Skip to content

BONUS! Year in Review 2015

Year in Review 2015!

Welcome to Startup Life Hacks 2015, year in review!

First of all I want to thank each and every one of you for having me in your ears while your driving, cooking, doing the dishes, or whatever you are doing to absorb the content.

For subscribing, for sending in the great reviews.

I’m doing this for YOU.

I apologize for the delayed episode, but there were a lot of events this holiday season that left me out of my studio, aka my room, which involved going to LA to pick up my parents that flew in from Japan, non-stop family gatherings, and also recovering from a stomach bug that’s been going around lately in San Diego.

Oh and also falling 13,000 feet in the sky, but more on that later.


This is a special episode not only because it will be my last episode of this calendar year, but this will also be my first episode reflecting on this year’s accomplishments, failures, and lessons learned.

Something that I feel like everyone should do even if you don’t have a business.

It’s good to reflect and look back at what you’ve accomplished to see where you’ve come from and how far you’ve come since then.

Now is the best time ever as we’re entering the New Year, 2016.

I’ve seen some podcasters and bloggers do this and I think this was usually their best episode/blog to listen to.

Mainly because it really makes it humbling to know that they are going through the same challenges I am facing as I’m running my business and I can learn a lot from their trials and errors, as well as tips on what I can do in the future to further my business.

And that’s what I wanted to provide to you, and I hope you walk out of here with a few takeaways before this episode is over.


In this episode you will know a little bit more about me, in case you haven’t listened to my awful first episode.

How I started with podcasting earlier this February to this current episode and everything in between.

And a little bonus!

What’s in store for Startup Life Hacks for 2016!


So a quick background about me. I am a Master’s of Engineering student in Electrical Engineering at San Diego State University. Go AZTECS!



I was born in the Philippines, but raised here in San Diego, part of the reason why I’ve lost my accent and adopted the California tongue.

I grew up very traditional.

I was taught the traditional values of going to school and getting good grades to get a safe and secure job with benefits.

Stay with the company for 20 years to get a pension to live a “comfortable” life.

Sound familiar?

I’m not saying that this is a bad route to take, because most people take this route.

I’m just saying that I found out later that this was not the route for me.

And seeing as though you are listening to this podcast, we are on the same boat.


I’ve always felt that I would fuse technology and business together and make a living out of it.

I was always good at math at a young age (In fact I was usually first to complete the multiplication table in elementary school whenever we had a contest).


And even though I was a shy kid while growing up, I had a good sense of putting things where they need to be visually.

Not many people know this, but I was originally a Marketing Major my Freshman year of college, hoping to be the next real estate Mogul.

It wasn’t until I took a one year leave of absence after the first year and returned to college, when I took a pivot and switched to electrical engineering to put my math to good use.


Between that change to earlier this year was a crazy one.

I tried starting two companies.

The first was a shopping cart theft prevention company we called Find Cart.

Placed top 3 in a business plan competition with no prior business experience.

That didn’t continue on after my partners and me won.

The second was a mobile gaming company I called The Don Studios, where I repurpose game apps and send them over to iTunes using the freemium model.

Meaning free to download, but extra bonuses you can unlock by purchasing coins or credits.

The first app being a Twerking Running Game, inspired by Miley Cyrus’ shocking 2013 VMA performance.

Super-Twerk-iphone5-kiss Super-Twerk-iphone5-title

Hahah I don’t even think it’s in the app store any more.

That failed as well, although there were plenty of lessons learned.


Fast forward to earlier this year to my podcasting business.

I decided to take some fun classes that interested me.

I tried to take a Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship course, aside from taking engineering courses, but the system wouldn’t allow me to add the class to my schedule.

But once I talked with the professor, she allowed me to crash and sit through the class everyday.

I took notes and participated in every assignment and project.

One of the projects was to interview a Startup Founder around the community and discuss about how that person became an entrepreneur and what steps he took to get to where he was at.

After everyone presented their findings toward the end of the semester, I saw everyone’s eyes light up with ideas on how they can innovate and start companies of their own.

That’s when I had the idea for the podcast.

I wanted to have the same effect and inspire others in a larger scale, and I chose podcasting as my medium.

I chose podcasting because you can connect with the listener better, obviously through myself and the guest’s voice to the listener’s ear.

You can hear the passion through their voice, you can hear how excited they are about their business.

That was something that I wanted to capture.


I had no journalism experience prior to this, so I started from the ground up.

I didn’t know what equipment to use, how to get guests, I was nervous, I was afraid, but I was excited.

Because I get to go out of my comfort zone, and do something that excites me.


The first step I took was sought out mentors or people that I can learn from.

I knew that one of the podcasts I listened to, EntrepreneurOnFire with John Lee Dumas, he had a podcasting course which allowed you to learn how to podcast and go from zero to launch in no time, called Podcaster’s Paradise.


And so I invested money into that course to learn how to podcast.

And here’s what I like to do.

Whenever I think about doing something I make the initial investment right then and there.

That way I don’t over think it and psyche myself out.

This goes for anything, when I plan on going to conferences, vacations, take courses online.

Also, be mindful, during this period I was working full-time as a technician at Qualcomm, and also going to graduate school.

So I had some extra cash to spend on self-development.

This is also a tip I have for you.

Set some money aside every year for self-development and to learn something new.

Learn from people who have been where you want to be.

Learn from their mistakes

You can save so much more money by avoiding those simple mistakes by investing time and money learning every year.


I didn’t really start podcasting until early June of this year.

I had the whole summer to myself with no distractions from school so it was the perfect time to get things settled before I launch the first day of school.

I had gotten acquainted with the equipment watching tutorials online and through the course, set my website, and now time to record my first episode…episode 000


I never really listened to myself until this moment.

I remember listening to myself thinking…

“Do I really sound like this?”

And quite frankly, this was one of the moments when I wanted to quit, and I hadn’t even launched yet!

I had what people called “The Imposter Syndrome.”

Who am I to start this podcast?

Who am I to do something outside of what I was taught at school?

Where I already invested years and student loans paying for?


So what did any college student do at that moment?

Called up a group of my buddies and went to a bar in Pacific Beach.


Not gonna lie, it felt like the right decision at that time.

But I knew I was only stalling and I needed to get back to work.

I needed to remember why I started this podcast in the first place.

So I sucked it up and started recording.

It wasn’t perfect, in fact I was embarrassed, still embarrassed by my first episode.

There’s a famous quote by Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

Think about that.


The first run of guests was easy to find.

I interviewed my previous boss from a startup I worked for in the past, Braydon Moreno from Robo3D


My friend and personal trainer Justin Ayres from Ripe


Also my old classmate from undergrad Drew Haines, that started a software company, called Devco.


All had inspiring stories that I wanted to share with, You.

The rest of the guests came from references, attending meetups, going to conferences and events.

You can hear how I met these guests in the beginning of each episode.

There’s always an opportunity out there, you just have to go out there and get it.

A closed mouth never gets fed is also what I live by.


I’ve learned a great deal from these entrepreneurs, and I can’t thank them enough for taking the time out of their busy schedules to sit and talk with me for an hour.

They’ve given me advice on how to plan out my next move in my business, which I will talk about in a bit.


Although podcasting is a very social medium, meaning that I get to go around and meet a lot of awesome people, the majority of my time was spent inside my room editing, learning new tools, creating content.

I’d say for every 30 minutes of audio I record, I do about 4 hours of post editing.

Now with 30 episodes already on iTunes, you can imagine the work that was put in.

And that’s just the editing!


2015 was the year of the hustle.

Like what I always say in every episode…

Stay Positive, Keep Grinding.

It’s what I live by even after this year is over.

Aside from business I was also able to experience some new things.

During the summer I went on my first cruise where I went on the Mexican Riviera.

I ziplined through the forests of Puerte Vallarta

Parasailed in the shores of Mazatlan.


IMG_0855IMG_0814 (1)

And just a couple days ago I went skydiving for the second time in San Diego.

That was amazing!

Jumped off a plane 13,000 ft in the air, reaching speeds of up to 120 mph.

All I gotta say is…good thing I wore a jacket.


Now for the future of Startup Life Hacks for 2016.

After hearing all of these startup stories, I am bound to start one of my own, right?

I’m proud to announce that I’ve too become a startup founder, for a startup named Trainstar.

It was started by a couple of my previous classmates from engineering and they brought me on the team to head the marketing.

I don’t want to give too much away, but we will be creating an app for fitness enthusiasts.

I love being active and going to the gym.

In fact, I’ll be competing in a men’s physique contest in August of 2016.

So this aligns perfectly.

I want to make sure everyone sees every step of the way in our startup.


For the podcast, we will be doing a pivot.

We will be concentrating more on a few startups so that we really get to know the inner workings on how they are doing things and progressing.

One of the startups we’ll be following is Trainstar!

During the first episode we’ll be interviewing with the founders and find out how Trainstar got started, then in the later episodes we’ll dive deeper and get into conversations with developers, marketing, financing, and all the things you wouldn’t get to see in an interview style podcast.

We’ll be doing this format with a few other startups as well that are yet to be determined.

So if you are interested in this opportunity, then shoot me an email at


But, in order for all of these changes to take effect, we will be taking a short break from releasing new episodes for the next few weeks.

If you want to be the first to know about what were are doing, then head on over to and enter in our VIP list.


So that’s all I have for you in this year in review episode of 2015.

I hope you had some takeaways from today.

Hope you have a great New Years!

Looking forward to having you join us in 2016!


And as always.



Thank You for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining me again this week. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the side of this post.

Also, don’t forget to leave an honest review for the Startup Life Hacks Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes.