Rising Giants: Jeremy Au, VC, Monk's Hill Ventures, Founder, BRAVE Southeast Asia Tech Podcast

· Press,Southeast Asia,Parents


Jeremy Au shares his insights on Cambodia's startup ecosystem, his learnings from his diverse career journey, the joys and challenges of parenthood, emphasizing the importance of education and continuous learning and curiosity and learning in both children and adults. Check out the episode here and the transcript below.

(00:00:00) Dominic Kalousek:

So welcome back to another episode of Rising Giants with your host Max Soren and Dom Kausik, where we have the great pleasure of speaking with Jeremy Au, Chief of Staff of Monk’s Hill Ventures and host of BRAVE Southeast Asia Tech, one of the leading startup and venture capital podcasts in the region.Speaking with some of Southeast Asia's best tech leaders. Jeremy, thank you for joining us today.

(00:00:31) Jeremy Au:

Well, happy to join. You know, I had a wonderful time at your conference recently in Cambodia. You know, kind of showcasing the local startup ecosystem. Great learnings for me personally in adr, obviously. And you know, I think it was fun.

I think. Just had a wonderful time, wonderful time meeting folks. Actually a very interesting set of learning experiences and actually gotta reflect on some of that. Recently recorded a podcast episode about some of the learnings I had from that, and you can find that@www.bravesca.com.

(00:01:00) Dominic Kalousek:

Yeah. Fantastic. Thank you. And you know, you, you actually had the pleasure of joining us as one of the panel. Uh, panel, uh, uh, guests, which we were really happy about. Thank you again for making the trip. And you know, I think maybe a good place to start is what your general impression of was, of, of the venture capital space after speaking with some of the other leaders in that space as well.

(00:01:25) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I think frankly, and it's even easier to talk about from a before and after basis, right? I think before I. Obviously I have been a person who grew up in Southeast Asia, so we, Cambodia has had a long history obviously in terms of like trade, you know, agreements. So, Heck even conflict, right? With other countries in Southeast Asia.

So it's always been there. And as a history buff, and I even studied Southeast Asian history in undergrad, you know, obviously I was reading about Cambodia and I was reading about the Mandela system and the influence of Chinese, the Indians, Thai. So obviously I love that history angle of it, of Cambodia.

And I've obviously been in a personal capacity. I've been a tourist, right? You know, obviously been to various tourist spots, taking photos, selfies, you know, sunrise, sunset. So I think there's all those aspects where I kind of knew all that. But you know, I think, frankly, I just never really thought about it in terms of a startup ecosystem, right?

I think very much, for example, at a Brave Obvious Asia podcast where we were about 20,000 listeners, the questions that we often ask, it's like, oh, what do you think about, you know, the big three, you know, which is Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and then after that, You know, there'll be more specialized questions about, you know, the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia.

And so even though those. Obviously Cambodia's Pub Ian, but those are the six countries that I normally get questions about. And so Cambodia was just kind of like there, right? And I thought when that invite came from you and you know, I got to meet Max and Don, both of you got to listen to your podcast as well.

I was like, wow. I was like, just honestly, frankly, pleasantly surprised by, you know, listening to your podcast as well about the caliber of the folks that are there, but also I think the hunger to build Cambodia, right? And so I think when you gave the invite to say, Hey, we're at this conference, I was like, yeah, I have to go.

Even. And then I remember I took the invite, I told people, you know, like I was like, you know, meeting a bunch of VCs in Singapore and I'm like, they're like, oh, what, what are you doing? Like, you know, next month or you travel. And I'm like, oh, I'm going to Cambodia to speak at this conference. And they're like, Cambodia, there's a startup ecosystem there.

Right. You know, so it's just like, what's in Cambodia? Right. And tell me more when you're back. Right. So I mean, that's the mood that I got from folks. Right. And went and, you know, we talked a little bit about this and you know, we had a great time there. I think what was interesting to me was like two major things, right?

I mean, first of all, I think the awkward reality is yeah, there isn't as much venture capital I. In a OB absolute basis, but also on a per capita basis, right? For Cambodia, there are very few indigenous, kind of like VC funds, the way that we see in Vietnam or Indonesia, where they've built local funds that are sizable assets under management.

And also there's a lot of regional funds who have set up in these countries but don't have personnel or legal entity in Cambodia, right? So, I think the simple fact is like on an absolute and on per capita basis, there's less venture capital. Even have less venture capital. Yeah, you're gonna have less startups, you have less of ecosystem.

All these things relative to other countries. But I think the other lens I looked at, it was like, you know, I was thinking to myself like, honestly, I. You know, Vietnam 10 years ago, Indonesia 10 years ago, you know, had a similar dynamic, right? Where in, in even Philippines where there was like no ecosystem, you know, to be do startups was, you know, you're a weirdo.

I think you're still a weirdo in many parts of Southeast Asia today if you're building a startup, but you know, you just end up building, right? I remember like 15 years ago when I was a founder in Singapore, I was the weirdo, right? I'd even dare write the word founder, my name card, right? I was like ceo, right?

I mean because you know, it's just like we to call yourself a founder was like, what the hell was a founder, right? So I think entrepreneurship is a young history. It's obvious Asia, and I think Cambodia is youngest even still. But that doesn't mean I think they can't be that ramp. And I think it was just very interesting to see, I think some different observations about, for example, folks returning to Cambodia from overseas, uh, local Cambodian students, self-educating, using YouTube.

And podcasts to kind of like build out that understanding of startups and their approach. Some of the Thai linkage in terms of capital, but also regional. So I thought there's a lot of interesting factors we can dive deeper into if you would like, but I thought, I think there's a lot of hope and potential in the ecosystem.

Yeah. Which like, which other countries do you kind of put it on the same level as if you were to kind of do like a sort of. Like where, where would you kind of put it in the, when you look at all the other startup ecosystems, like you mentioned the Philippines, Myanmar, obviously up until recently. Yeah.

Where do you kind of see that in comparison? Um, Yeah, I think the easiest way to bend this on an objective basis is actually a GDP per capita, right? So I think obviously Singapore is the highest, you know, it's Richard in the uk, which is interesting because you used to be a crown call and you're the British, right?

So it's kind of like the Americans in the Singapore is like, see guys, you know, so, so you know, so US is obviously a very high GDP capital, right? As a city state. And then after the next level, obviously you see like Malaysia, Thailand, uh, actually have about the same band in terms of GDP per capita, which is, and after the next band that you have is you have Vietnam, you have Indonesia, and you have the Philippines.

Right? And then there's one ban actually, which is slight, slightly small, obviously is Cambodia and other countries in Southeast Asia, right? So I think there's an interesting dynamic where we just have recognized like a sub level, like when you're building a startup ecosystem, it's highly dependent on your GDP per capita.

And so I think what was interesting is that obviously in Singapore, you know, one thing I always. I say is because of that high G per capita, that high openness to internet. I always say like sometimes Singaporeans have much more cultural affinity to America and the British, right? Because they're watching the same stuff, right?

They all have laptops, you know, they're all listening to music on their phones, right? They listen to podcasts, they're watching hbo. Disney Plus as well as, you know, you know, and I always joke, right? It's like, you know, people know the same stuff, right? You know, they listen to the same K-pop, they listen to the same like Britney Spears, like, you know, the cultural references are very interchangeable and not cause of affinity, of which is one thing.

Because if you think about, it's literally the other side of the world, right? It's 12 time zones right away. But because of that gdp, D per capita and that flow of the internet, it makes that blending and smooth, very clear, right? But I think as we kind of like go through the GDP layer by layer, then I think that homogenization right.

Of English as a language, as a working language across all classes of society, across all sectors between the urban and rural areas. Like that. Stuff kind of like drops access the high speed internet becomes more fragmented and siloed. And so you have these interesting dynamics, right? And so I think as a, you know, you know, I, you know, we, we invested in a company called Fno and it's like an audible for Vietnam, and literally it just turns out that.

There's no audio books in Vietnamese. Right? And so, you know, this American person is in Vietnam and he is like, Hey, do you listen to Audible? And they're like, no. And is why? Because it is only English and Amazon is Monopoly. He doesn't care about the Vietnamese rights and they don't, you know, focus on America.

So it was like, oh, okay, I'll set up Audible, right? I'll finite Vietnamese, you know, voice over artists, you know, narrator getting the Vietnamese rights and yeah, he's making like, you know, bank, right. Because you know, no boys servicing Vietnamese language audio books, right? Rich Dad, poor Dad, you know, strategy books, business books.

So I think it's an interesting dynamic where I think GDP per capita is a really. It's obvious when I say it out loud, but I think it's very underappreciated cuz we wanna talk around it. Right. Uh, so we're geographically adjacent, but not under GDP per capita. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I think, I think the other thing about Cambodia is of course it's, it's a small country, only about 16 million people.

I mean three, three times the size of Singapore. But I think that also requires a lot of the Cambodian entrepreneurs and people in the ecosystem to also think, uh, regionally. So there is that there, as you say that is, that there is that push to kind of, you know, get the word out and. You mentioned about your podcast that you, that you did reflecting on, on the experience, what has been the reception to that and can you touch on some of the kind of, yeah, some of the bits of feedback you may have from that, that could have been that also that surprise of sort of perception versus reality.

I think one big surprise was the number of like emails and messages, uh, from Singaporeans who had exposure to Cambodia. So it was quite interesting actually. So it turns out there's actually a big Singaporean diaspora in Cambodia because they're working as teachers, educators. Uh, humanitarian workers, but also as business owners, right, who are, and I thought it was an interesting dynamic and linkage that I hadn't really seen before and was pretty, I would say non obvious to me, frankly, and surprise to me.

Uh, so, and I think some of the similarities that you said, you mentioned are there right? Is like 60 million versus 5 million. Um, I think there's an interesting dynamic where at the end of the day, I think people are like, okay, I understand more about Cambodia. And let's be patient, or let's try to be patient, right?

Or ask how much patience is there for the ecosystem, right? And in the meantime, like, you know, you know Indonesia, Vietnam is know, growing like crazy. So let's focus on that. So I think that's really kind of like. The, the, frankly, I think from a Ian perspective, right? It's like, um, so I think that's an interesting reflection is yeah, you know, I think, you know, you asked at the start of the question, it's like, do we believe there's a lot of capital availability, right?

In Cambodia, the answer is no, relative and absolute. And how is that gonna change? I think that's gonna change slowly rather than fast. Right? Uh, that being said, I think I've met, uh, several folks, you know, several founders, and I think they have that, I don't know, what's the word? I, right. You know, so like you said, they have that story about regionalizing the story saying, Hey, we can crack Cambodia, we can crack other markets like Laos.

Right. Which is another country that a lot of folks haven't really thought about, frankly. Right. Laos and other folks. Because if we can solve it for our market, then there's a similar dynamic, for example. Right. Uh, so I think it was just interesting to hear. I think not just the pitch about how to grow well, but saying like, Hey, we have an advantage because if we can solve for Cambodia, we can solve for other countries in this band.

And the question is, what are those companies that are high value? What products are high value? For example, medications or telemedicine is a high expensive, difficult access item, for example, right? So I think that's an interesting dynamic that's there. Yeah.

(00:11:33) Dominic Kalousek: Yeah. No, completely agree. And it's. Feels like Cambodia is in that unique position as well, where there's a lot of the, the average age there is 26 years old, right?

So there's a, so there's a lot of young, educated Cambodians that are coming through university that are encouraged to follow more of this entrepreneurship route and to pursue more of these maybe goals that they initially maybe didn't have in mind growing up earlier on. So, amazing. Yeah. Yeah, it's, it really is incredible.

And what's, To your point as well. I think as part of going, tying it back to the conference or to the startup and innovation festival that was hosted at the beginning of April, majority of those that attended were a young of younger Cambodian, more university high school students, and to kind of is a bit of a, it's.

Really good to be able to look up to other startup founders who have either raised capital or to see other international investors who have, have come in and showing that interest of wanting to learn more. So I do agree that there are it, while it is going to be a, a slower journey, it is one that while it is slow there, there is this opportunity to be able to potentially take a hold of, now that there's more of this interest that is being, More this light that's being shined on the startup space too.

(00:12:51) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. I thought it was interesting and I thought that was the most interesting category of folks, right? I think there were like four categories of folks, right? And the first category, of course is, you know, kind of like expatriates and working professionals. That's one category, right? That's there. Then the second category is like Southeast Asians who are in Cambodia, right?

So you have Thai folks, you have Filipino folks who are just building. In myself, I would be put myself in that bucket. I think the third category is what I call like, kind of like sea turtles, right? That's what they say. Like people who had, you know, had some sort of, uh, Cambodian heritage, right? But then they either, you know, studied or worked overseas, a group overseas because of the war or because of they wanted to study there and then they made a decision to come back actually.

So I thought it was a very interesting group. Test there and a lot, and I think the biggest category was at your conference was like you said, local. They grew up the entire time there. And you know, I think you did a wonderful job just mixing those four groups of people just mixing, sharing. And it was good representation of panels for all of them.

And also good debate and discussion. Uh, and I think, I think what we see is that this is not an uncommon pattern, right? If you look at even Singapore, you look at Indonesia, you look at Vietnam, I think you saw those proportions happening as well. And then over time, You know, I think the youngest category, right, is that is really the biggest category.

Right? You know, and so they are really the big hope of the future is that how fast do they learn about, you know, startup approach. How do they learn about ecosystem? How do they connect their local networks and their local understanding and consumer? Like that's gonna be the thing that takes the ecosystems and next level, right?

You know, because, you know, the first two categories, right? You know, myself included, we're just a small number of people, right? And. And we can provide capital, we can provide information, we can work a little bit, you know, and found and so, so forth. But at the end of the day, you know, uh, someone has to build the companies right from day one. Right. And I think that's what we see, right?

(00:14:40) Dominic Kalousek:

Yeah. Yeah. And, and to that point, that, excuse me, that, that last point as well, what, what do you think would be some of the emotions that would need to be set in place for mm-hmm. For that younger generation to be able to achieve, um, helping propel Cambodia into that next tier.

Is it just simply growth of population growth in GDP kind of time back to the original point or Right. Do you feel like that there's more of this implementation of, uh, more of the first three categories, so to speak, of capital, you know, accelerators, et cetera, et cetera?

(00:15:16) Jeremy Au:

I think of as a pyramid, right? I think the bottom of the pyramid that's underappreciated, I think is.

Uh, stability, right? Political, societal, cerv, stability. And then the next level settings, education. And then third, like you said, is the ecosystem that we talked about, enablers. So I think we always talk about the top of the pyramid because it's, you know, it is the most obvious, right? The logos, the people, you know, sos so off.

And then, you know, we can do lots of conferences and speakers, right? But I think that's prerequisite on people, on population that's educated, right? There has been investments in the people, the human capital, because. You know, what is a startup? Startup? Is founders building something? Well, I hope, obviously they're hardworking, but they also have to be educated, smart, thoughtful.

And if this, you know, like if you didn't have a K12 system, you'd have the benefit of a great K12 system. You're not going to get there. Right. You know what I mean? So you can choose to drop out university again as a popular startup. Ecosystem, but I'll be like, should you drop off the K12 system? You know, that's very, get towards Stanford.

So I'll just say like Silicon Valley, like, yeah, you grew up in a private education and now you get a drop out because you have a wonderful ecosystem of folks that's gonna fund your next startup. Like, yeah, that works for Silicon Valley. But would I tell, I'm sorry to say this, when I go to Southeast Asia, say, Hey, everyone should drop out university.

I'd be like, that's bonkers, right? I mean it's, yeah. Such crazy advice. Right? You know, just think about it. I was like, Try to put, we were trying to ask the government to put more money into the K-12, putting more money into the university to let more people have the literacy, the numeracy, the logic, and the networks.

Right. And the, and the connections needed. Right. To build. Right. And I think that's what, and we say the opposite of that, right? We say Vietnam is doing so well because they have a great education system because they invest so much. There's so many engineers and they're becoming the engineering capital for Southeast Asia.

And so many American companies are moving engineering teams to Vietnam, right? And because of that, if you think about it, they're training the next generation because then they can build the next generation of startups, right? And so right now we're not there yet. But we're going to get there because everybody feels bullish about the Vietnamese government's focus on education, and I think it's obvious age.

We we're very scared to say the opposite, which is can we say someone's education system is underfunded versus those outcomes? It's hard to say, right? So I think the way we say nicely and politically is to say, let's fund more. Right? And I think that's a big thing is can we invest more in education? But in order for education to be funded more, to build that ecosystem there, target maybe we talk about last.

Layer of the pyramid, which is you need a political stability. There's a vision for the future. Right? And the truth is, Southeast Asia, historically, I mean over the past a hundred years has gone through, you know, colonization, decolonization, right? War, civil war, famine, and all kinds of stuff that has really kind of like, Made it, and this again on Elephant room, it's just kind of saying like, like you can't build an ecosystem and you can't on top of an education system if society's fragmenting or splintering or you know, pulling apart.

Right? And so I think that stability is something I think we take for granted. I think in Europe and America and obviously countries that have a very long. History, right? In sense of like stability. But you know, I always tell people it's like, you know, man, you know, it's like, you know, the wars were like 1950s, 1960s, 1970s.

That wasn't long ago. You know? I mean, you know, I feel like I grew up like a summertime generation, right? Like I, you know, it was like, it was like, oh, I grew up when the Cold War ended. Right. You know, it was like summertime. Everything's great. Global peace trade is a given all friends, you know, like, Like, I was like, but you know, I think the scars and the, you know, the trauma and, you know, I think the dynamics, I, and I think that's where I think it's so key for, for I think southeast Asian countries to like really focus on that stability piece because you know, you can't, I think it's hard for a government to be like, okay, let me invest in education for it to bear fruit in 20 years in good taxpayers who are blah, blah, blah.

Going to go and crush it and eventually make startups. Right? If I'm scared about what's gonna happen in the next five years, right. So I think there's an interesting hope, I think I have, is this like, you know, I think Southeast Asia stays out of the, you know, all that geopolitical macro tension and conflict like, You know, like, let's feed the poor man.

Let's educate, you know, let's give everyone the potential and, you know, let's keep our heads down and, and get stuff done. Right. Uh, you know, and, you know, p you know, peace is great, you know, and if you wanna walk, you know, send us, send the politicians in general to fight each other in the room. You know, lock everybody in the room, let them handle it, you know, you know. But I think that's a big part of it, honestly.

(00:19:49) Dominic Kalousek:

Yeah. Yeah. And just one quick comment too, especially when you, when you talked about the rise of ENG engineers in Vietnam. Yeah. One of the, one of the things that we, we've come to learn, especially from. Those founders who have engineering companies, at least in Cambodia, tho those are some of the leaders who have spoken on kind of two topics, which is one on this more funding side for stem, STEM focused programs in the country.

Right. And then on the other side as well is trying to think about how to prevent brain drain that leaves the country right. So that's a, yeah, that's another piece of, that fits kind of into the middle of that pyramid in one way or another. But it's a delicate balance either way.

(00:20:30) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. The Philippines has a similar problem, but I think the Philippines has been able to reverse some of that brain drain with their government policies.

And also, you know, they have a strong, to some extent, you know, kind of like. Business process. They have vocational trades schools, so they actually have quite strong education systems where they hold folks in certain vocations. So I think the government is investing is tough because you know Yeah. In certain professions like nurses and doctors.

Right. But I think in terms of tech actually is, it's pretty good. And I think the Filipino American diaspora has been very helpful to, and they, and they're coming back right to Philippines as well. I've met a lot of them. So I think it's an interesting. It's an important tailwind that has been nurtured carefully.

Yeah. Is that, would you say that's one of the, like, you know, when you look at your mandate from, from Monk Hill and you said, you know, you have the top three, is that one of the ecosystems that you kind of feel like have, you know, hit this next level that you'd now be be looking at? I think, frankly, you know, looking at.

Countries in the ecosystem, right? So I think on an individual, person by person, founder by founder, startup by startup basis, you just, it's both an objective assessment as well as a relative assessment. So, you know, from a, like should you self disqualified? The answer is no. Right? Should you just email me?

Go for it. Right? So I think there's that, but I think we also acknowledge that ecosystems play an important part, right? And I think VCs are part of the ecosystem to help push it forward. So, I think a time horizon is long. When you look at some of the ones come through, like you were mentioning earlier about how, you know, three, four years ago the Philippines didn't really have a startup ecosystem.

What do you think are like some of the steps that happen or like some of the things that you've noticed that kind of, kind of lead to that kind of domino effect? Or if, if there is that, I'm just curious, like from some of the ones that have kind of come a lot more on your radar, how does that, how does that kind of unfold in your experience?

I think the big one is education, education, education. Right. Is this, is this like, is this like I, I think once folks are educated and they feel like they're able to take on the jobs or the skills they want to do, then. It sorts themselves out, right? Because then they build small, medium enterprises, right?

They build their own shops, you know, they help each other. They become engineers, like, you know, and then the ecosystem will naturally just like, you know, start having folks who are like, okay, I'm gonna leverage educ, my ed, personal education and the collaboration with other educator folks to build something for a more educated population.

Right? You know what I mean? And I think, you know, education is a function of, you know, like political will is a function of capital investment. Right? And it's a societal compact, right? That it is important. Right. And I think we see that in, in, in Southeast Asia, right? And we see that more broadly, right?

It's like countries and economies that focus the hardest on improving their literacy. And the PS a score eventually build out ecosystems for startups, right? You know? Uh, so it's almost like. Prerequisite is a fundamental, um, you know, it is like, it's like if there's no education, then forget it Right. Then.

Then yeah. Entrepreneurship is for the rich and the privilege who could afford a private education. Right. You know, but there's gonna be very few of them. Right. Full stop. Because you don't have middle class entrepreneurs, you don't have entrepreneurs who pull themselves up from the bootstraps and see an opportunity that they can do.

Right. What, yeah. And what role do you think, I mean this, this is probably a good segue into, into Brave, what role do you think things like podcasts and this kind of like startup media play in that and do, do you see, well, I mean, I guess, was that one of the reasons why you started Bright? Brave? Yeah. Yeah.

You know, I think that's a super fair point, and I think long story short was, you know, I've, I'm the product of a great education, right? So Singapore gives free, effectively free education. And I did well in school. I mean, I was a terrible test taker, but I was a great, I enjoyed learning, I enjoyed encyclopedias and you know, the Singapore government, you know, had a library at every school and you know, school, you know, libraries everywhere.

And I was like, and that was back in the 1980s. Right. You know, I'm just saying. So I had a wonderful time as a kid, you know? You know, safe sound. Get to learn. I mean, recently I was just talking to my friend in the Philippines and I was like, oh, you can borrow that book from the library. And she was like, oh, I live three hours from the library.

And I was just like, what? You live three hours from my library? I was like, think of myself like, like, yeah. You know, it's like, it's such a, is that such, such an enormous privilege and benefit to have a library? Right. You know what I mean? The books. Right. You know, and I mean now we have internet. Thank goodness for that.

But I just think about it. I was thinking to myself, oh my gosh. Right? Like, like, you know, My school library had a book on ties. How to tie a tie. What a lame, like how much extra space do you have as a library to have a book on how to tie a tie? That's so, you know, think about it. Right? You know, like, how about food?

Like yeah. I mean this is such a crazy thing, right? Anyway, so, but I went through this whole, you know, like education system and you know, I got to study in uc, Berkeley, I got a study at Harvard for my mba. So I've got, honestly, I've benefited from, you know, some of the best education and universities, you know, on the planet, right?

And I enjoyed listening to podcasts too, right? As part of that, because you know, it's a vocational learning, right? You know, I get listened to Reboot, which is by Jerry Colon Startups. I listen to how I built this, I listened to Tim Ferris, obviously, you know, follow week, you know, for our body. So, you know, but you know, it's just some interesting stuff, right?

It's just like, here's, here's a bunch of people who just like want to like, Write, you know, on their CK or speak. And so I listened to this, all the stuff, all the, all the time. And then, you know, I came back to Southeast Asia after, you know, kind of like selling my startup and coming back to join venture capital.

And I was like in a pandemic and I was like, Listening and I was like, wait a moment, there aren't any podcasts about Southeast Asia. Right. You know, it's like there's a lot of podcasts about Southeast Asia history and so we talk about the colonial history and decolonization movement, but it's nothing really about southeast Asia tech.

Right. And so I just took the opportunity to be like, okay, like if, you know, since I entrepreneurial, since I'm stuck at home, you know, I'm just gonna retard these conversations and emulate right. Imitate the podcast I heard, but you know, just focus on Southeast Asian guests on the same topics, actually, right?

Venture capital startups. But understanding, and frankly, you know, I think what I landed on is two things, right? Is that I think brave as a podcast, it's not about me being brave is about me being inspired and looking for stories of bravery to inspire myself, right? So I want, I wanna be braver, so I'm.

Looking for that brave story. That's one And two actually, is that I think it's a moment of inspiration, right? Because you know, if I'm inspired by that thing, by that story, then someone else is also gonna be inspired by that story probably, right? And so I think there's a very nice, I think, reinforcing cycle where it's, we're sharing knowledge and it really scratches that, you know, I've always loved teaching, actually.

I love coaching as well, and I think podcasting actually helps me really scratch that itch to be like, okay, you know, like, We're just trying to explain something. We're not gonna assume you're dumb. We're gonna assume you're smart. We're gonna assume we can Google this and we're just gonna be as honest as possible so that you get to not only understand the content of what we're saying, but also understand how we're talking about it, how we're thinking about it, right?

And I think I got that benefit all the time. And I think a podcast is just a tremendous medium. Cuz now we know it's weird, right? It's like, In some way we, I know how Tim Ferris thinks better about all the various things he think than I do about, you know, you know my uncle. Right. You know, I'm just saying like, I don't know how my uncle thinks about stuff.

He's kind of like doing his own thing. Right. You know, but, oh, I hear Tim Ferris all the time. It's like, oh, I understand Tim Ferris. I know what he'll probably do and a b, c episode. Right. And so I think there's an interesting dynamic where I think podcasts provide, I think that expert, thoughtful, process oriented diffusion, right.

And I think in parallel, I think it's always inspiring, right? To hear a story that's similar to yours, right? And I think, I think that's why we're trying to build, I think, and I think your rising Giants also done is a tremendous job. I think spotlighting a whole bunch of folks that, that was not even on my radar, right?

And I've taken the opportunity to ask you and say, Hey, who is gonna be a good guest on that? Like, you know, let's bring them out to the regional platform, right? So I thought it was just a nice, uh, you know, way to spotlight this story.

(00:28:36) Dominic Kalousek:

Yeah. Yeah, and I mean, just to try and, and sum up a little bit of, of what you're saying and how it's very much relatable.

I mean, to, to your point as well, especially for Max and I, I mean the, a lot of the reason of why we started was it was, it was a search for knowledge as well. Right. Especially with the Cambodia ecosystem. Cuz similarly there was, I mean, if there was nothing in Southeast Asia in general, then there definitely wasn't gonna be anything in Cambodia either.

To be frank. So, yeah, so, you know, kicking that off, I mean, you know, obviously it was very, very bootstrapped, but, you know, it's also just, it's also just being able to share to not only provide a platform on that side, but just to share stories of, you know, look at what's, what's going on in this. You know, as referring back to like the tier buckets of, of how you organize like G D P by country in Southeast Asia, but look at all the amazing things that are going on here and very interesting, especially from an investor, entrepreneur, and then also creative side.

But, um, I think what another really interesting point you brought up was the way that you. Approach conversations and think about con conversations because I think personally it's really helped me with deconstructing what I would initially think of being very complicated topics, but then finding that delicate balance of being able to distill it to understand just the, you know, the actual functional side of whatever business or whatever it may be.

But then also in parallel, being able to have. Uh, this person come on and understand them emotionally and like what charges that whole functional production of the business or whatever it may be, that like really inspires them. And so ultimately when it all culminates together, you're like, wow, this is a really awesome person to start with.

One. But also just this kind of balance is, is it really shows you that, you know, you can listen and be inspired to, to either go and do your own thing or hopefully if you have 'em on the show. You know, whether it's brave, whether it's rising giants and whoever's listening will also be inspired just to, you know, take that step out of their comfort zone and maybe go towards something that initially wasn't on the radar for them too.

(00:30:39) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, yeah. I think I was talking to this Cambodian student and you know, she was just saying like, you know, she learned everything from YouTube, right? You know about startups, right? I was like, yeah, that's amazing, right? I mean, I mean, oh, now you don't have to go to a library hours or where you just.

Pull up your YouTube and just listen. And I, I learned a lot of YouTube. I mean, recently I was like, you know, I recently got some bad cholesterol numbers and I was like, oh man, I was in, you know, I like biology and stuff like that, but I don't wanna say cholesterol. And I just pulled out my YouTube and watched some video about cholesterol.

I just say, and then after that, after the tab and after that, I just, Ask Chad gpt some questions about, you know, LDL and stuff like that. And I was just like, man, it's crazy, right? Like, you can learn everything online.

(00:31:20) Dominic Kalousek:

It's wild. It's literally all at your fingertips. And it's so funny cuz like, I'll, I'll talk to my, my dad and just he'll, um, you know, I'll say, man, something was like too complicated.

Figure out. He's like, you don't understand what complicated is. I mean, he, like, he's originally from Czech Republic. Yeah. And like the 1960s, seventies. So he's like, you don't understand what complicated is. It's like you can literally just. To use AI plus a YouTube video. Yeah. And you could figure everything out that you would ever need.

(00:31:47) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. I mean, talking about Tys, my dad never taught me to tie, tie. I had learned it myself. Right. Yeah. Using a book. Right. You know, I'm just saying. And then now you just apparently, you know, I was like googling this recently. It was like YouTube is, is like, you know, it's so much detail. Right. You know, and yeah.

It's just a huge like library. Right. It's amazing. And I think there's a big hope, actually, honestly, for countries like Cambodia. But you know that lagging is like, yeah, even, even if you're underserved, right by the local education system or you know, kind of like opportunity, you know, for the first time you have an equal access to the opportunity of the internet, including our podcast, right?

Yeah. And you gotta be part of that dinner table conversation. Right. That private conversation that, I mean, this, you and I are having conversation that, that we had at that delicious restaurant that you brought me to. Right. This is the, this is the same type of conversation. We're not dumbing it down.

We're not trying to make ourselves look smarter. We're just having the same conversation that we have. But you know how many people around the table that night, you know, you know like about 10, you know people. Right? But now you know anybody can listen in. Right?

(00:32:45) Dominic Kalousek:

Right. Exactly. And I guess just a quick question too, thinking about the, the community that you've built at Brave mm-hmm.

How, when you started the podcast to, to where you are today, what was that journey like in terms of just growing the community, growing that listenership? How, what, what are some of like the key takeaways or learnings that you are able to extrapolate and maybe share as, as advice or to anybody else that would be interested in, in maybe starting something similar?

(00:33:15) Jeremy Au:

I think that in podcasting, at least, it's a very personal medium, right? You know, I'm not an actor, I'm not an actress. I can't pretend to like you. I can't pretend to be interested in this conversation. I can't pretend to be interested in the guest, right? And so, yeah, I enjoyed this conversation because I had a wonderful time with you in Cambodia multiple times, right?

And so I was like, yeah, you know, I enjoyed this conversation. So I think that. In authenticity slash authenticity core is really, really important for community because you know, if you are an expert, like yeah, you know, you should be talking about stuff. That you like because you, you like it because you're an expert in it and you're expert in it because you like it.

So I think that core of what you wanna talk about is really, really important. And staying true to that is important because otherwise you burn out. Right? You know, you can't replace it somebody else. I think people, you know, come the guests, but it stay for the horse, right? And so if you as a host are butting out, you know, Can't get there.

You know, I remember I got this advice for mentor. I asked the same question. He was like, Jeremy, you got to talk about a topic that sets your soul on fire. Right? I was like, whoa. Like clearly the founder of Radiolab, you know? You know, it was like very inspirational. He's like, very heavy, you gotta talk. I was like, I was like spot on, on brand, but I was like, so inspired, right?

He was like, you know, you gotta talk as if nobody's listening. This is the kind of thing you talk about, even if nobody's around, right? And I was like, oh yeah, yeah. And after a while I kind of burned down. I was like, yeah, you know what? Because I'm not, I'm drifting away from what I wanna talk about. Right.

Uh, and I think there's a benefit of you knowck. You know, you gotta write about anything you wanna write about, right? You know, podcasts, you gotta talk about anything you wanna talk about. So I think that call is really important. And then I. Secondly, I think the secondly of the pyramid, I love pyramids, right?

All this management consultant trading, the second part of pyramid pain is coming in B. Yeah, I know. There we go. Right? But the second level is like the consistency, right? So I think at level, like you had be interested and the second level is like you had to be become consistent, right? And which is, it's the long game, right?

In that sense, right? It's like I don't, I didn't even wanna be a great, I don't know. You want lots of audience numbers, then we probably go TikTok, right? Just that I think it's very hard to educate or coach someone on TikTok. That being said, I think I actually learned a lot on TikTok. I wanna say that out loud, but you know, the algorithm is very much like.

Here's something really interesting about ai and then they cut it with like cats. You know, they cut it with like, and then, and then let's, and then Jeremy, we know you're a dad, so we're gonna have like, you know, lots of dad and daughter, you know, bonding time. And then, and then they're gonna talk about like this couple that broke up and then reunited 20 years ago and they got married because you're sentimental then back to the AI stuff, right?

I'm just giving an example, right? So, so I do learn, but it's like, you know, I know they're trying to get me. Anyway, the point is, Like even trying to go for audience numbers, then probably TikTok and dancing is probably a better way to get about it than doing a podcast to be super frank, right? Like I'm like, maybe you ask me, Jeremy, is how many podcasts you listen to a day week?

I'll be like, other than the episodes that I listen to, because I'm interviewing the person, so I'm doing about two to three a week hours now. I'd probably say like, yeah, you know, probably listen to be about, you know, I listen to audiobooks these days and it'd be one podcast a week, right? So it'd be about two hours tops more.

But you know, I think. But TikTok, you know, is just easy to consume. Right. A variety, right. It's like a buffet, I guess. But you know, a never ending buffet. A never ending buffet. Yeah, exactly. It's just, and it is just coming towards you. You don't even have to walk to the table just like, Hey, here you go. I think so consistency is key, I think, because I think when you're doing a podcast as a relationship that's built, right?

So, so I think I tried it myself, right? I went from one episode a week and I went up to two, then went up to three, then tree started burning out, started becoming inconsistent, right? And I said, okay, I gotta dial back down to two a week because I can be consistent, right? It doesn't mean I can get the tree in the future, but at this stage, you know, that's what makes sense to me.

So I think that's the next day of consistency cuz people expect a certain routine, right? And so for us, we have a Monday, you know, episode, right? Which is, you know, on Thursday, right? For us today in 2023. You know, on Mondays we do the tech news of the week, you know? What happened last week? That's top of mind.

What's the big things to have? And so, you know, recently for us, we discussed, for example, the split of Sequoia into three pieces, right? Sequoia, Hongshan, and China, as well as peak 15, right? In Southeast Asia and India. So we discussed that. We also discussed the recent launch of Apple's, uh, you know, augmented reality headset, right?

For example. So that's the tech news. So that's. Certain segment, but others, there's another segment that we talk to consistency wise on Thursdays, which is more about personal reflections, right? It's a bit slower, right? It's like interviewing someone's story q and a. So it's a bit of a slower dynamic, right?

So that's an interesting, you know, tick and talk, right? Of the, of the content, tick and talk being like, you know, kind of like the second hands, right? You know, sound wise. So, And there's a callback, obviously, to the intel microprocessor strategy, right. Or like, you know, anyway in such that if you want, and I think at the top of the pyramid then is like all this other stuff, right?

Which is like, you know, like writing good show notes, right? You know, um, yeah. All the other stuff, right? You know, posting on social media, all this other stuff. Right. I think. You only get to do it if you didn't burn out and you're consistent, right? You know, then you can do all this other stuff, right? So I met a lot of folks who asked me the same question, and then they're like asking me, I was like, it's all about a secret sauce at the top.

And I'm like, look, just, just do something you like know whatever it is that you like. Otherwise, you know, you can't optimize If you only doing, if you only do five episodes that you burn out because you're frustrated. Or you do 20 episodes by your, sometimes it's one week, sometimes once a month, and then people are inconsistent and.

You know, I know it's like a car that doesn't have a good engine and doesn't have good seats. Right. Then you're like, well, I don't drive the car, but what does the outside look like? Right. You know, I need a good logo. And you're like, no, the seats suck and the engine doesn't really want to go. Right. Have, have any of your, um, listenership countries like surprised you outta curiosity?

Like for us, for Dom and I, we for some reason have quite a lot of listeners in Bangladesh. Just curious if like, if that kind of uh, played out as you thought. I mean, obviously, you know, you know, I think a big chunk obviously is from Southeast Asia, obviously, you know, I think there's majority, but I think a very large number actually came from the US actually, and I think it was very surprising to us because it's like, Southeast Asian content shouldn't that interesting to other Southeast Asians.

Right. You know, so you think it's relatively niche, right. But yeah, there's a lot of folks in America listening and you think about it actually kind of makes more sense. I think that two groups, uh, I would say that one of them is, I would say the diaspora, or you can say sea turtles if they choose to do so.

But they're very much like they have some sort of Southeast Asian heritage. Right. So for them, you know, They grew up, they studied, they worked or they had some time. So, but for them, it's a way to stay connected to home. In that sense, Southeast Asia is a region and to stay connected and maybe play a role in whether to move.

I think so. So some listeners have reached out to be like, Hey, I wanna move because of cultural slash work reasons, and I've been listening to your podcast to help me. Think true, get it understanding of the landscape. Right. So I think there's one big chunk, but I think the other chunk actually is quite interesting.

It's actually like, kind of like, I think they'll say more business oriented folks. So they're more like, I'll say de oriented. So they're like looking at companies in Southeast Asia, they're looking at investing Southeast Asia, they're looking at setting up stuff. So they're, they're much more interested in the information content, if that makes sense.

So they're like, okay, you know, You know this, this is a potential good investment. Okay? This person was on a podcast, okay? I want to read the transcript and get a very quick download about what are the key things I should know about this person or this information, right? So I thought it was an interesting.

Dynamic. One is more relational, but also one other one is more, you can say transactional, but there's nothing bad about it. It's just like similar to how like, you know, when I listen to podcasts, I have more of a relational relationship reboot and Jerry Colon, cuz I like his inquiry about leadership and the struggle and the grit and what you need to do from a coaching perspective, but also from a founder perspective.

So the relational component, but frankly for myself, I think I probably have a bit more of transactional relationship with Tim Ferriss. Right. In the sense that, okay, you know, Tim Ferriss interviewed Jason Unis, right? You know, Who is in part of the allin podcast and this being startups, so that's more transactional because I want to hear Jason Kois and I, I'm pretty happy with Tim Ferris to, to ask those questions. Right. So I think there's an interesting dynamic there. Yeah.

(00:41:33) Dominic Kalousek:

Well, I know that we're coming close to time here, but before we leave, we would like to ask a couple of just quick rapid fire questions. Yeah. Just to, just to get your insights on a couple things. More interpersonal as well. The first one is what is something that.

You use every day or or use quite often that you feel like you can never live without?

(00:41:54) Jeremy Au:

Ooh, so many things. You know, I think I was gonna say a memory form, like pillow, like I use that every night, right? Yeah. So, you know, it's just like, you know, it's just, you know, I'm a sight sleeper and so, so forth. And I think my dad always told me, he's like, Hey Jeremy, you got to like buy stuff based on how much time you spend with it.

So like, and you know, he, so he was like, he gave me that advice, right? He's like, you know, bid, you know, you spend like seven hours a day at, you know, maybe more, right? You know, depend or less, but on average seven hours, right? So that's a big chunk. So you gotta invest in a good bid. Then you got, then after that chair, right at home, you gotta invest in good chairs.

Cause you sitting in your chair mm-hmm. It's sofa too. Maybe it's like one hour right on the. On the sofa, maybe five hours in chairs. Right. You gotta invest in good shoes, go spend a lot of time walking around in them. So, and I always thought about it like, yeah, that's actually a real good point. Like clothes, you wear them, right?

So invest in clothes that, I'm not saying like buy, I don't know, some super expensive thing, cashmere, whatever, but you know, I'm a big Uniqlo guy, you know? Mm-hmm. You know, Hey, Uniqlo sponsor me. That's, I'm like, oh, Uniqlo, hey. But you know, it is just like, I don't think have money for sponsor sponsorship.

It's like, yeah, Jeremy too basic. Don't worry.

(00:43:04) Dominic Kalousek:

But you know, I think, we'll, we'll, we'll link the, uh, the memory foam pillow in the show notes, just, uh, just to let you guys

(00:43:10) Jeremy Au:

No, it is like, yeah, yeah. But I think mattress, so I think I would say like, I think for me, I would say like, memory foam pillow lets me have a good night's rest and that, and kicks off a great start of the day for everything else, right?

(00:43:21) Dominic Kalousek:

Yeah. Yeah. I agree. Wholeheartedly agree. I have one as well that I, yeah, I, I would die for, but yeah, I did die for.

(00:43:29) Jeremy Au:

That's, that's what you have and you're like in the hotel and you're like, gotta ask for the extra pillow to fluff it up. I don't know. It's just, it's just stuff.

(00:43:37) Dominic Kalousek:

Well, for, for clothing. We'll make sure when, when you make your next trip back to Cambodia, we'll have to, uh, we'll have to suggest or take you to, uh, a tire lounge.

They actually, one of our recent episodes at our, uh, very, uh, very nice clothing gentleman wear, so just to. Uh, just a shameless plug there for our recent guests.

(00:43:55) Jeremy Au:

Yeah, I know. So I was shocked to find out at Cambodia, like, you know, one third of the gdp, you know, was from textiles, right? Mm-hmm. This bonkers percentage actually.

Yeah. I had no idea. Fun fact, fun facts. Yeah.

(00:44:08) Dominic Kalousek:

The, the next question I'd like to ask is what, what currently keeps you busy, specifically? You mentioned that you have two daughters as well, is, if I'm not mistaken, and would, would love to hear, what keeps you busy.

(00:44:19) Jeremy Au:

You know, I think the, what keeps me busy is obviously, I mean work and you know, obviously the podcasts.

So those are the dynamic. But I think what's been interesting is, like you kind of mentioned, is like the kids have really kept me very busy because I want to be right. I mean, I have one who's like two and a half years old. Her name's Aden. The second one is called Rayen. She's one years old and it's just so nice, right?

I mean, Rayen recently learned how to walk a week ago, so it's been wa nice to watch Congrat. Congratulations. Yeah. Yeah, she's good. She's like walking around for. You know, tongue in her mouth and she's like checking out. She's like, oh, great. I gotta check out this room by myself finally. And she's just checking stuff out and she walks over the other side.

Then Raden is like, you know, kind of like. You know, just like learning how to like cycle right on a tricycle. And I'm just helping her do that. And I'm just like, oh, it's like, I don't know, really cute, really heartwarming. And I'm just like, man, it's just like very wholesome. And then I become like a big fuzzy ball or emotion.

I'm just like, oh yeah, I ended the call, you know, I have 20 minutes break. And I just hung out with them and you know, explain to the kid. I like, okay, you know, now we are washing the dog, you know, we are brushing the teeth. And then she's like, oh. She's like kind of like learning right? I don't know. And I think it reminds me so much about, you know, we talked about education earlier.

Right. But saying to myself like, you know, yeah. And I think when I was an educator without a kid, I think there's so much focus on educating, like teaching. But now that I have a parent, it just reminds me so much about how. Every, every kid wants to learn. Mm-hmm. And frankly, every human wants to learn.

Right. You know what I mean? Like my kid is so curious. She's like, she wants to do this, she wants to do that. She wants to open the jar herself. Right. You know, she wants to learn how to peel on orange. She wants to learn how to peel a banana, like, like, Like we as humans, like, you know, our, it's like heck goes back to what, you know, the Bible, right?

He was like, you know, the tree, it was like, it's like, you know, we had two trees, right? A tree of life where we have eternal life or we are a tree of knowledge of good and evil, right? And we're like, oh, knowledge for sure. Like, we're so curious, like, like, you know, there's so many trees here, but, got it. This one, and obviously, I mean, Not about it from a like fact basis, but I'm just saying like it's a parable about what a common human impulse is, is that desire to learn, to be curious, to do things here for yourself.

Right. You know, hold an open flame. Right. You know, to touch the flame, you know, do all this stuff like kids wanna learn. And so I just, I don't know. I think that's been one of the best parts is like, I know, I think I've shifted from like. Think before the kid arrived. I was like, oh, I had to be a teacher. I to be educator.

But no, I'm just like, no, I just have to answer her questions. Right. You know, I just have to answer curiosity. Let her try it. Let her see how I peel an orange. Right. And I remember when she finally learned how to peel the whole mandarin orange by herself, uh, I was like so proud. I was like, oh my God, I'm so proud.

She knows I be all bad. You know? I was like,

(00:47:00) Dominic Kalousek:

I was like, now, now that, now that she knows how to peel the orange, the next thing to teachers, the, uh, management consulting pyramids. So that's the, uh, oh, it's a matter of time.

(00:47:08) Jeremy Au:

She's like, Jeremy, how, how do I pretend to be persuasive, knowledgeable? I'm like, here's a pyramid.

It's like, don't do any shit. Don't do a circle. Don't do a mine map. Always Don't do a rectangles, always a pyramid. Go.

(00:47:24) Dominic Kalousek:

That's great. But anyways, the, uh, the last question that we like to ask all of our guests is, what is the most important piece of advice that you've ever been given?

(00:47:32) Jeremy Au:

I think there was a moment where I was at my career and I was trying to figure out my career path, and I was just pretty sad because frankly, I was just dealing with a lot of family medical health issues.

So I was just being a caregiver. And so at some point I had to make a decision between work and family. Right. And this was in my, you know, uh, mid twenties, right? And eventually I decided to take care of family. Right. And prioritize. But, and I remember I was just very teary-eyed, honestly. I cried and I was talking to my, you know, mentor and boss and you know, you know, I remember he made me write down this thing and he said, Hey Jeremy, you need to write this thing.

Which is like, and uh, what he ended up writing was like, he says, yeah, you know, it was like, uh, It is like, you know, if not me, then who? Right. You know, if not now, then when. Right. And you know there's two questions. Right. I wrote that down and I remember writing it down and I think honestly in my mid twenties, I didn't appreciate it, frankly, cuz I was like, oh, I wrote this.

Well this is a real shitty motivational technique to make me write this. I don't know, like piece of paper like this. Right. But now I think I'm older and I'm like, I'm like, I think it's a memory right. Core memory, I guess, from the inside out, right? But he is like, yeah, you know, it's like, like, yeah. You know, it was like, you know, if not me, then who?

Right. If not now, then when. Right. And I think it's like, it's a call to action, right? Because what it's kind of saying is you now, but I think gives the space for a question, I think, if that makes sense. Which is that, you know, you, I think we're very directive to other people, right? We're just like, go finish this email by the end of the week.

Right? And then we use that same language on ourselves, right? Which is like, like, You should be doing A, B, C, you should be this successful, you should be that. Yeah. This stuff, right? And then we don't, we don't, I think it's a rare, and I think we can't do that in a podcast world, right? Which we ask each other questions, right?

You know, like we take time and say like, okay, where does our curiosity take us? Where is it going? Let's ask questions of each other. Right? And that's actually a really hard art, actually. I think that's a really hard thing to learn. Podcasting is how to ask good questions and follow curiosity and let other people say what they wanna say.

That's really hard and it's even harder to ask that you're for yourself because when I went to, I remember I went to Vipasana Meditation Retreat, so I was like, you know, like 10 days, no devices and no, you know, no talking, and then you just meditate and then your free time is you're meditating or thinking about stuff.

I remember I was like watching a butterfly. For like, like, like half an hour, an hour. Like I just watched like a butterfly just fly around. Cause I had nothing else to do. I had no, I couldn't write it down, I think at myself. And I was watching this butterfly for an hour and, and I was thinking about life, right?

I was asking myself some questions like, what do I think about life? What, and I kind of realized like, you know, we don't really ask ourselves questions like, like it's. I think what I mean by that is like in that space, in that protection, cuz of other stuff, I couldn't record it. I couldn't show off, I could not think about other person.

I didn't, the questions I would commands, I would give other people the commands. I would give myself the questions I may sometimes ask of other people for active listening and curiosity. I sometimes do, but I never sat down to ask myself questions and answer them because, We didn't give ourselves that space, right?

So I think that question dynamic, the question ourselves, is so hard to cover our space. Because the truth is, I noticed it myself. It's like, I'll give an example. It'd be like, you know, I was walking home, right? And I was like, and then I was just like telling myself, enjoy the sceneries, et cetera. And then in my head I was like, oh, what's happening on the news today?

And I just got my phone, right? I. We talk about education, but the power of the internet is that you can answer every question. And so it gives you answers, right? And so you ask me, well, what's happening news today? And, and I get, I lost, you know, I suddenly, by the time I looked up for my phone, you know, I already walked for like 45 minutes, right?

You know what I mean? Because I was just stuck in my phone. I was in that thing. And obviously I learned a lot. I think it was great. In fact, I think behaviorally, the product managers are trying to enter that hook, right? Which is when you feel curious, when you feel alone, they want to be that answer for you, right?

Which is great, but I'm just saying like, I don't think you can get to the point where you are able to, for example, like choose to step up as yourself to do it. Now, you can't do it as a command. You have to do it as a question to yourself, and then you give yourself time to answer the question, and then you answer that question.

If it turns out that you open up TikTok in between, guess what? You end up never doing it. You never end up fully processing that question. Right. And so I think there's that discomfort of sitting with a question. And I think, in other words, I think, I feel like as an older, I, I think to myself about that phrase a lot, right?

And actually turns out that phrase has a long, it's actually a long cultural tra tra tradition in the Middle East. So in terms of a phrase and so, so forth. So it's not as if he came out with it, you know, but I just thought it was, I thought it was a. Really tactile way to ask yourself question. Right. So it's like, yeah.

If you're feeling uncertain, then it's like, yeah, if if not me, then who? Right. You know? Yeah. If not now, then when, right. And having the space to answer that question. Yeah. I think,

(00:52:26) Dominic Kalousek:

You know, it's, Maybe this conversation was meant to happen Exactly on this day because funny enough, I, I had stepped outside today for about 45 minutes and just like set my phone down to the side and was just kinda like staring off and, but was like asking like some of these questions and there's almost a barrier for you to like really actually have to push through this to start thinking of these questions that you have to start thinking for yourself for this kind of exploration and.

And essentially it's just, it's, part of it is just being present versus Right. Being outside of it. And so, just almost like you said, you're, we're always on this quest of knowledge, especially as being a podcaster, like asking questions, wanting to learn more from others. But sometimes you have to turn it around and put it on yourself to almost push back through the barrier and almost, you know, regress in the sense of like, okay, well foundationally I'm trying to focus on myself and think about Yeah.

Some of the questions that I need to answer and right. So it's just really fascinating that you mentioned that, cuz I actually just went through that episode today. But yeah. But any case, Jeremy, we, we really want to thank you again for this time. You know, max and I, we, we love the conversation. We really enjoyed it and you know, there's so much more to unpack and to talk about your background and all the incredible things you've done across your career so far to date.

And you know, hopefully in that case we can have another conversation another time in the future. But yeah, we just wanna say thank you again.

(00:53:47) Jeremy Au:

Yeah. So much fun. Thanks for having me on the show. Yep.