Lee Tyau is the Owner of Wet Shaving Products in Chandler. Lee has overcome obstacles and has great advice to share with other entrepreneurs that he has learned throughout his journey. Read more about Lee…
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
First job: My very first steady job was at a plant nursery or a restaurant, can’t recall which was first, lol. They were both summer jobs. I worked as a cook at the restaurant, mostly food prep. The nursery was slightly more interesting, but the work was hard. We would plant, uproot, and transfer plants and trees; spray & dig up weeds (mostly dig); and move plants around. It was very labor intensive work done outside in the sun. The hours were right before the crack of dawn til 3 or 4 (before it got too hot). This was in Hawaii so, it wasn’t brutally hot at 12pm, but it was pretty darn warm.
Favorite AZ restaurant: PF Chang’s. They put up with my screaming toddler, and the food’s pretty good. I like the shrimp & melon and Mongolian beef with yellow instead of green onions.
Person who has impacted your life the most: Sentimental answer, but… my daughter. She’s going to change me in ways I can’t imagine and she’s already changed almost everything about my home life. Even my business life revolves around her and her well being. Providing for her and her future. To give her the things I never had and to make sure I’m there for her when she needs me, even though she may not want me.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: As far as singular accomplishments go, I’d have to say passing the bar. It wasn’t just a marathon of a test, the prep started from day 1 of law school. I had to change the way I thought about problems and how I analyzed them. Learning the IRAC method and going through the Socratic method of learning. Relearning how to write. How to do intensive research. So, after spending 6 hours in that testing room and finally receiving the passing score a couple months later, it has so far dwarfed every other “accomplishment” in my life. Otherwise, caring for my daughter and staying in business continue to be daily accomplishments.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: Being introverted. Growing up, I was the furthest thing from the popular kid. I was definitely the kid with glasses and a book. While I wasn’t the skinny kid, I never showed any interest in sports. My interactions with girls can only best be described as awkward. I never had many friends, etc . . .
Someone who inspires you: Steve Jobs. He was truly a visionary. But such an @sshole. He had such vision and single-minded perseverance, plus a selling ability in that he was able to create so much and succeed so well in spite of being a huge jerk to most. So, I aspire to have the determination and vision, but also aspire to be kind and reasonable with people (or you know, not be a “dick”).
Favorite quote: “Winter is coming” Because right now, I could damn well use the cool air! The snow birds have the right idea… Oh, and I would really like to read the end of that series, or even the next book…
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Learn how to do research; deep research, not just the first page of Google results. Because as an entrepreneur, you’ll be wearing a lot of hats and/or overseeing a lot of specialists and you’ll need to understand what they’re supposed to be doing and ensure they aren’t taking advantage of you.
As for getting started and running the business, you need to treat it as a continual experiment. Test, test, test, & test some more. Remember what your financial advisor told you about diversifying? You make a lot of small bets and see which ones pans out. Then you make a bigger bet with the one that succeeds. Rinse, lather, repeat. Entrepreneurship isn’t about making a huge risky bet and gambling that you’ll win (only 1/million succeed at that strategy), it’s about taking calculated risks with time/money you can “afford” to lose.
You need to be willing and ready to pivot at a moment’s notice. That means you have to be willing to cut your losses early. The biggest mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make is not cutting their losses and pivoting to something more profitable. You need to treat it like a business, and you as an employee. Your time has value and you need to treat yourself as ultimately replaceable. Otherwise, you just have a job with an even more demanding boss than in corporate world (unless you worked for Amazon, I hear it’s pretty demanding at the executive level).
What makes someone fabulous: Being happy and content with what they have. Realizing that even if the grass is be greener on the other side, you still have grass and you can always add fertilizer. Or, you know, ask your neighbor for some help with the grass. Or just install some astro turf and not worry about it anymore. Lol
Learn more about Wet Shaving Products at wetshavingproducts.com.