Jeremy Choi has several enterprises. His focus as an entrepreneur is on the impact he leaves behind in the world. His latest venture is WPUP, a website business.
What’s your story?
I was born into a typical Asian family where my parents wanted me to be a doctor, lawyer or an engineer. I tried that path and just couldn’t find passion in it. I applied for jobs and no one would hire me, so out of necessity, I decided to start and build companies. Since then, I’ve never looked back. At first it was all about making money, now it’s about what kind of impact I can leave behind in the world.
So now, I am the CEO and Co-Founder of WPUP, Co-Founder of Athlete Activation System and the Co-Founder of Dyma.
What excites you most about your industry?
The world of websites is exponentially increasing and people with WordPress websites are growing even faster. WordPress owns over 60% of the content management system market share and powers more than 25% of the world’s website. That’s billions of sites. It excites me because while the market is enormous, the important thing is that what we’re doing is going to make a huge impact for business owners around the world to get the peace of mind they don’t know it exists yet.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I still have lots of family in Hong Kong. On my mum’s side, my family is all from Hong Kong. On my dad’s side, they are from Shanghai. On my mother and father-in law’s sides, they are all from Hong Kong. Needless to say, I’ve learned to speak Cantonese, but I am learning Mandarin through my daughter (she’s in Mandarin school).
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Tokyo. I find that Japanese people really take pride in the work they do. The culture there is simply amazing. Plus, I love to eat sushi!
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
It’s golf advice but it applies to business: “Keep your head down.” I like this because, as an entrepreneur I sometimes get distracted by the next shiny coin. What has made me most productive in a day that instrumentally moves the company forward are the days that I put my head down, e-mails off, social media off and just plow through what’s the most important thing I can do for my company.
Who inspires you?
Kids inspire me. They make me want to build a sustainable business where all my team members can live like kids. Free to do whatever they want, freedom to be curious and explore, freedom to speak, shout, sing without a care in the world. Sleep and take naps when exhausted and play all day. Stay active, be courageous, be kind and be caring. Somehow, as we grow up, we lose our way and I want to bring it back.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Most companies have similar problems in their businesses.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have picked different Lotto Max numbers. Kidding. But really, nothing. I firmly believe everything that has happened was a path and a journey to make me who I am today. I tend to want to focus on looking forward to being someone who has made an impact on other people’s lives. A life worth living.
How do you unwind?
I spend time with my wife, kids, I play golf and I practice gratitude. Life is short, so be grateful of every little thing around you, from materialistic things to the nature of the environment.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Is Hawaii an Asian destination because it’s probably 50%+ Japanese! If not, then Korea or Japan have been fun experiences. If you want to live like a king without much money, you can try Vietnam or Cambodia. But if I had all the money in the world, I would probably stay and enjoy Japan.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Shameless plug for your business:
WPUP helps small business owners sleep without ever having to worry about their website again. We do this by proactively managing, securing, monitoring and supporting their WordPress website.
“WPUP enables us to be able to focus on our patient’s care without having to worry about maintaining our website and fixing potential problems. The team is terrific and responds quickly. We are extremely pleased with everything they have done and continue to do for our organization.” – Dr. Jason Fung, Intensive Dietary Management, WPUP Client Since November 2015.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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