Asians Abroad | How a Non-Technical Founder became a Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur & Biz Coach | Summary and Q&A

April 2, 2021
Vicky Zhao [BEEAMP]
YouTube video player
Asians Abroad | How a Non-Technical Founder became a Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur & Biz Coach


Learn how Michelle, the co-founder and CEO of First Code Academy, achieved success in the tech industry without a tech background and how she is now helping millennial entrepreneurs manage their time, scale up, and develop CEO skills.

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Key Insights

  • 🧑‍💻 Having a tech background is not necessary to succeed in the tech industry as an entrepreneur.
  • 🍉 Balancing persistence and optimism with being realistic is crucial for long-term success.
  • 🏛️ Building a community and connecting with like-minded individuals online is essential for personal and professional growth.
  • 💄 Learning from failures and making adjustments are integral to the entrepreneurial journey.
  • 🥳 Having fun and finding joy in the day-to-day management of the business is essential for sustainable success.
  • 💄 Journaling decisions and learning from outcomes helps in refining decision-making skills.
  • 😤 Soft skills, such as managing oneself as a leader and building a great team culture, are vital for entrepreneurs.
  • 🍉 Long-term growth and success require investing in personal and professional development.


you started without a tech background be impatient with my own actions but be more patient with the results hi rochelle welcome to my channel thank you so much for having me on your channel last time and this time i i want to figure out how you made your decisions how you achieved so much even before you were 30 and what you're doing now so welcome... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Michelle transition from investment banking to the tech industry without a tech background?

Michelle's transition was partly luck, as she was placed in the technology sector as an equity research analyst. She became more curious about tech and innovation over time and realized she didn't need a tech background to be a successful founder.

Q: What was the process for Michelle to become Forbes 30 Under 30?

Michelle was recommended by a mentor and went through an application process. The selection criteria included metrics like company size and impact. While the process may have evolved, recommendation-based nominations and a focus on achievements and impact remain important.

Q: How does Michelle balance being optimistic and persistent with being realistic as an entrepreneur?

Michelle acknowledges the importance of persistence and optimism in driving forward, but also highlights the need for balance. She suggests being impatient with your own actions and patient with the results. Learning from failures, sticking true to the mission, and finding joy in the journey are key to maintaining balance.

Q: How does Michelle approach decision-making as an entrepreneur?

Michelle keeps a decision-making journal where she records important decisions and learns from the outcomes. She also limits her decision-making throughout the day and front-loads it in the mornings. She believes in being disciplined in taking action while remaining flexible in the path to achieving goals.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Michelle's journey started in finance as a research analyst covering the technology industry, where she became more curious about the tech space.

  • After three years in investment banking, she decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship, inspired by an epiphany moment during an illness.

  • Michelle founded First Code Academy and later expanded into coaching millennial entrepreneurs during the pandemic.

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