While I shared a bit of this with my friends and family, I’ve omitted some somewhat private info and left most of the thoughts I feel might be good for the world to see. Frankly, as my journey continues to become more public, I’m finding that it’s o.k. to share a considerable amount to the world who may find themselves in this batch of “good peoples” I hope will surround me. Happy 2021!
This past year deserves a good swift “get out of my life” kick in the pants! As a result, this is my part at doing it in spite of it being one helluva “365 days.”
realizing how “rich” I truly am
priorities w/ relationships
new faces & hearts I’ve been blessed in crossing paths
the 19+ year journey continues
I don’t do these every year. When I can, it’s my small way of sharing what’s going on in our lives; would love to get one from you!
As you know, my last name is “Na.” In hangul, it’s 나. In Korean, it means “me” informally. 나 want to do. 나 in pain. 나 am happy. These are poor examples, but I hope you get the point. So, when you hear in a song “나나나” again … just think of “me, me, me” or “Brandon, Kade & Kamden.” Ha, ha, ha. Or should I say again 나, 나, 나?
Just finished 1000 km
Yup, I can’t believe it myself, but one of the activities I hated the most growing up, happened the most this past year. More on it below in “believe.”
Wealth is not measured in dollars
This year, I realized I’m richer than anyone I know — in “real”ationships. I’ve stopped counting in dollars & started tallying high quality conversations. It’s not about reaching $1 mill or $1 bill. It’s about taking each zoom call, one at a time.
And if you know me, I’m not counting, but I’m appreciating each conversation.
This year I said goodbye to 2 good friends — it’s o.k.
Focusing on who matter
2020’s been a brutal year, but it’s also reminded me of who is important. First and foremost, my parents. I am lucky that their love has gotten me to where I am. Sure, they did some crazy things to me growing up, but ultimately, they’re the reason I’m alive. They could have aborted like my mom did with multiple others, from what I learned. I was lucky. I’m alive.
And my 86 yo Aunt. She’s the reason why we’re in the states. So, I’ll do my best to spend as much time as I can with her — that’s most of the reason why I flew up to Seattle this past Thanksgiving.
Also, I’ve been helping my mom’s dream come true of me broadcasting once again. After my stint as the drive time host for BeFM in Korea, I’ve launched a podcast called EduK8 haven’t some absolutely amazing guests from Emily Carrion to her husband Lazaro and my old Expedia Co-worker now future Elon Musk Honor to my 40 year educator friend Bob. It’s been an incredible time with each of them getting to know them better than ever and talking about a subject that needs improvement.
More than ever, Education needs to change. Covid shed light on it, but honestly, it’s been needing improvement for years. And my show is an attempt to partially fix it. After doing it for another 1-4 years, I’m thinking, I’m going to launch a venture in the field. I’m not going to let my 10+ years of actively working in it and 20+ years of seeing it first hand with my sons and 30+ years of experiencing it my life go to waste.
While I’m focused on the people closest to me and prioritize them highly, I’m adding a few to the list and it’s because I’ve allowed myself to meet some absolutely wonderful souls. As I mentioned Jen has graced us with her support because she understands the journey more than most. I’ve met some absolutely astounding founders including Kwame & Claudius and reconnecting with past friends like Nick. I had the fortune to get to know 30 under 30 Sara Itucas who’s graced my little group of entrepreneurs ( Rosalinda, Margie & Tina) with her mentorship. Charles and Derek have also been incredible new friends in the startup space. My friend Steph who runs AdmitSee introduced us to her main architect & he’s been supporting us in amazing ways.
And before most of these new relationships blossomed, old relationships reignited and helped us in so many ways. I have to thank Peter Yoon, who I used to work in the Daechi district of Seoul — considered the most intense education center in the world. Peter helped our company get its first legs and did so many things for so little money. He charged me for 4 hours a week, but easily put in 20. He introduced us to his most amazing wife Liz who works for one of the coolest design firms in the country more people should know.
On a related note, I “believed” I could run 82 miles or 131+ km in two weeks. After I realized I was about that much away from 1000 km a little over a week ago, I embarked on the most painful set of runs I’ve ever done.
You see, I would have to run 11.7 miles a day (or 4.8 MORE kilometers than I have ever run in a single day)!!! I would have to do this 7 times over the next 2 weeks. Could I do it? The answer is here.
Not sure if I’ve shared this, but 2019 was one of my worst. I couldn’t get myself to continue running after attempting to start about ironically 7 times. My stomach has been a little off over the past 5 years or so where it gets so hungry, it starts to feel like it’s literally eating away at things inside. I probably should get it checked out, but every time I go to the doctor, they say the same thing: let’s run some tests and after we get them back, it’s usually “You’re o.k. Just exercise and eat healthy.” LOL
In December of 2019, I literally thought I had prostate cancer (esp after my homeopathic doctor had said I have “nodules”). The urologist in January said, “Nope. You’re o.k. Just exercise and eat healthy.” After the emasculation, I was relieved (I know — any guy reading these words together must be ROFL).
Shortly before this little episode, I also had thoughts about the last 5 minutes of life. All the thoughts that Seneca had in “How to Die,” or Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” or Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air” had become so clear that I decided moving forward, I would live every moment I could as if it were my last.
This revelation helped me start WheniLeave.com. This revelation helped me call my boss a coward (yah, I’m surprised I still have a day job). This newfound “belief” let me truly become stronger than ever.
As a result, it wasn’t impossible to achieve my last goal of the year. As I prepare for this email to send on the last day of this year, I am only 10 km away (or ~1.5 to 2 miles less than any run for the past week).
I have a feeling I’m getting there.
Happy 2021! You are much appreciated. And I know you can achieve anything you want. If you don’t believe it, at least tell the youth of our world that they CAN!!
And be safe and well. “Health is wealth,” as my friend D says.
p.p.s. We would love it if you can add $1 to our crowdfunding campaign. The more “votes” we have, the higher the chance we have in getting VC funds later. We’ve been fortunate with what’s already there, but I think having a larger number of “backers” will be a great signal moving into 2021.
More than a 1/4 century later, I land back in the City of Angels – to stay.
This time, it may be much longer than that incredible summer I had as a young, naive 22 year old — fresh out of college. I am joined by my older twin, who is just 3 years younger, while his younger brother is building his Kpop career in Seoul.
On a drive up Crenshaw Blvd on the way to H Mart in Koreatown, I pondered how this time is much different from that summer of 1993. The world has completely “changed” (mentally) having experienced the depths and highs of life and having lived in 4 other grand cities other than L.A. for extended periods (Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai & New York).
Having my older child with me might also be why I’m a wee bit more conservative this time around. Being (potentially) “wiser” may be why I have already formulated some immediate thoughts as to what the city represents to me now:
As most successful entrepreneurs experience, you get “very busy” with building your company even though you would love to tap into some valuable resources along the way. My friend Trenton Erker suggested I read the “Morning Brew” and I have been trying. However, it comes in just as fast as my WSJ emails along with a handful of other great summaries. So, I’m simply not able to process it all, every day. However, there will be days where I have more time and for them, I’ve decided, I’m going to simply copy and paste some of this great content below.
Great snapshots of economic/startup history
You see, they aren’t always JUST relevant for the days they are published. Eventually, they will be good glimpses into our recent history and maybe even longer term history. While they are granular in that they focus on the most recent news all in one email (i.e., content that will ideally be simply about “today”), they have larger points that could be interpreted as the “news of the time.” The Morning Brew likes to take a few topics, if not just one at a time — thus, the very interesting “perspective” I was hoping to get.
If you’ve been invited to a podcast that uses the Anchor app to produce the show, you may wonder how it works. Depending on your level of comfort with today’s apps and podcast solutions, these instructions may be anything from confusing to as simple as drinking water.
Instructions for guest interviews using the Anchor (Podcast) App
The Podcast host will send you an invite from her/his side asking to send you, the interviewee, an invite/link via multiple medium. S/he will will click “invite friends to join.”
There are so many mediums that are available today, Anchor provides multiple ways of reaching out to you, the guest: users who already have the app and are ready to go, text messages, twitter, facebook, and all the other default apps or media that your phone lets you select when clicking on … More. Continue reading “How to be an Interviewee for an Anchor App Podcast”
On a recent jog, I pondered what might be the “new normal” after the deadly breakout of the corona virus. I felt several larger trendswould emerge.
Given that I’m buried in search data daily, I have insight that many others aren’t regularly monitoring. A few of them are exhibited here on Google Trends. (note: this link is not semantically friendly which leads me to believe this may die at some point. FYI, this link lives currently under the main “google trends” when you visit the homepage).
Examples include these 4 topics which “broke out” in the thousands of percentage points++ on the dates delineated.
Note: The recent stock market volatility has stripped some of the riches of these top10:
At top, the “South Korean business magnate and the chairman of Samsung Group” Lee, Kun-hee is still #1. In Korean, his name is spelled “이건희” and in “Hanja,” he’s 李健熙.
He’s worth a cool $15.4 billion dollars (as of 3/26/20)
#2Seo Jung-jin – $6.9 billion
Not to get confused with the soccer player, this tycoon is CEO of Celltrion, a biopharmaceutical company which develops drugs to treat cancer, influenza and rheumatoid arthritis, among others. Probably a good time to be in his industry, eh?
#3 is Kim Jung-ju, founder of South Korean online-gaming company Nexon; he is chairman of its holding company NXC. His current net worth is $6.5 bill.
non-conformist, rebel and a deviant are what are currently defined as “someone who doesn’t follow the rules.” (at least according to google’s search results)
Historically, there have been many trendsetters and pioneers that were originally disdained for “sticking out” or disobeying what society or even some small group they may have belonged to. Today, more than ever, there will be and have been some amazing people who have been brave and literally failed to conform to what society or more conservative types may have deemed appropriate. Nevertheless, here are some of the nouns that people associate with people who “fail” to follow the rules:
nonconformist – this entry popped up #1 when I searched “person who doesn’t follow the rules” Vocabulary.com secured the featured snippet space with: “nonconformist. A nonconformist is someone who doesn’t conform to other people’s ideas of how things should be.”