Today we want to introduce you to Ashley Galina Dudarenok, an inspiring serial entrepreneur, Vlogger and Bestselling Author and China Influencer whose journey led her from Russia to China, where she has immersed herself and now runs two companies. Ashley inspires us through her positive attitude and how she uses social media so smartly in order to position herself out there.
Please name three adjectives that come to mind when you hear the word technology?
I would choose either fun, exciting, developing or progressive, futuristic, enabling, or both.
What role does technology play in your everyday life?
Currently, every aspect of my life is heavily impacted by technology, I use it at home, at work, I even “watch” technology for living and for business. This of course, is funny ‘cause I still often ask my husband to fix my mac computer or phone if I have problems. 🙂 Not because I can’t fix it myself or google how to solve the issue, but because I love it when he helps me with it. 🙂
In general, technology is an enabler, but what makes all the difference is how we choose to use that technology. One can abuse it or use it in empowering ways. I choose to look at technology as an enabler for growth and improvement. I’m excited about the developments on all fronts – gadgets, transportation, manufacturing, AI, robotics, medical, finances, space exploration and much more.
“I choose to look at technology as an enabler for growth and improvement.”
Tell us a bit about your journey? How did you get to where you are now?
I was born in Vladivostok, the far east of Russia, in the last years of the Soviet Union. When I was 17, I moved to China with my boyfriend at a time and studied there for 4 years before relocating to Hong Kong in 2010.
I studied business and economics and loved seeing how Chinese entrepreneurs – many of which are women – hustle and do business; and how China grew and changed so fast.
Before starting my own business – the China-focused social media agency Alarice – I had two jobs in Hong Kong. My understanding of China, Chinese people, their language, culture, and business environment is what propelled my business forward – and made things possible.
My thought leadership enabled by social media platforms like Youtube and LinkedIn – truly got me where I am now. Everyone should do it! Especially you, ladies! I now run 2 companies with a focus on China. One is the social media agency Alarice and the second one is a marketing training company called ChoZan.
Please complete this sentence: I have failed in …. and these were my learnings…
There are a few examples that come to my mind. I have failed to let go of lousy, low yielding clients early on in my business and these were my learnings don’t take on just clients, take on those that match your ideal profile; say NO more often then you say YES.
I have also failed to let go of mediocre team members earlier in my business and these were my learnings: You don’t need a big team, you need a team of A-players. Because one bad apple impacts the whole box so my recommendation for founders out there would definitely be: hire slowly, fire quickly. Hire for attitude.
I have failed to keep track of all the data and numbers early on in my business and these were my learnings: you can’t improve what you don’t measure. You need to love numbers and let the numbers love you.
I have also failed to establish myself as a thought leader earlier in my business and these were my learnings people don’t follow bards, they follow other people. If you don’t do thought leadership somebody else will. My advice: Have your voice and share it, you don’t need to always create content, you can also curate content and document your journey. Remember, people do business with those they know, like and trust. So be the person people know, like and trust – and business will come along.
What are three tech trends you see happening in the next 5 years?
In marketing, like in many other fields, there are three main tech trends:
AI / Personal AI powered by big data – to facilitate prediction, personalization, entertainment and propel customer service.
AR/ VR – online and offline spaces are blending, future will look much like that “Ready Player One” movie. 🙂
IoT connected Robots and Smart Machines – for an even better service in all areas.
I’m also personally really excited about medical technology advancements in diagnosis, treatment, surgery and longevity areas.
What has been a moment of fame this week?
My personal moment of fame? I got two media interview requests this week and a person, who has been watching me on LinkedIn, recognized me at Shanghai airport. I was so flattered!
Who’s your personal superhero aka ‘Shero‘?
When talking about some mythical sheroes, I’d go with Athena, an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, handcraft, and warfare. While myths surrounding Athena’s life differ significantly depending on the poet and time, since the Renaissance, she has become an international symbol of wisdom, the arts, and classical learning. These days artists often use Athena as a symbol of freedom and democracy.
As to a living person – Oprah Winfrey is phenomenal. She’s a beautiful human being, a media Queen, a kick-ass businesswoman and a dedicated humanitarian. I love her energy, her down-to-earth-ness and what she stands for.
If you could go back in time or into the future, what advice would you give your 23-year-old self and what advice would you give your 75-year-old self?
To my 23 old self, I would say: trust yourself, love yourself, enjoy every moment. Business isn’t a chore, it’s fun, it’s growth, it’s joy.
To my 75 old self: go get them! You barely passed the ‘middle aged’ mark – there’s so much more to do and to experience in your next 75 years here. J
Ashley Galina Dudarenok is a China Marketing Expert, serial entrepreneur, professional speaker, bestselling author, vlogger, podcaster, media contributor and female entrepreneurship spokesperson. She is the founder of several China-focused businesses, including social media agency, alarice.com.hk and resources & training company, ChoZan.co. She runs world’s #1 China Marketing vlog about China market, consumers and social media on YouTube. Ashley is a member of Alibaba’s Global Influencer Entourage and works directly with a Tencent core founder to conquer Western social media. Ashley has worked with more than 300 brands and organizations from 50+ Countries, helping them enter China right and go through digital transformation.