[S2] [E11] Why People Who Know How to Be Outgoing Make Great Entrepreneurs with Carl Choi, Founder & CEO at The Great Company

Why People Who Know How to Be Outgoing Make Great Entrepreneurs
Photo by Isaac Alvarez

Navigating different cultures is always tricky, and communication can further highlight the differences between Eastern and Western cultures. Hence, some Asian-Americans might find themselves in embarrassing situations as they adjust to their environment. People who reach out to others will not only break the communication barrier but also discover something else about themselves.

In this episode, Carl Choi talks about his early experiences in moving from Hong Kong to the United States. He discusses how communication differs between the two cultures he encountered. Carl shares how he overcame these challenges and cultivated a more outgoing personality which made him who he is today.

If you’re also struggling with the culture gap and want to be inspired to break through it, tune in to this episode. 

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover how to be outgoing to tap into a great business opportunity.
  2. Find out how Carl navigated the communication barriers that come with being an Asian-American.
  3. Learn the skills that will help you find and retain the talent you need for your business.


Episode Highlights

Carl’s Company

  • The Great Company seeks to be the leading producer of meaningful shared experiences.
  • The company operates on the premise that everyone shares the same limited resource: time.
  • Everyone wants to maximize how they use their time to connect and enjoy each other’s presence.  

Carl’s Beginnings

  • Carl grew up in Hong Kong before moving into the United States as a kid.
  • His Asian upbringing emphasized the value of actions over communication.
  • Carl had some embarrassing moments in trying to go through a communication barrier.
  • Through these experiences, he learned to be extra careful about how to speak.  

From Parties to Business

  • Carl had an identity crisis in high school, and he developed a desire to differentiate himself.
  • He cultivated his persona and learned how to be outgoing.
  • He started regularly organizing parties to help bring people together and showcase his extraversion.
  • Eventually, businesses approached him to conduct parties as part of some marketing strategies. 


  • Carl agrees that both Asians and Americans tend to treat Asian-Americans differently.
  • However, he doesn’t find malice in this behavior. Instead, it comes from a lack of understanding.
  • The key to promoting acceptance is to openly welcome people and challenge their preconceptions about you.
  • Another critical point is to refrain from unwarranted assumptions, which tend to be common in Asian culture.

Dyslexia & Communication

  • Carl later found out that he had dyslexia, which may have contributed to his earlier struggle with communication.
  • However, this diagnosis also helped him understand himself better.
  • Through his friend’s encouragement, he has built his confidence and removed the restrictions on how to be outgoing.

Cultural Differences in Communication

  • Eastern culture tends to prioritize indirect forms of expression.
  • In contrast, Western culture tends to promote direct engagement with people.
  • Asian-Americans face the dual challenges of navigating cultural differences when trying to engage with people.
  • However, Carl feels fulfillment in using his work to contribute toward mutual respect and understanding of these cultures.

Talent Management

  • Carl’s background in the record label industry helps him in his current business because he now knows how to pick promising talents.
  • First, he wants people who want to have a good time and a great experience working with him.
  • Carl also puts value in people who find ways to continuously improve and are committed to learning more.
  • Another key trait is faith, which can be strong enough to keep people pushing toward their goals despite the risks.
  • Finally, the ability to collaborate is now becoming more critical within the last few years. 

Seeing Differently

  • The ability to see things differently is a highly valued skill.
  • The wider your perspective, the more possibilities you see.
  • More possibilities lead to more opportunities.
  • People like thinkers with vision, and they tend to stick around and form valuable networks.  

On Looking Forward

  • Keeping the future in mind is essential, but remember to focus on the present.
  • You might find it challenging to deal with the present if you think too much about what’s yet to come.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

[09:57] “I would not be who I am today or understand the world as I understand today if everything behind me did not happen the way it did.”

[22:05] “If we welcome mean people and you educate people about what you’re about, you educate how you have fun, I think there’s something about that type of hospitality that speaks universally.”

[29:28] “People of all nationalities and races want to help uplift, you know, talent in Asian space as well.”

[39:41] “I think when you see things differently, they breed, you know, possibilities, and those possibilities breeds opportunities.”

[42:58] “Make sure you postmark the future but also try your best to stay present because you’re not there yet.”

About Carl

Carl Choi came from Hong Kong before moving into the United States. As a child, he encountered difficulties in reconciling his Eastern upbringing with the Western culture around him.

His early experiences taught him valuable lessons on communication. As he reached out to people, he stumbled upon a business model that he turned into his own enterprise, The Great Company. Carl’s company creates interactive and immersive experiences for their clients.

If you want to know more about Carl and his work, connect with him through Facebook and LinkedIn.

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