Episode 59 - Making Decisions Based On Your Intuition, Not on the “Shoulds” with TV Host and Arete Group Founder Heidi Dugan

podcast Oct 19, 2022
Tracy Holland Interviews Heidi Dugan

Episode Summary

What lights you up? Are you making decisions based on what you want to do or what you think you should do? Heidi Dugan lives her life as the antithesis of “shoulds” and solely listens to what excites her. Because of that guiding principle, she lives a passionate and joy-filled life surrounded by the people she loves most. And where did following her heart instead of the intrusive “shoulds” lead her? Heidi is the first foreign TV host in Shanghai! She now uses her personal experience and teachings from living and working in China for two decades to help international companies understand the Chinese consumer market. Whether you are happy in your successes or are finding yourself in a rut, there is something in this episode for everyone to take away and apply to their lives. 


Key Points

  • Even though Heidi is well-known in China and is currently living in Shanghai, she grew up in Australia, traveling all over the country with her family. [03:02]
  • Heidi didn’t love moving around a lot as a child, but it helped her develop some incredible skills that she has been able to apply throughout her life. [08:53]
  • Parents push when the kids are not able to push. [11:13]
  • Heidi went to Wuhan, China, to study international trade with the intention of using various life experiences to help her become a better actor. [13:12]
  • Tracy tells the story of her fellowship abroad, and how she ended up in Spain at the last minute instead of going to Beijing. [16:54]
  • Follow your heart and the “breadcrumbs.” [19:53]
  • You’ll always make better decisions when you do what you want to do instead of what you should do. [24:11]
  • How learning about what you don’t want can push you to take leaps of faith to achieve what you do want. [28:59]
  • Changing your mind is not an indication of failure; it just means the goal or circumstances may have changed. [32:52]
  • Heidi’s experience becoming an international host on TV in Shanghai [34:17]
  • How Heidi met her husband [42:06]
  • Learning to speak Mandarin well into your 20s [43:32]
  • The Arete Group - founded by Heidi Dugan [48:48]


Memorable Quotes

“I realized that there were many paths that could actually achieve the things that I wanted to do.”

“It’s been done before, it must be something that I can do.”

“It’s not always the fantastic things that push us into what we want to do. Sometimes it’s the things that we don’t want.”

“I love everything I do. And it’s because I chose the things that I wanted to do.”


Guest Links





Guest Bio

Heidi Dugan is the Director of Arete Group. She has consulted internationally with governments and companies in Australia, the UK and the United States to provide advice on entering and succeeding in the Chinese market. With Heidi’s following of more than 6 million fans, success in selling $2 million worth of products in just 1 ½ hours on Oriental Shopping Channel, and the only foreign host to obtain a license to live broadcast on Chinese National TV, she is the “Go-To” health and wellness, food and beverage Influencer and Celebrity. Her influence across China has been recognized through media coverage on Channel 9 News,  Auzbiz TV Australian Financial Review, Harper’s Bazaar, China Daily, and Global Times, to name a few. She is recognized and awarded Leading International Woman in Business, Best Foreign TV Host, and International Alumnus of The Year. Heidi currently is Founder & Director of Arete Group, Chair for AustCham Shanghai, and Council Member of University of Southern Queensland. 

Join the Powerhouse Movement!

Connect with other female entrepreneurs in our Potential to Powerhouse Community on Facebook.