This is an interview with Tiffany Shan, Owner of Film Recommend.
Where were you at 22, and how did you get to where you are today?
I was working as a data analyst and while I enjoyed the people I worked with and found the work intellectually stimulating at first, I knew it wasn’t for me. I set off to backpack after saving up and worked remotely for a film director as her personal assistant. I started reading about ways to make money online and that lead me to start a website that recommends cameras and camera equipment to other film enthusiasts!
When did you really decide to “take ownership” of your career? What inspired you to pursue your passion?
It’s hard to rely on someone for income as a freelancer. I realized I would need to find several other people to work remotely for to sustain life in New York, where I plan to move next year. While that’s a fine plan, I want to own the means that I make money through and not rely on others’ schedules and whims. Once I realized this, I decided to pursue ownership of my own income.
All good career stories include some aspect of “risk.” Was there a moment in your career where you felt that you were risking something, but looking back on it now, that move made all the difference?
My biggest risk was quitting my data job. Looking back, the bigger risk would’ve been staying somewhere I wasn’t suited for but now, I’m incredibly happy I took the plunge.
Where do you find significance in your work? What gives you the most satisfaction?
I like learning about some new aspect of web development and mastering it myself. While I don’t plan on doing this forever, I know it gives me the freedom to do what I really want, which is work in film. It gives me satisfaction knowing I am creating a way to sustain my life without spending hours a day on someone else’s dream.
How do you measure success in your role? How do you know you’re succeeding?
Since this is a website that monetizes affiliate sales, I know I’m succeeding by my rank in Google and number of affiliate sales per month.
If you could offer your 22-year old self one piece of advice, what would you say?
If you feel dead inside, examine why.