Do you feel like you’ve missed your window of opportunity? That perhaps you didn’t do the right thing at the right time or the right age? And now it’s just too late to follow your dreams?
Meet Dinah Lin, who started her corporate career at age 36, rose to the top and then switched lanes to pursue a career in government at age 46, moved to China to study Mandarin at age 58, and wrote her bestselling book at age 73. Dinah lives her motto that it’s never too late.
Dinah’s professional experience ranges from high-tech start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, where she held executive roles in marketing, international business development and investor relations. Dinah also served as a senior official in President George HW Bush’s administration.
In this episode, Dinah shares her personal stories and life lessons from starting out and rising up in Corporate America, to landing a senior position with the federal government against all odds. As a Chinese American, she broke through barriers and didn’t let systemic bias or the absence of visible role models hold her back from following her dreams or believing in herself. She hilariously describes herself as someone who “did it backwards” with an unconventional journey to success. Dinah’s story is a powerful reminder that we must dare to dream because it’s never too late.
[02:45] Dinah’s story
[06:02] Fears of starting first job at age 36
[08:31] Challenges of climbing the corporate ladder
[11:23] Needing change and challenge for growth
[21:44] Belief in yourself and the value you bring
[23:36] Changing lanes later in life
[26:14] Moving to China
[35:51] Message to the world
“You need to be convinced of your own value before you go into an interview.” – Dinah Lin
“Your attitude towards life makes a huge difference. I really wanted to enjoy the experience and learn as much as I possibly could.” – Dinah Lin
“America is strong because of its diversity. We need to look at diversity as a strength.” – Dinah Lin
“If you follow your dreams, you are following your heart.” – Dinah Lin
“Daring to Dream Once Again – It’s Never Too Late!” – Dinah Lin
As an international business executive who “did it backwards”, Dinah inspires audiences with her personal stories and life lessons that “It’s Never Too Late!”.
Now 78, she has lived her message several times during her life, beginning her career at 36 (after being a full time mom for 15 years), getting her MBA from Columbia Business School at 40, climbing the corporate ladder and finally “breaking the glass ceiling” to become Vice President at a Fortune 500, before moving to Beijing at 58 to study Chinese and re-connect with her roots. A year turned into a decade, as she witnessed the unprecedented transformation of China.
Dinah and her family escaped on the last boat out of Shanghai in 1949. She grew up in a small town in Ohio where they were the only Asian family. Early marriage and motherhood dashed her dream of becoming a diplomat working to improve relations between the U.S. and China. She has always felt a deep sense of gratitude for being both Chinese and American.
Prior to moving to China, Ms. Lin was an international executive and entrepreneur with two decades of experience ranging from high-tech start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Her expertise include marketing, corporate communications, international business development and investor relations. Dinah also served as a senior official in Washington, D.C. from 1989-1992.
Her memoir, “Daring to Dream Once Again -It’s Never Too Late!” reached #4 on Amazon in Women & Business.