Once upon a time, there were 2 entrepreneurs.
If you are from an immigrant family, I think you can relate to this
Back in 2014, I taught an Iranian pharmacy owner how to pass his TOEFL test so he can get a license to work in California.
but if you are using your skill set to change the world, to be able to share your hometown awesomeness with the world, why the hell not??
Today I wanted to share a bit more about why I decided to start a business on that fateful December of 2013..
That day I was just fired from my first day on my 2nd sushi waitressing job
I had about $40 in my wallet and another waitress even said “Wow you’re rich” as I was walking out the door as they decided I wasn’t the right fit.
That parking lot moment was when I decided to start my business.
I vowed that I would give my dreams of starting a business my best shot, since now I had absolutely nothing to lose.
Reason #1: I was a terrible employee
Yep, the truth hurts but the real reason was that I had gone through about 7 jobs in the years since I graduated from Berkeley
and it was clear that although I can do a great job on my own, I was not a great employee and I was not great at taking orders.
Reason #2: I love my free time
Even when I was working as a library hall monitor during college, one of my favorite times was ALWAYS when they decided they had overstaffed, they sent me home, I could stay home and work on my eBook (which is what I pretty much do nowadays, working at home on my computer which I LOVE as an introvert)
During my senior year of college I would always try to get Fridays off as every senior, but I learned to LOVE that I could schedule my free time.
Reason #3: I had to honor my dreams
One of the biggest dreams I had since I was 18 years old was starting my own business.
So I didn’t start a business until I turned 23
That meant 5 years of KIND OF living by the sidelines
5 years of watching my mentors succeed and wishing I could be like them too
5 years of saying that I was too young, too female, too Asian (now I catch myself when I BS myself)
5 years of WAITING
and instead of seeing being fired as something that “if only that hadn’t happened I would be successful” as my family had said, I saw it as a springboard into more.
In 2014 my new year’s resolution was to succeed for 1 year in business.
And because I actually made myself honor what I promised myself 1 year ago, it made it happen.
Reason #4: My life wasn’t going in the right direction
I have had 2 major turning points in my life–in 2010 when I had a huge fiasco about changing my major from architecture to urban studies, and in 2013 when I was fired and decided to start a business
Having been through major depressive episodes in my life (I don’t believe in depression, only believe when your life is not in alignment your body will wake you up), I realized that it wasn’t any of the medication my psychiatrist prescribed but that I wasn’t living my LIFE.
That was a huge wake up call and I decided to change course.
Reason #5: I saw the effects of hating your job
Without naming names I’m sure we all know that one person who always says how much they hate their job…and having been someone who lived through that I realized that no matter how much you hated it, you can always change it.
I saw when people hated their job, there was no joy in their eyes, no enthusiasm, no thirst for life.
And we all know what it’s like, and hell I’ve been that type of person too, and I never want to go back to that.
I decided that if my life sucked so badly then why not try to get better instead of repeating the same thing, year after year?
Reason #6: I wanted to make more money
And of course, we measure business success by making money, and the society that I am in measures financial wealth by that as well
Having been someone who was broke before, I will be the first to tell you that the people who say money doesn’t matter have had the luxury of never having to worry about it
Because it absolutely changes lives.
When you’re in a job, the best way to make more money is by getting a raise, which only comes when someone else agrees
I decided..fuck that, I’m going to be the one giving myself raises
Reason #7: I wanted to solve a problem I had
I moved to the US in 2000, without knowing any English and it was HARD to learn a new language and adjust to a new environment
I remember how difficult it was to become a successful immigrant and I wanted to see how I can help other people
Of course the first business I started was teaching ESL and teaching Chinese and shortly after I helped one of my Persian clients get a pharmacy tech job at CVS after 2 years of not having a job.
Then I realized that my experience could help others and that’s why I started The Successful Immigrant LLC.
Reason #8: I wanted to be cool
There is no doubt in my mind that online entrepreneurship is the wave of the future.
If I had stayed in China, I would not even be able to access Facebook, Youtube, hell, one of my Chinese clients can’t even access my trainings if she didn’t have a VPN that went through the firewall!
I saw so many successful entrepreneurs lift themselves up from their bootstraps and I was glad to see their example.
Yes I had some jealousy but then I realized that it was they who inspired me to be better and I turned that negative energy into inspirational energy and even bought their programs because I knew that I could learn a lot from them.
Reason #9: I wanted to see the world
Back in 2012, I took a solo backpacking trip in Thailand and I remember one of the Japanese chefs telling me:” I work 6 months in heaven and 6 months in hell”
It was a radical concept to me at the time, I had dismissed world travel as something that I would only have time to do if I had retired or had a travel job.
I saw all of these entrepreneurs being able to take off whenever they want, travel to Europe and Asia without a care and I realized that I wanted a bit of that.
and I did not want to deal with more people face to face as a travel agent, so I decided the best course was to go to become an entrepreneur
Reason #10: It’s in my DNA
Even though I have never met my paternal grandfather who passed away a few years after I was born, I started thinking about his legacy.
He started a restaurant in Hong Kong which is still in operation today, I have been to the restaurant that is still managed by my uncles and I started to think about my legacy.
It’s funny how many lawyers and doctors absolutely urge their children to do well in school because why?
Because they can’t pass it on.
Whereas with a business, you can pass it on in the future and it can live for generations and generations.
I am a pretty vain person and do want to be famous even after I’m dead, so what better reason to start something that I will be remembered for forever?
I hope that by reading my story you can see what is possible for you as well
Want to learn more about how YOU can become an international CEO?
Sign up to be first to know when International CEO school opens at www.internationalceoschool.com !
p.s.: Why did you or why do you want to start a business? Hit reply, I’d love to read your answers!
Hey Successful Immigrants!
What I Will Keep Going into 2018:
What about you?
HAPPY MOST AMERICAN & IMMIGRANT HOLIDAY!
Sooo I don’t know about you but I’m eating a giant tub of ice cream as I type this…
because I just got my wisdom tooth pulled out (all 4!)
I started thinking about my first black Friday experience with an American family friend..
I had to wake up at around 4 AM to wait for the mall to open at 5 AM
And let me say that it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
Subsequent Black Fridays have been similar until I stopped going entirely.
While you can get a lot of products for cheap, they also manufacture sub-par products just for Black Friday.
And I’m not about that life.
Which is why I’m releasing 3 of my most anticipated products WITHOUT you having to wakeup bleary eyed and trying to shove off another person for your favorite gift.
So as I’ve said in my last email, I want to make you a TRIPLE THREAT.
Someone who is a charismatic leader who can come across as confident and powerful in your career, business, and while dealing with your clients, boss, or anyone that you come across..
And also someone who can be LINKEDIN FAMOUS (which is how I got my 1st job as a business analyst with zero experience)
And how my clients got $115,000 a year jobs at companies like eBay, Yelp, and JP Morgan..
and also of course my 2018 Planning Party!
Alrighty so no more teasing, here’s how you can grab them NOW:
Click here for Charismatic Leaders ($197):
This is the program that helped my client land a $40/hr side gig and it is a 21 day program to transform you into becoming the confident and charismatic leader you KNOW you could be!
I teach on what to do on Facebook Lives and how to get your very first client and you get all 21 days IMMEDIATELY!
And you also get the journaling prompts that I use to get to the next level.
Click here for Linkedin Famous ($97):
Linkedin famous is the program that teaches you how to write a profile that gets 10,000+ followers, how to write viral articles that get 20,000+ views (not a typo) and shares and gets you radio interviews and industry recognition. I am RETIRING this program after this round because I will be newly updating it for 2018 so once this training is sold, you cannot get it in 2018!
Click here for the 2018 Planning Party ($47):
and of course my new 2018 planning party where in 2 hours I show you how to plan your year/month/week for $10,000+ months and how I managed to do TEDx talks, go to Europe 2x, move to a beach house, and make $216,000 in 22 months as a coach and how you can too!
2012 I was a fresh grad out of Berkeley. I didn’t know anything except that I freaking hated school and just wanted to backpack Thailand for a month before I signed my life away to a company.
I was rejected 90 times from different CEOs in different fashions, but at last got a big girl job as a business analyst in SF.
I had checked off all the boxes in my life but I couldn’t shake what the Japanese chef I met in Thailand said to me “6 months in heaven (traveling) , 6 months in hell (working)”.
I was reading myself for a life time of work hell if I didn’t make the right choices.
2013 The Best/Worst Time of my life.
I look back to 2013 as a really gut wrenching and amazing year. This was the year that everything washed away, I was fired after 6 months (almost exactly) so I freed myself from “hell”.
Aaaaand I also ended up moving back home to Palm Springs, a place I vowed I would never go back to, because I ran out of money and also my family was having some health issues.
I was pretty convinced my life was over.
I had come this far to become a loser.
Losing my identity as a career woman that year was something ALMOST close to coming to America, feeling like a complete idiot and loser, added on that I never even had a boyfriend and still failed miserably in my career. (At least one area of my life was going to be kickass dammit!)
But I’m so glad that I was fired from that job because I knew I could not shake my entrepreneur dreams any longer.
After I got fired as a sushi waitress on my 1st day, with $40 in my pocket I vowed to the universe in the parking lot that I would give myself 1 year.
I would survive for 1 year on my own making my own business happen, if it didn’t work out, at least I could look myself in the mirror each day and know that I did my best, and hey, I was still 23 so my life wouldn’t be completely over if I gave it my best shot.
And if it worked?
2014 was the year that I remember with a lot of joy, I was high on being in the 1st year of busienss!
Even though it was tough to juggle what seemed like 12 different businesses, I was happy because I was ON PATH.
I was happy because I was finally MAKING MY OWN MONEY.
Yes, I was selling all my stuff on eBay to make my $400 rent, I was teaching Chinese people English, American people Chinese, trying to help seniors how to use their cellphones to talk to their grandchildren over skype, fixing printers, SO MUCH STUFF but I remember finally being able to say
“Wow. I am a business woman I wanted to be.”
I pushed myself in other areas that I was scared of achieving and I was happy that I was able to really and truly make my 24th year pretty awesome.
Chinese people have a saying of how the year where your sign falls under it’s gonna be bad, but I said SCREW THAT and had a really great year.
2015 was an interesting year.
After the high of the 1st year of business, I had to face my reality.
I was working a lot, but people didn’t respect me, I was freaking stretched to the limits.
I remember driving to a country club in Palm Desert in about 116 degree heat (not a typo), and having the dillema of whether or not I should turn off my phone because my iPhone was overheating, and having to turn it on because I needed the GPS.
I spent as much time commuting to my client as much as I did to teach.
I wanted to just stay in an air conditioned room, dammit!
And it was then that I decided to go online.
I did about 30 different calls from all over the world offering more specialized help, with passing TOEFL and within a month I got an Egyptian lady from New Jersey paying me $200 over paypal, which was probably the most important money I had made to this point.
I knew I was free.
I could work from ANYWHERE at ANYTIME in a FREAKING AIR CONDITIONED ROOM YAY!!!!
And after that I realized that specialization was the way, and I was able to hone down on helping international students get jobs in the USA, EXACTLY the thing I had struggled with before but succeeded, and I knew I had to help more people.
With some Linkedin hacking I was able to get my 1st client to pay me $500 and she was able to get a job as a financial analyst at First Republic Bank, and the rest was history, and I was able to help people from all over the USA with their job search.
This was the year where I also made my 1st investments in coaches and I am SO Glad I realized I could no longer “wing it” on my own, and once I made the investment I was able to THINK like a millionaire and produce like one too.
2016 was a very abundant year for me.
I’m glad that this year I ditched the “survival” mantra that enabled me to start my business, and replaced it with “wealth”
As far as material wealth goes, this year was the fucking bomb dot com, I was able to make about $80K revenue and I was ON FIRE with getting more and more clients.
But I felt that it was so..uphill.
I’m no stranger to hard work, I’m a do or die kinda chick, literally, either I die first or the business succeeds.
And so it did.
And while I am very thankful that I really invested in my business this year and reaped a lot of rewards, I felt more and more out of alignment and I was stressed out a lot of the freaking time.
By the time the year ended, I had a lot to celebrate, but I didn’t know more and better was coming for me…
Enter this year.
2017 has been the best year of my life. hands down, by far, no question.
I am so thankful that I was able to finally move to a beach house 2 minutes walking distance from the water.
I am so thankful I got to spend my 27th birthday in Berlin.
I am so grateful that I was able to go to Spain and Italy and have a mini business vacation and meet my heroes and millionaire mentors in person this year.
So wow’ed by myself that I was able to go from a shy girl who used to hide in the bathroom to avoid talking to people during summer school to doing TEDx talks and winninng Toastmaster’s humor speeches.
But this year didn’t start out that way.
During the beginning of the year I was out on my own again, but intuitively I knew that something big was coming, I didn’t want to admit it to myself but it was time.
Funny enough I look at the calendar I had at the time and literally on the day that my life changed the words were “epiphany.”
And this year I finally gave myself permission to not only make money but make money having FUN, doing the things that I LOVE, the WAY That I want to.
I hit multiple $10k months this year with more joy and ease than I had ever before.
And I’ve been able to really overcome the complex i had about being born a woman and growing up in a culture where that is even looked down upon, when being a woman is absolutely the most powerful force of nature.
I had to clear a lot of lies and bullshit, on letting go of things that weren’ necessarily BAD, but just didn’t LIGHT ME UP.
And even though I still have a ways to go in my journey, I KNOW I’m going to be a millionaire before 30, with every fiber and cell of my being I know that I am here to be the voice of a generation and to change the world.
This year, launching Immigrant CEO School has been pretty incredible and I can already see some world changing students making some amazing strides.
And this year the biggest lesson for me was that it’s ok to ask for what you want.
Because when you betray what you want, you suffer.
Know that if you’re in a field you are good at but not amazing at, it is absolutely ok, nay, IMPERATIVE, for you go BIG, because that’s the universe telling you to GO AFTER WHAT YOU WANT!!!
And I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to take 5 years to reach your dreams.
It can change in an instant.
All the little tiny decisions I made at the time, deciding to go solo into my own business, decided to change from TOEFL to career coaching, now from career coaching to business, were TINY MICRO decisions that ultimately changed my life.
And hey, if somebody who didn’t know English 17 years ago can do this, who knows who else can do it too?
#entrepreneurship #ceo #business
P.S.: You don’t have to spend 5 years building your dream business. I’ve shortened the time frame and telling you all the mistakes in my newest 12 week program, Immigrant CEO school! 4 spots are already taken, 6 more spots left only! Grab it before we close for enrollment on 10/30, join here: www.immigrantCEO.com !
Even before I started The Successful Immigrant LLC, I had a vision of sharing the stories of successful immigrants all across the world.
I had enough of waiting and I knew it was time for me to begin, so I started the Immigrant CEO show along with the Immigrant CEO podcast.
For those of you wondering, yes I will always be doing some form of career coaching because that is the pain of so many immigrants who first arrive.
However, I believe in order to keep going, almost every immigrant I have talked to has expressed some desire for starting a business.
So if you want to be inspired by amazing immigrant CEOs or want to be one yourself, listen to my Immigrant CEO podcast!
I would also love to hear your feedback, so be sure to leave a review!
Today I woke up reminded of my favorite movie, Joy.
And how funny that the one movie which probably most describes my life as a woman in business, that the title is named after the one emotion that I continously felt during the beginning of business.
Even back in January of 2015 when I put up a post on a TOEFL facebook group offering free 30 minute speaking coaching, talking to about 5 people back to back each day for the entire month, with my voice exhausted–it was exciting for me.
Even back around April of that year, when I had about 69 different people say no to my career coaching services before I landed my second client, each call was exhilarating–will this be the one?
Even when I had to deal with batshit crazy people, the thrill of it was still worth it.
Because as an awesome coach, Katie Henry puts it, we didn’t get into business to struggle and feel shitty about it.
And it really sank into me–why the hell did I get into business the first place?
It was absolutely NOT because I wanted to feel more miserable.
It was partly out of survival since I failed at so many other jobs as an employee.
But it was definitely because I KNEW I had a greater calling and I needed to fill in that role and be on the journey.
Because even when it was BATSHIT CRAZY, it was fun.
It was exciting
It was exhilarating
The first $200 I made online from an Egyptian pharmacist from New Jersey was the most important money I ever made.
It represented freedom.
It meant that I didn’t have to drive in 100 degrees Coachella Valley desert heat while turning off my iPhone because it over heated.
It meant that I could spend more time teaching and less time doing things I hated like driving
It meant that I was one step closer to living the life that I wanted, working from anywhere I wanted and being a workaholic if I wanted to, but most importantly, mattering.
Remember that there’s a reason why you have emotions.
They are meters to determine if you should go or not.
Yes, some times you have to go regardless of how you feel.
But when you for a long time ignore how you feel and go into misery in the hopes of thinking something external can make you happy..you will be in for a shock when you wake up.
One of the things that I need to continously reprogram myself each day is for joy.
Yes, I have bad days, I have times when I don’t want to do anything except go lay at a Korean spa, but if you truly are absolutely LIT UP by your work, you will keep going and going no matter what.
You are here not to suffer in misery.
You are here to live an amazing life full of joy.
If you’ve been looking for permission to be happy
Because it’s somehow “wrong” to be happier than others
or “weird” when you’re not complaining about your job..
know that our default state was to live out an amazing experience
And you can completely choose it.
The question is
will you take the leap
Because when you do…
you realize that you’ve been crawling and you could have been flying the whole time, on emotional highs and the joy of doing what you were meant to be doing on this earth.
PS: Interested in learning how to take your existing skills like knowing a foreign language or your career skills to the next level and build an online business that generates at least $5,000 a month? Let’s chat at www.workwithli.com!
7 years old and 27 years old: SAME OL’ THANG
From 1996-1999 I religiously read a bi-weekly Chinese magazine roughly called “Stories Collections”.
Every other week when it dropped I would literally bug my grandparents to no end until I got it.
I was so happy reading the lame jokes and stories and it’s one of the reasons why I was able to read so fast-passion, and interest.
It occured to me today that I literally do the same thing still, 20 years later.
I teach my clients how to tell stories to people who can hire them, to their potential clients, but most importantly, themselves.
Isn’t it hilarious that we go through all the training and then we end up doing the same thing we do as children?
It’s amazing to me how a few hours can transform someone who literally told me “I don’t feel confident, I’m lost, I’m confused..”
To someone who is so proud of their stories that you immediately notice the change in their energy, their voices are booming, they’re quicker to laugh, and of course, when a few weeks later you realize they were hired you are happy but not surprised.
We all tell stories to ourselves.
Whether it’s easy for us to make money
or easy for us to get sick
Whether it’s easy for us to attract the opposite sex
or that we have no discipline
You’ll be amazed at how malleable you are and you will be pretty amazed at how you will begin to adapt.
My story from a couple of years ago was that I didn’t understand how to make money.
I decided I was sick of that, I was tired of this and I wanted something new.
About a few months into intensively doing money work, my income leap frogged.
I notice that every time I decide to go to the next level, I inevitably catch up to my new standards.
Because there is no other way.
Because I am not available for any other way.
Because I am only available for massive success.
Because I decided I was DONE with the old story.
Yes, some parts of my story are cheesy and dumb but the biggest change that has happened to my life was deciding to sacrifice the old stories that no longer worked for me for something much better.
I traded the shy girl for a girl who would be able to deliver TEDx speeches.
I traded in the one who couldn’t make friends for one who would connect all successful immigrant CEOs into an amazing show.
I traded in resigning to relationship failure to actively seeking out mentors who both had the success I wanted in business and in relationships.
I will trade in many more stories for even better ones as long as I am on the planet, and I want you to know as well
You can change your story.
You can change your life.
You can do anything that you want to
But you have to realize that you are the author of your story.
Editing is not cheating, editing is being responsible to your reader.
And the thing is this is the one time where you will be not only writing, editing, but also reading.
Will your story be the one that you are proud of reading?
PS: THE IMMIGRANT CEO IS COMING!!! If you want to learn how to confidently present your story and learn how to attract clients left and right who want you to shut up and take their money, sign up for a 30 minute consult with me at www.immigrantCEO.com!