New book reveals the joys and struggles of 18 Asian women entrepreneurs who traveled many different paths to create their best lives
When we’re younger, says cardiothoracic physician’s assistant Sabrina Runbeck, MPH, MHS, the most common question we get asked is, “What do you want to do?” From her perspective, “That’s such an unfair question. We haven’t experienced enough of the world yet. We haven’t really dived deeper to do our self-discovery.” We look around at parents, school, friends, neighbors, and start comparing ourselves to them and then molding ourselves to meet outsiders’ expectations. But even if we check off all the things, “it doesn’t really lead us anywhere,” she says. “The ultimate question we should be asking is, ‘What type of lifestyle do I want?’” That means, Sabrina explains, you should be thinking about a lot of other questions: Where you want to live? Are you OK working weekends? Do you want kids? Do you want to prioritize being home with them or advancing in a career? What type of work environment will you thrive in?
In the beginning, we may not know the answers to all of these questions, but the key is to be intentional about figuring them out. For Sabrina, having a life vision that didn’t align with her husband’s ultimately caused her divorce. “We’d been together for many years, things were going great, but the vision didn’t fit. Everybody who knows me knows I’m very driven. I’m on top of things. I love engaging with people. People come to me to solve their problems. There’s no way I would just one day get married, stop, have kids, and only focus on my family,” she says. “I feel like you can be both.” And by this, she doesn’t mean “balance,” a concept she believes is a fantasy. Rather, she seeks a “harmony cycle,” which involves recognizing the things that are truly important and letting go of those that aren’t.
As a physician’s assistant, Sabrina started out her career fulfilling both her own desires and the expectations of her parents. But gradually, as she saw what was emphasized in her workplace—pushing yourself to the limit, treating disease instead of focusing on prevention and self-care—she began to get disillusioned. Finally, she got so sick she could not show up for work and was told, “Don’t make a habit of this.” The lack of appreciation for the amount of work she had been doing left her feeling diminished and disrespected. It drove her to change her work situation and begin reaching out to help others in her industry.
Now she hosts the Powerful and Passionate Healthcare Professionals podcast, where she shares advice on prioritizing your to-do list, fighting procrastination, guarding against burnout, and much more. Healthcare workers in particular are susceptible to both PTSD and depression. But they also suffer regular mental “injuries”—these happen if someone has to engage in a moral dilemma about who to help first or has to deliver terrible news to a family. “It all takes a toll on our bodies,” Sabrina says, “however, there are also studies that show either you can have these mental injuries or you can have psychological growth. It depends on how you are supported.”
She helps healthcare professionals focus on that preventative side. “We can be better supported with specific ways to reboot our mental hygiene, redefine our motivation in life, know our goals and where we want to go, so we have a clear vision and mission,” she explains. “Then we are able to restore our energy readily—I teach people exercises that can get them there within two minutes. You can get into a state where, no matter what you do, you are feeling positive. You’re feeling satisfied.”
More about Sabrina’s struggles and successes are in the inspiring new book Asian Women Who Boss Up, by Tam Luc, the author, educator, and podcaster dedicated to helping women “boss up.” This collection of interviews with highly successful Asian women reveals how they have overcome obstacles and stereotypes, pushed past self-imposed limits, and defied expectations imposed on them by others, often their parents. This book is a master class of entrepreneurial advice and personal development guidance for any woman in search of role models who show that, yes, you can live the life of your dreams.
Find Sabrina on Instagram, where she is @SabrinaRunbeck. She’s on Facebook and LinkedIn as well, and you can find her podcast Powerful and Passionate Healthcare Professionals wherever you listen to podcasts.
Follow Sabrina and purchase Asian Women Who BossUp
About Women with Vision International
Women with Vision International aims to inspire, uplift, and empower women everywhere to never give up their dream of living their life on purpose. We gather dynamic, entrepreneurial women who are making a difference and changing people’s lives to spark conversation around the topics that impact us all such as building their businesses, fundraising, and balancing their work and their families.
About Tam Luc
Tam Luc is an international bestselling author and the founder of Women with Vision International who shares the triumphs, stress, and struggles of balancing her life to help women grow their businesses. After 20 years as an entrepreneur, she is able to help women leverage their messages and create the lifestyle they want through her unique book messaging strategies. Join us at https://womenbossupsummit.com/virtualsummit