Emylee Thai

Self-made. Live and love like it’s heaven on earth.

I had $1 million in my bank account before I turned 30. Here’s 8 things I’ve learned.


1. Quit your 8-5. There is no way you can make/keep $1 million working for someone else! My parents are the traditional Asian parents. They told me to go to school, get a job that offers benefits, and settle. I did all that, got a Bachelor’s degree, got a job at a Fortune 500 company making more than average, but never felt like I had enough time or money for myself.. or fulfilled. On top of that, I hated the traffic! I think California traffic has really pushed me to quit my 8-5 to work on my own hours lol. I mean if you really think about it, even the top executives only make so much, and it takes them YEARS to get there. Why spend YEARS working for someone else, when you can be working for yourself. I have nothing against those who wants to play it safe with the 8-5 job, either. Some of my friends prefer it, knowing their paycheck is coming on certain date and such, and does very well for themselves. I also don’t encourage or discourage getting a degree. In my honest opinion, the degree only really matters when you are applying for a job to the 8-5 corporate world, however, having the education has helped me in other ways (ie: communication, terminology, etc). School does not teach you how to hustle, though. That’s something you’ll have to learn.

2. Put in the hours. Especially when you are starting a new project, you will need to put in a lot more hours. I am a serial entrepreneur so I get very excited about new projects. I would be up until 3am researching, then wake up at 6am and continue researching. The truth is, if you want to be successful at anything, you have to put in the hours. Even celebrities or athletes have to put in the hours, so entrepreneurs are no difference. Putting in the hours, at the beginning, will pay off in the long run. If you only put in minimal hours, expect minimal results (and longer timeline to get to your goals). I read an article where Elon Musk said people need to put in 80 hours to change the world. Elon is one of my favorite Motivational Meme guy haha. (https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-says-80-hours-per-week-needed-change-the-world-2018-11)

3. Execute well. I honestly think one of my greater strength is my skill to execute. I am very results and timeline oriented. If I commit to something, I will literally jump over hoops to get it done. I don’t like to leave things hanging. Get a NOTEBOOK! I have a Louis Vuitton Agenda Cover (https://us.louisvuitton.com/eng-us/products/large-ring-agenda-cover-monogram-000023) along with a Bullet Planner (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071GCHM9T/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1) that I carry everywhere with me. I have a checklist for the day/week that I would go off and complete. I use my iPhone religiously, but it’s not the same as checking off tasks in a notebook. Try it!

4. Focus. Don’t work on too many projects at once. I used to try to work on many projects at once, and the result was.. mediocre. I’ve learned to commit to 1-3 projects, make sure they are run smoothly and become profitable before I commit myself to new/more projects. You only have so many hours and resource, even if you work 80 hours a week vs 40 hours a week. You will eventually burn out. Not all projects demands the same amount of time, but if you overcommit, you will be at higher risk of under delivering as well. Also, when you focus, it will be easier to add value to your projects and teams versus being scatter minded.

5. Drop 95% of your friends. The truth is, if your friends are not aligned with you and your goals, dropping them earlier is better than later. If your goal is to go clubbing every weekend, then hang out with party people. If your goal is to make $1 million dollars, find and hang out with people who knows how to make $1 million dollars. If you want to be in the top 5%, there’s a high chance 95% of your friends are irrelevant. I went from hanging out with 30 people almost daily to 3 people every 3 weeks. It is a sacrifice, but you have to determine what matters more to you.. spending time with your friends, or building your empire? You really are the company you keep.

6. Take care of your well-being. I don’t mean go out and buy Lambo’s, unless that’s what you want. My house has to be clean (hire maids!), my bed has to be comfortable (invest in a good mattress!), travel more often, find a companion/puppy, and find ways to stay in shape/be healthy! To stay in shape/be healthy, I am pretty conscious about my food. It is okay to spend more on the salad than to save money to eat the instant noodle or burger. I also practice intermittent fasting and sometimes coffee enema (look it up!). My workstation / home office is one of the most important thing for me. I don’t like to work in an office, so I need to have everything I would need at home as well. I recommend a Standing Desk (https://www.autonomous.ai/standing-desks/smartdesk-2-business) and a Flexispot Deskcise Chair (https://flexispot.com/flexispot-deskcise-pro-home-desk-chair-exercise-workstation/) haha. And dual monitors! I’m a big multitasker, so that’s a must. I am also very into Feng Shui, so my workstation has to be in the wealth/growth area of the house. Apple employees all get Standing Desk, you should too! (https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-employees-standing-desks-tim-cook-sitting-cancer-2018-6)

7. The first $100,000 is the HARDEST. Once you make $100,000, you will have an idea on how to make $1,000,000 and so on. The hardest part is making the first $100,000. You will experience a lot of rollercoasters to get there, a lot of rejections and failures, a lot of time invested and maybe wasted.. I’m not going to lie or be able to tell you how to make your first $100,000. That is entirely upto you. Everyone has their own skillset, but I believe anyone can make $100,000 if they commit themselves. Don’t depend on other people to tell you how to make money or to give you money. I literally started at $0 and made every dollar myself, from hard work, failed projects, etc. When it clicks, it will click. Whether it’s building the next app like Mark Zuckerberg, being the next all star athlete Lebron James, or building a drug empire like Walter White, find your passion and work your ass off.

8. Learn to work with other people. You just cannot do everything yourself. Learn to present yourself well, deal with conflict, deal with different personalities, be responsive and responsible to your team, and always show appreciation. Having a good team is a must! If your team is happy, your project will also flow better. I’ve learned this the hard way where I tried to do everything myself in the early days of my career, but that’s just not possible. The reason I made $1 million was because I was able to form and leverage good teams. Note: Working well does not equal letting other people take advantage of you, either! Be confident in yourself, your decisions and your team.

Connect with Emylee Thai:
Email: emylee@orionmodern.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/emyleethai/
Personal: www.emyleethai.com
Company: www.orionmodern.com

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Emylee Thai

Self-made. Live and love like it’s heaven on earth.

Emylee Thai

General Partner @orionmodern. Interests: Genetics/biotech, venture philanthropy, biohack, #△.

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