Boom VisionTM Podcast

Episode 10: Artist's Journey - Discovering His True North with Mickey Lu



 “ that's the guiding star that now I have clarity and transparency with my business operations. Whereas before, I was lost...I was at a messy crossroads." - Mickey Lu

Today's guest is my childhood friend, Mickey Lu, Creative Business Strategist, and Founder/ CEO of INNO Rocks LLC, a multi-disciplinary design to production studio.  Mickey shares his journey on how his life came full circle in finding his true north.  In today's interview, we dive into:

  1. Mickey's origin story.
  2. Transition from creative artist to entrepreneur
  3. Current struggles he was experiencing
  4. Action steps on how to build courage and manifest 
  5. What Mickey would say to his younger self.

Show Notes

[1:35] - “Your mind is like this water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.” - Oogway in Kung Fu Panda.

[2:16] - I'm excited to share today's episode because I interview an childhood friend that's I literally haven't spoken to in the past 20+ years.  Very similar to my friend Jonathan in Episode 8, it's really funny what the universe brings into your life. Ever since I started Boom Vision I've somehow attract people with similar vibrations and life paths. In terms of Mickey's bio:

[2:39] - Mickey is a Creative Business Strategist with a multidisciplinary skill set in the realm of building brands & companies. His career has evolved from exiting two of the 5 companies he created, to currently running a sustainable apparel production company with strong growth. (INNO Rocks)

Mickey's mission and core values are helping positive-intentioned entrepreneurs expand their business landscape. He accomplishes this as a business coach, working side by side with entrepreneurs and helping them gain clarity in their business venture with his unique strategic mind map that connects personal goals, life goals, and business vision.

His passion project is a youtube channel called Dreams Bloomer, a show dedicated to sharing tools, insights, mindset, and mini-stories design with four quadrants of a career journey.  Intention behind Dreams Bloomer is to help: 

  1. College students feeling lost and directionless, 
  2. New working professionals that haven't found their place at work, 
  3. Seasoned, corporate professionals that want to do freelance and project management, 
  4. Driven professionals eager to break out and start their own business.

So without further ado, here's Mickey Lu:

[4:02] - Mickey's origin story.

- Born in Taiwan, came to Los Angeles at age 10.

- Went through a phase of depression (several mental breakdowns) in high school: house did not feel like home given family dynamics with stepdad. His soul/mental state felt empty.

- Through basketball and immersing himself into the world of art, Mickey worked hard to master the craft of art. Went to Pasadena ArtCenter. 

- Took Mickey 6 years to graduate: He alternative each term to work in the art industry to understand current market trends, traveled to over 30 different countries with his earnings from working. He'll go at all costs to re-invest into himself.

- Got Carpal tunnel after the habit of drawing 20-21 hours a day continuously in school.

- Went back to Taiwan to work for a cousin's art business. Opportunities expanded his skill set to be a graphic designer, product designer, product management, production, logistics, wholesale, etc. Worked over 300 global artists in the span of 7 years.

-  After 2009 financial crisis, Mickey was asked to move back to Taiwan to open and manage a home décor store.

- Partnered up with a previous artist to create a clothing streetwear and design agency. Became a workaholic (3 companies simultaneously). 

- After getting married and wanting to have kids, he decided to exit from 2 of his companies to focus on his INNO Rocks design company.

[28:20] - (ML) "Where you put your intention and focus at, that's where it grows."

[28:43] - Feeling lost(ML) On the inside I was not feeling right, not knowing where my North Star, not knowing my mission, my purpose.

That's when I met you (Ben Yeh) through a Boom Vision episode, listened at 3am in the morning.

[29:47] - (ML) That's where we connected. That's when I had you as my coach, on a deeper level, help me find my higher self, purpose, vision.

Now I have clarity and transparency with my business operations, where I'm heading out to. Whereas before, I am lost. I was at a lot of messy crossroads. There was no one around me that I can discuss. Have this high scope of intellectual conversations with. That's where you (Ben Yeh) and what you bring is so powerful. 

[31:02] (BY) Thank you for being so authentic and transparent in your life journey.

Your Superpower: Having such a dedicated focus in the art world and in creation muscle. 

[32:55] - (BY) What we shared before, when you're so immersed in that business world, it sort kills a little bit of that creativity in you when you were an artist, right? 

(ML) Yeah, it's sad to say that I haven't really picked up a pen and draw in the past 10 years. Appreciate having a session with Jonathan Liu and Bridget to really do inner work.

[34:05] - (BY) It's almost like your soul is reaching and saying "I want to be heard"

(ML) Yeah, imagine your tool that you spent 40,000 hours plus, and you went to drive this fancy, materialized car, and you long forgotten your best friend and something you cherished.

I also had a realization that, no wonder all these business projects just don't feel right, the gut instincts don't feel right. Because my hand was signaling stuff to me that I don't acknowledge. And now I do, and that's part of the clarity that you guys brought into my life.

[35:09] - (BY) Thank you for sharing Mickey, for those of you know don't know what Jonathan is, Jonathan Liu is who I interviewed in the 8th Episode where we talked about emotions.

[36:01] - (ML) We pretty much 2 decades, haven't seen each other. What I recall is that we enjoyed basketball, but you started to play volleyball. 

[37:11] - (BY)  Yeah, we haven't spoken in over 2 decades, you reached out, and just through 1 or 2 conversations, we started to work together on a weekly basis on. For the past 2 months, it's such a joy to work with you Mickey, because of your burning desire to level up, that hunger to always evolve and always willing to do the work. 

My impression was, you absolutely had the drive, but where did you want to drive to? Aside from direction, was there anything else that you immediately struggled with?

[38:28] - (ML) Yeah, I think I would like to be really frank and candid to share with the audience, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but because we had this middle school and high school bond 2 decades ago, that were was actually a lot of trust.

I am willing to be open, 100% transparent to show my vulnerability, times I was crying. I felt welcomed to open up and comfortable and safe to open up.

That's the 1st thing, for anything willing to start using Boom Vision on multiple levels, if I was 10% slight shut, I will not get the same results and I will not get to where I wanted to be.

Advice: Be open up, be 100% transparent, be honest, the integrity in everything that I speak out, is very important. 

[40:09] (ML) Somehow, you actually feel the words. For me, you are very sensitive to words, you're sensitive to energy behind the words, and even more sensitive to certain hidden story behind the words, I don't know how you know!

[40:51] - (ML) I feel like Boom Vision and your procedures are helping me peeling the layers of the onion.

[41:30] - (ML) I believe, for any entrepreneur, anybody who is a boss, or runs a company or runs multiple companies, anybody who has high stakes, that really couldn't get solid sleep, because there is so much burden, so much baggage over their shoulders. Yes, i believe, 100% recommend that Boom Vision will help you as it did for me.

And really, I am a different person now. My wife said it, my mom can sense it. It's all because of Boom Vision. It's really a transformative procedure, processes...

(BY) It's a journey. For me, I'm just here to facilitate. It's really takes the person to have that burning desire and wanting to change, because maybe what they've done before just wasn't getting the results they needed. And also that curiosity and being open minded. 

[43:20] - (BY) I'd love to ask, in your personal journey in that transformation, was there any key moments or any of those ah-ha moments, that happened for you, that you felt were 'wow, that was an inflection points'?

[43:32] (ML) Definitely, there were quite a few actually.

1. You helped me hear this really tiny 'noise' or that's actually a voice? Noise is something that your ear or mentally just disregard and throw it out. You hear it, but you don't process it. Because it's not of importance. But what if? What if it is important to you as a whole? As a human being, it helps complete you. But for the longest time, you just didn't have the train of thought, or perspective to turn that voice and translate it, or magnify it, so it becomes of value that you've forgotten. And becomes a message. That some part of your body, some part within you, that is signaling so hard for years, and for me it is years! And that's crucial, because without that, in the first time, my ah-ha moment is when I realized "oh my god, how can I overlook this signal?"

[47:34] (BY) One of the things I'd love for you to share with our audience, is that, what's the new path forward now? What is your default future would have been had we not connected a few months ago, versus what's really changed now, whether it's business, whether it's life or all of the above?

 [47:53] - (ML) I really would keep iterating that I'm really a new person. I literally feeling like I'm living the 2nd life. Like there was this old Mickey, and there's a new Mickey. So the mindset is very different. I view family differently. Business, where I use to have self doubt, now 80% of it is out of the door. And now there's courage to transform my business and completely pivot. 

I am asking, not business questions, but life to business questions. That's way better, bigger scope, and reach to the core essence.

I am moving to new territory and not afraid, and full of energy.

[50:32] - (BY) What would you say, is there any action steps you can share, how they can build up their courage?

(ML) I would say, truly, look yourself in the mirror with nobody around, and welcome and say ok to all your weakness, all the parts that you don't like, that you even hate. But with welcome arms, and welcome it, because it is part of you, and there is no need to have hate and no need to compare with yourself. Because we are all in this world with a special purpose, and we are all unique in our own ways. Once you know yourself, and you really have a true inner conversation with yourself, then you are not lying to yourself. And I was lying to myself many many times.

The reason why I don't have the courage to go forward, because I am putting up the façade, that mask, and I am not being true to myself. And therefore I do not have the courage to move on.

But now, I move on with courage because I know, yes, I nod in my head, into the unknown, into the thick fog...YET I know things will be ok, because I have my soul GPS, and I know all my weakness, it's ok. I still hug myself, pat my shoulders, and know that I will be ok moving forward, and that's huge. Don't think about the stakes are going to be high, just know yourself, and try to be comfortable with the best part of yourself, and the worst of yourself and own the whole spectrum of yourself.  To know it and own it, and then you could move forward freely without a lot of weight like I once had. 

[52:49] - (BY) Reminds me of the quote I shared: "Embrace who you are, but embody who you want to become."

4 Steps of Manifestation:

1) Burning desire of what you want.

2) Visualization: You have to be able to visualize what it is you want

3) Feeling it: In that visualization, you have to feel it. Where does it feel in your body? 

4) Taking action steps towards your goal. 

[57:13] - (ML) Yeah, absolutely, I think the 4 steps for me, you know, I never had the 3rd step. How am I feeling about my desire to make it a reality. 

[58:53] - (BY) In this new Mickey 2.0 version, do you have a favorite quote, that you heard in your past life that just really had a tremendous impact on you, and that carries you going forward?

[59:11] - (ML) Yes, I would say in 2 parts:

1. During my hard working days, there was this motto that his friend Han injected into me, "Work hard and everything else will follow."

2. Now, I want to add to that: "Work hard and everything else will follow along side with your guiding principal, which is your soul GPS." Your purpose and your mission in life, and that completes it. Because all your effort your hard work is not in the wrong direction, not in your wrong path. 

[1:00:54] - (BY) What is one thing you would tell yourself if you had an ability to travel back 10 years ago and share with your younger self? 

I would say: Love everybody, love yourself, and help out people as much as you can. Because being logic based brain, it's always about me, me growing, me being better, me, me, me. It was really once sided. One way train in a way. So I was missing so much beautiful scenes with people, building relationships, and to serve others...I think the world would be a better place. I would tell myself, that don't be selfish, love everybody, and just help out as much as you can.

[1:03:17] - (BY) Where can our listeners find you?

Mickey's information:

[1:05:29] - There's a couple of great insights I got from today's interview, but the top 3 are: 

  1. Mickey's childhood experiences led him to exercise and master his Imagination muscle, what started off as a refuge, and became his extraordinary gift.
  2. Throughout multiple chapters in his career, Mickey experienced both the ups of successful exits and high-profile projects, to the lows of closing shop and depression. But the one through line I heard repeatedly throughout Mickey's life is that he never stopped investing and re-investing in himself. His thirst for growth through his lens of curiosity helped him ride each tidal wave that came crashing towards his direction.
  3. His revelation on how he built his courage: The reason why he previously did not have the courage to move forward was that he was putting up a façade, a mask, and he was not true to himself. How he built up his courage was when he fully embraced all of his strengths and weaknesses with open arms. 

[1:06:48] The final takeaway I'd like to share is this: No matter where you are in life, I pray that you discover your unique, true north. You have a gift, and the sooner you can start listening and picking up the signals that your soul GPS is communicating you, you will get a better sense and have a inner knowing of where you are heading. Your purpose is not a final destination, it's a journeySurround yourself with people make you feel fulfilled as you move forward in your journeyYOU GOT THIS!

Don't just move your body, move your SOUL!

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