RBYZ: Attention, Millennials (#011)

Listen before your next interview

Here comes the second part of my conversation with serial entrepreneur and eternal optimist Christopher Li.

He shares observation and insight dealing with teenagers and young adults.  As CEO, what talents does he value the most in building his startup? What are the pitfalls us millennials can avoid in job interviews?

What you’ll hear:

  • The importance of EQ if you are to take corporate route, but relatively less so if you want to be your own boss;
  • How to balance your strength and your weakness;
  • What did he learn most from working at the management consulting firm?
  • What makes or breaks a ‘Professional?’
  • What’s his take on grit? Is it nature or nurture?
  • What does he think of the Millennial generation?
  • What did he see first-hand interacting with teenagers from China?
  • How did he convince people to join his startup? What’s his vision?
  • what kind of talents that Chris think would fit into his current startup?
  • What’s the most important aspect in building the startup?

There is no substitute for work.

Sometimes it takes a long time to get things done right. 

I don’t put out things with the quality that I don’t believe in.

You either move up, or you move out.

If we build it right, people would come.

Links from the episode:

 

Listen and subscribe to Rock Bottom with YZ:
A weekly podcast for and about anyone and everyone who has spiraled downward and doesn’t know which end is up.

Listen to Rock Bottom with YZ on RadioPublic

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Click here to see ways to help #RBYZ to grow.

PPS. Click here for the first part of my convo with Christopher.

RBYZ: Eternal Optimist (#010)

Meet Christopher Li, the serial entrepreneur who seizes the day before it’s dawn.

It started off as an immigrant story. Born in Hong Kong, our guest came to the US with his family. With intelligence and diligence, he went into management consulting and later became his own boss.

Meet Christopher Li, the serial entrepreneur who seizes the day before it’s dawn.

What you’ll hear:

  • What was his “Fresh off the boat” experience like in the ’70s California being the few Asians on the block?
  • How did he deal with culture shock coming to the US at the age of 11?
  • What values did he pick up from his parents as a first-generation immigrant?
  • What did the experience of delivering newspapers at 6 am everyday teach him?
  • What was dating like for him when Asian women weren’t many in the mostly White neighborhood that his family lived in?
  • What did he see in the face of divorce apart from the fact that it was a very public and expensive failure?  What are the silver linings?
  • Is an Eternal Optimist nature or nurture?
  • How did he tackle the bias of “executive presence” and the glass ceilings as a minority while working in management consulting?
  • How does he look at failures in entrepreneurship these days?
  • Being a result-driven entrepreneur, how does he deal with harmony in the Chinese culture?
  • And so, so much more!

Links from the episode:

 

Listen and subscribe to Rock Bottom with YZ:
A weekly podcast for and about anyone and everyone who has spiraled downward and doesn’t know which end is up.

Listen to Rock Bottom with YZ on RadioPublic

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Click here to see ways to help #RBYZ to grow.
PPS. Christopher is one of the most open guests I have had the honor to interview. Kudos!

One more thing – If you are an American citizen in the US, remember to #VOTE today.

The show must go on

Thank you for sticking around!

9 days ago, I landed in Shanghai.

7 days ago, I recorded this episode with Barbara Kiao.

6 days ago, I reemerged on the worldwide web.

4 days ago, I fell sick and couldn’t make a sound…

15 seconds ago, I was still coughing my eyes out.

It feels like The Shawshank Redemption sequel…

But the show must go on!

Thank you for sticking around!

And here it is!

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. I’ll post the show notes here tomorrow.

RBYZ: Lovin’ LA (#007)

Your host YZ works on her au avoir to the city she didn’t care for and now the city she calls her second home…

My guest this week is myself, again. 

Ye shameless self-promoter. I hear you.

I do it for two reasons.

  • First of all, I wasn’t able to edit a full interview this last week because I was ‘party too hard.’ [Translation: Those who know me know that I don’t usually party. So it’s a joke. You can laugh now. Or don’t.] Truth is, I just felt too restless to be able to do my guest justice.
  • Secondly, I realized that by next Tuesday, I will be in Shanghai. So I gotta say somethin’. And it’d better to now.

Then the natural woman in me got emotional. I broke down sobbing for more than a few times when the clock was ticking and I was determined to air by 00:00, Oct 9.

And I made it!

My thick nasal voice gave myself away. But I’m proud to be sharing my raw emotions  with all of you people out there. Nobody said rock bottom is all soft and fluffy.

Jerry Seinfeld famously said that he couldn’t understand people who write books/blogs because you can’t get a reaction from your readers right away. Instead, you find people approach you about the book you wrote five fucking years ago.

“It changed my life.” And you went, “Where the fuck are you five years ago?” Indeed, writers can use more encouragement like that.

But truthfully, I just want to pause my crazy life being the collateral damange to Trump’s trade war with China as I deal with the Shanghai Customs and say:

A gigantic THANK YOU to y’all, especially to the City of Angels for your sunshine and friendship.

And most of all, to the people I’ve met who are now officially my friends and families!

 

Next week Tuesday, I’ll be rockin’ this podcast back in my hometown Shanghai.
Well, my Shanghai cat Michael may try to tank my taping.
Let’s see how that would go.

Michael in 2015

One more thing, don’t you think you can get rid of me this easily. In the name of Terminator, I’ll be back. 

Most important, remember to VOTE.

 

Listen and subscribe to Rock Bottom with YZ:
A weekly podcast for and about anyone and everyone who has spiraled downward and doesn’t know which end is up.

Listen to Rock Bottom with YZ on RadioPublic

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Click here to see ways to help #RBYZ to grow.

RBYZ: Share thy mud pie (#006)

Jim Strain, screenwriter of the original Jimumji and amongst many, many other movies, shares his Hollywood journey and what he means by ‘mud pie.’

I love Jim’s intro accompanied by this revealing picture on his website:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had never seen a “self starter” key on a typewriter until I found it on an old Remington 5 portable in an antique store. It now hangs on the wall of my office. When you press the key, the typewriter carriage advances in slow but steady increments. Seemed to me the perfect metaphor for life as a freelance writer.

I’ve written screenplays for virtually every major Hollywood studio and even had a few produced. I’ve dabbled in theater, contributed to magazines and newspapers, and published a few books. I wear many other hats including that of a teacher, consultant, and sometimes artist.

It’s hard if you are first-generation of anything. It’s especially true in the show biz.
Meet Jim Strain, who found his way into Hollywood by being a self-starter.

What you’ll hear:

  • Jim also graduated from the UCLA Film School, what does he think about the film school experience?
  • How did Jim end up in Hollywood? Or shall I say, get in and stay in the showbiz and still creating work from his heart and soul?
  • Jim has taught at the UCLA Film School’s revered screenwriting workshop for quite some years, what’s the key element to become a screenwriter, from his perspective?
  • How does UCLA Film School’s pitch week work from a professor’s perspective?
  • How did Jim balance his dream of writing and hard-living in LA before he broke into Hollywood?
  • Does hardship in life help you to become a better writer? If yes, how to channel it into your work?
  • How to find like-minded people to collaborate? Here is a clue: Not via Craigslist.
  • What exactly does Jim mean when he says ‘mud pie?’
  • And so, so much more!

The most satisfying thing in life is to share your “mud pies” for others’ sympathetic consideration. — Jim Strain

Links from the episode:

Listen and subscribe to Rock Bottom with YZ:
A weekly podcast for and about anyone and everyone who has spiraled downward and doesn’t know which end is up.

Listen to Rock Bottom with YZ on RadioPublic

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Click here to see ways to help #RBYZ to grow.

RBYZ: Hollywood Inside Out (#005)

It’s not about you. It’s about the work.

If you were born into a Hollywood family, would you do anything else other than film?

My guest this week is an aspiring visual artist. Last year, she quit her job, traveled around half of the globe for four months before moving back to LA, starting afresh.

Her bio is quite unique—

I can write upside down and backwards; I always say hi to left-handed people; I helped dress the models at the Elie Saab Summer ’06 Couture Show in Paris; Blair Waldorf wears a headband I made when she says “I love you” to Chuck Bass in Gossip GirlI have a pretty good relationship with my cell phone and technology; and I love reading children’s books as an adult.

Meet Amee Carter, who dares to differ even it means hitting rock bottom.

What you’ll hear:

  • Is groundedness even possible for someone born in Hollywood?
  • What are the disadvantages to be in the family business apart from its clear advantages?
  • How to look at the world like a production designer?
  • How does she find courage to break out of the familiar world? What’s the drive behind that choice?
  • What does it feel like to have 17 home bases in four countries in a year?
  • How not to be fazed working with the greats? What’s the advice?

It’s not about you. It’s about the work.

Links from the episode:

Listen and subscribe to Rock Bottom with YZ:
A weekly podcast for and about anyone and everyone who has spiraled downward and doesn’t know which end is up.

Listen to Rock Bottom with YZ on RadioPublic

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Click here to see ways to help #RBYZ to grow.

RBYZ: On my terms (#004)

Meet Barbara Kiao, the therapist who practises what she preaches.

“Feel the fear and do it anyways.”

Says our guest this week. She had been a successful hospitality manager until she decided to study psychology when she was two decades too old. That is, according to the norm.

Seven years later, after getting her degree and license, she walked away from the broken marriage, accepting her own Rock Bottom.

Meet Barbara Kiao, the therapist who practises what she preaches.

What you’ll hear:

  • Can one really switch from hospitality to psychology?
  • Is there such a thing as “too old to learn?”
  • What does age have to do with… anything?
  • What does a calling feel like?
  • How to stop the stigma around counseling?
  • What does a clinical counselor’s day-to-day practice look like?
  • How does a psychology pro deal with crises and rock bottoms?
  • And much more!

Links from the episode:

 

Listen and subscribe to Rock Bottom with YZ:
A weekly podcast for and about anyone and everyone who has spiraled downward and doesn’t know which end is up.

Listen to Rock Bottom with YZ on RadioPublic

 

Yours truly,
YZ

PS. Click here to see ways to help #RBYZ to grow.