March 2007

11 Lessons Learned from Silicon Valley

I decided to submit my latest presentation ‘11 Lessons Learned from Silicon Valley’ to compete in the World’s Best Presentation Contest hosted by Guy Kawasaki.  

You can check out my presentaion at and please vote for me. : )

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The Top 7 Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem

I am not sure if it is a woman thing or an immigrant thing or just me.  Even though I considered myself fairly successful, I have often found myself having self-doubts or self-deprecating thoughts.  Thoughts like ‘I don’t deserve it’, ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘There is no way I can do this!’ or ‘This is for rich people and not for me’.  These thoughts are like the thorns on the stem of a rose.  Yes, the rose is nice and beautiful, but these thoughts hold you back, if you touch them they hurt you.  

These thoughts are like a mugger coming out of the dark when you walk down an alley at night.  They pop up out of nowhere.  You don’t like them, but you can sense their existence.  You know very well the alley will get you to the destination faster, but these dis-empowering thoughts act like a gate keeper.  They often scare you away from the alley.  But, I often wonder is the alley really that dark?  Or is it just an illusion that the gate keeper wants me to believe?  There are so many times I just plainly decided to take a longer, less efficient and stupid route because that is the route that everybody else was “safely” taking.   

I recently went to a training class, where there was a very kind woman whom sat next to me.  During the break, she turned to me and said, “You are beautiful.”  I looked at her sincere eyes.  I knew she meant it.  Part of me wanted to say ‘Thank you’, but the creeping thought once again crawled up and said ‘I don’t deserve this’.  Instead of responding to the woman, my mind and mouth decided to respond to my thought and said: “You are beautiful too!”   I could see the look on her face.  She was disappointed.  She responded with “Oh…”  She caught me reflecting her praise.  She knew my reciprocation was not real.  I did not really receive the praise.  We were like the tennis players on the court.  All she wanted was to give me the tennis ball, but instead I hit the ball and bounced it right back to her. The praise immediately lost its meaning and I completely missed the purpose of the game. 

I am excited about writing this particular blog because this is not only for you, but also for me.  Here are the “Top 7 Ways to Boost Your Self Esteem”: 

Number One – Write Down your Obstacles

You can’t possibly throw the dart well if you don’t know where the center is.   If you want to build up your self esteem, you’ve got to know where your obstacles are.  Write them down.  Confront them.  One of my biggest obstacles is that I know my mother doesn’t really believe in my ability to succeed.  I have to constantly tell myself this is just her thoughts.  I value her, but this is just her own opinion of me that doesn’t serve me well.  I have to believe in myself.  I know I can do this.  I will do whatever it takes to succeed.  I hope all of you would do the same thing.  Write down your self esteem obstacles.  You need to reflect upon yourself and to know your own symptoms if you want to be cured. 

Number Two - Self Talk

Tell yourself you are great!  You are important.  You are very likable.  You are capable.  You deserve what you have now and you deserve more.  You are decisive.  You are positive. You are fun to be with.  After all, who cares what other people think about you?  What do they know?  Only you know who you really are.    

Number Three – Act Confident

William James once said, “To feel brave, act as if we were brave, use all of your will to that end, and a courage fit will very likely replace the fit of fear.”  One of my old professors often said, “Fake it till you make it.”  Even if you are not sure how things should be done, act brave and act like you already have it.   

Number Four – Do it for the Team

You are not the center of the universe.  I know it is hard to believe.   Can you imagine if Christopher Columbus said to himself:  “The Sea is too rough.  My ship is too crappy.  I’ve got to turn around or I will die.”?  He did it not only for himself.  He did it for his country and for his men on the ship.  It was not only for him.   

  • Instead of saying ‘I don’t deserve this’, say ‘but they deserve it’.
  • Instead of saying ‘I can’t do this’, say ‘they need to me to do this’.
  • Instead of saying ‘I am not good enough’, say ‘it is not about me’.
  • Instead of saying ‘this is not for me’, say ‘it is for me and they want me to have it’. Change your phrases for the team! 

Number Five – Visualize the New You

2 weeks ago I started a new 30 Days visualization routine.  I would practice this routine every morning before I get out of bed and at night before I fall asleep.  I would imagine speaking in front of thousands of people.  I wear a red jacket, red skirt and black high heels.  I speak in confidence and with humor.  I make some people cry.  The audience and I are all connected.  They all stand up and give me a standing ovation.   How will you be when you have full self esteem?  How will you be when you simply are confident?  Can you imagine the new you? 

Number Six – Speak in Public

Create opportunities for youself to speak in public.  One of the best things I have ever done was join a local Toastmasters club.  Toastmasters is a great friendly environment for any of us to practice public speaking in front of a nice, receptive group of people.  Public speaking is the number one fear for most people; it’s feared even more than death!  After three years of attending Toastmaster weekly meetings, I still go at least two or three a month just to keep my skills sharp.  I promise you will feel like a million dollars after your first speech.  If a person like me who can barely speak English without correct grammar can do this, you can do this. 

Number Seven – Hang Out With the Positive People

Pay attention to the people around you.  What kind of conversations do your friends like to have?  Are they whiners or go-getters?  Are they drainers or dreamers?  Do they suck up your energy or pump you up?  If you are serious about improving your self esteem, stop hanging around people who also have low self esteem.  You can’t be the only fire in the North Pole and wanting to heat everyone up.  You would be better off going to Hawaii.   I am not saying you need to move immediately, but at least start hanging out with people who are from Hawaii.  Pamper yourself and soak up the positive energy and great attitudes of people who are excited and grateful to be alive.   You will notice the difference in yourself before you know it. 

In conclusion:

  • Write Down your Obstacles
  • Self Talk
  • Act Confident
  • Do it for the Team
  • Visualize the New You
  • Speak in Public
  • Hang Out With Positive People

Good luck in your journey in boosting up your self esteem.  Please share this blog with anyone who can relate to this.  I would love to hear your story.

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Your Sweetest Moment

I recently went to a wonderful young jazz musicians’ concert.  The performers were all teenagers.  The youngest one was 13 and the oldest was probably 17.  They all look so young and innocent, but their music talents could absolutely compare to the masters.  The best part was that I could feel their energy and excitement.  Their eyes were full of enthusiasm.  They were on fire.  They wanted to be there.  They were hungry and they were stars!  They were living the sweetest moment of their life. 

The show reminded me of my own sweetest moment when I was 11 years old.  I played piano since I was 6.  I was no Mozart, but I was pretty good.  My mom forced me to practice at least two to three hours a day.   One day during the school assembly, my school principal called my name through the microphone “Edith.  Edith.  Please come to the stage right now and play a tune for us!”  I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe my ears.  I could not comprehend why my name was being called out of the microphone.  There were 500 kids there.  Why me?   Why now?   My friends were all very excited and started cheering for me.  ‘What is going on?’ I said to myself. ‘There is no way in hell (excuse my language).  I am not ready!  Why don’t they tell me ahead of time?’ 

Earl Nightingale once said:  “Luck is when opportunity meets preparadness.”  

But he never told us what would happen when opportunity meets unprepared-ness?  My legs were shaking.  I was nervous but excited at the same time.  I was in shock!  I slowly walked up on stage.  My mind was blank.  My limbs were heavy.  I was breaking with cold sweat.   All the kids were cheering for me, but it sounded so far away. 

The 3 minutes walk to the piano felt like a million years.  I finally sat down on the piano bench.  The principal called my name again through the microphone.  ‘Edith.  What are you playing for us today?’   At that one moment, only one piece came to mind was called … I can’t remember the name of the song, but I can still hear the music playing in my head.  I yelled out the name of the song.  The principal repeated the name through the microphone.  Then the assembly went silent. 

I could hear the tune in my head.  I began to put my left foot on the pedal and my legs were shaking uncontrollably.  Then I started to play.  As soon as my first finger touched the keyboard, all the other keystrokes came naturally.   All the notes were falling into place.  I was saying to myself, ‘I better fake it or make it.  I am here and this is the moment!’  The 5 minutes recital felt like a million years.  And at the end of it, all I remember was the applause afterwards.  I was ecstatic.  I was on top of the world!  I was ALIVE, and I was living the sweetest moment. 

What is your sweetest moment in life?   I am sure all of you have the sweet memories and feeling come back to you once in a while.  When was the last time that you felt that way?  Can you still feel the energy soaring?  Where were you?    What happened?   

We will never forget those moments, those sweetest moments.  Those moments will always be there in our hearts.  They will serve us well as a foundation to create more amazing moments.  Life is too short to live for just one sweet moment after all.   

Go, create your next sweet moment.  Carpe Diem. 

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Stay in Line for the Oysters (Inspired by Keith Cunningham)

There are four kinds of people on this planet.

  • Those who don’t know what their passion is and it doesn’t bother them.
  • Those who don’t know what their passion is but they are looking.
  • Those who know what their passion is but they are doing nothing about it.
  • Those who know what their passion is and they are doing something about it.

For those of you who don’t know what your passion is and are not bothered by it, I don’t think you will be a big fan of this site. Keep on doing whatever you are doing. The truth is not for you.

For those of you who don’t know what your passion is but are looking at the moment, I want you to realize that your passion will NOT necessary come knocking on your door and say “Honey I’m home!” The truth is, if you stand still and just wait for your passion to come to you, it will never happen. You need to climb the mountain in front of you before you can see the next mountain. You will not be qualified to climb the real mountain if you have not conquered the one in front of you. Most people stop and wait for things to happen; I hate to break it to you, but it will never happen unless you go do something about it.

For those of you who know what your passion is but are not doing anything about it, all I can say is that I feel sorry for you. I do. I am not trying to be mean. If you already know what you want, just go and get it. What are you waiting for? Or are you really still looking? If you are waiting for some get-it-quick scheme for your passion, you will forever be frustrated. Anything worth while requires persistence.

For those of you who know what your passion is and are doing something about it, congratulations and welcome to the group! I cannot tell you how many times I have come up with new ideas and immediately given up after a couple of days. There are lots of interesting ideas in this world for us to chase after. The problem is of all these options look so good and there is only one of us. We don’t have enough energy to stand in multiple lines at the same time.

Imagine you are waiting in line at McDonalds. You are in one line but you see that the other line is shorter so you move to that one. After a couple of minutes, you realize that your original line is now moving faster than the one you are in now. Now you want to jump back into the previous line. Guess what? There is no way anyone in the original line is going to let you cut in. You’ve got to pay your dues, your time and your focus in one single line in order to get to the end.

Keith Cunningham says “Everyone at the front of the line starts from the back of the line and stays there”.

Life is like one long buffet line; in order to “get the oysters”, you’ve got to stay in line.

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Goodbye to Corporate America Log - Day 24

24 days after I said goodbye to corporate

America.  I just came back from attending a 5-1/2 days Guerilla Business school training organized by T. Harv’s Peak Potential training company.  It was an absolutely amazing experience.  We listened to numerous multi-billionaire and multi-millionaire speakers who have been there and done that.  They taught us everything we need to know about running a business – finance, hiring, firing, marketing and sales, systems, etc.  It was awesome. 
Harv & Edith  It took me a while (now 24 days) to get used to introducing myself as a speaker and author instead of someone from the world of high-tech industry.  I am slowly but surely saying goodbye to my past.  Once in a while, I would get stuck and not completely sure what is the best way to describe what I do now.  I am sure with practice it will come naturally. I would get this blank look at times from my audiences.  I guess they are probably guessing how in the world this person is going to make any money?  But who cares?  I will be very successful in my writing and speaking business.  After all, it is my life. The most important view of myself is my own, not anyone else. .If you find this article helpful and would like to support, click here. 

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