On this episode of Empowering Entrepreneurs, Glenn and Julie invite special guest Michael Hsu to share his journey as a successful entrepreneur. Michael emphasizes the importance of learning from successful individuals who have already navigated similar paths and the value of networking and building connections.
Michael reflects on his initial foray into accounting, which was initially driven by his mother’s persuasion, only to realize it wasn’t the right path for him. However, he persevered, starting his first business as a CFO company.
The discussion delves into Michael’s transition from a sole entrepreneur to building a business that involves employing others and establishing systems and processes. He emphasizes the importance of expanding one’s network and being known by others, highlighting the crucial role networking plays in an entrepreneur’s success.
Throughout the episode, Michael shares personal anecdotes and stories that influenced his mindset, such as his dream of building a school for children who dislike traditional education. He believes education is a powerful tool to escape poverty and aims to create a school that helps people upscale themselves and change their mindset.
The conversation also touches upon the challenges of entrepreneurship, the importance of support communities, and the need for encouragement for aspiring entrepreneurs.
He shares his philosophy, encapsulated by a bracelet with the phrase “remember you will die,” which serves as a daily reminder to live life to the fullest and pursue one’s goals.
Michael’s journey exemplifies the resilience and determination required to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Glenn Harper [00:00:00]:
Welcome everybody to another edition of empowering entrepreneurs podcast. This is Glenn Harper. Julie Smith. What's going on, Julie?
Glenn Harper [00:00:07]:
don't have anything for today. You look a little bit surly today. What's going on? Oh, man. Better hope we get all that out of the -- I'm telling you, you gotta work through all that. We've got a special guest today. We got Michael Hsu here. He's one of a kind. Michael loves the alphabet business space, which includes CPA, CFO, and CEO nomenclatures. This this entrepreneur wants entrepreneurs to get financial literacy so they can relax. His passion is teaching people so they can have the same opportunities that he has. He is the founder and CEO of Deep Sky, a company that's the leading outsourced accounting team that specializes in digital agencies. which in common speak means that he helps entrepreneurs build and operate systems that deliver account actionable data on a consistent basis. I hope I said that. Right? and he's also the co-founder of Measure X Hack, which is a platform where entrepreneurs can share their experiences with other. Thanks, Michael, for being on the show.
Michael Hsu [00:00:56]:
Thanks for having me. I'm super stoked being here. Was it that was a great biography.
Julie Smith [00:01:01]:
I mean, Glenn could barely get a breath in. so you are a busy person. There's a lot of stuff he's got going on.
Michael Hsu [00:01:08]:
Yeah. Yeah. I enjoy it. I mean, it's my it's my passion. It's been my entire life. through meetings that I love, and, you know, I wanna do the same for other people.
Glenn Harper [00:01:16]:
So, you know, I usually try to get into this a little by trying to figure out personally a little bit who my guests are and what their story is, and then we get into an entrepreneurial journey and such. And, you know, I'm pretty good stock around the Internet, but I cannot find out where you're from. I I'm guessing Frankfort, Kentucky, but I don't know. Can you tell me, you know, where you're born and raised at?
Michael Hsu [00:01:36]:
That is a difficult question. I'm actually born and raised in Taiwan. Taiwan, Taiwan. That's where I'm at right now. Oh, wow. But I I spend most of my I spend most of my youth in LA Los Angeles. But over the last 10 years, I've been moving about, so I spent my time Green Vegas, Austin, LA, Taipei.
Glenn Harper [00:01:57]:
Yeah? Wow. You're the traveler.
Julie Smith [00:01:59]:
Wow. You don't like to stay in one place for a long time.
Michael Hsu [00:02:03]:
No. No. Actually, I I actually joke the other day. I was at the airport, and then the the lady there, she goes, oh, I'll see you next week. So
Julie Smith [00:02:12]:
You you're that guy, the frequent flyer guy. You know the airport people more than you know the local people,
Michael Hsu [00:02:19]:
I actually I actually know the custom people, and I see all my friends in the wrong city. So that's that's
Glenn Harper [00:02:25]:
that's how it works. So is is home technically Leander, Texas in Austin, or is that where is home technique? Where do you hang your head up if you're not traveling?
Michael Hsu [00:02:35]:
So home is yes. I'm moving back to Leander, Texas. Okay.
Glenn Harper [00:02:41]:
Sweet. Well, you know, Texas is a little bit different than LA, I would imagine, and probably a little bit different than, you know, Taiwan. So, you know, what's how did you get into LA versus Taiwan, and how'd you spend time there? Was that first school when you when you were going to UC?
Michael Hsu [00:02:57]:
Yeah. Yeah. So, actually, I went to LA when I was 10 because of Disneyland. I legitimately thought if I move to America, I get to the at Disneyland with Mickey.
Glenn Harper [00:03:09]:
Awesome. How'd that turn out? Did you get to meet them at least?
Michael Hsu [00:03:13]:
I did. I did. I still love Disneyland. I still go I didn't get to I didn't get to live at this event, which I found out, apparently, you could. Apparently, if we have the right connection, you can stay at the castle for 1 night. and I'm working my way towards that. You're like, gosh. Your parents didn't hook you up at that age. You think they'd have done that for you? I'm kidding, of course. Right? Okay. Unfortunately not.
Glenn Harper [00:03:35]:
So did you when did you decide to actually move to the states or set up shop here, or did you set up shop initially in in Taiwan? How did you how did you navigate that?
Michael Hsu [00:03:46]:
Yeah. Actually, I was there since I was 10 because of Disneyland. I came back and bothered my mom about moving to America and know, you know, I don't know if you guys have shit, but sometimes they tell you, if you do a, then I'll be b knowing that you never do a. Right? And that was my mother. So in Taiwan, they rank us between 1st place to 55th place in class. And if you're in the top 10, you're a good kid. If you're not in the top 10, you're kind of the loser. I'm never the top 10 kid. I'm, like, 11, 12, 15, 15, and I get a meeting and I get back to 11. So my mother goes, hey. The next time you take a test and you get into the top 10, I'll let you move to America. And I got that place. No more, no less.
Glenn Harper [00:04:27]:
Just enough. Now when you say all of everybody moved or just you moved?
Michael Hsu [00:04:31]:
So my mom is a very clever woman. She sent me out there by my of 1994, took me out to LA by myself, put me on a plane, and then had a friend pick me up at the airport. And she was thinking that she had moved me to America. and she'll call me every day thinking, hey. You know what? Do you miss home? Yeah. Do you miss mom dad? Yeah. You wanna come home? No. And she did that for 2 months. And then finally, she decided that she has to figure out something about coming down here and take care of my, you know, taking care of their side. So that's how I ended up in America, and I ended up staying there for 30 years. How how old were you at that time when you got when you just came over? That was it. 10. Wow.
Glenn Harper [00:05:07]:
Wow. Can you just I mean, that's just not something that I can imagine
Julie Smith [00:05:11]:
I have a nine year old. I can't imagine sending her to quote unquote Disney and then checking in, and she of course, she wouldn't wanna come home. Who would?
Glenn Harper [00:05:21]:
So you had a little bit of adventures and spirit. So when you're and when you're in, excuse me, when you're in NLA, then that's where you just that's where you started your, you know, college journey. Right? And then I I assume you just you just live there the whole time. You went to college. Yeah. Then you decided to jump across to wash college, and then ultimately at Harvard, How do you navigate that going from, you know, literally economics, accounting, and Harvard Business School? How did you decide what you wanted to do. I mean, you those are 3 incredibly cool colleges to try to even get into, let alone
Julie Smith [00:05:54]:
do all three. I bet you were in the top 10 to get into those. You made the cut,
Michael Hsu [00:05:59]:
No. Just just barely a no. Always just barely a no. But but yeah. So I think I've always been passionate. I mean, I was tricked really, again, by my mother to get into accounting. She told me that I I didn't wanna go to school. You know? I I figured I'll be a millionaire by the time I'm 21. If I just drop out of high school and started a I want to be a business person. I wanna be entrepreneur. And my mother goes, well, if you wanna be a business person, you better learn accounting because accounting is a language of business. Well, that was a lie. So but I went out there. You know, I took I took 1st year of class, and I said, this is not for me. I wanted to quit and then counselor was like, hey. This is 1st year. 2nd year will be better. So I took the 2nd year, and they're like, hey. This is the 2nd year. You're gonna be up for a classman year, and it's gonna be better. And by the 30th, I was like, that's this. I'm out of here. So I guess so I did that. And then and so and, actually, it is late lay the seed of the 1st business, right, Deeps guy, which is also a CFO company. You know, that's what I did. And And then it sort of played the foundation for everything that I'm doing today, which is financial literacy because accounting should be the language business. Unfortunately, most accounts and don't run it like that. You know? So I ended up spending my entire life trying to make that a reality for myself and for everyone around So And, you know, entrepreneurs,
Glenn Harper [00:07:19]:
they don't speak the language. And if they just spoke the language, they would learn so much more how to operate their business, but they just never do. It's the darnest thing. I crazy.
Michael Hsu [00:07:28]:
Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And and it's crazy because I I love entrepreneurs, and I I I think that's the people myself as 1. And I would say, entrepreneurs are the solutions to the world's problem, yet so many of us don't get rewarded enough by it. You know? Like, they they are great. they're greedy. They they they went out there and did something and built something because they thought they could do it better. And then they don't fail at the thing that they're doing because they're brilliant at it, but they fail at this is in finance because they lack knowledge of that. And they don't have anyone to turn to for help. Nope.
Glenn Harper [00:07:59]:
Did you at what age did you decide that you wanted to be an entrepreneur or think that you had those tendencies. I think it's aged ten. No. I think that was Disney. And but the independent streak was definitely at 10. But the to be an entrepreneur, wouldn't you? Like, you know what? I don't wanna work for the man. I wanna do my own side hustle. How how did you came up with that mindset.
Michael Hsu [00:08:21]:
You know, I always do. What I think in the very beginning, I just wanted to make money. I just wanted to be rich. I wanted to buy nice things, have fast part that have the Ferrari Three Sixty on my wall as opposed to, and that's what I wanted. And I think the very first business was it was selling candy in high school. it was I was looking around at all these clubs, and they were selling candy for fundraising. And I go, I can do that. So I went to Costco about buying new candies and started selling them. I didn't wanna do the work because I was lazy, so I hired my friend to sell it for me. And then the and then the school go, hey. You're not a club. You can't do this. So I started the club.
Glenn Harper [00:08:55]:
You know, it's funny as I remember selling the candy, and I was terrified to sell it. So I just ate it all and used my own money to buy it. I didn't even sell it to other people because I just loved eating the the rice covered chocolate candy bars. You know, the ones I'm talking they were so good, but it it's weird. So, yeah, you you recognize right away that to to to be successful in entrepreneur world, you have other people help you do that and have that team behind you. Right? And and that's And what age do you think that was? 10 and a half?
Michael Hsu [00:09:23]:
He needed to 11 by that. No. Not that not quite that young. That's for 11 and a half. Yeah. There you go.
Glenn Harper [00:09:30]:
Did you have you know, we always like to you know, did you have, like, mentors or somebody that tickled you and said, hey. I'm an entrepreneur, watch how I roll, or was it just something that you found on your own? Because, again, part of the entrepreneur journey is recognizing that probably most everybody, but not necessary, but a lot of people have this inside of them. They just don't know how to tap into it. Right? They they just never got the opportunity or the confidence to make that decision. And so we just like sharing with our guests what was that thing that gave you the curiosity
Michael Hsu [00:10:05]:
to say, oh, I can go do that other than just wanting to make money. There had to be something else. Right? I think in the beginning, it was just wanting to make money. It was just I I don't know. I've just been fascinated with nice things ever since I was a kid. That certainly changed. Right? Yeah. I bought my I bought my first car when I was twenty in college. You know, just starting with selling Fandies and then selling computers. And I didn't have an allowance, so I have to make money. You know? And but then later on, I got Ben's course along the way that we're able to help for sure. I mean, I attribute all the time accomplishment for the teachers and mentors and the peers around me. You know? And I think if you wanna build a real business, you're gonna have to have that. Otherwise, it will be otherwise, the journey is just still hard.
Glenn Harper [00:10:51]:
Did you ever have a, quote, real job where you worked for the a wage, or were you always
Michael Hsu [00:10:57]:
selling in in in eating which killed? Yeah. Yeah. I did. I did. I was I was an accountant at size firm after graduate school because I needed the hours to get my CPA license. And then I get my hours. I took the I passed it. I got my CP like this. My mother happened to be in America at that time, and I took the thing, and I opened it up. And I go, look, mom, CPA. I'm quitting tomorrow.
Glenn Harper [00:11:20]:
Glenn Harper [00:11:22]:
They all lie to you about this accounting in CVA thing lies everywhere.
Julie Smith [00:11:27]:
Your mom would be a wonderful guest on here, I think. Oh, yeah.
Michael Hsu [00:11:31]:
Oh, yeah. She would she would she would love it. I mean, she just she's an incredible incredible woman, and if you planted a lot of the seeds, you know, that that helped me get to where I am today, I think.
Glenn Harper [00:11:42]:
It sounds like one of the people that were but not only influential, but she
Michael Hsu [00:11:48]:
didn't say forced you but kinda tricked you or enabled you to go find your way. -- very good marketing skills I have a feeling. It it's really funny. My father was an entrepreneur, and and my mother just took care of me, and she was incredible at that, like, I think. And but but it just none of them wanted me to be entrepreneur. In fact, even now, You know? She was seeing me work, and she's like, why didn't you do this? Why don't you, like, just go get a job? What's wrong with you? Why are you always so stressed? And I said, this is my life. I can't. I I I would I would I would die if I would who would hurt to further that. And I think I will be so stressed.
Glenn Harper [00:12:26]:
Isn't that the weirdest thing an an entrepreneur? We just look at things through a different lens. We love waking up negative. We like the fact that we gotta make it that day. and everything's an opportunity. It's really not the stress is different because it's the stress that we wanna do well. It's not the stress that we gotta do something for somebody else. We're doing it for ourselves. People just it's really it's a lonely place because people just we nobody understands how we think. It's the it is one of the most still to this day. I just had a prospect in the office today. We just laughed and laughed because nobody can understand where this guy's coming from. I'm like, gotcha. I know where where you're where you're at. And it's just again, it's the there's just not the community for that. And I think that's one of your businesses to have the community where people can show those ideas. Right? Is that is that what the the purpose of the measure x hack is? Yeah. Yeah.
Michael Hsu [00:13:14]:
I think measuring x measuring hack is is really my passion project, and it's like like I said, I started the business 14 years ago and without teachers and mentors, would not read anywhere close to where I am today. And everybody in the entrepreneurial world, sure, not everybody is, you know, perfect, but a lot of people are amazing. They're super generous, super helpful, you know, in in teaching each year, and I believe If we all just made each other that much better, we'll make the world a better place. Again, going back to entrepreneurs are the solutions to the world problem. You know? And everybody's got something to add. Everybody's got some value to add. And if we can do our part,
Julie Smith [00:13:57]:
the world will be a better place. So what made you start that? Like, was there something that you that happened to you personally that you said, you know what? This is how I want to give back to the community or
Michael Hsu [00:14:09]:
walk me through that. Yeah. So so ever since I was a kid, my dream, was to build school for kids that don't like school. because I I hate the school. Right? I did the bare minimum, and I thought a lot with the but at the same time, I have this respect for teachers because I believe education is how you get out. My mother's family are extremely poor in Taiwan. Like, extremely poor. They they don't they don't you don't go to school, Sometimes the kids get sold off because they can't afford it. And and so So I wanted to build a I wanna build a school that that and and someone had told her that The only way to get our poverty is through education. It's to upscale yourself. It's the level of your thinking, level of your mindset levels, your ability to earn and create value. So it had always been, you know, my thing as well with education going up. You know, I had one great teacher. I had a few great teacher, but one specifically mister Lawberry Phong 113. And, you know, he told me, hey. You gotta you gotta win the game before you can before you can try to change it. because, you know, freshman year's top 1 year I hated school. Like, you know, it was part of a gain, and I didn't wanna you know, I was doing bad. My GPA was, like, 1.6 or something like that. And I'd say, oh, school is not for me. School sucks. Go on and so forth. I'm gonna drop out, and I'm gonna do my thing. And, Mister Robert, look at me and go look. If you don't play the game, You don't have the ability to win. You don't have the ability to win. You don't have that power. People are just gonna think you're a dropout and, you know, you you have no speaking authority. But if you win the game and come around and say, hey. You know, we I think we need to have change in our education system, then you have that topic.
Glenn Harper [00:15:55]:
Yeah. I think you've you can't change the club unless you get in the club. You gotta change it from the inside out. It can't be changed from the it's impossible. I I'm excited. You're in a gang. That's cool. How does how does that happen? And how do you get in and how do you get out? Was there an initiation thing? I'm I'm intrigued by that because, again, that's what a lot of young adolescents, especially young men, they need to feel part of something. Right? And and and have us and have something bigger than to work toward. And it's probably hard if I easy to get in, very fulfilling, but then it's like, at some point, you knew that wasn't for you and you had to get out. But then now you are on your own again. Right? And so that had to be a weird part of your life, I would imagine.
Michael Hsu [00:16:35]:
Yeah. Yeah. It's it's super interesting. Right? I mean, it's stable. That's what you said, that sense of the law. And young man, a lot even I think anybody, we're we're communal animals. We want to be a part of something. Wanna be a part of the group. You know? And, fortunately, unfortunately, that was available to me during that time, so I did. Fortunately, for me, I actually had a really good you know, we call them dialer or bosses. Right? It actually caught me a lot. He caught me, you know, to be good at whatever it is that you wanna do. If you wanna go to school, be good at it. If you wanna be a gangster, be the saddest gangster that is that is out there. And and and he he also at the same time protecting me, I think, a lot. You know? He said, look. You got a you got a thing going for you. You know? Like, sure, with a family, we call each other brothers, and, you know, we get into fights here and there. But there's something beyond high school and beyond just being this community. So he really shielded me
Glenn Harper [00:17:33]:
on a lot of the, I guess, the what could have gone wrong. mean, that that is an amazing thing that somebody was in that realm knew that that's not a long term solution. probably saw some potential in you and kinda did a little mentoring protection thing to help this is a temporary place and then push you on to the other way. I mean, that that was a solid. That just doesn't happen very often. You we were very fortunate with that.
Michael Hsu [00:18:01]:
Absolutely. And that's why that's why I go back and staying. you know, I'm I'm consistently lucky for having teachers and mentors and coaches surrounding people who are just you know, who have walked the path and who are extremely generous in giving me their knowledge and their time.
Glenn Harper [00:18:18]:
I'm stuck in this group. It's the 10 key anonymous, and I just can't get out of it. And they got me sucked in. And I've just you know, with the tape, without the tape, it's it's weird. I Sounds like he gave his 10 key a long time ago when he got his his little letter, and he told his mom, I'm done. It was hard to get in. It's really hard to get out. I mean, I just I just love it.
Julie Smith [00:18:40]:
So you started this CFO company, and, you know, obviously, you you know, you did you start that after you got your CPA license then once you kind of were able to get that and get that underway?
Michael Hsu [00:18:51]:
I quit I quit my firm, and then I started at in the beginning, it's really just a outsource bookkeeping company because I I had no business being a CFO. I was 25 years old. I didn't I don't know what I'm talking about. You know? But I learned very quickly that that's a consultant, the best part is you're learning at a rapid speed. You go to your first client, you learn from that, You Google everything that you'd be talking about, but you don't understand at night, and then you take that to the second client. So I was learning at a rapid speed, and I just had a thirst for learning. And, again, being super lucky, even when I went to Grad school, I I was I had a classmate. And I was like, hey. What do you do, Joe? And he goes, oh, I'm a controlled out of company. And just how about do I go, oh, You're a controller. You can give me a job. Right? And who does do you want a job? So I ended up working for him. And when I was there, again, just having these incredible teachers that allowed me to ask questions, and I was just curious. Every bill that came through, I wanted to know where it came from, what did it do, you know, I saw the CEO was part of YPO, and I wanted to know what that was and how do you get into that. So it was just and then and then slowly, we we become an outsourced CFO company by just learning all the craft the learning teams that is beyond, you know, the 10 community that is beyond Vivid's embedded.
Glenn Harper [00:20:14]:
You know, I think the the takeaway for our listeners, if you're an entrepreneur, is is that you're seeing a pattern here, and that pattern is if you're an entrepreneur, you if you don't have an insatiable appetite for knowledge to try to learn something new, unique that you can bring to market, If you don't continue on that path of trying to quest for that, it's gonna be very hard to be successful and to even make a difference because you have to be curious and want to learn something And like I said, you're just like that's all you ever did is just quest for knowledge. And and most entrepreneurs, right, they quest for it first time till they learned their skill set and what they do, but then they never do the next step to do the next thing. Right? And I wonder why that is.
Michael Hsu [00:20:57]:
I mean, it's just everything is moving. That's such a rapid speak, right, with with AI nowadays, with, you know, blockchain 2 years ago. You know? Sure. Call them play with the month of play with the year, but they keep pressing those. side, we forward, and that's when getting more and more information and industry things are just rapidly changing. I'm actually I'm actually at one of our above in at 1 in downstairs. We've had a club going. There's prime entrepreneurs downstairs right now. There are VCs. There are you know, there are entrepreneurs, there are founders, and everybody coming from different industry, from different background, and from different countries, their thought process is extremely different, and that's and sometimes you sit at this table and then you hear this one guy, and that's something that's normal for him. and you take back to your business, that's how you can leap them down the head closer to where you want to go because, you know, everybody, someone else have already walked their path. Your job is to find them. And most of the time, if they're truly successful, they're so generous and willing to help. Michael, I I wanna come to your fight club that you got downstairs. I wanna come and see what that's all about. That sounds like a hoot. You're right? Yeah. If you if you guys are ever out, you know, in Asia this way. I always say this, and I always invite people. I think Donnie is the one that introduces and, you know, as I I love Every time I go to a city, I have no shame in inviting myself to all the parties. And every time people come to my city, I always say, hey. Look. If you're in Vegas, if you're in and if you're in LA, if you're in Taiwan, if you're in Taipei, get me off, and I'll be there. because that's what it's about. And I think that's the exciting thing about bunch of viewership and network of I mean, you know, I I I listened to Keith Farazzi's speech. This was, like it's gotta be 12, 13 years ago, and t Farazi on the statement he goes, people say your network is your network,
Glenn Harper [00:22:48]:
and I say your network is your life. and not just always talk with me. It's always I would say it's not who you know. It's who knows you. Right? And that's what is the difference because if you're not out there expanding your network, you're just you're stuck where you're at, and you'll never get anywhere else. Do you the one of the cool questions. As an entrepreneur, as you know, there's and, again, this is a tough one for you because you figured it out at age ten, but you know, there's a there's the point of being, hey. I'm gonna quit my job or start. I'm going to do business. I'm gonna do a task bring something to market, and I'm gonna do everything for that. And then at some point, that becomes a job. Right? And there's nothing wrong with it. Right? A lot of people do that. It's fine. But a true entrepreneur that wants to build something bigger than them wants to convert to building a business. Right? and that's when you employ others and build systems processes. Right? Obviously, you did that when you're selling the candy bars, but at what point in your career when you got out of school and you're doing your thing, did you say, okay. I'm doing this thing. You know, you joined that that other company, the bookkeeping company, but then when you decided to do your other thing, How did you decide when did you decide that it's not just you? It's gotta be other people involved, and you gotta build a business and build something bigger than you. how did you come to that fruition that that's what you have to do?
Michael Hsu [00:24:09]:
I think super early on. Right? So I started the business 14 years ago. So that's 2009. And and I think by 2010, 2011, I was paying up conference. My first conference 8500 conference out in DC, and then my first name for Rich Hage. And and then I just sat there. Him and I just sat there, and we think Baca Sotto is still 5 in the morning, and it was the most knowledge I have ever picked up in any of this morning that I have ever done. You know? And it would just seem extremely generous in sharing this knowledge. And, you know, I've had he had a fire alarm company at that time doing about $25,000,000, and and he just he just shared with me. He was like, look. You you you teamwork makes the dream work. You know, it's gotta be about your team. It's gotta be about the people. It's gotta be there are people who are willing to give up at least forty hours of their life every single week to build your dreams for you. You know? And and and you have to figure out how to inspire those people. You have figure out how to give them the opportunity for them to deliver the value that they're sure to do in this world. And so it's extremely early on. But then, again, it's I don't think they've ever switched. Right? Like, we learn these things. Like, you know you're supposed to do it. Mhmm. But there's just consistent challenges and problems that you have to go through over the years.
Glenn Harper [00:25:30]:
Well, I I like how you explain that because that really it's the the switch kinda happens when it's you realize it's not about you anymore. It's about your company. It's about the people. It's about the clients. It's the idea of the opportunity provided. And once you realize that it's bigger than you. You get out of your own way and let somebody do what needs to be done with that vision and support them. I mean, that's the that's so listeners, please take that to heart. When I really, like, teamwork makes the dream work, that is a
Julie Smith [00:26:02]:
rule in my house raising 2 girls is And they will say that in public. Like, okay. Teamwork makes the dream work. Right? And I'm like, yes. Like so I I love that.
Glenn Harper [00:26:14]:
So, you know, a lot of times entrepreneurs will will not make the jump to be one because they think, oh my god. It's so much work. I don't think I look at it as work. I don't think you look at it as work. I think it's fun. Right? So how do you get somebody to switch that lens from, oh my god. It's gonna be so hard and so much work to, like, open up and just say, ah, and take a big hug and just go for it? Like, how do you get people to motivate to that? What do you think is the is the key to that?
Michael Hsu [00:26:47]:
So I'm I'm a little bit split on that. So I'll I'll be transferred to that. Number 1, I I I don't believe in convincing entrepreneurs or convincing people to become an entrepreneur because I think entrepreneurship is super hard. If you are not born into it, if you don't just feel that desire to wanting to go for it, don't do it. And and we love to say this. I measure and act. We said that people go, Michael, what is measured and act? Is it is it a motivational company? I said, no. I don't wanna motivate anybody. That's it. If you're sitting on the couch, stay there because it looks super comfortable. Right? Like, you don't wanna be doing what we wanna do, but if you're feeling compelled or you're feeling so unhappy sitting on the couch. Jump. And we're here to catch you. We're here to support you, and you will you'll find this vast network of people that are just super willing, you know, to to to being helpful. for that. So so I'm a little bit torn between the two. It's like, hey. If you if this is not 100% for you, don't do it. But then if you feel compelled, then And I'll use the story of just me being super miserable. And I was working at a firm. I was an auditor. And I was doing a quarterly review, and I walked into this controller's office, Brandy, and I couldn't remember. I remember all these people's name wrong with with my life. And I just asked for some request and whatever, and then I decided. And I'd say, okay. Cool. Thank you. And I asked once, walk me now. She stopped me. And she goes, are you okay? And I go, yeah. What do you mean? Like, are you okay? And I said, yeah. And she goes, well, you seem like you're a little off or you're unhappy or something. and I go, wow. And and and I and I thought, this person sees me four times a year. And if she can pick up how unhappy I am, There's something wrong. Right? And and it was really funny I actually walked into I finished that I finished that review and I walked into my partner's office. and his name is Scott. And I go, hey, Scott. Can I close the door? And he goes, uh-oh. No. And I go and I sat down and goes, boy. Yeah. And he goes, what's up? And this is my opening. I go, I don't think I like accounting. And he goes, what do you want me to do about that? So and then and then we had a pod. We had, like, a 20 minute pod, and then I go, yeah. I think I'm gonna quit and goes, are you sure? and I'm such a worst. Right? I go, you know what? Can I think about it? So I thought about it over the weekend, and I went in again on Monday to create But, again, just again, these people are just so incredible even my partner, even after I left. I mean, my first gig was came from my old firm. you know, one of the partner was like, hey. You know what? We don't do this. It's too small, but Michael just went on his own and, you know, this was a 1st gig. So, again, this network, like, keep going back to this network of people that are just generous.
Glenn Harper [00:29:45]:
And so I I think on that the the prior question is, you know, some entrepreneurs just go off the high dive, cannonball, and go in, and other people slowly put their toe in, walk a little bit, and slow. And I And I think, you know, that encouragement that's out there for people that can't make the instant snap decision jump off the board, the ones that are like, well, I'm not and have these astigmatisms about this and preconceived notions about that, you know, that's the encouragement to say, you know, to try to encourage them to do it. They they wanna get in. They but it's so cold and it's, you know, it's not comfortable, but they really, really are drawn to it because on the other side, there's big ice cream cone, and they really wanna get their ice cream. But I I mean, I get the whole thing, and and that's the the hard part is there's 2 different tracks to be an entrepreneur. Right? Year, they're either jump in or you kinda slowly go in. And neither one's better or worse, but it's how do you encourage people in the community, which I think you're Your firm does is to let them know that you don't have to buy yourself. 10 years ago, you were by yourself. There was no support community. Right? 15 years you you were here in Island. Today, that's just not the case. So I guess what I'm saying is there's hope for people out there. that wanna do this thing, and maybe they're comfortable. Maybe they're not. Maybe they wanna do it quick or slow. But there are resources who don't just make up your mind and and say, I'm out. I can't this,
Julie Smith [00:31:06]:
explore. Be curious. And you'll you'll find the way. You'll find the path if that's where your destiny is. You don't ever know till you try. And I think what you're saying and I I mean, I loved your analogy of sitting on the nice warm couch. Right? because it it's so comfortable. But I think what you're saying is you can't provide the motivation to do that. you can only help with the momentum and keep pushing people forward. And I think that's a really great analogy of of the couch and what that looks like because everybody can visualize that. You're absolutely right that there's no right or wrong way to do it. I'm the type of guy that wants to just burn everything down and quit tomorrow and do this thing. You should never go in business together then. -- just a smarter way.
Michael Hsu [00:31:47]:
Like, there there's there's a smarter way to do it. Right? Like, if you can keep your day job during the day and then go study and go prepare and build your business at night, there's there's a 168 hours in a week and you take away 40 hours and you take away, you know, your sleep, you have 72 hours to build another thing. You know? And it's in I always talk about this. You know? How do you spend your time that's a great equalizer. It doesn't matter if today you're an Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos or, you know, or Michael Sue. Like, you have a 160 hours. That was the one equalizer where you can go out and build something. And you can choose to jump off the couch or you can choose to do it 40 hours during the day for someone else and then 40 hours at night for yourself.
Glenn Harper [00:32:32]:
We know it's weird. You know, like, around the couch, you got some buttered popcorn, some salt on it, it's comfy. You got a good TV show on. You're swiping through your Instagram. know, it's hard to get motivated to go do something, like, because it you have to leave your comfort space. And, like, you you know, like you said, I think it's that was a great analogy. It's it's it's not about motivating somebody. It's helping them -- Create that momentum.
Michael Hsu [00:32:55]:
Yeah. That's the deal. Do you have a -- It's about supporting the people who has already jumped. Correct.
Glenn Harper [00:33:01]:
throw and, you know, they don't might not need a lifeline. They just need a little, you know, little technique how to get through it all. Do you have a You know, I always think, you know, when you're in business doing whatever it is, your skill set is, some people fantasize over, like, man, if I could just get that person as a client, it would be man, that would be the apex of my career. Do you have anything like that where you're like, man, if I could just give that group or that company, that person, do you have one of those? And you can't say us because that does sound to. I used to.
Michael Hsu [00:33:34]:
No. I I I used to. I used to. And I stopped believing in that because, you know, it was it was it was all if I can get on the inc 5000 list. Like, I would have made it. And then it was it was I could get on the inc 500 list, and it was if I could make a $1,000,000, and then it was if I could profit a $1,000,000. And then it was if I just meet this guy or be in front of this conference, and it was never that. It's never that. You know, it's that progress. And then one day just like what we talked about earlier, it's never the switch. You know? You have these little wins. these consistencies. And then one day, you wake up and you and it looks like overnight success. But everybody who have the, you know, But I love to say the success happened overnight, not overnight.
Glenn Harper [00:34:17]:
Oh, good one.
Michael Hsu [00:34:18]:
And that's that's that's what it is. So
Julie Smith [00:34:22]:
we this is a question we like to ask. So if you've listened to any of the podcasts, you know what's coming. But what is your superpower?
Michael Hsu [00:34:30]:
I'm a I'm a data geek. I can I can and that's the whole premise of their and have. Right? We say, we wanna help we wanna help on we're not free entrepreneurs to live by building systems and data. We wanna help them achieve more work less so they can live by You guys already heard about the 168 hours. Right? I distilled my life down into really 9 quadrants, and then 1:68 hours. And I have, you know, a framework that helped me plan all of that. I have data going back 10 years of my life back to 2013. on every single day. I know exactly what I spend my time on and why or why not that I'm not hitting my metrics. So I I've met a few I used to thought I was the only weirdo, but I've met a few other weirdos along the way. Overall site goes. It's great.
Julie Smith [00:35:19]:
Wow. That that's incredible. I have no idea what I was doing in 2 1013.
Glenn Harper [00:35:23]:
But -- I don't know what I did yesterday. So what's really cool about that is that you we're really appreciative that you have your day planned out like that, and you we're gracious us to be on our podcast, so we thank you for that because that's kinda cool. Yeah. We got into one of the quadrants. Yeah. It's pretty awesome.
Michael Hsu [00:35:40]:
So thank you. No. Absolute absolutely. You guys are doing incredible stuff. I mean, I listened to you guys in podcast, and I I was so excited that we were able to make this happen. because you guys are empowering entrepreneurs. You guys are helping them, motivating them, teaching them. I mean, you guys are doing exactly what I'm trying to do, and you guys have already been there on that.
Glenn Harper [00:36:02]:
You guys have lots of cool nuggets. Do you have what is the biggest fear that you had to overcome in your journey that was just, oh my gosh, this is paralyzing. This is terrible. And once you overcame it, you were like, what an idiot. That was so easy. Like, do you have one of those things or many of those things?
Michael Hsu [00:36:23]:
I don't I don't think I have one where I'm like, that was so easy. I think my biggest fear is my insecurity of failing. You know? My life goal is to be happy and make sure those who I love are happy. And for me to be failing that, it's it's the most. It's it's it's it's just the steers as great as that. And and it's really interesting. One of my friend told me that he goes, he was entrepreneurs are are weird. We have 2 things. We have this we have this insecurity, this fear of failure, this fear of not being enough, which we're desperately trying to run away from. And then we have this and then we have this at the same time, in the same token, in the same breath, we have this eagle this justification. Like, I deserve it. I deserve to be awesome, and I deserve to be gray and rich and awesome, and which we're running towards. if that's what this is, I guess, weirdos.
Glenn Harper [00:37:25]:
Literally, every day, I gotta outrun the tiger that's chasing me. because he's trying to get me. Right? And and that that motivates, I guess, me and probably most entrepreneurs in that analogy that I cannot let that catch me. So I gotta be over here ahead of that. And then as I'm going towards something, then that that there's no amount of financial or those things. That isn't the goal. Right? The goal is to make a difference and to achieve that zen or inner inner thing that you want to to find your purpose, whatever, but also of other things come along with it. Right? That's just part of it. But, you know, going towards something is It's a lot more you know, I just gotta be a couple steps ahead of this guy behind me, and I'll be okay. But going that way, that's a way more. That's a safer place but it I can never stop there. And, again, like, entrepreneurs, we are just we are just whacked in the head. It's the craziest thing, but, you know, we function very well in that environment.
Julie Smith [00:38:22]:
What is your end game?
Michael Hsu [00:38:25]:
So this is very interesting. Is it brand new? I don't have kids. I don't plan on having kids. So I always thought that whole thing is, you know, work hard, play hard, you know, lift as die young as late as possible. That was my full mentality. It was not being happy. But then I went to Japan about 2 months ago, and I was doing these. I went around and met all these entrepreneurs and watched their businesses. And in Japan, we have this Very interesting culture where they have businesses that are passed down generation, capital generations for 4, 5th, 6th, 7th generation. And I went to the saki plant, and it was a 5th generation owner. They have been around for a 131 years. and I and I was just thinking, what's it like to build something that will outlive you? You know? Originally, I think I'm just I'm gonna do I I I say that measure and hack education and passion project. I'm gonna build it for my entire life. For the rest of my life, that's what I'm gonna do. But now I wanna build measure and pack beyond my life. you know, wouldn't be so cool if I can see a 3rd generation CEO in Measuring Hat? You know, our our mission is to free 1,000,000,000 entrepreneurs to live live, even systems and data. That's a big goal. That's a poll order. If I cannot fulfill it, maybe murdered in act and
Glenn Harper [00:39:53]:
in the 100 years. That's isn't that the craziest thing when when it's about the legacy more than anything. Right? because you did all this hard work, and you got the shortcut. You built the thing Well, then now what? Well, how cool would it be is to and to help somebody else achieve that goal or take over and be be impactful And I think what Julie's trying to say is what's the trick question to answer? Well, there is no end game for you.
Julie Smith [00:40:22]:
Michael Hsu [00:40:23]:
the endgame happens when when I get called back to wherever I came from.
Glenn Harper [00:40:28]:
Got you. I I wanna do one more question -- Okay. -- if I may because this this one is is again, I just this is one of my favorite ones. So do you have any you know, there's no really, like, can't go back and change the past. You learn from all those things, but do you have any regrets or, like, a son of a biscuit moment that if you do it again, What would you have changed? Because it would have been the shortcut. The outcome would have happened better. It would have been quicker. It'd have been more impactful. when you look back, you you can't change it today. But if you could go back and go, man, at that point in time, if I had chose a versus b or did c versus d or put that extra hour in, I could have had this, not in a sense of, oh, that's I feel bad about it. Just like, wow. That would have been a good choice, but I didn't know it at the time. Do you have any of those type of things? You probably have a 100. But -- Yeah. I definitely it's really funny usually when people ask me, do you have regret? I I gave the original answer that you gave. Right? Like, oh, there's no regret. You just learn.
Michael Hsu [00:41:26]:
But if you put it like that and you take that answer away, then there's plenty. There there's so much just things that I wish I knew better. It's very funny. You we talked about jumping off the couch and then just jumping with both the maybe I would've maybe I should've learned on someone else's dollar. Right? Maybe I should have had a day job and then took it slow. It took 6 months to take 6 months. It took me 6 months and taking a year. Another lesson that I learned the second time around, and we didn't have a chance to talk about this. But In 13, I it was the first time that I sold my business, and and it wasn't a it wasn't a glamorous sale. It was a fire sale. it was because I have to come back to Taiwan and take care of my dying product. So I ended up doing that, and I came back, and I became miserable. I became depressed. because in America, I had everything going for me. The business was about to make money. I thought the first time I sold my business, it would have been, you know, champagne, falling from the sky, and there was none of that. I barely had any cash. It was it really I had enough cash to last me 2 years to take care of my father. So I did that. And then in 2015, after my father passed away, I restarted a bit restarted deepstack. Let's call it deep side 2.0. And I just became way more then at that point, I was no longer driven by money. You know? At that point, I just wanted to that's why we said achieve more work less live life. You know? I've watched my father, and it's really funny. A lot of people have these experiences, but we don't really feel it until we experience it, until we walk through it. That was the moment that I realized nothing in the world matter except for experiences and the experiences that you the memories that you create with your loved ones. You know? And I have this I have this bracelet that I made, and I'll give you guys probably can't beat it. But I said, remember you will die. You know? And that reminds me every day, and you just go out there, whatever it is that you wanna do, do it? I mean, how often do we say, hey. See you later, and you didn't see them ever. Right? And we have one destination in all of this, and that is that. And that puts clarity in model of things, and I said, you know, whatever you want to.
Glenn Harper [00:43:47]:
very sage advice, and it goes back to the whole thing that there really is no wrong answer. Everything's gonna work out okay. there unless, you know, somebody dies, it's all gonna work out at the end. So take the chance, taste the nectar, go do the thing, What's the worst that can happen? Ah, you learn from it and pick up your boots and go and do it again and for the next day. That's and and and don't fear that failure. Don't feel you should be fear what happens if you don't make a decision and go for it. That's the fear that you should be most feared about, in in my opinion. everything you want is on the other side of fear. Right? It's everything. Everything. Oh, the crunch code on the ice cream cone. All that stuff. Yes. So, Michael, really appreciate you being on the show today. Will do you wanna give a little a plug on your businesses and people wanna look you up? And maybe they need what with your might be purveying there? Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. So you can find me on social media.
Michael Hsu [00:44:44]:
My passion project is measured and hack, and you talk about it at the end. It's actually spelled with X stands for collaboration. And, yeah, that's that's everything that we're building today. Our goal is to, again, help entrepreneurs who live life using systems and data. So if you're an entrepreneur, you know, you're my job. if you're one of those people that are helping entrepreneurs to do that, then,
Glenn Harper [00:45:09]:
you know, let me help you and help them. Well, I really appreciate you, and I I don't know what time it is and Taiwan, but it it can't be it's gotta be midnight. Right? I don't even know. Wow. It's about it's almost midnight. Yes. 11:43. Thank god you're doing the Red Bull. But, yeah, you gotta got on the Fight Club now down below and go deal with all that. That should be a hoot down in the downstairs. So, again, appreciate you. and thanks again for being on the show. Yes. Thank you. This is Glenn Harper, another awesome addition. Take care, Julie.