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“The most important decision in my career was to either start or stop a business. I’ve been through four startups and each one led me to a new city and adventure. In LA I became a fashion designer, in China I built a factory, in Hong Kong I ran a MMA brand, and in Singapore I launched a tech company."
What is the most surprising thing about you that most people don’t know?
Despite the glamorous image, I’m quite a tomboy underneath. I don’t like wearing makeup and heels unless I have a special occasion, I used to breakdance and started a hip-hop dance troupe during college, I have a motorcycle license, and I love doing Muay Thai. My closest friends always joke that I’m just a guy stuck in a girl’s body (to my grandmother’s dismay).
What are the most important decisions you made in your career?
To either start or stop a business. I’ve been through four startups and each one led me to a new city and adventure. In LA I became a fashion designer, in China I built a factory, in Hong Kong I ran a MMA brand, and in Singapore I launched a tech company. These decisions obviously not only impacted my career, but also changed my entire life.
What will be the most valuable skill for your profession in the next 3 years?
I think the most valuable skill for any entrepreneur is always the ability to adapt quickly and innovate. The only constant thing is change, so it’s necessary to have foresight and flexibility. I try to keep my eyes and ears open to stay on top of industry trends and surround myself with inspiring people to stay motivated.
What’s your worst mistake and how did you overcome it?
Not paying enough attention in Chinese school when I was young. Like most second-generation Taiwanese-Americans kids, our parents made us go every Sunday, but I think I probably stayed at 3rd grade level for 5 years and opted to learn French in high school. I completely regretted it later, so I took Mandarin as my language requirement in college. This helped when I eventually went to work in China, but I would’ve been so much better off if I had maintained it as my native tongue.
What’s your biggest ambition now?
To build a successful company that brings happiness to my team and value to people all around the world.
What is the most interesting book you have read and why did it impress you?
“The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama. It’s filled with such good, practical advice on how to achieve happiness (without being religious) – which ultimately helps you lead a better life personally and professionally. I like self-help books in general, but this one gets down to the core of being human and addresses our most basic desires so it’s my go-to book whenever I feel less than optimal.
What talks such as TED or podcasts do you listen to?
There aren’t any that I watch regularly, but I will pull up the occasional Tony Robbins when I’m in need of some instant inspiration.
What industry websites, blogs or influencers should we bookmark right now?
What are you going to learn in the year ahead?
I learn best by doing so I hope to learn how to grow my business by just trying to do it.
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