Entrepreneur | Mindset Coach
Making Your Vision a Reality
I’m a father to two daughters and am blessed to have married my soulmate. I currently run 3 companies in the CANNABIS space and as you can imagine, as the son of Asian immigrants, this was a bit of a shock and disappointment to my family.
My family immigrated to America in the late 70s and we ended up moving quite a bit when I was younger as my parents were trying to find stable jobs in America.
In elementary and middle school, I was always the shortest boy in my class, in many cases, I was also shorter than the shortest girl in class.
This led me to getting bullied.
In order to deal with bullies, I began buying bulk candy at Costco and selling the individual pieces at school to make some extra money and gave them free candy in order to avoid getting punched or shoved into a locker.
While giving candy to the bullies saved me from physical harm, I often struggled with the school work as my mind would constantly wander as the teacher was facilitating their curriculum.
I always did very well on the tests but I always felt that I was underachieving when it came to my potential. Even with this awareness, I still had trouble finding the motivation in order to put in the work to succeed at school.
My first year in college was very exciting and fun. In fact, I had so much fun that I ended up getting kicked out.
My strict Asian parents were very disappointed that all the hard work and sacrifices they made resulted in a college dropout.
This ended up being a blessing in disguise as I moved back home, went to community college, busted my ass, and ended up getting into UCLA.
At UCLA, I had a lot of fun but remembered that I had to stay focused and disciplined in order to graduate.
I really began experimenting and enjoying cannabis and I found that it helped unlock my creativity while helping me focus on my studies.
Due to my mind expanding, my interests shifted and I switched my major from Business into Ethnic Studies as it aligned more with my ideologies with wanting to make a difference.
After graduating, I spent the first few years traveling and making ends meet by working as a stuntman in Hollywood.
While being a stuntman was very fun, I knew that I had to eventually get a higher paying and more stable job and coincidentally, one of my best friends had decided to take the LSAT to go to law school.
I had nothing better to do that weekend so I ended up taking the LSAT with him and surprisingly, did very well on it and I ended up applying and being accepted to law school at Santa Clara University.
I interned at a law firm for a year prior to going to law school and began to realize that while this may have been a good monetary decision for me, I couldn’t imagine myself working 60 hours a week doing boring legal work.
After a week of law school, I KNEW it wasn’t for me and I ended up dropping out at the age of 25, with no real work experience other than being a stuntman and back up dancer.
I became very depressed and began working at Sony testing video games for a living.
Basically I was smoking weed and playing video games all day.
I had a dream of making 6 figures coming out of law school and instead, I was making $12/hour.
All of my friends who I graduated with were working at investment firms or high tech start ups and I was embarrassed every time we met up and they were sharing stories of how much money they were making or what they were going to buy next.
I was just figuring out how I was going to pay for the meal that we were eating. I was embarrassed and depressed.
That is when I had my wake up moment, I was going to make something of myself and do it fast.
My dream was to run my own business but I ended up dropping out of all my business classes, what was I supposed to do?
I ended up reading this book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad and I remember him saying that sales was the most important job if you wanted to become an entrepreneur.
I ended up buying a bunch of sales books and went to interview for sales jobs at early stage tech startups in San Francisco with the dream of becoming rich after a huge exit.
Most of the hiring managers were not impressed with my resume, my only work experience was jumping out of windows or playing video games.
They literally laughed in my face, being a stuntman and video game tester was not doing me any favors.
There was nothing on my resume that would make a sales manager feel confident in hiring me.
So I did what any desperate person would do, I begged for a commission only job and if I couldn’t pull my own weight, there was nothing to lose for the company, there was only upside for then.
I was really nervous, I could go from making $12/hour to making nothing and it was put up or shut up time.
This was the first time in my life that I was really committed to my goal and I wanted to prove my sales skills to the hiring manager and I promised him that “he wouldn’t regret his decision.”
This was a really tough job, I had to make 100 calls a day asking people if they wanted to buy data lists of decision makers at Fortune 500 companies.
For the first two weeks, I made 100 calls a day and got rejected 1000 times. ONE THOUSAND TIMES!!!
After two weeks and 1000 straight rejections, I was really starting to lose motivation but on my 1001 call…..
I got my first sale and the joy of closing a deal made me forget about all the past rejections, I could feel something within me UNLOCK.
From there, I became their number one sales rep and within two years, Salesforce ended up acquiring us for 175 million and I got to live the Silicon Valley dream, go from start up to successful exit and while I didn’t get a ton of stock options, I had more money than I ever had in my life!
After the Salesforce acquisition, I went to a second start up, Successfactors and helped them build their revenue until SAP bought us for 3.4 billion 18 months after I began.
I couldn’t believe it, two successful startup exits in a row!
I then went to to work for a company called E2open which was acquired for 273 million by Insight Partners...then Yammer which was acquired by Microsoft for 1.2 billion, then Fliptop which was eventually acquired by LinkedIn...5 SUCCESSFUL EXITS IN A ROW IS UNHEARD OF?! How lucky was I??
OK, that was the worst HUMBLE BRAG ever right?! Well, the truth is, while my bank account was growing, I did not feel fulfilled AT ALL.
Every piece of software I sold resulted in humans getting fired because our application could automate what used to take teams of humans to perform.
I had just turned 33, had my first daughter, and began to fall into another state of depression because I had accomplished my professional goals and felt empty inside.
What was I going to do for the rest of my life? How was I going to find joy and enthusiasm for living?
Tony Robbins has said "Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure" - That is what I was feeling like.
My lovely wife then reminded me that I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur and that I would find more motivation if I was doing my own thing versus working for another start up.
Naturally, I was thinking of what kind of app I could build to change the world but ultimately remembered that most business apps are designed to automate something that a human would have to do manually and lost my creativity and motivation.
That’s when it hit me, cannabis had improved my life tremendously and the only thing I didn’t like was that you had to smoke it which would damage your soft lung tissue.
I decided that I wanted to design the world’s safest way to ingest cannabis and in 2013, I launched our first product, the VapeXhale EVO.
We won virtually every single award in the cannabis industry and I noticed that many of our customers were retired AND active professional athletes.
We began helping many of these athletes deal with severe injuries and traumatic head injuries by using cannabinoid therapy instead of traditional painkillers and opioids that would just numb the pain but not deal with the root issues.
Through this work, I have been able to meet athletes from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and UFC and begin advocating that these organizations allow their athletes to use cannabis as alternative treatment and therapy.
In addition to running three companies, I have managed to create systems and time management protocols so that I can still go on weekly date nights with my wife, volunteer at all my children’s school activities, and still have enough time to be a jiu jitsu competitor.
I have really architected the life of my dreams where I am both financially stable and have enough free time to spend with friends and family as well as enough alone time to ensure that I am practicing self care for myself.
I am happy, I am content. I am fulfilled.
So, what is the point of this extremely long post?
I am grateful for the life I have created for myself and I want to share that formula with the world.
I currently teach overwhelmed and busy professionals to create the time, systems, and resources to grow a side hustle into a profitable business while maintaining a high quality of life by utilizing the H.O.P.E. (Heal, Optimize, Prioritize, and Execute) principles.
If you want to transform your life, click that orange button below.