We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Lin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, how do you think about risk?
There’s a quote that has really resonated with me since starting my business over 5 years ago, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Real growth occurs when you are pushed outside your comfort zone. This mindset has allowed me to take risks such as starting one of the first male nanny agencies in the U.S., traveling solo over seas, quitting a stable job, jumping into new business opportunities, and much more. I think many of us are afraid to fail. Honestly, I am more afraid not to fail. I have learned so much about myself by taking risks and not succeeding than succeeding without failing. There’s nothing wrong with failing and I think our society has created this stigma around failing and taking risks, especially when you don’t need to, but life isn’t an one street, one way, one speed journey. It’s about taking turns, going backwards, and, even, going off the paved road. When we pave new paths, we begin to see things we have never dreamed of seeing.
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?
Mannies of L.A. is one of the only male nanny agencies in the world! We are providing families with the much needed positive male role model in their child’s life. When you think about it, many children go through school not seeing a male teacher for quite some time. There’s a special connection and energy that children have with males. It’s important to note that one is not better than the other. It’s important to have a balance of positive male and positive female role models. However, the way our system is setup now, there’s just a lack of positive male role models. When Mannies of L.A. was started in 2014, there was not male nanny agency. The tough part of starting this niche business was educating parents on the importance of a male nanny. Unfortunately, there’s this stigma around males working with kids. A lot of my initial conversations is helping families understand there are amazing male nannies that are educated, thoughtful, kind, caring, and responsible. I’d really want the world to know that the early years are so crucial for children. Take a look at their life right now and see the types of people (adults and children) they are surrounded by. Are they lacking male role models? If so, it’s important to fill that need.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ohhh fun question! I love exploring the city and showing friends the non touristy areas. I think the first thing would be to grab some sandwiches from Jackson Market and then bike on the Balloona Creek Path from Culver City all the way down to the Hermosa Pier. A night hike at Griffith park is a must! I’d grab some tacos/burritos from Leo’s taco truck and head to Griffith Park Observatory around 5:30 pm. First spend some time at the observatory and then walk to the trailhead. Bar hopping in the Arts District! First check out two of the breweries there, then stroll along to some small art galleries. Then head to Little Tokyo for some DELICIOUS food! Maybe end the night at Tokyo Beat for some dancing and karaoke. Another fun event would be to go to Santa Monica Main Street and shop the local shops and the Farmers Market. On a Sunday, attend the Melrose Trading Post. After shopping the local flea markets, grab some food at a small local restaurant on Melrose Ave.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is a difficult question. There hasn’t been one person that has ultimately influenced me but many. I’ve had the support of my family, friends, an old high school tennis coach, colleagues, and random strangers. This is a shoutout to all and any of those individuals I have crossed paths with near and far. In some small way, they have all played a role in my success.