From a cafe in Sinchon


In late 2013, I left South Korea. My way of life downgraded.

Went from making close to $3k a month teaching to making barely $1500 a month working three part time jobs.

Most people will think downgrading is a bad thing. Realistically, it was bad for my well-being. Having to choose between paying the electric bill or groceries was tough.

That downgrade was the best thing to happen to me.

It forced me to better myself. Going back home gave me the biggest and best epiphany that year.

Living my life the way others wanted me to made me miserable. I looked to others for approval. It wasn’t until October 2014 I realized talking to broke and/or always “busy” people wasn’t the best strategy.

This epiphany came only after I traveled. 

Life is funny. She’ll bring you down socially and mentally. She’ll force you to grow.

Let’s look at K-pop star Jay Park.

He went from working for one of Korea’s top three record labels to getting FIRED. When he was young man, he made young man mistakes.

His downgrade allowed him to use his talents. His ambition to be better helped him to be one of the top hip hop stars today.

He was so good, his old label asked him to come back. He gave them a respectful “hell no” and created his own record label. He’s now his own boss.

The upgrade comes when you go against normal.

When 2015 began, I said to myself I want to make money. Instead of doing what normal people do, I decided to learn new lessons.

Learning these lessons came in steps. I had to first learn the old way wasn’t going to work. It sounds obvious and basic common sense but not everyone learn this.

Just because mommy and daddy are older doesn’t mean they are always right.

If you want to learn how to be a programmer, you learn from established and seasoned programmers. If you want to learn how to get better in anything, you learn from those that know how to play the game.

I learn from people at least five to seven years older than me. I keep it there because I don’t want to learn from people that has info that no longer works.

From my first year in college (2004) until October 2014, I learned how to be broke and stay ignorant. I read books but they were not how-to books. To this day, I feel as though college was a waste of time.

Getting to the upgrade you desire won’t come over night. 

When I started Shaun On Site, I had 44 subscribers on September 5th, 2015.  My work invited to a podcast. Today, I have 2,217 subscribers. For three months, I struggled with getting 1k subs. Why did it take so long?

I had to downgrade what I upload to learn what works best.

Some would stop right there. My previous experience with stopping in the middle of upgrading has proven to NOT be a good idea.

When you upgrade, you never stop. How long will it take you to reach where you want to go? As long as it takes. When I visit Seoul, the same people are hustling in the streets every week. They may make profit one weekend and the next nothing at all. The point is they never stop.

When was a moment you had to downgrade to get an upgrade? Leave a comment!

Peace and love!