My Personal Story

Curious how the Social Savvy Sage curriculum came to be? Wondering if it can work for you? Here’s my story …

First off, this is me in third grade:

I was a shy, awkward, Taiwanese immigrant who spoke no English. (Hey, cut me some slack. How can anyone not be shy and awkward with that haircut and those glasses?)

And this is me today, with my wife:

I’d like to think I’ve come a pretty long way over the years. I mean, I’m still physically the same short Asian kid. (Well … okay, I have more gray hair on the head and more fat on the gut.) But aside from losing the glasses and updating the hair, what else has changed?

My social savvy, that’s what.

Reactive versus Proactive Conversation

By the time I started high school, I thought myself plenty capable of engaging in meaningful conversations. I just chose to share my conversational skills with close friends only. I professed my intolerance for banter and small talk. “I’m not that superficial,” I told myself.

The truth was, I was horrible at conversing with strangers, and even more inept at turning strangers into friends … or more.

Eventually, I realized that my snobbery was a defense mechanism. I convinced myself I was “above” small talk because it gave me an excuse not to approach people I didn’t know well. And even when someone did approach me first, I found myself always being reactive in conversations. They steered the conversation, and I responded.

That’s when I decided that I needed to break out of my bubble. And so, I did the most “social” thing I could think of when I got to college — I joined a fraternity. All of a sudden, I was thrown in with a bunch of guys who seemed like they were born with social savvy.

Well, a few were born with social savvy. Others were born with a stein in both hands.

I noticed that the savviest guys were proactive conversationalists. They could direct the flow of a conversation in a fun and exciting manner, and through this, they were able to charm and flirt. Watching them engage others was almost mesmerizing.

Differing Styles

Over the next few years, I stood on the sidelines and observed the different conversational styles the successful guys employed.

Some of the guys relied on their wit. They were able to find humor everywhere, injecting each conversation with hilarious comments that had everyone rolling with laughter.

Some of the guys relied on their positivity. Their demeanor just seemed to light people up.

Some of the guys relied on their storytelling. In a span of two minutes, they could captivate a group’s attention even relaying the most objectively mundane anecdote.

Some of the guys relied on their warmth and friendliness. They displayed a genuine interest in getting to know anyone and everyone.

And yep, some guys relied on their cockiness. Yet, they were able to exude confidence without bragging or tearing others down.

Still others relied on their ability to look like Brad Pitt. But that, I can’t teach you.

These skills seemed to come naturally for these guys, but I was convinced I could learn them myself. Being the over-analytical kid, I absorbed all their different styles and strove to emulate them all. I immersed myself in the science behind human behavior and interactions, eventually carving out a career path where I could learn and apply this information. And bit by bit over the course of many years, I figured out how to incorporate everything I learned into my own conversational style.

An Unforeseen Side Effect

And that’s when something entirely unexpected happened. As my social savvy grew, I noticed that I didn’t have to make as much of an effort to approach women anymore. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I still had to make some effort. I just didn’t have to fight to keep someone’s attention. Just feeling at ease talking to the people around me — men or women, taken or single, young or old — made me attractive.

And that takes me now to Social Savvy Sage. I remember how much of a struggle it was to talk to strangers, how terrified and awkward I felt. If you’re the same way, I totally get ya, and that’s why I’m here to help. My coaching program incorporates a fully developed curriculum, based on eight fundamental skills I’ve studied, learned, and applied over the past 20 years. You can also read about my professional background and training.

I won’t sugarcoat things, though. You’re not going to learn how to be socially savvy overnight. It’s going to take a ton of hard work and commitment on your part.

But if this nerdy Asian immigrant who’s had to fight unsexy stereotypes his entire life can do it, I bet you can, too.

Riding … er, walking off into the sunset. Sort of.

If my story has inspired you in any way, click here to learn about my coaching services, or sign up for a free consultation below: