Helen Chong: The Art of Business and Motherhood

Helen Chong is the founder and principal broker of Haylen Group Inc, a real estate investment services company, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. She raised three young children while building and running her own business. Helen grew up in Hong Kong. At a very young age, she experienced how difficult life can be. She had gone through numerous financial hardships as a child, recalling days being left home alone while her parents worked in another country. Helen had to quit school from time to time to help her parents’ restaurant business.

When Helen was 18, she made a difficult decision to move to the US on her own despite her parents’ objection. As a result, she had to save every penny and graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Seen as a successful business woman today, Helen shares with us how she balances career, relationship, motherhood.

Helen Chong was introduced to Feisworld by Chris Yen, a previous podcast guest on the show. We hope Helen's voice gives mothers out there, an opportunity to connect and reflect. During our conversation, Helen volunteered to answer some of the most difficult questions including her own struggles with postpartum depression.

If you enjoy the show, I hope you share Helen's wisdom and lessons with other women. To learn more about Helen and her company, visit their website here.

Show Notes:

  • [06:00] Tell us what you do and what are some of the things you are currently struggling with.
  • [08:00] What are the most common questions that you receive from other people, as a woman with a career and three kids?
  • [10:00] Can you share some of the tips and tricks that worked for you to find free time and some ‘peace of mind’?
  • [13:00] It is very challenging to raise three children. How was it for you the shift from your professional life to being a mother of three kids?
  • [16:30] Do you have any external help with your kids, such as babysitters, or other supportive resources (mother groups, etc)?
  • [26:00] Can you tell your experience and thoughts about postpartum depression?
  • [32:00] What are your thoughts about this modern concept that mothers need to be able to do anything and everything.
  • [35:00] Nowadays, how do you balance your career and leading a team on your own company with your busy routine as a mother?
  • [38:30] How did you end up in the US? What type of business were your parents running?
  • [40:00] Helen comparing a bit modern society and teenagers with working a couple of decades ago.
  • [50:00] Is being a real-estate agent a good career for mothers?
  • [51:00] What do you think is the key ingredient for being successful?

Favorite Quotes:

  • [10:00] ‘There’s no slow time in your life, but the [peace of mind] is how you talk to yourself. You treasure the moments when you are holding your baby, or right before you go to sleep, or when you shower…’
  • [13:30] ‘[Moving to LA] was really tough. What made a difference was that you start to try really forcing yourself, not even for yourself, but for your child.’
  • [17:30] ‘It’s good to hear from other moms that what you are feeling is normal. I was so frustrated, I didn’t even know what to do. I wasn’t happy at the time’
  • [20:00] ‘Knowing that they are also struggling, and that they listen to you takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders’
  • [28:00] ‘Once I learned how to accept [the change in my life] is when I finally got out of [postpartum depression]. I couldn’t accept it, I kept thinking to myself why?, what did I do wrong?’
  • [40:00] ‘Those philosophies got stuck in my head. Even though I didn’t wanna hear, I heard them. Who I am is what you have said [what I heard] during those years.‘Those are the things that he told me when I was very little. This is what my dad has been teaching me’
  • [51:00] ‘To be successful is about persistence and discipline’

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Credit: background piano music by Michael Ortega