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Meet Bonnie Tsai of Beyond Etiquette in Central LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bonnie Tsai.

Bonnie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I left my job in advertising, I thought a lot about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to contribute to society. For me, it has always been important to help people. However, “helping people” can be an ambiguous term; I knew I needed to get more specific. I started thinking about my experience, skillset, and background, and how I can create something that will positively impact people’s lives.

My friends and mentors pointed out that my knowledge in etiquette is a skill that many need but have forgotten. From there, I wanted to create something more than just an etiquette consulting company; I wanted to be able to offer more to the world, which led me to think about the importance of communication. Communication is essential to any successful relationship, whether it is professional or personal because it is something we spend 75% of our day doing. That’s how Beyond Etiquette found its start.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Creating Beyond Etiquette has been a humbling experience. I’ve encountered the typical growing pains of any startup, such as landing your first client, building your credibility and reputation, creating a large social media following, etc. Each time when I feel like I came up short or “failed” because I didn’t sign that client or speak at that event, I take a step back, reassess our strategy, and discuss with my team how we can pivot to move past our current obstacle.

All these challenges showed me that starting a new business can be strenuous; no one shows or tells you about all the hustle and hard work behind the scenes before you and your company are even deemed “successful”. However, it’s been rewarding because I learned that all of these setbacks are lessons to be learned: not all strategies will be a success and not everyone is going to be your client, but if you persist and remain flexible and open to what comes your way, you’ll be surprised what lands at your door.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Beyond Etiquette is a consulting firm specializing in etiquette and communication training for companies and individuals. We offer clients a unique experience and set of tools with which they may differentiate themselves both domestically and globally. We focus on communication with decorum and not simply etiquette because as technology progressed we, as humans, have forgotten the power behind our words. Conversations have become abbreviated and messages often need to be succinct and effective so you don’t lose your audience’s attention. Yet, some of the most difficult conversations we have require elaborate sentences and explanations to ensure our audience understands our message. That’s where I come in: I offer experience in difficult conversations, international etiquette and protocol, and cross-cultural communication.

I’m most proud of the range of our courses because I’ve always wanted to offer more than classes on etiquette. I’ve always believed in the importance of communication because I’ve experienced first hand how great communication can change and build long-lasting foundations for relationships.

The thing that sets Beyond Etiquette apart from others is our multiculturalism, with my international background and foreign language skills; it has allowed us to connect with clients from all over the world who share the same values as we do. I always tell my clients that having good etiquette will get your foot in the door, but having great communication will create long-lasting relationships, and that’s what sets us apart from others. We believe that etiquette and communication go hand in hand which empowers our clients so that they may approach the world with leadership, integrity, and empathy.

What were you like growing up?
I was very fortunate to grow up in Taiwan, USA, and Singapore, which allowed me to learn the meaning of etiquette in these three countries which house a variety of cultures. Because my family moved around internationally, I understood the importance of integrating myself with new cultures and customs. I also learned the subtle art of making others feel welcome especially because my parents loved to host weekly dinners with groups of friends from a variety of backgrounds. Even though I was the shy little girl who always hid behind my mother’s dress, I watched as my parents prepared for each event and hosted their guests with such grace and warmth. My parents instilled my passion for sports at a young age: my dad tossed me in a pool when I had just turned one and gave me a tennis racket when I turned three. These individual sports taught me how to be gritty and challenge myself while being a graceful competitor and teammate.

Pricing:

  • Power Hour Etiquette (Private) – $249
  • Private Social Etiquette, Dining Etiquette, Business Etiquette, or Communication Courses (2 hours) – $599
  • Private Afternoon Tea Etiquette Experience (2 hours) – $599
  • Private Children’s Etiquette Course (2 hours) – $399

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Don Lupo of lupofoto, Laticia Fan of f/lash productions, and Lindy Hsieh

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