How To Get into UC Berkeley

This was first written for my email list, which you can subscribe here:

Hi Friends!

I’m going to tell you how to write a successful college personal statement. Why? Because thirteen days ago I received a message from my friend’s mom:

“My daughter is starting working on her essay for College. I know you did an amazing essay yourself and I would like to know if you can share your essay with me? I was also told that you help students with essays and I would like to know if you would like to help her?”

While attending, and especially after graduating from UC Berkeley, I helped many students with their college personal statements.

I’ve helped students get into UCSD, Boston University, UCSB, a few state schools, and of course, UC Berkeley.

I would love to share my message to my friend’s mom with you. Hopefully it can help you with your own personal college essay or the stories you want share.

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Sixty-Four Year Old Mother Dancing All Night

How can one do deep work when they’re struggling to find existence?

I’m supposed to be editing a video right now, which requires this great intense introverted concentration that I’m dreading to push through. I’ve already sacrificed hours into this project and one can only take so much feedback until you simply fall into pieces, where you want to say “fuck it, why continue?”

What’s more is my extroverted manic brain is thinking about all the other projects that are due in the next few days and the stress has numbed the right side of my back. We’re talking knots on knots on knots. I have a hard time moving my neck.

This is why I’m writing.

It’s my release.

It’s my yoga.

Because the only way I can start the process of this deep work, before I can get into a flow state, I need to write about what happened. The moment that broke me this week.

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My Last Chance


A few weeks ago I saw this number deposited into my bank account. My eyes lit up because I thought of things I could do with this amount of money.

We’re talking about paying off debts, setting money aside for back taxes, and of course learning how to keep track of your finance, putting a majority of it into the business I am growing.

What is fantastic is that it is only 25% of what I’m expected to receive, as the last 75% will be given to me in mid-September (2021).

It’s a deal of a lifetime… and I’ve squandered it all away. Gambling.

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Starting Somewhere

What I love about this blog is that every post is simply a stream of consciousness. It is my journal, it is my way, it is my reflective place. Yes, I could write in a private journal, but it’s just more freeing to write it here: there’s nothing more graceful and therapeutic than typing words on a keyboard.

Let’s begin.

I’m tired of this self-destructive lifestyle I live, called the cycle of “starting over.” It’s these moments in your life where you’re at the peak, career is flourishing, opportunities are all around you, and then in an instant.

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Who is there for the Oldest?


I’ve been at this blank page for over an hour, staring at the little straight line that ticks in and out of sight – all in beats of eighths as it waits for the letters to be typed out.

I’m sitting on my chair, my bed in front of me, and a soft lamp to the corner that only lights up half the desk. I hear nothing but the echoes of the water heater crackling in the distance: a reminder that I am indeed, alone.

I look up at my bed again, my eyes begging me to sleep, and yet I know that if I don’t write this out, I. won’t. get. rest.

Yesterday, my 61 year old mother told me she wanted to kill herself.

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The Time I Stole

I was recently asked to tell a time when I stole something.
This is the story –

In my freshman year at UC Berkeley, I lived in a dormitory called Bowles Hall. It looked and felt like the gloomy structure of an exact replica of Hogwarts.

The only difference was the ability to find an amazing woman like Hermione Granger, Pansy Parkinson, or an Angelina Johnson to be walking the halls… because women didn’t exist at Bowles Hall!

No women.
No magic.

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Why Instagram Vlogs Will Rule 2018

I’m going to warn you that I haven’t written in sometime. As a way to get back into the groove of things, I’m going to write about a theory I have when it comes to Instagram. This may not be the best written piece I’ve ever done. There might be grammatical errors, who knows. It’s all about getting back into the groove of things. Here goes nothing…

I believe that 2018 is the year of Instagram.

I understand – Facebook is making a massive push to popularize Facebook watch. However, a successful Facebook watch page comprises of professionally made video content:  we’re talking HD quality, we’re talking about engaging stories where each video lasts more than two minutes and thirty seconds, and we’re talking about pages that can posts these types of videos consistently.

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A Hot Date (a story)

I was recently asked to tell an embarrassing story.
This is the story –

Two years ago, the girlfriend at the time and I decided to have a home-cooked meal for our “date night.” We planned it all. We were going to make homemade Vietnamese pho and simply catch up on the lives we were leading.
Couple things. Couple goals. Relationship goals.
All those hashtags.

By the way this wasn’t some gentrified Asian-Fusion pho we (she) made. This was some high-quality dish where her ancestors would’ve been proud.

Be jealous.

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Fade To 4:39am (a story about her)

Fade to 4:39am and this ambiguous structure of words that need to be stretched out, stripped out, and then torn out to extrapolate the pain floating in my head.

Who knew laying in bed since 9pm would make 4:39am so deadly? To be awake, to be energized, but then to be surrounded by stillness, is destructive.

It is in 4am – I can’t do anything.

So, I think. Thinking is dangerous.

Dramatically. I’m thinking of her.

I thought I was thinking of her because I wanted to win her back. But now awake, I know I don’t. We’re forever gone.

The only thing I do know right now is that there are images of her that I must write, so I can dream of other things to make me sleep…

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The Decision: A Risk for Creative Art

“Jonathan, working full-time here means you cannot work on any of your side projects. You can no longer uber, you can no longer do YouTube, you can no longer work on anything else but PlayTable.”

I sat there listening to my friend’s words and my heart sank. I’ve known him since 2009, been working with him on many projects since 2011, and since late 2014, started the journey of working on this new project that led me from LA to the Bay Area. This current project is called, It’s an all-in-one board game console, which can play every single board & card game in the world: we’re creating the soul for board & card games everywhere.

“As a friend, I understand your situation. But, as the CEO of this company I need you here all the time.” I replied asking if I could get one day off to work on my side projects. “No. Jonathan, we’re crowdsourcing in 5 months. I need you here.”

He gave me a weekend to think about my decision. I sent him an e-mail last Monday and apologized. Yes, I decided to not work with PlayTable in the capacity expected of me, and I’ll tell you why I made the decision…

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How To Hire, Teach, And Work With GREAT Interns

I was about to title this post, “how to get people to follow you & work with you… for free.” But, I realized that sounded as if I was profoundly teaching you how to exploit others to do your bidding… for free. This isn’t the case because I, in retrospect, have paid many of the interns who have worked with me in the past. However, this isn’t my good ole’ days where money flows out of my ass like a Taco-Bell burrito. Therefore, the interns I do have must work for free.

I guess the post should be “How To Manage Interns – For Free?” You get the idea. 

Before I begin with my post, here’s my experience with managing interns.

(in college I once managed 17 interns at once). 

Since starting my entrepreneurial journey in 2011, I’ve had a total of twenty-seven interns. I’ve fired sixteen, three of them quit, two of them went awol, four of them will always stay in my heart forever, and two of them are currently working with me at this moment. I’ve disappointed a few, I’ve overspent money with a couple, I’ve out-shined my own expectations with some, I’ve gotten taken advantage of, and I’ve also been surprised in the most amazing ways.

It’s because of these experiences that I now have a better sense of what it takes to i) find the right intern(s) for the right job(s) and ii) how to get these intern(s) to give you their best all awhile working with you for free (something that fits your budget).

Let’s begin.

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What Defines You?

People will never truly define you based on the skills you possess, your education level, or anything plastered on your resume. Let’s be clear, there is no harm in having an amazing resume filled with glitter and experience. But, what’s more important, are your daily rituals. These rituals, your habits, these are the things that define you.

What do I mean?

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