I am officially 25 years old today! As we are still in quarantine because of COVID-19, birthdays look a lot different this year than they usually do. Regardless, this was another year of learning, growing and stepping out of comfort zones. 24 has been a lot of heads down work, focused on just getting things done. I spent the year focused on growing Mount Lai, closing on my first investment property, creating content and furthering my skincare education. For 25, I’m striving for the ever elusive work-life balance. That means enjoying the present moment, learning to rest, being content with where I am. (Also, please let 25 be the year where I finally get a dog!!!)
Discovering meditation // I am not a chill person by any means and I can get quite anxious. This is aggravated by the fact that my mind is always racing and life as an entrepreneur can be stressful. Devan has been telling me to try meditation for years but I kept writing it off as something that was too “slow” or “boring.” My attitude changed once I read this article about building a resilience bank account, which uses science to show how consistent meditation can help reduce stress. I tested out a few different meditation apps and decided on Calm, as I liked their setup and meditations the best. I do it first thing every morning and it has legitimately made a difference in my days and my mood.
Re-prioritizing health // As I get older, I’m seeing some mobility issues creep up with my arms and hips. Sitting in front of a desk for the entire day is not good for the body and I’ve definitely been feeling it. In addition to doing meditation, I’ve added yoga and stretching to my morning routine before I start work. I also got a Peloton for the apartment recently and have been doing that every other day. Nothing too crazy but a step in the right direction.
Three years of Mount Lai // Mount Lai first launched in November of 2017 and I can’t believe I’ve been doing it for 3 years now! We have been doubling in revenue every year since we launched. So crazy to see the growth and how far we’ve come from where we started.
Purchasing my first rental property // I have been working on furthering my real estate knowledge and building out a solid foundation for real estate investing for some time now and this was the year that I finally took the leap and purchased my first investment property. I ended up closing right before COVID-19 hit so I was a bit worried about timeline but it ended up all working out and we have tenants in place!
Hitting a major financial goal // Financial independence is something that is important to me. I am all about making smart, strategic decisions in both life and with money. That being said, money is not everything, but it can provide you with freedom on how you live your life.
A Dog! // The plan is to start fostering dogs in 2021 and then eventually adopting a pup. Devan’s family got a toy labradoodle during quarantine and he is so sweet and pure and loving. Devan and I have been spending a lot of time with Devan’s family and their puppy and it has been a ray of light during this time.
Growing the Mount Lai team // Hiring has been one of my biggest challenges + probably the thing I am the most uncomfortable about when it comes to the business. Despite this, hiring and building out the team is *super* important to the growth of the business. I can’t do it all! Growing the team will help me gain more work-life balance and is a big focus for the upcoming year.
Purchasing another rental property // The current plan is to purchase one investment property a year. Real estate is a great way to diversify your investments and generate cashflow. Quarantine has also made Devan and I itch for an escape from our Brooklyn studio apartment. I have been thinking about a Poconos vacation home that my family, friends and I could enjoy that I could also rent out when it’s not in use for quite some time now. Maybe this will be the year that I finally go for it!
Continue prioritizing health // If this year has taught me anything, it is that health is number one, over everything. You can’t do your best work or be the most productive if your health isn’t prioritized. Besides that, you can have all the money in the world and it wouldn’t matter if you don’t have your health. Here’s to prioritizing both physical and mental health.
Give back and do good // I want to continue to contribute to causes I care about with both my money and my time. While I have a bunch of organizations that I love to support like Charity Water and Send Chinatown Love, I would love to also find a cause to volunteer for and donate to consistently.
In terms of birthday celebrations this year, I kept it super low-key, especially because of COVID-19. I did outdoor dining at Nami Nori with two of my friends and then had a nice dinner (also outdoor dining) at Oxalis with Devan. We went to NJ that weekend and Devan’s mom made me dairy-free cupcakes! So funny to revisit how I’ve celebrated birthdays in the past. For my 20th birthday, I ran my first 10k and for my 21st birthday, I spent the night at the Gramercy Park Hotel.