Apple Season

By Cindy Chin, CEO & Founder, CLC Advisors, LLC

I have a dream.

An incredible three weeks away and I’m happy to be back to hug my little girl whom I missed dearly each day. I often get asked how can I be away for so long from family and the answer is sometimes absence does make the heart grow fonder, but in reality, the heart and the mind does not stop growing once you become an adult. In fact, it is the beginning as you are aware of a desire to want to create impact, solve problems, and which relationships are the most important to you, starting with the relationship with yourself. I’ve always said, a happier child is often a result of happy parents who have been able to pursue their goals and dreams and share along that journey. Sometimes it also means spending a little time apart and we have both grown from those experiences and eagerly share with each other what we’ve done apart. It makes us even closer.

What I’ve also learned on this trip is to relax and reconnect with the ability to not take oneself so seriously and laugh. (Those are some priceless selfies in Amsterdam on an escalator in Bijenkorf.) Take the moments to step away from “the office” and routine and connect with the creative side, foster mindfulness, and meet others who are of different places and backgrounds.

Johannes Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

I returned from the inaugural Sonophilia Summer Retreat in Salzburg, Austria which brought together business leaders, creative artists, entrepreneurs, and people at the best of their abilities to come together, share and discuss ideas, participate in mindfulness, and most importantly, to listen in the age of technology. Being present was mandatory. Here’s a look at why:

Welcome dinner for Sonophilia Summer Retreat at M32 in Salzburg, Austria.

In addition to spending time with three startup teams that I advise in Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, and Zürich, I also had the opportunity to visit Huawei Technologies in Düsseldorf, Germany to meet with two divisional heads to discuss social impact, corporate social responsibility, mobile connectivity, and the future of work.

Huawei Technologies office in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Build Relationships
Relationships are key. Dreamers and idealists need to be together. They see the magic and some are alchemists in being able to turn experiences into real and translatable opportunities. The investment of time in a relationship will often yield greater returns than the time originally allotted for a relationship. It may not always be the case so in less positive circumstances you must let them go to find more suitable returns elsewhere for both parties. It is the law of nature and selection that governs us beyond our intellectual comprehension.

With the Sharood App team in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Collaborate Together
There is an African proverb that hangs prominently on the walls of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle. It reads,

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

I had a chance for a private visit to renowned German artist Thomas Schönauer’s atelier in Düsseldorf. His work is wonderful, combining art, science, and innovative engineering with custom paints designed specifically for him by Henkel, a manufacturer of adhesives and paints for the commercial aviation industry. We spent several hours on a Saturday afternoon discussing his art, the intersections of art and science, both fundamental cornerstones in each of our respective professional paths, and collaborating in future ideas that would work and how to execute upon those ideas. Here are some of his dynamic collaborations at Sonophilia and in his atelier with Swarovski.

Engineering artist Thomas Schönauer at Sonophilia Summer Retreat in St. Jakob am Thurn, Austria.

At engineering artist Thomas Schönauer’s atelier in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Start Now
Don’t wait to start your goals. Did you know that in some countries in the world have mandatory retire,net age restrictions placed on them at the ages of 65 or 67. Think about it. That means if you’re 33, you are already at the middle age of your career. If you’re 43, you are at 2/3 of your professional career with only 1/3 of it left. In America, social security is in its last breaths and heart beats with no defibrillator in sight.

Sometimes it’s timing. Caught Maserati Germany on their summer tour.

Learn New Skills
The tsunami of a loss of jobs and skilled workforce is coming as that mandatory retirement age approaches for the masses to be replaced by workers who on average spend 1.4 years in a job position. For me, I’m just getting started with my company that focuses on social impact projects and solving tough problems including the creation of jobs in an idea economy rather than a knowledge or shared economy, the latter to which is impeding detrimentally the long-term value of skilled labor and wages. All this means that developing multiple streams of income is how one can succeed in the new era of the idea economy where machines that will soon surpass human capital. Having a multitude of interests and abilities is a necessary foundation in order to even be in the game now as a result of the knowledge economy.

Before there was Google Maps. Sitting down with a local and a paper map.

Apples, Not Lemons
You can build a company by using social media. I was a stay-at-home mom at one point. One day I decided to join a taskforce for a philanthropic institution that I loved. I missed work in teams, saw a huge problem and a need, and decided to start a company. I built a company on the Internet and social media. I am constantly seeking ideas and talent. Even more, the people who create a plan and do something about their ideas and not just imitate or replicate what is already existing. This is a work in progress and I hope it always will remain so.

What’s Next
So what’s next? The first day of school for my daughter, participation in the launch of the #MetKids website by the Metropolitan Museum of Art – one of many terrific institutions, a visit with Vermeer, another sojourn across the pond for something exciting on the full harvest moon, toasting the autumn harvest season, and most importantly two key events: 1) I have been invited to participate with 99 other global business leaders, Fortune-500 CEOs, former heads of state, governors, and university chancellors to discuss the innovation pathways on education, employment, training, and workforce challenges, and 2) return to Washington DC for the Committee for Economic Development Fall Policy Conference to engage with Washington legislators on the issues of entrepreneurship, startups, SME’s (small, medium entreprises) and the consistent practice of public-private sector partnerships especially when it comes to investment capital for new business ventures.

If we at CLC Advisors, LLC can help you or someone you know advance your goals or build your dreams, please contact us at I am looking forward to sharing more exciting announcements soon in the very near future.