After a brief hiatus we’re back with this week’s Slatewood Club Man of The Week, a series of blog posts where we interview men who have been successful in their fields about the things that matter most to them.
Nelson Yong is a brand director, marketing strategist, entrepreneur, and community builder. He’s helped companies like Dell, Intel, and Microsoft achieve huge results in the business world through his marketing work. Outside of work you can find Nelson helping men up their style through his social media channels, active in community building efforts throughout Seattle, and representing the 12s as an active Seahawks fan. Check out more of what Nelson is up to at nelsonyong.com or follow him on Instagram here.
If someone asked you to sum up what you do in one sentence, what would you say?
I’m an entrepreneurially-minded creative strategist that works with corporate and personal brands to grow their influence, loyalty and revenue.
Tell us a little about what the journey was like to getting to where you are today in business?
Growing up without closer father figures mentoring me throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I always found myself lost and misunderstood– as if I was supposed to fill some other shoes in terms of what I needed to study or build my career upon. I feel like my business background and ambitions have been built upon layers of “failing forward”– with a series of doors closing and opening that I can’t logically explain.
What was the biggest struggle in that journey?
The biggest struggle in the journey has been confronting my fear of failure and battling the mindset that I’m not good enough.
In your experience what is the biggest opportunity that most business’ are missing?
Most business lack a consistent emphasis and follow-up with marketing– whether it’s with loyalty programs, brand ambassador work, or digital marketing that leads directly to the sales funnel. Many businesses start things they can’t finish. I don’t care if you’re a sole proprietor or a Fortune 500 company, businesses need better follow-up with marketing.
How do you manage a work-life balance?
I make sure to emphasize time to myself, whether that is working out, cooking, exploring restaurants in the city, or traveling. I make sure to spend time enabling and activating others around me. I make sure to spend time with family. Business and ambitions come after those things.
Who comes to mind when you hear the word successful?
I think of relevant industry leaders like Tom Ford, who has created such an aspirational brand among men that transcends style or luxury, and think about his driven eye for excellence and his work ethic.
What’s something you believe that other people might think is crazy?
I believe that there is no failure, and that God will have my back no matter what. I’ve been in several rock bottom times in my life, and I always end up in an incredibly greater place afterwards through the act of surrender. I think God has a funny way, at times, of using problems in our lives to promote us. Sometimes God takes things away from us, not because we’ve failed, but because our characters are getting tested for his next big promotion for us.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Swing for the fences. Go all in. Put it all on the table. When you’re in God’s will… there’s no time to be timid.