Misa Chien is the co-founder of Praisewortthy, a company that focuses on empowering and training front-line employees through customer feedback. They are currently working with thousands of stores, ensuring millions of happy customers a year.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
When I was three years old, doctors diagnosed me with dyslexia. And so, right from that age, I knew that I learned differently, and I had that experience in school with being a much slower learner, and having more challenges in school compared to my classmates. That’s something I struggled with for quite a bit of my life.
I’d say, up until now there are still some challenges I have. I think it’s actually made me much stronger today, and it’s been a huge blessing, but for a while it was a struggle.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Something that I do is that I really like to try to just follow through with the majority of the things that I pursue. So even if I don’t fully enjoy it, I try to, at least, somewhat, finish it. You know, if you are not working hard, if it’s not super challenging, you know you have to make it a little harder. I kind of enjoy the challenge.
What do you think separates world-class/top performers from everybody else?
I would say “grit” and “perseverance” are a big, big thing. Definitely when running my previous business ‘Nom Nom Truck’ that was a huge challenge, and going through an experience like that, and having a failing business like that has really shaped me to be the person I am today. I wrote about Nom Nom Truck’s roller coaster of a journey in an article I posted also on LinkedIn, so if you want to learn how I did it, pay the article a visit.
What is your morning routine?
Since my co-founder’s also my husband, we have a routine together. By 7 A.M., we either go out to eat, or most days, he goes and makes eggs, and we kind of have a present moment in the morning; we don’t look at our phones, we really stick to spending some time together before we start our work. It’s great to have that routine in the morning, and really enjoy it, and live in the moment because each day is a blessing.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently? weekly plan?
On average, I work from 8 A.M. till 4 P.M., and usually try to stop after 4 P.M. unless I have a business meeting. By keeping it to that, I can really stay focused, I can stay very efficient, and I use the Pomodoro Technique that really has revolutionized the way I work, and the way I focus, and I’ve got a lot less burned out as a result. I also use Calendly to book business meetings, which has been a huge help to our sales process.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Something I do every year is, at the end of the year I reflect on the previous year–what I’ve learned, and sometimes I even write a newsletter that goes out to close friends and family regarding what I’ve learned. A lot of people thank me for that newsletter because it has some lessons in it, and it’s a great way to reflect back on the year, and take a moment and pause and learn from how you’ve grown over the last year.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I think that the biggest thing I’ve learned is that what society or advertising tells you what the huge majority of the people do isn’t necessarily what makes the human psyche happy. So for example, a huge portion of the American workforce has a very, very long commute of at least 40 minutes, and that’s proven to not make people happy–to have to commute that long.
So, what I’ve realized is that, by not following ‘herd mentality,’ and what the majority of people are doing is actually a path to your own happiness. And sometimes, also, what makes other people happy doesn’t necessarily make you happy. So each person is their own individual self, and you have to find your own path to happiness.
What brings you joy and makes you happy?
It would have to be spending time with close family, as well as my husband and co-founder, and friends as well, that makes me extremely happy. So, I try to keep a balance of that because it’s important, so important, to not get burned out from work. I love working, but I’ve learned that it’s very important to have that balance.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
I’m reading this really great book called “Grit,” and there’s this quote by Henry Ford that says, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” And it’s really all about the fact that you are you’re own person. Your hard work and your psyche can determine your destiny, and manifest how you live your life.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
It’s really this “Grit” book I’ve been reading. It’s “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” just has been revolutionary to me because it’s answered a lot of questions about entrepreneurship and why certain entrepreneurs succeed and others don’t. And it values perseverance and grit much more than just success in general.