Tom Wang posted an emotional YouTube video where he shared the ugly side of success. Tom’s family immigrated from China to Canada back in 2001. In China, his mom had worked as a professor, made great money. His dad was at a top engineering firm, also doing well. After the move, it was Struggle City. His mom ended up working three jobs. She washed dishes, babysat, and tutored people in Mandarin. His dad found a job as an office clerk. All that and they could barely put food on the table.
There were so many things Tom wanted to do as a child that he couldn’t because they didn’t have the money. His parents ended up taking out a loan just so he could play hockey. Retelling the story brought tears to his eyes. He told how, on Fridays, at his school, while the other kids bought school lunch as a special end of the week treat, they simply couldn’t afford the ten or fifteen bucks; he and his sister had to bring their own food from home.
His parents kept working hard, kept saving up their money. Eventually they had enough to buy an apartment. Things were looking up. A young Tom did what he could to pitch in. Scalping tickets and flipping things on Craigslist and whatnot. “I remember all these things,” Tom said, “and I didn’t really like education all that much. And my parents told me that I was wasting my time, that I should have been focusing on education.”
What stung the most was when his own dad told him he would probably end up working at Mickey D’s for the rest of his life. Tom was getting kicked out of colleges, constantly stopping and starting, falling way behind. It didn’t help that his friends were landing promising internships. Not a very enjoyable time to say the least. Meanwhile he was still drawn to entrepreneurship. He was trying all sorts of different ways to make money, but none of it really worked.
He has no idea why, he can’t put it into words, but despite all this, Tom always believed in himself. He always knew he was going to reach a certain level of success. He saw others around him that were crushing it. If they can do it, so can I, he thought. He saw no special quality they had that he didn’t. So he figured, if I just keep at it, if I just keep on trying, it’s only a matter of time before I hit my big breakthrough. He was right.
Tom eventually bumped into someone who was selling on Amazon. At the time Tom was trying to flip hoverboards, unsuccessfully. The guy offered to help Tom transition the business to Amazon, if Tom would be willing to give him a cut of all the sales. Tom agreed. Funny enough, it still flopped. Then Tom and his girlfriend tried another product. Failed again. Then a third. Started seeing some success. Kept learning, kept asking for help, kept getting better. And now, here we are.
“So, in business, guys, the point I’m trying to make is that, ya know, you can fail a thousand times, but you will get to that one success sooner than later. Failure and success goes hand in hand. There’s not a single person in this entire world that started up their first business and then, boom, it was a home run,” Tom added. He just wanted to show you the unpleasant reality under the tip of the iceberg. Expect to struggle, expect to have doubters, expect to launch and fail and launch and fail and launch and fail. And then keep going anyways.