We had the good fortune of connecting with Ting Lin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ting, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk-taking is a main factor that got me to where I am today. My life journey started from Southern China, to San Francisco, to Los Angeles, to New York, and now Washington D.C.. It’s evident that I am familiar with leaving the comfort zone and diving into the unknown. Sometimes those decisions were made for me by my mother – the queen of risk-taking, such as immigrating to America. Sometimes those decisions were made by me without thorough planning, like moving to New York without a job or stable place to live. Sometimes those decisions were made by me deliberately, like moving to DC for a better career opportunity. And the risk-taking didn’t just pertain to geographic locations. I took a risk when I quit piano after 10 years to take up vocal lessons. I took a risk when I decided to steer away from Music in college and majored in Fashion Design instead. I took a risk transitioning from retail into corporate in the fashion industry. I took a risk starting my own fashion consulting business. I took a risk writing my own music instead of just singing covers.
Making changes and taking risks just seem to be a way of life for me by now. I want to keep growing, learning, exploring, and I won’t be able to do all that by staying inside the line. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always easy. Sometimes taking a risk puts me around places, jobs, circumstances, or people that I don’t belong with. Sometimes taking a risk brings a whole new set of challenges to overcome. Sometimes taking a risk doesn’t result in immediate success. But I think it’s all worth it. I wouldn’t be who I am today without those “risks”, which were opportunities, lessons, and experiences for me to discover.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider myself a multitalented creative because of my various skills and interests in music, fashion, dance, and more. I consider myself a serial entrepreneur because of the various businesses and streams of income that I have created. And I consider myself a corporate professional because of my experiences working for different companies.
My career path has never been a straight-forward one. It took a lot of experimenting, learning, changing, and adapting to get to where I am today. It took listening to my inner voice and doing what felt right. It took tuning out negativity and noises from the outside. It took courage to redefine what the society has already defined. It took a lot of patience and faith.
As I have gotten to know myself better throughout the years, my career choices have morphed with it. Knowing that I value helping people more than meeting sales goals, I have transitioned from fashion retail to starting my own fashion consulting business. Knowing that I want to bring light to important issues have inspired me to write my own music instead of doing covers. Knowing that I want to share my love of dance and fitness with others have led me to teach Zumba. And knowing that I want to mentor others who are embarking on their creative journey has encouraged me to start a creative organization called The Ting Times.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so much to see and do in DC! Here are some examples of where I would take them.
We can start the day in Georgetown, we will walk and take photos along the water front area, then go shop, eat, drink on M St, then go visit the Georgetown University Campus and check out the historic homes nearby, then go up Wisconsin Ave and show them where I used to live, then visit the Washington National Cathedral, then check out the Embassy Row.
We can start the day in downtown DC, show them my office, then walk from the White House all the way to the National Mall, then visit the Lincoln Memorial, and end the day at the Wharf.
We can start the day walking around different museums, then head over to Capitol Hill to check out the Capitol Building and then eat and drink on Barrack’s Row where we usually like to go.
We can start the day having brunch on 14th St, then walk around Logan Circle, Shaw, and Chinatown.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people, places, communities, and experiences that I want to thank for helping to shape who I am today. Whether it was negative or positive, I have taken a little piece from each and carry it with me as I move forward. However, I do have some notable mentions.
I’m thankful for my mom, who is an artistic, creative, and entrepreneurial soul herself. Her decision to chase after her dreams and starting anew in a foreign land has changed my life and who I am forever. She is the reason that I am a fearless risk-taker. She inspires me to live and work passionately. She was my foundation and continues to be my guiding light.
I’m thankful for my stepdad, who has always supported and believed in me. Through him, I have learned that I can truly be whoever I want to be and that anything is possible in life. Through him, I have learned to strive for excellence even with the smallest task. Through him, I have learned to work hard and play hard in order to maintain a balanced life. Through him, I learned that a little humor goes a long way!
Instagram: @thetingtimes, @tinglinmusic, @tinglinfashion
Robert Golightly, Sathya Ram, Luke J. Roberts, Jeffrey Perkins, & David M. Werk.