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William Hung on going from American Idol to Self-Improvement Visionary

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On this episode of Heroic Investing Gary Pinkerton hosts William Hung, former American Idol contestant and author of Champion by Choice. Hung shares his experience on American Idol and life after the show. Since then he created Williams 4 Pillars For Becoming Speaking Superstar. He goes over Three Cs to live by.

Announcer 0:04
Welcome to the heroic investing show. As first responders we risk our lives every day our financial security is under attack. Our pensions are in a state of emergency. A single on duty incident can alter or erase our earning potential instantly and forever. We are the heroes of society. We are self reliant and we need to take care of our own financial future. The heroic investing show is our toolkit of business and investing tactics on our mission to financial freedom.

Gary Pinkerton 0:39
Welcome to the heroic investing show podcast for first responders, members, the military, veterans and anyone looking to improve their financial future and gain some freedom with their time. We teach America’s heroes how to build passive income, build their startup business and safely grow wealth through real estate and other alternative investments. We have current and prior First Responders put protections systems and a team in place to help them build a life where they can focus on their passion, that service or product that they’re uniquely gifted to share with others, making the world a better place for all of us. My name is Gary Pinkerton and I co host this show with Jason Hartman. This is Episode 227 heroic investing 227. So Today my guest is William hung, he wrote a book called champion by choice. Many of you may know him from American Idol 15 years ago, he’s saying Ricky Martin’s hit song she bangs and I will admit I did not follow American Idol. I was pretty busy 15 years ago traveling around the world in the Navy, so I didn’t know what he was talking about. But I went and watched it afterwards. He commented that he was booed off the stage and it didn’t last very long. I agree. His first appearance there was pretty rough. You can see it on on YouTube, but the guy bounced back and he ended up having In a traveling career with no initial professional experience as a singer or performer, and he was on stage with Ricky Martin over that career, and he also learned a tremendous amount about public speaking, worked for the police department for a while, and now helps others grow their business and find their mission and then get their mission out there by excelling as a professional speaker. He’s pretty fascinating guy, and he certainly is a courageous individual. I hope you enjoy this interview with William hung, rock investors. Thank you for joining us. Welcome back. Today I have with my with us, William Hong. William, thank you so much for joining the heroic investing audience.

William Hung 2:45
You’re welcome.

Gary Pinkerton 2:47
So William, please tell everyone I know that you’re you hail from California if I if I’m correct there and tell us tell the audience a little bit about yourself.

William Hung 2:57
Well, I was a former amateur can either contestant

Gary Pinkerton 3:03
so many years ago, I had this dream to become a hero in real life, because I played a video game called Final Fantasy 10. Yes, you know, in my towns, it might sound crazy, but, but I feel like after I beat the game, maybe there’s more to what I can do in my life rather than just being a normal student at UC Berkeley. So that’s why I decided to try out for the talent show in school. But somehow I won thinking Ricky Martin she banks. So that’s how that’s how I got started with auditioning for American Idol.

William Hung 3:51
Okay, wonderful. So how far did that go for you?

Gary Pinkerton 3:54
I never made it to Hollywood. But somehow that was got millions of views all over the world? And how did that change your life? Everybody knows who I am. It’s crazy. If you think about it, just imagine if you’re a normal person. And then all of a sudden, everybody is pointing fingers at you. They ask you questions like, Oh my god, I saw this. I saw you last night. Are you that cheap bangs guy.

William Hung 4:26
So that’s, that’s incredible. I’m sure it would have changed your life tremendously. And so you also spend some time as a technical crime analyst for LA County Sheriff’s Department. What was that like? And what did you do there?

Gary Pinkerton 4:41
Well, before I get to that, so here’s so here’s what happened. But the entertainment career I was living this dream life for about four years. I got a record contract. I was traveling and performing all over the world, but my entertainment career slow down. And that’s when I decided to I had to make a choice. Do I want to keep going showbiz? Or do I want to go for a stable job? I chose the stable job. Because, you know, my parents forced me to get a stable job. I thought it’s okay to get a stable job. So that’s why I decided to finish school got my math degree. And that’s where and I got my job for the sheriff’s department more on like, statistical analysts. Okay.

William Hung 5:28
And so you do that for how long?

Gary Pinkerton 5:30
the eyeball about two years Okay, originally I thought I would be excited because I will be doing something like Crime Scene Investigation like CSI. But But it turns out day after day, I’m reading reports about rape, murder, really not why I signed up for.

William Hung 5:54
Okay, got it. And so, so fast forward now. What are you doing now, William?

Gary Pinkerton 5:59
Well, you know how Most people, they struggle to find the right story to connect with their audience. Because there’s so much noise out there, whether it’s connecting people on social media, connecting with people to, to speak on stages, or just get your next job promotion. I help people find their inspiring personal story that will help them grow their career and the business.

William Hung 6:27
Got it. And so we were talking before we started the recording that you you felt like that you had learned some lessons and that you had some advice for people who are first responders, service providers. Let’s talk about that for a few minutes.

Gary Pinkerton 6:43
Yes, so I I had I had being a first responder in my career path, but I could imagine because I have friends that are nurses. I have friends that are doctors or police officers. service or other first responders. The hardest thing is how you balance between serving others and also taking care of yourself mentally and physically. Yeah.

William Hung 7:13
So why is that such a challenge?

Gary Pinkerton 7:15
Because sometimes, because sometimes you deal with depressing and angry people. Other times you’ll feel like you’re you’re not being appreciated for what you do.

William Hung 7:27
Right? Yeah. It’s a huge amount of service, you know, military members. First responders are all asked for time and again, to be away from the families to be in dangerous situations. It’s somewhat of a thankless job at times. Really?

Gary Pinkerton 7:43
Yeah. Yes. Yes.

William Hung 7:47
You know, going back for just a moment to, to your time, you know, trying out for American Idol. You know, you had some challenges, some, maybe some embarrassing moments there at the end. Can you talk to us a little bit about like how it all ended?

Gary Pinkerton 8:04
Oh, of course, well,

William Hung 8:08
Simon is always going to be the guest critic. At least back then. He always was. So I wasn’t surprised when he stopped me the middle of my court and said, You can’t say you can’t dance. So what I’m going to say, Yeah, I just said, I already gave my best. I have no regrets at all. It’s how I felt.

Gary Pinkerton 8:33
Yeah, and that was amazing. So that just that came out from your kind of from your soul. It wasn’t something you thought of to say, no, yeah. And well, what did you learn there? or What should we learn there? I guess maybe.

William Hung 8:46
Well, it’s the same thing in life. When you put in your genuine effort to to perform at your best, so often Things might not work out the way you expect it to. You’re not you’re not going, you’re not going to win every hand, you’re not going to win every deal. Whatever the situation is. That’s that’s best, that’s normal. But maybe a better way to look at it is to ask yourself in your heart, whether you read you seriously put in the effort.

Gary Pinkerton 9:24
Great. I wanted to shift slightly, and it’s really not a lot different. But so you know, you were on stage, you know, pretty scary, pretty scary thing. And I think you Yeah, you know, and I think you have some, some advice. Some lessons learned after studying top performers, public speakers. You probably have some lessons that you could share on how, you know, finding your message and, and being able to sell out of place right and be successful in a public forum. What? You know talk about that for a few minutes things you’ve learned? Oh,

William Hung 10:03
of course. So so it is definitely my my philosophy by walking over 15 years as a speaker and entertainer, I was there are three keys to think about when you the way you deliver sex. That’s, that’s it personal story that’s sitting inside of you. The first step is to avoid comparing yourself with others. So this does not mean that we don’t want to learn from both models. We’ll all learn from somebody better we all should learn from somebody better, but they but the way to find that balance is not to think about your own life like oh my god, this is so miserable. How come I’m not the next Tony Robbins yet? How come I’m not the number one employee yet in my company. whatever that may be, when you’re it’s good to strive for something better but if you always feel unhappy by comparing people that that’s above you, then that’s the problem. And I learned that from my mom

Gary Pinkerton 11:15
Nice. Yeah, you will always be unhappy if you’re if you’re constantly finding someone who’s slightly more experienced more successful further along in the game and and, you know, comparing yourself to them. You know, a guy that Dan Solomon is a is a very well known international personal coach and business coach, and he talks about a difference between the you’re viewing things from the gap and viewing things from gain and one is looking forward. one’s looking backwards and, and actually looking forward is the negative side. So when you’re looking at that gap to that person that’s ahead of you. And you’re always falling short. You’re always coming up short, there’s no there’s no pre made opportunity to, to congratulate yourself to celebrate small victories right? It’s just always never enough. But if your game if you’re looking at improvement in yourself compared to what you used to be able to do, or where you used to be, then there’s it’s ready made opportunities for celebrating victories. Yes, exactly. Right. Right. So if you if you go to your high school reunion you look at everybody who is just super successful, that doesn’t help. But if you look at improvements you’ve made from last year from 10 years ago, it’s easy to see that gain and as long as that’s your frame of reference, it’s tremendously better. Have you seen Yes, you know, experienced the same?

William Hung 12:41
Yes. Yes. And and that’s why that’s why the that’s why this is one of the most important factors when it when it comes to delivering the story from your heart because it gets when you’ve come from the right place, like you mentioned. About not not a company, not like that. Always unhappy not always feeling like you’re short. You know, you come from you come from a place of empowering other people. It’s the intention.

Gary Pinkerton 13:10
Yeah, the intention that matters, the matters most above everything else. So as we think about the audiences, we think about individuals who have a career in in service being a service provider, but perhaps they’re looking for maybe starting their own business or transitioning, maybe they’re getting close to retirement, what advice you have for them on how they’re going to stack up in a new field new career.

William Hung 13:36
Hmm. As I think about your question, I’m also thinking about the other the other two keys to to uncovering your your personal story that would touch people. And I think the other key that the other the other thought I have is taking personal responsibility for your own progress. I think Really, that definitely answers your question as well, in terms of how they can continue to grow. Because like, because let’s face it, we always have a choice. We have a choice, we could either blame the circumstances, blame other people. Or we could say to ourselves, well, I’m not where I want to be yet. But here’s what I accomplish. Here’s what I can do next.

William Hung 14:27
Right. Yeah, very good points. So, again, you know, this is what I have accomplished. And this is a bite size thing that I can do, again, to get even further down my goal path, but we’re not gonna just constantly You know, this isn’t important, you know, topic for right now, because everyone is goal setting, right? For 2020. And yeah, and we’re all focused on on these goals, which is awesome. It’s very inspiring. It’s one of the most amazing times of the year, but then you get a couple months down the road and it becomes a very tough time because you realize, oh my gosh, I’ve missed this. I’ve missed that I’m not on track. And this happened last year. And you get in this tailspin? I, you know, I think. So I think it’s understanding that it’s a process and it’s not an immediate victory and, and also recognizing and focusing on your small gains that have occurred by looking at the gain and not the gap that’s still out there is what will keep you going to that gym, and it will keep you on track for your targets, like I changed the word goal setting to targets I set targets for the future, and they’re just that they’re just targets. And when I shoot the bow and arrow, and I shoot the arrow at the target, right, I’m happy that I got inside the outer circle or that it stuck to the target, right? And maybe I got a little closer that did last time. But I think that when you call it a goal, it’s like it’s all or nothing you have to hit that thing. Well we’re teaching ourselves is to set goals that are way out there that we have to stretch for. And then when we don’t make it we beat ourselves up. So I’ve gotten rid of the word goals. Personally, I don’t know if that’ll help others but I just have targets.

William Hung 15:58
Yeah, I think so. Goes is still very helpful for me, I still do it, I do it in three month increments. But like you said, I don’t beat myself up if I don’t, if I don’t get there. One of the one my current three month goal is to get paid to speak three times in 2020 and make at least $15,000. I will say I hit both of those goals, but the way I hit those goals is not the way people expect me to be. And what I mean by that is that I did I did start to get a few clients to help them uncover their stories, but the way I actually got there is it’s learning about poker and doing very well we poker.

Gary Pinkerton 16:46
Interesting, and that’s that’s how you establish the relationship with the individuals. Is that what you mean?

William Hung 16:53
So, so no, what I’m saying is that sometimes when you set a goal be open to the To the possibility that you might you that you might not get there the way you expect. It’s very good.

Gary Pinkerton 17:07
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, William, I know you have another call coming up. And I appreciate you squeezing us and you have a busy life. What should we be talking with the audience about that we haven’t covered yet in this in this, you know, pretty interesting conversation so far. What should we talk to them?

William Hung 17:27
Yeah. Well, I would last, the last takeaway for your audience is always find the best way to help other people.

Gary Pinkerton 17:36
Nice. And so when you’re approaching what might be a future business, or just an interaction in general, how can I approach this in a way how can I deliver this in a way where it’s, you know, it’s adding the most value possible, right.

William Hung 17:49
Yeah. So So, so is when I, when it comes to this key lesson. I learned this from networking. So because now 30% of the people when they networking, they always just talk about themselves. Yeah. So instead of starting from that place, start from the place of being genuinely curious to learn about the other person. And then when, when the when, when the when the opportunity comes up, then you can insert your story that you can offer or provide. And that’s how you and that’s the way that I help my clients connect with people as well. So, so again, to just do a quick recap, the three keys to offering the inspiring story and really to grow your business or your career are the first one is to avoid comparing yourself with others. A second key was taking personal responsibility for your own progress. And then the third one is always find the best way to help others.

Gary Pinkerton 18:54
Nice, that’s awesome. So how can how can the audience find out more about you, William?

William Hung 19:00
So people can go to my website will hum.com wi Ll hunt.com. They can also find me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Gary Pinkerton 19:11
That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much for spending some time with heroic investing listeners.

William Hung 19:17
You’re welcome. Okay, bye bye.

Announcer 19:22
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