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About Grace

Dr. Grace Lee

Lifetime Career Coach, Executive Trainer, and International Speaker

Dr. Grace Lee is an international executive coach, communications trainer, and neuroscientist. 

Through her online programs and speaking engagements, she has reached hundreds of thousands of people from different industries. 

Outside of YouTube, she has been featured in Forbes, Nature, U.S. News, and academic institutions in Canada, UK, and Southeast Asia. 

Her mentorship has empowered corporate executives, high-potential managers, and business owners in over 20+ countries all over the world. 

She offers a synthesis of knowledge and practical wisdom from her studies across academic disciplines and real-life experiences to help her clients achieve the life mission they want to have.

She is founder of Career Revisionist – a global movement of professionals who are creating an inspired, purposeful, and abundant life.

She also shares her wealth of knowledge on her YouTube Channel and her Career Revisionist Podcast.   

Very Humble Beginnings
Growing up, I was introverted and fearful of talking to anyone who wasn’t my mother. 

The earliest years of my life were in Hong Kong, where my mother worked as a seamstress at a factory and I never knew what my father did. My parents decided to immigrate to Canada, and took me and my older brother to live in a very historic area in Vancouver. I was overly carefree, unaware of anything outside of myself.
Then, for reasons I still don’t understand, they decided to move to a tiny remote village in the middle of nowhere in the Prairies to start a Chinese restaurant. We lived at the back of that restaurant in a makeshift, dilapidated house. 

In total, that village had a population of 800 people, and we were the only non-Caucasian visible minorities. Going to school was difficult for me, as I had no friends but many bullies. As a result, my mother was my best friend, cheerleader, and provider. I didn't have much of a relationship with my father, but as a child I never gave it a second thought. thought.
Rock Bottom
At 8 years old, the day before my next birthday my whole family was involved in a head-on car collision with my mother at the wheel. I remember waking up on the side of the road on a spine board with my brother on the ground beside me. 
My life changed completely from that day. 
The collision dislocated and fractured two vertebrae in my neck and broke both my wrists. I wore a halo brace for several months in bed with weights attached for traction. There on my hospital bed I learned that my mother died from severe brain trauma.

The following year my father remarried and started a new family with a child on the way. He told me he was no longer able to care for me, so I had to get resourceful to support myself emotionally and financially.
It was so painful for me to leave the house where I had memories with my mother, but I had nowhere to go, no one to turn to. The worst part was that I believed that I was unlovable and unworthy of care. Without a place to call home, I roamed around every day looking for some place to escape or feel a sense of belonging. Often I thought that if I committed suicide no one would know or care.

While all of this was going on, there was some strange unspoken expectation from my father that I was supposed to take over my mother’s role in the family-owned restaurant. I started working there as a waitress and cashier, surviving on $1 or $2 a day in tips from customers. My life's purpose was centered on saving these coins for a future that I couldn't envision.

I had an unshakable despair and a feeling that others had all the resources that I couldn’t access to succeed in life.
Ticket to Freedom
When I was 14, a nice couple came to dine at the restaurant. They invited me to follow them home after they settled their bill and stay with them for as long as I needed. Through the rest of my high school years, they provided me a loving place to call home and instilled in me a sense of security that I had lost and almost forgotten after losing my mother. 
Little did I know that something was awakening in me.
I became acutely aware that I was responsible for the rest of my life and developed a deep burning desire for a better future. One where I would have my own home, be financially independent, make a meaningful contribution in this world, and give back to these wonderful people who gave me a second chance.

The problem was, the only way I knew how to achieve that vision was to act in accordance with what I’ve been told: go to school, get good grades, then get a safe and secure job. And I didn’t have any financial support, so I had to get resourceful to find a way to invest in myself. 
I was convinced that my education was my ticket to freedom. I applied myself in school and was accepted to the university of my choice on a scholarship that paid for my tuition. I afforded room and board with the dollars I saved (and invested) from waitressing tips.

After my first university degree I moved outside my comfort zone to Edinburgh to pursue a Master's degree in Neuroscience. I had a $60,000 CAD student loan, which was just enough money for one year of international student fees, tuition, and all living expenses. So I gave myself one year to complete my degree before my savings ran out.

With perseverance, determination, and a good mentor, I finished in one year with some strong publications in the medical literature. But I still didn't know what I wanted to do in my career. My default mode was getting an education, so I started my PhD at the University of British Columbia   
During the first year of my PhD, I already started to feel restless dissatisfaction about my career path. I felt misaligned with the nature of my work and I yearned to have a deeper impact in the world. I wanted to do something that would directly make an impact in people's lives, but I didn't know what or how to go about it. 

I wanted to quit doing lab research, but I was scared to be a failure if I didn't use my PhD the way it was intended⁠—to land a faculty position. I persevered and defended my dissertation with praise and graduated with more contributions to the scientific literature.
 
Despite feeling unsatisfied with the direction of my career, I was still unsure of leaving academia. I started a fellowship in clinical health care ethics at my university's hospital. It seemed like a promising entrance into the clinical world, but unbeknownst to me, it was also my entrance into keynote speaking and coaching. 

Throughout my graduate studies, I identified a missing piece from the education system. The academic culture and its traditional measures of productivity impose values that often don't align with the values of many soon-to-be graduates.  
A Warning about College Education
The education system is designed to give students theoretical, historical, or technical knowledge in subject areas. But it does not teach you how to make sense of the knowledge you've collected, how to organize it, apply it, and create sustainable fair exchange in the marketplace. 

I set out on a mission to share knowledge and wisdom to help my academic peers navigate complex career decisions so that they could master their destiny and achieve the personal objectives they want to have. I started by running seminars and workshops in the classroom for graduate students on topics related to career development. 

Students and trainees attended from different academic institutions across the city. My speaking curriculum ranged from personal growth seminars to corporate leadership programs. I continued speaking even after I left the academic world to begin a new career path as a senior product marketing manager in corporate biotech.

I did not have prior corporate experience in a related role or relevant educational background. But in my own personal development journey, I learned how to articulate my value, position for leadership, and provide insights impromptu. 
     
I also started coaching individuals who approached me for help with career clarity, advancement, and pursuing opportunities. Many of these individuals heard me speak at one of my live seminars or were referred to me by someone who attended. 

In the beginning of my corporate life, it was an exciting new industry and role. I achieved some notable successes, but I hated it. My contributions were stifled by the bureaucratic structure of this corporate environment which left me feeling underutilized and constrained. 

I took the leap of faith and quit so that I could dedicate my life mission to enabling people to take their knowledge, values, and life experiences and create sustainable fair exchange in the marketplace while doing inspiring, fulfilling work. And to continue teaching the skills that they weren’t able to attain from formal education - namely mastering the art of communication.   
Rise to The Greatness You Were Destined for
Today, through online programs and speaking on stages (physical and virtual), I am grateful to have reached hundreds of thousands of people from a variety of different industries. I have trained corporate executives, high-potential managers, and business owners in over 20+ countries all over the world.

My teachings are the synthesis of knowledge and practical wisdom of the ages through my studies across academic disciplines, principles that I’ve extracted both from my experience and from financially investing to learn from the best mentors in all areas of life.

At first, I did everything on my own: searching advice online, talking to trusted colleagues, reading books, watching videos, listening to Ted Talks. But the moment I worked with mentors and coaches who had the wisdom and success that I was seeking, my growth exponentially exploded. I still continue to invest in hiring mentors and coaches so that I can continue to grow in all the ways I need to serve my clients at the highest levels.

I was that shy, introverted child of immigrant parents who couldn’t speak well, who didn’t know what to do in her career, who was deeply yearning to make an impact but didn’t know how. My dream was to master my own destiny.

I hope that my story will challenge you to make your career a masterpiece and empower you to join the ranks of others who go out and do what it takes to achieve what they say they want. 
The magnificence of your fullest potential far exceeds any adversities that you will ever face. 
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