By sticking to her knitting and constantly moving forward, Esther Choi’s career path has taken her from a chef to an entrepreneur and everything in between. It was fantastic to have a conversation with Esther about her journey to success, and of course, the failures that pushed her forward.
Here are three key lessons that I learned when speaking with Esther Choi.
#1. You Have to Apply Yourself
Working hard has always been important for Esther. Esther shared her experiences selling candy to her friends in middle school, posing as a fifteen-year-old to get a job at the mall, and eventually working every day while still maintaining honors in high school.
After reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” Esther said she realized how important education would be in helping her live the life she wanted.
“I wasn’t the traditional student. I went to work every day after school, I worked five or six days a week in a restaurant. But I still always was in honors, got straight A’s, and my GPA was 3.8. I still did all of my activities that I needed to. I thought it was important to excel in everything,” shared Esther.
I loved this, because I believe that the way you do anything is the way you do everything. If you want to be successful, you have to work hard and apply yourself.
#2. Live Your Character Traits
Esther said that she decided to become an entrepreneur because she knew that she wanted to make something of her own. The way I see it, Esther was living her character traits and pursuing her own vision of success as she built her life path as a young adult.
By working as a young person in a restaurant, Esther said that she was able to build discipline.
“You build discipline on schedule, going to work, listening, doing the job, and doing it the best possible way,” shared Esther. “For me, I always went into it wanting to do a good job. That’s just in me because I wanted to be the best at everything. It’s just that competitive spirit that I always had.”
By working hard, Esther said that she was able to expose herself to what she loved — the kitchen industry, food, and her culture’s cuisine. By living her character traits and driving her work ethic, Esther was able to find her passion early.
#3. Finding Life in Work is Essential
Esther’s mindset is that work shouldn’t feel like work.
“Finding life in work is very important,” said Esther. “I have to enjoy what I do. I am very disciplined and I do have a good work ethic, but if I don’t like something, I’m not doing it,” Esther laughed.
Esther said that you have to do what you really love to be successful at it. “When I went to work, it didn’t feel like work. I really liked it,” shared Esther. “Finding that experience in everything that I do, and that I enjoy, that’s what mattered to me.”
Admittedly, Esther said that it wasn’t always an easy road. Work is work — but I loved that Esther was able to find the fun parts about what she was doing.
This is a great lesson that if you live in your character traits and embrace your role, you’ll be able to persevere in your industry long enough to start doing what you really want to do.
Esther said that, when she finally became an entrepreneur, the challenges didn’t stop. Esther said the hardest part was that her brain had to change. “I didn’t expect it to be so hard mentally,” said Esther. “Mentally, you have to shift your personality, brain, and way of life.”
Despite that, Esther said that she was able to figure herself out — realizing what she was doing and who she was becoming.
Ultimately, Esther was able to believe in herself and foster success. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast, Esther!
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