I thought my life would be trapped in the same four walls every single day. From the hours of traffic with the same cup of black coffee at my wooden desk under the dimly lit fluorescent lights in Silicon Valley… to hanging off thousand-foot cliffs with ocean blue waves crashing all around me… life’s been a trip.
I’d like to share with you a story about how I went from being an awkward Asian kid to a mind-numbing 9-5 job to becoming the founder of a 7-figure company in a span of 3 years while traveling the world full time.
Growing up in an Asian household, I had four choices that were put in front of me: become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or get a stable corporate gig that would comfortably pay the bills for the rest of my life. There was no entrepreneurship. There were no chasing passions. There was no taking risks. There was no doing things that “make you happy.” To be honest, throughout my childhood I was taught to remain within the status quo.
I’m sure many of you can agree with me, but most Asians grow up with the forced plan to do whatever their family wants. Add in cultural norms and societal expectations, most of us had a one-way ticket to the life of no return. What I mean is that I see too many people go through life doing things that they hate. They go to school, work every single day for the rest of their lives, with the hope of being able to retire to enjoy what’s even left.
For me, I want to enjoy my entire life before life happens to me. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against those who are happy with where they’re at.
And really at the end of the day, it’s all about designing a life that you’re truly happy about. But I implore you to explore different paths. If you’re reading this, you might be at that point in your life where you’re looking for something new.
Since I started my entrepreneurial journey, I made it a mission to help people break their chains and help them recognize their passions and all the opportunities in the world. I feel like I’m at a point in my life where sharing my experiences, struggles, and accomplishments could genuinely help someone once in my position. As I get older, I start to realize that the one thing everybody is chasing after is freedom in every aspect possible. As corny as it sounds, it wasn’t until the last few years when I fully understood the possibilities of what you can do if you put your mind to it. At 26 years old, I still have a lot to learn, but I hope my journey so far inspires you to start believing in yourself and finally chase the life you want.
The best part? It feels like we’re just getting started.
Rock music, skateboarding, long dyed hair, playing the electric guitar, overly tight skinny jeans, posters plastered all over my wall (yay for the early 2000s)… all signs of a weird rebellious kid who was “lost.“ Growing up as an introverted Asian kid, you were taught to conform. Show any sign of misbehaving and rebellion and you had a broomstick or belt whacked across your tender skin.
Call it a higher sense, or just fate slowly hinting at me... I wasn’t sure why at this point, but I didn’t like fitting in. I wanted to be different. I found my comfort in being “different.”
It’s weird… it wasn’t like I wanted to. It just felt like I wasn’t interested in the same things as the people around me. I went through the motions of school and everything my parents expected of me, but everything just felt so dull growing up.
I’d find excitement in hobbies that were a bit more, “exciting.” Skateboarding, going to heavy metal concerts, learning photography, going ghost hunting, and even joining bands and performing all over my hometown... Doing the things that caused others to label me as an “outcast.”