Ep198: Ling Ling Tai – What Do You Value Most in Life? Invest in It

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Guest profile

As an Intercultural Strategist, Ling Ling Tai helps people and organizations develop intercultural skills to foster successful collaboration and build important relationships to ensure continued business success in a globalized environment. She is a podcaster for the Leaders of Learning podcast, and she offers her insights through her website www.culturesparkglobal.com.


“If it’s a problem that can be solved with money, it’s not a problem at all. If it’s a problem that cannot be solved with money, then it’s something you have to look into.”

Ling Ling Tai


Worst investment ever

Inheriting her parents’ attitude towards risk

Ling Ling and her siblings grew up in a traditional Chinese family and were taught the value of being prudent and frugal from a very early age. According to her parents, when it comes to taking risk, it’s either low risk or no risk at all. This shaped the decisions in her life and the things that she chose to do.

Chasing independence

Throughout her life, Ling Ling wanted to be independent, self-sufficient, and be able to rely on herself. She didn’t want to be a housewife and rely on a rich man, even though that’s what most Chinese parents want for their daughters. So she invested all her time in building up her career.

Sacrificing her relationships

Ling Ling had no time to invest in relationships as her focus was on building a career that would help her become financially independent. So she ended up spending very little time on people who mattered to her, including her parents and siblings.

When death shakes your value system

Ling Ling’s mom got sick in 2016 and died three months after she was diagnosed. Her death hit Ling Ling quite hard as it was fast and unexpected. During the time her mom was sick, her mindset changed about life.

Seeing death right in front of her changed her whole outlook on life. Life stopped being about money and accumulating material wealth. She started evaluating what values are important to her. She realized that her worst investment was not investing enough time on the things that mattered to her, and instead, she was just chasing dollar signs, neglecting the people important to her, her well being, and the things that gave her joy.

Lessons learned

Money is not everything

What do you value most in life besides money and wealth? Start looking into things that are not monetary, such as your wellbeing, health, relationship with your family, the kind of impact that you want to make on the world, etc.

You may have a flourishing career and amass wealth, but when death comes knocking on your door, you can’t bring it with you anymore. So ask yourself, what values are important to you, and what do you want to leave behind?

There is a downside to low risk and no risk

If you avoid taking any risk, you will be so afraid of investing in anything, so you miss the opportunity to invest in things that matter to you.

Andrew’s takeaways

Think about your legacy

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Let that guide the way you live your life. Live in a way that when you die, you live on in the spirit of others. By touching the lives of others, there will be something that lives on from you.

What do you value and are most passionate about?

Find what you’re passionate about and do it. Passion and energy for what you’re doing can change the world and your life.

Actionable advice

It’s okay to take time and reflect on what values are important to you. Because when we’re too busy with our day to day life, we don’t sit to think whether what we are doing means anything in the long run. What impact will what you’re doing have on you in one year, or five, or 10 years? If the impact is not significant, then then it’s okay not to do it. Sit and reflect, because everyone has a time limit, we just don’t know when that limit is.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Ling Ling’s goal for the next 12 months is to produce two more seasons for her podcast and get more downloads. She’s also working on a new training program through her business, Spark Global. She’s doing some research and putting some materials together. The program will be focused on helping leaders and managers to lead a multicultural team better.

Parting words


“Your decisions determine your destiny. What you decide from moment to moment will help you shape where you’re going to go in life. So be very mindful of what you decide to do with every moment.”

Ling Ling Tai


Connect with Ling Ling Tai

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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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