Who I am:

These days, I spend most of my blogging time at Decoding Startups, which teaches young professionals and college students how to launch awesome companies!  You should go check it out.

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.  From a young age, I had a strong interest in politics and business, and took immense pride in being the best debater of the 2000 presidential election in 7th grade (er…at least in my own mind, I was).

I just graduated from Arizona State University with a Masters of Taxation.  I received a B.S. in Accountancy from Arizona State University in 2011.  I’ve worked professionally in finance and accounting, as well as working with, founding and doing consulting for small businesses and startups.  This is the area I plan to focus the remainder of his professional career on.

Today, I still enjoy politics and business (but I’m less partisan than when I was in 7th grade, and don’t pick fights with Democrats as I am embarrassed to admit I once used to do).  I also love Chinese language and culture, and have studied Chinese for a number of years.  I lived in Shanghai in the spring and summer of 2010 (the coolest city in the world!), attending East China Normal University as part of a CIEE study abroad program.  To this day, I still hasn’t figured out if people laugh at my jokes in Chinese because they are actually funny, or because I made a fool out of myself…again.

Where did I come up with the ideas I write about?

My concept of intelligent personal development–an approach void of empty words of encouragement, and filled with logical analysis of the things that hold people back–is a reflection of my tendency to look for logical patterns and truths in areas where common wisdom says there’s nothing logical to be found, or that mystical, impossible-to-understand forces guide success or failure.

I also noticed that the usual way of giving advice is ineffective.  I noticed this starting in school, where teachers or professors would grade students based on quizzes and tests.  With a quiz or a test, you’re not being graded on your true understanding of the material: you’re being graded on your ability to memorize.

I noticed the same theme in personal development advice: most of it is empty, over-used, or simply trying to memorize “tips” for how to do better.  Clearly, if reading a bunch of “tips” on how to become better at something was the right way to get better, we’d all be saints.  But we’re not.

I thought, given my desire to find real and logical answers to personal development issues, and my love of speaking and writing, why not put my ideas down on paper and share them with the world?

My Story

I’ve always been a very motivated person, but I started life with many dispositions that were not optimal for success.  I was very socially awkward and could barely talk to an acquaintance without shivering (let’s not even talk about when I first became interested in meeting girls.  I’m serious, there’s some pretty embarrassing stories there).  I always wanted to “take over the world” and loved entrepreneurship (or at least the idea of it), but I was way too afraid to try to start a business until within the last year.  Looking back, this is something I could have–and should have–done a lot earlier.

Eventually, I became serious–very serious–about changing these negative and ineffective habits that weighed me down.  That experience of challenging the assumptions that caused “the old me” to have so many problems has made me into a better person: someone who, while satisfied for myself, is constantly looking to improve–not only myself, but the community at large.

In short, my goal is to help you by talking about my observations and experiences.  I would be honored if you would contact me and let me know if my articles have been of use to you!  (Even if they haven’t, I still would like to know how to improve).

How I used to be, and what got me thinking

New ideas I’ve developed, and how they’ve helped me





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