Hard work, persistence, and passion are musts to be a successful entrepreneur. Some business founders come from fairly solid backgrounds, while others are not so fortunate.
Jay Yu rose from a self-described “sweatshop baby” to amassing a fortune as a self-taught and private self-investor.
Born in China, Jay immigrated with his family to the United States at the young age of one. He used to accompany his mother to work five days a week in clothing-producing sweatshops. A first-generation immigrant, he grew up in poverty. The family relied on government assistance. As a result, Jay did not have the best access to education, and he endured this while facing the scourge of racism.
This difficult childhood made a lifelong impression on the future business magnate. Eventually getting the education he desired, Jay earned a BA in Psychology from the City College of New York, and has also taken specialty classes at the prestigious Columbia University, all while working full time as well. He is a proud member of Nu Alpha Phi, an international fraternity where he helps mentor college students and new graduates. Jay’s philanthropy continues through LunarNYC, a non-profit he founded that nurtures the youth of New York City with sports and education.
This activity was prompted by Jay wanting to do his part to make sure no child endures what he did. He also offers solid advice to budding young entrepreneurs. Jay’s recommendations are to dedicate yourself to something you are passionate about, solve problems, wake up excited about your business, and surround yourself with people who share your work ethic and match your hunger. This hunger and desire do not have to be strictly monetary as these areas also apply to hunger for growth and knowledge. Moreover, this is not just applicable to the business world, but life in general.
Jay’s warning to his protégées: get to know the people you are doing business with or partnering. Ensure they have the same hunger and work ethic as you for a more seamless working relationship. Again, this is very valuable advice, as eager and inexperienced youths are easy prey for those who are less scrupulous.
When it comes to tips for success, Jay tells people what worked for him: calculated and forward-thinking risks with a limitless mind-set. Yet, be sure the body, mind, and soul are in harmony. Those fortunate enough to have this strategic advisor as a mentor have taken significant first steps towards a bright business future while Jay himself has found fulfilment in helping out the next generation of youth and business leaders.