90. Leading AF: Forging a Path for Asian Entrepreneurs to Break the Bamboo Ceiling | with Julie Tran

Julie Tran is an entrepreneur on a mission to break the bamboo ceiling — and help other Asian women do the same. Julie is the founder of Leading AF, a community that develops driven Asian Females (AFs) into future leaders by dismantling deep cultural conditioning. This is done through coaching, live events, and sisterhood! 

She is a retired corporate executive in the commercial real estate industry, where she managed billions of dollars in investments all over the world. She had a successful career but was deeply unhappy and burnt out, so she quit her job to focus on her foster sons.

We talk about not just building Leading AF but what it took to ignite her desire to build her own business, forging a path for other aspiring Asian female entrepreneurs in the process.

Breaking Through the Bamboo Ceiling

  • When Julie reflected on her own journey, she realized that there was one thing holding her back more than anything else: social conditioning. She never fully bought in and leaned in because she didn’t feel like she was “supposed to” live a big life, and it took retiring and fostering for her to realize that.
  • “Fake it until you make it” can get you a long way, but you’re not going to feel aligned and, eventually, that mindset is going to hold you back.
  • You can’t be a people pleaser, either. If you’re living your life concerned with what others are going to think about you, how are you going to be a leader? Because a powerful and inspiring leader is completely authentic and self-expressed.
  • Focusing on your own leadership development isn’t selfish. “[Leading AF] is so much about Asian women finding their light… and shining it so bright that it gives permission to everyone else around them to do the same, and I think that has a huge ripple effect and has the power to uplift our entire culture.
  • Julie’s big piece of advice: “Rethink what you believe about emotions. If you believe it is not something that is productive or valuable, challenge that.” Don’t suppress your emotions. Acknowledge them and understand them. Understand all of your triggers is the belief that you’re not good enough. And that’s just not true. Question your beliefs.

Now, let’s turn this into a conversation! 

Text message Kareen at 917-540-5782 to get your direct questions regarding the content of the podcast answered. 

Take a screenshot of your phone while you’re listening, share it on Insta with your biggest takeaway, and tag me: @kareenzwalsh or @yourbadassjourneypodcast. And if you have any questions about what we discuss in this episode or a problem you’re currently experiencing, I want you to slide into those DMs or send an email to [email protected] so that I can answer it on a future episode.


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