Min Park // Ep 36 // Hustling Through Food, Community and Passion

Welcome to Episode 36 of the Asian Hustle Network Podcast! We are very excited to have Min Park on this week's episode.

We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
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Min Park is an investment banker at JPMorgan and also is CFO of Rooster & Rice, a growing restaurant chain out of the Bay Area.  He has worked in finance for over 10+ years covering technology companies and at the same time, has expanded and used his finance expertise to help pivot this restaurant chain and help it survive in the evolving technology landscape and the current COVID19 environment.  His business partners include Jason Wang and Shawn Tsao, co-founders of Caviar, the food delivery app which sold to Square in 2014.

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Intro: (00:00:00) Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, My name is Bryan. 

And my name is Maggie 

And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asiansto pursue their dreams and goals.

We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.

Maggie: (00:00:23) Hello everyone. Welcome to the Asian hustle network podcast. Today we have a very special guest. His name is Min park and he is an investment banker at JP Morgan. And also is CFO of rooster and rice, a growing restaurant chain out of the Bay area. He has worked in finance for over 10 plus years covering technology companies. And at the same time has expanded and used his finance expertise to help pivot this restaurant chain and help it survive in the evolving technology landscape. And to the current COVID-19 environment, his business partners include Jason Wang and Sean Sal co-founders of caviar, the food delivery app, which sold to square in 2014, Min welcome to the show. 


Min: (00:01:05)  Okay. Thanks guys. Wow. Maggie, you have like a perfect podcast voice.

Maggie: (00:01:10) Thank you. Thank you. I have been practicing all day.

Bryan: (00:01:14) And so what was your upbringing life like? How’d you how’d you get all these strong values that you got to create all your businesses that you’re doing right now.


Min: (00:01:25) Oh, yeah, sure. Um, I, I mean, I, I’m an only child. Uh, I’ve lived in the Bay area for almost the entirety of my life. Uh, my turns, you know, we’re immigrants here. Uh, they. You know, like my, my dad was a very traditional, I think like immigrant of that time, or, you know, he’d bounced around from company to company. It was very difficult for him to, you know, succeed in the American cultural barrier. Um, and the American workplace when, like he just grew up being Korean. So like, you know, like, you know, like one of the funny things, like, I think like a stereotype for Koreans is that they have like a high Hawn, like a high temper. And I just remember as a child, like. My dad would just get fired like all the time, because like in Korea, like it’s socially acceptable to kind of like yell and like kind of get mad. And like, when you have like a common like disagreement and then in America, you know, like that’s not really the way, right. You usually like try to resolve it, avoid conflict and stuff like that. So he never was like a match for it. I remember when I was like 10 years old, my mom and dad had this huge fight. He, uh, cashed in the 401k. Dan told my mom quit his job on the same day and blocked this like shack and Sunnyvale. And, uh, I, I grew up, I grew up around there and he bought a shack and he was like, I’m going to flip this house. And my mom was like, What do you know about flipping houses? He was an accountant and his, his parents own the restaurant. And so he didn’t know anything about that. So, and this was like, really pre-internet. I mean, I’m going to like date myself. Like there was like no Google, even back then. And, um, so he just like went around and like, Ask these people to like show him the ropes and his first flip looked pretty bad and he still was able to do it and like made a little bit of money and then he did it again and again and again, and it was a pretty amazing like, uh, he like, you know, like was able to like put me through school and like do all that stuff. And like, it was just like a trait that he learned and like a very like hustling way, like very indicative of a lot of our members on Asian hustle network. And then. But, you know, like being the kid in that environment and like, just seeing like all of like the lack of structure and like all that stuff. Um, you know, for me, it was like very volatile and, you know, when I approach kind of like the way I do my business dealings, like, you know, I, I kinda grew up. Asian-American so, uh, I kinda like, know what, like my dad is good at, at like the hustling side. And then I was able to like, apply it in a systemic way to kind of succeed in like corporate America also helps me like evaluate, uh, you know, businesses like were stern. Rice was, um, a big investment for us. And, um, I wanted to make sure, like, I could recognize what’s cycling versus like, what’s like, you know, kind of like. Of high integrity and like what people could do in a tough situation. Cause I often had that growing up, so yeah. Uh that’s that’s kinda like how that transpired.


Bryan: (00:04:36) Wow. Awesome. To hear. I had no idea, like your dad was a house flipper too. That’s awesome to hear, you know?


Min: (00:04:42) Yeah, yeah. I mean the worst moment for sure. Well, I’m, we’re kind of like in the midst of a recession right now though, you know, Bay area and tech and IPO market Airbnb BNB going out today is just like insane. Um, you know, as in like 2008, 2009, I was going to go work as an investment banker at a bank that no longer exists. Um, I, I thought I had my job secure the whole time. I even graduated a semester early and then, uh, I lost it before it started. Cause the firm went under and then, um, my dad had all these properties. Right. And he bought them like in the, in a day where like mortgages were easier to get low downs and like, uh, the values like went underwater. So for like three years in the recession, I was able to find a corporate job. But I mean, like I was just helping my dad kind of like float those. So yeah. She doesn’t really do that anymore. He’s more of like a handyman now he like kind of retired from the flipping game, but yeah, that was, that was a long time. It sounds like a stressful time.


Maggie: (00:05:43) Well, so why are you, uh, helping out your dad? Did he ever expect you to kind of like take you under his wing? Like, did they have any expectations of like what kind of industry you would go in or were they really laid back? Like you can, do you know what your passion, where your passion lies?


Min: (00:05:56) Yeah, I think, uh, my, my dad. When I was like in high school, he, uh, took me to one of his projects and it was like a painting project for one of his, uh, and I took like all the way up to AP Spanish. So I was like semi fluent and a lot of like, uh, his employees spoke Spanish. So I was like able to kind of like, kind of like bridge the language gap from my dad to them. And then, uh, but you know, like I was like my dad’s son, the owner’s son, so they like kind of mess with me. So. The first day, um, they were all wearing like hats. Um, cause we were like painting like a roof and like, uh, no one told me why they were all wearing hats. If that was just like sunny. And uh, by the end of the day, I had all this paint in my hair and it was like semi-permanent and Oh shoot. Like that was like, kinda like less than one. And then I was just like, not good at it. I mean, like, I think it was like a good trial, um, to definitely see like if I could like. Do it. And I think my dad always like, wondered like, Oh, how come they’re going to corporate America? Corporate America sucks. I like made pretty much all my money doing, going the entrepreneurial route. And I’m like, you know, like, I, I think they’re like, Pluses and minuses to both. And, uh, yeah, so, so it’s, it’s funny. Cause like we’ll like look at the exact same situation and like, now that I’m older, he’ll be like, yeah, all you have to do this as like, you just have to like take this guy out for dinner and like make sure, like, he feels the referral love and I’m like, I’m not going to do that. That’s like a government person. I’m not going to do that. Yeah. So, um, Yeah, I think they probably had like one idea that worked for them, but like it quickly, like they kind of accepted the fact that like, you know, like we’re very different on that.


Bryan: (00:07:41) Yeah. Wow. That’s pretty awesome to hear, man. I never realized you had that kind of upbringing. Yeah.


Maggie: (00:07:51) Oh, and so, yeah, I would love to know, like, how did you get started in food? You know, you were at JP Morgan and then now, you know, you’re the CFO of Rista and rice. How did that all start?

Min: (00:08:03) Yeah, sure. So, um, it really transpired, um, I was working at a different bank before JP Morgan. And, um, you know, you were kind of like, like two of my friends started caviar. Um, I still remember their first offices and you know, it was right across the office from my corporate job. And we were friends for such a long time and, you know, like it was, it was pretty crazy. Right. And then. I, they, they took no salary, you know, like I live off of like what they, what they killed and like, you know, eventually had a great exit to square and, you know, like, but they, they, they, and then when they exited, they wanted to make these investments, but there are tech guys. So, you know, like, like structuring the deal and figuring out like how to make it like tax friendly and legally. You know, like how to best like finance it with debt or equity, you know, they needed some help with that. So I helped him with some of the food deals. Um, we went to bond Chon in San Jose as well, and that was an M and a so, um, yeah. And then, and then Rushern rice came up and I love Rushern rice. Um, we were kind of like. Contemplating doing a chicken and rice restaurant at the time we had a couple of stores open, but, um, we had some kind of like, uh, issues, uh, with, with that project. So we thought it would be best to combine then, you know, like for all of us, like, no matter what fields we’re in, they’re in tech, I’m in finance. We just love restaurants. I mean, Restaurants are great. Even in the pandemic. Like I know like a lot of people think like, definitely restaurants are like suffering right from like, not having in-person dining, but like a lot of things like people can’t go anywhere. So they really look forward to like, ordering, like take out and that’s like, Like, they’re very exciting moment of the week, you know, for Friday. And, um, I think restaurants just like continue to like, provide like a tangible emotion. My dad’s family owned a restaurant, my wife’s family owned a restaurant in Wisconsin and, you know, like everyone remembers celebrating at restaurants, having their first day doing all that stuff. Then, you know, like, could you like. Help restaurants, which have historically low margins, like adapt to like, you know, like the changing technologies. I mean, there weren’t Ashlynn public yesterday, you know, they’re like over like $70 billion market cap, obviously there’s like money to be made in restaurants. So how do you like. Help restaurants like embrace technology and do that. And that’s what, like me and my business partner try to do fruition or nice.


Bryan: (00:10:39) Well, that is very cool. If you’re hear all about that, you know, and kind of curious too, like, what are your opinions about working with close friends and family in terms of, for business? We hear a lot of mixed things and our previous podcast about no with your friends, I’m working in family, but here you are like, these are close friends.So you guys are doing business with. Okay. How has that affected your friendship and your relationship and everything?


Min: (00:11:04) Oh man. I mean, like, like with my caviar business partners, I mean, they already have like one round of it. Right? Like they have their founders and caviar that they were like all close with and went through that experience with, so for us on like the, you know, like investments in restaurant side now, um, I mean, I think it’s awesome. Like comparatively, like, I think like a lot of people in the Asian hustle network and, and in general, like they start to kind of like, realize like, you know, like corporate America is fine, but like, you know, the idea of it, right? Like back in the seventies, you just work at a company for 40 years, you get a pension and that’s fine. You can like live. Well, I think like you start to really see where like society has gone. And if you do that now, like you’ll probably working for like 60 years because things are just so expensive and you’re middle income or middle American, like corporate. Income just won’t be enough to keep up. So you’re almost like almost everyone I’m sure. Kind of goes in really excited about their first job. And then like three years out, they’re like, Hmm, how do I supplement my income? You know, like there’s so much stuff on their internet. So for us, I mean, it’s great. Like, yeah, the restaurant stuff like there, you know, like valleys some days, like mountains other days, but, um, I think what’s awesome is like, That’s just like our baseline, right? Like, that’s like why we like, you know, like spend time together and whatnot. But, um, as a result, you know, we’ve become friends and are closer friends and, you know, we like talk about other things in our life. Like, uh, I’m having a baby, it got puppy this year and, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. And, um, yeah, they’re, they’re probably some of my more supportive friends. Like I, I think it’s awesome. And, and, and, you know, like, Business partners, like for sure it can get messy, but like there has to be aligned too, right? Like, Hey, like, like this is for our friendship. And do you want to cross that line or not? I do have one more point on that actually. Cause like, I think like a lot of those like old school movies and stuff were like, yeah, You know, like businesses like hardcore and you have to like, be able to like, remove that friendship element otherwise like, and do what’s best for the business. I think that’s super different now. I mean like nowadays, like you just don’t know where like people are going to end up. Right. And you’re going to stay connected no matter what. So I just don’t think you should like screw over people. So, um, yeah, that’s kinda the mentality that we have, um, going and stuff.


Maggie: (00:13:48) Yeah, that’s really good to hear. Yeah. It’s an ongoing debate. I feel like a lot of people, they have this bad about like going into business with their friends, but you know, if you do it right, and you’re really close with that friend, you can be really honest with them, you know? And that’s something that is really special for two people who had just met. Um, let’s say if you are two strangers who had just met and you’re going into business and you do have that relationship with them, then that’s very special. But for two friends, you know, it’s, it’s something. Even more special.s


Bryan: (00:14:16) Yeah. I mean, I agree with you, I think is a new way to do business nowadays. I can’t imagine doing business. If you’re not my friend, you know, I, there’s no way I can trust you that large sum of money if I don’t know you.


Min: (00:14:29) Yeah. That’s a hundred percent. Right, right. And like, I, especially in the Bay area. Cause like people raise on like no ideas and stuff like that. Like money is sometimes like not respected I think. And like, you know, like, because we’re all in it together and like we’re trying our best. Uh, no, even in tough times we’re going to like do everything we can to try and like help each other out. So, um, yeah, no, I, I actually really enjoy it. Like, um, There’s a lot of times like being an entrepreneur part, like, um, you, you, you get like doubt, right? What does that like imposter syndrome, your life, you wake up and you’re like, things don’t go perfectly. Right. And you’re like, man, this today, the day, like, did I mess up today? Am I ruining my life? And, um, yeah. Having like your backbone on your friends going through it with you, like, yeah, it’s awesome. I mean, like. Like the door dash guys. I think we’re just like Stanford friends, like, yeah.


Maggie: (00:15:25)   That’s awesome. Well, I mean, we know that this year has been so big for you, you know, you’re having a baby, you got a dog. Um, we know that you open a few restaurants, you know, in shopping malls.


Bryan: (00:15:42) Asian board as well, giving us advice on how to grow. So we really appreciate minimalist help.


Maggie: (00:15:48) Yeah, definitely appreciate it. And so my question is like, how do you determine, like, what is the best location to open up a restaurant?


Min: (00:15:55) Oh, for sure. Um, I mean, you can like, think about things like as much as you want, like get all the demographic stats, look at the traffic, um, you know, like do everything that you can. Analytically and, um, like what makes a good restaurant, right? Restaurants are hospitality and they’re about like good vibes. And like, you just can’t predict vibes. Like, so you do the best you can, and you try to pick somewhere that you think will be successful. And then you open it up and for some reason, like your staff is in friendly or they build construction right in front of your place, or, you know, financial district in San Francisco dies. I mean, like, there’s like a lot of things that like are out of your control, but I think like, yeah, like this is my whole take on restaurants. And I’m like, if you make one restaurant, right, like. And if it’s like a hard margin business and there’s all these variables like staff and door dash and deliveries and inventory. I mean, there’s a lot of different components of a restaurant business that are very tough. If you just try to pick like one location. That’s really like shooting. Like, are you gonna pick like one stock to invest in, right. No one advises you to do that. So I think if you have like a pretty good idea, like a very good concept, it looks pretty good. You can generate some margins. You have to open up a few. Like, if you don’t open up the few you’re right. Like you’re really subjecting yourself for the luck of the draw and whether or not that one spot has good vibes. I know that vibes and might not be the technical word, but like that’s pretty much it. And can you like. Portion out your portfolio of stores where, you know, like some stores might be doing bad, some stores might be doing well and overall is you’re like net positive. And I really think that’s a better way of looking at it and like, You know, hopefully you don’t pick like five bad locations and hopefully all of that analysis will like, even out where like you’ll pick more good locations of that.


Maggie: (00:18:12) Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, investors, they usually want to see, you know, multiple locations rather than just like one, if you have one restaurant and stuff you’re like less appealing, right.


Min: (00:18:23) Uh, yeah, I think so. I mean, like they’re like situations where investors want to invest no matter what, right? Like, uh, like, like pock pock in Portland was sadly close. I mean, at one location, but like, well, I think that ended up opening some other ones in like Vegas or something, but they had that one location in Portland for a long time or a knock. Right. So like they, yeah, they had like one location, green zone where you guys are, uh, I actually looked at all these like financial in restaurants. And so like, you know, like one location, the cashflow as well, like, would you want to invest in it? Yeah, sure. I mean, people, people want to do like a cash flow investment, but it’s not like a growth investment, which I think restaurants should be. So I think most of the time they like multiple locations.


Bryan: (00:19:13) Yeah. So speaking of investments too, like a lot of people in Asia and always ask about how investments, restaurants even work, you know, they always say, I want to put in 50 K or a hundred K, but they’re actually not sure what to expect from their, their cashflow or returns. Like how does that investment work? If I was like investor, I want to play a hundred K or 50 K in two recent rice, can you help break that down for our listeners to, to better understand the industry?


Min: (00:19:40) Uh, sure. Um, like again, like, I think like first you gotta look at yourself as an investor. And like when people ask me all the time, what they’re, you know, like, Hey, I really want to put my, my money to work. Kind of like that like three year corporate America thing. And like, they saved a little bit, you know, what, what should I do? Where should I put it? And, um, there’s like really like some, like. You could be a cashflow investor, which typically means there’s less growth, to be honest. And you’re able to like, get like a safe, like coupon, hopefully better than like whatever savings accounts are, which are like, I think like 0.5% and then, or you could be a growth investor, which means you’re probably not going to get a lot of cashflow because the business itself is going to reinvest any profits into growth and expansion. So. They don’t really want to like, let cash go out the door to you as an investor, because the payout is really like later at the end. So that’s the first thing. And then in terms of restaurant investments, because so, so, so typical restaurant investment for like a miniature growth plan, like five stores, like as one store, it’s going to grow to five. Um, it’s typically done the, uh, uh, convertible note. Or common equity. So convertible note, you’re promised a coupon of like, you know, like a certain interest rate. Um, and then you can participate in the upside when the company raises an additional round. And so you can convert that into equity. So you get kind of like a downside protection and an upside lifts. The upside lift is not going to be as high as when you do just common equity, common equity, you got no downside protection. You’re not promised anything. You’re just there for the growth of the business. And you’re, it’s a lot simpler of an arrangement. There’s this a document called the safe. It’s very popular right now with tech companies, because I’m, it’s a document that kind of like YC Combinator, Y Combinator kind of pioneer. And, um, you know, you kind of see like tech entrepreneurs, who’ve had an exit and want to get into food and beverage try to raise via safe. It just isn’t like a mismatch to me in terms of industries, because I mean, tech companies can grow, you know, like. Be valued at millions of dollars with no product. And you know, that’s not how food and beverage works. Like you need to have like a good product, a good customer following and stuff like that. So, um, I think those are probably the two most common structures that you’ll see.


Bryan: (00:22:15) Okay. Awesome. And what has been like the most stressful situation you’ve been in the restaurant industry where you’re like, Oh man, like, why am I doing this myself type of situations?


Min: (00:22:29) Yeah. Sure. So I guess like in 2019, um, we try to raise capital for all of our concepts, those for growth, right? Like I think, like, I think I had like a store planned for each of our restaurant investments, uh, up until July, like one store a month in 2020. And obviously COVID-19 happened, which is like, just like backflip, everything. But the other part about it is that like, um, I think like a lot of the reason why restaurants fail to, you know, um, is they don’t have good balance sheets and a lot of Bay area and restaurants in general, all they care about is like top line, because top line means growth. Right. But it’s really your balance sheet. That’s like your safety net and your insurance. And. For us, you know, we saw COVID happening. Like we thought it was going to be like six months in March at the worst, you know, like there was like a playbook that, um, you know, it could be kind of like dramatically reduced in 60 days from some of the other countries. But, you know, we’re preparing for six months has gone on for way longer. Right. But, um, we try to fortify the balance sheet, so we saw COVID coming. And what happens during a recession is. Because the performance is less Seron, there’s less access to capital, right? So like your debt facilities go away, your credit lines go away, your vendor, shore and payment terms. And instead in March, um, we just made all of those as max maximize as possible. So, I mean, it’s kind kinda crazy, but there were like instances at some of our locations where, you know, we took the credit line. And then the next day that institution was like, we’re not doing credit anymore for like a while. And, um, it’s so sad. Cause like a lot of like my restaurant, friends, like that don’t have like a JP Morgan banker, like kind of like seeing this for them. Um, You know, like they were like, you know, I’ll just wait the weekend and see like, kind of like where we ended up with like restrictions and stuff and they missed that window and, you know, likely, probably going to have to shut down. I’m sure. So, I mean, it was literally like the, I mean, that was definitely the most stressful time, like, like when COVID was first happening and making sure that we could like adapt to the new world for sure.


Bryan: (00:25:03) Wow. That’s crazy to hear.


Maggie:  (00:25:05) And how are your restaurants doing now since you know, the beginning of the pandemic? You know, what were some of the things that you had to implement and pivot during that process?


Min: (00:25:16) Yeah, for most of our places. Um, and like, I think like all of the management teams, for sure, I think I’m the naysayer on the whole COVID thing, but, um, And, and naysayer being like, I’ve kind of always thought it was going to be like locked down for awhile. And, uh, I’m probably one of the few that like, thinks that like, you know, until there’s like a proven vaccine, that’s super safe, you know, it’s just not gonna change the way consumers. Interact or governments, like kind of, um, like let things happen. And so, like Q4 was a perfect example. Like, uh, even in the summertime, like things were like opening up and like all the management teams are like minimal, you’re so wrong. Like, you know, like. Why can’t you see we’re already like progressing. And I, and for me, Q4 was always going to be the worst quarter. Cause people get sick. Right. Like I always get sick in Q4. And so like that, plus COVID, you know, like just seem like a recipe for disaster. So for all of the stores that are open for the most part, um, we just did delivery and takeout. Like even when like, You could do outside dining, you could do indoor dining. You know, we just chose to like, keep the same model and the reason why, and like, we’re probably left like dollars on the table for sure. But the reason why is like, it’s so disruptive to like, like, you know, like train people, hire people, fire people, if you have to shut down. And like, we wanted to create like a culture to like be super stable. Like, Hey, like you’re working for us. I know crazy stuff is happening in food and beverage right now, but you know, this is going to be our baseline and we’re just going to be there no matter what. So, um, for us, you know, like, Uh, California shut down again, like two weeks ago. Um, we made no changes, like zero changes and like, I feel really bad again for like a lot of my restaurant friends. Cause they were like, just like buying all the equipment, the heaters for winter and training all their staff and bought all the food, food spoils. Right. And they were going to open like the next week and they couldn’t open at all. So all of that working capital just goes to like, like poof. And so, yeah. I mean, it’s a very tough like timeframe for everyone, but, um, yeah, we just kind of like take like a very constant view on everything and that just served us well so far.


Bryan: (00:27:46) That’s really good to hear that you’ve been fibbing pretty well, especially during these tough times, because you know, we started a second Facebook group called Asian foodie network. Because we see so many restaurant owners posting inside Ahn that they’re worried. Um, why did you really well, but we kind of want to switch back to conversation a bit to talk more about yourself. Like out of curiosity, men, how do you manage everything? Like, you know, you still, you still have her job and yet you’re doing all these investments. That always seems like. You’re always in a meeting somehow or somewhere, but how do you manage everything mentally and your TA, what is your time management skills like?


Maggie:  (00:28:25) Yeah, we know you’re a super busy guy and you know, you have a dog too, you know, all of these new things coming in. How do you manage all of that?


Min: (00:28:35) Yeah. I mean, uh, like 10 years ago, I was probably like, um, I probably had like too much time. Like I was just like hanging out with my friends and like, we’re like going out and doing very 25 year old, like things. And, um, I kind of like made this pivot. Like five years ago. Um, I remember I was like in New York was one of my friends and I was like, Hey, I’m just going to like, try to go for it. And, um, this is the thing that’s like really important for me. Um, you know, like what is that? That was five years in banking and you know, like banking is a very tough life. Like there’s like a lot of TV shows about it that are like, Well, you know, it’s, it’s a tough grind. So, you know, I looked at it and I was like, wow, I really need to like, kind of like do something to kind of like separate from the grind. And for me, it’s super worth it for me to work on like research and rice and working with my business partners on stuff, because, um, it’s like kind of like a good pivot away. It’s like a mental break from the grinding part. Um, and then secondly, I think a lot of people could do it. Like, um, we’re just like in this day and age, we’re like, you know, like you can do so many things from like your phone and your laptop and like portable devices. And if you create like systems in place, you could totally do it like remotely and different things at the same time. And then lastly, you gotta prioritize, right? Like, um, you gotta prioritize on stuff that’s like meaningful to you inside. So for me, like. JP Morgan. And my banking job is very demanding, but that’s also what pays my bills for the most part. So, um, that’s number one, right? I mean, like outside of family, friends and like personal relationships, that’s number one, then I got like, do what I need to do for that. And then do I have time for everything else? And, yeah, totally. But I think like, um, a lot of people also forget like, you know, like kind of like. They kind of confused, like the self care, the mental health stuff, like what age I am kind of does. And they ignore that portion as being like, kind of like pivotal or they give it too much. Right. I think like, it’s like kind of balancing what you actually need because most people like. That tend to be successful, need to be busy and to be busy, you also need to kind of have like good mental, like barriers as well. So it’s really finding that balance and like prioritization. So, yeah, and a lot of like, No, like late nights and early mornings. I mean, Brian and I that’s how we got to know each other.


Maggie:  (00:31:11) That’s very true.


Bryan: (00:31:12) So bring it down for us men. And what is your day-to-day life? Like what time do you wake up, man?


Maggie:  (00:31:17) What do you do? Like while you were talking about mental health, what do you do to manage it?


Bryan: (00:31:22) Yeah. I want to hear about a schedule first.


Min: (00:31:24) Yeah, sure. Um, I think I can tell you like what my 2019 schedule was, because that’s just way more like applicable, I think, but like, uh, yeah, I mean, I, I used to sleep not too much, like four hours a night or so, and a good portion of that was, you know, like JP Morgan, then you gotta be healthy and like work out and then you got to do the restaurant finance stuff then like, I. Yeah, I’m married. So I definitely had to spend quality time with my wife and when wife was busy, how to make it up with my friends. And so it was definitely a juggling on that. Um, I think now that I’m older and like the family thing is like coming, expanding. Right. I think like that is like, obviously going to eat into that. So I think like everyone has like a certain amount of mental capacity. Right. I think we’ve all kind of seen people like that. Like I had like some college roommates that all they could do was like focus on studying partying. But they were super dirty. Like they, like, it was like not in their medical capacity ever to like, just like throw this piece of trash away. Like they couldn’t do it. They were running out. And as an adult, you know, like, that’s, that’s a kind of like a joking one, but as an adult, we still have that same mental classy, but it’s just a really like, different way of like, you know, like adjusting for it. And I do think there’s like some things like. When you were like stuck, like, do you watch like too much TV? Like, are you watching like the office for the fifth time? Is that really like, like, like super beneficial by the fifth time? Like, you know, like taking a step back?


Bryan: (00:33:06) Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I can kind of relate to that too. It’s like my schedule is kind of funky. So a point of reference. Men. And I will talk that all times of the day, anytime I, I mess with him at 1:00 AM who respond 3m, who will respond in 6:00 AM. He responds. And then during the day too, and I’m like this guy ever sleep,


Min: (00:33:26) I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you like one of my first jobs. Um, we, we got Blackberry for work and, uh, it was like the last economic recession. And, uh, essentially the person who hired me, gave me the Blackberry and was like, uh, If you don’t respond within 15 minutes of any time, like your light goes on, Blackberry’s used to have different lights for different speakers. And so, um, no matter what light it is, if you don’t respond within 15 minutes, when it’s addressed to you, like. You’re out, definitely like totally an extreme, like at the time and based on like what you’re doing, but like, you know, I kind of, I kind of get that, right. Like, like, like the whole thing is about like responsiveness and like, if someone’s like sends you something, then they’re probably waiting to progress on their work for you. Like not to say that you need to like. Adjust your whole schedule for someone, but like, if you can respond and like, kind of like communicate at that level, like, I honestly think like that’s where like things go like pretty exponentially faster than it actually helps you like to be honest, but like, When you spend a day to respond and they spend a day and then you wait two days and I mean, then you get nowhere. So, um, yeah, I actually think it makes me more efficient by doing it.


Bryan: (00:34:54) Urgency is off the charts.


Maggie:  (00:34:55) And then additionally, that’s like super respectful too. And just out of common courtesy. Yeah. And it looks good.


Min: (00:35:00) Yeah, for sure. For sure. Yeah. But now I’m like super dumb. I can’t like handle, like, if I like forget to do that right away now, like I won’t remember. So


Bryan: (00:35:14) yeah, I can relate to you. I usually respond immediately. If I see it or respond. But if I’m like, okay, I would just want him later a week later, I’m like, Oh, crap for her to respond.


Maggie:  (00:35:28) So what are some things that you wish you could have told your younger self before you started your journey on, in like the food industry or anything? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe like I can call it out. Yeah.


Min: (00:35:40) Oh, okay. Yeah, those are good questions, man. So, um, I think like back in the day, I, I read a ton of books. Like a lot of self-improvement books. I probably read like most of the really like classically popular ones and. I got to a point where like, you know, they started saying the same thing, right? Like they eventually hit on like common themes and like common attitudes or situations. And like, I just like my marginal benefit for reading. The next one was, I just knew like hit a plateau, but I probably waited like, honestly, I’d probably read two years extra of books before I started doing stuff. And what I really wish I could like tell myself as like, Hey, why don’t you just pick like five and just read the top five, see what the commonalities are and try it out for yourself. What you think will work for you. And then if it doesn’t work, yeah. Why don’t you read five more and like do it that way and to do more of like a try, because I think a lot of times, like people like want to do stuff and they don’t know what to do. And then they look to the books to see like, as like a playbook as to what to do, because those people are successful. But. Everyone’s different, right? Like, um, everyone has like a different like way of getting there. So yeah, you can like take some of the lessons and it’ll apply to certain situations, but you got to just like try it out. So I probably wasted too much time reading about it and not doing it. And that’s probably like, My lesson for people or myself, even my past self.


Maggie:  (00:37:21) Yeah. That’s a good point. I feel like a lot of people, they try to look for the book that will change their lives because a lot of people say like, Oh, rich dad, poor dad changed my life. Right? Like this book changed my life. So a lot of people will look for, Oh, when is that? Book’s going to come to me and change my life, but you have to really apply what you read in each and every single one of those books.


Bryan: (00:37:43) Yeah, that’s right. You also keep in mind when you’re reading a lot of books too, that, you know, it may sound great, but no one really talks about their struggles for their books, you know?


Min: (00:37:51) Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I mean, like, totally that’s totally true, but also like, um, like, like, like, like, like Warren buffet, right? Like everyone reads like intelligent investor, the buffet biography and all that. And like, that’ll just like, all I have to do is read Buffett’s 13 F and I’m just going to copy as investments a quarter later, but like, Yeah. Think about like Warren buffet, like during the last financial crisis was able to like save companies because he was just, he just had that much capital and you’re never going to have like those billions of dollars probably probably to like, do the same type of deals that made him rich. But like, is it like his mentality? Right. Like, I think like a lot of people even like. Oh heats like a steak, like every week. And like, he drives like a pretty like old car and those things aren’t important. I’m going to apply it. What if those stuff makes you happy? I know. Like, what if you want to like drive a Tesla, you know? And like, because you have the Tesla that motivates you. So, um, I think they’re like good. Things to know, like that’s how people think. And like, that will help you later on, but like, you just gotta do, like what kind of works for you.


Bryan: (00:39:02) Yeah. Yeah. So what are your goals for 2021?


Min: (00:39:06) Oh man. That’s a good question. I feel like I spent so much of my time in 2020, trying to figure out what 2020 was going to be. Like. I haven’t really thought about 20, 21. Um, I think I’m just gonna, you know, try to, uh, No, I have the kid and like transition into that. Um, I’m thinking about like, uh, kind of like changing my lifestyle. I already kind of like started doing that to incorporate like a little bit more health and longevity, you know, it’s funny too. The kid thing is like completely a game changer because, um, So, like, I just thought I could like, always like work and like, you know, like work and be tired and I don’t care. Cause I, I like like the adrenaline from it and stuff. And then when you have like about to have the kid, I’m like, Oh man, I just need to like, be healthy and be around for the kids, because like, that’s like all he wants for me. Right. It’s going to be a boy. And, uh, yeah. So like, yeah, all he wants is for me to like, be there as long as possible. So like that kinda like shifted my priorities to like, kind of like, think about stuff that way a little bit more. So that’s probably it and then make sure, kind of like all the businesses, like kind of home along. Yeah. I mean, I think, I think 20, 21 will be like, Pretty exciting. How about you guys?


Bryan: (00:40:30) Yeah, save me a lot of big plans rolling out for 2021, a lot of this international plans because, uh, you know, we think the United States is still gonna be very much in COVID in 2021.

Maggie:  (00:40:42) And if we do in-person events, it’s, it’s going to have to be outside of the us.


Bryan: (00:40:47) Yeah. Yeah. So a lot. So same thing, man. I’ll, I’ll keep you accountable to your fitness goals or work out for you, Austin. Just let me know whenever you’re free.


Min: (00:40:54) Yeah, sure. I finally did the like third COVID thing besides baby and puppy and I got Peloton, so yeah. We’ll be able to connect or something.


Maggie:  (00:41:07) So, so, so what is that one advice that you can give to an aspiring entrepreneur?


Min: (00:41:12) Yeah. I mean, like, you know, been an agent for, you know, like since the beginning. And one thing I like really love about Ahn is just like, there’s a lot of people are willing to like help you. And, um, but how do you find those people? And I think like, you know, having something like an H on now where as someone wanted to like start something and, uh, you know, like, Tell the community or find someone like, you know, like there’s like a pre hyper-focused community of Asian entrepreneurs. I want to help other Asian entrepreneurs in this Facebook group. So that, that’s what I think, like, I would definitely start with that. Um, secondly, it’s, uh, you know, like just to try it out, I mean, like you gotta like do something that’s risk-based for you where you’re maybe not betting the whole farm on the, on the first go, but, um, yeah, like try, try some stuff, um, figure some stuff out. And then lastly, like I would totally try to find like, No people that you trust to do it with because it is a lonely journey. And, um, I just think it kind of like makes like a bumpy ride smoother to have like, uh, compatriots in it.


Maggie:  (00:42:31) Awesome. Thank you so much, man. So we’re kind of listeners learn more about you and do you have any last remarks?


Min: (00:43:35) Yeah, sure. I mean, yeah. I think that you guys, as the founders of Ahn are incredibly accessible and you guys spend so much time trying to think about trying to think about like how to help the Asian community with ADAS a virus and, you know, forming the board and all of the things that, you know, like I’ve seen personally, you know, like how the organization has changed. So. I think that, you know, you guys being so accessible right now, you guys are probably going to hate me for this, you know, like try to try to try to like, kind of like access to you guys, you know, and get to know you guys. I, I think you guys do like a fantastic job at like connecting people to like, um, I’m selling my Emeryville condo and Brian, you know, being in the real estate industry was like one of the first people I reached out to, to who he could recommend. And that’s kind of like, The beauty of Ahn is like, just like helping each other out and connecting. And, um, yeah, I, I really think members should, um, start to kind of take advantage before it gets too big, you know? And, and they have to go to like Brian, 2.0, no,


Maggie:  (00:43:54) thanks man. Now, now, where are you going to have the numbers?

I got a 15 minute timeframe to respond back.


Min: (00:44:00) Yeah, exactly. Exactly.


Maggie:  (00:44:07) awesome. Well, thank you so much, man. Where can our listeners find out more about you online?


Min: (00:44:11) I feel like I’m actually like pretty private. Um, I think it’s like the nature of being in banking is like, you’re like in a shroud of secrecy, but, um, they can just like add me on Facebook and like, you know, if they send me a Facebook message, I’m probably gonna respond to them within 15 minutes too. So.


Maggie:  (00:44:31) Awesome. Well, thank you so much, man. It was awesome. Hearing your story.


Bryan: (00:44:34) Thank you, man. Appreciate you.


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