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All posts by Hanju Lee

30Nov

Let Us Answer Your Logo Design Questions

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A logo is so much more than just an image, text or a symbol; it’s a representation of who you are, what you value and what you believe. If you do it right, it can capture the whole story of your company in a meaningful way. A well-designed logo will help customers remember you and build trust, which is the foundation of great marketing.

Starting the design process can be a bit tricky, but don’t worry. We’re here to make it clear and easy for you – here are the questions we tend to get asked when it comes to logo design.

What is your typical design process?

We guarantee that you’ll end up with a logo design you’ll love. Here’s how.

  • After getting some information from you from a detailed questionnaire, we offer up to 7-10 different conceptual designs for review. We present the design via zoom call or by video presentation. We want to make sure you understand how the designs were derived and give you insight on our creative process.

  • From these designs, you then can either pick a concept to modify or offer feedback to come up with additional options.

  • We can even offer more conceptual design if you are not 100% satisfied with the first set…but with lots of feedback and collaboration, we’ll get it nailed.

  • Sometimes, there’s a detour…you might change your mind on the direction and ask to start over. (This can get a bit tricky, depending on how much work has already been invested and how clear the new direction is…) This does not happen often but it can occur. Again, we are all about creating something you love, so we stay flexible.

How many rounds of revisions do you offer without extra fees?

  • When the concept is chosen, we offer 3 sets of revisions.

  • After the 3 sets of revisions, we offer 3 more. (usually these are minor tweaking, different color options…etc). These are a guide to keep it from getting out of control. But again, we stay flexible.

  • We usually won’t nickel and dime nor even charge extra for minor edits beyond the 3 sets of revisions. But sometimes, the revisions can get out of hand due to the client’s redirection or indecisiveness…which we understand fully because it’s a creative process. We just ask for fairness about any additional fees since the workload and the labor is unexpected and out of scope. We can discuss this more if we arrive at this point.

Are the Brand Guidelines provided?

We offer several different packages depending on your needs. Our basic package is for logo design only, but for an additional fee, we provide a detailed branding guide. We can show you some of our branding guide examples we’ve done for our previous clients per your request.

What file format will be provided when complete?

We will provide whatever file you need, including vector and high resolution image files. (.ai, .jpg, .png, .svg, .pdf, .tiff, .psd, .eps).

How much do you charge?

For a basic logo design including: New logo, Color Palette, Font and Typography, we charge $2500. Additional options can include detailed branding guidelines, messaging, visual identity, defining cultural ethos, etc, and will be custom quoted upon request.

One of our favorite things in life is to truly GET TO KNOW YOU, then translate that into a customized look for your business.

Logo design is almost like letting BOS Media be your personal stylist. In the words of Vidal Sassoon, “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”

Our mission is to make you SHINE. Let us know whatever we can do to help!

23Nov

Questions You Should Ask Your Website Designer

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As part of our current FAQ series, we couldn’t forget about all the website inquiries we get – it’s really the bread and butter of what we do. So without further ado, here are the questions that most people have before getting their website designed, developed and launched.

What is your design process?

Here are the 5 quick steps to get you started from idea to production.

  • Step 1: We gather information through a detailed questionnaire that gives us a good look and feel of your vision for the site.

  • Step 2: From the questionnaire, we create a customized design mockup and present it to you in a visual website format. (This is not a developed website but it looks and feels like one). We use our own resource of professional licensed images to match your style and feel.

  • Step 3: Once the mockup is starting to take shape into a product that you are loving, we send a form to gather content for the site. (This includes team profile images, office photos, bios and additional copywriting for the site). We’ll add all the content and present it in the final website format for approval.

  • Step 4: Once the design is approved, we go into full development mode, where our nerdy coders and developers beautifully make the design come alive on a live site. (This is developed on a dedicated server with a temporary url).

  • Step 5: We test the live site and then launch it on your own domain by redirecting your domain IP to the new server where the new website files are located. (We will just need access to the account you purchased your domain from).

How long does it take?

Well, it depends. Typically, a 5-7 page custom website takes about 2-3 months. It mostly depends on you. If you love our initial design and approve it quickly, we can get it developed and launched in 1-2 weeks after the design phase. In those cases, the sites can go live in a little over a month. Some clients take a bit longer to decide and some sites can get complicated… there was one site we designed and developed that took over a year. The important thing is that you love it when it’s ready to launch. Our recommendation is not to be in a hurry.

Should I provide my own written copy for the website?

Are you a great content writer and love to write? If so, you should take a stab at it; if not, no worries, we have a professional writer on our team that will work with you to create the content on all of your pages for you. This is an additional fee of course, but we do recommend it to make the design flow faster and more cohesive.

Do you build a custom site or use a template?

All of our sites are completely personalized and custom to you.

What training/support do you offer when the site is launched?

Our website design and development is a full service package, meaning, we will do the hosting as well. We take full responsibility and accountability for your website. We don’t just design and walk away; we continuously update, revise and fix. This way you can feel confident that we are standing behind what we do, and you won’t have to wait 45 minutes to get an answer from some random website provider’s technical support personnel…you just call us and we’ll take care of everything, and all those changes are included. For instance, if you have a staff change, we will simply update the staff bio and replace the image at no charge to you. Also, with the monthly hosting, here’s what is included:

  • Daily Virus Scan and File monitoring (This is super important to prevent from possible hacking and malware attacks).

  • Full service including if there are any technical issues, malfunction, or shutdown of the site – we take care of and fix everything for you. We work on your behalf with the technical team to resolve the issue.

  • Daily backup up to 30 days, which means that you can always roll back the site back 30 days. This feature is also important if the site goes down for whatever the reason, we are able to have it up and running in no time.

  • Unlimited revisions and modifications. However, this does not include new design pages, features or implementations. These will be given an estimated time to complete at a fair rate. For reference, a simple new design page could take 2-5 hours to design and develop. Other simple implementations that can be done quickly are taken care of as a courtesy.

  • Plug-in and Operating system updates. As you know, software is continuously evolving. Just like a typical iPhone, if you stop updating the software, the apps will later stop talking to each other and eventually stop working. It’s important to keep all the backend software updated and functioning.

  • We won’t nickel and dime. Our philosophy is to do our best to meet your expectations and needs without charging for extra stuff. Most of the tools you need will be included in the initial design and development stage.

  • Hosting

  • Oh, and we offer full training via video tutorial if you want to make changes yourself. No extra cost.

Do I own the site and all of its content after it goes live?

Yup. Everything. We give you full access to the backend and any files or databases you need or want. It’s all yours.

What technical things do I need to know or do before I get started?

Great question! Website requires 2 essential things. Domain and Hosting (Domain = The name of your website URL and Hosting = The Server where all the design files are located that launches you out to the world wide web). That’s it!! We recommend purchasing a domain yourself. You can easily purchase one through godaddy.com for about $10-20/year. This way you’ll have complete control and ownership over your own domain and no one can take it away from you. We take care of the hosting. We use WP Engine as our Server provider – they are known as one of the fastest, safest and the most robust servers in the market. We only ask that you give us access to your domain configuration when your site is ready to launch so we can point the domain to the server where all your design files are located. We’ll give you step by step on how this is done.

How much do you charge?

For a standard 5-7 page website, we charge $4000 minimum plus $95/month for Hosting and Maintenance. We do have more budget friendly options for simpler single landing pages and we also have higher packages for more complex or e-commerce sites. We are also flexible to work with your budget and can offer financing.

There are so many website designers out there, why should I pick BOS Media Group?

As you may observe, all the above answers sound pretty standard and it might be similar to what other companies offer, but where we shine is what you don’t see written out in the process. It’s our full commitment to you along the way.

It’s the way we resolve trouble spots with solutions and suggestions. It’s the way we listen to your needs and wants and make that our priority. It’s the way we, without question, re-design something if you don’t like it. It’s the way we give you resources on best practices and our expertise on what works and what doesn’t. It’s the way we don’t put limitations on revisions nor nickel and dime on hidden fees. Of course, if the project goes beyond the scope of the original contract, there will probably be a fair conversation or renegotiation of the new costs, but we will work hard to make sure you are in full agreement. It’s the way we make sure at the end of the project, you have a website that you love!  It’s the way that we make strong efforts to both enjoy the journey and have fun along the way. I think that’s priceless!!

We say this all the time, but more than anything, BOS Media is about relationships. Our goal is to treat you like our most valuable client, and it’s our sincere desire for you to be a client for life. With all these FAQs, our personal commitment to you is the one thing you’ll never have to question.

16Nov

Why Am I Getting So Many Unsolicited Emails?

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You might be laughing at this subject line – why am I getting this unsolicited email to ask me about unsolicited emails? Well, first let me assure you that I am a real human writing a real email and that I am doing it to help you and not hurt you. Do you trust me?

As someone who works in digital marketing, I get this question a lot. Instead of “unsolicited emails,” people usually call it SPAM. (Special Processed American Meat)…wait, that’s the wrong acronym. But speaking of acronyms, we are still in our FAQ series, going through and answering the Frequently Asked Questions people have about the online world. So, let’s start.

Why do we call it spam? 

Back in the day…1970’s, some people (enormous geeks) started using the term “spamming” to apply to several different behaviors. According to Brad Templeton, who has done a very in-depth study on this writes: “The term spamming is used to describe flooding the computer with too much data to crash it, and another was to ‘spam the database’ by having a program create a huge number of objects, rather than creating them by hand. and the term was used to mean simply flooding an online session with a bunch of text inserted by a program, commonly called a ‘bot’ today.”

Why is spam still a problem today?

Back in 2004, Bill Gates from Microsoft famously said “two years from now, spam will be solved.” Well, according to some data out there, 70% of our emails are still spam. Why? It’s very complex and even if Microsoft changed the way the emails were handled, having them convince an entire industry to change it to a new standard for sending messages with anti-spam built-in features would be an impossible task. We just cannot stop someone or something from sending emails. So, spam continues to be part of our lives.

How do we deal with spam? I hate them.

Every email platform (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, iCloud, AOL) has been forced to develop better spam filters to block it. Although it’s not 100%, it captures a bulk of obvious ones and gives you the option to add your own criteria to capture the ones that it misses. Here’s an example of how to add a filter if you are using Google for your email service. Click here.

Is there something you can do to help eliminate spam coming from my website?

Great question and thanks for asking. Although we can’t outsmart bots that do what they do to scrape your website for information, we can try to not give them all the information they want, or make it harder for them to automate their process by adding more intelligent features to force the bots to think. Here are some of our fixes that have been successful in reducing (not eliminating) spam emails.

  • Remove all email addresses from your website. Basically, you create forms for people to submit questions/comments rather than giving them your email address. The form submits the answers and forwards them to your email.
  • Remove all online forms from your website. We don’t recommend this since this is pretty dramatic and defeats the whole purpose of your website generating leads. But, what we can recommend is adding a different type of form that takes you question by question. We use Typeform for this type of solution. Check it out here.
  • Add a reCAPTCHA on your forms. This makes the bot do extra work and can automatically filter out a bunch of dumber bots.
  • If the above reCAPTCHA isn’t good enough for your standards, there’s another that really makes the bots think and be more human-like. It’s the CAPTCHA Image Option. The problem with this is that it’s ugly and annoying for the real people (your potential customers) that want to fill out the form.

Most of our clients choose option 3 and it eliminates just enough spam to make it bearable.

I’ll close with one final question that is not frequently asked, but it should be:

Do you have a good recipe for Spam Musubi?

Here you go, straight from the SPAM website. If you’ve never tried this before, you’re welcome – I hope it makes your next dinner feel like a luau. Plus it kind of fits a philosophy I live by: “When life gives you spam, make Spam Musubi.”

Aloha!

05Nov

Does My Website Need To Be ADA-Compliant?

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Last week, we kicked off our FAQ series talking about SEO. Today, we’ll look at another acronym that I get asked about often:

“Does my website need to be ADA-compliant?”

This question comes from almost every type of client that I have. Part of delivering the best possible customer service includes placing a high value on how your website is accessible to visitors with disabilities.

This is kind of a loaded question that needs to be broken down in bits, so I’ll try to answer one step at a time.

What is ADA compliance? 

ADA (American with Disabilities Act) was instituted in 1990 in effort to provide accommodation to people with disabilities.

Is ADA required for my website?

For architects designing a commercial building, there is a clear set of black and white regulations and design guidelines that need to be followed. The architectural plans will be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the city, county or whatever the governing body is for the construction location. Then, during construction and even after the projects have been completed, the final stamp of approval will be required for the building to be open and occupied. Easy, right?

Well, not so easy for websites. In fact, ADA’s relationship with websites has been complicated and confusing – not so black and white. Although they’ve taken the time and effort to create the standard guidelines for website compliance (WCAG 2.1 Level AA), ADA currently does not explicitly address online compliance. The U.S. is in pursuit of adopting more comprehensive accessibility requirements (especially for federal websites), but at the same time has withdrawn this requirement as a general push towards deregulation. So, basically, rules are established but the governing body that police the rules are a bit fuzzy. Confused? Yes, clear as mud. You can read more about it here.

Why should I still make my site be ADA compliant?

Well, for many reasons. For one, it’s humanly kind to offer accommodations to those who do not have access to your online information. Also, although the ADA compliance is not mandatory, it’s generally a good idea to err on the side of caution. Many states have adopted their own laws and the volume of accessibility-related lawsuits filed against websites is rising.

What type of compliance do you offer?

We offer WCAG2.1 Level AA compliance, and we offer a written certificate showing that your website meets all the criteria.

How much does it cost?

It costs $490/year, as long as your website is under 1000 pages. New pages and new content that get added will automatically get scanned and fixed to meet the compliance within 24 hours.

Okay, I am interested. What do I do?

Click on this affiliate link to learn more: https://accessibe.com/a/bosmediagroup
You can even do a 7 day FREE TRIAL!

At the heart of everything we do at BOS Media, it’s always about relationships. How we treat the people we serve, and how we equip businesses to offer the highest level customer experience. I hope this FAQ series is helping with that. Whatever the next acronym you’re struggling to understand, we’ll be here to make it simple and support your business growth.

02Nov

Frequently Asked Questions – SEO

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It’s funny, I’ve been doing this job long enough that I can start predicting the questions that will be thrown at me during a discovery/sales call. Over the years, I started accumulating these questions and documenting them so they can be easily accessible to our team and also to our potential clients.

So that got me thinking, why not share these so that they can also be helpful to others? Maybe they’re questions you’re frequently asking as well. So, our new series will be diving into the FAQ, starting with another acronym I get asked about all the time: SEO.

Do you think I need SEO (search engine optimization) for my website?

Probably. I would first recommend a thorough SEO audit for you (at no charge) to assess your current status, but organic search is such a huge part of most businesses’ website visits/traffic and company growth. Being highly visible and a trusted resource by Google is always going to work in your favor. We will improve your overall searchability and visibility so you’ll be found online. What’s the point of having a beautiful, compelling and informative website when no one sees it?

What do you guys do for SEO?

We first identify the opportunity and approach to implementing a successful strategy. Then we establish a keyword game plan into actionable goals. From there, we start optimizing your website…this is a patient game and you’ll start seeing the results in 4-6 months. Our goal is to start ranking the keywords that link to your site on the first page of Google.

What sets you apart from other companies in your SEO game?

We hear from a lot of people that due to the complexity of SEO, they are kept in the dark and do not really know or understand what is being done and how effective the SEO is for their website. This is where we shine. We are transparent. We tell you in detail what we are doing and how you are ranking. Every month, we’ll summarize everything we are implementing and what type of results you are experiencing. We also have a detailed dashboard that monitors and reports all kinds of live stats. You’ll have full access to this anytime, anywhere.

How much do you charge?

We charge a minimum of $750/month. Some sites cost more depending on who is competing with the same keywords in your area and also depending on the geographical area covered (Local, National, or Global).

How do I get a FREE audit of my website?

Just reply to this email and let me know the website address you want us to evaluate. It’s a detailed 39-page audit with prioritized recommendations. It’s FREE. No strings attached.

I hope exploring these questions gives you an overall picture of how SEO works. It can get very complex and it’s always evolving, but I believe it’s worth paying attention to it and continuously implementing the right factors into your website.

“If a tree falls in the forest without SEO, does it make a sound?” Here’s to making plenty of noise online – reply now if there’s anything I can do to help!

SEO ya later!

26Oct

How The Fearless Faces Fear

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Have you watched the National Geographic Documentary called Free Solo yet? If not, you should. It’s about this dude named Alex Honnold who did the unthinkable.
He climbed a 3000-foot rock wall in Yosemite called El Capitan at 31 years of age. Not only that, he did it without any ropes, harnesses, or a net. What does that mean? It means that if he made a simple error or slipped on his footing during the climb, he would most likely fall to his death. It’s one of the most extremely insane, audacious feats in human history. In fact, some people call it “one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever.” And on a side note, it took him 3 hours, 56 minutes and to this day he is the ONLY climber to free solo El Capitan.

So, if I had a chance to interview Alex, my first question would be: How did you overcome fear in the face of such danger? How did you accomplish this without trembling and how did you keep pushing forward?

I want to know if he’s some kind of superhuman who is not affected by fear…or if there’s some type of secret that unlocks the human brain to do the impossible.

Watch this video – he actually does reveal his secret…

If you didn’t watch the video yet, I’ll summarize how he overcame the fear of this climb.

Alex said this…”3000 feet of climbing represents thousands of distinct hand and foot movements, many of the moves I knew through sheer repetition. I climbed El Cap 50 times over the previous decade with a rope. But also I would spend the day from the summit with 1000 feet of rope, finding the sequence secure and repeatable and I had to memorize them. I had to make sure that they were so deeply ingrained within me that there was no possibility of error.”

He did it so many times, it became like taking a walk in the park. And just to confirm, the last time I took a walk in the park, it was pretty chill.

On the flip side, I just listened to an interview of Alex on Adam Grant’s podcast and the most surprising thing I heard Alex say was how incredibly terrified he was of public speaking. In fact, Adam recalls seeing Alex backstage getting ready to speak at the TED Talk sitting there, shaking and sweating…so afraid to go up on the TED stage. He said “it’s not surprising that when you have to do something at a very high level that you’re not good at, it’s truly terrifying. That’s how I essentially felt going into TED. Here’s a collection of several thousand of the most important people in the world, all sitting there watching me do something that I’m not good at.”

It reminds me of the Jerry Seinfeld joke about how people fear public speaking even more than death – at a funeral, most people would rather be in the coffin than the one making the speech.

But think about it: what made the free solo climb different from the TED Talk?

Repetition.

All that time and effort to ingrain the sequence… over and over again, until there was no possibility of error. The most dangerous feat became EASY, while the unpracticed speech felt impossible.

So the question is, is there a fear you need to overcome? I know there’s part of us that would rather not think about it, procrastinate, and then shake and sweat when the time comes where we finally get the experience over with. But there is an alternative: do the reps. Stop avoiding it, start small, and practice practice practice practice practice.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

And I promise, whatever it is, it’ll be a lot less scary the 1000th time you do it.

19Oct

The Ordinary Life

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“God must love ordinary people because He made so many of us.” –Coach Jim Valvano

I always thought about writing a book. I guess what prompted me was reading so many self-help books about time management, transformation, diet, money, entrepreneurship, real estate, fitness, etc. The common theme in all the books I’ve read has been…be the best, work the hardest, conquer the impossible, be extremely self-disciplined, set audacious goals, achieve them, and for heaven’s sake, don’t be ordinary, be extraordinary. Be above the rest…always. You are built for more. You deserve more. Go get it!!

Are you exhausted or are you inspired?

Me? I became exhausted. And all these books made me a skeptic. So, I wanted to write a book that contradicts every self-help book I’ve ever read. It would be called The Ordinary.

Do you remember when you were little, you would bring a textbook home from school and you had to wrap it in brown paper from a leftover grocery bag? My book would look like that, and it would have the title in a simple typewriter font as artwork. Very simple and ordinary looking. And on the back, it would have a picture of me as the author and a teaser for the book. This is what it would say:

“I am not rich. I am not famous. I don’t speak in front of thousands, I don’t have a vacation house in the Alps, and no one recognizes me in public. I live in a small house in the suburbs of Southern California surrounded by middle-working-class professionals with families and I pay the mortgage and utilities like everyone else. I struggle to wake up every morning and go through my routine and sit in front of a computer answering emails, creating tasks, and even some of the creative work that I sort of like to do and am somewhat passionate about.

But when I lay down at night, I feel the joy and full satisfaction of my life. I feel good about who I am and there’s a rich, deep sense of contentment and happiness.

I am an ordinary guy that somehow stumbled into the realization and the mystery of happiness and I am currently in it.”

Would you want to flip the book back over and start reading chapter 1 to find the secret? Do you want me to just tell you the secret now? I don’t want to give it all away before the book comes out, but I’ll give you a clue:

It has nothing to do with what you do for a living.

It has nothing to do with your income.

It has nothing to do with your status.

But it has everything to do with what comes from building lasting relationships. It has everything to do with enjoying the little things that life has to offer with gratitude. It has everything to do with the beauty of simplicity. It has everything to do with not being filled with anxiety and discontent because you don’t measure up to the success that is expected of you.

Be free. Be content. Be ordinary.

12Oct

Be Curious

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When I was in high school, I used to play at a local municipal golf course a lot. It was cheap and they didn’t require a proper dress code. I wore a printed t-shirt with jean shorts and goofy socks rolled up with tennis shoes. I had a mixed set of used clubs and an old bag. I didn’t look the type, but I knew how to hit the ball well. I also realized that my skill set was above average and I liked showing off.

Every time I went to play alone at the golf course, the starter grouped me together with people I didn’t know…mostly adults who dressed the part and had nice shiny clubs, brand-name golf bags and actual golf shoes with spikes. When I walked up to introduce myself, I saw the look in their eyes…they weren’t happy. Their assumption was that I was a beginner…just a kid that was learning how to play. They figured I would slow them down and mess up their focus due to my lack of knowledge and skills.

The most enjoyable part for me was proving them wrong and watching their frowns turn into smiles. But, it also bothered me that they judged me wrong before they even saw my swing. I always thought if they just stayed curious about me rather than making incorrect assumptions and conclusions, this world would be a better place.

Here’s a similar story from the show Ted Lasso reminding us to be curious. I love this scene so much!! “…because if they were curious, they would ask questions…like…have you played a lot of darts, Ted?”

There’s another version of curiosity that I really love. It’s called Intellectual Curiosity. Do you know who had it? I’ll let you guess based on the following quotes:

Quote #1: “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”

Quote #2: “…through learning and exploration, one can understand seemingly very complex things in one’s environment.”

Quote #3: “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”

All three single-handedly changed their industry. They revolutionized it. And a lot of it was due to their crazy amount of intellectual curiosity.

Here are the answers:

Quote #1 = Albert Einstein
Quote #2 = Steve Jobs
Quote #3 = Walt Disney

I’ll close with another interesting fact: do you know what else these 3 have in common? They were all diagnosed with DYSLEXIA.

We often think of dyslexia as a disadvantage, based on how it affects a child’s performance on standardized tests. But the truth is, outside of school it’s actually proven to be an advantage –the dyslexic brain is wired to literally see the world differently, with creativity and lateral thinking that leads to breakthroughs and solutions others might miss.

One statistic to back this up: though only about 10-20% of the total population has dyslexia, they represent about 40% of all self-made millionaires. If they can run the gauntlet of teachers telling them they’re doing it all wrong, these curious minds go out into the world and thrive.

Ending with dyslexia may feel like a twist, but actually it just reinforces the same point we’ve been making today. Look around – what have you judged a disadvantage? What might you see if you re-examined it with fresh eyes? Have a mindset to explore and you can capitalize on curiosity.

“Be curious, not judgmental.”

05Oct

How To Get Everything You Want In Life

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I did a quick search on my website through all the blogs I’ve written to see which word comes up the most. Apparently, I reference the word “success” a lot. Well, I guess in a way, we are all trying to achieve that somehow. But the bigger question is, what is it? How do you define it? And why am I referring to it so much? And not only me…why is EVERYONE so focused on chasing after it?

Well, here’s my answer. We want success because we are convinced that once we achieve it, we can get everything we want in life. 

That sounds logical. But still…what is it? What is success? Success is defined as an “accomplishment of an aim or purpose” or “the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.” Hmmmm. That sounds good, but it also leaves a lot of room for interpretation and variations among people. I bet if you ask 10 people for their definitions, you might get 10 different answers…and over time, those answers from the same people might even change..

I thought it would be helpful and interesting to see what some people have thoughtfully shared about what success means for them. Here are some real examples:

  • Success is freedom. Being able to wake up when I want to, travel where I want to, and do what I want to. (Entrepreneur)
  • Success is the inner satisfaction and peace of mind knowing you’ve done your best with what you’ve been given. (Lawyer)
  • Success is being able to tuck my kids into bed every night. (First Lady)
  • Success is how well you do what you do when no one else is looking and keep on doing it. (Self-made billionaire and philanthropist)
  • Success is having friends and just enjoying life. (75-Year-Old Man)

Me? Thanks for asking. I did this exercise once and it really helped me define and confirm what success would look like in my life. First, I wrote down my own definition of what my success would be. Then, I asked myself why this is important to me. I repeated that question 7 times to force myself to keep digging. I heard this exercise can also define your life purpose too. This is how it went for me:

  • What is my idea/definition of success? I want to have deep, rich, and meaningful relationships in my life.
  • Why is this important to me? Because life is better if you share it with others.
  • Why is that important to me? Because research shows that this is also the root and source of happiness.
  • Why is that important to me? Because I want to be happy. Don’t you?
  • Why is that important to me? Because life is short, life is hard and life is painful at times.
  • Why is that important to me? Because if you really look at it, we really need each other.
  • Why is that important to me? Because when someone genuinely cares for me, life just seems better.
  • Why is that important to me? Because then maybe if I care for someone else, their life can seem better too.
  • Why is that important to me? Because I think deep down, relationships matter the most.

A wise person once said, “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”

After doing this exercise, I hope I’ve found the right wall. My life is about continuously doing meaningful work and continuously pursuing meaningful relationships. What about you? What is your pursuit? What is the definition of success for you? Do the exercise above and please share it with me. 

Here’s to clearly defining success so we actually know when we’ve achieved it.

28Sep

Should I Follow My Passion Or Not?

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The legendary professional singer Tony Bennett has a famous quote:

“If you follow your passion, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

This idea is also solidified by none other than Oprah herself – here’s her advice:

“You’ve got to follow your passion. You’ve got to figure out what it is you love – who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.”

Are you with me so far?

But before we go any further, let’s define what passion really is. There are a lot of different definitions out there – it could be a “strong desire for or devotion to something.” But I like this definition the best…”a strong and barely controllable emotion.” It’s an emotion you exude about something that you can barely control.

Do you have something like that in your life? I can name a few. So, this totally makes sense – if you love something that much, you are going to love spending time doing it, and if that very thing can produce a lifestyle and a paycheck, it’s really true what Tony Bennett is proclaiming… you really don’t have to work a day in your life…

But, what if you are passionate about something that you are just not good at? Or, if you are just mediocre at it, or better yet, you are just not cut out for it?

Quick story. I was 5’7 inches tall in middle school. That’s 67 inches. According to the statistics about children between 11 to 13 (middle school), both genders are on average about 52 inches tall. I was 15 inches taller than the average kid. I played basketball, and just so you know, I dominated. I skyed over kids, got rebounds and had some great moves to score baskets, lots and lots of baskets. In fact, I was passionate about the game. I worked hard to become the fastest and the most versatile player on the team. And I knew, even at such a young age, that I was going to be the very first Korean NBA player ever to be given a multimillion dollar contract to play starting point guard for the Lakers. Long story short, I am now 5’8” – I have only grown an inch since then. I sat on the bench my freshman year and didn’t make the JV team the next. My basketball career was over.

My point? I couldn’t earn a paycheck from what I was passionate about. 

Here’s a third quote:

“Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you.”

Work is necessary. We must embrace the suck. And most people will understand this logic whether they are doing something they are passionate about or not. Some days, it will just feel like work and some days, it will just be hard. But the ones that knock it out of the park, the ones that reach the highest level of success, are the ones that figure out how to love it while doing it. Ones that know how to bring the passion with them.

I don’t think any of these 3 quotes are wrong. I think they should all co-exist and inspire us. And I believe we need to hear each one at a different point in our lives to help us keep moving forward. 

I am super excited to talk about some of these life concepts I’ve been learning and thinking about on our next series called “Life Lessons.” I would love to tee it up and share some of my findings and I would love to hear back about yours as well. 

So, what do you think? Should we follow our passion to make it our vocation? Or should we follow our effort? Or should we follow our talent? Or should we follow our opportunities? What would be your ultimate dream job that you would be most passionate about? Is that important? Is it overrated? Work is work? I have so many questions. I can’t wait to discuss next week’s topic. Stay tuned.

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