I’ve had a range of jobs. Some good, some bad. Then I became a boss.

I’ll get right to it, I’m not the best employer. I’m also not going to win the employee of the year award. In my youth, I was a terrible employee. I got better in my twenties. I’ve also had some shitty bosses who would make any employee want to quit.

I’ve taken emotionally brief notes to myself over the course of each job I’ve come away with 5 things I feel are the most important for small biz employees, but it’s applicable on a larger…


I had a little crush in high school named Freddie Tanaka.* He was not my usual type, and that’s precisely why I asked him to Sadie Hawkins. I liked his glasses and hair. He looked preppy and intelligent with a pleasant smile. He was a senior in my chemistry class and I was a junior.

He came to my house on Christmas Eve to give me a gift.

My dad was getting into the spirit with Mr. Kang, and two other besties: Jim Beam and Virginia Slims. I cracked open the door, smoke creeping outside. “Who’s at the door, daughter?”


Photo by Kenny Krosky on Unsplash

For one of my besties 4 life: Mary*

A good friend Mary* from grade school asked me recently: “Why is it that when I want to follow my dreams, I always default to mommying and putting my stuff on hold? It almost seems like I am incapable of doing something just for myself, but when someone is lording over me or I am accountable to them, I will do it?”

I said, “I need some time to process this because there’s a lot I think about that.”

So this is what I’ve come up with:

Being a responsible adult, being…


This is the story of a time machine specially made for anyone who’s been sexually harassed or denigrated.

In this time machine, I blast by the statute of limitations.

I’d start at the tender age of 12. A friend and I hung out unsupervised at a playground, hurling silly comments at each other. At one point she called me a test-tube baby — not that we had any idea what that was. We were hanging upside down on monkey bars, oblivious to the outside world, when my friend dropped and started hyperventilating. There was a man hiding nearby, masturbating, peeking…


Over Lunar New Year, I pulled old photographs of my ancestors and brought back some old traditions that my parents used to do. I avoided it for so long because the memories were painful, but I got past it, as I wanted to engage the kids in being respectful to their elders and to their ancestors.

I got to thinking how stressed out I’d be if I had to protect my aging parents from racist violence.

People are hurting, and maybe that’s why they’re shoving Asian women to the ground and pushing over old Asian people until they die? …


As a teenager, growing up in Las Vegas was like Pinocchio growing up on Pleasure Island. If you weren’t careful and partied too much you could end up being a donkey sold by The Coachman.

Why wouldn’t you want to be a donkey?

Donkeys are known for carrying a heavy load and sometimes, being obstinate. That could mean addiction to drugs, booze, gambling, in jail, or a life of ill repute. For me it was more like being too stubborn to leave my familiar world and to stay working in a casino for the rest of my life (which I don’t knock at all — my parents did.)


Forget the apple a day — like that’s great for your health physically but an idea a day is what gets me more excited to wake up each day. If a new idea for business or art doesn’t come my way each day I don’t sweat it. It will come.

If you have had great ideas but didn’t really know if it would work as a business or even a project on the side there’s a wealth of online help you can get to figure out the viability of your idea(s).

Have you thought of a business that would help…


Being shy isn’t always a bad thing, just misunderstood sometimes

I have a family of 6. I came from a big family of 8. When I was a child, if you didn’t talk much or stayed quiet, you weren’t asked why you were so quiet — it was just expected.

As more children filled the house, if we didn’t speak when we had a chance we didn’t have a say. It soon became a competition — if I didn’t interrupt someone in my house; I might not have gotten the chance to vote on dinner, pick chores to do or get dibs on the car.

So how did I become…

E.J. Zain

Entrepreneur and writer based down South. Spinner of tales and learning addict. Always got time to talk biz, art, life and love.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store