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Publicist Gigi Chao
Gigi Chao, daughter of business tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, is now in charge of her own PR firm. She tells Jan Leung about how she paved her own way.

By Jan Leung | Aug 16, 2007

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  • Publicist Gigi Chao

People of every class have their own dilemmas.

As a daughter of a successful actress and a well-known businessman, I was confused about what to do with my life. In fact, many of my friends with parents who have achieved a lot face the same dilemma.

Some choose to embrace it, get spoiled and be the prima donna. Some rebel against it and just run away. These are the two most common reactions for children like us.

Disobedience is the way to progress. Call me a rebel but I like trying out different things at my own risk. That's how people grow.

Be a clown if you don't speak the language. When I was sent abroad at six, I spoke no English, so I used humor to get by.

Knowing that lessons are only obvious in retrospect, my mom chose to beat me up instead of reasoning with me. But I still think sometimes she just took it out on me.

My father took a hands-off approach in parenting. I see him as a friend more than a father.

My parents never pressure me with high expectations - their sucess has already inspired me with high self-expectations.

Exorcise your own demons or they will possess you.

It is seldom the external environment that stirs up strong emotions - it is usually one's inner demons or inner weaknesses that cause turmoil.

I have encountered a lot of people who get angry for no reason. They blame their emotions on the moon or their hormones, and keep on being angry.

I use emotion as a tool instead of an outlet. Some people won't know you mean business until you yell in anger and bang your head against the wall.

Let yourself be vulnerable at the right moment and shed a tear or two. That's how people perceive how heartfelt you are.

I don't think I am manipulative. These feelings are genuine. In any case, I just want to get things done.

My father is not a player. A player fools around – my father knows exactly what he wants.

I still believe in romance. I will have my own family and a dog for sure.

A soft mother makes a weak child. I would be a total failure if I became a mother right now. I can’t even be strict with my dogs, let alone my child.

My mom ranted on and on about her childhood poverty and how I was spoiled with too many good things, as if it was my fault to be born rich.

To lose weight, go to Africa. I lost 40 pounds by the end of my ambassador's trip in college.

We were like welcome aliens – novel, but well received. People there were so poor that they hunted for our garbage.

They looked happy to me but I could be wrong. I was too naïve to understand how grave their situations were.

While people in poor countries appreciate help from others, people in developed countries are often too proud to receive any.

The common man knows best. I was once a barback in university, doing the crappiest work you can imagine. Aside from the six-pack abs I earned by doing manual work, I learned how to run a bar.

In Hong Kong, there is so much anger that sympathy is seen as a form of insult. This is stupid, if not sick.

I once went to Tsang To-choi’s place to do some clean up. He was a kindred spirit, and he really believed he was the King of Kowloon.

Empathy is part of what leadership is about.

The one-eyed man is the king of the blind because he can empathize with the blind while leading them with his vision. My goal is to be a one-eyed queen.

There are no short cuts in life. I switched from one job to another - some good, some crappy - before establishing a PR firm.

People often stereotype PR people as having verbal diarrhea. But the best PR is usually the one who listens.

Keep your topics superficial when all you have is three minutes with a stranger. Nobody wants to know how your cat died this morning.

I do eat alone. There are only 24 hours in a day - I don't have time to go to all the parties.

Don't believe in anything until the paper is signed.

If I could ask God a question, it would be, “How am I doing today?”

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