Why Time is Your Most Valuable Asset

Time sneaks into every decision we make.

What will you eat for dinner?

What job will you look for next?

What’s the next business idea you’ll work on?

👉 Time.

Whether it’s about career advancement, personal development, or simply choosing what to eat, time is the silent factor influencing our choices.

We often find ourselves chasing dreams with the hope that with just a bit more time, we could achieve them faster and more efficiently.

Mastery Takes Time

Consider any skill you’ve wanted to master, from professional qualifications (e.g. CMA, CPA, MBA) to hobbies like jiu-jitsu (from white to black belt takes 10 years on average).

The journey to expertise is a marathon, not a sprint.

There are no shortcuts to experience.

It’s all about putting in the hours, the practice, and, yes, making the most of the time you have.

Because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Building a business requires a time investment

Launching and nurturing a business is a prime example of time’s impact.

From acquiring sales and marketing knowledge to understanding operations, every step requires a significant time investment.

Unless you’ve had prior experience, most of us have to learn from the ground up.

My entire career was in Corporate Finance (longer story here).

And while I learned how the numbers worked in growing revenues, I didn’t know how to capture revenues.

Kind of a big deal in business.

Ultimately, it’s about dedicating the hours to learn, fail, and eventually succeed.

And only time allows for that.

Time in Decision-Making

Every choice, from the mundane (like what to eat for breakfast) to the critical (getting married and having kids), involves time.

Purchasing decisions, for example, aren’t just about what we buy but also the time spent considering our options.

“Is this healthier than this? What about that? And what about this I found on Amazon?”

Decisions take time.

Consider what’s important to you to allocate that time towards.

Time is the Ultimate Asset

Why does time matter?

Because it’s finite.

Once that hour passes, it’s gone.


Here’s a simple graphic depicting our age and lifecycle:

We’re constantly reminded to be mindful of how we spend our time, focusing on activities that bring us joy and fulfillment.

Recognizing time as our most valuable asset is the first step towards living a life aligned with our true priorities.

Family, friends, you name it.

Conclusion: Time, The Foundation of Fulfillment

Time shapes our existence, from the personal ambitions we chase to the professional goals we set.

Embracing time as a precious commodity means making conscious choices about how we spend it, who we spend it with, and what we spend it on.

Technology, mentorship, and self-investment can be powerful tools in making the most out of our limited time.

Reflect on your relationship with time and how it influences your life’s trajectory.

Remember, time is the one asset you can’t afford to waste.

Cheers 👊

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed

Tomorrow may never come.

Tomorrow may not show up.

Tomorrow is a long time.

Realizing that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed changes perspective.

Our perspective.

My perspective.

So live your best life now.

Take on new challenges.

Fight for what you believe in.

Do what you believe is right.

Stand up for what you believe is right.

Be authentic.

Be genuine.

Be curious.

Be hungry.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

So live a life so big you won’t regret it.

And then you can look back with a smile.

The passion for learning

I’ve always been a curious person growing up.

When I was little, I would stare up at the stars and wonder what those things were.

“How do I get there? Can I touch it? How far away are those stars?”

My mind was filled with imagination.

I wanted to learn how this life worked.

Going through high school and college

In my high school days, I was learning but honestly, it was mostly memorization.

I was struggling with home life, so I barely had time to think about school.

I did enough to study, get decent grades, and apply to college.

However, the real learning began in college.

In fact, I had no choice.

It was do or die for me at that period in time.

I had just lost my father, and I had no other family.

In my mind, I HAD to get a job. I HAD to make money.

I HAD to survive at all costs.

And the only way I could achieve that was by studying.

More importantly, learning everything.

So for the next 4 years, I studied feverishly. All day, every day, while at work, eating dinner, hanging with friends.

In my mind, I had ZERO doubt that was what I NEEDED to do.

I worked multiple jobs, studied all day, dreamed about how I would be successful.

I thought about how things would get easier.

I visualized it every day.

How I developed a passion for learning

Learning is a process.

Learning is a habit.

Learning is dedication.

Learning is a way of thinking.

I understood immediately that the only way I was going to survive was to level up.

I NEEDED to be smarter. I NEEDED more knowledge. I NEEDED to understand what was happening.

This, in turn, changed everything.

I started loving studying because I was learning how things worked.

From science to finance to greek mythology, I enjoyed it. Some classes less so of course 😅

But overall, I learned to enjoy the process.

I was able to make SENSE of what I was learning.

I also found that I LOVED helping and teaching others, which I still do to this day.

When you find a way to be curious and wonder how things became the way they are, that’s where true learning emerges.

You begin to enjoy the fine details.

Steve Jobs was like this.

Questions to think about to build your learning passion

The truth is we all live busy lives, so taking the time to learn can be challenging. However, it can achieved.

Start with one fundamental question, “Do I want to learn?”

We can’t begin to learn anything if we don’t have the desire to.

So ask these questions and see how you feel:

  • Do I want to learn that new skill?
  • Do I want to learn about that new job?
  • Do I want to try out that new sport?
  • Do I want to be better?

Having a desire is the first step towards the path of learning.

Enjoy the journey and process

Like everything in life, learning is a process. It’s a journey.

Learn to love it.

Learn to love every minute of it.

Things take time.

But when you do achieve something new as a result of spending time to learn, you feel amazing.

To this day, I learn everything.

I keep an open-mind to all perspectives.

I love hearing what people have to say, whether I agree or not.

So there you have it.

Keep learning, keep growing, and most importantly, have fun.

Life’s short, kick ass, and spend it with people you love.


How I Push Myself To Do Uncomfortable Things

Uncertainty is inevitable.

Fear is inevitable.

We all experience it.

But how we deal with it is a different story.

After trying and experimenting many different things over my 3 decades here on Earth, here’s what I have learned.

Are you proud of what you’ve done?

Is this who I am? Someone who doesn’t take action?

Those two phrases power me every day.

Whenever I face a difficult challenge, I ask those things.

Cold email, networking, jumping on a call, podcast, etc.

They all scared me.

BJJ, MMA, boxing, wrestling.

I’ve done these for over 20 years.

I’m still scared.

But the trick is, I ask those two questions mentioned above to get me fired up.

Is this just me?

The thing is this.

We all CAN change.

It comes down to a choice.

What choice will you make?

Remember this: whatever’s happened in the past is the past.

You CAN change.

Take action.

Be fearless.

Live without regrets.

Don’t be that person

“You’re never going to change.”

“That isn’t you.”

“We’ve been together 20 years. Don’t bother.”

“You say you want to do. But you won’t.”

“You don’t have confidence.”

Please don’t do this.

  • Don’t discourage people.
  • Don’t kill someone’s dreams.
  • Don’t put people down.
  • Don’t place insecurity onto others.

Instead, do this.

  • Be encouraging
  • Be loving
  • Be supportive
  • Be open-minded
  • Be creative
  • Be a partner
  • Be loyal
  • Be a fighter
  • Be hopeful

Be positive vs. negative.

Be supportive vs. unsupportive.

Be hopeful vs. pessimistic.

Be loving vs. uncaring.

Be open-minded vs. close-minded.

Here’s the thing.

The world is your oyster.

You never know what can happen.

So why not choose the path to happiness and exploration.

That’s how to live.

The Grind.

*Originally posted back in May 7, 2017 after leaving my corporate job

What is the “grind”?

My definition of the “grind” is the ability, determination, and willingness to push through an obstacle, despite the unnerving challenges ahead.

This can be working hard at your job to finish a project deadline, working through the Nth hour on your small business, or even anxiously pummeling your way to complete your last set of push-ups.

As a wrestler and lifelong martial artist, I’ve sustained numerous injuries, puked my share of times after practice, and generally felt like giving up.

But I would always recall the “grind”.

How could I look at myself and just quit?

How could I allow myself to just stop when the going got tough?

I can’t.

To grind through tough circumstances is what develops character, strength, heart, and dedication.

It can be hard though.

Fear, rejection, and anxiety. We all face it.

But what’s important is to remember we will endure it.

We will get past it.

You can grind through the pain.

And remember, when you do, cherish every moment.

Soak it all in.

You earned it.

Because when you take a step back, you tell yourself, “I did this. On my own”.

Grind through the circumstances.

Grind through the challenges and obstacles that lie up ahead.

You’ll be proud of yourself for having done so.

Your Belief In You

*This was originally posted on May 13, 2017

By Les Brown

“I can’t do this.”

“I’ve never done this before.”

“Why does it matter. I’ll fail anyways.”

How many times have you or someone else you know said this?

I know I have.

I’ve passed up on many opportunities due to the lack of self-belief.

But why do we think this way?

Growing up, I’ve had to be my own champion.

I had to pump myself up before big events, whether it was interviewing for a new job or competing in a grappling tournament. Rarely did I have someone nearby to say, “You can do this. Believe in yourself.”

Rather, the opposite and would go something to the effect of, “You could get hurt! Why bother? It’s a waste of time!”

I remember those moments. For whatever reason, I couldn’t get those words out of my head.

Now older, I believe more than ever we need to be our own champions.

We need to tell ourselves that it’s possible, that we have the ability to mold our circumstances, that we have to be intrinsically motivated.

We need to fight for what we want in this life.

I remember the first time I stepped into the cage for my MMA debut.

It was easily the most nerving moment of my life. I mean, I was about to step into a cage, in front of hundreds of strangers, with another man who wanted to hurt me.

I was ready to face the very real possibility that I could have my arm snapped off or be knocked unconscious. Publicly, no less.

But I also believed in myself I was ready. Why?

I had completed an eight-week training camp, sparring week in and week out with the best training partners and having the best coaches around.

I knew I prepared the best I could. I was training twice a day, 6 days a week for my fight.

I knew in my heart that regardless of the outcome, I put in the hard work and dedication. I believed in myself.

Thankfully, the result was positive. I won.

With all that said, believe in yourself.

Believe in yourself when no one else will.

We’re our own worst enemies, and more importantly, our own strongest advocates.

It’s amazing what humans can achieve when we believe in ourselves.

Remember, time flies and days become months, months become years.

Whatever is on our minds that we want to achieve, take the first step. Just take an action.

You won’t regret it.

Life’s just a series of choices

If you think about it, life’s just a series of choices.

Should I eat this? ✅/❌

Should I apply for that job? ✅/❌

Should I quit my job? ✅/❌

As you can see, when confronted with decisions we just have to make a choice.

Right or wrong.

Sure, you could say maybe.

But that just then leads to delays, indecisiveness, and lack of progress.

Here’s a great quote from Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon:

In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

The average age of death in the US is currently 78.93 (source).

Translated into days, that’s approximately 28,809.45 days to live (calculation).

In 2017 when I quit my corporate career, I deeply reflected and asked myself what I would be doing for the next 50 years.

Mindlessly crunching numbers in Excel at wee hours into the night for a cause I could careless?

Hell no.

It wasn’t until I quit my job in 2017 that I realized it was up to me to make my own choices, to pave my own path, and to take control of my decisions.

No one else was going to do that for me.

In the end, that’s all it is — choices.

Trust your gut, take a leap of faith, and push forward.

Live life, be happy.

Overcoming fear and doubt is a lifelong pursuit

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

— Les Brown

I found this quote almost 3 years ago, and it has remained one of my favorites up until this day. Something about it is just so poignant and so deeply true.

When I read this quote, I wondered “Am I living the life I want? Is this all there is to it?”

What a scary, yet brutally honest question to ask yourself.

We’re probably more similar than you think

Your life may have been like mine. My parents were first-generation Koreans who immigrated to the US from South Korea. They had no money, no extended family and couldn’t speak the English language.

All these factors led to a recipe for disaster. We may not be aware of it, but everyday people out there are constantly in fear and doubt. Check out Reddit under the depression subreddit. I lurk often because I can relate.

How tragedies change you

When I was in high school, my mother passed away when I was 16. I was frustrated, angry and depressed. I felt that there was no hope.

Then in college, I lost my father in a tragic car accident. At this point, I doubted life was worth living. I had no extended family, no one to lean on, and suddenly found myself homeless.

But deep down, I didn’t want my father’s death to be in vain. I had this burning desire in me to make him and my mother proud. I set my sights on achieving that by shifting gears and studying my ass off.

Small steps and changes in habits that helped me refocus

After what had happened, I decided to take action. Although I was scared and unsure, I knew that doing nothing would lead to nothing. I just had to move.

So day by day, I wrote in my scheduler, created detailed gameplans of what I was going to study, mapped out steps I needed to take to get a job and so on. I repeated this week in and week out.

As I continued this process, I felt more confident. The results were showing: landed my first 4.0 semester in my 2nd semester of college, landed my first internship and met a handful of mentors to help me.

I also learned how to “learn”. What I mean is, I stopped memorizing stuff. This shift changed me, and I started to take interest in what I was learning. I was excited. I felt like for the first time I enjoyed what I was doing, that I became curious.

Fear will always be there. So what will you do?

All my life I lived in fear. It was the result of my upbringing, my parents, the bullies. All of it.

When I joined the wrestling team and started taking boxing lessons, I felt less fearful. I learned that the worst thing that can happen was I got beat up a bit.

I took those lessons from wrestling and boxing, and applied it to my studies, my business, my relationships.

I refused to let fear control me.

When I competed for the first time in MMA, I felt a level of calm I never felt before in that cage. I realized, fear is just a conception of our mind. We picture fear to be this giant, ugly, scary thing–but it’s not.

All these experiences have led me to live a life of enduring challenges, learning new things, and never saying no to opportunities. Admittedly, when I was working in corporate finance, I became complacent. And it was terrible.

What are you waiting for?

We all wait for the “right” opportunities. We hope that a million bucks lands in our lap, or our bosses will promote us out of nowhere. The reality is, it doesn’t work that way.

Fear and doubt will always be there. It will be there till the day we die.

We have to control our own destiny. We have to take action, and we need to execute. We need to chase our dreams and chase things we are passionate about.

It’s not until then we get to see the world of endless possibilities.

Before I end this post, I want to share a Les Brown motivation video that I still watch to this day because it is so powerful. I hope it impacts you as much as it has for me. Enjoy!

Have No Fear by Les Brown

Don’t let your past define you – a post from 2018

Dear FutureMe,

Today is May 28th, 2018, and it is wet, cold, and cloudy outside.

It will have been 14, 12, and 9 years ago respectively since you all passed away. We were left alone, abandoned, and hopeless. And when we thought we would have relatives or family to shoulder on, no one was there. No, instead we were told we were the reasons why they died, that we were the reasons our parents didn’t raise us well. I never forgot.

But here I am, after so many years, still alive and pushing forward. I’ve shed many tears, endured many hopeless nights, and anguished in so much pain. I thought about ending my life on more than a few occasions because the pain was too much.

And yet, here I am.

In the last decade, I’ve had friendships sour, learned new skills, got married, and took on mixed martial arts (and competed). I thought I had some good connections, made friends at work, and thought I was doing right by the company. Yet, I was still laid off.

And yet, here I am.

To FutureMe, life will suck. It will continue to beat you down, shove you into the corner, and wail at you till you break. But you won’t give in, just like in the gym, regardless of the pain, the blood, the broken bones. You need to see this through, no matter how much life throws at you.

You will cry, be sad, and feel alone. But you will come out of this. And you will try to be a better person for yourself and love the people you currently have in your life.

Remember, life will always suck. But stay happy, be strong, and fight forward. Enjoy the small moments, let it soak in.

And remember, most of all, be yourself. Be happy.

Dear Me: Sometimes you bite the bullet

life struggles

Dear Me,

Sometimes, things don’t go your way. Sometimes, they end in another direction than the one you anticipated. But hey, that’s life and the trajectory towards happiness and fulfillment has never been linear.

You chase towards your goals, you have lofty expectations, and you plan to land that huge client who will bring in the revenues.

And then you don’t.

But it’s okay. Sometimes you just bite the bullet. Sometimes, sh*t happens and you have to just move forward.

It’s not easy – it never has been. But letting those things simmer inside your head isn’t healthy for you. You know what will happen if you do; you end up loafing around. And then you realize, a week or more has passed and you end up in the same spot.

So yeah, sometimes it doesn’t go your way. But that’s okay. Take the opportunity to think through what matters to you, what makes you happy and what kind of life you want to live.

Bite the bullet, and move forward now.

Dear Me: Self-reflection

Dear Me,

You’ve experienced many things in your life, you’ve endured things you hope no one else will have to, yet you’re here still. Yes, you are still here, breathing and soaking in the sun and the chilled breeze.

Remember those times growing up as a kid wondering, “Is this normal? Do all families go through this”? Remember those times when you thought you couldn’t amount to anything because, well, no one believed in you. All you were taught was to get good grades, but there was never a goal in it.

As you sit here, typing out this post, you reflect on your life and picture those dreadful days. “Did I think I would be here today”? Of course not, you didn’t have any reason to believe.

But here you are, standing strong and proud, weathering all that life has thrown at you. You were kicked on the ground constantly, begging for life to stop. But as the kicks came coming, somewhere deep down, you realized those kicks would never stop coming. So you decided in that moment – it’s time to take charge of my life.

You decided in that pivotal moment in your life that you – and only you – could make a difference in your life. That the only person who would care the most about you would be you. So you took the time to reflect and ask, “Who am I, where am I going, am I happy, what life do I want for myself, and what will my future kids and family see in me”?

In that reflection, you wrote everything down, both good and bad. You saw that you had many flaws, but also that you had many things to be proud of. But seeing everything on paper made you realize something – you had a choice. That you could right the ship, that you could be someone different, that you could make an impact on those world. That you didn’t have to be that scared kid growing up wondering, “Is this it”?

So stand tall, stand proud you told yourself. The future is unknown, but that is what makes it so beautiful. Make that future your own. Be happy and never stop pushing.

Embracing the fighter mindset

Yarty CES Fight

Yarty CES Fight

“Martial arts is not about fighting; it’s about building character.” – Bo Bennett

Everyone gets into martial arts because they want to learn how to fight. I mean, it makes sense. We want to protect ourselves and our loved ones from being hurt, and what better way than to learn some martial arts.

However, martial arts is just so much more than that. It’s more than just fighting and self-defense. As Bo Bennett so eloquently put it, its about building confidence, self-esteem, character and perseverance.

Because learning martial arts and learning how to fight is a life-long endeavor, it’s not something anyone can pick up over a 2-hour seminar.

What it means to learn how to fight

Very few things in life will teach you to be “tough”, to be mentally strong and ready to take on challenges. Too often we get crammed with life’s obligations, and when it becomes too much, we turn off. We reach for the beers, the greasy pizza, and then kick back to watch some Netflix or game on our PC’s. It then becomes a vicious cycle that repeats itself, day after day, year after year. And then we wake up, at 60 years old, realizing we wasted our lives away.

With martial arts, especially ones where you have to spar such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai, you learn to deal with your battles and problems head on. Literally…head on!

martial arts fighting

In these types of martial arts, there is no running away. Because if you quit, you’ve quit and will have to accept that reality. That’s why its so hard to stick with these activities because they challenge you physically, mentally and emotionally. Who wants to get beaten down week after week?

And that’s just the thing. You come back, day after day, week after week, year after year. You then realize that you’ve now embraced the fighter mindset. You now understand what it means to be a “fighter”, to deal with your problems head on rather than running away. Don’t get me wrong, it’s scary, it’s painful. No one wants to get hurt. But it will teach you more lessons than you could ever imagine.

My journey as a fighter and martial artist

Personally, learning how to fight and learning martial arts was one of the best decisions I made. It all began when I was younger where I would watch my favorite actors in Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan on the television screens, throwing spin kicks and tossing nun-chucks. I was so enamored in their skills, hoping that one day I too would be able to perform those moves.

But why was it important to me? Because growing up I was a victim of bullying, hazing and racial discrimination. As one of 10 Asian-Americans in my town, I was always in conflict with who I was and why people didn’t accept me. Finally, in high school I decided it was time to learn something, to be able to protect myself, and to take matters into my own hands.

fighter win

Fast forward nearly 10+ years later, I’ve competed in mixed martial arts (MMA), am currently a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (average time to black belt is 10 years), competed numerous times, and trained and sparred in a variety of arts. I’m also a martial arts personal trainer, something I truly enjoy not just because I love martial arts; but because I get to witness how it changes people’s confidence in themselves. I see myself in them.

To those ready to embrace the fighter mindset

So for those who are unsure of where they’re heading in life, to those who fear the unknown, to those who’ve been victims of bullying, I challenge you to learn martial arts. Not just martial arts, but learn to fight. Because through fighting, you’ll learn so much about yourself, what you’re capable of, and what you want out of your life.

Embrace the fighter mindset. You got this.

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Being thankful in difficult times

What’s one of the hardest things to do? Being thankful. Especially during difficult times.

It’s something I’ve personally faced many times throughout my life. How does one handle being thankful when so much around you goes wrong? The work situation doesn’t pan to your liking, your friends stop calling, your gaining weight and negative thoughts flushing in and out of your head. I’ve felt like this plenty of times.

And still do.

But I try to remind myself that, in difficult times, there are so many things to be thankful for. I’m thankful to have a wonderful wife who’s stuck by me during very painful moments in my life, times at which many others would have sprinted away from. I have a wonderful sister who isn’t afraid to challenge my thoughts and opinions (thank you!). And regardless of work situations, I’m thankful to those who helped develop my career and provided a thoughtful gesture and/or conversation.

And honestly, it’s what I needed.

I’m reminded everyday that there’s so much to be thankful and grateful for, that no matter how much life throws at you, you have people around that care. Sometimes we say, “it’s nothing personal, walk it off, stop thinking like that”. But sometimes, we need to vent and release steam. Sometimes, it’s just those simple moments that allow us to be happy, even for a moment.

I know I haven’t always done the “right” or “proper” thing, but I try my best to be genuine and humanistic. Who I am is who I am; I don’t cover it up. And this is what I convey myself even during job interviews. I’m a passionate person – I love to help people. I don’t see myself ever stop helping others.

So be thankful. Be thankful during difficult moments. And most of all, be thankful to yourself – you’re doing good. Regardless of the circumstances, we’re there for you. As am I.