The coach for aspiring thought leaders and host of the Thought Leader Club podcast


I deeply believe that sharing your story, becoming known for your thought leadership, and building a body of work is the foundation for creating your own version of a successful life, career, and business.








I deeply believe that sharing your story, becoming known for your thought leadership, and building a body of work is the foundation for creating your own version of a successful life, career, and business.

Here’s how I operate and think

✨ Sometimes, creating a life that you're proud of is NOT what others expect of or want from you. This means you have to stand firm when pursuing what you truly believe in and always take full responsibility for your decisions and actions. 

✨ It is okay if people don’t support you in the beginning. Stay committed to your vision and goals. 

✨ Ultimately, creating your dream life, career, and business is a choice you have to make. There’s no right or wrong. Just make a decision and move forward!

1. Creating your own definition of success 

Exploring alternative paths, doing things differently, and always being open to untangling how our social conditioning has shaped our thinking is essential to creating a life, career, and business you’re truly proud of.

When we’re able to approach our work and also the world at large from different perspectives, it opens up so many more avenues for our goals and also opportunities we never could have imagined.


Don’t assume you know what someone should or shouldn’t do, or make blanket judgments about someone simply based on one piece of information. There’s so much we don’t know about each other.

Every person has their own set of lived experiences, values, and beliefs - Be respectful and be genuinely curious about hearing their story. There’s so much to learn about any single person and there’s even more we can learn from one another :)



…Without the infiltration of social norms or voices telling you who you “should” be 

Instead, when we work together, you’ll receive a personalized strategy and coaching to build a body of work that positions you as an emerging thought leader, all while taking into account your values, lived experiences, capacity, and also how we can set you up for your 1-3 year dreams.

My work is centered around helping aspiring thought leaders become known for things that matter to them -

This includes their story, their work, and how they think and view the world 

My story (And why this work matters to me) 

Growing Up

My parents were Chinese immigrants who worked really hard to provide me with the resources and privileges I had while growing up. Since young, I’ve internalized characteristics such as work ethic, commitment, and taking ownership of your results from simply observing my parents. I also grew up in environments that prized traditional metrics of success and celebrated those in the top 1%


During my time at the University of Toronto, I excelled in checking off the “boxes”. Whether it be the “4.0 GPA” box or “get XYZ award or scholarship” box, or even the “post sexy pics on Instagram to get allll the likes from people you don’t care about” box… I checked them all. But the honest truth is: Even though I looked like I had it all figured out… I was deeply depressed and unsure of who I really was


I moved to Hong Kong and started law school (with a fancy 100K HKD scholarship). If I could become a lawyer, then I will finally BE successful (for reals this time) AND *look* like I have it all, right?!?! But this facade didn’t last long. In my first internship that summer, I dreaded going to the sterile office environment and reading through endless cases and notes that were boring AF. My 22-year-old self felt lost and alone. Was I just doing this for prestige? What kind of work would be personally fulfilling and give me more than a title and social status?


At this point, I was becoming more and more aware of how I’ve spent my entire life thus far modifying myself to fit society’s definition of success (both online and offline). I also realized that I would never fulfill my own potential or create success (whatever that even means) if I continued to squeeze myself into other people’s boxes. Most of all, I was yearning to find myself. So, I quit law school.


I applied to over 20 research jobs, got 2 interviews and 1 offer. My new job focused on social work about youth entrepreneurship reignited my passion for research. My boss genuinely cared about me and supported my growth. At the same time, I found inspiration from content creators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders sharing their message online. They had the courage to show up and I saw the impact they had on people (including me). That’s when I started to build my online presence and coaching business.


After burning out from my business from the 24/7 hustle and then taking a complete break for 7 months, I restarted my business. And instead of repeating history, this time I developed my own approach to building my business on just 0-2 hours a day (even as a side hustler). Thanks to my increased efficiency, I now had the capacity to start my podcast - The Side Hustle Club. This was also the year when I transitioned from my full-time research job to being a full-time PhD student. And guess what else happened this year? The pandemic lol


I created my first 6 figure year in my business, even as a side hustler. I was becoming known as THE side hustle coach in the online space. Everything looked great online. But truthfully, I struggled offline and was starting to fall behind in my PhD because my partner and I were separated for nearly two years thanks to the pandemic (We were a long-distance couple for almost 5 years).


I decided to quit my PhD, move to Singapore, and settle down with my now-husband. I also became a full-time entrepreneur. All this was only possible because of the body of work and business I’ve built over the past few years. What started out as a fun side project has now become an actual source of income. It has now become a full-fledged thought leadership career! Needless to say, I will always be grateful to the past Cheryl who had the audacity to believe in herself and showed up every single week to build a body of work.


In 2024, I get paid to be myself online. It took 3+ years, but now I’m making considerable income thanks to the hard work and dedication I put into building my thought leadership. And that’s the thing: building a career takes time. Creating a career as a thought leader is no different. This is why I’m committed to helping aspiring thought leaders build a body of work that sets them up for their 1-3 year dreams. Today, I mentor clients from all over the world, empowering them with the self-belief to see their potential to make change, create impact and create a life, career, and business they’re proud of .

And I can’t wait to help you do the same :) 

 The coworker who’s always hungry 

(Hong Kong)

Tai Chi

The coworker who always looks polished and stylish AF

(Hong Kong)


The coworker who doesn’t talk much but will make her voice heard when needed



The coworker who sends you cat memes and videos 





The grumpy and seemingly distant coworker, but is actually very loyal and attentive to everyone else on the team

Meet the Team behind Cheryl Theory

my academic publications



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