IMPACT 0226: GIRL POWER IN THE ESPORTS SCENE
Marjorie Poon, 27, is the co-founder of DIFY and EMERGE Esports, esports PR and talent management agencies respectively. Prior to starting these businesses, most of her career has been rooted in local start-ups such as Love, Bonito and Allies of Skin.
As a female leader of an e-sports talent management agency, she does her best to advocate for the support women need, and to level the playing field in a male-dominated industry. She does so by ensuring that people are not judged by their gender, but by their capabilities with tangible work performance metrics.
There is no #iwokeuplikethis moment for me when I get up for work. The reality is that I struggle with waking up on some days, and require one too many snooze buttons before I finally get out of bed.
Most days, when I’m not rushing for a meeting or working from our office, I take a quick shower before conquering my inbox for the morning. On days when meetings are scheduled first thing in the morning, the shower will have to wait until I have some downtime during the work day.
Before work swings into full action, I usually attempt to work on my inner self by completing each day’s “future goals” in my journal – something that I picked up from #girlboss Jenn Im. After doing this consistently for a few months, I’ve realised that it puts me in a good headspace before I throw myself into running my two businesses, DIFY and EMERGE Esports.
I take between 10 to 15 minutes to pen down daily affirmations, listing out things that I’m thankful for, my focus for each day, what I see my future self being that particular day, and to reflect on the person that I am becoming.
Besides this, I also take time to quickly glance through my planner for the day’s to-do list, without which I’d be unable to prioritise the tasks I need to get through for work.
If I’m heading to the office, I should already be on my way by this time. I use my commuting time to catch up on social media updates from EMERGE and our talents, while listening to whatever earworm I’m currently obsessed with – pop music is my go-to.
Other than having meaningful exchanges with my friends and those I follow, social media has really allowed me to remain connected to the world and its various issues. From learning about how unsafely our migrant workers are transported to work, to the mistreatment of marine animals by beachgoers and organisations, these platforms have enabled me to find out about the issues that need to be addressed. It does affect the way we run and highlight these matters at EMERGE.
For the next two and a half hours, I have meetings scheduled with my teams and clients to clarify our agenda for the rest of the day or week. Doing so allows all of us to remain on top of what needs to be achieved and how well we can optimise certain ideas.
It’s finally time for lunch! I usually try to grab my go-to local food, yong tau foo. Not someone who’s a big fan of eating while working, I either catch a show on Netflix while eating or have lunch with my team (when the COVID-19 restrictions allow for it) to catch up on everyone’s lives.
Afternoons are another time I block out for team or client meetings, but if my schedule looks free, I’ll use this time to clear my emails and begin working through my to-do list for the day. Depending on my day’s workload, I also read up on relevant industry news and trends, newsletters that are sitting in my inbox, while sending along any key learning points to my team and partners so that they are kept abreast of ongoing topics as well.
I admit, I do get restless easily by this time. When this happens, I take about 30 minutes to grab a fruit or healthy snack if I’m working from home, or if I’m in the office, I would take a break by having quick chats with members in my team.
These casual chats with my team have given me more insight on their concerns about their work, and I typically look into how best I can make adjustments for them to have a better work-life balance. Team morale is always better when we have such opportunities to converse and bond, so it’s a no-brainer for me to take a small pocket of time to simply banter with them.
Afterwhich, it is time to get back to work till the end of the day!
On days where I get off work early, I am either heading out to meet up with close friends or my partner to get some respite before heading home. Time spent with my loved ones is precious because we all spend a lot of time at work daily. This pocket of time is a way to check in, stay connected, celebrate each other’s achievements, and lift each other up when we are going through a rough patch.
This is typically the hour when EMERGE talents are mostly streaming their content for their audiences and fans, and I use this time to catch their live stream sessions to observe their viewers’ reactions. Occasionally, I do spot inappropriate comments and address them with their respective managers afterward, ensuring that our talents are getting the right support amidst such noise.
Thankfully, such incidents are rare due to our supportive community and our talents know that they are empowered to address such issues as they happen, should they come across any. We pay extra attention as some of our talents are still quite young and may not know how to handle such situations.
One of our reasons for running EMERGE is to provide a platform where the new generation of professional gamers can receive the right support and guidance. We once went through this phase ourselves, and understand how tough it can be to pursue one’s dream in esports.
It’s finally time for me to unwind for the day! There is a nightly ritual that I complete before I can fully relax and go to bed. Here’s a quick glance of what I do on most nights to get into “my zone”:
- In my planner, I pen down any activities that I did outside of work – this helps me to recap the day and take a few moments to appreciate the good times or reflect on any unpleasantness that happened in the day.
- I read at least two pages of a book – I’m currently catching up on Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”. It has helped to strengthen my mental and emotional capacity and keeps me inspired for a fresh start the next day!
Sometimes, work gets the better of me and I get caught up finishing up more work so that it won’t be too hectic the following day. Otherwise, I should be in bed by now before the cycle starts again tomorrow!
This article was published on Oct 8, 2021