Kelly Tan Of Kelly Talks Social: “Be open to constructive criticism ”

Be open to constructive criticism — Feedback is good. This gives room for improvement and to be able to provide the best according to the feedback Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their lives. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she […]

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Be open to constructive criticism — Feedback is good. This gives room for improvement and to be able to provide the best according to the feedback


Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their lives. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.

How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?

In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelly Tan.

Kelly Tan is the founder of Kelly Talks Social and has over 10 years of social media experience — a Social Media & Content Coach who helps coaches and service-based entrepreneurs navigate through the challenges and overwhelm of social media. Kelly was driven by the need to help business owners get more clients and earn with ease. Her mission is to inspire and empower women entrepreneurs to rise up, enjoy independence and freedom in business and in life. Her book Success Codes — Secrets You Weren’t Taught In School is an international bestselling book on Amazon.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

For the first 7 years of my life, I grew up in Singapore and enjoyed the early years of my life where I immersed and experienced the culture in Singapore. After that, I moved back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I continued primary and half of my high school education. As a child, I was lucky to have parents who have opened my world to lots of traveling and being an all-rounder. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Failure is the mother of success. My parents have always been very supportive and encouraging through all of my business ventures. At any time that I’m on the verge of giving up, my parents would never fail to remind me of this quote. Indeed, I have failed many times to get to where I am today.

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

Resilience, Grit And Empathetic.

It was during the time where I sold my salon and was figuring out what to do next but my marriage failed at that time. But with the quality I possessed, I managed to rise up from the dark and kept going to where I am today.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?

I was a burnt out multi-award-winning beauty salon owner. Had that business for about 10 years and decided to sell it without a back up plan. I took a 2 week break after having sold the salon and started with a series of failed online businesses. I then joined a social media agency where I gained the skills to be able to bring into the business today and help business owners with social media.

And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?

I made the decision to invest in myself; engaged coaches and enrolled in programs where relevant to up level on my skills. Having quite the success with a physical store did not mean that it was easy building an online business. It was a whole different ball game. Mindset was also a big component in my life where I did a lot of inner work.

Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?

It was when I had my little one. I was missing out on milestones and family time. So I took the plunge when someone put in an offer to buy the salon. After a series of failed online businesses and redundancy at the social media agency that led me to where I am now.

What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?

I was creating social media content for the beauty salon. Back then, Facebook has just started, there wasn’t even Instagram or LinkedIn. The success of the salon was very much attributed to the social media content and strategy executed and managed by me.

A lot of time was spent on researching “How To…” for social media and saw a gap in the market where most business owners like myself would spend a lot of time on social media and was not able to focus on their zone of genius.

With that skill, I managed to get some clients as a freelancer helping business owners with content creation and slowly transitioned into coaching when I help business owners get leads and attract their dream clients through social media.

I simply believed in myself and positioned my mindset that anything is possible.

How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.

My business is not only surviving during a pandemic but also thriving. I moved to Melbourne, Australia about 2 years ago. At that time, I didn’t have many clients and maxed out during the height of the pandemic that I decided to change the structure of the business — transitioning into online coaching, courses and workshops so that I can help more people and maximise my time.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m grateful to my parents who have always been the light of my life. Not long after selling the salon with the intention to spend more time with family, my marriage failed and had to rebuild my life in terms of my career and to ensure that my little one is well taken care of financially. Many times, I have wanted to give up on my business but my parents have been cheerleading along side that it’s impossible to even give up.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

I had someone told me that I would never make it doing this online business. With this business, I am now financially independent and able to support my little one without having to depend on anyone.

Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?

Yes, for the longest period of time I thought I wasn’t enough and was a complete failure because of the failed business ventures. I have since then shifted my mindset to knowing that these failures are my taxes to success. I also invested my time in reading books on personal growth and development.

In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?

By surrounding with people who has the same vibration and positivity as me. There’s a saying by Jim Rohn — “ You are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with….”. Have a business bestie or an accountability buddy. You can easily connect with someone through joining group coaching programmes or Masterminds.

Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?

By doing things that are out of my comfort zone and do things that scare you daily. For example, I’m a social media and content coach and that means that I need to show up for my audience and practise what I preach. By showing up means that I’m able to reach more people that I can help.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

Lead with empathy — Understand your employees

Hire people who are better than you in areas that you are not — This is how your organisation can grow

Create a system within your organization — So that it can still function without you being in it and that you’re not a bottle neck to the business

Create goals with your team — This allows each individual to be in charge of their own roles and that gives them a sense of pride and achievement

Be open to constructive criticism — Feedback is good. This gives room for improvement and to be able to provide the best according to the feedback

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

A movement that would inspire women to take action and live a life by design.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂

Tony Robbins. I’ve attended his online conference last year and has since then opened up my world to many possibilities. I’ve even managed to quit coffee since then. I would love to just have a casual chat with him about being a motivational speaker and life in general so that I can carry out my mission which is to inspire and empower women entrepreneurs to rise up, enjoy independence and freedom in business and in life.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

They can follow me on Instagram @kellytalkssocial where I share all my free resources, tips and strategies. There is also a private Facebook group where they can join to enjoy additional free masterclasses and workshops https://www.facebook.com/groups/socialmediaonlinetraining

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!


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