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08Jul

The Finale

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It’s the last big bang! A moment that has been anticipated by the entire audience, as everything slowly crescendos throughout the show…increasing in sound, the instruments playing louder and faster, the vocals getting higher and higher, the lights are flashing, the dancing gets more frantic yet synchronized, the crowd starts to clap, then they stand, then they scream with their hands in the air…the fireworks are going off, every single shape and color…all at once. It’s the finale.

Where I live, due to the pandemic the city didn’t budget or even plan for fireworks this year, so we didn’t get to have a show. So, the last paragraph I wrote about the finale? Well, that didn’t happen. It was just another day…business as usual.

If you’ve been following my emails for the past three weeks, we’ve been on a “Dream Series.” Here’s a quick summary and the links if you missed it.

• Week 1: It All Starts with a Dream: When I first started this company, I got to do an important exercise that taught me how to dream. But not only that, I talked about writing out in detail what a perfect day would look like and what steps to take to tangibly help you get there.

• Week 2: Life Interrupted: I shared about Suleika Jaouad and how her dream was interrupted when a leukemia diagnosis gave her a 35% chance of survival…and what kept her dream alive in the midst of it, and how it re-defined for her what it means to truly “live well.”

• Week 3: If I Became Successful: What is the main contributor to one’s success: Hard work? Luck? Or both? I imagined what I would say if someone in the future ever asked me about my secret to success.

Today will be my final thought for the “Dream Series” – The Finale, if you will. Whether you are a business owner, entrepreneur, or an employee, you probably have some end goal in mind… it might be cashing out and traveling the world, or going into 100% retirement with the freedom to do whatever you want, or finally buying that giant mansion you’ve always wished for… is that the end?

I love this quote from the founder and the CEO of Numi (a 50+ million-dollar company) when asked if there’s a part of him that wants to just sell his stake in the company and start enjoying life and stop grinding away everyday. He said this: “I enjoy my life everyday. We have a great team and I feel that the balance of life is here. We want to continue to thrive. We’ve created a legacy, and we get to help educate the world and as we continue to live out our values, we get to make our planet and our world a better place.”

So, there you have it. Yes, it all started with a dream. But it doesn’t end with a dream. Our dream just continues. There’s no finale. Like a child who never gets tired of the same game – every time it ends they say, “Do it again!” It’s enjoying our life everyday. Having a great team, finding that balance, continuing to thrive, creating a legacy and helping others along the way. That defines success, and by that, we are already successful. There’s no finale, it’s just another day…business as usual.

Hope this inspires you to wake up tomorrow and say, “Let’s do it again!”

01Jul

If I Became Successful…

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Do you want to be inspired? Listen to this podcast called “How I Built This.” It’s all about taking a deep dive into the stories of some of the world’s best known companies…how it got started, what ideas led to the creation of the products or services they sell, plus the intimate, deep, personal and painful events that motivated and drove their passion – the near bankrupted failures, miraculous and serendipitous events that eventually led to huge, iconic success. Over and over again, I am amazed at the resilience and the will of human effort and hard work that accompany their incredible accomplishments. Yes, it’s very, very inspiring.

One example: did you know that Airbnb got started by a few starving college kids needing some extra cash to pay their own rent and decided to house some strangers into their apartment because all the hotels were booked for a conference that was happening in their neighborhood? They bought some cheap airbeds and called it an Air Bed & Breakfast. This simple idea eventually became a 25 billion-dollar company.

Every episode has a different takeaway and each story is unique. The host of the podcast (Guy Raz) does such an amazing job pulling out interesting and personal facts about the interviewee, with such a gift for keeping it interesting and relevant…his questions feel customized to that individual person to uncover what made them stand out and propelled them to become who they are today.

However, strangely, at the end of each episode, he always asks the same question to every interviewee, every single time, and the question goes like this: “So, with all you’ve achieved in your company and/or in your life, do you attribute your success to luck or hard work?”

Throughout the many episodes, I’ve heard all different combinations of answers. A majority of the people seem to understand that in order to have extraordinary success, you kind of need both. Some say 50/50, some say 25/75, some even say, “I don’t believe in luck, it was all hard work.”

I often wonder why this question is so significant, and why it’s worth asking every single interviewee… is there a deeper meaning behind it? My own interpretation of it is… do you attribute your success to your talents, your grit, your leadership, your idea, your intelligence, your charisma (so, basically YOU) or do you attribute your success to something bigger than yourself?

Sometimes I dream about being interviewed by Guy Raz (lol), and I think about how I would answer his last question. I’ve even practiced this in my head…I would say, “well Guy, thanks for asking. It’s a great question, and I would have to say, I know so many people that are smarter than me, I know so many people that work 10 times harder than me, I know so many people that are more charismatic, who are incredible leaders, and more creative, with more grit and more talent than I’ll ever even dream of, but that will never have the opportunity for extraordinary success…so, I can’t really take a lot of credit for it. I believe in divine appointments, fate, faith, relationships and opportunities that unpredictably lead to things beyond my imagination. And my job is to be grateful and generous.” That would be my answer.

I am curious, what would be your answer?

Rooting for you to be able to tell Guy someday! In the meantime, feel free to send me an email and let me know your thoughts.

24Jun

Life Interrupted

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I ran across this story and I just had to share it with you. Especially since we’ve been talking about dreams and goals.

Suleika Jaouad was born in New York City and attended The Juilliard School’s pre-college program for the double bass. She then earned her BA with the highest honors from Princeton University and MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College…okay, okay, she was super brilliant, accomplished, and had an amazing future and career ahead… and not only that, she also worked on various human rights campaigns for the Center for Constitutional Rights, and studied abroad in Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt where she researched and wrote about women’s issues. Basically, she was awesome!

But her future career aspirations were cut short when at age 22, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Doctors estimated she had a 35% chance of long-term survival. She would spend the next four years in the hospital. While receiving treatment, she began writing a column for The New York Times, which eventually became the Emmy award-winning video series called “Life, Interrupted.”

This is where her story truly begins. When the column was published, she started getting many emails and letters from people who were deeply touched by her story, and wanted to share stories of their own. This correspondence with the people she didn’t even know became so meaningful to her that she started keeping these letters in a little wooden box.

She talked about a woman she met briefly at a non-profit called First Descents, an outdoor adventure camp for kids with cancer. Her nickname was Salsa, and she was the camp mom who was in charge of nurturing and loving these kids. When she found out that Suleika was in the hospital, she wrote her a letter asking her to come to visit her and her family to go horseback riding at their beautiful ranch in Montana when she got well. This letter was added to the little wooden box. She said she kept it because it just seemed so far away and almost impossible. But she would just daydream about it hoping that one day, it would become a reality.

Not only did she finally take that trip to Montana, but the letters she kept in her little box eventually became the itinerary for her 100-day-15,000-mile road trip to meet and encounter the people behind the stories who helped her move forward and realize what a real hero’s journey looks like.

Life is unpredictable. As Suleika says in her TED talk: “Every single one of us will have our life interrupted. Whether it’s by the ripcord of a diagnosis, or some other kind of heartbreak or trauma that brings us to our knees. We need to find ways to live in between…”

To truly “live well” or “be well” or “to live the dream” is to be ALIVE in the messiest, richest, most painful, and even most joyful of circumstances.

I hope this interruption in your day helps you be present to focus on what matters.

17Jun

It All Starts with a Dream

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When I was in year two of my business, I realized that I needed some wisdom on how to strategize my growth and figure out how to get there. So, I decided to hire a business consultant/coach to help me. After our first meeting of going over our expectations and goals for the next few months, he gave me my first assignment.

Write out my dream.

He told me not to write it out as a list of things to check off (like a new year resolution format), but to write it out as a paragraph. And in this paragraph, imagine this: In the near future, you are getting ready for bed. Right before your head hits the pillow, you think to yourself “Today was a perfect day, I am truly living my dream.” Now, write down why you think you are living your dream. Write down, where are you living? what did you do all day? what emotions are you feeling? What are you going to do tomorrow? What did you eat for dinner? Who are you with? What is your relationship like? How much money are you making? Who are you impacting?

This was a fun but important exercise to set the foundation in place to dream. But dreams are just dreams. It’s something amazing you can create in your imagination…something you wish to do, something you wish to be or something you wish to achieve someday. And dreams can get you excited and make you feel alive and even motivated to work hard. But the big question is, how do we reach that dream? There really is a way to make your dream come true in a tangible way. How? By setting goals.

We spent the next few months coming up with practical steps and goals to reach. This is where the hard work, endurance and patience comes in. But, this is also where your entire journey begins. I can tell you that after almost eight years of grit and hard work, I am nowhere near my “perfect” day and life that I had written out during that first assignment. But I can tell you that without that dream in mind, I would have never lasted this long and had such a blast along the way. In a strange way, I am finding life in the process and finding purpose along this journey.

Jordan Spieth is a professional golfer known to be the 2nd youngest (behind Tiger Woods of course) to win the Masters at age 21. Ever since he could walk and talk, his dream was to play golf professionally and one day win the Masters. There’s a video of him at 14 talking about it. Not only that, he went on to earn 15 professional wins and three major championships. During a recent interview, he was asked when he knew that he had finally “made it”. He said the success happened so gradually that he didn’t really know the gravity of it. Even after he won the Masters, he really didn’t know how his life would be any different….until…he walked into a restaurant for a casual dinner the next day. He said as he walked in, the entire restaurant stood up on their feet and gave him a standing ovation. He couldn’t believe it. It hit him then that his dream had become a reality.

Three things that I hope for you:

1. Dream. Because, it all starts from there.
2. Set goals to reach that dream. Work hard and enjoy the journey.
3. Walk into a random restaurant and see if anyone recognizes you. LOL. If not, keep working and keep enjoying the journey.

I would love to hear about your dream. Reply to this email and send me your dream paragraph. I will send you mine.

Let’s dream together.

21Jan

Continuing The Dream

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of our heroes, so we wanted to take a minute and honor his legacy this week.

If you look closely at the heart of BOS Media, you can actually see some subtle little tributes to MLK everywhere.

On our website, the first thing you see are these words:

“It all starts with a dream.”

It echoes one of the most famous speeches in history, a reminder that every good thing we want to accomplish starts as an idea. Our life’s work is about helping those dreams become reality – hopefully in ways that are more than just about making money, but making a difference in the world.

Plus there’s an important quote that you may have seen this week – LeBron James even wrote it on his shoes when the Lakers played on MLK Day:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

That’s part of why our BOS Media podcast is called, “Make it Matter.” We believe in CONVERSATION – our ideas become real as we sit together and talk about the most meaningful aspects of life.

This is especially important when issues arise that feel undiscussable – as Patrick Lencioni says in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, being willing to speak up with candor is part of maintaining a healthy organization, or even a healthy family. One of the rules we live by in our house is, “We can talk about anything” – we want that to be true of every table we gather around.

If we do this right, honoring MLK’s legacy is not just about this week. Our hope is that this shapes everything we do at BOS Media and throughout our lives.

Here’s to keeping the dream alive together!

27Jan

2020 Vision

Someone complained the other day about seeing way too many puns out there about having the perfect vision for the year 2020. So, you know what we say to that? We say, “here’s to the perfect vision for the year 2020!”. We know everyone goes into January with big dreams of making this the best year ever…and we do too! That’s a good thing. Don’t be cynical – let’s get our hopes up again, this is our year!

We are going to share 3 words for 2020 that can help you have the best year ever. Let’s unpack it together and get ready to be inspired, energized and excited for this year to unfold. It’s up to you. So, let’s make it matter.

Here’s our latest podcast episode #5

Are you a frequent podcast listener?

If you are, you can find us at the links below, please make sure to subscribe and share. We would also love to hear from you, so, just leave us a comment on the iTunes review or contact us here directly. In the meantime, thank you so much for being here and remember to always MAKE IT MATTER. 

06Jul

Hey, It’s My Birthday and I am Getting a Tattoo

“Hey, it’s my birthday and I am getting a tattoo of a Suzuki Logo on my arm!” – said no one, ever!

I can’t believe it’s already been three years since my new adventures of entrepreneurship. For me, it’s about no more bosses, no more vacation request forms, no more phone calls explaining why I’ll be late coming in and no more working twice as hard just to be under-valued and unappreciated…

But freedom from the 9-5 also comes with a price. How about a 60-80 hour work week with no guaranteed overtime pay? How about living with a constant reminder that the next paycheck has to be fought for and won? How about your weekends and vacation time with your laptop fully charged looking for the nearest wifi to respond with project updates? There are pros and cons to every road you take and rewards and suffering with each path you choose. Each decision can result in self doubt and envy of the “grass being greener on the other side”.

Whether you are a 9-5’r or an entrepreneur, the most important aspect of your own health, happiness and fulfillment depends on your purpose and your “why”.

Ok, if you just read through that without any reaction or your heart pounding, you didn’t read it right. So, I’ll say it again…Your own health, happiness and fulfillment depends on your PURPOSE! I heard this next quote a long time ago when I was in high school and I’ll never forget it. “Living without a purpose is worse than not living at all.”

The purpose of any business should be to help change people, to help change them from one thing to something else. You can help change people from being unsatisfied, unfocused and unmotivated to thriving, adventurous and passionate people living out their full dream.

Great example of this is Harley Davidson. They helped satisfy the craving of the overworked and stressed out successful businessman who yearned for a safe rebellion, new adventure and the promise of the open road. So much so that consumers of Harley Davidson were even willing to get a permanent tattoo of the logo that got them there.

“If all you want is transport, buy a Suzuki, no one gets a Suzuki tattoo.” -Seth Godin

The problem is that we (me included) lose our focus and our purpose in the midst of running and operating our business. The day to day of putting out the fires, trying to satisfy every client and the constant hustle for our next project can wear you down. We must learn to step back and remind ourselves why we do what we do. What is our purpose? How are we helping change others? So, here’s me stepping back and reminding myself why I do what I do…

I help people reach their dream. We all have dreams, we just don’t know all the steps to get there. Most people get stuck and stop moving forward in their dream because they run into a technical difficulty…how do I create a brand? What about a website? How do I communicate my dream and broadcast it to the world? How do I get people to know me and my new business so I can help them? These are the questions that I can help answer and help implement so that you can continue on in reaching your dream.

So, what is your dream? What is your purpose or your “why” in that dream that you have? How will this dream help others? What steps will you take in fulfilling it? People instinctively look for meaning; they look for something to believe in and rally around. In a world where most businesses focus only on growth and sales, the opportunity to serve people on a deeper level is wide open. The results can be amazing! And yes, growth and sales often follow suit.

Whatever your dream is, I hope it leads to a permanent mark on the people that you will serve…a tattoo perhaps. LOL.

10Feb

What the Father Said Changed Everything

Well, it’s February, and if you are like me, you’ve made your New Year’s Resolutions before the year began. And if you are like 95% of people who made New Year’s Resolutions, you’ve already broken most of them by now. Ouch.

I just heard this story, and it inspired me to write. It’s about a father and his daughter running the Boston Marathon. The male my age would have to run 26.2 miles in less than 3:25 hours to qualify for the race. That’s running less than a 7:50 minute pace. That’s really fast. I currently run a 10 minute pace. That’s really slow, but don’t judge.

Heartbreak Hill is a 88 feet vertical rise from an elevation of 148 feet to 236 feet, it comes during the last phase of the race between the mile 20 and 21 mark. Conveniently, this is also a time where a runner’s muscle glycogen storage is most likely to be depleted…a phrase referred to by marathoners as “hitting the wall.” (Data stolen from Wikipedia AND personally experienced). This is where we figure out what lies deep within us. With complete physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, and knowing there are still 5-6 miles left to go, what’s going to get us there?

At Heartbreak Hill, the daughter catches her breath and asks her father, “this is so hard, why are we doing this again? Without missing a beat, the father replies with the most profound answer….wait for it…. “We are practicing not quitting.”

Perseverance is one of the most important skills you can have as an entrepreneur. And it’s just that, a skill. Some are naturally talented in this skill. Some are not. But just like anything else, we need to practice to continue developing our skills to persevere, to endure, to NOT QUIT. How? Here are some ways to overcome quitting.

  • Watch someone do something impossible: I don’t know about you, but I love hearing stories about each entrepreneur and what they’ve endured to get to where they are today. Small milestones in my own life which have redirected my paths were inspired by people I’ve met and from the stories I’ve heard. I’ve even gotten to watch close friends endure through the pain and got to experience, first-hand, the triumph that came after. It’s inspiring! Seek out the stories that will inspire you. I do this everyday through videos, podcasts and books. I hunger for it; I need it to keep me going.
  • It’s just around the corner: We don’t know what we don’t know. But what if we knew it was just around the corner? Sometimes our biggest deals are one phone call away or just one meeting away. I don’t want to miss it. Stay positive and practice not quitting. Because today might be that day, if not, it could be tomorrow.
  • Think about the why: Without knowing the “why” we can get lost in the journey. The marathon father knew the “why”, it was to help him and his daughter grow in their skill of “not quitting.” Maybe he knew that this skill, if mastered, would be a game-changer for him and his daughter. Maybe he knew that this skill, if mastered, would affect the outcome of his business, his relationships and his own success. Isn’t that what we are all hoping for? “Why” is our motivator, our roadmap and our guide to getting us there. Know your “why”.

It’s February. It’s time to buckle-up and re-motivate ourselves to finish the race. It’s just the beginning, but let’s start the momentum today, and let’s have a strong tomorrow. Let’s look for opportunities around the corner, and let’s figure out WHY we are going there. What’s at the end of the finish line? Is it worth our pain? Is it worth NOT QUITTING for?

27Nov

Grateful People are Happy People

Are happy people grateful people? It makes sense. When you are happy, you are grateful, right? Not really. I think we all know people that have everything that you would think to make them happy, but they are not happy, and they are certainly not grateful. On the other hand, we also know people that have experienced everything that would make them unhappy, but they seem to remain happy.

It turns out that study after study of looking at human behavior and psychology, people that are grateful tends to be happier. So the more accurate statement would be, “Grateful people are Happy People”. No matter what circumstances come your way, if you remain grateful, you become a happier person.

“In daily life, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”

I am grateful this morning. Thanksgiving has always been a day to reflect on my own life to give thanks to those who I’ve come to know this year. So, a special shoutout from me to you, THANK YOU for your continued partnership and for allowing BOS to be a part of your success! I am so grateful for you.

Hanju Lee
BOS Media Group

 

24Oct

Are You a Puzzle Builder or a Quilt Maker?

I parked today at the beach. If you knew me, one thing I don’t carry around is loose change. This has been my problem for years. I need to park, but I don’t have change. I even came up with a simple solution of carrying rolls of quarters in my glove department of my car, but once it ran out…who’s got time to re-fill it? Not me. So, I keep running into the same problem…no change – no parking. I envision that someday, one beautiful day, I will be able to park at a meter and not have to bend over with my iphone flashlight to look underneath my seat for a couple of loose quarters.

That day was today. I went to my favorite spot this morning for a run. I boldly parked in front of the meter, pulled out my iphone, clicked on my parking meter app, punched in my meter number, chose my minutes and off I went. In fact, when the time was about to run out, my app gave me a quick alert and asked me if I wanted to add more time. I was already near my car so I said to my phone, “no, but thank you and I love you.” Just kidding, I didn’t say that out loud, that was just my inside voice.

The truth is that this parking meter solution started with Imagination (ability to envision things that don’t exist) moved on to Innovation (applying creativity to come up with a unique solution) and ended with Entrepreneurship (applying innovation to bring ideas to life to the rest of the world). Tina Seelig, the executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, talks about how this is the “Inventure Cycle”: capturing the attitudes and actions necessary to foster and bring breakthrough ideas to the world. Simply put, we are just one idea away. But we need to turn that idea into action. And while actively pursuing, we must have persistence and inspire others along the way. That’s entrepreneurship. It doesn’t matter where we work or what we do, if we possess the character of persistence and we are able to inspire others, we are entrepreneurs.

So the puzzle and quilt thing…there are two kinds of people: one who builds puzzles and the one who makes quilts. The one who builds the puzzles looks at the box cover to see exactly what their life is supposed to look like and they put the pieces together to achieve it. But, what if there’s a piece missing? They stand paralyzed and frustrated, not being able to complete the puzzle. Then there are the ones who make quilts. They take all things at their disposal and put them together to create solutions to their problems. They live with imagination, apply creativity and innovation to solve problems. Then they put their innovation into action, and with persistence, they inspire the city of Newport Beach to put their devices on every parking meter which then inspires me to download the app on my iphone so that I can go running without loose change.

Let’s make quilts together, it’ll be fun!

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