Elementary: Learning about the world of web development (HTML/CSS)
Back when I was in Grade 6 or so, I was addicted to a social platform called Piczo. I’d describe it as a place where you could build your own website and make it look cool and fun… And of course, the goal was to become “popular” and get more followers around the world.
I really enjoyed Piczo because of the creative side of things. Although you could build your website from dragging and dropping different elements onto the page, I was inspired to advance my web development skills and learn HTML/CSS.
Personal shoutout to W3 Schools tutorials and a lot of other online friends who taught me how to create my own themes, favicons, and more!
Junior High: Becoming my own “boss”
When I got to junior high, I decided to make my own money. At the time, my parents didn’t let me get a job, so I decided to sell stress balls made out of balloons and flour. Although my parents weren’t keen on the mess I was making at home, it was quite popular among the students. However, I eventually found out that one of the younger kids was buying my stress balls and selling it at 10x the price to other kids their age. I was shook!
Around the same time, I started getting really into the world of manga and anime. One of my cousins had a friend whose brother started selling a lot of merchandise. Being the ultimate consumer, I bought a lot of random things (this is probably how my hoarding habits started). Eventually, this brother asked me if I wanted to sell merchandise as well.
I seized the opportunity and opened up my first and only Facebook shop, where I started selling a bunch of stuff to my friends and family. Afterwards, I started increasing my selection. I would buy items like phone cases from sites like eBay and resell them at a markup price. As I started making more money, I decided to hire a team of Shop Agents who could promote my products at other schools in return for discounts and free swag.
This side hustle was quite profitable and even lasted me throughout high school. However, my small shop eventually could not compete with the likes of Amazon 🤷🏻♀️ since people no longer had to go through me for their desired items.
High School: Sharing my love of food
Thanks to the money from my Facebook shop, I started going out to eat quite a bit with my friends. At the same time that Instagram started becoming a thing, my Dad also bought me a Samsung Instinct (a touchscreen phone before the iPhone) so I took a lot of pictures of my food.
As a foodie, I also referred to Zomato a lot and decided to write my own reviews. As more and more people started asking me for food recommendations, I decided to start my own food blog using Wix. Just like Piczo, I had a lot of fun building out the website and writing my reviews.
University: Pivoting my focus to career development
Once I started university, I got super busy with extracurriculars and my food blog kinda fell off my radar. During this time, my focus was on buffing up my resume and becoming a prime candidate for internships and full time employment upon graduation.
At the same time, I also missed writing (no essays don’t count)… and as more friends started coming to me for help with their resumes and career advice, I was inspired to start up another blog—this time focused on career development.
I had 2 priorities with #kkarenism: share the learnings and advice that I got from mentors and help people with their resumes. To this day, I am still staying true to this… and I am really proud of how far I’ve come in reaching thousands of students and early-in-careers around the world.
Now: Pursuing a passion with purpose
The more I reflect on my goals with this blog, the more I think about my plethora of passions… and how they can come together as I grow #kkarenism.
When it comes to my passion for storytelling, one of my goals is to write a book in the new year.
When it comes to my passion for helping youth, I want to positively impact 1M+ youth around the world one day. I have no idea how I am going to do this, so it’s going to be a long road of curiosity ahead!
When it comes to my passion for business, I am planning to launch a shop with templates and resources that can help my readers save time and effort.
When it comes to my passion for marketing, I want to figure out how to grow my email subscribers through my newsletter.
I still have a lot of thinking to do as I embrace 2022 and beyond, but I am excited for the inspiration that’s to come. Please feel free to ping or email me if you have any ideas or feedback!
Thanks for being a part of this journey. Every view, like, or comment means a lot to me!