shows and participating in women's support groups early in her career, she solidified her determination to spotlight women.

"There have always been remarkable women passing the torch, inspiring others like a spark. I was ignited by these individuals, and now I want to ignite more," she said.

The "moneymaking" girls Chen has interviewed come from varied professions, age groups, and social backgrounds. They range from entrepreneurs, students, and office professionals to factory workers and stay-at-home mothers. Chen aims to showcase a diverse array of examples and positive energy, demonstrating the many possibilities available to young women.

Chen even interviewed three guests born after 2000. Xiao'e, an AI artist, takes orders on the lifestyle app Xiaohongshu to create avatars and illustrations for clients. Ningning uses memes to attract traffic on social media and collaborates with businesses to monetize the traffic. Huya, driven by her passion for fandom, ventured into moneymaking through WeChat shops and online premium courses.

"I've noticed distinct traits among the moneymaking girls born after 2000: they are more daring and less constrained," Chen observed.

Chen recognizes that while some may see her as highly active and agile, she still maintains a disciplined approach, which might stem from her upbringing. The older generation taught her the importance of securing a stable, respectable job and proving herself to others. "However, the post-2000 generation seems less obsessed with finding a traditional job, displaying a greater sense of freedom and ease," she added.

Regardless of age, Chen has noticed some common characteristics among all the moneymaking girls she interviewed. "They share a restlessness, a bias toward action, and a refusal to waste time on internal conflicts," she explained.

Reflecting on her own journey, Chen realized she had engaged in many activities and experimented with various projects. Likewise, her interviewees also achieved their current success after going through a series of endeavors and preparations. "Therefore, I believe in the value of exploration. This is the advice I consistently give: stop doubting yourself, take the leap first, and evaluate the results afterward," she said.

"We often hear people say, 'I noticed this opportunity before but hesitated to act. Now, seeing others seize it, I feel envious and regretful. If only I had taken action at that moment, things might have been different.'"

According to Chen, being proactive means seizing opportunities promptly, and during the process, developing transferable abilities like communication and sales skills.

"The essence of making money boils down to selling, whether it's oneself or a tangible product," said Chen. She explains that selling oneself involves personal branding, like becoming an influencer on social media, while selling products leads to e-commerce. Selling knowledge translates to offering paid content. "Various business models can be broken down in this way," she added.

During the process, particularly when faced with challenges or setbacks, individuals often fall into self-doubt — getting stuck in emotions or overthinking. "How will others think of me if I do this? What if I don't do it well? Even after completing a task, self-blame may arise, focusing on areas where one could have done better," Chen explained.

"This significantly affects one's ability to take action — just like a computer slowing down or freezing when running multiple programs. Therefore, I consciously avoid self-doubt and channel my energy into the task at hand."

After a year of dedicated effort on the podcast, "Rich-Minded Girl "stands out as a defining accomplishment for Chen, serving as her "calling card and signature work", as she describes it.

However, much like these ambitious young women she introduces to her audience, this latest venture represents just a phase in Chen's exploratory journey. She has decided to entrust the program to her co-host Xiaohui and embark on an exciting new chapter.

Chen has personally pledged to "support 1,000 'rich-minded girls' in their growth and help them find their value and places in the business world". She will still be committed to fulfilling this promise, as her essential goal in life is to "make a mark on herself and the world".

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