RBYZ: Eternal Optimist (#010)

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:


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Yours truly,

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.

Beginner’s heart

People have been asking me what I’ve learned in my three-year LA adventure, and I’ve answered part of it in my latest podcast episode: Let’s talk about shame.

And yet, that only covers the tip of the iceberg. Another thing I’ve noticed the change in me is more tolerence in others.

Patience isn’t my strongest suit and I tend to judge others too quickly especially when they demonstrate certain things that prick at my pet peeves.

And yet, as I’ve learned during my last few months leading up to my journey back home, I noticed the new height I could reach if I open my heart beyond the good and the beautiful.

Sometimes what seems to be the bad, the fugly, the waste-of-my-time have the cliche silver linings that I hadn’t thought about before. Like one time-consuming writer workshop led to a bunch of meetings and new friends.

Even when people promise me something I desired which they haven’t yet delivered, I keep my faith instead of writing them off, or defriend them like I used to. Yep, guilty as charged.

And maybe, this is how we as adults develop new friendships and explore new ideas and experience.

Next time when the wind blows again, instead of asking:

Where the fuck are you taking me?

Try this:

Sure. Surprise me!

As for now, I’m heading off to the hospital for another round of IV for my unrelenting pneumonia pal, where I may do some more people watching.


Yours truly,

One thing I wish I’d known

… three years ago.

I get this question a lot lately.

To be fair, I also ask this question myself a lot lately.

And here is my answer:
I wish I could to be more open and less frightened.

I was open enough to live in a foreign country not knowing a single soul in LA when I embarked on this journey.

I was also brave enough to dare myself to write screenplays in English when I had no professoinal training in creative writing in my previous life.

But at the same time, I wish I could be more open so I would have more diverse experience livin’ the California dream. But I said no a lot to social events. My excuses came in threefolds: a) I had no money; b) I can’t drink; c) I had too much shit going on from writing to life in general.

I’ve always been quite skeptical about networking. It’s like debating whether or not to marry a rich asshole who can give you your greencard although he may divorce you whenever he wants. Worse yet, he may call off the wedding in the middle of ceremony.

Okay. Networking, you’re way better. Sorry for the inappropriate metaphor.

Joke aside, I just don’t want networking to mess up my biological clock. I’m a morning person in general – not so much these days as you see when I post my blogs over the last few days.

But lately a friend’s remark makes me think twice, “You know, networking is working.”

I looked at the dude and realized it was the truth. Just by spelling out
“n-e-t-w-o-r-k-i-n-g,” you realized that ‘work’ is in the word.

Dang it.

But truth is, I realize that people can be much more fun elsewhere when they are not in the workspace. Maybe I’ll give it second shot when I’m back in Shanghai before I get too complacent after settling in.

Stay tuned!


Yours truly,

PS. Seth Godin’s Podcast Fellowship is opening an autumn program. Check it out for yourself if you’re also playing with the idea of podcasting.

PPS. Check out the latest #RBYZ episode featuring myself. It reads narcissistic. But hope it won’t sound so. Judge it for yourself.