April 4, 2023

Unsung with William Hung and Other Ideas for Making Dreams Come True

Unsung with William Hung and Other Ideas for Making Dreams Come True
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MeetingAmerican Idol's William Hung in person earlier this year, I was struck by his positronic energy. In our interview, I learned more about his gentle spirit, which is backed up by focus and determination. These traits are what turned a longshot audition into viral sensation and a yearslong adventure!

The title of this episode comes from William's vocalized plan to do a podcast honoring unsung heroes. I mentioned that it might be fun to call the show "Unsung with William Hung." Anyway, this is just one part of his mission to help others make their dreams come true.

Join us for another fun and enlightening episode of TTF, as a guy who, as William himself puts it, "was just another college kid with dreams of going to Hollywood" ACTUALLY GOT THERE.

00:00 - Sometimes, Karaoke Leads to...
07:40 - After the Audition - a Viral Sensation!
11:45 - William Charts on Billboard!
14:00 - A Mom You Trust is Better Than any Agent
17:50 - Back to School
20:10 - Then Comes Marriage...and Another Marriage...and a Gambling Addiction
25:36 - Back on His Feet and in a Better Headspace
28:45 - William's Mission

Find William:
TikTok: WilliamHungOfficial

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William Hung - Final Transcript

[00:00:00] Hersh Rephun: The funny thing about American Idol is that it's totally possible to become an American Idol without ever getting past Simon Cowell. This is my conversation. With William Hong. What if the truth came in a gel cap and we could just pop it in our mouths and forget about it? Well, it doesn't, and we can't.

[00:00:24] Hersh Rephun: But we can laugh in the face of reality while plotting our survival. Welcome to the Truth Tastes funny. Podcast. I am your host for Shrek, and if my guests can handle 

[00:00:37] William Hung: the truth, 

[00:00:38] Hersh Rephun: so can you open wide folks? Here it comes.

[00:00:46] Hersh Rephun: Back in 2004, my guest was just a college kid with dreams of going to Hollywood, and he did Indeed, he was on American Idol. And was laughed off the show and pulled [00:01:00] himself up and raised himself up and went on to perform with Ricky Martin to perform all over the world. And now he shares the message that you could find your freedom by using your voice.

[00:01:12] Hersh Rephun: And I was so happy to run into him a couple of weeks ago and asked him if he would come on. Truth tastes funny, and he graciously agreed. Please welcome, William Hung. Hi everyone. How are you doing? Pretty good. Thanks for having me. Oh, it's my pleasure. Okay, so you had dreams of going to Hollywood. Tell me about your upbringing, where you grew up and where those dreams started to form.

[00:01:35] William Hung: I grew up in Hong Kong. I started singing karaoke with my parents since I was 10 years old. Then when I went to college, I thought I was good at math and science when I studied for engineering, but I was about to flunk out. I thought I need to try something completely different than one day. I saw this poster for a school talent show, and then I went for it by [00:02:00] thinking Ricky Martins, she Banks.

[00:02:03] William Hung: To my surprise, I won. That gave me the confidence to audition for American Idol. 

[00:02:10] Hersh Rephun: That's wild because why do you think it was that you were flunking outta 

[00:02:14] William Hung: school? I wasn't sure because I was a straight A student back in middle school and high school. Maybe I didn't have the right support system. I didn't know how to study.

[00:02:23] William Hung: Uh, something was missing. 

[00:02:25] Hersh Rephun: Something was missing, but maybe it wasn't missing from your education. It might have been missing just from your life. This kind of, you used the word freedom. And I think, you know, some people feel like they want to sing because they love the way it sounds, or they, or they love music.

[00:02:40] Hersh Rephun: And I'm sure you do love music, but I think the love of freedom may have been equally important. 

[00:02:45] William Hung: Y yes, I agree. I just wanted to do something that I enjoy, see what happens. I'd have no expectations for my talent show or American Idol. And that's why I was able to stay [00:03:00] positive despite the harsh criticism from Simon Cow.

[00:03:05] Hersh Rephun: Yeah. And that already is a major accomplishment. If you can stand there and take what Simon dishes out, I think the people who come on. So how did you get on American? 

[00:03:18] William Hung: I watched the news one night and then I decided to stand in line among 3000 other people, see what happens. But somehow I got lucky. The staff, they let me through the first rounds and then eventually I, I made it through the producers, and then I saw the celebrity judges.

[00:03:36] William Hung: This was the 

[00:03:37] Hersh Rephun: first season, right? Third season. Was it the first season? Number three, three, and three. Oh, number three, third season. Oh, so it was already huge. It was already a, a huge show. It's 

[00:03:47] William Hung: gro. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:03:49] Hersh Rephun: And who were the judges at that? 

[00:03:51] William Hung: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and sank. 

[00:03:55] Hersh Rephun: So what were they, you know, each, like, I'm curious cuz I, I've met [00:04:00] Randy Jackson, you know, maybe five years ago, but I had, I've never met the others, including Ryan Seacrest.

[00:04:05] Hersh Rephun: What are they all 

[00:04:05] William Hung: like? Well, Randy is is the wild card. You don't know what to expect from him. Paula was always the nice lady and Simon, we, we probably all know he is the mean 

[00:04:18] Hersh Rephun: guy. Right, right. And did you get to know him at all outside of the f taping? 

[00:04:25] William Hung: I feel they have similar personalities outside the screen.

[00:04:30] William Hung: Simon still thinks that I had no chance I shouldn't be in the Chavez because, you know, I don't have the raw singing talent. Uh, so that's why it was, 

[00:04:40] Hersh Rephun: yeah. Yeah. And so when you get up there and you're doing it, what was your feeling about your performance? I 

[00:04:47] William Hung: knew that I was not going to make it to Hollywood because as soon as I began my audition, Randy had of this white sheet of paper to cover up his face, and he giggled throughout the [00:05:00] audition.

[00:05:00] William Hung: Paula was smiling and dancing. She was having a good time. I kept going and they went to silent and stop me, and I knew that was it. 

[00:05:09] Hersh Rephun: But see, this happens most of the time, right? Most of the people that go on American Idol are not, don't get through. They came and they tried and some of them may, you know, have perfectly nice voices, but they don't stand out or they can't beat out the other people.

[00:05:28] Hersh Rephun: Uhhuh in terms of the talent, it can be really, my daughter wanted to go on America's Got Talent years ago and I think she was probably about 11 at the time, and she wanted to go on America's Got Talent and, and my wife and I were like, well, we kind of hope. She doesn't because she is a, a good singer, but we felt like, you know, I don't know why it's too random, like what would make her really st she's not practiced, you know, she's, she's not [00:06:00] training right now at that time.

[00:06:00] Hersh Rephun: Mm-hmm. With her voice. She was doing theater, but she wasn't, it's like you really got a, you gotta look at it a couple of ways. You either are a, someone who's gone to school for singing. You know, or you're studying it, or you've got an incredible natural talent, or you have a love of performing. Yes. And a joy of performing.

[00:06:22] Hersh Rephun: And that's what I think you had. Right? You had a joy that you, yes. So, you know, when you are up there, did it go differently than you thought it would or did you not even worry 

[00:06:34] William Hung: about it? I did not expect to make it. I expected Simon to be the hot, the mean guy, like ev, like most people knew. So it wasn't that surprising that Simon was going to be mean to me, or Paula was gonna be the nice lady.

[00:06:49] William Hung: But Randy, he like when he held up this sheet of paper and giggle, that would surprise me. Of course, I knew I wasn't going to make it to Hollywood, but yeah, that reaction was so [00:07:00] funny. 

[00:07:01] Hersh Rephun: Okay, but here's the thing. You did make it to Hollywood. That's what's was different. Yeah. Is that something, and I remember this, I kind of remember this, you know, you made it for being different from.

[00:07:15] Hersh Rephun: The other people who didn't make it through. Yeah. You know? So how did that happen? Because I'm not that familiar with how the system goes, but one would assume once you don't get through, they don't pay attention to you anymore. What 

[00:07:30] William Hung: happened? Well, most people, like you said, even for me, when I got told that I had to go home, I'm done.

[00:07:40] William Hung: I'm not good enough. I thought that was it. I was gonna become a normal guy again. What happened was like my audition somehow went viral after the TV broadcasted my audition. I got like hundreds of emails. Uh, some of them were invites to Entertainment Tonight, L DeGeneres and [00:08:00] On Air with Ryan Seacrest.

[00:08:01] William Hung: That's how I got everything started. And then, uh, one of my fans built a website, got over 8 million hits in less than a month. William hung.net. It was so crazy. And then my record company reached out. They gave me a $25,000 record contract. Who knew? It's like everything's happened all of a sudden. 

[00:08:20] Hersh Rephun: It's awesome because I work in branded messaging and marketing my whole life, and when the viral thing started, people would come to.

[00:08:31] Hersh Rephun: Me and say, oh, can you create a viral video? And I would kind of laugh because I'm like, the whole idea of viral means that it's viral, it's not growing because of what you right now, we can create videos and market them using certain terms, using certain strategies, reaching out to certain blogs. We can do that and get videos up to the millions.

[00:08:52] Hersh Rephun: This was back in. You know, I don't know what year it was, 2000, so 2008, 2009. [00:09:00] We are like, we can get videos up to certain level of exposure, but what makes something truly, truly viral like this, you cannot fabricate. It's exactly because it's real that people respond to it. There's that organic thing. What was your.

[00:09:19] Hersh Rephun: To it, to all the attention that came from, 

[00:09:22] William Hung: no, I didn't know what to make of it. I, I, I just thought it was overwhelming in the beginning. Like all of a sudden people asked me to take pictures, autographs. I just thought, wow, what happened 

[00:09:34] Hersh Rephun: here? Yeah. Now you were gonna, if you had originally intended to go to school and study science and math and work in some scientific field and then decided, okay, that's not working out, the college thing isn't working at, then you go on American Idol and you know you're not likely to get through.

[00:09:53] Hersh Rephun: So first of all, how old were you at that? And what did you think you might 

[00:09:58] William Hung: do? I was 20 years [00:10:00] old. I just wanted to have fun, try something new. My expectation is that when this audition didn't work out, which will be 99.99999% of the time, I would go back to school, try something else. But I, I thought maybe the traditional studying day job, maybe that was not the right path.

[00:10:23] Hersh Rephun: Okay. So, so the idea was, I'm gonna go back and do the traditional thing. I'm gonna go back to school and try to focus on that. And it, it was, at that point you knew it was gonna be something d different. Right. Mm-hmm. So what did you, uh, so, so you're riding this kind of wave. You got a recording contract.

[00:10:47] Hersh Rephun: What kind of recording contract was? What was the idea with the recording contract? 

[00:10:51] William Hung: Well, the idea is that they wa, my record company wanted to put out this album as quickly as possible [00:11:00] before they figure out who the winner was, uh, which turned out to be Fantasia per. 

[00:11:04] Hersh Rephun: So they wanted to, while there was still anticipation about the season, yes.

[00:11:09] Hersh Rephun: They wanted to put it out. So what, what's on the 

[00:11:11] William Hung: record? It was called Inspiration and the Record Company, it was called Coach Records at the time. 

[00:11:17] Hersh Rephun: There were, they original songs were they covers, 

[00:11:20] William Hung: mostly covers and then a few original 

[00:11:22] Hersh Rephun: songs and did the, now how does it work? This is another thing that's interesting is with covers, do you have to pay the original artists who have the pub, who own the publishing?

[00:11:34] Hersh Rephun: You know the, the songwriters who have the publishing? Do you kind a 

[00:11:37] William Hung: record company handles that part, but the answer is yes. Yeah. 

[00:11:40] Hersh Rephun: So were there big songs on that album? Did you do Xang on that? 

[00:11:44] William Hung: Oh, of course. Yeah. She bags of course Y M C A, some songs from Elton John, like, can you feel the love tonight at Rocket Man?

[00:11:53] Hersh Rephun: Was it fun doing it? Yeah, it was. It's great. It's like you got paid $25,000 to do, like carry on. [00:12:00] Yeah. Right. Of your, of your favorites. Yeah. I mean that in a great, right, right. Like, it's just like, okay, I'll do that. Yeah. And how did the, how did the album do? Well, it, 

[00:12:09] William Hung: it became the number one independent album on billboards.

[00:12:13] William Hung: It was so surprising.

[00:12:18] Hersh Rephun: That is awesome. Yeah. Okay. That is awesome. I love it because, you know, when I met you, I got this really, really good warm feeling about you, which I guess everybody, Al has always had, which has a lot to do with it, but it's the, the genuine. Kind of just happiness with, with, uh, you know, with the kind of wonderful, magical thing that happened, but also a very grounded sense of Yeah, I know.

[00:12:48] Hersh Rephun: I'm not, I'm, I'm not, you know, Luther Van, I'm not, you know, I'm not an amazing singer. It's just, you know, I think that people can do. [00:13:00] Then they may be given credit for it. Yeah. You know, because there, I don't think that, what was it like in terms of the criticism at that point? So the album's coming. Excuse me.

[00:13:13] Hersh Rephun: The album comes out. Yes. And it's doing really well. And it's a kind of a, you know, a novelty in a lot of ways. Mm-hmm. But what were some of the reactions that you got to it? 

[00:13:26] William Hung: Well, there are people who really liked it and people who really hate it. I, and I think that's normal. It's not good in any traditional measure.

[00:13:36] William Hung: Uh, but I knew that, uh, so I know I don't, I understand why people want to criticize. If they would say, my thinking was still terrible. Why is this album out there that then, you know, all other kinds of criticism. But for me, the way I look at it is like sometimes in life you make the most of every opportunity that you are.

[00:13:58] Hersh Rephun: Somebody kind of guiding [00:14:00] what you were doing with this op, these opportunities? 

[00:14:03] William Hung: Well, uh, that's an interesting story because I could not find a very good agent. The person that wanted him in, my agent, he wanted 40% of my lifetime earnings. Yeah. 

[00:14:19] Hersh Rephun: Was it Colonel Tom, the, uh, I, the person who managed 

[00:14:23] William Hung: elk? I did not know that guy.

[00:14:25] William Hung: Well, even though I didn't know anything about this business, and I was only a 20 year old kid, I knew that was a bad deal, right? So I said no, and then, and then eventually my mom was worried about me. She was worried that other people would take advantage of me. So she stepped in to become my manager. 

[00:14:48] Hersh Rephun: I was gonna ask what your family's, uh, reaction was to all of this.

[00:14:51] Hersh Rephun: So your mom stepped in and she became your manager, but she probably didn't know very much about. About show business. I 

[00:14:59] William Hung: knew a little bit [00:15:00] she would study the newspapers from Asian entertainment. She learned a lot. So, so she's probably better than someone that, that wouldn't look out for me. Right. 

[00:15:10] Hersh Rephun: Well that's for sure.

[00:15:12] Hersh Rephun: For sure. She, it's better to have someone who, who, who actually has trust. So, but you had an album out, the album did well, so you were on a kind of a, a run. Really getting the most you could possibly get out of it. What was 

[00:15:26] William Hung: the next step? Well, I got many performance opportunities. I got commercial deals like at and t Jack in the Box back then.

[00:15:36] William Hung: Pretty crazy. Right, right. Now 

[00:15:39] Hersh Rephun: those are good deals. Yes. So what were the commercials like? What were they like to, uh, what were the. 

[00:15:45] William Hung: Pretty cool. I remember the at and t one, I collaborated with Rice Seacrest, so it was short and sweet. And then the, the Jack in the Box. I remember it was with Carrie Coleman.

[00:15:56] William Hung: Oh, with, yeah, I know. I remember we were playing 

[00:15:59] Hersh Rephun: [00:16:00] poker. Yeah. That's funny with Ryan Seacrest. I mean, that guy is, you know, extremely hardworking and industrious and very bright. So he saw the potential. Was he fun to work with? Yeah. And have you stayed in touch with him? Yes. 

[00:16:17] William Hung: To this day. We were doing this reunion show last year.

[00:16:21] William Hung: And then he would, the way he would introduce me, he said that this is the guy, someone who put the American Idol Show on the map. In your case, 

[00:16:30] Hersh Rephun: it was the idea of Hollywood and the kind of fun that it represents. And so you went on, you had this great opening and you just jumped right through it. And then you have the album.

[00:16:44] Hersh Rephun: What was, so you had album, you had commercials, so that's a good, how long was this? Did this go on after? Uh, the audition. So from the audition on, how long was it, the album and the commercials, what was 

[00:16:58] William Hung: the, the best years [00:17:00] were the first four years, and then eventually the momentum slowed down. I and I decided to ma maybe go finish school, get stable job, get married, maybe try to go back to normal life.

[00:17:14] William Hung: I still never gave up my dreams to do this. Entertainment performing. I still did on the side, but I felt like, you know, having, so I was just trying to like, like, okay, maybe I have enough fun. Maybe it's okay to settle. And that's why I did for a while. 

[00:17:34] Hersh Rephun: Yeah. And also around that time the economy was slowing down.

[00:17:39] Hersh Rephun: There was a recession, so I don't know if that also made the timing good to like just kind of take it easy because the things were slowing down economically and at least in, you know, in our country and elsewhere. So did you go back to school? 

[00:17:53] William Hung: Yes. Eventually I finished with my bachelor's degree in math and then I got a master's in business.[00:18:00] 

[00:18:00] William Hung: Oh, wow. Where did you get the masters? Um, Marris College Online. They are in New York. In 

[00:18:05] Hersh Rephun: New York. And so you went and got a Master's in Business Administration, so you did fulfill that kind of educa. Obviously it's not easy to get a Master's, an mba, and you know, you j you get that and then, okay. So next, what happens next?

[00:18:22] Hersh Rephun: I worked a day 

[00:18:24] William Hung: job for about eight years, two years for the Sheriff's department, and then six years for public health. Yeah. And 

[00:18:30] Hersh Rephun: was this in Yes. Los Angeles. Okay. And so the whole time, so when did you move from Hong Kong to LA? 1993. Okay, so you had moved, you were in college and you were, you had already moved to the US Yes.

[00:18:46] Hersh Rephun: You were. You didn't have to come there for American Iowa. You were already in college there. Yeah. Okay, got it. That makes sense. You know when most people that I have on, I do not interview them that linear way because there are [00:19:00] so many things. You would assume they did or you could just figure out and you focus more on the ideas of, of certain experiences or maybe one small experience.

[00:19:10] Hersh Rephun: But with you, I'm fascinated because I think that everything triggered everything else. So it's important to figure out the the line. So, okay, now you have an MBA and you have a college degree, and you're living in la You work for the sheriff's. In what capacity was 

[00:19:29] William Hung: that? Well, it, it, I was, uh, statistical analyst.

[00:19:34] William Hung: But what I did was not that impressive because I, you know, to me anyway, because I would read and pro process police reports to extract the data that we need to, you know, analyze the numbers. My job, I felt it was depressing, uh, to some extent because I would read about the wild crime like rape. Murder burglaries.

[00:19:57] William Hung: Oh yeah. I don't, I don't think that's why I wanna do long term. [00:20:00] Right. So 

[00:20:00] Hersh Rephun: you did that for several years and then you were, then you thought, okay, I gotta do something else. Yeah. And what was your heart telling you 

[00:20:08] William Hung: at? Well, I got promoted to work for public health and then that one I did about six years.

[00:20:13] William Hung: It was a good job. It's not, it's nothing particularly wrong with, with the job. It's more like, personally, I didn't want to hide behind my cubicle for the rest of my life. 

[00:20:25] Hersh Rephun: Yeah. And what about socially were you dating at that point? What was going on in your 

[00:20:29] William Hung: personal life? I got married and then I divorced two times.

[00:20:34] William Hung: Yeah. That was the rocky part of my life. 

[00:20:37] Hersh Rephun: Yeah, that's hard. Yeah. Well, I've been divorced also, so what if you, are you comfortable talking about it? 


[00:20:43] William Hung: I can share something like lessons learned. Like the, 

[00:20:47] Hersh Rephun: okay. Yeah. What are some, what are some lessons that you learned? Well, 

[00:20:51] William Hung: the first time I got too attracted to external beauty and then at the time I was watching Bachelor's on T, on A, B, C, [00:21:00] and then I thought like, oh, maybe it's easy to have a happy married relationship, but that's not how it works.

[00:21:07] William Hung: I felt like, you know, she was never into it. I didn't have a chance. And then I tried to stop that one, stop the relationship as quickly as I could, and then financially I took a big hit because I didn't have anything in place like a prenup. So that's that really. That hurts. Yeah. And then the second time I did have a prenup.

[00:21:26] William Hung: I did spend six months together to, to get to know her. It was a challenging relationship for a different reason because I thought that, you know, she was a good person. That's what I, I don't regret my decision. We stayed married for a couple years, but at the time, uh, you know, because of the first marriage, how I got financially crippled, but I struggled just to make ends meet.

[00:21:49] William Hung: You know, that's what most people don't know. It is like, people, most people doubt I have this glamorous life. Everything is, was easy. It wasn't. Yeah. And then I, I wasn't [00:22:00] satisfied with myself, so I got into gambling and that's what got me into trouble. Mm-hmm. 

[00:22:07] Hersh Rephun: So you expressed your kind of frustration and sadness and, and what was missing through gambling?

[00:22:14] Hersh Rephun: Yes. You know, and then that became kind of an addiction. Yeah, I guess, or just a, 

[00:22:20] William Hung: uh, it was a, definitely a, a major addiction. Like it's always the worst when you start off winning a lot of money and, and then eventually I gave it all back because I got greedy. I thought like, wow, you know, it's easy to make this money.

[00:22:34] William Hung: And Right. Couldn't hide my emotions. My ex-wife eventually found out and that was it. 

[00:22:41] Hersh Rephun: Oh, okay. She didn't know about the gambling thing when she found out that was the end. Yeah. Relationship. Yes. Okay. So since we're getting close, so what year was that about? Uh, maybe that wasn't 

[00:22:53] William Hung: that long. No, it's, it's about five or six years ago.

[00:22:56] William Hung: Okay. 

[00:22:56] Hersh Rephun: Okay. And so, so what, so what was the next [00:23:00] phase? What did you do after 

[00:23:01] William Hung: that? I wasn't sure, but I was de just depressed. By myself for about six months. I, I remember I woke up like a zombie going to work, you know? Yes, I did my work, everything was okay, but I was like, feel like, you know, I don't wanna do any, I don't wanna have any relationship.

[00:23:19] William Hung: At that point, I felt like, what's the why? Why am I working so hard? Why am I still chasing my dreams? Uh, but then I finally snapped out of it when I, you know, met, uh, met, met up with a couple of my friends from before, and they cheered me up. They said that, you know, that's not how, that's not who you were before.

[00:23:38] William Hung: You know, we like, like, yeah, they said they were, they were big fans of me. Uh, so that, so yeah, that, that really helped, that changed my perspective because I realized that, you know, moving forward, I didn't need to compare myself to others. You know, everyone has their, has their downtime, you know, the bottom.

[00:23:55] William Hung: Yeah. 

[00:23:56] Hersh Rephun: Yeah, and I think the support system [00:24:00] is really everything. You need a support system and you need to reach out where there is support, even if the friends don't, you know, even if you don't have that circle of friends, even if you're single or out of a bad relationship or out of a relationship. There are resources that we all can draw on because it comes back to this mental health, which I know is also, you know, important to you, that people are taking care of their mental health and, and taking care of, you know, of their needs.

[00:24:30] Hersh Rephun: Yeah. Their self care. Mm-hmm. So you got that boost, fortunately, and kind of brought you back to. To who you really did. Yeah. Because all of those wonderful things that happened all happened because of, of who you were. Yes. And so what have you been doing the last few years? I got 

[00:24:46] William Hung: back into speaking and performing.

[00:24:48] William Hung: I started like a side hustle in addition to my full-time job, and then I felt the, that career back, the business back up. But, but it, you know, what's crazy about [00:25:00] this whole journey was the way I got there. It wasn't what I expected. I actually also got back into poker now. Yeah. Now you know, there's like you now you're probably thinking and it's like, whoa, what happened?

[00:25:13] William Hung: I didn't, I just say I was gambling, I got myself into trouble. Yeah. But I feel like poker is diff because poker, I feel as a game of skill with some luck involved in the short term. So I study everything there is out there, online, books, everything, uh, self. And then I made enough, eventually I made enough money after about five years of grinding to quit my day 

[00:25:35] Hersh Rephun: job.

[00:25:36] Hersh Rephun: That's awesome. Well see, I think where your head is at makes all the difference. It's, it's, yes, there are diseases and addictions and things like that, and I'm no expert on any of that. But I do know that your mindset and where your perspective is, is positioned. Mm-hmm. Makes a huge difference. Because to say, I, I really enjoy poker and I beca, I decided I'm gonna study [00:26:00] it.

[00:26:00] Hersh Rephun: I'm going to understand it, and then you go out and you win. Yes. You also understood that. It wasn't so easy to work. No. You, you figured that out. You would learn that lesson. Yeah. And you also weren't coming from a place of trying to fill a hole in your, uh, soul. With ga. That's right. Like, I'm gonna go out and gamble.

[00:26:20] Hersh Rephun: I'm miserable, I'm angry. I've been, I've lost a lot. Mm-hmm. And I'm gonna go out and gamble and I'm gonna, I'm gonna beat it. Or, you know, it's like, you, you were like, okay, I'm gonna study it. So, so you quit your day job so that you're, are you still prof gambling professionally? Not right 

[00:26:36] William Hung: now, because, you know, like the game of poker, it was easier when I tried it five or six years ago.

[00:26:43] William Hung: But now it's gotten a lot more difficult. And last year I went through another, like, like that terrible year. So that, that's why I, you know, I stopped, I took a step back and then, and then I, I, like, I look at my life, it's like, wow, I need to be grateful for what I have, you know? Like I safe and [00:27:00] invested my money, you know, my parents and I, uh, pay off all adapt.

[00:27:03] William Hung: We owe multiple houses in the LA area, so, so life is good. No, I don't, I don't need to. Yeah. Chase. Uh, and then, Yeah. And then the other thing about my poker experience is like, it's not that glamorous either because the way I approached it, I'm not looking for that quick big score. You know, that's not how, that's not how I make my money.

[00:27:24] William Hung: I, I grind it because I played a low limit games where I knew I had the advantage. Another lesson learned is like you pick, you figure out what you're good at, and then you know, you, you re, you repeat and you repeat, and then eventually you do something more. And at this point in my life, I feel like I wanna do something more because I know that, that it feels like, you know, out, looking back at this whole experience.

[00:27:48] William Hung: I'm not looking for another job where I had to grind, sit down, you know, 40 hours a week. It's like, no, no, no, no. That's not it. Yeah, 

[00:27:56] Hersh Rephun: and you're, and what you realize, William, is that you're like, [00:28:00] you're, you can grind. I could, you know, some people can't do it. Yeah. Some people just don't have the makeup for it.

[00:28:05] Hersh Rephun: And some of us can be grinders if we, if. Allow ourselves to be, and if it were to make us happy, then no. Yeah. You know, but I think we also realize at a certain point there's, there's something more. Yeah. There's, you know, chapters in our life, right? The, you know, there's, it's, I think a lot of people are realizing that now with the pandemic in the rear view mirror and going, you know, that's a chapter, uh, before the pandemic is a chapter.

[00:28:32] Hersh Rephun: Now I have a chance to write a new chapter. What am I gonna do exactly. Fortunately you, you're stabilized and life is good. What's the. Passion. What's the new, what have you found the new thing that you want 

[00:28:45] William Hung: to do? Yeah. Well, one, there are a couple of projects I have in mind this year, but I feel my mission, I, I'm very clear that I want to help make, uh, other people make their dreams come true by using their voice.

[00:28:57] Hersh Rephun: Yeah. And so how are you [00:29:00] applying then? Well, uh, 

[00:29:01] William Hung: the, the first project I will implement and complete as soon as possible is to start my own podcast about making your dreams come true. My goal is to have a combination of some solo episodes where I share my, my unique experience, like I share with you as well as, you know, to pick choosing unsung heroes that have very.

[00:29:21] William Hung: Captivating and inspiring stories as well. So that's my first project. And then the second project is I would like to create some kind of game or simulation to help people try different business ideas or careers, right? So that they don't have to spend so much time and money like I did. 

[00:29:38] Hersh Rephun: Yeah. You know? I love it.

[00:29:40] Hersh Rephun: I love it. I just wrote this down and my other podcast on my Yes brand podcast. I do this. You know, when someone tells me an idea that they're doing, I try to think of some kind of marketing angle. It just does it. I'm not doing it on purpose. It just kind of comes up. It's how my, I always try to explain it.

[00:29:57] Hersh Rephun: But anyway, but anyway. When you said that you wanted to celebrate [00:30:00] unsung heroes, you know, and have that be a part of your podcast, I thought of, of the title Unsung with William. Oh. Um, because, because I think unsung. Is really, really cool because it means I'm not celebrated for, you know, singing or, uh, also you can't undo what you've already done.

[00:30:26] Hersh Rephun: Um, there's still more to do and there are people out there who haven't been celebrated. Yes. And you were very lucky to have that moment where against all odds for whatever reason. The public consciousness grabbed a hold of it. You went on this amazing ride. Yes, you had ups and downs and in between and a lot of lessons learned.

[00:30:50] Hersh Rephun: I really look forward to that podcast. I, you know, I. Can't wait for that to happen. How close is that to being 

[00:30:57] William Hung: real? Maybe a few months away because the way [00:31:00] I I plan to launch is, you know, because I launched a podcast before that's related to poker, but I pot faded because that's not something I'm passionate about anymore.

[00:31:10] William Hung: I, yeah, I mean, I can still play some from here sometimes. Right. But fun, but nothing. So I feel like, like, yeah, I, I wanna start over and then this time I'm gonna approach it like in a, maybe a smarter way. Like maybe I can, uh, for example, promote this on social media, put out some, you know, content pieces to test, to, to get the response, build out some kind of newsletter or mailing list, and then record four or six episodes before I launch.

[00:31:39] William Hung: Yeah. 

[00:31:40] Hersh Rephun: Perfect. Well, I wish you luck with it, but I really think you're gonna do great. I don't, I don't think you're gonna need a ton of, a ton of luck. And also, I think everything that you've gone through and everything you've done, good and bad, fortunate and unfortunate, right, are things that shape where you're at.

[00:31:57] Hersh Rephun: And this seems like a really great. [00:32:00] Thing to be doing. You already have some visibility and notoriety in, in podcasting. You don't need a ton of that, but you need all those other things that you described, you know, the other process of, of doing. Yeah. So before we go, is there anything you wanna leave, uh, the audience with as they try to survive and thrive in a crazy world where anything can happen?

[00:32:22] Hersh Rephun: Uh, any advice you want to? 

[00:32:25] William Hung: Focus on taking one step at a time closer to your, to achieving your dream, and then, you know, think about what you are naturally curious. That's the key because, you know, if it's a job that you dread or even a business that you know, some parts that you might not enjoy doing, there's a, you know, I, I realize I don't enjoy market.

[00:32:48] William Hung: For example, I know it's necessary, but it's not necessarily something I enjoy. You know, if, if time and money and is, it's not a problem for me, but I just wanna get paid to play video games all day, every day or board [00:33:00] games or whatever. And then maybe I can share the experience and maybe I can even create, you know, like team building for example.

[00:33:06] William Hung: That's a another idea I have. So you think about what you are good at and what you enjoy, and then figure out a way to make that work for you. 

[00:33:14] Hersh Rephun: Thanks so much for tuning into Truth. Tastes Funny. If you enjoyed the experience, please leave a five star review and share this podcast with your friends.