Go Mighty’s 31 Days of Inspiring Women, #28: Alice Gao
Meet Alice, noted food and lifestyle photographer living in downtown Manhattan. She ditched her corporate career two years ago to do what she loves, and never looked back. She is serious about coffee and passionate about urbanism. She enjoys blogging at lingeredupon.blogspot.com and sharing the calm slices of life on her Instagram at @alice_gao.
So, Alice, what’s your story?
I was born in a small town in China and immigrated to the United States when I was just shy of three years old. (Fun fact: my parents and I all immigrated at three separate times, each a year apart). I wanted to be many things when I was young, but Photographer never came across the list. I did the practical thing and got my degree in Economics and Consumer Psychology and held two corporate jobs after college. They didn’t last long. During that time, my love for photography grew, and I began to spend more time blogging and taking photos than working on my full-time job. I was itching to work on my own and start a photography business. So I quit. And never looked back. That was just about under two years ago to date.
How did you get where you are today? Where do you want to go from here?
I believe I got to where I am with a mixture of hard work and luck (and the support of my boyfriend - thanks, Jimmy!). It took many years to build an online presence and name recognition. It really all began when I started posting on flickr in 2006. And man did I shoot a lot. I shot everything and anything. I made many mistakes along the way. It definitely wasn’t easy and many tears were shed in the months after I quit my job. I often wondered what the f—- I was doing with my life.
I am extremely grateful to be doing what I love, but I feel that there is so much more ahead for me to learn and accomplish. I love NYC way too much to ever leave but I also don’t want to spend my whole life in a tiny apartment with 8 inches of kitchen counter space, so a huge motivating factor for me is really “making it in NYC.”
I definitely want to travel more (and hopefully one day, get over my irrational fear of flying!) and document it all.
Tell us a bit more about these ten goals from your life list. What’s the inspiration behind the goals you chose?
Much of what is on my list is professional and creative development. But I also feel that I’ve been neglecting important relationships and that I’m not giving enough time to my friends or family. Since working for myself, I’ve almost always chosen work over friends and family, and that is something I hope to have a better balance on in the near future. I also dream of opening a physical shop one day and fill it with all products I love. I would love to somehow incorporate coffee in this shop too…
Any advice for others on how to stay motivated/focused on achieving their goals?
- The best and most exciting jobs might scare the shit out of you, and that’s ok! It’s probably what makes them worth doing.
- Don’t let rejections get you down.
- You can’t please everyone.
- Also, fake it ‘til you make it.
Follow Alice’s journey through completing her Life List here.
Want to make a Life List of your own? Easy—join the Go Mighty community here.
(Photo courtesy of Alice Gao)