Striking the Perfect Balance with Belinda Koo, XYZ Founder & UBS Managing Director
Be an asset, not a liability.
Belinda Koo’s motto is one of the many reasons for her success and why this mentorship lunch with her was so highly anticipated by our Time Auction volunteers.
Her exceptional work ethic is how she juggles being a doting mother while excelling as Managing Director at UBS, and somehow finding time to run XYZ (her own wildly successful indoor spinning company). She shared with our mentees her goal-oriented mindset that paved her career.
Growing up, Belinda watched her mother work hard to earn a living while bringing up her children single-handedly. From this, she was instilled with the importance of spending her time meaningfully.
“We all have 24 hours in a day, but it is how we choose to spend each minute that differentiates a worthwhile day from a wasted one.”
By always prioritizing our tasks, we ensure that our days are lived out in a purposeful manner.
The journey that matters is the one within.
Belinda also characterized the 5 stages of growing throughout an individual’s lifetime.
Stage 1: Dependence — a young child who lives under parental rules and is easily shaped by societal constraints.
Stage 2: Independence — a young teen who is becoming more self-aware and more willing to test the limits of his or her environment.
Stage 3: Interdependence follows afterwards — when the young adult is beginning to kickstart his or her own career and to develop strong relationships.
Stage 4: Transcendence — as Belinda described, is one of the more mature phases (sometimes one doesn’t even reach this stage) and it is when an individual reaches peak self-awareness and discovers their own meaning of life. It is ultimately when one realizes what their life goal is and how to work towards reaching it.
After reaching transcendence, one enters Stage 5: Immanence — when one develops a strong spiritual mindset and links what they are doing to how they are giving back to their community, God or the Universe.
All this serves to mark important milestones in a person’s internal growth, which of course, comes with a huge amount of reflection and introspection.
Belinda’s take on happiness and success
Defining happiness and success was also a topic that was thoroughly discussed.
Belinda shared the book Shawn Achor’s Happiness Advantage, which boils down to the fact that we are happier when we have a choice in what we want to do. Human beings are hardwired to want to have the freedom of choice. It is also important to remember that happiness and success are not mutually exclusive, as many people wrongfully believe. Getting to the top of the ladder might provide temporary happiness, but long term joy and fulfilment are the things that people should be aiming for.
“The goal in reaching the top is to have an aerial view on what is needed, and the power to give and contribute.”
The big question — How does she do it all?
Belinda’s ability to focus on one specific task at a time sets her apart from others in her field. To Belinda, her three jobs are like three different, yet wholly delicious, choices of food on a plate — pasta, dim sum and bagels. While she’s enjoying one, the other two take the backseat in her mind. Otherwise, she warns, everything would be too distracting and she would not be truly enjoying the moment. Be as present and as focused as you can. We may think we’re skilled at multitasking, but the truth is, we accomplish better if we only focus on one particular task.
To the people out there who struggle with balancing a thriving career and a fruitful family life, take solace in knowing that it is possible. Belinda is proof that one can have the cake and eat it too. We sincerely thank Belinda for imparting the values of hard work, dedication and positive thinking to us in hopes that we will take her words of advice in improving ourselves and achieving our own dreams.
Thank you Belinda again for your time, generosity and invaluable sharing which has raised 101 volunteer hours to UNICEF, Feeding Hong Kong, Philanthropy in Motion, Kids4Kids and more.
By Crystal Lau, University of Hong Kong Student, Time Auction Ambassador
For more auctions, visit Time Auction, a platform that connects you with inspiring mentors while encouraging volunteerism.
What did the volunteers think?
Yunruo Hu, HKUST Student
I like your way of speaking very much. My impression for bankers was that they are aggressive but you were so calm and coherent. I think it is also because of the ability that you give time for yourself to switch the mode. Life shouldn’t be hard and we got to be happy throughout. Thank you for letting me know there is another way and also one of the most ideal ways to live a life.
Hollie Chung, Sustainability Officer
Thank you so much for sharing with us your life lesson and advices! I enjoyed your story and teaching a lot! It’s very true to listen to our thoughts and defend for what we want, hope to keep in touch with you! I love your lifestyle!
Anne Wong, Private Banker
I really like Belinda’s key words of the day “to be an asset but not a liability to family, friends and workspace”. This is inspiring. From now on, I should work harder with a positive attitude to upgrade and sustain myself for being the core asset within my loved ones’ portfolio as well as contribute to our society.
Michelle Ho, Property Surveyor
Belinda told us a lot of her life lessons. Learnt a lot from that. She amazed me in terms of her successful corporate life, without sacrificing on her family time and achieve her dream by means of running a playful cycling studio! I think her (tiger) mom shape her a good person and strong yet decent characters. I think parenting is so important and rethink my future role as a parent!
Kacey Pat, Hong Kong Polytechnic University Student
Belinda, I am very grateful for your heartfelt sharing . It truly inspires me a lot. I was reflecting and journaling on the life wisdom she has shared after I got home , it certainly does act as a guidance during my period of cufusion and trying to figure out what I want in life. Thank you SO much Belinda. I certainly wanna grow into a strong modern woman like you!
Emma Yu, Account Strategist at Google
Dear Belinda, thanks so much for meeting us with your precious time. After the lunch, your words just keep resonating on my mind. You are truly inspiring and motivating me to go beyond. I feel after I started working, my mind gets lazy, and my life gets dull. I realise that I am not very happy, but I have done nothing significant about it. Meeting you and talking with you is a true motivation for me to keep learning about myself, about life, and drive deeper. Thanks so much, I hope more people can talk with you, and maybe they can also find their way to happiness.
Tommy Wong, HKUST Student
Dear Belinda, I am writing this letter to express my deep gratitude towards your sharing regarding “Life”, “Happiness”, etc. These are really rewarding and inspiring. I sincerely hope that I can stay motivated in the future without letting my passion fades.
Once again, thank you for your sharing and I truly hope that we can see each other in the not-too-distant future.