We had the good fortune of connecting with YU SHI and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi YU, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk management is my favorite topic of all time!
After being a risk analyst for so many years, I have so much to say about it, since it seems to always be around my life as a friend, enemy, teacher and mentor.
Imagining someone living in the center of the finance world, working 80 to 100 hours a week, earning a fairly good salary, working at a reputable company with professionals who hold high standards for themselves, doing exercises actively, eating healthy and having great friends and family around. Does that seem like a good life to you?
Meanwhile, living in a very busy and expensive city, working until the wee hours of the morning at the company, competing with super smart co-workers, not having time to exercise regularly, functioning on minimal sleep for tomorrow’s workday, and unable to see friends and family. Does that seem like a stressful life to you?
These were the two sides of my life, when I worked as a risk analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City.
I enjoyed my life and I was also frustrated by it. I saw music and composition as a much more than a hobby. I saw composition class as much more than just “educational advancement” and I was not excited by my future in investment banking as it is very repetitive and lack of creativity.
So I took a leap of faith. I left Goldman Sachs and moved to Los Angeles to be a “Goldwoman” who chases after her dream as a music composer fearlessly.
It took great courage to left a stable comfortable job and decided to pursue my dreams. However, the feeling of uncertainty was always present. It seemed like this was going to be the start of an inspirational success story or a set up for failure.
Making this decision was indeed very risky, but I realized the bigger risk if I stayed.
The biggest risk is not taking risk.
In our lives, the only thing given that is absolutely limited is TIME. We can make money but we can’t make time. So anything that has a high costs of time is a very risky thing to do. Instead of using my precious time hesitating or doubting myself, I decided to make the move.
After moving to LA, my life changed a lot. I learned to be my own boss, search for gigs, deal with diverse people, promote myself, and manage my finances.
These were things I never dealt with when I worked in the corporate setting. It was more difficult than I could have ever expected. No one could have been completely prepared for this type of drastic career change! The experience of this transition was far different from my original expectations.
The lessons I learned from being self-employed are extremely valuable. It has enriched my life and advanced my career. The risk paid off and I was rewarded. I now have greater confidence in myself and clarity of my career goals.
Every time I face a difficult decision, I always ask myself: will it advance my career or become a better person? If the answer is yes, then I will take action as soon as possible whether or not I have a perfect plan.
With much practice I am now comfortable being uncomfortable. And that’s how I will continue my journey as a music composer and as an entrepreneur.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Coming from a background of having experience in both finance and art / music world, I work as a music composer as well as a business person.
I compose music for films, TV series, concerts and events that needs music.
When I compose for motion pictures, I am driven for improving characters’ emotions, understanding storytelling and expressing the emotions with the right compositional ideas. When I write for concerts, I love to compose around a social event or an exciting idea where I could break gaps and create bridges between different industries, cultures and races.
So far, I have scored for feature films, short films, and web series and my concert music has been performed live in New York City and Italy.
Outside of the music world, I am the founder of C Sharp Business Consulting. I work with filmmakers, musicians and artists on the business side to create pitch decks. I utilize my financial analysis skill and business skills to help them effectively present their artistic ideas from a financial perspective. What made my pitch deck stands out is my strong focus on financial numbers analysis and data visualization oriented presentation.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A week is too short for LA! But I will make it happen!
I would take them to Tacos Tu Madre in Los Feliz for tacos, Duck House in Monterey Park for Peking duck, Yum Yum in Glendale for chocolate donuts, and of course to In-N-Out for double cheeseburgers!
I would take them to the Getty Museum for the mind-blowing exhibits, to the Griffith park for the night view of the beautiful city. We’d drive north along highway No.1 for the gorgeous scenery and watch the dolphins and seals! I would take them to Mount Baldy for a ski trip and camping in Joshua Tree for the weekend.
And of course, I’d take them to different indie movie theaters and festivals since LA is a red carpet experience! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I consider myself the luckiest person, because I have the strongest support in the world. I am grateful that my husband embraces my roller-coaster ups and downs of life with a loving heart and incredible patience. I am grateful that my family supports each of my small wins with big celebrations. I am grateful my friends always show absolutely unbiased love for me. I am also super grateful to my teachers and mentors who helped me open the door.
Without them, I will not be where I am today.
Instagram: music: yushi_composer / Business: c_sharp_business_consulting