Man on a Mission

To sell ERIC KIM OMAKASE COFFEE and to propagate fine robusta to the states and to the world; my mission?

Being a missionary?

An interesting thought that I got from Peter Thiel in his ZERO TO ONE book is the notion of a missionary versus a mercenary. The difference is that a missionary does something because they really believe in the mission, whereas a mercenary does something for money, merx, which means market.

Now there is nothing wrong to do things for money. Or to follow market trends or to do things which makes sense according to the market. For example, if I want to maximize my earning potential or salary, it is probably best that I become some sort of tech manager, some sort of upper management at one of the big tech companies. This is probably the best part to earn a $550,000 a year, $750,000 a year, $1.2 million a year, $2.5 million a year, etc.

Or more directly, if you want to immediately start earning a bunch of money, it seems that the best industries to go are in the blue collar ones which are considered either unhygienic or dangerous. For example electricians make a lot of money, easily over $350,000 a year. Why? People are afraid of heights, climbing electricity poles, and also the fear that they may accidentally touch the wrong wire and electrocute themselves and die.

Or, let us consider a very very important part of modern day society which is sanitation and hygiene. People who pick up your trash, sort it, or even plumbers who drain stuck pipes. If anything people who do hygiene might have the most critical jobs in modern-day society, and their income reflects it. They can easily earn over $500,000 a year. But, do you really want to clean other peoples poop for a living? Or smell like trash all day, every day, even after you go home, take a shower and put on a bunch of cologne? I personally wouldn’t.

Why become a missionary?

Typically when we think about missionaries we think about religious missionaries. Or people who go on “missions“ in high school or college, typically to some developing country, some poor village, building up clean water infrastructure, etc. Yet to only have the villagers dismantle the clean water filtration systems to scavenge the parts for other household goods, and then being instructed by the organizations to intentionally dismantle the equipment to prevent the villagers from “doing it wrong.” (true story)

Mission impossible?

Missio— mitto— to send out.

Meyth— to change, to exchange, to remove.

Mey— to strengthen, to change, to exchange, to bind, to change places.

I find the etymology behind the concept of going on a “mission“ as fascinating. Why? It is kind of related to traveling, changing places, change and exchange. Let us consider that in terms of modern day global finance, a lot of money is made through currency exchanges. Also for myself, whenever I travel abroad, and I exchange or change the place in which I live and breathe for a certain period of time, and then I go back to the states, I come back a transform person. Even though Southern California may be the same, I am changed. And this is good.

How to go on more missions in life?

I suppose the general notion of Tom Cruise, mission, Mission impossible is this general notion that you do not stay at home. When Tom Cruise gets a “mission“, he is typically dispatched to go to some sort of dangerous place, in order to either resolve, solve, or fix some sort of potentially dangerous problem.

Or let us consider my beloved John Wick. Let us consider all of the international intercontinental hotels he visits, in Rome, and also the wonderfully fantastic Osaka Intercontinental in John Wick 4.

Traveling as a good way to discover your mission in life?

Colloquially when we talk about “mission“, we mean to talk about some sort of generalized concept of some sort of higher purpose or calling in life. That is you pursue some thing for autotelic purposes, not for just making money.

Once again I think this is a tricky thing to understand, because I think typically we believe that money motivates people to do things. This is true to a certain extent. For example, most people would probably not work full-time as Amazon prime delivery truck drivers, Uber drivers, or even K-12 public school teachers if they had the opportunity not to. Most people if they won $1 billion in the lottery, would immediately quit their jobs. No matter how much they convinced themselves that “it is their passion.”

Military living stipend?

An interesting thought that I got from Nietzsche was his idea that with professions, perhaps we should just be paid some sort of honorarium— some sort of relieve base salary, or payment to just cover our basic living costs. For example, working in the military. You earn enough money when you are out doing dangerous stuff to just ensure that you have enough money coming in that you don’t need to worry about money. Yet typically military people do not enter the military for pay. I think most people or at least men who enter the military, young men, it is because they desire some sort of sense of adventure, challenge, and to become “more manly”.

Even something that I realized about academics, the academy, becoming a professor, tenure-track professor is that it is almost like entering the military. When you are in graduate school, you essentially live like a monk, imagine trying to live in the bay area in Berkeley earning only $22,000 a year. I actually had a friend who became an involuntary vegan, subsisting on lentils and rice when he was at his UC Berkeley PhD program because his graduate school stipend barely covered his rent, let alone his food.
On the flipside, I think our labor should be valued, and we should not self flagellate or think it is virtuous to accept less pay or money. Yet once again, ultimately being a missionary, we do things for autotelic higher purposes, not for pay.

What motivates John Wick?

Is John Wick motivated by money? No. He has higher missions; avenging the murder of his beloved cute dog that he got from his deceased wife, seeking revenge, staying alive, trying to get out of the game, etc.

Money making as a mission?

I have a theory; perhaps the reason why people are so obsessed with making money in today’s world is that it is a very simple, quantified mission, and something which is praised according to modern day capitalism. To continue to accrue a higher salary, to put more money in the bank, and to indefinitely grow your funds in capital is seen as the ultimate virtue.

Thus the mission of the modern day person: indefinitely accrue more money and capital.

What should your mission be in life?

Now this is a more tricky thought; the philosophy of things. That is, is there a “should“, in regards to what you “should“ do in your life?

First and foremost no. You “should“ not have to be forced to do anything that you don’t want to do. Certainly there are basic things like paying your rent, feeding yourself etc. Yet if you really do want financial independence or whatever, best to just live in Hanoi Vietnam, where you could rent a brand new studio apartment really nice, for only $350 USD a month.

Even in the states, I subsist on a 100% carnivore diet, 100% beef, or lamb as a luxury. At the Costco Business Center, even with inflation and considering what I coined the “beef index”, most beef could still be had for $2.99 a pound, $3.99 a pound, etc. Most people cannot consume that much meat or beef anyways. I eat a lot, typically 3 to 4 pounds of beef a day. But if you are the modern-day American who could only eat 1 pound, maybe 2 pounds tops, you could feed yourself on easily five dollars a day.

Also being creative in terms of paying rent. There are many intelligent ways that you could spend less money on rent, for example, life sharing, renting out a room in a home, living with family, etc. I still believe that the greatest path in life is towards self-employment and self entrepreneurship. Therefore reducing your expenses to the minimum is the wise path.

Also a recent realization, in terms of transportation. Assuming that you live in Southern California and need a car, it really seems that the best car to get is some sort of older used white Prius. For example I recently re-inherited our old 2010 Prius, and I love it! Lamborghinis, Porsches are for losers. If I were to get a all electric car, it would probably just be a super base level Tesla model 3 in white.

Your mission?

A simple thought is perhaps a great and grand calling in mission in life is in regards to art, philosophy, and entrepreneurship.

1. Pursue art

First, if you’re reading this I assume that you’re some sort of photographer, visual artist, etc. Devoting your life and focusing your life on art is a great path. For example, artists last. It seems that society is moved much by artists. Let us consider modern day artists who include Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Jay-Z, etc.

Or, other artists like Andy Warhol, Basquiat, Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, or going back to the old-school like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.

The tricky thing is in today’s world, the notion of being a “artist” has been commodified. That is, we need to somehow make money, or a lot of money from art to justify it.

However, let us consider Michelangelo and painting the Sistine chapel. Essentially he just had a sponsor and was paid an honorarium to do it. Also Leonardo da Vinci, a full stack renaissance man. To call him an “artist“ is almost too feeble of a notion. He was a fully developed man.

Therefore first and foremost, pursuing art is a good mission in life — assuming that your art has a higher purpose, and you seek to empower future human beings from it.

2. Philosophy

The second stack is philosophy. Thinking meditating and writing and publishing and blogging and blogging your thoughts, ideas, and philosophies in regards to philosophy.

What is philosophy anyways? To me basically put, philosophy is discovering and considering the “why” of things. That is, to consider the purpose behind things, and thinking about notions of “should“ and “should not”.

The reason why philosophy is such a critical path is that it saves us a lot of time and effort.

For example, some people toil away for decades, 30 40 50 years to make a bunch of money and to become “successful“. But, if you critically thought about it, from a philosophical perspective, and you realized that this was an ineffective path, you just saved 30 to 40 years of your life.

Or a funny philosophical innovation I made and discovered; rather than spending $250,000, $350,000 on a car or a Lamborghini, better to just do insanely epic demigod weightlifting one rep max style at the gym, and transform your own body into a Lamborghini.

3. Empowering humanity

Perhaps one of my missions in life is to help empower other fellow entrepreneurs. Thus my passion with ERIC KIM COFFEE, ERIC KIM OMAKASE COFFEE; to create the world’s best coffee to inspire motivate and uplift entrepreneurs and great thinkers.

Also, coffee as the ultimate stimulant and substance to get you going, before and going to the gym. I don’t think there has yet been a coffee tailored for weight lifters, powerlifters, or hypelifters. This is where I believe that my fine robusta, 100% fine robusta to be such a strong idea; maximum caffeine content which is also “safer“ than these dangerous pre-workout cocaine powder.

4. Passion for marketing?

In modern day times, marketing gets a bad rap. It is seen as a disrespectful form of doing things, yet in truth, I think marketing is great. I personally believe that marketing is a great artistic endeavors, and also highly practical.

I suppose I am very fortunate because one of my passions in life is marking. And this is the fun that I had with ERIC KIM OMAKASE Coffee.

I think what is lacking in coffee, marketing and coffee, individual coffee bags and beans is a lack of some sort of focus on how it will help improve your life.

For example, the productivity coffee, the entrepreneur. There is zero doubt that coffee makes us more productive. It does. So why not just brand it for what it is?

Also, thinking philosophy and coffee. Some of the greatest minds in history have been aided with coffee. For example, even my beloved Nassim Taleb is hugely inspired by coffee. Also, most thinkers, writers, creative people I know drink coffee and love it.

Third, photography and coffee. Photography is my ultimate Archimedes lever, I don’t know a single photographer who doesn’t love coffee and coffee shops.

Therefore maybe another fun mission I could do in life is to try to teach more marketing concepts to other people?

What is “OMAKASE”?

The reason why I branded it as ERIC KIM OMAKASE COFFEE is I like that idea of having an experimental tasting menu. That is why with every order of ERIC KIM OMAKASE Coffee, you get three individualized bags:

  1. THE ENTREPRENEUR: The golden bag, optimize to unleash your fullest maximum in your entrepreneurship. 100% find robusta, 12 out of 10 caffeine content, to motivate you into maximum productivity.
  2. THE THINKER: The first coffee to be branded and marketed as being a positively beneficial aid to your thinking. A sublime roast with bright and yellow blueberries, 100% fine robusta, to kickstart your creative thinking.
  3. THE PHOTOGRAPHER: The black bag. I believe drinking great coffee as 1000X times better than buying a new camera lens or camera equipment. Shout out to Anthony Larson for taking me to chromatic coffee roasters in San Jose, insanely great coffee, insanely great espresso as bringing me 1000 times more joy than even the world’s most expensive Leica camera. In fact, I would probably prefer to have 100 bags of ERIC KIM coffee than to have the worlds most expensive camera.

The next coffee roast I envision as creating to replace the silly port pre-workout powder is. A coffee optimized for the gym, weight lifters, competitive athletes. Once again 100% fine robusta.


Prius thoughts

Recently we we re-inherited our old 2010 Prius, and after using it a few days to just commute around, go to the gym and yoga, go to the local Costco Business Center etc., I love it! Why?

I think there is something about the 2010 model that I like in so far much as the dashboard is quite minimal. No stupid and touch screens or LCD screens to distract us.

I am such an insanely huge fan of Tesla, Elon Musk etc., yet the big downside that I see is that I find the touchscreen to be more annoying than useful. In fact I think in today’s world, not having a touchscreen or LCD screens is the ultimate luxury.

For example if I wanted some sort of sublime sports car, I would prefer a 100% manual transmission, no air conditioning, no car radio or info tenement system, no power steering, etc. Very much like my original 1990 Mazda Miata that I had, five speed with no frills. Even the new Porsche cars, 911 GT 3RS, has too many superfluous dials and LCD screens in the car.

Why hybrid?

I still think in modern day life, a hybrid car is best. Why? If you drive a hybrid, a Prius or whatever, you might only need to fill up your tank every two weeks, maybe even every three weeks, or just once a month! In terms of lifestyle, and this is much easier than having to hunt around for electric car chargers.

Also, for myself I think only having an electric car or a Tesla will be worth it the moment in which recharging your car from 0 to 100 is actually faster than filling up your gas tank. For example, filling up my gas tank might only take me two or three minutes. I think in order for an electric car or a Tesla to entice me, the new Tesla supercharger mark II must go from 0 to 100 in less than a minute. In terms of physics this may not be possible, but I think the pursuit is worth it.

Incoming Workshops

Incoming ERIC KIM workshops headed to you:


Also, I am currently working on new workshops in downtown LA, as well as New York City. The focus of New York City will be about becoming a visual artist, in downtown LA will also be centered around this visual artist notion.

I’m also thinking about doing some sort of workshops on marketing entrepreneurship, blogging, vlogging, YouTube, media etc. State posted on this newsletter or the workshops page.

SoCal is Paradise

The exciting news is that soon me and Cindy are moving to LA, maybe Santa Monica, Culver City, somewhere around there.

What I realized about Los Angeles etc. is that even though Southern California is not perfect, it is still paradise for me. Why? Maximal sunlight, maximum brightness. Something that I have discovered about my own personal physiology is that I thrive with the sun. Las Vegas and Texas and Arizona is maybe too bright and too hot for me.

Also I really love the gym fitness culture in Southern California. And also lots of different yoga studios for Cindy to go to.

Some thing I have discovered through my travels and being abroad; honestly all places suck. The best strategy is to just reap the maximum upside of wherever you live, no matter how shitty it may be.

Now what?

Blogging, vlogging, building and developing and innovating websites still the future.

Also, photography and video and the internet.

Start building your own website blog, platform with Amazon web services.

Photography is the way!

Never stop photographing!



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