After facing “life gifts” that were presented to her in the form of life challenges and losses, Valerie Prasetyo decided to elevate her life and pursue her dreams: becoming a world champion dancer, and starting a career as an international speaker. Valerie has also launched a career in the media industry working on films and television, interviewing some of the most known celebrities and influencers like Golden Globes winner John Travolta. By using her journey, she has been able to work on a film “The Unspoken Truth”, which features women showing the truth of success, independence and real freedom. The film was a nominee at the Kwanza Film Festival (2020).
Having found her potential, she now promotes finding inspiration to women who need help in the entrepreneurial journey via her ’S.P.E.A.K. Up! L.I.G.H.T. Up!’ platform.
“No matter what comes your way, you have enough power to stand up, dust yourself off and move forward in the direction of your goals.”
What have been your highlights from interviewing global influencers and celebrities?
My takeaway from interviewing industry influencers, A-list celebrities, and prominent business people is to remain humble. True success speaks louder in how you treat other people and how you make them feel regardless of their positions and status. Successful people on top of their achievements are happy, fulfilled and humble. The more great things you have inside, the more you can share with others.
To paraphrase, what I gained from interviewing John Travolta is lifetime awards, recognition and fame, are a byproduct of the quality of work you do. People are more willing to overpay for “overnight success”. Instead of dedicating their efforts and time to building something sustainable and solid. However, only through experience, constant development and quality improvement of personal abilities, products and services, come unshakable self-confidence, great results and public recognition.
You don’t have a chance to succeed until you say “Yes!” No matter what others say, think about yourself and not how crazy and unreachable your ideas are. Keep dreaming! Keep working!
What inspired you to create ’S.P.E.A.K. Up! L.I.G.H.T. Up!’ and can you tell us more about this platform?
I have been working with women entrepreneurs for some years, helping them bring business to new markets, get new clients and make their brands more visible. Being on stage, featuring in magazines, interviews and documentaries looks like the “glamorous part” of entrepreneurship. However, not many people are talking about the daily struggles and the lack of behind the scenes support. So I decided to create S.P.E.A.K. Up! L.I.G.H.T. Up! This is a platform for women entrepreneurs where they can find inspiration and ideas to move up the escalator in their entrepreneurial journey, get some tools and resources to grow their business, share their daily struggles, and connect with other fellow female entrepreneurs on a mission.
We cover the unglamorous part of entrepreneurship and L.I.G.H.T. UP the path to success by giving business growth tips, innovative ideas and technological updates. We also work with the women to help mindset elevation and promote networking opportunities with prominent founders and CEOs from different industries.
It is also a great place to expand your network and feature your brand. Our podcast during the last few weeks reached listeners from 11 different countries and 25 cities.
How has your family background shaped your ambitions and career path today?
I come from quite a traditional Asian family where it’s important to be well educated, have a secure source of income, get married and have a good reputation based on high standards and values. But I always wanted to do things my way, even if nobody could understand me at the beginning. Therefore my journey in sports was not straightforward, and my entrepreneurial journey was full of unexpected turns and shifts. However, every experience adds to your abilities and skills. If you have the right mindset you become unstoppable. From my dad, I learned the power of resilience. No matter what comes your way, you have enough power to stand up, dust yourself off and move forward in the direction of your goals.
My mom was also a warrior with not an easy life. Despite having a tough personality, she was able to light up people’s world because of her kind heart and faith. She directed spirituality and the power of manifestation towards me. My grandfather was my role model, he changed the lives of thousands by providing them with households, jobs and hope for a better future. This required very strong leadership skills and endurance. He was also always there for his family. So he taught me that you can build a meaningful life, create an impact, stay true to yourself and be a respected and loved leader of the family. I think this type of role model helped me to make all of my dreams come true, and it helped me overcome the darkest moments in life whilst staying true to my values.
What are some life lessons you learned from being a dancer? Also, what did you learn about business after becoming a world champion dancer?
“Practice makes permanent”, there is no such stage of advancement as “perfect”, trust your feelings.
World Champion is not just a title, it is an attitude to life. Going through this experience helped me in the business world to never settle down. As one of my friends said: “You never go for small things.” Also, I learned the importance of having a great team. Success is a team sport, in dancing you have coaches, your dance partner, therapists, costume makers, etc. In the entrepreneurial world, you also need to build up a dream team that supports your vision and resonates with the mission. Finally, I learned to take accountability for my own goals and success. In entrepreneurship we don’t have cheerleaders, you have to take responsibility for your motivation and energy level.
What hardships have you faced in your personal life whilst building your career?
I believe I saw a lot in life: violence, injustice, betrayal, discrimination and many other dark sides of this world. My entrepreneurial path began shortly before I lost my parents in a car accident and lost other loved ones. Projects like the Independent Women platform helped me to see the beauty of people again, as well as I realised that I can pull the best out of people and turn it into the USP of their personal brand. I might not have a painkilling pill for those who are strongly suffering mentally and emotionally, but I am sure that the healing is in learning true self-love and practising gratitude.
What have been your highs and lows of working in the media, on TV and in films/movies?
I am new to this industry, to be honest, and I mostly work with coaches, speakers and authors whom we create powerful stories with. One of my achievements was to see an unexpected nomination for a movie we worked on at a movie festival. We did not win the prize, but it was good feedback to know that some people are inspired, and it helped us grow because experts who take part in the project get international exposure. The down part is the current world situation. After the lockdowns and inability to travel safely and create, it was the war situation we are currently facing with Russia and Ukraine. But as I said, every experience contains access to another opportunity. Moreover, any crisis does not mean you should stop doing anything. While you are breathing you are capable of creating.
What is your next career move?
During the last months, I became passionate about Web3 Space and started to invest in this industry. Currently, I am working on bringing some ideas into this space. I can not reveal all the details yet, but you wait and see what I have coming. We are also working hard on the upcoming Movie “Speak Up!” which will hopefully be released at the beginning of 2023.