I am writing this article on my 38th birthday (May 7th, 2023) to share my life story. This is just my honest flashback, divided into 10-year-phases. This article is based on my original Facebook post. I use Google Translate so it may sound awkward and funny here and there. Please correct if I make mistakes.
How many 10 years in our life?
Firstly, I would like to share with you these words:
"When I say these words, you have to sympathize. Because I consider you as my FRIEND. And I'm sincere with what I say. Normal people I wouldn't say things like this.
And I want you to understand that we don't have many years left to strive to survive another 10 years. And when I help someone in the next 10 years, that person has to decide what he will do in 10 years. And he must-strive-to the end!
Just like when I cook a pot of rice, washing rice and other stages takes up 90% of the time, only 10% of the time is spent on cooking rice. So in the beginning everything will be extremely slow.
Why do we look at the small portion of the results to waste our precious time?
I'm telling you, neither you nor I have much time to live.
If you can feel it, you will understand what needs to be done.
We are more focused than today young generation.
Short videos destroy the brain very quickly. If your strength is too immersed in it, it will be very dangerous. So we need another slow and durable method. Don't care what people say. Just focus on your strength.
I sincerely tell you today's story, as a friend, not as a business partner.
I consider you a FRIEND!"
These are honest words from my mentor, business partner and FRIEND: Nguyen Quang Hoang a.k.a Hoang Xuong Nui.
Thank you for your honest sharing. If I use the words "awakening" or "nostalgic", it may not be fully understood after hearing your words..
I do hope that whoever reading this article will feel the same.
Secondly, I would like to share my life story divided in 10-year phases. This is a flashback of Tu Michael's journey so far. Let me tell you about 10 year phases of Tu Michael's life story:
I. Phase 1: (1985-1995)
Sometimes it takes 10 years to get that 1 year that will change your life
May 7th, 1985: Tu Michael was born as the first son in a middle-class family.
If you care about history of Vietnam. The Vietnam war had just ended since 1975. Only 10 years after that long horrifying war with the U.S. It means that Tu Michael was born as the 2nd child generation after war. Not to mention the ten-year border conflict (1979 to 1989) between China and Vietnam. But this article is not about history or politics. You can google "Vietnam war" and "1979 Sino-Vietnamese war".
It was a very hard time. Everything was a mess. Tu Michael was born very weak. He was even hospitalized for the first year because of pneumonia. He was also a fussy eater.
First 10 years of his life, main keywords: shy, self-deprecating, completely introverted, spending time alone studying. His only passion is drawing comic and manga with a pen and whatever paper he was handed to. His favorite characters are Sun Wukong (Journey to the West), Spiderman, Doraemon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,etc. He even dreamed of being a mangaka. His art is influenced by Osamu Tezuka and Gosho Aoyama.
II. Phase 2: (1996-2006)
10 years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it
1996-1999: Tu Michael became fascinated by Michael Jackson's music and dance. Practice his first Moondancing moves.
2000: First time standing on the stage of Red Scarf theater (Rạp Khăn Quàng Đỏ) at Hanoi Children's Palace (Cung Thiếu Nhi Hà Nội) , performing for the first English Festival held at Trung Vuong Secondary School. Be overwhelmed by the applause and feel the strange energy when standing on the stage.
2001-2003: Tear, struggle, fight with prejudices, doubts, ridicule, bans from all sides to practice Moondancing silently. Overloaded and hospitalized just before the university entrance exam. Tu Michael only woke up when his father promised to give him the freedom to pursue his passion if he went to University. He was transferred from A Class (Math-Physics-Chemist) to D Class (Math-Literature-English). Focus all of his efforts on exam preparation for 5 months. Gloriously passed the Institute of International Relations (now the Diplomatic University) - one of the top universities). Freedom! That's what Tu Michael always wanted!
2004-2006: started his building personal brand Tu Michael (offline) as a Moondancer. Studying and doing all kinds of part-time jobs. In just 1 year, Tu Michael has hooked up most of the shows at universities and colleges in Hanoi.
2006: The first shock of his life. His father died, at the age of 49. Leaving a haunting pain. The second half of 2006 was knocked out by a broken emotional shock. His first girl-friend broke up with him. Hospitalized again..
10 years from now will it still matter?
III. Phase 3: (2007-2017)
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
2007: Half a year living like a zombie, half awake and half asleep. Fortunately, Tu Michael finally graduated from university. He had the economics bachelor degree but he was still very confused about his career. Settle down with a good paying job or pursue his passion and freedom as a Moondancer. He was scared of being poor and unstable future if he was just performing around as a Moondancer. He chose to settle down. At that time, banking is a hot trend with good salary. He applied for a job in Vietcombank - one of the four biggest and most powerful banks in Vietnam. Passing Vietcombank exam. Ignoring rumors that he passed the exam because he was "protected" by a family member. His mother was a Vietcombank staff but Tu Michael single handedly took exam with his own effort. Tu Michael was proudly to become "son of someone's family" (con nhà người ta) - a good mirror for others to look up to: good-looking, smart, well-educated, a good and "stable" job, etc. But actually inside is full of inferiority and hurt. Culture shock when working as a "banker". So different from the colorful world of the liberal arts. The only salvation: establishing a Michael Jackson fan community in Vietnam (MJFCVN) in November 2007. He started a lifestyle of being 1 person with 2 lives: a quiet banker at daytime and an energetic Moondancer at nightime. Sometimes he felt like he was Batman or Spiderman. A dramatic start of phase 3, right?..
Imagine where you will be in 10 years time if you start right now
2008-2009: two consecutive years of personal brand development (online). Achieve countless achievements. He was on radio and TV quite often. On June 25th, 2009, the King of Pop passed away, or in other words, Michael Jackson had left the physical body. Tu Michael was really hurt and afraid that MJFCVN will no longer thrive. But MJFCVN developed like a storm. There were hundreds of new members everyday. Tu Michael gained a lot of followers, too. Events, shows, interviews, etc. flooded in Tu Michael, while he was still maintaining his banking job. Looking back, I just wondered how the hell Tu Michael got all the time to do all of his work like that?
What if I told you that 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same? I doubt you’d be happy. So, why are you so afraid of change?
2010-2011: Tu Michael began to get exhausted with being "1 person with 2 lives". - the lifestyle that he was once proud of. That was a very lonely, exhausting lifestyle. Feeling uncomfortable, looking for ways to diversify income, especially in the online environment. He started freelancing with simple gigs on Fiverr, get exposed to brand new terms affiliate marketing, social media, SEO, etc. He even joined foreign online marketing communities. He took first steps into the vast, ever-changing and ever-evolving world of MMO (Make Money Online), full of intertwined opportunities and pitfalls.
2012-2015: Tu Michael had built at least 6 different sources of income, both online and offline. Everything looked pretty good but he continued to struggle. Determined to get out of the comfort zone. On May 18, 2015, Tu Michael finally said goodbye to his banking job after 8 years (from 2007 to 2015).
Imagine in ten years from now looking back and being able to say ‘I can’t believe I did this’
After quitting his baking job, Tu Michael felt free more than ever. He could choose any development path that he wanted and had interest. Notable events: being a TEDx speaker, producing the movie Moondancing in which he suggested some ideas and philosophy of Moondancing.
2016-2017: life outside the comfort zone is really exciting but full of uncertainties. There are many good things about studying Buddhism, but many people have been deceived. Wasting energy on trivial things. MJFCVN completely collapsed. Started to self-doubt. Highlights: started buying first Bitcoins in 2017, stayed up all night reading documents about blockchain, crypto, etc. "This is the future!" Tu Michael exclaimed.
Where you are 10 years from now is a reflection of the choices you make in this very moment
IV. Phase 4 (2018-2028):
Sometimes we look back and 10 years from now we think, ‘Boy, those were the great old days.’ Well. you know, we’re living in the good old days
2018-2019: With his deep knowlede and vast skills in marketing, Tu Michael became an affiliate manager who managed more than 10,000 affiliates of Unica - an online learning course platform. He went to work for passion, not for salary. He even managed to build another income source from AirBnB.
2020-2021: When the pandemic broke out, online income increased significantly, even though offline revenue sources were affected (shows, AirBnB, etc.). Tu Michael had huge achievements in financial market, especially in crypto market. Tu Michael became arrogant, complacent with profits from the crypto market. However, his personal life had a serious drama, especially family stuff. It was not convenient to share in public to avoid unnecessary quarrels or debates. Moreover, Tu Michael had involved in darkness when he deliberately used their marketing communication power to PR for a multi-level financial app. He sowed evil seeds from here.
2022: Debt, depression, self-doubt, health crisis (both physically and mentally), countless other events that are not convenient to list. Results from bad causes have become. Karma has galloped and hit Tu Michael from every side. Falling to the bottom and living like a zombie again.
2023: Resurrection. Cannot stand living a life like that anymore. Tu Michael began to workout, learning to control emotion and self-healing day by day. With the helps from friends, family, mentors and so many others. Tu Michael began to gain faith in life, even in God. He revived his old Youtube channel successfully. He even had a strong sincere friendship with an online friend from another half of the globe: Yvette Sanchez. Yvette found out his Youtube channel in October, 2022. And Yvette has been among the ones, if not the only one, who really supports and encourages Tu Michael from the very beginning of this resurrection process.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it
That's it, Tu Michael, you're 38 years old in 2023. If according to the destiny of the one who gave birth to you - your beloved dad, then there are only about 10 years left...
There are 5 more years until the end of phase 4. At that time Tu Michael will be 43 years old...
How this story will continue, no one can predict...
The most reliable way to predict the future is to create it
One thing for sure, as typing these lines, Tu Michael's eyes are red with tears but burning with fire. The fire of passion and determination. One thing for sure, don't know how far he may go, this Tu Michael will never stop!
"Are there any petals that don't fade?
Is there a dream that won't melt?
Sing to reveal the mind
Release yourself to the clouds
My heart is still not tidy
Looking back at the joys and sorrows of May
How many "ten years" times will I have in this life?"
Ten years - Den Vau ft Ngoc Linh
What did you do in the "ten years" ago?
What "ten year time" are you currently at when reading this?
Who will you become, what will you do in the next ten years?
(Excerpt from post from November 14, 2021 on Tu Michael's personal Facebook)
I hope that in 10 years from now I can look back and say ‘I’ve always been kind’
No matter what happens, please keep in mind: life is precious! Nothing is more valuable than life itself!
Please keep an open mind, an open heart and value your life. No matter where you come from, if you are reading this to the end, I sincerely wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart. May God bless us all.
The life in front of you is far more important than the life behind you.
From Tu Michael with L.O.V.E
Hanoi, May 7th, 2023.