“I have been able to re-invent myself 4 times since I graduated college so for those of you that tell yourself “it’s too late” well… I’m here to tell you, it’s NEVER TOO LATE.” Seibo Shen shared with the AHN community.
Seibo was frequently the target of bullying at school as he was always the shortest boy in his class, in many cases, he was also shorter than the shortest girl in class. In order to deal with bullies, he started buying candy in bulk at Costco and selling it at school in order to make some extra money and gave his bullies free candy in order to avoid getting punched or shoved into lockers.
Even though he consistently did very well on his school tests, he felt that he was underachieving and still struggled to find the motivation to push himself further. His first year in college was exciting and fun though, in fact, too much fun that he ended up getting kicked out. This turned out to be a good opportunity in disguise, “I moved back home, went to community college, busted my ass, and ended up getting into UCLA.” he added.
While attending UCLA, Seibo said that he also had a lot of fun but he never lost sight of the fact that in order to graduate, he needed to maintain his concentration and his sense of responsibility. It was interesting for him though that experimenting with cannabis let him free his creative side while also making it easier for him to concentrate on his schoolwork. His interests shifted and switched his major from Business to Ethnic Studies because the latter more closely coincided with his ideology of wanting to make a difference in the world.
After graduating, he took the first few years of his adult life to travel and support himself by working as a stuntman in Hollywood. “While being a stuntman was very fun, I knew that I had to eventually get a higher paying and more stable job and coincidentally, one of my best friends had decided to take the LSAT to go to law school.”
Because Seibo had nothing else better to do that weekend, he ended up taking the LSAT with his friend. Surprisingly, he performed extremely well on it, and as a result, he ended up applying to law school at Santa Clara University, where he was accepted. He interned at a law firm for a year prior to going to law school and began to realize that while this may have been a good monetary decision for him, he couldn’t imagine himself working 60 hours a week doing boring legal work.
“After a week of law school, I KNEW it wasn’t for me and I ended up dropping out at the age of 25, with no real work experience other than being a stuntman and backup dancer.” The dream of making six figures immediately after graduation from law school was replaced by the reality of making $12 per hour testing video games at Sony for a living. “Basically I was smoking weed and playing video games all day.”
It was embarrassing for Seibo every time he got together with his friends because, while he was trying to figure out how he was going to pay for the meal that they were eating, his friends were thinking about what they were going to buy next with the money that they were making working at investment firms or high tech start-ups. “That is when I had my wake-up moment, I was going to make something of myself and do it fast”
He eventually got around to reading the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” in which he discovered that working in sales was the most vital job to have if one wanted to become an entrepreneur. He immersed himself in a number of sales books and applied for sales positions at early-stage tech startups in San Francisco with the dream of becoming rich after a huge exit.
Most of the hiring managers were underwhelmed by his credentials and literally laughed in his face, “My only work experience was jumping out of windows or playing video games”.
He desperately begged for a commission-only job, so there was nothing to lose for the company, even though Seibo was genuinely frightened about the possibility that he would go from making $12 an hour to making nothing, “This was the first time in my life that I was really committed to my goal” Seibo said, “I wanted to prove my sales skills to the hiring manager and I promised him that he wouldn’t regret his decision.”
It was a challenging job, he was required to make 100 calls a day to potential customers and ask if they wanted to buy data lists of decision-makers at Fortune 500 companies. For the first two weeks, he got rejected 1000 times, “I was really starting to lose motivation but on my 1001 call…I got my first sale and the joy of closing a deal made me forget about all the past rejections, I could feel something within me UNLOCK.”
From that point on, he rose through the ranks to become their top sales representative, and within two years, “Salesforce ended up acquiring us for 175 million and I got to live the Silicon Valley dream, go from start-up to successful exit” he added, “While I didn’t get a ton of stock options, I had more money than I ever had in my life!” He was on fire that he had 5 successful exits in a row!
Despite the fact that his bank account was growing, he did not feel any sense of fulfillment. Every piece of software he sold resulted in humans getting fired because their application could automate what used to take teams of humans to perform.
At 33, he had his first daughter but he also began to fall into another state of depression. He had reached his professional goals but felt empty inside. “Tony Robbins has said ‘Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure’ – That is what I was feeling like,” Seibo said. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to accomplish with the remainder of his life or how he was going to continue to feel happy and enthusiastic about things. He asked himself these questions.
His encouraging wife reminded him that he had always wanted to be an entrepreneur and that his motivation would increase if he was doing his own thing rather than working for another start-up company. She emphasized the importance of his having control over his work environment.
It inspired him to create something that was also personally helpful for him, and in 2013 he launched VapeXhale EVO, which is the world’s safest way to consume cannabis. It was honored with practically every award that could be given in the cannabis industry. Many of their clients were retired and active professional athletes.
VapeXhale EVO began helping many of these athletes deal with serious injuries and traumatic head injuries by using cannabinoid therapy as an alternative to conventional medicines and opiates, which merely numbed the pain but did not address the underlying issues.
In addition to that, he founded and became the CEO of two other companies Hanu Labs (2018) and BRNR Lab (2020), and has been featured in Forbes, Fox Business, and Business Insider. “In addition to running three companies, I have managed to create systems and time management protocols so that I can still go on weekly date nights with my wife, volunteer at all my children’s school activities, and still have enough time to be a jiu-jitsu competitor.”
He was living in the heart of Silicon Valley where one of his neighbors was the head of AI at Google and the other was one of the top executives at Airbnb. One thing that he realized was despite all of the success and achievements, none really felt satisfied and fulfilled.
Even while he took pleasure in designing vaporizers, doing the CEO part of the job, fundraising, interviews, and board meetings, these weren’t things that made him feel alive anymore. In 2021, Seibo stepped down as CEO of his three companies. “Even though we were starting to finally see the financial success we were always waiting for,” Seibo said, “I no longer had the same youthful enthusiasm I had when we first started in 2013.”
It was very tough for him to say goodbye to “Seibo the CEO,” despite the fact that he was aware that it was time for him to move on to the next part of his life. This realization came to him on February 17th while on a family vacation to Lake Tahoe, “By Feb 18th I had informed the board and by Feb 19th we found a new CEO and I stepped down to begin the next phase of my life as the Chief Product Officer of my company and as a full-time mindset coach.”
Seibo began meditating again to get a better understanding of what his purpose was and how he might bring it into reality with the right vision. He came to the realization that he could improve the quality of his life if he stopped working 70 hours a week and focused on his relationships and the important things in life.
It came as a complete shock to him to find that he even became more successful that he was able to achieve his goal with patience and a great deal of fun, rather than stressing and grinding, “This has been THE BEST decision I have made in my life.” He continued by saying, “What I am saying here is that it is NEVER TOO LATE to make that change you want to make in life.”
Not only was he able to completely turn his life around, but over the past year, he has been instrumental in the fundamental improvement of the lives of 42 other people, “It took me some time to figure out what to call someone who is successful in life, happy and content and isn’t constantly stressed out about their business, jobs, and where they are in their life,” he said, “Then it dawned on me, these people are CHILLIONAIRES!”
This year, Seibo’s goal is to help 420 people become CHILLIONAIRES!
Self-reinvention is not about changing yourself into someone else, rather it is about refocusing your life on the things that are most important to you. There may come a time in your life when the things that you were first passionate about will no longer contribute to fueling your motivation And that is perfectly fine! Change is never easy. It’s completely daunting, but it’s possible!