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Ada Hu is a female entrepreneur, angel investor, and social activist. Having gone to an all-girls school and a female dominant university, Ada truly believes in the power of female entrepreneurship. She currently serves as the CEO & Managing Partner of NU Media and NXT Factor.
What word of advice would you give to young business owners or those seeking a richer and more fulfilling life and/or career?
Ada Hu: Find your passion. Your career will likely not magically fall into place, but work becomes fun when you are excited about it. Passion allows you to discover new things and embark on a journey of professional discovery. This leads to my next piece of advice.
Always stay curious. The world is filled with great people and information so it’s important to never stop learning. Curiosity is synonymous with motivation and edge. With it, you can explore, learn, and grow. Inquisition paves the way for the last word of advice.
Challenge yourself. Don’t be afraid of changes, confront them with courage. I can tell you from my own personal experiences that change may seem daunting at first, but confidence and an adaptable mindset are vital to ultimate success.
As a business owner yourself, what qualities would you say make a successful business or entrepreneur?
Ada Hu: A few qualities that make a successful entrepreneur are grit, dedication, and consistency. With these qualities, you will start to achieve all your goals (personal & professional). I learned to understand that success is never meant to be easy and that the biggest victories are created through waves of peaks and throughs. After realizing you have everything it takes to be successful, it’s all about implementing those three top qualities. With this, anything is possible because you make it so.
In your opinion, what do you think you do better than most people? And how are you able to do it?
Ada Hu: Optimism and dedication are just a few qualities that I feel I do better than others. There is no structural difference between me and others; only an internal mindset. I’ve learned that as an entrepreneur, even if you put in 1000%, things don’t always go as planned and it’s OK if they don’t. The experience you gain from your failures is going to change your worldview, but only for the better. You must learn from your mistakes.
My motto is: if you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried. Your failures should never define who you are. Failure will make you stronger and give you an opportunity to learn from your past mistakes. Every time you try something, you are adding new experiences to your repertoire.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ada Hu: My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is having freedom. I feel extremely lucky to have the ability to travel freely and have autonomy over my career. The truth is that it comes with a lot of stress and responsibility as it is always a double-edged sword, but I love having the freedom to do what I want and for it to be on my own terms.
Although I have a lot of freedom, it also comes with having many responsibilities. The trick is to manage both mindfully.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ada Hu: There were many moments. The first being each time I see my team flourish in their work. Nothing motivates my team and I more than watching each other complete a project successfully.
The second most satisfying moment in business is getting thank you messages from my clients. It really brings an accomplished and warm feeling to know that our hard work is appreciated.
The last most satisfying moment in business is conquering COVID-19 with my team. It was a tough time for many, and keeping our business alive truly tested our strengths. I am so thankful that my team and I were able to persevere through this time and come out on the other side a better and stronger company.
Can you tell us about a time you had to make a tough decision within your business and how you overcame it?
Ada Hu: In March of 2020, most of NU Media’s client portfolio included companies within the hospitality industry. It’s no doubt that the recent Covid-19 pandemic was stressful on businesses, especially those in hospitality. A big decision I had to make in those first few vital months was to pivot the company clientele. Our clients were closing and although it was temporary, I knew we would not survive throughout 2020 if we did not respond with appropriate measures. For months on end, I sent out 20 proposals a day. From this, we were able to recoup our revenue and had acquired quite a few e-commerce clients. It was definitely a hard transition for us but it paid off at the end. Now in May 2021, we have fully recovered and because of the pivot, we now have a more diversified portfolio.
One of the hardest decisions I had to make was to pivot company clientele direction when Covid first started. Before Covid, NU Media’s clientele portfolio was mostly in hospitality but since the country-wide lockdown in March of 2020, 99% of our clients were closed. I remember sitting at home and trying to figure out what to do next to recoup our revenue. I then went on UpWork and sent out 20 proposals a day for 2 months (March to May 2020) and we were able to acquire quite a few e-commerce clients during that time. It was definitely a hard transition for us but it paid off at the end.
Now in May 2021, we have fully recovered and because of the pivot, we now have a more diversified portfolio. I wouldn’t change this experience for anything, I feel confident that from now on we have the abilities to solve any problem and persevere!