We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Chen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After a devastating car accident, my perspective on life drastically changed from having a comfortable corporate job to wanting to challenge myself to do more. Running my own business was the answer and having the opportunity to create a lifestyle, having a vision, and making it come to a reality fascinated me a lot more than just sitting in corporate.
Running my own business has given me the opportunity to learn more about myself, overcome obstacles, and meet amazing people along the way. I have the chance to take a second chance to better my life and those around me and I don’t think I can do that with a general corporate salary. I tell all aspiring entrepreneurs to go where it’s a bit less crowded.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
After having run a product incubator in the Bay Area, I realized I still needed to build and launch something of my own. From the moment I left corporate, I ended up working on other people’s businesses. While that gave me a wide breadth of hands-on experience, I needed to see whether I could do it for myself. The reason I left corporate was to fulfill my dream of being an entrepreneur but I found myself helping others achieve their dreams. While I still love doing that I needed to fulfill my own potential.
I conceived and created the first Boba Card Game in the US and launched it on Kickstarter Feb 2021. In the first 4 hours, we achieved our goal of raising $10,000 and finished our 30-day campaign at $148K.
This product came to life in just a few short months and based on my experience having launched various businesses to market, ranging from $0-$200K in sales per month, I knew I had the ability to have a successful launch. My peers have mentioned that my ability to build genuine connections is what led me to have such a great launch since a lot of people were very supportive of the project.
Over the last several years of building businesses, it really does come down to your network. As overplayed the phrase ‘network is your net worth’ stands true. I tell people to make sure they build genuine relationships, help others as much as they can and you will be paid back tenfold. I never price anything, nor time. Anyone who asks for help I try my best to give them my time.
I am always willing to help since I empathize with those who are starting on their entrepreneurial journey or those well in it and need more help. I do this because I’ve experienced those who are further ahead, help me and I can only pay it forward to future entrepreneurs.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m still exploring Los Angeles and love discovering more and more food places. Being in Culver City, it’s a great central location to travel to most of LA. Since this is a week-long trip, I would sprinkle both Beach and Snow for a true California experience. Start with some bike rentals to stroll along the bike path, from Marina Del Rey, up through Venice and into Santa Monica.
Catch a beach sunset anywhere since the view is amazing. You can spend an early strolling through Sawtelle to grab ramen or dessert. Tsjuita and the Millet Crepe are awesome spots to check out.
I’d spend an afternoon exploring DTLA, the Row, fashion district, flower markets on the weekend, and more. End your evening at a Korean BBQ spot in Ktown.
Take a drive out to Mammoth or Big Bear to catch some snow. With a cross between the desert and mountains, you can get the best of both worlds with their natural hot springs. On your way back, spend some time in San Gabriel Valley areas for bomb Asian food. Grab Boba, desserts, and more.
That’s the generalized itinerary for a week’s worth. Enjoy the moments and memories with friends, that’s most important. It just happens that LA is a great place to do that =)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my shoutout to the collective community that I’ve built up along the way. Those that have witnessed my journey from the very beginning, those that stuck with me through it, and the new friends I’ve met along the way. Each person I’ve interacted with helped me in various capacities, whether they were a seasoned entrepreneur or someone just starting out. Each person helped highlight my life to become the entrepreneur that I am today.
Anthony Bui Tran was my first North star that I discovered in the world of business and he was my inspiration that I could achieve my business goals. From there, it’s been a never-ending chain of events that came from the very first moment of meeting him.