Clinton Zheng is a world-leading marketer to millennials. He is the acting CEO for TMO Holdings, a global marketing group that helps MNCs, SMEs and individuals effectively market to millennials. He is also the Co-Founder of Twenty and Free, a leading millennial marketing community.
(1) What is the main reason you started Twenty and Free?
I have always been someone who likes to challenge the status quo. I guess that's why its always been my lifelong dream to be a successful entrepreneur.
Why should we let society decide that we have to be retired and old in order to be free? And why do we have to give up on our dreams to settle for a job we hate because we are told we need "stability"?
Because I believe that in the route to success in any endeavour, it is important for me to surround myself with like-minded people, mentors and products that prove to the outside world who I believe I am and what I am capable of. This is why twentyandfree exists today.
We believe in a world where everyone, yes everyone, can be young and free, without giving up one for the other. Because a true winner in life takes it all and that winner can be you when you decide to join us today!
(2) What would you say is the most valuable, yet underused skill for millennials when it comes to working?
I wouldn’t say skills but these are the proven principles I have seen thriving millennials abide by and thrive from my years of working with thousands of them. They have now become our community ethos:
1. No failure, only feedback.
2. It is okay to admit we are wrong sometimes.
3. Fear and gratitude cannot co-exist.
4. Stay youngry.
5. Have fun!
(3) Are there differences in the working mentalities between your generation of graduates and the current ones?
Yes. I would like to believe that the mindset of my generation of graduates tends to be a little longer-term minded than the current ones. And I believe that anyone who wants to have a successful working career needs to have 2 key mindsets:
1) Long-term mindset (Make career decisions based on how it would pen our life out the next 20, 30, 50 or even 100 years if possible)
2) 100% coach-ability (Success can be duplicated and success can be very simple but the problem is the generation today are too smart and too complicated, that is why fewer of them became very successful)
(4) What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had in Twenty and Free?
I believe it's the fulfilment to know that my success can be duplicated. Most business and career successes out there are not duplicable i.e. very dependent on talents, charisma, business connections, IQ, EQ and etc. Ours is 100% dependent only on the desire for success and the willingness to change for their success.
To see many of the millennial marketers in our community earning a decent and steadily growing 4-5 figure income that can now support their families and loved ones is very heart-warming to see.
More importantly, I am very privileged to see many of them achieving holistic success by discovering their best selves in their health, wealth, personal relationships and development through our platform.
(5) As an entrepreneur, you have tried many things. Some of your other ventures include TMO (a global marketing group), Rainmaker (social and business community), bizzi (microbusiness media and community platform) as well as Diamond Walker (bespoke shoe brand). How is Twenty and Free different from your other ventures?
Actually it looks like they are different, but they are one and the same. I only specialise in building communities and marketing (with a niche to the millennial market). Once I figured those are my core competencies, I started to focus only on doing that as a Holding company and scale these competencies across the portfolio companies/brands.
Today, I happen to be agnostic to the industries now since this expertise can be cut across all spectrum of industries and business models (B2B or B2C).
Who does not need marketing and who wouldn’t want a loyal tribe following their business and brands? As long as there is a demand for that, our business continually is scalable, mobile and sustainable.
(6) What is one piece of advice that you always give everyone you work with?
We can only duplicate in others, what we have duplicated in ourselves. Therefore, settle ourselves before we settle others.
(7) How much of your success would you attribute to the people around you?
100%. We are the sum average of the 5 people we spend the most time with ~ Jim Rohn.