Our HQ Muses are people in the Holistic HQ community who are brave, creative, big-hearted and inspiring. They are ambassadors for what we strive to achieve – a thriving and joyful wellness collective, built around our shared passions for good health, a balanced lifestyle and spirited, happy wellbeing. Read on below for an interview with our very first Muse, the gorgeous Alice Chien!
Alice Chien is a career ninja who helps big hearted peeps find and do work they believe in. She likes meeting people who are feeling stuck, hating on their jobs and hanging for a change because she knows they’re sitting on a huge amount of potential. Potential for growth, digging deep and action taking. All the good stuff.
Alice started her business Intent Mind because when she went through a career crossroads a while back she found it confusing, overwhelming and lonely. No one should do this stuff alone. Knowing what she knows now, she has tailored coaching programs to help career adventurers work out their journey ahead, with a clear mind, a bulletproof process and tailored support.
1. Through your work as an NLP practitioner and career coach, you love to help people find their passion. What led you on the path to find your own passion?
Years ago, I got the job I had dreamed about since my uni days. The organisation I was working for was amazing, on paper, the role I was allowed to play was amazing, but it did not feel all that amazing. In contrary I felt drained and a lot of times unhappy. While the missing elements are obvious to me now, I didn’t really understand what was going on back then. I felt like I had something wrong with me.
Through my attempts at understanding my own psychology, my drivers, my needs and triggers I realised I loved learning about what internal and external conditions are required for people to feel fulfilled and good about themselves.
Because of the rocky time I had working out my future career, and the havoc it played on my professional and personal life, I have a high value on helping people work this problem out. I believe when people are inspired and aligned with the work that they do, their ability to add value to others and themselves goes gangbusters. I often think I have the best job in the world. Definitely for me anyway!
2. You’ve set up your own thriving business, Intent Mind (www.intentmind.com.au). How did you find your feet as a business owner?
With plenty of help! I’ve had a coach or mentor support me at every stage of this journey. They’ve been part of my business and my workflow. For example, in a coaching program, you meet up with a coach fortnightly, they add value to the problems you’re facing, provide accountability, prod with great questions and direct you to great resources. It’s really helped keep me in perspective of what’s really important to my goals and kept me moving along. I’d say surrounding yourself with people that believe in you is one of the keys to businesses thriving. Without this input, the confidence, momentum, and resources you need to draw from is missing. Today, I love playing that supportive role for others where I can.
3. What was your first ever job? What skills did you learn that you still find yourself tapping into today?
First ever job was working in the family newsagency selling Tattslotto tickets, newspapers, dry cleaning and cigarettes as a teenager. People came in from all walks of life. In any one day there’d be office workers, Chinatown restaurant staff, asian international students, drug dealers, tourists and out of towners. Most people were kind and friendly. Some barely acknowledged your presence except to pay the bill. There’s a resilience and flexibility you gain from customer service roles serving people with different needs. One of the skills I still tap into today is understanding and meeting people where they’re at and being flexible to their needs.
4. Who do you call your mentor? Why do they play such an important role in your life?
I’m really grateful to have had a few mentors over the years who I turn to for their unique special magic. One mentor I’ve gained so much wisdom from is Benjamin Harvey. He shows up authentically and adds value wherever he goes. He’s taught me so much about the power of storytelling, how to ask meaningful questions, how to manage my energy and my time and how to build a business from the heart. He’s a boss at helping people to progress in their lives and take action. A lot of the methods he’s taught me I continue to use with my coaching clients with outstanding results.
5. What’s your all-time favourite memory? What draws you back to it?
All time!! Not sure about all time, but one memory that I’m going to love forever is looking after monkeys in Ecuador in the Amazon volunteering through an organisation called Merazonia. There was this woolly monkey named Diego, who was being picked on and ostracised by his Woolly monkey peers. As such he was in an enclosure by himself, in a spot deep in the jungle. Because Diego was alone and craved company he was the only monkey we were allowed to touch. The memory I have is being in the thick of the jungle, sitting next to Diego, picking at and scratching his back. I felt like a monkey and we shared a nice quiet time. I love this moment and this time I spent in the jungle with no electricity or technology around. My biology said yes to it big time to being in the jungle.
6. What was 2015 for you?
2015 turned out to be a contrasting year. In February I came home from an incredible 6 month South American adventure overseas with my partner Ben and THEN attempted throw myself into work double time when coming back to Melbourne. At times I was loving the feeling of busting through work, achieving goals, other times I felt like I was way too loaded. I learnt lessons about my own self care deal breakers and now prioritise a lot more time to balance out the go go nature of having my own business.
7. What are your hopes for 2016?
To focus on one meaningful thing at a time and to be really present with it. Clear and present.
Aside from that the roadmap ahead includes: making a lovely little home with my main man Ben, cooking and eating more home made foods than ever before using my growing collection of kitchen gadgets and launching an 8 week online program that helps people to uncover careers they will thrive in.
8. You’re also involved with a purpose-filled, authentic community of leaders via Collective Potential (www.collectivepotential.com.au). What inspires you about the community you’re creating there?
I love what we’re creating at Collective Potential! Our event and program spaces help people find what they need to live fulfilling lives. There’s a whole spectrum of why people come to experience what Collective Potential offers, but ultimately by making real connections and having the support of others, we become our best selves. It’s totally inspiring seeing people come into our rooms, challenge themselves and light up with their potential. The stories participants have shared about what they’ve gained and achieved after Collective Potential workshops are incredible. I get massively inspired by the changes people make because they’ve found this community. It’s powerful stuff.
9. You’re a seriously busy lady! What keeps you grounded? How do you take care of yourself in your downtime?
In my calendar I block out “me time” style activities where I get to do whatever I feel like without any guilt or feeling like I should be doing something else. These activities include yoga, meditation, peppermint tea, lying in bed reading or writing in a book. Also I find that unless I schedule these in either they don’t happen. There is a decent amount of planning that goes into keeping my life feeling balanced actually! And I don’t always get it right.
10. What’s the last book that you couldn’t put down? Why did it have such an impact on you?
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou – it’s a biography and memoir by Maya starting from age 13 growing up with a mother that was at times difficult to love. Reading her story gave me a new respect of the experience of mothers who don’t fit in the motherly mould and the painstaking decisions women sometimes have to make. Maya Angelou writes in a way that pours your heart into 100 different shapes. It’s an amazing read.
11. You have 24 hours left on Earth, and $10,000 in your pocket. What would you do?
I’d fly/arrange for all my favourite peeps to meet me in a giant hot tub or a waterside oasis, kick back with fruit shakes, good snacks and tell them how much I loved them and what they meant to me. I’d give the remainder cashola to Oxfam, but I reckon the $10,000 would be tapped out after that!