Mandy Kan, Pastry Chef and Co-Owner of Dessert Lady

What’s your secret to keeping the balance between your career and the rest of your life?

My secret to keeping the balance between my career and my life would be to stay positive, stay healthy, stay calm and wise at all time. We all know that life can never be perfect and there are so many unexpected things that can happened in our life. We can live in a day to be happy or miserable. Why not chose to be living in a happy day. When you are happy, you think more positively, the positive energy you bring in to people around you. When you are in a positive mode, there are a lot of time you would come up with solutions and solve the problems.

What’s the biggest challenge you face when it comes to balancing your life?

Time is always the biggest challenge for me, especially for the past seven years in the business. The older I get, I’ve actually learned and realized that “balancing your life” is actually the “key to success”. My shop used to be open seven days a week. Three years ago, I started to close Sundays so that I can have a break, my staff can have time for their family and do what they want. As a matter of fact, the sales went up. I feel rested and get inspired a lot of times when I check out other stuff on my day off.

What tips can you offer other women who are still striving to keep the balance in their lives?

Know what can make you happy and smile. Know that “everything happens for a reason” and be wise. Know that “it’s not the the end of the world” and there is always a solution to everything. Try positive thinking at all times. Cheer up when you are down. Celebrate when you achieve something good. Be grateful. We can only perform the best when we are in a “peace of mind” mode. Stay away from negative people. Chit chat with people that you admire.

What kind of pressure do you feel as a woman in today’s day in age with having to juggle professional pressures and domestic challenges?

Maybe I’m in a different industry where people would rather judge you with the taste/look of your products rather than who you are. In my mind, I never think about any domestic challenges or professional pressures that are related whether I’m a woman or not. Believe me, I’ve work with men in the kitchen most of my life and still do very often, and I’m the only girl on the team. But I am a strong believer in do what you do the best, follow your passion, strive for the best, give the best, always look for opportunities and people will start to acknowledge you. I think like an entrepreneur, I look at every challenge as an opportunity that would lead me to somewhere, or bring me to another direction. I think if you make excuses for yourself or blame yourself for something that you couldn’t achieve because “I’m a woman,” it will actually stop you from growing and hinder you from becoming a successful entrepreneur.

What’s your guilty pleasure or secret luxury, something that is yours that you use as an escape?

Every year, I’ll book off 10 days in January (usually it’s the slowest time of the year) to go somewhere out of the country to reward myself for the whole year of hard work. During this time off, I don’t think about work, I don’t check emails, it’s just me in my own world, relaxing, enjoying every moment I can, sightseeing, and seeing what’s out there in the world.

Who do you turn to when you feel that you’re going to lose balance?

When I sense that I’m going to lose balance, I usually take time to try and think about the situation. Sometimes, when you lose balance, you really need to give yourself time to have your own space to think about things. This way, your mind is clearer and can think about things more realistically.

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