Jung Park is a dynamic human being, and when you meet him you can’t help but want to sit and talk to him – about his story and life in general. He immigrated to the United States at the age of thirteen, and settled in Brooklyn, New York with his family. After high school he attended Parsons School of Design, where received his BFA in communication design. His work brought him out to Denver, CO where he would eventually open his business, MetroBoom, which was based on a need he saw in Denver for a place that truly knew how to cut Asian men’s hair!
MetroBoom launched in 2004 as a men’s styling and personal branding firm. In 2014, Jung made the decision to expand MetroBoom, and it now is an event space in RINO in addition to being a Personal Branding Center providing consulting services on building personal brand strategies, grooming services and custom clothing products to execute the personal brand image for professionals. The expansion ran into more than its fair share of issues, and it took 419 days to open. Proving that being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart.
In the episode we talk about the hustle of being an entrepreneur and how you have to be aware that suffering will inevitably be a part of your path. Listen below to learn more about Jung’s Chapter Be story…
PODCAST POINTS TO REFERENCE
[02:25] Jung’s life before MetroBoom and what led him to create his business.
[04:10] We discuss Jung’s experiences with professional racism and stereotypes in the workplace: “It was not just a glass ceiling, but a concrete ceiling, and I hit in the first week.”
[12:20] Ultimately, Jung made the decision to leave his 9-5 job because of the physical stress it was causing on his body. He talks about how his health and well-being pushed him to make the decision, especially after his acupuncturist asked him, “What the hell are you doing to yourself?!”
[16:50] Do you need an MBA to run a business? Jung talks about the pluses and minuses of an MBA program.
[19:45] Why Jung made the decision to make the leap into being an entrepreneur instead of the comforts of a corporate job. “I didn’t want to let go of a chance of a lifetime and always wonder, because money doesn’t buy you opportunities like this. Money doesn’t buy you experiences. Money certainly doesn’t buy you passion.”
[21:20] Jung comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, and watching his mom seeped into his own DNA as a small business owner.
[25:50] How do you deal with the suffering that you experience as an entrepreneur? “The worst thing I can do is dwell in the past and think that I know something – I don’t. Because every day there is a new challenge…Suffering comes with joy. If you haven’t suffered, you wouldn’t know what joy feels like.”
[30:25] How you deal when you have to run a business and are faced with your own personal adversities.
[34:00] Jung’s view on his creative process. “Entrepreneurship has just enough of that perfect balance of being creative, but also being very analytical and strategic.”
[40:30] “The whole notion of balance is unrealistic.” Jung believes that the key is moving to a place where you can be proactive instead of always being reactive. “That’s where the success happens!”
[45:00] Jung discusses what he does in order to rejuvenate himself and jut be, while also running his business.
[48:50] If you are wanting to leave your job to follow your interests, Jung’s advice to how you can approach this change.
[51:10] Jung’s opinion of how you can find out what you are passionate about, if you don’t know!
CHAPTER BE QUESTIONNAIRE…
What’s your favorite story to tell at a dinner or cocktail party?
“Never, Never, Never Give Up.” – Winston Churchhill.
This quote sums up my entrepreneurial career and served as an inspiration for me to get through the challenges many times.
Worst work experience?
Having an expansion/move plan fall through, leaving our business without a location for 419 days.
What is your definition of success?
Commanding how I spend my most valuable asset, time. The ability to choose how I spend every minute of my day on what I find happiness in doing.
How do you tap into your creative energies – especially when you are feeling drained?
Watching documentaries on real people overcoming real challenges and listening to a playlist of songs with inspiring words and beats.
What does “to be” mean to you?
It means “to own.” Know thyself, then own all the good and bad things about being YOU.
How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?
Watching soccer games and Korean TV shows
Ideal READING LIST – books, websites, blogs, podcasts, magazines, etc. that you would want on your Swiss Family Robinson deserted island?
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Favorite song with “be” in the title?
Let It Be by Beatles
LINKS & RESOURCES…
- University of Colorado at Denver, MBA
- Business Plan Competition
- Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship
Images via Chapter Be and Jung Park