Building A Business From Bootstrap To $1 Million with Yong-Soo Chung

Brian chats with Yong-Soo Chung, a serial entrepreneur who founded three e-commerce companies in the span of seven years. With his latest venture, the podcast First Class Founders, Yong-Soo is on a mission to impact entrepreneurs by sharing his lessons on building sustainable businesses from bootstrap to earning more than $1 million in annual revenue.

On the episode, Yong-Soo shares his three pillars for a successful business and fulfilling life. He also discusses the importance of listening to your intuition and taking advantage of the opportunities that come your way.

Episode Highlights

Mission-driven businesses do more than make money.

Yong-Soo defines a mission-driven business as one that has an intention or purpose beyond making money. Whether it’s helping a community or donating a percentage of profits to a cause, mission-driven businesses do activities for a bigger purpose.

“The way I like to put it is when you’re living, money is like oxygen, so you need money to survive,” Yong-Soo explained. “But it’s not like you’re living your life to breathe, right? That’s the kind of way that I like to look at it.”

Root yourself in a city that supports your growth.

Before becoming a serial entrepreneur, Yong-Soo worked in finance in New York City. Following his intuition, Yong-Soo decided to take his life in a new direction by moving to San Francisco and pursuing his own business.

“What I was doing didn’t feel like something that would fulfill me 5 or 10 years down the line,” Yong-Soo said. “I knew that it was like a bandage that just needed to be ripped off, and I just needed to essentially start over in a new area.”

The move was difficult but allowed him to meet people with similar goals and discover opportunities he would have never known existed. His personal values and vision for the future were key in deciding which city to live in and which opportunities to pursue.

“New York City is obviously a fantastic city for opportunities, but it didn’t serve what I wanted to do 5 to 10 years down the line,” Yong-Soo said “Being rooted in an area that you want to compound yourself in all areas of your life is really the key.” 

Three steps to live your best life.

Yong-Soo lists three simple but impactful actions to live your best life:

  1. Focus on what you can control.

  2. Focus on what you do have.

  3. Do not dwell on the past.

“The chances of an app succeeding in a big way was very small, but it’s more about the learning process and the lessons you’re going to learn along the way,” Song-Yoon said. “That’s where the gems and the valuable lessons come from.”

Resources + Links

About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast

Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.

On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.