IAM802- Founder Supports Creatives Through Mentorship

Podcast Interview with Ting Lin

Ting Lin is a multitalented and creative entrepreneur in the DMV area. She is a fashion consultant for Ting Lin Fashion, specializing in wardrobe audit, personal shopping, and fashion styling. She is a singer-songwriter for Ting Lin Music, creating and performing original songs with multicultural and cross-genre elements. She is the founder of The Ting Times, striving to support creatives who want to pursue unconventional careers, by providing resources, mentorship and opportunities.

  • CEO Hack: I have a to-do list and try to stick to the goals for the day and I get them done
  • CEO Nugget: Be patient with yourself, you will get there
  • CEO Defined: A mindset, taking charge and being a leader



Instagram: (@thetingtimes) (@tinglinmusic) (@tinglinfashion)

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Full Interview:


Intro 0:02
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello, hello, this is Greg from the IMC o podcast and have a very special guest on the show today. As tingling of the ting times. Ting is awesome. Have you on show.

Ting Lin 0:39
Thank you. I'm happy to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:41
No problem. Super excited to have you on and before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about team so you hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And seeing Lynn is a multi talented and creative entrepreneur in the DMV area. She's a fashion consultant for a ting Lin fashion specializing in wardrobe audit, personal shopping and fashion styling. She is a singer and songwriter for tangling music, creating and performing original songs with multicultural and cross genre elements. And she is the founder of the teen time striving to support creatives who want to pursue unconventional careers by providing resources, mentorship, and opportunities Tang, are you ready to speak to the imcl? community?

Ting Lin 1:20
Yes, I am

Gresham Harkless 1:22
awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more on how you got started and what led you start with all the awesome things you're working on.

Ting Lin 1:31
as well. So I'm an artist, you know, that's my that's what my heart is that and all the things kind of took shape. Throughout the years. It wasn't just like I woke up and I'm like, Okay, I'm doing all these things. And because because I'm somebody that loves doing so many creative things, I had to kind of say, Well, what am I most passionate about. And that's fashion and music, and also community. So that's why there's singing fashions in the music. And the thing times, the thing times is basically an umbrella for everything that I do. But eventually it will morph into an organization that supports other creatives that want to do what I want to do, you know, creative things. So, yeah, I mean, you know, I, I just I just love, I guess, be able to, I guess I want to have a career, doing things that I'm passionate about. Because I have been into the retail world, I have been in the corporate world. And I realize I'm the happiest when I you know, do my own thing, have my own business and do things I'm truly just passionate about. So this is why, you know, I kind of started all of these different ventures.

Gresham Harkless 2:40
Nice, I definitely appreciate that. And I think when we first connected, I talked about, you know, the creativeness of entrepreneurship at its heart. And I believe that creatives are the people that are most able to figure out how to solve these problems, how to sometimes merge different talents and interests into one that can kind of help and create that that movement or that, I guess, solution for certain problems that we have in life.

Ting Lin 3:06
Exactly. Yeah, I mean, I think creativity isn't just for the artists, I think creativity can be a lifestyle. We also talked about this where I feel like a lot of people think of creatives as just artists or, or musicians or fashion designers, or graphic designers, or, you know, like all of these boxes that people think creatives are. And I don't believe that I think creatives exists in every single industry in every single field, as long as you're somebody who thinks outside of the box, who wants to solve problems in your industry creatively. And you know, who just want to be changemakers. So I consider all of those people creative. And you know, creativity can be brought into daily lives where you're not so like stubborn at solving a problem in one way where you are more flexible and like, well, let's consider other options, or let's consider other people's opinions. Or let's consider other aspects or perspectives and looking at a problem. So you know, creativity, I feel like it's a way of life.

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Gresham Harkless 4:11
Yeah, absolutely. And I love how you said that it's a way of life. Because I think so many times we get the I guess the worst thing you can do is tell a creative that they need to fit into a box. And they need to check off those boxes, so to speak, because I think that not only limits their creativity, but I think it also limits the the impact that they can have on the world. Because I think so many times we get so focused on doing things one specific way, but it's the creative is the person that is able to kind of do it in a different way or look at it in a different way that allows that opportunity to create these innovations. And these things that really we're even using in this very moment.

Ting Lin 4:47
Yeah, I mean, you know, and also being creative doesn't mean you have to do everything originally, like there are a lot of things that already exist. But as long as you do it your way and you bring some something different to the table. And doesn't mean you can't do what other people are doing. It doesn't mean have to come up with something totally original. Because in this world, it's really hard to just say everything that we do is original, it feel like well inspired by someone well influenced by different people that have come before us. Right? So I think people shouldn't be afraid and be like, well, I don't have anything original. It's like, No, just do it your way that is original enough, you know?

Gresham Harkless 5:24
Yeah, absolutely. I'll just say, if you run your own race, you can't lose because nobody can run your race like you can. So I know you're running your race, and you're at least a triple threat that you mentioned, could you talk a little bit more on the different aspects that you have, you know, in your, in your business, and what you're doing and how you support those clients you work with?

Ting Lin 5:43
So yes, I definitely do things my way. Um, you know, for for my fashion clients, I can talk a little bit more about. So the way I kind of treat my fashion clients is that I'm pretty much their friend. Because when I look at fashion, it's something that's very personal. It's not just about the clothing, it's a, it's a mindset, it's about their confidence, it's about their self image, as well. They're, how they feel about their body, how they feel about themselves. So the fact that they come to me, and like, they're vulnerable, and they're expressing all of these inner feelings they have about themselves. To me, I can't really treat it as, Oh, you're my client, I am your fashion consultant, I, I kind of open up and I'm like, I'm your friend, I'm here to listen, I'm here to support and I'm here to help you, however, you need me to help you, right. So, you know, I treat my clients as friends. And the way we work is like, you know, I listen, I'm very patient with them, I customize my service based on the client, there's no like, one box, that's all kind of thing. So because I want to tailor my service, you know, to them specifically, so I can really, really help them. And it's not about like pushing my fashion sense onto them. It's about helping them discover their own fashion sense and help them develop their individual styles. And yeah, you know, to me, it's very, it's an honor to be able to work with my clients, because they're just so honest with me about themselves and about what they need. So, yeah,

Gresham Harkless 7:19
nice. No, I definitely appreciate that. And I think, you know, when we definitely connected to like, the, I guess, the symbolism of fashion as well, too, I think so many times, we forget, like, Oh, I'm just putting on this shirt, or I'm just, you know, dressing up in this, but what it represents is so much more. So I love that obviously the the customized approach that you have, but I love how in tune you are to that aspect as well. And not just seeing what the clothes are, but what the clothes represent and how it creates that therefore momentum.

Ting Lin 7:45
Yeah, I mean, a lot of the clients they already know, they already know something about fashion, a lot of them, they're like, Oh, I don't know anything about fashion. I'm like, you've dressed yourself with so many years, you know something about fashion, you know, but it's about building up that fashion knowledge. And that's kind of where I come in where, you know, I'm not necessarily telling a client, well, I don't like this, or I like this for you, I explained to them, why I like this on them, Why don't like something on them, why they should keep something where they shouldn't keep something. So kind of bring in that expert knowledge because I've worked in fashion retail for like, many, many years, you know, throughout college, throughout my career. And I've also studied fashion design. And I, you know, I just I've been in the industry for a long time, and I've been an executive assistant to working alongside like executives and overseeing the whole process of creating garment. So, you know, I've seen a lot, and that's kind of the expertise I bring in is, you know, kind of telling someone, you know, why certain color works for them, why certain silhouette works for them. And also encouraging them to not follow trends but but mainly focus on their own style. Because we follow trends, a lot of the trends are not for every single body type and for every single person. So it's important to kind of see what really works for you, instead of kind of just chasing, what's the newest item, you know, I have to have in my closet.

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Gresham Harkless 9:09
Nice. Yeah, I appreciate that so much. Because I think kind of like what we were talking about with business where so many times you can get locked in on one specific way of doing things. A lot of times you can lean on the expertise of others. And a lot of times, like I said before, when you start to run somebody else's race, that's when you lose, that's when you don't stay true to yourself. So looking for answers externally, when really we should be looking for answers within and then kind of learning more sharpening the saw and going forward from there.

Ting Lin 9:36
Yeah, I mean, it's about like learning about your body type and learning, you know, because some people do experience some changes in their body types. A lot of clients I talked to they're one body type and then they're like, well, I'm working towards the other body type. So just kind of like being patient with yourself through that throughout that journey and knowing what really looks good on you. Be really honest with yourself. Know what you want to show know which part you don't Don't want to show just kind of have those internal dialogue. So then when I come in, you know, you're honest with me and I can really help you. And, you know, I work with my I work within my client's comfort zone. But I'm also there to push the boundary a little bit because you don't really learn. If I'm just saying yes to everything that you like.

Gresham Harkless 10:20
Yeah, absolutely. And you don't grow unless you get outside of that comfort zone. And that's definitely for sure. So, I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce, and this could be for yourself or your business, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Ting Lin 10:34
Um, I mean, I feel like a couple of things sets me apart, I think one is that, you know, my passion for what I do, it's pretty apparent because I have all the energy and all the time in the world when I'm doing something that I love. So I bring a lot of passion into the way I interact with my fashion clients or music or other creatives. You know, you can, you can feel the passion and you can feel the hunger, I'm genuinely, you know, loving what I do. And I'm providing a lot of honest opinions, a lot of good information. So I think my passion is one of one of my secret sauces, I would say, and definitely what I touched upon is the personalization of my services. So there's not like, you know, you don't feel like you're getting treated the same as everyone else, just like a cookie cutter in a cookie cutter way, I kind of tailor my services to you personally, I will say that more for fashion, for music. You know, for me, it's again, passion is there, but, um, for music, I'm there to push boundaries. So it's, it's not so much Oh, what everybody else like, it's, it's kind of like, what everybody else need, you know, what is out there? Ready? How can I do things my way, make it interesting, make the, you know, make it sound good, but different.

Gresham Harkless 11:57
And I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Ting Lin 12:09
Um, so one of the habits that I do have, is that I like to finish everything for that day, on that day. So what that means is that, you know, we have to do lists for every single day, right. And sometimes we don't get to all of it, and that's fine. But I set some goals of what I want to accomplish on one day, and I try to stick to those goals and get them done. You know, and, and it might sound overwhelming. But my strategy is that, you know, every day, we'll have more things to do. So we finish, you know, some things that we set for one day, then on the next day, we can work on something new, and you know, other things on the to do list, instead of feeling overwhelmed and feeling like the list never gets, you know, gets shorter. And it's worked for me so far.

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Gresham Harkless 13:02
Absolutely love that. So now I want to ask you for what I call a SEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something if you happen to have a time machine, you might tell your younger business self,

Ting Lin 13:13
if I can hop in a time machine and tell, I guess my younger self being I guess, in the 20s, you know, maybe when I was 21. That's kind of when I moved to New York and had all these big dreams, you know, in the fashion industry, to tell myself that you will get there, just be patient with yourself.

Gresham Harkless 13:35
Appreciate that. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is a definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote unquote, CEOs on the show saying What does being a CEO mean to

Ting Lin 13:46
being a CEO isn't just the title of being a CEO is a mindset. It's about taking charge. It's about being a leader. It's again, kind of everything I said, like change, being a change maker, being a problem solver. I guess, kind of seeing whichever industry that you're in kind of seeing what is needed. And if there's nothing there take charge. So being a CEO, I think it's less about a title, especially in the corporate world, then a mindset and entrepreneurial world. So I think anybody can be CEO. And you know, and you can be CEO in every field possible. It doesn't have to be in a corporate world. But you have to make sure you have what it takes. You have to make sure that you're willing to put in the hard work, finish what you've started, be humble, and learn and collaborate with people make all the connections and you you are CEO, then you are the CEO, I

Gresham Harkless 14:51
truly appreciate that saying and I appreciate your time even more. What I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know And of course how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all of us in danger.

Ting Lin 15:03
Awesome. Well, if you want to learn more about the tng times, if you're creative or you know someone who is a creative, then definitely check out www dot the teen times comm th e ti n g ti MBs. And also the Instagram for that is the thing times. And then if you want to learn more about my fashion consulting services, if you're a brand, or just an individual who's looking to, for me to style, a photoshoot for you or to revamp your wardrobe or to you know, just help you change your style, great outfits, then definitely check out www dot t England fashion calm and on Instagram. That's England fashion. That's the handle. And if you want to learn more about my music, it's www dot tingling And on Instagram, it's tingling music, and I'll definitely have a couple very exciting things coming up. So definitely stay tuned.

Gresham Harkless 16:09
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much again, Tim. We will have the links and information in the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow up with you. But I appreciate you so much for all the awesome things you're doing and time you spent today and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 16:22
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO.CO. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it’s a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear a This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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