You Inspire Me: A Lifestyle of Leadership with Claudia Chan
Claudia Chan is reinventing women’s lifestyle media—to include leadership.Last month, I had the privilege of interviewing Claudia Chan, CEO of SHEglobal Media, a purposeful and positive media company currently known for two initiatives: the SHE Summit, an annual women’s leadership conference bringing together remarkable women with 100+ global pop-up events, and ClaudiaChan.com, a women’s lifestyle outlet with 150+ exclusive interviews and new content added and curated daily. What makes these two different from the thousands of women’s lifestyle media sources and magazines out there?“If you really look at the landscape [of women’s lifestyle], most of it surrounds fashion, lifestyle, how to have the perfect body, clothes, wardrobe, and home.” Chan said. “I disagree with that. I feel like the modern woman has evolved a lot. I feel like the word leadership has to be part of that lifestyle.”Claudia Chan has always believed in the potential of women. As a graduate of all women’s Smith College, immersed in a community of women, Chan then became part of the first dot-com boom in New York doing business development, and hosting events. As president of girlfriend entertainment company Shecky’s and its popular “Girls Night Out” event series, Chan became an expert in women’s content and female marketing.But at some point, Claudia Chan realized that although she had material success, she lacked purpose.That was when she found her calling—connecting women to role models in a more purposeful women’s space. A women’s space that focused on leadership.Her new vision became a global women’s media company igniting women around the world…to change the world.Chan’s personal role model is none other than women’s lifestyle expert Oprah- Winfrey. Chan said that because Oprah had personally gone through so much, Oprah’s show was like “a therapy session for America.” Oprah was able to hit home with a large population of women and men because she had gone through their struggles personally. As a facilitator, Oprah introduced audiences to incredible thought leaders, similar to the interviews found on ClaudiaChan.com.Like Oprah, Chan has created a personal brand around her own name at ClaudiaChan.com.“When it’s a person’s name, there is so much more responsibility and accountability,” Chan said. “It’s important that women today have a real person that is believable. Compassion, empathy—our world needs those more than ever.”Claudia said that she has gone through herself all of the ups and downs, doubts and fears, that women today come to ClaudiaChan.com for help with. Chan described the career transition to launching SHEmedia as a “full-on life course correction.”“All of a sudden, it just hit me. This was my calling in life,” Chan said. “To live a life of service that creates content and experiences that help women.”Now, Chan said that she is able to help women going through the same crisis. She advises that it is a completely natural and normal part of life to undergo a dramatic career change.“You may think that you’re taking a u-turn or a whole different path, but it’s actually part of your path. Your journey may actually require you to go off-track.”Chan offered the following advice for women seeking to follow in her footsteps: to change their perception of their own potential. For most women, what they envision for themselves isn’t big enough. Chan believes that women should at least start with the goal being big: the sooner you can start visioning the big potential for yourself, the sooner you can get started on your journey. Growing up, Chan said that her big dream was to be an entrepreneur.And today, she is. A successful entrepreneur with a vision for women’s leadership, able to relate to women on a personal level. “Everything our company creates, I’ve been through.”Final pieces of advice for younger women? “Oh there’s so much,” Chan laughed. Narrowed down to three: “Dream big and do big. Obstacles create opportunity. You cannot become what you do not believe.”
This post is part of the You Inspire Me series. Each week, Take the Lead blogger YingYing will interview a powerful woman for leadership lessons on following in their footsteps. Read more here.